The Art of the Ask with Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Hansen

August 22, 2023
James Whittaker

Check out this episode on the Win the Day Podcast

“The answer is in the question.”

Albert Einstein

Did you know that a single question could make ALL of your dreams come true? 🤔

Yet, most people are afraid to ask for what they want…

They are trapped in a limiting belief that their request will burden others.

Today, we blast that mindset once and for all. And, because it’s Episode 150 of the Win the Day podcast, I’ve brought in the big guns!

Joining me in the studio are personal development icons, Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Dwyer Hansen. This is also the first time ever we’ve had two guests on the show at any one time, and I couldn’t think of a better combo.

Mark is best known for creating the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series alongside his partner Jack Canfield. Together, they’ve sold more than 500 million books in 54 languages. They also licensed more than 100 products under the Chicken Soup banner, worth more than $1 billion.

Mark has received countless awards for his humanitarian work and his contributions to the field of personal growth and entrepreneurship. And, fun fact, he’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most books on The New York Times Best Seller list at one time.

His wife Crystal is also an expert in human potential. Crystal’s research in the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics provides the scientific knowledge she uses to help people move themselves out of misery and into a fulfilled and happy life. She is also a Member of the International Coaching Federation, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and the founder of Crystal Vision Life.

In 2020 Mark and Crystal co-authored the book Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny. And, if you know one thing about me, it’s how much I believe that the right question can get you anything you want in life.

Together, they also work on numerous other projects in the fields of publishing, natural energy, and conservation, and enjoy traveling the world where they help inspire others to a bigger life and legacy.

In this episode:

  • How to think much bigger than the circumstances you’re in
  • What you should be asking for – and the best way to make that ask
  • The biggest challenges they’ve faced along the way; and
  • How you can fast-track the process of meeting your destiny.

Before we begin, the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode or could use some help to Win the Day, share it with them right now.

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Dwyer Hansen!

James Whittaker:
So great to see you both! Thanks for coming on the podcast.

We've all been busy!

But bless you for being patient.

Crystal, let's kick off with you. You were one of nine children. How did that experience teach you about the world and your role in the world?

I am so grateful for my upbringing. Of course, I don't know any different, but I think growing up with nine children really socializes you in a different way. You have to learn to make alliances, you have to learn to step up – and speak up – to be heard. 

All of those things prepare you for life in a way that maybe you don't get when you're just an only child. With nine children, there are no prima donnas, so everyone was expected to pull their weight, everybody had to help.

And if you look at psychological studies, psychologists will tell you, what builds a child's self-esteem and their sense of worth is their contribution to the family. If they really feel like they are an integral part of the family's functioning, they gain a sense of self-esteem that they don't otherwise get.

What builds a child's self-esteem and their sense of worth is their contribution to the family.

I had a ton of responsibility, but I grew up feeling like I could do anything, after everything we did. My mom was kind of ahead of her time. She grew these gigantic organic gardens and she would make us work all summer in these things, and I'm like, "Oh gosh, my friends are out having fun!" But it taught me so much about responsibility. I had to weed and pick and hoe.

And also, the fact that my mother would give so much of herself to create better health for us. I'm like, "Why are you doing this? Dad makes enough money. Go buy the stuff at the grocery store!" 

But all of those lessons were so valuable to me. Looking back, I'm just so grateful for all those experiences because they shaped me in a major, major way.

And Mark, what about you? Is there a story of struggle or success from when you were younger that helped ultimately put you on the path that you went down?

Boy, what a great question. My parents were Danish immigrants, totally loved our family, but didn't have much money because he owned a bakery and you make 5 cents a roll so it's not like there's much to go around. 

And I didn't quite understand that. I wanted a low handlebar racing bicycle. Dad took every cent he had and took us to what he called the old country. I saw these racing bicycles back in 1957. I said, "Man, I got to have one." And I kept hitting him up however many times.

Finally, I was reading a Boy Scout Life magazine that said you can sell greeting cards on consignment, a word I looked up in my little dictionary. I said, "Yeah, I can afford that." My mother was a great saleswoman, said, "Knock on the door, smile, wear your furry mitten and go like this. They'll bring you in and then you say, 'I'm earning my own bicycle. Would you like to invest in one box of Christmas cards or two?'"

Everyone's got a destiny and the only way you get it is to ask. 

I sold the most greeting cards ever sold for American Greetings – 376 boxes in one month. I got a dollar a box, they sold for two. And a lot of people took two boxes, so I got $2 in a sale. And I bought my own bicycle. Come spring, my dad took half that money, put it in a college fund, but it got me to understand that I could sell my way rich, so to speak, to use Napoleon Hill, our mutual friend and ancestral wisdom.

You’re reading an excerpt of this interview. To access the full Win the Day episode with Mark Victor Hansen & Crystal Dwyer Hansen, including bonus content that doesn’t appear here, check out the YouTube or podcast version. ?

It came to me and said, "Hey, wait a second. The rest of my life I'm going to do something good in sales, marketing, speaking and promoting." So absolutely it re-vectored me. I was starting at nine. My parents didn't have money, so I had to buy all my own clothes, which I still do.

And did you develop a love of selling or did you develop an understanding and knowledge of the process? So the work that you took now is what will get you the reward that you really wanted afterwards?

I'd say both. 

In our book Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny, we say that everyone's got a destiny and the only way you get it is to ask. You have to say, "God, what is your destiny for me?" And you do it like 100 times before you go to sleep. 

Your mind will pop up with an answer, but you’ve got to be smart enough to have paper next to the bed or your computer and tell your spouse or spouse equivalent, you're going to write it down because it's going to come to you. Iit only comes once and it comes through in a quiet whisper, is what God says. 

So you got to capture it because it's like a wet, slippery fish. If you've ever been fishing, they get away pretty quick! And so we've done that, but we've done it repetitively and that's why we keep on the ascent. But I believe everyone is here to have an abundant, fulfilled, for thrill life.

When you first saw your name on The New York Times bestseller list for the first time – and then 58 other times after that – what did that process teach you about the power of manifestation?

I've never been asked that question. That is wonderful. 

I think Jack and I thought, "Hey, we've arrived," because remember we had 144 publishers turn us down. 

I jokingly said, "Hit the road, Jack. Get out of here!" Jack lives in your neighborhood. He's a wonderful guy. He's a genius, third in his class at Harvard. But he's the inside guy, I'm the outside guy. I'm an omnivert, but more extroversion than introversion. And Jack is brilliant.and did really well scholarship wise and book-wise with me.

It made me tingle all over. I got goosebumps. It validated us in a way that nothing else could. Everybody should have a book. I wrote a whole book called You Have a Book and it is the penultimate of experiences.

On Episode 134, Jeff Spencer said the most prized possession for a business these days is momentum. And it sounds like you reached the tipping point of having the momentum, which enabled massive opportunities that obviously led to licensing, foreign rights translations, and all sorts of things.

Yeah. And we were doing the second book after we did the first. 

By being on the list for 58 weeks, people would say, "Well, your second book is outselling your first. Do you feel bad?" I said, "No, both Jack and I are in love with this whole process!"

And then we did all those books and since then I've done 319 books and we're finishing more now. It's an endless process. I wrote a book with Art Linkletter, who you probably don't know, although he is an American, but traveled everywhere and did three TV shows. But we said, "Don't retire. Re-tire. Put on new tires. Go on a new, bigger, better, stronger winning direction."

It's like Sharon Lechter. She talks about re-fire rather than retire and that was a big thing for her.

That's a good line. We love Sharon, she’s our neighbor in Arizona.

She's a good one. I love Sharon.

Your new book, Ask!, is a phenomenal read. What is the problem that you wanted to solve with the new book and who do you want someone to be once they've finished reading it?

We wanted to give people one of the easiest tools that they already had inside of them, that a lot of people miss, James. And when we broke it down, because you see these people that are so brilliant, they're talented, they've got great personalities, but they're kind of missing something. Why aren't they creating the life of their dreams?

And so we kind of asked ourselves, "What was it in our lives that kept us moving?" We've been through turmoil challenges both individually and together, and we thought if we had to boil it down to that one tool, "What got us to that next step? What got us out of that problem?" The answer was really the ability to ask the right question at the right time, in the right way, that will deliver to you a new idea, a new solution, a new plan that you hadn't thought of before.

Until you start asking, it doesn't happen because we tend to look at our outside world for direction instead of going inside to our internal world to find the answers. And that's where the answers really are. So once we hit this asking thing, we realize, "That's it. It's really about asking." 

Then we determined there are actually three channels through which you need to learn to ask. And those are ask yourself, ask others, and ask God – “God” or “Universe” or however you think of God, the divine. It was just a huge breakthrough for us. We knew we had to share it.

Is there a question from each of those channels that most people could use or are the questions deeply personal given the situation?

There are so many thousands of questions that I can't isolate one, but I can tell you the asking yourself part is the reflective journey. You cannot know where you're going unless you know where you are. 

You have to go inside and start asking yourself those reflective questions. "Where am I? Is this working? Do I like this? Is there something I'm missing?" And the more questions you ask, the more questions come to your mind. Of course we always say, "Write them down." Write down your answers. Write down every answer that comes to you.

The asking others part is the bonding journey. You cannot do this life alone. And too many people are trying to do life alone, especially in the digital world. We're isolated. We think we're connected by our phones, but we're really isolated. We need each other. So it's that bonding journey. When two people sit down and start asking questions of one another, the whole world opens up. You start to understand a person better and you understand yourself better and so much can come out of that.

When two people sit down and start asking questions of one another, the whole world opens up. 

And then the asking God part is really just about putting your life and your world into a much bigger context. Because part of the reason we get so miserable is we're putting our lives in such a small context. There's this big, bold, beautiful universe and we're part of it. And we are one of the miracles of this universe. We're one of the greatest miracles on earth. The ability to ask is something only humans have. No animal can ask a question.

If you look at scripture, which we love to do, it says, "We're created in the creator's image." Well, think about that. How do we create? We create by asking, by questioning, by probing, by being curious. From that, a new idea can spring forth. If you think about it, every beautiful, amazing thing that's ever been created came from someone's imagination when they started asking questions.

Yeah, the foundation of awareness. It’s the way that you succeed in business. It's the way that you succeed in friendship. It's the way that you succeed in mental health. 

Dr. Mark Goulston, incredible guy-

We like Mark a lot.

He's great. He's so fabulous.

He's incredible, isn't he? Sometimes you record an episode and you're like, "I wish everyone in the world could hear this one." He shared so much about the power of connection – and how to facilitate it.

And there's a really important thing I want to clarify now. Most people believe it's a burden to ask other people for help. But as the three of us know, just from talking before recording here, people are desperate to help others. But if they don't know who you are and where you want to go and what they can help you with, then they're not going to be able to help you.

That's right. And we looked at a lot of studies about that. There are a bunch of studies on asking as it turns out!

The people who stepped up and asked a question were 80% more likely to get their request granted, whether it's advice, information, help. But interestingly enough, the people going into this study believed just the opposite. That if they did ask something of someone, that they would be perceived as being pushy, obnoxious, annoying. 

So we all are going into this life with the wrong perception that we shouldn't ask when it's exactly the opposite. Science proves, we should be asking because it's very fruitful to ask.

I always talk about the importance of focusing on increasing value because the more valuable you are, the more value you can then give to give. And then I read in your book the story of your grandson, Mark, who just said, "I would like to write the story for the next book." 

It made me realize that the young kid didn’t need to have built himself into value. He had the emotional connection and the right pitch and the results speak for themselves!

Our little grandson, Everett, is an extraordinary kid. First of all, he is exceedingly bright and in gifted classes, but he's also an amazing basketball player. His dad, who's our son, says, "To begin with, if you're going to get really good at basketball, you have to do 100 hoops a day and hit it from a three pointer before you get paid a quarter at the end of the day." He’s only 11 years old, and the kid really does that.

But I want to go back to the question you asked Crystal and just to add two more bits. First, one question asked can change your life from good to phenomenally good. Second, the size of your question determines the size of your result. I learned that early on when I was training in life insurance business back in 1974, so we're talking about 50 years ago, basically.

When I was asked, how do I make $100K a year, that's 250 workdays multiplied by $400 equals $100k. Big money back then. Today, it's like almost a half million. But all of a sudden, I get with the world's best salesman, Ben Feldman, from New York Life. He became a good friend and talked with a lisp and was amazing, and I can tell you everything about him.

One question asked can change your life from good to phenomenally good. And the size of your question determines the size of your result. 

But he said, "Hey, wait a second. If one of your kid's lives was on the line, can you earn $4,000 today?" I get goosebumps with that question because he nailed it. He said, "Now go do it, but then do it 250 times. Now, you make a million a year." And then I started doing that because it's the size your question.

If you say, "How am I going to do this?" The mind at a very high level is teleological. That means it's goal setting and goal getting. So if you ask dumb questions, you get dumb results. If you ask wise questions, you get wise results. If you ask financial questions, you get good financial results. 

If you ask spiritual questions, you start to meet God in you and God in the Universe, because we think the Universe is infinite and we're made in the infinite stuff of God, so we're here to create, contribute, and be charitable.

Stoking urgency is an interesting thing that you touched on there. Having more urgency and desire around what needs to be done.

You got to go from, "I want this," to, "I want it so bad, so..." 

White-hot desire is what Dr. Hill talked about in Think and Grow Rich and in all of his books. And when you have white-hot desire, you go out and accomplish the impossible. And the opening line, as you probably know, is Edward C. Barnes walks up, shakes his hand and said, "Meet your new partner." 

Do you know who Edward C. Barnes became? This is critical because I read everything about Edward C. Barnes. He owned half of General Electric.

Yeah, he became Thomas Edison's partner.

Yeah, just because he shook his hand and said, "I'm going to do it." But he was basically the inside guy. Every company needs an inside guy and an outside guy. 

In Chicken Soup, I'm more the outside guy than Jack, and Jack's more the inside guy and did a brilliant job. And in the Crystal and Mark relationship, more often than not, I'm the outside person, although she can really handle the outside stuff and is more beautiful to look at and everybody wants to say, "I don't need you at all, but I like talking to her!"

Speaking of Think and Grow Rich, the question I wanted to ask you both is, what is the biggest adversity that you have faced individually that you have been able to identify an equivalent or greater benefit in? 

We know there are stories of people like Jim Stovall, another mutual friend of ours who went on to create the Narrative Television Network. There are so many stories of adversity and I was wondering if either of you had one that really stands out.

Yeah, I think my biggest story of adversity was when I... 

High school was very easy for me. I graduated myself early at age 16 because I found it to be very boring and easy. And I married my boyfriend who was five years older. It turned out not to be a great life plan, because two and a half years later I was divorced in a city all by myself, with a baby on my hip. 

Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to do. But it forced me to get out there because I had no options. There was that urgency that we were talking about. So I remembered standing in the line at the grocery store getting ready to turn over food stamps for groceries and diapers. Because that's all I could think of, "I got to get some food stamps, I can't survive."

So something hit me, a question dropped into my mind sort of like, "How did I get here?", first of all. And then honestly, James, I heard this voice in my mind saying, "Are you doing the best you can? Are you taking the easy way out?" And I don't know if it was God or my grandfather who was deceased, but it was like, "Boom, busted." I knew I wasn't, I knew I wasn't doing my best. This was not my best. I realized that in that second, I had an instant pivot and I didn't even know what my best was.

But I went home and I said, "I will never..." I didn't even finish using the food stamps. I said, "I'm never doing that again." I realized I didn't have answers, but I had questions. So I started asking, "Who would hire me? What can I do? How can I get out there tomorrow and make money?" 

The second I started asking those questions, I remembered hearing this radio ad, "Come and get work tomorrow. Temporary services." I call them up. I said, "How do I apply?" They had me fill out the paperwork. They start sending you on these jobs, you can say yes or no.

Two and a half years later I was divorced in a city all by myself, with a baby on my hip.

And I started doing all these different jobs and learning so much about small business. I was working at conventions, setting up booths at malls, working in small lawyers' offices, working for small business owners. I learned so much about myself and about them. 

I realized I was so fascinated with small business, "What? You just got an idea and you started this business." That was so eye-opening to me. And so I really started realizing some of the skills and talents that I had. I was pretty good at sales. I'm like, "Hey, I’m selling a lot here." So I decided to put myself through real estate school, which I did.

So in the meantime, someone approached me and said, "You should do some modeling." And at that point, I had gotten to the point where I'm like, "Why not? I'm going to go ask. I have nothing to lose." And so I walked in and kind of faked my way down the runway, acted like I knew what I was doing, and read some lines for commercial work. They signed me, which was amazing. 

So literally a year and a half from that moment where I was turning the food stamps over for food and diapers, I'm now working as a licensed realtor for the top home builder in our valley. And I became the number one realtor, crazily. And at the same time, I had done a couple of commercial jobs where television commercials that went national, international, actually. So at that point I had to join the Screen Actors Guild, right!? Because once you book enough money, they invite you to join the union, which is great.

So I joined and they sent me this packet one day and it was the best insurance benefits available on the planet. I am not kidding you. So my son and I had total coverage, 100% for everything, no extra premiums. And I would often think about that moment where it would've been so easy to cascade down into my victimhood. Because I was young, I had every reason.

"I'm young, no one's helping me. Wah, wah, wah." But I'm like, "I am so thankful that that question dropped in my mind. Are you doing the best you can? Are you taking the easy way out?" And I didn't like that feeling. So it re-vectored me in a huge way.

Something I really picked up on from your story, it's an Oprah Winfrey quote that I heard recently: “When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”

And it sounds like from the moment you made the decision that you never underestimated who you were ever again?

Never again. Everything went straight up from there, because I made such a firm decision. And that's what asking the right question can do for you. 

Like Mark was saying, ask the right questions, ask big enough questions. If you're asking questions like, "Am I going to get sick next month? Am I going to get the flu?" All these things that can be, basically, if you think of questions as a vessel. Your question is the vessel your life is going to pour into you. So make sure it's the vessel that you want. Ask really powerful questions. 

Do it through your imagination. What we say is on that ask yourself part, there are really three phases, three critical phases, "Where am I now? Where do I want to be?" And in that phase, "Where do I want to be?" Do it from your imagination, the nth degree of your greatest imagination for yourself.

No one's holding you back. No one can stop you from imagining every perfect thing for your life. So start there. Imagine in my perfect relationship, "What are we doing? What does my love interest look like? Is our life an adventure? Are we traveling? How do we speak to each other? How are we with each other? Is it fun?" Imagine all the greatest things. Ask the questions from the greatest point of your imagination. And then all the answers will start to fill in.

Same thing with your career. Imagine yourself at the peak of your career, who are you speaking to? Who are your colleagues? How are you spending your time? How are you serving? How many people are you impacting? The biggest nth degree of your biggest imagination? So create that vessel and then ask those questions from the bigger vessel. And you will engineer yourself, engineer your life, your greatest life backwards by asking those questions. 

It's a remarkable process.

Mark, what about you? What is the biggest adversity you face you were able to identify an equivalent or greater benefit in?

First of all, I love the question and I think every one of us has to take adversity and turn it into advantage. 

It's 1974. I've been in graduate school with arguably the smartest guy on the planet at that time, I think, Dr. R. Buckminster Fuller. Einstein's best student, he explained E equals MC squared so everyone understood it, 15 doctorates, at Harvard.

And anyhow, I spent seven years with him and then I say, "Well, I'm supposed to go do what Bucky did.” So I was building the Wall Street Racquet Club, botanical gardens, geodesic domes out of plastic poly vinyl chloride at exactly the wrong time in history because Monsanto was my supplier.

I'm 26 and I'm on top of the world doing $2 million a year, but I'm doing $40,000 a month with a plastic oil company product. And Monsanto said, "Look, there's an oil shortage and crisis and you aren't big enough. You're out of business." And in one day, I went from being rich, successful and thinking I was a somebody, to being a nobody and I had to go bankrupt. 

I went bankrupt so fast, I had to go to the New York Public Library and check out a book, How to Go Bankrupt by Yourself!

I'm on the court steps waiting to go in and a lawyer's hustling for business. This is 1974. He says, "Look guy, I'll take you bankrupt for $300." I looked at him and I said, "If I had $300, I wouldn't be going bankrupt!" 

Anyhow, you get the guy in the black robes, he hits down the gavel, and I feel like nothing … like trash. And for six months, I'm sleeping in front of another guy's room in a sleeping bag at $100 a month in Hicksville, Long Island, New York.

And we ask three questions. We said, "Ask yourself, ask others, ask God." So to get rid of the noise, you have to do one question, we say, 101 times. And the question for me is, "God, what's your destiny for me? God, what's your destiny for me? God, what's your destiny for me? God, what's your destiny for me?" 

God comes through bold, and says, "What do you want to do?" And I go, "What? You're supposed to talk to me. I'm not supposed to tell you. I read the Bible, you told Moses and all the big guys what to do!"

Anyhow, so you don't argue with Big G. That's not like a smart idea. So I said, "Look, I want to talk to people that care about things that matter that make a life-changing difference." Now, talk about getting re-vectored fast. 

I went down to breakfast with my three roommates, we're having eggs, and I say, "Hey, do you guys know anyone young so I could relate to them?" I said, "I don't want a Broadway star. I don't want a celebrity, not a doctor, or a lawyer or a cotton top," and a cotton top is a white-haird person, like I am today.

And they say, "Oh man, I sell real estate, and this guy is just phenomenal." This is when interest rates were at 19% and some people were having to borrow money up to 28%. So real estate's not working. He gives me a ticket to the listing MLS and I rush out. 

This guy, Chip Collins, is talking to an audience of 500 people, and he wows the audience. When I came in, the crowd were despondent, disconsolate, angry, pissed off, uptight, nothing going right. And I'm sitting in the back going, "There's no way this guy can turn them." I get goosebumps telling you that.

The guy totally turned them over for the next three hours. At the end of which I go up and I ask, I said, "Chip, I'm Mark Victor Hansen, I'd like to take you to lunch." And his voice is burned out. We did not have good microphones in 1974. Didn't exist. There's no lavaliers, none of that stuff that we take for granted.

He said, "What do you want, kid?" His voice was burned out and I said, "I want to do what you do." He said, "Ah, look, the chances of you making it are 1-in-1,000. You ain't going to do it, so go do something else." 

I said, "Let me make the decision. I'll buy your lunch." Long story short, he said, "Look, I own the real estate market in five boroughs. You can't have it. I'll teach you, but you cannot do the real estate." 

I said, "Okay, what do I do?" He said, "The life insurance business, bottomless pit for motivation. If you really want to go through a lot of pain and suffering, go do that." He said, "Here's the four questions. Prospecting, presenting, good work habits, and closing. You figured out how to teach it. But go and sell at $25 each, sell four seminars at once, and go to the owner or general manager." I didn't own any life insurance. I didn't know what a premium was. I sure as heck didn't have anybody to buy and had taken everything from me.

So I'd got this little $400 Volkswagen and parking two blocks away and I only got one sport coat and I look pretty disheveled. He said, "You'll call on 10 and one will buy."

Well, the 10th one at 6:30 at night, there's a Cadillac out front of this little office, a big office actually, and I go in and there's nobody there except the owner or manager as it turned out, and he is a big heavy Italian guy. And we just really hit it off and I thought, "Oh, thank you God." And he said, "Okay, I'll take it, kid." 

I said, "Chip had taught me one closing question. Do you want to cut the check or have your secretary cut it?" He looked at me, he laughed and said, "I'm a big boy. I can cut it. How much is it?" I said, "100 bucks." 

Because you start under market, $25, then we went to $50, and then $250 and now I get $35K to talk domestically and $75K internationally, but you got to do three bookings if I'm going to a foreign country. Because we can insist on anything we want and I don't want to go unless we get to do that and then travel and have fun.

Long story short, Chip and I became Mastermind partners. Andrew Carnegie taught Napoleon Hill that he had a mastermind. He found a Mastermind when he had 12 disciples. Jesus went in the same direction. That's when he created water into wine at Canaan. And he said, "Wait a second. I guess that's the number I got to have." 

So he got obviously Charlie Schwab, great-great-grandfather, he got Frick, who I hope you've been to the Frick Museum when he go to New York and all that. Blew me away, first time I saw that in Art Appreciation 101! I didn't think I'd ever get to see the greatest art in the world owned by these guys.

Anyhow, long story short, Chip and I Mastermind every week Tuesday at 7:30AM. I got 12 together. I got the biggest minister with 5,000 at his congregation meeting with us, the head of Chase Bank. Amazing that I got all these people. Napoleon Hill was taught at Andrew Carnegie's house in New York that you build a third new mind. Today, we know we can take an oric picture, it's called curium photography, the Russian stuff. You emanate out and a lot of people teach that they're sold before you get there.

Well boy, after those meetings at 7:30AM - 9:00AM. I had stacked my meetings because everybody bought, you just mowed them over because you were invincible, you were unstoppable. And that's really what Andrew Carnegie did because you cheer on your team and then your team cheers you on, and pretty soon anyone that gets in front of you, they're done for. 

So that's what happened. And obviously, I've never stopped and then I taught that to Jack. And then Crystal  and I have obviously participated in that and we could not be more happy to be together.

Yeah, it's rare to have a book title that you can feel. And Chicken Soup for the Soul, maybe more than any other book in history, you can actually feel that. Obviously the content is phenomenal too, but how important is it for people to understand and have an emotional connection just from seeing the title?

We say the title's got to be the emotional logic that seals the deal. 

Chicken Soup obviously is what grandma and mom gave you when you're sick to get well and they put their hand on your hot little head and said, "Oh, it's too bad that you’re sick, James. We’re going to make you well," or whatever grandma, mom or dad said.

But it's universal. We sold 374 million books in China, and Campbell's paid me a fortune to go through trying to convince everybody in China to buy just one can of soup because they have soup every day in China because they don't have a lot. And you can thin almost anything with soup and soup's pretty good for you. Not enough protein probably, but be that as it may. 

So the way Jack and I did it, Jack and I had a little title we weren't happy with. And I said, "Jack, we're going to use this principle of you go into the deeper mind." And Napoleon Hill, the original title of Think and Grow Rich was How to Make a Boodle With Your Noodle!

So Napoleon Hill did that same thing. In psychiatry, guys like Dr. Mark Goulston will call that a “thought command” where 100 times Napoleon Hill said, “Best-selling title,”  but Jack and I said, “Mega best-selling title, mega best-selling title” in our respective homes 101 times.

Jack calls me up, this is before cell phones, this is 1989 and the phone rings. And at the time, our little daughter's becoming a veterinarian. We got 88 animals in one acre in Newport Beach. I'm making a lot of money as a speaker, but boy, when the phones ring, there are like four phones going off. And all the chickens wake up, all the animals, the poor dogs are barking. My wife said, "This had better be damn good!" And I go, "Oh boy." 

I say, "Yeah." And Jack says, "Chicken Soup?" And I said, "For the Soul." And both of us got goosebumps. We knew that we had the title because we'd commanded God in us to give us a title. And most people don't command their deeper innermost 18 billion brain cells to make the decision so the subconscious can work in a provision. We're too screwed up, reading our cell phone, watching our computer, listening to the problems of our kids or our spouse or our boss or our clients or whatever it is. 
The Bible says, "Get still." And the first book Crystal wrote, Seventh Principles, she said, “You’ve got to get still. You’ve got to have quiet time.” And today, we have the busiest lives unequivocally in the world. I don't think you'll disagree.

Yeah, absolutely. The process of uncluttering the mind is huge. I had a situation last year where when our second kid was born, he had a whole host of health issues. Nothing too bad now, a lot of respiratory challenges, waking up four times a night for a year. That's a horrible year with two working parents.

So difficult.

Why I believe so much about the right questions, not just for the results that it's created for me, but I'm now at a point in my life where intuition will put the right question in my mind. 

I was lying in bed one night and my intuition said, "These things that I'm involved in, is that your path?" And then the answer came to me before I could consciously process the question. It just said, "No, it's not." And that was the decision for me to get out of all of the things that I was in to create space, which led to me going all in on the Win the Day movement, which has led to ultimate alignment and growth in my life.

Actually, the morning after I had that thought and I made that decision, I had a friend of mine who said, "Would you like to connect with Mark Victor Hansen?" And I said, "Yes." And, Mark, you called me that day! I remember it vividly.

That was the first of three amazing things that happened that day, which to me was a sign from the universe that I had made the right decision, and I'll never forget that.

Well, and you'd just been thinking about him. The power of our thoughts and intentions are huge. That's why that quiet time is so important because that's creation time. 

The minute you allow yourself that stillness, look what happens when you listen. That's why the asking God part is so important. It's opening up to everything that you can connect with. And then that connected to Mark. It's like literally shooting out energy and it's connecting to other people, other events.

Like Dr. Hill said, “You are a broadcasting and receiving station.” Intuition is the wellspring of wisdom, but it's only the wellspring when you go deeper into this gigantic amount of consciousness. I think the order is: conscious, subconscious, super conscious, God conscious or cosmic conscious.

Write down a list of 200 people you want to spend time with, meet, grow with, and be expanded by and expand them if you can.

Like Crystal said earlier, it doesn't matter, God doesn't care what you call him as long as you talk to him. Right? Or at least that's how I feel. Some people are pretty obnoxious about the way, "You got to call it the way I call it." Well, good for you.

And the vibratory, there's only one universe, there's one mind and it’s really connected. But if you've got all that interference of normal life, the dog is barking, the kids are crying, your kid in this case was sick and waking up four times a night making you sleepless, which at some levels is an adversity that has helped you help to break through.

And thank God you healed your kid.

Crystal, out of all the people that you've worked with, is there a specific method that you take them through or any specific questions that you'd like to ask them to help get them unstuck so they can move into a more meaningful place?

Yeah, and it's very individual. It depends on what their issue is, but it's really about doing an intake to try to understand when they first started experiencing what they're experiencing. Because going back in time and trying to find triggering events that sort of led them to those conclusions. 

Sometimes, they're very obvious. I had a client, Kathy, who was severely abused, and she woke up every day, she heard me on the radio on a show, and she said, "You're my last hope. I wake up everyday thinking I need to die, that I shouldn't be alive, that I don't have the right to be alive."

Well, she grew up with depression. Her family was very, very poor. Her mother was mentally ill. She remembers some horrifying things. Like one day she said her mother picked her up by the ankle, swirled her around and threw her into the refrigerator. Then she remembered her mother left, never saw her again. Dad rounded up the kids a few weeks later, put them in the truck, dropped them off at the relatives and said, "I can't deal with these girls, you take them."

So then she stands there and the aunts and uncles are saying, "Well, we'll take the little baby. She needs a lot of love, the two-year-old. And we'll take the four-year-old. You know what? We have another four year old they can play." And then everyone's looking at her, "We don't have enough money to feed another mouth." So they're arguing, and no one wanted her. 

So her sense of unworthiness was just so profound. So it was easy in that case, obviously we knew where to start, but usually we all have these stories that we come from and that we repeat to ourselves. And that was a very profound sense of rejection.

You can see how she would be left with this sense of unworthiness that was so deep and so profound. But what we really did is, what I like to do, is really try to separate our identities. So when we have these experiences, we start to identify with that, "I'm not worthy," or, "I am depressed, I am anxious." And we give ourselves these labels. We name ourselves. And when you name yourself with "I am," you are re-upping that title for yourself again and again and again.

Our lives will go where we're looking. And if that's what you're calling yourself, that's where you're looking, that's where you're going to stay. So really the first thing I do is separate from the identity and realize no matter how bad those things were, those were situations, circumstances that were probably beyond your control, things that happened in life.

And even if you did participate as an older person, you made some mistakes or whatever, that's part of your journey. It's not who you are, it's part of your experience. It's not who you are, it's not your name. And so really disidentifying and just saying, "That's an experience. It is not me. Now, where do I want to create from?"

So really coming to that, purging all of that, the past, neutralizing it so you don't carry the emotional burden of it. Because it is just the past. It is not who you are and it's not who you need to be. And then coming to that zero point where you say, "Okay, what do I want to create? Where do I really want to go? Because I get to do that in this life. I can re-vector my thought patterns. I can claim a new identity for myself. I can claim a new name." 

And I don't mean a new name, change your name, but you know what I'm saying. Just decide, "I am a successful person. I am a worthy person." So declare those things over yourself and create a new story for yourself. 

It's so powerful. I will tell you, James, she wrote to me after five appointments and she said, "I just have to thank you for coming into my life." She said, "I can honestly say I'm completely free of the crushing depression I have experienced my entire life. Now, I can just wake up and have a bad day. And it's just a bad day. It's just a situation."

It's a nice email to receive.

Yeah, there's nothing better. There's nothing better than to be able to help another human being and help... The way I would describe it's like people would come to me and I see the dirt, the mud that got caked up. Maybe they've even eaten some of it. It's deep inside of them. 

I love just helping them wash that clean to see that beautiful shining human being who's ready to express.

For someone who's in very humble beginnings or in a really tough environment or maybe a negative environment around some toxic people. How can they think so much bigger and above the circumstances that they're in?

Love and forgiveness is huge. And it was a huge part for Kathy. I took her through this process. "Imagine what it's like to be that person. That person, even if they're violent, horrible, mean, they are suffering so dramatically. They are in their own living hell. And whatever happened to them before you came along is very, very sad. It can't be good. And believe it or not, they're doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness. They're in a very, very bad place. And honestly, has nothing to do with you."

We personalize everything. We think they're doing this to me, "Because I'm bad, because I'm not worthy of love, because I don't deserve anything good." That's not true. There's no truth to that. It's completely because of them. So we really just have to neutralize that emotional connection and stop personalizing it and have compassion for that person. 

Compassion is huge. Compassion and forgiveness. We started going through an exercise, "How sad must it be to be your mom? The turmoil, the lack of love, the lack of control." And she was able to completely let go and realize that how her mom behaved had nothing to do with her worthiness. Nothing at all. So it's so freeing, it' so liberating

Getting around the right people has been huge for the three of us. How can people start the process of finding like-minded people and how can they help each other go forward to becoming people of influence?

The first book I really wrote was called Future Diary, and in it I said, "You got to write down a list of 200 people you want to spend time with, meet, grow with, and be expanded by and expand them if you can." And today, not only can you do that, but with your little cell phone, you take your picture and put it next to their picture and you can put down anyone. 

Richard Branson invited us down to his island, and he owns 421 companies worth $7-8 billion or something. He hugged her and he didn't care to hug me!

"You can stay on the boat."

"Take my wife, please!" But I wasn't doing that, that old joke and line from Rodney Dangerfield. 

But there's nobody I haven't gotten to meet. And there's spiritual principles which are taught in our book, Ask!, are, first, figure out what you want … your definite major purpose. Second, it's got to be in writing; write a thing, make it clear, it'll be established onto you. 

Third, you have to visualize, realize. You have to see it to make it happen. Sort of like your intuition had you see the answer to your kid's sickness, or in our case, we see at the front end with Chip Collins, he said, "Start telling everyone, ‘I am a professional speaker’, meaning you're going to get paid for speeches." And only Tony Robbins and I, as far as I know, did 1,000 speeches a year for the first three years of our business because I had nothing else to do, so I'd be talking at 6:00, 10:00, 2:00 and 8:00 at night because I was digging it and loving it. Still love it.

I said, "I'm going to become the world's bestselling author." And as far as I know, no one else has ever written that down.

So you got to figure out what you want, put it in writing, visualize, realize it. And I got a book out on that and tapes out of course. Then you got to have a mastermind. You got to have a team to get your dream. And team means together. Everyone accomplishes miracles. Because there are miracles, like she was saying, to accomplish. And then I said, after starting to write books and everybody wanted my signature, I said, "I'm going to become the world's bestselling author." And as far as I know, no one else has ever written that down.

And I was obviously, there's two ways when you set a goal – because a goal is a preview of future events. You either tell no one, which is if you're afraid that you're not going to do it, you don't tell anyone. Because remember, I said you have to go from want to will. Or if you're bodacious and outrageous, like I am, you tell everybody, "This is what I'm going to do. I don't know how I'm going to do it."

Right now, we got a lot of bodacious guys out there. We got Elon Musk doing stuff that's wonderful, and seven companies, he’ll be the first trillionaire. I've got a whole set of YouTube videos on him. One on Jordan Peterson who's trying to put together the anti-Davos stuff. One Patrick Bet-David, who's gone from zero to a billion in 10 years. Nobody's done that. 

Now, in the next five years, according to Steve Forbes, who we've met and talked with a lot, he says, "We're going to have a hundred $100 billion dollar companies because of AI," which means a lot of people are going to get rich.

My teacher, Bucky Fuller, said that Christ said in John 10:10, “I have come so you might have life and have it more abundantly.” And he could see the future because God's eternal, sees the Alpha and the Omega. And obviously he saw the technology would allow everyone to... 

We're going to have more than enough food so we don't have to worry about what Malthus said, we can have more than enough water. We can now pull out of the air instantaneously with condensation, all kinds of cool stuff called source water.

You can do all these things that we couldn't do before. So we can literally take care of 8 billion people and grow this to 12 billion. And every person that comes out, according to Julian Simon, he's a great economist, University of Chicago. He said, "More population means more abundance, not less." It's 180 degrees from what the idiots are saying, that we got to cut the population. 

We got really big name people who are going to go unnamed now who say we should have 500 million people. Well, we got 8 billion of us. That's like one-sixteenth! And they're wrong and they're a disaster trying to make it happen. And so what I'm saying is, hey, wait a second, I'm going to hold up the mirror. 

You look at it and say, "Hey, doesn't this make sense to have really good kids, have a great loving relationship, teach your kids all the principles and then let's make sure that everybody's better off and no one's worse off"?

Sounds like a good plan, doesn't it? There's so much division these days, but if you break it right down, most people essentially want the same thing.

We do. So it's projected on us that we're believing the lies. It's media, they try to divide us. It's handy for politicians, for politics to divide people and we just can't fall for it. We really do want the same things.

There's more than enough. 

I was a student ambassador, as you know, to India, at the Harvard of India and all that. But I got to go to Mahatma Gandhi's house and hang there because nobody else thought about that. And I did. And this is 1968. So his major quote, as far as I'm concerned, which is unknown, is on the wall, it says, "The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

We’ve got a lot of people that are greedy and now we own a publishing company called and we're Alexander the Great publishing 1.0, and then Andrew Carnegie's 2.0 with 2,509 libraries. I just looked that up this morning. And he said, "You've got to make the library grow by 10% a year and all that. I can tell you all that stuff."

Then third, we're library 3.0 where we now have the technology for the first time in human history to get to 8 billion people and mean they can learn in their awareness. We've got a guy who brought us an AI product that can take everybody's voice like this broadcast, instantaneously translate it 98% accuracy into Swahili, Japanese, four kinds of Spanish. And you go, "Wow, everybody can have a book auditorily, because not everybody's going to learn to read at the front end."

But then you got Elon Musk who’s giving $100 million to Dr. Peter Diamandis. I don't know if you had Peter on or not, but Peter's a genius and wrote Abundance. He is a great guy and I've met him a few times. But Peter went in and in 90 days took people in Kenya, totally illiterate, 900 kids, brought them all the literacy and math and reading. Now, if we can do that in 90 days, we can emerge out of illiteracy because my cliche is, "You got to read to be freed." And we're talking about being comprehensively freed – you have money freedom, time freedom, relation freedom.

And most importantly, what you're teaching and your thing, if you don't mind my shutting it down for you, is how to be passionately and purposeful about your life and what your mission is and what you're going to accomplish. Because each of us has, what Crystal said to you a minute ago, a divine accomplishment in front of us. It can't be behind us because you can't change yesterday. We can only go into the future. 

That's why we live mentally, is what are we trying to accomplish? And we got stacks of stuff we want to do. But I think that's what makes life and love fun.

Well, speaking of love, after going through divorce, what did that teach you about what you should look for in the right partner?

Oh, it's so interesting you'd ask this because right now we have been asked by a guy who owns 150,000 hours of radio time in the United States to put together a marriage program.

Who better to do it than you two!? Such a great love story. It's amazing. It's the best part of your journey, I think.

Oh, thank you. We think it is, too. It's quite miraculous. 

There were so many supernatural elements that came into that. And I guess you have to read the book because there's a lot to it. But yeah, when we started asking for what we really wanted, because yes, our first marriages provided a contrast to us of what doesn't work. 

But then, once we met each other, God delivered us to each other. We still had to do the work, we still had to work on a mutual value system. Because you think you come back together and you think everything's just going to come together, but you come with your own baggage to the marriage. Everyone does. So one of the processes, looking at your own baggage, what's your old MO that you default to, those things that can shut marriage down, that can sabotage marriages?

You come with your own baggage to the marriage. Everyone does.

And it's funny, when you talk to marriage counselors, marriage psychologists, most agree that when marriages fail, it's kind of a death by 1,000 cuts. It's all these little things that we didn't think mattered. So it's so important to sit down and look at your baggage and be willing to get rid of it. "Is this going to serve my marriage or not? And if we're going to create this, what we call this amazing calling, the one flesh relationship..." 

Because you are becoming one flesh, you do become one, just like it says in Genesis. I mean, it's pretty cool when you think about that. It's a very big calling. And so I think if we took it more seriously, that's what we're talking about, is really taking that privilege and that honor with more responsibility and doing the work that it takes to create a beautiful marriage, really coming together on your value system.

It does take work, doesn't it? It's like resilience. You can't click your fingers and be resilient for the rest of your life.

No, it takes deliberate energy and forth and really working through some things and you think you have the same values, but when you sit down, it's like all these little things. "What are the things that I value? What are the things you value?" And really coming together with a combined set, a combined value system for this marriage because you're like a new entity together.

And you have to grow individually and support the other person in their individual things.


How do you two manage that in terms of being able to support individual ambition and keep the union so strong?

We really love that the other person has their own qualities and traits. We really respect and honor that. I love Mark and who he is and what he does. 

This time around, we both have a lot of emotional maturity in that sense. Neither of us is threatened by the other one. So he loves the things that I can do on my own and bring to our marriage that are a great value to both of us, and I love the things that he can do and bring to the marriage. 

And we realize we're different. Sometimes those differences, if we're in a bad mood or we're tired, we'll bump up against each other like all couples. But we usually start laughing about it and we usually go, "Okay, we need to knock this off. We're just going down a stupid path because we're cranky!"

Before coffee and food, usually! That's when my household is at its absolute lowest.

We're lacking sleep at the end of the day when we've had huge heavy projects and we're just burned out. So it's like, "Okay, quiet time. Let's go into some quiet time, reflective time." Yeah, but it's worth it. That's what I would say. You become much bigger in a marriage than you can be on your own. That's the truth. It takes a very mature person to be in a marriage.

You become much bigger in a marriage than you can be on your own. 

Even Jesus said that. He basically said, "Marriage isn't for everyone. But when you accept that calling, it's a very big calling and the rewards are great." I'm paraphrasing, but they are. Because if you think about it, you have this complete, man and woman are pretty much made for each other. We do bring different strengths to the table and that can be a great strength in life. It really helps build a solid foundation for your life that's hard to duplicate just on your own. 

Do you agree?

Absolutely. Alignment of values, but complimentary skillsets.


And I think the other thing is, in a marriage, you have to see more in the other person than they see in themselves. So back to your question about growth. Growth is a mandate of every person, but most people get stifled or stopped. 

It's easiest to look at it financially. People say, "Well, if I make $100K a year, then I’m done. Or once I make a quarter million, or a million, or 10 million," whatever the number. There's some number. And then they stop and say, "I'm done." No, no, you don't get to be done because there's other people who can't get served unless you serve. 

The same thing is true in our relationship. I went through a very painful, expensive divorce, I wrote down 267 things I needed and I had a lot of non-negotiables: she can't be an alcoholic, she can't smoke because I don't want to kiss an ashtray!

Emerson's great line was, "Who you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you're saying." Because everyone does send out that broadcasting and receiving station, and Emerson was obviously a favorite of Dr. Hill.

Anyhow, I saw Crystal commanding audiences and I'll just give one example. We were in front of tens of thousands of people in China and I'm doing three days and I'd written all those money books that stood on the shoulders of Dr. Hill's, like One Minute Millionaire and Cash in a Flash and Cracking the Millionaire Code. And I'm there to teach money.

Now, no one in the room is less than a millionaire because they all had to pay $7,000 just to hear us. And first day I did all the stuff I was doing, and they're very attentive, because they can't leave China. This is what people don't get about communism, socialism and fascism. You don't get to decide to come to America or come to LA and visit on your show. They don't get to do that. They're stuck in a country because the CCP is monopolistic.

In a marriage, you have to see more in the other person than they see in themselves.

The point is, we're doing it, and at the end I said, "How many of you would like to hear from Crystal?" Well, they went crazy and she just wowed them. Well, the next day I'm doing three days with the same audience. I say, "How many of you are ready to make more money?" Not one hand went up. Because they got money, so they don't really need that.

They wanted spiritual stuff because what happens with Maoism is Mao put himself everywhere, pictures everywhere because he tried to become God. And now we got Xi trying to do exactly the same thing, which is an anathema to me, but I'm trying to teach capitalism and in communist countries there, and when we talked in Vietnam and a few other places, and wake them up.  People really get it and they get it quickly.

So I said, "Well, how many of you want to hear from Crystal?" And she's in the back of the room with the bodyguards on her computer. And they didn't raise their hand, they all stood up and they started applauding wildly. And I said, "Good, Crystal will you come up here?" And then the rest of the next two days I just asked her questions and let them ask questions and bring it up.

I had nothing prepared, but they loved it. And they're not just hungry for spiritual enlightenment and self-growth, they are starved for it.

And so I think that was the appeal they loved, I taught meditation, mindfulness, and a lot of these emotional issues that we're talking about. So they were just really hungry for that. It was really fun. They're such beautiful people, it's so sad to see any human being live under those conditions because every human being wants to express themselves fully. 

And at that point, they were coming out a little bit, able to create businesses and stuff, so they were children in a candy store wanting so much growth, wanting to learn so badly. And it was so much fun. They were so loving and so appreciative. They would gift us with the most beautiful gifts, like $1,000 silk dresses. 

I didn't get any of those.

Yeah Mark, I need some pictures of you in this silk dress!

You never got that silk dress. But remember the sheet set? It was like a $2,500 sheet set. They couldn't be more thankful and gracious. But yeah, those experiences there were really wonderful for us. Really, I'm really grateful. 

It's hard to go there now. I don't think we would. It's gotten a little more difficult.

It's like Viktor Frankl, he talks about, "Everyone wants purpose and meaning." Even in the most harrowing of circumstances. If you have purpose and meaning, you can make progress.

And that's why he stayed alive at Auschwitz and other people didn't. And that's why he wrote Man’s Search for Meaning

I got to meet him at Bob Schuller's church not far from here when he owned the Crystal Cathedral and spend a day with him. Because most people didn't read the book, didn't do their homework. And Frankl just said, I may not be quoting this right, but, "Life source is all," whether you have meaning or not. 

Right now we have 1,000 kids committing suicide a day in America. Not okay with us because we're saying, "Hey, wait a second, yes, you've been shut down by COVID. Yes, you couldn't go to school, you couldn't live, you couldn't play with your friends, you couldn't go to school, go to concerts, go to music, meet girls, or boys, whatever the situation was."

But now, we've got to implore meaning, and the parents, no offense, I'm not beating on the parents, but they got to understand that if anyone hears only one thing out of this, if you'll have meaning in your life and tell your kid, "What is the meaning of your life?" And the wrong question that is asked is, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" And when you're little in four or five or 10, "I'm going to be an astronaut." Well, maybe you are, maybe you aren't.

We're close friends with astronauts and we're on the board of Back to Space. But the fact of the matter is, that not many people are going to be that. Not many people are going to be major champion basketball players. But everybody has something, some elements of genius that they need to bring forth. And that could be blue collar genius as well as white collar or blue collar dress professional genius.

Everybody has some element of genius that they need to bring forth.

In a book we’re doing now, it’s with a guy who has ADD. He was told, like Edison was in the book, "Your addled brain, you'll never amount to anything, you'll never have a job." Well, now he has thousands of employees. Last year made $650 million. We did his book called Elevate. His name is Tommy Mello and he does garage doors and he's figuring out a new way to do a garage door. Instead of wiping out in five years, it's going to last 20 years.

You’re reading an excerpt of this interview. To access the full Win the Day episode with Mark Victor Hansen & Crystal Dwyer Hansen, including bonus content that doesn’t appear here, check out the YouTube or podcast version. ?

And he takes people that are ADD, he takes people that are former prisoners, he takes them, trains them for six weeks intensively and said, "Here's the way you got to do this. You're going to read Dale Carnegie's book. You're going to read Think Grow Rich. You're going to read my book Elevate, and you're going to read the Hansen's book Ask!

The point I'm making is, he is saying, "Hold up a mirror. Every one, you’ve got greatness in you. And what we are going to do is just we're going to show you one path to get it out. And once you get in one path and you feel good about yourself."

Your validity comes out of your contribution. Self-esteem has to be earned. You can't buy it. If I'm rich and you're my kid, I can't give it to you. And that's what's so wrong about the world. We’ve got such vast wealth and people are saying, "Well, I'll get my kid the best educator. I'll get him at Harvard." But the kid is useless unless he or she finds meaning and something to be passionately purposeful about. 

We spoke about marriages before, for people who are feeling bitter, and this I guess applies to business partnerships as well, for people who feel like they've been wronged in business partnerships, or they've gone through a marriage and they're feeling very bitter as a result of their truth of what happened – because everyone has their own truth. 

How do they open themselves up to recognizing that this actually might be the stepping stone that they needed to meet the person that could change everything for them, or that their life is going to be so much better as a result of going through that experience?

Well, honestly, it is the trials and challenges that make us stronger and better and teach us. We obviously have a part in every decision. So if we're with a partner, a business partner who has done wrong by us, we were part of that dynamic. Again, questions, "What was missing? What were we overlooking? Was there something we weren't as thorough about as we should have been?" And when you start asking those questions, you can really learn those lessons.

We've lost big bunches of money trusting people with just trusting people too much. And we love to trust people, but you also have to be very diligent and listen to your gut, listen to your intuition. In those situations, I would have to say when we questioned ourselves, maybe we weren't listening as carefully as we should. Maybe we were ignoring some things. "What things did we ignore? What signs?"

Your validity comes out of your contribution. Self-esteem has to be earned.

So it's really about becoming stronger. But the most important thing, James, I think when you have been taken advantage of, really is forgiveness. Because when you hold on to anger and bitterness, it will shut you down almost more than anything. It's like you can't create with the light when you're in the darkness. And you need light to create what you want, you need to be a person of light. 

Forgiveness is a huge part of letting go of bitterness and anger because bitterness and anger are very dark qualities. They keep you sucked down in sort of a dark pit.

One of my biggest lessons as a naive kid who came over to the US... I'm the type of guy who'll do things on a handshake because you take people on their word.

Mark was a lot like that, too.

And then you realize that there are people out there who are absolute snakes in the grass. There's all the smoke and mirrors, especially in the entertainment world, as you know. And one of my biggest lessons of the last six or seven years is to trust your instinct when it comes to people. I think deep down when you meet someone, you know whether they are your tribe or not.

I think so.

But it shows up in a lot of ways. 

Let's go to the biggest picture of what you asked. If you stay bitter, you're not going to get better. So you got to decide, what she said is to go to forgiveness, which means forget. Forgive them, forgive yourself. Otherwise, you're shackled. And the shackle of unforgiveness, shackles your brain and your abilities and your opportunities and your possibilities.

By the way, I'll do me rather than her, it's hard for me to forgive some of these people that robbed me literally. And I bought into it and it's totally my fault. So I got to first forgive myself, then forgive them. And as a result of that, we have accelerated. Like somebody in recent days got us for $384,000. I thought, "How did I not see that?" But it got us to another place. What Hill learned from Carnegie was, “Every seed has an equivalent or greater benefit.”

Maybe you read How to Raise Your Own Salary, which is a full interview with Andy. And Bob Proctor, before he died, I owned two companies with Bob and he and I were going to do that interview and I was going to be Andrew Carnegie and he was going to be Dr. Hill. And we had a publisher who wanted to buy it and it just didn't get done because Bob unfortunately had to go to the hospital and they gave him a shot. 

Bob was 87 and we were ready to have his 100th birthday and he was going to have a million people in Las Vegas. And we're very close to Bob and his wife, Linda, and trying to help to have that happen. And she calls up and said, "He didn't make it." And I went, "What? Now I got to do his funeral? Yeah, yeah, yeah" because I don't like doing funerals. We did a good eulogy. It's online, even.

But the point is, is that if you get sucked into somebody that's dishonest, and all of us do because it's a testing ground. I'll do the biggest metaphor, the Joseph Many Color Coat story. He had the vision as a little kid and his brothers were jealous, put him in a pit, sold him off to Potiphar, ends up what he visualized became reality. 

And can you imagine, he's standing, second in command, has saved all the food, is going to save Israel. His father, his brothers come and don't recognize him because now he is dressed as an Egyptian, has kids, and is royalty, because he said, "I will rule the nation of the world." 

But he didn't get bitter, he got better. It’s my new line – and I really like it and I'm going to stick to it!

When you’re around people, they remember you for their memories, naturally, of course. But if someone was to leave and then come back, they don't remember the new, they remember all of their previous memories. 

It's why sometimes in a job, the easiest way to progress through your career is to actually move companies where they know you as someone new with the skills that you bring in the present, rather than how they may have viewed you when you started a company.

Add in the present to what you see yourself as. Remember, I'm bankrupt and I got no money, no car, really nothing going for me, and no ability to teach in this industry. And I'm telling them I'm a professional speaker and I'm a sales trainer because that's the line he gave me. This is what a Mastermind is about.

In Andrew Carnegie’s day, nobody marketed and manufactured steel. He said, "I'm going to market and manufacture steel, but I'm going to get the smartest minds to do it." None of those guys knew how to make steel or create Bessemer steel and have, today we call it tensegrity, tension integrity and the strength.

And then he had nothing but adversity. His best friend, Rockefeller, he was moving all the oil on the trains that he built and the railroads he built, and he built the first pull-on cars. That was his first big investment, as you know. I can go through the details, but all of a sudden, Carnegie made pipelines so he didn't need to do the railroad when he could just pipe the oil through. And suddenly, he's going to bankrupt him and then buy his steel company. And he said, "Nobody does that to me." And by the way, that's exactly what Elon Musk is doing now, and I'll go there in a second.

But what did he do? He built the first high rise building because there were no buildings over three or four stories at the very top. And then he built the Empire State Building because it had Bessemer steel, is what we call it, but tensegrity steel. 

And then Elon Musk has his top engineer stolen by Tim Cook. And he said, "Timmy, this is a super bad idea, brother. You shouldn't go because I'm the only guy with a plan five years ahead, written out and I'm going to do this". Now, he's coming out with a phone called the Pi Phone. He's going to charge half as much. It's going to be solar charged, two hours for 60 hours. It's going to go to his 40,000 satellites, Starlink, on and on and on. I can do all 12 things. I did a whole video on YouTube on it, you can watch, just because I think the guy's genius.

Because most people don't see what he's doing and how he's doing it. And I did a comparison from Elon Musk to Andrew Carnegie. They both built integrated businesses that integrated everything you could need. Well, most people don't even see what he's put together. And I look at it and go, "Wow, that's what I'm doing." That's what we are doing in the book business right now. We're doing an integrated conglomerate that's soup to nuts, it figures out how to make everything work. Because everyone should read, have had that privilege and the freedom of reading.

Absolutely. What are you working on now that you're both most excited about? Is it the publishing business or are there some other big projects that you're involved in?

Well, we were asked to write a biography for Reverend Ike. His work is phenomenal and it was such an honor to write this biography. The family commissioned us to write it, so it'll be released in the fall, which we're super excited about, so we want to get his work out to the world. 

He was very instrumental in Mark really coming out of that funk that he was in after he went bankrupt. And he started going to Reverend Ike's church and he gave him a whole new model for how to think and how to claim the riches of heaven for yourself. So that's really exciting.

We're working on this new marriage program, which is really exciting for us and fun because we feel like we have such a fun, dynamic marriage. We want to be able to share whatever we've learned, whatever that is, the mistakes and the breakthroughs, and be able to help people with that, because we think it just makes our communities so much stronger if we have good marriages, good families. It's kind of the core of a good community.

And then of course, our library, the Mark Victor Hansen Library. It's super exciting because we've opened up a new, well, we're helping bring people stories to life and there are so many great stories that need to be told. So it's just such an adventure to go through each book with our authors and help bring them to number one and get them out there and get them launched. 

We can ghost-write them, because most people have great ideas, but when they sit down to write a book, it's a lot more work than you think. And writing a book is very difficult. They'll write everything and then they've got maybe 20 pages and they're like, "Wow, where do I go from here?"

And the finished book is 20% of the project. The other 80% is how you get it into the hands of as many people as possible.


Yes, into people's hands. So we love that. It's such an honor. 

And then the thing that we're actually getting a lot of people coming to us, some billionaires are coming to us for a very specific reason. They want their biography written, they want their story told, but more for their own family, for their own progeny.

Because what's happening is the next generation comes along, the kids, the grandkids, and oftentimes this person who built this wealth has such a rich story. They came from, most often they came from nothing and created everything they have by pulling themselves up by the bootstraps, going through a lot of trials, tribulations, blood, sweat, and tears. Well, then the kids and the grandkids never experienced that. All they experience is just great wealth, getting what they want.

And so when it comes time to pass the money, you have a very serious problem. You're passing the money, but how do you pass the values? The values that created the money? And if you don't have a way to pass the values along, then a lot of times that money will be a handicap for them. It will not help them in life. It will actually hurt them. So it's been so much fun to dive into these biographies and really help these families pass the values along. 

Mitzi Perdue, our friend, she comes from great wealth. And in her family, they make you write your own biography before you can inherit any wealth. So what we're helping people with, with a friend of ours who's done high wealth planning for a long time, is really sort of setting up a protocol where families can share these biographies and even discuss them. 

Before you get to take all this money, you need to understand the journey and the value system. So that's really cool.

Speaking about stories more broadly, I feel like people who aren't resilient, it's because they haven't exposed themselves to enough stories. There are an incredible amount of stories out there of people, like Jim Stovall and all the other ones that we've mentioned today, who have overcome far more adversity than what you're going through to be able to achieve the success they have.

And that's what gives life meaning. People have it so easy these days. And then I think COVID did not help enhance the meaning of life. People were stuck at home and the government starts sending a whole bunch of money. And a lot of people have stayed home after that, they've become more scared of life. But the problem is that doesn't build our sense of meaning and worth. 

I'm talking to everybody out there – if you're still taking money from the government and not getting out there and sharing what you have with the world, I would encourage everyone to take their skills, get out there, get to work again. Even if you're working at a restaurant, you are sharing yourself and your skills with the world. Every job has dignity. It depends on the dignity you bring to it. 

It’s so important for all of us to be out there moving and working and growing and sharing.

Yeah, Dr. Mark Goulston said on the show, "Most people see life as a danger to be avoided, rather than adventure to be lived."

Number two is more interesting. 

And back to your thing about stories. The whole Bible is just 66 authors, everyone from shepherds to kings, and they've all got a story. But in the old days, everyone sat around the fire and shared their story and our ancestors. 

What's happened now is there's so much media overload with every kind of social media, some of which we're participating in ourselves right now, that you get overwhelmed and you forget the stories that really matter.

Now, your show does stories that really matter that are purposeful and meaningful like we've been talking about, but a lot of this stuff is just, oh man, I look at some of this stuff at TikTok and I go, oh, these kids, and they're wasting their mind. And then if you watch regular TV, which we don't, you go, "Holy cow. That's a total squandering of this greatest resource ever!"

In Ephesians, it says, "You are God's greatest masterpiece." Now, if you're a masterpiece, if I'm a master at anything, I'm going to try to use that skill, like Michelangelo did. They say, "How did you make the Statue of David?” And I hope you saw that in Florence, we've been there a couple times. But Michaelangelo said, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Painting the Sistine Chapel upside down, you just go, "Wow, just magnificent." But everyone's got magnificence to bring out. Everyone's got a talent, like Michael Jordan, to bring out his equivalent in basketball where he became the flying Jordan – the first guy ever to lift off 48 inches at mid-court and go all the way down. 

And back to Everett, our little kid, he says, "I'm going to do 50 inches."

He's so determined.

I said, "You will."

On your best day, what's an affirmation that you would write on a flashcard that you could show yourself on your worst day?

I would write the size of my question determines the size of my results. So I got to ask big, bold, meaty, meaningful, worthwhile questions.

I would write, "Be the light."

And final question, what's one thing you do to Win the Day?

Make someone else's day better.

Wake up every day and say, "This is going to be another good day and I'm going to serve greatly with love."

Thank you both so much for coming on the show.

Thank you, James. It's been a pleasure.

A great pleasure.

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