How to Be a BeekMan

William Beekman, the namesake of the farm and Mercantile, was orphaned at sea, a child soldier in the Revolutionary War, and a businessman who grew his business with such integrity that he rose from humble beginnings to be the first judge of Schoharie County and a Senator—all without any formal education.

Surely he had some flaws that history has erased, but his story seems like a good foundation for creating a new breed of person: not just a handyman, not just an everyman, not even just a nobleman.

Here are the first ten tips for being a BeekMan:

1 | Kindness is a gift that anyone can afford. Never show up empty-handed.

2 | A sense of humor is the best defense mechanism. If you can make a person laugh you can completely disarm them.

3 | Be able to make something with your hands, but not have them show the toil.

4 | If you want to be the boss, remember that a person who is appreciated will do more than what is expected.

5 | The most expensive part of your wardrobe should be your shoes. If you want someone to walk a mile in your shoes, then you have to do the same. That’s 2,000 steps in that little thingie you are wearing on your wrist.

6 | You can always tell the quality of a person by the types of things that bother them

7 | Learn to read your own body language because everyone around you is very fluent in it

8 | Manliness is not just about taking care of yourself but of taking care of others.

9 | The first one to get angry will always lose.

10 | Your birthday suit should fit you better than anything else you own. Learn to take care of it.

11 | When you come to a fork in the road, go with the decision that will make for a good story. After a man is dead, the only things of value to him are the tales that continue his legacy.

12 | Show a little respect…to yourself and EVERYONE around you.

3 | A BeekMan is the life of the party, not the loudest. Ask more than you answer.

14 | William Beekman always espoused to the customers in his original Mercantile: “Buy high-quality tools so you only have to buy them once.” This applies to almost everything in life. Go for quality to minimize the quantity.

15 | If you are going to grow hair on your face, treat it just as well as you treat the hair on your head. If you don’t have any hair on your head, this is even more important.

16 | Know where you are at all times. If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong place.

17 | Complaining about something that needs to be done only slows down the process.

18 | Charity always begins at home which is why you never lend anything you can’t afford to lose.

19 | Bad things will happen. Accept this and know that it is your personal responsibility to overcome them.

20 | Brush your teeth.

21 | Always go for the thing that is “out of your league”. It’s the only way to hit a home run.

22 | Learn to use a shave brush.

23 | The movies are not a good first date unless you want to define your relationship by sitting in the dark and not talking.

24 | Look a person in the eye when you are talking to them. It’s the only way you know that they hear what you are saying.

25 | Spend less time watching other people’s world go by.

26 | Confidence is an aphrodisiac.

27 | A firm handshake is not a measure of your strength. It’s a measure of your conviction.

28 | Brush your teeth before getting dressed.

29 | Clean your plate out of respect for the cook and the food.

30 | Call your parents once a week while you can until you can’t.

31 | Always go one step further than people expect you to.