I Share Hope

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Story. Action. Hope.

Stories about hope and ways to share hope

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David Hancock

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“I tend to resonate more with Biblical definition of hope, which is confident expectations. Hope is a firm assurance of things that are unclear and unknown, and hope is a fundamental component of life. Without hope, life actually has no meaning at all.” — David Hancock

David Hancock is the Founder of Morgan James Publishing and Chairman of Guerrilla Marketing international, and has co-authored twelve books including Guerrilla Marketing for Writers, The Entrepreneurial Author and “Performance Driven Thinking”.Cited as one of the world’s most prestigious business leaders and is reported to be the future of publishing. As Founder of Morgan James Publishing he was named a Finalist in the Best Chairman category in The American Business Awards. Hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post.David was also selected for Fast Company Magazine’s Fast 50 for his leadership, creative thinking, significant accomplishments and his significant impact on the industry over the next ten years. David has revolutionized book publishing from the author’s standpoint. His Entrepreneurial Publishing™ model enriches authors as well as the company. David also serves as President of the Executive Board for Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg and is Chairman of the Board of The National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence. David and his wife Susan live in Hampton Roads, Virginia with their two children, Morgan Renee and Ethan James.



 

06: I Share Hope with David Hancock

“My definition of hope or what hope means to me might be different than most people. Most people understand hope as wishful thinking or some sorts, as in, “I hope something will happen. I hope I can do this,” or something along those lines. That’s not exactly the way I look at hope. I’m David Hancock, and I share hope”.

Intro:

Welcome to I Share Hope! The Podcast where world leaders share their real stories of hope and how you can use actionable hope to start changing your life today and now here’s your host Chris Williams.

David Hancock:

This is David, I can help you!

Chris Williams:

Hey David. I’m Chris Williams. How are you?

David Hancock:

Absolutely incredible! How are you?

Chris Williams:

Man, I’m doing great. It’s great to talk to you today. Thanks for your time.

David Hancock:

Oh absolutely man.

Chris Williams:

You ready to do this?

David Hancock:

I sure am.

Chris Williams:

Well, let me give you a bit of an intro, and then you can tell us more about you, then we’ll jump into the questions. Is that okay?

David Hancock:

Sounds perfect.

Chris Williams:

David Hancock is the founder of Morgan James Publishing and Chairman of Guerilla Marketing International and has co-authored 12 books and just told me, over the past 11 years, he has published about 150 books a year. He was named Fast Company Magazine’s Fast 50 for his leadership, cited as one of the world’s most prestigious business leaders and is reported to be the future of publishing. David, I’m so thrilled to have you today. Tell me again. What’s the number? How many books have you published since you started the company in the past 11 years?

David Hancock:

2,700 total, and now we’re doing about an average of 150 per year.

Chris Williams:

Wow, that’s incredible. Well, David, so glad to have you here. Tell us a little more about you, so we can catch on.

David Hancock:

Oh, appreciate that. It’s great to be here with you. I’m pretty simple. I’m just an entrepreneur at heart, but I have a passion for helping others achieve their goals because I strangely get fulfillment by that. I’m a family man. I enjoy time with family, and I love to travel. I love to speak. That’s pretty much it. That’s me.

Chris Williams:

That sounds like a good you. You know, one of the things I’m intrigued about you when I first heard about you was your involvement in Habitat for Humanity. How have you been involved with Habitat?

David Hancock:

I’ve been on the board for nine years and been president of the executive board for the last 2 years, and it’s just so much fun. Before I was a publisher, I was a home builder. There’s a big old story behind that, trust me, and as a banker, part of that, so I became very passionate about home ownership and seemed to, the trouble it is to find affordable housing, and I’ve just been very connected to the building industry, just had a passion. So, when we moved to the publishing side, we wanted to find somebody that we could get back to, and Habitat was an obvious partner, and so we’re actually a Habitat for Humanity building partner. We donate a percentage of all of our sales to Habitat, and I speak at all the dedications that I can, and we even donate books, small library to the homeowners, just trying to get back, trying to give them hope.

Chris Williams:

That’s incredible. I’ve heard some of the most hopeful and hopeless stories around. Home ownership, banking and trying to get into the book deals, so it sounds like you’ve got a great platform for us.

Question 1: Well, I’m going to ask you our five questions about hope David, and you can give it your best. I’m sure we will learn a lot, so I’m looking forward to that. So, tell us first your definition of hope or the best hope quote that you have?

David Hancock:

Okay. I was prepared, so I took some notes. homework to see to make sure you enjoyed talking to me.

So, really, my definition of hope or what hope means to me might be different than most people. Most Most people understand hope as wishful thinking or some sorts, as in, “I hope something will happen. I hope I can do this,” or something along those lines. That’s not exactly the way I look at hope. I tend to resonate more with Biblical definition of hope, which is confident expectations. Hope is a firm assurance of things that are unclear and unknown, and hope is a fundamental component of life. Without hope, life actually has no meaning at all. So, when I say I hope for something, I feel very confident it’s going to happen, and I would look forward to actually receiving that or blessing somebody or doing something fun or accomplishing some goal, I truly intent for that to happen. In fact, I can tie hope into entrepreneurialism as well because loosely, the definition of being an entrepreneur means that you’re willing to take your risks for potential gain, and you hope you’re working towards, you’re expecting to be a success, and you’re working towards your goal to get there, so I kind of blend those two together for me and my definition.

Chris Williams:

I love that. I love that definition because it’s… I’m with you. It’s not just a wishful thinking, not to knock the optimism that allowed you to have. I’m very much an optimist to a fault some days, but it’s not optimism, just a good feeling about things. It really is a reasonable expectation for something that if you chose the right stuff, you could get to.

David Hancock:

That’s right. We work hard for… We work hard to get there. Keep pressing forward, absolutely.

Chris Williams:

Oh that’s great. All right.

Question 2: Who in your life has been the greatest sharer of hope for you? Who’s giving you a lot of hope?

David Hancock:

Oh my gosh. That really is… That was probably one of the most difficult questions I saw on your headset for me. It’s hard to define. I think what really when you look at it, it’s probably my parents and probably more specifically my father. My father has been just a champion of everything I’ve done, and I’ve had multiple career paths, and I still don’t know what to do when I grow up, but he’s been very influential, and he’s always encouraged me that I can do whatever I wanted to. Sometimes, it got me in trouble, but sometimes it got me exactly what I was hoping for.

Chris Williams:

Yeah. [Laugh] That’s great. So, was he, is he still involved in your life? Is he still alive today?

David Hancock:

He is. He’s 77. He’s probably in his last few years, but he was actually our Senior Vice-President here at the publishing house for 3 years, and he’s always been an adviser to me from the moment I could talk till now, but from a business perspective he’s been my go-to.

Chris Williams:

That’s tremendous. I’m glad to hear that. That’s unusual today. I’m really glad to hear that. All right.

Question 3: Take us back to a time. Paint a picture for as you’re obviously a writer. So, when’s the time when hope was really something you had to fall back hard on and really use in your life to get you through?

David Hancock:

I’ll tell you what, I could probably clearly define that for you. I was a Residential Home Developer/Builder way back in the ‘90s, early 90s, and I worked for a guy who ended up not being very scrupulous. We had a very successful company, but he ended up being thrown in jail for embezzlement, just threw everybody associated with him into a tailspin, including my wife and I. It was a mess. I was hopeless for a while, and then my father came in and encouraged me that I still have passion, I still have drive, I still have value, and I had to figure out what aspects have I learned. What did I actually learn? He helped me figure out the pieces that I enjoyed and the pieces of that process that I didn’t enjoyed besides almost going bankrupt. I actually… We end up… We did go bankrupt for a couple of things. It was a mess, but I was able to figure out that I really enjoyed interacting with people, and I really enjoyed the numbers, the banking side of it. So, I ended up starting a career as a mortgage guy and totally blew my mind on that because I never expected that. I never expected to be a publisher either but as a story there too. It’s really tough I remember we had just built a… I don’t know if I would call it our dream house. We actually still live there. We just built a big beautiful house. We’re wanting to get ready to start having a family, and I got a very incredible wife that helped us live well within our means so that when everything crashed down, we survived for a while. But, it was stressful. It was really, really stressful. I remember crying to my dad’s arms. I’m in my mid-20s, and my life is already ruined. [Laugh]

Chris Williams:

It’s funny now, but I’m sure it wouldn’t then. There’s a lot of people who’ve been to the bankruptcy process or really close to it or just years and years of financial hardship. I tell you these days, there are some people who make some really bad decisions. I’ve come close to making some very bad decisions in those times. Boy, you mentioned your dad again, your wife. You’ve had some really great people to fall back on. It seems like your relationships have really helped you.

David Hancock:

It’s all about the relationships. We got nothing if you don’t have good relationships with people and family. We’ve got to role up our sleeves, make sacrifices and just press on.

Chris Williams:

Pressing on. Good point. So, the publishing deal 11 years ago, was it housing, then banking, then publishing?

David Hancock:

Okay. So, this is really funny. I was a Sheet Metal Mechanic right out of high school. I got a back injury that put me into a body cast for 2 years. I had a major back surgery, it being hereditary, so I can blame my dad for that.

Chris Williams:

[Laugh]

David Hancock:

That forced me to kind of take another look at my education. I took more classes, and I ended up selling cars for about 9 months, just trying to just earn some money and figure out what I wanted to do after I recover from the back injuries, and I met a real estate tycoon, so it was real estate first, and he recruited me, and I worked for him, and we’re building nice, beautiful custom-built houses for people exactly where they wanted them. We’re buying the existing houses on trade just like the car business. It was just a beautiful thing, and it all just went to heck. But, I really enjoyed the making aspects, so I did just like I told you a minute ago. I did figure out I enjoyed the people, and I enjoyed the numbers side and had a friend who was in the mortgage business, and he gave me a chance, and then I grew up in the banking business for about ‘90, I think ‘95 all the way through. I retired in ’04, a year after I started the company. So, as a banker, I ended up being very successful. I ended up really, really doing well and was making well in the six figures and nothing to complain about but was hungry for more. You know, I’m an entrepreneur in nature. I didn’t necessarily realized it back then, but I just wanted to figure how I can reach more people, how can I do more, how can I earn more. You know, I just wanted more.

Chris Williams:

Yeah.

David Hancock:

And, I worked for a great company, actually a great boss. The company’s kept changing buying they kept buying and selling each other, but I had a great boss who’s put up of me. I can do anything I wanted to, but what I found out was even with unlimited ad budget, it wasn’t working as well as me going hustling and creating relationships, trying to add value and help others achieve their goals. That’s where my success came from. So, I started to really become very hungry about how could I do more of that. So, if there’s a seminar on sales or marketing or relationships or whatever, whether it’s industry-specific or not, my bodd just paif for it. He just let me go. And, if there’s a home study course, I bought it and took it and implement it. I was a really good implementer. If there’s a book, I’ll buy that too. I’m sure if I hire some assistants, I fine-tune some processes. I really did everything, but all of it works and not all of it works. Does that make sense?

Chris Williams:

It does, yeah, it does.

David Hancock:

I have a little bit more money, and I work a couple of hours earlier, and nothing really changed my life. It wasn’t until I discovered a specific book called Guerilla Marketing. Now, Guerilla Marketing was in its 3rd edition by the time I discovered it. I had never even heard of it. It has sold 15 million copies before a copy landed on my desk, and to be honest, I couldn’t tell you how I found it. [Laugh] I don’t know if I stole it or… I’m pretty sure I didn’t steal it, but somehow I get that book. I really resonated with it. I realized I was a Guerilla. I just didn’t know it. I was doing the unconventional things to gain conventional goals, or I was leveraging my time, my energy or my imagination instead of the bank accounts to get what I was looking, doing for. The author Jay Levinson becoming a dear friend, and in fact we’d published most of the Guerilla Marketing books now. But, I hired him as a coach, and he just lovingly coached me on the rest of Guerilla Marketing, but he added one thing to me. In fact it was kind of irritating and hilarious how he did it. He says, “David, okay, you know, if you wanted to charge more and negotiate less,” I mean who doesn’t right? He says, “You got to keep doing what you’re doing, but you have to add one more thing to it.” I’m like, “Sign me up,” but he didn’t tell me yet. So, then he went on to say, “You know, if I wanted to have people that would never give me the time of day and start begging on my calendar,” he says, “You got to keep what you’re doing, but you have to add one more thing.” There are whales in the business that I wanted to have, big real estate agents or builders or top clients that I wanted to… I just wasn’t earning, and I wanted those guys. He said to keep doing what I was doing and add one more thing, and I’m still not done on that one more thing left.

Chris Williams:

Yeah, I’m on the edge of my seat now. I’m like, “Come on man.”

David Hancock:

Right. So, finally the last thing he said to me, “David, if you wanted to have the media call you when something happened in your space, you’ve got to keep doing what you’re, but you have to add one more thing. And, I’m like, “Dude, come on.” He said that I needed to write a book, and I literally laughed at him. I laughed out loud. I just didn’t see it. I barely passed English myself. I mean I wouldn’t consider myself a writer, but he’s helped me lovingly, helped me realized all these seminars I’m going to were based on books. All these home study courses I’ve been taking were based on books, and all these books I was reading were books.

Chris Williams:

Good point. Good point.

David Hancock:

I ended up writing a book. I didn’t realize that was a hard thing to do, and I ended up getting it published. I didn’t realize that was a hard thing to do. That was one of the worst experiences I have ever gone through.

Chris Williams:

[Laughs]

David Hancock:

I was the least important person in the entire process. I hated the cover. And chapters 3, 7, 9, weren’t even mine. It was good, but it was not a fun process, but it worked. All these things Jay said that would happen happened. I literally doubled my income. I was already well in the six figures. I literally stopped negotiating my fees and raise all my fees, I mean just exactly like he said I should.

Chris Williams:

Honestly, just because you change that one thing, you wrote a book.

David Hancock:

Just because I was now a recognized authority in my space. I mean there are a thousand people just like me in my community as a banker doing the exact same thing I was doing, basically all the same products I had, and there’s nothing to differentiate except for hustling. I was the first one that came out with a book. [Laugh] So, media called me, people that would never give me the time. There are big agents who are coming, knocking on my doors. It was laughable. It really was laughable.

Chris Williams:

So, when did you write your first book? When was that?

David Hancock:

It was probably two thousand… No, excuse me, that was 1999, I think.

Chris Williams:

Okay.

David Hancock:

Yeah, and then by 2001, I’d published a second book called Guerilla Marketing for Mortgage Brokers, and I actually co-authored it with Jay. It too was a miserable process.

Chris Williams:

[Laughs]

David Hancock:

But, it worked. It continued with my path down there as an authority of my space, and then I self-published a couple of books after that between 2002 and 2003 and loved that. I loved being in control of everything. I love feeling important, but nobody cared. [Laugh]

Chris Williams:

Because you didn’t have somebody pushing the book for you.

David Hancock:

That’s right. No distribution. I’m a huge fan of self-publishing of not doing anything at all because most people don’t do squats. If you do anything to stand yourself apart, that’s a good thing.

Chris Williams:

And then, when did you start this firm? 11 years ago, so that was…

David Hancock:

2003.

Chris Williams:

So, you wrote four books and then started your company?

David Hancock:

I know right. I’m a true expert in publishing.

Chris Williams:

I mean really, was that because of your experience as being author and saying, “There’s got to be a better way to do this.”

David Hancock:

Really, it was. To my heart, I said there has to be a better way. I don’t know I was the one going to be the one to do it, but I always knew that there had to be a different way, especially from an entrepreneur’s perspective when the book is just part of the bigger picture because for regular publishers, the book is everything, and they take over control, but you have to go sell it, and it just really wasn’t fun, but for an entrepreneur the book is a tool. Of course you wanted to sell, but we’re doing a book for different reasons than most authors. So, yeah, sure enough. We just… My wife finally courted me one day. This is funny. I’m going to leave it alone.

Chris Williams:

[Laughs]

David Hancock:

I was very blessed in the banking business. I was working maybe at this point by 2003, maybe 2 hours a day. I worked out of my house as an independent. I worked for a bank, but I was outside sales rep to all the little other brokers around the country. So, I will spend much with my favorite people, and I will still get the business established and relationships, great team and everything else. But, I was spending the other 22 hours a day clinging in this publishing space because I became very passionate about the book, the powerful books that would teach anybody that would listen to me, about what they should do with the books. So, all my clients were putting books together, and if you got stuck at an elevator with me, you got told about the power for a book. So, my wife cornered me late 2002, and she said, “David, we have to talk,” which you never want to hear from your spouse.

Chris Williams:

No, no, you don’t.

David Hancock:

Me, I was in trouble and definitely in trouble. So, she said, “You know, you work two full-time jobs in essence. You only get paid for once, grad student money we’re making,” but still I had no time for her. She said, “Never seen you.” We got two small kids now. Something has to change. She jokingly said, “I’m either going to leave you or find a boyfriend or something’s got to change.” So, she said something’s going to change. Well, obviously I don’t like option number one or option number two, so I said, “Let’s talk about talking first.” So, we sat down. She recognizes passion for helping others and the book. We just said, “Why don’t we start our own company?” And, we end up naming it after the kids and maybe from a more organized perspective, see if we can help build balance from the start, and boom! That was 2003.

Chris Williams:

Wow!

David Hancock:

By 2004, my day job is back as a banker. I didn’t replace my income. I replaced my lead. It just came all together.

Chris Williams:

So, Morgan and James are the kids, I guess.

David Hancock:

That’s right. Morgan’s my…

Chris Williams:

You got to keep your wife?

David Hancock:

I got to keep my wife.

Chris Williams:

Sounds like a good deal all the way around. [Laugh]

David Hancock:

That’s right. That’s my 35,000-foot view of how I got here.

Chris Williams:

Wow! Have you put that in a book yet?

David Hancock:

No, I have not although that’s probably one of the most popular things I get asked to talk about. I have not put in a book yet.

Chris Williams:

Well, you really got to write a book.

David Hancock:

I know right.

Question 4: So, question number 4 is: what are you doing today to share hope in the world around you, with yourself, your family, whoever you want to say?

David Hancock:

I think I’m in a unique position to help others achieve their goal, so that for me, is not only very rewarding personally but also financially. But, I hope I’m helping others achieve their goals and help them realize the hope of getting the words out of their message. For me, the types of books that we end up publishing typically aren’t just a good read. There’s always a bigger picture associated with the authors that we end up selecting, so we love seeing those bigger pictures come together. So, the authors are hoping for something big to happen because of the power of the book. We facilitate that. So, that kind of sounds like a good answer from a business perspective, but really what I really enjoy most is staying connected with home ownership as being a part of Habitat with us being able to build a couple of houses a year and participate in helping really just under I don’t want to say underprivileged because they have decent credibility. They’re just kind of downtrodden either struggling financially. They just can’t ahead. It’s usually a single mother with kids that just can’t stay ahead, so I love participating in that, helping them get a hand up instead of a hand out, and that’s just part of the rewarding part of passing that hope on them to another generation. Of course, what we’ve seen is you plant that hope, you plant those seeds into the community, and the rustic community tends to better because of it.

Chris Williams:

But, the Habitat for Humanity is unique in that way because they really teach how to handle the house or how to handle the budget, the financials. I know there are so many classes that you have to go through. You don’t get to have a free house or get a discounted house. You really get an education. I think you’re going back to your definition of hope again. It’s hoping in something that’s reasonably doable if you take the right actions. So, your books as well that you’re publishing a lot of books, and again if you haven’t seen David’s published you have to go to his website morganjamespublishing.com, the list is really extensive and truly incredible, and I think that, again, in the publishing world it’s so hard for an author to get his book out there. And as I mentioned before, we started to recall here I am not writer. I can hardly spell or read. But it’s something that I hear is really hard to do, and I think if you’re able to get somebody’s message out there, I hear that everybody has a novel inside them somewhere.

David Hancock:

That’s right.

Chris Williams:

And you’ve given place to do that, doing in a way that actually gets their message not just out of them but in a format that people can understand and use. I love reading. I really do. I am an audio listener. I do a lot of audio books, and man, I grow… I’m being mentored by great authors, so thank you for sharing hope with me. Seriously.

David Hancock:

Absolutely.

Question 5: So, if we’re going to walk away from this conversation and have the ABCs, the step one, two, three for how to start sharing hope or how to start using hope in our lives. What do you say we do? Just an average person you meet, didn’t matter what hardship, hopeless situations they find themselves into, but what do we do?

David Hancock:

Gonna have faith. Gonna have faith in whatever situation you have right now, whether it’s good or bad and you’re hoping for something different, hoping for something more that it can’t happen if you just put your mind to it. So stay encouraged, have faith and keep working hard for it. And, sometimes you might actually need a distraction. I know that I did. So, maybe try to figure out a way to pass on hope to somebody else. Maybe you can help, or try to figure out a way you can get involved and get some reward by helping others. And, many times the more often that you help somebody else, you can actually get what you are looking for. It just kind of works out that way.

Chris Williams:

That’s a really good point. So have faith, know where you are going, kind of have the vision for what you are doing down there. I know that it’s real, not just something intangible, and just way over the top optimistic. But, have faith in something real and then distractions. I think that’s a great point. It’s a really good point. When I’m doing something for somebody else, I stop thinking about how miserable I am that day or how selfish I am that day or whatever the case may be.

David Hancock:

That’s human nature.

Chris Williams:

Yeah, it is. It really is. We can only focus on one thing fortunately at a time. And, usually when I’m not focused, it turns out better. I love it. David, tell us how we can reach you. If we want to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, your company, what you are doing personally, how do we find you?

David Hancock:

I’m easy to find. Thank you for mentioning the website. You can always check us out more on morganjamespublishing.com but for more intimate I’m on Twitter @davidhancock, and if you guys just want to chat, I can do anything to help out I’m always open my doors you can go to chatwithdavid.com and book or call and we can talk.

Chris Williams:

No kidding. That’s a good idea, chatwithdavid.com, Twitter and the website will all be on the Show Notes on the website here isharehope.com. David, thank you so much for sharing that. On our way out we always ask, what do you like to listen to? If you have clouds in your head, you need to clear and get your energy back. What kind of music are you popping in?

David Hancock:

That’s a good question. I’m a child of the 60’s, but I fell in love with U2 and the late 70’s and 80’s, so U2 is my fallback.

Chris Williams:

That’s great. I love U2, and now fortunately they are on everybody’s iTunes account. [Laugh]

David Hancock:

Whether, they like it or not.

Chris Williams:

Exactly. U2 it is. Man, Great conversation, David. Thank you for your time.

David Hancock:

Thank you.

Chris Williams:

Good talking to you.

David Hancock:

You too.

You’ve just listened to I Share Hope. If you are ready to make a change, head to our website at www.isharehope.com and claim your free copy of the top ten actions of hope from World Leaders to use hope in your own life. Thanks for listening and will talk to you next time.

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