How Napoleon Hill Changed My Life


By Ted Ings, Executive Director

This is my earliest Collector's Edition of "Think and Grow Rich, circa 1972. Yes, that's me riding my horse "Outrageous", I must have been about 10 years old!

This is my earliest Collector's Edition of "Think and Grow Rich, circa 1972. Yes, that's me riding my horse "Outrageous", I must have been about 10 years old!

Bear with me for a few moments and let me show you some simple steps to achieving your dreams and closing the deal of a lifetime. 

For the past 30 years or so, my life has been dedicated to helping others perfect their sales skills. The words that have inspired time after time have resonance in every walk of life. The art of selling isn’t restricted to the salesroom but is crucial to our success in every element of running a business, from recruiting the right people, to getting the right press. 

Before we even get the importance of words, we need to tackle the importance of thought. Many years ago, I, like many others, discovered the wisdom of Napoleon Hill whose book Think and Grow Rich, has topped many best-seller lists and inspired people from all over the world. 

"Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit." - Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Hill’s words have stayed with me ever since and not a day goes by that I don’t look in the mirror and remind myself that I am capable of anything I put my mind to. Hill has inspired me to such an extent that I will happily challenge anyone who is currently doubting their future in sales to remain negative in the face of Hill’s motivational advice.

In fact, I’m happy to go one step further and suggest that anyone contemplating a career in sales will see themselves rise to the top by following Hill’s formula for self-confidence and success.

Thoughts are things

No, I’m not talking about lusting after a movie star or singer or even coveting the neighbor’s new Mercedes. I’m talking about the desire that burns inside each and every one of us. The desire to become all that we can be and the willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve that. When Napoleon Hill sat down opposite someone like Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, he saw the fire of desire in their eyes. Without desire, there can be no achievement. If there is no drive, there can be no success.

Like a fire, desire must be fuelled, stoked and given room to breathe. 

Instead of twigs and paper, it needs a purpose. Ask yourself what you desire and why you desire it. Knowing why you want something kindles the fire of your desire.

Desire: The starting point of all achievement

“Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat”. ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Once you have the first spark of desire, your fire begins to burn but without faith, it will soon run out of fuel. Where belief is strong, your fire will burn hot, but if fear and doubt cloud your beliefs, so your fire will suffocate and all that’s left of your desire will be a few glowing embers. Grow your own belief by adding to your skillset and arming yourself with right weapons to slay the dragons of distrust and murder the monsters of misgiving. Desire is nothing more than a whimsical wish unless we prepare ourselves to receive its fruits.

“There is a difference between WISHING for a thing and being READY to receive it. No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish. Open-mindedness is essential for belief.”― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

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Autosuggestion: The medium for influencing the subconscious mind

Okay, so not everyone is that into self-help books so those of you who are now thinking, “Enough is enough”, I challenge you to read on. Belief isn’t some airy-fairy concept that floats around in churches and chapels. Belief is the foundation stone for success, in life as in sales. 

For the past twenty years, I have stood before a mirror every morning and repeated my goals and affirmations. Every night before retiring, I repeat the same ritual. Over the years, my goals have grown as I have achieved one by one. Does it work? It's the secret of mental power to visualize success. 

The deeper the belief, the deeper the connection. The deeper the connection, the better the relationship between brand and consumer. Like any other part of your body, you can teach your mind to make positive progress, taking control of the thoughts we feed to our subconscious mind to create positivity and belief and banish self-doubt. After all, if you don’t believe in what your selling, why would anyone else?

“You’ve got to be sure of yourself before you can ever win a prize.” ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Knowing what you know and what you don’t know is crucial to success. There’s no point pursuing a goal that you aren’t prepared to achieve or that you don’t have the skills to attain. Knowing where your strengths lie and creating a niche for yourself based on your abilities is the foundation for success. Expanding knowledge through imagination is how to soar above the competition. 

Look back on your previous successes and use the superpowers that helped you then take you to the next level. Imagine yourself achieving that goal and once you’ve seen it, own it. 

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

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The Power of the Master Mind

Surround yourself with the best and brightest people. If all you ever do is follow orders or follow the person in front of you, you will only ever achieve second best. The only way to get ahead is to use your head. Have the confidence to do more than is expected of you. Expand your limitations, open your mind and embrace new ideas. By doing more than is required, we buy into the law of increasing returns. If you do a $1000 job for a client who’s only paying you $500, that deficit will right itself off not in the 500s but in 1000s. 

“To win the big stakes in this changed world, you must catch the spirit of the great pioneers of the past, whose dreams have given to civilization all that it has of value, the spirit that serves as the life-blood of our own country – your opportunity and mine, to develop and market our talents.”― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

These are some of the most important life lessons I gained from Napoleon Hill and ones that resound in my mind daily. 

While this is only the tip of Hill’s inspirational iceberg, I hope it’s enough to convince you that you are to sales what Einstein was to theoretical physics. You have a treasure of specialized skills that only you possess. Only you can bring your desire, your fire and your belief to the world.

After reading this, I hope you’ll take the time to sit down with these principles and let them seep deeper into your consciousness. I just want to add one thing before I leave you to dwell on these inspiring words – don’t be afraid of failure. Every path to success has some bumps along the way and the only way to deal with defeat is to accept it as guidance. Maybe adjust your path a little or change your method of transport, but don’t left defeat overcome you or blur your vision of the final goal.

The documents posted on this Website contain external links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. These links and pointers are provided for the user’s convenience. Center for Performance Improvement does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of this outside information. The inclusion of links or pointers to particular items is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended as an endorsement by or for the Center for Performance Improvement. This article is not an endorsement by Dr. Napoleon Hill, the Napoleon Hill Family or the Napoleon Hill Foundation.