This week, we’re happy to bring back a frequent guest of Team SPI. In December 2012, he self-published a book that sold about 3,500 copies in its first month. The next month it was a little over 2,000, and the next month it was more like 1,000. You get the picture. As many self-published authors will tell you, your first month is usually going to be far and away your best month for sales, and it’s hard to ever get back to those numbers. What happens next is where Hal Elrod’s story is different from the vast majority of self-publishers, and why I had to bring him back on the show.
The Miracle Morning (Amazon link) has now sold millions of copies, with a forward written by Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame. It’s been the number one selling book in Brazil and Korea, and number six in France and the UK. He’s franchised the Miracle Morning brand into industry-specialized books for real estate agents, personal finance, you name it. My big question for Hal, that we get into in this episode, is how did he make that happen? [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
The answer comes down to an insane level of commitment to continually promote and market his book, as well as a few things Hal did by accident that he’s since reverse-engineered. If you’re thinking about self-publishing and wondering what you can do to make your book a hit, this episode is for you. We talk about his continual efforts to market and promote his book to get sales back up to his first month levels (it took him eighteen months). We also go behind the scenes to see how he’s been able to spin The Miracle Morning into a successful brand, and what you can build into your book to generate viral, word-of-mouth marketing where your readers are your main evangelizers.
Pat Flynn: I want to tell you a true story about somebody, and I want you to guess to see whether or not you know who this person is that I’m describing. Specifically, I’m going to talk about a particular book that this person has published. I’ll reveal what this book is in just a minute, as well. But, let’s see. I’ll reveal it for you pretty shortly here in just a minute. This person published, self-published a book in December, 2012. In that first month he made about thirty-five hundred sales. The next month after that a little over two thousand. The month after that a little over one thousand. The sales continued to sort of dwindle as the months went by, just like many other people who self publish, and even traditionally-published books.
But fast forward to today. Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad, has then now written the forward to this same book. He is an advocate of everything this person says. This person, this author, has now sold millions of copies of this same exact book with over thirty-five hundred customer reviews on Amazon. He has sold over a half-million copies in Brazil alone, became a number one bestseller, including all the traditional books in that country. It was a number one bestseller in France, and many other countries around the world as well. Who am I talking about? Any ideas? Well, this person he changed my life. He’s been on the show a couple of times in Episode 140, where we talked about an early morning routine. He came back in Episode 367, talking about something called The Miracle Equation (Amazon link). If you haven’t guessed by now, this is none other than Hal Elrod, author of the very successful The Miracle Morning (Amazon link). [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
Now, I’m not here to talk about The Miracle Morning in terms of what is all inside of it and how it can change your life. It definitely changed my life. I talk about that story in Episode 140, where he came on and he gave me a copy of the book and I said, “This is ridiculous. I would never wake up this early,” and now I’m an early-morning person and have become more productive than I ever have in my entire life thanks to Hal. He’s gone through some amazing near-death experiences, even being dead for nearly eight minutes, coming back to life, and being told he was never going to walk. And then here he is walking. He then, recently, had undergone a cancer treatment, being diagnosed and having, I can’t remember, but about a twenty percent chance to live. He survived that. He is now cancer free. Just an amazing person. But, what is also amazing is just how did The Miracle Morning take off? Especially after a start that’s much like any other start to any other book that we see out there, to our books.
In this episode you’re actually going to hear a behind-the-scenes interview that I had with him that was for a YouTube video, but this is so good and it reveals so much about how this book itself was positioned in a way for success to ultimately happen. Again, like I said, it didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t happen at the start, it took some time. But we go into the details, I ask a lot of questions to get deeper into exactly how this all works. It even inspired me to think about what my next book might be. I’m not talking about Superfans, I’m talking about the book after this that may be structured in a very similar way to, hopefully, sort of take advantage of some of these things that he has included in The Miracle Morning that, quite honestly, he even says he didn’t do on purpose. You’re going to hear it here today with Hal Elrod, the deep inside details about how The Miracle Morning became such a massive success. First, let’s start with the intro. Here we go.
Announcer: Welcome to The Smart Passive Income Podcast where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. Now your host. San Diego will always be his number one home, Pat Flynn.
Pat: What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Session 382 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. My name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people, too, and to help all of us just understand just how this Miracle Morning phenomenon came to be with Hal Elrod. I’m not going to let you wait any longer. This is an interview that was at a WeWork in San Diego, California. He came in to film. We filmed this. This is going to live on YouTube as well, if it isn’t already there. But I wanted to capture this for you, too, because it’s just so valuable, and it’s going to teach you stuff that isn’t really taught anywhere else. He really spills the beans here. Here he is, Hal Elrod from The Miracle Morning. You’re going to hear a little bit of an echo because it was recorded in a larger conference room, but don’t mind that. It is worth it, I promise. Here we go.
Everybody, I’m here with my good friend Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning and the new book, The Miracle Equation, and we’re here today to talk about books. Hal, you’ve sold a lot of books. I know I’m coming out with some books soon. You might be coming out with some books soon. We’ve going to dive into how the brain understands like how have you been so successful with, first, initially self-publishing The Miracle Morning. How many copies of Miracle Morning have you sold?
Hal Elrod: About 1.7 million.
Pat: 1.7 million, self-published, around the world. You recently told me that you’ve sold a half-million in Brazil alone.
Pat: So, we’ll talk about it.
Hal: I just found that out the other day. I had no idea.
Pat: Geez, I’m so proud of you.
Hal: Thank you.
Pat: So, we’ll talk about international as well. But tell me, how have you been able to decide . . . How have you been able to crack the code for selling books? There’s a lot of great books out there, but none of them, hardly any of them—
Hal: So, this wasn’t planned, first and foremost, meaning . . . People ask me sometimes, “Did you have this vision for changing the world and reaching millions of people?” I’m like, “I had that vision in a really small way,” like maybe that could happen but I really doubt it. I think that we all . . . As human beings you have doubt and fear and insecurity. Especially when you check your rear view mirror, as you hear me talk about like there’s no evidence that you can do what you’re trying to do. I had never sold any books. In fact, that’s not true. My first book, Taking Life Head On! (Amazon Link), came out six years before Miracle Morning and it sold very few copies and didn’t go word-of-mouth. The good thing about that is the contrast of being like, “Oh, here’s the wrong way to do it. Here’s why that didn’t go viral, why it didn’t take off.” [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
So, I can sum all of this up like in one strategy of what makes The Miracle Morning so viral. When I say viral, like it’s important to understand there are . . . I’ll get to the big key in a second, but some of the preliminary stuff—I think it’s so important if you’re writing a book, launching a business product, anything, that you’re committed over an extended period of time. That’s what Miracle Equation largely talks about, like it’s got to be over an extended period of time, because stuff doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d like it to.
What’s important for people to know is that, and we’ll show this graph. I have a graph where most authors, the first month that your book comes out that’s your biggest month ever, because you leverage every relationship you have. “Mom, Dad, brother, Sis, friends, everybody please buy my book.” Then, you sell whatever you sell that first month and then, typically, you’ve exhausted everybody in your platform and in month two it drops, and it just goes into obscurity.
Pat: So, how many did you sell in that first month when Miracle Morning came out?
Hal: I sold eighteen hundred copies on Amazon, self-published, and then here’s the lesson. So, it wasn’t like this hit out the gate. It wasn’t that I launched to a big platform. I didn’t have a platform, and I didn’t have any connections to a platform. I didn’t have friends with blogs or anything. I wasn’t like Tim Ferriss where’s he like, he had a hundred bloggers pumping out his stuff on day one. So month one I sold eighteen hundred copies. Month two I sold I think about nine hundred. Month three I sold 783, and then three hundred and something and then 182. So you’ll see this graph, right? It just bzzzzz.
Now, I was committed to . . . Essentially the funny part, or the interesting thing, is The Miracle Equation is coming out now but it’s how I sold a million copies of The Miracle Morning, big picture. It’s not the tactical stuff which we’re going to get into. But, I was committed, I had unwavering faith that this message could change people’s lives and so, therefore, I was committed to put forth extraordinary effort in sharing it until. And that is the operative word. I didn’t care if it took me ten years, or thirty years, or forty years to reach . . . The original mission was change one million lives, one morning at a time. That was my target. When we got to a million, it was like, “Okay, we’ve got to go bigger.” Now it’s elevate the consciousness of humanity.
But the point is, I was committed to do whatever it took for as long as it took. See, most authors that I meet they always tell me, and then they see this graph. You’re going to see the eighteen months just to get the book sales back to month one. That’s what it took eighteen months to do, and a hundred and fifty podcast interviews, over a hundred fifty, over a dozen TV interviews on Good Morning Sacramento—no big shows. I got on Good Day Houston, good, right, and busted my butt and not getting paid for it. The month that I sold 183 copies and made five hundred bucks, or whatever, nothing crazy, I was still doing ten, twenty podcasts every single week and not getting paid for that time.
Pat: So, this wasn’t a blockbuster hit right out of the gate?
Pat: But it’s since become that.
Pat: So, until one million, and I think this is funny because we write books so we know a lot of authors, after that initial push it’s like, “Okay, I did my job there. Let’s get ready for book number two.” So, in addition to a bunch of podcast interviews and the smaller TV spots, what else did you do during that time to start seeing it ramp up again?
Hal: So the main thing was podcast interviews, and I did the TV as kind of an experiment to try, and I paid like ten grand to go to this seminar thing where they introduce you to producers, and you network and get on TV.
Pat: Was it worth it?
Hal: No. Well, I won’t say, “no.” I answered that fast. The initial ROI, definitely not worth it. The being on TV did not move the needle for books, and being on podcasts did. In fact, I think you know this, I don’t know if you know this, but your podcast was the tipping point. That is where we went from . . . We got to eighteen hundred copies after eighteen months. Yeah, eighteen months eighteen hundred copies, and then we went to like two thousand, right? Then, when we were on your show we went from like, we were at twenty-eight hundred and we went over five thousand the next month. Yeah, you hold a special place in my heart, brother.
Pat: Thank you for that, but the strategy isn’t get on Pat Flynn’s show, right?
Hal: No, no, no, of course.
Pat: How would you distill that strategy?
Hal: So, let me back up to writing the book. So, if you have already written a book you need to . . . Well, if you’re traditionally published . . . That’s one of the tough parts about being traditionally published, you’re kind of stuck with your book. With a self-published book, I’ve updated this probably three times now. I go to Amazon. I read all the one star, two star, three star reviews, and I look for common themes and I go, “Okay, where did I miss the boat, where did I not resonate, where did I turn people off?” Then, I go rewrite the book once a year, and I change it and I republish it, so that’s what I do.
Pat: No, I’m just saying you’re making it better. This is good.
Hal: Making it better. So, here’s the point. The way you sell 1.7 million copies of your book has more to do with how you write the book than it does the marketing. This is the secret. This is the key, the number one key—and we can talk about lots of things but this is the number one foundational fundamental key. Your book needs to change someone’s behavior in a meaningful way, and change their consistent behavior. So think about most books. They don’t change behavior, they only shift your thinking. While you’re reading the book you’re thinking—we’ve all been there, right? Where you’re going, “Oh, that’s bril . . . I never thought of life that way. Brilliant.” Maybe you’re telling a friend that day, one day, because you’re like, “Dude, I’m reading this book.” Because the emotional response, “You better read this.” So, word-of-mouth will happen for the three weeks that you’re reading the book. As soon as we’re done reading a book, what do we usually do with the information in that book? We usually do very little, and our first action after reading a book is to start another book. And now our brain space is occupied with all of that knowledge in the new book and we’re forgetting about the old book, and we repeat that pat . . . In Miracle Equation it’s what I call “personal development junkie.” You become a personal development junkie where you think that the knowledge is improving your life, but it’s the applied knowledge of you know, right?
Pat: I heard this term the other day. I think it was Chalene Johnson, I can’t remember who said it but it was “procrasti-learning,” which I really love. It’s funny that you mention that because we authors who write book after book after book are kind of leading that cause of having our readers go from book to book to book.
Hal: Sure, yeah.
Pat: So, how did you design this book to do the opposite?
Hal: Let me say this, too, by the way. I did not write this book, again, with the intention of being some bestseller, with it being a movement. I did not write it . . . Most of the things that I’m about to share with you I did accidentally intuitively. I mean, there’s a few things I did on purpose, you know that I was, “Oh that actually worked,” but for the most part it wasn’t until the book took off like crazy and I reverse engineered it. I’m like, “Okay, what like . . . Let me, . . .” I reread my own book, and I’m dissecting like, “What is it?” And then I surveyed my audience, “Why do you share it?” So, I really found out, and behavior change was the number one thing.
Again, a book shifts your thinking, it’s temporary. Our brains are short, our memories are short. We forget. We’re onto a new book. But, if it changes your behavior by instilling some sort of routine, or ritual, ideally daily, but it could be weekly. Let’s say you write a book on marriage, or dating, let’s say marriage, and you give your couples that are reading the book a daily journaling ritual where they write what they’re grateful for about each other. Or a weekly date night that’s really unique and fun and you give them actually like a series of questions they can print off as a handout, which is another big bonus on having downloads and how that . . . We’re now up to—I’ll just tease this—but we get forty-three thousand opt-ins, new opt-ins, every single month from not a Facebook headline of someone that doesn’t deeply know me, people that are reading the book and they want to get the bonuses, so forty-three thousand opt-ins, and that grows every month.
Pat: Where are those call to actions? In the book itself?
Hal: Yeah, so let’s just . . . We’ll dive right into that. Okay, no. Okay, we can go back.
Pat: Let’s go back to the book and the behavioral change. We’ll get into that call to action.
Hal: Yes, yes, thank you.
Pat: So, behavioral change, like for those who don’t know The Miracle Morning, how would you describe the behavioral change that you’re giving us?
Hal: So, The Miracle Morning, and I have some people when I say this they’ll raise their hand and go, “Yeah, but your book is literally the . . . like, you’re giving people a daily ritual. Like my book is on starting a business, or my book is on . . . It’s not on like a . . . Literally, your book’s about a daily ritual.” Right? So, but The Miracle Morning, so it changes people’s behavior in a meaningful way daily, so they’re doing this thing. So, think about it, you do The Miracle Morning. You read it six years ago, or something.
Hal: So, you think about it, when people leave a dinner party early, as most Miracle Morning fanatical practitioners do, and they’re like, “Dude, it’s only 9 o’clock, or 8 o’clock, why are you leaving?” You’re like, “I do a thing called Miracle Morning.” They might have read the book three years ago, but it’s part of their daily life and it’s still adding value to their life so they’re still talking about it with other people. The year that I had cancer, and I was fighting for my life in a hospital for really the whole year, the year before that I did like sixty podcast interviews, and then I did zero podcast interviews, and we sold 131,000 the year I busted my butt to market it, and we sold one thousand less copies, basically the same amount, 130,000 with zero marketing, no Facebook ads, no nothing. It’s the embedded marketing of behavior change that people go out and talk about.
Pat: But, it had that kickstart from all the hard work you did with podcasts.
Hal: Completely. Oh, yeah.
Pat: . . . which was necessary.
Hal: At that point I had done well over two hundred podcast interviews.
Pat: But, as soon as it started to get spread and people behaved differently . . . There’s some things in here that are really great, too, that I know are baked into the marketing aspect of this book, as well. The behavioral change and other people being curious about that behavior change like you said, “Well, what is The Miracle Morning?” First of all, you give it a good name.
Pat: That can describe the whole thing.
Hal: It’s pretty awesome.
Pat: But, also the idea that people can do that in a single day, and have a change and a quick win.
Hal: Yeah, I learned that from you, quick win.
Pat: Yeah, quick win. It’s funny because I have a book called Will It Fly?, which is not a quick win. There are some quick wins in there, especially in the beginning of the book, so I followed my own advice, but it’s not a Miracle Morning where a person can go, “I did this and look at the results I got right away.” The Will it Fly? sort of strategy takes a week or two to get to a point where you are now constructively building your business and testing your business ideas. Whereas Miracle Morning is just like, boom. It almost reminds me of Mel Robbins’ book The 5-Second Rule (Amazon link), because literally you just count down from five. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
Hal: That’s the fastest win you can get, yeah.
Pat: It’s funny, with these books that are viral in a sense, to me it almost seems like just the subject matter is quite easy to distill. Wake up early, count down from five when you need to do something that you know you need to do. There was another book, I can’t remember the name of it. We’ll pop it on the screen here. It’s by a Navy Seal, or somebody in the Navy who just talks about making your bed in the morning, like that’s the one thing you need to do that stacks kind of the things that you do every day, and accomplishing more and more and more. I mean, The Miracle Morning could be, literally, a page.
Hal: Yeah, it could.
Pat: Tell us why it’s not a page and why, for those of us who have these great ideas and behavioral changes that we could offer our audience, why not just a blog post, or a video, why a whole book, and how does the book actually support that?
Hal: So, here’s the thing, is that you want people to actually change their life, right? The longer someone spends with an idea, first of all, the more it becomes ingrained and the more likely they are to change their life. I don’t know a metric on this, but I don’t know how many blog posts change a life, because you spend five minutes with it. That means it takes five minutes of your time and then you go back to your regular life. So, the value of a book, when done well . . . Mel Robbins in 5-Second Rule, let’s dissect that for a second. It’s a great example, because it’s called the “5-Second Rule.” That’s the concept that she teaches in the book, and it literally takes about that much time to explain what it is, right? You want to do something, instead of letting your fear and self-doubt override you, you count down five, four, three, two, one, and you do it and then you are reprogramming yourself to take action right? I just explained it.
Now, I would imagine if we took a thousand people and I gave that five second explanation and then we measured six months later how many of them were still living the five second rule, probably wouldn’t be very many. But Mel Robbins’ book has sold millions of copies because she took a simple concept and she built context around it so that the reader could, A, understand it very deeply through all sorts of stories and analogies, right? You really need to get it. Here’s the thing, you can be reading a book and be like, “Ah, I kind of get it. I’m on chapter one. Yeah, two, I’m not sure.” It might be the story in chapter three, or the real-life example of someone that you connect with and relate to, like “Oh.” That’s why that can’t be done in a blog post.
Pat: Right. Or, maybe you’re more of a science-y and logical person, so then she dives into the science behind that and then you go, “Oh, well that’s my trigger to start doing that.”
Hal: She does a big part . . . For her I really like what she did where she, for testimonials and like, case studies, she took . . . She had taught the 5-second rule for years and she took screenshots of all these social media posts of saying how people used it in their life. So, yeah, every one of those you read reinforces, “If it worked for them it could work for me. If it worked for them it could work for me.” Then, “Oh, the way it worked for them, that applies to me.” So, that’s it. I always say with the new book, The Miracle Equation, . . . Show a little more, it’s a really pretty cover. With The Miracle Equation, I said this to you before, it’s deceptively simple in its explanation. If I just told you what the two decisions are, it would add no value to your life.
So, I created The Miracle Equation when I was twenty years old, as a concept, and I lived it for nineteen years, and it’s how I beat cancer, and it’s how I learned to walk, and it’s how I sold a million copies of The Miracle Morning. It’s made of two really simple decisions, develop unwavering faith and put forth extraordinary effort. So if you hear that you’re like, “Yeah, I know I’m supposed to believe in myself and believe I can do it, and work hard. Great, thanks, author.” That doesn’t . . . But, when you read this book . . . Because, here’s the thing, we don’t need more information, we need methods for implementation. So, that’s what that book was, it’s like, “Well, here’s two decisions that take me five seconds to explain, but do you want to understand them, or do you want to understand how to integrate, implement, and sustain them for the rest of your life so you create everything that you want?” Got it. That’s why you need to spend a little more time with it.
Pat: That’s why The Miracle Morning, I believe, works really well, because you’ve distilled this idea of waking up, not just wake up early but the why behind it, but also a structure, the S-A-V-E-R-S. That was really smart, too.
Hal: Hugely important.
Pat: Hugely important, because people can now easily share that with their friends, and other people and then go get the book. The other part about this that I like, it’s not super thick, like it doesn’t take me more than a day to read this.
Hal: Yeah, forty-two thousand words, a hundred and forty-two pages. I will say with my new book, it’s a little over two hundred pages and I honestly was like, “Probably we could have made it fifty pages,” although they did double spacing and stuff like that. Anyway, but I do think shorter is better. I will say that. Like, I would honestly, I think, A, if it’s not broken don’t fix it, right? A hundred and fifty page book to me is kind of nice a little sweet spot because people can—again, a quick win. The longer the book, statistically, the less likely they are to read it. That’s a fact. The less likely they are to finish it, and the less likely they are to start it. I don’t have the . . . Link all the studies.
Pat: Yeah, I’ll put all the links below, and the fact that I haven’t finished working as well. Okay, so let’s talk about the book and the people who read the book and how they helped push the book out, as well. You’ve built in these strategies, but you’ve built a Facebook group, and a community. You have the opt ins that people can have and download, and that’s growing your community as well. Let’s talk about really quick since you brought that up earlier. Tell me exactly how you get people who read this book on your email list, and then what do you do with them?
Hal: The secret to getting opt ins, and I was at Archangel Academy, actually, I was in an event. I was part of an author panel, and there was like a publisher there. They go, “What’s the average opt in rate for when you give bonuses in a book?” She goes, “Our authors average about eight to twelve percent opt in rate.” I felt bad to raise my hand. I’m like, “We get eighty-two percent opt in rate. Of every ten people that read our book, 8.2 of them opt in.” She like was glaring. I’m like, “I just got to tell you guys,” and here’s my theory as much as I can distill why that is. So, in the book there’s not one bonus, there are five different bonuses.
Pat: Different bonuses.
Hal: Different bonuses.
Hal: All of them are available at the same URL, tmmbook.com, so if you want to opt in and model the opt in page, model the funnel, model the bonus, or you model . . . tmmbook.com. So, one URL for the bonuses, five different bonuses that are all highly relevant to what they’re reading at the time. So, for example, when they get to the chapter on affirmations and I debunk how affirmations have been taught by most self-help pioneers as this really fluffy, flowery, “I am amazing.” They don’t work that way, right? Here’s how you get affirmations that produce results. People are like, “Oh, this is great.” Then I say, “Hey, if you want to download like my Miracle Morning affirmations—” or whatever, “—you can go here.” And then I go, “And, as a bonus I decided to include my personal—” This is like a little ninja bonus tip, “—my personal affirmations that I used the year I wrote this book to write a book that had been on my goal list for six years. If you have any goals on your list that you’ve pushed off for any reason, that affirmation might really help you.”
See, think about it. Every author should do that. Every author should give as many peeks behind the curtain as possible. If I’m a reader and I’m loving the book and I’m like, “Dude, I can download his personal affirmations?” I tell them there not just for this book, it’s my affirmations for my health, for my parenting, they’re all there, right. So, that’s one bonus. Again, if you’re reading the affirmations chapter, you’re sold on affirmations, why wouldn’t I go download the example affirmations that I can learn from him, right? But, let’s say you’re like, “Eeeh, I don’t care about affirmations.” But, then you keep reading and then you get to the chapter on journaling, and it’s like, “Hey, want to download a free sample of the Miracle Morning journal that you can utilize for an entire week, and test it out and see if you like it?” They’re, “Wow, journaling, it’s free?” But they say like, “Yeah, I don’t want it.” Here’s the point: by the time they get to the end of the book they’ve been given five offers for five relevant, valuable bonuses, not cheesy to where . . .
I always say if you haven’t got an opt in by that time, either your book sucks or your bonuses suck. When I was in sales at nineteen we learned, the average sale is made like right between the third and the fifth time it’s asked for, I think. I don’t remember the exact number, but you ask someone . . . Here’s the little like bonus advanced sales psychology. When you ask someone to make a purchase with you, you are giving them an opportunity to consider something that they may have never considered in their entire life, right? And it involves parting with money for something they’ve never given any thought to. So they’re going, “Hmmm.” Now, they’re considering it, but they may be, “Well, I don’t know if it’s the right decision for me.” When you ask again, you’re giving an opportunity to revisit something they’ve now considered, and you’re moving them closer to it being a yes, right? So, that’s the idea of why you ask multiple times so by the time you get to the third or fourth bonus they’re like . . . If they haven’t opted in yet, they’re going to opt in, right? Maybe they opt in because they’re like loving the book. Either way you’ve got to give them multiple points to go and opt in.
Pat: I love that. And then your Facebook group, tell me how that helps?
Hal: So, that was an eleventh-hour decision from a friend, very miraculous. I mean, it was one of those where . . . I sent a handful of my friends the almost-finished manuscript, like a week before the book was going to go to print. I was like, “Okay, will you please read this?” Like, “I’ll pay you to read it. I want you to actually read the whole thing and give me thoughtful feedback.” So important. John Broman, our friend, said . . . He emailed back and he said, “Do you have any kind of like online forum or group that people are going to be able to connect about their practice?” I was like, “No.”
He said, “Well, think about it, it’s pretty lonely. They’re going to be up an hour earlier than normal, or thirty minutes earlier. The rest of the family probably still sleeping. Their roommates are sleeping, and it’s really easy if it gets tough and the initial excitement wears off . . .” and this is true for everyone’s book, right? Especially if you’re doing behavior change, they’re going to need people that can, “Hey, how is it working for you? Are you trying this? What’s working and what’s not? Hey, I got a tip.” And so I was like, “That’s a brilliant idea.” I was like maybe I’ll get something and set up a little community. He said, “Hal, if I were you, . . .” and this is going to be an important thing because I’m doing it differently now. We talked about this today.
But he said, “If I were you I would use Facebook Groups,” and this was 2012. They were different back then. But he said, “Because don’t give people another place to log in. They’re already on Facebook. They’re already getting notifications on their phone. Why would you make them log somewhere else.” He goes, “Plus, Facebook’s probably pretty smart at the way they create the functionality and the group, so people can interact, blah, blah, blah.” I was like, “Alright.” So we started a Facebook group with like five people, me, mom, dad, sister, and my buddy, John. I just did it because, “Yeah, that’s a smart idea.”
There are now over two hundred thousand people in that Facebook group from over a hundred countries. I’ve never . . . I don’t market it. Well, I take that back, but I don’t like Facebook Ad it, it’s just in the book, and this is a ninja tip. In the beginning of the book, so in the table of contents, if you can see this, but it says, “A special invitation to the Miracle Morning community.” If they go to the next page it basically sells them, if you will, on the Miracle Morning community on this . . . “Hey, I created this so people could connect and it’s become one of the most inspired online communities in the world.” Again self-publishing I was able to edit it once it actually became a deal. I was able to go from, “Check out this community, it might be cool. I have no idea I just made it,” to “Now there’s five thousand people in here helping each other. Now there’s fifteen—” It just kept growing. But here’s the ninja trick, the little bonus trick, and I added this in my second rewrite. It says, “A special invitation” in the pre-material. At the end it says, “A special invitation,” exactly the same but it says, in parenthesis, “in case you missed it the first time.” My theory was, I’m like, that’s going to make someone take up notice and go, “Oh, wait, it’s in here twice? That must be important.”
So, where a lot of people don’t read pre and post material, that created more of a reason to do so. So, everyone from that group is reading the book. They come opt in. The tagline is “a hundred fifty—”, we had to up it again, “a hundred fifty thousand people who wake up every day and support each other.” That’s the general idea of what I believe your Facebook community should be. If you want to give a format you can give like, “Hey, go in there and share, if you have a win share your win; if you have a give, something you want to help somebody with, or if you have an ask.” So, win, give, ask, or ask, give, win is a great kind of model. Also, something that I did not do that if I were you I would do is there should be a welcome video from you. So that’s really key. It connects the reader to you. They went from the book to seeing you in person, hearing your voice. There’s an intimate connection now, right? So, there’s a video from you, which I don’t even have.
Pat: On the Facebook group?
Hal: On the Facebook group, at the top in the post, yeah, that says “Welcome to the Facebook group.”
Pat: Do you have a video on the landing page for your bonuses?
Hal: I have an aversion to video. I have no aversion to talking, and actually I’ve gotten over it. I’ve had to do some major work in the— So, I’m now doing way more videos, but for the last five years—I can get on stage and talk to ten thousand people no problem, holding my phone and talking to it I go, “Um, uh, uh, wh, yeah.” So that’s why, literally that’s why there is no video on the landing page. It just shows if there was it would probably convert even better.
Pat: So, this started out self-published.
Pat: When did it become traditionally published?
Hal: It’s still self-published in the U.S., and it’s traditionally published in thirty-five other countries now. We just signed a country that I’ve never heard of, like Guadalajara, or something, I don’t even know. So, yeah, it’s in thirty-five countries. So, I went to a dinner, I was invited to an entrepreneurial dinner. I think The Miracle Morning had sold about forty thousand copies at that point, maybe a hundred, but I think it was forty thousand.
Pat: Very respectable still.
Hal: Yeah, still respectable. This dinner was John Assaraf was sitting over here. Mike Koenigs was here. John Lee Dumas was here. There’s all these really big players. I remember my wife called me and I went to use the restroom. She’s like, “How’s dinner going?” I’m like, “I don’t know how the hell I got into this.” Like, “There are some legit legends sitting around this table.” She’s like, “You’re a legend, Sweetie.” I’m like— So Mike Koenigs and I struck up a conversation, started talking about books and he said, “Hal, have you thought about leveraging . . . Like forty thousand’s a lot of books.” He said, “I bet you could get a traditional publishing deal.” I said, “I’d love that. I think that’s how I can reach more people with Miracle Morning with this book. I don’t have an agent. I don’t even know where to begin.” He goes, “I have the best agent in the world. I’ll connect you.” So, he connected us. I was really nervous that she wouldn’t, whatever. She picked me up. We met with thirteen New York publishers. We got nine offers. I’ll be very transparent, so the top two offers were for two hundred fifty thousand dollar advances. They wanted the rights to the book. They were going to take the exact book and just publish it themselves, keep all my royalties and my rights. So, they offered two hundred fifty thousand, those were the top two offers.
I did the math and as a self-published author I earn about seventy percent on this book and I was selling about, I think we were up to ten thousand copies a month, so it was earning like, I don’t even know, forty thousand dollars a month, or something. I did the math and I’m like, “Alright, love you, it would be a really great check to get in the mail, and then I would regret it for the rest of my life,” right? Let me pause by saying this. When I first wrote The Miracle Morning, when I was writing it, I’m like I believed, like many of us, this was before, self-publishing wasn’t as prevalent. I was like, “I have to find a publisher.” So I hired a woman. I paid her like three thousand, six thousand dollars. She was one of the best book proposal writers and we wrote a proposal. Spent six months researching. It was a thirty-five-page proposal, and during that time I did enough self research to go, “Wait, I think self publishing is a better option for me and ninety-nine percent of authors,” and here’s the reason. I realized that, “Okay, so if I go traditional they keep most of my royalties. I would get like eight to twelve percent instead of seventy percent. They will keep all the rights to my book most likely, so I don’t . . .” Basically, unless you have a big platform with a million people on your list, or a hundred thousand people on your email list you have no leverage with a publisher. They don’t care about your . . . That’s where authors get mixed up, “I have the best idea.” Nobody gives a crap about your idea. There’s a million ideas out there. They only care about your ability to sell books, because they’re a business, and they’re giving you an advance for ROI. They want to make money. So, I came to the conclusion, “I have to self publish.”
They said . . . The Miracle Equation came into play. I have unwavering faith that this book can change the world. I am committed to putting forth extraordinary effort until it does no matter what. There’s no other option. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Here was my theory, Pat, and it was a full-on Hail Mary. It was like I had no clue, no basis of speaking but I thought . . . Just to me it was the only thing that made sense. I went, “I’m going to promote this. I will put my heart and soul into it for as long as it takes until publishers take notice and they come knocking on my door and they’re like, ‘This Miracle Morning book it’s everywhere. It’s selling a lot of copies,’” but it was just a Hail Mary. I had no idea, it was unwavering faith, right? So, that’s what happened. I met with the publishers, I got the offers and I turned them all down.
This is a tip, though, for in Europe, you’re an example. I introduced you to my agent, you are now published traditionally, I mean self-published in the U.S. right? Traditional overseas. So, this is this hybrid publishing model that most people don’t really know about. I didn’t know about it. When I turned down all the offers my agent came back and said, “Our foreign rights department would really think this book will sell well overseas.” I’m like, “How does that work? What does that mean?” She said, “You keep all your rights in the U.S.,” which is where I sell ninety-eight percent of my books, or whatever, “and you get foreign deals and they translate it, they’ll put it in traditional bookstores in their country, in airports, and train stations.” I’m like, “Okay, so what do I do lose out on by doing this?” She’s like, “Nothing, you keep all your royalties and get more if any country—”
Pat: So it’s an add on, basically.
Hal: So it’s an add on. I’m like, “I feel like it’s a little too good to be true but okay,” and also an offer comes in for a three thousand dollar advance for Russia, and then a six thousand dollar advance for, and then a sixty thousand dollar advance from . . . They just kept coming in, and it’s been an extraordinarily lucrative . . . Plus, the Brazil thing just happened, where I went down there and number one in Brazil and all that.
Pat: Yeah, and you were number one in France, as well?
Hal: Number one in Korea, number one in Brazil, number six in France, number six in the UK. Those are the top four.
Pat: It’s because of this idea of Miracle Morning, it’s a worldwide sort of phenomenon.
Hal: It’s universal. I mean, well the concept’s universal, and that’s the thing . . . That was my theory, again, with the publishers is like the book didn’t take off in other countries very quickly because, again, nobody had a platform out there to launch it. They were just putting it in the bookstores or whatever. But, it was . . . I’m like I would tell my agents I go, “Look,” I go, “let’s be patient because if all it is another language but it’s the same exact book,” I go, “based on what happened in the U.S., I think it will hit a tipping . . . It’s a matter of time it’ll just start to gain traction. Word of mouth will . . . People will be doing it. Their behavior’s better. They’re telling other people about it,” and that’s sure enough, it just whoosh . . . It came out in Brazil three or four years ago. It hit number one for the first time ever last week. It’s word of mouth.
Pat: I know along the way you’ve had some help promotionally from some celebrities, which I know is a big surprise to you. I remember when—
Hal: Only in Brazil, to be clear.
Pat: Only in Brazil?
Hal: Yeah, yeah, that’s how it took it.
Pat: Didn’t Robert Kiyosaki?
Hal: Okay, no, yeah, yeah. That counts. Yes, Robert Kiyosaki.
Hal: Let me say how this happened. I think I’ve said to you, “I feel so blessed, so fortunate, so lucky.” I know I’ve worked hard and I think the adage the harder you work the luckier you get is true. That’s when the miracles happen. You can’t predict the miracles, but you have to put yourself out there, and you have to go . . . You just go. You don’t do what most authors do which is promote hard for a month and then move to the next squirrel, the next rabbit, chase the next thing, right? Every author that when I tell my story they’re like, “Dude, I only promoted my book hard for a month, and then they went onto something else. If I would have promoted it for eighteen months like you did, I wonder what would have happened?” So don’t wonder, promote it and do ten podcast interviews, twenty a week.
And by the way, when I started I knew no podcasters. So, here’s how I reached, and you might have . . . You’re the podcaster, you’re a guru on this. The way I reached out to podcasters is I went to . . . This is my strategy that I did and I teach it. I went to New and Noteworthy on iTunes, and I scrolled down to the lowest performing New and Noteworthy podcast on all of iTunes in the categories that matter. I went to their website. I reached out to them, and here’s why. They’re a new podcast which means they’re not being inundated, like Pat Flynn, with hundreds of requests every week to be on your show, because they’re new. Nobody knows about them yet, right? However, they’re getting traction. So that to me was like a perfect storm, so that’s who I hit up, and I got on, and it was a numbers game. I’d reach out to twenty of them and three would respond and I’d get on two, or whatever.
Every time I got on I used my direct sales training. At the end I said, “Hey, thank you so much. I’m really trying . . . I hope that was good for you. I’m trying to get this message out. I hope that adds value to your audience. Do you know any other podcast that you could introduce me to?” Like, I continued with a quick blurb, a paragraph to copy and paste and to send an email intro, “that this would be a good fit for?” They’re like, they almost . . . Most of them say, “yes,” and I would make it easy for them. I’d say, “Here you go,” and it would say, “Hal Elrod was just on my show and he said ‘da, da, da, da, da,’” and they could copy and paste that and that’s how . . . I kept doing the New and Noteworthy thing, but I also went after referrals, and I would do anyone’s show, and that’s what I did. Finally it led to a bigger and a bigger and a bigger podcast, and each one gave me more credibility. So, that’s one. With the Robert Kiyosaki thing . . . Any questions on that, by the way?
Pat: No, keep going.
Hal: So, the Robert Kiyosaki, I was speaking at an event called GoBundance. It’s one of my favorite . . . It’s a Mastermind that I’m part of, and I joined it after I spoke there. It’s a Mini Mastermind, GoBundance, and Robert Kiyosaki was the keynote speaker, and I was his warm up act. Afterwards, the elders, the founders of GoBundance invited me to have dinner with them and Robert. I had a copy of The Miracle Morning, of course, in my bag, like I always do. I signed it for Robert, wrote a nice note that his book is my favorite financial books of all time, Rich Dad Poor Dad (Amazon link). [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.] Wrote him a note. I’m sitting there. I think I remember . . . Well, I think it was on my lap, or in my bag. Basically, I was like debating. I’m like . . . I had googled his net worth beforehand, I was just curious. It was eighty million. I’m like, “He’s not going to read my little self published . . . He’s not looking for a book on how to be successful,” you know.
Then it was the whole, “You miss all the shots you don’t take.” So I’m like, “I have nothing to lose,” so I’m going to hand him the book. I’m going to tell him his work has meant a lot to me. That’s it. So I did that thinking he’ll probably never read it, but you miss all the shots you don’t take. I’ll take one. Three weeks later I get an email from his assistant and she says, “Robert has read The Miracle Morning three times in the last three weeks. He had his wife read it, too. They’re doing it together almost every day. It is changing their lives and he wants to interview you on Rich Dad Radio.” I’m like, . . . The funny part is I’m like, you know you get exciting news you want to share it, so I go home, “Ursula,” that’s my wife, “Ursula, Robert Kiyosaki da da da da. This is like . . . This is crazy.” She’s like, “Who’s Robert Kiyosaki?” I’m like, “Dammit, it’s no fun to share stuff, you don’t know what it is. You’re not in the same space as me.”
So, I went on Rich Dad Radio, and he . . . It was like I paid him a million dollars to sell my book the entire . . . He was so passionate. Now, that was four years or five years ago. He talks about it in every single speech he gives. I get emails from South Africa, “Hey, I was in the audience in South Africa and Robert said your book changed his life and that we need to get it.” It’s in his new book. I mean . . . Yeah, it’s crazy.
Pat: That’s crazy. So, fast forward to today. You’re still promoting the book and, obviously, you’re promoting this one as well but, obviously, this isn’t just a won and done promotion . . .
Hal: No. It’s forever.
Pat: . . . the first you launch it?
Hal: That’s correct.
Pat: You practice what you’re preaching right now for sure.
Hal: I’m not promoting. I am promoting, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that are doing it because it changed their behavior and they’re promoting it. But, yes, I am promoting it.
Pat: Which goes back to the discussion earlier, . . .
Pat: . . . is how important the book and behavioral changes it offers is. Any other ninja things that you are doing to help get these—
Hal: Yeah, and I want to go back to the content. You have to have a framework that is memorable for people to implement. This is . . . My wife gets all the credit for this. If it wasn’t for my wife . . . First of all, she named it The Miracle Morning. Second of all, she created the framework which is called the S-A-V-E-R-S. She didn’t create the framework, she created the name. Here’s what I mean, I had six practices that made up the Miracle Morning. The idea was taking the six most timeless, proven personal development practices in the history of humanity and instead of picking one of them, most people like they’ll meditate, or they’re read, or they’ll journal, or they’ll do . . . I thought, what if I did all of these? That would be the ultimate morning ritual and, therefore, I should receive the ultimate benefit because I’m benefiting from all these things, and each one’s life-changing. That was the idea. But, they were six random hodge-podge practices that didn’t have any way to . . . They didn’t fit in any way. They weren’t connected in any way, really. I didn’t invent any of them, so it’s not like, “Oh, this is the first time—.” It’s like, “Yeah, you’re telling us to do six things that we’ve heard about before.”
So, one day I was writing the book, frustrated with trying to figure this out. I literally can picture, I met . . . My wife and I crossed paths in the hallway and she’s like, “Hey, Sweetie, how’s it going?” I’m like, “Ah, I’m frustrated.” She’s like, “What?” I’m like, “I don’t know if it’s writer’s block but . . .” I said, “. . . all these authors have a framework that makes their content where it’s like you can remember it, you can talk about it, you can share it, you can implement it.” I said, “Steven Covey has The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Amazon link). Robert Kiyosaki has the Cash Flow Quadrant. I’ve got these six hodge-podge practices that have no rhyme or reason that I didn’t invent. I don’t know what to do.” She goes, and you can take this exact same strategy. She said, “Why don’t you go to the thesaurus and see if there’s other words that would replace some of the words that are in these six things and see if you could form an acronym so it would fit together and people could remember it.” I kissed her on the face. I’m like, “That’s interesting.” So, let me go through the six practices real quick, how they were and how they are. Originally it was Meditation, Affirmations, so M-A, Visualization, V, Exercise, E, Reading, R, Journaling, J. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
Hal: M-A-V-E-R-J. It’s M-A-V-E-R-J. I literally was like, I’m like, “maybe it’s called the M-A-V-E-R-J strategy,” you know. That was literally in my notes.
Pat: What if, wow.
Hal: Oh my god. If I would have done that, or even just put the six things in without . . . My bet is, and not just my bet, my bet is from feedback. So, here’s what it became. Meditation became “Silence,” which I actually like, because some people they want to pray for their silence in the morning. They write, or do both. Journaling became “Scribing,” which as my friend, JP Sears, the comedian, says, “Is a pretentious word for writing.” So, it became the S-A-V-E-R-S, and then it became longer, in the book, the L-I-F-E-S-A-V-E-R-S. Here is the deal. Number one is the meaning.
I go these are literally the six practices that are virtually guaranteed to save us, you me, from missing out on the life that we want to live. Like if you do these every day they will save you from missing out on your full potential. So, it’s like the acronym is beautifully like, “Ah, perfect.” But the second thing is, people can just, it’s in their head, S-A-V-E-R-S. Silence, Affirmations, Visualization . . . They just run through it. Here’s where the audience affirming it, when you go into the Miracle Morning community on Facebook, you go into the Facebook group . . . We’ve done searches for this. The term “SAVERS” shows up more often than the term “Miracle Morning.”
Hal: So, people are going in, “Hey, loving my SAVERS,” or, “Hey, I’m having trouble with the A in SAVERS, how do you guys do your affirmations?” The Miracle Morning is the entire concept. It involves, in the book I teach you how to wake up early if you’re not a morning person. First it’s why to wake up early. Here is an important framework for your book, Why should they do what you are telling them to do? How is it going to radically transform their life. That’s where like Mel Robbins’ book, can you give examples? Can you give real . . . If it’s nobody else’s story, it’s your story. When I wrote the book there were not that many . . . There were some testimonials because I was teaching it here and there, but it was mostly my story. It was like, “Look at how this changed my life. It could change your life.” So, that’s the why. So, that gets people convinced like, “Okay, I’m going to read the rest of this book, because I see that if I do this is the outcome that’s possible for me.”
Number two is, okay, well, for me it was the how. It was like, “But, I’m not a morn . . .” I knew the— You have to think, what’s your objection? What’s your audiences’ roadblocks that are coming into play? What are the beliefs, or limiting beliefs that are going to hold them back? For me it was, “I’m not a morning person,” so I had to handle that and teach you how to beat the snooze button. Then it’s okay. Now that I’m convinced, “I got to wake up early, this is a game changer for me, or it could be.” I now know how to do that. Like I know the obstacles that could hold me back. “Well, what do I do during that time I wake up?” That’s where the SAVERS came into play. Those are three parts of what your book needs to do that. It needs to sell them on why and the benefits of what they’re going to do. It needs to teach them how, and the how is as important as the what to do, it’s the what not to do, or what to do to prevent the potential roadblocks, or distractions. Then it’s the, “Okay, now that I’m doing it, give me the step-by-step formula,” and make it simple, hold their hand, make it easy.
Pat: It’s so great. So, how do you practice that in this new book, The Miracle Equation?
Hal: Yeah, it was harder. But it’s a great question. I didn’t reinvent the wheel. I was going to just put the Mir—I thought, “Well, I’m just going to teach them how to filter the Miracle Equation through the S-A-V-E-R-S,” and I do that in . . . I wrote a book called The Miracle Morning Millionaires: What the Wealthy Do Before 8:00AM That Will Make You Rich (Amazon link). It was how do you apply the Miracle Morning to becoming wealthy? So, we just took the S-A-V-E-R-S and we’re like, “Alright for your silence, here’s like the ways you can meditate to embody the feelings of deservedness for you to become wealthy,” because most of us don’t have that. We just think we’ve deserving of whatever everyone around is, “Oh, everybody’s broke, I’m broke, great.” Or “Everybody’s average, I’m average. Great. Middle class, okay cool.” So starting with . . . So, we filter and then creating affirmations that affirmed what level of wealth you were committed to. What’s your specific outcome? What are the actions that you have to . . . Why is that . . . [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
Sorry, here’s a four-step affirmation formula by the way. Okay, I’m going to give, this is a bonus. This is really . . . I believe the affirmations have been taught wrong over the years. Either you lied to yourself, “I’m a millionaire.” I am this, I am that, where you’re trying to trick yourself into believing you’re something you’re not, right? Lying will always be not ideal, and the truth will always prevail. The second problem is that affirmations use this flowery passive language where it’s like, “Money flows to me effortlessly.” No it doesn’t. You work hard for your money. I work hard for my money. We’re not money magnets. But, The Secret will tell you, “Be a money magnet,” and it will just fly into the . . . No.
So, here are the four steps to create affirmations that produce tangible, measurable miracles, like I talk about in the new book. Number one, what outcome you’re committed to, not the one you want. We all want to be wealthy. We want to be healthy. We want to be happy. No, “I’m committed to becoming a millionaire. I’m committed to losing twenty pounds. I’m committed to running a marathon in this day.” So number one is what you’re committed to.
Number two is why it’s deeply meaningful to you. It’s full Simon Sinek, right? The why is where we get leverage. I wanted to be wealthy for since I was like nineteen years old. I didn’t what I would call wealthy until I was in my thirties, and it wasn’t until I had a child at age thirty that all of a sudden I added to the get rich so I can buy stuff, and have freedom to travel till I’m like, “Wait a minute. I now am responsible for a wife and a daughter, and I owe it to them to provide financial security and freedom for our family.” That got me up in the morning to figure out whatever it took to make that wealth happen.
Number three is, what are the specific actions that you’ll take to move you toward that outcome and pretty much make it inevitable? It talks about how do you make it so if you do these things you can’t not get there. You want to lose weight and you burn more calories than you take in, unless you have a genetic defect, you’re going to lose weight. It’s inevitable. So, what are the actions. Number four is when will you take those actions?
So, those are four steps to creating affirmations that will produce measurable results. It’s not just make you feel good and whatever. So, in the book I simplified it. I went, “Okay, what . . .” Instead of putting the whole Miracle Morning in there, which I almost did, I decided to take what I feel is this single-most important and effective practice which I just taught you, so you already got it, it’s affirmations, because affirmations are the most concrete . . . When you write your affirmations the way I taught you they are a blueprint and a roadmap for what you need to focus on, why you’re focusing on it, what specific actions you must take, and when you will take them to ensure that your biggest goals move from possible to probable to inevitable, which is the subtitle of the book, and that’s it.
Once you learn the Miracle Equation . . . I mean, two big things. Number one is it gives you a template to create your affirmations that are in alignment with all of the steps in the book of creating your mission and these different things. Then, last but not least is not reinventing the wheel. What I believe made The Miracle Morning so effective was a thirty-day challenge at the end. What that did is it gave people a thirty day commitment to make the behavior change something that would be installed in their life and be lasting.
I cannot tell you, I mean the eighty-two thousand or forty-three thousand people a month that opt in, they’re mostly opting in for The Miracle Morning for the thirty-day challenge bonus, like it’s a worksheet where, and a tracking sheet, and it’s got all of it, right? I didn’t reinvent the wheel. I put a model version in The Miracle Equation of a thirty-day challenge. Here’s . . . This is kind of one of the . . . Well, I might say more, but here’s the last thing I’ll kind of say to wrap this up is . . . Like I said, the decisions of the Miracle Equation are deceptively simple to explain but rare in execution. It’s develop unwavering faith and put forth extraordinary effort.
However, here’s the thinking is, it’s not about understanding like, “Well, yeah I get that.” No, no, no, no, this book is going to teach you how to do it. It’s going to walk you through it the same way that over a million people that have never been a morning person in their entire life now wake up at six, or five, or four, or whatever every day. It’s not that they didn’t know that waking up early might be good, it’s that no one gave them the method for implementation. That’s what this is about. So, imagine that thirty days from now you don’t just know about it you actually are now approaching every opportunity in your life, your biggest goals and dreams, through the lens of unwavering faith that you can have, be, and do anything that you want no matter how long you haven’t been able to get it, and then you’re now putting forth extraordinary effort every single day that feels ordinary—which is what I do in there is make it ordinary—so that you are making progress and that as long as you keep following the process your success, it’s only a matter of time. That was Miracle Morning. I didn’t know if it would take me one year, or thirty years, I just knew that I was committed to create that miracle, and it took me about two years to have it really start to bear fruit.
Pat: I love that. Obviously, more of the Miracle Equation on the YouTube video that we did with Hal earlier. One final thing, because this is great. By the way, thank you for sharing all your secrets here. The other interesting thing about the Miracle Morning is that there are derivatives of this book. There’s Miracle Morning for Real Estate—
Hal: College students.
Pat: College students.
Hal: Sales people. Parents and families.
Pat: All the things.
Pat: Tell me about your thought process in taking this main book and then turning it into a bunch of subsets of books.
Hal: Yeah, and I’ll tell you why you should, or should not, do that, or when you should, or should not do that.
Pat: So not everybody should do it?
Hal: No. Well, not no, but timing is what matters.
Hal: So, when The Miracle Morning, it was very organic. Like I had the idea of a series there far in the back of my head, but one of my—a former colleague called me a few months after, maybe six months after The Miracle Morning came out. His name is Ryan Snow. He’s one of my coauthors. He said, “Hal, hey, um since I’ve done Miracle Morning, like the practice, read the book and done the practice . . .” he goes, “My sales have skyrocketed.” He said, “So, I bought it for everybody on my sales team and it’s like ninety percent of our . . . Almost everyone, if not everyone, has read it. Their sales have skyrocketed.” So he’s like, “I like literally have measurable results, since they got the book their sales went up.” He said, “Have you thought about doing a series like Miracle Morning for salespeople where you customize the content, and the affirmations, everything for sales people?”
I said, “Not sales people, specifically, but I vaguely thought about doing like a series.” I said, “You want to coauthor it?” He said, “Sure.” I was like, “Alright,” so we started down that road. Then, I don’t know how long, a few months later somebody, a top real estate trainer reached out, Michael Maher, actually Michael Reese. There’s two of them that reached out. They’re like, “Hey, Miracle Morning, were teaching it in our events and stuff. Have you thought about Miracle Morning for real estate agents?” Like, “You’re the second person that asked me.” I called both of them and like, “Hey, would you guys be up for all of us co-authoring it, like we’re all just reach more people?” They’re like, “Sure,” so that’s how it started to roll out. Then, I hired a book . . . Or I didn’t hire, I partnered fifty-fifty with Honorée Corder, and Honorée Corder is a prolific writer. She’s published thirty or forty—I can’t even keep track.
Pat: She’s been on the YouTube channel before, a long time ago.
Hal: I saw that. You guys were in New York, or something, weren’t you, or somewhere?
Pat: We were doing some events.
Hal: Yeah, yeah. So Honorée and I serendipitously connected. I said, “Hey,” and she had written a book series for single moms, and now she’s more of a business writer. But I said, “Hey, do you want to talk about like partnering on a book series, because you’ve done it already?” So, long story short, we’ve written thirteen or fourteen books in the series now.
Pat: You’ve co-authored with somebody else?
Hal: So, yeah, the beauty of that. For a business model this is beautiful. So, I’ll tell you the business model real quick and then I’ll tell you why and when to do it or not do it. The business model is, I network, right? I go to events and be on podcasts, whatever. When I meet somebody that I think would be a good fit for a co-author then I tell them about the book series and I propose. I met Cameron Herold at Mastermind Talks, and we talked. He did The Miracle Morning For Entrepreneurs (Amazon link). [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.] Joe Polish, I met . . . So, the point is I meet the coauthor and I court them, see if they’re a good fit, learn their values, learn their heart, make sure they fit, and then if they are interested, I used to send them a PDF now it’s a website. You can go model this, go to miraclemorning.com/co-authors, I think [it’s miraclemorning.com/co-author-overview/]. If not, Google miraclemorning.com . . . yeah, yeah, yeah, so co-authors, /co-authors, and that explains the whole thing and it says, “Here’s the perks, here’s the requirements.” I then introduce them to Honorée, once they’re like, “Yeah, I’m in, I’m interested.” There is a twenty-five thousand dollar co-author fee. Now, I started with a zero dollar co-author fee, and then after we had—
Pat: Twenty-five thousand. If I want to co-author a book series after we’ve talked and you’ve kind of told me that that’s something we could do together, I pay you twenty-five thousand dollars?
Hal: It would be twenty-four thousand for you, Pat. We’re friends.
Pat: So that like—
Hal: So, yes.
Pat: You’re getting paid to allow—
Hal: Let me tell you that is bold. Let me tell you how that came to be. I always, whenever I do anything I always want to tell people how much insecurity I have as a human. I’m a normal person, I’m afraid, and I’m nervous. I’m afraid to get rejected, all this. It was a coach that with conviction said, “Hal . . .” I was coaching with him and we working on the sales people and the real estate book, the first two. He’s like, “Tell me about your whole Miracle Morning brand and book,” and all this, and the series, and I told him. So, he goes, “Do you charge a fee for someone to co-author your series?” I said, “No.” He said, “You should charge at least ten grand.” I’m like, you know swallow, “Uh, ten . . . Who’s going to pay me ten grand?”
Pat: And then they do with work?
Hal: And then they write the book. Yeah, the way the series worked, by the way . . . Here’s another important tip if you’re going to do this is I wrote the first four chapters, I think four chapters of the book, and I basically took the original . . . It took me like a hundred hours or fifty hours. It took me a long time. I took the entire original book and I put it in the first four chapters and then I made a bunch of blanks like, “If you’re a blank, here’s why affirmations are important.” The co-author goes in and they go, “If you’re an entrepreneur, affirmations help you to blank,” so the whole thing’s templated. It’s blank, lot of blank lines, but it sums up the entire first book.
This was my question, and if you’re doing a series you have to think about this. My concern, my fear was, “How am I going to create a book series where it has enough of the original book that if someone’s never read the original they’re going to be sold as well as they were in the original that they should actually do this, but not make it feel like the entire book is just the original book with the name changed to realtor,” or whatever?
Hal: I think we nailed the formula, and it took a long time. It was the first four chapters sum up the entire original book and it handles those points of why should you do this, how do you do this, and what do you do when you do this to maximize it?
Pat: So, the S-A-V-E-R-S in that section?
Hal: Yeah, and they’re one of the chapters, right? One of the chapters is called “It Takes Five Minutes to Become a Morning Person.” It’s how to beat the snooze button. The first chapter is like the big picture. Then, the coauthor gets that and they’ve got six chapters to write of completely original content, and that meant that the majority of the book is . . . The first four chapters, even if you read the original you’re like, A, it feels like it’s really customized to what the niche you’re interested in, and then, B, it’s a great reminder of the original, “Oh, yeah, I stopped doing that, dang it.” Then six chapters you’re guaranteeing that it’s brand-new content, high-value, relevant content from these co-authors that have a lot of expertise.
Pat: So, essentially what you’re doing is you’re kind of franchising the name—
Pat: —and allowing for somebody to come in and, with the proven formula, put it into that particular niche.
Hal: Yeah. So, we started out . . . So, here’s what happened. I had one book being written. It was The Miracle Morning for Salespeople (Amazon link), and the realtor book I had talked with one of the coauthors. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.] So, we had already verbally agreed to write the book. I get a call right after I meet with my coach. James Malinchak, by the way, is who was coaching me at that time. I’m so grateful to James because this series, I don’t know what it would be without his input, but he said, “Hal, you should charge ten grand. Your whole world is building this Miracle Morning brand. Why would they just get a free ride on that? Yes, it’s going to benefit you to have them in the series but, you deserve some money.”
So, it was serendipitous where like two days later this top real estate trainer reaches out. It was like the most heartfelt call. He was like, “Hal, Miracle Morning has changed my life.” He was like teared up. He was like, “I read it to my two-year old son every night. He doesn’t even understand what I’m talking about, but I believe that the energy that you put into that book, the spirit, the intention, I want him to receive it the way I did.” I’m like, “My god, I was so moved by it.” He said, “Have you thought about doing a book for real estate agents?” I said, “We just agreed to that, but you have me so moved.” He said, “Who are you doing it with?” I told him. He goes, “I know Michael Maher,” my other co-author. He goes, “Would you be up for talking to Michael and see if he would be up for having us do it with him?” “Yeah, gosh. I don’t want to step on his toes, but you know . . .” But, anyway long story short, He’s like, “I love that other guy, Michael Reese.” So, we all did it together.
Here’s the important part. Sorry, I almost forgot. So, Michael Reese goes, “So, is there . . .” I literally did not have the cajones to quote anybody ten grand. I could not get those words . . . I never quoted anybody ten grand for anything, right? I wasn’t speaking at that point yet for that much. He said, “Hey, is there any kind of fee to coauthor?” I almost said, “No,” and then I heard heard James’ voice, “You need to stand up for what . . . You deserve this.” I just went, I’m like, “Worst case is he says no.” I’m like, I literally it was hard to get the words . . . I’m like, “Um, yeah it’s ten thousand dollars to co-author.” He’s like, “Oh, done.” I’m like, “Oh . . ..” I can remember sitting on my coach I was like, “That could be twenty. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that was too easy.” I’m like, “How much would you pay?? Oh my gosh. Once you get one, you know, and then I’m like, “Hey, Honorée, we just got ten thousands dollars,” and here we go, and then we were off to the races.
And here is the beauty of it, now if you go to the miraclemorning.com/co-author, I don’t have to have that conversation of it’s ten thousand dollars, or anything. I have the, “Go here and if it’s a good fit . . .” And by the way, the other requirement is you have to have a hundred thousand followers, either email subscribers, social media that are engaged followers. So, most people . . . And the beauty of it, too, is everybody asked me to co-author Miracle Morning books all the time, and I’m like, “Hey, yeah, check this out. See if you meet the requirements,” and everything else—
Pat: It weeds them out, right?
Hal: And then they’re like, “Oh.” I have a lot of people come back and they’re like, “I only have ten thousand followers but I have a goal now.” That’s cool. So yeah it turns out great. Then, we raised the fee from ten to fifteen, and then we raised it to twenty, and then we just raised it to twenty-five, actually, so you’ll be the first person to pay twenty-four.
Pat: So then you had mentioned that this isn’t something everybody should do. Is there a specific number, or something to have a person go, “Okay, well maybe I should save the book series for later?”
Hal: Talking about and promoting the same thing over and over and over and over and over again for years, most people, it’s very boring. Entrepreneurial ADHD, we want something new, something different, chase the new fun thing. I’ve had a lot of people that they publish a book and then they call me, they reach out and they’re like, “Hey, I want to do a series now. Can you tell me about how to do it?” The first question is, “How many copies have you sold of your original book?” They’ll say, “Eight hundred, or forty,” or whatever. I go, “Okay, let me explain something, Miracle Morning has sold 1.5 million copies, and each of the series books sell a fraction of that, a fraction, but they take just as much time, money, and energy to promote. In fact, they then distract your original book that you’re promoting.” You can promote both, I guess, but then people are going, “Which one do I buy?” I said, “So, the success of your franchise, of your series, is directly proportionate to the success of the original book. So the point is after you’ve gotten the original book to sell ten thousand copies, that’s when I would even consider doing a series. That’s the short answer.
Pat: Ten thousand copies?
Pat: That makes sense. Whoo. A lot of great information. You just tapped into the brain of an amazing author, and I am so looking forward—
Hal: Two amazing authors.
Pat: It’s mostly you, man, but look out for The Miracle Equation, available all the places there are books. Any final sort of piece of advice for the authors watching this right now?
Hal: Yeah, commit until. That’s it. Commit until. I go back to Miracle Equation, two decisions, unwavering faith and extraordinary effort. Establish the faith, in writing, that says, “this is in the book,” the mantra that to direct your focus on staying committed to something until you get there, because it almost always takes way fricking longer, often ten years, to be an overnight success right? So, in writing put, create, call it a mantra, an affirmation, a reminder, whatever the hell you want. “I am committed to give it everything I have to” blank, whatever your outcome is, to sell a million books, to write a book, to start a business, to make a hundred grand a year, whatever. “I am committed to give it everything I have to” blank, your ideal outcome, “until I get there no matter what. There is no other option.”
So, that’s step one. You reinforce your commitment every day. Step two is real simple, you live in alignment with that faith by putting forth extraordinary effort and to make it ordinary you simply define, “What are the one or two . . . What are the smallest amount of activities that will move the needle the most,” and I believe if it’s books it’s podcast interviews. I’ve done TV interviews. I’ve done national TV interviews. I sell more books on podcasts. Here’s why, theoretically, I believe that is. First of all, to get on TV usually you got to pay a lot of money. You got to hire a publicist. You got to do something. The people that watch TV aren’t necessarily . . . In fact, the large majority is society and I think it’s less than five percent read personal development business books, so you’re reaching an audience where less than five percent are your target market. When you are on a podcast that is in a niche that is reaching the same audience that you’re trying to reach, by default, by definition they pursue personal and/or professional development. They’re doing it while they’re listening to your show.
Often, they’re on their phone, or they’re on their computer, not in the kitchen making breakfast for the kids while the show is on in the background. So, that’s it. Unwavering faith, in writing, that you’re committed to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to achieve your outcome and then define what are the smallest amount of activities that will move your success, done every day over an extended period of time, days, months, weeks, years, that will move your success from possible to probably to inevitable, and that’s how you apply the Miracle Equation to books.
Pat: Thank you, man. Appreciate you. Make sure to check out all the links below for Hal, everything he has going on, and the other interviews we mentioned here on the show. Just keep going. Keep going, guys. I look forward to serving you with my books, as well, and I wish you the best of luck with yours. Cheers. Take care and Team Flynn for the win.
Wow, just wow, wow. Thank you so much, Hal, for just sharing all of that. That in and of itself could be a book alone. Anybody out there who’s thinking about writing a book, or who has written books before I hope you enjoy this. Please let me know what you think. If you want to give a shout out to me and Hal on Instagram or Twitter, he is @HalElrod, I believe [@hal_elrod on Instagram], H-A-L E-L-R-O-D, and I’m @PatFlynn. Just let us know what you think. Also, there are show notes available, all the links, and all the things mentioned. You can find all the show notes on the blog at smartpassiveincome.com/session382. One again, smartpassiveincome.com/session382. Finally, just a big plug for the book for Miracle Morning. It has been life changing for me, and just sort of the immediate behavioral changes and results that you can get from it, which like we talked about, is one of the primary reasons why it’s spreading so quickly, is something that is very smart and something you can experience as a reader, as well as marketer, as well in this situation.
So, Hal, you’re amazing. Thank you so much, and congrats on Miracle Equation, which had recently come out since recording this interview together. Check him out on the previous times Hal’s been on the show, Episode 167, and also . . . NO wait, what was it 367, excuse me and Episode 140 way back in the day, and you can also find him on my YouTube channel, as well. He’s got some great stuff, an amazing community with over two hundred thousand people. It’s just, wow, just super inspirational, definitely a mentor to me and, hopefully, to you here in this episode, as well.
So hey, Team Flynn, subscribe to Hal Elrod and his podcast if you haven’t already. Subscribe to this one definitely if you haven’t already and just keep on going. I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where I’m going to reveal a lot of stuff about my last book, Will It Fly?, and actually share with you the numbers, so my specific numbers, earnings. This is like a podcast income report for my book that was published three years ago. Was it worth self-publishing it? Should I have gotten an advance for it? We’ll see. Make sure you subscribe. That’s coming next week. Till then, keep rocking it. Team Flynn for the win. Peace.
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