A few years ago, I read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Since then, I haven’t stopped raving about it and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship.
Believing that all the books written by Napoleon Hill would be great, I decided to read “Keys to Success.” I was disappointed.
Napoleon Hill was a reporter. In 1908 he interviewed Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in the world at that time. During the interview, Andrew Carnegie suggested that he (Napoleon Hill) interview all the successful people of the era and distill the secrets of their success. This was the turning point which defined Napoleon’s life.
After 20 years of research and hundreds of interviews, in 1928 he published “The law of success” in 15 volumes. The work didn’t sell well. The 15 volumes were edited down to one big volume (640 pages) which still it didn’t sell well. Finally, the big book was edited down to a 235 page book “Think and Grow Rich” which became a major best seller.
I mention this to highlight that Napoleon Hill was not a great writer, and only after 35 years of editing his work did he manage to create the book which made him famous.
Think and Grow Rich sold over 20 million copies during Napoleon Hill’s time. In the following 30 years of his life, Napoleon gave speeches, lectures and workshops about how to be successful.
During that time, Napoleon continued refining his material to better serve his audience. However, his new material was never published. Only after his death did the Napoleon Hill Foundation put together all the material he was using and condense it to publish “Keys to Success.”
Napoleon Hill never intended to publish another book. It is my opinion that the Napoleon Hill Foundation wanted to either capitalize on the name or serve the public who was still thirsty for his teachings.
The book was not a pleasant read. I found it dry and difficult to follow. The major lessons in this book were recycled ideas which were better explained and better written in “Think and Grow Rich.” If you are an unconditional follower of Napoleon Hill, maybe you will enjoy this book. I didn’t enjoy it and I give it 2.5 stars out of 5.