Excerpts from

  Get Rich in Spite of Yourself
by Louis M. Grafe

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Book Description

In this long-forgotten gem, first published in the mid 1940's, the author gives an astonishing formula for wealth and success which he developed while making four fortunes -- two for others and two for himself. He declares that anyone can use this formula to gain Success permanently. The formula can be followed by rich or poor; by almost any job or business, trade or profession. It is so simple that the book can be mastered in three hours.

This book proved a sensation. Over 2,000,000 copies were sold and thousands of people wrote to the author telling of riches piled up as a result of applying the principles of this book.

"Many rich and successful men and women," declares the author of this helpful book, "have no more brains or energy than anyone else. They are usually driven to suc­cess. Frequently they are so helpless they can't stop moving ahead even when they want to. Their money is made in spite of themselves!"

Louis M. Grafe, who made his own for­tune, lost it, and then went on to earn another fortune, presents an astonishingly simple formula for wealth and success. He has tested it in his own experience and has found that it has brought wealth not only to him but to many other people.

Based on fundamental principles which you can find in your own copy of the Bible, this book demonstrates the existence and practical application of the Law of Success—the law which everyone who has ever made money or reached the top in their work has used, consciously or unconsciously.

The formula can be followed by anyone, rich or poor, in almost any job or business, in any honest trade or profession. And it is so simple that you can learn all you need to know about it in three hours. Marry readers wonder, after reading this book, why they did not discover the formula for themselves, it is so amazingly right, so plainly practical and workable.

Thousands of copies of this book have already been sold and have literally changed the lives of hundreds of readers. Many of those who have been influenced by it have bought additional quantities for their children, relatives and friends; busi­nessmen have given it away to their employees. One of California's largest employers of salesmen gives a copy to every new man.

GET RICH IN SPITE OF YOURSELF is one of the great inspirational books of our time. Read it now and you will find that you have never spent a more profitable three hours.


"Every young man in America, and some older ones like myself, should read this and re-read it every thirty days. It is a veritable treasure chest of sincere and valuable ideas. I am buying twelve additional copies to distribute to some of the members of my organization." —from the vice president of a Baltimore advertising agency

"A magnificent job in analyzing, nailing down and clarifying the essence of what makes for a successful and profitable living and a more abundant and happy life." —from A.J.B., Los Angeles

"My whole life has begun to change for the better because of this book."—from O.C.O., Chicago

"Contains the simplest formula for success of any book, large or small, that I have ever before seen. In reading it, I have become aware of the reasons for my lack of success." —from Mrs. H.A.S., Peoria

"An excellent guide for everyone who finds himself confused and unsure. I feel very fortunate to have read it during my present transition from military to civilian life." —from an Air Force captain

"An inspired book. I only regret that I did not read it many years ago." —J.J.McA., New York

Chapter 1

The Fundamental Principles of Success

Is there a Law of Success? There is. Can we learn what it is? We can. Why does not everyone already know it? Because it is "hidden from the eye or the understanding; secret; concealed; hence, mys­terious, supernormal, or supernatural."

Why do not successful men let us know what the law is? Because such men themselves do not know what it is; for a time, they simply live by it uncon­sciously.

There is nothing of necromancy or hocus-pocus about it. I found the law in the Bible, the greatest of all mystic books, and the most authentic. I call this law of success mystic because you will not really understand it by merely reading the words. The words must be seen in a certain light before their real meaning dawns upon you.

In order to reach the proper viewpoint from which to see the meaning of the law, one must have a proper conception of money. As this book is designed for the unlearned as well as the learned, and must therefore be brief and to the point, I will not parade my erudition by giving the many definitions of money, but will confine myself to giving the one definition that I have found most useful in under­standing the mystic law of success. It is this:

Money is deferred service.

In other words, if you have money you can ex­change it later for service of some kind. Your grocer will give you food for it; your druggist, toiletries; and your landlord, the use of his property, which is the accumulated service of the building trades plus the continuing service of the community. In short, all civilized community life is based on an exchange of service for service.

For example, if you need a new hat, you first give service to your employer (and incidentally his cus­tomers), for which he gives you money, which is de­ferred service. Then a merchant serves you by pro­viding the new hat, and the money goes to him. Then a grocer serves the merchant, and the money is again exchanged. This goes on endlessly, the money passing in turn through hundreds of hands, each time for a service of some kind. Whoever happens to have the money has given a service but has not yet received a service in exchange for it. Whoever happens to have the money has service coming to him.

Herein lies the convenience of money—that by using it you can exchange service to one man for service from another. You do not have to do with­out a new hat just because the hat store does not need your service. Just so you serve somebody, others will be ready to serve you. You will be denied service only if you serve nobody.

Of course, if you wish, you can give service and receive nothing in exchange for it—neither service nor money. But in the long run you will find it im­possible to live without service from your neighbors. You will be forced, eventually, to receive service in exchange for service, or to receive money in ex­change, which amounts to the same thing.

All my readers, I believe, will now be ready for the first rule in the Mystic Formula for Success. I saw it repeatedly in the Bible for many years before I realized its true meaning. As given there, the first rule is "Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant" (Matthew 20:26, 27). Finally it dawned upon me that this did not mean that I should drop the kind of work at which I was skilled and become a domestic servant, nor that I should become a preacher. What it meant was this:


"Whosoever will be great among you, let him minister unto the people's needs; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him give service in that field in which he is most skilled."

Now that is not the whole of the Mystic Formula for success. It is the first rule only. Even so, let us not accept it blindly. Do the great really become so by ministering to the people's needs? Certainly Wash­ington, Lincoln, and many others became great that way. Certainly Henry Ford, in developing an auto­mobile and a mass production system by which it could be offered people at a low price, became great by "ministering unto the people's needs." The same is true of other great industrialists, as well as of your locally successful merchants and manufacturers. The more people they minister to, the greater they are. Washington and Lincoln ministered, not only to their contemporaries, but to many generations since.

But how about the "chiefs" among us, those who are not great, but still fairly successful? Do they be­come so by "giving service in that field in which they are most skilled"? Their service is often not to the masses of the people, I admit, but they do give service to a limited group or class. This is true of the successful small business men, the physicians, law­yers and other professionals, the super-intendents, the managers, the artists, the writers, the educators, the purveyors of comfort or entertainment. If they at­tain any degree of success, they do so by giving serv­ice in the field in which they are most skilled. They may not become great, but they do rise above the common level, become "chiefs" among us.

The domestic servant serves only a few people, the successful businessman many. The latter, therefore, gives the greater service, and gains a greater reward. But the domestic servant is also giving service in that field in which he is most skilled. Why is not he also a chief? Why do many who try to minister to the people's needs fail to become either great or success­ful? Why do others become chiefs for a time, and then fall by the wayside? Rule No. 1 does not answer these questions. Evidently more rules are needed, and will be given later in this book. Meantime you have learned this:

Though following Rule No. 1 does not guarantee success, it is ONE of the rules that must be followed if you are to achieve deserved suc­cess.

You probably noticed that word "deserved." Is there such a thing as undeserved success? Unfortu­nately, there is. It is the kind of success achieved, not through service, but through other people's losses, through DISservice. It is the great misfortune of America today, the cause of nearly all our troubles, that men can achieve affluence (success is the wrong word) in such a manner. To illustrate, in gambling, one man's gain is always another man's loss. It is not the exchange of money for service. And this holds true whether the gambling is in the pool room or on the stock market.

The big Wall Street fortunes made by short-term trading consist of the losses of hundreds or thou­sands of small investors, although, of course, the wolves sometimes take fortunes away from one an­other also. Making fortunes in this way would not be possible, of course, if the little operators were not trying to do the same thing—to make an undeserved fortune through DISservice instead of service.

As nine out of ten men lose when trying to make money in this way, I shall not encourage you to try it. Many other forms of "trading," whether in Wall Street or Main Street, are profitable only through other people's losses. Even if I could, I would not help anyone to cheat the Law of Life in such a man­ner. Long-term investment, however, is a distinct service. It provides the tools and equipment for in­dustry, lodgings for the public, and public works for the community. Lending money, for short or long terms at reasonable rates, is also a service.

We can now proceed to the next rule in the Mystic Law of Success. In the Bible, I found two command­ments which were said to contain all the Law and the Prophets. The first is outside the province of this book, but the second was "Love thy neighbor as thy­self." Now most people understand this as meaning that we should just have a good feeling toward our neighbor, a kind of inward glow that is quite pleas­ant, a titillation of the emotions such as we all get when we look upon a beautiful child. I made the same mistake myself for a long time. But how does such a feeling compare with the average mother's love for her child? The one is idle fancy compared with the life-long devotion of the other; the one is a smug and flattering pastime for leisure moments, the other stops at no sacrifice of toil or health or even life; the one serves self only, the other serves the beloved without stint and without measure. In fact, that pleasant feeling is mere delusion, make-believe, unless it is expressed through service—only then is it love.

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