Some of the most profound lessons are, as we all know, the simplest.
Over the past two years, I’ve had the honor of conducting nearly 150 interviews with CEO’s, business titans, bestselling and Pulitzer prize winning authors, celebrities, multi-star military generals, and a cadre of lesser known minds, but with substantial insights from their academic research or perhaps their own life experiences.
In full honesty, I can say what this remarkable, but disparate, group of guests all have in common is work ethic.
A nearly maniacal focus on building their business, developing their leadership skills, thriving in the midst of personal pain or tragedy or creating a vision for some product, service or mission and relentlessly executing on it.
Janice Bryant Howroyd is a superb example of this relentless focus, building her billion-dollar business from the ground up. Innovating. Listening. Learning. Expanding. I bet there were many setbacks and obstacles to which few of us can relate; being a woman of color in America, striving for success and influence in a culture where that wasn’t just rare, but I suspect, unappreciated and even undermined by many.
I also saw it in John Gray, the author of Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus. John participates in 10+ podcast interviews a week. Why…his fame, wealth and influence are nothing most of us can even remotely relate to and he’s now close to entering his 70s and shows no signs of stopping.
The same with John Maxwell. The day John and I spoke, I was one of six interviews on his schedule. His influence and success in the leadership industry, due in large part to his 80+ books, is surpassed by nobody.
The same with Jack Canfield, co-creator of The Chicken Soup for the Soul series. With his co-authors, his books have sold 500,000,000 copies. That’s FIVE HUNDRED MILLION BOOKS sold. Do the math, if he’s only earned $1 per book (which is likely) he’s got some coin. So why keep accepting more interviews, multiple interviews, many in the same day? I can tell you as a new author of two books, and a few more in the queue, these interviews are equal parts invigorating and exhausting, if you bring your whole self to the discussion. There are days when I have four or even five interviews and at the end, I am toast.
I could share numerous examples from across our interviews, famous and influential people whose financial security, influence and name recognition long surpassed any need they might have had.
Yet they keep at it. Working. Writing. Helping. Coaching. Developing. Innovating. Listening. Creating.
Whenever I feel fatigued or overwhelmed, I just think about these 150 people, who all have their eye on the prize, whatever that prize might be for them, and put my head back down and keep going.
What’s your prize?
Do you have a goal in life you’re trying to achieve? Keep your head down. Keep going. Keep faith in yourself. Don’t let anyone deter you.
How many “interviews” have you shown up for today?
About the Author
Scott Miller is a 23-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as the executive vice president of thought leadership. Scott hosts multiple podcasts including FranklinCovey’s On Leadership and Great Life, Great Career. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Release: Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow. Scott authors a weekly leadership column for Inc.com and is a frequent contributor for Thrive Global. Previously Scott worked for the Disney Development Company, having grown up in Central Florida, and currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.