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How I Made Mark Victor Hansen Angry (by accident) and Received a Whack On The Side of the Head

Mark_Victor_Hansen I have a confession to make: I made Mark Victor Hansen angry and I tried to cover it up.

If you don’t know who Mark Victor Hansen is then you’ll know his books.  He’s the coauthor of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series - - the best selling books of all time according to Guinness Book of World Records.

In December 2005 (six months ago) I interviewed Mark about his latest book entitled Cracking The Millionaire Code – Your Key To Enlightened Wealth. It’s everything you need to know to create a more abundant life without sacrificing your health, spirituality, freedom, or family.

I’m a big fan of Mark’s and was really excited to interview him, especially because I knew of his beliefs around teams.  Mark believes building a team is critical to building an abundant life.

As someone who is working with teams, you may get a whack upside the head from my interview with Mark as sure to have a listen as I include the recording below.  Did you know the best selling book author *of all time* believes so very strongly in teamwork?

It was the concept of abundance that I got stuck on towards the end of the interview.  You’ll hear it.

Mark was talking about abundance.  He was sharing how we need to get clear on the gift we have to share with the world and then give it away.

“Give it away?!” I said.

How is that possible?  I thought.  I like the idea of abundance thinking, but give it away?

I challenged Mark.  I wanted to know why he wasn’t giving his book away.  Was it the way I asked the question?  Was I being difficult?  Slow?  Anyway… you’ll hear it - - this is when I angered Mark. 

I’m curious to know if you hear the shift in energy in the interview.

You’ll definitely hear it at the end of the interview because you’ll hear a loud “CLICK!” as Mark hangs up his phone BEFORE I have a chance to fully wrap up the interview.

I was so embarrassed with the loud click that I edited it out (I've since put it back in).  I was reluctant to share the interview with you at first, but rethought it.  If I was meant to learn this lesson by upsetting Mark, then you deserve to learn from it too.  Because you don't want to have to go through what I did with Mark to figure it out for yourself, do you? So I've decided to share it, raw as it is.

The fact is, the interview may have changed the course of my life.

You see, Marks message of abundance stuck with me for days.  I kept hearing Mark talk to me about “giving it away so you can receive more”.

Mark had given me a present: A whack on the side of the head.

Mark's message was that of a "Go-Giver" and at the time, it was hard for me to hear because I wasn't "there".

With the help of a great coach I was able to make the necessary shift which has allowed me to operate from a new place.

Maybe now is a good time for you to receive the support you deserve - - the support you need to make an important shift. 

I invite you to join the IATF and receive this support.

To your success!

Tom Heck
President & Founder
International Association of Teamwork Facilitators

PS  Thank you Mark.  Thank you for the whack on the side of the head.  Thank you for helping me think more abundantly.

Click on the link below to listen to the 32 minute recording (mp3 format):

Download mark_victor_hansen_mp3sm.mp3


Geoffrey Smith

Great story Tom, I am always amazed at how this simple but powerful truth is delivered to people. It is one I have been trying to live for many years and sometimes it can be really tough.

Sometime ago my good buddy Lars Mygind in Denmark, introduced me to a 40-Day course in Abundance, whuich by the way I have turned into a free e-course!, which really helped me to understand the truth about abundance and prosperity.

The importance of your message is that you have spoken your truth fullly, without sanitizing it, and you have shared how this event has changed you life. Statements like this are very powerful in the world and create a very special energy that uplifts and encorages those who read it.

Thank you for showing this side of yourself to us.

Matt Mazzilli

Hi Tom,
I'm the Vocal Director of a Music Team. As a Team leader I get most frustrated with some Team members that have the ability and are gifted to do certain things but are apathetic or lazy. Then again I have some other team members that would love to do a certain task but are definitely not talented that way, however I cannot jeopardize the quality of the final product.
What do I do? How do I get them motivated so they understand their individual potential?
ps. Thank you for that awesome interview!

Jodee Bock


Thank you for this authentic and powerful message, although I think you may have overstated your "mistake." When you pointed out the shift in energy, I guess I can get that; however, I think because this message affected you so much and you were willing to share it with us, that was the real gem for us. I really appreciate your wisdom (which is what all of us get more of through experience) and your interpretation of the messages you've gotten.

Thank you again!

Ian Pineau

Hi Tom: Great interview. A couple of thoughts. Unless I'm completly insensitive to nuanse (sp?) in the English language my sense is that Mr. Hansen was not angry/irritated by your question but that he in fact hade a very ready answer. Almost as if he had been asked/thought about being asked the question before as I'm sure he has. I guess my bigger question is why did you feel that he was irritated by the question? The lasting impression I took away from the interview was that Mr. Hanson was promoting/preaching spiritual capitalism. A concept that I don't really have a problem with and if everyone can do even half of what he is saying there may be hope for the species afterall!!

On another note re Teams; My situation is not so much that I lead Teams but that I do some basic teaching in how to effectively do Team/Group work typically w college students who for the most part think they already know how to work in Teams. Any suggestions on good games/reading to enhance this aspect of the Teaching/Leading spectrum?
Thanks for the Interview.

Bill Schreiber

Thanks Tom for sharing. As a high school teacher I find that many students are difficult to motivate and I use many of your team building strategies to facilitate their learning. But I share Matt Mazzilli's frustrations with children that are gifted but lazy. But perhaps even more frustrating are the students and adults (I do team building acivities with both) who absolutely refuse to try something new or leave their established comfort zone. I recognize they are generally a small number but they can drag a problem down quickly. Any ideas ?

Thanks again for sharing this excellent interview

Sharon Petke

Tom, thank you for sharing the interview. Mr. Hansen has some mind-bending ideas, which I think will be very helpful in my personal life. I'm inspired! I'm frustrated, though, that I can't envision how I can translate his concepts for my work team. I volunteered to be the teambuilding champion for my team of 5. We have a very good working relationships without the appearance of a major dysfunction. We manage a small part of a large company's research & development efforts. Any ideas on how I can help a small team running a small effort can have a big impact on a large company?

Kathryn Dillon

I rememeber very well when you offered a free membership on your Website--which includes access to a wealth of information. I was surprised, but your generosity inspired me so much that I purchased several products from you instead of from other team coaches/consultants. I wanted to learn from someone who wants to give back to the world.

Having listened to your interview with Mark Victor Hansen, I must admit that I perceived Mr. Hansen to have his "hackles up" just a little bit, but thought both he and you "recovered" immediately--that his response was a good one and your wrap up was gracious and well-spoken.

All best to you with your teamwork!

Christie Scott

Hi Tom,

The good news is, those hard learned lessons are the best lessons we learn.

The bad news is, they are tough!

I have actually been thinking about contacting you about us working together. I am a coach for doctors. I work with doctors in building high powered teams out of their employees. I speak to medical socities regularly and try to help all doctors that I am able.

Let me know if you have any ideas concerning this.

The Business Coach for Doctors

Jay Westover


The lesson that I take away from your experience is that there are many in the service industry, but those with the service of others in the forefront of their minds will be most respected by people that desire/need the service. Few perceive that abundance is possible in their lives, and the fact that you are modeling abundance is inspirational. I train school administrators and teachers in how to become a professional learning community, and in doing so, help them to understand how to take advantage of the abundance within their colleagues and students. Congrats to you Tom for stepping off of the edge! You have inspired me, and I'll be contacting you soon so that you can coach me to do the same!


Don't be so hard on yourself about the outcome for the interview with Mark Victor Hansen. I listened closely and did hear some frustration in his voice when he reiterated the part about giving the book away (the first three chapters that is) along with donating the books to libraries and to the blind, but I didn't hear anger at all. I think he hung up at the appropriate time as well. A person of Mark's understanding has much more to do than nurse a grudge against a well-meaning interviewer.

On another note, Mark really is putting his money where his mouth is. Even though on the surface it does seem counterintuitive to give away things in pursuit of an abundant life, the principle remains true nonetheless. The more people hang on to what they have (money, time, goods) the message they give themselves (and others) is there is not more where it came from and they must hang on to what they've got because more may not come in. The more you are able to let things flow in (and out) of your life, the greater message you send that you are confident that more will come - more money, more time, more great team members...)

Thanks for what you do :)

Susan Parker

I heard and felt his energy change around your question, but I didn't get a sense that he hung up on you. It was a fair question, and a tough one. I applaud you for asking it. As a teacher of mine used to say, 'it's all grist for the mill.' So what you've done with the event is most important. And in my book, you've used it to become more real with yourself and with us. Congratulations.

Susan Parker


He wasn't angry at you and he thought the interview was over; therefore he hung up. My surprise is, communication being so important in teams, why didn't you call him back and find out for yourself instead of retaining the guilt. The end story should be how you misunderstood the situation and the importance of clarifying misunderstood situations. Give him a call and report back to us via e-mail.

Thank you!

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