Ever since its first printing by William Randolph Hearst in 1921, The
Go-Getter has inspired employees and entrepreneurs to take initiative,
increase their productivity, and excel against the odds. In The
Go-Getter, Bill Peck, a war veteran, persuades Cappy Ricks, the
influential founder of the Rick's Logging & Lumbering Company, to
let him prove himself by selling skunk wood in odd lengths-a job that
everyone knows can only lead to failure. When Peck goes on to beat his
quota, Rick hands Peck the ultimate opportunity and the ultimate test:
the quest for an elusive blue vase. Drawing on such classic values as
honesty, determination, passion, and responsibility, Peck overcomes
nearly insurmountable obstacles to find the vase and launch his career
as a successful manager. In a time when jobs are tight and managers are
too busy for mentoring, how can you maintain positive energy, take
control of your career, and prepare yourself to ace the tests that come
your way? By applying the timeless lessons in this compulsively
readable parable, employees at all levels can learn to rekindle the
go-getter in themselves.
With over 500,000 copies sold worldwide now, The Go Getter has become
somewhat of a `bible' for salesmen, entrepreneurs and employers.
This classic tale will entertain you --- you'll laugh and may
occasionally cry. But when you're finished, you'll have learned
an indelible lesson on the incredible power of persistence --- and what
it takes to persist.
This is a short read but you'll remember the story of the blue vase for
a lifetime! This is one of the best books ever written on consistency
and persistency. It is a timeless treasure.
Mr. Alden P. Ricks, known in Pacific Coast wholesale lumber
shipping circles as Cappy Ricks, had more troubles than a hen with
ducklings. He remarked as much to Mr. Skinner, president and
general manager of the Ricks Logging & Lumbering Company, the
corporate entity which represented Cappy's vast lumber interests;
and he fairly barked the information at Captain Matt Peasley, his
son-in-law and also president and manager of the Blue Star
Navigation Company, another corporate entity which represented the
Ricks interest in the American mercantile marine.
Mr. Skinner received this information in silence. He was not
related to Cappy Ricks. But Matt Peasley sat down, crossed his legs
and matched glares with his mercurial father-in-law.
"You have troubles!" he jeered, with emphasis on the
pronoun. "Have you got a misery in your back, or is Herbert Hoover
the wrong man for Secretary of Commerce?"
"Stow your sarcasm, young feller," Cappy shrilled. "You know
dad-blamed well it isn't a question of health or politics. It's the
fact that in my old age I find myself totally surrounded by the
choicest aggregation of mental duds since Ajax defied the
"You and Skinner."
"Why, what have we done?"
"You argued me into taking on the management of twenty-five of
those infernal Shipping Board freighters, and no sooner do we have
them allocated to us than a near panic hits the country, freight
rates go to glory, marine engineers go on strike and every infernal
young whelp we send out to take charge of one of our offices in the
Orient promptly gets the swelled head and thinks he's divinely
ordained to drink up all the synthetic Scotch whiskey manufactured
in Japan for the benefit of thirsty Americans. In my old age you
two have forced us into the position of having to fire folks by
cable. Why? Because we're breaking into a game that can't be played
on the home grounds. A lot of our business is so far away we can't
Matt Peasley leveled an accusing finger at Cappy Ricks. "We
never argued you into taking over the management of those Shipping
Board boats. We argued me into it. I'm the goat. You have nothing
to do with it. You retired ten years ago. All the troubles in the
marine end of this shop belong on my capable shoulders, old
"Theoretically--yes. Actually--no. I hope you do not expect me
to abandon mental as well as physical effort. Great Wampus Cats! Am
I to be denied a sentimental interest in matters where I have a
controlling financial interest? I admit you two boys are running my
affairs and ordinarily you run them rather well, but--but--ahem!
Harumph-h-h! What's the matter with you, Matt? And you, also,
Skinner? If Matt makes a mistake, it's your job to remind him of it
before the results manifest themselves, is it not? And vice versa.
Have you two boobs lost your ability to judge men or did you ever
have such ability?"
"You're referring to Henderson, of the Shanghai office, I dare
say," Mr. Skinner cut in.
"I am, Skinner. And I'm here to remind you that if we'd stuck
our own game, which is coast-wise shipping, and had left the
trans-Pacific field with its general cargoes to others, we wouldn't
have any Shanghai office at this moment and we would not be
pestered by the Hendersons of this world."
"He's the best lumber salesman we've ever had," Mr. Skinner
defended. "I had every hope that he would send us orders for many a
cargo for Asiatic delivery."
"And he had gone through every job in this office, from office
boy to sales manager in the lumber department and from freight
clerk to passenger agent in the navigation company," Matt Peasley
"I admit all of that. But did you consult me when you decided
send him out to China on his own?"
"Of course not. I'm boss of the Blue Star Navigation Company,
I not? The man was in charge of the Shanghai office before you ever
opened your mouth to discharge your cargo of free advice."
"I told you then that Henderson wouldn't make good, didn't
"And now I have an opportunity to tell you the little tale you
didn't give me an opportunity to tell you before you sent him out.
Henderson was a good man--a crackerjack man--when he had a
better man over him. But--I've been twenty years reducing a
tendency on the part of that fellow's head to bust his hat-band.
And now he's gone south with a hundred and thirty thousand taels of
our Shanghai bank account."
"Permit me to remind you, Mr. Ricks," Mr. Skinner cut in
"that he was bonded to the extent of a quarter of a million
"Not a peep out of you, Skinner. Not a peep. Permit me to
remind you that I'm the little genius who placed that insurance
unknown to you and Matt. And I recall now that I was reminded by
you, Matthew, my son, that I had retired ten years ago and please,
would I quit interfering in the internal administration of your
"Well, I must admit your far-sightedness in that instance will
keep the Shanghai office out of the red ink this year," Matt
Peasley replied. "However, we face this situation, Cappy. Henderson
has drunk and gambled and signed chits in excess of his salary. He
hasn't attended to business and he's capped his inefficiency by
absconding with our bank account. We couldn't foresee that. When we
send a man out to the Orient to be our manager there, we have to
trust him all the way or not at all. So there is no use weeping
over spilled milk, Cappy. Our job is to select a successor to
Henderson and send him out to Shanghai on the next boat."
"Oh, very well, Matt," Cappy replied magnanimously, "I'll not
rub it into you. I suppose I'm far from generous, bawling you out
like this. Perhaps, when you're my age and have a lot of mental and
moral cripples nip you and draw blood as often as they've drawn it
on me you'll be a better judge than I of men worthy of the weight
of responsibility. Skinner, have you got a candidate for this
"I regret to say, sir, I have not. All of the men in my
department are quite young--too young for the responsibility."
"What do you mean--young?" Cappy blazed.
"Well, the only man I would consider for the job is Andrews
he is too young--about thirty, I should say."
"About thirty, eh? Strikes me you were about twenty-eight when
threw ten thousand a year at you in actual cash, and a couple of
million dollars' worth of responsibility."
"Yes sir, but then Andrews has never been tested----"
"Skinner," Cappy interrupted in his most awful voice, "it's a
constant source of amazement to me why I refrain from firing you.
You say Andrews has never been tested. Why hasn't he been tested?
Why are we maintaining untested material in this shop, anyhow? Eh?
Answer me that. Tut, tut, tut! Not a peep out of you, sir. If you
had done your Christian duty, you would have taken a year's
vacation when lumber was selling itself in 1919 and 1920, and you
would have left Andrews sitting in at your desk to see the sort of
stuff he's made of."
"It's a mighty lucky thing I didn't go away for a year,"
protested respectfully, "because the market broke--like that--and
if you don't think we have to hustle to sell sufficient lumber to
keep our own ships busy freighting it--"
"Skinner, how dare you contradict me? How old was Matt Peasley
when I turned over the Blue Star Navigation Company to him, lock,
stock and barrel? Why, he wasn't twenty-six years old. Skinner,
you're a dodo! The killjoys like you who have straddled the neck of
industry and throttled it with absurd theories that a man's back
must be bent like an ox-bow and his locks snowy white before he can
be entrusted with responsibility and a living wage, have caused all
of our wars and strikes. This is a young man's world, Skinner, and
don't you ever forget it. The go-getters of this world are under
thirty years of age. Matt," he concluded, turning to his
son-in-law, "what do you think of Andrews for that Shanghai
"I think he'll do."
"Why do you think he'll do?"
"Because he ought to do. He's been with us long enough to have
acquired sufficient experience to enable him--"
"Has he acquired the courage to tackle the job, Matt?" Cappy
interrupted. "That's more important than this doggoned experience
you and Skinner prate so much about."
"I know nothing of his courage. I assume that he has force and
initiative. I know he has a pleasing personality."
"Well, before we send him out we ought to know whether or no
has force and initiative."
"Then," quoth Matt Peasley, rising, "I wash my hands of the
of selecting Henderson's successor. You've butted in, so I suggest
you name the lucky man."
"Yes, indeed," Skinner agreed. "I'm sure it's quite beyond my
poor abilities to uncover Andrews' force and initiative on such
notice. He does possess sufficient force and initiative for his
present job, but--"
"But will he possess force and initiative when he has to make
quick decision six thousand miles from expert advice, and stand or
fall by that decision? That's what we want to know, Skinner."
"I suggest, sir," Mr. Skinner replied with chill politeness,
"that you conduct the examination."
"I accept the nomination, Skinner. By the Holy Pink-toed
Prophet! The next man we send out to that Shanghai office is going
to be a go-getter. We've had three managers go rotten on us and
that's three too many."
And without further ado, Cappy swung his aged legs up on to
desk and slid down in his swivel chair until he rested on his
spine. His head sank on his breast and he closed his eyes.
"He's framing the examination for Andrews," Matt Peasley
whispered, as he and Skinner made their exits.