The Greatest Salesman in the World

The Author - Og Mandino

Og had many problems in his life.

Before he entered college, his mother died from a massive heart attack. 

He joined the United States Army Air Corps where he became a military officer and a bombardier. He flew for 30 bombing missions over Germany on board a B-24 Liberator during World War II. During this time, he flew with fellow pilot and movie star James Stewart.

After his military duties, he became an insurance salesman. One wintry November morning in Cleveland, he contemplated committing suicide but walked to a library instead where as he sorted through several books he ran across volumes of self-help, success and motivation books. He became interested.

He selected some titles, went to a table and began reading. He read hundreds of books that dealt with success, a pastime that helped him alleviate his alcoholism. 

It was in a library in Concord, New Hampshire, where he found W. Clement Stone's classic, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, a book that changed his life.

He eventually became a successful writer and speaker. His works were influenced by Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone, and Emmet Fox. Later, he was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame.

This book was his first and probably best known.


The Greatest Salesman in the World was the seminal work of Og Mandino and is as much a manifesto of living a good life as it is an instruction manual for a successful sales life.

If you want to read my opinion of characteristics required to excel at selling go to characteristics of a good salesperson

It’s a short book (110 pages) full of advice that applies to everyone, not just salespeople.

The story in the book centres around Hafid, a poor camel boy who became the owner of the most powerful trade empire of his time and was known as the greatest salesman in the world. The first half of the book is about how Hafid learned the art of salesmanship from a set of ancient scrolls, while the second half of the book presents the text from each of the 10 scrolls.

Each scroll is meant to be read and reflected on for 30 days before going to the next scroll.

I suggest you read the book to experience the wonderful story that it reveals.

Meanwhile here is a summary of what is in the Scrolls.

Scroll 1: Today I begin a new life.

“I will read each scroll for thirty days in this prescribed manner, before I proceed to the next scroll.”

“Read the words in silence when you wake up, then after lunch, and again before you go to bed.” “Most importantly, read the words out loud.”

“As you repeat the words, they become part of your active mind and seep into your “other mind”. The mind that often makes you act in ways you don’t understand.”

To succeed, the  first step is to form good habits. We are slaves to our habits because they control how we act, and thus determine whether we succeed or not.

So, form good habits starting with the habit of reading the scrolls daily.

Scroll 2: I will greet this day with love in my heart.

“I will look on all things with love and I will be born again.”

“I will laud mine enemies and they will become friends; I will encourage my friends and they will become brothers.”

“How will I react to the actions of others? With love.”

“Most of all, I will love myself. For when I do I will zealously inspect all things which enter my body, my mind, my soul, and my heart. Never will I overindulge the requests of my  flesh, rather I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation. Never will I allow my mind to be attracted to evil and despair, rather I will uplift it with the knowledge of wisdom of the ages. Never will I allow my soul to become complacent and satisfied, rather I will feed it with meditation and prayer. Never will I allow my heart to become small and bitter, rather I will share it and it will grow and warm the earth.”

It’s not hard to see how this makes you a better salesperson because it’s simply a way of improving all your relationships.

Scroll 3: I will persist until I succeed.

“I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins.” “The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning.”

“Always I will take another step. If that is of no avail, I’ll take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.”

“I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a might oak.”

“I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as and retreat; for they are the words of fools.”

Scroll 4: I am nature’s greatest miracle.

“Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my mouth. None that came before, none that live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me.”

“Vain attempts to imitate others no longer will I make.” 

“I am rare, and there is value in all rarity.”

“I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth I will apply all my efforts to become highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.”

Scroll 5: I will live this day as if it is my last.

“I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?... Can I call back yesterday’s wounds and make them whole? Can I take back the evil that was spoken, pain that was caused? No. Yesterday is buried forever and I will think of it no more.”

“Forgetting yesterday neither will I think of tomorrow. Why should I throw now after maybe? Can tomorrow’s sand flow through the glass for before today’s? 

Will the sun rise twice this morning? 

Can I perform tomorrow’s deeds while standing in today’s path? 

Should I torment myself with problems that may never come to pass? No! Tomorrow lies buried with yesterday, and I will think of it no more.”

“This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity.”

“Todays hours are but a bonus, undeserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed?”

“If I waste today, I destroy the last page of my life.”

“Each minute of this day will I grasp with both hands and fondle with love for its value is beyond price.”

“I will avoid with fury the killers of time. Procrastination i will destroy with action; doubt i will bury under faith; fear I will dismember with confidence.”

“This day I will make the best day of my life. This day I will drink every minute to its full.”

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