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Think and grow rich: Why these lessons apply
to founders and innovators today more than ever

EARL MARTIN VALENCIA

OVER the weekend of June 8 to 9, I was able to attend the “Think and Grow Rich Legacy Tour,” a two-day event that brought speakers that have applied the 13 principles of one of the most bought personal growth books in history — more than 100 million copies sold. To be honest, the last time I listened to the audio book was probably 10 years ago, but the principles are making a comeback. This book was instrumental in inspiring a generation that faced the Great Depression, and the lessons are applicable now more than ever.

I was lucky to spend the weekend with motivate-and-hear amazing talks. Some of the speakers included Sharon Lechter, co-author of Rich Dad and author of Think and Grow Rich Women’s Choice; Jessica Cox, the world’s first licensed armless pilot; taekwondo blackbelter, John Shin, the author of How Rich Asians Think, the Think and Grow Rich for Asians; and Chin Rollan, CFA, architect and personal finance guru, or “the Asian Suze Orman.”


If people don’t know the history of the book, Napoleon Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900s to study the secrets of success from the 500 richest, most successful men in the world at that time. That included Carnegie himself, Edison, Barnes, Ford and the other titans featured in the “Men Who Built America.” He distilled these to 13 principles of success:

1. Desire
2. Faith
3. Autosuggestion
4. Specialized knowledge
5. Imagination
6. Organized planning
7. Decision
8. Persistence
9. Power of the mastermind
10. The mystery of transmutation
11. The subconscious mind
12. The brain
13. The sixth sense

I have advised companies, founders and start-ups throughout my career, and I personally thought before this weekend that this text that was published in the 1930s might have lost touch already, but now, more than ever, I think that we all need to hear the lessons again and think of how we can apply this.

Here are the Top 10 Lessons I learned during the weekend:
1. What is something that you most desire? What is your specific, time-bound life goal that whatever it takes you will try your best to get there?

2. There is a supreme intellect, people call it many names — fate, destiny, God, universe, nature, etc. — but something, someone has a plan for you, but it’s up to you to listen. We know if you are at the right path or not.

3. What distinguishes humans from animals is that humans can create something out of nothing, and that is why when we are in the creative state, we are closest to God than at any other point in life.

4. What limits you are beliefs of failure trained in us since we were kids. We need to decide if we either have faith of success or get paralyzed from fear of failure.

5. You can’t know everything. Great successes have a mastermind — a group of people that helps and believes in your vision with complementary skills as you.

6. In order to truly be rich, you need to have a portfolio of four income streams: active stream where you trade your money for time; passive: where you make money while you sleep; self-employed, where you own your own business and there is a correlation between effort and income; and investments, where others work for you via equity.

7. The quickest way to become wealthy is to build things that scale — products or content. IP-based products scale the quickest — books, courses, tech, hardware, etc. Service- based dont scale as well.

8. In every business create a system, where you don’t need to be in the system for the machine to work, but it works without you.

9. Take away negative people in your life, be an environment to thrive. Most people who don’t dream big, don’t want you to do well because they themselves are insecure about their futures.

10. It’s all in the mindset. To Grow Rich, You Got to Think Rich — and being rich is not about material things but defined as being able to do the things you love, when you want it, on your own personal terms, and not others.

When I spoke to a start-up founder right after this when he was asking for help and advice, I couldn’t help but notice how the lessons I learned advising and investing in new tech companies was actually the same types of lessons that Napoleon Hill learned as the secrets of success from the titan entrepreneurs at the time. For example, building a vision and a mastermind team are the first things you do to build a business.

Over the two days of interaction, I realized that at the end of the day, success is all about mindset — the decision for us to pick faith in your success or to pick fear of your failure. The question for each of you, which one will you choose today?

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