Secret of Rockefeller's Success

John D. Rockefeller was one of the most successful businessmen in American history and living proof of the importance of trust and ability in business. Nowadays, his name is a symbol of wealth and success. Most new entrepreneurs dream of doing exactly what he did – creating an empire from nothing. That is why people are so curious about the secret of his success and have searched for the patterns that took this man from the ground to an empire. We, too, have looked at Rockefeller’s story and come to the following conclusions. Check it out!

Rockefeller’s Beginnings – A Bookkeeper with a Strong Head for Numbers

Rockefeller grew up in modest circumstances and began his professional career as a young boy. At the age of 16, he enrolled in a course in commercial accounting, and this decision proved to be a turning point in his life. During this course, he familiarized himself with the principles of bookkeeping and accounting that were to form the basis of his later success. During that time, young John discovered his strong head for numbers and started developing his skills in making accurate financial records and analyzing business transitions. 


Secret of Rockefeller's Success


Thanks to the knowledge and understanding of financial investments he acquired, he was able to identify profitable opportunities that proved invaluable when he began investing in his business and managing his own empire.

After completing the course, Rockefeller worked as a bookkeeper and clerk for a number of firms. During this time, he furthered his experience in finance and business processes, which eventually led to him opening his own company, Standard Oil, which would become one of the most successful companies in the world.

This isn’t to say that an accounting course is a must for every startup owner, but that unless you have a strong finance background like Rockefeller, the success of your business will depend heavily on the skills of your accounting team.

Strictly Observe Contracts

Contracts are central to business relationships and the successful completion of any type of business transaction. As someone who comes from a financial background, Rockefeller knew that contracts mitigate risk and help an entire organization stay compliant. If you are starting a business, it’s important to be familiar with the legal aspects and make sure your workflows are compliant.


The Secret of Rockefeller's Success

In the Rockefeller biography, Ron Chernow points out, “In his business career, John D. Rockefeller prided himself on paying his debts on time and abiding strictly by contracts.”

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day – Be Persistent

One of the most common mistakes young entrepreneurs make is to give up after a few obstacles. Starting a new business is no easy task, and no one said it would be. Young Rockefeller knew that. One of the key factors in his success was perseverance. He was determined to build a powerful and profitable empire and worked tirelessly to do so.

After the course we mentioned earlier, Rockefeller was tasked with finding a job. For almost seven weeks, he would shave, dress professionally, and walk from bank to bank trying to reach someone in charge and speak to them. He even had a list of all potential employers and visited some of them up to three times! Never disheartened by rejection, he carried this mindset over to his later career.



Through his perseverance and hard work, Rockefeller was able to build a successful career and eventually founded the company that became one of the largest and most profitable companies in history.

What Gets Measured Gets Managed

Rockefeller once famously said, “I charted my course by figures, nothing but figures.” He was described as being ‘farsighted’ in his financial work, which is definitely a positive. Accounting and bookkeeping are very exact sciences and require a certain mindset. Rockefeller had what it takes, and that’s what gave him an additional boost in his career.

This mindset isn’t just one of analytical thinking but also of diligence and devotion. Rockefeller kept handwritten records of all of his company finances in one place, where he could easily keep track of progress. Thankfully, today we have advanced software solutions to keep all the data safe for us, but they still require focused efforts in order to work to our advantage.




Build Trust by Trusting Others

As brilliant as Rockefeller was, running an empire isn’t a one-man job. He had very many associates and employees whom he cared for and respected deeply. Biographers note that one of the main tenets of Standard Oil was to educate anyone under you, and this way of thinking was quite ahead of its time!




Other than growth, Rockefeller also nurtured team spirit and harmony in his ranks. He made all his decisions in counsel with the others and never thought of himself as a lone leader. This just goes to show that, no matter what line of work you’re in, it’s always better to put more minds to a task in order to reach the best possible solution.

Are You the Next John D. Rockefeller?

There’s a lot we could learn from Rockefeller. Seeing how his name still pops up in every conversation about success and wealth, he obviously did something right. The way he ran his business was to ensure compliance, stay persistent, and rely on facts, figures, and his team.

These are core principles of FinSuperstars, of course, combined with all the advantages of the modern age. With cutting-edge technology and a page from the playbook of the greats, we strive to provide all our clients with the best service. We offer Finance Analysts, Financial Controllers, Bookkeepers, Tax Clerks and Billing Clerks, Finance Managers, Financial Accountants, and Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks.

If you’ve got the next big business idea but aren’t really analytically oriented, give us a call, and we’ll take that burden off your shoulders!


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