The Secret to Success!

By: Fernando Soave

The Secret to Success

The best thing I can do is to illustrate by actual facts well-known to you all.

  • 1) A. T. Stewart, a poor boy in New York, had $1.50 to begin life on. He lost 87 cents of that on the very first venture. How fortunate that young man who loses the first time he gambles.
  • 2) That boy said, "I will never gamble again in business,'' and he never did. How came he to lose 87 cents? You probably all know the story how he lost it. It is because he bought some needles, threads, and buttons to sell which people did not want, and had them left on his hands, a dead loss.
  • 3) "I will not lose any more money in that way.''
  • 4) Then he went around first to the doors and asked the people what they did want. After he had found out what they wanted, he invested his 62 cents to supply a known demand. Study it wherever you choose, whether in business, in your profession, in your housekeeping, whatever your life.

The secret of success is

  • You must first know the demand.
  • You must first know what people need, and then invest yourself where you are most needed.

A. T. Stewart went on that principle until he was worth what amounted afterward to forty millions of dollars, owning the very store in which Mr. Wanamaker carries on his great work in New York.

His fortune was made by his losing something, which taught him the great lesson that he must only invest himself or his money in something that people need. When will you salesmen learn it? When will you manufacturers learn that you must know the changing needs of humanity if you would succeed in life? Apply yourselves, as manufacturers or merchants or workmen to supply that human need. It is a great principle as broad as humanity.

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