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Jack Canfield's secrets to success

Group Of Business People, Man On Top.

(MoneyWatch) Jack Canfield knows something about success. As the author of the successful "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series, he's made the New York Times bestseller list into his second home. His newest book, "Coaching for Breakthrough Success," co-written with executive coach Dr. Peter Chee, was released in late June.

CBS MoneyWatch recently spoke with Canfield about how people can enjoy breakthrough success, as well as foster it in others.

CBS MoneyWatch: How to you define "breakthrough success?"

Jack Canfield: Some success comes over time. Then there are breakthrough moments when you make a quantum leap. This usually requires uncovering and releasing limiting [often subconscious] beliefs. A man who attended one of my sales programs should have been a superstar but wasn't. It turns out that when he was 18, he worked as an insurance agent at the same company as his dad and his dad was crestfallen when the son's first check was more than his father's. He said, "I realize I made a decision to never make more money than him because I never wanted to hurt him that way again." After we worked together, he went out and quadrupled his income that year.

MoneyWatch: What is one habit every leader should have at work?

JC: Showing appreciation. We tend to only acknowledge things that aren't working. I started to keep track of 10 boxes on a 3x5 notecard. All the boxes represented people that I had to acknowledge every day. Eventually it became a habit.

MoneyWatch: What is the biggest misconception people have about what it takes to be successful?

JC: While I think quantum leaps are possible, real success -- sustainable success -- happens based on day-to-day, simple behaviors and habits. What you create ultimately is a slight edge. If I don't eat carbs every day, I can lose 20 or 30 pounds in a year. It is the same with acknowledging my staff for a few minutes every day. Over time they become amazingly loyal and more productive. Little habits done consistently over time make huge differences in success.

MoneyWatch: What is the key to coaching others to success?

JC: The best coaching helps the client come up with their own solutions -- that way they're more invested in them.

MoneyWatch: Do you have any tips for managers who struggle to motivate their staff?

JC: Get out from behind your desk and your emails and walk around and check in with people. Ask people how things are doing. It's also easy to get all your direct reports to do a weekly summary of what was accomplished, what wasn't and what resources they need. You can acknowledge their success, coach them through the issues when they are stuck and get them the necessary resources for success.

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    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including, and and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit