The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino: Book Review

I recently re-read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. This is the sixth or seventh time I’ve read it now, and every time I read the book it gets better.

This book is an all-time classic and should be read by EVERY person in the world, regardless of their profession. Contrary to what you might think, the book is not just about selling. It’s about creating a winning life! It’s about creating happiness and success on a grand scale.

I first learned about the book back in 2002, while I was in Amway. This book was on our recommended reading list, so I ordered a copy from the local Border’s bookstore.

This short fable is about a man named Hafid, who is known as “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” During his life, he amassed a great fortune worth millions. Toward the end of his life, he reveals his secret tips about salesmanship to a young apprentice.

Apparently, Hafid acquired his salesmanship skills from the secret scrolls. He learned about the scrolls as a young man, while he was a camel boy. After studying each scroll for 30-days straight, he advanced to the next scroll. He repeated this process until he finished studying all ten scrolls. He applied what he learned and became an effective salesman. Over a period of many years, he amassed great wealth, becoming the richest man in the world.

After you read about Hafid’s story, which is a parable, you get to read the ten scrolls yourself. Here is a short summary of what each scroll is all about.

greatest salesman in the world

The 10 Scrolls

Scroll One: Today I Begin a new Life

This scroll teaches people to make today the first day of the rest of their life, and to change their habits and take 100 percent responsibility for their own life. It talks about getting rid of the victim mentality. It also talks about the importance of reading each scroll for thirty days.

Scroll Two: I Will Greet This Day with Love in My Heart

This scroll focuses on the importance of love and being optimistic: seeing the positive in things. I will accept people for who they are and look for the best in others.

Scroll Three: I Will Persist Until I Succeed

This is my favorite scroll in the book. It talks about the “never give up attitude” that successful people have. The scroll talks about the importance of deciding what you want, setting up your plan, and staying the course until successful.

Scroll Four: I Am Nature’s Greatest Miracle

This scroll teaches each person how unique they really are and what they have to offer the rest of the world. It makes each person realize that they are a special gift from God.

Scroll Five: I Will Live This Day as If It Was My Last

This scroll talks about cherishing each day and living life to its fullest. It talks about living in the moment, while cherishing the past and preparing for the future. It talks about how each day is a gift from God and why we need to wake up every day and be thankful that we are alive.

Scroll Six: Today I Will Master My Emotions

This scroll talks about being mentally balanced, stable, and being able to handle the ups and downs life has to offer. This scroll helped me a lot, because I used to be an emotional roller coaster.

Scroll Seven: I Will Laugh at the World

This scroll talks about being happy, optimistic, and not taking yourself to seriously. It will teach you how to laugh at yourself.

Scroll Eight:  Today I Will Multiply My Value One Hundred Fold

We all get paid based upon the value we bring to the marketplace. If you want to make more money you need to increase your value. This scroll talks about being value driven.

Scroll Nine: I Will Act Now

This scroll talks about being action-oriented, being a person of action. Rather than procrastinating, like most people do, it focuses on doing something right now. Some people call this “the action habit.”

Scroll Ten: I Will Pray for Guidance

This scroll talks about the importance of God, having faith, and praying.

Additional Insights

I’m looking at my personal copy of The Greatest Salesman in the World right now and it is absolutely filled with highlighted and underlining. What you will see below are some of my favorite Og Mandino quotes from his book. Each quote is in bold and italics. After each quote I will share my own two cents on it.

og mandino quotes

Og Mandino Quotes from The Greatest Salesman in the World

# 1: Often I have heard you say that no other trade or profession has more opportunity for one to rise from poverty to great wealth than that of a salesman.

Selling is one of the highest (and lowest) paid professions in the world. It offers unlimited opportunity and does not discriminate against anyone. You are paid strictly based upon your performance. If you are great at what you do, the sky is the limit.

# 2: True wealth is of the heart, not of the purse.

Wealth is the love you have for yourself and others, not the amount of money in your bank account. You could say it is the number of important relationships you have in your life with people you care about, respect and love.

# 3: The beggar thinks only of his next meal and I think only of the meal that will be my last. No son, do not aspire for wealth and labor not only to be rich. Strive instead for happiness, to be loved and to love, and most important, to acquire peace of mind and serenity.

Strive to find happiness and do something you love. Spend time with the people you love and build strong relationships with them. Learn how to find peace of mind and be happy and content with yourself.

# 4: Truly, many times you have heard me say that the rewards are great if one succeeds but the rewards are great only because so few succeed.

There is a HIGH failure rate in selling, even though the rewards can be extraordinary.

# 5: Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.

Everyone who has achieved great things in life has gone through countless obstacles, challenges and setbacks. Success is never a straight line. Instead, the road to success is filled with zigs and zags. You constantly take three steps forward and then five steps back. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned. You have to get up one more time than you are knocked down.

# 6: Never feel shame for trying and failing for he who has never failed is he who has never tried.

There is nothing wrong with failing. Learn from it, make adjustments and try again. Just don’t quit. Most successful people have failed many times before they eventually became a success.

og mandino I will persist

# 7: Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough.

Keep your goals in front of you. Stay determined. Adopt the mindset, “I can, I will shall.” Instead of saying something won’t work, ask yourself why it isn’t working and look for ways to improve.

# 8: In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits.  Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.

Show me someone’s habits and I will easily be able to tell you if they are a failure or a success. We are all the result of our habits.

# 9: I will form good habits and become their slave.

Be a slave to your habits. Your habits will dictate your results.

# 10: And most of all I will love myself.

Learn how to love yourself and be content with who you are. If you don’t love yourself, it will be hard to love anyone else, or live a fulfilled life.

# 11: I will persist until I succeed.

Be mentally tough and always get up one more time than you are knocked down.

# 12: 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.

Cherish the past, plan for the future, and live in the moment. Do not dwell on past mistakes. Be optimistic and focus on your future plan.

# 13: Never will I allow myself to become so important, so wise, so dignified, so powerful, that I forget how to laugh at myself and the world.

Stay humble and gracious. No matter what you accomplish in life, never act like you are greater or better than someone else.

# 14: I will always raise my goals as soon as they are attained.

Keep your goals in front of you at all times and always strive to accomplish more. When you reach your goal, enjoy the moment, and then set a new goal.

og mandino quote about failure

# 15: I will always strive to make the next hour better than this one.

Focus on continuous improvement and try to get a little bit better every single hour of every single day.

# 16: Only action determines my value in the market place and to multiply my value I will multiply my actions.

Be a person of action. Get off your butt and get to work. You won’t think your way to success. You must work your way to success.

About the Book

The book was first published in 1968. Since then, it’s been published by Frederick Fell and Bantam Books. The book is approximately 110 pages and only takes a couple of hours to read. It is a great read and would make a great gift to anyone looking to improve their life, confidence, or sales abilities. This book has sold more than 50 million copies since it was first published.  You can order a copy of the book right here.

About Og Mandino

Og Mandino was an American author. He served in WW2 in the Army Air Corps as a Bombadier with James Stewart. He was also the President of Success Unlimited Magazine until 1976. He was also an inductee in the National Speaker’s Hall of Fame. Sadly, Mr. Mandino passed away in 1996.

og mandino quote about obstacles

How the Book Helped Me

I must admit, The Greatest Salesman in the World made a huge impact in my own life, in a positive way. This book taught me the secrets to happiness, success and wealth.

Although I have not done the real world exercise of reading each scroll for 30 days out loud, I have read the book countless times and tried to apply what I learned.

My biggest takeaways from the book are the following:

  1. Real success is being happy.
  2. If you have friends, and people who love you (and people you love) you are rich beyond measure.
  3. Until you can learn to love yourself, you will never be happy or really love anyone else.
  4. You get paid based upon the value you bring to the marketplace.
  5. Success is never fast, free or easy.
  6. You must always get up one more time than you are knocked down.

Final Thoughts

In summary, The Greatest Salesman in the World is one of my favorite books of all time. Overall, I give it a 10 of 10 and consider it a must read for any network marketer, entrepreneur or sales professional. Even though it’s almost 50-years old, it’s more than relevant today.

If you’ve never read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, you should. Do yourself a favor and order a copy today! Get a couple extra copies to give to people you love and respect.

On the other hand, if you’ve already read the book before, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment to tell us how it impacted your life. Thanks.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional

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2 thoughts on “The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino: Book Review”

  1. Years ago, when I worked in sales at Pacesetter Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska, I read this book and loved it. It was amazing how, after reading and applying many of the tips within the book, how my life, not only in the business world, but also in the personal world, turned around for the better.

    I really appreciate the reminder of this great book Chuck. It may be a good time in my life to read it again. Each scroll has its importance, and I can in no way claim a favorite, but I do know the one about mastering the emotions helped then, and I can probably use it now, because that can be one of my biggest challenges.

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