Thanks to Sean T. Carter in Comments for pointing me to this.
Had Carnegie wanted a major study of ‘success’, he could employ the best, most authoritative minds in the business, and demand they report within months. He was an old man in 1908 — why invite a nonentity to undertake unpaid research conscious he probably wouldn’t live to see the results twenty years later? Carnegie was decisive. He got things done.
This is a detailed analysis of written statements made by Napoleon Hill that simply don’t reconcile with one another and which contradict the historical record.
There’s only one way to tell if Hill ever met Carnegie: Find Carnegie’s Guest Book.
During that time, I believe it was the custom for people of Carnegie’s social and financial standing to have a Guest Book in their mansions. Visitors would sign their names. Did such a Guest Book exist? And is Napoleon Hill’s signature in it? Someone needs to research where such a Carnegie possession is held in an archive. If it turns out to be in NYC, I’d volunteer my time to pore through it for the final proof. This is an issue that needs to be settled once and for all.
And I advise people to pop over to Sean T. Carter’s site. He has some righteous stuff over there, one of which includes: Say It With me — Fuck The Self-Help Industry [April 7 2016 Update: That site has since been deleted(!) by its author. The only way to see this post is via this general link at Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.]
I’m gonna tell you like this — this new age/self-help/motivational stuff is all bullshit. I’ve met and conversed with many wealthy businessmen and I’ve yet to find one who attributed their success to having read any of the self-help literature. In fact, many of them told me themselves that they’d never heard of even the most popular titles. I’m not talking about people who became wealthy through dream-selling, I’m referring to those who acquired their fortunes through industry. The most common theme I found with these wealthy businessmen is that they had a goal and worked their ass of through the trial and error method in order to get to where they are…period. There is no “formula for success” that is going to save you. You may not wanna hear this, but you’re gonna have to get your hands dirty and find your own path. No more making self-help charlatans rich. I once drunk the kool-aid of this industry heavily and I was getting nowhere as a result. I’ve observed others who still drunk the kool-aid and I’ve yet to meet one who’s actually successful — their mode of thought seems to always center around “I’m gonna be wealthy someday.” To that I say — FUCK THAT!
If I might become Napoleon Hill-like and refer to myself, that’s why I did (and will at some point pick up again) the iPeople blog. Those are accounts of people who accomplished things through their own will and their lives provide examples, not assertions in a book. I still marvel at the struggle of grocer David Pender who eventually got rich despite himself.
And that’s how it often is with people who get rich. They wind up doing something they really don’t want to do, find themselves stuck in it, and wind up “accidental” successes.
And synchronicity has struck this post. I wanted to illustrate that point by linking to a story. But a search revealed I can now embed the video version. It made a huge impression on me ages ago when I saw it on TV and I haven’t seen it since. Now — until it’s been DMCAed away — I can pass it along to illustrate my point. Take the few minutes needed to watch this and you’ll have a better insight into how life works than many people:
When that eventually disappears, there’s W. Somerset Maugham’s original story to turn to.
Same-day update: Carnegie had a Guest Book at his home in Skibo:
Then there must have been one at his New York City mansion too:
Does it still exist and where is it archived?