John Smith Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK
This chapter is deservedly one of the longest contained in Think and Grow Rich as by using real examples Mr. Hill very ably makes the point that while further education, including Universities provide things which society generally admires, acquiring knowledge is of itself only a part of the whole if success and wealth are the goal.
To share a personal example, my son is studying at a major University here in England. He is learning extensive general knowledge in his specialist chosen subject however none of his professors, all well recognised in their field, are teaching him how to organise that knowledge into a coherent plan to provide a service either to the public at large or any potential employer, if that is his chosen path. His application and detrmination means he will certainly leave University with a good degree in knowledge but a possibly limited understanding of how to put that knowledge to really effective use.
This is where we have been encouraging him to follow both Henry Ford's and the Mentoring for Free example and begin to create his own circle of connections, his mastermind group if you will. In his case at the moment that group consists of a small number of individuals who have spent time developing and adapting knowledge learnt into planned, positive research within their field (as employees it must be said), along with some who have left their chosen subject behind to enter more or equally productive areas as business owners in their own right, to try to make their mark.
Although written shortly after the Great Depression it is uncanny how closely today's world resembles that time in history with Specialized Knowledge, Apprenticeships and broader based abilities outside of the purely academic are again so highly prized. In other words although knowledge is good, in a world where almost all knowledge today can be found by entering a subject into Google, Altavista or any of a number of incredibly powerful search engines by anyone who can tap a keyboard, it is not the deciding factor.
So if knowledge alone isn't the answer to becoming truly successful what is? Because Mr. Hill goes on to provides us with the complete solution to that question more than qualifies this chapter as being one of the most important (and longest) in the book.