What does business and success mean to you? What does it take to keep stretching the envelope of success, reaching new heights and transforming the world in the process? Success icon, multiple New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned transformational speaker and trainer, Jack Canfield has much wisdom to share in these areas, as he has walked this path for over 30 years.
Through the magic of Zoom, I was fortunate to interview Jack from his home in Santa Barbara, USA. The scene was set straight away as he warmly said hello and my eyes were drawn to the very large collection of books in the background of his office (3000 books to be exact, according to Jack). Straight away, his energy spoke to me as the archetypal teacher with sage advice and he was also quick to share that he is a perpetual learner, always challenging himself with new learnings and experiences.
Jack is a living example that persistence and a ‘can do’ attitude pays off. After working as a high school teacher, he joined a training company for two years, before going out on his own. In the 1990s he teamed up with Mark Victor Hansen and they received over 100 knock backs from book publishers before Chicken Soup for the Soul was picked up and then became a series of books and a billion dollar empire that touched the hearts of people all around the world.
Success didn’t just fall in Jack’s lap, he created it. “To start with, my mother-in-law gave me a $10,000 loan. I had to be successful immediately. I didn’t have time to fail. I didn’t have much capital, so I had to make it work.”
He said looking back, his advice to people desiring to start a business would be to have money to sustain them in the early stages of the business. And then make profitability a priority, have a business plan and partner up with people who have skills that you don’t.
Jack explains there are seven aspects to a business: the product, product development, marketing, sales, PR, finance and admin support. To start with he wore all these ‘hats’. “I learnt everything I could about everything,” he said, but eventually hired other people to help in those different areas so the company could grow exponentially.
If you are an holistic-preneur, you may be still cringing at the idea that sales is a part of business! Coming from an education background and then working as a psychotherapist and coach, Jack said he too resisted the area of sales. So how can you move beyond the resistance? Jack suggested to learn as much as possible about sales and check out various online classes. And you don’t have to use fear as a sales tactic, instead learn the art of persuasion and learn how to deal with rejection. It’s also about identifying and changing your unconscious limiting beliefs (usually developed from childhood) around money and self-worth. He said when you work on these areas you can believe in yourself and your product from a deeper level. “Become so ‘attractive’ that people find you. It’s not so much about what you are doing but what you are being,” he shared.
Jack has spoken to and trained millions of people, and has recently trained 3500 people through his Train the Trainer program which is now teaching his work in 117 countries; and at 75 years young, he is not idle with his creations. Although how Jack defines success now is more in terms of “fulfilling your soul’s purpose”. It incorporates every aspect of his life and he openly shared with me that his vision board includes not only his business goals and plans to finish three books this year but also physical health goals and time with family. In fact, he recently spent a month in India visiting an holistic health clinic, to detox, rejuvenate and focus on a plant-based diet. After rupturing a disc in his back a few years ago, he stopped exercising and said he was consuming too many calories, so health and fitness are areas of development for 2020.
When you run a business, it’s easy to forget that spending more time with loved ones is good for the mind, body and spirit, and Jack mentioned his vision board is very specific and includes 100 days this year enjoying his wife’s company and 30 days with his six-and-a-half-year-old grandson without engaging in any work.
Apart from teaching, learning, and spending time with his family, Jack says dancing, listening to music, making music (he plays the guitar and is learning the piano) as well as chanting, bring him great joy and make for a well-rounded life.
Jack is a man who continues to make an incredible impact around the world, but what I wasn’t expecting was how easy he was to connect with and how the interview in itself was a catalyst for change. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Jack Canfield.
Insights from Sandy Forster
Having a passion for personal empowerment and all things success-focused, I sometimes have to pinch myself when I think about what I’ve manifested in the last 20 years. Coming from being on welfare and $100,000 in debt, I never imagined I would not only meet, but become friends with some of the world’s biggest names and leaders in the transformational space.
I’ve met transformational leaders from all backgrounds… CEOs, trainers, facilitators, thought leaders, authors, movie producers, coaches and more.
I’ve watched (and experienced) them deliver their work in the world, both online and in person, through workshops, trainings, seminars, books, films, speaking engagements, coaching sessions, TV and radio shows and special events.
I believe a true transformational leader recognises the potential in others, inspiring and empowering them to become their best self, guiding them to create every aspect of their life to be as they desire it to be… on a personal, professional and spiritual level.
A transformational leader holds a vision of what success is and inspires others to not only want to step into that vision, but to believe it’s actually possible for them.
They have their challenges, the same as everyone else, however they make it a habit to respond in ways that generate the outcomes they want, even during extremely tough experiences or events which may be beyond their control. These challenges and how they overcome them, allow the transformational leaders to support their community with even greater compassion and connection.
Recently with Jack Canfield’s blessing we founded and launched the Association of Transformational Leaders here in Australia and gathered the leaders in the personal development industry from around the country for its inaugural meeting. ATL Australia embraces connection, collaboration, learning, networking, freedom, community, growth and mutual support, allowing each individual to have a greater impact and enhance their effectiveness and contribution around Australia and the world.
Sandy Forster is a mum of two, a bestselling author, an award-winning entrepreneur and has mentored over 55,000 women all over the planet. www.wildlywealthy.com