Think and Grow Rich was a book suggested by Misty Young and Shila Morris, owners of Squeeze In, two inspiring entrepreneurs I spoke about in my last book review. I’m actually embarrassed to say that I had never heard of this book, as it is now one that I include in my ‘first pile’ suggestion for all entrepreneurs. Written in the 1930’s and originally printed in 1937 by Napoleon Hill after investing more than 25 years researching the successful businessmen of his time, Think and Grow Rich ultimately sold over 20 million copies.
It was fascinating to think about what life must have been like in the wake of the great depression. Imagine writing a book during this time which essentially says, don’t blame the world for your spot in life, you can change it at any time, when many people were jobless and destitute. What was more amazing is that his 6 steps to Success and 13 Principles to be Mastered are still compelling and real today.
6 Steps to Success
(1) Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire
(2) Determine exactly what you intend to give up for the money you desire
(3) Establish a date when you will intend to possess the money you desire
(4) Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not
(5) Write out a clear and concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit and state what you intend to give in return for the money
(6) Read your written statement aloud twice a day
13 Principles to be Mastered
Desire, Faith, Auto-suggestion, Specialized Knowledge, Imagination, Organized Planning, Decision, Persistence, the Power of the Master Mind, the Mystery of the sex transmutation, the Subconscious Mind, The Brain and the Sixth sense
As it is 2015, and I’ve been retrained to think of wealth as more than money, I have the following disclaimer: this book often focuses on creating wealth for the reader. I believe the concepts in this book will help anyone reach their goals, which may or may not be large amounts of wealth.
In the weeks after finishing this book, I reflected on the successful & happy people that I’ve had the privilege to get to know. I thought about Cornell Holloway, a buddy from high school who always believed he would play in the NFL. Cornell was very good, but certainly not the best player on our high school team, yet he was the only player on our team to make it to the NFL. Today Cornell owns a small business based in Maryland. I thought of Paul O’Connor & Paul Doman, entrepreneurs who transformed a small business (Accurate Group) to a focused and thriving company on track to do almost $100 million in sales, and employing hundreds. I think of Jack Stack of SRC Holding, who had a vision and a plan to turn a difficult and capital intensive business of remanufacturing diesel engines into a company with over 1,200 employees and an outstanding culture, teaching all of its employees the importance of transparency and financial reporting. SRC has launched over 20 new companies and inspired leaders with open book management. I thought of Bill Conway & Chuck Fowler of FMSA Holdings, Inc., who transformed a sub $5 million business into a company with more than $1.3 billion in revenue, employing over 1,000 people. All of these indviduals had big plans, a purpose, goals and never took no for an answer.
Last summer, I had the privilege to spend several hours with two of these personally inspirational entrepreneurs, Jack Stack and Bill Conway, within 10 days of each other. During this treasured time with each of these individuals and having the opportunity to review Evolution’s plan, which my partner, Jeff Kadlic, and I are extremely passionate about, I was challenged from both men to be more aggressive and dream bigger. That advice I have taken to heart. And in Think and Grow Rich, Mr. Hill says that 50% of success is in the book and 50% is coming up with an idea and sticking to it. So with these thoughts in mind, I challenge you to grab your idea, run with it and dream bigger!