The Go-Getter Book Summary - The Go-Getter Book explained in key points
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The Go-Getter summary

Peter B. Kyne

A Story That Tells You How To Be One

4.4 (397 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne is a motivational novella that follows the journey of a determined employee as he goes above and beyond to secure a business deal. It highlights the importance of tenacity and resilience in achieving success.

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    The Go-Getter
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    Bill Peck applies for a job at Ricks Logging & Lumbering company

    The time? Early twentieth century, just after World War I. The place? San Francisco, inside the offices of Ricks Logging & Lumbering company. The discontented owner and founder of this company, Cappy Ricks, is facing a dilemma. A mismanagement issue within the Pacific shipping division has left his company without supervision for a critical delivery to China. He needs to hire someone, and fast.

    It’s at this moment that Cappy is informed that a young man has arrived and is asking to speak with the owner personally. This man is Mr. William E. Peck. From the moment Mr. Peck steps into the office, he is enthusiastic, polite, and grateful. He explains that he has come to claim “his job,” and does not expect to be refused – a confidence that intrigues and amuses Cappy.

    So, who is this Bill Peck? Apart from his piercing blue eyes, his otherwise ordinary appearance is distinguished by a slight limp and a left arm that has been amputated above the elbow. Cappy correctly surmises that Peck served in the military in the recently concluded war. Despite his disability, Peck cheerfully points out that he still has his head and his right arm, allowing him to think and write – and that’s all that matters.

    Peck had previously been turned away by two of Cappy’s other managers. Undeterred, the persistent young veteran decided to go straight to the top, hoping that the owner of the company could overrule them. The nerve! But it’s a nerve that pays off, as Cappy – charmed by Peck’s attitude and tickled by his confidence – offers him a job. But not before warning him that it won’t be easy. He shall get paid not a cent more than he’s worth, Cappy tells Peck, and the company’s general manager, Mr. Skinner – whom Peck meets – will be sure to test his abilities.

    After Peck leaves, Skinner immediately voices his concerns to Cappy – insinuating that he only hired Peck because he’s handicapped, and angry that Peck went over the heads of those who denied him the job. To which Cappy replies, “How could I reject a boy who simply would not be rejected?”

    This sentiment is reinforced when Cappy encounters Peck in the street later that day. Peck hands him an engraved business card he had prepared for himself – already emblazoned with the logo and name of Ricks Lumber & Logging Company!


    From the very beginning, Bill Peck’s determined spirit shines through the grim predicament facing the logging company. It’s clear that there is no doubt in his mind as to whether or not he will get the job he’s seeking – he doesn’t take no for an answer, and goes directly to the top. 

    Contrast this with Peck’s apparent disabilities, and you get one of the story’s first major themes: perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity. A wounded leg and a missing arm? That’s nothing against the can-do attitude of Mr. William E. Peck! As he declares himself, he still has his head and his right hand.

    Which raises the question: What’s your excuse? No matter what life throws at you, or what injustices you face, if you have a good attitude and visualize your success, you can achieve anything.

    This is about to be put to the test, as Skinner prepares to throw some challenges Peck’s way.

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    What is The Go-Getter about?

    The Go-Getter (1921) is a motivational short story about a former soldier’s attempts to earn respect and employment from the owner of a logging and lumber company. Through the young man’s can-do attitude and proactive efforts, the story highlights the value of enthusiasm, determination, and perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds.

    The Go-Getter Review

    The Go-Getter (1923) by Peter B. Kyne is a tale of determination and perseverance that motivates readers to push their limits. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • Its inspiring protagonist, Cappy Ricks, embodies resilience and ambition, teaching valuable lessons on never giving up.
    • The book emphasizes the importance of resourcefulness and creativity in overcoming obstacles, making it a practical and insightful read.
    • With its engaging narrative and unexpected twists, the story captivates readers, ensuring a stimulating and rewarding reading experience.

    Who should read The Go-Getter?

    • Ambitious entrepreneurs looking to improve their approach to the challenges of business
    • Motivated students who would like to cultivate a more proactive approach to life
    • Career-oriented professionals looking to get ahead in their fields

    About the Author

    Peter B. Kyne was a prolific author and businessman who wrote in the first half of the twentieth century. His other stories include The Three Godfathers, The Long Chance, and the Cappy Ricks series, which continues the story of one of the main characters from The Go-Getter.

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    The Go-Getter FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Go-Getter?

    The main message of The Go-Getter is about determination and going above and beyond to achieve success.

    How long does it take to read The Go-Getter?

    Reading The Go-Getter takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be finished in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Go-Getter a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Go-Getter is a must-read for its inspiring tale of perseverance and ambition.

    Who is the author of The Go-Getter?

    Peter B. Kyne is the author of The Go-Getter.

    What to read after The Go-Getter?

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