Once upon a time, there was a hungry sales executive named Tom. Tom worked for a cash register company. Tom really believed his cash registers were the best made, that his customers would better serve their customers and that these machines would, in general, improve the lives of everybody they touched.

One day, as Tom was making his sales rounds, he went into a small cobblers shop in rural Ohio. The cobbler, who was busy making a living, really had not planned on entertaining a cash register salesman. The new cash register was unveiled on the counter and Tom made his impassioned pitch. "No thank you, not today," said the cobbler. Tom carried on highlighting the superior technology in the his cash register and differentiating it to the competition. Tom compared the gleaming new machine to the musty, old cash register on the crowded counter. But the cobbler remained firm, "Im very sorry, not today," he repeated. Tom however was not to be denied and got a similar third and fourth response from the cobbler. A crowd of customers had begun to accumulate.

Finally, the cobbler shouted, "Im going to have ask you to leave, get out!"

At this, Tom reached into his satchel and pulled out a small hatchet. Almost immediately, before anyone could react, Tom began hacking away at the old cash register. Small metal parts, wood and glass flew everywhere as Tom swung the hatchet again and again. It wasnt long until Tom had smashed the cobblers cash register into smithereens. When the cobblers cash register lay in a crumpled heap on the floor, springs and coils still jiggling, Tom stopped.

The cobbler and his customers were absolutely speechless. Nobody spoke for what seemed like minutes. Then the cobbler said, "Thats it. Im calling the police!"

"No, I dont think you will," said Tom. "Why not?" the cobbler asked. "Because Im giving you a brand new cash register to replace the old one Ive just removed for you. Next week, after youve tried it out, I will stop back. If you want to pay for it then, Ill be happy to accept payment. If you dont, then its yours, free." Stunned, the cobbler mumbled his agreement as the onlookers buzzed with amazement.

The following week, Tom returned to the cobblers shop and the cash register had been such an improvement over the cobblers former one that the cobbler paid Tom in full, even giving him a little extra for his ingenuity.

The rest as they say "is history." This story became the stuff of legend. Tom and his innovative style became famous in the Midwest, his sales and that of NCR, the cash register company, skyrocketed and Tom soon thereafter left to start his own company. That company was IBM and the mans name was Tom Watson.


Theres a story about an incident aboard a train en route from Paris to Barcelona. In a compartment are four people: a beautiful young girl traveling with her elderly grandmother, and a stately general, who is accompanied by his young, handsome second lieutenant. The foursome are sitting in silence as the train enters a tunnel in the Pyrenees, the mountain range on the border between France and Spain.

It is pitch-dark in the tunnel. Suddenly the sound of a loud kiss is heard. It is followed by a second sound, that of a loud, hard smack. Upon exiting from the tunnel, the four people remain silent, with no one acknowledging the incident. The young girl thinks to herself, "Boy, that was a swell kiss that good-looking lieutenant gave me. Its a shame that my grandmother slapped him, because he must have thought it was I who slapped him. Thats too bad, because when we get to the next tunnel, he wont kiss me again."

The grandmother thinks to herself, "That fresh young man kissed my granddaughter. But fortunately, I brought her up to be a lady, so she slapped him real good. Thats good, because now hell stay away from her when we get to the next tunnel."

The general thinks to himself, "I cant believe what just happened! I personally hand picked him to be my aide and I thought he was a gentleman. But in the dark, he took advantage of that young girl and kissed her. But she must have thought it was I who kissed her, since she slapped me instead of him."

The young lieutenant thinks to himself, "Boy, that was wonderful! How often do you get to kiss a beautiful girl and slug your boss at the same time?"

This story illustrates that while people can receive the same information, they may arrive at entirely different conclusions.

(From Predatory Marketing by C. Britt Beemer)


During the first World War, a Chicago newspaper published certain editorials in which, among other statements, Henry Ford was called "an ignorant pacifist." Mr. Ford objected to the statements and brought suit against the paper for libeling him. When the suit was tried in the courts, the attorneys for the paper pleaded justification, and placed Mr. Ford himself, on the witness stand, for the purpose of proving to the jury that he was ignorant. The attorneys asked Mr. Ford a great variety of questions, all of them intended to prove, by his own evidence that, while he might possess considerable specialized knowledge pertaining to the manufacture of automobiles, he was, in the main, ignorant.

Mr. Ford was plied with such questions as the following: "Who was Benedict Arnold?" and "How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the rebellion of 1776?" In answer to the last question, Mr. Ford replied, "I do not know the exact number of soldiers the British sent over, but I have heard that it was a considerably larger number than ever went back."

Finally, Mr. Ford became tired of this line of questioning, and in reply to a particularly offensive question, he leaned over, pointed his finger at the lawyer who had asked the question and said, "If I should really want to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer any question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supple any knowledge I require?"

There certainly was good logic to that reply.

That answer floored the lawyer. Every person in the courtroom realized it was the answer, not of an ignorant man, but of a man of education. Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action. Through the assistance of his "Master Mind" group Henry Ford had at his command all the specialized knowledge he needed to enable him to become one of the wealthiest men in America. It was not essential that he have this knowledge in his own mind.

(From Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill)


Fifty years ago, an old country doctor drove to town, hitched his horse, quietly slipped into a drug store by the back door, and began "dickering" with the young drug clerk.

For more than an hour, behind the prescription counter, the old doctor and the clerk talked in low tones. Then the doctor left. He went out to the buggy and brought back a large, old-fashioned kettle, a big wooden paddle (used for stirring the contents of the kettle), and deposited them in the back of the store.

The clerk inspected the kettle, reached into his inside pocket, took out a roll of bills, and handed it over to the doctor. The roll contained exactly $500.00, the clerk's entire savings!

The doctor handed over a small slip of paper on which was written a secret formula. The words on that small slip of paper were worth a kings ransom! But not to the doctor! Those magic words were needed to start the kettle to boiling, but neither the doctor nor the young clerk knew what fabulous fortunes were destined to flow from that kettle.

The old doctor was glad to sell the outfit for five hundred dollars. The clerk was taking a big chance by staking his entire lifes savings on a mere scrap of paper and an old kettle! He never dreamed his investment would start a kettle to overflowing with gold that one day would surpass the miraculous performance of Aladdins lamp.

What the clerk really purchased was an idea!

(Do you know yet what big business the kettle built? Read on.)

The old kettle and the wooden paddle, and the secret message on the slip of paper were incidental. The strange performance of that kettle began to take place after the new owner mixed with the secret instructions an ingredient of which the doctor knew nothing.

See if you can discover what it was that the young man added to the secret message, which caused the kettle to overflow with gold. Here you have a story of facts, stranger than fiction, facts which began in the form of an idea.

Let us take a look at the vast fortunes of gold this idea has produced. It has paid, and still pays huge fortunes to men and women all over the world, who distribute the contents of the kettle to millions of people.

The old kettle is now one of the worlds largest consumers of sugar, thus providing jobs of a permanent nature to thousands of men and women engaged in growing sugar cane, and in refining and marketing sugar.

The old kettle consumes, annually, millions of glass bottles, proving jobs to huge numbers of glass workers.

The old kettle gives employment to an army of clerks, stenographers, copywriters, and advertising experts throughout the nation. It has brought fame and fortune to scores of artists who have created magnificent pictures describing the product.

The old kettle has converted a small southern city into the business capital of the South, where it now benefits, directly, or indirectly, every business and practically every resident of the city.

The influence of this idea now benefits every civilized country in the world, pouring out a continuous stream of gold to all that touch it.

Gold from the kettle built and maintains one of the most prominent colleges of the South, where thousands of young people receive the training essential for success.

If the product of that old brass kettle could talk, it would tell thrilling tales of romance in every language. Romances of love, romances of business, romances of professional men and women who are daily being stimulated by it.

The author is sure of at least one such romance, for he was part of it, and it all began not far from the very spot on which the drug clerk purchased the old kettle. It was here that the author met his wife, and it was she who first told him of the enchanted kettle. It was the product of that kettle they were drinking when he asked her to accept him "for better or worse."

Whoever you are, wherever you may live, whatever occupation you may be engaged in, just remember in the future, every time you see the words Coca-Cola, that its vast empire of wealth and influence grew out of an single idea, and that the mysterious ingredient the drug clerk-Asa Candler-mixed with the secret formula was imagination!

Stop and think of that, for a moment.

(From Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill)


Who's this?

Failed in business, age 22; Ran for legislature-defeated, age 23; Again failed in business, age 24; Elected to Legislature, age 25; Sweetheart died, age 26; Had nervous breakdown, age 27; Defeated for Speaker, age 29; Defeated for Elector, age 31; Defeated for Congress, age 34; Elected to Congress, age 37; Defeated for Congress, age 39; Defeated for Senate, age 46; Defeated for Vice-President, age 47; Defeated for Senate, age 49.

Answer: Abraham Lincoln

Elected President of the United States, age 51


"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance."

"Become inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project. By doing so, thoughts break their bonds--your mind transcends limitations. Dormant forces, hidden faculties, and undiscovered talents come alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be" Bruce Barton


•  "Subvert the Dominant Paradigm"

•  "Think Differently" from Apple

•  Question the status quo identify the "conventional wisdom" and proceed in the exact opposite direction!!

•  "If the client is stalling, you can ask the one question that usually makes people take notice: "What will it take to get your business?" You are really asking whats the problem and, if there isnt one, then lets do business."