Business pioneers have wisdom that can impact your success.

Business pioneers have wisdom that can impact your success.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Businesspioneers have wisdom that can impact your success.

Asa student of business, sales, and personal development history, Iwill be sharing some ideas from people who have had an extreme impacton my thinking and philosophy. The first in the series is BertieCharles Forbes (May 14, 1880 — May 6, 1954). He was a Scottishfinancial journalist and author who founded Forbes Magazine.

B.C.Forbes was born in New Deer, Aberdeenshire. After studying atUniversity of Dundee, in 1897 Forbes worked as a reporter andeditorial writer with a local Dundee newspaper until 1901 when hemoved to Johannesburg, South Africa, and founded the Rand Daily Mail.He emigrated to New York City in 1904 where he was employed as awriter and financial editor at the Journal of Commerce before joiningthe Hearst chain of newspapers as a syndicated columnist in 1911.Forbes left Hearst after two years to become the business andfinancial editor at the New York American where he remained until1916.

Hefounded Forbes magazine in 1917, and acted as editor-in-chief untilhis death in 1954. Forbespublished a number of books that contained his thoughts in the formof epigrams (short sayings or quotes).
Hereare several of the more provocative — and keep in mind that most ofthem were written 75 years ago. It’s amazing to me how simpletruths can endure time:

  • Abusiness like an automobile, has to be driven, in order to getresults.
  • Ashady business never yields a sunny life.
  • Betterto be occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious.
  • Booksare like a mirror. If an ass looks in, you can’t expect an angel tolook out.
  • Difficultiesshould act as a tonic. They should spur us to greater exertion.
  • Golfwithout bunkers and hazards would be tame and monotonous. So wouldlife.
  • Hebest keeps from anger who remembers that God is always looking uponhim.
  • Historyhas demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encounteredheartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because theyrefused to become discouraged by their defeats.
  • Ifyou don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.
  • Jealousy…is a mental cancer.
  • Manya man thinks he is patient when, in reality, he is indifferent.
  • Realriches are the riches possessed inside.
  • Thebargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is aptto be repeated.
  • Theman who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.
  • Thetruth doesn’t hurt unless it ought to.
  • Thereis more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driverthan a tenth-rate executive.
  • Tomake headway, improve your head.
  • Turnresolutely to work, to recreation, or in any case to physicalexercise till you are so tired you can’t help going to sleep, andwhen you wake up you won’t want to worry.
  • Whatyou have outside you counts less than what you have inside you.
  • Vitallyimportant for a young man or woman is, first, to realize the value ofeducation and then to cultivate earnestly, aggressively, ceaselessly,the habit of self-education.
  • Thinknot of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor.Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling andscraping and polishing.
  • Manyof the most successful men I have known have never grown up. Theyhave retained bubbling-over boyishness. They have relished wit, theyhave indulged in humor. They have not allowed “dignity” todepress them into moroseness. Youthfulness of spirit is the twinbrother of optimism, and optimism is the stuff of which Americanbusiness success is fashioned. Resist growing up!

WOW!No wonder B.C. Forbes was such a huge financial success. And themagazine he founded lives on, 90 years later.

Ilove reading what successful people think or thought. Not necessarily”how they did it,” rather what their thoughts and ideas were.What their observations and lessons were. And how they grew.

CHALLENGE:Take an hour or two to write YOUR thoughts. Document your thinkingand philosophy. Your ideas and lessons. You never know who you mightimpact 75 years from now.

Ifyou’re interested in the first Forbes wealthiest list, and who wasthe wealthiest person in 1918, go to, register ifyou’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word RICHEST in theGitBit box.