I was on my regular morning Mindset Call today and we were discussing the book “The Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill. During this call a particular story was presented and I want to share that story with you today.
An excerpt from the book “The Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill.
A salesman for the LaSalle Extension University
called on a real estate dealer, in a small western town,
for the purpose of trying to sell the real estate man a
course in Salesmanship and Business Management.
When the salesman arrived at the prospective
student's office he found the gentleman pecking out a
letter by the two-finger method, on an antiquated
typewriter. The salesman introduced himself, then
proceeded to state his business and describe the
course he had come to sell.
The real estate man listened with apparent interest.
After the sales talk had been completed the
salesman hesitated, waiting for some signs of "yes" or
"no" from his prospective client. Thinking that perhaps he had not made the sales talk quite strong enough, he briefly went over the merits of the course"You want this course, do you not?"
In a slow, drawling tone of voice, the real estate
"Well, I hardly know whether I do or not."
No doubt he was telling the truth, because he was
one of the millions of men who find it hard to reach
Being an able judge of human nature the salesman
then arose, put on his hat, placed his literature back in
his brief case and made ready to leave. Then he
resorted to tactics which were somewhat drastic, and
took the real estate man by surprise with this startling
"I am going to take it upon myself to say
something to you that you will not like, but it may be
of help to you.
"Take a look at this office in which you work 1
The floor is dirty; the walls are dusty; the typewriter
you are using looks as if it might be the one Mr. Noah
used in the Ark during the big flood; your pants are
bagged at the knees; your collar is dirty; your face is
unshaved, and you have a look in your eyes that tells
me you are defeated.
"Please go ahead and get mad - that's just what I
want you to do, because it may shock you into doing
some thinking that will be helpful to you and to those
who are dependent upon you.
"I can see, in my imagination, the home in which
you live. Several little children, none too well
dressed, and perhaps none too well fed; a mother
whose dress is three seasons out of style, whose eyes
carry the same look of defeat that yours do. This little
woman whom you married has stuck by you but you
have not made good in life as she had hoped, when
you were first married, that you would.
"Please remember that I am not now talking to a
prospective student, because I would not sell you this
course at THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT if you
offered to pay cash in advance, because if I did you
would not have the initiative to complete it, and we
want no failures on our student list.
"The talk I am now giving you will make it
impossible, perhaps, for me ever to sell you anything,
but it is going to do something for you that has never
been done before, providing it makes you think.
"Now, I will tell you in a very few words exactly
why you are defeated; why you are pecking out letters
on an old typewriter, in an old dirty office, in a little
town: IT IS BECAUSE YOU DO NOT HAVE THE
POWER TO REACH A DECISION!
"All your life you have been forming the habit of
dodging the responsibility of reaching decisions, until
you have come, now, to where it is well-nigh
impossible for you to do so.
"If you had told me that you wanted the course,
or that you did not want it, I could have sympathized
with you, because I would have known that lack offunds
was what caused you to hesitate, but what did
you say? Why, you admitted you did not know whether
you wanted it or not.
"If you will think over what I have said I am sure
you will acknowledge that it has become a habit with
you to dodge the responsibility of reaching clear-cut
decisions on practically all matters that affect you."
The real estate man sat glued in his chair, with
his under jaw dropped, his eyes bulged in
astonishment, but he made no attempt to answer the
The salesman said good-bye and started for the door.
After he had closed the door behind him he again
opened it, walked back in, with a smile on his face,
took his seat in front of the astonished real estate
man, and explained his conduct in this way:
"I do not blame you at all if you feel hurt at my
remarks. In fact I sort of hope that you have been
offended, but now let me say this, man to man, that I
think you have intelligence and I am sure you have
ability, but you have fallen into a habit that haswhipped you.
No man is ever down and out until he is
under the sod. You may be temporarily down, but you
can get up again, and I am just sportsman enough to
give you my hand and offer you a lift, if you will
accept my apologies for what I have said.
"You do not belong in this town. You would
starve to death in the real estate business in this place,
even if you were a Leader in your field. Get yourself a
new suit of clothes, even if you have to borrow the
money with which to do it, then go over to St. Louis
with me and I will introduce you to a real estate man
who will give you a chance to earn some money and at
the same time teach you some of the important things
about this line of work that you can capitalize late
"If you haven't enough credit to get the clothes
you need I will stand good for you at a store in St.
Louis where I have a charge account. I am in earnest
and my offer to help you is based upon the highest
motive that can actuate a human being. I am
successful in my own field, but I have not always been
so. I went 'through just what you are now going
through, but, the important thing is that I WENT
THROUGH IT, and got it over with, JUST AS YOU
ARE GOING TO DO IF YOU WILL FOLLOW MY
"Will you come with me?"
The real estate man started to arise, but his legs
wobbled and he sank back into his chair. Despite the
fact that he was a great big fellow, with rather
pronounced manly qualities, known as the "he-man"
type, his emotions got the better of him and he
He made a second attempt and got on his feet,
shook hands with the salesman, thanked him for his
kindness, and said he was going to follow the advice,
but he would do so in his own way.
Calling for an application blank he signed for the
course on Salesmanship and Business Management,
made the first payment in nickels and dimes, and told
the salesman he would hear from him again.
Three years later this real estate man had an
organization of sixty salesmen, and one of the most
successful real estate businesses in the city of St.
Louis. The author of this course (who was advertising
manager of the LaSalle Extension University at th
estate man's office many times and has observed him
over a period of more than fifteen years. He is an
entirely different man from the person interviewed by
the LaSalle salesman over fifteen years ago, and the
thing that made him different is the same that willmake YOU different: it is the power of DECISION which is so essential to Leadership.
This real estate man is now a Leader in the real
estate field. He is directing the efforts of other
salesmen and helping them to become more efficient.
This one change in his philosophy has turned
temporary defeat into success. Every new salesman
who goes to work for this man is called into his private office,
before he is employed, and told the story of his own transformation,
word for word just asit occurred when the LaSalle salesman first met him in
his shabby little real estate office.
What does this story tell you?
Are you quick to make decisions or do you make decisions at all? It may come to a surprise to you but whether or not you act on a particular opportunity you are making a decision.
I would like to invite you to check out our no fail business opportunity by clicking here right now.
Remember YOUR success is YOUR decision.
Make it a great day!
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