Chris J. Snook
Chris J. Snook has spent than a decade as an author, entrepreneur, and venture catalyst. He has built a global marketing and distribution business in the U.S. Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong, along with a Business Development Consulting firm, and has spent the last three years incubating new media startups. He is currently the managing partner of TLEC Venture’s portfolio which includes several modern media focused businesses such as The No Limit Publishing Group, Parallel6, VTV, and loopthink. Snook has co-authored two international best-selling books: Wealth Matters with Muzafer Najfi (2007 and 2011, 2nd Edition) and Personal Trainer’s Burnout: How to Transform Frustration to Fortune (2005).
Muzafer in the Arabic language means “Victorious” and for the last 16 years he has been that and more in the arena of direct sales and network marketing. He has built, managed, and maintained several sales organizations domestically and internationally from the ground up in excess of 15,000 distributors, that have generated hundreds of millions in annual sales and has received numerous accolades including “Top Income Earner” and “Outstanding Leadership Award”, and features in Success from Home, Your Business at Home magazines, and the Network Marketing Business Journal.
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Morris: Before discussing Wealth Matters, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?
Snook: The greatest influence on my personal growth has been two parents who have modeled since I was a baby what it looks like to be responsible and accountable for all of my results and who have always been supportive of my unfoldment and quest for ongoing achievement. They have worked at their marriage and their individual awareness consistently.
Najfi: The greatest influence on my personal development- My foundation came from having a strong faith in God and learning right from wrong and being led by my mom. In the business world I cannot pin point it to 1 individual. There were many good people that taught me great things. As well as people that were horrible that taught me what not to do!
Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?
Snook: Too many to count, but I guess it all started in 1999 when I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. That was the spark. I read (or listened) to over 200 books from that in a 12 month period. I have had numerous coaches and mentors along the way, and adversity has made me apply the acquired knowledge and skills in a myriad of ways which has created the mastery and confidence I move with today.
Najfi: The greatest impact on personal development was being told to read the famous Think and Grow Rich . It took me seven times of reading it to find the “SECRET”! That month I made $7k and the next month I made $8k. The next month I made $9k, then $10, then $11k, then $13k and then I made $17k! That book helped me more than I can even explain!
Morris: Was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) years ago that set you on the career course that you continue to follow? Please explain.
Snook: When my football career officially ended in 2000, I realized that business and personal and professional development and deal creation was the only thing large enough to fill the void. Up until that point, being an athlete and maximizing my performance was all consuming. I wanted and needed an outlet that would last the rest of my life and business became that vehicle for me.
Najfi: My turning point was when my friend Eddie made me realize that the people that are making 100k a month are no better than us. All we have to do is EXACTLY what they do to the BEST of our ability and we will out produce them! So from that day forward I did everything to the best of my ability but said their words and presented the business the way they did.
Morris: To what extent (if any) has your formal education proven invaluable to what you have achieved in your life thus far? Please explain.
Snook: My formal education taught me how to study hard, improved my critically thinking and also allowed me to play Football longer (haha). I have learned far more impactful stuff, though by starting businesses, losing businesses, making and losing money, and years of seminars, books, and mentors.
Najfi: My formal education just happened to be perfect for my industry! I graduated with a degree in psychology and communications and a minor in business. I think that is the pure definition of Network Marketing!
Morris: Here are a few of my favorite quotations. Please respond to each. First, from Voltaire: “Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those that find it.”
Snook: The journey is often more enjoyable than arriving at the destination
Najfi: I appreciate people that are looking for the RIGHT information. It is what people do with the information once they have learned it that makes me judge them. When you are ignorant, bliss is apparent because you do not know what you do not know but once you know then your choices in either doing or not doing shows your IQ!
Morris: Next, from Darrell Royal: “Potential” means “you ain’t done it yet.”
Snook: True. We can never in one life time realize our unlimited potential, but we can certainly give it our best try and give it hell while we here!
Najfi: Potential is a fancy word for I have not done SQUAT yet! I agree 100% There are so may people with potential that are scared to take action. They are either scared of failing or even scared of succeeding. Either way they have fear and that is the reason they are in the “potential” sentence!
Morris: Next, from Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Snook: I would say it’s either one helluva fun ride or a miserable prison of monotony.
Najfi: To me that means that Life is what you make of it! One person’s adventure is anothers nothing….YOU DECIDE!
Morris: Finally, from Peter Drucker: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”
Snook: Activity and Productivity are in two completely different universes. Energy is used up in either case, but only productivity enhances the world.
Najfi: People waste time everyday getting great at things that will never add value to their life or others!
Morris: In your opinion, what are the defining characteristics of an entrepreneur?
Snook: Willingness. Once you study enough good books you realized two simple questions are all one needs to ask in life as it relates to acquiring a goal. 1) Am I Able? Answer: You wouldn’t have a desire in your heart if you weren’t able, so the only question that remains unanswered is 2) Am I willing? Entrepreneurs are WILLING to do whatever it takes, regardless of circumstance to manifest their creative urge. We are like cockroaches and Rocky Balboa baby…you can’t kill us.
Najfi: Willing to take risks, seeks specialized knowledge, has desire, is focused, has the willingness to learn, and gets enough info to make a decision and then seeks more but does not wait to know it all because they will never get out of the starting blocks!
Morris: What do you now know about the business world that you wish you knew when you launched your first company?
Snook: Actually I am glad I didn’t know half the stuff I now know or I might not have ever started. Ignorance is bliss. You will always find the next answer you need if you ask the right questions. Just get going and let it all come at you.
Morris: I am among those who think that certain films dramatize very effectively important business lessons. In fact, I use clips from them when conducting workshops and seminars for corporate clients. For example, if the subject is teamwork, films such as The Sting, The Great Escape, and Remember the Titans. If the subject were leadership, which films would you select? Please explain
Snook: I would agree with Remember the Titans, Ghandi, and I like to watch Thirteen Days (great on decision-making which is all leaders really do)
Najfi: I use clips from a lot of movies like Gladiator, Braveheart, Drumline, Remember the Titans, The Replacements, I use a lot of sports movies…
Morris: Now please shift your attention to Wealth Matters. When did you and Muzafer Najfi decide to write it?
Snook: I made the decision to ask him to join me as the co-author for the 2nd Edition (Makeover Edition) on June 25th and called him to ask and we had the deal done at 11:34pm PST (1:34pm CST where he lives). I wrote the new FOREWORD the minute we hung up and we had the new manuscript with 80 plus pages of new content done in two weeks.
Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing it?
Snook: Just that his tactical expertise and credibility was the perfect “missing” link (which I had waited several years for) to the original text to make the book something that could really give people a launch point and strategy, and also make the exercise of releasing a new version relevant to the marketplace.
Morris: To what extent (if any) does the book in final form differ significantly from the one that you and Muzafer originally envisioned?
Snook: Doesn’t. It was all by design
Morris: Please explain the reference to “Makeover” in the book’s subtitle.
Snook: Wealth building is one thing, but rebuilding is not something that a lot of people were talking about in an “active” strategy. You can’t passively makeover anything in life, because you don’t change the root cause that way. Makeovers are supposed to be permanent. We wanted to truly help people rebuild whatever was lost better than they had it before and with less risk.
Morris: The term “wealth” can refer to but is certainly not limited to affluence. Someone who is happy and healthy, who has married only once and is happily married, and who has lots of happy and healthy children and grandchildren can also be considered “wealthy.” Do you agree?
Snook: Sure, but we also talk about the fact that wealth is a permanent state of mind, without justification for each core area of the human experience, and that financial wealth is just as important as relationships, fitness, love of your work, intellectual development, emotional IQ and spirit. Its common for people to glorify wealth in the non-financial areas and demonize or discount financial. True wealth at the end of the day is an organic knowing that you are exactly who you were and are supposed to be, heading in the right direction. Charles Haanel said it best “Wealth is an unfoldment not an accretion”.
Najfi: Yes I agree that “Wealth” has multiple meanings however what financial “Wealth” does is it gives people options, options enhance all avenues of our life!
Morris: In your opinion, what are the most significant differences between standard of living and quality of life?
Snook: Standard of living is merely a window into our dominant thinking to date, and the results (scorecard) that accompany those thoughts, feelings and actions. Quality of Life is more about what we are thinking and feeling about in the present as it relates to the future we are setting in motion. If we are thinking big and in harmony with those thoughts we have a high quality of life, if we are stuck in the mistakes or monotony of the past, then our quality of life is crap. Quality of life has a lot to do with Gratitude and our recognition of the blessings all around us in spite of what we have accomplished or not thus far.
Najfi: Standard of living usually has no options where as quality of life does.
Morris: Long ago I became convinced that standard of living and quality of life are [begin italics] not [end italics] mutually exclusive. What do you think?
Snook: The quality of our thoughts creates the quality of the opportunities that come into our awareness to act upon. I see them as intertwined in that way. Standard of living is the same as ‘results’. We can change the result only if we change the thinking that created it.
Morris: Why does the book’s [begin italics] first [end italics] chapter focus on the power of words rather than, say, the power of ideas?
Snook: Because words are our primary (albeit feeble) way of communicating (inward and outward) any idea or thought or feeling we have. Words create our physical reality, so they have tremendous power. The deeper and more thoughtful our words and vocabulary the more robust and effective (or destructive) we can be to our ideas.
Morris: What is the “terror barrier”? How best to avoid it or overcome it?
Snook: It is the self-imposed wall that we turn from to retreat back into the safety of our comfort zone right before we have a real breakthrough in performance. The best way to overcome it is to run through it full speed! Realize that according to scientists like Maxwell Maltz humans are only born with two innate fears (falling and loud noises) and so whatever else we fear in the moment of making a decision to move into unchartered territory is made up.
Morris: You and Muzafer devote a separate chapter to each of six different types of wealth. In your opinion, which of them is most difficult to obtain and then [begin italics] sustain [end italics]? Why?
Snook: It depends on the person. The key is to leverage the assets you have from one of the easy ones, to devote energy and time mastering the weaker ones.
Morris: Who should be included in one’s “circle of influence”? Why?
Snook: People who have mastered an area you want to master, and who you respect and want or need to learn from. Don’t spend time with people who aren’t masters in an area you wish to master. Don’t waste time ‘killing time’ with average joes unless you want to be average too.
Najfi: People that have the results in our “ideal life” that we want! The people we spend the most amount of time around are the exact type of people that we will become!
Morris: Who should be excluded? Why?
Snook: It’s like any other team sport or human endeavor. NFL Football players and owners don’t let flag football weekend warriors on the team, because they don’t add value. They will gladly perform each Sunday for those people and sell em jerseys, beer, and tickets all day long, but they “play” with people as talented or more talented than themselves. Do likewise.
Najfi: I agree. Exclude the people that do not have the results that we want. We can still be friends with all types of people but we need to be careful who we seek advice from in our life choices!
Morris: When formulating a “90-day blueprint,” what are the most important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind?
Najfi: Do what you say and write that you are going to do! Don’t get discouraged when the “INSTANT” results don’y come. Fight through it and you WILL succeed!
Morris: A few more general questions. First, of all the great leaders throughout history, whom do you admire most? Why?
Snook: I admire Mandela, Mother Theresa, and Ghandi for their vision, faith, and willpower. Abraham Lincoln for his integrity, ability to incorporate his political adversaries into critical conversations and his decision making. MLK for his ‘DREAM’, Christ for his servant leadership example, and the “unknown soldiers” who have died preserving our freedoms for 236 years.
Najfi: I admire Magic Johnson. He led people on and off the court every day. He had the most influential people admire and want to meet him. He went from nothing- to on top of the world- to back to an outcast who was then loved and supported. He fought the unknown and overcame all odds and created success in multiple fields. He crossed multiple ethnicities and cultures and developed businesses in all arenas. He has shown TRUE LEADERSHIP in its purest form!
Morris: In a few years, let’s say that you are invited to be the speaker at your son’s high school graduation. Which subject would you select? If the graduates get nothing else from your remarks, what key point do you want them to remember for decades to come?
Snook: My message would be a simple one. “In all you do seek to first understand before you seek being understood”, and my greatest wish for them is that at some point in their life they can truly know in their heart that they don’t want or need to be anyone but who they are!
Najfi: The importance of personal development. What/who you let into “YOUR” mind and subconscious will shape and design your life.
Morris: Here’s another hypothetical situation. You have the opportunity to have dinner (just the two of you) with Steve Jobs. What would you hope to learn from him?
Snook: I would love to know how he really felt and what he learned during his exiled years in the late 80’s early 90’s and how it prepared him to come back the way he did!
Najfi: Yeah, I would hope to learn the way he thought right before he took over Apple again in 1997. Also how his vision was so big ad stayed big without the boundaries that “HUMANS” put in their own way!
Morris: Looking ahead (let’s say) 3-5 years. In your opinion, what will be the single greatest business opportunity for entrepreneurs? Please explain.
Snook: The greatest business opportunity will be the one they fall in love with and pursue with passion and purpose. That is true today and it will be true in 3-5 years!
Najfi: Direct sales/Network Marketing. I think that more stories will show the ability to build a business with very little overhead and a ridiculously high return financially! I think that people will see the value in having a TEAM and customers that can provide time freedom and a residual income.
Morris: Which question had you hoped to be asked during this interview – but weren’t – and what is your response to it?
Snook: Why should someone buy Wealth Matters Makeover Edition? Because we wrote it for you to save you time and money, and want you to win this game of life in your own way and get on the field with us where all the action is!
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Chris J Snook and Muzafer Najfi cordially invite you to check out the resources at these websites:Chris J. Snook, Home magazine, loopthink, Muzafer in the Arabic language means “Victorious”, Muzafer Najfi, Network Marketing Business Journal, Parallel6, Personal Trainer’s Burnout: How to Transform Frustration to Fortune, The No Limit Publishing Group, TLEC Venture, VTV, Wealth Matters, Your Business at Home magazine