Think and Grow Rich


Think and Grow Rich is a book with a story to tell. The world’s first billionaire, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, decides he wants to help other budding entrepreneurs by capturing the key commonalities of the most successful business owners in America. Having had the idea, he knows it won’t be a good use of his time to all the work so he discusses it with a hack journalist, Napoleon Hill. He wants to create a philosophy of achievement and principles of success so that the next generation would not have to grope its way to success by trial and error. Allegedly he gives Hill thirty seconds to decide whether he will accept the project which will dominate the rest of his life. Hill agrees and spends the next twenty-five years interviewing the most successful people in America.

What an assignment! He’s talking to Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller, Alexander Graham Bell, William Wrigley, King Gillette, FW Woolworth, Charles Schwab, and one of my all time heroes, Thomas Edison. Out of it all come thirteen principles of success from desire to specialised knowledge to organised planning and decision making. The untold ‘secret’ from Think and Grow Rich is, of course, hidden in the title. Do this exercise for me. Check your bank balance online. Now, go and sit in your study and think deeply for the next sixty minutes. Then log on and check your bank balance again. Has it changed? I thought not. Thinking is important. As Thomas Edison himself said : Five per cent of the people think, ten per cent of the people think they think. Eighty five per cent of the people would rather die than think”.

Thought alone does not change your results or your circumstances. You need to take action. But the action will only be effective if you’ve changed the way you think. So the full title should be Think, Act and Grow Rich. By the way, I’m not sure I believe the story that the first suggested title was ‘Use Your Noodle To Get The Boodle”. However, what most people don’t know is that there’s a much better book that was published in nineteen twenty eight, nine years before Hill’s definitive work.

It’s called the Law of Success and it’s cover modestly boasts that it is ‘teaching for the first time in the history of the world the true philosophy upon which all personal success is built”. It starts with one of the most important principles, that of the Mastermind. I’ve been in mastermind groups and running my own groups for the best part of a decade now, and it’s the single biggest factor in my own development. You learn from everybody in the group, you benefit from ten minds focusing on your own challenges and you gain access to everyone else’s network as the bonds of trust grow between members of the group. Hill also emphasises the importance of a definite chief aim.

Most people are really vague about what they want and where they are going. My aim is to destroy financial illiteracy and that gives me a way of measuring whether what I’m doing each day is moving me closer to that aim. I’m fascinated that he puts the habit of saving right up there with other success principles. It’s long been my experience that those who can’t save when their income is low can never cope with wealth when their income is high. Accurate thinking is another success principle I’d draw your attention to, as well as how to deal with failure and the golden rule of treating others as you would have them treat you. One of the most insightful rules is to develop the habit of doing more than you’re paid for.

Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, a sure way to advance and grow is to deliver what people expect of you and then a little bit more. It’s actually not that difficult to stand out from the mediocre majority if you adopt this approach from day one. The kindle edition of this book that gives the secrets of success gleaned from some of the brightest minds ever to walk the earth is available for the princely sum of one pound and nineteen pence. That’s less than the cheapest cup of coffee in Starbucks. And what proportion of the population do you imagine would regard that as a better investment than some brown water? Yes, about nought point nought nought one if we’re lucky. Thank you for being one of the tiny minority ready to learn, think and act your way to success.

Now stop watching this, click across to Amazon and buy The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill this very second!