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The real Napoleon Hill

Updated on February 24, 2017

Early Life

Napoleon Hill was born in a one room cottage in west virginia and had a modest upbringing. His mother died when he was only 9, but it was his step mother who set him on the road to writing. At the age of 13 Napoleon was heading down a bad road of crime when his stepmother convinced him to swap his gun for a type writer. Napoleon started writing as a freelance writer for a number of local newspapers. It would be this writing which would ultimately make Napoleon so famous today

Business Life

Hill had many different roles and was in various failed businesses throughout his lifetime. At the age of 19 he was Managing a Coal Mine for Rufus A Ayres. Later he would jointly found a Lumber Company in Alabama, but it was always his writing that cam to the fore and ultimately his riches were accumulated through his writings, particularly think and grow rich, which sold more than 20m copies in his lifetime.

A Chance Meeting

As the Story goes, in Napoleons own works, he was in college with his brother and in order to fund their education he decided to interview the richest people in America. Luckily for him, his first meeting was with the wealth steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, who asked him to go and meet over 500 of the wealthiest men in america with the aim of writing an Economic Philosophy for the ordinary man in the street. Many years later the outcome of this meeting is Think and Grow Rich.


Napoleons greatest and constant philosophy was one of Rags to Riches with positive attitude and faith. He failed many times in business, however, he never accepted failure and looked at it as defeat rather than constant failure. Each and every time Napoleon was "defeated", he shook himself off and started again, with greater success every time. He lived exactly as he wrote and believed in his own abilities and desires.

Positive Attitude, Faith and Desire

The basis of Napoleon Hills writings are that of faith, positive attitude and desire. It is this writers belief that Napoleon is absolutely correct. I would challenge anyone to read Think and Grow Rich and then find and read about the habits and routines of any of the wealthiest people in the world today. I have done this and the comparisons are remarkable.


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    • tmheffernan profile image

      tmheffernan 14 months ago from Middle East

      Thanks for the comment

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 14 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing the inspiration story of Napoleon Hill. Thanks to his step mother for direction in his early life.