#170 Claude Hopkins (A Life in Advertising)

Episode Summary

What I learned from reading My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins.

Episode Notes

What I learned from reading My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins. 


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Any man who by a lifetime of excessive application learns more about anything than others owes a statement to successors. The results of research should be recorded. Every pioneer should blaze his trail. That is all I have tried to do. [0:19]

There are few pages in “My Life in Advertising” which do not repay careful study—and which do not merit rereading. Before your eyes, a successful advertising life is lived—with all that went to make it successful. The lessons taught are taught exactly as they were learned. They are dished up dripping with life. It is not a book, it is an experience—and experience has always been the great teacher. [2:49] 

The man who does two or three times the work of another learns two or three times as much. He makes more mistakes and more successes, and he learns from both. If I have gone higher than others in advertising, or done more, the fact is not due to exceptional ability, but to exceptional hours. [11:00]

To poverty I owe the fact that I never went to college. I spent those four years in the school of experience. [15:16] 

If a thing is useful they call it work, if useless they call it play. One is as hard as the other. One can be just as much a game as the other. [20:27] 

A young man can come to regard his life work as the most fascinating game that he knows. And it should be. The applause of athletics dies in a moment. The applause of success gives one cheer to the grave. [23:16] 

A good product is its own best salesman. It is uphill work to sell goods, in print or in person, without samples. [27:02] 

I consider business as a game and I play it as a game. That is why I have been, and still am, so devoted to it. [33:44] 

I sold more carpet sweepers by my one-cent letters than fourteen salesmen on the road combined. [45:31]

No argument in the world can ever compare with one dramatic demonstration. [50:10]

We must treat people in advertising as we treat them in person. Center on their desires. [53:46] 

Again and again I have told simple facts, common to all makers in the line—too common to be told. The maker is too close to his product. He sees in his methods only the ordinary. He does not realize that the world at large might marvel at those methods, and that facts which seem commonplace to him might give him vast distinction. [56:57] 

Serve better than others, offer more than others, and you are pretty sure to win. [57:45] 

There are other ways, I know, to win in selling and in advertising. But they are slow and uncertain. Ask a person to take a chance on you, and you have a fight. Offer to take a chance on him, and the way is easy. [57:52] 

So far as I know, no ordinary human being has ever resisted Albert Lasker. He has commanded what he would in this world. Nothing he desired has ever been forbidden him. So I yielded, as all do, to his persuasiveness. [1:00:07] 

The greatest two faults in advertising lie in boasts and in selfishness. [1:01:01] 

It is curious how we all desire to excel in something outside of our province. That leads many men astray. Men make money in one business and lose it in many others. They seem to feel that one success makes them superbusiness men. [1:04:04] 

I earned in commissions as high as $185,000 in a year. ($4,000,000 in today's dollars) All earned at a typewriter which I operated myself, without a clerk or secretary. [1:06:33] 

Most success comes through efficiency. Most failures are due to waste. [1:10:22] 

Human nature does not change. The principles set down in this book are as enduring as the Alps. [1:17:01] 


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