Going The Extra Mile – Part 4

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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Over forty years ago a young salesman in a hardware store observed that the store had a lot of odds and ends which were out of date and not selling.  Having time on his hands, he rigged up a special table in the middle of the store.  He loaded it with some of this unsaleable merchandise, marking it the bargain price of a dime an article.  To his surprise and that of the owner of the store, the gadgets sold like hot cakes.

Out of the experience grew the great F.W. Woolworth Five and Ten Cent chain store system.  The young man who stumbled upon the idea by going the extra mile was Frank W Woolworth.  That idea yielded him a fortune estimated at more that $50,000,000.  Moreover, the same idea made serval other persons rich, and applications of the idea are at the heart of many of the more profitable merchandising systems in America.

No one told young Woolworth to exercise his right to personal initiative.  No one paid him for doing so, yet his action led to ever-increasing returns for his efforts.  Once he put the idea into practice, increasing returns nearly ran him down.

There is something about this habit of doing more than one is paid for which works on one’s behalf even while he sleeps.  Once it begins to work, it piles up riches so fast that it seems like queer magic, which, like Aladdin’s Lamp, draws to one’s aid an army of genies which come laden with bags of gold.

Some thirty years ago Charles M Schwab’s private railroad car was switched onto the siding at his steel plant in Pennsylvania.  It was a cold, frosty morning.  As he alighted from his car he was met by a young man with a stenographer’s notebook in his hands who hurriedly explained that he was a stenographer in the general office of the steel company, and that he had come to meet the car to see if Mr Schwab needed any letter written, or any telegrams sent.

“Who asked you to meet me?”  Mr Schwab queried.  “No one”, the young man replied.  “I saw the telegram coming through announcing your arrival, so I came down to meet you, hoping I might be of some service”.

Think of that!  He came down hoping he might be able to find something to do for which he was not paid.  And he came on his own initiative without being told.  Mr Schwab thanked him politely for his thoughtfulness, but said he had no need for a stenographer at the moment.  After carefully noting the young man’s name, he sent the lad back to his work.

That night when the private car was hitched to the night train for its return to New York City, it carried the young stenographer.  He had been assigned, at Mr Schwab’s request, for service in New York as one of the steel magnate’s assistants.  The lad’s name was Williams.  He remained in Mr Schwab’s services for several years, during which opportunity after opportunity for promotion came to him unsolicited.

It is peculiar how opportunities have a way of trailing the people who make it their business to go the extra mile, but they do very definitely.  Finally an opportunity came to young Williams which he could not ignore.  He was made president and a large stock-holder in one of the largest drug concerns in the United States – a job which yielded him a fortune far greater than his needs.

His incident is clear evidence of what can happen, and what has been happening all down through the years under the American way of life.

Here is the appropriate place to remind you of an important thing about the habit of doing more than one is paid for.  It is the strange influence which it has on the man who does it.  The greatest benefit from this habit does not come to those to whom the service is rendered.  It comes to the one who renders the service, in  the form of a changed “mental attitude”, which gives him more influence with other people, more self-reliance, greater initiative, more enthusiasm, more vision and definiteness of purpose.  All of these are qualities of successful achievement.

“Do the right thing and you shall have the power”, said Emerson.  Ah, yes the power!  What can man do in our world without power?  But it must be the type of power which attracts other people instead of repelling them.  It must be a form of power which gains momentum from the law of increasing returns, through the operation of which one’s acts and deeds come back to him greatly multiplied.

You who work for wages should learn more about this sowing and reaping business.  Then you would understand why no man can go on forever sowing the seed of inadequate service and reaping a harvest of full grown pay.  You would know that there must come a halt to the habit of demanding a full day’s pay for a poor day’s work.

And you who do not work for wages, but who wish to get more of the better things of life!  Let us have a word with you.  Why do you not become wise and start getting what you wish the easy and sure way?  Yes, there is an easy and sure way to promote one’s self into whatever he wants from life, and its secret becomes known to every person who makes it his business to go the extra mile.  The secret can be uncovered in no other manner, for it is  wrapped up in the extra mile.