There are two kinds of influence in writers that I have read. The first is content. The second is style. Some have both. If I read something that’s not well written, sometimes I may overlook some genuine, valuable information. That was the case when I first read Napoleon Hill back in 1972.
At the time, I couldn’t see the impact of the words because they were written in language that was 50 years old. I’ve come to understand, 40 years later, that the simplicity of what was written is part of its power. And early writers, especially early writers about personal development, have played an important role in influencing my thoughts and expressions.
Beginning with Samuel Smiles, who wrote the book Self Help in 1845, and graduating onto Orison Swett Marden who began writing in 1894, adding Napoleon Hill and a year or two later Dale Carnegie – those are the prime writers of impact.
I’ve also been impacted by other writers in sales. Most notably Elmer Letermann who wrote Creative Selling, Willie Gayle who wrote Power Selling, Herbert Casson who wrote Tips for Traveling Salesman.
Please go to my recommending reading page for a full list of authors and titles that I recommend based on how they influenced me.