Within the Author’s Preface of Think And Grow Rich the author, Napoleon Hill discusses how he had learned of the secret to generating wealth from Andrew Carnegie. He explains that one must discover the secret for themselves once they are ready for it:
“The secret to which I refer has been mentioned no fewer than a hundred times, throughout this book. It has not been directly named, for it seems to work more successfully when it is merely uncovered and left in sight, where THOSE WHO ARE READY, and SEARCHING FOR IT, may pick it up. That is why Mr. Carnegie tossed it to me so quietly, without giving me its specific name. If you are READY to put it to use, you will recognize this secret at least once in every chapter. I wish I might feel privileged to tell you how you will know if you are ready, but that would deprive you of much of the benefit you will receive when you make the discovery in your own way.”
Formal education is not required for the generation of wealth and one may learn as they overcome challenges along the way:
“As far as schooling is concerned, many of these men had very little. John Wanamaker once told me that what little schooling he had, he acquired in very much the same manner as a modern locomotive takes on water, by “scooping it up as it runs.”
The preceding statement is aligned with what I have learned about successful entrepreneurs, there may even appear to be an inverse correlation between formal education and wealth, at least in some high profile success stories. I have personally discovered that many of the formal business lessons outlined within textbooks and formal courses of instruction are often contrary to principles required for success. The far greater, authentic lessons occur under fire.
The idea is the beginning of wealth:
“ALL ACHIEVEMENT, ALL EARNED RICHES, HAVE THEIR BEGINNING IN AN IDEA!”
Many entrepreneurs overestimate the value of their idea, incorrectly thinking that the idea is everything and downplay the importance of execution. However, I believe that presently the importance of the idea is being downplayed by society. While execution is critical, and is often overlooked, the idea may be of greater importance. Ideas are living things and generate an energy of their own. A good idea brings forth the energy, and corresponding momentum to gain early traction, an inadequate idea fails to generate such momentum, at least in a sustainable manner.
In conclusion, the secret to generating wealth is unnamed and is recognizable to those who are ready for it. The secret appears to be of a mystical nature and requires a certain amount of soul searching and preparation on the part of the seeker. The secret to wealth generation does not require formal education, but does require the ability to learn lessons along the way as one overcomes challenges. Finally, everything begins with an idea.