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Napoleon Hill was a notorious Scam artist before writing Think And Grow Rich, arrested many times.

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by ChrisV, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. ChrisV
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    ChrisV Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    There are only so many times that a man can be arrested for the sale of unlicensed stock, altering checks, and outright theft, before you have to question the official history.”


    It starts.

    Naploeon Hill. One of the most beloved Gurus of all time had very humble beginnings. One of his first business ventures succeeded when Hill would purchase lumber on credit and sell it to suppliers at cut rate prices. How was he able to turn a profit this way? Simple, he just never paid the lumber companies who gave him the lumber and skipped town.

    From Gizmodo’s 2016 research on Hill:

    Hill was involved in countless scams over the years. One of his earliest involved buying lumber on credit, never paying his suppliers, and selling the lumber to others for cash at rates well below market value. This, as you can guess, didn’t last very long before Hill went on the run.

    Hill tried his hand at a number of businesses with varying degrees of legitimacy. He was an executive at a lumber company, he was part owner of a candy company, and he made a go of it as a magazine publisher. But at every turn, there was some kind of shady dealing that would cause his business ventures to crumble. Promoters of Hill claim that it was all a matter of bad luck, and Hill’s naivety. According to his biographers, Michael J. Ritt Jr. and Kirk Landers, Hill’s greatest flaw was that he was too trusting. His business associates would take advantage of him by stealing tremendous amounts of money and later pointing the finger at Hill as the thief.

    Napoleon Hill was a deeply troubled soul, suffering bouts of depression and loneliness as he struggled to become a financial success. Constantly on the move, he believed that success came through confidence and visualization. But behind every upbeat quote and promise of future riches, Hill had a darkness that could not be contained. With every breath he uttered there was a kind of intellectual and spiritual impotence underneath; a cacophony of buzzwords echoing through the skyscrapers of Chicago and the airwaves of Hollywood. And it was his words that would both render him a prophet, and destroy the lives of those closest to him.

    I’m really busy but I wanted to post this. Napoleon Hill was really the grandfather of what you see in Self Help these days. “The Secret is to just be positive, visualize success and riches will come to you.”

    Reporters who investigated were able to find no evidence that Hill's claims of a meeting between him and Andrew Carnegie were true, and couldn’t even find any evidence that they had ever met.

    From Hill’s book:

    IN EVERY chapter of this book, mention has been made of the money-making secret which has made fortunes for more than five hundred exceedingly wealthy men whom I have carefully analyzed over a long period of years.

    The secret was brought to my attention by Andrew Carnegie, more than a quarter of a century ago. The canny, lovable old Scotsman carelessly tossed it into my mind, when I was but a boy. Then he sat back in his chair, with a merry twinkle in his eyes, and watched carefully to see if I had brains enough to understand the full significance of what he had said to me.

    When he saw that I had grasped the idea, he asked if I would be willing to spend twenty years or more, preparing myself to take it to the world, to men and women who, without the secret, might go through life as failures. I said I would, and with Mr. Carnegie’s cooperation, I have kept my promise.

    This book contains the secret, after having been put to a practical test by thousands of people, in almost every walk of life. It was Mr. Carnegie’s idea that the magic formula, which gave him a stupendous fortune, ought to be placed within reach of people who do not have time to investigate how men make money, and it was his hope that I might test and demonstrate the soundness of the formula through the experience of men and women in every calling
    .​

    From the article:

    I contacted Andrew Carnegie biographer David Nasaw about the alleged meeting between Carnegie and Hill, and he told me he “found no evidence of any sort that Carnegie and Hill ever met.” I pressed Nasaw about whether there was any chance at all that Hill’s book could be based on real events. Nasaw replied, “Let me put it this way. I found no evidence that the book was authentic.”
    He apparently didn’t start making these claims until after Carnegie died.

    Think about it. Let’s say I came on this forum and said. “Hey… before Steve Jobs died he gave me the task. He wanted me to interview hundreds of the worlds most successful men and uncover the magical secret to riches."

    You would be like “ummmmm who the f*ck are you, how do you know Steve Jobs, and why would he pick YOU instead of a reputable journalist. He picked Walter freaking Issacson to do his biography. Why would he choose you?”

    In my opinion, Hill's entire premise is laughable. “Andrew Carnegie picked ME, some random guy off the street and gave me the task of interviewing hundreds of (what would be) billionaires (in their time) and finding THE SECRET OF WEALTH. And the Secret? Positive thinking!” Nothing about creating market value, or great customer service. Just pure positivity!

    From Wikipedia:

    Hill left his coal mine management job soon afterwards, and began law school before withdrawing for lack of funds. Later in life, Hill would use the title of "Attorney of Law," although Hill's official biography notes that "there is no record of his having actually performed legal services for anyone," [9]
    Business ventures:

    During May 1909, Hill relocated to Washington D.C. and initiated the "Automobile College of Washington," where he instructed students to build, chauffeur and sell motor cars.[12]

    During April 1912, the automobile magazine Motor World accused Hill's college of being a scam relying upon on misleading marketing materials that would be "a joke to anyone of average intelligence”

    It can’t be all bad, right?

    During September 1915, Hill established and served as the dean of a new school in Chicago, the "George Washington Institute of Advertising," where he intended to teach the principles of success and self-confidence. On June 4, 1918, the Chicago Tribune reported that the state of Illinois had issued two warrants for the arrest of Hill, who was charged with violating blue sky laws for fraudulently attempting to sell shares of his school with a $100,000 capitalization, despite the school's assets only being appraised at $1200.[17] The school ended soon afterwards.

    What did he day he was doin during those years around 1918 he was (allegedly) selling fraudulent stock and evading warrants? He was advising Woodrow Wilson, of course.

    Later in his life, Hill would say that he spent the years of 1917-1918 advising president Woodrow Wilson amidst World War I. [18]


    During 1922, Hill also initiated the Intra-Wall Correspondence School, a charitable foundation intended to provide educational materials to prisoners in Ohio. The foundation was directed by, among others, the check forger and former convict Butler Storke, who was later himself to be sent back to prison during 1923. [19] According to Hill's official biography, this period was also when hundreds of documents associating Hill with various famous figures were destroyed in a Chicago storage fire.[20]

    Oh, he met all those famous figures, but all of the documents were lost in a fire. Gotcha. All this misfortune, but not all is bad.... He then published Laws of Success (the unabridged version of Think and Grow Rich) and the rest is history!

    During 1928, Hill relocated to Philadelphia and convinced a Connecticut-based publisher to publish his eight-volume work The Law of Success. The book was Hill's first major success, allowing Hill to adopt an opulent lifestyle. By 1929, he had already bought a Rolls-Royce and a six-hundred acre property in the Catskill Mountains, with the aid of some lenders.[21]

    And of course, there’s this gem:

    At the age of 17, Hill graduated from high school and went to Tazewell, Virginia to attend business school. During 1901, Hill accepted a job working for the lawyer Rufus A. Ayers, a coal magnate and former Virginia attorney general. The author Richard Lingeman said that Hill received this job after arranging to keep confidential the death of a black bellhop, whom the previous manager of the mine had accidentally shot while drunk.[6]
    Lmfao

    Anyway, read the piece Gizmodo did in 2016:

    https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/the-untold-story-of-napoleon-hill-the-greatest-self-he-1789385645
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  2. lowtek
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    Seeing how much hate Tai Lopez gets on this forum, I have been wondering when someone would come along and point out the shady doings of Napolean Hill.

    I'm certain the same standards will be applied :smuggy:
     
  3. ChrisV
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    ChrisV Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Ha.
     
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  4. ChrisV
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    ChrisV Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 3.00.10 PM.png
     
  5. Real Deal Denver
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    Nobody will ever know for certain how authentic Hill was, but I do know one thing for certain.

    I have read his book and he is indeed right. It goes far beyond "thinking positively and achieving success."

    The message is exposing a fact that few people are aware of, which is our brain is like a computer. It will concentrate on what we tell it. It will deliver results to us, based on what we think about. Like Hill said, if we plant weeds, it will grow weeds. If we plant beneficial crops, it will produce that. It makes no judgement - it just does what it is told to do. And it will do this 24 hours a day, whether we realize it or not. It is working on pushing and steering us towards whatever conclusion we are trying to reach.

    I can completely verify that this is true. I have had many complex thoughts, and I realize that there is an answer, I just have to let my brain work on it a while. And EVERY TIME it comes up with a path to follow to find the answer, if not the answer directly. Put another way, but with the exact results, is why people take time to meditate. Do you think they do that to just feel good? No, they do that to harness the power they have in their inner brain. Unlike most people that are distracted by the constant bombardment to our senses every day, when these people meditate they turn off all the distractions and focus on what is important. And although it may be vague, like the meaning of life, for example, the best ones also focus on the here and now issues they have to deal with. Is it a coincidence these people usually have more confidence, and are unusually focused and successful? They're not smarter - they just know how to tap into their own power at their disposal. And the results are impressive.

    Your knocking down Hill is a prime example of not using the power in your own mind. Sure he may have done some terrible things. But is that any reason to ignore or discredit his very profound discovery that IS of great benefit to everyone? For everything and everyone, there is a good and a bad way to look at it. You work too hard at your job - OR you have a great opportunity at your job to work harder than everyone else so when the opportunity presents itself for a promotion, you will be ready and you will be chosen. Wow - same thing - two vastly different ways of looking at it. Of course, the vast majority are in the first camp, and then they wonder why they don't get ahead.

    Like another "fake guru" that people love to bash (I am not in that group), people love to find fault with Robert Kiyosaki. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't do something - I don't care. I do care very much about his message though. One message of his that has stuck with me is to never work to earn, but to work to learn. If you are not improving in what you're doing, you're wasting your life. BAM! I can't argue with that! I picked it up, and it's at the forefront of my consciousness.

    Where do I get these, and many more, ideas that help me be more successful? I'd like to say I'm a genius and just make them up myself. But that's not true - I get them from books written by others that have discovered something of great importance. Every book is like a brick - solid, but still only a brick. Get enough bricks, and I can make something impressive. And that's what I've been doing while on this planet.

    If anyone wants to read about a true failure - a true fake - someone that failed at every single thing they did, except the last thing - read about Abraham Lincoln. You will be amazed at the sheer fortitude this man had. Many would not have the fortitude to push on through life as he did. But we don't look at his failures - no Sir - we look, of course, at his success and being one of the most respected people of all time. All time!

    If all the naysayers have a better book, instead of tearing down someone else, tell us about it, or write it yourself if it doesn't exist. I'm a sucker - I buy books all the time. That's how I found this forum, in fact!
     
  6. ChrisV
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    ChrisV Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I do this as well. Yes, it works.

    I ask my brain “How can I solve this problem” forget about it, and randomly in a day or a few days, it just finishes processing then pops the answer into my head.

    In psychology they call it Incubation.

    Incubation (psychology) - Wikipedia

    Incubation is one of the four proposed stages of creativity, which are preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification.[1] Incubation is defined as a process of unconscious recombination of thought elements that were stimulated through conscious work at one point in time, resulting in novel ideas at some later point in time.[2] Incubation is related to intuition and insight in that it is the unconscious part of a process whereby an intuition may become validated as an insight. Incubation substantially increases the odds of solving a problem, and benefits from long incubation periods with low cognitive workloads.[3]

    The experience of leaving a problem for a period of time and then finding that the difficulty evaporates on returning to the problem, or, even more striking, that the solution "comes out of the blue" when thinking about something else, is widespread. Many guides to effective thinking and problem solving advise the reader to set problems aside for a time.


    Millionaire Fastlane… Unscripted.

    These: Books Fastlaners Recommend

    And re: Hill - I don’t know if it’s wise to take success advice from someone who’s only success was selling success advice.
     
  7. The Abundant Man
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    Who's doing Tony Robbins
     
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  8. Real Deal Denver
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    Real Deal Denver Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    It is good to know that this "technique" has a name and is recognized. I didn't know that. I'm glad that you have used it and agree that is is effective, as well.

    So with this information, you are telling me that Hill's advice is proven, recognized, and effective. Okay, we're on the same page so far.

    But at the end you say it is may be not wise to take his advice, based on his track record. We all start somewhere. At one time I was not a genius. Ha - that's a funny way to say I'm not a genius, but doesn't it sound so much better that way? I take advice from many people that don't have stellar track records, but all are successful. Let's take a modern day hero for comparison. Steve Jobs. Regarded as brilliant by many. And he certainly was. But. I despise how Steve Jobs treated his daughter, but I still respect much of his business advice. He also was legendary on how badly he treated his employees. I still listen and learn from him. Jobs had millions when he did that, which made it 1,000,000 times worse! I doubt Hill ever abandoned a son or daughter, and yet you vilify him anyway. Let's put things into perspective and see them clearly. You should read about Colonial Harland Sanders sometime - there was a fiery pistol of an entrepreneur in his younger days. Cross him at your own risk - he was not always the kindly grandfatherly type we all know and love.

    I don't idolize very many people. I realize they all have good traits and bad. That, however, does not stop me from appreciating the profound things they accomplish though. If you knew me well you could say that I have had many failures. And I wouldn't argue that. I would, however, tell you how each of them taught me a lot and made me stronger and smarter. But I won't do that, because as long as you don't know me, I can remain a "perfect" stranger... LOL
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  9. Vigilante
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    Presumably his wife Bonnie "Sage" Robbins
     
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    [​IMG]
     
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    I remember Dan Kennedy saying that, even though Hill inspired him and many other entrepreneurs, you couldn't ignore the fact he died broke.

    As a bonus, Kennedy suggested you check Clement Stone's The Success System That Never Fails. Stone became a billionaire and when he read Think And Grow Rich, he was surprised to find inside it a lot of the principles he had personally used. Personally, I enjoy Stone's writing way more than Hill's.
     
  12. maverick
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    This. Repped++

    Everything you read, experience and perceive should be interpreted by yourself to filter out learnings.

    Never take things for granted (relates to all areas of life).

    Always form your own opinion.

    By adopting this mindset you'll be able to learn from anything and everything.
     
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    Carnegie wrote an Essay 'The Gospel of Wealth.' Mainly about how the wealthy have a duty to redistribute that wealth once acquired for the better common good as opposed to the British Aristocratic duty of keeping it in the family.

    More importantly though he clearly states that hard work and perseverance were the foundation of his wealth. Being from Scotland this would make perfect sense. They are very Scottish Presbytarian traits.

    He was also a massive believer in self Education hence him funding a staggering percentage of libraries in the world for the time. He wanted the poor to have access to books to self educate themselves.

    Like most extremely wealthy people his real secret was spotting the opportunity and dominating the chosen market. In his case steel.

    It is the spotting the opportunity plus hard work and perseverance that underpins great wealth.

    I guess no one wants his Essay on that though.

    Dan
     
  14. lludwig
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    His Ex-Wife Becky was screwing him over. Does that count??

    Details from the divorce certainly made for some interesting reading.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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    Well to be fair Napoleon Hill was only studying the wealthiest people, not claiming he himself was wealthy (unless I missed that part?)..
     
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    ChrisV Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Yea but there’s no evidence that he met the people he claimed to have studied.
     
  17. Fox
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    It’s a book I got a lot of value from and I still use the principles in there.

    Can anyone find fault with content in the book? I’d like to see what principles you don’t agree with it or how you would do differently.
     
  18. ChrisV
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    There are a few things...I haven’t read it in a while but one that comes to mind is the “3 feet to gold” or whatever story.

    The story tells of a guy digging for gold then gives up right before he reaches it: the lesson being “never give up.”

    Giving up and moving elsewhere is often necessary.

    Let’s say there’s an inventor with a sh*tty invention and he follows Napoleon Hills “never give up” advice and keeps on trucking through.

    The guy in the story may have been 3 feet from gold, but it’s a story. 99% of the time it wouldn’t have worked like that. And advice like that can cause people to just keep on persisting even when it’s the wrong thing to do.

    Persistence is great, but you have to persist on the right things. I’m not going to persist on my dreams of being a tap dancer because it’s just not lucrative.

    Also his emphasis on positive thinking has literally spawned an entire self-help field of feel good fluff.

    He claims that getting rich doesn’t require hard work and most who g et rich are just showered with riches overnight. Overnight successes do happen, but they’re usually due to years of hard work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  19. ChrisV
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    ChrisV Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    And honestly, I’m not sure how much I believe when people say TGR made them rich. I mean there are people that believe that a lucky charm causes them to win sports games. It doesn’t necessarily make it true.

    The secret to wealth is simple: create something people want more than the money in their pocket. If you want $5, make something worth $6. Hill doesn’t talk about that at all.

    I mean maybe I’m wrong but I really didn’t get anything from the book. TMF and US are much better.
     
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    [​IMG]
     
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    +1. Hill's writing reminds me of the "just think positively and you'll win the lottery, find your soulmate, etc" new-agey fluff that it spawned. TMF is **real** and actionable.

    Don't get me wrong, I fully believe in the importance of positive thinking. If you're not positive about your goal, you will not put in the effort to achieve that goal. But the action is the magic sauce, not the positive thinking. Positive thinking without effort will get you nowhere, 99.999% of the time. I mean even if you're sure your positive vibes will win the lottery, you still gotta buy a ticket...
     
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    It’s an opinion, there is no wrong or right...right?

    The most telling thing for me when I read a book is how quickly do I read it again. I first read Think and Grow Rich about 6 years ago and when I tried to reread it I couldn’t get past the 2nd chapter. It has good concepts to it, some apply to me, some don’t.

    When I first listened to Unscripted, I finished it on a Friday and started it again the following Monday.
     
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  23. ChrisV
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    TGR.. I read it because I was ‘supposed’ to. That’s what everyone said was ‘it’... when I read it I was pretty unimpressed.
     
  24. Merging Left
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    To those who say "It doesn't matter if NH was legit or not, because what he said was true," I ask you, what are you saying in the threads that criticize "Do as I say, not as I do"?

    If NH gives good advice, and that's enough, why so much hate on Tai Lopez? You could argue he is similar to NH but with a different, more flamboyant marketing tactic. Who cares if he gets rich selling courses about how to start businesses if the lessons in it are valuable?

    Just because he's old and dead and claimed to interview American titans of industry doesn't mean he's immune to the same scrutiny we apply to today's gurus. Who knows, in 100 years Tai Lopez might be regarded as the business visionary of our time...

    I read Think & Grow Rich, and after reading about Napoleon Hill's several bankruptcies, questionable business practices, and the fact the he died broke, I was left with a fairly sour taste in my mouth. He discovered a secret that can make anybody rich, but he couldn't do it himself? That's a tough hurdle for me to get over.
     
  25. loop101
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    loop101 Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Think and Grow Rich was published in 1937, one of the worst years of The Great Depression, the year Amelia Earhart disappeared, and the Hindenberg blew up. Build something for $5 and sell it for $6? What if nobody has $6? Or even $1? What if people are too busy starving and committing suicide to buy your app? There are people today who say Jesus was a sh*tbag, and maybe he was, but his message resonated with people, or you wouldn't still be hearing it.

    You started off by presenting your bonafides, now you are busy zapping the old guard, this will create a need for what - The Millionaire Fast Brain course?
     
    rogue synthetic and Bearcorp like this.

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