Napoleon Hill was an author and an advisor (the most prestigious of those receiving his advice being President Franklin D. Roosevelt). Hill was one of the earliest producers and curators of “personal success” advice, for purposes not unlike this very blog post: to help entrepreneurs learn from those who had already achieved their business goals.
Early in Hill’s writing career he was assigned the task of interviewing Andrew Carnegie –at the time one of the most powerful and wealthy people in the world—with the intent of finding out what made Carnegie so successful. Carnegie was intrigued by the idea of finding an “Achievement Formula” and he inspired Hill to continue talking to other successful business people to find out if there was a common denominator. What followed was Hill’s years-long pursuit of interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs and documenting their experiences and thoughts on what they thought the key was to their success. His teachers included (either directly or indirectly through associates) Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, Charles M. Schwab, William Wrigley, Jr., to name a few. Hill compiled and wrote about themes of success in volumes of work, but his most famous book is entitled Think and Grow Rich.
Hill became the resident expert on how to achieve personal success, and in doing so, found success for himself. Through his years of research and writing on the topic of, here is what he would advise for you in your pursuit of personal achievement:
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”
“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound. Rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.”
“Victory is possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.”
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
“Before success comes in any man’s life, he’s sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and the most logical thing to do is to quit. That’s exactly what the majority of men do.”
—Napoleon Hill, Author and Success Advisor