Review: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Hello Readers,

In this review of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I define the thirteen steps to riches, methods that Hill encourages to develop success, and what I will be reading next.

Key Points

  • Napoleon Hill’s Background.
  • Defining the thirteen steps to riches.
  • Highlight the main things I learned after completing the book.
  • Next book to be read.

Who Is Napoleon Hill?

Source: Wikipedia

Napoleon Hill was an accredited self-help writer. Hill’s work is focused on the principles of achieving success. His most notable book Think and Grow Rich, which is among the 10 best selling self-help books of all time.

The Thirteen Steps to Riches


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Hill explains very clearly that desire is the foundation to obtaining wealth, as it is an aspiration for many people to obtain it. Hill not only encourages you to desire things, but to develop a burning desire for those things.

A burning desire is your passion, something that you truly want and no one can deter you otherwise. If you are easily persuaded to stop pursuing your desire, then it was not a burning desire, just another unsupported idea. Once you find something that you truly want, then you are able to fully grasp the concepts available.

Hill offers a method to develop your burning desire.

  • Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount. (There is a psychological reason for definiteness).
  • Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (You cannot ask for something for nothing)
  • Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
  • Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
  • Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire. Name the time limit for its acquisition. State what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
  • Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after rising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.

These are the initial steps that Hill offers to lead you in the right direction. Let me offer my own written statement to help guide anyone in their own process.

I will amass $1,000,000 by the age of 25. I will give up time and energy to develop the necessary skills to amass this wealth. I will invest time in developing technical skills such as learning programming languages (SQL, Java, Python). Business technical skills such as VBA and refining my finances. Through these skills, I will be able to set myself apart from competitors and become the ideal candidate for future positions. Lastly, to generate this wealth, I will continue to invest 75% of my income into my Roth IRA, main portfolio, and savings account.

This is my current written statement, as I have refined it from it’s original draft. Prior to this official statement, I had written down a number and date with no real plan. Over time you will be able to develop your own plan in a concise manner.


Source: freerangestock

Hill refers to faith as a connection to desire, as you must develop a mindset that makes you truly believe that you are capable of obtaining your goals. It is important to note that faith does not mean religion in this context. Instead, he is encouraging you to develop a sense of belief within your plans. Through your beliefs it will help manifest your plans into action.

In order to create faith, you must continue to reaffirm your ideas. This is where he insists on you to write down your desire and read it aloud twice a day. In doing so, you are reaffirming your belief and capabilities towards your desire.


Hill refers to autosuggestion throughout the book as a tool to convince your subconscious mind. Through autosuggestion you will be able to transmute the ideas you utter into your mind as a reality over time.

Hill’s method for autosuggestion:

  • Repeat the written statement aloud in a quiet location so you may hear yourself.
  • Repeat this routine night and morning until you can visualize yourself with the money you intend to accumulate.
  • Place a written copy of your statement where you can see it night and morning. Read it just before sleeping and upon waking up until it has been memorized.

By following this routine, you will be able to convince your subconscious mind that you are dedicated to this task. This is deeply connected to developing faith as they are similar in the sense of belief.

Specialized Knowledge

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Hill brings up the main problem with our education system, classifying it as the missing link. Everyone that goes to the same class will retain the information differently. He puts the blame on the institutions for failing students, due to their inability to organize knowledge and to effectively utilize that knowledge after learning.

This can be related back to many situations for students who are learning math at the college level. Many people who go through college will experience at least one class that might have no value to them post-college. The lack of purpose for that class in your specialized knowledge is what makes some classes dreadful. You are simply not interested and find it a waste of time.

There are two main types of knowledge that Hill highlights, general and specialized. General knowledge is bountiful and can be viewed as useless in many cases. Meanwhile, specialized knowledge is what sets you apart from competitors, essentially raising your income.

Although general knowledge can be marketed, the odds of your competitors having the same skills is very high. Therefore, you should prioritize skills that you developed over years of experience. Your specialized knowledge will be your best marketable skills to catch recruiter’s attention.

This can be best represented by a resume for modern day job hunting. Highlight your most marketable skills and what people want to see on resumes.


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Imagination is one of the core concepts to achieving success. Every leader or memorable person in history was a person who had a dream. If you are not a dreamer, then your burning desire is not something you truly want. How can you possibly envision yourself amassing a ton of wealth without imagining it?

Let us consider the following list of influential leaders:

All of these people had a dream that influenced their actions, without these dreams history would not have remembered them. Through their dream, they were able to compel thousands of people to support them. If you are intending on becoming a leader of an organization, you must be able to compel supporters. Once you have developed something that cannot be deterred, you will be able to convince others easily.

Organized Planning

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The beginning of your mastermind group starts here. You must surround yourself with influential people who are capable of keeping you on course with your goals. You also have to provide something in return for their services.

Essentially, you must ask yourself what advantages or benefits you gain from this individual. Remember to assess your own advantages and benefits, in order to convince them in being a member of your mastermind group. Consider this as a business relationship that you want to maintain over a long period of time.

Once you have completed that task, meet with these individuals twice a week or more often if possible. You will be able to formulate plans to accumulate wealth and to help one another in achieving your goals.

Lastly, maintain meaningful relationships with your members. These individuals will help you maintain a course of action that will be beneficial to you and them. Prioritize developing plans that are not susceptible to failure.

Many people who amassed wealth had a plan. Their plans were reviewed and had a trusted team who was capable of executing the plan. It is important to remember that you must trust these individuals, for anyone can take advantage of you if they so choose it.


Source: Motivationgrid

Decisiveness is what separates loser mentality from the winner mentality. Promptness and slow willingness to budge from your decisions is a habit of millionaires. Continue to develop your new habits of decision making and ensure that you are holding yourself accountable.

Procrastination is the opposite of decisiveness, by allowing inaction to take place, you are halting your progression towards wealth. Hill states that many millionaires in an analysis were able to reach a decision promptly and of changing those decisions slowly.

He goes on to relate that habit as a burning desire, which is true. Remember that your burning desire should not waiver in the presence of opposition. It is your dream and you have to believe in its attainability.


Source: CottonBureau

Persistence is required when it comes to obtaining riches. This step intertwines with your burning desire. The main idea within this chapter is to develop a persistence that will continue to drive you towards your goals.

As you continue to reiterate your plans on a daily basis, you are essentially partaking in this chapter’s main concept of being persistent. By developing this essential skill, you are safeguarding yourself against the idea of failure.

If you are someone who is caught up in failure and continues to accept it as so. Then it is within your best interest to cast out those thoughts and apply Hill’s teachings.

How to develop persistence:

  • A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.
  • A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
  • A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
  • A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage you to follow through with both plan and purpose.

After completing these tasks, you will be able to fulfill any plan within any given time. It is within your best interest to develop this skill immediately to safeguard yourself from failure.

Power of The Master Mind

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Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you or you want to learn from is the best in this scenario. Throughout history no one was able to accomplish their grandest plans without the help of a group.

Avoiding naysayers and unproductive individuals is equally important as maintaining relationships with productive people. You will eventually start to develop habits similar to those who you are seeing the most.

Although it might be difficult for you to cut out friends, remember that anyone who is toxic is not worth keeping. They will only bring burdens and corrupt your mindset with their own. Find people who will encourage, motivate, and inspire you.

The Mystery of Sex Transmutation

This might be surprising to you, but humans are in fact driven by sex. Despite what some might say, science has continued to support this statement. History also agrees with this sentiment.

In many cases of human history, there has been an influential figure to every successful inventor, leader, and the common man. Generally, it has been the influence of a female counterpart.

Sex is stimulant that drives people for action. Hill restates that you must use sex wisely in order to maximize the potential of the human mind. You must use it as a means of motivation and be driven by it for success. This mindset can influence your burning desire as well, since you are attempting to fulfill a passion, you must have a mastermind group with influential figures. One of those influential figures could be your potential partner/spouse.

The Subconscious Mind

This chapter was fairly straightforward in reminding the reader that their thought impulses will influence their actions. Therefore, Hill encourages the reader to develop positive thoughts only and to reject any negative emotions.

It is worth noting that you cannot have positive and negative emotions at the same time, instead one is always dominating your mind.

The Seven Major Positive Emotions

  • The emotion of desire
  • The emotion of faith
  • The emotion of love
  • The emotion of sex
  • The emotion of enthusiasm
  • The emotion of romance
  • The emotion of hope

The Seven Major Negative Emotions

  • The emotion of fear
  • The emotion of jealousy
  • The emotion of hatred
  • The emotion of revenge
  • The emotion of greed
  • The emotion of superstition
  • The emotion of anger

Developing the habit of only allowing positive emotions to overwhelm your thoughts will contribute to your success. Once you have mastered this habit, you will never find yourself allowing negative emotions take a hold of you. This will be vital in your business endeavors, as a strong leader must be calm and collected in any situation. It will also help reassure your supporters and be a strong tool in wealth building.

The Brain

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Since you are reaching the conclusion to the thirteen steps to riches, you are now fully aware of what this book has accomplished. The focus continues to be developing the mindset of a winner and person who is capable of achieving success.

Through all of the chapters prior to this, they were gearing your brain towards a mindset of success. Developing habits and routines to help you envision your wealth to reality. Continue to feed your brain with positive habits to maintain a correct course of action.

The Sixth Sense

In his concluding step to obtaining riches, he brings up an interesting idea. Hill refers to this clairvoyance step within your mind. Primarily focusing on the creative imagination aspect of the subconscious mind.

You must master the 12 steps prior in order to proceed in understanding this chapter. Focusing on your imagination and developing your own special mastermind group within your mind.

In Hill’s case, it was influential figures that he wanted to converse with. Emerson, Paine, Edison, Darwin, Lincoln, Burbank, Napoleon, Ford and Carnegie. Through the power of his imagination, he would converse with these men and have them guide him during trying times when reality was difficult to understand.

Albeit, this chapter felt more philosophical and an interesting read than the rest, but it has the same type of message behind it. Developing your brain and stimulating your mind to achieving success through surrounding yourself with influential figures.

Conquering Your Fears

Hill’s final thoughts towards achieving success is the topic of fear. Everyone has some type of fear and Hill classifies them under the six basic fears.

  • The fear of poverty
  • The fear of criticism
  • The fear of ill health
  • The fear of loss of love of someone
  • The fear of old age
  • The fear of death

After reading the thirteen steps to riches, Hill reiterates the importance of thought. “Thought impulses begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent whether those thoughts are voluntary or involuntary.” Throughout the book, Hill reiterates the idea of how your thoughts will manifest into reality, if you consistently think about your dreams.

The Devil’s Workshop

Hill added this chapter to reiterate the importance of removing negative influences from your life. Similarly to conquering your fears, your ability to not be influenced by negative forces will aid you in success.

He claims that this is the worst type of evil that anyone could ever face due to it’s toxic nature. If you find yourself surrounded by toxic individuals, separate yourself from their presence before they infect your mind.

Remaining proactive in achieving your goals while maintaining friendships is not that difficult. You must surround yourself with individuals who are uplifting and capable of supporting you within your endeavors.

Conclusion: 4.5/5 Stars

If you intend on becoming the best programmer, athlete, investor, or leader then I encourage you to pick up Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book encourages you to partake in methods that help alter your mindset. By altering your way of thinking, you will be able to manifest your ideas into reality.

Although some chapters might be difficult to understand such as The Sixth Sense and The Subconscious Mind. You are encouraged to reread chapters to fully understand the concept behind them.

Overall, Hill does a great job at offering methods in gearing your mind towards the winning mindset and surrounding yourself with figures that are beneficial to you. There were moments that I found the book to be too repetitive and some philosophical moments that I found lacking in connection to the main concept. However, through the repetitiveness, he helped guide me in developing a written statement, form my own mastermind group, and influenced me to remain forever running towards my dreams.

I would rate this 4.5/5, as it offered a lot of psychological information and insightful topics on brain development. The reason I did not give it at 5/5 is due to the repetitiveness of certain chapters. Granted, the author’s intention was to reinforce the chapters through auto suggestion, I just found them to be cumbersome at times.

Next Book: The Book On Rental Property Investing

As always, I hope you found my review informative or entertaining. Feel free to reach out to express concerns, questions or feedback, as I am reading through them to improve my writing. Thank you for your time and stay informed!

Published by Steven Mai

Hello! My name is Steven Mai and I am currently enrolled at University of Washington. My interests are business, investments, financing, and personal development. I hope through this journey I will be able to enhance my skills as a writer and share my ideas on a public platform and gain the necessary skills in life through interactions with the community.

2 thoughts on “Review: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

    1. Recently finished that book! I thought it was a great reminder for personal finances and highly encourage people to pick it up!


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