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Book Summary: The Law of Success – Napoleon Hill Lessons Review

March 15, 2024

People that succeed in life do three things well:

First, they know what they want and they keep it in front of them.

Second, they join a group of like-minded people, a mastermind. 

Third, they keep growing, until they have what they want. 

In this post, I summarize the Law of Success by Napoleon Hill, reducing his 500 pages into 5 minutes of reading. 

You'll learn why success follows after those who follow the Law. 

But before we digest the meat of Hill's Success course

I read this book 6 years ago and it changed the direction of my life. 

Rather than simply settling into my 9-5, I started to consider what I really wanted and why I wanted it:

time to travel, the freedom to go wherever whenever, etc. 

That became my chief aim (as Napoleon Hill would say). #lessontwo

I began scouring the internet for an online business that would allow me to do that and I found this lead generation coaching program that showed me how to build and rank websites that generate customers for local businesses, like the above tree service site that's been paying me 2k a month since 2015. 

Learn more by clicking the button below. 

At the end of this summary, I'll show a bit more of how the lead generation model works, but now let's dive into the Law of Success by Napoleon Hill. 

law of success book summary and review

law of success book summary and review portrait of napoleon hill

About Napoleon Hill

9 lesson summary of rich dad poor dad infographic

9 Lesson Summary

Get the Core of Law of Success via this in-depth summary of the 15 lessons 


Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

Listen to the entire Rich Dad Poor Dad book from your phone with this free audio book. 

Free Book

Law of Success in PDF Form

Read the Cornerstone Personal Development Book via your computer with this free pdf. 

napoleon hill law of success book cover complete and unabridged version

About Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was born in Virginia and started writing as a teenager putting together articles for town newspapers and has become one of America’s most famous motivational author. His books have become a monument to what can accomplished by an individual and make up the foundation to modern motivation. Think and Grow Rich in particular, is one of the best-selling books of all time, having over 100 million copies purchased worldwide as of 2015. (source)

Super Short Summary

In this super short summary of each chapter of Law of Success, I’ll explain it through the analogy of a car.


The Mastermind is the people you call for advice and or directions.


The Definite Chief Aim is the place that you ultimately want to reach, your destination.


Self-Confidence is your trust in the integrity of the vehicle to bring you to that destination


Habit of Saving is your mindfulness of the resources, the gas and oil you have available.


Initiative and Leadership is the engine of the car, the part of the car that generates the raw power.


Imagination is the GPS of the car, as you have not reached your destination, but you know (or imagine) it to exist.


Enthusiasm is the gas pedal, it gets you moving forward from a dead stop. 


Self-control is your brakes and steering, keeping on the road and heading toward your destination.


Habit of Doing More references your level of intentionality when driving, your consideration of others. 


Pleasing Personality refers to the cleanliness of the car, both inside and out. 


Accurate Thought is your confidence that the road you are traveling is really the right one. 


Concentration is your focus on the road while you are driving, aka you aren’t distracted


Co-operation means that you are following the rules of the department of transportation, operating your car in a way that every one on the road agrees with.


Failure is when you experience set backs, like a flat tire, along the way to your destination.


Tolerance is when you encounter a detour that wasn’t visible on your map and you make the best of it.


The Golden Rule is the overall mindset you have while driving to your destination, namely, that you think of others as you’d have them think of you.

Complete Audio Book: Law of Success

by Napoleon Hill

In-depth Summary: The 15 Lessons 

The Pillars of the Law of Success Philosophy

Introduction: The Mastermind

In this introductory chapter to the Law of Success, Hill lays the foundation for the rest of the chapters, by both explaining and illustrating the concept of the Mastermind. 

The Mastermind, writes Hill, is a "newly discovered law of psychology which is the very foundation stone of all outstanding personal achievements" (p.3). 

but what exactly is a Mastermind?

A Mastermind is “a mind that is developed through the harmonious co-operation of two or more people who ally themselves for the purpose of accomplishing any given task.” 

- Napoleon Hill - Laws of Success - p.3 - 

Hill is very practical throughout the introduction, briefly laying out the structure of the universe, beginning with atoms, air & ether and then showing the mind's vibrations to be the connection between the material world and what's 'out there in the ether.'

Vibration is one of the core pillars of the Mastermind, as each member of the mastermind much be in total "harmony of purpose" (p.21) with all the other members.  

Here's a 10 minute video where Napoleon Hill explains the Mastermind Principle. 

Following his explanation of harmony, Hill goes on to share how many of the most impactful developers of the American Industrial Economy were either the creators or members of a masterminds that empowered them to advance the foundational industries in the United States, sharing stories of the following persons as examples:

Mastermind Members

Finally, Hill wraps up the introduction to the Mastermind by sharing some practical ways in which students of his Law of Success course can begin to form their own mastermind, such as forming a group of like-minded people who meet once per week over lunch. 

Lesson 1: A Definite Chief Aim

It is in this lesson that Napoleon Hill first defines Success and it's from that definition of success that the concept of a definite chief aim is developed. 

So what is Success?

“Success is the development of the power with which to get whatever one wants in life without interfering with the rights of others.”

- Napoleon Hill - Law of Success - p.69 - 

In the first lesson, Hill labored to convey the concept of the mastermind and illustrated that it was through the power generated by those groups of like-minded people that they were able to achieve mind-boggling feats

Building on the mastermind, Hill now elaborates on the direction that the mastermind pursues using historical examples, such as Andrew Carnegie aligning his team with the aim of creating the largest steel company man has ever known. 

Similarly, the twice-a-week mastermind that I'm apart of, since the Covid-19 Epidemic has begun to develop, have focused the energy on making masks accessible to people, even while most suppliers were out of stock.

We've sold millions of dollars worth of masks in the last month, helping companies and hospitals get back up on their feet. 

A definite chief aim is more than a goal, it's more like a potential reality, a dream that you are committed to bringing into actuality, making real in your life in the near future. 

How do you make your chief aim become reality? 

Hill closes out the chapter with practical ways you bring your definite aim into reality. (You can also hear it from Hill himself in the 2 minute video below)

Making Your Definite Chief Aim Reality

Step 1: Write It Down

You begin the process of making your chief aim a reality by writing it down into a concise, memorable statement that you can continually reference, like on your phone's note app or on a 3x5 index card.

Step 2: Write Also Your Trade

Below your aim (or on the other side of the index card), write down concisely what you are willing to give in exchange for your aim, such as time, money, other resources. (**It's been helpful for me to note some of the sacrifices I'm making for a better future.**)

Step 3: Repeat Your Aim 12 times per Day

Throughout the Law of Success, Hill continually emphasizes the need to put your chief aim into your sub-conscious mind through the process of autosuggestion, which is regularly reciting your aim several times each day, until you become obsessed with its achievement. 

Lesson 2: Self-Confidence

Garbage in, garbage out. 

we've all heard it. 

If you are set on being skeptical, says Hill, "you might was well lay this book aside..." (p.95). 

But if you find yourself wanting to believe, but you are experiencing a lot of worry and fear, the first half of this lesson is for you, as in it, Hill covers "The Six Basic Fears of Mankind," which are: 

The Six Basic Fears 

  • The Fear of Poverty
  • The Fear of Old Age
  • The Fear of Criticism
  • The Fear of Loss of Love of Someone
  • The Fear of Sickness
  • The Fear of Death

How do you deal with these tormenting thoughts?

Hill again brings up the practice of  "auto-suggestion," also known as self-talk.

Here, he includes a helpful example of how a person can use the Law of Attraction to better their life:

How to Deal with Fears

Here's a man who sees nothing but the best there is in all whom he meets. If his neighbor seems indifferent he takes no notice of that fact, for he makes it his business to fill his mind with dominating thoughts of optimism and good cheer and faith in others. If people speak to him harshly, he speaks back in tones of softness. 

Through the operation of this same eternal Law of Attraction he draws to himself the attention of people whose attitude toward life and whose dominating thoughts harmonize with his own.”

Napoleon Hill

Law of Success, p. 110

As you begin to deal with your fears by overcoming them with optimistic thoughts of what you can become, you'll find that your mind is like a muscle, that the more positive you become, the more positive people will become part of your community. 

But Hill warns, just like with things of fitness, self-confidence is a "use it or lose it" game. 

Hill comments "Self-confidence is no exception. It develops when used but disappears if not used" (110). 

One bonus included in this chapter is a "self-confidence formula" (116). 

Here's a free pdf copy of that formula that you can take with you:

Read it 2x a day for a month and see how your mindset changes. 

Lesson 3: The Habit of Saving

In this lesson, Hill encourages his students to develop the habit of saving money for a number of different reasons. 

Having both mental and physical benefits, the practice of saving money increases the practitioners' overall health. 

Not only does saving help eliminate the fear of poverty, it also opens a person up to investment opportunities in the future, enabling the increase of material prosperity. 

Hill goes through a number of examples of how debt and over-spending have impacted both his own life and the lives of those he interviewed. 

The first step of saving is becoming knowledgeable of your income and expenses, generally in the form of a budget.

Here's a budget template to help you begin the process of saving if you haven't already. 

You might be thinking, well, it's easy for someone to recommend saving, but how much are we really supposed to save? 

Here's the model that Hill came out with after interviewing nearly 200 people who'd gone from financial ruin to monetary success :

Laws of Success, p. 148

One aspect that stood out to me as a former member of the middle-class who's family never really talked about money is the financial vulnerability that Hill includes, both about his own life and those who shared their stories with him. Here's one example: 

Lesson 4: Initiative and Leadership

In this lesson, Napoleon Hill illustrates initiative and leadership through telling the story of how he created a school for advertising and sales. 

To Start to His School, He needed 2 things

  • Start up capital (money)
  • A course to teach his students.

While he had the knowledge to impart upon his pupils, he didn't have the money to get the school started. 

Hill's first step was to set as his definite chief aim to get the capital to fuel his enterprise. 

Second, he laid out a detailed plan of how he would make his aim a reality. 

Hill's Action Steps

  • Write Out His Definite Chief Aim
  • Draw up a Detailed Plan

But rather than worrying or whining, Hill took action, seeking and finding a group of people who needed Hill's knowledge and had money to invest in learning how to market and sell. 

Having assured himself that a market existed for his business education, Hill went on to tackle the last obstacle standing between him and his definite chief aim: having a place to teach. 

Since digital education via the internet was not around yet, those who desired to learn went to college.

So Hill went to the director of a prestigious business college, and pitched his course as a way that the college could attract more students, in exchange for the college putting up the initial capital to get Hill's education system up and running.

The director heartily agreed, a contract was signed, and Hill received his capital. 

In less than a year of operation, the education system had paid back what it owed the college and then Hill operated it as a stand-alone business. 

Throughout the rest of the chapter, Hill walks through the process of exactly must be done to develop initiative and leadership. The infographic below describes that very process. 

Here's the 3 Key Steps that he lays out

3 Steps to Cultivating Initiative & Leadership


"First: You must master the habit of procrastination and eliminate it from your make-up" (175).


Encourage those around you to take action and not put things off until tomorrow. (178)


Develop positive leadership skills that lead to "self-determination and freedom and self-development and enlightenment and justice" (180).

Lesson 5: Imagination

In this lesson, Hill begins with a brief discussion of the history of the imagination and how many influences in the past have encouraged people to believe that it is less powerful than it really is, essentially saying that the writers of history have abstracted the imagination into oblivion. 

Moving on, Napoleon Hill shares some of the principles of the imagination and demonstrates why it is so powerful, pulling examples from, what was to him, recent history, such as:

The third section on the power of the Imagination is chock full of examples of how the imagination, when properly used, increases the salesperson's ability to sell tenfold. 

Hill finishes off the chapter with examples of salespeople who rose high in the ranks of a variety of industries through the use of their imagination, including:

  • Napoleon Hill himself, selling the idea of freeing a reformed prisoner to the governor of Ohio by imagining why the governor would release the prisoner (225)
  • Paul Harris of Chicago sold the first rotary into existence when he imagined a unique way to advertise his legal practice since traditional marketing was forbidden by law. (228)
  • Reverend P. W. Welshimer who imagined himself staying as pastor for 25 years over the largest congregation in the United States during that time. (232)
  • Dr. Harper of the University of Chicago, who imagined the donation of John D. Rockfeller into existence.  (233)

Lesson 6: Enthusiasm

law of success summary lesson 6 napoleon hill

Hill's 6th lesson within the Law of Success starts off with the definition of enthusiasm, and how when you become enthusiastic, you are re-energized, re-invigorated with a whole new level of life and passion, and even how you can get along with less sleep than you did before you developed a high level of enthusiasm. 

He then spends time on the social value of enthusiasm, providing many illustrations on how your enthusiasm affects others, often propelling them into action like an arrow from a bow in the direction that you suggest. 

Finally, he warns against fake enthusiasm, revealing that it is actually an immoral act against not only , at the same time that real, lasting enthusiasm comes from deep inside a person, not from exterior stimuli. 

“No man can afford to express, through words or acts, that which is not in harmony with his own belief, and if he does so he must pay by the loss of his ability to influence others.”

-Napoleon Hill


Lesson 7: Self-Control

law of success summary lesson 7 napoleon hill

In the previous lesson, Hill talks about enthusiasm as the drive that gets you moving, it's the gas pedal. 

Self-control is the flip side of the coin:

it's the brakes and steering; what enables you to stop or change direction. 

Lesson 8: Habit of Doing More than Paid For

law of success summary lesson 8 napoleon hill

Throughout this 8th lesson, Hill shows off the benefits of doing your best while not enjoying the immediate benefit of getting paid, by using his own story. 

As he was putting the pieces of what would become the Law of Success together, Hill was underpaid for the intense amount of work he put into the effort. 

But soon after he completed the construction of the course, he partnered with a colleague of Thomas Edison who connected him with a judge who was the chairman of the board of the Ford Motor Company (Elbert H. Gary).

Judge Gary, one of the 1st buyers of Hill's Course

Judge Gary purchased the Law of Success course for the employees of Ford's company and Hill's financial fortune snowballed from there. 

Hill's success course was sought and bought by many other businesses at the time, such as

In addition to the above corporations, a boys club got a whiff of the Law of Success and contracted to distribute it among their membership (which numbered between 100,000 and 200,000 respectively). (p.335)

Toward the end of the chapter, Hill encourages his readers to do an experiment where they do more than is expected of them for the next 6 months and see what happens

Napoleon Hill Summarizes the Habit of Doing More

He ends the chapter with more stories of others who prospered financially after they developed the habit of doing more than they were paid to do

Key Takeaway
Do more than you are paid to do right now, and you'll be rewarded in the future. 

Lesson 9: Pleasing Personality

law of success summary lesson 9 napoleon hill

Attractive people are more appealing to deal with.

That’s why companies institute dress codes and some restrictive policies so their staff is more approachable to customers.

An attractive person knows how to draw people into his orbit.

The charm and the magnetic personality are weapons to be used to disarm potential clients so they grow to trust you and reward you with their business.

A neat appearance can make all the difference.

Nobody likes to deal with an uncouth, discourteous person.

A sharp wit and killer charm can breaks down any kind of business obstacles.

Cultivate the professional appearance of a successful person to make success much easier to grasp.

Lesson 10: Accurate Thought

law of success summary lesson 10 napoleon hill

We could never downplay the benefits of arming ourselves with accurate stock knowledge we can quote from.

Disregard fake news.

Surround yourself only with the kind of people who are also hungry for accurate knowledge like you.

The power of mentorship is amazing to behold.

I respect this part of Hill’s book so much that I got myself a mentor who has a reputation as a very successful, relentless, hardworking, and innovative digital marketer.

Everything Hill said about creating a Mastermind is right. I experienced it firsthand and I’m now moving around a bigger circle of success junkies who feed off each other’s vibe.

Success begets success.

Hear about Accurate Thinking from Hill himself in this 9 minute video:

Now that you've learned the difference between important facts and unimportant facts, it's time to develop the concentration needed to focus on what's important. 

Lesson 11: Concentration

law of success summary lesson 11 napoleon hill

When you have laser-beam focus, you can achieve success faster because your actions are directed towards one definite purpose alone.

Don’t diversify yet this early in the game.

When you don’t have a definite plan, your actions are all over the place and sometimes, you can spread yourself too thin.

Fix on a target and go!

Success leaves footprints. It is your obligation to search for those footprints until you arrive at your destination.

Lesson 12: Co-Operation

law of success summary lesson 12 napoleon hill

Create your own hive of success-minded individuals called the “Mastermind,” people who will spur you to pursue success relentlessly.


Beforehand, determine what you can offer your hive in return for their assistance.

Sometimes it’s better to have company on the lonely road to the top – but determine the kind of people you take along with you.

The team you build should echo your hunger, your drive, and your persistence.

Leave the slacker friends.

Support your team of success-hunters in the same way they support you – sharing best practices until you can tweak your action plan to perfection.

Coordinate your actions and feed off each other’s energy so you can get motivated more and more everyday.

Lesson 13: Failure

law of success summary lesson 13 napoleon hill

Trial by fire or trial by error is never a bad thing.

Napoleon Hill said it best: “Most failures are only temporary defeats.”

The more you take massive action, the more you can learn which techniques work and which ones don’t.

Separate the wheat from the chaff.

Act until you fine-tune your strategies.

Aiming to succeed but failing initially is a proven technique to excel at something.

Take note I wrote “initially,” because you also need to learn from your mistakes so the next actions taken are different.

The next actions bring you closer to success.

There is no such thing as a perfect person. We as humans are expected to make mistakes.

It’s also wise to learn from our mistakes as long as we bounce back wiser the next time.

When you mess up, remember the lesson but avoid the same error.

Lesson 14: Tolerance

law of success summary of lesson 14 tolerance

Avoid ignorance. Cultivate tolerance.

Open up your mind to the vast differences among people and cultures, religion and lifestyles.

Don’t get hooked on the poisonous lullaby of hatred and bigotry,

You’ll enjoy life more if you accept that each individual is different in their own unique way.

Lesson 15: The Golden Rule

law of success summary of lesson 15 the golden rule

This is the driving force on the long road to success.

“Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.”

How you treat others will have a huge impact on how they will act towards you.

How Lead Gen Mastermind Enabled Me to Quit My 9-5

In 2014 I joined a lead generation mastermind that enabled me to leave my 9-5 in 7 months by helping small businesses get more customers with simple websites and getting a sliver to deliver. 

Here's one tree service site that's been paying me since 2015

The best part?

It's been passive income for over 4 years!

It only took about 7 hours to build and a few months to rank.

The tree service has been paying me ever since. 

That's just one of 70 digital properties I have paying me each month. 

Scale this biz to the moon!

I'm haven't been building & banking alone though

Our mastermind has grown to nearly 6000 motivated members. 

Patric shares his story

To learn more about our local lead generation mastermind, hit the button below.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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