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Maybe young Barnes did not know it at the time, but his bulldog determination,
his persistence in standing back of a single DESIRE, was destined to mow down
all opposition, and bring him the opportunity he was seeking.
When the opportunity came, it appeared in a different form, and from a different
direction than Barnes had expected. That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has
a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form
of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize
opportunity. Mr. Edison had just perfected a new ofﬁce device, known at that
time, as the Edison Dictating Machine (now the Ediphone). His salesmen were
not enthusiastic over the machine. They did not believe it could be sold without
great effort. Barnes saw his opportunity. It had crawled in quietly, hidden in a
queer looking machine which interested no one but Barnes and the inventor. 10 NAPOLEON HILL THINK AND GROW RICH Barnes knew he could sell the Edison Dictating Machine. He suggested this to
Edison, and promptly got his chance. He did sell the machine. In fact, he sold it
so successfully that Edison gave him a contract to distribute and market it all over
the nation. Out of that business association grew the slogan, “Made by Edison
and installed by Barnes.”
The business alliance has been in operation for more than thirty years. Out of
it Barnes has made himself rich in money, but he has done something inﬁnitely
greater, he has proved that one really may “Think and Grow Rich.”
How much actual cash that original DESIRE of Barnes’ has been worth to him,
I have no way of knowing. Perhaps it has brought him two or three million dollars, but the amount, whatever it is, becomes insigniﬁcant when compared with
the greater asset he acquired in the form of deﬁnite knowledge that an intangible
impulse of thought can be transmuted into its physical counterpart by the application of known principles.
Barnes literally thought himself into a partnership with the great Edison! He
thought himself into a fortune. He had nothing to start with, except the capacity
to KNOW WHAT HE WANTED, AND THE DETERMINATION TO STAND BY
THAT DESIRE UNTIL HE REALIZED IT. He had no money to begin with. He
had but little education. He had no inﬂuence. But he did have initiative, faith, and
the will to win. With these intangible forces he made himself number one man
with the greatest inventor who ever lived.
Now, let us look at a different situation, and study a man who had plenty of tangible evidence of riches, but lost it, because he stopped three feet short of the goal
he was seeking. THREE FEET FROM GOLD
One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is
overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time
or another. An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the “gold fever” in the goldrush days, and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He had never h...
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- Spring '12