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For more than a quarter century, Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul (Health Communications), and Robert G. Allen, author of Nothing Down for the 90s (Simon and Schuster), have delivered powerful messages of possibility and action that have helped create startling change for thousands of entrepreneurs. Their books and associated series have been published in 39 languages and have sold more than 85 million copies. Their new collaborative work, The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth (Harmony Books), is already a bestseller.
To help even more business owners achieve their dreams, Entrepreneur recently had a conversation with Hansen and Allen about their three secrets to success.
Your first secret
is, "One must have a great, big dream, big enough to include a
lot of other people." What does it mean to include other
people in your "big dream"?
Mark Victor Hansen: Your dream is a big, audacious goal where no one is worse off because of it.
Robert G. Allen: It scares you, because you know you can't do it by yourself. It forces you to push the envelope of your own beliefs and get massively creative.
Hansen: It scares and excites you at the same time!
Allen: Someone should be able to pull this off-and you realize, "Uh oh, it's me!"
How does a dreamer
Allen: It starts by defining, What is my mission in life? When I'm wealthy, what will I give to? You set that as your goal.
Hansen: Your mission opens up a positive attitude and the abundance the universe [has to] offer. It starts with the spiritual inside that allows you to tough it out.
When I work with
people to achieve their dreams, I begin by having them define their
Hansen: We agree with you. The intangible creates the tangible. The young entrepreneur has the ambition, imagination . . .
Allen: Desire, goals, passion-all that is intangible.
Hansen: But that turns into tangible-money, results, success and a profitable business.
How can a person
discover his or her big dream?
Hansen: Have someone ask you the same question 50 times: "What is God's destiny for you?" For the first time in a person's life, they get clear.
Allen: Then refine your vision by discovering the genius that resides in each of us. Have someone ask you: What are you passionate about? What are your talents? What is important to you? What do you think you are supposed to be doing on this planet? The answers will uncover a common thread. This is the area you ought to be spending more time on-your genius! Then ask, What is the million-dollar idea that fits with my genius?
entrepreneurs are scared to talk about their big dreams. Should we
tell others about our intent?
Hansen: Absolutely! Your intent is your guidance system to get you from here to there.
Allen: Walk into your vision by sharing it with others. This is what inspires you to go through the tough times.
Do I start out small
or go for my big dream right away?
Hansen: Little shots or big shots-start at the level you are at.
Allen: Find a little dream you can achieve, and learn from experience. Then grow a big company.
What if I don't
have experience? Should I go for it anyway?
Hansen: Yes! Other people with expertise can help you. You need to orchestrate the vision. Brian Epstein couldn't play any instruments, but he made the Beatles the biggest band in the world.
Any suggestions on
how to stay motivated to achieve a big dream?
Allen: If you need help to stay motivated, you haven't found your authentic big dream.
How to Have an Everlasting Revenue Flow
Your second secret
is, "Build a superlative dream team with superstars in four
categories: Creatives, Advancers, Refiners and Executers." Do
I need all four people to start?
Hansen: You need two to start. People have one dominant and one recessive style-you can test yourself here. You need to complement your weaknesses.
Allen: A Creative and [an] Advancer usually get together to start. Don't let a Refiner in at the beginning. They will punch a hole in your balloon, and you may not be able to say, "Good, go away, we will discover a way to make it happen and get back to you."
You need to build
confidence first. Who must be on the team in the beginning to
Hansen: The visionary. When Jack Canfield and I did Chicken Soup for the Soul, he said, "I don't know if we are going to sell one or a million." I said, "Let me run the show because I know it will sell more than a million."
Allen: Everything flows from vision, but you will be as weak as your weakest link. Eventually, you need a complete team, or you'll be slowed down.
How do I get a
superstar on my team?
Hansen: You can easily create a virtual team full of superstars. Thirty years ago, when I was bankrupt, I had Walt Disney; Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich [Ballantine Publishing Group]; and John F. Kennedy on my team, because I read their books and interviews.
And when you take
action and prove you can build your dream, others will be inspired
Allen: If you are doing it, then you are ready to be mentored.
Hansen: Find the one person to push it to reality.
Allen: You can also go to your most influential contacts and ask them for potential team members.
What are some unique
ways to contact superstars?
Allen: Help them achieve their top three goals, and they will be willing to help you. Do something unique-find out what your mentor's favorite charities are, and get involved in raising money for them.
It goes back to
benefiting others. How do I thank superstars who help
Hansen: There is the tangible-cash and options. Do something that people normally wouldn't do for themselves-take them on a shopping spree, or buy them a massage.
Allen: It's usually not money. Show them that you've used their advice to create incredible success for yourself, and agree to mentor someone just like they did you.
Your third secret
is: "You've got to create multiple streams of income so
you have an everlasting flow of revenue." What are multiple
streams of income?
Hansen: Culture teaches us to get jobs, keeping us one step from being rich. I want people to get their MBAs: massive bank accounts. There are four areas where most people make their money: real estate, infopreneuring, the Web and their own businesses. Discover ways to create residual income in each one of these areas.
Allen: Create products that bring in money when you are not there. For example, using infopreneuring-a hybrid of information and entrepreneur-we market and sell books, seminars and other licensed products that contain our information and others' [information].
If my business only
produces one stream of income, what is the first step I should take
to create multiple streams of income?
Hansen: Write down what is going on in your fantasy world. What is the goal you want to achieve? Define the business areas you want to start and how you can make them a reality. Then use your dream team and other experts to poke holes in your ideas to discover what will work.
Allen: Read my book, Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth [John Wiley and Sons], for other ideas.
How do I figure out
which idea will produce the best results, especially if I do not
have the money to hire experts or develop new
Allen: I don't believe in spending lots of money to launch a new idea. You don't need money-you just need a great idea.
Hansen: Taking nothing and finding a way to create something is the perfect way to start. Get your team together, and ask how you can implement your dream. Bounce your idea off other business owners; you will discover new ways.
Allen: Start with the idea you are the most interested in. It's the one that you are probably destined to do anyway.
How long should I
expect an income stream to last?
Allen: Good question. If it's free and clear, real estate lasts the rest of your life and beyond. If it's generic information, you can market it for 20 years or more. If it's a product, three to five years.
How do I motivate
customers to keep purchasing my products or services?
Hansen: This is the entrepreneur's greatest challenge-continually finding new customers while keeping the old ones. Create ways to constantly improve the deal by discovering what people want and how you can deliver it to them.
Allen: Add a bonus that is more valuable than the product itself, and give that bonus for free.
One last question:
Can we create "everlasting flows of income"?
Allen: Absolutely! Money in a bank, a savings account or a Treasury bill can generate endless cash flow.
Hansen: Constantly find new ways to give it away and help everyone. It will come back to you multiple times.
- Creatives or Hares: They are idea people who think randomly. They love to come up with ideas. They usually get bored with the ideas once they've thought them through.
- Advancers or Owls: They love to prioritize and plan a strategy for success. When you give them an idea, they instantly tell you the next steps to take to make it happen. They are go-getters who like to make connections.
- Refiners or Turtles: They believe that slow and steady wins the race. They are great at pointing out problems and seeing around corners in order to know what might go wrong.
- Executers or Squirrels: These detail-oriented people are great at step-by-step work. They think and act in a methodical, logical way. They keep things organized and running smoothly.