Good Business Books

Book Review -- Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success

So controversial that it couldn't be published during his lifetime, "Outwitting the Devil" presents success guru Napoleon Hill's secrets for conquering the internal demons that haunt every entrepreneur.

On the surface, the idea of reviewing a book that was written three-quarters of a century ago would look like a complete waste of time. Driven by an environment of constant change, modern entrepreneurs crave the latest and greatest how-to manuals -- practical resources forged from the furnace of today's business world.

Napoleon Hill Outwitting the Devil

But when the author of the book is Napoleon Hill, the pioneer of personal success literature, we're willing to make an exception -- and so should you.

Although the manuscript has sat on a shelf for 73 years, the recent release of "Outwitting the Devil" couldn't be more timely. Constructed around a conversation between Hill and the Devil, the work transcends its semi-religious connotations to offer readers a blueprint for overcoming every entrepreneur's biggest obstacle: Fear.

Using his conversation with the Devil as a literary vehicle, Hill lays out seven principles to help entrepreneurs outwit their own devils. From using adversity as a learning tool to avoiding "drift", readers are equipped with practical lessons designed to guide them beyond fear and uncertainty to a more purposeful way of life.

Hill's insights (written near the end of the Great Depression) are steeped in his experiences with business leaders struggling to adapt to economic adversity. Some succeeded, while others were swept away by their circumstances. The enduring value of Hill's work is that for business leaders, the most dangerous threats aren't the devils contained in the latest economic data. Instead, they're the devils inside each of us.

If you're looking for a light read, you won't find it here. But despite its occasional esoteric tone, "Outwitting the Devil" is a timeless primer on overcoming fear, self-doubt and other internal leadership challenges. If you liked Hill's classic, "Think and Grow Rich", "Outwitting the Devil" is a must-have addition to your business bookshelf.

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