Paulo Coelho Archives - Jeff Walker

What To Do AFTER You Sell 150 Million Books

by on Apr 02 2013
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So last November I got a chance to sit down with Paulo Coelho for dinner. I’ve written about Paulo before… and the impact that his book “The Alchemist” made on my life.

(If you’re not familiar with Paulo, he’s sold 150 million books, he has 7 million Twitter followers and 10 million Facebook followers, and “The Alchemist” is the fifth most read book of all time, ever, in the entire world.)

With Paulo Coelho

It was an amazing dinner – there were five others there in addition to Paul and myself – bestselling authors Brendon Burchard, Chris and Janet Attwood, David Bach, and Paulo’s agent extraordinaire Monica.

As you could imagine, with that cast of characters, the conversation was extraordinary – and it leapt from topic to topic. Writing, publishing, books, war, spirituality… and that was just the first 10 minutes. ;-)

We were in Geneva, Switzerland, at one of Paulo’s favorite restaurants. After a leisurely dinner, we decided to walk to a nearby bar to have a drink.

And, for me, this next part was simply amazing – the path we walked to get to the bar was literally on the Road To Santiago – the ancient and holy path that is the subject of Paulo’s book “The Pilgrimage”. I had no idea, but it turns out, a portion of that road is in Geneva. Who knew?

It was there, as I walked on the Road To Santiago with Paulo, that I got to tell him the story of the impact that “The Alchemist” had on my life… and consequently, the lives of thousands of others. The whole thing seemed magical (or at least mystical)…

So what was Paulo like? He was charming, engaged, curious… and most of all he was passionate. You might think that an author who has sold 150 million books might sit back and rest on his laurels. Not Paulo… he is all about his next book. He is all about engaging with his millions of fans. He is all about making an impact.

What a group to have dinner with! Brendon Burchard, Janet Attwood, Paulo Coelho, David Bach, myself, Paulo's agent Monica (Chris Attwood is not pictured.)

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of people that are making a huge positive impact on the world. And I’ve gotten to meet a number of my heroes. And the thing I see over and over is a passion for their work. A passion for honing their craft. A passion for their business. And a passion for their impact.

Each of them have had a true Heroe’s Journey, where they heard the call to adventure… and they struggled with that call. Some of them refused the call, some of them couldn’t answer the call. Some of them tried to answer and failed… the first time. Or the first twenty times.

But you know what happens next. Each of them faced many challenges along the way, and each of them eventually persevered. And that’s the path we all face if we’re going to lead our biggest and best lives.

It never comes easy… even for the people that make it look easy. But there is no dress rehearsal. We only get one shot at this world. Make it count.

One more thing, and this came directly out of that dinner with Paulo in Geneva – Brendon Burchard lucked out and snagged the worldwide exclusive video interview with Paulo Coelho for his new book, “Manuscript Found in Accra.” The video interview is only available for a limited time, and you can see it at this link:

CLICK HERE: Worldwide Exclusive Video Interview With Paulo Coelho

Go check it out now. Paulo is amazing, and it’s a great interview.

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The Fear of Heroes (and Meeting Mine)

by on Feb 17 2013
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So it’s a risky thing to meet one of your heroes. In fact, it can been pretty scary.

Lots of weighty expectations hang in the air. What will they be like? Will they live up to your expectations? Or will you walk away disappointed? Will you lose one of your heroes?

So last November I was sitting in the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. I was about to get on a plane and fly home to Colorado. I had just gotten a chance to spend several hours with Paulo Coelho. Now Paulo is another hero of mine, and one day I will write about having dinner with him… but he’s not who this post is about.

In any case, meeting Paulo was really cool, and it inspired me. And as I sat there on the runway in Geneva, I thought to myself “OK, that was awesome – now it’s time to meet Pressfield”…

You see, Steven Pressfield is another author who has made a big impact on my life. Many entrepreneurs are familiar with his incredible book “The War of Art”… and I love love love that book, but it just barely scratches the surface of his work. His fiction is equally amazing, and a personal favorite of mine is “The Legend of Bagger Vance” (I know it’s cliche, but you should skip the movie and read the book).

So after meeting Paulo Coehlo, I decided it was time to figure out some way to have dinner with Steven. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I knew there would be a way… I learned long ago that I’m pretty good at “manifesting” things. So I figured I had a good chance of meeting him, but I had no idea it would happen so fast…

You see, just a few weeks later I got a surprise package from my friend Victoria Labalme. In it was a personally signed copy of “The War of Art” and a note to me from Steven Pressfield!

Steven Pressfield and Jeff Walker

With Steven Pressfield in his home...

It turns out Victoria had heard me mention “The War of Art” when I was speaking on stage, and she just happened to be a close personal friend of Steven. And to make a long story short, it was only a matter of a few weeks before I was on a plane to Los Angeles to got to dinner with Steven, Victoria, and Victoria’s husband.

And there we are – back to me nervously wondering what it would be like to meet one of my heroes… and whether it would live up to my expectations.

Well, I don’t know if I just have great taste when it comes to “hero selection”, but I haven’t been disappointed yet. It was a wonderful meeting. Steve was gracious, kind, engaged, and funny. In fact, dinner was too short, so we quickly made plans for breakfast… and then breakfast evolved into spending the entire morning together.

The thing that stuck out the most for me was how wonderfully curious Steve was, and what great questions he asked… he kept asking me about me and my life. And his insightful questions kept pushing me to make distinctions I had never thought about before.

In Steve's office, looking at a diagram for his next book

I’ve long felt that asking great questions (and then having the good sense to shut up and really listen to the answers) is one of the most powerful skills that anyone can have… and Steve truly is a master at it. There is incredible knowledge and wisdom that is bottled up in the people surrounding us, and for the most part we walk around oblivious to it. Our lives are hugely enriched when we wake up and tap into that innate wisdom in the people surrounding us. It was inspirational to mentally step outside myself and “watch” Steve ask great question after great question.

Another thing I’ve noticed about people who lead inspired lives – they’re always looking to grow. They’re always striving to make their “art” better (no matter if their art is writing, building a business, or making a better cheesecake). And they’re always trying to “level up” and play a bigger game.

In other words, as my coach Dan Sullivan says, their future is always bigger than their past. And, of course, Steven Pressfield fit that description perfectly… he really wasn’t interested in talking about his past work. He was far more interested in talking about his current and future projects. And truth be told, he was most interested in talking about the people around him.

(Funny story… during our conversation, I mentioned something that one of the principle characters in Steve’s amazing “Gates of Fire” did. But I couldn’t recall the character’s name – even though I’ve read the book at least two or three times. As I was making my point, I said “sorry, but I can’t remember the character’s name”… and Steve quickly interrupted me and said with a smile “Either can I”.)

My signed copy of "The Ware of Art"

Steve graciously signed my copy of "The War of Art"

Our time together flew by all too quickly, and soon I had to head out to catch my flight home. But I left inspired. I left happy to have met an inspired, driven, and gentle soul. And best of all, I left with a new friendship.

P.S. I’m on a roll now… anyone want to introduce me to Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, or the Dalai Lama?  :-)

P.P.S. Who would you love to have dinner with? And why?

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Paulo Coelho and turning my lead into gold

by on Sep 25 2011
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I didn’t know that my life was about to change forever. I suppose, in those types of moments, you never do.

I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was at a one of the mountain parks near my home in Colorado with my two young kids. I brought a picnic lunch, which the kids quickly gobbled up. Now they were happily scrambling around… climbing on some big rocks and playing in the forest.

I was seated at a picnic table. It was a beautiful summer day. The sun was out, but I was in the shade of a pine tree. In my hands I held a slim, hardcover book that I hadn’t started reading yet.

Little did I know when I opened that book that it would quickly transport me to another world… and inspire me to start a business that would help tens of thousands of people, make me a fortune, and eventually change the way business was done on the Internet.

But back then I couldn’t have had a more humble setting. At the time I was Mr. Mom – I was a stay-at-home-dad… the primary caregiver for my kids. My total personal income for the previous five years was exactly zero dollars. I had quit my corporate job, and my wife was supporting the family. I liked spending so much time with my kids, but there was definitely a gaping hole in my life. I felt the drive to create something, but I didn’t know what… and I didn’t know where to begin. I was paralyzed.

The book I was holding in my hands was a book that my wife had given me. That’s not necessarily a good sign… since we don’t tend to share the same taste in books. But this one was different, and it was about to change the course of my life.

It’s a good thing that there was nothing menacing in the woods, and that my kids did a good job fending for themselves… because I can’t say I was the most attentive father that day. As soon as I opened the book, I was completely consumed by it.

That book that changed everything for me was “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It doesn’t seem like an impressive book when you pick it up. It’s a short book, and it’s very easy to read. It’s not about marketing, or business… or even personal development.

Instead, it’s a parable about how to live your life and pursue your dreams. And the journey the book takes you on… well, it made a huge impact on my life.

Now I’ve had many mentors over the last 15 years or so – and I’ve written about some of them on this blog. And they’ve all helped me in various ways… but it was Paulo Coelho and the mysterious Alchemist that was there at the beginning and gave me permission and faith to pursue my dreams.

Paulo is a wildly successful and influential author. He’s sold over 140 million books. He has 6,605,086 likes on Facebook. He has 2,396,203 followers on Twitter. He clearly influences a lot of other people (in addition to me.)

And now, in another one of those cases of things circling back for me… one of my best friends – Brendon Burchard – is interviewing Paulo on a live teleseminar. That’s a really big deal – to show you just how significant that is… Paulo is only doing two interviews in the U.S. this year – one is with the New York Times and the other is with Brendon.

I’m going to be on the call – because I’m a fan of Paulo Coelho… and because I want to hear from someone who has had such amazing success in his life (and become so amazingly influential.)

You can register for the call FOR FREE at this link:

CLICK HERE for Paulo Coelho and Brendon Burchard

Go register now… this is going to be unlike any other call you’ve been on – I can’t wait to hear Brendon’s interview with Paulo… it’s not going to be about marketing, and there isn’t going to be anything for sale. But with what this man has accomplished in his life and the people he’s impacted… well I can’t wait to hear the wisdom he has to share…

Best regards,
Jeff

P.S. And now you know the “why” behind the name of my company – Internet Alchemy, Inc… I named it after the book that inspired everything. :-)

P.P.S. It’s sorta funny… things have come full circle in some ways, and they’re very different in other ways. I’ve now read most of Paulo Coelho’s books. And obviously, the circumstances of my life are very different. My kids are a lot older now. My wife was able to retire long ago to be a Mom. My business has grown to levels that I never could have dreamed.

But this past spring I opened another of Paulo’s books. Once again, I was with my family in a lovely place out in nature. But this time I was on a 44-foot sailboat that I had chartered for a week in the British Virgin Islands. Once again I was transported away to another world when I started reading the book. And once again I was inspired.

I can’t wait to hear what Paulo has to say to Brendon.

P.P.P.S. There are lots of inspiring books out there. I’m not sure why “The Alchemist” was the one that did it for me… but I’ve gone back to read it several times since that first time out in the woods with my kids. It really resonates with me. But I’m curious… what books have inspired you?

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