In a similar way those who are impractical and have little business sense can improve in this respect and they ought to. Such people ought to study practical affairs, ought to give their attention to financial matters. In fact, one of the best ways to increase financial judgment is to form the intimate acquaintance of some one who has a keen sense of financial values. If such a person can be persuaded to talk about what he knows, the impractical man will do well to take a keen interest in what he says, to qualify himself to understand it, and, if possible, to get the point of view from which a good business man approaches his problems and studies his affairs. Actual practice is, of course, necessary for development, and the impractical man ought to take an interest in his affairs and ought to do his best to handle them. Naturally, he needs to seek competent counsel in regard to them, but he should pay some attention to the counsel given, try to learn something from it, watch results of every course of action and in every possible way study to make himself more practical and less theoretical and abstract in his attitude toward life in general and toward business affairs in particular.
Not long ago we attended a meeting of two and three hundred of the most prominent authors, poets, and playwrights in America. We were not at all surprised to note that nearly every one of those who had made a financial success of his art was a man of the practical, commercial type who had developed his business sense along with his artistic or literary talent.
Some years ago we formed the acquaintance of a delightful man who is so typical of a certain class of the impractical that his story is instructive. When we first formed the acquaintance of this gentleman he was about thirty years of age, rather handsome in appearance, with great blue eyes, very fine silky blonde hair, and a clear, pink, and white complexion. His head, somewhat narrow just above the ears, indicated a mild, easy-going, gentle disposition. The large, rounded dome just above temples was typical of the irrepressible optimist. His forehead, very full and bulging just below the hair line, showed him to be of the thoughtful, meditative, drearily type, while flatness and narrowness at the brows told as plainly as print of the utter impracticability of his roseate dreams.
True to his exquisite blonde coloring, this man was eager, buoyant, irrepressible, impatient of monotony, routine, and detail—social and friendly. True to his fine texture, he shrank from hardship, was sensitive, refined, beauty loving and luxury loving. Because of his mild disposition and optimism and also because of his love of approval, he was suave, affable, courteous, agreeable. He made acquaintances easily and had many of the elements of popularity.
Because he was ambitious to occupy a position of prominence and distinction, because he wished to gratify his luxurious and elegant tastes, and because in his irrepressible optimism it seemed so absurdly easy to do, he was eager to make a large fortune. Lacking the aggressiveness, energy, willingness to undergo hardship and to work hard and long, patiently enduring the hours and days of drudgery over details that could not be neglected, he dreamed of making millions by successful speculation.