What are "the major causes of failure" that will keep you from getting rich? An almost 80-year-old book points them out.
Want to become rich? Don’t know how? There is certainly no lack of books on the subject. Search Amazon.com: "How to get rich” and you get more than 1,000 tomes from which to choose promising to teach you how to “Crack the Code to Wealth,” ”Stay Rich Forever,” or even “Get Rich While You Sleep.”
Business Insider recently shared some get rich “don’ts” that are almost 80 years old, but that are still relevant today. They come from a book written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, a journalist, who, inspired by Andrew Carnegie, researched more than 500 self-made millionaires. The book, “Think and Grow Rich,” was a bestseller and continues to rank among Amazon’s top 25 Motivation and Self Improvement books. Trent Hamm, creator of the Simple Dollar blog, noted that with the exception of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” “no single book has been about in reader emails more than ‘Think and Grow Rich.’”
Hill, in his book presents 13 steps toward building wealth, ranging from “Desire” and “Imagination” to “Organized Planning” and “Power of the Positive Mind.” He also presents 30 “major causes of failure” that typically hold aspirants back. Business Insider highlighted 17 of these; here are 10:
Ill-defined goals: “There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or definite goal, at which to aim,' Hill wrote.
Lack of ambition: 'We offer no hope for the person who is so indifferent as not to want to get ahead in life, and who is not willing to pay the price,'
Not maximizing your education: Millionaires rank education just behind hard work and smart investing as the primary factor in their financial success, Spectrem Group wealth level studies find. Hill found that those who did not achieve their financial goals did not apply their learning to life. 'Education consists not so much of knowledge, but of knowledge effectively and persistently applied,” he observed. Men are paid…more particularly for what they do with that which they know.'
Lack of self-discipline: “One must control all negative qualities,” Hill noted. “Before you can control conditions, you must first control yourself ... If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.'”
Unhealthy habits: 'No person may enjoy outstanding success without good health,' Hill writes. Exercise is a priority in Affluent households, Spectrem Group research finds. Fifty-five percent of households with a net worth of at least $5 million exercise 4-6 times a week compared with 35 percent of survey respondents overall.
Procrastinating: I’ll write this portion tomorrow
Lack of persistence: 'Most of us are good 'starters' but poor 'finishers' of everything we begin,' according to Hill. 'People are prone to give up at the first signs of defeat.'”
Negativity: “'There is no hope of success for the person who repels people through a negative personality,” Hill writes. “Success comes through the application of power, and power is attained through the cooperative efforts of other people. A negative personality will not induce cooperation.”
Lack of decisiveness: “Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of reaching decisions promptly,” Hill notes.
Not taking risk: Nearly six-in-tenMillionaires surveyed by Spectrem Group rank risk as the primary factor in their financial success. States Hill: “'The person who takes no chances generally has to take whatever is left when others are through choosing.”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.