Stretch the Mind

When Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen decided to write Chicken Soup for the Soul, they had a big dream. Theirs was to be a book that would change millions of lives. The plan was to sell 150, 000 copies the first year and a million copies by the end of the following year.

They were thinking number one on the bestseller lists from the very beginning. They wanted to touch as many lives as possible ­- to make a big difference in the world.

Their corporate mission statement is to inspire and empower people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy. Through the Chicken Soup for the Soul books they wanted to heal and change the world one story at a time. According to them “It was a big dream.”

And so it was a big shock when more than 140 publishers rejected the book. Their agent had to return the book saying “I can’t sell it” after it was rejected by every major publisher in New York and San Francisco. They took more than a hundred copies of the book proposal to the American Booksellers Association Convention that year and walked from booth to booth for over two days asking publishers, “Would you publish our book? Would you publish our book?”

What did they get? One no after another. Finally, toward the end of the second day, a publisher said, “We’ll read it on the airplane home and get back to you.” A week later they agreed to publish the book. The rest is history. If you have not read any Chicken Soup for the Soul book, go grab a copy now.

After selling 50 million copies of their books, they decided to make the dream bigger. They created “2020 Vision” – to sell one billion Chicken Soup for the Soul books worldwide and raise 500 million dollars for charity by the year 2020. With more than 70 titles and more than 90 million copies sold in 39 languages, and about 4 million dollars contributed to charity, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are really getting close to their dream.

Few years ago, they set a goal of selling one million books in one day. According to them “The main purpose was just to stretch the mind. To realize the dream of selling one billion books by 2020, something different had to be done.

According to Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen “We have learned that as soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, not only will your creative mind come up with big ideas to make it happen, you will also start attracting the people you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big dreams inspire you and others to want to play all out. So let your dreams be as big as you want them to be.”

What if Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen had given up after the 100th rejection? They hate to think about it. I too.

What will be your story?

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