Friday, June 24, 2011

Part 8 - Organized Planning and Wealth

(Napoleon Hill)

Welcome back to my journey through Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.  In this series of posts I am investigating Napoleon Hill's proposed philosophy of wealth acquisition.

Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich in an attempt to develop a well rounded philosophy for wealth acquisition.  Hill firmly believed that there are definite universal laws one may follow to acquire wealth. This series looks at some of those principles.

Just to clarify, I am not aiming to bring another get rich quick thing to the table, I am looking at Hill's work from the perspective of personal development and growth.  The single greatest challenge presented, to me, in Think and Grow Rich is to change my ways of thinking, and that is really not easy. Hill is also adamant, if you want to be wealthy, you will have to GIVE in order to GET. Let's continue.             

The process of wealth accumulation:
The process Hill sets out for us to follow to acquire wealth includes 3 basic stages (as I see it).  1) Developing and directing a  strong passion, desire and faith towards a definite goal, 2) developing creative ideas for success, and 3)  'transmuting' (transforming) your passion and ideas into physical reality through organized planning.  

Much of Think and Grow Rich seems to center on these three concepts.  Organized planning is a very important part of the process.  Passion, ideas, and planning works together.  Without passion, a plan will not have the required energy needed to survive and materialize.  Passion without a plan does not have the structure needed to direct the energy of passion to the end goal.

Desire put into action by a plan: 
What is a plan? A plan refers to a series of ACTION STEPS one takes to achieve a goal.  A plan guides the application of resources in these action steps. Resources typically include labour, expertise, money, land, and machinery (capital).  

It is very important to see is that a plan mandates DEFINITE ACTION. 


Many people DREAM about success, they may even SULK about not having success. Dreaming and sulking is not action.  A plan tells you exactly what you, and your MASTERMIND ASSOCIATES, are going to have do in order to attain success. 

A sound plan directs your desire and passion toward a definite end.  Without a plan you are merely hoping and dreaming, perhaps waiting for your major break.  Hill tells us in Think and Grow Rich that hoping, dreaming, waiting, and even praying are poor strategies for success without definite plans of action.  

The Characteristics of a Good Plan: 

From my reading of Hill's book I have developed the following guidelines for a good plan: 

1. A good plan is very specific - it tells you exactly what to do in the following day, weeks, months, and years in order to attain your goal (see SMART Criteria). 

2. A good plan outlines definite action steps.

3. A good plan identifies and describes RESOURCES needed for the attainment of the end goal. 

4. A good plan is approved by your close associates.  Hill tells us that no one person is smart enough to know everything.

You really do need the input of other smart people in order to develop the best possible plans for success.  

5. A good plan includes criteria needed for evaluation of its success. I like to call these success checkpoints - specific checkpoints in your plan, which are used to evaluate the success and progress of your plan.     

6. A good plan is specific but FLEXIBLE. In some cases life will show you that your plans are not working. It is important to adapt or change your plans completely when needed in other situations you may have to be PERSISTENT,  BUT, NEVER abandon one plan before developing another. 

Remember that your end goal will typically not change much, but your plans to get there may change.       

(Please feel free to add to these criteria in the comments bar below)

Allies, Collaboration, and Planning: 

In Hill's chapter on organized planning, Hill is very adamant about the need to have a group of associates working with you to attain your goals. You have to borrow the 'smarts' of others, even if you are very smart yourself. Many minds working together in harmony is a very powerful thing.      

This group of associates, Hill terms your MASTERMIND GROUP. As stated in a previous post, some of the most successful people on earth, are those who are able to work with and motivate the efforts of others toward a mutually beneficial goal.

Keep in mind that the Golden Rule applies here more than ever.  You will have to decide what you plan to give your Mastermind members in order to gain their efforts, experience and expertise. Your group members will surely not work without some form of compensation. Decide what you will give to get their cooperation.     

Hill also tells us that a mastermind group survives only in a situation of PERFECT HARMONY, so preserve the harmony of your team, above all else.  

Dealing with failing plans

When a plan fails it is painful. One may easily conclude that you have failed, or that you yourself are a failure.  That is simply not true, Hill's statement with which I opened this posting really inspired me.  A plan that has failed is simply telling me to rework my plan.

In every failure there is a seed of future success (according to Hill).  Professor Failure is a great teacher.  He shows us what not to do next time and what to do better.  However, to gain from his teachings, you have to humbly and objectively evaluate each failure in order to learn.  

That's it for today. Please feel free to add your own ideas and insights to this post in the comment fields below.  

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