On Wednesday I tuned in to a conference call with Jack Canfield one of the editors of my book A Hundred Reasons to Run 100km had pointed out to me. The creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Canfield was set to speak for more than hour on the topic "How To Get To Where You Want To Be As An Author/Speaker". He was interviewed by Steve Harrison.
Canfield has sold more than 115 million books in 41 countries, not bad after his first manuscript was rejected by 144 publishers. He's now a sought-after speaker and the conference call was well worth listening to. Much of the advice he shared applies to other goals than just becoming a successful author or speaker. As Canfield pointed out, there are various measures of success and you decide your own.
Canfield's journey began when he was a teacher and found his class completely unmotivated to learn, with poor marks as a result. He researched ways to encourage them and his newfound teaching techniques made such a difference to his pupils' motivation and self-esteem, and their grades, that he was soon asked to explain them to his fellow teachers. And it wasn't long before he became a teacher of teachers.
Among the notes I took where these:
- Unless you let people know about your book, no one is going to buy it.
- We make our own luck. We attract luck. Canfield's wife calls it synchromystical.
- Think differently and visualize.
- You have to believe that the work you are doing is extremely valuable. You deprive others by not telling them about your book (work).
- I have a solution to a problem you have, even if it is "just entertainment".
- If you want to be successful you have to do the work.
He highlighted a few key points:
1. Decide that .. you deserve to succeed, you deserve to feel satisfied and you deserve to be supersuccesful.
2. Expect ... to succeed.
3. Visualize ... yourself achieving what you want. Canfield said he has 10 to 15 images that he visualizes each morning for a total of about 8-9 minutes.
4. Dream ... BIG. Dreaming big takes as much time as dreaming small.
5. Act. Get into action—do it now. People have good ideas all the time, you must start acting on them.
Canfield has created a screensaver with all his goals. When you begin to believe, you subconsciously start looking for and seeing solutions.
6. Affirm ... your goals.
Canfield also said:
1. Be a Giver, rather than a Taker, especially when it comes to speaking: "If you are not willing to give it away for free, you are not passionate."
2. Authorship (if you want to sell books) is 10% writing, 90% marketing.
3. Get on the phone, t a l k to people.
4. Do radio, tons of radio.
5. Practice by-pass marketing, i.e. seek places for your books beyond the traditional bookstores.
6. (Almost) last but not least, write a great book!
7. Learn more to earn more. Canfield stressed the importance of being a student and accumulating knowledge (on marketing).
8. Be persistent. "Most people give up too soon."