The Greatest Salesman In The World Summary
While trawling through a little old bookshop in a country town I discovered a dusty old copy of OG Mandino’s acclaimed ‘The Greatest Salesman In The World‘.
Although I tend to avoid self-help books with any form of religion or spirituality there’s still a number of great takeaways from this old gem.
‘The Greatest Salesman In The World’ tells the tale of a camel boy who dreams of becoming a successful salesmen.
Recognized as having ambition – he’s gifted a set of scrolls containing the 12 principles to follow to build wealth beyond his wildest dreams.
Below you’ll find my summary of the 12 scrolls mentioned in the book…
Scroll 1 – Today I Begin A New Life
Today I shed my old skin, which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity
We’ve all come up short before. Be it in the form of a rejection letter after an interview, getting a barbell stuck on your chest when attempting to hit a new bench press 1 rep max or perhaps even starting a new product based business and amassing a total of zero sales.
All three of those forms of failure are VERY familiar to me.
Alas, you cannot and will not attain success until you place those things far behind you.
See the failure as a report card – a sign of where we need to adapt and pivot in order to succeed.
Then it’s time to move on…
Scroll 2 – I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart
For this is the greatest secret of success in all ventures. Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men
We’re not entitled to anything, show appreciation for your environment and those that surround you.
Scroll 3 -I Will Persist Until I Succeed
In the Orient young bulls are tested for the fight arena in a certain manner. Each is brought to the ring and allowed to attack a picador who pricks them with a lance. The bravery of each bull is then rated with care according to the number of times he demonstrates his willingness to charge in spite of the sting of the blade. Henceforth will I recognize that each day I am tested by life in like manner. If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.
What does it take to strike success? Ask 10 people and you’ll likely get 10 different answers… you’ll hear things like smarts, luck, being in the right place at the right time, knowing the right people…
But what about perseverance? Without perseverance, the ability to stick to one end state goal regardless of the magnitude of road blocks, failures and people telling you ‘no!’ along the way.
The Edison’s light bulb, Microsoft Windows, WD-40, Virgin Airlines… none of these monumental accomplishments would’ve come to fruition if it wasn’t for perseverance.
As Virgil said “Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.”
Scroll 4 – I Am Nature’s Greatest Miracle
Although I am of the animal kingdom, animal rewards alone will not satisfy me. Within me burns a flame, which has been passed from generations uncounted, and its heat is a constant irritation to my spirit to become better than I am, and I will. I will fan this flame of dissatisfaction and proclaim my uniqueness to the world.
You’re limited production, one of one.
Instead of trying to fit in with the sheep it’s your mission to stand out as the lion.
Most people complain about their job and work for the man.
Most people wake up late.
Most people fail to build muscle following conventional fitness advice.
Most people are more concerned about obtaining a small reward today as opposed to a big payout tomorrow.
Most people watch the news, gossip and get caught up in pointless drama.
Most people would rather turn off their brain and watch a movie than stimulate their brain and read a book.
Most people believe they’re a victim of their circumstance.
Most people start their day off with a warm, relaxing shower.
Most people form strong opinions with little to no experience (they take the word of others).
I have one small piece of advice for you to ensure you never end up like them.
Do the exact opposite.
Scroll 5 – I Will Live This Day As If Its My Last
And what shall I do with this last precious day, which remains I my keeping? First, I will seal up its container of life so that not one drop spills itself upon the sand. I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad? Can sand flow upward in the hourglass? Will the sun rise where it sets and set where it rises? Can I relive the errors of yesterday and right them? Can I call back yesterday’s wounds and make them whole? Can I become younger than yesterday? Can I take back the evil that was spoken, the blows that were struck, the pain that was caused? No. Yesterday is buried forever and I will think of it no more.
Working all day in a workplace you hate you can spend those few unoccupied hours playing that sport that you love.
Committing years of your life to grinding it out in a hell hole with nothing but the promise you made to yourself that a few years down the track you’ll do something you’ll enjoy.
Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in that trap.
What if tomorrow never comes?
We only have so many tomorrows, how many exactly – we don’t know.
Stop spending day in day out doing what you hate, build upon your passions.
Scroll 6 – Today I Will Be Master Of My Emotions
It is one of nature’s tricks, little understood, that each day I awaken with moods that have changed from yesterday. Yesterday’s joy will become today’s sadness; yet
today’s sadness will grow into tomorrow’s joy. Inside me is a wheel, constantly turning from sadness to joy, from exultation to depression, from happiness to melancholy. Like the flowers, today’s full bloom of joy will fade and wither into despondency, yet I will remember that as today’s dead flower carries the seed of
tomorrow’s bloom so, too, does today’s sadness carry the seed of tomorrow’s joy.
It’s not luck, misfortune, chance or a voodoo spell that seperates those that are successful from those that are not successful by societies measures.
The reason why one man sits in the crowd of the Mr Olympia contest and another man is on stage, showcasing his physique that resembles a granite sculpture is none of the above, they’re merely excuses.
It’s the decision making progress that seperates the success from the sucker.
There’s two forms of decision making, values based decision making which will assist you in forging your way forward to reaching your goals, be it the stage of Mr. Olympia or the head of the boardroom.
If you succumb to the mediocrity that is today’s world however, you’ll be making emotional, feelings based decisions.
You’ll NEVER be successful if you rely on your feelings when it comes to decision making.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk… these titans would never have made it to the echelon of success if they based their decisions on how they currently felt, it just couldn’t happen.
The Path Of The Loser
Losers make their decisions based upon their feelings, specifically how they’re feeling at the time the decision is presented in front of them.
They don’t care about their values, because they probably don’t hold any strong enough to override their current state, their current feelings.
If they’re motivated they might do the task at hand, but if they’re tired? Forget it.
The Path Of The Winner
The winner makes their decisions based upon their values. They know they’re not always going to ‘feel’ like doing what they need to do, but before they allow their current state dismiss or blow off an opportunity or task that they should be pursuing they fall back to their values. They value the outcome of the task so they do the damn thing.
If the winner is tired or feeling down but they’ve got the opportunity to better themselves, to take a step in the direction that is their goals you can beat your ass they’re going to say yes and do it 10 out of 10 times.
Scroll 7 – I Will Laugh At The World
I will smile and my digestion will improve; I will chuckle and my burdens will be lightened; I will laugh and my life will be lengthened for this is the great secret of long life and now it is mine.
When it’s time to work, work with 100% focus.
We can’t work around the clock although some Entrepreneurs will lead you to believe otherwise…
You’ll find laughing regularly to do a hell of a lot more for your happiness over the long term than the luxury car you may have parked in your garage.
Scroll 8 – Today I Will Multiply My Value A Hundredfold
And how will I accomplish this? First I will set goals for the day, the week, the month, the year, and my life. Just as the rain must fall before the wheat will crack its shield and sprout, so must I have objectives before my life will crystallize. In setting my goals I will consider my best performance of the past and multiply it a hundredfold. This will be the standard by which I will live in the future. Never will I be of concern that my goals are too high for is it not better to aim my spear at the moon and strike only an eagle than to aim my spear at the eagle and strike only a rock?
Cease your consumption based hobbies.
Stop binge watching Netflix.
Stop refreshing your social media news feed every 10 minutes.
Stop sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for Conor McGregor’s next twitter tirade.
“But SJ, I enjoy doing all those things!”
Consumption based hobbies may provide slight momentary satisfaction, but in the long run they’ll provide you with nothing, and why should they?
You must create and produce.
Start building momentum by changing your hobbies.
Instead of watching old UFC events begin learning moves and practice them on a heavy bag.
Instead of reading reviews of products you’re interested in buying opt to write reviews on your experience with things you already have.
Instead of buying supplement after supplement begin testing and making new protein smoothie recipes.
Instead of watching start reading.
Aim to go to bed a little bit stronger and a little bit smarter with each passing day.
You must provide value in order to get something in return. Be it a feeling of accomplishment, happiness, a following or financial gain.
Scroll 9 – I Will Act Now
Never has there been a map, however carefully executed to detail and scale, which carried its owner over even one inch of ground. Never has there been a parchment of law, however fair, which prevented one crime. Never has there been a scroll, even such as the one I hold, which earned so much as a penny or produced a single word of acclamation. Action, alone, is the tinder which ignites the map, the parchment, this scroll, my dreams, my plans, my goals, into a living force. Action is the food and drink which will nourish my success
The issue here is often simply too much thinking and not enough doing.
The internet is considered to be the greatest tool we have to access information, however at the same time it is also a weapon – far too much information from very few reputable sources. The amount of false information, broscience, marketing hype and pseudoscience is mind boggling.
Stop researching and stressing and just do it.
Construct your own plan – you don’t have to listen, over interpret and obsess over what person A says in comparison to person B.
Take action and make the necessary pivots and alterations as you go.
This alone will start to build your momentum.
Scroll 10 – I Will Pray For Guidance
Help this humble salesman.
Although the book is referring to asking God for help I personally see this step as seeking out a mentor.
Find someone who has walked the path you’ve embarked upon and learn from their mistakes and triumphs.
This’ll save you time, money, energy and pain.