From Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul

Cracking the Millionaire Code

None of us can change our yesterdays, but all of us can change our tomorrows.

Colin Powell

Have you ever had a million-dollar idea? Did you ever say to yourself, “Hey, that’s a great idea,” then let the idea fade away without acting on it, only to discover several months later that someone else had capitalized on your idea? Most of us have great ideas, yet we simply don’t know what to do with them. Ideas are the seeds of future fortunes. Jack Canfield and I had just such an idea back in the early 1990s, and I’m glad we followed our hearts and our souls, or else the Chicken Soup for the Soul series never would have been born.

But wait! Sometimes a simple idea can even grow into billions! In the summer of 1990, on a train to London, Joanne Rowling did just that—a billion-dollar idea popped into her head. As she relates it, “All of a sudden the idea for Harry just appeared in my mind’s eye. I can’t tell you why or what triggered it. But I saw the idea of Harry and the wizard school very plainly. I suddenly had this basic idea of the boy who didn’t know who he was, who didn’t know he was a wizard until he got his invitation to wizard school. I have never been so excited by an idea.”

As soon as she began to write, her life was thrown into turmoil by a series of events: the death of her forty-five-year-old mother from multiple sclerosis, her marriage to an abusive husband, a miscarriage, the birth of her first child, a divorce, being fired and trying to raise a child on government welfare. Four years after the initial Harry Potter “brainstorm,” J. K. Rowling, as she now calls herself, decided to do what she was destined to do and wrote the book that would make her a billionaire and the richest woman in England.

Did you ever have an idea like that? Did you know what to do with it?

In May 1994—the same year that twenty-eight-year-old J. K. Rowling was toiling to finish the first Harry Potter book—a thirty-year-old researcher was sitting at his desk in a New York skyscraper. As he read reports about the growing Internet phenomenon, an idea struck him. “It was a wake-up call. I started thinking, Okay, what kind of business opportunity might there be here?” Fueled by this hunch, he quit his job, borrowed his parents’ life savings, drove his wife to Seattle and then launched from their rented two-bedroom house. Five years later, Jeff Bezos was Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” as well as a billionaire ten times over. Needless to say, billionaire Bezos has sold a lot of billionaire Rowling’s books.

Think of how many success stories begin with a single, simple idea. Michael Dell started his company, Dell Computers, from his college dorm room. Twenty years later he was the world’s youngest billionaire. Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart stores in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962. Today, Wal-Marts crowd out the sun. This largest retailer in the world gives over $100 million in charitable contributions annually. All of this from a simple idea of “everyday low prices.”

My longtime friend and business colleague Robert Allen and I share how to transform your million-dollar idea and make it a reality! Our latest book—Cracking the Millionaire Code—Your Key to Enlightened Wealth (Harmony Books, 2005)—reveals four important codes, all of which are essential to your success. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, here’s a quick preview to open your idea floodgates and get you started on the path to enlightened success and wealth!

The Destiny Code. To crack the Destiny Code, you must discover your unique place in the universe. You arrived here on planet Earth encoded with divine DNA—a specific set of talents, gifts, opportunities, connections and sensitivities. We believe you have a destiny to fulfill. There is music in you, a song you are destined to sing, or instrument you are destined to play in the symphony of life. Some people discover their destiny quickly. Some people take decades to do so, and others never even look for it. When you tap into this pure vein of gold, you become who you were born to be.

The Prism Code. Destiny is the path you choose. Prism is the vehicle you navigate down that path. Prism is our description of the specific product or service that sets you apart—that displays your talents and gifts to the world. When you’ve discovered your prism, you don’t earn a living, you earn a “loving.” Your prism refracts your talent into a kaleidoscope of income stream.

Among the greatest crackers of the Prism Code is George Washington Carver, sometimes called the “inventor” of the peanut. Though Carver was born a Missouri slave, his research developed 325 products from peanuts, 108 applications for sweet potatoes, 75 products derived from pecans and over 500 dyes and pigments from 28 different plants.

The Angel Code. You can’t do it alone. You need a team. Fortunately, there are people who were destined to be on your team. They’ll help you fulfill your destiny, and you’ll help them fulfill theirs. They bring the missing pieces of the puzzle; your picture is not complete without them. How do you find them? How will they be attracted to you? How will you know you can trust them? This is all part of cracking the Angel Code.

This code is explained in further detail in our book; in a nutshell, the way to crack the Angel Code is to form myriad “circles” that will offer you endless resources, resources that are both visible and invisible. Once you crack this code, you’ll feel as if these resources are heaven-sent!

The Star Code. Cracking the Star Code is the process of discovering and serving a very special group of customers—treating them like the stars they are. Of all the codes to crack, this is one of the easiest to envision and the hardest one to regularly implement. The success rate of start-up businesses would soar if each new entrepreneur would simply focus on cracking this one code.

* * *

Codes are everywhere. ZIP codes. Gate codes. Area codes. Bar codes. PIN codes. Pass codes. Secret codes. Postal codes. Country codes. Morse code. Membership codes. Security codes. Color codes. Genetic codes. Entry codes. Exit codes. You can’t live without codes!

This is my gift to you, my friend. The four key wealth codes—Destiny, Prism, Angel and Star. Crack them carefully, then behold a higher power within yourself and create a greater future for our world.

Mark Victor Hansen

[EDITORS’ NOTE: Besides being a cofounder of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Mark Victor Hansen is also an enthusiastic crusader of what’s possible and is driven to make the world a better place! A worldwide public speaker for over three decades, Hansen focuses solely on helping organizations and people from all walks of life, reshaping their personal vision of what’s possible and how to recognize opportunities and turn them into actions. To invite Hansen to speak to your organization, or to learn more about Cracking the Millionaire Code: Your Key to Enlightened Wealth, please visit or call 949-764-2640.]

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