Napoleon Hill is widely believed to have influenced more people into financial success than any other person in the history of mankind. More people around the world attribute their rise to success to Napoleon Hill’s writings than any other source.

Till this day, over forty years after Napoleon’s Hill’s death, his wonder book “Think and Grow Rich” has simply refused to stop being inspirational and influential. Tens of millions of copies have been sold.

Napoleon Hill was born dirt-poor in a one-room cabin in the Appalachian town of Pond in the state of Virginia in 1883. At birth, life held very little prospects for him, losing his mother at the tender age of ten, following which his father remarried two years later.

Faced with much instability at such an early age, it’s hardly surprising that as a young boy, Napoleon was very rebellious. But he nevertheless grew up to become an incredibly successful man.

The man Napoleon Hill is widely known by his hallmark expression: “what the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” It is an expression that his life and times proved very true.

Defeating all forms of personal disadvantages, Napoleon Hill had a clear picture of what he wanted out of his life. And he set out in search of those goals not minding that his external circumstances suggested otherwise. He started a writing career as a reporter for a local newspaper, during which he established himself as one of the nation’s most beloved motivational speakers and writers.

More importantly, his job as a journalist provided the money he used to pay his way through law school. Following that, Napoleon Hill spent the next 25 years analyzing the factors by which the vast majority of persons fail to achieve real financial success and happiness in life—so he would do the exact opposite.

While still working as a journalist, he was given an assignment to do an article series on the success stories of some famous men of the time. The series turned out to be a big break for Napoleon Hill: he had to interview steel magnate Andrew Carnegie who in turn commissioned him to interview 500 other millionaires to find out the elusive success formula that everyone could use to prosper.

Thomas Edison, Charles M. Schwab, Alexander Graham Bell, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John D. Rockefeller, George Eastman, and a host of others were interviewed and their experiences noted.

Drawing on the reflections and experiences of the multitude of rags-to-riches tycoons he encountered in the course of that assignment, Napoleon Hill came out with a philosophy and formula for success that has enabled millions worldwide to overcome all sorts of seeming disadvantages to build enduring wealth.

His classic, “Think and Grow Rich” encapsulates these success formulas more than any other of his works. It contains principles for personal success so simple but so very easily overlooked because, as Napoleon Hill himself puts it “so many of us assume that riches come in mysterious ways through some advantages that we do not have.” How right is this statement! And how wrong most of us are!

Napoleon hill passed away in November 1970 after a very successful career as a writer, adviser, motivator, attorney and, above all, a teacher of success principles. But his works stand as testament to individual achievement. And Napoleon Hill remains, in my opinion, the strongest pillar and foundation of modern motivational writing and speaking.

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