Think and Grow Rich Summary

think and grow rich front cover
Reading Time: 14 minutes

Author: Napoleon Hill
Published: 1937
Pages: 320
Amount sold: 100 million


Think and Grow Rich Summary is an iconic business book written by Napoleon Hill in 1937. Taking the success principles of high achievers into account, Hill’s powerful insights provide a roadmap to wealth—not just in financial terms but also in knowledge, understanding, and fulfillment.

This groundbreaking book offers a profound understanding of the key principles required to achieve one’s dreams and goals. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a student, or anyone seeking a richer understanding of life, “Think and Grow Rich” is a treasure trove of knowledge.

With over 100 million copies sold since its first publication, Think and Grow Rich is still one of the best-selling books of all time, whose teachings still hold true today.

Let’s take a look at why it is still so popular after eight decades.

Think and Grow Rich Quick Summary

Think and Grow Rich is based on Napoleon Hill’s personal experiences and interviews with successful individuals such as Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie. Hill outlines 13 principles that must be followed if one wants to become wealthy. These principles include having a definite purpose, setting a plan of action, and having faith in oneself in order to achieve your desired outcome.

Think and Grow Rich is aimed primarily at entrepreneurs, business owners, and aspiring millionaires who want to achieve financial success. It also appeals to those who want to build wealth and improve their lives.

At its core, Think and Grow Rich promotes the idea that one can achieve success through hard work and determination. Hill encourages readers to take control of their lives and to never give up on their dreams. The book is an inspiring and motivational read that can help anyone achieve financial success.

Think and Grow Rich in 4 Sentences

  • The book begins with the concept that a powerful and precise desire for a specific goal is the initial step toward success.
  • It teaches the practice of auto-suggestion, which involves reinforcing one’s subconscious mind with their desires and beliefs, serving as a tool to turn those desires into reality.
  • “Think and Grow Rich” highlights the importance of acquiring specialized knowledge in one’s chosen field, and advocates for the creation of ‘mastermind groups’. These are groups of like-minded people who support each other to reach their goals, leveraging shared wisdom and experience.
  • Finally, it underscores the value of persistent efforts despite challenges and the need to overcome fears. The book specifically emphasizes the importance of conquering the fear of failure and using it as a catalyst for success.

5 Key Takeaways From Think and Grow Rich

1. Having a definite goal is the foundation for success: Hill stresses the importance of having a concrete and focused goal in order to achieve success. Without a goal, it is impossible to make progress toward achieving it.

2. Creating a plan of action is essential: Hill advocates for creating a plan of action that will help you reach your desired outcome. This plan should consist of specific steps that can be taken to achieve success.

3. Belief and faith are necessary: The Virginian-born author emphasizes the importance of having faith in yourself and in your goal. Without belief that you can achieve your goal, it will be difficult to make progress.

4. Hard work is essential: Achieving success requires hard work and dedication. Hill suggests that in order to become wealthy you must be willing to put in the effort and time necessary.

5. Never give up on yourself: Hill stresses the importance of never giving up. Even if you fail, it is important to pick yourself up and try again until you reach your desired outcome.

Think and Grow Rich Quotes

1. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

This quote conveys the power of our thoughts and beliefs. If we set a goal that we are committed to achieving, and believe in ourselves and our ability to make it happen, then we can make it a reality.

2. “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”

Encourages us to never give up on our dreams. No matter how challenging it may seem, we must keep pushing forward and never stop trying until we have reached our desired outcome.

3. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

Emphasizes the importance of making consistent progress toward our goals. No matter how small the steps are, they will add up and can eventually lead to success.

4. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

Reinforces the idea that success doesn’t happen overnight. We must be patient and continue to work hard with perseverance if we want to achieve our dreams.

5. “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”

Reminds us of the fact that there will be obstacles to overcome and challenges that we must face in order to achieve our goals. It is only through putting in the effort and having the courage to face our fears that we can grow and become successful.

Napoleon Hill: The Man Behind ‘Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill was born into poverty in a one-room cabin in the Pound River area of Wise County, Virginia, on October 26, 1883. His mother passed away when he was just nine years old, but his stepmother, who entered his life thereafter, had a positive influence on him.

Hill’s early career was filled with numerous entrepreneurial efforts. In his early teens, he began writing as a “mountain reporter” for small-town newspapers, and soon used his earnings to go to law school. However, due to financial difficulties, he had to withdraw. He then turned to business endeavors, which experienced various levels of success and failure.

Hill’s life took a significant turn in 1908 when he got an opportunity to interview the successful industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Impressed with Hill’s intelligence, Carnegie assigned him the task of interviewing numerous successful people to discover and document a formula for success. This 20-year undertaking (done without compensation) led to the foundation of Hill’s philosophy of success.

These interviews and research served as the basis for Hill’s most famous work, “The Law of Success,” published in 1928, followed by “Think and Grow Rich” in 1937. Despite its initial slow sales, “Think and Grow Rich” went on to sell millions of copies, standing as one of the best-selling books of all time. It established Hill’s fame and influence in the area of personal development.

Hill continued writing, consulting, teaching, and lecturing on personal development for the rest of his life. He also served as an advisor to several political leaders, including Franklin D. Roosevelt. He passed away in November 1970, leaving a significant legacy in the field of personal development and success literature.

Think And Grow Rich Summary

“Think and Grow Rich” is divided into thirteen principles or steps toward success, each of which is the focus of a single chapter. Here’s a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book:

  1. Desire: Hill suggests that the starting point of all achievements is desire, a strong, burning goal that creates a determination to go on, even in the face of adversity.
  2. Faith: The second chapter emphasizes the power of belief. You have to believe that you can achieve your goal, even if you cannot see how it’s possible at the moment.
  3. Auto-suggestion: This chapter covers the idea of using affirmations and visualization to impact the subconscious mind, thereby influencing behavior, habits, and actions toward achieving your goals.
  4. Specialized Knowledge: Hill stresses that general knowledge by itself is not enough; specialized knowledge, particularly that which can be turned into wealth or contribute to the attainment of your goal, is essential.
  5. Imagination: Here, Hill introduces two types of imagination: ‘Synthetic Imagination’, which rearranges old ideas into new combinations, and ‘Creative Imagination’, which serves as the channel for the hitherto unknown.
  6. Organized Planning: This chapter involves developing a clear and feasible plan of action for achieving your goal.
  7. Decision: Hill emphasizes the importance of making decisions promptly and changing them slowly, if at all.
  8. Persistence: Persistence is crucial for achieving your goals. Hill asserts that lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure.
  9. Power of the Master Mind: This principle involves the coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose. This creates a ‘third mind’ that can come up with ideas that wouldn’t have occurred to any individual.
  10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation: In this somewhat controversial chapter, Hill suggests that sexual energy can be converted into creative energy.
  11. The Subconscious Mind: This chapter goes into more detail about how the subconscious mind can influence one’s ability to achieve success.
  12. The Brain: Hill talks about how the brain is a broadcasting and receiving station for thought, and can be used to increase one’s vibration and connection to the universe.
  13. The Sixth Sense: The final principle discusses intuition and hunches, and how these can guide you towards success once you’ve mastered the other principles.

By understanding and applying these principles, Hill argues, anyone can achieve the success they desire.

Key Principles in ‘Think and Grow Rich’

There are a number of important principles in the book but we have listed out the most important below:

  1. The Power of Desire: Napoleon Hill stresses that the intensity of one’s desire is the starting point of all achievements. A strong, burning desire is crucial to overcome obstacles and persevere until the goal is reached.
  2. The Role of the Subconscious Mind: The book heavily emphasizes the influence of the subconscious mind in achieving success. Techniques like auto-suggestion, which involves influencing the subconscious mind through repeated thoughts and beliefs, play a significant role in actualizing one’s desires.
  3. Persistence and Overcoming Fear: Another dominant theme is the importance of unwavering persistence and the necessity of overcoming fears, especially the fear of failure. Hill asserts that these are critical components of the success journey.

Major Causes of Failure

Failure is something that we all experience at some point in our lives. According to Hill, the primary factors leading to failure are:

  1. Lack of a Well-Defined Purpose: Without a clear goal or purpose in life, people are likely to drift aimlessly. A specific goal is essential for directing effort and resources toward success.
  2. Lack of Persistence: Hill emphasizes that a lack of persistence in the face of difficulties or challenges is a key reason why people fail. Success often requires consistent effort over time, even when faced with obstacles.
  3. Negative Personality: If individuals possess a negative or unlikable personality, it can inhibit their success. Building positive relationships is crucial for personal and professional success, and a negative demeanor can serve as a barrier to forming these connections.

Important Factors of Leadership

To turn theory into action Hill argues that you must be a ‘leader’. He then goes on to describe 11 attributes that he he believes a leader to be.

  1. Unwavering Courage: Leaders need confidence in their abilities to make decisions and stand by them.
  2. Self-Control: Leaders must be able to control themselves before they can control others.
  3. A Keen Sense of Justice: Leaders should be fair and just in all their dealings to earn respect and trust.
  4. Definiteness of Decision: Effective leaders make decisions promptly and change them, if at all, very slowly.
  5. Definiteness of Plans: Leaders must plan their work and work their plan. They always know what they’re doing and why.
  6. The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For: Going the extra mile can help leaders inspire others to do the same.
  7. A Pleasing Personality: A leader’s personality is a critical factor in their ability to influence others.
  8. Sympathy and Understanding: Leaders should empathize with their followers and understand their needs and problems.
  9. Mastery of Detail: While leaders need to see the big picture, they also need to understand the details of their operations.
  10. Willingness to Assume Full Responsibility: Leaders are accountable for the mistakes and the shortcomings of their followers.
  11. Cooperation: Leaders must work effectively with their team and encourage a harmonious environment.

Think and Grow Rich Review

I have read Think and Grow Rich, and I believe it is one of the best books out there on personal development and success. Hill’s philosophy of success is timeless and the book is filled with practical advice, actionable steps, and thought-provoking insights. The thirteen principles he outlines are simple yet powerful, and I have personally been able to put them into practice and see great results. It has helped me to stay focused and motivated to reach my goals and I believe it can do the same for anyone else. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for self-improvement and success.

3 Actionable Steps To Implement The Ideas From The Book

  1. Set Clear Goals: Start by identifying your true desires and aspirations. What is it that you truly want to achieve? Make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Write these goals down and place them where you can see them every day.
  2. Visualize Success: Practice the power of visualization. Regularly imagine yourself having achieved your goals. Visualize the details – how it feels, what you see, who’s with you. This can help in reinforcing your belief in your ability to achieve the desired outcome.
  3. Exercise Persistence: Cultivate the habit of persistence. Understand that setbacks and failures are part of the process. Instead of being disheartened by them, learn from these experiences and continue to strive toward your goals. Keep your motivation high by remembering your “why” – the reasons behind your goals.

Who would I recommend the Think And Grow Rich summary to?

“Think and Grow Rich” is a valuable resource for a broad range of individuals.

Aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a business would greatly benefit from the book’s insights into desire, faith, and acquiring specialized knowledge.

Those who are feeling stuck in their personal or professional lives might find the motivation and strategies they need to move forward. It would also be useful for people interested in personal development, as the book’s principles apply to many areas of life beyond just financial wealth.

Additionally, individuals who are pursuing a big goal but are struggling with self-doubt could gain a lot from Hill’s ideas about the power of self-belief and positive thinking.

Lastly, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the mindset and principles that have guided some of the most successful individuals in history.

Success Stories: Real-world Examples of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ Principles

Even though it was published in 1937, many of the principles taught in Think and Grow Rich are still being used by successful individuals today.

Another example is Steve Jobs, who was inspired by Hill’s ideas on taking action and thinking big when creating Apple computers. His drive and ambition helped shape Apple into one of the most successful companies of all time.

Talkshow host Oprah Winfrey has spoken openly about her use of positive visualization and affirmation, similar to the concept of auto-suggestion discussed in Hill’s book. She envisioned her success and maintained a strong belief in her capabilities, even in the face of adversity.

The founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, is another example of Hill’s principles at work. She had a clear vision for her product and demonstrated unwavering desire and persistence in bringing it to market. Her belief in her product and her determination to see it succeed align closely with Hill’s philosophies.

Elon Musk’s ambition to revolutionize transport, both on earth and in space, showcases the principle of desire. He has faced numerous obstacles and setbacks, but his unwaveable belief in his vision has kept him going, echoing Hill’s emphasis on faith and persistence.

These are just a few examples of how Hill’s work has been integral in influencing today’s entrepreneurs and business owners.


While “Think and Grow Rich” has been widely acclaimed and has had a substantial influence on the field of personal development, it’s not without its criticisms:

  1. Overemphasis on Positive Thinking: Some critics argue that Hill’s principles place too much emphasis on positive thinking and visualization techniques. They suggest that while maintaining a positive mindset is beneficial, it is not enough on its own to guarantee success.
  2. Lack of Practical Guidance: While the book is rich with insights and principles, some readers have found it lacks concrete, step-by-step strategies. This could make it challenging for readers to implement the principles in their daily lives.
  3. Outdated Examples: Since the book was written in the 1930s, many of the examples are dated. Some critics argue that the experiences of these early 20th-century individuals might not be entirely applicable to the modern era.
  4. Controversial Ideas: Certain concepts presented in the book, like the idea of ‘sex transmutation’, have been considered controversial and difficult to comprehend or apply by some readers.
  5. Perceived Promises of Wealth: The book’s title itself has drawn criticism, as some readers feel it implies that simply thinking in a certain way can lead to riches. Critics argue that success requires much more than just a particular mindset, including hard work, opportunities, and, sometimes, a degree of luck.

Think and Grow Rich Summary Conclusion

“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill is a timeless piece of literature that has inspired countless readers to achieve personal and financial success.

It underscores the power of desire, faith, and persistence and the importance of techniques like auto-suggestion to influence the subconscious mind. Despite some criticisms, such as its dated examples and a perceived overemphasis on positive thinking, the book’s fundamental principles remain insightful and applicable to anyone seeking success.

It is not a get-rich-quick manual but a guide to developing the mindset and habits conducive to achieving one’s aspirations. While its teachings require dedication, patience, and consistent effort to implement, the principles presented in “Think and Grow Rich” can be transformative when genuinely embraced and applied.


What is the main point of Think and Grow Rich?

The main point of Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich is that success and wealth come from a combination of hard work, dedication, positive thinking, and taking the right action steps. Hill outlines specific principles and strategies to help individuals achieve success, such as having a definite purpose, setting a plan of action, believing in yourself, persevering, and leveraging the power of your subconscious. Hill also emphasizes the importance of forming a mastermind group and investing in yourself. Ultimately, Hill’s book encourages individuals to never give up on themselves and to always strive for greatness.

What are the six basic fears in Think and Grow Rich?

The six basic fears in Think and Grow Rich are the fear of poverty, the fear of criticism, the fear of ill health, the fear of loss of love, the fear of old age, and the fear of death. Hill argues that these fears are embedded deep in the subconscious mind and can be the source of numerous obstacles to success and wealth. To counter these fears, Hill advocates for the power of positive thinking, visualization, and auto-suggestion, which can be utilized to redirect these negative thoughts and emotions. Hill also emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with a supportive community and investing in one’s growth and development to overcome these fears.

What are the 13 steps of Think and Grow Rich?

In Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”, he outlines 13 key principles to attain success: Desire, Faith, Auto-Suggestion, Specialized Knowledge, Imagination, Organized Planning, Decision, Persistence, Power of the Master Mind, The Mystery of Sex Transmutation, The Subconscious Mind, The Brain, and The Sixth Sense.

What is the one secret in Think and Grow Rich?

Napoleon Hill often refers to “the secret” in “Think and Grow Rich,” but he never explicitly states what that secret is. He designed the book so that each reader could interpret and discover the secret for themselves through a careful reading of the text.

However, one interpretation of the “secret” that Hill often alludes to is the power of the mind and one’s thoughts. According to Hill, your thoughts are incredibly influential, and when combined with a burning desire and a clear purpose, they can manifest into reality. He suggests that if you can conceive something in your mind and truly believe it, then you can achieve it.


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