Why Writing a Book Was The Wisest Thing I Ever Did & Why You Should Write Your Own

Do you have a message to share with the world? Is there something you want to change or something you want to do to make a difference in the world? Do you want to elevate and expand your business, or build your brand, your credibility and your authority in your industry? Well there’s one thing that can satisfy all of these things. Have you ever thought about learning how to write a book?

how to write a book

I want to share with you why writing a book was the wisest things I ever did. Many people don’t realize all of the benefits that writing a book can have. Not only did it help me share a message; it catapulted my professional career to whole new levels.

My First Book...

The first book I wrote when I was in my thirties was 100 Ways to Enhance Self-Concept in the Classroom. It made me an expert in the field of building self-esteem in the schools. As a result I was asked to speak at state and national conferences all over the United States and Canada. I got to travel, work with dedicated professionals who wanted to improve education, and earned a much higher income than I would have made as a classroom teacher or a therapist in private practice.

How Chicken Soup for the Soul Changed My Life7 steps 300x250

When I wrote and compiled Chicken Soup for the Soul, it totally changed my life. In less than three years, I went from making $140,000 a year to $6 million a year.

My speaking fees went through the roof, and I was treated to first class travel and accommodations. When the book started being translated into what would become more than 50 languages, I was invited to speak all over the world in some of the most beautiful and exotic destinations you can imagine, and sometimes to audiences as large as 10,000 people.

I was also interviewed on every major television show from Oprah and Montel to the Today Show and Larry King Live.

But most importantly, the satisfaction that came from the impact I was having also increased.

There were days when I would receive 100 letters telling me how the book (and later all the Chicken Soup books) had made a difference in their lives—everything from people who decided not to commit suicide to people saying how the books had got them through their cancer or encouraged them to start a business they had always dreamed of.

How to Get Started and How to Make Writing a Book a Success

1. Declare yourself an author NOW

Come up with a working title for your book and start telling people you’re the author of the “upcoming book titled XYZ.” One big reason to do this is it will create positive momentum for you. Once you start telling people you’ve got a book coming out, it makes it much easier to get it done. Plus, you can start enjoying some of the ancillary benefits of being an author, such as getting publicity on radio/TV, print publications and online. As with many things in life the key is to just get started – even if you don’t feel quite ready.

2. Be selfish with your time 

Writing a book is important – to you, your family and your future – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Share your goal with your spouse, your parents and your friends. Ask them to help you create the time to write, even if it’s just 15 minutes every day. Create the habit. Good or bad, habits always deliver results. If you only write one page a day, in a year, you will have written 365 pages—more than enough for a book!

3. Find your message 

There is a book inside of you. It might be a business book, a memoir, a cookbook or something funny, a how-to or how-not to, a what-for or why-not. What are you good at? What is your passion? What can you teach other people to do?

4. Identify your niche

Who needs to learn what you have to teach? Who would be most interested in your story? Get specific. For example, the Chicken Soup series includes Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Military Wife’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul and others. Knowing your niche will help you write the book and market it.

5. Consider co-authors 

Think a whole book is too much work? Get a co-author. I had co-authors on my Chicken Soup books. That person can share in the writing and, later, in marketing the book.

6. Think marketing from day one

One of the biggest mistakes most new authors make is to spend all their time and energy writing the book, without sufficient thought to how they’ll market it. Ideally, you want to consider marketing issues while writing your book. For instance, consider short snappy chapter titles which easily lend themselves to being blog posts and/or radio/TV show segments.

7. Meditate on problems

This might sound counter-intuitive. When you meditate, you try to relax, right? Well, not really. Meditating is harnessing your brain power and if you focus that energy on the problems you encounter – and every creative venture encounters problems – you’ll solve them. Meditate, go for a long walk or take a hot bath. Give your mind a problem to solve and give it the room to do so, and it will. That’s how I came up with the title Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Take Action

If you have an idea or valuable information and expertise inside you, or if have a business that you want to promote or expand, you can definitely benefit from writing a book. I want you to think about your business. Think about your career. How could a book help you?

Writing a book was the launching point for me to start training others my Success Principles. Often when you write a book and are an expert in your field, people will ask for you expertise and training so they can be successful. I'd like to show you my approach to training others and how becoming a trainer my be the career path you've been looking for.


The Importance of Mindset, Meditation & Mastermind

I attribute much of my success to the importance of mindset, meditation, and masterminding. They have contributed much to my life and you too can enjoy their benefits as well with a little effort.

importance of mindset

Changing your mindset and the way you think about the world around you will open you up to new possibilities happening all around you. Meditation will help increase your self-confidence and expand your awareness among many other things. Masterminding will help hold you accountable for your own personal growth and development.

1. Mindset: The Importance of Mindset

Study after study has shown that the mind is an extremely powerful instrument. Things most people thought was impossible were later achieved by scientists, athletes, businesspeople and everyday individuals, simply because they believed they could and they persevered.

You may have heard the famous quote from Napoleon Hill – author of the classic personal development book, Think and Grow Rich – who said:

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

That belief, by the way is a choice. It’s simply a thought you decide to think over and over again until it becomes automatic.

Scientists know that our belief about whether something is possible is a byproduct of our life experience. Through a lifetime’s worth of events, our brain actually learns what to expect next. Since our brain expects things to happen a certain way, we often achieve exactly what we expect.

This is why it’s so important to have a believing mindset. Believe it’s possible to achieve something in your life and things will often turn out exactly as you believe they will.

Of course, there’s a negative aspect of belief. Believe that failure or disaster will befall you – and guess what… it usually will.

Positive AND negative outcomes are why it’s so important to hold positive expectations in your mind.

When you replace your negative expectations with positive ones and begin to believe that what you want is possible, your brain will take over the job of accomplishing it for you.

2. Meditation: A Powerful Success Tool

Today, I am going to be a participant in a 5-day meditation retreat in Santa Barbara.

I always like to take a couple of weeks a year to spend in stillness and silence. It helps me to relax, de-stress, go deeper into my essential self and open myself to the inner guidance that I receive during these times. Once I catch up on my sleep after the first two days and enter into a deep state of peace, the insights, ahas, and breakthrough ideas that come to me are usually very profound and useful in my daily life and work.

The title for Chicken Soup for the Soul®, which has become a brand worth hundreds of millions of dollars, came to me after three days of meditation.

The idea for creating the Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul book came to Marci Shimoff, who became the coauthor for that book, came to her during a silent meditation retreat. That book was the catalyst for all of the other more than two hundred targeted Chicken Soup books that followed.

Another reason I attend meditation retreats regularly is that I drop into a deep space of unconditional love for myself, my wife, the fellow participants at the retreat, and for people outside the retreat—my family, friends, staff, students and humanity in general. Living in this state of unconditional love and acceptance is one of the most fulfilling experiences life has to offer.

While I am of meditating for the next week, I encourage all of you to add meditation to your daily practices, even if for only 20 minutes a day. I promise you both the internal and external rewards will be worth it. 

You can learn more about how to meditate from my meditation guide. It's a downloadable PDF that teaches you an easy meditation that you can do at home.

Guided Meditations and Visualizations

When I lead meditations at my training events, I use a process called guided meditation. I help my attendees meditate in a deeply relaxed state. They visualize the images, scenery and emotions they’ll experience once they’ve achieved the lifestyle they dream about.

Meditation and visualization has been repeatedly proven to :

  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Expand awareness
  • Increase memory
  • Facilitate optimal performance
  • Evoke a more positive attitude
  • Accelerate the learning of difficult subject matter.

Here is a video that walks you through a 4-part guided meditation for beginners.

In one of the most well-known studies on creative visualization in sports Ohio State University divided 15 basketball players into three groups of five players each. They tested each student to establish their average free-throw percentage. They asked:

  • Group 1 to practice shooting free-throws everyday for 30 minutes.
  • Group 2 to not touch a basketball for 30 days.
  • Group 3 to not touch a basketball for 30 days, but instead visualize shooting free-throws and to see each shot going into the basket perfectly.

At the end of the study they had the players shoot free-throws and compare their results.

  • Group 1, which had practiced 30 minutes a day, showed a 24% improvement.

  • Group 2, which had not touched a basketball for 30 days, showed no improvement which is not surprising.
  • But Group 3, which had only visualized shooting perfect free-throws, showed a 23% improvement without any practice.

The body literally cannot tell the difference between a real event and a vividly imagined event.

The point is that you can literally build skills, improve performance and actually program yourself to do the things necessary, see the opportunities available, and create the ideas necessary to achieve the goals you want.

3. Mastermind: The Power of a Mastermind Group

And the final success strategy is one of the most powerful tools ever used by successful people. Whether it's the world’s richest people from the early 20th Century or today’s modern icons of business. It’s called the mastermind group.

Napoleon Hill first talked about mastermind groups in his book Think and Grow Rich. It’s the one concept people most reference when they credit any one thing with helping them become a millionaire.

Andrew Carnegie had a mastermind group. So did Henry Ford. Ford would mastermind with brilliant thinkers like Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and others in a group they held at their winter mansions in Coral Gables, Florida.

Mastermind Groups Focus a Special Energy

They knew, as millions of others have discovered since, that a mastermind group can focus special energy on your effort, in the form of knowledge, resources and spiritual energy, too. While you must always do the work of becoming a great success, a mastermind group can harness and maximize the spiritual focus behind your success.

It’s this spiritual aspect that Napoleon Hill wrote about extensively. In fact, he said that if we are in tune with the mastermind—that is, God, the Universal Power or whatever term you use for the all-powerful life force, we have significantly more positive energy available to us. We can focus this power on our success.

In short, “mastermind” is both that power coming to us from above—from the God force—but also that power which comes to us from each other. Together, we know more and can focus more energy than any one of us can alone.

Assemble Your Own Mastermind

To assemble a mastermind group, choose people who are already where you’d like to be in your life, or who are at least one level above you.

If your goal is to become a millionaire, you won’t get much help if everyone in your mastermind group is making only $60,000 a year.

Of course, you might ask, “Why would anyone want to be in a mastermind group with me if I’m only making $60,000 a year?

The answer is that you’re the one putting the group together. You’re the one providing the arena. You're organizing, supporting and building a forum for other people’s growth.

The truth is many people at a higher level will want to become involved simply because they then get to play at a game they might never organize for themselves.

The other people you’re going to invite are people they would like to be around, too. So make a list of ideal candidates and start asking.

If your goals center on a specific subject like starting a new business or investing money, you might start a mastermind group centered on entrepreneurship or investments.

You can always launch a general mastermind group plus a second mastermind group centered on a certain topic area where you invite people from the same field.

The ideal size of a mastermind group is 5-6 people. If it is too much smaller, it loses its dynamics. If it's bigger, it becomes unwieldy, meetings take longer, some needs go unmet and personal sharing is minimized.

Take Action and Start a Mastermind

Is starting or joining a mastermind group something you’d like to try?

Think about 5-6 people that you know who may want to start a mastermind with you. Think of people who are already where you want to be in your life. Ask them about joining. Leave a comment below of which one of these 3Ms had the greatest impact on your life, and I’ll be sure to follow up with you.

I’ve got a free download to help you get started in forming your own mastermind group, conducting the meetings and planning the best outcome for yourself from the masterminding process. It’s a comprehensive guide for inviting others to join the group, plus an agenda and tutorial on exactly how to conduct the meetings so everyone benefits.

Soon, you too could be assembled with people who are at the top of their game and who are eager to help you improve, too.

How to Coach Others to Success Through Personal Coaching & Training [Exercise]

Learning how to become a coach will help you become a powerful force to leave a positive impact on the world. If you lead a team of people or need to walk a co-worker, student, or friend through a rough patch in their life, having the ability to coach others to success is a useful skill.

how to become a coach

One of my goals is to train 1,000,000 people to teach my Success Principles to groups around the world.

Whether you're a teacher, manager, business owner, minister, local baseball coach, or someone who wants to hold a lunch-and-learn at the office, YOU can learn to coach others.

I've assembled strategies and developed them into exercises anyone can use in training groups. I teach these techniques all over the world and use them myself.

Learn How to Become a Coach and Help Others to Success

One of the most powerful exercises that I teach my coaches is the "Difficult and Troubling Situation". You can use it as well to help others in nearly any setting.

It's a series of questions designed to get someone unstuck and into action. It solves their problem by removing the roadblock that's keeping them from producing the results they want.

This exercise can either be used one on one with someone or in a workshop with a large group.

This exercise will help you as a coach identify someone's problem, and help them solve it. The key is to ask these questions in the correct order without engaging in any discussion or commenting. Your role as the coach is to to ask the questions and let the questions do the work.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

At the end of this, you’ll be able to identify roadblocks that a person has and provide solutions for success. Let’s go over the questions.

The Difficult & Troubling Situation Coaching Exercise

1. What is a difficult or troubling situation in your life?

Ask the person you’re coaching to think about a place in their life where they feel stuck. Where do they feel that they're not getting what they want, are irritated, or feel like they're not happy.

Perhaps they're upset that their child is not doing what they need to do. Maybe their marriage isn't working out, or there's something going on in their business. Whatever the problem is, the first thing is to identify it.

2. How are you allowing it to happen?

The second question is: How are you creating it or allowing it to happen?

The person who you're coaching to success must realize that everything you experience YOU create. You create the life you want. You're responsible for everything that you've allowed it to continue. 

3. What are you pretending not to know?

In every situation where we're not taking action, we almost always know how to fix it. We know what to do but we're pretending not to see it.

Let me give you an example...

In a recent workshop, I coached someone whose apartment gets robbed frequently. They live on the first floor of their apartment building in New York.

I asked them, "Do you have bars on the windows?"

They said, "No."

"Do you have triple locks on the doors?"


I asked, "What are you pretending not to know?"

He said, "I don't know."

I told him the answer is you're pretending not to know that you live in New York. In New York, you need those kind of safety measures to keep from getting robbed.

There's usually something we're pretending not to know. We pretend because it's inconvenient. It's uncomfortable to notice a problem, because then we'd have to do something about.

Ask the person what they're pretending not to know, and get your answer.

4. What is the payoff for keeping it like it is?

No person maintains a situation without some kind of payoff.

When you were going to school as a kid, if you got sick there was a payoff.

The payoff was that you didn't have to go to school. You got to stay home. You got to watch TV all day. You got the attention of your parents and other things.

Whatever the problem is, there are payoffs for keeping things the way they are.

The payoff might be to avoid conflict, it might be comfort, or it might be not having to confront somebody.

Identify what it blocking the person from change.

5. What is the cost for not changing it?

Every situation has a benefit and a cost. What is the cost that you're going to pay by not changing your situation?7 steps 300x250

Often the cost will be, your freedom, income, happiness, joy, or not being overwhelmed.

You may be sacrificing a lot by holding onto this troubling situation.

6. What would you rather be experiencing?

I'd rather be experiencing freedom. I'd rather be experiencing having more free time. I'd rather experience more success. I'd rather experience feeling stress free at the office.

Whatever it might be, have the other person think about all the great things that can come from solving the problem.

7. What actions will you take and what requests will you make to get it?

This involves action. How will you get there? Do you need to do or ask for something? Do you need to set a boundary? What do you need to do to get what you want.

This is the most important question. It requires a person to get out of their comfort zone and do the things necessary to create what they want.

When they answer that, make sure you write it down.

8. By when will you take that action?

You want them to commit to a time by when they will take that action. If possible, you can be their accountability partner.

If they say, “I'll take it by 5 o'clock on Friday, May 15th.”

You say, "Great. Would you be willing to send me an email or call me and let me know you did that?"

So now they know that someone is waiting to make sure they took the action.

This is a powerful tool to coach others to success. I've used this in all my groups, all my coaching programs, all my mastermind groups and when I teach others how to become a coach.

People often tell me that this exercise changes lives.

Make sure to ask the questions listed in the order they appear.

Don't engage in a lot of discussion, your role is to simply to ask the questions. Make sure you maintain eye contact throughout the exercise.

Identify a person who you think you could help by using this strategy. Reach out to them and offer to take them through these questions.

You never know how impactful it could be for the other person.

And if you want, turn the tables. Have them take you through it as well.

You'll get a lot of value by doing it both ways and it creates a feeling of equality between you and the other person.

It shows you're not above them or below them, but that you're equal partners.

Try this with your friends, family, and coworkers - it is a really powerful technique.

This is the same methodology I teach to my students in my Train the Trainer Certification Program. If you’d like to learn how to become a coach and Transformational Trainer – and take your own speaking, teaching, or training career to the next level – I'm accepting a new group of students who want to become Certified to teach my Success Principles and join the ranks of the next generation of Human Potential Trainers.

Click here to learn how you can become a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer.

If you have any comments or questions about Transformational Training, please post them in the comments below!

Learn My 7 Steps to Become a Transformational Trainer

Learn to create lasting, positive, change in the lives of the people when you learn how to become a coach. Use my proven methodology to inspire and transform others and learn to how to create experiences in others that will empower them to break through barriers. Get this free guide by clicking the button below.


Greetings from Italy...

I wanted to write you a quick note from gorgeous Italy!

I’m at a private mastermind retreat with 26 incredible, like-minded participants who have joined me at a 17th-century villa in Tuscany for the advice and support to make their most ambitious goals a reality.

 Some of them are here because they want to create an action plan that will take their business to the next level – while others are looking to find more joy, meaning, and harmony in their busy lives.

“Dragon’s Den” star Sean Gallagher and Patty Aubery, the business mastermind behind my own multimillion-dollar company, are also here to share their brilliance with the group.

Needless to say, the energy here in the villa is amazing!



One of the best things about my life is being able to live and conduct business anywhere in the world.

I’ve held private mastermind retreats in Hawaii, Bali, Dubai, and Italy. And every time, I’ve found that when we do transformative work in a beautiful, uplifting environment, the results people get are just incredible.


I conduct my private small-group retreats only once or twice a year – and the next one is taking place this October 9-12 in my hometown of Santa Barbara, California.

(So if you’re North American and found Italy a bit too far to go, this one is much closer to home!)

Of all the beautiful places I’ve visited in the world, Santa Barbara is the one I’ve chosen to call home. With its breathtaking beaches and world-renowned vineyards, there’s a reason it’s called the American Riviera!




(Almost makes me feel homesick – even while I’m in gorgeous Italy!)




Please note that Santa Barbara is the last private retreat I will be hosting this year. Also, I wanted to let you know that I will be scaling back on live trainings in 2018, so I’m not sure when (or if) I will be hosting any private retreats next year.


So if you’ve ever dreamed of working one-on-one with me and getting the expert mentorship you need to launch YOUR project, business, or personal mission in the world, now is the time to take action.


Click here to learn more about this powerful private event.




If you’re interested in attending this exclusive event but would like to talk to someone in person to learn more about it, give my Live Events team a call.


They’ll be happy to discuss flexible payment options with you and answer any questions you have.


You can email my team at: retreathelp@jackcanfield.com or call us directly at: 805-881-5192.




Please note that the Italy retreat I’m currently hosting sold out faster than expected – in fact, there was a waiting list for it! Last year’s retreat in Santa Barbara sold out faster than expected as well – and I’m fully expecting this one to do the same. So if you’re interested in attending, I encourage you to act fast.


Now I must go – it’s time for me to spend some time relaxing on a patio overlooking the Tuscan countryside!



How to Show Appreciation to Others

Learning how to show appreciation daily for everything is one of the highest emotional states you can experience. Many people find that it requires great diligence to cultivate a persistent attitude of appreciation. That’s because we’ve been culturally conditioned to focus on what we don’t have, rather than appreciation for what we’ve already received and achieved.


"Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.." - Oprah Winfrey

When you make being grateful a habit, you’ll feel true joy and contentment, no matter what you have or don’t have in your life. And since the Law of Attraction states that like attracts like, being grateful will naturally attract more into your life that you can be grateful for. When you learn how to show appreciation, it’s a never ending cycle of positivity!

We do dozens of things every day on autopilot, such as eating our meals, taking showers, or doing the dishes. We don’t have to spend time visualizing these activities or putting them on our to-do lists. We simply do them out of habit. Playing The Appreciation Game on a daily basis is a great mindfulness training and will help you turn gratitude into a daily habit, so you can attract more joy and abundance into your life all year long.

How to Show Appreciation Daily 

1. Set a time every day

First, set a specific time each day to consciously appreciate everything you encounter. An ideal time to do this is on your way to or from work.

2. Appreciate everything you encounter

Second, appreciate the people you pass, the road you walk on, the cars that let you merge into a different lane, the street signs that make it easy for you to know where you’re going, the rain that’s nourishing the plants and trees, and so on.

3. Look for the good in every situation

Third, look for the good in all situations – even those you would normally view as negative. As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” For example, when my wife was in a car accident a few years ago, she could have chosen to berate herself or question her judgment. Instead, she learned how to stay focused on her gratitude for suffering only minor injuries and for the help she received from other drivers.

Remember, new habits take 30 to 60 days to lock in.

Show Appreciation at Least 10 Times a Day

Express your appreciation to at least 10 people a day, both individuals you know intimately, as well as virtual strangers who touch your life. Experiment with the different forms of appreciation and observe how much more deeply your appreciation is received when you find the right way to deliver it for each individual. Then keep track of everything you’ve appreciated on your scorecard.

I don’t go to bed without achieving my daily appreciation quota. I appreciate my wife and children, write letters to my mother or stepfather, or email my staff. Do this every day for 6 months or until you no longer needed the card as a reminder.

As you build the habit of appreciation, it helps to expand the circle of people whom you appreciate. Think bigger. Our society flourishes because of connections. We literally couldn’t survive without other people.

Nobody pumps their own petroleum, turns it into gas, and trucks it into their own town. Other people do it. The food we eat probably has 30 to 40 people involved in it before it gets to our tables. Although they may be strangers, the people who serve us by doing their part in making our society function deserve our thanks, too.

Try it for Yourself

Grab an index card, a journal, or keep a note in your phone to start writing down at least 10 things you appreciate daily for the next 30 days. It may not feel natural at first to focus on appreciating what you already have, especially when you're first learning how to show appreciation.

But by faithfully practicing The Appreciation Game, you’ll begin to change your conditioning. And to help keep you more accountable, comment below how you plan on building an attitude of gratitude and I’ll be sure to follow up with you.