The premise behind books like Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, and films like The Secret, is that there is a secret behind wealth. This is not a difficult sell for the average person, because most of us don’t personally know anyone of great wealth. We assume there must be a secret, because we go to work everyday, but that doesn’t appear to be enough to kick us up and out of the lower and middle class.

For a lot us, we don’t feel we have any unique talent, or skill, that would make us “rich and famous,” so we continue to be baffled at how a select few are swimming in money.

It must be a secret. Rich people discovered some magical method to abundance that they’re keeping from the rest of us.

This sense of mystery gives rise to success gurus who claim to know these secrets. We listen because the gurus are rich too. They must also know the secrets, but they’re willing to share them with us. How wonderful!

Selling Snake Oil

Not really. The gurus are rich, but the reason is no secret. The gurus are selling snake oil, and the reason they can so easily sell the snake oil is because they prey upon two things:

  1. The fact that most people can’t figure out how to get rich so they assume there’s a secret to it.
  2. The laziness of people that are looking for a short cut to wealth.

While I have your attention, let me say a couple of things. First, I’ve never believed that striving for great wealth as end in itself was a worthy pursuit, but so much of success teaching addresses wealth that I’ve framed the issue in those terms.

For me, true success is to maximize your resources for a purpose greater than yourself. I’m much more interested in releasing the full potential of my talents, skills, and interests than I am accruing lots of money.

Can You Attract Money with Your Mind?

There is no secret to success—there is only ignorance of the principles that govern achievement. If you don’t understand these principles, then a guru can tell you there’s a secret to success. Most of them will say it’s something like holding certain thoughts in your mind, or repeating certain mantras over and over until the wealth materializes.

Can you attract money with your mind? No, I don’t believe you can. Money is not attracted. Money is earned by innovation, strategy, and work. Money is earned by your direct ability to solve problems for someone else. Solving problems for a company is earning by a paycheck. Solving problems for many is earning by sales. Both can bring you a lot of money, but it depends upon your performance.

Wealth Follows Problem-Solving

It does matter how you think, but not in the way that some success gurus teach. I am naturally an optimistic person, but my real “mind power” is in my ability to create, conceive, and conceptualize. I am an idea man. I create things that solve problems for many, and this is what will carry me to the top.

We all have to believe in ourselves, but there must be a valid reason to believe in yourself. If your performance is poor, then there’s no reason to be positive about it. Granted, don’t hate yourself for it—just change it. Use your frustration as fuel for your self-improvement. Take classes. Practice. Do what you have to do to better your performance. Just don’t condemn yourself.

There is no mystery to this. If you don’t work, you don’t eat. It’s that simple. If you spend all of your time envisioning wealth, that’s about all you’ll be doing—other than buying the next book claiming to have revealed the mystery to success.

If you can solve problems for the right people, you’ll make more money. If you can solve problems for a lot of people, you’ll make more money. Either way, it comes down to work, but it has to be the right kind of work. It has to be work that solves the kind of problems that earn the kind of money you want.


C. J. Ortiz
C. J. Ortiz

My mission is to help equip people to maximize their resources for a purpose greater than themselves. That's what my own mentors and teachers have done for me, and I'm paying it forward. Life can be merciless, and the world can be a messed up place, so what's needed is a stronger people that can both endure and overcome in life. My motto is, "In whatever you do, don't suck! Metal up!"

Leave a comment! Let me hear from you!

    18 replies to "Think and Grow Poor. Work and Grow Rich."

    • Robert Serbe

      I have to say CJ i’m not a big fan of this Article. Yes I agree you cannot manifest a pile of money or other riches. I do believe in the power of thoughts and my mind. Where your focus is and what your thoughts focus on will enter your life. It’s been proved to me many times. When I was struggling with my drug addiction all that was on my mind was drugs or getting high and I continued down that dark road for a long time. But now my mind is in a better positive place and I’m attracting all kinds of positive things to me.

      You attract the situations and opportunities to make, work for , or earn money. As i was writing this I was also thinking how I can pay a 20$ debt today with only $10 then like magic the phone rings with an offer to help someone with an easy task and I’ll receive $40 I believe in it

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Robert, I’ve addressed this issue repeatedly since I began Metal Motivation and there is no way anyone can empirically prove the law of attraction. It’s impossible. That doesn’t mean you didn’t experience what you did, but you simply cannot prove that such things work for all people, in all situations, at all times.

      http://metalmotivation.com/2011/08/22/the-real-%e2%80%9csecret%e2%80%9d-to-success-is-the-law-of-action/

    • Audra

      Oh, I think I get it. So…the power of attraction may INDEED work, but it’s incredibly FOOLISH to sit around waiting on THAT to improve your lot in life. Figure out a way to solve a problem, to fill a need, and you’re grabbing hold of your destiny with both hands -sort of thing. Right?

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      FINALLY!!! Someone gets it! Thanks, Audra.

    • Marcus

      I have to agree with Robert. I’m a big believer in the law of attraction. I am also a big believer in working your ass off to get ahead in life or to have any kind of success. I know for a fact that my life changed in a short amount of time when I started thinking about success and looking for a better life for my family and I. Thoughts are powerful things but without action to back them up they are useless. I can’t prove that the law of attraction is there or that it works for everyone. I guess I take it by faith that it works for me.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Marcus, the fact that your life changed in a short amount of time once you started thinking about success does not prove the law of attraction. If we change the way we think, then we will have different life experiences but that is not the definition of the law of attraction.

      You’re also demonstrating that you may be unfamiliar with the definition of the law of attraction. You said “thoughts are powerful things but without action to back them up they are useless.” Thank you. You just restated my case entirely.

      The law of attraction teaches that thoughts are NOT useless without action. It teaches that thoughts actually attract positive or negative circumstances by means of vibrations that get sent out into the world. All to say, films like “The Secret” suggest that you can “manifest” the ideal parking space simply by envisioning it.

      It sounds to me that what you experienced was simply the result of actions being changed on your part because you changed your outlook. I believe and teach that. It’s just not the law of attraction.

    • Roy

      Where the “power of attraction” people get it wrong is when they say that mearly thinking about money leads to more money. Where they get it right is when they say that the motivation to have more wealth leads to more wealth. So this article is spot on. Thanks CJ.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      That’s excellent, Roy. I do kind of feel that I’m a bit too wordy after you just restated my entire article in two sentences! ;)

    • Marcus Painter

      I do agree with you about The Secret. I don’t believe you can sit around and think about a big pile of money and it will just show up at your front door. On the other hand I think you can take as much action as you want and get no where with out the right mental attitude. There has to be more to it than that. I know plenty of people that work hard and still get no where.

      You do attract positive or negative circumstances depending on what you focus on. I have worked very hard my whole life and I never got anywhere until I changed my thought patterns, or outlook.

      Yes I do believe that thoughts actually attract positive or negative circumstances by means of vibrations that get sent out into the world. Another way to say it is “like attracts like”.

      But there so much more to it than just that. That’s just one law. There are many.

      I’m sure you have spent a great deal of time on your blog and your videos. I love them by the way! Thats the taking action part and thats very important. I don’t think you would be where you are today if all you thought about was how hard it is or how much time it takes to put it all together. Thats a mindset, and having the right mindset is just as important as taking action.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Marcus, with all due respect, it’s not a law. Gravity is a law. Electricity works by laws. Attraction is a theory that is not endorsed by any reputable scientists. And again, my being “positive” of mind helps my attitude but it does not work as a magnet.

    • Pouyan

      I think nobody disagrees with the fact that keeping a positive mind or focusing on what you want, does make a difference in the way of making your endeavors more effective.

      But, mental focus does not “build or change the electromagnetic field” around you (apart from any brain activity that creates electrical signal detectable on the skull using EEG) or send “frequencies out to the universe” as if there is a RF transceiver somewhere in our head. Being an electrical engineer I had to get this off of my chest.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Glad you did, bro.

    • Jsmoothlucas

      Whaz Up! CJ, I would to add my two cents about the so called law of attaction, Many People think that the “Law of Attraction” is a get rick quick scheme. Just sit at home, dream some stuff up and “poof”, magically a dream life appears. This is a far from the truth. Very far! If you look at the word ” Attraction” carefully, you quickly realize that more than half of the word is “action”. That’s no coincidence! The law of Attraction is a law of action through action you attract. Through action you become, through action you improve. Through action you improve yourself to the point where you attract what you’ve improve into, the more you want, the more you need to improve in order to qualify for want you you want. That is my version of the so called law of attaction, which is really the LAW OF ACTION. That concept has always worked for me.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      I’ve been saying that since the beginning. Read the article “Law of Action” http://metalmotivation.com/2011/08/22/the-real-%e2%80%9csecret%e2%80%9d-to-success-is-the-law-of-action/

    • Dave

      The best advise ever is do it do it do it !! don’t even wait to find that one thing that is your calling just do anything. Most people don’t get up go out and do something, the biggest step is not the money or reaching the goal, the biggest step is saying to your self today i am going to make my first move and i will never ever give up ! all this motivation stuff says just that mr hill ,mr robins,mr zigler mr whoever all say the same discipline is the key use the secret, use whatever if it helps con your own brain into thinking like someone you have not thought like in your life so far.The phone rang for this other chap and he got the $40 because he made it known that he would work it was not random HE DID SOMETHING !!!!!!!!!!

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      So long as there is more action than thinking, I’m okay with it.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      So long as there is more action than thinking, I’m okay with it.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      So long as there is more action than thinking, I’m okay with it.

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