CHAPTER 9: The Most Important “Other” Person


“You know, Zig, I discovered that if I was as thoughtful and considerate of my wife, that if I courted her as carefully, said and did as many nice things for her as I did for the ‘other’ girls, that I would have both pleasure and happiness at home.”

Unfortunately, many husbands and wives are pleasant and considerate to associates, clerks, secretaries, postmen, and even strangers, but are often either short and abrupt with each other or take each other for granted.

I’ve had with the beautiful woman God gave me to love and honor in 1946. She is the most important person in my life and we grow closer by the day.
It’s difficult to believe that any responsible married person can be fully effective or happy without a harmonious relationship with his or her mate.

The way you see your mate, treat your mate, and get along with your mate is tremendously important. As a matter of fact, this relationship has more to do with your success and happiness than your relationship with any other person. How do you see your husband or your wife? How do you see each other as a couple? Or as a family?

First, most husbands and wives, over a period of time, grow accustomed to having their mate around. They assume everything is fine and that the mate will always be with them.
Second, the environment in which we live feeds the problem. Many of our associates consider it corny or mushy to show genuine love and affection for their mates.
Third, the changing morality, which recognizes free love, trial marriages, extra-marital affairs, wife swapping, and the shedding of a mate for no reason other than boredom, breeds insecurity and uncertainty.


Psychologists and marriage counselors maintain that the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother, and the most important thing a mother can do for her children is to love their father.

love will die through neglect just as will a flower, tree, or bush.

Dale Carnegie says, “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.” What I am really getting at is this: Act like you are in love by courting each other like you did before you married, and over a period of time you know you will be back in love.

I’m convinced beyond any doubt that you truly can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. We all want to be genuinely loved as well as to have someone to love, don’t we?


Remember how you kept your best foot forward at all times, showed your best side, were on good behavior, were thoughtful, courteous, considerate, and kind?

marriage is not a 50/50 proposition, it is a 100%/100% proposition. Husbands give 100% to the marriage and wives do the same.

Start and end every day with a declaration of love for your mate, and during that day, if it’s feasible, take three minutes to telephone just to chat and express your love.

Surprise him or her with an occasional gift or card. It obviously isn’t the gift itself, but the thought behind the gift. “Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only true gift is a portion of one’s self.”

Spend some QUALITY time together. Remember how you courted each other so avidly, and how you had so much time just for courting before marriage? make your mate feel as if he or she is the most important person in your life. He or she is, whether or not you realize it at this moment.

Be a good listener. duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.

Don’t make your husband or wife compete with the kids for your attention. Reserve time just for him or her.

When you disagree, remember you can disagree without being disagreeable. However, you must never go to sleep at night with unresolved differences. You will not sleep as well, and these differences will settle into both of your subconscious minds and will be a recurring source of problems. You can be honest and yet sensitive to each other.

The Bible makes it crystal clear that if the husband wants his prayers answered, he must deal kindly and gently with his wife as being an heir with him to the grace of life itself.

You will often have to “bend over backwards” to please or understand your mate. That position might be a little uncomfortable, but it makes it difficult for you or your marriage to fall on its face.

Try this recipe guaranteed to cook up a happy marriage.
1 Cup —Love
5 Spoons —Hope
2 Cups —Loyalty
2 Spoons —Tenderness
3 Cups —Forgiveness
4 Quarts —Faith
1 Cup —Friendship
1 Barrel —Laughter

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another”

Pray together. Evidence is substantial that husbands and wives who pray aloud together on a daily basis have a divorce rate of less than 3%.

Keep this in mind. When the inevitable disagreement takes place, who makes the move to “make up” isn’t important. However, the one who makes the move demonstrates the greater maturity and love.


Open her car door, hold her chair, walk on the traffic side when you are going down the sidewalk holding her hand. Stand up when she re-enters the room or restaurant when you are out to dinner.

Bring her the details of the good news or the exciting things that happen in your business life.

When you attend a social function of any kind, stay with her. Remember how proud you were to be with her before you married. Show her the same attention now.

Never, oh never, indulge in telling wife jokes. Take the opposite approach and compliment her as you like to be complimented.

Women are security conscious to a much larger degree than men. Remind her over and over that she is not only wanted but needed and appreciated. Her feeling of security is greatly increased with the repeated use of the word “love.” She needs and wants to hear it far more often than the average man is normally inclined to use it. Use it often and she will be happier and more secure, which means a better marriage.

The man should do the heavy work around the house that requires more strength. If you are there, you should take out the garbage, cut the grass, and do any work that is essentially masculine
Just remember, the home is your castle but it is not a castle without a king, and no king is complete without his queen. Your wife will be delighted to be your queen if you treat her like one.

Segment Four Goals


I. To sell you on the importance of goals in your personal life.
II. To explain why most people never set goals.
III. To identify the kinds of goals you should have.
IV. To elaborate on the characteristics of your goals.
V. To spell out in specific detail how to set your goals.
VI. To give a detailed procedure on how to reach your goals.

Chapter 10 Are Goals Really Necessary?


How on earth could you possibly hit a target you couldn’t see?” That’s a good question, but here’s one that’s even better: How can you hit a target you don’t even have?
Let me ask you this: Have you written your goals down? Have you answered the question of why you want to reach that particular goal? Have you determined the benefits you will enjoy by reaching the goal? Have you identified the obstacles you must overcome in order to get there? Have you identified the people, groups, and organizations you need to work with in order to achieve this objective? Have you explored what you need to know in order to reach this destination? Have you developed a specific plan of action to make it happen? Finally, have you set a realistic date for the accomplishment of this particular goal or objective? Until you answer these questions, you really do not have even a goal, much less a goals program.

But you need to understand that it’s just as difficult to reach a destination you don’t have as it is to come back from a place you’ve never been.
Unless you have definite, precise, clearly set goals, you are not going to realize the maximum potential that lies within you. You’ll never make it as a “wandering generality.” You must be a “meaningful specific.” What about you and your goals? Are they clearly in focus, or still pretty fuzzy?


A man or a woman without a goal is like a ship without a rudder. Each will drift and not drive. Each will end up on the beaches of despair, defeat, and despondency.

John Henry Fabre, the great French naturalist, conducted a most unusual experiment with some Processionary caterpillars. These caterpillars blindly follow the one in front of them, hence, the name. Fabre carefully arranged them in a circle around the rim of a flower pot so that the lead caterpillar actually touched the last one, making a complete circle. In the center of the flower pot he put pine needles, which is food for the Processionary caterpillar. The caterpillars started around this circular flower pot. Around and around they went, hour after hour, day after day, night after night. For seven full days and seven full nights they went around the flower pot. Finally, they dropped dead of starvation and exhaustion. With an abundance of food less than six inches away, they literally starved to death, because they confused activity with accomplishment.

Many people make the same mistake and as a result reap only a small fraction of the harvest life has to offer. Despite the fact that untold wealth lies within reach, they acquire very little of it because they blindly, without question, follow the crowd in a circle to nowhere. They follow methods and procedures for no other reason than “it’s always been done that way.”

then decided to call grandmother and solve this three-generation mystery. Grandmother promptly replied that she cut the end of the ham off because her roaster was too small to cook it in one piece. Now grandma had a reason for her actions. What about you?


Do most people have goals? Apparently not. You can stop a hundred young men on any street and ask each one, “What are you doing that will absolutely guarantee your failure in life?” After recovering from their initial shock, each one will probably say, “What do you mean, what am I doing to guarantee my failure? I’m working for success.” Tragically, most of them think they are. Almost every one believes he will make it, but the odds are against him. I say this with emphasis because, if we follow those hundred young men until they are sixty-five years old, only five of them will have achieved financial security. Only one will be wealthy.

Do the people in life who don’t succeed actually plan to fail? I don’t think so. The problem is they don’t plan anything.

Since goals are so important, why do only 3% of the American people specifically commit their goals to paper? There are four basic reasons.
First, they have never been “sold.”
Second, they don’t know how.
Third, they fear they won’t reach the goals they set and will be embarrassed.
Fourth, poor self-image. They don’t think they deserve the good things life has to offer, so why bother to write down what you want since you don’t “deserve” to have it, which means (in their mind) that they won’t have it.

Now get ready for a strong statement. The philosophy and procedures outlined in this book will take care of all four of the reasons if you really dig in.

If fear is your problem, it simply means that you do not want to be wrong in front of your friends so you do not make a commitment. By the way, you are “half-right” in this approach. You should never share your goals with anyone unless you know they not only believe you can reach the goals but they want you to reach them.
Others decide not to commit their goals to paper so if they don’t quite “make it,” they will have the built-in explanation that they didn’t really fail because they never set those goals. This is a safer and even a “no risk” approach for them that guarantees they will not reach even a fraction of their potential.

Using that line of reasoning, I must point out that it would be “safer” for a ship to stay in the harbor, “safer” for a plane to stay on the ground, and “safer” for a house to stay empty.
But the ship would collect barnacles and become unseaworthy even faster in the harbor. The plane would rust much faster on the ground, and the house would deteriorate much faster standing empty.

Yes, there is danger in setting goals, but the risk is infinitely greater when you don’t set goals. The reason is simple. Just as ships are built to sail the seas, planes to fly the heavens, and houses for living, so is man created for a purpose. You are here for a reason. That purpose is to get everything out of you that is humanly possible so you can make your contributions to mankind. Goals enable you to do more for yourself and others, too.


“Friend, I have good news for you. You can take a three-day trip to Acapulco with our group and it won’t cost you a dime. We leave tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. and we have room for two more people. The boss is flying us down in his private jet and we will all stay at his villa right on the beach.”
Your first reaction might be, “That would be wonderful, but I have so much to do, I don’t see how I could get ready and do the things I need to do before I could go anywhere.”

“What do I have to do?” Out comes pen and paper and you commit to writing all the things you must get done. Next, you list them in order of their importance. Finally, you delegate some of the responsibilities to others. Then you call the friend back and say, “Hey, you know, I’ve been checking the schedule, and we can make that trip after all.”

I’ll guarantee that you would do more in the next 24 hours than you normally do in several days, wouldn’t you?

Why don’t you go to Acapulco tomorrow—every day? Why don’t you list the things you need to do during the next three days. Then act as if you only had one day to do three days’ work.
“That will force you to put your thinking cap on.”
You will use your mental capacity to think, plan, and delegate before you start working. This will enable you to accomplish so much more that you can literally go to Acapulco—or anywhere else you wish to go—in the tomorrows of your life. Reason: You will have changed from a “wandering generality” to a “meaningful specific.” Your life will have direction.

People often complain about lack of time when lack of direction is the real problem. Many “experts” say we should be arrested for murder when we kill time. Close examination, however, makes it obvious that killing time is not murder—it’s suicide. Time can be an ally or an enemy. What it becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals, and your determination to use every available minute.


the coaches give them the last “shot in the arm” before action begins. “This is it, Fellows. It’s now or never. We win or lose it all tonight. Nobody remembers the best man at a wedding, and nobody remembers who came in second. The whole season is tonight.”
They’re so charged up they almost tear the doors off the hinges as they rush back to the court. As they get to the court they stop short and, in complete confusion.
They know that without goals, they would never know whether they hit or missed, never know how they stacked up against competition, and never know whether they were on or off target. As a matter of fact, they wouldn’t even attempt to play the basketball game without the goals. Those basketball goals are important, aren’t they? What about you? Are you attempting to play the game of life without goals? If you are, what’s the score?


Maltz says man is functionally like a bicycle. Unless he’s moving onward and upward towards an objective—a goal—he’s going to falter and fall.


when you’re frustrated you can either wring your hands and lose what you have or roll up your sleeves and get what you want.

She set a price on Irish, ran an ad in the paper, and resisted bargaining and “horse trade” talk until she got her price. She put her money into a savings account and started her search for another dream horse.
you go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will always be able to see farther.
Using her money from Irish as the down payment and working out a payment plan for the balance, she bought Butter Rum. Then she got a job to earn money to make the payments. She also sought and personally paid for professional help in training Butter Rum. She worked him—and herself—hard and often. Soon Butter Rum and Julie began winning ribbons. Julie’s wall was covered by ribbons of all colors, and she was offered four and a half times as much for Butter Rum as she paid for him.

The exciting thing about this story, aside from the fact it is about my little girl, is it tells us again that if we want something badly enough, we must make it our definite goal. When we go after it as if we can’t fail, many things will happen to help make certain we won’t.


For thousands of years untold trillions of tons of water had gone over that 180-foot drop and drifted into a comparative nothingness.
Then one day, a man—with a plan—harnessed a portion of that awesome power. He directed a portion of the falling water at a specific target and created billions of kilowatt hours of electricity to turn the wheels of industry.
The list of benefits is almost endless, and it all came about because a man with a plan took part of the power of Niagara and directed it toward a specific target or goal. That’s what I’m asking you to do.


The dictionary says a goal is an aim or purpose. It’s a plan. Something you expect to do. Without any reservation, I’m going to say that whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you do, you should have goals.
J.C. Penney expressed it beautifully when he said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal, and I will give you a stock clerk.”
Mothers should have goals. Salespeople should have goals. Housewives, students, laborers, doctors, and athletes should have goals. You might not, like Niagara, light up a city, but with definite goals you release your own power, and things start happening.

Suppose he had explained he was just out walking around one day when he happened to find himself at the top of the tallest mountain in the world?
the chairman of the board of General Motors explaining that he got his position because he just kept showing up for work and they just kept promoting him until one day he was chairman of the board?
no more ridiculous than your thinking you can accomplish anything significant without specific goals.


here are seven different kinds of goals: physical, mental, spiritual, personal, family, career, and financial.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, tells us in Ecclesiastes, “He who seeks silver will never be satisfied with silver.” Meaning simply, if money becomes our God it will never satisfy us, regardless of how much we have.

Regardless of your profession, almost without exception the more service you render, the greater the financial rewards.

CHAPTER 11 - Characteristics of Goals


When you set goals, something inside of you starts saying, “Let’s go, let’s go,” and ceilings start to move up.

Some of our goals must be big, because it takes a big goal to create the excitement necessary for maximum accomplishment.
The excitement comes when you do your best, which you can do only with the proper goals.

It’s an established fact in the sports world that an athlete will perform better against tough competition than against mediocre competition.
Now, if the goal, which is really the “competition,” you have set for yourself is big (tough), it will bring out your best effort.

When you are at your best and do your best, you can lie down at night and truthfully say, “Today I did my very best.” The result will be a rewarding and satisfying night of sleep, because you recognize you’re doing your best toward reaching that big goal.
You need to see life as something big and exciting and your major goals as big ones. A wise man once said, “Make no small plans for they have no capacity to stir men’s souls.”

The way you see life will largely determine what you get out of it. Take a bar of iron and use it for a door stop and it’s worth a dollar. Manufacture horseshoes from that iron and they’re worth about fifty dollars. Take the same bar of iron, remove the impurities, refine it into fine steel, manufacture it into mainsprings for precision watches and it’s worth a quarter of a million dollars.

the way you see yourself and your future will also make the difference. You need to have a big goal. Obviously, the size of goals will vary with individuals. Booker T. Washington said, “You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you have to overcome to reach your goals.”


When he had completed the job of filling the bags, he would always have several bags left in this “bonus box.” Uncle Joe was born a poor man. He lived a poor man’s life and he died a poor man.

I shall never forget a sign I saw as I entered Columbia, South Carolina, to attend the University of South Carolina. The sign simply said, “Cromer’s Peanuts—Guaranteed Worst in Town.”
People grinned when they saw the sign, but they bought the peanuts.
His fame and business grew. Today, Mr. Cromer is a successful and wealthy man.

Here are two men who sold the same product in essentially the same type area. One was poor and remained that way. The other was poor but wasn’t content to stay that way. They sold the same product, but their individual goals for that product were seen in a different light.


It doesn’t make any difference what your occupation might be.
there are wealthy people who do whatever it is you do for your living. I know some wealthy people who run service stations, and I know some service station owners who are broke.
There are rich educators and there are poor educators. There are rich lawyers and there are poor lawyers. The list is endless.
The opportunity lies with the individual first and then with the occupation. The occupation provides the opportunity only if the individual does his part.

Whatever it is you do, there are many people in the same profession who are making significant contributions to that profession and are making a lot of money as a result.
It’s not the occupation or profession that makes you succeed or fail. It’s how you see yourself and your occupation. Big goals are necessary. “You must see it big before you can make it big.”


Without long-range goals, you are likely to be overcome by short-range frustrations.
The reason is simple. Everybody is not as interested in your success as you are. You might occasionally feel that some people are standing in the way and deliberately slowing your progress, but in reality the biggest person standing in your way is you.

Others can stop you temporarily—you are the only one who can do it permanently.

You will learn that a setback—regardless of the severity—can be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block. When you have that long-range goal it’s easier. Why? Because you go as far as you can see and when you get there you will always be able to see farther.


My point is this: When we were a little off our course, the captain didn’t turn the plane around and return to Los Angeles to make a fresh start. Even so, as you head toward your goals, be prepared to make some slight adjustments in your course. You don’t change your decision to go—you do change your direction to get there.

As you set your long-range goals, let me urge you not to attempt to overcome all the obstacles before you start. Nobody, but nobody, would ever attempt anything of significance if all obstacles had to be removed before they started.


If you don’t have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer.
Dreamers are fine, provided they build a foundation under their dreams by working daily towards realizing them.

[quote, Charlie Cullen]
“The opportunity for greatness does not come cascading down like a torrential Niagara Falls, but rather it comes slowly, one drop at a time.”

Frequently the difference between the great and the near great is the realization that if you expect to make it big, you must work toward your objectives every day.

your daily objective should include an honest effort to be better prepared today than you were yesterday.

If you expect to improve your circumstances, you must change and improve yourself.

The daily objectives are the best indicators—and the best builders— of character. This is where dedication, discipline and determination enter the picture.
Here we take the glamour of the big, long-range goal or dream and get right down to the nitty-gritty of foundation building that will help make certain that your dream becomes your destiny.


Even though you magnify the power of the sun through the glass, you will never start a fire—if you keep the glass moving. However, if you hold the glass still and focus it on the paper, you harness the power of the sun and multiply it through the glass. Then you can start a roaring fire.

I don’t care how much power, brilliance, or energy you have. If you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target and hold it there, you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.

The hunter who brings back the birds doesn’t shoot the covey; he selects one quail as a specific target.

The art of goal-setting is to focus on one specific, detailed objective. A “lot” of money, a “nice” or “big” house, a “high-paying” job, “more” education, “selling more,” “doing something more for the community,” or being a “better” husband, wife, student, person, etc., is too broad a goal. In general, they are not specific enough.

For example, instead of a “big” or “nice” home, your goal should be spelled out in minute detail. If you don’t know the exact details, then start accumulating magazines with pictures and floor plans of the homes that appeal to you. Combine ideas and concepts that are presented when subdivisions open or when builders or realtors hold an open house.
Take this assortment of ideas for your home and commit them to paper. How many square feet, what size, type, and kind of lot, location, number of rooms, style, color, etc.? Then get a local artist to make a sample drawing (an art student can probably handle it for a minimal fee). This is particularly important as you will discover in a later segment of the book.

I hope you fully understand that you must take the general information on goal-setting and specifically apply it to your own situation. Later, I will give you a number of specifics that will apply to your situation. Whatever you want—if you expect to reach full effectiveness—must be specific in detail.


First, your goal can be negative if you don’t accept the fact that you must be the architect of accomplishment and that “luck” is not involved.
Second, your goal can be negative if it is unrealistically big. It must be out of reach but not out of sight.
Third, it can be negative if it is outside your area of interests or was set to please someone else.

Many times the “too big” or unrealistic goal is deliberately set so the individual can have a ready-made excuse for failure.
they will not “blame him” for failing to do the impossible.

“No, seriously, I’m going to earn a million dollars, and I’m going to do it this year.”
Now I was faced with a small problem. Should I take a chance on killing this enormous enthusiasm now, or let him go on laboring under the illusion of an improbable goal and suffer complete defeat?
I say improbable because a million dollars in a year is nearly $20,000 per week. This is a considerable sum of money for a broke, unskilled, and uneducated young man to earn in one year, especially since he didn’t have the $2,000 necessary to buy the initial inventory to start his new business.

For this reason it is wiser to set the goal high but not out of sight.

If someone else is directing your goal-setting, it is likely you will lose interest, become bored, or resent the fact that someone else has charted your course of action. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to reach those goals.

luck: Successful people get to the top because they identify their objectives, use their talents, and constantly sharpen them by dedication and hard work. Their “breaks” come with commitment and objectives—and so will yours.

CHAPTER 12 - Setting Your Goals


By now your question should be, “How do I set goals? You’ve convinced me I should set them, but you haven’t told me how, or what kind.”

Actually, as you will discover, it’s easier to reach goals than it is to set them. A goal properly set is partially reached because it is a strong statement of your belief that you can and will reach it. As I stated earlier, success is easy after you believe.

Goal-setting and goal-reaching involve the same procedure, whether the goal is to lose weight, get a raise, buy a new car, raise positive kids in a negative world, make more sales, become an honor roll student, a better parent, or anything else you can think of.

I encourage you to keep in mind that a balanced success is what you’re seeking. By “balanced,” I mean success in your personal, family, and business lives, as well as in your physical, mental, spiritual, career, and financial lives.

As a salesman, if you want to sell more effectively you must set your goals.
The most complete map in the world won’t take you anywhere unless you know where you are.
You need to have a starting place. Records will help you establish that starting place.
Keeping records a few minutes per day for 30 days will enable you to get a true picture of your production capability, your work capacity, and the effective use of your time.
You will discover that you will produce more the last 15 days than you did for the first 15 as a direct result of keeping records.
For this 30-day period you need to be brutally honest. After all, you’re dealing with your future. This record is for your eyes only.

First, keep a record of when you wake up, when you get up, and when you get into productive work.
Second, keep a record of personal time you use during the day for lunch, coffee breaks, personal phone calls, and attending to other personal matters.
Third, keep a record of phone calls for appointments, unexpected drop-ins, service calls, reference calls, demonstrations, time spent in eyeball-to-eyeball contact with the buyer, and the sales volume you generate.
Finally, keep a record of your “twilight” time. This is the time spent in outer offices, the last 30 minutes of that sales call, the extra time you spent shuffling your prospect cards, etc. The first few days this will be tough, but it gets easier when it becomes habit and your production starts to climb.

Once you have established your pattern it’s easy to make improvements. By studying your past records, you can find your best day, best week, best month, and best quarter.
Compare your best record with your new efficiency schedule. You’ll probably see that you can take your best quarter and duplicate it only once and still have your best year.
Make your goal specific and in most cases bigger. But remember, it’s better to revise a goal upward in a month than to have to dramatically reduce it.

A built-in competitiveness is often extremely helpful, so let’s look at a “challenge” system.First, the don’ts.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Don’t challenge the champ at the outset if you’ve been an “average” producer.
Second, do challenge the person in front of you. That’s a good procedure, especially if you make it a “double” challenge.
A double challenge is one to beat the man ahead of you as well as your own best. With this approach you won’t win any victories by “fluke” or default. Each victory will make you stronger for the next challenge.

Regardless of how many people are currently in front of you, if you are constantly striving to “beat your best,” you will be making a lot of progress, a lot of sales, and a lot of money. Obviously, if you continue to beat the one in front of you it will be just a matter of time before no one will be in front of you.


You should commit to paper the things you want to be, do, and have.
You might well say, “It will take me three days to write down all of these things.” You’re going to be surprised to discover it isn’t going to take you nearly as long as you think.
Write them down and list them in the order of their importance. Obviously, you will be working on several goals at the same time.
you’ll have to decide the order of their importance to you because each one requires time and will require adjustment as you work.


Once you’ve arranged your goals in the order of their importance, you should list the obstacles that stand between you and your objectives.
If there wasn’t something between you and your goals, you would already have everything you want.
After you’ve listed your obstacles, you can formulate a plan to overcome them and set a time schedule.

when you properly identify a problem you have it half solved.
You’ll be amazed how much faster you overcome the obstacles once you identify them.

When a man enters the professional ranks as a fighter, he starts by challenging the man above him. After each success, and as he gains confidence and experience, he moves up the ladder.
Many promising fighters have destroyed their careers by getting in over their heads against competition that was too tough before they had gained the necessary experience.

“In reaching and achieving your goals,” I advised the young man, “take it on a more gradual basis.”
Confidence is the handmaiden of success. Once success to any degree is yours, it’s easier to achieve greater success (do something well, then it’s easy to excel).
and start beating the man above him.


“I’ll guarantee you one thing, I’m going to sell more next year than I sold this year.”
“That’s wonderful. How much did you sell this year?”
“Well, I don’t really know.”
Interesting, isn’t it? It’s also quite sad. Here was a young man who didn’t know where he was and had no idea where he’d been, but with the confidence that generally goes with ignorance, he knew where he was going.

Unfortunately, most people are in about the same condition. They don’t know where they are, have no idea where they’ve been, but they invariably think they know where they’re going.


This young man’s Loser’s Limp was, “I can’t do it because the record isn’t honest.”
“If one man set the record another can break it.”

I assured him that if he broke that all-time record the company would hang his picture in the home office along with the president’s.
Then I told him his picture would be used in national ads and articles, and he would become famous as the best “pot” salesman in the world.
Finally, I told him they would make him a “gold pot,” or at least one that looked like gold. That did it as far as motivation was concerned, but he still had some doubt about how much he could sell.
I reminded him he could break the record by taking his best week and multiplying it by 50.
“Yes, and it’s easy for you to do, if you believe you can.”
He still wasn’t convinced he could, but he promised to give it serious thought. That’s an important point, because a goal casually set and lightly taken is freely abandoned at the first obstacle.


On December 26th he called me from his home in Augusta, Georgia. Never before, nor since, have I participated in a telephone conversation that could compare with that one.
The wires must have gotten hot. You could feel the excitement from Augusta to Columbia, South Carolina. He brought me up to date. “You know, since our visit earlier this month, I’ve kept exact records of everything I’ve done. I know how much business I get when I knock on a door, make a telephone call, conduct a demonstration or open my sample case. I know how much I sell every week I work, every day I work, and every hour I work.” With a tremendous burst of enthusiasm, he added, “I’m going to break that record.” I squeezed a word into the conversation to say, “No, you’re not ‘going’ break the record. You just broke the record.”

I did this because not once did he use the word “if.” It wasn’t an “if” decision. Take the word “life” and look at it. The two center letters in the word “life” are “if.” Many people go through life making nothing but “if” decisions. These are not decisions for success but preparations for failure. Not this guy. He didn’t say, “I’m going to break this record if I don’t wreck my car.” It’s good he didn’t because that’s what happened. He didn’t say, “I’m going to break this record if there is no illness in my family.” There was. He didn’t say, “I’m going to break this record if there are no deaths in my family.” He buried two loved ones, including a brother. He didn’t say, “I’m going to break this record if I don’t lose my voice.” It’s good he didn’t because in December, with the goal literally within his reach, his voice was in such bad shape his doctor ordered him to stop talking. So he did the only thing he could do—he changed doctors. No, his decision was laboriously arrived at but simply stated: “I’m going to break that record, period.”

We need to look at his target in order to really appreciate the size of the undertaking. Never before had he sold over $34,000 in a single year, which wasn’t too bad at the time. However, the next year, selling the same product, in the same area, at the same price, he delivered and paid for, after all cancellations and credit rejections, over $104,000 worth of cookware. He sold over three times as much as he had ever sold in a single year. As a result, he broke the all-time record. Incidentally, the company did follow through on the reward he and I discussed. He got the publicity and the gold “pot.”


Many ask if he worked that much harder. I assure them he worked some harder and certainly smarter. He organized his time and learned the value of a minute. He found that 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there soon added up to from one to two hours per day. This was eight to ten hours per week or, incredibly enough, 400 to 500 hours a year.
That was the equivalent of over fifty full eight-hour days in a year. In short, he discovered that everyone doesn’t have 60 minutes in every hour, 24 hours in every day, or even seven days in every week. Each man only has as many minutes, hours, and days as he uses.

When he quit counting time and started making time count, he was able to produce considerably more business and still have more time for himself and his family.

He started by finding out, through keeping records, exactly where he was.

(1) He kept records to find out where he was.
(2) He committed to paper the goals he wanted to achieve on a yearly, monthly, and daily basis.
(3) He was very specific ($104,000).
(4) He set the goal big—but reachable—to create excitement and a challenge.
(5) He made the goal long-range (one year) so he would not be overcome by daily frustrations.
(6) He listed the obstacles between him and his goal and formulated a plan to overcome the obstacles.
(7) He broke his goal into daily increments.
(8) He was mentally prepared to discipline himself to take the necessary steps to reach his goals.
(9) He was absolutely convinced he could reach his goals.
(10) He visualized himself as already reaching his goal before the year started.

The young man in the story (I’ll identify him later) shared his goals with his family, who believed in him and gave him support. He also shared his goals with other people, because he knew himself well enough to know that he would be more likely to reach his objective if he put himself on the spot.


Let’s take the case of the parent who said, “How can I set a series of goals?” First of all, a parent should have a big goal. One of the biggest goals parents can have is to teach their children how to live in a complex society and pay their own way. To raise their children to be happy, healthy, and morally and emotionally sound is a big goal for any parent. A long-range goal could be to teach the children to be contributing members of society.

One of the finest daily goals we can set is to teach our children how to do things for themselves. The Chinese say it well, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for the day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life.” Teach your children how to do things, how to be self-supporting and self-sustaining. In a nutshell, a major goal for all parents should be to work themselves out of a job. What could be a better daily goal for a parent than that?

Everybody’s daily goals should be to do the best they can today while preparing for a better tomorrow.
The future is the place where you’re going to spend the rest of your life.
Daily accomplishments are bricks leading to that place. If you regularly and firmly put the bricks into place with proper goal-setting procedures, you will eventually build your stairway to the top.
You’re going to have to take the stairs—one at a time. Fortunately, they are clearly marked and are beckoning you to climb them—all the way up.