John AssarafÂ isÂ an international best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur.Â You may have seen him as oneÂ of the expertsÂ in the popular movie The SecretÂ (as well as inÂ The SecretÂ book), talking about how he manifested his dream house.Â What’sÂ most amazing isÂ that he lived in that house forÂ quite a whileÂ before discovering it was the exact same house he originally posted on his vision board!
In the past 20 years, John hasÂ built four multi-million dollar companies, including:
- RE/MAX of Indiana, which now has more than 1,500 sales associates, who collectively generate more than $5 billion a year in sales and are paid more than $120 million in commissions annually.
- Bamboo.com, a start-up that attracted over 100,000 clients in less than a year and generated more than $30 million in revenues within 10 months. Bamboo then merged with Ipix and went on to become the world’s leading provider of online virtual tours including the imaging infrastructure for Internet companies like eBay.
- OneCoach, John’s current entrepreneurial pursuit, a company that is helping thousands of entrepreneurs and small-business professionals grow their revenues so they can achieve financial freedom and live extraordinary lives.Â
Today John shares his passion for success with audiences worldwide.Â He has appeared on Larry King Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Anderson Cooper 360Â°, and other major media outlets. John is also one of the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management’s Distinguished Thought Leaders.
John’s personal passions include his family, spirituality, exercise, cooking, travel, and helping entrepreneurs understand how to incorporate the psychological and strategic sides of building a successful business and life.
In this exclusive interview, John shares his hard-earnedÂ lessons on success, entrepreneurship, purpose, values,Â and more.
1. What have been the major contributing factors to your success as an entrepreneur?
I made a decision when I was 22 that I wanted to become a multi-millionaire. From the day I set that goal to now, I have consistently learned, applied and tweaked my path to get there. I sought out everything I could read, listen to or attend that would help me make my life a masterpiece. I also sought out mentors to help me avoid the mistakes they had made and to point me in the right direction. Fortunately for me, I was able to overcome my feelings of not feeling smart enough or deserving enough at a very young age. By really understanding what causes great results and then taking deliberate and consistent action, I achieved my initial goals by the time I was thirty.
2. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made in business, and what did you learn from them?
In 2000 after we took our company public and did a merger with another company that was also worth $500 million, I didnâ€™t feel deep down inside that I trusted the new CEO. My intuition has always been right on and told me to take my millions and leave. I didnâ€™t listen to my inner self, and waiting six months before I took action cost me a small fortune. Our stock went from $43 a share to $14 when I sold it. The lesson… always do what you feel deep down is right. Leave logic behind.
On another scale, keeping people in a position they or you cannot see them growing and shining in has cost me dearly. I have always had a hard time letting someone know they are not cutting it and letting them go. I know that even if itâ€™s best for all parties, itâ€™s very hard. I feel for them and their families. Lesson… Do it anyway regardless of how hard it is. In the end, everyone wins if they are willing to grow and learn.
3. What personal or professional accomplishment(s) have you found most rewarding and fulfilling, and why?
Personally I have found being a great Dad and husband has been the most fulfilling and rewarding. The fact that I can really love, be loved in so many ways with my wife, kids, friends and family gives me the sense of purpose I seek. It gives my life a wonderful meaning to help my kids grow into loving, caring contributors to society.
Professionally, nothing gives me more joy than helping another human see how and why they are capable of achieving their lifeâ€™s goals and dreams. I feel a sense of duty to pass on what I have learned with others so that they experience life in a positive and meaningful way
4. In The Secret you told the story of how you manifested your house.Â What’s your current understanding of the process by which you accomplished this?
I have studied all the sciences and all the major religions and can sum it up in one sentence.
We become, have and attract what we think about and act upon correctly the most.
5. How has the popularity of The Secret affected you, both personally and professionally?
It has helped position me as an authority on the subject of â€œAttractionâ€ and given me credibility in the marketplace. It also has exposed me to millions of people that never heard of me so the amount of people who know me has grown exponentially. That has related in making a lot of great connections, opened doors and of course the financial rewards have been a nice added bonus for my kids and family charity trust fund.
In addition, I just signed a mega three book deal with Simon and Shuster, which is one of the biggest publishing giants in the world.
6. What is your understanding of the relationship between wealth and spirituality?
This is a tough question as I view wealth as having health, love, fulfillment, peace in your heart and having a sense of purpose in your life in addition to financial freedom. Spirituality on the other hand is having the knowingness that the very essence of who and what you are is the same as that which created you from the beginning and in feeling connected to all living things.
7. Do you have a purpose or mission?Â If so, what is it, and how did you discover it?
Iâ€™ll start by saying that the way I discovered it is by taking all the time I needed to ask the right questions and to be serious in finding the answer without pushing for one. I asked myself what do I want to trade my life for everyday and how do I want to be remembered by my friends, family and other humans in whom I come into contact with either in person or though the work I do. The desire to find the answer led me to my purpose, identity and beliefs. Here they are.
The purpose of my life is to live, to love, to grow and to be mega happy. It is also to be a great husband and father to Keenan and Noah and to love, inspire and serve others.
I am a loving, caring, healthy and gently powerful leader who inspires and educates people.Â I am a philanthropist and developer of human potential.Â I am a lover of life.Â I am an example of human possibility.
- God guides me.
- I am very intelligent and I use my mind daily to grow and accomplish.
- I am very focused, balanced and disciplined.
- I have the ability and do motivate, educate and inspire others.
- I am a very loving and caring person.
- I am very generous.
- I have the extraordinary ability to accomplish everything I want.
- My life is a masterpiece.
8. What are your most important guiding values, and what do they mean to you?
There are many so letâ€™s start with four that are highest on my list.
Playing life full out- this is important to me because when I was in my teens I had a life-altering car accident that show me how in one second, everything can change. It changed my life and the course of it. Today I play full out every day and having fun is one of my highest priorities.
Health is second. When I was 22 I worked so much and got so stressed out I ended up with ulcerative colitis. Itâ€™s a colon disease that is painful and takes away any control you have in going to the bathroom. When you gotta go, you canâ€™t make it to the bathroom most often. Today I eat healthy, exercise, visualize, meditate and have little that stresses me out. I also beat the disease 24 years ago through this formula.
GOD- this is definitely not third on the list. I believe in the power of creation and the intelligent force within me and every other thing or being more than anything else. It is irrefutable to me and so I value that more than anything.
Honesty- First and foremost with myself. Secondly with everyone else. For me this is the starting point of having integrity.Â
9. What do you love most about life?Â What inspires you?
I love all the options we have to enjoy the journey. Each emotion that is available to us and the excitement of creation, contribution and the feeling of love. I also love the mystery and the splendor of observing Godâ€™s creations.
I am inspired by the genuine love of mankind and the possibilities that exist for all of us. I am inspired by giving and becoming more of a philanthropist. I am inspired by watching my beautiful boys growing up and by the joys of laughter and a sunset.
10. What typically prevents people from achieving the success they desire, and what can they do about it?
In most cases, itâ€™s the individual not realizing their true potential and not making a commitment to their new desired outcomes. They, like me, somehow get stuck in a world of now and forget that the past is a school, and that the future begins now with a new vision backed by new habits and actions. We all get stuck in a comfort zone and those who get on with not allowing complacency to set in too long, advance towards their goals and dreams with passion, purpose and poise.
11. What advice would you offer someone who feels emotionally and financially trapped in an unfulfilling job?
I learned many years ago that our present circumstances are nothing more than effects. The question then must turn to what caused the effect of being and feeling trapped in an unfulfilling job? The answer is beliefs. You see if someone believed that there was an option other than their current situation and that they could do it… they would. They donâ€™t believe they can easily make a change so they donâ€™t. The key for all these people is to realize that yes they can and to figure out how.
12. What other advice, ideas, projects, and/or activities would you like to share with StevePavlina.com’s readers?
I truly believe that every person has the seeds and ability within them to have more money, health, wealth, happiness, fulfillment and a spiritual connection that makes them feel so connected. The key is to have the right information on how they can go from where they are to where they want to be. I believe that for anyone who is serious in exploring the answers, I have a path and the tools and resources to help them achieve it now.
Go to JohnAssaraf.com and listen to the free “Having It All”Â audio I created and sign up for my blog JohnAssaraf.com/blog. If you own a business check out OneCoach.com and sign up for the free newsletter there also.
SP: Here’s a photo of the house from John’s vision board… which later became his home:
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