Douglas Vermeeren is known around the world as “the modern-day Napoleon Hill” because of his extensive first-hand and in-person research into the success patterns of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. Utilizing these strategies, he built massive wealth for himself in his early twenties and now teaches these same lessons around the world, including his popular seminar and book, Personal Power Mastery. The Edge spoke with Doug in a previous issue, and this is part of that interview.
How did you get started on this path of becoming the modern-day Napoleon Hill?
My beginnings were quite strange considering where I am now. I never had any experience with the personal development industry, the entrepreneurial spirit, or accumulating wealth. I was raised in a middle-class family and I really had not decided this is where it would lead. My parents taught me that the way to get ahead in life was to work hard. That’s exactly what I set out to do. While in college I took a job selling pest control door to door. Because I was programmed to believe that success came through hard work and long hours, that’s exactly how I approached that job. Needless to say, I didn’t experience much success initially and I became quite discouraged. At the time I really needed things to work out; I was deep in debt, I had credit cards, student loans, car payments, and more. The collection agencies were very aware of who I was. And now here I was with a job that wasn’t working. I was so discouraged that I was about to quit. Then, thankfully, an answer appeared. A friend gave me a few powerful self-help books: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Both books changed my thinking and, as a result, my life. For those unfamiliar with Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich, he wrote the book after interviewing more than 400 of the world’s top achievers in his day – people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, and others of that time. Through this research he identified many of the attributes required for success. That book changed my life in two major ways.
Firstly, my thinking changed, and because of that my results also changed. Secondly, I decided that I wanted to do what Napoleon Hill had done and go out and interview some of the world’s top achievers just like he had. That decision was the beginning of my mission. I decided I would also meet and learn firsthand from the world’s top achievers today.
How was your research different than Napoleon Hill’s?
The exciting part of this to see was, first, how much of it validated what Hill found so many years ago. The second part was how it expanded on what we learned from Hill. Obviously since Think and Grow Rich came out in 1937 there’s been a lot that has changed in the fields of success psychology and neuroscience. Because we understand so much more now, we have the ability to ask better questions. I was able to pinpoint many of the exact patterns and systems to create specific success in today’s world. And third, I didn’t just study most of these top achievers; many of them became personal mentors to me and are still helping to guide myself and my students today.
What specific areas do you help create success in?
I can only help create success in the areas that I have been able to achieve results for myself. Wealth has been a major area. With the mentorship of millionaires and billionaires I was able to reach some very high financial results in a hurry. And naturally this is one of the most requested topics that people ask me to teach them. Yet our seminar, Personal Power Mastery, focuses on what is known as the five pillars. These five pillars of success essentially recognize all the categories of human potential. Here they are: Self, Spirituality, Health, Relationships, and Abundance.
What is the first lesson a person needs to understand in order to create success?
Recently I’ve had a book come out and we chose the title very carefully to give the answer to that question. The book is called Personal Power Mastery, and it contains the actual strategies that top achievers use to create results in all areas of their lives. The reason this title is so important is that it holds the foundational key for all success.
The word “personal” is important because until you make your success personal, you will never find it. Often when people come to our events they’re looking to make changes in their lives. We have a saying, “If you own it, you can change it.” That’s what I mean by making it personal. You can’t delegate your success away or blame your shortcomings on others. Nothing will change or improve until you own it.
“Power” is the second word. Power means the ability to act or take action. It’s not enough to say you own your activities, you must recognize that you have the power to make changes and then take action to start creating what you want. In the book we outline 17 essential powers that you need to take control of in your life if you’re going to raise your level of living.
And the third word is “mastery.” Mastery is misunderstood. People think that mastery implies a level of perfection. It doesn’t. Mastery is a process, and it’s an imperfect one. But it is moving forward. You have to drive to expand who you are before you can expand what you have, and that is the journey of mastery. How can you become better? Are you committed to becoming better? That’s mastery.
Jennifer M. Williams | Editor-in-Chief