W. Clement Stone was a true rags-to-riches entrepreneur. Born in the early 1900’s, he 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, he 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 he aged, he felt moved to help other people succeed.
The well-known Og Mandino was once a gutter alcoholic who Mr. Stone took a liking to and showed the way of success. Mr. 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.
Top W. Clement Stone Quotes
What you see below are my top 42 favorite W. Clement Stone quotes from his popular 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.
Choose your friends cautiously. Remember, you are a direct result of the five people you spend MOST of your time with. Choose wisely!
# 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.
We are all salespeople, whether we admit it or not. The greatest sales job anyone has ever done is convincing another person to marry them. We all “sell” our ideas and influence every day of our lives.
# 3: Where there is nothing to lose by trying and a great deal to gain if successful, by all means try!
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The greater the risk the greater the reward.
# 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. You will never get the sale you do not ask for. You must be able to look someone in the eyes, ask them to take out their credit card, and make a purchase from you. If you can’t do that, you won’t be in business long.
# 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. Remember, the only way to succeed is to fail forward.
# 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.
# 8: If a business day is a social success, it has been a business failure.
The purpose of going to work is to be productive, not social. If you can do both at the same time, great. But normally you can’t.
# 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.
The best salespeople are great at asking questions and listening. This lets them identify a need they can offer a solution to.
# 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 same holds true with a book. It might 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.
Show me someone who is content, I will show you an unmotivated person. The most successful people are hungry for success. As a result, they are willing to go the extra mile.
# 14: It takes less work to succeed than to fail.
The difference between success and failure is very, very small. It’s the little things we do (or don’t do) consistently over a sustained period of time that determine the result.
# 15: When you do something put your heart into it.
The job does not make the person. Instead, it reveals the person’s true self. Whether you are a janitor or Fortune 500 CEO, always do your best.
# 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.
Think big. Set big goals. Do what most people aren’t willing to do.
# 18: … the greatest motivator of all is love.
Success without love or someone to share it with is not success.
# 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 you start working toward your goal and things get going, it’s a lot easier to maintain it, even with less work, than it was to get it started.
# 21: You must lay the proper foundation for your business before expanding.
Some businesses try to grow too quickly and end up imploding. 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. You must believe in yourself, your company, your industry and your product line if you want to succeed.
# 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.
This is the Walmart business model and it works very well. The real profits in EVERY business come from repeat orders, not one time purchases.
# 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 make sales. 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. Choose your association wisely.
# 27: Always figure growth in percentages.
Keep an eye on the numbers at all times. Know your numbers and track them like your business success depends on it.
# 28: In the long run, everything in the universe grows at a slower rate as it gets older.
This is why we should seek growth early on 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.
W. 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.
# 33: A woman is often the greatest influencing factor in determining a man’s eventual success or failure.
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.
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.
W. 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.
His 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.
W. 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 listed above? Do you have any questions? You can post all questions and comments in the area below. Thank you. Learn more about his charitable foundation here.