People say, “I want to be a great athlete.” “I want to be a great entrepreneur.” “I want to be the next Bill Gates.” “I want to rule the tech space.” And so on. People seem to talk about achieving greatness, but to be honest, not many really understand what ‘greatness’ is all about.
While I can’t brief you about how to be good to great, or define what greatness is in your life as I’m still working my way through mediocrity in my life toward greatness, legacy and influential, I know someone who can.
To learn more about his journey to greatness, read on for our interview with Mr. Howes – a short, but very meaningful Q&A session.
Ivan Widjaya (Q): Hi, Lewis – for a few of us who don’t know who you are, please kindly introduce yourself :)
Lewis Howes (A): I’m a NYT bestselling author, podcast host, speaker, business coach, and athlete. I’m based out of LA where I host my top ranked podcast, The School of Greatness. I interview the most brilliant minds in the world about what it takes to achieve greatness. I used to be a professional football athlete before I had a career-ending injury and now I am a USA National Team Handball athlete.
Q: I follow your journey since 2014 (I did a post on another blog of mine here.) A blessing in disguise, IMHO. But tell us about your ‘tipping point’. After your injury, what made you tell yourself, “that’s it. I’ve had it. I want to do this, this and this.”
A: I was sick of feeling worthless and being broke. I knew I was made to do great things. My brother gave me a book for Christmas that year, The Four Hour Workweek, and I realized there was another way for me to build a career. I finally started doing the only thing I could do, which was spend hours on LinkedIn learning how to connect with people who were up to big things.
Q: What’s the hardest part about ‘radical’ career transition from a pro-footballer to a lifestyle entrepreneur?
A: There was no evidence that I was going to succeed in business. I had to believe in myself and my vision before anyone else would. As an athlete, I always had a team and a coach to work with and build a vision with. As an entrepreneur, it was all on me.
Q: I’ve listened to your podcasts; very inspiring! (I have yet to read your book, TBH.) But anyway, can you tell us a bit about your School of Greatness?
A: I started my podcast almost 5 years ago, after moving to LA from NYC. I had recently sold my company, gone through a breakup, was in a new city, and was looking for a way to add value. I knew I wanted to learn from the smartest, most successful, inspiring people and I figured if I could record the conversations and share them, other people could benefit as well. I never could have imagined what it would become or where it would take me. We’re over 500 episodes in, over 30 million downloads, and I’ve met some of the most amazing people in the world.
Q: I’m looking forward to the project you’re participating in, Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy. I’ve watched the trailer, and it’s awesome! Please brief us about the docu-drama, and what’s your role in it?
A: I was interviewed for the film as one of the current-day examples of what is possible when someone lives in that mindset. Envisioning my dreams, committing to them, and working hard has been the foundation of all the success I’ve built.
Q: Last but not least; before you go, please share some tips on how our readers can achieve greatness in their personal and work/business life.
A: Greatness starts with getting crystal clear on your vision — what it is that you feel called to achieve in this life. Once you are clear and committed, you can add in all the tools, inspiration, mentors, and hard work to get there. But you’ve got to get clear first on what you want to achieve so that your vision can fuel you through the rest of your journey.
Greatness is all about going all in with your vision, while staying true to yourself – knowing who you are, where you come from and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Greatness is all about grinding and hustling your way to the top, while having the humility to keep on learning from those who have the ‘been there and done that.’ And finally, greatness is all about becoming the better version of yourself, days in and days out.
Many thanks for the inspiration, Lewis!