W. Clement Stone

May 1902 - September 2002

William Clement Stone was a businessman, philanthropist and New Thought self-help book author. 

His life began in a poor family with a single mom, when, at the age of 3 his father has died and left them only heavy debt. At the age of 6, he worked as a newspaper hawker. He understood that there may be different ways to sell newspapers from those of the hawkers, who usually worked on street corners. He went onto restaurants to sell them, something no-one else thought of, which gave him an advantage. At 13 he owned a newsstand. In the beginning, the restaurant owners tried to run him off, but he was determined, unfailingly charming and polite and completely won them over.

W. Clement Stone

He had to quite school, to help his mother provide by working full time selling insurance, while he took night classes. He graduated from high school and took classes in college and then university. Then he went on to sell insurance policies in downtown business offices. His mother managed new career and they were very successful.

At 17 he created the Combined Insurance Company of America, which provided both accident and health insurance. Within a decade he employed about 1,000 agents all over USA. In 1979 his company was worth a billion dollars.

Stone has turned 100 dollars into millions out of intense will to succeed. During his rise, he became he became an “angel” to others, lifting some from the gutter to the heights of success. One such example was Og Mandino, an alcoholic whom Stone took under his wing. Following Stone’s help, Mandino completely turned his life  around, and even became a publisher of Success Magazine and a successful writer. 

In 1937, when Clement Stone was 35 years old, he has read the famous book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Later, he always referred to this as a turning point in his career. He adopted and lived by the book’s motto: Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. Later on, he and Napoleon Hill have created together the Philosophy of Personal Achievement “Science of Success” course. He managed the Napoleon Hill foundation for 40 years.

In his book Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, Clement Stone stresses the vital importance of positive thought to success. He created Success Unlimited magazine, and in 1962 wrote the Success System That Never Fails.

He gave away millions to various charities, supported for years different projects, from educational to musical, from building the Crystal Cathedral to mental health, from scholarships to Christian charities. On his 100th birthday, he gave $100,000 to University of Illinois at Chicago.

Selected quotes

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.

Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying.

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.

Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the field of endeavor, has known the magic that lies in these words: every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.

If there is something to win and nothing to lose from asking a question then ask whatever it takes.

Tell everyone what you want to do and someone will want to help you do it.

Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.

When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.

Regardless of what you are or what you have been, you can still become what you may want to be.

Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything.

Big doors swing on little hinges.

To every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage.

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.

If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.

We have a problem. ‘Congratulations.’ But it’s a tough problem. ‘Then double congratulations.’

Like success, failure is many things to many people. With Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.

Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.

You affect your subconscious mind by verbal repetition.

You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?

Everyone who achieves success in a great venture, solved each problem as they came to it. They helped themselves. And they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They keep going regardless of the obstacles they met.

To be happy, make other people happy.

When you do the wrong thing, knowing it is wrong, you do so because you haven’t developed the habit of effectively controlling or neutralizing strong inner urges that tempt you, or because you have established the wrong habit and don’t know how to eliminate them effectively.

Events tend to recur in cycles.

No matter how carefully you plan your goals they will never be more than pipe dreams unless you pursue them with gusto.

Bondage is – subjection to external influences and internal negative thoughts and attitudes.

All personal achievement starts in the mind of the individual. Your personal achievement starts in your mind. The first step is to know exactly what your problem, goal or desire is.

Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.

When we direct our thoughts properly, we can control our emotions.

Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them. You, and you alone, can give them. You will receive abundance for your giving.

You always do what you want to do. This is true with every act. You may say that you had to do something, or that you were forced to, but actually, whatever you do, you do by choice. Only you have the power to choose for yourself.

This post is available also in: heעברית

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *