Can your story change the world? If you still have doubts that it can, tune in because today, your perception is about to change! In this episode, Michael sits with our first celebrity guest: the co-author of the International Best-seller, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Mark Victor Hansen. What do we know about the man behind this successful book? In this episode, Mark shares his ups and downs, insider tips, writing secrets, and priceless wisdom. Mark also talks about the 3 structures and 3 principles to follow to make your book stand out, the significance of speaking & reading to your writership and book launch, how to get others to speak about your book, health tips for better writing, and how to become a better storyteller. Writing is not easy and neither is life. But if you can make life easier and happier for the people who will read your book, you have every reason to write that next best-seller!


“Books transform lives. Your books will do it.” -Mark Victor Hansen



  • 02:11 The Question of Asking
  • 08:18 Writing Secrets For First Time Writers
  • 12:23 Can Your Story Change the World
  • 19:57 Mark’s Insider Tips & Wisdom
  • 23:20 How to Get Others To Talk About Your Book 
  • 32:46 Better Health For Better Writing
  • 35:52 How To Be A Better Storyteller



Books by Mark Victor Hansen 

  1. Ask!: The Bridge From Your Dreams to Your Destiny by Mark Victor Hansen (BUY 100 COPIES NOW and GET ACCESS TO AWESOME BONUSES & A DINNER AT MARK’s HOUSE) 
  2. How to be UP in Down Times by Mark Victor Hansen (GET YOUR FREE COPY) 
  3. The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth by Mark Victor Hansen, et al.
  4. You Have a Book in You: Make Money with YOUR Story by Mark Victor Hansen
  5. How to Make the Rest of Your Life Better by Mark Victor Hansen and Art Linkletter


Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall



Been wanting to write your book but still can’t get it to completion? Tune in as @MichaelButlerSr and Chicken Soup for the Soul co-author, @MarkVHansen share writing secrets, insider tips, and inspiring stories! #ThePublisher #Podcast… Click To Tweet

Inspirational Quotes:

  • “The difference between somebody who succeeds and somebody who fails, is based on one thing only- the ability to become a Master Asker.” -Mark Victor Hansen
  •  “The only way to break through is, we individually and then collectively ask.”  -Mark Victor Hansen
  • “If you want massive success, you have to take massive, wide action right now.”   -Mark Victor Hansen
  • “It’s your obligation, it’s your duty, it’s your responsibility to stand up, speak up.’  -Mark Victor Hansen
  • “Books transform lives. Your books will do it.” -Mark Victor Hansen


Mark Victor Hansen with Michael D. Butler

Mark Victor Hansen with Michael D. Butler

Mark Victor Hansen is widely known as the co-author of the International Best Selling book, Chicken Soup for the Soul. But behind this massive success is a massive load of disappointments, heartaches, and failures. Mark has been through 140 turn downs, wrecking divorce, bankruptcy, and a whole lot of setbacks like a normal person. Through all these, Mark chose to be a “victor” and now he’s named 59-time bestselling author and now half-way to selling a billion books! 

BUY 100 COPIES OF MARK’S BOOK: Ask!: The Bridge From Your Dreams to Your Destiny by Mark Victor Hansen 




Michael Butler:Hey friends, welcome back to the show. Our guest today, Mark Victor Hansen. You probably know him as the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Mark, I think you’ve been on The New York Times Best Seller list 59 times, is that right?

Mark Victor Hansen:Yeah. Number one 59 times is one of my Guinness Book of records. I’m very honored that I have sold half a billion books and nonfiction, and my goal is to sell a billion and no one’s done it. But then no one ran a four minute mile, either Roger Bannister broke through and then 119 people did it in the next week, so I hope to break through.

Michael Butler:I just love your attitude. Having lunch with you and Crystal recently, your new book Ask!, and I’m so excited to ask you about Ask! because you have some amazing stories in here. You talk about asking yourself, asking God and asking others. I want to dive right here in a minute, but how powerful is this concept of asking?

“The only way to break through is, we individually and then collectively ask.” -Mark Victor Hansen Click To Tweet

Mark Victor Hansen:The first of all, Crystal and I have been to 80 countries around the world, talk to 7 million people. What is astounding is you meet nice people, qualified people, educated people, personable people, likable people, but the difference between somebody who succeeds and somebody who fails in our estimation based on everything is one thing only, that is the ability to become what we now call a Master Asker like you are, and I’m thankful to say like I am. And then we wrote everything we knew to get us out of the do everytime in our life is asking. And then we checked it out at Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford, and it’s true. And then we interviewed the 26 bask askers and every one of them had the same thing to say, asking them for where they wanted to be to their destiny and everybody’s got a destiny. We got so many people so shut down right now with this nonsense going on in the world because there isn’t one war, there’s five wars, you and I talked about at lunch. And we got to breakthrough. And the only way to breakthrough is we individually and then collectively ASK. Too much answer.

“The difference between somebody who succeeds and somebody who fails, is based on one thing only- the ability to become a Master Asker.” -Mark Victor Hansen Click To Tweet

Michael Butler:I love what you and Crystal decided to do in March when the lockdown and the pandemic happened, you said, we want to speak to 100 million people around the world about our new book Ask! between now and Christmas. I know you’re well on your way here now, but you learn a tremendous work ethic from your father. You talk about being the number one greeting card, a salesperson as a child, tell me about that. What is the work ethic you learn from your father? Also saving money, because you’ve had this relationship with money. Yeah, you’ve sold a lot of books, but you and crystal are involved in energy and other things so tell me about how you got started.

Mark Victor Hansen:First of all, thank you very much. My parents were Danish immigrants, as you know. My uncle has created the Black Band to take all the Jews out of Germany into Denmark. He’s 14 years older than my dad, and my dad kissed his cheek and said here’s a hundred dollar bill and a passport, you’re going to America, Hitler’s got a hundred thousand dollar hit on everybody in the family, you’re outta here. I’ll never see you again, and come in here with no English, no friends, nothing. And making it and being a Danish baker that worked 18 hours a day, I mean, it was just some only model that he knew so he said, I provide a roof over your head, you guys get to do the rest. So starting at nine, I had to pay for everything for myself. I had one pair of blue jeans that got washed on Monday and Thursday and that was it. I said, I don’t know for sure. I said, I’m going to be a white glove guy like Michael. I’m not sure what one of those guys is, but I want it. On the bicycle, I had a picture on a wall ride, a wheel on Sheffield Steel. And in today’s dollars it’s like 4,700, like a Trek, it’s a real bike, a low handlebar racing bicycle that was not available in America yet. I knew where I wanted to get it up in Kenosha, which is having troubles today. But I read boys got like, I’m a great boy scout. And I said, yeah. So I sold greeting cards and consignment, I said, I can do that. I looked it up my little Funk & Wagnalls dictionaries and sure enough, I sold more than anyone else. I went up to all the neighbors, most of them were women. I lived in a little Denmark, a lot of new me. And my mom was a great saleswoman, she told me what to do, smiled and said, I’m earning on a bicycle. Would you like to invest in one box Christmas card or two? And if I came to your door and did that, I was a cute little nine year old freezing my butt off in deep snow. What would you say Michael?

Michael Butler:I would say, yeah. Sign us up, and let’s grab some family members. We’d gather around and do some hot cocoa and cookies.

Mark Victor Hansen:That’s why I love your attitude. And we’ve loved each other since we met a couple of times now. Anyhow, great fun tuxedos. So anyhow, I sold a lot then, got in school, got under the energy orbit of the wisest man of the planet, Buckminster Fuller Einstein best students, tried to be him, screwed that up and then started–

Michael Butler:You about him in the book Ask!, and I’ve heard you talk about him many times, I want to dive deep into him, I want to dive deep into Jim Stoval, I want to dive deep into Bob Proctor because of your mentors, you talk a lot about your mentors. I mean, just you picturing that bike as a kid, you learn some entrepreneurial things from your father, like Think and Grow Rich. And then I know you’re a man of faith. You read the Bible. I just saw your Psalms 91 video by the pool, you’re telling people to visualize it and ask for it and they can have it. I think that’s so powerful.

Mark Victor Hansen:By the way, I got to do just that, because you just brought up the Bible and I think we need more faith now than ever before. So I’m doing a lot of work in churches again but my publisher said, you’ll never sell the Bible. And I said, no, no, no, no. We’re going to do a Chicken Soup for the Soul Bible. And he said, you’re not. So I had to go to another publisher–

Michael Butler:You would have done that one for your head, you approached us, I can assure you.

Mark Victor Hansen:Listen, I would have gladly brought it to you and you’d be still selling it. I did little stories, getting the big stories and in purple because I didn’t, you know, I grew up and feel thundering, throwing a Bible of people and–

Michael Butler:I love your purple, it goes good with our colors here.

Mark Victor Hansen:Yeah, exactly. I mean, purple is God’s highest color. [inaudible] is 70,000 a week of these at Walmart.

Michael Butler:You can buy a bike now. You can buy a bicycle and a few other things.

Mark Victor Hansen:When you come to our house, which when you were here and we didn’t have time to go to our home, but we’ve got a glorious big home with giant windows, and we’re at the top of the Dome Mountain here in Scottsdale, Arizona. But I’ll take you biking.

Michael Butler:love that, I love that. You know what? I love the heat. I’ve lived in the desert. I know you and Crystal loved the heat. And that’s one thing I want to talk to you too, about writing secrets because we’re on the Publisher Podcast, and let me welcome everybody back. Welcome back to the Publisher Podcast: Launch your book. Because to sell 5,000 books, you need your own show. Our guest today, Mark Victor Hansen. We’re having an enlightening and exciting conversation, Mark. I want to know what are some of your writing secrets? When are your best times of day to write? What have you learned in so many years? Because I know you’re a speed reader, you love to read. And specifically writing secrets for new writers, what are some tips you can share?

Mark Victor Hansen:Well, first of all, I got to figure out what do you want to write more than anything else? I say, you start with a bestselling title. Like Chicken Soup for the Soul was what your grandma or mom gave you and it gave you God bumps, goosebumps, chilly bumps. And I wrote seven discernments of, here’s what the highway, here’s what the curves look like. It had to cause those God bumps, goosebumps, chilly bumps. Number two, it had a cause instantaneous behavior change. Number three, it had to change your perception. And if you’ll write that kind of structure, writing becomes easy.

Michael Butler:Like The One Minute Millionaire, you hit gold with The One Minute Millionaire.

Mark Victor Hansen:Right. And the other thing about what you’re saying is, I believe books gotta be three principles. Number one, they gotta be unique, and I try to be unique up on people. Number two, they gotta be transformative to the reader. And number three, it’s gotta be inevitable that everyone’s got to have it. So like The One Minute Millionaire, we did it as a, I got it behind me, do you want me–

Michael Butler:Yeah, you do, I see it right here. In fact, it’s purple.

Mark Victor Hansen:Like I said, this is my corporate colors. And sort of to show you my whole library, 50,000 books are here. But like he said, I read a lot.

Michael Butler:We want a tour next time.

Mark Victor Hansen:Yeah. We say, you can’t look at a caterpillar and predict butterflies. And right now the world, 8 billion of us are in a cocoon, and we’ve gotta use that cocoon in the right way by asking who we are, where we can go, what we can write that is unique. And then, you know, the butterfly is a universal symbol of freedom. I’m saying 8 billion of us are concurrently in a cocoon, but we’re going to get out of this cocoon and get to high flight. You say, well, what do you do differently? Well, this is two books in one. It’s half intellect, the left hand side tells you how to think of the 24 principles, the right hand side is a little story that takes you through it. Can you see the butterfly here?

Michael Butler:It’s powerful, yeah. Absolutely.

Mark Victor Hansen:And by the time you get to the end of the book, you’re flown to freedom. Like you were asking about podcasts, we’d been in like 70 or 80 podcasts, which is amazing. I’m even on four more yet this afternoon in Australia because you’re trying to help me turn on a whole country.

Michael Butler:Yeah, you start in Europe, then you end up in Australia. You just kind of go with the time zone and try to check out two hours to take a nap, I guess?

Mark Victor Hansen:I wish I had to take a nap. Today, there’s eight podcasts.

Michael Butler:I want to talk about that. Because when people were telling you, you were knocking on publisher’s doors, and you and Jack and Chicken Soup as a case study, and people were saying hit the road, Jack. And you were saying, Hey, I’m an okay guy. Talk to me. Getting turned down by 140 publishers, that’s a lot of rejection. How do you keep believing in yourself, pounding on the door and making something happen when you get that kind of rejection?

Mark Victor Hansen:Two questions there. Number one, we got rejected 144 times and then our agent fired us, which would cost them at least 15 million loss commission, which she’s made a mistake. And sort of all those publishers, which you’ve been to BookExpo America–

Michael Butler:Oh, yeah.

Mark Victor Hansen:Some of those guys come and say, I made a mistake I didn’t believe in you guys. And then the world’s greatest movie maker, who’s back and making a lot of movies, Peter Guber, who we interviewed in this thing, Ask!, He did all the movies from Batman, the Rain Man. I was sitting with him at dinner and I said: “What’d you do?” And he said: “Well, today, I bought a little sports team.” I said: “Really? Peter, what’d you buy?” He said: “Well, I bought the Golden State Warriors.” And I came out of poverty. So when you set the number, I just about choked on my little food. He said, 170 million, now, it’s worth 3.8 billion like eight years later. If you go online and watch Peter Guber, the world’s greatest movie maker ever, made more billions than anyone interviewing me, and he says: “I love Mark because he thinks he’s so dyslexic that he thinks NO means ON.”

Michael Butler:I love that about you, Mark, it’s a powerful thing. You learn something knocking on those doors in Wisconsin in the cold because you wanted that bike so bad, and you knew you were changing lives and that’s what you’re doing with Chicken Soup. I got to say, it’s been a fun case study. But what advice would you give a new author that just, they’re trying to believe if their story can change the world and if it really matters, what would you say to them?

Mark Victor Hansen:Well, first of all, EVERYBODY, a hundred percent of us have a story. I’ve never met anyone without a chicken soup story, a real story to share. And number two, I’d take what we’re seeing in Ask! is, ask yourself, ask others, ask God, but ask God, here’s the way to do it. 400 times or 120 times before you go to sleep, say, God, what’s your destiny for me? God, what’s your destiny for me? But you’ve gotta be ready in the middle of the night. And you know, I’m a great journaler. I’ve got 50 years of journals here.

Michael Butler:And I think you keep every journal you’ve ever done, right?

Mark Victor Hansen:Yeah. Oh, gosh. Yeah. And I go back and write stuff. I highlight my own journals. I go, well, how profound that I’m gonna use that in my quote today. But be ready to write and tell your spouse or your sweetheart. Hey, I’m sorry, but I’m going to be waking up in the middle of the night. If Mark’s tells the truth, God’s going to give it a go. Wake up yo-yo brain, it’s time to write this down. But widened and detail, whatever he or she tells you, the mother God, female, because I think God’s androgynous, God’s all spirit, right?

Michael Butler:Yeah. Capture that moment. If you doze back off, you’re going to lose that moment and that idea.

Mark Victor Hansen:And you’ll forget it, so it’s critical. The next that I did when we came up with it, we said, we’d do that, it’s called a thought command, Napoleon Hill’s used and he said: “You can’t do this book called, how to make a boodle with your noodle, it isn’t going to sell. Come up with a title or on goal with it.” And he did the same thing and came up–

Michael Butler:Think and Grow Rich.

Mark Victor Hansen:Call this publisher at 2:00 o’clock in the morning and said, Hey, I got the title Think and Grow Rich. And he said: “No.” Now, I’m going to stay up all night. And you know, it sold a hundred million–

Michael Butler:Your mutual friend, Ben [inaudible] told him, I’m glad you didn’t name it, work and grow rich. You named it Think and Grow Rich. And you know, Ben’s a good friend of ours. I want you to tell us a little more about speaking. Mark, I know you do a lot of speaking right now. You’re in the middle of this marathon on Zoom 24/7 with Crystal, A, how did speaking initially launch Chicken Soup for the Soul? Because it was pre-internet, a lot of people are saying, woe is me. Everybody else is launching their book the same month I am, but you guys actually launched pre-internet. What would you say has speaking made a difference in your book launch effectiveness.

Mark Victor Hansen:A hundred percent. You know, I went bankrupt 74, wanted to become a speaker, a guy named Chip Collins taught me how I joined, I’m a Seminole original founding member of NSA. Won $500 with serious money and 74 for me. I’m just coming out of bankruptcy and Kevin says, give me 500 bucks. He was a hundred millionaire. What do you want with that? He said: “You’re going to join NSA and be a founding member.” But I learned how to speak and I did, only Tony Robbins, and I remember, I think if you want massive success, you’ve got to take massive wide action right now. And Tony and I did a thousand talks a year. We didn’t know each other. He’s 10 years younger than I am, but we know each other well now. But for the first three years, and the same thing, no, I can’t do podcasts like you. Yeah, you can. In America today, there’s 2 million podcasts. People in America are so mad at the news media. You and I talked about it, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, everything. 15 minutes a day as most of you ought to think. 2 million podcasts beyond the average Americans listening seven and a half hours a week, they already are your audience. The way you need to look at a podcast is, do you have any idea how many people are gonna watch this? You have a ballpark number of–

“If you want massive success, you have to take massive, wide action right now.” -Mark Victor Hansen Click To Tweet

Michael Butler:Yeah, 15 to 20,000.

Mark Victor Hansen:Okay, so 20,000. Ladies and gentlemen, what Jack and I were talking about, yes, I’ve talked to 38,000 live at a time and I signed autographs 12 and half hours. But 20,000 people, that’s like a giant audience, but you’re doing 20,000 one at a time. So whatever Michael wants, his audience is my audience. We’re a like-mind we, I hope I’m not going too far with that, but–

Michael Butler:No, you’re fine, dive in.

Mark Victor Hansen:We have the same spirit, we’re the same kin rethinking that everyone’s got infinite potential in them. And books like that and books like, I got all my books sitting here. I wrote a book called, you have a book and you go get it anywhere, any bookstore or Amazon just like Ask!. And what we want to do is we want you to find the greatness in you. The Bible says, there’s seeds of greatness in each and every one of us. And once you find it, you literally get under the favor of God. You say, well, it’s easy for you to say that. No, no. I went bankrupt. I got divorced. I’ve had all the same problems. I’ve had all the hiccups in life that you have, except you decide either you’re going to be a victim, my middle name’s Victor, of course. When I ran for leadership, it was always Mark Victor Hansen. And thank God, they liked me enough that I won most of the time.

Michael Butler:Well, tell me about your reading habits. So obviously, speaking has been a big catapult for you. You’re doing this major marathon until Christmas, speaking to a hundred million people. And then I want you to go into what you’re offering now, because I know what you’ve been offering since March is pre-buy the book Ask! by 50 or 100 copies and they get access to all your bonuses and things like that. So you encourage people–

Mark Victor Hansen:If they buy a hundred notes at reception of market trends, they get to come to a free dinner at our house, which obviously you can do anytime. But the point is we have a big house, we’ve done a bunch of fundraisers here for great things and we want everyone to come and I’ll bring all the top authors in Arizona out because I really, and here’s what happened. We were on, I think you’ve been on Scott Carson’s big podcast. On multiple occasions Scott said, look, everybody, everyone knows somebody depressed, despondent, disconsolate, ready and suicidal because of this craziness we’re going through, which we don’t have to particularly go through, and I can talk through that if you want. But he said, I want you to buy 10 of these books, and I want you to give them out to those people and it’ll change their lives. And I promise you, the karmic feedback loop will be wonderful. And then next week, we got 121 letters in one day. Crystal says, I don’t have time to read these. But these people are not committing suicide, they’re feeling better. Remember the three things, unique, transformational, inevitable. Because when you’re feeling so despondent, what they do is they start reading the questions to their husband, or wife, or business partners, or pastor because it breaks my heart, I don’t know why. Here in Texas, our churches are not allowed to be open right now because the governor is not seeing it.

Michael Butler:Yeah, it’s happening all over the world. There’s a scripture I think it’s in Psalms or Isaiah that you can wait morning by morning, that God’s going to give you the wisdom and the tongue of the learn, and that is where God is actually going to give you an idea of thought, one of those God winks in the middle of the night that wakes you up, you’re going to write it down and that word is going to change somebody’s life. Because words are powerful. It’s like a pebble that starts a ripple and it goes on. And what you’ve done is you’ve got into that creative mode to change people’s lives. You’ve been there, I’ve been there. I’ve been through divorce. I’ve been through bankruptcy. I know what it’s like to feel that pain, to have that hurt and to start over. You didn’t have too big of an ego to start over. Somebody said, your ego is not your amigo if you say I need help, and that’s what I love about this book. So in the notes, guys, in the show notes here on the Publisher Podcast: Launch your book, in the show notes, I want you to go buy 100 copies of this book right now. Because what it’s going to do, you’re going to pay this book forward and it’s going to change somebody’s life. If you’re in the insurance business, you need to give one of these to every one of your agents. If you’re in sales, if you’re in a car dealership, in financial services, if you give these to every one of your agents, it’s going to exponentially add some zeros to the end of your bottom line if we’re coming up on the end of the year. So what advice would you give to an author that’s launching and writing a book right now, Mark.

Mark Victor Hansen:First of all, do it. Because other than you, most publishers are saying, Mark, I don’t know if you understand this, but the bookstores aren’t paying their bills so we’re not going to get your book in the bookstore. So look, you’re going to go to Amazon, and you’re going to go through, there’s some new vehicles coming out that you and I know about, you to talk about your–

Michael Butler:We’re going to share some of the show notes and we’ll let everybody that follows the Publisher Podcasts are going to find out first. Then I also want you to share how people can find you and follow you because I know you and Crystal have got some insider information and emails you can send out to your followers.

Mark Victor Hansen:Absolutely. But I want everyone to understand, when our publisher came to us, we’re launching the book on April 28th and he said: “You can push it back.” And I said: “No, no, no, no, no, no. I don’t want to fight politics. Let me do it my way.” Because I think every one of us has got to understand the whole story of [inaudible]. What you meant for my harm, God meant for my good. You got to take adversity and turn into advantage. Take disadvantage and find the silver lining. Napoleon Hill says: “Every problem is a seed of equivalent or greater benefit in it.” Ladies and gentlemen, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be doing these podcasts. Forgive me for bragging a little bit, but in one day just a week ago, we started out with two in America, one in Canada, one in the UK, now we did 10 million people in Vietnam. And if you told me that Vietnam would work, I mean, I’ve been to Vietnam twice, it made me 75 grand talk. My book, this book is number one in Vietnam right now because I’m trying to keep a communist country, the etiology, and I call it idiology is communism which is atheism, which I’m not okay with because I think there’s one God and all of us need, under whatever name needs it, but this is the number one best selling book there. Now, if you’d told me that my book would go to a communist country and be number one, and we’re going to prevent China from going in–

Michael Butler:That’s powerful.

Mark Victor Hansen:Yeah, they took over Tibet and killed a million people taking over Hong Kong, they’re trying to take over Taiwan. As a patriotic American, I see every one of you can’t allow that to happen. Okay, we need to be strong, and we need freedom for all.

Michael Butler:This is a powerful God given, right? You struck on a chord here because every country is just one vote, and one idea, and one book away from totalitarianism and marxism guys. If you’ve been to the library of Congress like I have, and you saw that Gutenberg Bible, that was the first book that rolled off the printing press, and that book that brought us out of the dark ages because the common man could read the word of God. You need to realize that we’re still in this eternal struggle of light versus darkness. And when you can ignite the internal ember and flame on the inside of somebody through a scripture, through a word, through your book, Mark, I believe in that. I am not surprised that your book is number one in Vietnam and it’s holding back invading forces that want to evade. So kudos on that. And it’s because you’re still talking about it, but I want to ask you, how do you get others talking about your book? The CMO of Ford said recently: “It’s one thing for us to talk about our brand. We need others talking about our brand.” And there’s a lot of new authors out there shouting about their brand. And it’s a very busy space because there’s at least 4 million new books published a year. How can an author create white space and stand out and get others talking about them?

Mark Victor Hansen:First of all, I love the question. Let me just go to one of my heroes, Walt Disney. Disney said: “Do what you do so well, that when others see what you do, they tell others about it and bring them to show them what it is that you do.” So when you’re doing a podcast, hopefully you’ve been smart enough to send your book ahead of time and ask the podcast host or hostess to read it and then ask questions. And then you need to be so eclectically wise and present time available with each host that matters to them. Like pre podcast we did before we got on with you. The second one was Dr. Melissa Peterson, she is the top longevity. How do you live long and prosper? And she said: “How does asking do that?” And I said: “Well, I asked myself, the Bible says you should live 120 years in Genesis.” So I said: “I’m going to live to be 127.” I’ve been with Dr. Kurzweil, considered the smartest guy at Singularity University and head of Google. He says: “First of all, you take care of yourself, healthy, all that stuff. Second, we have all the stuff like STEM cells that regenerate my knee. Third level, we’re doing 3D printing.” And she said: “I had no idea you knew that much.” Because ladies and gentlemen, people don’t understand authors of the wealth of the world for this reason, Plato, who I hope you read the Republic and all of Socrates’s stuff written by Plato. But he said, whoever controls the narrative, in this case, the books. In this case, the speeches. In this case, the dialogue. Whoever controls the narrative, controls the world. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s your obligation, it’s your duty, it’s your responsibility to stand up, speak out and win and decide to convert. You just start with one other person, convert another, and then convert another, and pretty soon, we convert the whole world. And we, right now, have podcasts coming up that are going to end up talking to a billion people all at once. We’re in the most exciting bookselling time ever. Book sales are up 20%. Unfortunately, there’s only one place to get them. And unfortunately, well, Amazon started to be the world’s biggest bookstore, and I melted them down with One Minute Millionaire. We can talk about that if you want, but we did. The fact of the matter is, being out considered books nonessential, because they are selling more food than anyone. Listen, ladies and gentlemen, I think books are an absolute essential. [inaudible] if a book didn’t save her life. I’m telling you, books transform lives, your books will do it. One other line way back, that’s three questions ago. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones was a very great man of faith and wrote forwards to ancient books like [inaudible] and sold like a hundred million books. But Charlie said, look, most authors, you got to understand, you’re the only Bible or spiritual book most people will ever read.

“It's your obligation, it's your duty, it's your responsibility to stand up, speak up.’ -Mark Victor Hansen Click To Tweet

Michael Butler:I love that, yes. That is so true. And the pen is mightier than the store. I love what you said, kudos to his daughter, Tracy, who’s continuing on, and as recently remarried. Kudos to her for running a great company over there at Tremendous Publishing. But I’ll say this, if the Bible and the printing press brought us out of the dark ages, what will the internet do? But we’ve got to stay on the front end of these ideas. And you know, Mark, you’re as concerned as I am about the young generation and their need to read. We see many people that are misinformed in the streets right now and they need to read, they need to read the constitution, they need to read the bill of rights, they need to read the Bible and they need to read this new book called Ask!. Mark, I’m so glad to have Mark Victor Hansen, the founder, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, 59 times, New York Times bestseller. He’s on his way to sell a billion books, and we’re going to be a part of that revolution as we give power back to the people. You’ve been giving the pin back to the people for a long time, and I want you to talk about Jim Stovall, our mutual friend, the founder of the Narrative Television Network, he was going blind at age 19. You write about him in your book, why is his story so intriguing to you? And why do you talk about him in the book Ask!?

“Books transform lives. Your books will do it.” -Mark Victor Hansen Click To Tweet

Mark Victor Hansen:Thank you for that. But as you know, Jim went to ORU later. But when Jim was 19, he was a superstar. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s got endurance. And his whole life force energy was to be in the NFL, some people internationally don’t know the National Football League. He gets recruited and he’s having a high –, goes to the medical and the doctor said, I’m sorry, it breaks my heart, but in six months, you’re going to be totally, absolutely permanently forever blind. Crushes this guy spirit. And if somebody feels that way, some of you will be hanging out by your fingernails. He’s in a little 9×12 room self incarcerated with a telephone, a television and a radio. He’s complaining, which isn’t a surprise. His parents come in and say, Jimmy, you’re a big guy, go on the blind meeting, maybe they can get you out of this funk. Now ladies and gentleman, the point is, he goes under and they’re reiterating all the negativity. So I already knew that, I had that one wired. You got to turn off all the negative news 15 minutes a day, watch positive podcasts like this, get about your father’s business, do your right work, your right livelihood, which is writing and thinking.

Michael Butler:I want to tell you something else he did, he told me he went to hear Ray Charles play the piano and watched him play the piano, and he began to get mentored. And I’m going to kick it back to you with that story but he began to say, what can I do as a band that’s going blind? And he took up power lifting so he could be a powerlifter in the Olympics. And with that, I’m going to throw it back to your story.

Mark Victor Hansen:By the way, I didn’t know about Ray Charles. I don’t doubt that I loved Ray Charles and met him. Anyhow, he became Olympic weightlifting champion blind, which is just so amazing. But then what happens is he goes to this blind meeting and sits next to a woman named Cathy and he’s lamenting how I used to love to watch TV and see somebody throw a right hook, somebody ought to do something about that. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the power question of today at our book Ask!, she hit him in the ribs and said: “Jim, we’re somebody. Why can’t we do something now?” You know, Michael, that I define an entrepreneur as somebody who finds a problem, fixes it for a bash profit. Because if you’re going to make a profit, right? Everything that Jesus is, you might have liked to have more abundantly, not have holes in your pockets.

Michael Butler:What did you do with what I gave you?

Mark Victor Hansen:Yeah, go, go–

Michael Butler:Go multiply.

Mark Victor Hansen:Go multiply. The loaves and the fishes you fed everybody.

Michael Butler:Exactly.

Mark Victor Hansen:So Jim and Cathy started something that most of you won’t know about, but it is now the third biggest streaming company I’m told in the world, 14 million people pay $10 a month to get Narrative TV that says, Hey, he’s throwing a right hook.

Michael Butler:Yes. Hey, the bad guys coming around the corner with a gun. And Jim gets $85,000 an hour to speak from stage now.

Mark Victor Hansen:He deserves every penny of it.

Michael Butler:Absolutely, absolutely.

Mark Victor Hansen:So Jim, I never knew him until Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. I’m selling 15 million books a year. I don’t have time to breathe basically and try to do everything we’re doing. He wrote up and said, look, this is the most important book you’ve ever read called The Ultimate Gift by this guy, Jim Stovall. You got to write, forward and endorse. And I go, Oh, God, Charlie, if it was anybody but you, I wouldn’t do this. But I read it, I was so wild I wrote, this book’s gotta be a movie. Now in our book, Ask!, I think Jim profound wisdom is, I might be blind, but I can still see. And he says, if I live a hundred years, I’ll never stop thanking you Mark for inspiring me so much because I now write books that I can’t read, make movies that I made a hundred million dollars because you told me to make it a movie that I can’t even watch. And he said, I am thanking you every day in my career, and blessing you. And I said, ladies, gentlemen, that’s what your book can do.

Michael Butler:That’s the power of Ask!.

Mark Victor Hansen:For somebody to do a movie and make a hundred million dollars, and now he’s making one on Napoleon Hill as you know, called The Big Hill. And I’m going to be in the movie.

Michael Butler:Yes, you should be. I’m sure you asked. And it happened. Jim’s in all of his movies, he’s given us some moving tips for some of our movies. Just an awesome human being that he takes time just to mentor young entrepreneurs. As you know, and you talk about in your book, he’s endowed at the Stovall School of Entrepreneurship there at Oral Roberts University that bears his name. And he’s just a legend. In fact, when COVID happened, he co-hosted a forum in the Oral Roberts faculty, and Steve Forbes was a part of that call. He is a mentor to many world leaders as are you. I just want to say this as we wrap up here, what’s ahead for Mark and Crystal? Mark Victor Hansen, you’re on your way to selling a billion books. Once this pandemic lifted, you’ve shared some of your best nuggets here, you’ve spoken on some of the biggest stages of the world, one of the big things I want to bring out in closing for our listeners is health. I know you actively exercise six days a week, it’s a big part. And you mentioned 20 years ago when I went through my divorce, I was in a funk. My health was in a funk. My emotions were in a funk. The first thing I needed to do was get healthy emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. What advice would you say, what’s a good health tip that’s going to help people write better.

Mark Victor Hansen:First of all, there’s three times exercise, in the morning, at lunchtime like they do in Washington, DC and at night. Zig Ziglar used to come home after exercise at 5:00 o’clock run and then he said, I got two days out of every one day. But in my case, because I worked so hard in my mind, I went to sleep. When I go to sleep, I’m gone. I woke up this morning at 5:30 and I was ready to roll. I went and exercised hard for an hour. I am 72 years young. I’m going to live to be 127. I am stronger, healthier, more fit than I’ve ever been. I can do a hundred pushups right in front of you.

Michael Butler:Well, you look 52 not 72, it’s amazing. Your mind is just as sharp as anybody I know.

Mark Victor Hansen:Thank you, thank you. By the way, when I wrote that book with Art Linkletter, How to Make the Rest of Your Life Better, we talked to 10,000 people a night at the villages where there are 500,000 people and they all wanted an autograph for the night. And we’d be up until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning signing. But what we’ve said is, Hey, wait a second, close your eyes. How old do you feel? Because there’s a chronological age, right? I’m 72, there’s a biological age. We could do the medicals and tests. But the more important thing is, what is your attitudinal age is? This is what determines whether you’re going to get COVID or not. How do you feel? And I feel like a 28 year old. I can deal with, you know, I talk at universities and talk to college kids, as you know I want [inaudible]. And I said, you gotta take — into your friendship every year. From the time you’re 40 onto the time your, he lived to be 98+. The point is you need to be interacting and interfacing with young people, they desperately need their senior wisdom. That is eclectically alive, and I want every old person to write a book. One of the other books I’ve got coming out is called, Speed: Write your autobiography, because wouldn’t you like to know what your great, great grandfather thought, said, did, felt, bullied, how married, if they got sick, what their diseases were so you could solve that for yourself.

Michael Butler:Well, I think you’re on the verge of something very powerful. I know you and Crystal are involved in energy, you’re involved in multiple ventures, how can people find you and follow you, Mark? And what is the best way for them to reach out to you for speaking and also for media appearances.

Mark Victor Hansen:Excellent. Thank you for that. Let me just say, we just got the biggest order ever for our energy company. If you’ll go to, the genius of our time, Leonardo da Vinci, we just got a pop up window for urban wind, it goes through in 60 degrees. So in windstorms, it comes down. And it’s going to interface with all the solar and it’s got a battery from Tesla. It’s the coolest thing ever, and we just got an order for 1,800 units at 4,000, 100,000 each, so it’s 720 million, but a pretty serious order. It’s going to change a lot of people’s lives because everybody ought to have. If you have energy of water, you have water, you have food, you have food, you have abundance, for the first time, we’ve got 4,000,000,000 people, half of our 8 billion people, not taking care of us, we can take care of them. And I did that by writing our way out of this problem. So back to the thing, come to, I’ve got a free book for everybody called How to be Up in Down Times.

Michael Butler:Powerful book. I love sharing that with everyone. You’re an amazing storyteller. Mark, you talked about Mitzi Purdue in your book and you introduced me to her. She’s got an amazing story. How can an author be a better storyteller?

Mark Victor Hansen:Be a better storyteller by studying, listened to the best storytellers. I’d say still some of our best stories are the chicken Soup, read them 20 to 30 times. Tell them 20 to 30 times before you do them to an audience so you really have ownership. And you know, when Jack and I wrote the book in 1989, 1993, publishers were slow back then. My little four year old daughter at the time, Melanie, would sit on my lap and she heard this story again and again so I would ask her to tell it. And then she said, daddy, what I want to do is you’re going on to universal studios with Nickelodeon and we get on their biggest show, and they asked her to tell the story because she had all the stories memorized like Bopsy, and I wish I had a brother like that. And the guy says she did one story and got a standing ovation and said: “You know, Melanie, you just talked to 2 million people — shut down.” That’s why ladies and gentlemen, you can practice on podcasts. You could have the whole script up on another screen. If Michael were the host here, I could be reading everything. I’m not, I happen to know my own stuff and I hope you do too. But you read whatever you need to read and change the screen. So you’ve got practice, you can learn while you earn.

Michael Butler:Mark, you’re our very first celebrity guests on the Publisher Podcast. Our next celebrity guests, because every seventh episode, we have a celebrity guest. I host six episodes that are seven minutes each where we do a deep dive into publishing trends, publishing, writing, distribution, and going bestseller globally. And then our next celebrity guest is the former president of Paramount studios, David Paul Kirkpatrick. I’m so honored to have you as our first celebrity guests, a great friend, a great mentor, a great coach. I encourage you to follow Mark. And Mark, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule. I know you’re changing the world one book at a time with Chicken Soup for the Soul and with Ask!. Can’t wait to get you on the stages of the world again just like we connected in California a few months ago. I know we’re going to be speaking on the stages, and the Kala Sims and the theaters of the world very soon. Thank you so much, Mark, for being on the Publisher Podcast. Because to sell 5,000 books, you need your own show. This is your host, Michael D. Butler, Thank you very much.