You don’t know JACK!
And my favorite story.
Über success doesn’t happen over night. And it doesn’t come without taking control of your destiny.
Yesterday I had the honor of sharing the stage with Jack Canfield. The last night, me, Laura, Peter, Cecille and JACK CANFIELD had drinks together. We talked for 3 straight hours. The conversation meandered from business, relationships, past experiences to past lives. From the tangible to intangible to the esoteric. It was brilliant at so many levels.
In those 3 hours, Jack shared wisdom that you need to hear. Wisdom that I needed to hear. Wisdom that we all need to hear.
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen were turned down by 144 publishers for Chicken Soup for the Soul. They said it was hokey, corny, and that nobody would by a book of short stories.
Finally Jack figured something out by changing the question he was asking. Instead of asking the them to publish his book, he started asking the publishers, “What would it take for you to say, ‘YES’?”
One publisher said 20,000 preorders.
Jack said to Mark after the meeting, “How the hell can we presell 20,000 books?” They came up with a idea and then made a plan. They went out and spoke to any crowd they could. If 3 people would show up, they would show up and share a few stories from the book.
At the end of each presentation they would give people a form and ask them, “How many books do you promise to buy when the book is published?”
Most people promised to buy 1 or 2. Sometimes people would buy 10. A Canadian man promised to buy 1,000.
It took them 18 months to get 20,000 preorder promises. They went back to several publishers until they found the one that said, YES.
And the rest is history … or is it?
The story isn’t even close to finishing there.
And now for my favorite story.
The book was published and Jack and Mark did author signings and speaking events nonstop. They were still “Nobody.” They weren’t selling many books and few people showed up to their event because nobody knew who they were yet.
They showed up to a book signing in a California mall bookstore. Not a single person showed up to meet them or buy a book. So Mark Victor Hansen goes out into the mall where people were walking by and said excitedly to everyone that was walking past, “There are two famous authors in the books store. You must meet them, this is a one in a life time opportunity. Get in there.”
Mark built up a buzz of about 40 people waiting in line. Then he went back in the bookstore and sat down next to Jack. The people in the line said, “Heeeey, you’re the guy that told us to come in here.” Jack and Mark just smiled.
The first time I met Jack, he told that story. At the end of the story Jack said to me, “You have to take control of your destiny. Find a way to make life happen for you.”
Most people just wait for good luck or a big break, but they don’t just happen. Big breaks happen for those who are out hustling. Good luck favors the bold action takers. Rare opportunities happen to those who persistent even when there seems to be no hope. And then one day, POW, the opportunity comes along to make you an “overnight success.”
It took Jack and Mark 18 more months after Chicken Soup for the Soul was published to get traction. 3 years just to start getting serious traction. Today they have sold a half BILLION Chicken Soup books.
This story has kept me pushing through when I’ve felt like quitting. This story still keeps me persisting today as I am hustling to become the overnight success.
This story never gets old for me and is a constant reminder to make life happen for you.
To your “overnight” success,
I’ve met many celebrities. Jack is the real deal. A wonderful, humble, intelligent and beautiful soul. Chatting with Jack is one of the highlights of my life.