Category Archives: Napoleon Hill

My Opinion Of Napoleon Hill


Because no one has asked yet it seems some people are getting the wrong idea.

I don’t hate Hill or think he was evil or a scheming con man.

I’ve read the single biography of him.

Anyone who does has to wind up asking, “Well, how could a guy who had the ‘secret’ to success fail so many times?”

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The Most Powerful Tool In The World

This is something I’m certain Napoleon Hill would have added to his “Magic Ladder” had he paid a bit more attention to the actual anatomy of industry.

It’s a tool to ensure the completion of any project, whether for work or for life. But it’s hardly ever used and whenever it’s suggested or revealed, it’s usually dismissed or ridiculed.

It’s a very simple tool that is possibly the most powerful thing on earth.

It’s a checklist.

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Napoleon Hill’s “Magic Ladder”

From several 1920 issues of Textile World magazine, come a variety of Napoleon Hill items, including this photo:


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Napoleon Hill Pimping Fraud In 1919


From the November 10, 1919 issue of Financial World comes this dirty tidbit

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A Modern Napoleon Hill Story

From Selling Scoops Of Ice Cream To Founding ZeroCater

Trust me, you must read that. It’s one of the most inspirational things I’ve ever read.

1) There’s no shame in starting at the bottom. The bottom is what most people ignore. But that’s where the rich soil is that will make things really grow. It seethes with opportunities.

2) At a discussion elsewhere, someone used the phrase “valuable problem.” If you can find one of those to solve, you’ll make money. He did. But he found it only because he was at the bottom. When someone says, “I hate this and don’t want to do it,” an alarm should blare: “Opportunity!”

3) Napoleon Hill said, “Start where you are with what you have.” He did. He had just a spreadsheet! Let that sink in. His entire business was a spreadsheet and it grew from that. Would you think a spreadsheet could grow into something?

4) He didn’t have to know everything to start. I have zero idea of what technical infrastructure his company now runs on. And when he began, he probably didn’t know what he’d need, either. But what he didn’t know didn’t stop him.

5) He had determination. That’s most of the damn battle right there, what used to be called “stick-to-itiveness.” Determination can be applied to anything. It’s the overriding trait that makes everything possible.


Past real-life inspirational stories at The iPeople Blog

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1920: Advice From Charles M. Schwab

From a 1920 issue of American Stationer and Office Outfitter:

Charles M. Schwab Tells How to Succeed in Business

In an Address at Princeton University Last Week Mr. Schwab Puts Loyalty, Concentration, Good Humor and the Ability to Make Friends as Prime Essentials of Commercial Success — Whether in Big Business or Small, the Qualifications Are Similar, in Proportion

Following are some of the important excerpts from Mr. Schwab’s address.

I know that it is very difficult to convince the great majority of people that men who are in active pursuit of life have any other object in view than the making of money. Well, now, boys, that is a great mistake. The real leaders of industry and the real men in life and the real successes in life are not always the men who have made lots of money or a great fortune.

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Charles F. Haanel Advertisements

It’s no secret that Napoleon Hill thought the world of what Charles F. Haanel was selling with his Master Key System. Let me repeat his worshipful letter to Haanel from a prior post:


I was asked if Haanel spread himself around in publications as Hill did.

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Another Bit By Napoleon Hill Surfaces

From the same 1920 issue of Gas Industry noted earlier.

Google Book Search is an embarrassment and this should have surfaced in my earlier search.


Not all who wear little American flags in the lapel of their coats and take off their hats as the flag goes by, are loyal Americans.

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Napoleon Hill: More Miscellany

Battling with the inept Google Books search facility (it’s almost as bad as Google search itself now!), I was able to extract five new things relating to or by Napoleon Hill.

Updated with a sixth thing.

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Napoleon Hill And The Master Key

Searching Google Books is an exercise in being abused. The same results never turn up twice. Which is why this has never appeared before now.

From a 1919 edition of The Master-Key to Riches by Charles Francis Haanel:

Chicago, 111.,
April 21, 1919.

Mr. Chas. F. Haanel,
St. Louis, Mo.

My dear Mr. Haanel:

You probably know, from the editorial in the January issue of the Golden Rule, copy of which my Secretary sent to you, that I began twenty-two years ago as a coal miner at a dollar a day.

I have just been retained by a ten million dollar corporation at a salary of $105,200.00 a year, for a portion of my time only, it having been agreed that I shall continue as editor of the Hill’s Golden Rule.

I believe in giving credit where it is due, therefore I believe I ought to inform you that my present success and the success which has followed my work as President of the Napoleon Hill Institute is due largely to the principles laid down in the Master-Key System.

You are doing a good work by helping people to realize that nothing is impossible of accomplishment which a man can create in his imagination. Surely my own experience proves this.

I shall co-operate with you in getting your course into the hands of the many who so greatly need your message.

Cordially and sincerely,


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