Author of ASK! Co-Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. America’s Ambassador of Possibility. Author, speaker, philanthropist, and humanitarian.
2:56 – What is Mark Victor Hansen’s definition of attitude. Your attitude creates your altitude in life
9:37 – How do you overcome the negativity of people? Supreme Court.
12:16 – What are your parents’ names and story.
16:42 – What did your father teach you by watching him as you grew up?
17:46 – What was the attitude lesson from Euna(?)
18:45 – Highlights from each book
23:10 – What is one of the most difficult times that you’ve experienced. Bucky Minister Fuller
26:47 – Will we ever be back to normal with speaking engagements
31:07 – What is the greatest philanthropic endeavor that you have been a part of?
32:25 – What’s your love story
37:11 – Ask! The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny
39:54 – Knowledge Through The Decades
52:16 – Show close
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Mark Victor Hansen
From Chicken Sh*t To Chicken Soup For The Soul
I am excited to introduce you to our next guest, Mark Victor Hansen, one of the co-authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul and the author of his latest book called Ask!. Mark, tell us what we are going to learn.
What happens is my destiny is helping you discover your destiny so you don’t regret the end of your life because you will be able to fulfill your destiny because of what we’re going to talk.
I’m excited to have this gentleman be on our show, Mr. Mark Victor Hansen, best known for his being the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, over 500 million books sold. It’s more impressive to say half a billion mark. He is also a renowned and highly sought-after keynote speaker for corporations and teams all over America with having presented to over 6,000 audiences worldwide for his most dynamic and compelling speakers and leaders of our time. He is also a prolific writer with 307 books authored or co-authored. Some of those books, including The Power of Focus, The Aladdin Factor, Dare to Win and The One Minute Millionaire. He also showed me one that I can’t wait, How to be UP in Down Times. There’s The One Minute Millionaire. That thing was awesome.
A passionate philanthropist and humanitarian. Maybe we’ll get to talk a little bit about some of the great things you’re doing for others. Crystal and Mark have already released this latest book called Ask!: The Bridge from your Dreams to Your Destiny. Mark, welcome to the show. We’re fortunate and thankful to have you. Our readers are called Gappers and I know they’re all going to be tuning in to this one with their eyes open, hopefully, their minds and hearts as well.
I’m honored, thankful and you and I both believe what Zig Ziglar used to say, “We all need a checkup from the neck up,” and get our head up all over again.
I’d love to know when it comes to attitude, do you have a certain definition, Mark, that you use for attitude? Give us one of your most profound thoughts on attitude. Who’s your attitude coach?
I’ve had a lot of great attitude coaches. When I went bankrupt in 1974, I’d never listened to audiotapes. I was too sophomoric. If you know that term, I thought I knew everything. I was cocky, arrogant. I was well-educated alpha. When I discovered those that I had stinking attitudes and I was reading the New York Times, which has all the bad news fit to spoil a good human mind. I started listening to Cavett Robert, a speaker. We became close friends and I traveled and did a lot of talks with him and Zig around the world, literally. You start listening to stuff and it changes your mind because Cavett’s tape that saved my life instead of committing suicide back in 1974 was either The Creature of Circumstance or The Creator. I didn’t realize that you create your own attitude and your cliché, as you know better than I do, is your attitude creates your altitude in business, life, geography, freedom. We can go on deep as you want. I don’t want to overtake your blog and do a monologue.
You know that the best guests are the ones that jump on and go. I tend to be a guest on a few and I know how you feel but you certainly dropped some big names there. Let’s jump down that rabbit hole. Cavett Robert, not a lot of people know about in modern but I used to get the cassette tapes called Masters of Success with Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, Cavett Robert and all these old-timers. They were little cassette tapes that I still have. Talk to me about who Cavett Robert was for those who don’t know and what he meant to you.
Cavett Robert was the dean of speakers in America and he launched the audiotape business. He did a talk in 1969 or 1970. The first Sony cassette came out, they were about $20 each, talking to 15,000 people on the road rate. He said, “You guys would love to talk. You give me a standing ovation but this is a brand new thing that every one of you wants to have an audio tape by me called The Creature of Circumstance or The Creator then the second tape was, You Can’t Heat An Oven With Snowballs because he was close friends with Will Rogers who came up with that line. He said, “You get that in this tape recorder.” 15 out of 15,000 people bought it and then he launched a brand new industry. What he was saying at the time, “It’s not how big a piece of the pie you get. It’s how big we make the pie.” I’m told our industry does $3 trillion a year. If you’ve got a different number, Glenn, you tell me a different number. I don’t care what the number is but it’s in the industry. Do you have a different number?
I’m going to assume that when we were open before COVID and right before COVID happened because Crystal and I came out this new book, we’re going to talk once in Washington, DC to 15,000 life underwriters and once down in Florida to 11,000. The guy called up and said, “They’ve closed me down and I’ve lost $5 million. You’re not getting paid. I’m not getting paid but we’re not open. As soon as we do open, we’re hiring you.” I thought, ”Man.” Cavett started that whole thing. He taught Zig Ziglar how to sell pages in the books from the platform. He started the National Speakers Association, which I’m a proud founding member of seventeen of us back when $500 was dear to me. It’s like $50,000 nowadays or more. He said, “Give me $500.” I was like, “I’m giving you $500? I don’t know why I’m doing that.” He said, “You’re joining and you’re going to help me launch this thing.”
You won’t believe it nowadays but back then, all the guys were purists. They said, “I work for GM. I work for Ford. Every time I do a talk, we sell three Cadillacs” These are good guys who I won’t mention their names but they said, “We would never spend any time doing an audiotape.” I thought, “You guys are nuts.” People need take-home value of audiotapes and nowadays, that which transitioned from audiotapes is podcasts. I’m told by my publisher more than anyone, we’re doing 4 or 5 and sometimes 7 a day. What has changed in the book business is, in the old days, I’d go to the twenty biggest bookstores and some more books than anybody and get them all signed in that.
Nowadays, we’re on 2:00 in the morning here in America, 1:00 in Canada, 1:00 in Israel then later at night in Vietnam where we talked to ten million people and the sales have gone through the roof. They’re not tabulated by the New York Times because they’re now international sales. Everybody, other than China, buys on Amazon. I don’t know if you knew that or not.
That’s where my book is housed and stored. I love to give them all the proceeds from my book. It’s wonderful.Your attitude creates your altitude in business and in life. Click To Tweet
We’re in an amazing time if you’re awake. That’s why you got to have a good attitude because if you’re asleep and you go, “The world’s against me. Things aren’t going. The economy is against me. My mother’s against me.” There’s a joke that fits here. Can I do the joke? It’s an old joke and you know it but the mother goes to the son and says, “Get up, you got to go to school.” The son says, “Nobody at school likes me. The kids don’t. The principals don’t. Nobody likes me. Why have I got to go?” She says, “You’re the principal and you’re 42. Get out of here.”
True in nowadays world, not even to mention.
We had 5 kids and 6 grandkids and the schools open up here and now they’re already on full rotation. Our teacher of special ed kids where she’s found a lot of kids that are Asperger’s positive, they are geniuses that are 4 or 5 and 6 and are doing 6th, 7th and 8th grade work at Math or Reading. What happens is the principal says, “I’m not going to open up our schools until all schools are COVID-free.” He’s an idiot. That’s like saying, “You’ll never get sick.” Nobody can promise that. God can but other than God, you can’t promise that.
As we do this, we have so much going on in the world. Too much negativity. Amy Coney Barrett, she’s sitting there getting ready to go on the fire line. I look at her children and I’m like, “Their children are going to be firsthand front row to watching what is getting ready to happen.” I’ve caught a little bit of that. What’s your advice? What are your attitudes? Certainly, you’ve been around. My guess is you have been attacked maybe. You have had people say you can’t do it. You have had people interpret what you’re saying the wrong way. What is your attitude, the way you think, the way you overcome the negativity of other people?
First of all, I want to go back to the statement you made about our Supreme Court. We have a Supreme Court that has nine people on it and I am close friends because I won the Horatio Alger Award, which means I’ve come from rags to riches and been accessibly philanthropic. We raise $250 million a year in Horatio to get at-risk kids either to go to college or more importantly, to go to trade school because college is dysfunctional at a couple of levels, which we can talk to if you want. I’m going to try to help that out. I’m close friends with Judge Clarence Thomas. He is a wonderful guy. He’s the one that puts a gold medal around each of our necks when we win. Ten of us win a year and they’re all great Americans that have overcome the odds one way or another. In other words, I came out of relative poverty and my parents were both illiterate, too. We never had a book in the house.
To say that I would be the world’s best-selling author and sold 500 million books but I’m going to sell 1 billion books, which is exquisite, exciting, wonderful and I look forward to it. I sidetracked you. What you got to do is get her confirmed. My wife’s Catholic. We go to the Catholic church on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic, Jewish, Protestant or something else. The point is that shouldn’t be the point of what she’s getting attacked on, which I saw as you did.
Come hell or high water, politics is politics and she’s going to get on. I don’t see how they’re going to stop it unless something’s crazy.
She’s a good woman and as you saw, she’s adopted kids that needed to get adopted. Dr. Canfield, Jack and I wrote different books. I got 2 of our 5 kids are adopted and I championed the adoptive soul. The first line I wrote is that, “Every kid should be a loved kid.” I defy anyone to argue that. By the way, I’m on my bully pulpit, I’m ranting and you can see that. I’ve got lots to rant about like you had to get him around and I’m sure he ranted a lot.
He calls it puking. Don’t puke on your prospects. You’re here to rant. You mentioned something and I always love to do this because I don’t know that you get an opportunity to do this a lot. I’d like to backtrack for a bit. I’d love to know your parents’ names and story because that had to affect your attitude.
First of all, my parents were courageous. My dad is named Paul and my mother’s name is Una. Good Danish James, we’re part of the Danish Brotherhood, which got burned down in Kenosha, which I’m part of that people aren’t allowed to go burning down stuff because they think they don’t like people. That’s not okay with me at any level and I want every one of those people prosecuted because they burn all of our family pictures and my relatives and that’s not okay. Those guys ought to go to jail for ten years. You say, “Why?” Let’s go through it because you asked. My father had an older brother, fourteen years older, big family, Uncle Spen. Spen created the Black band to take all the Jews into Denmark and the king said, “Let’s do that.” Hitler put a $100,000 hit on everyone in my family.
That’s unbelievable. You guys were marked by Hitler.
I don’t know what to say. Let me finish this one little rant because you opened up Pandora’s box here. I remember now, my dad’s 14 and this guy is 28, comes up to him, kisses his cheeks and says, “Paul, here’s $100 and a passport. You’re leaving for America. Hitler has got $100,000 on you. I’ll never see you again because he’ll probably get me but he can’t get you if you leave tomorrow.” He came to America with no English, hating socialism, hating the National Socialist Party, which is where we’re going if we don’t vote. Anyone out there can argue with me anything they want but socialism has been tested, tried and it’s terrible. It doesn’t work. It won’t work. It can’t work. You’re talking to a guy’s a flaming free enterprise. He writes seven big-money books. I want everyone to become an entrepreneur, which means you find a problem, fix it and scale it and do a vast profit.
Talk to me a little bit about your father. He shows up in America at fourteen years old with $100 in his pocket. No parents there? Was he alone?
He had no friends, no relatives. Because of this racist stupidness, which is going on nowadays, the first people he met that could speak Danish were Black because Denmark owned a little island in the Caribbean. He happened to bump into him and he’d never seen a Black person. I was blonde when I was a kid, as are all my brothers, our kids and our grandkids running around. All of a sudden, he’s talking to Black people who speak Danish and he didn’t speak English. There was no such thing back then as ESL, English as a Second Language, which I hope you are keen on. Everybody ought to be multilingual.
This young man with $100, he’s fourteen that shows up in America, meets Una. Was she in America? Did she come with him? What was their love story?
She came with a different family but and went through Ellis Island and all that stuff. Cooking for the railroads and then ultimately long-term, they got to a little Denmark called Waukegan, Illinois and Kenosha and all that. We have three cities there, Racine, Wisconsin. He was a Danish baker and a good one. Obviously, I’m the third kid down and he said, “Would you take over the bakery?” I said, “Dad, I love your bakery and I like working for you this much.” I’m a white glove guy. I’m not sure what one of those guys is but that’s what I am and I apologize but I will not take over the bakery. If I did, I would’ve made it inanimate because I’m a scaling guy. I believe if you’re going to do enterprise, do big enterprise.If you want to get out of the doldrums, you got to take a massive success in the right direction to get the right result. Click To Tweet
A baker starts their day at 3:00 in the morning, maybe 4:00 in the morning. It’s every day. There’s no day off. What is it that your father taught you? What is it that you feel from him by watching him as you grew up?
The fact is he started at 11:00 at night and worked eighteen hours a day. He slept very little because he was dedicated. You don’t make any money selling five-set rules. I’m not picking on dad. He started the trade in Denmark, got here. Danish bakeries, he did well because there’s Little Denmark. They buy the bread and buy the rolls. He’d do the big cakes. He was a culinary artist. He did the cakes at weddings and women jump out of and all that stuff. He mastered his art form. The few vacations we got, which were a week-long in the summer because August was a slow time, we would do a baker’s holiday. In case you didn’t know what it means, you go from bakery to bakery and you see what other bakers are doing. Back to your business and mine, we do the same thing. We love listening to other speakers especially if they’re alive, original, unique and authentic.
To round out the attitude lineage, what about Una? What was the attitude message that she touched you?
My mom was the front of the bakery. Dad was the back of the bakery but my mother had the best attitude in the world. She always was smiling. She could enroll anyone in conversation at fast. She was a maestro of storytelling. Even though it was a little week vacation that we took, like the Dells, Wisconsin or something, she’d come back and I’d sit and listen to her on the phone. My little brother and I, he’s two years younger, we go, “We had a better vacation I thought we did.”
Sounds like maybe she gave you some of your presentation skills.
They taught us work ethic. We all had to work hard. Starting at nine, I had to pay for all my own clothes and everything because there wasn’t enough money to do it any other way. I was a top greeting card salesman and then I had to paper out, shovel snow. I did all that stuff.
I know that you’ve been a part of over 300 books but let’s take a couple of them. What I’d love to know is, in a sentence or two or a paragraph, give us the highlight of the book. Give us the big lesson of the book. If you’re a Gapper out there and as we always say every time, if you’re driving in your car, if you’re on a walk, if you’re on the beach, you want to buy and read all these books but we’re going to give you a short synopsis of each book. Let’s start with The Power of Focus. What’s the point of the book? What’s the message of that book?
Everyone needs to focus and it’s not Hocus Pocus about focus. Are you laser beam focused? Each of us gets distracted mostly from the computer, our cell phone or smartphone. What happens is you’ve got to master focus. The other one I’d like to talk about is that I want everyone to write a book and it’s got You Have a Book In You.
Tell us about that one.
What happens is, if you go to my website, MarkVictorHansen.com, they’ll have it up. You get it electronically for $7.97 and we’ll give you out of the three other gift books as no one else could get anywhere. If you get it on Amazon, that’s great but if you get it from us, you also get From Blank Page to Bestseller. By the way, not only do I love the blank page but I looked up everybody that loved the blank page. Every author has had to do it from Shakespeare on but even in business, I’ll do Barry Diller’s backstory. He is the biggest guy in media. I’ve never met him but he said, “At 23, I started with a blank page. Nobody told me I could do it. I did Sunday night at the movies and I made the biggest thing on TV.” He says, “You got to love the blank page.” I’m a good researcher. I write why you got to do that. What book do you want to do next? You’re doing these. You’re going to throw them out.
The Aladdin Factor. I’m curious how that came about. What’s the point of The Aladdin Factor? What’s the takeaway for our people?
The Aladdin Factor was a precursor to this, which we’ll go into more deeply. What happened is Jack and I were trying to sell Chicken Soup and as you know, 144 people also hit the road, Jack. I said, “It’s okay if you don’t like him but I’m a nice guy.” Jack is wonderful. I like to mess with that. I’d written a book called Dare to Win. We went to Berkeley and they said, “We’ll take a dare to win, dare to lose, all the way to fourteen. No dare to God” I don’t want to do anything I can’t prequel and sequel. They came back to us when we were number 1 and number 2 in the New York Times.
What we said was, “We’ll do it.” They said, “We want you to do dare to ask but we’re going to change it to Aladdin.” We sold $3.6 million in it. We didn’t have any time to do it because we already had commitments to 4 or 5 other books. I said, “Berkeley’s going to sue us if we don’t do this.” He said, “What are you going to do?” I said, “They’re suing two of us, not one of us.” He said, “We’ll figure it out.” I said, “I’ll go interview the 101 best askers.” I interviewed Dave Yoho Sr. and Dave Yoho Jr. and stuff like that in National Speakers Association. I put her all together. Jack codified it and it went nuts because nobody had done it. It was a great sales book and it went crazy. We’re thankful for that.
The power of marketing, branding and creative title is something. What a great story.
When I wrote it, we did not know when we picked Aladdin as a final title, How to Ask for and Get Everything You Want. We did not know that the movie was going to go rocket ships, which my kids and grandkids even watched here. I love the movie. It’s a whole new world.
I can sing every song, trust me. I did it with all mine as well. Good things happen to good people and fate has been kind to you, I’m sure. It’s also probably not been kind to you. Tell me about maybe one of the most difficult times that you’ve had to overcome that may be similar to people that are reading when you went, “This shit’s hitting the fan. I’m not sure I’m going to make it.” I’d love to hear that story.
It’s 1974. I’d been in graduate school with Einstein’s best student, a guy named Buckminster Fuller. I got enamored with Bucky and he invented lots of things, geodesic domes, spherical buildings, made a triangle and new mathematics synergetics. I thought, “Maybe I’m supposed to go do that.” I built the Wall Street record club botanical gardens AVRs because I love to sell. We were doing about $2 million a year but I made a mistake of building out a PVC, PolyvinylChloride Plastic. When the Arabs said, “We can write checks.” It’d be the banks to Monsanto. One day I could get it and the next day for Monsanto. It was my best-worst experience but I crashed and burned. I went bankrupt fast.
I had to check a book at the library, how to go bankrupt by yourself. For six months, I’m sleeping on a sleeping bag in front of another guy’s room because I went upside down the bankruptcy courts back in the old days and Eastern Long Island took everything. Finally, it came up to me, “What do I want to do?” I said, “I want to talk to people that care about things that matter, that would make a life transformative, impactful difference.” I go to my three roommates. I’m living in Hicksville, Long Island, New York at $100 a month. You can see I was not living high. If any of you guys know somebody young speaking that’s not a celebrity, a doctor, lawyer, famous person and young enough that I can relate to because I still had hair back then.You need four Ts in your life: thinking, time, talent, and treasure. Click To Tweet
They said, “This guy Chip Collins was talking out here in Hauppauge, Long Island. Here’s a ticket. It’s a real estate meeting.” He wowed 500 people for three hours at the end, which I go up and I asked him, I say, “Chip, can I take you to lunch? I’ll buy but I want you to tell me how to do this business.” He said, “If you’ll stay at a real estate, I owned the five boroughs of New York. I’ll teach you how to do it but you do it in life insurance.” Anyhow, long story short, he told me exactly what to do, how to say it. Tony Robbins, we talked one time together at a big meeting in New York of all places. We’re the only two guys that did 1,000 talks a year the first few years because I teach you if you want to get out of the doldrums, you got to take massive success in the right direction to get the master bright result.
Everyone came up to me and said, “That’s a great story. Have it in a book.” The first book we did was, Stand Up, Speak Out and Win!. I sold it for the platform and I said, “This isn’t a New York Times bestseller. It’s not an international bestseller. It’s not anything bestseller. It is my best seller. I want to sign it for you, Glenn, your wife and your kids. If you’ve got a dog, I’ll even put your dog in and they’ll laugh. This is my best seller.” I sold 20,000 the first year at $10 each. I made $200,000. I thought I had arrived again and I’m not going down again because I’m going to learn this book business from start to finish. I spent 44 years doing that.
I’m a member of the National Speaker, “Look it. He found it, coach. He found it, Mark.” I will get that and I’ll read it. I’ll take whatever you want to send me. I’m a member of the National Speakers Association as well. Thank you for founding it. I appreciate that. I had critical mass and unbelievable momentum. I was doing big stage on big audiences. I finally hit it and I was doing it then COVID hit and I had to clean my schedule. I’m doing virtual stuff and all that. Will we ever be back to normal? Will we ever be in rooms and hotels of 2,000 people, screaming and having a great time? When do you think that’ll be?
First of all, you asked three questions at once. I’m glad that I tried to do all of them. First of all, I want it now because you and I thrive on a live audience. The audience thrives on us. I watched your stuff online. You and I have never physically met, have we?
No, I wish we did but I’ll come to see you whenever you want.
We’ve been hired now a couple of times and we’ve got some pending stuff in Florida. Florida’s opened up and Nevada is opened up. We got stuff, which is amazing to me. It’s not that big, like the old days. The answer is, first of all, we should open up now. What we’re hearing is that Regeneron works. When I got COVID, it inadvertently took way too much. You’re supposed to take 200 three times a day. I got into pills out of Mexico and it said 500 but I was delirious.
I thought I was dead already. I was sweating and freezing and I was at 500. My wife comes in after I’d done the second thing because I didn’t want to tell her I was dying. She said, “You took eight days worth in two dosages. You’re in trouble.” I got friends that are doctors and I call them. He said, “Hyper lubricate.” The next day I was totally well. I got my little blood tests and I’ll know whether I’m antibody-free. The point I’m making is only 3 out of 1,000 dies of it, which is tragic. I don’t want anyone to die. That’s not the point. The numbers are low. We can’t keep the world shut. You take sick people in quarantine and you don’t quarantine 100% of us.
I’m a guest on podcasts and I always start when they ask me about this. I say, “Do you know how many people die on Earth every year? Do you have any idea of the number of fatalities due to starvation?”
I don’t know that but it’s 1 in 100 in America die because I did the funeral directors meetings a lot. Funeral guys, by guys like you and I, need positive energy.
The point is 9 million people die of starvation annually. I have a keynote called How Was Your Breakfast? Here’s the point, we’re worried about all this but there are 9 million people that are starving to death each and every single year. Granted, one life is too many and we’re at 200,000 but we sure as hell it is not at 9 million. I always think that’s a bit of perspective I like to do. Sorry, I didn’t mean to preach.
You can preach because you and I are on the same page. Let me go through it because I own an alternative energy company. Everyone ought to see called Natural Power Concepts and we’re doing pop-up windmills and balanced solar. We can have energy 24 hours a day, clean, green and sustainable. We just got the biggest order ever from a company and trying to get it funded at the moment, $720 million order. The point is, if you have enough energy, you can have enough water. A dirty secret in California, those fires aren’t out for one reason, there’s no water. You say, “There’s an ocean.” Saltwater kills the plants for 100 years. If you’re a farmer, do you want me to put saltwater on your plants?
You’ve got to have the energy to have water, water to have food, food to have abundance and nobody should start because what Bucky Fuller taught me is we have adequate technology. Now, you’ve got Dr. Peter Diamandis, who wrote Abundance, the book of our time. Peter and I are friends. I love technology and we can have enough tech to take care of 4 billion people who are underwater, underfed every day out of 8 billion. You and I are 100% on the same page.
God bless you for doing that. I know and I want to get to the philanthropical piece. Tell us, what has been the most rewarding and moving philanthropical endeavor that you’ve created that made a difference?
First of all, I wrote a whole little book called The Miracle of Tithing, which is the miracle of giving and I said there’s four Ts, Thinking, which is the most important, which is what you and I are about. If you cut all the other stuff, yes, we’re articulate, we communicate, we speak but if you’re doing good thinking, you get hired. It’s Thinking, Time, you got to contribute your time, your Talent and then your Treasure. Everybody goes for the treasure and misses the other stuff and then forgets number five, which is a bonus, be thankful.There's a higher level than a soul mate and that is a twin flame. Click To Tweet
I’ve sold more books because I tithe 10% of every book guaranteed to somebody before we start. You’re right, I’ve done a plethora of things but the two big ones are Horatio because we got to help all the at-risk kids and I’m doing that in a multiplicity of ways. Number two is my wife and I are Co-chairman of Child Help, which has helped 10.5 million kids get out of abuse, neglect and the worst one is sex trafficking, which affects 40 million people. I go, “How the hell could that end.” A lot of those guys and ladies would’ve been to go to jail pretty quick.
Let’s talk about that beautiful wife, Crystal. What’s your love story? Where did you meet? How long you’ve been married? I want to talk about the new book called Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny.
I got divorced long ago, I’m at a talk in California called Author 101 and I see this woman that’s a radiant beauty in the middle of the group. I believe in goal setting and then our 20th-anniversary issue, I printed the 267 things I needed in my ideal woman. I knew what doesn’t work in a relationship. We had to have exactly the same values. We had to be monogamous. We want to travel. We had to love each other’s business. She had to have her own business because I don’t want somebody marrying me for my wallet. That’s not acceptable. She’s in there and I said to some guy, “Is she married, single, divorced or what?” She was divorced. Long story short, that night at VIP. I got thrown in with people. I see her across the way and a lady inadvertently, which I saw, she wiped out a glass of red wine and my wife wasn’t drinking and wiped it on white pants.
I immediately cut through the group and I said, “Apologize.” I grabbed her hands. “I know where the club soda is. Let me help you.” We get outside and I say, “I see something special in you. Do you mind if we go to dinner? We can’t stay here because 1,000 people want two minutes of my time. It’s 9:30 Saturday night. It isn’t going to work. Can I take you off-site?” She said, “Yes.” We go to the best Hollywood restaurant, the line’s long and I go, “$100 bill won’t get in.” We walk up and if you see my wife, she’d been a top model, a star and all that stuff. She’s the wisest woman I’ve ever met. The guy looks at her and goes, “She’s a movie star and I can’t recognize her.” I questioned it. I said, “You don’t recognize her?”
The guy’s mind is going through steroids. He can’t figure it out. He says, “I give up. Who is she?” We’re both Danish. I said, “She’s the Queen of Denmark.” He said, “No, she’s not. Oh my God. She is. Who are you?” Question is the answer. I said, “Who travels with the queen?” He said, “You’re the king.” We had a table like that.
I love that story. That’s good.
We were in China talking to thousands of people, that’s a story they always want us to end with because everybody loves a good love story. We are indefatigably in love. The goal I thought was to have a twin flame one-on-one and mash whining are the eleven if you look at it. When you light two candles together, it jumps fourfold. It’s called synergy. It’s part of the physics of it. What happens is there’s a higher level than soulmate and that is twin flame. We are that rare earth, twin flame. We both got some experience. We were married before. We both knew everything we wanted. Forgive me, I want everyone to have an idyllic relationship because I believe out of 8 billion people, there’s somebody perfect for everybody. If you’re in a relationship that you love, God bless. If you’re single, go find it by figuring out exactly what you want and put it in writing.
I’ve been married many years to the love of my life from sixth grade but I’ve always believed that a marriage needs to always include one more person and that’s God. I believe that a Godless marriage is hard to stay a flame, if you will but my atheist brother doesn’t believe in me.
Two issues. Number one is my ring has three diamonds. It’s Crystal, Mark and God.
I love it so does my wife.
When Crystal and I are falling in love, we’re sitting in Costa Mesa at Mother’s Market. There’s a sweetheart of a man of the cloth, a White-colored guy next to us and he says, “I can see how in love you guys are. Can I interrupt?” “Yeah.” He said, “Do you want to know what the one secret to staying married forever is?” I said, “I guess so.” He says, ”I’m headed Billy Graham’s Minister. I’m 92.” He said, “There’s one thing you’ve got to pray out loud together every day.” My wife and I start every morning with an hour of prayer and meditation together and we end at night praying. Before that, we’d prayed in church. We’d prayed a lot in the group but you didn’t pray, supposedly. It works. I don’t know if you do that and I’m not asking unless you want to do true confession. The point is, for us, it works.
We certainly do that. If you can put me in your prayers, I’ll put you in my prayers as well. Let’s talk about this book. You guys get together and you do this book called Ask!. Tell us why, what it’s about and what’s the takeaway.
Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny. 2 or 3 things. First of all, we’ve traveled everywhere, talked to 7 million people and what we’ve discovered is that great people, wonderful people, educated people, professional people, some have a good attitude, a few do. What the one thing is that most of them live below the privilege because they’ve never learned how to ask. We said, “Every time we’ve had a problem, we learned how to ask to go to a new level.” We said, “What if we could teach that?” We said, “We’ll write everything we know,” and then we did all the checkout. We checked out at Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and Mumbai. I studied in India for a while in the biggest Harvard in India, we did all that stuff.
We interviewed the 26 master askers and we put it together. What we discovered is, you got to ask yourself, like I did getting the work I want, which is speaking and then writing. Ask others, I asked my roommates who are doing this. I didn’t know they would know and then you got to ask God. I’ll do that one. When Jack and I wanted the perfect title for Chicken Soup, he had a title that he won’t cop to anymore. I’m beating up on my great friend but in our respective minds, “God, what is the mega best-selling title? God, give us a mega best-selling title.” He calls me at 2:58 in the morning and says, “Chicken Soup.” I said, “For the Soul.” I said, “We got it.”
The publisher still didn’t believe it but we knew that it was working because we knew that the soul of America is in trouble. What you and I have been talking about through this is it’s more trouble now. What we didn’t know was that the world was in trouble. There’s nowhere our book hasn’t worked. We’re in China, India, Japan and all of Africa. Few people haven’t touched our book because it has what in a book business called handle on value. In China, one book gets read by fifteen because the government won’t let books in and in India, it’s about twelve people pass along. We’re told, now may be higher.Most people live below the privilege because they've never learned how to ask. Click To Tweet
For people to ask, Tony Robbins’s favorite quote is, “Your life is determined by the quality of questions that you ask.” The quality of your life is determined by that. What an appropriate book and I’m sure another huge success for you and your wife. Out of respect for time, I am now going to lead you to the closing of our show, which is called Knowledge Through the Decades. We got seven decades, I believe, for you.
Healthy and old. I planned to live the 127 options for renewal. The Bible says as long as you plan to live, why not put it in writing? I’m going to live to be 127. If you have a high quality of life then you want high quality. If you had a crummy leg, die.
It’s funny when you talked about bridging the gap and you heard it at the beginning of my show. Our show is about helping people bridge the gap from who they are to who they want to become and you’ve dropped some bombs. You’ve done some unbelievable things.
I’m glad because the deal is to expand your mind and keep growing and glowing. Here’s your destiny. What we’re saying is if two people will read our book together and go over every question of the book, what we’re getting is 100 letters a day already. What happens is they transformed. As you know, my corporate symbol is the butterfly. We’re saying, “You cannot look at a caterpillar and predict butterfly.” We’ve all been in this atrocious cocoon, which is going to release us and the cocoons of the past in America, 1898, the Depression. Where do we come up with? We came up with the automobile, airplane, telephone and with electricity.
The other book I wrote that I showed you is called How To Be UP in Down Times. It’s free if you go to my website, MarkVictorHansen.com and I wrote it with Mitzi Perdue. What we’re saying is, we’re going to do $50 trillion in every seven businesses between 2020 and 2030. You can be a little part of any of them that become vastly rich, healthy, happy and get progress to the world.
We’re going to get you focused on the attitude lessons of knowledge through the decade. I know that you probably don’t remember being born but you are a bit of an electron so you might remember. What is the attitude lesson from birth? What is the attitude lesson of being born?
That my parents totally loved me and the penultimate of benefits. My mother and dad loved, dedicated and taught all the right lessons to my three brothers.
I’m sure you share that with your children and grandchildren. I have four. I have 4 kids and 4 grandbabies. How about that? It’s called unconditional love. That’s the lesson that you gave us now? I’m sure you remember being in fourth grade. Do you remember being ten years old? What was going on in your life and what was the attitude lesson that you took out of being ten?
That’s when my parents couldn’t afford to buy the bicycle I wanted. I had a picture on a wall, a wider wheel on Sheffield Steel before I ever did the tapes or wrote a book called Visualizing is Realizing, both of which are true and both are selling greatly, I’m thankful to say. I went to bed dreaming about that and I kept beating on my dad, “Can I have it?” He said, “No, kid, when you’re 21.” I didn’t understand he couldn’t afford it. It wasn’t like he didn’t want to be generous. It’s like a $4,000 Trek bicycle nowadays. It was not in his car. I said, “Could I have an order myself?” I was a Boy Scout and working toward Eagle and he said, “You can sell greeting cards on consignment. I need you to get them and you sell them.” I go up to the neighbors and I say, “I’m earning my own bicycle. Would you like to invest in 1 or 2 boxes of Christmas cards?”
I sold 376 boxes of Christmas cards in one month. I didn’t want to sell Christmas cards, I just wanted that bicycle. I didn’t like it but he took half the money, took me to the bank, showed me how to save money and said, “You know you’re paying your own way through college.” I go, “What’s college?” Dad didn’t have an education. Mom didn’t. It wasn’t something I heard about.
That’s a three attitude lesson at ten and I love the over-delivering. Now, you’ve gone through high school. Did you end up going to college? You’re twenty years old. What was going on with you at twenty? What was your attitude lesson at twenty?
At twenty, I’m going into graduate school and going to be a Doctor of Physiology. The head of physiology was helping NASA and teaching to create stuff. Dr. Alford Richardson was such a wow. I go hang out in his office and talk to him because he was endlessly brilliant but he looked like crap. He’d been burned by radiation because he didn’t know what would do it. He said, “You were going to see the smartest guy on the planet, Buckminster Fuller.” I go, “No Al, that’s you.” He said, “No, he’s a Senior Advisor in NASA. I’m just one of the Advisors to National Aeronautics and now I’m on the board of back to space. I’m keen on this stuff.” We go see Bucky and he says, “We’re going to talk about synergetics and cosmology.” He did ten things I’d never heard. He wowed my attitude. He woke me up to the fact that there is a universe and a world and then we could make the world work for 100% of humanity. I worked with him for seven years as a research assistant and it expanded my attitude.
The whole thought of this unending time-space. It’s amazing that we are just little specks of dust when it’s all said and done.
Two more things. One is I got to be with all the astronauts and I’m with General Dr. Scott Carpenter. I said, “I know I’m not supposed to ask this and be an ass but do you see any aliens?” When I was with Albert, meaning at Princeton, he said, “If they’re not in the universe, it’s a big lonely place.”
Let’s go to 30 years old. Do you remember being 30? What was going on with you? What was your attitude lesson at 30?
At 30, I’m starting to rock as a speaker. I’ve been bankrupt back at 26 and now a brand new thing hits called Century 21 and franchising. We’re talking to 5,000 people at a time.
I own three Century 21 offices in my history.
You know the story. It was Mike Ferry, me and Keith Green. Keith lives here in Arizona, where I live. We had a ball and then we did it here. We did all of Canada with Peter Thomas. Peter’s also a neighbor.
You and Mike Ferry grew Century 21 in California?
Mike Ferry and I trained Century 21. He’d beat on people if they didn’t do what he said. I was philosophical with them but Mike helped get me from New York to California. I’m very thankful to Mike. It turns out his kids are closer to me than the old man. He’s older by a few years.
What a small world. Unbelievable.
Century 21 was great and RE/MAX. All of them kept hiring me. Gary Keller will tell you that he started Keller Williams because of Mark Victor Hansen.
I need to get Gary on this show, that’s for sure because he sure was an innovator. Let’s get to age 40. Talk to me about what was going on at 40 for you and the attitude lesson there?
I’m reading all these self-help books and then Jack and I are on the same program with 6,000 people down in San Diego. Jack comes up and says, “Do you know me?” I said, “You’re Dr. Jack Canfield. You wrote 100 Ways to Enhance Self-Concept in the Classroom. He said, “How do you know all that?” I said, “I study our business. If nobody I don’t know, but I’m a good guy at work.” He said, “I’d take you to dinner.” We ended up we had a Vulcan mind, meld these, “Teach me how to do those stories that you do. We decided to do the book and it took us three years to figure out seven discernments but it changed our lives. There was no question about that. Both of us are thankful for everything that’s happened. There’s no way I can be thankful enough. We’ve won the book of the year Guinness Book of Records. I’ve been 59 times more than Jack because I’ve written more books than Jack. He did some other stuff.
It sounds like that attitude lesson is the power of a synergizing mentorship or masterminding at age 40.
I said that wrong. I’ve been number one New York Times, 59 times. I get too many numbers in my head.
It’s all good. I’d take four. We’re doing fine.
You can’t get it now because bookstores are closed by and large. They’re not selling books because they’re not paying their bills. They’re trying to pay the mortgage and the damn moles, this is the problem of where we’re at now.
It’s going to be an interesting peeling back of the onion to get people that own strip malls and commercial properties that are not collecting rent and the banks are holding the note. It’s going to be an interesting time. Let’s go to 50. When you were 50, did you have a 50th birthday party? Where were you? What was going on?
I never missed having a good birthday party and by then, I was paying for it. I brought out The Shirelles and they were wonderful. They brought us a birthday gift because no one would invite me to a Hollywood party, even though I lived in Newport Beach, California. I said, “I’ll have 500 people and they brought out The Temptations as a gift.”
What was your attitude lesson at 50?
I can dance all night with The Shirelles and The Temptations. We partied hard until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and loved every minute of it.
Now we’re getting closer. Tell me what was going on when you were 60 in your life. What was the attitude lessen?
I have a 60th birthday and Bob Allen comes. He says, “I’m going to write this book, The One Minute Millionaire, will you write for it?” I said, “I’d love to.” The next day, I’m flying to Vancouver to do a talk. He sits next to me and he says, “I want you to write the book with me.” He talked me into it. I won’t do it. If you’re going to read any book by me, it’s got to be unique. It’s got to be transformative. It’s got to be inevitable. It’s going to be life-changing. You’re going to talk to ten people about it. That’s why my book sells. That’s why we did this the first of three that we did together. The One Minute Millionaire is two books in one. On the left-hand, side it tells you why to be a millionaire. The right-hand side is a story that is captivating. If you read this, we start out with the world’s longest prologue, which we’re told we’re going to get a Guinness Book of Record. The Fable of McKayla, which my wife wrote. It’s beyond exciting.
It’s 70. Give our Gappers your message of hope, your message that will help them bridge the gap from who they are to who they want to become and the attitude lesson now for you.
I wrote a book with Art Linkletter called How To Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. He was 98 at the time. We should never retire from something to nothing. Go to something better, put on new tires, going in a new direction. Pivot, not that you shouldn’t golf. Not that you shouldn’t fish. Not that it would play pea knuckle, bridge or whatever it is you do. The fact is you’ve got to contribute because the Bible says in the beginning, God created it. You got two seizures. You’re supposed to create. You’re supposed to contribute and you’re supposed to do that every day of your life. Not go down and retire at 65 or quit at 40 because you made $1 million. If you think you’ve made a lot of money at $1 million, you need at least $10 million before you’re allowed to retire because you’re not even in the ballpark when you see at 1% interest that you’re not making the right and don’t expect our government to have any.
I’m real puff on seniors. I want you all to come back to work. I want you to teach everyone to learn how to read. The Millennials desperately need those of us that are senior. Teaching them free enterprise and how to read. In California, you graduate high school and you can’t pay us basic literacy. You ask them how many stars are there in the American flag. “I don’t know if it stops waving. I’ll count.” You got to know that. This is basic stuff.
Hopefully, you and I can partner on something in the future and bridge the gap from Millennial to senior citizen. I have some thoughts on that. If it’s okay, I may send you an email.
I agree with you. I’m sure already.
I’m thankful. We’re honored to have you. You’ve opened our eyes and hearts. You’ve helped us bridge the gap. Mark Victor Hansen, thank you for being on our show.
It’s my great pleasure. Thanks.
- Mark Victor Hansen
- Chicken Soup for the Soul
- The Power of Focus
- The Aladdin Factor
- Dare to Win
- How to be UP in Down Times
- Ask!: The Bridge from your Dreams to Your Destiny
- You Have a Book In You.
- Stand Up, Speak Out and Win!
- Natural Power Concepts
- The Miracle of Tithing
- Visualizing is Realizing
- 100 Ways to Enhance Self-Concept in the Classroom
- How To Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life
About Mark Victor Hansen
Mark Victor Hansen is probably best known as the co-author for the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and brand, setting world records in book sales, with over 500 millions books sold. Mark also worked his way into a worldwide spotlight as a sought-after keynote speaker, and entrepreneurial marketing maven, creating a stream of successful people who have created massive success for themselves through Mark’s unique teachings and wisdom. With his endearing charismatic style, Mark captures his audience’s attention as well as their hearts. Having spoken to over 6000 audiences world-wide with his one-of-a-kind technique and masterful authority of his work, time and again he continues to receive high accolades from his audiences as one of the most dynamic and compelling speakers and leaders of our time.