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Success System That Never Fails: 3 Steps

Success system that never fails

Have you ever wondered why one person succeeds and another fails? Do you want to know how to achieve success? In his book The Success System That Never Fails, businessman William Clement Stone sets out his simple formula for success. In this post we’ll take a look at the main summary of this plan for success which if followed will allow anybody to achieve great things.

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Who Was William Clement Stone?

William Clement Stone was a businessman, philanthropist and author. His life is a great rags-to-riches story. Born in Chicago in 1902, he began his entrepreneurial career selling newspapers at 6 years old. As a teenager he progressed to selling casualty insurance and would drop out of school to sell insurance policies full time.

In 1922 he opened his first insurance agency and by 1930 employed over 1000 insurance agents across the US. By 1947 his company had become the Combined Insurance Company of America, one of the largest insurance companies in the US.

Stone became a leading philanthropist, sharing his wealth and success with others. Over his lifetime he donated over $275 million to charity.

It was his desire to help share wealth and success with others that led to him becoming an author of one of the best self-help books ever written – The Success System That Never Fails.

success system
success system

What Is The Success System That Never Fails?

The Success System That Never Fails is a timeless classic self-help book. William Clement Stone sets out a formula for success based on knowledge and experience that Stone built up over his lifetime.

It centers around 3 core concepts which when put into action can enable you to achieve success. These 3 concepts are; inspiration to action, know-how and activity knowledge.


More essential reading: 20 soft skills for leaders to succeed.

The 3 Concepts to Achieve Success

Inspiration To Action

Inspiration to action is the first step to success. It is that which actually motivates you to take action because you want to. Whatever you want to achieve, whether it be financial success or something else, you must actively desire it.

People are often motivated through their dissatisfaction with their current situation, this is known as ‘dissatisfactional inspiration’. It is the motivation you have to improve your situation to achieve something better and is the starting point on the road to success. Basically if you want something badly enough, you will try to get it.


Know-how is the specific skills, techniques and knowledge that get results when applied correctly. It is important to distinguish the difference between knowledge and know-how. Stone states it is often the difference between success and failure.

Knowledge is simply knowing about something. Whereas know-how is doing something the right way with maximum skill and effectiveness and with minimum time and effort. It is not just theoretical knowledge – it is actually getting things done. You can only accumulate know-how through action and experience.

Activity Knowledge

Activity knowledge is the knowledge you gain from any activity, service, product, methods, techniques and skills with which you are concerned. When combined with know-how and inspiration to action it provides the basis for a powerful success system.

Achieve success by putting the success systems concepts into action
Achieve success by putting the success systems concepts into action

These are the 3 key points you must understand when looking at how to achieve success. The book expands on these much further by demonstrating how to put them into action. It also includes many examples of both Stone and others through implementing the success system.

Want to learn how to improve your productivity and efficiency in order to help your business to thrive? Check out this post covering 10 tips to increase productivity.

Positive Mental Attitude In The Success System

In addition to these main points, Stone places emphasis on the use of PMA – a positive mental attitude.

Basically, if you think negatively then nothing good will happen. Pessimistic thoughts are one of the biggest barriers to success. Keeping a positive mental attitude and believing you can achieve will help inspire you to action. Thinking optimistically filters through to your subconscious mind – this is the power of self-suggestion.

Learn how to fail your way to success by embracing failure

Start achieving success
Start achieving success

Do as Stone advises and try repeating the below motivator to yourself multiple times per day and see the effect it has.

What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.

Napoleon Hill

Essential reading; Can money buy happiness in life?

Success Systems Conclusion

The Success System That Never Fails is a timeless self-help book. Authored by businessman and philanthropist William Clement Stone, it sets out a blueprint for how to achieve success.

The success system centers around 3 core points which must all be applied in order to achieve success. These are inspiration to action, know-how and activity knowledge. When combined with a positive mental attitude, they can prove to be a powerful driving force on the road to success. If you take the time to learn the principles of the success system and endeavor to put them into action you cannot fail.

For anybody looking at how to achieve success we would recommend picking up a copy of this great motivational and inspiring book here – The Success System That Never Fails.

You can find more self-help and personal finance articles on our blog including the following;

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