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

Napkin thinking. Paper power.

NAPKIN EVOLUTION — FROM IDEA TO MONEY. I wrote the initial concept of The Little Red Book of Selling on a napkin. Later that week I clarified it on a flip chart. Then transferred the ideas into a word file.

Who, what, why, when, where, which, and maybe even how
This way of thinking and clarifying is 100 years old
On a napkin, or on a flip chart, or in a word file write a different set of criteria about an idea or an opportunity.
Here’s my “w” list for looking at an idea:

  • Wonder — what can we do? What can I do? What do I want to do? Howdo I want this to come out (outcome)? What others want, and what othersare thinking
  • Write — answers that have meaning, whimsical musings,
  • Watch — what others do, watch the situation evolve
  • Welcome! — all new ideas and all thoughts
  • Wow! — if something is obviously WOW, capture it and try it. Wowcannot be forced. In the absence of wow, move on — of hang in thereuntil wow emerges.
  • Wanderlust — will this take me someplace new?
  • Worry free — what is the risk combined with the aggravation factor?
  • Wundarbar — what is BEYOND WONDERFUL about this? What’s the value? What’s the legacy?

What kind of list can you create?

  • I think inside, on paper, and out loud.
  • Visualize past vacations, and you can get over the “need” to take one now.
  • (actual writing: visualize vacations, and you don’t have to take them.)
  • write (thoughts and ideas) right away
  • get over it and get on with it
  • I stay young, even though I’m growing old
  • It’s better to rob a bank than tell a lie. If you rob a bank, youget out of jail in 5-7 years — if you lie, you get a lifetime sentenceof distrust.
  • You learn how to be a parent from your parents. By their actions and words, they teach you what to do, and what not to do.
  • My dad taught me not to hit my children. He taught me by hitting me.
  • Don’t “fake it ’till you make it.” Rather, act as though you have already achieved it. That way, when you get there it’s real.