He was a tough little package; the guy that lived three rows over in the makeshift tent city on the downside of Los Angeles.
Those lost angels of the dirt scraped by day-by-day while the hot California sun baked, and the cold desert nights ate every wave of heat. All around this boy people were hungry, but he had a hunger for something better than day old bread thrown out unsold by the markets.
The boy snuck away from the bullies and kids who had nothing better to do than play stickball. He found a hiding place in the Public Library at Long Beach. Some days on his journey, he would stop to gaze out past the docks at Long Beach and watch ships come and go. Shading his eyes from the glare of the Pacific Sun, big black expensive cars would slip by him. One specific day he entered the Library and asked the prim librarian, “Why is it some people get rich and others just get by?”
She didn’t answer, instead sent the boy to a row of books on the back shelves.
There were none of his favorite Zane Grey or adventure books on these shelves.
Instead, these books looked like work.
One caught his eye. The book may have just as easily jumped off the shelf and magically flew to him. There were no Harry Potter inanimate volumes flying about. Just the printed words on the book cover. He read, “Think and Grow Rich.”
Just as he mumbled the title, the idea that all a person had to do to become rich was to think. Then, the concept made sense. How would anyone ever become rich if they did not think it first?
He grabbed the book, checked it out, and hurried back to his canvas home to read a new kind of adventure. A spell binding story in which he would be the main character in a new kind of book that would teach him to be rich.
Earl Nightingale found the secret to success in Napoleon Hill’s book revealed in just six words. Those words became the catalyst for The Strangest Secret, the first spoken word recording to sell over a million copies. The boy grew to be the man that launched the personal development audio publishing industry with his partner, Lloyd Conant.
Today, the company he co-founded, Nightingale Conant, has taken the best of Earl’s life work to release a new updated Earl Nightingale program, The Secret Advantage: CORE Fundamentals to Get Anything You Want.
Earl also became a hero in the Marines. That story for another day.