W. Clement Stone was a true rags-to-riches entrepreneur.
Born in the early 1900’s, Stone helped to feed his family since his father had died.
At 6 years old, he was selling newspapers on street corners on the South Side of Chicago.
In true entrepreneur fashion, Stone left the street corners and entered the restaurants where he began to sell more papers.
While the restaurant managers tried to hustle him out, Stone’s charismatic demeanor made them feel an inner guilt and he was allowed to keep selling to diners.
Before long, he opened his own newsstand and in 1918, he moved to Detroit to sell insurance while his mother managed him.
In 1919, he built the Combined Insurance Company of America.
In all of this, Stone soon became a millionaire because his attitude was a winning, non-quitting one.
In 1979, his insurance company had over $1,000,000,000 in assets.
As Stone aged, he felt moved to help other people succeed.
The well-known Og Mandino was once a gutter alcoholic who Stone took a liking to and showed the way of success.
Stone wrote a timeless book about his success that can help us learn the path to success.
The book is titled, The Success System That Never Fails.
Following are 42 quotes from W. Clement Stone’s book.
I will also give you my take from these quotes.
# 1 You are subject to your environment. Therefore, select the environment that will best develop you toward your desired objective.
The people you hang out with and the situations you put yourself in can make you or break you.
When setting life goals, always consider your environment.
# 2 Regardless of what you are, it is desirable to learn the techniques of good salesmanship. For selling is merely persuading another person to accept your service, your product, or your idea. In a sense, everyone is a salesman.
You have had to sell to gain your spouse.
You had to sell to get a job.
Just about everything we do involves some form of salesmanship, because persuading another human is selling.
# 3 Where there is nothing to lose by trying and a great deal to gain if successful, by all means try!
This only makes good sense, but so many people are lazy and won’t even try even given these circumstances. Most people are scared to fail and stuck in their comfort zone, even if they are broke and unhappy.
# 4 The purpose of a sales introduction is solely to get a person to listen.
You need a person’s full attention before you start to give a sales presentation.
If you do not have their complete attention, they may miss the most important parts.
# 5 If you want the prospect to buy, ask him to buy. Just ask him, and give him a chance to say yes. But make it easy for him to say yes and difficult to say no.
This is the most important part of the close.
First, if you do not ask the person to buy, how will you get a sale?
The second part of this quote means that you have to provide so much value that the person will feel like they are losing out in a huge way if they don’t say yes.
# 6 I found that to become an expert I had to work, and work hard. Try, try, try and keep trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert at anything. But in due course, by employing the right work habits, you do become an expert. Then you experience the joy of work, and the job is no longer work. It becomes fun.
We become experts by working hard, failing, working harder, failing again, and still working hard until we are considered an expert.
His recipe is the only way to get success.
# 7 I’ll guarantee that you can’t fail … if you call on five persons per day.
I would completely agree with Mr. Stone on this.
If we present the opportunity to 5 people every day, success will surely come.
Selling is a numbers game.
When I first read this quote, I raised my eyebrows in debate.
But after delving deep into my thoughts, I understand what Mr. Stone meant.
If we are spending all of our hours socializing, when are we selling?
# 9 Debater or salesman, you must think logically and be sensitive to every statement that you can turn to your advantage. You must be persuasive to win.
Sales isn’t all talk.
You must listen too, because many people will often tell you things that can give you a sales advantage.
# 10 For character is the keystone to true success.
Our character and our morals will determine what and how people think about us.
A great way to understand this is to just consider what people will write on your headstone when you die.
# 11 The true value of a self-help book is not what the writer puts into the book, but what you, the reader, take out of the book and put in your life.
If a banker were to put $1,000 in front of you it will not be any good to you unless you pick it up and use it.
The book may have great information but unless you implement it in your own life, it is worthless.
# 12 Regardless of who you are or what you have been, you can be what you want to be.
Everyone has the ability to change and everyone has the ability to succeed.
The key is not looking back, but looking forward.
# 13 For dissatisfaction is man’s driving force.
If we are even mildly satisfied with where we are, we will not work hard to get better.
It is dissatisfaction that drives us to get better.
# 14 It takes less work to succeed than to fail.
We work hard and fail, but when success comes, the work has turned into fun and isn’t work anymore.
# 15 When you do something put your heart into it.
No matter what we do whether it is cleaning toilets or managing a multi-million-dollar corporation, if we put our complete heart into it, we will always find success.
# 16 It takes time to succeed-it takes time to fail. But it takes less time to succeed than to fail.
We will go through struggles and failures, and they will take a lot of our time, but when we find success, it will take much less time.
# 17 If I have to work, I might as well try to earn in one year what others earn in a lifetime.
I just love this thought process and it tells us why W. Clement Stone was such a great success.
Following this thought pattern is a wise pattern.
# 18 … the greatest motivator of all is love.
If we really consider what many people have done in the name of love, we realize just how true this statement is.
# 19 A husband or wife is the greatest environmental influence for any man or woman.
This goes hand-in-hand with #18.
We normally spend more time with our spouse than anyone else. That’s why it’s so important to marry a quality person.
# 20 It takes more energy to overcome inertia in getting started from a standstill than to continue the momentum of a moving body when it is once in motion.
Once we are moving, it is much easier to keep moving.
It can be harder just getting started.
Don’t allow a stoppage; keep the momentum going.
# 21 You must lay the proper foundation for your business before expanding.
Some businesses try to grow and add too quickly.
Make sure what you started with is moving efficiently before trying to add more.
# 22 A good salesman has confidence in himself.
If you don’t believe you can, you won’t.
Confidence is a key to selling success.
# 23 One way to make a fortune is to sell a necessity that is low in cost and repeats. The fortune is made in the repeat business.
Even if the profit margin is low, if an item is sold repeatedly, you can become rich with it.
I would rather sell bottles of water that people need and make 25 cents a bottle than selling bathing suits in Iceland and making $5 per suit.
# 24 For sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.
If the salesperson has a good attitude and is confident, they will sell.
It really doesn’t matter what the attitude is of the potential customers, because their attitude will change when they are around someone with a good attitude.
# 25 With every disadvantage, there is always a greater advantage.
It is one of the laws of nature just like “When one door closes, another door opens.”
# 26 You are the product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective.
If you put yourself around upbeat and positive people, you will be positive and upbeat.
If you spend your time with negative people, you will be negative.
# 27 Always figure growth in percentages.
By doing so, you can determine what needs to be done to raise those percentages.
# 28 In the long run, everything in the universe grows at a slower rate as it gets older.
His is why we should seek growth early in our business.
If we seek growth while the business is young, it will move faster.
# 29 The more I search to discover the powers of the human mind and how to use them, the more I am convinced that success or failure is primarily the result of the attitude of the individual.
No matter our situation if we have a positive mental attitude, we poise ourselves for success.
Negative attitudes bring negative results.
# 30 Unless man learns to control the sinner, the animal in himself, he can never release his full power for accomplishment.
Everyone has evil thoughts from time-to-time, but we also have the power to control those thoughts and the actions that can result from them.
# 31 The reason that you don’t do the right thing when you should is that you haven’t established the right habits.
Clement Stone believed strongly in the Bible and this is a prime directive in the Bible.
We are all a result of our daily habits. If you want to change your life, you must change your habits.
# 32 You always do what you want to do.
Herein lies some of life’s problems.
Instead of doing what we want to do, we should do what we need to do.
As men, our nature deems that we go to all means to please the woman, but if she is not satisfied with our actions, we can be thrown into turmoil.
# 34 I was convinced that to have a healthy mind, one should try to develop a healthy body.
Our bodies and minds are attached as one.
If one is healthy, the other will also be healthy.
# 35 If you lack experience or a particular talent or skill and you don’t want to pay the price to acquire it, then hire someone who has it to do the job for you.
The fact is, we can’t know everything.
We need to utilize other people who are experts in areas we do not understand.
Surround yourself with people smarter than you and never look back.
# 36 To every problem there is a satisfactory solution, but one must try to solve the problem with the right mental attitude.
If we try to problem solve with the wrong attitude, we often create more problems.
Make sure you are in the proper frame of mind before attempting to solve problems.
# 37 You can motivate another person to do what you want when you give him an opportunity to get what he wants.
The key with this is to find out what the other person wants and then negotiate so that both parties win.
If you help people get what they want, you will get what you want.
# 38 Anyone can acquire wealth, if he saves 10 percent of what he earns and invests it wisely.
So many people do not understand this wise saying.
10 percent is not a huge issue but many people have not learned to budget their money.
Just consider, if you make $500 per week.
You take $50 per week, $200 per month out for savings.
That would be $2,400 per year you can invest to make more money.
# 39 Thought must be followed through by action.
Dreams and ideas are great but if not acted on, they are just ideas and dreams.
The world is filled with dreamers. What we really need is more doers.
# 40 You must have some purpose in life.
Without purpose, we just go through the motions and have no ambition.
Find your purpose and watch how your life changes drastically.
# 41 For what’s going to happen to us tomorrow depends on what we are doing today and planning for tomorrow.
This is another law of nature.
Our actions and ideas today will be reflected tomorrow.
Make a plan and follow it and your tomorrow will be bright.
# 42 Only you have the power to direct your thoughts and control your emotions.
The only person we can change is ourselves.
We can do so by hanging with positive people, reading positive books and just staying in a positive state of mind.
Clement Stone played a huge role in influencing the thoughts and attitudes of many entrepreneurs while he was alive, and even now that he is dead.
He passed away in 2002 at 100 years old.
He quotes here come from the book W. Clement Stone wrote and published titled The Success System That Never Fails.
Originally published in 1962, the ISBN of the book is 1604599316.
Clement Stone was mentored by Napoleon Hill and together they wrote the book Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.
And, with Norma Lee Browning, W. Clement Stone wrote The Other Side of the Mind.
I highly recommend that you read all of his books.
After all, who better to learn from than a highly successful businessman like W. Clement Stone.
The foundation he created still supports many worthwhile causes all throughout the United States.
Have you read any of W. Clement Stone’s books?
What was your favorite quote here?
Do you have any questions?
You can post all questions and comments in the area below.
Learn more about his charitable foundation here.