Augustine “Og” Mandino II (Dec.12, 1923 – Sept. 3, 1996) was an American author. He wrote many bestselling books including “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” His books and lectures have had a profound effect on me and many of my students who have unlocked the treasures of his legacy. His books have sold more than 50 million copies and have been translated into over 25 languages. Og’s insights are profound for business leaders, especially today in 2021, and I highly recommend them to anyone striving for success in our ever-changing world. 

In his classic work, “A Better Way to Live,” Og left each of us a precious gift: The principles that turned his own life around are 17 rules to live by, which comprise sound, wise prescriptions for inner growth and a fulfilling everyday life that will work for you as they have worked for him. 

For this, and the next three weeks, I offer you Og’s 17 rules for a better way to live and succeed in hopes that they help you — our current and future business leaders —as they have helped me:

Rule #1

“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will move forward toward the life that God intended for you … with grace, strength, courage and confidence.”

Rule #2 

“Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do. The victory of success will be half won when you learn the secret of putting out more than is expected in all that you do. Make yourself so valuable in your work that eventually you will become indispensable. Exercise your privilege to go the extra mile and enjoy all the rewards you receive. You deserve them!”

Rule #3 

“Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it for too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.”

Rule #4 

“Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family. Nurture their love carefully, remembering that your children need models, not critics, and your own progress will hasten when you constantly strive to present your best side to your children. And even if you have failed at all else in the eyes of the world, if you have a loving family, you are a success.”

Og and Charlie recommend that you read each of these rules for a better way to live out loud for the next week. You will then be ready for next Sunday’s Inside Business column with rules #5-8.

Charlie Dexter is a professor of applied business emeritus at the UAF Community and Technical College. He can be reached at This column is brought to you as a public service by the UAF Department of Applied Business.