- Posted by Action Catalyst
- On October 14, 2015
- 0 Comments
- author, entrepreneur, how to be great, hustle, leadership, Lewis Howes, NFL, Podcast, success, The School of Greatness
Bestselling author, speaker, and podcast host Lewis Howes talks about the impact his brother had on his life, always keeping an edge to himself at all times, the true definition of “hustle”, what it takes to become a professional athlete, what many of his superstar podcast guests have in common, and the dream guest that remains illusive.
Lewis Howes is a New York Times Bestselling author of the hit book, “The School of Greatness.”
He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. He hosts a top 100 iTunes ranked podcast, The School of Greatness, which has over 100 million downloads and 1,000 episodes since it launched in 2013. Lewis was recognized by The White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. Details Magazine called him one of “5 Internet Guru’s that can Make You Rich.” Lewis is a contributing writer for Entrepreneur and has been featured on Ellen, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health, and other major media outlets.
Learn more at LewisHowes.com.
The Action Catalyst is presented by the Southwestern Family of Companies. With each episode, the podcast features some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Learn more at TheActionCatalyst.com, subscribe below or wherever you listen to podcasts, and be sure to leave a rating and review!
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(Transcribed using A.I. / May include errors):
Host: You are going to love the man that you’re about to hear from. He is a lovable guy. His name is Lewis Howes. And Lewis is known probably the most for his, uh, podcast, which is called The School of Greatness. And he’s interviewed Tony Robbins and Scooter Braun and Ariana Huffington and Julianne Huff. You know, he’s a lifestyle entrepreneur and he was an all-American athlete in college. He actually holds a world record in college football. For most receiving yards in a game. 418 yards in one game. And you are gonna love Lewis. So Lewis, thanks for being here, man.
Lewis Howes: Appreciate it. Thanks for having me.
Host: So you talked to so many amazing people, millionaires, billionaires, all sorts of celebrities. If you had to choose like three of your favorite podcast interviews that you’ve hosted on School of Greatness, what do you think would be the, your three?
Lewis Howes: I would say, you know, one of ’em is, uh, Tony Robbins for sure, just because he was one of like the top three or four guys I wanted to have on the podcast when I launched it. So being able to kind of fulfill that vision and the experience being with him one-on-one for an hour doing a video session was, was really powerful just to experience his energy and his, you know, 50 years of wisdom from the work he’s done. So that was really cool. I really enjoyed Julian Huff as well, because for me it’s not that often I get to interview. Women who are in their mid twenties who have that type of a mindset. So positive, humble, grateful, but are also living their dreams and their vision in a very powerful way to inspire the world through their art. Mm-hmm. . And so for me that was really cool. And then, um, , I would say Scooter Braun also was the people you named. Scooter was a guy that who’s just crushed it in the music world. I don’t know a bigger name than Scooter Bran in, in the business of music.
Host: Explain who he is, just in case people don’t know.
Lewis Howes: He’s, he’s the guy who found Justin Bieber on YouTube. Literally watched the video of a 12 year old and said, I’m gonna make him the biggest star in the world one day, and then did it. He, you know, he called the library in the town he was from and said, Hey, does you know how to get ahold. This kid’s mom or something, and like just called around all the local shops and said, do you know this kid? And, cause he couldn’t figure out what his, you know, where his information was. Wow. And essentially convinced and enrolled his mom to move a 12 year old to Atlanta from Canada and go after this dream where singing was just like a little side passion of his, he was a big athlete. To be able to have that vision and then five years later make him the biggest celebrity. Arguably in the world. Mm-hmm. within, within a half a decade and. Bring in hundreds of millions of dollars around a business, around one human being, I thought was pretty incredible to hear the story about how he did that.
Host: Well, so the book, the School of Greatness. And so basically you’re, you’re incorporating several of these different principles that you’ve applied in your own life. And also the things that you’ve learned from the guests of, of all the lessons of greatness that you’ve learned, like in your personal journey, what do you think has been the hardest, what’s been the most challenging thing that you’ve, you’ve had to learn?
Lewis Howes: Whew, man. It’s probably my own emotions and learning how to navigate the stories that my emotions tell me. Either true or false or in between. But what I mean by that is on a daily basis, growing up, the stories and the emotions, I felt feeling lonely, feeling, uh, abused, feeling not worthy. Uh, then the stories telling myself, you know, in high school, going through the same thing in college. The uncertainty emotions, the inner battles that I’ve always faced, and I think all of us face at some point in our lives. Uh, those have been the biggest challenges for me is learning how to overcome fear, doubt, uncertainty, and learning to believe in myself. I think a lot of people don’t have enough belief in themself or their skills or their jobs at work, and, uh, that’s what holds ’em back from getting to the next level, whether. Getting more sales at their job, whether that’s getting a, uh, you know, a pay increase, position increase, or whether that’s increasing their relationships, you know, finding quality people to surround themselves with, they don’t believe they’re worthy of it, and it holds ’em back. So for me, it’s been, you know, a journey for 32 years. Understanding that I’m, I’m worth having everything I want.
Host: Would you say that’s real common trait or not really? You think that that’s kind of more of a unique thing to your personal journey?
Lewis Howes: Yeah, I think a lot of people, you know, the, the themes, the more people I interview who have achieved great things, they’ve usually gone through something really. Adverse in their life or they’ve had something happen to them or they’ve had this inner turmoil. So they come from a place of overcoming it and and achieving great things. Um, without that I think it’s a lot harder actually. If everything is easy for you, if you’re the most confident human being in the world from the day you wake up, uh, you know, you come outta your, your mother’s womb to, you never have any injuries. Family is whole and complete and there’s never arguments. , you know, you’re the most popular kid in the school. Everything comes easy to you. I feel like you’re, you know, less likely to achieve great things if you don’t have adversity. And if you don’t have some type of struggle where you’re, you’re questioning something in your life, uh, for me, that’s where you dive into. That’s the opportunity to dive into whatever they want. And how do I wanna serve myself and the world in a bigger way? And that’s where greatness comes from. Think about any great leader, c e o, uh, Doctor, anyone at the top of their game, if you interview them or ask them any questions or read a book about them, they had some crazy traumatic adversity that they had to overcome. It wasn’t just like, yeah, I was the smartest kid. I had everything down. I got everything I wanted. and now I’m the president of the United States. It’s like they lost their father at an early age, or their parents were divorced or they were an orphan or something they had to overcome, uh, or maybe they got held back in school. And so they had to learn how to connect with human beings in a different way, which made them a great communicator. Something that, uh, was a challenge, a major challenge for them.
Host: I think a lot of people don’t know this part about you. Your older brother had a pretty big impact on you as a kid. There were same things that happened. That probably would not be a part of the, the storybook way you would write a family life. Yeah. Tell us what happened and then how that changed you.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. My brother went to prison when I was, how old was I? Eight years old and was sentenced for six to 25 years to, to jail. Uh, he was 18. And was selling l s D to an undercover cop. It was a, he was, he was like a, he was a brilliant musician and one of the top in the country, classical violinist. And so he had a full ride scholarship and you know, won all those awards was brilliant. And he was selling weed on the side, you know, it was just like, what the college musicians, some musicians do in college, I guess they’ll like sell a little weed on the side to make some money or something. And, uh, one guy, someone asked him to if he could get l s D, so he like asked his guy if he could get some L s D to like sell to this other guy. And that one time there was an undercover cop that was involved in it. And uh, they sentenced him to 6 25 years. He got out in four and a half years on good behavior. And it was really interesting because I never thought about. Someone in my family ever going to prison. You know, I didn’t think of them as like these killers or rapists or the things you hear about in movies. And so when my brother was there, it just didn’t really make sense and we would go every single week. Two and a half hour drive to the prison, to the visitor room. You know, they, we were allowed to have a couple hours a weekend, um, along with the other inmates families. So we would go and it was just a different life. It was so weird. I’d have my normal life and then I’d be in this prison going through these, um, radar detectors, having to sign in, having to, you know, Questioning to get in just to see a family member and spend a few quality hours with him and realize that he wasn’t coming home for, you know, years and he was stuck in there. And, uh, to hear the stories about what he had to go through was just, Heartbreaking. So for me, it really shaped me in the fact that I was like, okay, I never want to come to this place. Um, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve never done drugs and, you know, I don’t, I don’t drink, I’ve never been drunk in my life. I have like a, maybe a, a couple sips here and there once, once or twice a year. But it’s not like I, uh, I go there and it definitely shaped me to. Wanna be great and achieve my dreams and not mess up and get some of my life taken away where I can’t serve the world in a powerful way. So it definitely shaped me, you know, I’ve got my other things that I’m not perfect in, you know, the foods I like to eat, and, uh, you know, I am in no way a perfect human being. And, uh, I’m not judgmental. My challenge for myself and for people is, is this serving you and this, this serving the people around you? And not everything I does serves me and serves people around me, but I’m just constantly in. Challenge for myself, and I wanna be, you know, set an example for people around me if they wanna, if they wanna drink all, you know, all good. For me, I look at it as an as an advantage, you know, if the people around me are drinking, maybe they’re having more fun or looser or things like that, and maybe it’s just one drink and it’s not a big deal. But for me, I really wanna be as sharp as I possibly can because I’ve always felt like, I wasn’t the smartest kid in school and I, I didn’t have the intelligence that other people had, let’s say, school-wise. So for me and as an athlete, I didn’t feel like I was the best. So I always wanted to have any type of advantage I could to be my best in the world. And if that means other people are drinking and they may be a little sloppier than that’s gonna make me at least on their playing level to be just as sharp, hopefully. So that’s the way I look at it. And for me, if you’re gonna allow yourself to. slower mentally and physically for drinking than who knows what could happen. In any situation, you’re out a social setting and something happens and you’re not sharp enough, you’re a step behind. That could be your life. If you’re a step behind, if something happens, you never know what could happen. Or if you’re just walking out the street and then there’s a car that’s coming. And you don’t have your edge, you’re not gonna be able to jump outta the way quick enough. And something terrible could happen because you decided to have an extra drink that made you a step slower. So that’s the way you know. And listen, that could happen even if you don’t have a drink, you know? Sure. So it’s like, again, I just wanna set myself up for the best possible edge at all times.
Host: Now you almost called this book I instead of School of Greatness. Uh, which it does does kind of make sense cuz obviously the podcast is what everybody knows very well. But you almost called the book Hustle. When you hear the word hustle. What do you think of and what does that mean for you? And then how do you think that applies to all of us?
Lewis Howes: The word hustle to me means essentially diving for the loose ball. In the world, you know, on the basketball courts. For years, I was never the best. I became one of the better players on my team and in the league and in, you know, the state and things like that. When I, as I got more developed, but for years I didn’t have the talent and the skill, but, The coaches would always say, you know, those who out hustle are always gonna have a spot on my team, uh, and will always be irreplaceable. And so I was like, okay, well if I’m gonna make the team and be a starter, I’m gonna have to hustle more than everyone else. So I was always sprinting as fast as I could in every drill and just exhausting myself. I was always diving for any loose ball, sacrificing my body, uh, to make a. And I was willing to do what others were unwilling to do, essentially. But it’s about going after the loose balls in your career and your job and your life and your relationships. Doing those extra little things that may be ex a little painful or you know, not comfortable, but they’re gonna make, give you that edge. They’re gonna make you stand out in a certain way at your. Where you, you did an extra little bit of research that you weren’t supposed to do or you weren’t, uh, they didn’t expect you to do, and you presented something in a new way for people and they’re like, wow, that person really just did a little bit above and beyond, uh, and they were willing to go the extra mile type of thing. It’s a very simple concept, but for me, Hustling in life really is building those relationships. It’s doing the things that others aren’t willing to do. It’s effective, but I think you have to do it from a place of love. So some people might think of like hustling and, and trying to hustle people over or something like that, but it’s the complete opposite. It’s hustling, uh, to love people more and to show your amount of care more. And if you can come from that place, it’s, it’s pretty hard to beat.
Host: You were a professional athlete. I mean, you had, you were on that path, you were doing those things and you’ve had some major physical pain, but you, you talk about how that physical pain, there’s some lessons that you have learned from physical pain that have really served you. Share some of that.
Lewis Howes: I think, man, the more. Pain we experience, we’re just able to take on more adversity. So if we’re up to a big game or big dream, or we want to advance our career, whatever it may be, and we haven’t experienced some type of pain physically, I just think it’s gonna be a lot harder. Now, it doesn’t mean you should go and like cut yourself with a knife or something to feel pain. What I’m talking about is the type of pain where you’re pushing your. Your body, your legs, you know, everything to an uncomfortable place. And I try to do this as often as possible, one, because it helps my body grow. You know, any type of discomfort creates growth when you, um, you know, push yourself past a limit with your lungs and your breathing extra hard. Your lungs are gonna expand and they’re gonna have more capability to breathe harder the next time around. And if your muscles, um, are sore, that means they’re a little bit torn and they’re gonna grow and get stronger. But if you do do zero pain, if you feel experienced, zero pain in your body, then you’re not pushing yourself and you discomfort. You really don’t know how to handle discomfort when it comes your way, and it’s always gonna come your way. If you have a big dream, there’s gonna be more adversity. It’s just a part of life. If you’re up to a big game there, you don’t have to take on new adversity. It’s gonna happen no matter what. Um, but if you haven’t prepared yourself and train yourself physically and mentally to learn how to overcome that pain and embrace it, then it’s probably going to mean you’re gonna wanna run away from it when it happens. If you can mentally. Embrace the pain you’re experiencing. Listen, I don’t like running three to five miles. It, it hurts, right? It’s not like I’m excited about it, but I’m excited to train my mind to be stronger every single day. And that’s why I do it. And obviously I want to be healthy and, you know, and master my body, but it’s not like a fun experience to, to have pain and to not be able to breathe and, and be wheezing, right? It’s not fun, but I understand the value of it and that’s why I. , I think Richard Branson, the quote he said is when someone asked him like, what’s the key to success in business? He said, working out. And I dunno if you’ve ever heard that, but essentially, you know, he, he thinks that like being in physical shape is the key to success and building a business or in, you know, being great in your career. So for me, I find value in that. This is science as well. If our health is not under. Uh, control, and it’s not in balance. We’re gonna be slower in our jobs. We’re gonna be slower mentally and emotionally. We’re gonna be more easily reactive to things that come to us in life. But when our body is in unison with our mind, and they’re both healthy, we’re able to take home the adversity of life. With much better ease and flow as opposed to exhaustion and people just reacting when they’re driving to work because they’re, they’re not happy and they didn’t work out in the morning and they’re frustrated with their health. They’re gonna be much more reactive towards life as opposed to flowing with everything that comes your way.
Host: As you think through all of the guests that you’ve had on the show. What do you think are some of the most common universal characteristics that these are a couple of the most common characteristics?
Lewis Howes: Sure. Yeah. I mean, well, I mean, in the book I talk about the eight characteristics, the eight principles that they all have. But if I was to say the two, I would say the first and the last that I talked about in the book, and the first is, you know, the common theme is they all have a very powerful vision. It’s all very clear and a powerful vision. Now that doesn’t mean it doesn’t evolve and change and things happen where, um, they may be on a different track at some point, but they all have a very powerful, clear vision on what they want and why they want it. And they’re so committed to their vision that it doesn’t matter what adversity or setbacks or barriers come in their way because they know they’re gonna come in their way. They’re prepared for that. They’re committed. Until it happens. And that’s the first thing. You know, you think about anyone great Richard Branson or CEOs or anyone great in your career who wants to get to the next level or great athletes. They didn’t just show up and say, oh, I’m gonna be the be uh, they didn’t just show up and say, I’m the best athlete in, you know, in football in the world. They had a vision and probably when they were five, where they said, this is what I want for my life. I wanna be a Super Bowl champion. and I’m gonna commit to it every single day for the next two decades until it happens. They’re not just at the Super Bowl and they’re like, oh, how’d I get here? I don’t know. I was just like showing up randomly. It’s a very intentional, clear vision with decades of setbacks and barriers to make it happen, and they understand that. That’s the first thing is the. I would say the second most common thing, they live a life of service. This is the final principle I talked about in my book. They live a life of service. I think early on, I think this might’ve came from a book that I got from sales training actually at Southwestern Books, I think it’s called The Richest Man in Babylon. Have you heard of that book? The premise of this book was that the richest man in Babylon gave away half of his money every single month. But essentially the key to him being the richest man in the world or whatever at the time, was that he lived a life of service. He found ways to give away hi his wealth. And that doesn’t mean you have to give away half of your money, but what I took away from that is, and what I took away from all the people I’ve interviewed, is that they have some type of thing. Constantly in service to the world or to other people or their community, and that’s what’s made them so great. Um, their level of service. They are so committed to giving back. They understand how valuable their life is and how valuable and important the gift they’ve been given. To be born and to be alive in the world right now. And because of that, they understand how precious the world is and how precious other lives are. So they live a life of service, whether that be with their time, their talent, their money, uh, their finding ways to give back on a constant basis, and it’s part of their being. Us who they are every day. Uh, so for me that’s really powerful to hear that from everyone is that, you know, the rich, rich people I talk to, they’re giving back their money. Uh, the most talented people I talk to, they’re giving back their talent to serve other people with that. When I started to understand that concept, one of the things that they also do though is they live a life of service for themselves. And this is really important because, you know, some people only give to other people, and then they forget about themselves. Mm-hmm. , they forget about their health, they forget about their dreams, they forget about their needs, and they’re such, such big givers to other people, but I feel like they’re, they’re not really living greatness unless you’re also living a, a life of service to yourself. And that means whatever dreams you have, Going after those dreams, taking care of your health, taking care of your needs, doing things for you as well. You know, I believe God created us to go after our dreams and to make the most of our talents. That also means giving it away to other people and serving other people, but it doesn’t mean neglecting ourselves. Only for other people because when we take care of ourselves to the fullest and our cup is full every single moment, every single day, that’s when we can serve others at a much deeper, greater level. And I think that’s what we’re here to do.
Host: I love that. I have one last question for you and that is who is left that is out there that you would still like to interview that you haven’t interviewed yet?
Lewis Howes: Hmm. I really wanna interview Will Smith. I really wanna interview Will Smith, the Rock. Jim Carey, I feel like is an extremely inspiring human being. Those are kind of the three keys that would be be big wins to have on the podcast.
Host: Well, you’re making the world a better place man, and thanks for being here.
Lewis Howes: I appreciate it. Thank you so much.