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What We Can Learn From J. Paul Getty

Aug 17, 2007
J. Paul Getty planned to enter the U.S. Diplomatic Service, but, when he got out of college, the Oklahoma oil boom caught his attention. Since his father had already prospered in the oil business, he was irresistibly attracted to the prospects of wildcatting, and he decided to postpone his diplomatic ambitions for two more years.

He worked on other wildcatter's rigs and borrowed money from his father to raise money for oil speculation. His father only gave him small amounts of money and demanded prompt repayment.

J. Paul Getty spent his money frugally, and also saved money through haggling over prices.

At first his speculations did not go well, and a diplomatic career looked increasingly inviting. Then, early in 1916, he secured a bargain price of $500 on a lease and the well he sank produced 700 barrels a day. Suddenly, at the age of 23, he made a fortune.

Years later, journalists would ask him about his lucky beginning. They wondered how he knew that the well was so rich. He responded that he had gathered all the necessary geological facts from experts and the spot appeared to have been a good one.

"But," he added, " as for actually knowing what the outcome would be that was impossible. If there were a way to be a hundred percent sure where rich oil deposits are, nobody would ever sink a dry well."

"Oil prospecting is like any other venture in life, from getting married to buying a car...there is always an element of chance, and you must be willing to live with that element."

"If you insist on perfect certainty, you will never be able to make any decisions at all. You will simply paralyze
About the Author
Saleem Rana got his masters in psychotherapy. His articles on the internet have inspired over ten thousand people from around the world. Discover how to create a remarkable life. http://theempoweredsoul.com
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