In 1960 I was introduced to Orison Swett Marden
when I started reading Napoleon Hill and Charles Haanel and these three Authors, helped me create my Business Mindset
Orison Swett Marden (1848 – 1924) was an American inspirational author who wrote on success in life and how to achieve it. His writings discuss common-sense principles and virtues that make for a well-rounded, successful life. Many of his ideas are based on New Thought philosophy.
Marden was Inspired by an early self-help book by the Scottish author Samuel Smiles, which he found in an attic, Marden set out to improve himself and his life circumstances. He persevered in advancing himself and graduated from Boston University in 1871. He later graduated from Harvard with an M.D. in 1881 and an LL.B. degree in 1882. He also studied at the Boston School of Oratory and Andover Theological Seminary.
What is seldom discussed is he was a successful entrepreneur in his early twenties. During his college days, he worked at catering and hotel management and was so successful that he had some $20,000 in capital when he finished his formal training. Then he went to Block Island, near Newport, Rhode Island, and bought a property which he developed into a thriving resort area. Hardly a background, one would think, for a later literary career. He went on to buy a chain of hotels in Nebraska, but during the deep depression of the 1890s, Marden lost the hotels he owned.
With little money, but with lots of time on his hands, he decided to write a book. He took a room above a livery stable and worked night and day. The evening he finished the final page, tired and hungry, he decided to go out to a small café for dinner. While he was dining, the livery stable caught fire and burned to the ground. His entire manuscript – more than 1,000 pages, an entire year’s work – was destroyed by flames in a matter of minutes.
He was overwhelmed and heartbroken. But he picked himself up and started all over again. A year later, he had re-written his manuscript. He then tried to get it published. But with the depression being in its third year, no one was interested. He moved to Chicago, found a job and met someone who happened to know a publisher. The publisher read his book and said, “This is exactly what people should be reading in the middle of the depression or at any other time”.
n 1897 he founded Success Magazine, which reached the enormous circulation, for that time, of nearly a half-million, of course, that means it was read by from two to three million readers. This publication ran into financial difficulties and suspended publication in 1912. But once again, 1n 1918, he founded a new Success which was rapidly climbing in circulation when death ended his career, in 1924. The magazine is still published today by Dallas-based SUCCESS Partners.
“Pushing to the Front” became the single greatest runaway classic in the history of personal development books at that time. People like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and J.P. Morgan cited it as inspiration. Marden went on to write more than twenty other inspirational books.
“There are two essential requirements for success. The first is “go-at-it-iveness” and the second is “stick-to-it-iveness” – Orison Swett Marden
This Audio excerpt is from Section 12, of He Can Who Thinks He Can and Other Papers on Success in Life written by Orison Swett Marden, in 1909
This book opens with a simple quote from Abraham Lincoln’s Diary”
2 Minute Excerpt on Originality
My most favorite Book of Marden’s is
The Miracle of Right Thought, published 1910
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