One of the priceless memories of sharing a dinner last year with World Economic Forum founder and chairman Klaus Schwab, was meeting one Paulo Coelho, the great author, aand love leader too. We had heard of each other, but when we met we seemed to "click" immediately, and became instant friends.
This week I had the chance to spend some quality time with Paulo the 2010 annual Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum where we both spoke on our respective books and other things. I had the opportunity over this time to learn from him, be inspired by him, and to be rallied by his infectious commitment to humanity, and a world better. That is why he was at Davos. Not pushing or promoting one of his amazing books, which would be fine too, but in a commitment to make our work better. Bravo Paulo Coelho.
In addition to telling me he had read and "loved" Love Leadership (high praise coming from him), Paulo also told me a little known story about him that inspired me, and I thought it would inspire you too. Here it goes.
When Paulo first published "The Alchemist" it did not do well at all. In its first year it sold less than 900 copies. You heard that right. In fact, the publisher believed so little in it, or Paulo,that he begged Paulo to leave the publishing house. Paulo left gladly, as he had a vision for himself and his book. Paulo found another publisher who republished the book in its second year (who to this day supposedly cannot recall why in fact he actually signed Paulo to re-publish this same book that did not do well on the first run — but then again, who can turn down Paulo). As the story goes, "The Alchemist" and his other books have now sold more than 1120 million copies worldwide, and have been translated into many languages around the world.
Paulo is today a great success story, but like any real success, it did not come easy or quick. The message from Paulo, through me, to you — never, ever, ever give up on your dreams. That is why they are YOUR dreams.
If you want to have some inspired fun, follow Paulo (@paulocoelho) and me (@johnhopebryant) on Twitter.
Onward and with HOPE
John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, vice chairman of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy as well as chairman of the Council Committee on the Under-Served, financial literacy advisor to the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council, a Young Global Leaders for the World Economic Forum, and author of LOVE LEADERSHIP; A New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), which debuted in August, 2009, on the CEO Reads Top 10 Best Seller List, and was published in November, 2009 in digital audio book format on Audible.com, iTunes and other audio book retailers . Love Leadership has remained on the Top 25 Bestseller List for CEO Read for five consecutive months.