WSIR 004 | How to Win Friends and Influence People

If your goal is to be a likeable person, these 6 points are for you.

Warren Buffett, currently the third wealthiest man in the world, has a diploma up on his wall. But it isn’t from an Ivy League university, or an honorary doctorate from a prestigious admirer, no, he has a Dale Carnegie course completion certificate that cost him $100 back when he was 20 years old. Check out his story on this topic here:

The book that Dale Carnegie put together, and the one the Buffett read and gives reference to is How to Win Friends and Influence People this classic, first published in 1936, has sold over 15 million copies and contributed to the rise of many famous individuals.

Most of us will immediately recognize the single sentence summarizing the first chapter, “Never criticize, condemn, or complain.” Yet, I for one struggled to recall all six of the ways to make people like you from section two of the book. Central to success in dealing with people is their ability to tolerate or their enjoyment in interacting with you, and these six points have a great deal to do with making one a more likeable person.

Despite reading the book several times over the past few years if you were to ask me what the 6 ways to make people like you are, up until now I would have had a hard time remembering them. I put together a list of 6 keywords all beginning with “S” and hopefully it helps you remember them like it has helped me.

Here they are.


  1. Straightforward
  2. Smile
  3. Sound
  4. Shut Up
  5. Special Interest
  6. Sincere Importance

1. Straightfoward interest.

Be genuinely interested in the other person.

Carnegie uses the everyday example of a dog because a pooch doesn’t have any ulterior motives or wants to get anything out of you. They are genuinely happy to see you. This straightforward approach is the most innocent tactic you can use in dealing with others.

2. Smile

Hopefully it is abundantly clear what is meant by this statement. 🙂

3. Sound

Remember, the sweetest and most important sound in any language is that of the other person’s name. This keyword serves a double purpose, the first being that people like to hear their name and when you use it when you are with them they appreciate you for it. The second is that when trying to remember names it is extremely important that you get the cadence and the sound of their name correctly in your mind. If you simply let the pronunciation of their name wash by you when they introduce themselves, you are unlikely to get it correct later on.

4. Shut Up

Certain people are more prone to overtalking than others, but in general, when in conversation you can practice generosity by letting the other person talk more.

Cultivate the art of listening well!

Listening is much more than only not talking, but that is outside of the scope of this point, you can read a great section on “empathic listening” in Stephen Covey’s bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

5. Special Interest

Most of the time I don’t favor special interests, but in this case what I mean is that your interests should reflect those that the other person holds when you talk with them.

As they talk about things that they are comfortable with, the walls begin to recede and the capacity to relate is strengthened.

If you are passionately interested in building houses out of cards, but the other person is into dirt-biking, ask them more about dirt-biking! You might learn something interesting.

6. Sincere Importance

When you deal with others, remember that one of the base desires of individuals is to feel important. This need is insatiable and will be filled either in healthy ways or unhealthy ways.

If you motives are pure, you can give others a feeling of importance and they will love you for it.

You can make someone’s day or even week by sincerely giving them a feeling of importance. In some cases that becomes a touch-point of their self-identity, and you, by doing something that could have been an off-hand remark changed a bit of that person’s self image.

I remember several times throughout my childhood on the family farm my father put me in situations where I knew that he was trusting me with something important. I remember driving a truck from one farm to another at 12 years old (very illegal, do not recommend) and I felt like a man. My parents let me drive by myself to Wisconsin from Michigan at 17 and I loved it. Things like that built my own sense of capability and I hold those experiences of responsibility to this day.

Warren Buffett said that the Dale Carnegie course changed his life, judging by his results, it seems like it did. 

Follow me on Twitter!

WSIR 002 | How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success

Why should someone read a book on sales? I asked myself this question when this book was recommended to me the first time. I didn’t feel that anyone outside of the profession of sales should have to pick up a book entitled, How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling. I realized later, and as the title of this post points out that the title could easily have been, “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success” and still been entirely accurate. The principles in successful salesmanship are directly tied to the principles of human interaction

Most people think sales is something like this:


This book, first released in 1947, covers topics all the way from arguing for keeping detailed records to Benjamin Franklin’s program of personal improvement to even how to talk to your barber to look your best.

Three topics addressed in the video are enthusiasm, overtalking, and a correct view of failure. There are certainly more key topics in this book, especially the section on asking questions to effectively listen and on handling objections but you’ll need to go read the book to get those broken down.

1. Enthusiasm!

If there were a single thing in your life that you could change and by changing that one thing you were able to double your results, would you do it?

That switch is called enthusiasm, look at anyone who is successful and in some capacity they have used enthusiasm to help them. Without getting too political, Dr. Ben Carson has been widely criticized for lacking enthusiasm in his campaigning and it has damaged his bid for the White House in 2016.

Bettger recollects to his mindset of nervousness and how he (understandably, I’ve done this too) let nervousness translate into laziness or lack of enthusiasm. This actually got him fired from a minor league baseball team. He discovered however that he could force himself to be enthusiastic regardless of his feelings and he tried this tactic out at his next team.

Three things were a direct result.

  • His enthusiasm overcame his fear, his nervousness began to work for him!
  • Other players noticed his electric manner, and began to match his enthusiasm.
  • Rather than being tired from the heat, he was exhilarated at the end of the game.

Another thing was an indirect result, Bettger gained a reputation of enthusiasm and Frank “Pep” Bettger used that reputation all the way to becoming the third-baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals.

I urge you… to make a high and holy resolve that you will double the amount of enthusiasm that you have been putting into your work and into your life. If you carry out that resolve, you will probably double your income and double your happiness. – Dale Carnegie

2. Overtalking

We’ll keep this section short 🙂

Bettger was convinced that the biggest reason salesman lose business was their tendency to overtalk.

I work as the Director of Development for a non-profit so I have meetings with donors quite often. One of my mentors has suggested a 70/30 split on how much the other person should talk in conversation compared to how much the person presenting should talk. This is based on the idea that the more the other person talks the more they like you. You pay them a subtle compliment by listening to their ideas.

Abraham Lincoln had a knack for cutting to the core of an issue in his communication with others. Most people are familiar with the Gettysburg Address. In 272 words, our 16th president started with the founding of the country, reminded those present of the tragedy that took place before them, and cast vision for the future.

Edward Everett, who spoke for 2 hours before Lincoln that day, is quoted as saying,

I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the center of the idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.

Remember, “We quickly resent the person who is abrupt; but we admire the person who is brief and to the point.”

3. Failure

“Your greatest asset is is the number of strike outs you have had since your last hit.”

Most people, if asked, “what is the opposite of success?” Would immediately respond with the idea of failure. However, this mindset that failure is where someone should stop is far from what should happen in that situation.

When someone fails, the opportunity for learning is present. If you quit because of failure, you’ve in effect said, “This issue will always beat me, and I won’t attempt to win here again.”

Babe Ruth, the baseball star not the candy bar, in his day was known widely for being a man who could hit. His home runs are legendary. Most people don’t know this though but he also led the league in another area, strike outs.

That’s right, the man who is immortalized with 714 home runs, struck out at that very same home plate 1330 times!

Ruth is quoted as saying,

“I just keep going up there and swingin’ at ’em. I know the old law of averages will hold good for me the same as it does for anybody else, if I keep havin’ my healthy swings.”

We need to adopt some of that same attitude, whether in sales, customer service, or engineering. The law of averages is real, and if you have built the correct skills and implement them regularly, your efforts will pay off.

Bottom Line, If you are looking for a book that gives rock solid principles for successful every-day interaction with others, look directly at Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling.

Have you watched the video yet? Subscribe for weekly videos on these books.

Follow me on Twitter!



Some things seems like magic.


And in certain cases that one change behaves like magic!

Such was the case of Frank Bettger, a Professional Baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals. After a in-game injury he was forced to search for a new career. Finally settling on life-insurance sales Frank spent 10 months frustrated.

But then he remembered the magic.

Back when he was a player on a baseball minor league team making $175 dollars a month Frank was fired for being lazy. He reported to his new team and was informed that he would only be making $25 a month- not much even in the early 1900s.

But Bettger was smart, he resolved to fix the problem that got him demoted.

He resolved to be the most Enthusiastic player the league had ever seen.

He quickly gained notoriety, eliciting this quote from the local newspaper

“This new player, Bettger, has a barrel of enthusiasm. He inspired our boys. They not only own the game, but looked better than at any time this season.”

Within two weeks, Bettger received a promotion and a better pay plan of $185 a month, More than he had made previously!

Fast forward a few years to Bettger effectively receiving that same demotion as a salesman. He didn’t mope or complain though. And he didn’t blame anyone else either! He used the Magic.

He again resolved to be the most enthusiastic person he came across and this transformed his business. He learned many other secrets during his astoundingly successful career. He writes much of his life wisdom in his enduring classic book How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling

how i raised myself Depending on your personality, like we talked about last week, you will implement enthusiasm differently in your life. But everyone can see a change! As Frank said,

Double your enthusiasm, double your results!

If you would like more information about how to put more enthusiasm into your everyday life check out this article

A Sincere Smile

They're Free

I’ve been reading the classic book, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie recently. The second way to make other people like you according to this book is to simply smile. Out of the six ways to make others like you, this is the easiest one to start with. You don’t need any special training, you don’t even need any background or experience.

Now think for a few seconds about a smile. The Merriam-Webster Dicionary defines a smile as:

to show or express (something, such as approval, encouragement, etc.) by a smile


The thing about smiling is that it’s universal. The enthusiasm that is generated by a sincere smile is contagious. When you know someone who is constantly smiling, you have a hard time being down about seeing that person.

Imagine coming home after a long day. You’re tired, you’re a little sore, the sky is overcast, and you slip a little bit on the front porch giving you that mini heart attack thinking you’re going to fall. Feeling down yet? You think about going inside and all the things you still have to finish up today, and that the house will probably be cold, and that you have to deal with the rest of the family too… You open the door and step inside. And one thing changes, you see a big yellow lab come barreling around the corner, tail wagging, tongue lolling, that doggy smile on her face. Suddenly your day doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore.

That’s why a loyal dog is so appealing! They are genuinely excited to see you, and you can just imagine the smile that would light up their face if they had all our human characteristics.



Do you understand now why Proverbs 17:22 says

“A joyful heart is good medicine”

So head on out today and give good medicine.

I’d like to leave you with a quick philosophy of a Smile from the book: How to Win Friends and Influence People

The Value of a Smile at Christmas

It costs nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich they can get a long without it, and none are so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.
And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!

Follow me on Twitter!