How Do You Succeed?

How Do You Succeed?

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


How Do You Succeed?
It depends on who you expose yourself to.

THINK! – About what have you learned from your father and mother. Their wisdom has been the foundation of your philosophy, your belief system, your personality, and your achievement. They influence and affect your attitude towards yourself and others.

Parents (and siblings) also influence your social habits and philosophies. They shape your self-image and your self-esteem.

Along with your parents and siblings, you learn and develop success attributes from others, both alive and dead.

My parents have both passed on, but I have captured the essence of what was good and great about them. Their lessons (even the ones I hated when they were first delivered) have been burned into my brain and my psyche. They have helped me. A lot.

My mother Florence told me over and over, “Get to Europe!” And I have always followed her philosophy of, “Buy the best, not the cheapest.” My father Max was pragmatic, “The secret of inflation: earn more money.”

Many of my role models are alive, but I haven’t met them. They’re not necessarily role models for who they are, but instead for what they do, and how they have done it. Steve Jobs is at the top of the list. Many of my close friends and relatives also provide a constant source of wisdom and encouragement.

The articles and books I write are spurred from my ideas and what I have learned. I’m passing the condensed version of that wisdom on to you.

I have several role models in business, sales, writing, and personal development. They’re the people I admire. Here is some of their legacy and their wisdom:

* John Patterson (sales and business success). Don’t sell. Create the demand to buy. Before you try to convince anyone else, be sure you are convinced, and if you cannot convince yourself, drop the subject.

* PT Barnum (promotion and public relations). Toot your own horn to attract attention and money. Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now.

* Orison Swett Marden (success and persistence). Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.

* Dale Carnegie (making friends and public speaking). You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.

* Napoleon Hill (attitude and goals). All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.

* Elmer Leterman (creativity and sales). Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.

* Ayn Rand (writing style and philosophy). A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving. I can’t resist mentioning this bit of her wisdom… Government “help” to business is just as disastrous as government persecution. The only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.

* Earl Nightingale (the Strangest Secret). You become what you think about all day long.

* Groucho Marx (humor). I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

* Charlie “Tremendous” Jones (speaking and reading). The only difference between where you are right now, and where you’ll be next year at this same time, are the people you meet and the books you read.

* Jocko Henderson (music and communicating). Put rhyme and song in your voice.

* Earl Pertnoy (life’s lessons). Antennas up!

These inspirational mentors have all passed on, but what I have learned from them, and continue to learn from them by reading, studying, and applying their wisdom has helped me to the place and position I am in today.

I’m successful because I listen, I pay attention, I observe, and I have remained a student. And as I get further up the ladder, I study harder and work harder.

“Take it easy” is not in my lexicon. Never will be.

How about you?
Who motivates you?
Who teaches you?
Who inspires you?
Who helps you achieve?