With many people, the title of this chapter is a gross understatement.
At a sales meeting, the men were told that they were at least twice as good as they thought they were.
One particular salesman took the statement seriously. He decided to prove—or disprove—the assertion. He studied his work, the average daily number of interviews he was making. He considered the percentage of interviews which resulted in sales. He estimated the average size of the orders he had been booking.
His study revealed one worth-while fact. He was not getting any really large orders because he had been timid in calling upon those who could place large orders.
This salesman made a many-sided decision. 1) He would call upon those who could place big orders. 2) He would make more calls per day. 3) He would improve his salesmanship so that he could close a larger percentage of orders.
Was this man twice as good as he had thought he was? Believe it or not, at the end of a month he came near closing ten times as much business as he had formerly been doing.
Think what this did to his income! Instead of wishing for a better home, he was able to buy one. Instead of driving an old cheap car, he called upon his prospects in a new and far more expensive one. Both he and his wife now wear better clothes.
A man who had gone a bit overboard in the height to which he had raised his standard of living, was constantly “in a bind” in making his income meet his outgo. He was told that he was twice as good as he thought he was. Thinking about this provocative idea, he began to see his situation in a new perspective.
“Other men can live in even better homes than I do, and they get by. How do they do it?” he asked himself. This man’s income was sufficient to meet customary expenses, but when illness came into the family his budget would be shot.
A careful study of his circumstances revealed two means of increasing his earnings. First, he could strive to do a better job with his company. Second, he could find a means of adding to his income through part-time work. He decided to explore both avenues.
With a new spirit on his job and a desire to do his work better than it had ever been done before, our friend was soon observed by the management and properly rewarded. Taking the agency for a good product, he added about $100 weekly to his income, by just working in his spare time.
This formerly harassed individual is now not only meeting all his obligations without effort, but is putting away a tidy sum each month for his future security.
A small-town merchant was just barely making a living from his grocery store. If he hadn’t been able to get his own food at wholesale prices, he couldn’t have made ends meet. Day after day, he would sit by the heater in his store, listening to his radio while waiting for the few customers to come in.
This merchant was exposed to the thought that he was twice as good as he thought he was. It gave him a lot of ideas; as he looked around his store, he saw many opportunities of proving the correctness of the statement.
His windows hadn’t been changed in months. Dusty cans were displayed on paper littered with dead flies. The windows had not been washed for so long they offered a barrier to those who might attempt to peer within.
The first thing this grocer did was to remove the easy chair which had been used too many hours during the day. The next thing he did was to put his stock in shape. All cans and cartons were cleaned and the shelves dusted.
The windows were made brilliantly clean and a fresh stock of merchandise was attractively displayed.
Then, using a list of all residents in the immediate neighborhood, he sent out a weekly bulletin offering interesting specials.
Was this man twice as good as he had thought he was? Just six times as good! It was not long before he had to hire help to take care of his increasing business, and since it was no longer a one-man store, the grocer could now take time to go home for his meals.
HOW ABOUT DOUBLING YOUR INCOME?
Unless you are already in the big money brackets, such a question will arouse your interest. Naturally, most people would be happy to have their incomes doubled. All right, here is the magic formula, in a single sentence:
Assume that the statement You Are Twice as Good as You Think You Are is true, then go about proving it.
“Easier said than done,” many doubtful ones will say. And, of course, such an expression is a definite admission of one’s lack of confidence in himself and his ability to prove that he is twice as good as he thinks he is. Remembering what we learned in the previous chapter, You Are What You Think You Are, the first thing one must do is to see himself as being at least twice as good as he thinks he is.
A desire to double one’s income is not enough. It will get him nowhere. Right here we might find an application of the law of cause and effect. A large income is not a cause, it is an effect.
Then, what is the cause? A large income is the result of ideas— ideas put into action.
So, let us talk about ideas!
Ideas are the spark plugs of success. Industries, fortunes, even empires have been built on ideas. Everything you buy is the projection of an idea. None of us will belittle the value of good constructive ideas, but strangely enough, only a few people have any faith in the value of their own ideas.
“If that idea was any good, someone else would have thought of it.” You hear this expression all the time, yet in many cases the abandoned idea will form the basis of an outstanding success— by someone else.
Let me give you a few illustrations showing the value of simple ideas, then I’ll show you how to make that mind of yours a veritable fountain of ideas.
In an eastern city, a manufacturer of oil burners had advertised for a salesman. There was one young man who wanted that job, and he decided he would not follow the pattern of the herd by merely writing a letter of application. The job available was a good one, and this chap knew there would be an avalanche of applications for it.
Before approaching the company, he did a little investigating, so that he would know something about the field he was attempting to enter.
This young man of ideas called upon several people who were using the burner he hoped to sell. He asked them why they liked it. Then he called upon several people who were using a competitive burner, and asked them why they liked the one they had.
After this brief survey, this fellow put the information he had gathered into the form of a presentation. He next went to the company and sent word to the sales manager, advising him that he believed he could give information which would enable them to increase their sales. Naturally, such a statement is music to the ears of any sales manager, so the visitor was invited in. The sales manager was so delighted with the outline that he sent it to the board of directors with the recommendation that it be given a thorough trial. The aggressiveness of our bright young man, secured him even a better position in the company than the one advertised. That man had an idea—and he made use of it.
In a Midwestern city, another young man wanted a position with one of the better advertising agencies. Merely to write a letter soliciting the position would have little chance of success, because executives receive so many such letters that, as a rule, they give them little attention. The young man found a way of meeting one of the heads of the company he had selected. He approached this official with this unusual statement: “Mr. Osgood, I believe I can prove of value to your fine agency. Will you be good enough to give me a desk and try me out for one week? At the end of that time you can decide if you would like to have me continue.” He was given the trial, he made good, he kept climbing and today he is vice-president of the company. He had an idea—and he made use of it.
A man opened a market in a small farming town. The village was so small that if this man had all of the business in it, he could do no more than make a scanty living. Here was the problem facing this merchant. He liked the atmosphere of a small community, yet he would not be happy with a small business. He called upon his creative intelligence for an idea—and he got it.
With his car he drove to all of the other small towns within a range of 50 miles from his store. He obtained the names and addresses of all the residents in each place he visited.
Around his store he arranged a large parking lot, and put in a small playground for children, fully equipped with swings, a wading pool, and other means of amusement. An attendant was employed to look after the safety of the children.
Once each week a post card would be mailed to all of those on his mailing list, offering a weekly special. Guess what happened!
A business grossing over $300,000 annually was developed. This man had an idea and made use of it.
Every patent in the United States Patent Office is the result of an idea. From whom did they come? A large percentage of them are the brainchildren of just plain folks—like you and me.
In regard to patents, it is often said that there are so many of them that it is becoming increasingly difficult to conceive new ones. This, of course, is not true. Each new patent issued opens up avenues for countless more patents.
An automobile is made up of thousands of different patents, and each year’s new models include many more.
With the creation of radio, an entirely new field of invention and discovery came into being. Television paved the way for countless hundreds of new patents. So, as we face facts we find that instead of opportunities for invention decreasing, they are multiplying rapidly.
Every time anything goes wrong you are confronted with an opportunity for an invention. The first can openers were gadgets which were inserted in the top of a can and pumped up and down, leaving a protruding saw-toothed edge around the top of the can. Many people opening a can would cut a finger—but do nothing about it, except use a bit of bad language.
One man, however, instead of swearing when he cut his finger, asked himself why a can opener could not be invented which would leave a smooth edge. It seemed perfectly possible, so he went ahead and invented such an opener, which not only prevented others from cutting themselves, but built up a tidy fortune for him.
Ideas might be referred to as crystallized thought, or thought which has taken form: a foundation on which to build.
Every place you look you see ideas which have become realities. Every business is built upon an idea. The clothes you wear; the house in which you live; the automobile you drive— all resulted from ideas.
You can struggle all your life without making much progress, when suddenly a single idea can lift you out of obscurity into the limelight of success and happiness.
There is no age limit to those who may develop ideas of value. Many people in their sixties, seventies, and even beyond, have perfected ideas which have enabled them to make more progress in a limited time than they had made throughout all of their previous years.
In my own personal case, my greatest progress in life came after I was fifty. Age is often an advantage. The knowledge one gains throughout life seasons the mind so that one may better evaluate his ideas.
I know that you, reading these lines, have within your mental make-up all that is necessary to enable you to form ideas which will have a definite value to humanity, and which, at the same time, will reap handsome rewards for you.
Following are three steps which will show you how to condition your Creative Mind so that it will bring forth ideas at will; ideas to assist you in any direction in which you may wish to travel; ideas which will help you prove, conclusively, that you are at least twice as good as you thought you were.
Step 1. You have already learned that the way to create an awareness of any truth is by instructing your mental self. The development of ideas is no exception. In order to have a fertile mind capable of creating new and important ideas, you must see yourself with that type of mind. Make positive declarations regarding your idea-producing mind, such as:
“My mind is alert and active, continually bringing into consciousness a flow of constructive ideas of value to humanity.”
Whenever you do anything of a creative nature, precede your action with the suggestion just given. Notice how your ideas will flow. If you are writing a letter, a newspaper item, or a book, you’ll not be at a loss for words if you follow this routine.
A good conversationalist is one who has the faculty of expressing ideas in an interesting manner. When in conversation with others, you will find greater ease in talking if you will repeat the affirmation to yourself, adding, perhaps, the thought: “and I will find ease in expressing my thoughts and ideas to others.”
Step 2. The purpose of this step is to develop within your mind an idea-consciousness. Develop a curious mind. As suggested in my book, I Will!, become happily discontented with things as they are. This state of mind is gratitude for all of your blessings—as they are—but you are always alert for ideas as to how they may be improved. With that curious mind of yours, you will forever be asking yourself the question: “What can I do to improve this, or make it better?”
If you are employed, study the work you are doing. How can you do it better? Faster? Approaching your work with such an attitude will make it far more enjoyable. The time will pass more quickly and pleasantly and, from your constructive thinking, ideas may come into being which will reward you handsomely for your greater interest.
Step 3. An idea becomes something tangible the moment you do something about it. An idea has its greatest intensity at the time of its birth. Preserve it before it begins to fade. Start an idea file. Each time an idea comes into consciousness, write it down, unless you are so situated that you can work on it immediately.
Put down everything which comes into mind regarding that idea. The very act of describing the idea in writing prevents it from fading. If the idea can be pictured—and you are adept with a pencil—make a sketch of it. Remember: the more you do in connection with the idea, the bigger it grows.
Review your ideas frequently to keep them alive in your mind.
Also, should you gain additional ideas which pertain to those already in your file, bring it up to date by adding the new thoughts.
As I glance back over the material I have been writing, I wonder if I am not too conservative when I say you are twice as good as you think you are. It is easy to prove to your own satisfaction that you are worth many times what you think you are.
A metal stamper in a factory was bored doing the same thing eight hours every day. He didn’t think that ideas played any part in his work.
After becoming conscious of the fact that his mind could and would create new ideas, he began, with open eyes, to study his work. In die-cutting small objects from large sheets of metal, large quantities of scrap pieces resulted. Formerly, this scrap was sold at a small price per ton to steel companies to be melted and made into new sheets.
The man who was formerly bored with his work conceived a novel use for the scrap pieces. He passed the idea on to his superior, who made profitable use of it. In a short period of time the man with the idea was promoted to a foreman’s job at more than double what he had been receiving.
These two words are among the most potent ones in our language. Gloom creates a mental structure which prevents the flow of constructive thoughts.
Think of the times when you were gloomy and sad. Were you inspired to do big things? Did you conceive any ideas which could add to your prosperity? Did you feel ambitious to blaze new trails? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, no.
Think of the times when you were exuberant, when every fiber of your being was scintillating with joy. Didn’t you have the urge to go places and do things? Projects which under normal conditions might appear laborious to perform seemed like nothing at all.
Be happy! If you have problems (and who hasn’t?) be happy that with the knowledge you have gained, you can master them instead of being mastered by them.
“How can I be happy with all the worries I have?” we often hear. Since gloom can do nothing except block your road to freedom, doesn’t it behoove one to use his ingenuity in finding ways of becoming happy?
Read the newspapers and see how many stories there are about people who would be happy to be in your position. You’ll soon be able to understand how well off you are. Then it will not be hard to let the sunshine of happiness show through so that you can begin thinking in terms of things to do to solve your problems instead of permitting them to hold you back.
In the next chapter you will learn something new about money. But make certain you have fully grasped all the valuable thoughts contained in this one. Wouldn’t it pay you to read it again before continuing?
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