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Turn Your Dreams into Your Destiny | Crystal & Mark Victor Hansen | The 2%

Eric Partaker

Learn how to ASK your way to achieving your dreams! Join Crystal & Mark Victor Hansen (Authors of Ask!) and Eric Partaker as they share tips on how you can reach your full potential and achieve your dreams through the power of ASKING!


Question Everything! – You cannot successfully navigate life without learning to be better. Asking is the only mechanism available to us that has the ability to reveal what is hidden. Asking questions delivers solutions! Any opportunity you have, ask questions and constantly seek to learn.

A Good Relationship Starts With Good Communication – Half the improvement that you seek in any relationships can be improved simply by reacting better to the other person. Next time your partner triggers a negative response from you, insert a pause between the stimulus and your response. Ask yourself how would the best version of you respond to this trigger.

Are You Missing Out On Opportunities? – Next time you’re afraid to do something, step on the fear with some courage and do it anyway. You never know how it may change your life and elevate you exponentially to the next level. 

Action Ends Suffering – Professionals know that action creates feeling. Amateurs believe feeling creates action. Be the professional of your life and take action today, don’t wait around for the next day you feel like it, or it will never get done.

Make Each Day Your Masterpiece – At the end of every day ask yourself “Did I do my best today?”. Keep track of the score, give yourself a W for a winning day and L for learning.


Crystal Victor Hansen: We cannot successfully navigate this life without learning to be better askers because there is no mechanism available to us that has the ability to reveal what is hidden, like asking. 

Mark Victor Hansen: When you start asking the right questions you’re going to start meeting the right people, wake up the imagination, the illumination, the insight, and a solution that no other thing can do. 

Eric Partaker: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of The 2% where as always we’re interviewing incredible people in all walks of life. Why? To help decode excellence. Help give you the tips, tools, and strategies that you can use to close that gap between your current and best self. And I’m super thrilled to have on the show two amazing people, Crystal and Mark Victor Hansen. Welcome to the show. Both of you.

Crystal Victor Hansen: Thank you, Eric. So happy to be here with you. 

Mark Victor Hansen: We’re honored to be in the show and we love the idea of getting everybody into that 2%. And it’s a self fulfilling prophecy if they ask the right questions.

Eric Partaker: Yeah. Well, I’m so glad that you kind of zoomed in on that because when I first came across Abraham Maslow’s assertion, his estimate that only 2% of people realize their full potential in life, I remember I thought it was terrifying and liberating at the same time. Terrified that it’s like, oh my gosh, is this not the world’s biggest problem then that we need to kind of get people. Right? To break free from the 98% and then liberating, because there’s this better thing out there that we can kind of migrate towards or into. And I know you both are kind of big proponents of this thinking. You’re both accomplished entrepreneurs, speakers, authors. 

Crystal, you’re the founder of Crystal Vision Life. And I know that’s very much about discovering the best version of you. So we speak a common language there, big time.

Crystal Victor Hansen: Yes, Eric.

Eric Partaker: Mark you have many highlights as well. People probably most know you for that Chicken Soup For The Soul series. I think 500 million copies sold.

Mark Victor Hansen: Yes sir. It’s the best book ever sold in one series so far until we top it with our new book, Ask!:The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny, which based on right now, when we were talking before the show, our destiny is to outperform what I’ve already done in Chicken Soup, because it state of mind that creates data results based on the questions that you ask.

Eric Partaker: I mean, you have a huge bestseller list to add it to. Right? So I think there’s over… Is it nearly 60 number one, New York Times bestsellers. 

Mark Victor Hansen: Yeah, 59, number one, but I’ve written 318 books and the trouble is the reason… Some of them are number one in Vietnam and that they never make it to number one here. So it doesn’t matter to me because what I want to do is get everyone to read because I think you can’t be free to tell how to really read and use the self-propelling stuff that Dr. A. Maslow said, how do we get to self-realization so you can go beyond that to the next two, hierarchies are beauty and truth, which is one things we’re going to talk about philosophically today, you said.

Eric Partaker: Wonderful. So I used to say to my team, ask not what, want not, which we’ve all heard, but I would say, ask not, want not ask more, get more. And it’s seems very much in line with the book Ask. Tell us a bit about this book. What’s the central premise? What’s it all about? 

Mark Victor Hansen: Well, we’ve been blessed to talk in 80 countries to some 7 million people. We meet wonderful people, great people, good attitude and everything. But the difference between somebody who succeeds Eric a little and somebody who’s vastly successful or in your language uses our full potential, all the dimensionality of their life, which is what we want is they either don’t ask or they do ask. And if they do ask, they’ve got to ask themselves, ask others and ask God, the three channels we’re saying is most people haven’t asked themselves what is my full potential? 

So we’re saying, hey look… The way I define it as a living half lives rather than full lives because everyone said, well, you’re not going to be published with our house and we had turned up by 144 publishers. No, they all made a terrible mistake because I sold $2 billion worth of books, a billion dollars worth of licensing. So the point is, when you start asking the right questions, you’re going to start meeting the right people, wake up the imagination, the illumination, the insight, and a solution that no other thing can do. And that’s why A. Maslow was able to create this hierarchy of needs because most people get sucked into. Well, all I want to do is survive. All I want to do is pay my bills and have a job. Well, the job means you’re just over broke, not a good idea. 

Eric Partaker: So the premise is that if you ask more questions and the right questions, you can get the things that you’re seeking in the domains that matter most to you in life?

Crystal Victor Hansen: Right. Well, it’s I think so, but it’s even more than that. I think we cannot successfully navigate this life without learning to be better askers because there is no mechanism available to us that has the ability to reveal what is hidden, like asking. It’s really the only thing that is able to do that. And it’s a tool we can all use. That’s the amazing thing. When we were born into this lifetime, we came into this world as these beautiful little uncorrupted askers. These little children who, first of all, we were wildly curious. We asked about everything, who, what, when, where, why. That’s the way we evolved, that’s the way we grew. 

And then we also were not afraid to ask for what we wanted. Ask for more and more and more of what we wanted. Pretty much ask for anything. But then depending on how we were parented what happened in our school years. Sit down and don’t ask questions until you’re called on and stop asking me so many questions. I’m tired of the questions, whatever. That beautiful natural ability to ask those questions and to be curious, starts to get crushed out of you. And then you go onto jobs and work, and you’re trying to ask questions and your opinion is not valued. And suddenly we find ourselves as adults standing there pretty much terrified to ask anyone anything and a little bit ashamed almost that we don’t have all the answers.

And that is a sad state because we’ll never have all the answers in this life. And until we can open up to that beautiful ability to ask again, to be wildly curious about life, to wonder about every thing, to inquire about everything and to ask on what we want. Until we get to that point, we can’t really fulfill our greatest destiny. 

Eric Partaker: Yeah. Wow and realizing your fullest potential. Right? Becoming all that you’re capable of being. 

Crystal Victor Hansen: Exactly. 

Eric Partaker: And I love that you used the word curiosity, and I know that features a lot in the book and thanks by the way for the copy that you shared with me. I appreciate that. And that’s a special word for me too especially when it comes to asking questions. When I’m working with entrepreneurs and leaders one of the things that I’ll often hear from them is my partner says that I’m not present enough. And they think, how do I become more present? How do I improve my presence? I hear this all the time, but I don’t know what to do. 

And what I always tell them is that I say, you know what? Just forget that word, forget the word present. And instead when you’re with your partner, just be curious because you can not be curious and not present at the same time. Right? And if you just focus on curiosity, the presence happens by default. And it’s simple things, isn’t it? Your wife or your husband, for example, shares that they’re excited about something, but not letting it stop there and saying, oh, well, why is that? What is it about that that gets you going so much? Right? Can you relate to what I made about these curiosity based questions? 

Crystal Victor Hansen: Oh. I love that you switch it and just change it to curiosity because I think, be present that’s so hard to define, but curiosity is very easy to understand. And when we looked at a lot of studies, when we did this book, Eric, and the studies prove out that people in situations like business situations or personal relationships, those people who ask the most questions, who are the most curious are perceived to be better business partners, more likable business partners. I like you now. I want to do business with you. Or in the dating study, you were more likely to get a second date if you ask more questions. If you were more curious because it’s funny when people are in business or relationships for business, for example, we often want to go in and tell what we have and tell all about ourselves and tell how great we are in our product and services, the greatest thing in the world. 

And same thing in relationships. We want to talk about ourselves, well, are these great things we’ve done. Right? But in a business scenario, people don’t want to do business with you until you know them. Right? So what asking does is creates a bond. So instead of me coming in and we talk about, we have very specific stories in the book, and sitting down with you and saying here’s what I have here. So I want, what if I just sat down and said, Eric, tell me what’s happening this year. How is your performance? What are your five biggest pain points this year? What would it look like if we could even solve three of them? How would it feel? 

So all of a sudden, I am curious about you. I want to know about you. And when I start asking about you, you start opening up and trusting me more, and we start to create a bond. Right? That we didn’t have before. If I were just to come in and tell you how great and I’m just going to… I’ve got your perfect solution for everything. And so that curiosity, the asking, creates this amazing bond between two human beings. And you will be more likable in business. You’ll be more likable in relationships, your partner, your business partner, your love partner will feel more understood and more connected to you. 

Eric Partaker: And it works fabulously at networking events as well. Right? So you can go to a networking event and you can meet someone and ask the typical question. Oh, so what do you do? And the curiosity though, can help you get that one level deeper. They respond with whatever they do. And then you can say, oh, so out of all the things that you could have chose, why did you choose that career? And then you get to another whole level. Right? Or where have you lived? And they list out one or two countries. Okay. Out of all the places that you could have chose to live, what was it about those countries or cultures that attracted you the most? 

And so I totally, I totally buy into it. I totally get, I totally love it. I’m obsessed with three domains because I feel that in our quest to close the gap between our current and best self that we’re seeking to become our best on the health, wealth and the relationship front. So health, wealth, and relationships. And I love how in the ask book you very much have structured it in a similar fashion around health, wealth, and relationships. And so can we go into each of those areas and maybe give people a flavor for what are some of the questions that you should be asking on the health front, on the wealth front, on the relationship front? 

Mark Victor Hansen: Yeah, we’re saying you’ve got to ask yourself, you’ve got to ask others and ask God. And it’s got dimensionality to all of it and all of them interlace and interface with each other. But let me just do wealth first, because I’m thinking about Elon Musk, because what did he do? He gets shut down by the governor of California says you will not make any cars. You’re laying off 90,000 people. And he goes, no, that’s his decision, but I’m going to ask a different question what’s needed right now that my company could make. And he calls up the head of 3AM and said, you guys can’t make the respirators, theoretically are needed. I’ve got all the materials. I got all the engineering, I got all the software. I got all the 3D printing. I can do anything. I’ll just split 50-50 with you. But when he did that, 90,000 people, first of all, Eric kept their jobs. 

Second of all, he made the respirator. But he also just accidentally made 90,000 cars and became the richest man in the world. But he also kept thinking and asking questions, which is what our job is. And wealth creation. He said, what else could this car do? And he’s got 20 billion miles of AI. So he’s got the most AI of any car ever. And then he said, well, could we make it an auto-driving car? And he’s got that wired and capable. Then he said, could we figure out how to fly it? And then if the battery was five years now, what would the battery be? What would be a flat battery? And he says, good, I’ll go buy for a hundred million dollar company called Maxwell. That makes graphing batteries. What we’re seeing is the question is the answer. 

Einstein, who was my teacher in graduate school is Buckminster Fuller but his teacher was Albert Einstein. And Albert said, if I had a great problem, I’d spend 95 minutes on asking what are all the dimensions of the question in five minutes on solving it. And most people spend 90, it’s going wrong. And that’s why they don’t get up to the top 2%. That’s why it’s important to read our book, Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny. It’s important to listen to podcasts like yours, that get you to wake up all that beautiful dimensionality of your mind. 

Eric Partaker: Wonderful, wonderful. And on the health front, Crystal, what are some of the key questions that people need to be asking themselves.

Crystal Victor Hansen: Right. And you honestly can’t solve your health and fitness problems until you’re willing to take that asking journey inside of yourself. And it’s really starts with the ask yourself part. It’s funny because a lot of people that I coach for health and fit has they had been on that rollercoaster for so many years. They gain weight, they lose it. They saved their fat clothes. So just in case. So it starts with-

Eric Partaker: Just in case.

Crystal Victor Hansen: I know. Right? There was a guy who had like a skinny wardrobe, a medium wardrobe and [inaudible 00:14:38] wardrobe, and he kept them all. And so it’s like the first question is, do I really believe that I can be this fit slim person? Or am I holding on to my old identity? Because so often when we’re in a state that we don’t like or we say we don’t like it. Okay? And we really don’t like it. It’s miserable, but we’ve kind of become addicted or conditioned to that identity. So am I really willing to let go of this identity to am I willing to see myself as someone new? Am I willing to release that identity? 

And even some of the emotional entanglements that go along with that identity that we’ve held onto. Right? And dive a little deeper. Am I might getting some kind of protection from these layers of fat? Am I trying to protect myself in some way? What if I let go of this tomorrow? What if I saw myself as a fit slim person tomorrow? Am I ready to be comfortable with that? And there are so many questions in the book that we also talk about. Do I love myself enough? And I always say with my skinny life program, I want you to love food more than you ever have, but love the food that loves you back.

So the question is, do you care enough about yourself and love yourself enough to be curious about what foods are going to love you back? Because there’s so much information out there it’s almost like there’s no excuse to be overweight. Right? That all the information on how to be fit slim and healthy is there and then really questioning like, does this food love me back? What does it do when I put this 300 calorie donut in my body or this 300 calorie chicken breast? What is the difference? When I start sweating, swallow that food. Where does it go? And how does my body deal with that? 

So when I swallow the donut, what really happens when asked that question, I really look for the answer. I’m going to overtax my pancreas. My pancreas is going to start overworking, trying to deal with all that sugar burden that I just gave it. In the meantime, did I give myself any real nutrition? No. The answer to that question it’s a quick energy buzz, but it’s a high and a low. So all of everything in life can be resolved and solved if you’re willing to ask those gut honest question, take that inner journey, the reflective journey, which is the ask yourself part. And that’s where it all starts. 

Mark Victor Hansen: Eric can I also add something to that.

Eric Partaker: Yeah, go for it. 

Mark Victor Hansen: I want to be real quick, but we were just out at dinner on a Friday night, two weeks ago with people who go unnamed, but they’ve got all the money in the world and the husband just had a heart attack and he says, body’s falling apart. And he’s a good-looking guy and a dear friend at the top pickleball player in the world. But the danger here is that he wakes up and eats white bread and then goes to the hospital and the doctor never tells them about nutrition. So back to your question about question, what would it take me to be in the peak comprehensive health? And each of us have to study that. You can’t depend on your own spouse all the time because they may not have studied health. And you can depend on your medical doctor practitioner to have it.

So you’ve got to do your own homework and we spend a lot of time on our health and I’m going to live to be 127 options for renewal because I’m 73, but I’m in the high quality of health. And I want a high quantity health. If you’ve got crappy health, why do you want to live long? 

Eric Partaker: Yeah, no, totally agree. Totally agree. And when you were talking about poor food choices, Crystal, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself because I thought, yeah, but if I’m standing in front of a box Krispy Kreme doughnut, I kind of don’t even want to be in that situation because I know I’m not going to be asking the right questions or I’ll give myself the wrong answers. So sometimes the solution is just to not put yourself in situations where even your identity at your best is going to falter. Right?

Crystal Victor Hansen: Exactly. And you know that. You know like am I going to be able to resist those? If not, no. When I’m around it, I tend to eat it. So should I even have it around? No. 

Eric Partaker: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And okay relationship front. Now I know that’s a big area for you both. And I know, features in the book as well. So on the relationship front we’re social beings. It’s the whole fabric of our existence. Right? To interact with others. And what should we be doing there? Can you give us a flavor of the right questions that we should be asking yourselves there? 

Crystal Victor Hansen: So when we have problems in relationships or we’re triggering each other. Right? So much of that is coming from our own subconscious programming. The things we’ve experienced in life. The beliefs we’ve taken on and sort of the conditions around those beliefs. So our partner or spouse does something and it triggers us. And so all of a sudden we’re in this situation either we’re not connecting or we’re flat out angry and like fighting. Right? 

So that’s the best time to just sit down and ask the questions. Okay? And like very simple questions like go by with yourself, sit down. And some of these questions are in the book. What thoughts am I thinking right now about this situation? Well, he doesn’t care about me. That’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking he doesn’t care about me. Because he stayed two hours longer at his golf game. And he said he was going to be home. His friends are more important than me, that type of thing. Right? So what are the beliefs behind those thoughts and where did they begin?

Really asking yourself. And then is that true? Is that belief true? Do you really think he doesn’t care about you or was he just maybe enjoying himself and got lost in the moment and just having a good time. Is it really about his lack of love for you or is it? And that’s why we also have to tap into the emotions. What emotions are these beliefs triggering? Okay. And so when you get deeper into the emotion. Well, sometimes people go, I feel abandoned and you go, that’s such a leap, but when you start going question by question, it seems so logical. 

But that’s why the response is always this distorted thing. We have these distorted responses to something that happens. Someone stays in golf longer than they said they were going to. And somewhere inside of us, that’s saying I’m not lovable. So question-

Mark Victor Hansen: I don’t golf so don’t worry. So it’s not me.

Crystal Victor Hansen: And so you see the distortion that we all do, but I would say almost every problem in our relationship is in distortion of a thought that created a belief, that triggered emotion. And then where did that all start? When did you first start feeling that as a kid or did something happen? You know what? So when you start asking yourself and you can go, you know what? I guess there’s some baggage. Is this just coming up because of my old baggage? Or is it really a problem? And there are some things that are real problems if you walk in and you find whatever your wife with some other man, that’s a problem, but if she stays too long and shop for an extra hour and got lost in it, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you. You know what I mean? So much of our relationship issues can be avoided. Right?

Eric Partaker: Yeah. I was just picturing that situation. That would be definitely a shocking situation. So I really want to build on this because I love this particular area of so when we talk about relationships I think a lot of what goes wrong too in relationships is because there’s an unchecked chain reaction. Right? That it just gets out of control. And you suddenly end up in this situation where you’re arguing, for example, with a loved one and you can’t even remember how it started. Right? And you used the word trigger and I love that word as well, especially as it relates to relationships, because one of the things that I always say to myself is, and to others is that there are two sides to relationship improvement. 

It’s a two-sided coin. There’s a proactive side and the reactive side. And most people think proactively about relationship improvement and that they’re seeking right to what is it that I can do for the other person? I tend to think that they also then go wrong because I think if from their own point of view and not actually asking the other person in your eyes, what should I be doing? Right? But then there’s the reactive side to relationship improvement. And I believe that half of the improvement that we can seek and in any relationship can be improved simply by reacting better to that person. And when you say trigger, so one of the exercises that I always ask the people I work with to do is to list out their loved ones and create a trigger list. What are the things that each person, when they do is that pet peeve of you that can kind of bring out a suboptimal reaction. 

And then I say, and those are the weights and the relationship gym. Right? Because we’re going to look forward to those moments. And then I kind of draw on Stephen Covey. And I think he got this from Rollo May psychologists in the 1960s, but Rollo May 1st talked about this concept of the pause between stimulus and response. And then Stephen Covey kind of built on that instead it’s within that space lies both our growth and freedom.

So I always look forward to those triggers because that’s the moment to insert that pause. And when you pause before you respond between that stimulus. Right? The thing that’s triggering you before you respond, when you just pause, and then you ask yourself the best version of you, how would the best version of me respond right now? And what I personally find is that if you simply pause, you’ll always find the answer. It’s like a timeless wisdom in you that will just emerge and say, if you just ask the question, because you’ll always know. Right? What a suboptimal versus the best version of responses. We don’t need to go to school for that. 

Crystal Victor Hansen: No, no, exactly. And I love that. I love the pause and then I love the questions you’re asking, because first of all, identifying through questioning, what are our triggers? What are those triggers? Okay. Now you’ve re laid out the map. This is where we’re going. So this is what we need to be aware of. And that’s what asking the right questions does for you. And then when you get triggered by one of those things, asking the other questions. Like is this my best response? It’s amazing how a question we’ll just read back to you. If you ask a sincere question of yourself, it’ll revert back to you to the truth. It’ll reveal what you need to know so that you can show up in life as the best version of yourself. 

Eric Partaker: Wonderful. 

Mark Victor Hansen: to add.

Eric Partaker: Yeah. 

Mark Victor Hansen: And we’re friends with Steve Covey and we’re competing with him book-wise and I love Dr. Rolla May too. The point is when you do that pause that Rollo missed as far as I’m concerned because he was just a good psychiatrist. If you go into, what would my Godself say? Because then we’re at the level of the dimensionality of truth and a God level you’re not judgemental. You don’t find fault. You’re past triggering and being reactive. You’re proactive. Just saying I heard what you said. I listened closely but if we go to a higher dimension and look down on it, this is how we solve it. And that’s what the 2% does. And that’s why the very top of Maslow’s hierarchy is truth which transcends self-realization, self-actualization, guruship, all that stuff. Right? 

Eric Partaker: So Mark, what are the blocks? What gets in the way of people asking the right questions of people having this ability to kind of find their way? 

Mark Victor Hansen: Okay. Two levels. I want to answer. First of all, in our book, we talk about the seven roadblocks to asking, but that’s not what you’re asking. I don’t think. I think what you’re saying is do the people have the right model and based on… I love all that you’re doing because you’ve done well, but you’re also consulting. I think it said 50 companies that CEOs, those guys don’t… By the way, I’m one of us. Right? But I can see because I’ve been on the boards of the world’s biggest airline and all that, that I get goosebumps telling you this. So I know it’s truth for me, whether it’s truth for everyone listening to different questions, do they have enough models in their head? And they’re really smart, but are they wise? The question is the difference between reactive and proactive in my mind that I’ve never thought this through before is proactive, you’re wise because you’re going into your higher Godself. 

Eric Partaker: Yeah. Wonderful, wonderful. And reactive I see that pathway as well as a way to enter that same domain. Right? By pausing. And then going into that higher being and getting the direction on where you should go next or what should say next from that source. 

Mark Victor Hansen: Reactive is what you said earlier. Six paragraphs would go about chain reaction and usually the chain reactions and explosion, and the boss gets angry just because he goes through his lower self rather than his higher self. And what this show’s about is, and I own two companies with Bob Proctor called The 3% Club and we’re saying you want to get into only 3% of us in any profession, legal business, doctoring, dentistry, garbage collectors, janitors, teachers. I don’t care what it is really are profound and decided that this is the right livelihood.

And that comes back to what Crystal has been articulating here. Are you asking the questions at depth? Am I going towards what the subtitle of our book is towards your destiny? Because we believe you’re coded at RNA and DNA level to a great destiny. And your job in this thing called the university of life is discovered by asking what your destiny is and then using your highest imagination to go fulfill it. 

Eric Partaker: And can you get us excited about the potential of discovering that destiny, maybe one of your favorite stories about somebody asking the right questions and then finding their path, finding their calling?

Crystal Victor Hansen: Yeah. I’d love to share this story about this woman named Lynn Marquis. She came out of college wanting to go into the nonprofit space and her heart was really pulled toward that. So one of the first things she did was to put together this summer camp for disadvantaged children. And it was lasted most of the summer. So it was quite expensive. So obviously she had to get funding for it, but it was really going to be an amazing extensive camp. So she finally got an appointment with the woman who was like the wealthiest woman in her city who controlled a large family trust. And the day she showed up at the woman’s office, she was like, I was so scared to ask. So intimidated. 

And this is how most of us are. We’re so scared to ask anybody for anything because we’re shut down. But she wanted this so badly. She’s like, but I couldn’t hide the fact that I was shaking. I was so scared. She goes, I was visibly like quaking. So she just did a push. She said, I’m so sorry. I’m just so honored to meet with you. And of course the woman was so kind, she was like, no, come in and tell me what you have. They sat down together. She explained this incredible camp, how much it would benefit the children. And the woman said, well, it sounds wonderful. Tell me how much you asking for, again, she like got terrified as she goes. She said, I was literally stuttering. She goes I’m asking for $5,000 because that’s how much it is to put each camper through. 

And the woman looked at her and she goes, okay, but how many kids do you want to put through the camp this summer? And she said something like, oh 285. And the woman said, okay, I’d like to sponsor all of them. And it was just that jaw dropping moment where she had no idea. I mean, she was so terrified to ask, but she just did it anyway and the woman so over fulfilled, over granted her wishes so far beyond anything she could have imagined.

And so I think the point is Eric, that we have to learn to find a way we’re going to be terrified sometimes. We have these roadblocks that we talk about in both the unworthiness, the doubt, the fear, the pattern paralysis. These things that shut us down from asking and especially asking others, even asking ourselves, we’re afraid to ask, but asking others seems to be particularly terrifying. But when we’re able to just sort of we’re going to feel less afraid sometimes, but stepping on that fear with some courage and doing it anyway, you never know what it’s going to do, that it could elevate you exponentially to the next level. 

And when we don’t ask and we hold that, we might’ve just given up something so big that if we’re not willing to give birth to that opportunity by asking that we’re cutting ourselves off from our greatest opportunities and our greatest potentials.

Eric Partaker: What I’m starting to think about the Pareto principle now and that all questions, of course aren’t created equal. And so that there’s leverage and you’re questioned. And I’d love if, if you could each share, what is the most powerful question that you asked yourself personally, and what impact did that have on your life? Even if it was just something that created a startup, a pivot that manifested into a beautiful new path. What was the moment? What was the question?

Mark Victor Hansen: I’ll go first. I’ve been with in graduate school with Bucky Fuller. I’ve tried to be Fuller rather than myself. I build Wall Street record company at the end of the gardens aviaries. I was building out of PVC plastic at the wrong time. The all embargo went up I went down and I said to myself, oh my God, what if I go bankrupt? Ask the wrong question. I just wrote down what you said, all questions are not created equal. That’s from an old farm at an iteration I’ve never even thought of. I love it. Now we’ll quote you on it. Anyhow. I said, what am I go bankrupt? Check the book I log it hot to go bankrupt by yourself. Talk about the best worst experience for six months, I was sleeping in front of another guy sleeping bag and it keeps it… Bedroom in a sleeping bag, outside another guy’s bedroom because I’m broke.

And I kept saying, okay, God, what is my destiny? God doesn’t play that game. He said, you got to get definite with the infinite. God says, okay, Mark, what do you want to do? Go, whoa, there’s the heavy question by the way, for everybody listening. And I said, I want to talk to be able to care about things that matter. That would make a life, transformative, different. That was miracle number one. Miracle number two, I go to my three roommates in Hicksville and I said, hey guys, you know anyone in young speaking, that’s not a Broadway star, a celebrity, a doctoral lawyer, or a famous person. 

They said, yeah, there’s this kid out in hop hog talking. And here’s a ticket. Here’s my ticket. You take my ticket. I can’t go to his real estate meeting over three hours. That was the second miracle that guy gave me his ticket, which I mean, that just is a miracle. This guy for three hours mesmerized the audience. I went up to him at the end and I said, teach me how to do what you do. He said, look, kid, chances you making it is zero. One of the thousand is make it a speaker. You ain’t going to make it. I said, let me determine that. Just teach me what to do. He said, you stay out of real estate. I own this five burrows. I’ll teach you how to do it. So that was third miracle.

The fourth one I’m doing talks. And everyone asks, do you have that story in a book? Well, I’ve always loved to write since I was 16. So I put together a book, Stand Up, Speak Out, and Win! into little audiences, six, 10, or 20 people. I sold those little books, Stand Up, Speak Out, and Win! I said, I’d sign to you and everybody. Your wife, kids, dog, if you want. 

Anyhow, and they thought it was cute. And they said it isn’t a national bestseller. It’s not a New York Times bestseller, but it is my best seller. I sold 20,000 copies at $10 each in one year I did $200,000. I’m back. I got a Chrysler Cordoba with Korean leather. I thought I had died and alive but I’m 26. I’m back. And I’ve never stopped since then. Not that I haven’t had ups and down, and this is to do pulsations. It just that luckily was my breakthrough. And a lot of people now are hanging on by their fingernails watching your show and they’re thinking we’re making fun. We are not. We’re just saying, look, if you’re down, you got to visualize going up and ask yourself the questions on your destiny because once you’re clear about your destiny, that path gets much better.

Eric Partaker: Beautiful. Thank you, Mark. Crystal? 

Mark Victor Hansen: Thank you.

Crystal Victor Hansen: Yeah. So I think one of my most pivotal moments was when I was very young. I was one of those kids who found high school to be really easy and boring, super boring. So I accelerated my curriculum and I graduated myself at age 16 and married my boyfriend who was five years older. And it turned out it wasn’t a great life plan. Two and a half years later, I’m in a brand new city with no family, no friends, baby on my hip, divorced and honestly, no idea how I was going to support myself. And so the first thing I could think of was to apply for food stamps. 

So I remember getting food stamps and standing in the grocery store line that day, getting ready to turn my food stamps over for an exchange for food and diapers and all of a sudden this… It’s a moment I’ll never forget, honestly, Eric, because it was just a moment of truth. A question dropped into my mind. First question was like, how did I get here? Immediately followed by it is life changing question and as this question came to my mind, it was like a spotlight was shining on my head and it was the question was, are you doing the best you can? Or are you taking the easy way out?

And the second that question popped into my mind. I knew the answer. I knew, I wasn’t doing the best I could. I didn’t even know what that was, to be honest with you. But I knew that wasn’t it. I knew that wasn’t me. I knew that wasn’t my best. In that moment that question forced that truth out in me. And so I had this instant pivot so fast that as by the time I was handing the food stamps to the cashier, I was saying with so much fierceness inside of myself, like so much conviction, this will not be my future. 

So I went back to my little apartment where I was getting eviction notices every month. And I knew I didn’t have answers but I suddenly realized I had questions. So I started asking like, how can I make money tomorrow? Who would hire me? You know? And suddenly I thought of, as I’m asking the question, boom, the answer comes, I’d heard on the radio temporary service agency. It was Kelly Girls. Right? We’ll hire you tomorrow. I’ll get work tomorrow. Get paid tomorrow. So I thought of that. I called him up, filled out the paperwork. They start sending me jobs. You can say yes or no. Some jobs will last four days some to four weeks. But I started like filling in at attorneys offices and working at conventions, doing sales and setting up booths in malls, all these random things. 

But I started learning so much about myself. And one of the things I learned was that I just loved working with small business owners. Like, wow. They just like started a business. They just decided they wanted to have a business and they started it. That is so cool because I was young. I hadn’t really thought of that. Hadn’t been exposed to it before. So I decided at that point to get my real estate license. I put myself through real estate school. And in the meantime, someone had approached me and said, you should do some modeling.

So by this time I’m like not afraid to ask. I walk into the biggest talent agency. I’m like, will you sign me? They’re like, do you know how to read these lines. So I’ve like stumbled through some lines and that I stumbled down the runway trying to act like I knew what I was doing. And unfortunately they signed me. And so literally a little bit more than a year and a half from that time, that moment that I was turning over my food stamps and I had that epiphany. I’m now a licensed realtor working for the largest home builder in our valley. I became the number one realtor and I did some television commercials for the talent agency and they went national. 

So now I’m getting residuals like royalty income. And once you book enough royalty income, they make you join screen actors guild. So now I’m getting like the best insurance benefits of all time. Literally the best insurance benefits you could get in the country for myself and my little boy. And I would think back on that moment often and think like, what am I just cascaded easily into my victimization. I had every excuse. I’m young. I can’t do this on my own, but I’m so thankful that that question came to my mind and it challenged me. Are you doing the best you can or are you taking the easy way out?

And I think sometimes we need to be able to ask ourselves those really tough questions because sometimes those will change us more than anything. And that’d be honest enough with ourselves to answer honestly. I knew I wasn’t doing the best I could. 

Eric Partaker: Yeah. It’s so incredible the power. Right? Of just getting the questions right. Asking the right questions at the right time. I had come across Steven Pressfield book amateur versus pro thinking, and I remember one day I asked myself and I was 41 years old I remember when I did it. I said, am I a pro or an amateur in life? Right? And I remember I decided to show up as a professional. And then the next thought I had was related to feeling an action. And I thought to myself, amateurs go around in life thinking that feeling generates action. So then they fall victim to, oh, did you write the book? No. Why not? Why didn’t feel like it? Oh, okay. Whereas pros I got in my mind, no, that the equation is flipped and that action generates feeling. 

And that was a pivotal moment for me because I started to take action whether I felt like it or not in life. Knowing that the feelings that I was hoping to be on the forefront with suddenly emerge often just down the line by just getting the wheels in motion. So that was just for me sharing as well. That was like a powerful kind of question for me and probably just one other share would be probably the most powerful question I have in my life is an ongoing one. So I get to the end of every day and I just ask myself, did I do my best today? And of course I start the day with an intention to do so. On the health front, on the wealth, on the relationship front. 

And then I just keep track of the score and I got a W for a win on my wall calendar, and I get an L for learn if I didn’t. And my simple game is no more than six hours in a month, so that I have an 80% W win rate. I never two L’s in a row. And so questions and asking the right questions at the right time, both that a pivotal moment. And then on an ongoing basis. I’m sold on there with you. 

Crystal Victor Hansen: I just love that Eric. Did I do my best today? And I love that you track it because it does allow you to see your life unfolding and allows you to galvanize your intention more about doing your best every day because that’s the creative process like choosing in your mind how your day is going to go, that’s part of this.

Mark Victor Hansen: And then talk about percentage of wins. Show me your matrix on percentage of wins, percentage of learning. 

Eric Partaker: So what I shoot for is 80%. So 80 on average, no more than six L’s. Six days in a month have an hour in the calendar box. Right. So because that comes out to about an 80% success rate and 80% is good enough. And I think a lot of people, again, back to the Pareto principle, what’s 20% of the effort. I mean, it’s just another angle on it. Right? 20% of the effort for 80% of the results, meaning that we’re willing to sacrifice 20%, it’s okay. Because that can be good enough or it gives us the opportunity, move on to that next thing. However, you want to use the time. Right? Now we talked about, or you made a comment about small business owners, Crystal, when you were sharing your story. And I just had a question for you both, what’s one question that entrepreneurs, the average entrepreneur or leader should be asking themselves? What’s the number one question they should be asking themselves, but they’re not?

Crystal Victor Hansen: I think the most important question we can ask ourselves as entrepreneurs is… Because we’re going to have issues. Things come up. We don’t have all the answers. We got to figure things out. But if we go to that space and we almost have to go inside into that quiet space. So asking yourself, what’s the perfect scenario. If this were solved perfectly, what would this look like? So instead of getting… Sometimes we get embroiled at the level of the problem. So we’re just kind of scrambling around in the problem. I think it’s really important to kind of go above the problem and go to your ideal scenario. And that goes with relationships, personal relationships or anything. And the answer agree of a perfect situation, what would this whole thing look like? It almost at the at a higher level.

So what that tends to do is not allow you to get super embroiled at the level of the problem so much that you’re missing a bigger opportunity for a solution that may transcend any other little patchwork solutions you might be thinking have to happen. Does that make sense? 

Eric Partaker: Totally makes sense. Totally makes sense. Love it. And Mark what’s [crosstalk 00:46:10].

Mark Victor Hansen: Thank you. For the deal, you’re talking to the last question we asked in the book because we asked the biggest questions and Peter [inaudible 00:46:18] says, what are you personally going to do in this decade to positively affect 1 billion people? Well, most people go, well, all I want to do is get along. I want to just have my 10 employees under a thousand employees. Do well. No. What are you going to do to positively affect them? What I’m going to do just so we’re clear is I’m going to get a billion people more to read books that didn’t read before or listen to audios on their iPhone. And we’re going to transform consciousness because look, if Plato is right and I think he is, who controls the narrative, controls the world and the future essence of it or have morphed him a little bit, but I can give it linear, like if you need it. 

But the point is I am here and I am a persuasive, effective communicator based on results of a half billion readers or billion readers, half a billion sold. I want to transform the world from good to phenomenally good. To get everybody up into 2%. I think and we didn’t say this at the beginning of the show, is that everybody belongs in the 2% and everybody is here with a destiny in that zone, but what they don’t do in all my bully pulpit, they don’t ask these questions. They don’t read our book. If they read the book and go over it with somebody else to ask every question, go to a holy cow, I’m feeling depressed. I’m feeling despondent or relationships aren’t right. I’ve never really thought through what a business. My mother said, I got to be an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, or you’re a nobody. No, no that isn’t it. You are here to do something phenomenal and sure great that we would love.

Eric Partaker: Beautiful. So for the person who wants to build that bridge between their dreams and their destiny and get a copy of ask where do they grab a copy or are there website associated with the book where they can learn more? Where should we direct people’s attention? 

Crystal Victor Hansen: Yes. So it’s everywhere. Amazon, of course. It’s on Kindle, Audiobook. There’s some beautiful hardcover book. Most people are loving that. And then on Barnes and Noble and some of the independent store bookstores have it as well. But it seems like Amazon is just the easiest for everybody to go to. And then please join us. We want to continue to help guide people to become master asker. So we’re having this completely free webinar. If you go to Ask The Book Club after you buy the book, read the book. So you come prepared because it’s going to be a discussion and we’re going to take this further, but get the book and then go to and join us. We’re going to be sending out the invitation very soon and we’re super excited about it. Because we believe we can fundamentally change the way people operate by learning to take this asking journey is what we call it. Take the asking journey with us and just see how your life unfolds in a much more powerful, exciting, positive way. 

Eric Partaker: Crystal, Mark. I’m so grateful for getting the chance to speak to you both. I’m a fan. Loved the book and thank you for your time and thanks for all the service that you have been given your entire lives to others. You’re working on the one thing that unites us all regardless of geography, religion, ethnicity. Our common practice, our common thing is to help elevate each other and close that gap. Help us become the best version of ourselves. So thanks for all you do in that area. 

And if you’ve watched and listened this far please follow up with Crystal’s pointers there and take advantage of all the good stuff that Crystal and Mark are putting out. Thanks again.

Mark Victor Hansen: It’s been a [crosstalk 00:50:06].

Crystal Victor Hansen: Thanks, Eric, I [crosstalk 00:50:07].

Mark Victor Hansen: Thank you for having us, Eric. 

Eric Partaker: Hope you enjoy that discussion. And I know you’re going to absolutely love the next one as well. It’s with John Lee Dumas talking about his newest book and all the incredible things that you can be learning to increase your financial awareness and wealth. And I know you’ll love that. Just click on the link right here and I’ll see you there.

Eric has been named "CEO of the Year" at the 2019 Business Excellence Awards, one of the "Top 30 Entrepreneurs in the UK" by Startups Magazine, and among "Britain's 27 Most Disruptive Entrepreneurs" by The Telegraph.

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