The Rules


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from the Preface:

A RESPECTFUL REGARD for the opinions of others impels me to attach a few words to the experience I have gained, and the lessons I have derived thereby, from my years as proprietress of my own establishment and from the generally favorable arrangements I was able to make on my own behalf concerning real property. These led me to a situation of comfort in life which I could only have envied as a young woman.................

Alexandra Borodinskaya
Antibes, 6 August 1905


The book "Madame Alexandra's Rules of Business" Shares the Timeless Principles that Made Her Establishment a Remarkable Success


The book "Madame Alexandra's Rules of Business contains 100+ rules developed by Madame Alexandra based upon her many years as proprietress of a very successful enterprise. Scattered throughout the book are many entertaining and insightful stories that illustrate her personal experiences in the development and execution of these rules.

  • I LEARNED TO count upon my father’s knee, for his hobby was mathematics. Human behavior I learned from great books. This was my entire preparation for commerce and I judge that no other was required. Read great books which teach you to think rather than commonplace ones which seek to think for you.

  • WHATEVER YOU DO, provide your clients with excellence, exclusivity, and desirability.

  • Create a spirit around your business which enrobes the establishment, your employees, and your clients.

  • Insist that your employees deliver to your clients the finest service, in all circumstances.

  • Be wary of partnerships. What begins in the sun often ends in the rain. Confidence in oneself is the essential heart of the entrepreneur.

  • The entire flow of life is found in change. Do not resist it; be its agent.

  • No contract will serve to assure reliability in a scoundrel.

  • Neither social class nor wealth should be mistaken for integrity.

  • If an error has occurred for which you are responsible—and if it is within your establishment, you are obligatorily responsible—accept the responsibility fully and promptly. Do not seek to escape or mitigate your responsibility, for you will only seem deceitful in others’ eyes. Be seen to act honorably. In this manner an unfortunate incident may be transformed into a credit to you.

  • Never fail to acknowledge any polite correspondence.

  • AN ERROR IN a trainee is yours and must be dealt with swiftly, but an error in an established employee is the employee’s and must be addressed both immediately and firmly or it will degrade the enterprise.

  • Do not ever expect another to solve the problems you have been unable or unwilling to solve.

  • If you would trifle with the spirit of an establishment you had better close it and reopen a new establishment with a new spirit. You would as successfully exchange a person’s soul as you would change an establishment’s spirit.

  • A plan which does not lead to profit in predictable honest steps within a reasonable term is no plan at all, but a prescription for disaster.