"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, April 3, 2009

Business Books to read now: Napoleon Hill

Many of us have seen Napoleon Hill's classic, Think and Grow Rich, sitting on shelves in bookstores when we browse the business section. (For those of us who do browse that section--- I am a big fan, but many people never get outside fiction for browsing so for those of you, bear with me).

It is a quaint title, and the fact that it is closing in on a century since it was published brings up concerns that it might not apply to today's reader. I have been making my way through the book and am amazed at how well it speaks to the economic period of transition that we are currently experiencing. The language that is out of date is that which refers to cultural attitudes of the time. However, once we set aside the more backward social conventions, it is clear to see that Hill's close connection to Carnegie and other extremely successful businesspeople of that time can be a source of inspiration and guidance today.

The aha that came for me while reading this is that many of the current positive thinking gurus who are promoting practices and get-rich schemes along the lines of the secret have clearly been reading Hill and translating it to a contemporary audience. It is interesting to go back and read the original source, as it feels like some of what he was trying to communicate has been lost in the translation.

Enjoy! If you have thoughts or experiences with this book, please feel free to share below. Any thoughts on other Napoleon Hill titles, such as The Law of Success, are especially welcome.


Martin said...

I prefer the materials by Douglas Vermeeren who many say is the new Naoleon Hill. He also conducted the same studies with top business people in his day. But Vermeeren is more relevant to today including business that were not in existence in Hill's day. Vermeeren also included cleebrities and Ahtletes which were not considered as successful in the ealry 1900's, Vermeeren's strategies are very applicable to todya and have relevant examples and insights that in som cases strengthen what Napoleon Hill original said, but in many times add to it and go beyond what Hill wrote. There are clips on Vermeeren on Youtube.com (enter "douglas Vermeeren" in the search field) and on his website www.DouglasVermeeren.com I have found a look of free material that helped me specifically in my network marketing business. And Napoleon never even talked about those kinds of millionaires because there weren't really any around in his day. As my team leader one time expressed it, encouraging me to throw out some really old sales training cassettes I had (he wasn't chatting about Napoleon Hill at the time, but the same principle holds true) "We need to get our information and training from the most relevant up to speed and connected individuals we can. If we are not learning from the cutting edge, we are learning what everybody already knows." Yes. I do think alot of what Hill teaches is out dated.

Brian said...

I was reading your posts here and I recently saw The Secret again and The Opus and I really liked them both. I thought they were very different in their approach to similar lessons. In the end I think The Opus was more practical but The Secret seemed to be more cutting edge in the music and filming. I highly recommend them both. I was also reading below about people's comment of the various creators Rhonda Byrne and Douglas Vermeeren. i have never seen Rhonda Byrne live, but I have seen Douglas Vermeeren live. He is an incredible speaker. And just like the Opus he was full of great practical information. I found him to have great and useful insights far more relevant than many other speakers I have heard. He has been compared to Napoleon Hill and rightly so. His materials focus around interviews he has conducted with some of the most success people on the earth in the last decade. You can find more about him at his official website www.DouglasVermeeren.com and there are also many good clips on youtube. I have heard many saw that he is the next big upcoming personal development leader and after having seen his materials I would agree.

Casey said...

I was just reading in the new book by Jay Conrad Levinson and Douglas Vermeeren - Guerrilla Achiever. Doug Vermeeren is the new Napoleon Hill. There is no doubt. His materials are perfect for today. What a great resource for accomplishing your goals. Highly recommend it!