Learn and Apply this One Master Key to go from Modest Success to Amazing Success! By Pat Ryan

Posted on Oct 1, 2013 in Archive, Principles of Success

In the early 1900’s, Napoleon Hill was commissioned by rags-to-riches philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, to study and interview 500 highly successful Americans to determine if they shared common “success” traits.  Carnegie introduced Hill to Henry Ford, who then introduced Hill to the likes of Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and other luminaries of the day.  

Through the many interviews that followed, Hill became convinced there is a formula for success, which he outlined in his 13 success principles.  Anyone can apply these principles to achieve success in their own lives! 

This week, in our Success blog, let’s take a look at Success Principle #4 – Specialized Knowledge, and a powerful master key to achieve success in your own life…                                        


Hill determined that one key step to achieve success is to learn how to gather and apply specialized knowledge in your business pursuits.  More important that general knowledge, Hill emphasized that specialized knowledge is the unique value you bring to the world, the kind of knowledge that can bring health, wealth, and success when applied properly.

First, let’s clarify something:  the need for specialized knowledge does not mean you must hold an advanced degree in a certain subject area to achieve great success.  Rather, you must know where to GET specialized knowledge and then learn how to APPLY it!  (Read on…) 

Henry Ford is an excellent example of this principle.  Although Henry Ford was not highly educated in the traditional sense of the word (he had only a 6th grade formal education!), he became highly successful.  How did he do it?  There were two key factors which contributed to his success in founding the Ford Motor Company, and one of those factors relates directly to the concept of gathering and applying specialized knowledge

1.)    Ford had a vision, an ultimate purpose which he could not be dissuaded from, no matter what:

“I will build a motor car for the great multitude…it will be so low in price that no man will be unable to own one.”

2.)    He surrounded himself with people who had specialized knowledge in a variety of key areas which helped lead to his eventual success. (You may want to read that sentence again.  It is an important one as you will soon see!) 

Henry Ford innately knew the power of surrounding himself with certain people, including famed scientist and inventor, Thomas Edison, who was one of his closest friends for more than 30 years.  (By the way, Thomas A. Edison had only three months of formal “schooling” during his entire life, but he also surrounded himself with people who had certain specialized knowledge!)

Similarly, Andrew Carnegie founded and developed Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Steel Company, despite the fact that he admittedly knew nothing about the steel industry!  In 1901, he proceeded to sell the company to J.P. Morgan for $480 million, the equivalent of more than $13 billion today, creating the U.S. Steel Corporation and making Carnegie a multi-millionaire!  Not bad for someone who knew nothing about the steel industry.

One question remains: How did Carnegie do it?  He traced his success back to the “sum total of the minds” of his business associates–his managers, accountants, chemists, etc.  He assembled a group of people with specialized knowledge about the steel industry to help realize his goals.  Sound familiar?  (This is the same premise used by Henry Ford to achieve his success.)

By establishing this group, which he called a Mastermind group, Carnegie was provided both the brain-power and depth of knowledge in areas with which he was unfamiliar.  Through relationships with these people, Carnegie was able to extrapolate on his own knowledge and vision by tapping into information held by others, and in the end, he became a multi-millionaire! 

“The person who can organize and direct a “Master Mind” group of people that possess knowledge useful in the accumulation of money is just as much a person of education as any person in the group.”  – Napoleon Hill

Ford, Edison and even Carnegie himself are all excellent examples of this quote.  They understood the power of a Mastermind Group.  Such people encouraged and inspired one another, often contributing to each other’s work, creating a total that was often greater than the sum of its parts!    

Through these examples, we can see that no individual can grow to their full capacity in a vacuum, nor does any one of us have all the specialized knowledge necessary to achieve our highest potential for success in this life.  What people can accomplish working together is more than they could each accomplish working individually, because everyone has different strengths, different “specialized knowledge” they bring to the table. 

You see, you don’t have to have ALL the answers, you just have to know WHERE to get them!  And this is one of the great master keys to success. 

Understanding how to apply the Mastermind principle in your own career can make the difference between becoming modestly successful and becoming HUGELY successful in this life!

Many successful business owners or leaders form or join similar groups, to expand their vision, share knowledge, provide/receive feedback, and hold themselves accountable to stay on track and follow through on their plans.  A Mastermind group is like an objective board of directors, keeping you focused, brainstorming new possibilities and insights to improve your business (and your life). 

Are you surrounding yourself with a “Mastermind” group of people?  Do you continue to develop your own specialized knowledge?  Reach out and become part of a local business leaders group, join a CEO forum, or develop a brand new leadership group.  Invite other leaders from your community or your industry, depending on the goals of the group.  Gather together people with specialized knowledge in your industry, develop trust within the group, and then take action to see results. 

Open your mind to the education that comes from experience and contact with other minds!

In Hill’s summation:

  • Knowing how to organize and use knowledge after one acquires it is what Napoleon Hill called the “missing link.”
  • Any person who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action is educated.
  • Successful people never stop acquiring knowledge in their business or profession. Learning is an ongoing, never ending constant in their lives.
  • The accumulation of great fortunes requires highly organized and intelligently directed specialized knowledge; but that knowledge does not necessarily have to be held by the person who accumulates the fortune.

You must surround yourself with people who have related specialized knowledge.  Take action to join or form a Mastermind group and you, too, could achieve amazing success! 


To achieving success in business, you must constantly be looking for better ways to do things.  Periodically review what’s working well and what needs improvement in your business.  Are you achieving success in selling and marketing to corporate training and HR?  Do you have an accurate list of the right decision makers you seek?  If not, you should talk with Mentor Tech Group today. 

You’ve seen our email newsletters, you may even have read our client testimonials.  Or, you may have read our recent case study in which an MTG client increased their client base by 20% as a direct result of marketing and selling to the MTG market intelligence database!  

With reported success like that, isn’t it time YOU took action?  Call us today to learn more about MTG’s market intelligence lists.  Phone: (651) 457-8600, Ext. 3

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Wishing you much success!

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