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The Paper Boy Who Became a Billionaire

newspaperW. Clement Stone was a student of success. This paper boy eventually became the head of a billion dollar insurance company.

Along the way, he overcame extreme poverty, a tough neighborhood, the loss of his father at the age of three and many other obstacles.



In his great book, The Success System That Never Fails, he described the three things he learned as a frightened six-year old boy selling newspapers.

These three things propelled him to success:

Inspiration to action

What motivates you?

Are you unhappy with your current situation?
Then change it by changing yourself!

Do you want more out of your life?
Find your passion and pursue it relentlessly!

Stone opens the book by writing about his days as a paperboy. He was motivated to do well because he needed the money. He had invested all of his savings in newspapers – and they would be worthless at the end of the day.

He had to sell them. So he kept pushing.

Your product or service may not go bad at the end of the day. But the time will be gone forever. Self-impose daily deadlines to keep yourself inspired to act.


Know-how is knowledge applied successfully.

You learn your craft by trying again and again. Every time you try, you either succeed or fail. Either way, you learn:

When you succeed, you know what to do the next time!
When you don’t succeed, you learn what not to do next time!

Stone learned that the patrons of a corner diner would buy papers to read while they ate their dinners. However, the owner of the restaurant didn’t like this child peddling papers in his place. He kept kicking Stone out. Stone would sneak back in and sell papers. He learned to be persistent.

What have you learned from your experiences? You create your future by leveraging the lessons learned from your past. Take all you’ve lived through and find the common threads.


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Activity knowledge

It’s important to learn from your own successes and failures as we just discussed. It’s even better if you can learn from the successes and failures of others.

Get to know your product. Learn the methods that have and haven’t worked for others.

Stone knew what to say, because he watched other successful paper boys shouting out the day’s headlines to get their customers’ attentions.

Who serves as a model for you? Flatter them with a little imitation!

We’ll close with a quote from W. Clement Stone himself:

If you employed study, thinking and planning time daily, you could develop and use the power that can change the course of your destiny.

Now that’s bigg success!


Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

(Image in today's post by helloyou)