Do you sometimes wonder if all the hours you spend in front of your monitor are worth it? If so, I have encouraging words for you. I recently listened to an interview with Jack Canfield, Co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul Anthology Series. More than 115 million of these books have been sold and the series has had seven books on the New York Times Best Seller list at one time. Hard to believe that Mr. Canfield’s idea received 144 rejections before the first book was sold. He started his career as a teacher and discovered the joy of inspiring and motivating young people to pursue their dreams. His desire to help people led him into corporations where he coached executives in leadership. He was nervous about expanding his boundaries outside the classroom until someone told him to think of his audience as a bunch of kids with suits on.
Would you like to know how to get from where you are to where you want to be? Here are twelve tips from Mr. Canfield:
- Be a giver.
- Want the best for your readers.
- Identify each book with a charity, designating a percentage of the sales to go to the charity. It is hard to give without getting something back. Mr. Canfield said the charities often call to ask how they can help him sell more books.
- Give away chapters. Submit articles.
- Give free talks. When Mr. Canfield did this, corporations called to invite him to coach their employees for good pay.
- Give away books. One year Mr. Canfield gave away 2,500 copies of a book and received a hundred fold in return.
- Become a joiner. Get out. Get involved. Go to fundraisers.
- Network with other writers, editors and professionals. Develop your own network.
- Volunteer your time in the community. Get on the radio.
- Believe in yourself. Believe what you have to offer is valuable.
- Be passionate about what you do. When people ask Mr. Canfield what he’s doing he says, “I’m writing a best seller.” He not only believes it; he makes it happen.
- Mr. Canfield spends ten percent of his time writing and 90% of his time marketing. This is hard for us writer souls to digest, but who knows what we might accomplish if we do. Although Mr. Canfield is passionate about helping people, he has an income of $8 million a year.