What it is and what it isn’t:

This is a book study group that will read and discuss Napoleon Hill’s, Think and Grow Rich. The purpose is for each attendee to walk away with a very good understanding of what practices, habits, attitudes, behaviors, and actions he or she needs to embody to be more successful in every area of their life. It is a place to ask questions such as, “what does he mean by…?” and “what would be an example of…?” and “where could I learn more about…?” It is a forum to better understand how Hill believes we can be more successful and how we can apply that to our everyday experiences.

This is not a social club for free range topic jumping or gossip. It is not a political discussion group, a gripe session, or an “I’m the smartest person in the room” forum. It is not for people who don’t/won’t put in the effort needed to support the group such as the reading or prep work prior to meetings.

The Study Group Participants:

The size will be limited to about 10 people so that everybody has a chance to talk, interact, and participate. I’m planning on ~8 attendees present on any given meeting night due to illnesses, travel, special events, etc., which should allow for plenty of participation. That said, if you can’t make most of the meetings this is probably not the right group for you.

If only 8-10 people want to join, no problem. However, if more than that express an interest, I’ll have to pare the list down to 10. There are no criteria for entry. In fact, I’d love a diverse group of professionals, non-professionals, retired people, high schoolers, and more.

I think the most important sorting tool (if that is necessary) is desire. If you aren’t serious about wanting to learn from Napoleon Hill and the others in the room, then you might want to join a more social book study group. Not that this has to be all business and no fun, but if you’re really not that into it, please don’t take up a spot that someone else (who is into it) could fill.

Ideally, participants will have read the book first (but not required) and then re-read the material for discussion again before the meeting. As a bare minimum, each participant will need to thoroughly read the material to be discussed prior to the meeting. If you can’t commit to doing the prep work before a meeting, again, this may not be the right group for you.

Format, When, Where:

Meet approximately every 2 to 3 weeks from 5:30 to 7:30 PM on a Wednesday to discuss a specific reading assignment of approximately 40 – 50 pages. It will take about 4 – 5 months to get through the book. The general structure of meetings will be approximately:

< 20 minutes, around the table – what’s new and good since last we met? (<2 minutes each)
~60 minutes, discuss the reading with about 3 – 4 different participants leading a small section (e.g. 10 – 15 pages) by summarizing it for the group and having prepared 2 – 3 questions about that small section for everyone to discuss.
~30 minutes, broader discussion of the whole reading assignment plus any previous parts of the book and bridging it to our experiences (e.g. “where have I seen this before?”)
~10 minutes, establish next reading assignment and volunteers to lead the smaller sections

Each meeting will start on time and will end on time.

Location will be at the Richland library or a similar venue based on availability.

Dates will be (these are all Wednesdays, subject to minor changes):

July 24
Aug 7
Aug 21
Sep 4
Sep 25
Oct 16
Oct 30
Nov 13
Nov 20
Dec 11 End (might end sooner but no later than this date)


You can Google Napoleon Hill and the book, Think and Grow Rich, to learn all you want (and you should). To me the important part is that Hill spent over 20 years meeting, interviewing, getting to know, befriending (some), and thoroughly understanding approximately 500 of the most successful people alive in the early 1900’s to gather, organize and succinctly describe the attributes of successful people. That is, catalog the common traits of people that are truly successful. The idea was that if you could capture that philosophy and write it down, anybody could follow the model and be successful.

If you’ve read any personal development books or attended any personal or business development training’s, you will likely see they all come back to Hill’s work. They may emphasize specific pieces and parts, or call things by different names, but they all essentially have their roots in the research that went into Think and Grow Rich (my opinion anyway).

The “Rich” part of the title turns some people off (e.g. “get rich quick…”). But if you read it, you’ll see that he defines “rich” as monetary success as well as relationships, spiritual, etc. It’s really about being successful in all areas of your life.

Why I’m leading this study group:

Short answer is “self-centered”. I’m doing this for my own personal benefit. Leading the study group will help me to learn it even deeper and bring it back to the top of my mind.

Longer (and more politically correct) answer is that the content is good stuff. The book really ought to be required reading/study for every person before they graduate high school and also studied further in college. I mean really, if someone put this much effort into studying success and documenting the attributes that lead to it, why wouldn’t everyone want to study it?

My background for leading the book study:

I’ve had a career, semi-retired now, and own my own business. More to the point, I’ve read this book 10+ times. After the first read, I realized there is way more to it than I could absorb in one reading. So I set a goal in 2014 to read and/or listen to it 10 times by my birthday in 2015.

Also, I attended Jack Canfield’s “Train the Trainer” course in about 2010, which is based on his book, The Success Principles. I then went back as an assistant and helped Jack teach the class the following year (each course was a year long program). As an aside, that is an eye-opening and life-changing experience…

I’ve also attended personal or business development trainings by folks such as Brendan Burchard, Mike Dooley, James Malinchak, Kevin Harrington, Forbes Riley, and others as well as read lots of books on these topics. This is where my opinion comes from that all of this tracks back to Napoleon Hill. Almost everybody who has become successful, in one area or another, and then helps others to also become more successful focuses on one or more pieces of Napoleon Hill’s work.

Sign Up:

If you think this book study group is for you, and you have a strong desire to see it through to the end, then send me an email with the subject line “NH Book Study Group”.

And please write a short paragraph about yourself and/or why you want to do it. I don’t want this to sound like “tryouts” but just in case there are more people interested than we have room for, help me out with the sorting process.

My email address is steve@stevenortonpm.com


There is no cost, however, everybody will need to put in $20 at the beginning of the first meeting. This is just so that you have some skin in the game. If you stick it out, I’ll give you back your $20 at the end. If you drop out along the way, you forfeit your $20 and I will spend it on snacks for the group for the last meeting.