This article provides an overview of the book “Think and Grow Rich”, which is an account of how developing the right mindset is the starting and ending point for all riches. If you want to read our executive summary of this book, view this page instead. If you would like to download all of our book summaries, click here. If you would like to download the full .pdf book of, Think and Grow Rich, you can access it here.
This article and podcast answers the following questions:
Who is Napoleon Hill? What is his book Think and Grow Rich about?
How do you make a plan to become financially independent?
Why have Preston and Stig formed a mastermind group – and why you should do the same?
Who is Napoleon Hill? What is his book Think and Grow Rich about?
Napoleon Hill, born in 1883 in Virginia, is one of the most illustrious authors of all time in personal success literature. Thanks to his years of experience, he has crafted books that focus mainly on how an individual can gain enormous success. Most importantly, his books are written for the common man who sometimes thinks that it’s almost impossible to make large amounts of money. Hill proves that it’s definitely possible to achieve heights with perseverance and personal beliefs. Think and Grow Rich is a best seller and has sold more than 20 million copies and if you read it, you’ll know why. Hill’s personal achievements don’t end there as he also served as an advisor of President Franklin Roosevelt for three years.
Think and Grow Rich is a compilation of thoughts by some very powerful people back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Long ago, Andrew Carnegie sought a journalist who had the ability to pen his thoughts on success. Carnegie was spectacularly successful already because he had sold his Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for a whopping $480 million in 1901. Today, that would be worth 310 billion, which makes him one of the wealthiest men of all time – and much wealthier than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined.
After a while, Carnegie approached Napoleon Hill to find out whether he would be interested to pen a book that would disclose Carnegie’s secrets to become successful. He also wanted Hill to talk to at least 500 millionaires and compile their thoughts on how they perceived success. However, he had one condition – Napoleon Hill had to do it for free! As he presented his offer, Hill thought about it and accepted it and it was then that Carnegie told him that if he hadn’t accepted his proposal in under a minute (he also showed a clock he was using to time his answer!), his proposal would be retracted. Fortunately for all of us, Hill accepted in about 46 seconds and went ahead to create a book that would be one of the best sellers of all time in history. The book originally consisted of 22 volumes and was later filtered to 250 pages. Hill took about 20 years to master this book to perfection.
Think and Grow Rich not only teaches you how to train your thoughts and beliefs to accumulate riches, but it also takes you on a fantastic journey that discloses how millionaires like Thomas Alva Edison, Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie achieved success. The updated version also contains amusing anecdotes from billionaires such as Bill Gates, Dave Thomas and other successful people. It’s astounding to find out how your thoughts, when mixed with your burning desire and perseverance, can change everything in your life. Most importantly, everything that’s taught in this book is completely free to obtain and your success or failure depends only and only on your own mind.
How do you make a plan to become financial independent?
There’s nothing wrong in wishing for money and as humans who understand the very purpose of money, we usually hope and wish that we attain it as soon as possible. Wishing might help you attain wealth, but when it becomes an obsession – a burning desire that encompasses your very being – you inch closer and closer to your goal. Your burning desire needs an outlet and has to be transmuted into money, but this can be done only if you are persistent and put all your definite plans into action. Needless to say, persistence is an indispensable factor that distinguishes between failure and success.
Fortunately, Hill outlines 6 steps that could help you accomplish your goals, but remember to follow these steps with determination and tenacity.
- 1) Fix the exact amount of money you need – There’s a difference between a wish and burning desire. It’s not possible to gain anything with mere wishes, but it can be done only if you have definite plans. Therefore, once you fix an amount you desire, you’re more likely to gain it because there’s also a psychological reason behind this definiteness.
- 2) Determine what you can give, in order to gain the riches you desire – In order to get something, you need to give up something because, let’s face it, there’s no free lunch in the world. Now that you know the exact amount of wealth you need, you also need to discern what you can give up to get closer to your dream.
- 3) Fix an exact date to possess the wealth you want – A goal without a timeline is just a dream, a wish or a hope. Therefore, it’s not enough to just think that you want the money, but you need to fix a date that clearly drives you to get it. Again, this is a psychological element that trains your thoughts.
- 4) Create an exact plan and begin immediately, even if you aren’t ready – Now that you have the amount, date and plan in hand, it’s time you put that into action. However, don’t put it off any longer because the faster you begin, the quicker you attain money.
- 5) Write down everything – This is a compilation of the first four steps outlined above, but here, you write everything, including the amount, date and the plans you’ve made to accomplish wealth. Make sure you also write down what you intend to give back in order to gain what you desire, which is step 2.
- 6) Train your mind – Read whatever you’ve written aloud at least twice every day. This again, is a psychological way of training your mind that you possess the money already. As time progresses and you read your statement, you will begin to believe that you can do everything you desire. Remember that this step is the most crucial of all the steps because it makes the impossible seem possible.
By following the six steps elaborated here, you can definitely achieve financial independence. Many people might wonder as to how it’s possible to think that they are in possession of the money before they even see it, but this where your burning desire will come to your rescue. If you truly want and desire the money you need, you will surely have no problems in convincing yourself that it is achievable. Be persistent and keep at it no matter how many hurdles you face and make sure that your focus is completely on your obsession. Like Hill said, it is imperative to become money conscious in order to gain money and with perseverance, the sky’s the limit.
Why have Preston and Stig formed a mastermind group – and why you should do the same?
Knowledge is power and your power is mandatory to accumulate money. Most importantly, your plans are worthless if you don’t have sufficient power to transmute your plans into action. Furthermore, power refers to an organized and definitive way of directing your knowledge into doing something profitable. As we read the book, it becomes clear that it’s quite simple to make money. What will really accelerate your accumulating of wealth is to form a Mastermind group.
So what’s exactly a Mastermind group? Well, a Mastermind group is a group of typically 4-6 people that work collectively to attain desired goals. This isn’t simply a group of people with different interests; in fact, on the contrary, it’s a group of people who share the same beliefs, interests and goals. There are several advantages in forming a Mastermind group and if you ally yourself with people who stand with you even when you falter, you’re halfway there already.
However, before you begin forming a Mastermind group, decide about what you can offer to them in advance. If you give up something now, you’ll be able to harvest spellbinding results later. Remember that nobody works without a decent compensation and if you value their efforts, they will reciprocate by valuing your time too.
Remember that it’s important to meet your group regularly and discuss your goals. In addition, it’s vital to maintain perfect harmony between the members of the group because it’s not possible to be successful without harmony. With faultless plans and flawless execution, you will have the advantage of not only your brain, but you will also be able to reap the benefits of plans formed by likeminded individuals. However, even if you fail, remember not to give up and with a Mastermind group to support you throughout your journey, you don’t have to procrastinate at any point.
Your group members might come from a different culture, race and ethnic background. They might not even work in the same company you work for, but if they have the beliefs you nurture, then they are perfect for you. With such a huge network, you will be able to constantly challenge yourself and your beliefs and emerge triumphant at the same time.
In order to gain success, knowledge is most important and you can derive this wealth of knowledge from the other members of your group. As you meet the members of your group, you will realize that your knowledge only multiplies over time because it’s a collection of different individuals with one common goal.
At the end of the podcast, you can hear our discussion with our Mastermind group where we discuss overvalued stocks and debt in Europe. We have definitely formed our Mastermind group, but what about you?
Books and resources mentioned in this episode
Warren Buffett’s Letter from 1999 about: Assessing the Value of the General Stock Market:
Warren Buffett’s Favorite metric to value the overall stock market: Market Cap to US GDP
Robert Schiller’s P/E: The Stock Market P/E based on 10 year averages:
Richard Koo’s Book, The Escape from Balance Sheet Recessions and the QE Trap – Read reviews of this book.
Preston’s Throughts on: The Current Market Conditions
Preston and Stig’s Investing Hang-out: The Warren Buffett Money Forum
Hari’s Blog: BitsBusiness.com
Calin’s Digital Marketing Business: Inbound Interactive
Videos that Support this Podcast
Napoleon Hill talking about his interaction with Carnegie
Our Summary of Think and Grow Rich
If you would like to download the below summary of Think and Grow Rich in .pdf format, follow the link.
Chapter 1: THE POWER OF THOUGHT
In this section, Napoleon Hill talks about how your thoughts can truly help you achieve whatever you want. He describes the story of Edwin Barnes, a man who had an immense desire to partner with Thomas Edison and just work under him. Of course, he faced many obstacles in his path and although he didn’t even know Edison in person and lacked resources and money to meet Edison in New Jersey, he never gave up. After he conquered all hurdles, he finally met Edison and went to become a rich, successful man since he became the major distributor of Edison’s dictating machine.
Hill also stresses on the importance of learning through failures by sharing the story of Mr. Darby who quit because he failed to mine gold. Darby was convinced that he could make money and though he struck gold, he realized that it had simply vanished. After several unsuccessful attempts, he finally gave up and sold all his equipment to a man who collected junk. Unfortunately for Darby, the man he sold the equipment to found gold only after digging about 3 feet more into the ground! Many people taste failure because they quit as soon as they experience temporary defeats. Since we are all guilty of this at one time or another, it’s imperative to understand that one should be determined and try harder, no matter how many times he/she experiences adversities.
Chapter 2: DESIRE: The Starting Point of All Achievement
According to Hill, one can attain absolutely anything if he/she has a burning desire. Desire isn’t merely a wish or a hope, but it’s definite and insatiable. In order to amass wealth or anything else an individual needs, he needs to follow these six steps:
- Determine the exact amount of money you need.
- Figure how much you offer in return for the amount you desire.
- Determine an exact date to own the money.
- Work on a plan to help you carry out your desire and start immediately by acting on your plan.
- Put into writing these desires and the timeline.
Read the statement you’ve written aloud every day because it automatically makes you believe that you’re in possession of that money already.Hill emphasizes the fact that it’s not an option to quit while describing Thomas Edison’s 10,000 failed attempts when he was creating the light bulb. Even extraordinary, brilliant individuals such as Edison, Henry Ford, Helen Keller and Abraham Lincoln had to face unbelievable adversities during their time, so failure should be treated as the seed that invites success.
Chapter 3: FAITH: Visualizing and Believing in the Attainment of Desire
Hill discusses true stories of many people who have been successful due to their unshakable faith. While he also admits that it might seem onerous to believe and be faithful when everything’s falling apart around you, he states that faith is absolutely essential to achieve success. In order to build faith, you need to believe in yourself and be persistent to attain your goals. You can also spend at least 30 minutes on your thoughts every day to inch closer to success because your positive thoughts are extremely powerful and can influence you to tread in the right direction. In addition, one needs to also write down their goals and purpose in life while utilizing auto-suggestion for at least 10 minutes to strengthen self-confidence.
Ultimately, Hill teaches that it’s crucial to think and believe that you CAN. If you think you’re beaten, you’ve lost already and similarly, if you want to accomplish anything no matter what it is, you need to have faith and realize that you can do it. Of course, in a race, it’s quite possible for the faster and stronger man to outdo everyone, but a man who has the will and thinks that he can win, will win.
Chapter 4: AUTOSUGGESTION: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind
Now that you’ve written down a statement and are working on a plan to achieve the money you need, you simply need to train your subconscious to attain success. Auto-suggestion is simply a way of teaching yourself to believe that you are going to make it. In order to instruct yourself, sit in a peaceful area and read your statement while visualizing and believing that you’re already in possession of that money. Mere plain words won’t help you; however, if you reach your own subconscious by channeling your thoughts, success won’t be such an enigma anymore.
Auto-suggestion not only helps you take steps towards victory, but it also creates an unfaltering faith in you that will only steer you in the right direction. Think of it in terms of driving a car. Since you’ve trained your mind and body to act appropriately, driving a car becomes second nature to you. Similarly, if you convince yourself through auto-suggestion, which is the third step to attain success, you will gain desirable outcomes effortlessly.
Chapter 5: SPECIALISED KNOWLEDGE: Personal Experiences or Observations
We all know that knowledge is power and Hill drives the point home by stating that in order to thrive, one must use his specialized knowledge, the fourth step, to become extraordinarily successful. In his own style, Hill distinguishes between education and knowledge and asserts that both the components attract money. For instance, professors and teachers are highly knowledgeable, yet some struggle with their finances. Why? Well, knowledge will fail to pull in money if it isn’t organized and tested with practical plans. The application of knowledge for the benefit of society is what is important.
Furthermore, Hill declares that the education system fails consistently since it doesn’t instruct students on how they can organize and utilize the wealth of information they learn. Education, in effect, could offer knowledge to you, but if you don’t have the ability to discover answers, then it’s simply worthless. We all attempt to make money in different arenas, but specialized knowledge is all about gaining mastery over several aspects of your field by employing your knowledge to earn money. In order to do that, you can always seek knowledge through public libraries, training courses, universities, colleges and practical experiences.
Chapter 6: IMAGINATION: The Workshop of the Mind
Decades ago, a clerk in a drug store used all his life savings of $500 to buy an old kettle and a wooden spoon. The doctor who sold it to him was confident that its secret ingredients could help millions of people. Upon writing the ingredients on a scrap of paper, the old doctor went on his merry way, leaving the clerk to do anything he pleased with it. However, the clerk was no fool; in fact, he hadn’t really purchased the kettle for $500, but what he had bought was an idea, and once he mixed his own secret ingredient, a powerful imagination, he created Coca-Cola.
For years, Coca-Cola has created thousands of opportunities for people all over the world, but it’s astounding to know that it was created with just an idea! Asa Candler used his imagination to create something that has helped millions of people. Needless to say, imagination is the fifth step towards success and it has two types – creative and synthetic imagination. While synthetic imagination has its boundaries, creative imagination is limitless, thereby offering you the opportunity to create something you hadn’t imagined in your wildest dreams.
Chapter 7: ORGANISED PLANNING: The Crystallization of Desire into Action
We learned that our knowledge can be organized and used to gain riches. In this section, Hill talks about how one can achieve heights with a simple tool – organized planning, which is the sixth step to attain wealth. He outlines four steps that can be employed to construct practical plans that will help you accomplish anything, even if it seems impossible.
- Associate yourself with other people to create a direction and put your plans into action.
- Before you begin forming alliances with this group of people you need, known as the “Master Mind” group, you need to determine what you can offer in return for their unfaltering cooperation.
- Make sure you meet your group at least twice every week to tweak your plans until you’ve perfected them.
- Always maintain flawless harmony with your group since plans fail when they are put to test without harmony.
Once you have your Master Mind group, it’s apodictic that you’re treading on the right path, but remember that you need to adjust and adapt to changes if your plans fail because, failure, as mentioned earlier, is just temporary defeat. Don’t get bogged down with your temporary defeats because they are just that – temporary.
Chapter 8: DECISION: The Mastery of Procrastination
In this section, Hill discusses the importance of avoiding procrastination and making critical decisions. According to Hill, the primary reason for failure among most people is procrastination. In order to be successful, it’s highly crucial that you take action immediately, rather than procrastinating and speculating about it to no end. For instance, Henry Ford was known to make quick decisions and once he made them he changed them very slowly and deliberately. He was recognized as an obstinate person who manufactured the ‘Model T’. Although customers and advisors felt that the car was ugly, Henry didn’t sway from his decision, thereby making huge amounts of money in the process.
Furthermore, Hill states that the people who think too much and waste time before making important decisions and rely upon the judgments or opinions of others rarely succeed. If you’re easily influenced by others, it means that you don’t have a burning desire. Use your own thoughts, brain, body, mind and soul to make your decisions and stand up to it. Your decision, the seventh step that could take you towards riches, is highly important.
Chapter 9: PERSISTENCE: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith
Persistence, the eighth step to accumulate riches, is an extremely important factor to achieve anything. It’s an important habit or practice you need to have to develop faith and succeed in your endeavors. Hill has described several examples of people who have shown their will and determination by being unbelievably persistent. For instance, think about Thomas Edison. Do people even try after failing 10 times, never mind 10,000 times?!
Another great example of persistence can be learnt from the legendary Bruce Lee who captured millions of hearts all over the world. He was chosen for a movie, but was very disappointed when the role was given to another actor. However, he didn’t give up and sought new roles even when he had to struggle. So, how to develop persistence? Well, first off, your will power acts as a bane to develop persistence and when it’s combined with desire, it becomes an unstoppable combination.
Chapter 10: POWER OF THE MASTER MIND: The Driving Force
Power, the ninth step to be taken to achieve money, is as essential as the other factors mentioned throughout the book. Power helps you make money, but its responsibility doesn’t end there because it teaches you how to maintain your riches, which is as important as making money. There are many ways to gain knowledge but the easiest way to accomplish that is through intelligence, experience and research. However, when that knowledge is converted to power when you organize all your plans and put them into action, success is just a stone’s throw away.
According to Hill, the ‘Master Mind’ is of paramount importance if an individual seeks to have power. The Master Mind is a synchronization of effort and knowledge between people in order to attain definite purposes. Now that you know how important it is to create organized plans and test them practically, you can also add intelligence and persistence along with these factors while you’re selecting your Master Mind group.
Chapter 11: The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
In this section, Hill describes the importance of sex transmutation, which is the tenth step to guide you towards accumulating wealth. Sexual urge is very powerful and often, men lose focus and risk their lives, career and money in order to quench their desires; however, if that sexual energy can be transformed into a creative energy by harnessing and redirecting it, it has the ability to help you overcome most obstacles.
This is not to be misunderstood as Hill isn’t promoting celibacy, but what he’s saying is that since our sexual urges are insatiable, they can be converted into something that’s very productive. Sexual desires create an intimacy between a woman and man and although that’s natural and good, one can achieve greater heights by controlling the urges and transmute them into a creative force.
Chapter 12: THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: The Connecting Link
This section is an amalgamation of powerful thoughts, faith and the subconscious. We’ve already learned how you can train your mind into believing that you’re meant to achieve success and this chapter elaborates more on that theory. Incredibly, we can voluntarily plant any plan we desire in our subconscious and this is the eleventh step towards gaining riches. Of course, it’s not really possible to control everything in our subconscious mind, but it’s not that hard to think and start believing that it is indeed possible to achieve anything you want.
Since our subconscious works tirelessly 24/7, thus dominating our thoughts, desires and actions, this is imperative to be successful. All the steps outlined in the book are geared towards reaching out to your subconscious and training it to develop creativity, faith and belief to walk the path that leads to a better future
Chapter 13: THE BRAIN: A Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought
In this chapter, Hill explains how creativity, imagination and the subconscious work together to achieve prosperity. He also elaborates further on how the subconscious, sexual transmutation and the Master Mind group work. While our brain is an amazing machine, it’s known to possess a receiving and broadcasting station that guides us our day-to-day life. With about 14 million nerve cells, the brain works like a factory and the greater the vibration it receives, the higher the chances to receive other important signals.
In effect, the subconscious works as the broadcasting station while our creative imagination assumes the role of the receiving station. Therefore, our creative imagination receives several signals transmitted by others around us. The vibrations can be increased through emotions and this enables the brain to open up and receive more signals. Once this happens, our chances of attaining success become infinitely greater.
Chapter 14: THE SIXTH SENSE: The Door to the Temple of Wisdom
Whether you refer to it as an intuition, a gut feeling or a hunch, the sixth sense is the thirteenth step that is responsible to guide an individual to accumulate wealth. While the sixth sense has the ability to gain access to our infinite intelligence, it can only be mastered after all the twelve steps have been practiced. Hill states that it’s not possible to explain how the sixth sense works but it can only be understood after you’ve experienced it.
Since the sixth sense has a connection with the infinite intelligence, it provides a combination of spiritual and mental thoughts that can guide you to associate with the Universal Mind. It not only warns us about impending dangers, but it also provides clues about silent opportunities that could slip away from us when unnoticed. Hill declares that he isn’t a believer in miracles, but there is a power that could transform things beyond our wildest imagination, which appear like miracles.
Chapter 15: HOW TO OUTWIT THE SIX GHOSTS OF FEAR?
According to Hill, there are six fears that could impact your life with negative outcomes and they can also become our major obstacles in our path to find riches. The six fears include poverty, old age, criticism, illness, love and death. For instance, we suffer from the fear of poverty during a recession and at other times it’s the fear of death that makes us lose control over our thoughts. These fears not only prevent you from becoming rich but it also spreads indecision, doubt, indifference and procrastination like the plague.
However, fortunately, Hill maintains that the answers to overcome these fears lie within the very symptoms of our fears and while they can’t be eradicated easily, it isn’t impossible either. For instance, if you’re always worried due to the fear of poverty, you can develop a decisive attitude and build your confidence and faith to travel down paths you’ve never travelled before.
Chapter 16: THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP
Apart from the six fears discussed in the previous chapter, Hill talks about another evil factor that could prevent you from becoming rich. In fact, he states that this evil is even more dangerous and deadlier than the six fears and it’s so deeply sown into our minds that it becomes very difficult to eliminate it. This evil, the darkest of all, is your susceptibility to negative influences and if you don’t take actions immediately to analyze yourself to figure out whether you’re under these influences, success could be just a dream.
To extinguish this evil, Hill suggests that it’s important to first understand that we, as humans, are lazy and indifferent by nature. We are easily influenced by negative influences and thoughts that might ruin our wonderful future. Therefore, once it’s understood, it’s imperative to protect yourself by setting up certain habits that fight with all the fears you face. If an individual recognizes that he’s easily swayed by negative influences, he must build a protective wall around himself to block his mind against such influences. Furthermore, success isn’t impossible, so one must quit making excuses to cover up his/her mistakes. In addition, you can always surround yourself with people who have the ability to support your dreams and have a positive influence on you.