10 Rules for Success From the Founder of Hilton Hotels

10 Rules for Success From the Founder of Hilton Hotels

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conrad hilton
Image Credit | famousentrepreneurs

Conrad Hilton is the founder of the international chain of Hilton Family Hotels, a company that now owns over 500 hotel properties around the world. But it didn’t start that way for Conrad. His way to the top was not that smooth.

He started in the beginning of the 20th century with no money, through the Great Depression, and lost everything that he ever built. After that, he created a multi-billion dollar company.

Conrad Hilton’s 10 rules of success from his biography Be My Guest. The book was published in 1957 and is still relevant today. Here’s a video version as well:

1. Find Your Own Particular Talent

Conrad Hilton was a big believer in the fact that everyone is good at one specific thing and needs to nurture that thing. His thing was managing hotels down to the dollar, and he showed that by succeeding during the Great Depression.

2. Be Big

Conrad Hilton believed that expanding as far as possible and making yourself appear as large as possible during the process would make you and your business as set up for success as it could possibly be. And what’s a better way to do that than by owning as many hotels as possible?

3. Be Honest

Conrad believed in honesty in all things. Lying will not help you build an empire, not to mention a luxurious hotel empire! If Conrad used lying to get through life, he might have stolen the money that his friends loaned him when the Depression hit, instead he used it to purchase his first property in Cisco, Texas.

4. Live With Enthusiasm

Conrad Hilton believed that you should live your life laughing, take a hold of the day, and be enthusiastic at all times. And that was exactly what he did during his lifetime, becoming one of the greatest managers that ever lived while being loved and appreciated by his employees.

“Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry” – Mark Twain

5. Don’t Let Your Possessions Possess You

According to his fifth rule of success, Conrad Hilton didn’t believe much in material things. All his money didn’t take his personality away. Because if you’re preoccupied with material stuff you’ll miss the best things in life, which are free. If you have them, you need to take good care of them, like Conrad did with his hotels.

6. Don’t Worry About Your Problems

Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. And worrying will definitely decrease your chances of solving a problem. So don’t spend your energy on worrying, use it wisely and have the grit to overcome the situation, like Conrad did during the 1930s.

7. Look Up To People When You Can, And Down To No One

This rule goes back to what a lot of successful people have said: it’s important to have mentors, and look down to people only when you want to pick them up. That’s what Conrad did with his employees. Even a bag carrier at the hotel can be an asset and a partner, and as a matter of fact Conrad Hilton borrowed $300 from one of his hotel’s bell boys during the Great Depression.

8. Don’t Cling To The Past

As a man of action, Conrad Hilton always believed in moving forward and pushing towards the future. He lived by his rules in the present but implemented the lessons he learned from the past. This allowed him to look forward and build the Hilton empire.

9. Assume Your Full Share Of Responsibility In The World

Conrad Hilton, like many other successful people, didn’t believe someone would hand him everything on a silver platter. He believed in working hard for every dollar that he made, and it’s surprising that his grandkids don’t follow through with this rule.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”— Jim Rohn

10. Pray Consistently And Confidently

It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not, but Conrad believed in having a mission, praying to the higher power and doing it consistently. You have to hope for success and expect it as much as you work for it. Conrad Hilton prayed multiple times every single day and went to church every single week.

What do you think contributed to Conrad Hilton’s success the most? Leave your thoughts below!
Alex Berman is a digital nomad and founder and of Experiment27 where he works with digital agencies to grow their inbound leads. Alex makes weekly videos about selling and charging more as a freelancer, check them out on his youtube channel.


  1. Thanks for sharing this article. I particularly like pointer 10 which I think it’s one of Hilton’s most important secrets of success, ie having faith

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