Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 7: Organized Planning

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 7, Organized Planning.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

This is a really long chapter, and it’s jam packed with great information. I tried to only pull out ideas that I thought were kind of buried. Anything that was just a really good point (which is pretty much the whole chapter), I passed over. So you should definitely read the chapter and not depend on this as a summary, but rather as a supplement.

Some of the core themes in this chapter are:

Cooperate with others.

Be pleasant so that others will want to cooperate with you.

Render useful service.

Give more than is expected.

Quote and Analysis

“You have learned that everything man creates or acquires, begins in the form of DESIRE, that desire is taken on the first lap of its journey, from the abstract to the concrete, into the workshop of the IMAGINATION, where PLANS for its transition are created and organized.”

This statement tells you how some of these 13 principles (the chapter titles) work together.

You can change a desire (something just in your mind) into a reality. To do this, you pass your desire to your imagination. Your imagination then hands you back a plan that helps you turn that desire into a reality.

This chapter is all about plans.

Quote and Analysis

“Ally yourself with a group of as many people as you may need for the creation, and carrying out of your plan, or plans for the accumulation of money, making use of the “Master Mind” principle described in a later chapter. (Compliance with this instruction is absolutely essential. Do not neglect it.)”

Interesting that he calls this out so specifically in parenthesis. I would assume that everything in the book is “essential”. In fact, at one point he even says that he included no superfluous information. So the fact that he’s specifically hammering this point may mean something.

One possibility is that he knows people are more likely to skip over this instruction. It requires talking to other people. It requires opening up, sharing, and trusting.

Another possibility is that this is a gateway instruction. If you do this instruction, if you start allying with other people, you can lean on them when your own convictions waiver. And that extra support will make it more likely that you’ll do and stick with the other instructions in the book.

Also, this contains one of the major themes of this chapter, and the book in general. That theme is cooperation. Working together with others to get everyone more of what they want.

Quote and Analysis

“Before forming your “Master Mind” alliance, decide what advantages, and benefits, you may offer the individual embers of your group, in return for their cooperation. No one will work indefinitely without some form of compensation. No intelligent person will either request or expect another to work without adequate compensation, although this may not always be in the form of money.”

Here is another major theme of this chapter, and the book in general. Focus on what you can give, before focusing on what you can get.

Also, it points out that money is not the only motivator.

And lastly, I just love that he accidentally calls the Master Mind members “embers”. Get enough embers together, and eventually you have enough heat to create a blazing success.

Quote and Analysis

“Temporary defeat should mean only one thing, the certain knowledge that there is something wrong with your plan. Millions of men go through life in misery and poverty, because they lack a sound plan through which to accumulate a fortune.”

He talks about temporary defeat a bunch in earlier chapters, but here he is specifically saying that any time you are defeated it just means you need to try a different plan.

The deeper message here is that nothing is impossible. You just need to keep trying plans until you find the one that gets you to your desire.

Quote and Analysis

“The Insull fortune was built on plans which were sound. The business depression forced Mr. Insull to CHANGE HIS PLANS; and the CHANGE brought “temporary defeat,” because his new plans were NOT SOUND. Mr. Insull is now an old man, he may, consequently, accept “failure” instead of “temporary defeat,” but if his experience turns out to be FAILURE, it will be for the reason that he lacks the fire of PERSISTENCE to rebuild his plans.”

This points out that a “plan” is not a final destination. Plans can work for a while, and then stop working. If that happens, then it’s time to look to your imagination for a new plan.

Quote and Analysis


This is actually the same point from before to “focus on what you can give, before focusing on what you can get”. If you intend to be paid more in the future, then do the work now that you want to be paid for in the future.

Also, he mentions “habit”. So you don’t try to figure out which situation is more likely to result in getting paid in the future, you just ALWAYS as a matter of habit do more than is expected. It becomes who you are and how other people see you.

Quote and Analysis

“UNWILLINGNESS TO RENDER HUMBLE SERVICE. Truly great leaders are willing, when occasion demands, to perform any sort of labor which they would ask another to perform. “The greatest among ye shall be the servant of all” is a truth which all able leaders observe and respect.”

This is another theme of this chapter, and the book overall, the theme of serving others. Again, giving. Doing more than is expected of you.

The term “render useful service” shows up a ton in this chapter. It’s a key theme.

Quote and Analysis

“EXPECTATION OF PAY FOR WHAT THEY “KNOW” INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY DO WITH THAT WHICH THEY KNOW. The world does not pay men for that which they “know.” It pays them for what they DO, or induce others to do.”

I just wanted to specifically call out the “induce others to do”. A generous portion of this chapter is about being a leader, and inducing, or inspiring, others to do something is a way to multiply the overall effort that goes toward making your desire a reality.

Quote and Analysis

“DISLOYALTY. Perhaps this should have come at the head of the list. The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above him, and those below him, cannot long maintain his leadership. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth, and brings down on one’s head the contempt he deserves. Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life.”

I particularly like the vitriol that he uses here “less than the dust of the earth”. But the real point is that disloyalty, or broken trust, is fatal to cooperation. And this chapter is all about the fact that you need the cooperation of others to turn your desire into reality.

Quote and Analysis

“EMPHASIS OF THE “AUTHORITY” OF LEADERSHIP. The efficient leader leads by encouraging, and not by trying to instill fear in the hearts of his followers. The leader who tries to impress his followers with his “authority” comes within the category of leadership through FORCE. If a leader is a REAL LEADER, he will have no need to advertise that fact except by his conduct, his sympathy, understanding, fairness, and a demonstration that he knows his job.

EMPHASIS OF TITLE. The competent leader requires no “title” to give him the respect of his followers. The man who makes too much over his title generally has little else to emphasize. The doors to the office of the real leader are open to all who wish to enter, and his working quarters are free from formality or ostentation.”

I thought these were interesting because they classify a “leader” by the person’s actions. So anyone in an organization can be a leader if they just take the initiative and inspire others to do better work. And by the same token, just because someone is in a position of power it does not by default make that person a leader.

Quote and Analysis

“Sixth. New leaders will be required in the field of Journalism. Newspapers of the future, to be conducted successfully, must be divorced from “special privilege” and relieved from the subsidy of advertising. They must cease to be organs of propaganda for the interests which patronize their advertising columns. The type of newspaper which publishes scandal and lewd pictures will eventually go the way of all forces which debauch the human mind.”

Evidently “eventually” can be a long time in coming…

Quote and Analysis

“Fourth. By analysis of yourself, your talents and capabilities, figure WHAT YOU CAN OFFER, and plan ways and means of giving advantages, services, developments, ideas that you believe you can successfully deliver.

Fifth. Forget about “a job.” Forget whether or not there is an opening. Forget the usual routine of “have you got a job for me?” Concentrate on what you can give.”

Again, a major theme of this chapter and book is to focus on what you can give, instead of on what you can get.

Quote and Analysis

“…one must adopt and follow the “QQS” formula which means that QUALITY, plus QUANTITY, plus the proper SPIRIT of cooperation, equals perfect salesmanship of service. Remember the “QQS” formula, but do more, APPLY IT AS A HABIT!”

Again, a habit. Just a way of living life, not a conditional.

Quote and Analysis

“2. QUANTITY of service shall be understood to mean the HABIT of rendering all the service of which you are capable, at all times, with the purpose of increasing the amount of service rendered as greater skill is developed through practice and experience. Emphasis is again placed on the word HABIT.”

This kind of took me by surprise. Not just do the best job you can, but look for ways to do a better job next time. Most people will get to a level of competence and then coast. This says to keep looking for ways to do better, even if that means nominating yourself as a leader by your own actions, and training someone else to do your job. Or even writing a manual, or recording a video, to help train everyone else how to do the job better.

Quote and Analysis

“As you go over the list, check yourself by it, point by point, for the purpose of discovering how many of these causes-of-failure stand between you and success.”

The book is full of these quietly mentioned instructions kind of left half-hidden in the text that are really huge suggestions about how to become better.

I need to write a post about the Self-Confidence Formula from the chapter on Faith. I’ve been following it for months now, and it’s awesome.

Quote and Analysis

“Any person who is educated is one who has learned to get whatever he wants in life without violating the rights of others.”

This is another theme throughout the book. Get what you want without violating the rights of others. Don’t take or trick others to get what you want. Instead give them so much that they want to give you what you want.

Quote and Analysis

“ILL HEALTH. No person may enjoy outstanding success without good health. Many of the causes of ill health are subject to mastery and control. These, in the main are: …b. Wrong habits of thought; giving expression to negatives.”

He’s mentioned this before, but I thought I’d call it out again, the idea that negative thoughts can actually affect your health.

Quote and Analysis

“Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”

I really like this.

Your Definite Chief Aim doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a tool. Start with something and you’ll refine it.

Your plans don’t have to be perfect. Start with something, check it with your Master Mind group, and refine it if you meet with failure, or Infinite Intelligence presents you with a hunch via your imagination that tells you an even better way to go about transmuting your desire into reality.

Quote and Analysis

“We emulate those with whom we associate most closely. Pick an employer who is worth emulating.”

So be careful whom you associate with…

Quote and Analysis

“SUPERSTITION AND PREJUDICE. Superstition is a form of fear. It is also a sign of ignorance. Men who succeed keep open minds and are afraid of nothing.”

Dang…“afraid of nothing”…that’s a high bar! Luckily, we can start from where we are and find better tools along the way.

Quote and Analysis

“Annual self-analysis is an essential in the effective marketing of personal services, as is annual inventory in merchandising. Moreover, the yearly analysis should disclose a DECREASE IN FAULTS, and an increase in VIRTUES. One goes ahead, stands still, or goes backward in life. One’s object should be, of course, to go ahead. Annual self-analysis will disclose whether advancement has been, made, and if so, how much. It will also disclose any backward steps one may have made. The effective marketing of personal services requires one to move forward even if the progress is slow.”

Here’s another of those quiet instructions. Conduct an annual self-analysis, and take note which direction you are headed in compared to previous years.

Quote and Analysis

“Have I attained the goal which I established as my objective for this year? (You should work with a definite yearly objective to be attained as a part of your major life objective).”

Another quiet instruction. Have a definite (specific) objective for the year that matches up to achieving your Definite Chief Aim.

Quote and Analysis

“CAPITAL consists not alone of money, but more particularly of highly organized, intelligent groups of men who plan ways and means of using money efficiently for the good of the public, and profitably to themselves.”

Sounds like his definition of a Master Mind group.

Also interesting to note how much of the book’s philosophy is packed into this one statement.

Money is not the valuable thing.

Cooperate and work together with groups of other people.

Make plans.

The plans, ideas, and actions that use the money are the valuable thing.

Use money efficiently.

Use money for the good of the public, and you will profit too.

Quote and Analysis

“The “System” denies no one this right, but it does not, and cannot promise SOMETHING FOR NOTHING, because the system, itself, is irrevocably controlled by the LAW OF ECONOMICS which neither recognizes nor tolerates for long, GETTING WITHOUT GIVING.”

This is an insight for every relationship in life, even the one you have with yourself.

Give if you want to get.

Now, sing along with me from the “Sunshine In My Suitcase” CD:

Can’t get something for nothing…can’t get nothing for free…wondering what the cost is gonna be…