The Greatest Salesman in the World is a book I first read over 6 years ago and as I was going through my storage, I decided it was time for another read and I'm sure glad I did!
And what a read this little gem of a book is! In it we learn about the story of a young camel boy (Hafid) who gets a set of scrolls in which he learns the secrets of sales and success.
The story eloquently follows Hafid's journey from a timid and overwhelmed slave boy to becoming the greatest salesman in the world with riches as vast as the ocean itself.
A closer look
Og Mandino writes this book in a fashion that is part story and part self-help book. A refreshingly different approach from the vast majority of self-help books with all their rules and ideas. By weaving in an interesting story linked to the Biblical time of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem it gives the book a point of difference and intrigue, which I really enjoyed.
It's not only I who feel strongly about this book because when you first page through it you see a veritable who's who of the business world (past and present) also commenting and praising the profound impact this book had on their lives. People such as Norman Vincent Peale, Paul J Meyer, W. Clement Stone, Spencer Johnson, Art Linkletter and so many more inspiring people of commerce.
So saying you are in good company when reading this book and its sequel is no understatement!
In Chapter eight of the book it presents us with the first of the scrolls that the young Hafid reads. This scroll is more of an instructional one telling the young boy how to use the remaining scrolls. In it someone tells him to read each scroll three times a day (morning, noon and evening) for 30 days before proceeding to the next scroll. This is so that the wisdom of the scrolls becomes part of the fabric and thinking of the person who reads it, in this case you and Hafid.
(This would be my only contention with the book as few people would have the patience to follow those instructions, I would probably suggest doing it for 7 days to get the same effect as the author intended) – You see the author Og Mandino adopt a similar approach to this in the Part 2 sequel of this book.
Then begins the actual wisdom of the scrolls…
Please note I will highlight the scrolls essence below, but recommend you get this book and read the full “scroll” for yourself. Get a copy for yourself.
- Scroll II – I will greet this day with love in my heart
- Scroll III – I will persist until I succeed
- Scroll IV – I am nature's greatest miracle
- Scroll V – I will live this day as if it is my last
- Scroll VI – Today I will be master of my emotions
- Scroll VII – I will laugh at the world
- Scroll VIII – Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold
- Scroll IX – I will act now
- Scroll X – A prayer
Whether or not you ‘re a professional salesman this book is a must read. All of us are selling all the time. Maybe it is to find your next job or even finding the love of your life, no matter what it is the principles in this book are so much more than being limited to the interests of commerce and profit.
There is also a part two of this book where we see Hafid come out of a life of retirement to spread the message of the scrolls even further. There is a strong Biblical theme running through this second book and again a focus on 10 vows that Hafid takes.
These vows are:
- Never again will I pity or belittle myself
- Never again will I greet the day without a map
- Always will I bathe my days in the golden glow of enthusiasm
- Never again will I be disagreeable to a living soul
- Always will I seek the seed of triumph in every adversity
- Never again will I perform any task at less than my best
- Always will I throw my whole self into the task at hand
- Never again will I wait and hope for opportunity to embrace me
- Always will I examine each night, my deeds of the fading day
- Always will I maintain contact through prayer with my Creator.
That final vow is the same as book 1.
The final chapter ends with a touching story of the red robe on Hafid's shoulders.