Mindset Mastery 26 – A Fifty-Cent Lesson In Persistence

Mindset Mastery Ebook By Sean RasmussenPersistence is one way to describe that staying power that wealthy, successful men and women have, that power that takes them that critical step past temporary defeat. To illustrate the power of persistence, Napoleon Hill tells us this story of one brave and persistent little girl.

[Note: As you read, keep in mind that this incident took place in the early 1900’s before the Civil Rights Movement in the United States; all things, at that time, were certainly not equal.]

“Shortly after R.U. Darby earned his degree from the “University of Hard Knocks,” and had determined to profit from his experience in the gold mining business, he was fortunate enough to be present to witness an incident that proved to him that “No” does not necessarily mean no.

One afternoon Darby was helping his uncle grind wheat in an old fashioned mill. The uncle operated a large farm where a number of colored sharecrop farmers lived. Quietly, the door was opened, and a small colored child, the daughter of a tenant, walked in and took her place near the door.

The uncle looked up, saw the child, and barked at her roughly, “what do you want?”

Meekly, the child replied, “My mammy say send her fifty cents.”

“I’ll not do it,” the uncle retorted, “Now you run on home.”

“Yas sah,” the child replied. But she did not move.

The uncle went on working, too busy to notice that the child did not leave. When he looked up and saw her still standing there, he yelled at her, “I told you to go on home! Now go, or I’ll take a switch to you.”

The little girl said “yas sah,” but she did not budge an inch.

The uncle dropped a sack of grain he was about to pour into the mill hopper, picked up a band of wood, and started toward the child with an expression meant to drive fear into her.”

Being Persistent

This is the point where most of us would relent and let the old Uncle keep the fifty cents. Be sure to join us in our next post to find out how this little girl with persistence and a simple word triumphed over “the Man”.

I will see you back here Monday and Thursday every week for the continuation of the Mindset Mastery series.

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
SeanRasmussen.com © 2004 – 2008

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. Always enjoyable to come across another Hill Fan.

    The story of Darby and his ventures are fantastic.
    We spent a couple week discussing them on our Live Talk Show.

    You and your readeers may enjoy listening to any or all of the
    150+ past episodes.
    Or better yest Join us Live.
    We are now discussing Wattles The Science of Getting Rich
    and how easy it is to apply in today’s Business Climate

    Join us at The Focus Society of Overachievers

    Love the Blog

  2. Sure thing Chuck. I’m sure some readers will check it out.

  3. while I reckon it’s ok to agree to disagree I’m not sure I agree with saying one thing and doing another like the girl does here. I reckon I’ve heard the story before and that the girl will get the fifty-cents but I reckon if I told some pesky kid to go away and they said yes but hung around they might get a different result to that they were seeking.

  4. What an a-hole! You go girl!!!
    .-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..What life is about =-.

  5. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,

    Wow! That was one brave little girl. She must have been terrified but she didn’t show it. She just held her ground in the face of fear. It kind of reminds me of Rosa Parks.

  6. What did the little girl already go though in life to get to that point where she stood up to uncle. He was trying to motivate her with fear. I would expect that the only thing keep her there was an even greater fear. If so, what was it? Where did it come from? She was disobeying a white man! She was risking great physical pain! Why? That’s what I want to know.
    .-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Think And Grow Rich Mindset Mastery =-.

    • Maybe because she knew he wouldn’t do it? Would also be an option, that he had threatened and not “delivered” before. But without knowing that she definitely shows a lot of bravery and commitment.
      .-= Renee´s last blog ..The Best Way To Get Motivated =-.

    • Hi Wal,

      It was an incredibly gutsy move for such a little girl and especially that time in history. Something greater was motivating her. She had such strength of courage and refused to give in.

      Either her parents had instilled such enormous self-belief in this little girl of her own worth or she was facing something worse if she didn’t come home with that money. I’d love to know.
      .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen – Aussie Internet Marketer Making a Difference =-.

  7. Hey Sean,

    I know it’s already been mentioned elsewhere in the comments, but it would have been interesting to know who that little girl was, and the kind of woman she grew up to be, and what achievements she came to accomplish.

    Just a thought!


    .-= Pete´s last blog ..peteboyr: @bullhunter Thanks, Sean. Just reviewing the webinar, and will get to your blogs after that. Big night ahead, pizza on the way! =-.

  8. Hi Sean

    A most memorable story that has never left me. Whatever her motivation that day, she stood strong and unwavering in her insistence to get what she wanted.

    There is a lesson in that for all of us!

    .-= Elly´s last blog .. =-.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    That story runs through my mind often ever since I first read it. She was most definitely a persistent little thing. Especially since the story doesn’t mention that she showed or felt any fear. Just determination.

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