Napoleon Hill was an American author in the area of the new thought movement who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. He is widely considered to be one of the great writers on success. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold 20 million copies).
Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. Hill was an advisor to two presidents of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is one of Hill’s hallmark expressions.
Here are 10 Success lessons from Napoleon Hill – “Rich Man, Poor Man” for entrepreneurs,
1. Go all the way through the goal until it is achieved
Thomas Edison failed at inventing the lightbulb 10,000 times. Walt Disney filed bankruptcy several times and was told he lacked imagination. A television station asked Oprah to change her name, stating that she would be received better. It’s rare that someone has ever achieved massive success without failing greatly and mightily on numerous occasions before finally breaking through to success.
Knowing this, there are two choices to make, play it safe and never attempt anything outside of your comfort zone, or go after your goals with everything you have, expecting to get knocked down…several times. Continue and go all the way through the goal until it is achieved. Napoleon Hill said, “A man is never whipped until he quits in his own mind.”
2. Before trying to master others, be sure you are the master of yourself
As a leader, are you willing to complete the tasks that you assign to others? Do you want people to respect you for your leadership position, regardless of your personal action and character as their leader? There is nothing worse than having an immature or untrained leader in a position of authority. This person can wreak havoc on an organization, create a toxic work environment by creating atmosphere of anxiety and stress, and cause personnel to look for other opportunities. It’s well known that people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad leaders.
3. Imitate a successful person
There are a number of people that dislike highly successful and wealthy people. This is unfortunate because you have drawn a line in the sand and classified it as “us” and “them”. Read Forbes 400 and you will find that a large number of self-made billionaires overcome a number of insurmountable obstacles and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor.
Success principles are universal and apply in any vocation. Study the principles and you’ll find that most successful people have applied similar principles to achieve their dreams. Apply the principles to your life and watch it unfold in new and exciting ways.
4. Don’t give it away too freely to useless arguments
There are people in organizations that make it their personal mission to fight every battle, regardless of whether or not the outcome affects them directly. Giving energy to useless arguments and to situations or circumstances that are not in your control is unwise.
It also creates preventable stress and anxiety that you are subjecting yourself to. If your input to an undesired situation has the ability to change the outcome, then that’s a battle worth taking up and backing with factual data. However, the information should be presented in a professional manner in order to be received properly.
5. Develop a purpose in life
Your job may not be your major purpose. It’s a means to pay your bills, but it is not why you are here in this lifetime. Many people get caught up in the cycle of the 9-5 and lose sight of becoming who they dreamed of.
According to a recent Gallup survey, 87% of people worldwide dislike their jobs. If you fall in this category, although you may be deemed “successful” when it comes to position, money and material possessions, you have not achieved the true success that comes with working on your purpose. Definiteness of purpose constitutes the starting point of all worthy achievement. When you have thoughtfully defined your personal goals in life, then you can be focusing your energy in pursuing them.
6. Treat people like they are two positions above their current position
There are some leaders who yell at their personnel in an effort to move them. It’s not only disrespectful to the personnel, and eventually erodes their motivation and self-esteem, it’s also tiring for the leader. If you find that the only way to get people to do what you want them to do is by yelling at them, consider discovering what else motivates them?
Are you giving them room to grow and learn from their mistakes versus minimizing them and treating them as derelicts; and then get frustrated because they continue to be derelicts? You can never go wrong by shifting the way that you talk to people and actually treating them like the personnel you would like for them to become.
7. Always look for the next mountain to conquer
Successful people are always looking for the next mountain to conquer and rarely have time to nit-pick and talk about others. They are too busy looking ahead and not looking behind or around them in an effort to find fault and talk about others.
Successful people also realize that giving negative energy to any situation, creates negative energy and circumstances in their lives, so they mainly focus on the positive. If you desire to get to the next level, and can’t figure out why you are meeting resistance and/or have obstacles, evaluate how you how you treat other people and whether or not you are judging and talking about them.
8. Think twice before speaking once
This is not only a cliché, it’s a skill that needs to be exercised on a regular basis. A number of people lose positions and credibility when speaking out of turn. Also, some people think that by over talking people and solely talking about themselves and their accomplishments is impressive to others. It actually has the opposite effect.
In “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie shares great insight about how you can have someone eating out of your hands simply by listening to them and caring about what they care about.
9. Have willingness to assume full responsibility
The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider it is he who failed.
10. Seek advice from someone who has achieved the results that you desire
When seeking to get to the next level or achieving a new goal, you should be careful on who you are getting your advice from. Are you allowing family and friends to plant seeds of fear and failure in you? Do you have negative co-workers that give you all the reasons you can’t achieve your goal? When you buy someone’s opinion, you buy their lifestyle. If you were looking to buy a Mercedes S550, would you seek advice from someone who drives a Dodge Neon? Same applies for your goals. Seek advice and counsel from someone who has achieved the results that you desire.