Chapter 1: Think and Grow Rich

The Man Who Thought His Way Into Partnership With Thomas A Edison

TRULY, "thoughts are things," and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches, or other material objects.

My Summary of Chapter 1

Prefer to read the chapter for yourself? You can read chapter 1 of Think and Grow Rich by clicking here.

A man by the name of Mr Edwin C Barnes wanted to work WITH Thomas Edison (as distinct from FOR Thomas Edison).

At the time this desire became apparent to Mr Barnes he was in no position to make it reality. Not only did he not know Mr Edison but he didn't even have enough money to catch a train to where he lived.

But, did these things deter Mr Barnes? Oh no, he caught a freight train (I'm assuming for free or close to it) to where Edison lived. Barnes then presented himself to Edison announcing that he had come to go into business with the inventor....

Despite the fact that Barnes looked like a tramp Edison sensed Barnes' unwavering determination to succeed born from his deep desire. Edison decided he'd give Barnes a chance.

Now Edison didn't take Barnes on as a partner at first. BUT he did give Barnes the opportunity to work with him (which as we already know wasn't what Barnes wanted). But, of course, Barnes took the opportunity to work for Edison.

Many months passed with Barnes still working FOR Edison during which time his purpose to work WITH Edison intensified. DETERMINED TO REMAIN READY UNTIL HE GOT THAT WHICH HE WAS SEEKING. I interpret this as "not giving up" which is the single number 1 reason fail. They simply give up. Barnes simply did not give up.

Eventually Barnes' opportunity to work in partnership with Edison became reality BUT in from an unexpected direction and form. And therein lies the problem with opportunity. Many people fail to recognise it because it is often disguised as a setback.

The opportunity was in the form of the Edison Dictating Machine (Ediphone). Edison couldn't get his salesmen to sell it because they didn't believe anyone would buy it. Barnes on the other hand knew he could sell it! Barnes and Edison were now in partnership and the slogan "Made by Edison and installed by Barnes" was well known at the time!

The business allegiance lasted over 30 years and Barnes became not only a wealthy man, but living proof of how anyone can think themselves into any situation they desire.

To contrast the story of Barnes' success and to describe the most common reason for failure (in his opinion) Napoleon Hill recounts another story.

This time, an uncle of R U Darby (an insurance salesman as it turns out) caught gold fever and took a pick and shovel to go dig for some. And he found some! He bought some machinery and the Uncle and Darby went to work. But alas, the vein of gold ore had disappeared. They drilled on desperately but eventually admitted defeat and on sold the machinery to a junk man.

But this was no ordinary junk man. He did his research in the form of collaborating with a mining engineer who advised him where this pesky gold vein could be found. So the junk man drilled where the engineer said to drill (3 feet from where the Darby's STOPPED DRILLING) and found the gold. The engineer said that the Darby's failed because they were not familiar with fault lines.

The junk man evidently made millions from one mine! NOT because he knew more that the Darby's but BECAUSE he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up.

Darby himself did go on to be a successful life insurance salesman of his time. He was one of a group of 50 men who sold more than 1m in life insurance. He owed his success to the fact that he didn't quit selling when people said "no" to life insurance.

For the rest of the chapter Napoleon Hill talks about things that many of you may think as "new age".

He says

    "WHEN RICHES BEGIN TO COME THEY COME SO QUICKLY, IN SUCH GREAT ABUNDANCE, THAT ONE WONDERS WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN HIDING DURING ALL THOSE LEAN YEARS. This is an astounding statement, and all the more so, when we take into consideration the popular belief, that riches come only to those who work hard and long."

    ".......before we can accumulate riches in great abundance, we must magnetize our minds with intense DESIRE for riches, that we must become "money conscious" until the DESIRE for moneydrives us to create definite plans for acquiring it."

    "......that our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and, by means with which no man is familiar, these "magnets" attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts."

What's all that, but the law of attraction?

Your Summary of Chapter 1

Do you think Mr Hill is right when he says that the number one reason people fail is because they give up too early? What are your "burning desires"? Are they necessary to achieve success? Or maybe you just think this is a lot of BS.....

Whatever insights, opinions, additions or questions you have, please share them here.