Think and Grow Rich - The Timeless Lesson of Specialization!

Uncategorized Sep 24, 2018

Think and Grow Rich -Timeless Advice

I was in the second grade when our old black and white television broke.  It stayed that way for over three years.  My parents told us we were watching too much tv (sound familiar), however, the reality was we were too poor to have it fixed or replaced.  As a result, I became a voracious reader – a habit that continues to this day.

It was around this same time my grandfather gave me a book that would influence the rest of my life. It was an original, well-read, 1937 copy of the now classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  If you are not familiar with it, look it up.

I was not a good student by any stretch of the imagination, I bored easily and dropped out college to follow my passion – scuba diving. I was hired as a diver on a cruise ship.  A couple of years later, I moved into the Pursers office.  It was a decision that would change my life forever.

It was here that I soon discovered many of the problems we dealt with onboard tended to be travel agent related.  I thought, if I could deliver the same high level of service in the booking process as they received on their cruise vacation – we could build a successful business specializing in cruises.

While commonplace today, there were very few cruise-only agencies at the time.  It was an uphill battle to say the least but, we stayed true to what we knew best.  Our customers sought us out because they “heard” we specialized in cruises.  We developed a reputation that continued to attract new customers and help us grow into a successful company.

In Think and Grow Rich.  Napoleon Hills’ fourth principle of success, Specialized Knowledge, is as relevant today as it was over eighty years ago, “The accumulation of great fortunes calls for POWER, and power is acquired through highly organized and intelligently directed specialized knowledge….”

I was once hired to give a presentation at a travel industry conference about Dubai.  I turned it down three times because the extent of my knowledge of the country could fit on a pin head.  But he was insistent, so I immersed myself into learning everything I possibly could about the region. By the time I was finished, I knew more about Dubai than most people would ever care to know.  When I finally visited a year later, it felt like I had been there a hundred times - thanks to my learnings from YouTube, Google, and the Discovery Channel.  Three years later, and I still receive emails asking for advice on selling Dubai.

Today, industry CEOs, consortia and host agency executives, and especially coaches, mentors, and business advisers, all sing from the same hymnal.  We all agree, the real key to your success is not social media and not marketing, it is specialization

As a specialist you will become “known” and new clients will be attracted to you.  This is a long-term strategy.  Invest the time and resources to achieve this worthy goal.  Google and YouTube are your best friends.  Use them judiciously in your quest for knowledge. 

The tools we use have changed, but not much has changed since the book was first written. Specialization will make you stand out in a crowded field, attract customers who will pay for your expertise, and give you the foundation on which to build a sustainable business.

BTW - I still have the original given to me by my grandfather, however I have worn out 4-5 paperbacks and listen to  annually on Audible.

To learn more about building a solid foundation for your business, visit:


Dan Chappelle is a professional business advisor and best-selling author.  His training and consulting firm helps develop sales focused business leaders and entrepreneurs in the travel and tourism industry. His book, Get Your S.H.I.P. Together: The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales, is available on

For information on the Wealthy Travel Agent Academy’s business building programs, visit:

©2018 Dan Chappelle, CCI Inc.

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