By Dr Costas Kyritsis

School of Management and Economics

Dept. of Finance and Auditing

Technology Institute of Epirus

Preveza, Greece







In this short note we discuss the gap of the principles of education as seen from the academic world and as seen from successful businessmen that tried to communicate their experience. In particular we focus on the subjective experience on the difficult path of financial success and its background emotional qualifications (EQ) in the individual’s consciousness. The results are a challenge and a surprise to the academic common sense.









JEL A2 Key words: Teaching Economics, Emotional Intelligence, Education.




1.      Introduction

The idea of this short note became possible as the last year the author was reading a number of books, some from professors in American universities some simply from  businessmen, but all of them certainly from individuals that had became millionaires through their efforts, and decisions. The books were directed in educating the public how to became a successful businessman and create wealth, and they were written from authors that had already become millionaires. The surprise was that all these millionaires when trying to educate other people, or communicate their experience used quite different principles than those  we usually adopt in academic education.  For the purpose of this paper I focus, as case studies, mainly on 4 millionaires:

1) Robert Allen

2) Napoleon Hill

3) Robert Kiyosaki

4) Paul Zane Piltzer

Paul Zane Piltzer is a University professor , was also an advisor  of two American presidential administrations and therefore is closer to our system of concepts. His also a  multimillionaire businessman in wellness insurance and software. Every year he is giving an open speech in a stadium for 60,000 people. The first of them, Robert Allen has lectured in his own seminars, or designed seminars  which at least 100,000 people have attended during 1980-1990. R. Allen became rich by buying and selling real estate. He started without capital  and it took him 10 years to make his first million. He made then 20  millions in less than 6 years and finally 200 in less than 22 years, by giving seminars and publishing books on how to make wealth. Napoleon Hill lived  during the 20th century (he is the only one  of the four that he is no longer living) and became millionaire by writing books.

His book “Think and grow rich “ was translated in almost all languages and was read, till 1990, by at least 15 million people! He had his own foundation and educational academy, and had introduced courses about techniques of success, that became standard, even in the USA high school curriculums. Robert Kiyosaki started also without capital and made his first part of his wealth by buying and selling real estate. Later he created many companies. He has designed educational games and is giving lectures in Universities about how to follow a successful personal path in business. All of the 4 millionaires have first rank bestseller books. All the chosen millionaires are strongly oriented in educating other people, and this makes their case entirely relevant and useful for this paper. I should mentions that already the 2nd of the above millionaires (Napoleon Hill) was assigned during the 1st part of the 20th century by Andrew Carnegie (the owner of the largest part of the American industry of  steel at that time) to work for 20 years and interview at least 500 of the most famous millionaires at that time and create a philosophy of success which would be the common pattern of thinking of all above successful businessmen.

To enhance the necessary information for the discussions, with fresh information, I include material from the famous research of two university professors Danko W. Ph.D.  and             Stanley T. Ph.D. who made the largest scale known statistical research in the world, on the behavior and decision styles of 2,000 millionaires in USA during the decades of 90’s and 2000’s

Thus the study presented in this short note, although focused on the concepts introduced by the above 4 millionaires, is in fact also representative for the largest part of the population of millionaires in society.


2.      Two types of knowledge and education

The first thing with which an academic lecturer is surprised when reading manuscripts by millionaires is a very strict principle about what one can learn from other people in his path to business success. We might phrase this principle as follows:

“ If you want to apply what you learn, and became what you learn, never ask to be taught from someone that has not attained it, already”

According to this principle a university professor is not qualified to teach anyone how to become a successful businessman, unless the professor himself is a successful businessman.

This paradox give me the opportunity to discriminate between two types of knowledge and education.

1st type of Knowledge and education

1) Knowledge that has been acquired, 1st hand, by a person, from his personal experience in becoming his goal. This knowledge can be partly only transferred during an educational  procedure , and is much more than simply information or interpretation: It is changing yourself.

2nd type of Knowledge and education

2)      Knowledge that is from a third observer in a situation, and is transferred as information or interpretation in an educational procedure to another person.

In this latter 2nd type of knowledge and education belongs mainly the academic knowledge and education.

But in the chosen case study of the above 4 millionaires we discover knowledge and education which belongs to the 1st type.

3.      How millionaires educate, EQ versus IQ, and what is not taught in the Universities

As the knowledge and education of the millionaires is of the 1st type rather than of the 2nd type it is different from the traditional university education. What one immediately observes as different is that they include principles of emotional intelligence (EQ) . An interesting book on EQ is written by Goleman Daniel (see references below). It seems that the ratio of the use of Emotional intelligence versus Intellectual Intelligence (IQ), by an average person in business, at the present time, is 24:1!

Another interesting characteristic of the education of the above millionaires is that they insist to educate their followers to give 10% of their annual gains in charity.

For them is it is a direct proof that the goal of creating business and wealth is mainly not a selfish goal but rather a social good, goal.

They call their education “a smooth path” from the state of consciousness of the employee as a physical person, to the state of consciousness of  a company owner or multinational investor.

To the usual attitude that “all this efforts are in vain” “you cannot take it with you after you die” they state clearly that they do not agree. Of course they cannot take the money with them when they die. But they insist, that it is not about money. What the consciousness learns through the initial desires, the use of faith, the hopes, the persistence, the organized activities, the understanding of other people, the benevolent charity, the effect in society etc, is also an internal development road. If in addition the millionaire tries to write books and educate other people how to achieve what they have achieved, this creates a legacy that outlives individuals. As Robert Allen puts it, it is only the poverty-minded who think that wealth resides only in material things. The coming of death will, not disappoint those who look upon wealth as thoughts and attitudes.

It seems also that they mention the phrase “passing through the mirror” at the process of sharing their success


4.      Business organization levels and the subjective self

According to Robert Kiyosaki (see [1997] and [1998] chapter 2, below) the very nature of the self of an individual changes and certainly the idea that the individual has for himself is different , depending on the basic four organizational levels in business:

a)      Physical person as employee

b)     Self employed  professional

c)      Main owner of a company (e.g. an S.A. company or corporation that stands as a legal person rather than a physical person)

d)     Investor in many other companies

The social orientation is also different from level to level. E.g. while at level a) an individual as a physical person is oriented in a personal use of money (or he might be even working for the money) at level c) and d) he is conceiving money as raw material or a social good rather than personal utility, and is concerned to multiply it so he can have more or large companies, give job to more people, and produce new and better services or products. Wealth is seen as a social good rather than a personal good. Thus it can be said that millionaires eventually do not work for the money! It is the employees that they think that millionaires work for the money, because, the employees mainly might be working for the money.

The main concerns,  subjective worries , necessary emotional qualifications (EQ) and correlation of work with money of the people according to the business or legal organizational levels are

Level a): “How to find a stable, job, with good salary” EQ necessary: Reliability, tolerance to other persons

Level b): “I cannot find the right people to work and complete the tasks”. Or “I am giving too much of my time to the efforts of this work”, or “ I am paid x dollars per task in this study” EQ necessary: Interest in the work, Self-reliance, initiative activities.

Level c) “  I am looking for a competent manager for my company” EQ necessary: Understanding people and their motivations, Leadership, understanding society, laws, rules in taxes , having great ideas.

Level d) : “My income would be a percentage of the net profits or of the revenues?” EQ necessary: Understanding the interplay of different business, nations, interaction of the individual with the world, good practice of strong will and habits.


5.      Society organization levels and the concepts of money

Based on the previous observations, we may describe the different concepts of the idea of money as met at different organization levels in society. We present the next table.

Organization level in society

Role , value, and definition of money

0) Tangible objects

Valuable object due to contained precious metal (e.g. coins from gold or silver)

1) Transactions

Means of exchange

2) Individual

A measure of personal activities awareness and a way to freedom of activities and choices. Also a measure of “share” in the social power ,goods and services.

3) Enterprise

"Raw material" to organize, hire people and "seed" for organizational and group activities growth. Also a measure of “share” in the social power and goods

4) Single domestic economy

A measure of internal circulation of the goods and services

5) Many domestic economies with many currencies

A measure of external interaction of the two economies as mutual flow of goods and services and a method of indirect pricing of domestic goods and services of the one economy from the goods and services of the other economy 

We see from the above table that while an individual’s  path of success shifts from an employee to a self employed, to main  owner of a company and finally to an multinational investor, his idea of money constantly changes. As the millionaire say themselves, “Money is an idea invented each time at each new plan”. This could mean that any new pattern of circulation of financial values parallel to the flow of services or goods may also introduce new concepts of money. After all, since the “rule of gold” does not hold anymore,  new concepts of intangible money , that they can practically be “issued from nothing” in a domestic economy is a reality in modern society.





6.      Minority thinking, versus majority thinking, success, and the Pareto 80/20 rule

It seems that an important factor in following the path of success, is to think with principles and realizations that a majority of other people, that do not succeed, do not think so. It is reported that more than 95% of the small businesses are closing within 5 years.  It is also reported that more than 95% of speculative  investors in capital markets are loosing sooner or later their money. These percentages resemble the 80%-20% rule of Pareto. E.g. “more than 80% of the problems in a company are created by less than 20% of the employees” Or “Less than 20% of the populations in the planet consumes more than 80% of the energy resources” etc.   R. Kiyosaki states clearly that in order to be confident  that you shall be in the minority of less than 20% that shall succeed , you must challenge continuously yourself and find convincing  arguments that  you are doing things in a different way and handle the risks in a different way than that of a majority of more than 80% that shall fail.

The boundary between belief and self confidence is the reality of events.

This different way that may put you in the minority of the less than 20% that shall succeed is usually a “minority thinking”, in the sense that you also think with successful principles , spiritual, intellectual, and emotional, that only a minority is using. Therefore the psychology of a successful business man requires that his is not following the “average”, the “common feelings” etc. The fact that he escapes from the average psychology is described here with the Pareto rule.


7.      The basic social attitude for business success

According to Paul Zane Piltzer, a whole new reality is opened for exploring in the social interplay, if we adopt the Pareto principle “The wealth of a part of society is not necessary the poverty of another part of society, but it may very well be the wealth for all the other parts of society” In smaller scale business another way to express the same truth is that “A win/win attitude in business is the basic principle where all subsequent success is based” P.Z. Piltzer was using a simple example with 10 people that make the population of an isolated island. More sophisticated analysis of the above principle  based on the equilibrium models of macroeconomics would reveal significant  potential that modern societies have for common prosperity which is not explored and developed.

R. Allen was based almost entirely on the win/win principle, in finding his method to make his first million, in 10 years, by buying and selling real estate without having any significant  initial capital.

8.      EQ and other mind set that does not lead to business success

In the previous paragraphs we discussed attitudes that lead to success. It is interesting to try to enumerate some attitudes and EQ based opinions that seem to prohibit for an ability for success. It is more interesting when three of the above millionaires, give according to their views a short list.

According to R. Allen the next assumptions are the basis of a poverty-programmed mind

a)      Having a job is good and ultimately leads to wealth

b)      Saving your money is a good investment

c)      Debt is bad, avoid it like the plague

d)      Security is good

e)      Failure is bad

f)        Wealth is measured in material possessions

g)      The government, my employer, or someone else is responsible for my financial well being

h)      The acquiring of wealth is a win/lose game

i)        It takes money to make money

According to R. Kiyosaki the next is a short list of attitudes that prohibit us from success

a)      The love of money is the root of all evil

b)      I shall never become rich

c)      Do not risk

d)      Now it is late

e)      I am not interested in money

f)        There is not enough money for all to become rich

g)      Live with utter frugality

h)      I have a family therefore all I need is a good job

i)        I do not feel good, I am fat, I am getting old

j)        They have tried it, you shall never succeed

k)      It is not worth trying it


Finally according to Napoleon Hill, the path to success is like a path in a dark forest, where the soul becomes noble. During the travel we must beat many enemies. The enemies have names and the names are

a)      Fear                I) Impatience       q) disloyalty        y) hypochondria

b)      Greed        j) cruelty                             r) revenge           z) indecision

c)      Intolerance      k) mercilessness                 s) deceit

d)      Egotism           l) injustice                           t) falsehood

e)      Lust                 m) slander                           u) insincerity

f)        Anger               n) gossip              v) vanity

g)      Hatred               o) undependability            w) worry

h)      Jealousy               p) dishonesty                     x) envy


9.      Quality of consciousness required in business success

According to Napoleon Hill  the resources of subjective consciousness that an individual, who is following a path to success,  has to resort, can be considered as a realm which is the base of all religions, yet, it is none of the religions.

Napoleon hill interviewed and studied more than 500 millionaires of his time for 20 years to reach at his conclusions. Among these individuals were

Henry Ford                                         F.W. Woolworth

Theodore Roosevelt                                 Edwin C. Barnes

Elbert Hubbard                                  Arthur Brisbane

Charles Schwab                                  Woodrow Wilson

John Rockefeller                              Alexander Graham Bell


Thomas Edison                          John Paterson

Andrew Carnegie

In particular he describes the necessary  phases and steps with the following terms

·        The individual starts with a strong desire for the goal and its success. Without it, there is no flame and fuel to go on and surpass all the difficulties that are waiting. Without the desire the consciousness is not involved neither at the levels of mortal emotions, neither at the level of the soul, neither at the levels of intellectual abilities and spiritual will.

·        Second the individual is using much of faith. He has to visualize his goals and believe in the attainment of his desires. The ability of faith and hope is also the basis of his happiness at the later phases, that he  has succeed in the goals, of the intermediate steps. That happiness shall create the necessary confidence and further desire to proceed. In practicing faith the individual must learn to use autosuggestions, learn to reassure and affirm himself, and show compassion and mercy to himself. He might have to use  repeated patterns of inner dialogue or even talk loud to himself.  The role of imagination   and visualization is crucial to  keep the desire alive.

·        Next he has to use specialized knowledge usually applied in natural phenomena (e.g. science) to plan his actions and results. At this phase the role of the Intellect and concrete knowledge enters.

·        The specialized knowledge must deploy to an organized plan, that he execute with the power of habits, both atomic and collective. The author here, even used the term  cosmic  habitforce, to describe the underlying repetitive power, like that of many motors or celestial bodies.

·        The art of decision making is an important factor of success. The individual must have the habit of taking fast decisions, sticking on them and changing them, if necessary, slowly. According to the quality of his decision , he shall have a corresponding quality in the ways to attain his goal.

·        Persistence is indispensable. Most of the other would give up after facing so many difficulties, but the one to succeed has to insist.

·        He must understand how the group power is working with people. According to Andrew Carnegie, this law, in human activities and social power, is like the law of universal attraction of celestial bodies, of Newton. When to n individuals is added one more and   altogether work harmoniously  for a goal, the attraction to other individuals for the same goal  at the group of n+1 is increased compared to the group of n.

·        The individual must also understand to mystery of sex transmutation and how it gives enthusiasm , flame and more desire and power  to achieve the goal. In the statistics of Napoleon Hill, most of the subjects, he studied, succeeded at an age between 40 and 60, and this is related to the sex transmutation.

·        In addition he must understand the role of the subconscious mind and the sixth sense. This shall help him to overcome difficulties when the analytic mind and the available information cannot. After all, too many things that are important in achieving the goals, are not observable and traceable with the senses, or existing  information

·        And last but not least the individual must outwit the basic products of the devils workshop: The basic six fears plus the last worse than fears 7nth evil of susceptibility to negative influences by other peoples minds.

Fear of poverty

Fear of criticism

Fear of ill health

Fear of loss of love

Fear of old age

Fear of death

But the worse than fears evil seems to be the susceptibility to negative influences , as it is deeply rooted in people. It is  very difficult to handle it, given that the basic nature of a human being is to socialize with other individuals. When the door to the sixth sense has opened (and it is one of the qualifications that has to be used) it can have as result both good  or bad. The good and favorable side of the  infinite intelligence and of other people  or the  bad and unfavorable side of the infinite intelligence and other people. Susceptibility to negative influences increases. It is not like the internet network, where at least there are safe protocols, and firewalls against hackers. This latter bad result, can cause emotional and mental pain by far worse than the physical pain. And the inability to be protected from distant or closer “contaminations” can easily result in to bad health (cancer etc). It seems that really few can stand with stronger spirit this pain and proceed to their goals.

            According also to Napoleon Hill, riches are not only the money riches, but

 a combination  of many types of wealth from which he mentions 12 basic. We      cannot enjoy and be happy with money riches if we have not the other 11 types of riches too:

1)      Positive mental attitude to our goals, and eventually to society

2)      Sound physical health

3)      Harmony in human relations

4)      Freedom from fears

5)      The hope of achievement

6)      The capacity for faith

7)      Willingness to share one’s blessings

8)      A labor of love

9)      An open mind  to other subjects

10)  Self discipline

11)  The capacity to understand people

12)  Economic security

The efforts in life according to Napoleon Hill should be guided by 8-principles

1)      Material prosperity

2)      Sound physical health

3)      Peace of mind

4)      Hope

5)      Faith

6)      Love

7)      Romance

8)      Wisdom





10.  Four phases of wealth creation and the parallel states of consciousness

According to Robert Allen (see references [1983]) there are in his experience, four faces in creating wealth with different emotional involvement.

Phase 1: When wealth is from practically zero to 70,000 dollars. It is called the preparation stage, and the individual must outwit the false assumptions-opinions that lead to poverty, and learn new patterns of emotional intelligence.

Phase 2: The wealth is between 70,000 and 300,000 dollars. At his stage the struggle is  strong for practically everything, the sacrifices significant and the gravitation to fall back to an easier life very strong

Phase 3: The wealth is between 300,000 to 900,000. It seems now that favorable fate is smiling to the individual, and the struggle is much less. Faith is now giving place to confidence as reality of growth reassures. Still it is easy for everything to be lost  at a glance.

Phase 4: The wealth is more than one million dollars. By now the individual is not mainly concerned with how to grow the wealth, as he is more concerned with how to maintain it. Opulence seems to be a reality. Yet he may live in a style of being frugal. He learns the techniques of using wealth-vehicles like corporations, legal persons etc. The confidence in himself is strong, the power he feels real, but how to handle the measure and balance between  private life and public life is also a real  test to his happiness.


12.  Understanding human motivation and quality on social relations

As we wrote before when making success in business, and individual must understand why people do what they do. But in trying to understand the motivation of other people he can misjudge them ,  which results in to slander and falsehood, even if he does not realize it. This has as effect  that he also is degrading sooner or later his own motivations. Neither it would be realistic to understand human actions with terms too high that are not realistic to the human nature. According to Andrew Carnegies and Napoleon Hill, the basic 9 motivations for the actions of individuals are

·        The emotion of love

·        The emotions of sex

·        The desire for material gains

·        The desire for self-preservation

·        The desire for freedom of body and mind

·        The desire for self-expression

·        The desire for perpetuation of life after death

·        The emotion of anger

·        The emotion of fear



13.   The subjective side of the assessment of risk

Most of the university students when asked, would agree that creating and running a company is a very risky endeavor.

But according to the above millionaires, this is rather because the educational system is creating the psychology of employees rather than of employers. For them the risky situation is to be an employee in a company, while running one or more companies is quite safer. It seems that here the rule of 80/20 is working and the millionaires have developed a different “minority thinking” which place them in safe way in to activities that most other people consider risky. Stanley T. Ph.D has been lead to  the same results (see references below), in his statistics through interviews of 1,000 American millionaires. He was surprised to discovered it too, and he devoted a whole chapter in trying to explain it..

14.  Happiness, and business goals

Some times it is said that “Money, cannot make you happy” . But the truth is that “Sometimes, money cannot necessarily make you happy”  And the four millionaires that were chosen as case study in the paper, as it seems, were all of them looking for happiness, peace of mind, joy, feeling of accomplishment etc. In their search for happiness they  included as an almost indispensable factor the creation of wealth. As it is said there are two problems with money: a) not having enough ,b ) Having too much . It may seem that “having too much” is an easily solvable problem. But it is not at all so. Most of the wealthy people spent most  of their 24 hours in a day, and probably of their life, trying, to manage money, which very often leads them to unhappiness. Therefore the right measure of efforts and spent time is very important factor for happiness, some times as important as the ability to have wealth at all. What is important nevertheless is to realize  that they did not try to find happiness as goal opposite to making wealth. Rather as a  goal mutually supported my the goal of making wealth.

According to Napoleon hill, wealth itself is already qualities of consciousness, that sooner or later result to material wealth also, if the will is practiced. And peace of mind in creating wealth is

·        freedom from negative forces that may posses the mind.

·        Freedom of fear and worries

·        Possession of the joy of work and accomplishment

·        The habit of helping other to help themselves

·        The habit of thinking in terms of what you wish to do rather than in terms of the obstacles that may get in to your way.

·        The measure of not too little not too much in targeting wealth.

And many other that cannot be included in this short note.

15.  Statistics of millionaire’s behavior in USA

In this paragraph we shall present some statistical data from millionaires in USA (1990-2002) as they were collected by the research of Dr T. Stanley (see references) on over 1,000 millionaires. We shall focus again on their subjective experience, on the path to success, and their degrees during their education. The main success factors as reported in the questionnaires by the millionaires were

·        Integrity—being honest with all people

·        Discipline—applying self control

·        Social skills—getting along with people

·        A supportive spouse

·        Hard work—more than most people


More details are found in the next table



(Sample size N=733)


Hard Work


Believing in Myself




Focusing on Key Issues


Being Decisive




Being Well Organized to Deal with Big Issues


Taking Immediate Action to Solve Problems


Countering Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones


Outworking, Outthinking, Outtoughing the Competition


Visualizing Success


Never Allowing Fears to Control MyMind


Defeating Fear by Attacking It


Sharing Concerns with Spouse


Counting My Blessings


Exercising Regularly


Seeking Advice from Outstanding People


Consulting Skilled Advisers/CPA/Attorney


Never Dwelling on Past Mistakes


Sharing Concerns with a Trusted Friend


Using Mental Toughness Developed  Sports


Reading About People with Courage


Having Strong Religious Faith








In the same research is proven that the majority of the millionaires who essentially belong in the category of Business Owners (they have also among millionaires the largest wealth size) were students of C-B mainly, or of an average 73% in 100%.


16.  Epilogue

 We certainly do not teach in Universities  the necessary emotional intelligence (EQ) for business success, neither the individual’s consciousness qualities that are required. But even if we did, the statistical results prove that only a very small minority would take advantage and respond to them. It seems also that schools are supporting more the psychology of good employees, than the psychology of good employers.

The demand for the right education in companies is nevertheless existing.

 Napoleon Hill reports a case in his book where the creator of a very large insurance company , was inspired to create the company from one of the Napoleon’s Hill books. When the company was created, it grew in to prosperity, with the owner insisting that all his employees, would be educated in to the philosophy of success, that N. Hill had created. His insurance company became one of the very large in USA. This incidence led, later, Napoleon Hill, to make his own Educational Foundation and Academy.

The chosen case studies of successful individuals are examples that value education as the primary factor that leads to financial success. They prove it, too, by their educational practice.

But education has to be combined with strong personal desire for the goals of success and qualities of the consciousness. In the absence of the latter, education remains in the realm of information only and the goals are not personal reality.






Allen G. Robert [1983] Creating wealth” Fireside book Simon & Schuster

Allen G. Robert [2004] Multiple streams of income” John Wiley and sons, Inc           Hoboken N.J.

Allen G. Robert [2006] Multiple streams of internet income. How ordinary people make extraordinary money

John Wiley and sons, Inc Hoboken N.J.

Emerson W. [1840] Philosophical Essays   in

Goleman Daniel [1995]                           Emotional Intelligence” Bantam books

Kiyosaki Robert

Lechter Sharon  [1997] Rich dad poor dad” For the Greek Language, editor Kleidarithmos 2000

Kiyosaki Robert

Lechter Sharon  [1998] Rich Dad’s Cash Flow Quadrant” For the Greek Language, editor Kleidarithmos 2001

Kiyosaki Robert

Lechter Sharon  [1998] Guide to investing” For the Greek Language, editor Kleidarithmos 2000

Kiyosaki Robert

Lechter Sharon  [2001] The business school for people who like helping  people” For the Greek Language, editor Kleidarithmos 2003

Napoleon Hill [1937] Think and Grow Rich   Editor 2004 Ross Cornwell

Napoleon Hill [1965] The master key to riches” Ballantine books N.Y. Random House Publishing group

Napoleon Hill [1967] Grow Rich with peace of Mind” Fawcett books N.Y. Random House Publishing group

Napoleon Hill [1971] You can work your own miracles” Fawcett books N.Y. Random House Publishing group

Paul Zane Piltzer [1995] God wants you to be rich” Fireside book Simon & Schuster

Paul Zane Piltzer [2002] The wellness revolution” John Wiley and sons, Inc

Stanley T. Ph.D.

Danko W. Ph.D. [1996] The millionaire next door” Pocket books Simon & Schuster

Stanley T. Ph.D. [2001] The Millionaire Mind” Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City