Presidents' Day is approaching, which means it's time to reflect back on some of the nation's greatest former leaders. From lawyers to avid huntsmen, past presidents have held a variety of occupations and hobbies that set them aside from their predecessors, but did you know a number of them started as successful businessmen?
Turns out, many of the traits that make you a good business owner may also prepare you to lead the United States. Dedication to common goals, persistence in operational tasks and proper management of staff are all requirements for both positions, something the following presidents learned first hand in office.
1. Abraham Lincoln
One of the best presidents in the history of the U.S., the story of Abraham Lincoln's upbringing remains a pillar in elementary schoolchildren's education. Lincoln was the epitome of a self-made man, moving from humble beginnings to Commander in Chief. Before taking over the Oval Office, however, Lincoln owned a small general store with William Berry, a man who fought with him during the Black Hawk War. Managing the store, which was called Lincoln-Berry, inspired Lincoln to further his education and eventually begin practicing law (did we mention he owned his own practice, too?).
2. Jimmy Carter
Earl and Lillian Carter, parents to 39th president Jimmy Carter, owned and operated a large peanut farm in Plains, Georgia, long before Jimmy was born. After serving in the Navy for several years and establishing himself as one of the sharpest minds in the military, Carter returned home to help his ailing mother return glory to the peanut farm following the death of his father. Eventually, Carter turned the business around completely, managing to help the farm turn a profit after a particularly tumultuous decade.
3. George W. Bush
Did you know George W. Bush was the first president to have an MBA? The former president received his degree from Harvard University in 1975, then went on to open his own oil and gas firm shortly thereafter.
4. Warren G. Harding
At the ripe age of just 19, Warren G. Harding and a team of fellow journalists purchased a struggling newspaper, The Marion Star, and helped bring the publication back to life. He helped turn around the entire business, managing its operations with the assistance of his wife, Florence.