Saturday, February 23, 2008
Success magazine and the Captain Organize a Relaunch
The Captain skidded to 239 this morning. I fooled myself into think that I was in the low 230's, but facts along with scales are funny things. I ran across this in my email about the relaunch of success magazine. It inspired me to get into gear or face being the next feature for Spidey's blog section for failed weight loss wimps. However, the weight training has never been better with 20 reps of 135 for the bench press. C-YA on the flip side.
History of Success Unlimited Magazine
We trace our beginnings to 1890, when a fire destroyed 5,500 pages of the writing of Orison Swett Marden, the founder of the first version of the magazine. Marden, orphaned at 7, worked as a "bound-out" servant for most of his early years, until he discovered a book by Scotsman Samuel Smiles called Self-Help. The book made him understand that circumstances could not hold back a person who exercised unshakable persistence and a positive mental attitude. He ran away at 17, and with little preparation and poor reading skills he set out to get an education.
As one of his classmates recalled, "No one ever entered school with less or left with more." He worked his way through New London Academy, Boston University, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University Law School--earning his last two degrees simultaneously in 1882. He did it all while working to feed himself and running boarding clubs for his fellow students.
Marden determined that he would help others after he achieved financial success--and that happened with a chain of hotels by the time he was 32. For the next decade he collected notes of "inspiration and help to strugglers trying to be somebody and do something in the world."
That was when the fire struck, burning down one of Marden's hotels and taking all his work with it. In rapid succession, other parts of his business failed, and he was left with almost nothing. Instead of bemoaning the loss, he decided to reconstruct his favorite manuscript, Pushing to the Front, a collection of the life stories of great men. Sold to Houghton Mifflin, the book was a hit, and the enthusiastic letters he got convinced him to start a magazine.
By 1893, the magazine was going strong. In its pages it celebrated leaders from every profession who had innovated in their fields and had achieved success through persistent effort.
From the first, SUCCESS itself was innovative. It championed the cause of women in business. It pioneered the use of large photographs to illustrate its essays. It commissioned superb artwork for its covers.
On the cover of the earliest magazines, Marden printed the words that defined success: "Education, enterprise, enthusiasm, energy, economy, self-respect, self-reliance, self-help, self-culture." It was "an up-to-date journal of inspiration, encouragement, progress, and self-help."
Marden's work made him the acknowledged founder of the self-help movement in the United States, and his books have been in print continuously since. At one point, it was estimated that every fourth home in the U.S. had a Marden book in its parlor.
Marden's editorship lasted until his death in 1924, leaving the magazine rudderless. It survived by reprinting Marden's writing until it ran into trouble during the Depression.
Napoleon Hill, a disciple of Marden's, took up the self-help mantle with Think and Grow Rich, based on interviews with the most prominent industrialists, scholars, statesmen, and inventors of the time. In his turn, he became an inspiration to entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, W. Clement Stone was building the insurance company--Combined Insurance Corporation--he had started with $100. Like Marden, Stone was left fatherless at an early age, and like Marden, he was inspired by self-help books--the Horatio Alger stories.
Stone says his success and great fortune are due to optimism and a positive mental attitude. In 1952, Stone persuaded Hill to join him in developing seminars, tapes, and self-help books. The most famous was the bestseller, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.
In 1954, the two relaunched SUCCESS, as Success Unlimited, for the employees and stockholders of Combined Insurance. In 1960, Stone turned to one of his sales associates, Og Mandino, to edit the magazine. Mandino, whose mother died when he was in high school, had wanted to be a writer, but his ambitions were thwarted--first by World War II (he was a decorated combat pilot) and later by not being able to break into the business in New York.
Success will be back on newsstands beginning march 2008 under the new leadership team of Darren Hardy and Deborah Heisz.