Lord Max Beaverbrook
The articles embodied in this small book were written during the pressure of many other affairs and without any idea that they would be published as a consistent whole. It is, therefore, certain that the critic will find in them instances of a repetition of the central idea. This fact is really a proof of a unity of conception which justifies their publication in a collected form. I set out to ask the question, “What is success in the affairs of the world–how is it attained, and how can it be enjoyed?” I have tried with all sincerity to answer the question out of my own experience. In so doing I have strayed down many avenues of inquiry, but all of them lead back to the central conception of success as some kind of temple which satisfies the mind of the ordinary practical man.
Other fields of mental satisfaction have been left entirely outside as not germane to the inquiry.
I address myself to the young men of the new age. Those who have youth also possess opportunity. There is in the British Empire today no bar to success which resolution cannot break. The young clerk has the key of success in his pocket, if he has the courage and the ability to turn the lock which leads to the Temple of Success. The wide world of business and finance is open to him. Any public dinner or meeting contains hundreds of men who can succeed if they will only observe the rules which govern achievement.
A career today is open to talent, for there is no heredity in finance, commerce, or industry. The Succession and Death Duties are wiping out those reserves by which old-fashioned banks and businesses warded off from themselves for two or three generations the result of hereditary incompetence. Ability is bound to be recognised from whatever source it springs. The struggle in finance and commerce is too intense and the battle too world-wide to prevent individual efficiency playing a bigger and a better role.
If I have given encouragement to a single young man to set his feet on the path which leads upwards to success, and warned him of a few of the perils which will beset him on the road, I shall feel perfectly satisfied that this book has not been written in vain.