Going The Extra Mile – Part 3

Your Life Can be Richer than You Think …  The Position you Dreamed of is Now within Reach …

 Your Introduction to working with the team at ADVANCED BUSINESS COACHING


Napoleon Hill spent most of his life studying the most successful entrepreneurs in American history.  He analysed men like Ford, Edison and Carnegie at length.  He concluded that success followed predictable and distinct patterns of behaviour.  He suggested that all men and women have similar options open to them. He argued that great success and achievement were available to any and all who would choose to follow certain requirements which he spelled out in his many books.

 Mr Hill was the architect of the philosophy of success.  He was a pioneer and an original thinker.  Many books and articles have copied his ideas, but he remains the master.   Of all the great human accomplishments in the 20th century, the judgement of history will inevitably rank the commentaries of Napoleon Hill among them.

I hope you will gain some small benefit from this section.

However, as you read through the article, it will become obvious it was well before the time of equality of the sexes.  Just bear with  this anachronism.

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Let us now observe that the admonition to render more service and better service than that for which one is paid, is paradoxical because it is impossible for anyone to render such service without receiving appropriate compensation.  The compensation may come in many forms and from many different sources, some of them strange and unexpected sources, but come it will.

 The worker who renders this type of service may not always receive appropriate compensation from the person to whom he renders the service, but this habit will attract to him many opportunities for self-advancement among them new and more favourable sources of employment.  Thus his pay will come to him directly.

Ralph Waldo Emerson had this truth in mind when he said (in his essay on Compensation), “If you serve an ungrateful master serve him the more.  Put God in your debt. Every stroke shall be repaid.  The longer the payment is withheld, the better for you; for compound interest on compound interest is the rate and usage of this exchequer”.

 Speaking once more in terms that seem paradoxical, be reminded that the most profitable time a man devotes to labour is that for which he receives no direct or immediate financial compensation.  For it must be remembered that there are two forms of compensation available to the man who works for wages.  One is the wages he receives in money.  The other is the skill he attains from his experiences; a form of compensation which often exceeds monetary remuneration, for skill and experience are the worker’s most important stock in trade through which he may promote himself to higher pay and get responsibilities.

The attitude of the man who follows the habit of going the extra mile is this:  He recognises the truth that he is receiving pay for schooling himself for a better position and greater pay!  This is an asset of which no worker can be cheated, no matter how selfish or greedy his immediate employer may be.  It is the “compound interest on compound interest” which Emerson mentioned.

It was this very asset which enabled Charles M Schwab to climb, step by step, from the lowly beginning as a day labourer to the highest position his employer had to offer and it was this asset as well which brought Mr Schwab a bonus of more than ten times the amount of his salary.

The million dollar bonus which Mr Schwab received was his payoff for having put his best efforts into every job he performed – a circumstance that could not have happened if he had not followed the habit of going the extra mile.

Mr Carnegie had but little, if anything, to do with the circumstance.  It was entirely out of his hands.   Let us be generous by assuming that Mr Carnegie paid off because he knew Mr Schwab had earned the additional pay which had not been promised him.  But the actual fact may be that he had to paid off rather than lose so valuable a man.

And here let us note that the man who follows the habit of  going the extra mile thereby places the purchaser of his services under a double obligation to pay a just compensation; one being an obligation based upon his sense of fairness, the other based on this sense of fear of losing a valuable man.

 Thus we see that no matter how we view the principle of going the extra mile, we come always to the same answer, that it pays “compound interest” to all who follow the habit.

No one ever does anything voluntarily without a motive.  Let us see if we can reveal a sound motive that will justify the habit of going the extra mile by observing a few who have been inspired by it.

Many years ago an elderly lady was strolling through a Pittsburgh department store, obviously killing time.  She passed counter after counter without anyone paying any attention to her.  All of the clerks had spotted her as an idle “looker” who had no intention of buying.  They made it a point of looking in another direction when she stopped at their counters.

What a costly business this neglect turned out to be!

Finally the lady came to a counter that was attended by a young clerk who bowed politely and asked if he might serve her.

“No”, she replied, “I am just killing time, waiting for the rain to stop so I can go home”.

“Very well, Madam”, the young man smiled, “may I bring out a chair for you?”  And he brought it without waiting for an answer.  After the rain slacked, the young man took the lady by the arm, escorted her to the street and bade her good-bye.  As she left she asked him for his card.

Several months later, the owner of the store received a letter, asking that this young man be sent to Scotland to take an order for the furnishings of a home.  The owner of the store wrote back that he was sorry, but the young man did not work in the house furnishings department.  However, he explained that he would be glad to send an “experienced man” to do his job.

Back came a reply that no one would do except this particular young man.  The letters were signed by Andrew Carnegie, and the “house” he wanted furnished was Skibo Castle in Scotland.  The elderly lady was Mr Carnegie’s mother.  The young man was sent to Scotland.  He received an order for several hundred  thousand dollars worth of household furnishings.  He later became the owner of half interest in the store.

Verily it pays to go the extra mile.