“Think And Grow Rich”, As Napoleon Hill’s Book Suggests, Really?

“Think And Grow Rich”, As Napoleon Hill’s Book Suggests, Really?

Charles Kelly of Money Tips Podcast gives a humourous summary of the daddy of all self-help books. For more Money Tips Podcasts.



One of the all-time great self-help books has to be Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I still have my battered old copy of the book, which I bought in the Philippines in the 1980’s.


Written in the 1930s by Hill while working in the White House for President Roosevelt during the dark American depression years, it still inspires people 90 years on.


This book is the daddy of all self-improvement books selling well over 10 million copies and still selling. It claims to have made thousands of people millionaires and I know people have turned their lives around after reading this book and taking action.


One of Hill’s mentors, Andrew Carnegie, started him on a 20 year quest to study and write about what makes people successful and gave him his secret, which Hill cleverly sprinkles throughout the book without specifically revealing it.


Carnegie, then the richest man in the world worth over 400 million and still one of the all-time wealthiest men when his wealth is adjusted for inflation, introduced Hill to the likes of Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. He went on to give most of his fortune away setting up thousands of Carnegie libraries in America and Britain. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are following in Carnegie’s footsteps.


The brilliant title, “think and grow rich”, is actually a little deceiving because it suggests that you can merely “think” and grow rich. I remember reading:


First you have to decide on exactly how much money you want.


Secondly, you must decide what you will give in return for the money, as there is no such thing as something for nothing.


I said damnit, there’s always a catch!


Seriously, if you read the book in full, you’ll discover that it’s packed with practical ideas and advice to help you accumulate wealth and riches – whatever that means to you.


The author never suggested that you could just sit there meditating and think and grow rich. Ohm, the money will come!


Hill specifically refers to many steps including, organised planning, specialise knowledge, taking decisions, masterminds, goal setting and taking action to start a small business or getting a better job.


Interestingly, some of the small business idea are not dissimilar to the sort of things you would do as a start-up entrepreneurial today.


Napoleon Hill writes about how to start in a service business, which is ideal for somebody with little or no capital. That’s still true today. He even offers bookkeeping as an example of a good service to start with. Even today, most businesses need a good bookkeeper just as much as they need an accountant. When I was in business, we always struggled to find a good bookkeeper and had to pay well to find a good one.


Other useful tips he gives are getting help writing a better CV so that you can get a higher paid job and gaining specialist knowledge as opposed to the general knowledge taught in schools.


He also talked about people bringing business ideas to venture capitalist and becoming overnight millionaires.


Some of the chapters are a little, well, weird, but overall the advice is still relevant even by today’s standards.


Hill cleverly mentions the one ‘big secret’ placed throughout the book, but doesn’t tell what it is! You have to read the book to find it.


Nowadays, it is far easier to get started in business with the advent of the digital age. Fortunes have been made faster than ever before. We have so many tools at our disposal that you can get on business within a day with no premises, leases or staff.


More training and specialist knowledge – from courses on getting started in property or setting up an Amazon store – is available than ever before. You don’t need years or even months to learn new skills.


If you would like to learn how to increase your earning power and expand your wealth, drop me an email to charles@charleskelly.net


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