Seeing Comes First

May 6, 2012

In 1999, I lived for a brief time in an apartment about a block from a Barnes & Noble bookstore. I used to go over there every day or two to and stand at the front racks, imagining that there was a book with my name on it right on the front table.

I would also go over to the “Inspiration & Motivation” rack in the business section where the parables were, like The One Minute Manager, and do the same thing.

You might call it, literary visualization.

When my lease was up a year later I moved on—but I kept up my regular Barnes visits. For the next few years, I kept going in and standing there, picturing my book on the racks in my head. Then, in 2005, Bob Burg and I wrote The Go-Giver. And by the early months of 2008 guess where it was?

On the “Inspiration & Motivation” rack at Barnes & Noble.

Since then, I’ve had more than a dozen titles on the Barnes & Noble shelves.

About two years ago, I started doing something new.

I started going into the supermarkets, Targets, and Wal-Marts, walking over to their bestseller racks, where they displayed the latest Dean Koontz and Stephen King blockbusters, Stephanie Plum and Jack Reacher thrillers, Harry Potter and Breaking Dawn–type adventure fantasies, and whatever other slim handful of bestselling titles they were carrying at the moment, and — you guessed it — picturing my book sitting there on that rack.

I had no idea what specific book that might possibly be. Just pictured it being there.

And here we are today: The Red Circle is on the racks at Stop & Shop supermarket …

TRC at Walmart

… and at Target …

TRC at Target

… and at Wal-Mart!

TRC Publix

Man, that human imagination thing … it’s something, isn’t it?


  1. Josephine Gross

    Huge congratulations, John! Time to celebrate all the hard work–and getting paid to do what you love!

  2. Art Manville

    Dreams become reality. Great inspiration. Thanks, John.

    • jdmann

      Hey Art — good to see you here! And thanks, Josephine!

  3. george verdolaga

    Using the mind’s eye really helps to get things moving. Good luck with your book, John. Incidentally, I just recently read GO-GIVERS SELL MORE and THE GO-GIVER and wrote a review on my blog at Really good stuff!

    • jdmann

      Thanks, George! Appreciate the blog review, too — if you haven’t already seen it, you might also enjoy the sequel, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.


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