Author and motivational speaker Jack Canfield is in India to promote his book, 'The Principles of Success'. He is also holding seminars in Mumbai and Bangalore. Some prominent names of the corporate world are expected to attend these sessions. CNN-IBN's Kajal Iyer caught up with the author to decode his success mantra.
Kajal: We have with us the creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series Mr Jack Canfield. Some of you may recognise him from the motivational video 'Secret'. Welcome Mr Canfield. Sir, your books have been an international success. In fact an Indian series has been spawned off because of the success. Did you ever expect that the books would be such a success and what is the inspiration behind starting this series?
Jack: Well, to answer in the order that's backwards, I was giving motivational speeches across the country to teachers and to corporates and people would constantly come up to me and ask that story you told about this and that story you told about that... is it there in a book and I would always say no and one day I realised gosh, people are asking me to put this into a book. So that was the inspiration behind it. When we did the first book, we put at the back of the book, if you have a story, send it in, maybe we will do a sequel. People started sending in 500 stories a day, it just overwhelmed us. So we did a first serving, a second helping, a third course, you know Chicken Soup for the Soul!
And then people started suggesting niche books. What about a book for teenagers, what about books for women, what about books for sports lovers? We always intended once we saw what was happening to sell a lot of books and impact a lot of lives, but it has far surpassed anything we ever imagined. However, about five years into i,t we set a target to sell a billion books in 2020. We just found out we sold our 500 millionth book in China, so we are half way there. So yeah in the beginning we didn't think it would be so phenomenal, but later when we saw what happened we thought that maybe this could be something that makes a difference in the world.
Kajal: You have also been part of the runaway hit video 'The Secret'. Tell us something about that experience.
Jack: You know, I was almost not there in that movie. It's funny because they wanted to film it at this conference I was putting on and I said you can't interrupt everyone and disturb everything and so you can't come. And then at night I was meditating and I had this download that you better say yes. So I called Rhonda Byrne's people back and said why don't we do it. Millions and millions of copies of the movie are all around the world now and they say over a billion people have actually seen the movie and I am so glad I said yes and got to be part of it. It's definitely made a difference in my career as well.
Kajal: The world economy is going through a rough patch. What would you tell people who want to achieve their dreams despite all the negative news flying around?
Jack: Well, negative news is just negative news; basically I teach people don't let the external world, tell you what's possible. If you have a dream, your job is to pursue that dream no matter what's going on in the world. The economy is starting to shift and we always know that anything that goes down always comes back up and what goes up eventually comes down again. No matter what's going on you can be training, learning, developing, studying, connecting with people, honing your skills as the opportunity will begin to rise again, you can take advantage of that. But even so I read a sign once - I heard there is recession, I decided not to participate. So the idea is even in this low economy times, a lot of people are doing very, very well. So there is no reason you can't be one of those people.
Kajal: Also, official data in India suggests that a lot of people in India are self employed. In your experience with Indians abroad and the limited experience you have had with Indians here, what have you noticed about Indian entrepreneurship?
Jack: I think Indian entrepreneurship is very vital and very alive. You know I have been to countries like Oman where there are as many Indians as probably Omanis, and inevitably, the Indians are more successful. They work hard, they are entrepreneurial, and they understand the importance of standards and doing things excellently and so forth. And I have seen that pretty much everywhere. I came from Dubai and I saw the same thing there, there is a tremendous amount of Indian entrepreneurship, so I see that happening all over the world.
Kajal: Sir, final question, what is your message to India?
Jack: My message to India is my message to anyone in the world. If you have a dream in your heart and you totally believe in it and you are willing to do whatever it takes for it, learn what you have to learn, connect with the people you need to connect with, find mentors, take action, take risks, do whatever it is and not give up. You know my first Chicken Soup for the Soul book was rejected by 140 publishers, over the course of 18 months. If we had given up at the first rejection or the 100th rejection, I wouldn't be here before you. So if something is important to you, keep on keeping on, no matter what. And really, India is a wonderful country with tremendous potential and we can see a rising power in the world and everybody no matter what you are dealing with, you can take your life to the next level if you learn the principles of success and apply them.