Napoleon Hill Stories is a collection of short stories from people around the world about how they came to know about Napoleon Hill and his book Think and Grow Rich and how it has impacted their lives.
If you would like to add your story to this page, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story in a Word document. Aim for about 500 words and no more than 750 words.
Also be sure to include:
title(s) - optional
website - optional
country you live in
Some of the questions I love asking people for my Journey To Success Radio show and asking Napoleon Hill fans that I meet are:
How old were you when you first read Think and Grow Rich?
Who introduced the book to you?
How has the book changed your life?
Now, I want to ask you, and I would love it if you wrote 500 words about those questions.
My website attracts more than 24,000 visits every month from more than 150 countries so lots of people will read your story.
Ms. Louisiana Universal 2018 - HAVILAH MALONE
#1 Best Selling Author | Inspirational Speaker | Napoleon Hill Certified Leader
Follow:IG @havilahmalone FB @havilahmalone2 @mslouisiana2018
Dr J.B. Hill' agreed to share this speech that he delivered at the Napoleon Hill International Convention in Malaysia.
I want to thank the Napoleon Hill Associates for bringing me to Malaysia to speak with you today. Until recently, I had no idea that Napoleon Hill’s philosophy was still having the effect on people that it had 50 years ago. I am even more amazed at how his philosophy transcends race, creed, and national ideals. Apparently, the only requirement for people to make use of it is that they be ready for it.
The reason why I am speaking today, of course, is that I am Napoleon Hill’s grandson. Napoleon once got a good job with his wife’s affluent family. “He wrote that he “got the job because he was his wife’s husband and “pull is pull.” To his credit, he later shocked my grandmother, her family, and all his friends when he quit that high paying job and struck out on his own. He later wrote that the job was too easy and no challenge. He felt that “inertia” was taking hold of him. Later he would refine what he meant by this when he described it as “drifting.”
Since I am his grandson, I have, intact, his Y-chromosome. As you know, the Y-chromosome is the sex chromosome so I can tell you this much about Napoleon Hill. Puberty had to be difficult for him. I can assure you that it was not easy for me. We both created great concern for our parents.
Nevertheless, people are curious about me and I do have a story to tell and that is probably the other reason why NHA was so kind as to invite me here. I am one of hundreds of thousands of people with lives that changed because they started reading Napoleon Hill.
A few years ago, a young woman named Megan Hustard reviewed nearly all the most compelling American success literature published over the past 100-plus years. Her stated goal was to see if success literature had merit beyond stating the obvious. In 2008, Megan published her conclusions in a book titled How to be Useful.
I will leave her findings for you to discover if you ever read her work. However, Megan’s book does raise an interesting question. “Can successful habits actually be acquired from books?”
Megan wrote about Napoleon Hill’s work in one of her chapters. She wrote, “When I went to the vast New York Public library to read up on Napoleon Hill, the “Billie Sunday” of business evangelism --- I came up empty.
“His How to Raise your Own Salary --- cataloged as missing. His Law of Success, both the 1928 and the 1965 editions --- gone. Think Your Way to Wealth, Success through a Positive Mental Attitude and How to Sell Your Way through Life, ditto. Missing too were the Master Key to Riches and the library’s two copies of Hill’s signature work, Think and Grow Rich, which came out in 1937.”
She then uncharitably attacked Napoleon Hill and his followers as the kind of people who “try to kick-start their fortune hunt by stealing from a public library.”
As I read her remarks, I found myself smiling because I could think of no better validation for the enduring truth of Napoleon Hill’s work than generations of desperate people seeking wisdom from it, even if it meant the loss of a public library card. Desperate people can be selfish.
Personally, I believe that people can and do change their lives by reading books. I did. I changed my life after reading,Think and Grow Rich.
But you must be ready for it
One of the more common ideas in success literature is that “you” have to be ready for it” before you can make use of it. Napoleon Hill often wrote about this and it was his feeling that people were more open to new ideas when they were at the bottom.
It seems that people often will not make the changes needed to achieve success until those changes are forced on them. Ironically, one the interviewees in the newly published Three Feet from Gold, warns that the worst time to make a decision is when you are on the bottom. He argues that desperate people can’t make good decisions.
Well, maybe, maybe. However, the way I look at it is that from the bottom, every way is up. The choice may not be the BEST WAY but from there almost any way is UP. The key, of course, is to make a decision and pick a goal.
It doesn’t have to be THAT goal --- you know ... the one that can induce a passion and invoke a burning desire in you. It just needs to be a goal that can take you high enough to see above the clouds obscuring your future.
Without a goal you are drifting like a piece of flotsam, controlled by whatever eddy or current coming your way.
I wasn’t ready for Napoleon Hill or his book
I was 12 when I met Napoleon Hill for the first time in Greenville, NC. My father took the entire family to meet him.
We drove for two days in our new Volkswagen Beatle with Mom up front, 3 kids in back, and our dog Pluto confined to the small space behind the back seat. My eldest sister Jackie always had to sit in the middle to keep me separated from my chief tormenter in life, my other sister Terry.
I remember part of that visit in vivid detail but much is gone. I do remember Napoleon’s wife Annie Lou and I remember his study, full of books and papers that I wasn’t supposed to touch. While I was there, Napoleon gave me $10, some advice, and a copy of “Think and Grow Rich” signed in green ink on the inside cover.
Looking back at it, I am amazed at how a simple family get-together can have an effect many years later, when it is all but forgotten. However, this simple visit did exactly that. It changed my life.
For me Napoleon Hill is NOT Think and Grow Rich nor is he the cited progenitor of more quotations that I will ever read nor the man who means so much to so many people.
To me Napoleon Hill is a composite understanding and memory of: the lifelong anguish my father endured from his estrangement with his father; the bitterness that never left my grandmother after the divorce; the family reconciliation attempted by Napoleon’s widow, the gentle and thoughtful Annie Lou; the loving letters Napoleon sent his sons and signed “your daddy boy;” the love letter my grandmother saved all her life; and that white-haired, be-speckled man walking to the car to say good bye and give me my inheritance.
He approached from the driver’s side. The door was open and he leaned in to place a copy of Think and Grow Rich into my hands. He told me to read it … and I promised him that I would.
I read it that summer and it had no effect on me at all. But I was just 12; I had no real goals; and girls were still just nuisances. The only thing that I cared about was “outer space.”
I wanted to become an astronaut and if that failed, well I was willing to become an astro-physicist. Starting at 11, I read every science fiction book in four libraries, sometimes reading a book a day. I even played hooky from school from time to time so that I could finish an exciting book.
No, I was not at all ready for Think and Grow Rich but I knew the name and what the book did for people.
When I was finally ready
In 1971, I was 23 years old and had begun to realize that I was on a path that just wasn’t right for me. I had asserted independence early from my family and had been making my own decisions for some time. I was also starting to realize that I was living with the results of my own decision making and I was alone, lonely, and had started to drift through life.
Drifting is one of the greatest reasons for failure in life. It is done by people who cannot or will not make the decision to act. It is done by those who have lost the focus needed to sustain the drive towards their goals. It is done by those trapped in their job by its security and comfort. And it is done by everyone without a goal.
I fell into that last group…those without a goal. I was drifting through life --- waiting for something to happen. I knew that I had to change….but how? I had no money, no education, and could not bring myself to ask my family for help.
The answer came to me at a grocery store while I waited in line to check out. And I discovered several paperback copies of Think and Grow Rich on display for sale.
I bought a copy and took it home to read. This time, I was ready for the book. Have you ever had the hair stand up on the back of your neck? I have … three times.
My neck hair stood up when I made the decision to go to medical school. It also stood up once while I listened to the overture to the Nutcracker before seeing Baryshnikov dance.
But it first stood up as I read Think and Grow Rich that eventful day when I finally saw the power in the words of my grandfather.
I read the book through twice, writing all over it. At one point, I remember writing that if I wanted to make it work, I had to accept it on faith and commit myself to it.
But would it work for me? The key question is, of course, can we really change ourselves by reading a book?
· A definite ambition? A burning desire?
· I didn’t have either.
· Heck, I didn’t even have a goal.
But that did not stop me. What I did was to make a list of everything I ever wanted to be or do no matter how ridiculous it might sound.
At the top of my list I wrote:
· Become a Spaceman
· a Doctor
· an Astrophysicist
· an Air-line pilot
· finish my education
· Others…I don’t remember all now…maybe even “Become a cowboy”
When I finished the list, I thought about each and started crossing out items.
I can never become a spaceman because I do not have the education or training
There is no way I can go to medical school. I don’t have the grades or money.
And so on … until nearly everything was marked off.
Obviously, I had compiled a list of negatives for use making my decision and because of that, I still could not pick a goal.
But I knew that if I did not finish my education, I would always feel as if there was something left undone in my life. So, I circled “Finish my Education” and made it my goal. Now, I did not know if it was the right goal or not…but at least it was a decision to do something and it stopped my drifting.
I flipped the paper over and wrote “Finish my education” across the top. Below that I made a plan that I put into action, burning all bridges behind me. It worked.
One year later, I found myself at Vanderbilt University studying engineering. Three and a half years later, I graduated 12th in my class from one of the finest schools in America, earning a commission as an officer of Marines.
Then, the unexpected happened. The Marines received its quota to send two officers to begin training as mission specialists for the Space Shuttle and asked me to apply for the program.
The power of negative thinking
Five years earlier, I had written “become a spaceman” at the top of my list of goals before crossing it off because without training and education it seemed impossible to accomplish. Well, I got the education that I needed and suddenly, the opportunity to train for going into space came my way.
As it turned out, I was not selected for the program but I had a shot and if I hadn’t let negative thinking stop me, I just might have made it into space.
I also wrote “becomes a doctor” on that list before crossing it off because at that time I did not have high enough grades or the money to pay for school. Well, I went back to school and earned grades high enough to get into medical school and I found a way to pay for it as well. And I am now a physician. So, while I did accomplish this goal, I might have done it 30 years earlier if it weren’t for letting negative thinking stop me.
Anyway, looking back at this now, I no longer think that negatives are OBSTACLES that prevent us from achieving goals. I think they are simply the TASKS AND STEPS that we need to accomplish to achieve them.
So, when people tell you that you are underfunded, over-committed, and lack the right skills to accomplish something, they might just be helping you understand that you need to get additional funding, reprioritize your time, and add a mastermind group to tap a larger skill set. Negatives only become obstacles when you let them stop you.
David Corbin’s book Illuminate argues that there can be a positive power in negative thinking if you use it to identify problems that need to be fixed. In fact, he argues that you can’t fix a problem without thinking in terms of negatives because they frame the problem for a solution. I agree: illuminate the negatives while accentuating the positives.
If not me than who…
Although I did not get into space, I had come far by following the words of my grandfather. Far enough to make me arrogant with my success and stupid enough that I stopped reading his books too soon.
The one thing that I had going for me was my ability and willingness to out-work everyone around me. It is a habit or trait that Napoleon Hill had and is the reason that he often cited for his ability to start so many successful ventures when he was young. He called it his willingness “to perform better and more service than he was being paid for.” Later this idea morphed into the principles of “going the extra mile.”
Well, the habit of working harder than everyone else paid off for me as well. I was promoted rapidly, got choice jobs, and was recognized by my peers. I was reasonable happy, reasonably successful, and reasonably content along my chosen career path. But the truth is that I was drifting.
I had no real personal goals. Twenty years went by…and I drifted. I drifted in spite of my success and I drifted BECAUSE of my success. I was set to drift through the rest of my life.
Finally, the day came when I had drifted to the point where I had to decide between an assignment I did not want or to retire. As I pondered the retirement option, I began to wonder what I would do after retirement…The thought of having nothing to do terrified me.
It terrified me enough that I was even willing to take that assignment, a return to my drifting. It is much easier to drift comfortably than it is to swim against the tide. It takes ACTION to move in another direction. One day my battalion surgeon asked me what I planned to do after retirement. I told him that I was giving thought to teaching mathematics at the WV University. “
He told me that I didn’t sound very enthused about it. I grimaced…”Doc, I never thought that I would end up teaching mathematics, just because I can.” He then asked me what I had wanted to do when I was a kid. I laughed and told him that I wanted to be a “spaceman” or a “doctor” like you but I was too old for either.
He said, “That’s not correct. You can still become a physician. Your age will not be counted against you. There was a 50-year old woman in my residency program.“ Well, that started me thinking again about that list of goals that I made so many years ago. Could I still become a doctor? At my age?
I looked into the idea and found that, yes, it could still be done. I then asked my wife Nancy about the prospects of taking 10 years out of our lives for me to become a doctor. She answered, “Where thou go, so do I.” My wife is a remarkable woman. She sustains me and nurtures me.
My drifting was over. Decision made, I walked to my study to locate my copy of Think and Grow Rich. It was time for a re-read….and as I walked, the hair stood up on the back of my neck!
For the second time, my grandfather was about to change my life. But it was up to me to let him.
I was very fortunate to have been introduced to Napoleon Hill and Think And Grow Rich back in my teenage years. My father was finding his feet as a Life Assurance Salesman for Canada Life (many years later I found myself presenting one of my own courses to their entire Irish salesforce) and among recommended reading was the book we have all come to love.
My Dad became a success and loved his work believing it was a privilege to help people find the security that his product portfolio provided. He also brought home How to Win Friends and Influence People and was forever reading to us excerpts of the books, however, TAGR was his favourite.
Out of the blue, shortly after my 16th Birthday, my Mum had a massive stroke and while she fought back and sadly died after suffering a second five years later my Dad had to give up the career he loved to nurse her. It was a hard time for him, however, it was clear that TAGR had left its impression and after Mum's passing my Dad went back to University to achieve a lifetimes ambition of becoming a school teacher.
Life moves on and in my late teens and early 20s, I lost sight of Napoleon's writings. Then in my early thirties, three important people in my life died suddenly and all within a fortnight. It's a long story but due to career decisions, I made, I like each of them got more and more stressed and finally I collapsed in my hairdresser's.
The warning was enough for me to look for solutions to my stress (remember there was no internet back then) and in my search of libraries, bookstores and by attending seminars I was reunited with TAGR.
Round about the same time there was a great deal of excitement about the Left and Right Brain breakthroughs from Rogers and Sperry and I loved the notion of Carnegie sharing with Napoleon his secrets of success. Perhaps the most extreme form of right brain thinking was the notion of the imaginary mastermind group. I certainly still believe it is the biggest secret in the book however because it's so right brained I know for most readers if not all of them that I have met on my travels and that's thousands its goes over their head and is lost to them. Remember Napoleon warns the reader to re-read the book if they don't get it the first time around.
Anyway, I have adapted the idea into all of my unique courses and we now call them "Inner Coaches". Indeed My latest public course is titled "Whispers With Giants" its a day of initially understanding more of Carnegie and what he shared with Napoleon. We then spend the rest of the time through a series of exercises creating a team in a deep meditative state and beginning the process of having imaginary yet ultimately profound conversations with them.
Over the years I also sold thousands of copies of the book to my audiences and often it would be out of print. I have always positioned it as the principle of a top three must-have books that also include The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz and The Power of The Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy.
MindStore International Ltd
My intro to Think And Grow Rich came in my mid twenties when I was struggling to find my way in life. I had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized a few years earlier and was just starting to get my mojo back. I was working on an assembly line in a factory and was feeling quite disenchanted with my career path in life. Ironically, my guidance counselor in high school told me that working in a factory would be a good career path for me based upon my IQ tests. My ears heard what he was saying but my heart rejected his words. Working on the assembly line was great money and three generations of my family had worked there until retirement.
Something inside me kept telling me this was not my life. To pass the time at work I would read personal development books even when the line was running. I would “beat the belt” by working ahead 2 or 3 jobs and then read for 30 seconds. I read many books this way including Think And Grow Rich.
The concepts and stories in this book guided me thru a very difficult and painful time in my life and gave me the courage to pursue my dreams and feed the fire that burned inside me.
By my late 20’s I was married with a son and a newly purchased home. As I said I was making really great money and could easily of spent the next 30 years there like the rest of my family
Instead I enrolled in night classes which I “persisted” with (chp 9) for the next 12 years. This involved a fair degree of organizatized planning (chp 7) l failed repeatedly at first and had to hire a tutor to teach me how to succeed at the university level (specialized knowledge chp 5)
I graduated 4 years later with an honours degree in Social Work and then another 8 years of night classes to get my Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology at the age of 42. From there I went on to open my own private practice in counseling and enjoyed the next 23 years helping others. Through out my career I used material from TAGR and other personal development materials with my clients
I was able to carve a path to my true destiny by living from the inside out and believing in myself and my abilities.
Terry Smith, Canada
Purchase The Happiness Millionaire: Positive Images for a R.I.C.H. and Powerful Life here http://www.happinessmillionaire.com/happiness-millionaire-book/
Many different reasons and paths bring people to the work of Napoleon Hill, or does his work find you?
October 28th 1994, my dad committed suicide. Six years later, I was lost and lonely, as my broken, inner life, had never healed. Resulting in a break down.
I remember the day well. It was a Sunday in July 2000. My three children were playing in the back garden in their little inflatable paddling pool. I was cleaning the kitchen and my, then, husband was working in the study. For a while I could hear their infant giggles coming through the patio window, carried along on the summer breeze. Suddenly I couldn’t hear it anymore. All I could hear were the voices of pain and sadness taking over and getting louder and louder in my head. On that beautiful day, I reached the end of my road; the end of the road where I pretended all was well.
The very next day, the day I was to call the doctors for some pills, Napoleon Hill came into my life via a piece of direct mail, that read “Achieve the Impossible and Breakthrough to an Extraordinary and Fulfilling Life”. That was exactly what I wanted, not pills and not to take my life. I wanted happiness.
That was when my journey began, and it was a journey, not a quick fix. It is a journey I will be on all my life, but now, rather than seeking it, I am living it consciously and with gratitude. You see, Napoleon Hill’s principles from Think and Grow Rich and all his other work, are age old and go back thousands of years, possibly to the beginning of time. He just happened to give his life to writing it all down for us to take hold of, use and flourish.
Applying his work to my life, gave me the courage to become a professional photographer, author and speaker. Judith Williamson, of the Napoleon Hill Learning Centre commissioned me to create images that represented the thirteen principles from Think and Grow Rich, to illustrate the book The Path to Riches, of which I am also a contributing author.
On International Happiness Day – 20th march 2017, I launched my own book – Happiness Millionaire: Positive Images for a R.I.C.H and Powerful Life. This is an inspiring book that is helping people change their lives in a very profound way. It deals with modern day problems and turns them into fulfilment.
Since that summer’s day in July 2000, I have created an Extraordinary and Fulfilling Life and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life – and you can too!
Janet Jones x
From the UK
This is an excerpt of Scott's chapter in Positive Mental Attitude, a Journeys To Success published book.
My first exposure to Think and Grow Rich and Napoleon Hill's 17 principles was in the early 90's. I had joined my first network marketing company selling financial products, and that company promoted TGR to all of the associates. They promised we would be successful if we mastered the seventeen principals in the book. I consumed every word and believed one hundred percent in all of the principles. The book became my bible for success.
I learned that success was only dependent on my thought processes, which was a new concept for me. Before that, I thought that people were just lucky, or they were born positive, determined, focused, confident, and successful.
Because I had Faith, chapter three of TGR, and believed what my managers told me, I created remarkable results with that company. I became one of the top recruiters locally for the company because of my consistent actions (chapter 9, persistence).
I learned how to prospect for leads/recruits in the mall, grocery stores, or wherever I happened to be. Part of my daily method of operation was to talk to a minimum of ten people per day, five days per week. The motivation to reach my goals was driven by definiteness of purpose, faith, and organized planning, amongst other principles in the book.
The month I became the number one recruiter and was promoted to RVP (Regional Vice President) happened because of my consistent action and unwavering belief. The month prior to my promotion I prospected well over 300 people and solicited 247 names and phone numbers for leads. My consistent efforts, plus that final push, resulted in my sponsoring 17 new recruits and my team producing enough sales volume to earn my RVP promotion.
Obviously, my results were quite different from my no-money-down real-estate adventure. The results were better because I was better. I was better because my thoughts and my belief system were different. And my thoughts and belief system were different because I read Think and Grow Rich and implemented the principles outlined in the book.
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” - Napoleon Hill
I didn’t share my accomplishments to boast or brag and It wasn’t meant to try and impress you, in the slightest. But, to impress upon you, the profound affects Think and Grow Rich had on me and my journey in life. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was just a little boy who was raised in a low income, single parent household, who moved around the country a great deal. And I wasn’t taught the first thing about creating successes in my life. Think and Grow Rich fueled my journey and it helped me create amazing things in my life. It helped shape and mold me into the man I am today and It has changed my life permanently and forever, for the better. I will be eternally grateful to Napoleon Hill and his principles.
A Life Changed in an Instant
My Napoleon Hill story is a common one. It’s just that it wasn’t common to me. It was life changing.
Let me set the scene. I was a 20 something corporate employee in the mid-nineties navigating life and dealing with a significant childhood adversity that had lingered into my adulthood. I had made some sense of the situation, but I was still very confused. I eventually learned how to deal with the patterns of anger that I seemed to continually feel. But I knew there was much more work and searching to be done to be able to fully process the adversity, forgive it, and move forward.
I knew of Napoleon Hill and the classic book Think and Grow Rich at the time, but had never read it from cover to cover. I decided to buy the Nightingale-Conant audio program The Science of Personal Achievement just to get a taste of it. Once I inserted the first CD, I immediately fell in love with what I was hearing.
The voice of Napoleon Hill reminded me of my grandfather Edwin Hughes who was my main hero in life. I reminisced about times with him as I listened to the wonderful stories of the beginnings of the Science of Success. I was also taken aback at how confident Dr. Hill was in what he was saying. He knew his Definiteness of Purpose and that appealed greatly to me.
One day, I popped in a CD on my way to a friend’s house and began absorbing the principle of Learning from Adversity and Defeat. It was mesmerizing. I remember making a left turn heading west on Cordova Rd in Memphis, TN when I heard these words:
“In every disappointment, heartache, and adversity lies the seed of equivalent benefit if you will find it.”
Keep in mind, I had made significant progress on dealing with my mental difficulty, but I wasn’t sure I would ever find all the answers I was looking for. I definitely had the will to keep trying and the courage to keep searching, but I was consistently getting frustrated and down that I would ever find what I needed to be free.
Once I heard those words on Cordova Rd, my “if” turned into a “when” in an instant. I didn’t know how it would happen, I just knew that I would find healing eventually. And that gave me great comfort in a very uncertain time in my life.
I knew toughness and I was very familiar with overcoming difficulty and defeat. I had been an athlete most of my life and won many championships and lost even more. I knew what it meant to lose and learn.
But the perfect combination of the right words in the right moment came to me in the car and it awakened a giant within. Dr. Hill’s courage and conviction on overcoming adversity and defeat was exactly what I needed to hear. I was listening to him tell me he was certain that the answers were automatic if I kept trying and inviting faith into my life.
And that’s just what I did. I began to apply a certain belief in what I could not see. Not long after I heard those sweet words, I did indeed, find many of the answers to solve my childhood difficulty. I began to heal my life.
I’ll always be grateful for that day in the car. There are a handful of moments in life that you always remember…your wedding day, the birth of your children, and other events that seem to be seared into your memory. Dr. Hill’s words gave me super inspiration that I couldn't have paid enough money for that day. I’ll never forget it.
A few years later, I decided to give back to Dr. Hill’s work by becoming a certified instructor through the Napoleon Hill Foundation. That decision has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I have met so many wonderful people, lifelong friends, and living heroes. I even co-wrote a beautiful book with certified instructors Tom Cunningham and Tim Chhim.
The publishing of Adversity to Advantage is one of the greatest accomplishments I have ever been a part of. To have great wisdom and a mastermind that always supports me is a gift for which I will always be eternally grateful.
Growth & Success Coach
Other than my birth and my marriage to Gigi Ronzone Gay, Wednesday, September 15, 1965 was probably the most important day of my life.
I answered an ad in the Atlanta Georgia newspaper and went to a “job interview” (it turned out to be an MLM Opportunity Meeting).
When I walked in, I met the other “job applicant” in the lobby. He was a cookware salesman from Columbia South Carolina. We became immediate friends and went on to work together for several years. His name was Zig Ziglar.
Then the man who had run the ad walked in. His name was Bill Dempsey. In the coming months, he would teach Zig and me what big ticket selling was all about.
As we were leaving, and after Zig and I had both bought in, Dempsey handed me a couple of parting gifts. An old beat-up copy of Dr. Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and a scratched-up record of Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret.” Although I had not heard of either person, Dempsey said, “These ought to help you.”
Talk about an understatement!
Fast forward two and a half years:
Using the selling skills Dempsey taught me in person, and the life lessons Dr. Hill and Earl Nightingale taught me through their works, I was president of the word-wide organization we had joined . . . and Dr. Hill, Earl Nightingale, Bill Dempsey, and Zig Ziglar all worked for me.
Dr. Hill, old enough to be my grandfather, was a birthday gift and personal mentor for me from the owner of the company, William Penn Patrick.
As my friend and teacher, Dr. Hill was just what the doctor ordered for an inexperienced 25 year-old salesman who was in way over his head . . . to say the very least!
He “talked me off the proverbial ledge” several times. He taught me how to see and/or create solutions where I could see none. With his wisdom, age and personal experiences (he was not a saint nor a perfect man by any means), he helped me avoid many of life’s inevitable pitfalls.
It was a personal honor and privilege to work with Dr. Hill for the last 2-3 years of his life. He was a frequent guest in our home, used the end of my large desk/conference table as his own when in town, and was never more than a phone call away. Although he’s been gone for almost 50 years, I think of him and miss him every day.
Ben Gay III
Outside the USA: 00-1-(530) 622-7777
In the mid 1980s I was introduced to Napoleon Hill and his book Think and Grow Rich. Looking back over my life these have been part of my life and how I conducted myself even before that.
During my career in insurance this book became required reading for me on a regular basis. Studying the principles and implementing in many aspects of my life. As time went on I began to study and learn more about Napoleon Hill. Reading many of his books and listening to many in audio form. Soaking up this wisdom.
Retiring from the insurance industry in 2011 and starting a new business. Once again following my definiteness if purpose of helping others. I continue to read Think and Grow Rich annually, to the point my copy had to be replaced. The cover is taped together, pages are yellowing, in addition to the yellow highlighter used throughout.
Once again following these principles in this new venture. Joining a mastermind group was one of the best things I had done. This has moved me to learn from others and have them help to grow my business. During my early years in starting my business, opportunities have arose leading me to meet some incredible people. Being associated with them has opened doors that I never would have seen let alone walk through.
One such door was to be part of a book series that has made me international bestselling author. Writing my portion of this book provided an AH HA moment. Making me realize that the same success principles applied to my personal life also apply to my work on a nonprofit board of directors. This in turn gave the idea to write a book for the other board members.
Doing the research and wanting additional information for the book I reviewed a book about the life of Napoleon Hill. One sentence caught my attention, “the success principles were written as to apply not only individual but groups and businesses”. Solidifying my work on the new book and how applying these principles lead to high performing organizations.
The success principles do affect our own lives more than we can understand. The book for nonprofit work from those that have read it provide one of two responses. (1) This brings back memories of reading Think and Grow Rich in college or (2) Thanking me for introducing them to Napoleon Hill and his work.
I am so grateful for being introduced to Hill. His work has truly made a difference in my life. Think and Grow Rich will continue to be at least an annual read for me. Each time I learn something that had not been absorbed in prior readings.
David L. Brown
Ten years ago, I was involved in Network Marketing. I’ve always believed it was a very good way for the average person who has no higher education to earn an extraordinary income if one is willing to put in the work and the commitment to the business. This is true of any career endeavor.
I was building my business and one night I was preparing to make a presentation to a group, and I realized that I have to offer people more than just a business opportunity, more than a good business model for people to succeed, I had to offer personal development. I realized I needed to be a life coach.
Most people going into business are ill prepared and ill equipped with the right mental attitude and the resources they need to succeed. Most people fail within the first year of a business endeavor. People have dreams and they want more than anything to accomplish them, but they fail because of a lack of knowledge, resources, mentoring and a right mental attitude. They have to learn to serve first, going the extra mile, before they receive. Most people want to get first then receive, but that is the employee’s mentality, or the enabler’s mentality.
I filled out a form online before the meeting and had a return phone call within minutes before the presentation. I explained what I was about to do and said I would call him back after the meeting, which I did. Long story short I signed up for Bob Proctors Life Success Coaching Program. Bob introduced me to Napoleon Hill. Bob Proctor is a very strong advocate of Napoleon Hill and says TAGR was the book that changed his life and career, and recommended that we start TAGR mastermind groups. Since then I have conducted numerous mastermind groups over the last ten years, and have learned much from doing that. Now I am a certified instructor by The Napoleon Hill Foundation.
One thing I learned from studying Napoleon Hill’s philosophy of achievement was that I had to take possession of my mind. I realized done day as I was walking away from a job that “I had earned my income with a hammer and a nail for the last thirty years of my life in a career I really didn’t enjoy, (it just fell into my lap) and that I would like to earn my income with a microphone and an ink pen for the next thirty years as a life success consultant.
Now I’m not the type of person that can go to a week-long seminar and become an expert on “Life” success or “Life” coaching, even though I was 50 years old at the time and had learned many things about life success. I had to have the knowledge in my bones; in my blood, so to speak. So I set out on a quest to learn to become a Life/Success Consultant with the help of Napoleon Hill and many others who have made up my mastermind groups over the last decade of my life quest, and definite major purpose to become an author, speaker and a coach.
So, when I began to think for myself. I made a decision to change my career and my life, basically to start over. I had been in a career all of my life that I didn’t like or enjoy because it was what came into my life when I was a young man, and I was expected to follow that path. No one gave me any encouragement to think for myself and explore and discover my innate desires, likes, talents and abilities. Plus, I had screwed up my life with drug abuse and really didn’t know how to think. Drugs had stunted my growth mentally for years, and only now I was realizing; waking up from the stupor of existence, to living and thriving by thinking.
TAGR was a lifeboat when I, as do many people, needed salvation from drowning in a sea of mediocrity and conformity.
TAGR was a catalyst that helped me transform my life, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other half of that success formula. I gave my life to Jesus Christ and received the Holy Spirit. Two books that changed my life; the Bible and TAGR. The Bible fed my spirit and TAGR fed my mind. Together with Gods help my life has been transformed. I could write another whole story on just that conversion, but this about how TAGR changed my life.
My life and career has been transformed. It wasn’t easy. It took a very strong desire and commitment to preserver through the hard times. But knowing what I wanted was the first principle, and after realizing that and how badly I wanted it, the rest was up to Infinite Intelligence and the Laws of nature which work either for you or against you depending on your state of mind. This is why Napoleon Hill said “Whatever the mind can conceive and BELIEVE it can achieve. You must BELIEVE.
East Tennessee's. only Napoleon Hill Foundation Certified Instructor, Best Selling Author, Speaker, Teacher, Consultant
At 35 years old, I read Think and Grow Rich for the first time. Being a resident of Wise Virginia, approximately 15 minutes from Napoleon Hill’s birthplace, I am embarrassed to admit that I was unfamiliar with Napoleon Hill until a colleague of mine left two books for me to read. These books were “Three Feet from Gold” and “Outwitting the Devil” which were with the Napoleon Hill Foundation. These books sat on my shelf for about two years before I read them. I was leaving my office one evening and something told me I should go get one of those books and read over the weekend. I attribute this to what Hill calls the “sixth sense” and what I call “inspired action.” It was so strong that I walked back to my office, unlocked the door and grabbed one of these books, which was “Three Feet from Gold” by Greg Reid and Sharon Lechter. I read the book that weekend and had an intuitive urge to contact Don Green, Executive Director of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, to see how I could get involved with the foundation, as I believe in and practice the principles I read about in the book. I had a meeting with Don about a week later who suggested I read, “Think and Grow Rich.” I began reading this masterpiece and loved it! I had already been practicing many of these principles in my life but learned so much about how to transform my thinking and how to outline my plan for achieving my definite major purpose that led to even greater success for me.
“Think and Grow Rich” has definitely had a significant impact on my personal and professional success. One of my favorite chapters is Autosuggestion. I really began programming my subconscious for the success that I desire, which was to become a published author and motivational speaker. I also envisioned myself working with the Napoleon Hill Foundation in some capacity. I practiced autosuggestion regularly, telling myself that “I am” those things that I desired. I practiced visualizing the life I wanted and the achievement of my goals. I began applying my faith that I was going to achieve the things that I desired. I did not know how or when my dreams would become a reality; I just knew they were going to do so without a doubt. My faith was that strong.
By applying the principles of autosuggestion, persistence, controlled attention, applied faith, accurate thinking, creative vision, and clearly stating my definite purpose and plan for attaining it, I have achieved many of the goals I envisioned for myself. I became Director of the Napoleon Hill Scholars Program and began teaching the “Keys to Success” course at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, became a Napoleon Hill Certified Instructor, became a published author of “Drive Yourself Successful: 11 Inner States to Personal Empowerment,” and have begun my book tour speaking at businesses and universities. I was also featured twice on “Journey to Success Blog Talk Radio” and personally invited to attend “Secret Knock” by Greg Reid, co-author of the book, “Three Feet from Gold.” Here I was able to network and establish connections with famous authors, speakers, and entrepreneurs who were living the lives I had been imagining for myself.
As someone who did not enjoy reading when I was young, I now have a very different perspective on how a book can transform lives. “Think and Grow Rich” has definitely fostered my level of success and will continue to do so in the future. So many people have achieved great success by applying these principles and it is an absolute honor for me to be able to teach these to others. I am thankful to Napoleon Hill for his wisdom and blueprint for success, for the Napoleon Hill Foundation and to my mentor, Don Green as all have had a direct impact on my success and the success that I have helped others to achieve as an instructor, writer, speaker, and mentor.
Rachel Carter, LPC
Author, Speaker, Certified Napoleon Hill Instructor, Director of the Napoleon Hill Scholars Program, Adjunct professor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Director of the Center for Student Development at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
Realtor – Father – Mentor – Life Long Student
Scrambling to raise a family of 5 on $30k a year prior to being introduced to Napoleon Hill’s principles of success.
Michael made a career change into Real Estate in 2007 the same year the housing crisis was hitting in full stride. Using the tools presented in Think & Grow Rich and unknown to him at the time actually “burning the ships behind him” Michael began to put into practice the principal of Auto Suggestion and results followed immediately!
Using Napoleon Hill’s tools he was able to close 22 escrows his first year in what the world was calling a “bad market” and has continued to practice, study, meditate upon, and digest Think & Grow Rich and the Principals of Success ever since.
Today Michael still loves serving clients in his Real Estate profession as well as mentoring and coaching many people through book study groups, mastermind groups and speaking engagements.
He can be reached by email at Mike333@Cox.net or by phone at 619-417-1954
It has been said as many that literally hundred if not thousands of Millionaires have read and re-read the book and many (if not most) attribute a great deal of their success with the principles and philosophies learned from reading the book, Think & Grow Rich!
The likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Mitt Romney, Larry Ellison and Donald Trump are all Think & Grow Rich fans having read the book numerous times!
I can think in my own life, over 20 years ago when for the first time in my life I had a very successful businessman I met recommend I read the book. A pivotal decision on my part was made because I followed his recommendation and I invested in a paperback copy of the book. At the time I was just a kid 2 years removed from high school still trying to figure out what was next in life.
There I sat reading this book which mentioned that there was a secret and that it was so prominently hidden on every page of the book I was reading! WOW, you mean success is as easy as finding the secret and this very secret I am looking for is hidden in plain sight on every page! AWESOME
Since then, so much has changed in my life and there is much to be said about how Mr. Hills decision back then has impacted my life and so many others today! I can recall reading the book and sensing that feeling on the inside that I had just discovered something important and special. I could feel that things were changing for the better based on what I was learning and the information in the book made sense to me, even though most of it I have never heard before!
Reading Mr. Hills writings gave a little kid from a Houston ghetto called 5th Ward the inspiration and evidence that anyone could make it as I read the story of how people from situations much worse than mine overcame the odds to great success. It planted the seed in my mind that dogged persistence much like Thomas Edison exemplified with his inventing the light bulb after over 10,000 attempts always wins out!
The determination shown by Mr. Edwin Barnes who out of nowhere literally willed himself into a business partnership with Edison although he didn’t know or have any connections to make him think such a partnership was even reasonable!
And these are just a few things from the top of my mind but I can think of so many ways that I was impacted by the knowledge contained in this book which leads me back to the title of this article:
The little unknown DECISION that has FOREVER changed the world!
You see, on a daily basis, we are all provided opportunities to make decisions, some with far reaching implications and some not so major. But let’s focus on the decisions we make daily that at this moment are unknown to many but over time their impact will compound and produce a ripple effect throughout time, your life and those whose lives you have been called to impact!
I am sure Napoleon Hill had no idea initially that his decision on that fateful evening would be a game changer for mankind and such is the case for many of us. We may not always have the foresight to see the impact of the decisions we are making on a daily basis but we can approach life knowing that in every day lies seed of greatness and in every decision there is opportunity to be the catalyst for change!
What little unknown DECISION will you and I make today that will have far reaching impact many years after we have transitioned on in life! Let’s take a cue from the historical annals of Think of Grow Rich and do just as our Success Philosopher Mr. Hill did over 100 years ago!
I was about 34 years old when I first read Think and Grow Rich which was sent to me by you. It was one of the lowest point for me where I was struggling both internally and financially and only seeing the glass emptying when I blindly reached out and connected with Tom. At that time, I did not have the capability to but the book from my financials and you sent the book to me.
There were so many wonderful things that happened to me and my life and finances are so much better, but perhaps the biggest change for me is how I now handle whatever obstacles I face. I remain fundamentally the same person truthfully, but how I now instead of letting myself be talked down by my internal speech, I will think in different ways to overcome what I face. Life is tough, I don't like it (internal thought - that is fine, it's making me more able to be better. A good life requires a tough person as we must carry more loads); it may be another brand of your PMA to be honest.
Sometimes I use this thought from something I read of Chesty Puller, a US marine, "They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemey that outnumbers us 29 to 1. They can't get away from us now!" This many times spark me go forward despite what is going on in me.
Erich Jao - Philippines https://www.linkedin.com/in/erich-jao-a5745913/
I first read Think & Grow Rich in my late 30’s in paperback and really struggled with the text so kept putting it down. I’ve been an avid reader of this kind of material for over 10 years, I can’t get enough of it.
I was lucky to find a hardback copy in Borders book shop in New York (I’m in the UK) whilst on holiday so bought that copy. I wanted something that would be durable.
I no longer read the book as it’s a book that needs to be studied page by page.
I first heard about Think And Grow Rich book after reading You Were Born Rich by Bob Proctor, he’s been studying the hardback original text for 50 years so I figured, if it’s good enough for him…It’s good enough for me
I’ve listened Earl Nightingale’s condensed narration of this book LOTS of times, and have recently set up a LinkedIn group to study the work and form a mastermind group to bounce ideas off each other on a global level
I realised I’ve been using these principles over the last 20+ years anyway and continuing to study this book chapter by chapter reinforces my motivation to maintain a PMA.
The best lesson I’ve learned so far is that each adversity has an exact opposite to it so when I working through a challenge, I know there’s a far better opposite side to it to discover, and to be successful you have to experience life’s challenges to learn from or you’ll never be able to appreciate and develop the good times.
Dave Page Kempshott, Hampshire, United Kingdom (Founder of www.makemorecashonline.com)