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The Law of Success: Lesson 9 — Doing more than you are paid for


The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons, Napoleon Hill’s 1,600+ page first draft published prior to Think and Grow Rich, contains a lot of useful information that can help business builders realise their potential. In this series, Joshua Moore covers each of Hill’s attributes in a practical way.

Today, he discusses the value of doing more than you’re paid for. Also in this series:

We all know we should do more than we are paid for in order to find success in life.

Quite often, the main obstacle we face is one of motivation. It’s hard to get motivated when this is no obvious reward for the task.

Think for a minute about a time when you have done more than you were paid to do (or in the case of relationships, have done more than is necessary). What have been the results? They might not have always been financial. But, I am sure, you have noticed the benefits in hindsight.

However, according to Hill, even looking for those benefits is the wrong way to approach business… and life. The person who will quickly rise to success is the person who will do things without the expectations of future benefits. These people simply give because they can and they get satisfaction from doing so.

I have a friend who started working in real estate two years ago. She has held several roles, which saw her gain a significant pay rises along the way. She has worked on million dollar projects. She invests with her bosses and has her own investments. She has been given two staff members, a mobile phone and will soon undergo training to get her real estate licence.

This is despite having little or no background experience in the real estate industry before starting.

How did this all occur? She simply started by arriving to work half an hour before she was meant to every day (often beating the boss to work) and staying back a little later than is expected. She works hard while she is there, and is starting to reap the benefits of the extra investment she has made. She takes on new projects, promotes ideas and suggestions and is conscientious and professional in all that she does.

When I asked her why she showed up to work early and stayed back later she said, “I like working (the horror!) and didn’t want to sit around doing nothing.”

Napoleon Hill is a big advocate of doing more than you are paid to do. Hill openly admits in this particular chapter that, at the time of writing, he was developing his own philosophy for success, even though he had not yet achieved financial success himself. He told a reporter this and the reporter said to him that all who have compiled a philosophy from Socrates down through the ages have been met with temporary defeat, not permanent failure.

This is the same for entrepreneurs. We often meet financial hardships and the criticism of others, while we sacrifice many hours to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for success. We meet with much temporary defeat before we move forward and achieve the goals we set out to reach.

Napoelon Hill spent many personal hours, without getting paid, developing this philosophy. The fact that many of his books are best sellers, decades and decades later, demonstrates that his efforts were not in vain.

Hill suggests two primary reasons for doing more than you are paid for:

  1. If you do more than you paid to do you will be a step above your colleagues and competition. This will ensure that people compete to have you work for them as they know they will get more value for money with you than with others.
  2. You further develop your skills to a higher degree than those who only do what is required and also build yourself a valuable reputation in the process for having extra knowledge and skills.

It’s not rocket-science, but these two points should never be forgotten or taken for granted.


  1. Are you doing more than you are paid to do? Why/Why not?
  2. Write a list of small things you could do to do more than you are paid for?
  3. Take action today! Start small and continue to do more than you are paid to do as time goes on.

Joshua Moore is the founder of Moore Thought, a website dedicated to helping people tap their mind and reach their potential in life.