Have you ever thought about writing a book? Have you considered the impact that writing a book can make on your life and your financial security? Did you know that you can literally write and publish a book in as little as 90 days?
Personally, I can tell you that writing and self-publishing my book The Miracle Morning is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because it enabled me to help millions of other people while providing financial security for my family. So, I’m committed to help as many other people as possible to experience those benefits.
In today’s podcast episode, you’ll get to listen in on my conversation with my long time friend, bestselling author and founder of Self-Publishing School, Chandler Bolt. You’ll hear Chandler’s incredible story (that you can learn from and model) of how he self-published his first book at 20 years old and turned that into a $26 million business by age 27! But first…
* ANNOUNCEMENT *
Before you listen to today’s episode, I have an exciting announcement to share with you. Next week, I’ll be co-hosting two live online Masterclasses (at no cost to you) with my long time friend, bestselling author and founder of Self-Publishing School, Chandler Bolt. One Masterclass is for aspiring authors who want to write a book, and the other is for new or established authors who want to sell more books:
LIVE Masterclass #1: How to Write & Publish a Bestselling Book in as Little as 90 Days that Grows Your Impact, Income, and Business
- When: March 30th (Tuesday at 1:00pm EST (10:00am PST)
- Click here to register now
LIVE Masterclass #2: The Proven Path to Sell More Books: How to Sell Your First (or Next) 10,000 Copies
- When: April 1st at 1:00pm EST (10:00am PST)
- Click here to register now
Again, there is NO CHARGE to you for either of these live Masterclasses.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to publish a book to get your message out to the world and create passive income, today’s podcast episode is a must-listen, and I recommend registering for one of the Masterclasses.
- Why and how to establish “proof of concept” before you write your book or start your business.
- Why a book has the unique power to change lives decades or centuries later.
- How to identify what you should write your book about.
- The three things holding people back from writing books – and the two big reasons people should write them.
- How Chandler kick started his career by volunteering at events he couldn’t afford to attend.
- How Self-Publishing School started because people kept asking Chandler for advice – and how he went from ZERO to $1.32 million in sales in 11 months.
- The difference between taking risks and being risky.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.
Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. I am your host Hal Elrod. And thank you for joining me today. You could be doing anything, listening to anybody else, and I really appreciate that you tuned in today. And I want to make sure, as always, that you get more than your money's worth, even though you don't actually pay for the podcast, but you know what I mean? You get the idea.
Today is a conversation with a good friend of mine, genuinely, a good friend of mine, I always say he's one of my favorite people. Those people that just, like the thought of them makes you smile, you have those people in your life, I would imagine. He is one of those people, Chandler Bolt. We've known each other for about six or seven years now. And Chandler's the founder of Self-Publishing School. He's the host of the Self-Publishing School podcast, and the author of six best-selling books, including his most recent title, which is Published: The Proven Path from Blank Page to Published Author.
If you listened for a while or been around my ecosystem, if that’s the right term, ecosystem, I don't know, you may know Chandler, I had him on the podcast before. We've done webinars and MasterClass before, which we're actually doing two of them next week. If you're listening to this live, we are doing a MasterClass webinar on April 30th, and that is on how to write and publish a book in as little as 90 days that grows your impact, income, and business. So, that's Tuesday, sorry, not April 30th, March 30th, Tuesday, March 30th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. That's the first master class webinar, and if you've never written a book and you want to learn how to do that in as little as a few months, that is a game-changer because I've done this with Chandler before.
Now, there's also a second webinar that I've never done with Chandler before, and I'm excited for this one. It's on April 1st, so just two days later, Thursday, April 1st, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern as well. And that is the proven path to sell more books, how to sell your first 10,000 or your next 10,000 copies. That's for all of you, members of our community that maybe have done Chandler's program before, and you actually have written your book, this is how do you sell those next 10,000 copies. It's a proven path to sell more books.
So to register for both of those or either of those, go to HalElrod.com/SPS as in Self-Publishing School, HalElrod.com/SPS, and those are completely free. There's no catch. It is totally free to do the webinars, and I've done these with Chandler before, or I've done similar ones, and Chandler always overdelivers. So, this episode is not just about how to write a book, we've done that before. This is really Chandler's story and Chandler's keys to how he built a business. Chandler started his business at 20 years old, and in six years, he grew Self-Publishing School from zero to $26 million in revenue. Incredible. Last year, he did $7.1 million.
And so, you're going to hear how he got started. It's an incredible story, and I really feel like it's one for all of us to model, myself included, like I am, the student has become the teacher, so to speak, and that Chandler approached me seven years ago and was picking my brain on books and stuff. And now, he's grown this multimillion-dollar business, and I'm asking him for advice on how to grow my business and reach more people. So, Chandler is absolutely brilliant.
And before we dive in, I want to take just one minute to thank our sponsor, Organifi. Organifi makes some of the best whole food organic supplements, nutritional products. You've heard me say before, I've used their products for years, I use their protein powder every day, I use their Gold, which has turmeric and other anti-inflammatory ingredients. I use their Balance, which is their prebiotic and probiotic, I put that in my smoothie every day. I use their Immune, that goes in my smoothie every day, as well as I think I mentioned, the vanilla protein powder.
Check that out. If you want to improve your health, I highly encourage you to check out Organifi products, and you can get a discount if you use the code HAL, H-A-L. So just go over to Organifi, O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi with two I's, Organifi.com/HAL, and then use the code HAL at checkout, if you see something you like, and you'll get 15% off your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love. Like I said, I use the products every day, and I am a fan, which is why they sponsor the podcast.
I'm also a fan of Chandler Bolt, which is why I'm having him back today, and we're doing the two webinars next week. So, I just finished this conversation with Chandler. I finished it, as I always do, feeling great about just who Chandler is and the value that he adds to the world and to my life. And so, I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Hal Elrod: Chandler Bolt, it's good to see you, brother.
Chandler Bolt: Hal Elrod, good to be here.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, for those listening, they're not seeing you, they're just hearing your voice, but it's a good voice.
Chandler Bolt: I see you.
Hal Elrod: I see you, buddy. Hey, man, I'm excited. You know, you're one of my favorite people, and you tell me I'm one of your favorites. So, I'm going to take that at face value, I think it's true. So, this is always fun when I get to reconnect with you. And for anybody listening, if you don't know Chandler, I got to tell the backstory real quick, right?
So, Chandler and I met, he was running mics, and he volunteered as a free volunteer at an event called Mastermind Talks. I think, was that in Canada, that one you and I met?
Chandler Bolt: Yup, it was. I think in Toronto.
Hal Elrod: Toronto, yeah. We're in Toronto, Canada. And Chandler's running around like crazy. He's got the biggest smile all the time, and he's just a very friendly guy, and he's helping out. And then how did we end up connecting in San Diego? You reached out to me?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah, I reached out to you when you were living in San Diego, I said, "Hey, let's meet. I love your book and love what you're doing." And then, at that meeting, it was at your favorite spot.
Hal Elrod: Yard House, back then, yeah.
Chandler Bolt: By the airport. Yeah, exactly. And then that was when I said, "Hey, you got an event coming up. If you're looking for volunteers, like I'd be happy to volunteer." And that was kind of my hustle at that time is, a lot of these events I couldn't afford to go to, but I just wanted to get into the room.
Hal Elrod: Nice.
Chandler Bolt: And then, I volunteered at the event and then that kick started a lot of other things, that opened everything.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And that's tip number one, guys, like, when Chandler was starting out, he connected with all these people because he volunteered for free at their events to be a leader to help out and serve. And so, that's how we met, yeah. And then, I remember at our event, the highlight is Chandler, the famous giveaway, he gave away copies of The Five-Minute Journal. He did an Oprah style giveaway. It's on YouTube somewhere, I think, but it was the whole, like Oprah used to give away cars, and Chandler was like, you get a Five-Minute Journal, you get a Five-Minute Journal, everybody gets a Five-Minute Journal. I remember like it was yesterday, man.
And then, Chandler, and we're going to talk a lot about this because really, Chandler, I want to do something different than we've done today. Like I want to talk about you as a person, your mindset, and how you've achieved extraordinary success. I mentioned this in the intro. You've grown your business from zero to $26 million in six years, and you're 27 years old, right? Like your success dwarfs 99% of entrepreneurs. Like, it's incredible. And that's what I really want to dive into.
And of course, the book stuff, we'll talk today about how to write a book, you've written one, how to sell more books, we've done that before. We have some cool– we're doing a couple of webinars coming up. Mark your calendar right now, and we'll give you all the info, but it's March 30th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. We're going to do a webinar on how to write and publish a book in as little as 90 days that grows your impact, your income, and your business. So, that's March 30th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
And then, on April 1st, just two days later, we're going to host another webinar, we've never done before. I've never done this with you before, but it's the proven path to sell more books, how to sell your first 10,000 or your next 10,000 copies. And we have hundreds of members of our community and listeners of this podcast that have gone through Chandler's company, Self-Publishing School, and they've written and published their first book. And so, they might not attend the March 30th webinar, that's for new authors, but if you have written a book, and you want to learn how to sell the next 10,000 copies, that webinar on April 1st will be happening.
So, we'll get into all the details on that, but this is what I want to mention is that– Oh, shoot, I forgot what I wanted to mention, Chandler. Where was I going with that?
Chandler Bolt: Probably when we were talking about going a little bit different with this interview, and then I think maybe HalElrod.com/SPS, if people want to register for either one of these.
Hal Elrod: To register for the webinars, HalElrod.com/SPS. No, what was I going to say? Hold on. It'll come to me. Just give me a moment of silence, everybody. So, Chandler, growing a business to that degree, alright, whatever, we'll figure it out. We'll figure it out, we'll get there, but the point is that today, I wanted to be different than we've done in the past, because what you've done, we always focus on what you teach, but not who you are and what you've done. And I think that what you've done is remarkable.
So, for anybody listening that has some major goals, that wants to grow a business, that wants to start a business, that wants to become an entrepreneur. Yeah, man, you are a living example, and I think that, again, we just shared the first actionable strategy. Right? Is that you started out six, seven years ago when you were 20 years old going to events and volunteering. And I think that that's such an important piece, is that you got in with people that now, I mean, look, you volunteer at my event and seven years later, you're on the podcast again.
Oh, I remember it. Okay, here's what I wanted to share. I told you to come back. So, Chandler reached out to me. Gosh, I don't know, five years ago or so. And he said, "Hal, hey, would you be open to sharing Self-Publishing School with your audience and promoting it?" And that's what's called essentially an affiliate deal, where he goes, you'll get a percentage, you'll get a little bit of kickback on anyone that buys our course through your email. And that's kind of how this thing works. And I had said, "No," I'd been pitched to dozens and dozens and dozens of people saying, "Hey, promote my product. I'll give you a percentage of the profits." And I had said no every single time for years until you asked.
And because of who you are, Chandler, and because I believe so much in the power of writing a book, I've said it so many times that writing the Miracle Morning and self-publishing the Miracle Morning. For those that don't know, the Miracle Morning sold two and a half million copies. It's self-published to this day. And it was a yes, like it was an easy yes that I believe in you. I know your heart and your integrity. And I knew what you had done through Self-Publishing School and what you had done with your own books. And so, for me, it was a yes.
And so, I just want to share that with the audience because, like, basically, I put my stamp of approval on Chandler Bolt, like I vouch for you and anybody that asks, I rave about you. You were at my house a few weeks ago, watching you, when you're in town in Austin. Yeah, you and I actually have a really, really great friendship, and I appreciate you, brother.
Chandler Bolt: Hey, right back at you. You're one of the earliest supporters of me. And I've told you this so many times, but it's something I will never forget, and I will forever be indebted to you and grateful for you.
Hal Elrod: That's why I do the things I do, forever indebtedness, man. I'm kidding. So, let's go back, like the whole kind of who is Chandler Bolt? So, I want to know, like how did you grow up? Like where'd you grow up? How did you grow up? And what did you want to be when you grew up? Let's start there.
Chandler Bolt: Yeah. So, I think I'm a product of great– I mean, I believe there's no such thing as self-made.
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Chandler Bolt: And I'm a product of really great parents and really great people around me. And so, I grew up in the middle of nowhere, South Carolina. I'm a C level English student and a college dropout with ADHD. Basically, the last person you would ever think that's writing books and running a "school" teaching people to write books, right? And so, I grew up wanting to be an entrepreneur. My mom loves this story that she sent me off to Scout camp. I was in Boy Scouts, and she sent me with all these snacks and drinks and stuff. And I came back with a wad full of cash and a switchblade knife because I sold them all, I didn't need them, I sold them all.
So, that was like, I think the impetus of becoming an entrepreneur. And so, then it's that kind of entrepreneurial spirit. My dad runs a small-town construction company. My mom's a realtor, so both kinds of entrepreneurs. And so, I think I saw that. My brother plays in the Grammy-nominated rock and roll band called Needtobreathe. So, he kind of blazed this path that everyone was like, hey, when are you going to get a real job and stop doing music and all that? And then, he made it big time in the music world. And so, I think he was kind of this trailblazer for me, combined with my parents really pouring into me and teaching a lot of life skills.
And so, selling snacks at Scout camp, running the first couple of businesses and in high school with a landscaping business and kind of a canteen at school, then for a six-figure company in college with student painters running an exterior house painting business. And then that kind of gave me the confidence to drop out of school. I dropped out of school, started Self-Publishing School. So, that's kind of the entrepreneurial journey and just building.
And one of my first books I wrote with my brother, it was a charity project. We talked about kind of this concept of many, M-A-N-Y, like a lot, mini, M-I-N-I, so mini, a lot of little successes. And that being kind of just a key to building confidence and also to kind of slowly building success in anything, and I feel like that's the story of my journey as a person and as an entrepreneur.
Hal Elrod: So, that first book you wrote with your brother, and it was called Many of the Mini, Many of Mini it was called?
Chandler Bolt: No, that was one of the concepts. Sorry.
Hal Elrod: Okay.
Chandler Bolt: And so, the book...
Hal Elrod: I love that concept, by the way, though, M-A-N-Y of M-I-N-I, yeah, yeah, yeah. Many of the Mini, that's a great concept.
Chandler Bolt: And so, the book is called Breaking Out of a Broken System. And it was kind of about, we felt like there were these 15 things that our parents taught us growing up, that we thought were totally normal, and then we got out in the real world and realized no one gets taught this stuff. And so, it's his perspective as a musician, my perspective as a business guy on these same 15 things. It was a project for charity, but that was one of the concepts. And so, I think it's just like you're doing with your kids, right? It's like the concept of just pushing them out of their comfort zone a little bit, setting them up to succeed and try this new thing. And then they do it, and they say, "Oh, well, I did it. I have a little bit more confidence, I have a little bit..." And so, it's just kind of brick by brick building up your confidence and also building up your skill set.
And you can do that in any area, I mean, this is I feel like a lot of what the Miracle Morning is about is doing that as a part of your morning routine, which I'm also, I mean, I'm a product and raving fan of the Miracle Morning.
Hal Elrod: Dude, you're a movie star. Thanks to the Miracle Morning. You are in the Miracle Morning and in case, you guys don't know, Chander Bolt...
Chandler Bolt: I somehow didn’t get edited out.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, yeah. No, I love you because you had the greatest line, you talked about right. The day I started the Miracle Morning, that was the date that changed everything, right?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah. And I don't know if you know this, Hal, but I can count probably on one hand the number of days I've missed a Miracle Morning since I started in 2014, and I view that. And when people ask, I mean, they ask in podcast interviews all the time is like, "Hey, what's one of the key things that you would attribute your success to?" And it's like the Miracle Morning, I mean, if I do my morning routine, it's going to be a great day. And if I don't, it's not. I mean, it's as simple as that. And so many things in my life compound just from my morning routine, so.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, I feel the same way, man. And I'm grateful to hear that. So, when you started self-publishing– now, you self-published another book after the one with your brother, right?
Chandler Bolt: Yep.
Hal Elrod: For-profit, because that first one was a charity project. And then, when did you publish your first for-profit book?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah, it's kind of confusing. It's like I wrote the one with my brother first, but actually published the other one before it actually came out. So, it's like the first one I wrote versus the first one published.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Chandler Bolt: But there's one called The Productive Person. It's about productivity for entrepreneurs and basically what I learned running a six-figure house painting business while also being a full-time college student, and how do you juggle your time and that sort of thing. And so, that was the one that I published and kind of alongside, that gave me the confidence to drop out of school. That book started making a few thousand dollars a month and royalties. And so, that kind of paid the bills as I dropped out of school. And then, that parlayed into those two books.
It's kind of like I didn't drop out of school thinking I'm going to start Self-Publishing School. I dropped out of school thinking I'm going to start a business, and I've got six months of runway. Six months of savings, I hope this works, right? And so, I was working on a business at the time that was totally failing, and people kept asking about the book publishing stuff. And so, I'd get on the phone for an hour, teach them everything I knew for free just to be a nice person and try to be helpful, and say, "Hey, I hope this works."
It's kind of one of those things where somebody can only smack you in the face so many times before you turn around and look. And you turn and look, and there's this line of people there. And so, I think that's a lesson for folks as well, it's like what's the thing that people are already asking you about right now, and that they're asking for your advice on, and that's probably either a business that you could start or maybe it's within your business. Maybe you're emotionally attached to a part of your business, and everyone's asking about some other thing. Usually, that thing is a really great product or really great business because people are actually interested in. So, that's how my Self-Publishing School started.
Hal Elrod: You and I have so much in common, and I'm sure with many other entrepreneurs, but my first business was coaching Cutco sales reps. I was a top Cutco sales rep, and people were always asking me for advice. How do you do it? Can I train with you? Can I write? And then, one day, I'm like, wait a minute, I think these guys would pay for coaching, and there you go. And then I launched what became a six-figure business, and I ran it for many years. And then, I expanded to all sorts of different entrepreneurs and sales reps, but it was exactly what you said, looking at what are people asking me for?
And if they're not asking you, maybe you're very quiet, they don't know what you got to offer, but then the question is the other way to ask that question is what have I done that other people would arguably you want to do that I could help shorten their learning curve or guide them along the way or give them support, accountability, et cetera. And with Self-Publishing School, you guys provide all of that, so education, accountability, all of the above. When did you start Self-Publishing School? 2015?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah. So, we launched in 2015. So, we did like a small class the year before just to get proof of concept, and that was 44 people, I think, and 60% of those folks wrote and published a book within six months.
Hal Elrod: Now talk about that. That's a huge, yeah, I'm pausing on this, I want to unpack that. So, you launched it to 40 people. Is it 40?
Chandler Bolt: Yes. Yeah, I think it was like 44, maybe, yeah.
Hal Elrod: To test it out and see if people would actually pay you for this before you actually rolled out a full-on business. What did that look like? How did you get those 40 people? How did you present them, pitch them, sell them on your offering? And how did you deliver it?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah. So, I'm a big proponent of sell, then build, right? And so, you presell it, ask people exactly what they want, and then build exactly what they want, right? And so, that's what we did. How we did it was I had to– we scrapped for every, like we just did so many personal reach-outs and said, "Hey, we're doing these three webinars. Share this with someone you know who wants to write a book." So, we just reached out to every person we knew basically, and said, "Hey, if you know someone, send them this."
And I had two partners, like kind of first-ever affiliates that took a fire on me, kind of similar to you, maybe a year or two later, took a fire on me where they said, "Hey, I know Chandler. I know that this is legit." And I know that no matter what, like this is going to at minimum, be a value add to my audience, like if they just show up for this webinar and all that stuff. And so, that's what I did, and that's how we got the first 44, kind of cohort of 44 students signed up. And then, when we got that over 60% success rate within six months, I mean, 60% of people writing and publishing a book within six months, that was when I said, "Proof of concept, got it." And we went all in, and that's when in February of 2015, we launched and kind of crazy about that time. I was like at the end of my runway, from dropping out of school and all that and...
Hal Elrod: Running out of money.
Chandler Bolt: Yeah. So, I just pushed all the chips in it. And that's what people think sometimes, it's like, oh, they see the first success, and they think, oh, you're successful. They see your revenue and they think it's profit, and they don't see the fact that it's like I was one of three business partners and like we did $86,000 in revenue that year, which the profit split three ways, like I don't even make enough money to file taxes on that year, but then, fast forward to February 2015, and all of my bank accounts were negative. I borrowed $15,000 from friends and family to get the business off the ground, pushed the chips in the table, and then that's when we launched Self-Publishing School. We went from zero to $1.32 million in sales over the next eleven months.
And it was on the heels of a book, like I launched in the book, and that kick started it. And then we launched...
Hal Elrod: Was that published? Which book did you launch?
Chandler Bolt: That one is a book called Book Launch.
Hal Elrod: Oh, yeah. I can remember that.
Chandler Bolt: Yeah, and then the most recent one is published. Yeah, and that's like probably my flagship book, but yeah.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And so, you launched it in debt, borrowing money, put it all, put like you said all the chips in, and for anyone listening, all you need is proof of concept to then have the calculated risk that you're taking. Like, if you had just gone from never doing anything, don't know if this is going to work, don't know if anybody wants this, I'm all in, that's risky. If you test it, if you try it with a small group of people, whether it's four or 40, and you go, oh, they want it, they're willing to pay for it, this works. We delivered the service, and they got the results. Okay, concept proven, now I can go all in. Now I can go get a loan from the bank or from friends or from family or whatever.
So, Chandler, it's such a beautiful success story from volunteering at events, to self-publishing a book. It's a path that anyone can follow, and they've got to follow it, though it takes courage. It takes courage because you have to take risks. And I don't know any entrepreneur that didn't start out with putting some stuff on the line.
Chandler Bolt: Hey, one quick thing before you ask me anything.
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Chandler Bolt: One quick thing on that, actually, I think it was really helpful for me is a mentor told me one time, it's exactly what you just said. He said, Chandler, there's a difference between taking risks and being risky. And so, a lot of people think being risky is playing the lottery. As this is like I'm probably not going to win, but taking risks, and so that's where I feel like I did it in this case, and in so many other cases throughout our business journey, dropping out of school, that was a risk. It wasn't risky, though, because I calculated the risk. I could finish my degree for ten grand and some costs of living, but I felt like my opportunity cost was a few hundred thousand dollars worth of business that I could do over that time.
So, I took that calculated risk, and I dropped out. And so, that I think might even be helpful for people is, okay, don't just like recklessly quit your job or recklessly like put all your money into this new thing that has no proof of concept to take risks. Don't be risky.
Hal Elrod: I love that. And I did a similar thing when I left Cutco, I saved up six months of income. I mean, it's almost identical story, six months of income, and then I'm like, I got six months to get this coaching business built to work and replace my income and I took that, but again, what I did is I signed on like eight clients while I was still selling Cutco, and then coached him for a few months, and then I asked him, "Hey, do you want to continue for the next year?" And they're like, absolutely, this is great. So, again, it's very similar. I took a calculated risk, and then once I had clients and I had proof of concept, I went all in.
And how did you grow it from a startup to $1.3 million that year? Like what's the high-level general mindset? And actually, before you answer that, you can answer kind of the same breath. When you started Self-Publishing School, like February 2015 borrowing 15 grand, I'd love to know what was the vision? Like what did you think was possible, or maybe what did you think was likely both? So, what was your vision? And then, how did you grow it to a $26 million business? Last year was, what? $7.1 one million in revenue?
Chandler Bolt: Yes.
Hal Elrod: Dude, I've never come close to that, Chandler. I got to go back and listen to this podcast. Anyway, man, alright, so yeah. So, what was your vision for Self-Publishing School? And how did you get where you are?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah, so I think, and this is probably why a lot of people can relate to this. There was my vision pre first cohort and post. And vision at first was, hey, I'm going to just try to like, I need to not run out of money, and I need to prove that I could replicate somewhat my success with others. And so, that was the goal with the first 44 students. It's like, let's cash flow this enough to keep rolling, and like let's knock the socks off of these first 44 students. So, then they had success. Then, that gave me belief in the concept as a whole, and then kind of also what happened in the interim, and I think you've heard me tell the story, and I kind of tell this full story in my TEDx talk, but I had a friend kind of tragically passed away right in front of me.
And in that time, and then that was in September, October of 2014, as we were finishing this cohort and I was deciding, okay, do I move on to something else? Do I double down? And that was what I needed as I felt like when he passed away, I'm living for two now. And also, I found out that he had attended one of my random webinars and actually written most of a draft of a book. And we were actually, with the help of his friends, able to publish that book after he passed away. So, that for me was the light bulb, that this is it, this is one of the few things in my life that's actually making the world a better place, I need to and I want to double down, and then that's when I set all the chips in the table, February of 2015, like, this is what we're going to do, and we're going to go big.
And so, then, the vision was how do we change as many lives as possible through publishing a book? I believe that books change lives. I believe in leverage impact, you do work once and that book, just like you've done with the Miracle Morning, goes on to impact thousands, tens of thousands, in your case, millions of people and longer after you're off this earth, this is still going to be making an impact, still going to be earning an income for your family and future generations.
And so, the goal is to change lives through books. And so, specifically, our mission now, kind of fast forwarding now, is to publish hundred thousand books by 2035. And so, we feel like for every book published, that's at least 1,200 people that are impacted. So, we'll change the lives of 120 million people by doing that. Out of our hundred thousand books published, I think we're about 6,000 away there. So, we've made some good progress. We have a long, long way to go, but we've been publishing about two to five books every single day right now. And so, we're making consistent progress toward that.
Hal Elrod: And the beauty of you know, you mentioned changing lives through books and that you believe books change lives. The cool thing is, and especially in the context of what you do, is that books change lives for the reader and for the author, right?
Chandler Bolt: Yes.
Hal Elrod: And obviously, I've had my life changed by the books that– I mean to this day, the book I'm reading right now, it's called Awareness by Anthony DeMello. In fact, you should get it, Chandler. It's arguably the best book I've ever read. And it's like just when you think, I've read hundreds of books, like I know so much. And then, you're like you read a new book like, oh, my God, I've never heard of this. So, I've never...
Yeah, so it changes books on both ends. So, as a reader of books, it's who I am today has largely been shaped by that. I know you're nodding your head, you agree, but writing the Miracle Morning and self-publishing it, it gave my family financial freedom. And I always say that the biggest impact of this, you can't predict the future, when I got cancer and I was in the hospital for most of eight months, I wasn't able to work. That book, the Miracle Morning, and the other books I'd written, but primarily the Miracle Morning, that one book, it paid all of my family's bills, it paid all of my medical bills while I didn't promote it, I didn't do anything.
And so, that's why I'm so passionate about sharing the opportunity to write a book with people, because I think most people want to write a book, they have life experience that would help others, and I feel like, and I always say, this is my opinion, I don't want to project on everybody else, but I think we have a responsibility to share our life experience, to share our knowledge with other people to serve them, to help them. And arguably, the best way to do it is a book because it does last forever. Even when you're gone, Think and Grow Rich written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, that book still sells, I don't even know, hundreds of thousands of copies every single year, almost 100 years after the guy wrote it. So, let me ask you, and I know, I've heard you share the number before, but what is the percentage of people from nationwide surveys that want to write a book?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah, so it's about 81% to 82% of folks, according to the New York Times of people who want to write a book. We know that less than 1% of people actually do it.
Hal Elrod: Got it. So, 80. Yes, listen, 80% want to write and 1% do. So, the next question, because you're so deep in this genre is, what holds people back from writing a book?
Chandler Bolt: A lot of things. There's two or three main things. People think it's a bigger thing than it actually is, so they don't have the confidence to even start. They're kind of racked with self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Who am I to do this? I don't know enough, all those things. And then, if they're actually committed to starting, though, then the biggest roadblock is getting a rough draft done. And that's what we focus on with our students and folks that we're helping is, hey, nothing else matters until you get the rough draft done. So, as soon as you kind of if you're at the starting blocks, that's the first major milestone that we want to help people work towards this. How do you get the rough draft done as fast as possible? And it's a rough draft, they'll get better, but that is where we see the light bulb turn on for people. Once they get the rough draft done, it goes from this thing that, it's kind of a pipe dream that I might do, that I'm kind of working on, too. I'm actually doing this and it's going to get done.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Well, I've heard it called the shitty first draft or different term for it. Why did you guys call it a rough draft?
Chandler Bolt: I mean, we just...
Hal Elrod: It's a rough draft.
Chandler Bolt: Yeah. We say rough, rough draft.
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Chandler Bolt: Like rough, rough, like a dog, but that's just like to make people feel better. It's like, hey, this is a rough, rough draft.
Hal Elrod: The dog draft.
Chandler Bolt: And that's fine.
Hal Elrod: And for anybody listening, I want to ask somebody who's written books, I want to say that when I used to do coaching and some of my clients I would coach on, they wanted to write a book. So, we focused on that. Yeah, your first book or the goal of the first draft is just to get it done, and it can be crappy, like it's a mediocre version, that's fine. The hardest thing is getting the words on paper, get right, and then you go back. And in the editing is when you make your rough draft, that's the polishing, that's the polishing of the rough stone to make it a polished final draft. So, what do you think, like what are the biggest reasons that people should write a book? Like what's in it for somebody to write a book? Passive income, pride, and legacy, all of the above and more, like what do you think the biggest compelling reasons are?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah, so there's probably two big ones, impact and then income or really for most people, it's growing your business in that sense. So, for some people, they say, "Hey, I want to write a book because I want my kids and my kids' kids to know the lessons that I learned the hard way." And I wish I had people always talk about my grandpa and I never met, he died when I was one-year-old, and they always just rave about him. I'm like, man, I wish I would have– what did they like so much? What did he learn from his time on Earth? And I wish I could read his book.
And in a similar sense, like I know it was kind of a picture book. Like I would have loved to have a Mamba Mentality book by Kobe Bryant, like just I would have loved to read that and just his approach. And he had like kind of a small picture book, but, like, that's your legacy, right?
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Chandler Bolt: And then, the flip side is using a book to grow your business. And so, if you're an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur, I think it's a no-brainer. And you can follow my path either way, which is why I wrote and published a book to start a business, and it was like the first proof of concept. And I did the book first, I got income rolling in, started to build an email list, and then launched products and et cetera, or you can do what I'm doing now is use a book to get more lead sales and referrals for your business. And so, my book Published generates hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, maybe even over a million a year at this point, just in revenue for Self-Publishing School.
People buy the book. I'll give it away like crazy, like when I'm speaking at your events or other events, it's like we give away the book to people. They read it on the plane ride home. They book a call with the team, sign it for Self-Publishing School. So, my book, I view it as kind of like this Trojan horse that spreads the ideology that helps us get more leads, help us convert a higher percentage of sales, and then it also helps us turn customers into referrers because they're not going to hand out my business card, but I can give them a book, and then they pass those books around. And so, it just kind of helps spread the message and then bring back business.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, well, that's what I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs do is some people write a book to sell a lot of books, but a lot of business owners will write a book to share their expertise and knowledge with people knowing that those people can get a lot more value if they actually hire the person, right?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: It's like Self-Publishing School, you're providing an accountability coach to actually check in with the person every week and make sure they're finishing on time and on track and answering questions and support. That's one thing that you don't get in a book is it's not interactive, you can't ask questions, but yeah, fantastic. So, alright, so we're going to do two, and this is the first time we've ever done the two of these. We're going to do the first webinar on March 30th, how to write and publish a book in as little as 90 days that grows your impact, income, and business. So, if you've never written a book, go to HalElrod.com/SPS for Self-Publishing School, S-P-S, HalElrod.com/SPS. And Chandler, can people, or both of the webinars, they're going to be there? They can register for either one, or how does it work?
Chandler Bolt: Yeah, they should be, and just to be sure, we'll make sure both links are in the show notes as well.
Hal Elrod: Okay, awesome. And then, webinar number two, April 1st at 1:00 p.m. Eastern is the proven path to sell more books, how to sell your first 10,000 or your next 10,000 copies. Chandler, any final thoughts on, again, like I said, I want today to be different. We always talk about how to sell books on these podcasts. Considering that we're doing the webinars, I thought no reason to make it redundant. I really wanted to feature your story and what you've been able to accomplish. So, for anybody listening that wants to not write a book, sure, but really just that wants to build a business that helps people, changes lives and gives them financial freedom, any final tips on what's helped you on your journey?
Chandler Bolt: I love the Zig Ziglar quote. He says, "If you wait for all the lights to turn green, you'll never get started on your journey to the top." And so, I think for a lot of people, writing a book is a maybe next year, maybe someday item. And they think there's going to be this magical day where I've got no job, no business, no kids. I've got a week off in the mountains in a cabin by myself, and that's when I'm going to write my book. And it's not going to happen, like you're going to have to start before you're ready. And so, the advantage that most of your folks have, Hal, is they're already doing the Miracle Morning.
And so, so many of our– like we teach the Miracle Morning is one of the first steps. It's like, alright, cool. How do I write? How do I find time to write? It's like, have you tried the Miracle Morning? You should do that, and use 30 minutes of that to write every day, and you can make consistent progress, right? So, so many people are already doing that. And so, utilize what you're already doing to start making progress with your book, get started before you're ready, and then obviously, we've got the training. The training's happening on March 30th and then April 1st.
So, if you're trying to get your first book done or maybe your next book launched because you've never done it the right way, March 30th, 1:00 pm, Eastern, HalElrod.com/SPS, that's going to be the best first place. If you've written and published one or multiple books, and you're like, how do I get these to keep selling? Like you've got kind of that crash of sales post launch, show up for the one on April 1st. And it's going to be about how to sell more books. And then, if you're listening to this right now and you're like, dang it, those dates have already passed, go to that same link, what we're going to do is we're going to put the recorded version of that at that same exact link. So, if you're past those dates, no problem. You can go there, you'll see the recorded version of that training. And so, this can continue to be a resource for people who either want to launch a book or some more books of the book that they've already launched.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, man. And to be clear, I'm going to be on both of those webinars, like I'll be there. So, you're going to hear from Chandler, you'll hear from me, too. And the last thing I want to say, Chandler, very quickly is you closed out with a Zig Ziglar quote, and I want to close out with another Zig quote that applies to you. You can have everything in life if you help enough other people get what they want. You can have everything in life that you want if you help enough other people get what they want. And that's exactly, Chandler, what you're doing. It's what I try to do with helping people get what they want, and then it comes back, and that's what writing a book can do for you. You can get everything that you want in life if you write a book that helps enough other people get what they want. So, I'm excited for the webinars, never done two webinars in a week, man. So, you're stretching me, but it's going to be fun, man. Yeah, I enjoy it, it's easy to talk to you, so it's a good time.
Chandler Bolt: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it, Hal. Thank you so much for having me on, and thank you so much for just putting me in front of your audience. You're such a great example of what you just talked about, which is helping other people get what they want and helping build other people up. And I tell people this all the time, like, you are the most inspiring person that I've ever met. And I don't just say that, like there's no one else in my life that I'm like, that's the most inspiring person I've ever met. It's Hal Elrod, just your story, your passion for people, your love for people, how you serve people, like it's just unbelievable. And I appreciate you, man.
Hal Elrod: Thank you, brother. I'll just say, it takes one to know one, man. So, it's fun to do a live with you, Chandler. Goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community, thank you for tuning in. I hope you enjoy talking to Chandler as much as I do. And again, if you want to register for either of the webinars on how to write a book and publish a book or how to sell more books, go to HalElrod.com/SPS, Self-Publishing School, S-P-S. And we'll see you pretty soon. Take care.
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