13 Lessons From Think And Grow Rich Napoleon Hill

13 Lessons From Think And Grow Rich Napoleon Hill

The older I get, the more I try to learn new information for personal development in a way that takes the least amount of time and energy.

How? By not trying to reinvent the wheel.

For instance, with the coronavirus crisis, it seemed that everyone became an instant stock market “guru” overnight.

Emails bombarded my inbox telling me what stocks to dump and which ones to go “all in” on.

With so much noise and confusion, I simply looked at what the top investors in the world were doing.

For example, I noticed that Warren Buffett began buying different airline stocks (Delta, Southwest), GE Electric and Goldman Sachs. It’s safe to say that if I invested in single stocks (which I don’t), I would’ve been wise to follow his lead.

My main two avenues of education now come from:

Speaking of reading, one of the first books I read when it came to investing and learning about money was Think And Grow Rich Napoleon Hill wrote in 1937.

One amazing fact was that until Napoleon Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich sold over 15 million copies. That’s impressive.

Before we get too deep into his book, let’s first take a look at some of the groups of people that read and why they do it.

Millionaires Read A Lot

It should come as no surprise that millionaires and billionaires have certain habits that make them wealthy.

Research shows that the majority of them devote at least 30 minutes daily to read 3-5 or more books a month.

What are you reading?

If rich people read more and you want to become rich, then don’t you think you should start doing the same?

Millionaire reading stats

Here’s a few millionaire stats I found while searching the web:

From Dave Ramsey:

  • “President Harry Truman once said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” One of the reasons millionaires become millionaires is because of their constant desire to learn. To them, leadership books and biographies are much more important than the latest reality show or who got kicked off the island. When they have free time, they use it wisely—by reading.”

From Medium:

  • You may not have heard of Arthur Blank, but you’ve definitely heard of the store that he co-founded: Home Depot. Blank reads two hours a day and has amassed a current fortune of $1,300,000,000.
  • Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day. That adds up to about 1,000 hours a year. Say the average book takes 5 hours to read, that means Cuban is reading 200 books a year.
  • New York Times best-selling author, Tim Ferriss, says that he reads 3 to 4 books a week. That adds up to 150 to 200 books a year.

From Millionaire Foundry:

  • 88% of self-made millionaires read at least 30 minutes every day, focused on self education.

From the Huffington Post:

When Warren Buffett was once asked about the key to success, he pointed to a stack of nearby books and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

Buffett takes this habit to the extreme — he read between 600 and 1000 pages per day when he was beginning his investing career, and still devotes about 80 percent of each day to reading.

From the book Rich Habits:

  • Successful people read for self-improvement. They are perpetual students. Each day they devote blocks of time to better themselves by studying subject matter that will improve them in some way and better enable them to perform their jobs.

Think And Grow Rich Inspiration

Think and Grow Rich is one of those books you see most often on the recommended reading list of people who have achieved tremendous amounts of success and wealth.

The first word of the title, “Think” shows us that it’s mainly about developing a mindset.

The book is centered around the thirteen steps to riches which he claimed to be the secret to building wealth.

In 1908, Hill was hired by a magazine to seek out and interview famous people to learn about their success.

One of the first people he interviewed happened to be one of the wealthiest men in the world at that time, Andrew Carnegie.

Not only did Carnegie share his secrets to success with Hill, but he also connected him with over 500 other successful business leaders to learn their secrets, too.

Some of those “other” famous people included:

  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • John D. Rockefeller
  • Thomas Edison
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Henry Ford
  • Wilbur Wright
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Howard Taft

Some twenty years later, Napoleon Hill turned the lessons he learned into the thirteen steps to riches, which he outlined in Think and Grow Rich.

Don’t Miss Any Updates. Each week I’ll send you advice on how to reach financial independence with passive income from real estate.

Sign up for my newsletter

13 Lessons From Think And Grow Rich Napoleon Hill


If you plan on reading the book (which I recommend) then you’ll notice it’s broken up into sections that cover the 13 principles based on interviews Hill had with successful people.

If you don’t plan on reading it, then here’s a detailed summary of the book that should get you up to speed on what it’s about.

#1 Desire

Hill first mentions the principle of “Desire” as it’s no doubt the most important one.

How many times have you heard someone say, “I wish I had more…”

Maybe it was more money, time or success.

It’s not about wishing but about wanting. If someone wants to achieve success and wealth, there has to be a burning desire within them to cause them to take action. That’s the key – taking ACTION.

That’s the entire focus of Grant Cardone’s book, The 10X Rule.

How many people want to lose weight or get “ripped” before their beach vacation? Probably most, right? But….how many actually take action? Very few.

One of the first things I ask new members of the Passive Investors Circle is, “Why do you want to start investing in real estate?”

Those that truly desire to and have specific reasons end up seeing success in a few short months.

#2 Faith

If you want your desire to come true, you must exhibit faith. Faith is the trust you have in yourself that your desire/goal is achievable. Hill noticed that when you do this, it starts manifesting into its physical self.

If you want to get what you desire but are lacking in the faith department, try improving it through self-suggestion.

Practice convincing your mind of the opportunity to realize that goal, and after a while, your mind will start to subconsciously act on behalf of your belief system. In a nutshell, you become what you think about.

If you can DREAM IT, you can DO IT.” – Walt Disney

#3 Auto Suggestion

Hill once pointed out: “If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance.”

Hill’s techniques of auto-suggestion are more commonly today known as meditation or visualization. The more specific we can realize our desires, the more likely it’ll happen.

If you desire to get rich, then see yourself in possession of that money. But it’s not enough to just wish for riches. Hill recommends that you must also fill yourself with the willingness to work for it, and make sure that the effort and reward are so closely linked that you never lose sight of what you should be doing.

#4 Specialized Knowledge

Have you ever heard the phrase, “There’s riches in niches“? With today’s technology, any information we could ever imagine is at our fingertips.

For instance, if I search for the best college football team in 2019, then the LSU Tigers will be on top of the list. 🙂

But if all we had to do was acquire knowledge and it would ensure success, then teachers and professors would be the wealthiest people of all. However, that is as far from the truth as possible.

The simple fact of having knowledge won’t make you anymore intelligent or successful. It’s what we do with that knowledge that makes the difference.

Hill suggests we focus on specialized knowledge which in turn will make us an expert of whatever we want.

For instance, when I started this blog, I didn’t know much about real estate investing. I made it my goal to try to become the expert in this area so I can teach other doctors and high-income professionals about it.

#5 Imagination

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” –Napoleon Hill

The power of imagination is the key to getting the life you want.

Where desire is the catalyst for achievement, imagination is necessary to give it physical form.

At Walt Disney, they created Imagineers to perform the Imagineering. This is the creative engine that designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions, and cruise ships worldwide, and oversees the creative aspects of Disney games, merchandise product development, and publishing businesses.

If it works for Disney, shouldn’t we try it too?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

Join the Passive Investors Circle

#6 Organized Planning

Are you ready to compete in your first fitness competition? Great, what’s your plan? What, you don’t have one?

If you want to succeed in achieving what you truly desire, Hill states that we must have a concrete plan to help get there. From becoming a golf pro to a brain surgeon, without a plan, the likelihood of failure is high.

If you want to become financially independent, you have to work a plan just like this one:

7 Steps – How To Become Financially Independent

Spend time putting pen to paper and writing down your plan. Once you do, the chances of it becoming a reality increase.

#7 Decision

The enemy of those of us that desire success is the exact opposite of decision….procrastination.

Unfortunately, most of us are hard wired to wait until the last minute to do something. If I tell you I want you to write a one page report on everything you know about how to invest money and it’s due in exactly ten days, guess what? More than likely you’ll finish it on day #9 (or the morning of day 10).

Research shows that successful people make BIG decisions fast and change them slowly whereas unsuccessful people make BIG decisions slow but change them constantly.

The point is to get used to making decisions quickly but don’t give up on them too quickly.

The #1 cause of failure: Lack of decision making

#8 Persistence

If you’re like me, you’ve experienced your share of failures.

When I started off investing in real estate, I thought I knew what I was doing but boy was I wrong.

Related article:  RealtyShares – What I Learned From Losing $50,000

Too many people give up on their first attempt at trying new things so their likelihood of succeeding is next to zero.

In order to succeed, there should be an unwavering quality to remain persistent to the desire you want.

If you really want something out of life, you got to work hard, and expect to get knocked down/fail but show persistence until you reach your goals.

#9 Power of the Master mind

Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.” – Proverbs 15:22

Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors [there is] safety.” – Proverbs 11:14

As someone that has attended several mastermind meetings, I can tell you firsthand that I was at first a bit skeptical. I’m not into mystical terminology and “mastermind” initially sounded alarm bells in my head.

What’s a mastermind? Hill described the Mastermind principle as:

The coordination of knowledge and effort between two or more people who work towards a definite purpose in a spirit of harmony…no two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind”, also known as, the Mastermind.

By creating this so-called “third mind” then the minds within the group become something more than the sum of their parts and greater things can be achieved.

For instance, I recently attended a mastermind meeting for other dental practice owners. It’s amazing what happens when one person poses a problem to the group and how lots of people (both men and women) can work much quicker and smarter to resolve it than one person only.

#10 Sex Transmutation

When I first read Think and Grow Rich, I was surprised to see a chapter dedicated to sex, especially on how it relates to having success.

Hill goes on to tell us that sexual impulse is one of the most important/strongest desires we experience as human beings. And because of this, we should learn how to channel those desires towards enhancing our creative works.

It’s all about channeling sexual energy towards your goals as it allows you to be more creative during the process.

Hill found that an above-than-average sexual nature is a typical feature of highly successful people from those that he interviewed.

#11 The Subconscious Mind

You are what you think.”

Hill states that the subconscious mind registers all of our thoughts both positive and negative in nature. You can’t think of something positive and negative at the same time.

In other words, you can’t think about being appreciative for something (i.e. health, family, etc) at the same time you’re thinking negative thoughts.

Because of this, we should continuously focus our thoughts on only positive things.

Your subconscious mind does what YOU tell it today. If you want wealth and success, focus on only feeding your brain affirmations and thoughts that will guide you down that path.

Don’t Miss Any Updates. Each week I’ll send you advice on how to reach financial independence with passive income from real estate.

Sign up for my newsletter

#12 The Brain

In Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill compares the brain to a radio as they both operate at a specific set of frequencies.

You’ve heard of having brainwaves before, right? These brain frequencies are our emotions such as:

  • love
  • hate
  • despair
  • fear
  • confidence

A radio can only provide sound when the transmitter and receiver are set to the same frequency. I was recently reminded of this while watching Stranger Things with my kids as characters in the show used ham radios in a handful of episodes.

In the same way, if you want your brain to provide wealth, then you have to make sure that your emotions reflect that frequency.

#13 The Sixth Sense

The sixth sense is thought to be a mysterious sensing ability that can give you thoughts and ideas to help you become a receiver of information instead of only a transmitter.

Similar to Hill’s other mystical theories, the reader chooses to either accept it not.

Maybe this is something like having a “gut feeling” when faced with uncertainty?

The Secret Of Think And Grow Rich Napoleon Hill

The #1 secret of the book is not so secretive….it’s this:

You are in total control of the one thing that enables you to have the life of your dreams.

Whether that’s financial freedom to spend more time with your family, a pair of matching McClarens, or 3,000 units of real estate.

So what is that one thing we’re in control of?

It’s your mindset of course!

The secret of Think and Grow Rich is that your thoughts control your mindset, which creates your reality.

So if you want an abundant mindset, make it a point to broadcast feelings of appreciation, fulfillment and joy.