It’s easy to look around and see expensive cars, gold chains and making it rain in the club and think that is the measure of success. We live in a world of get-rich-quick schemes and folks driving cars and living in homes they can’t afford as if that’s what being “successful” really is, but if you ask Steve Harvey, real success comes from sacrifice, honesty, hard work, and sometimes having to hustle with almost nothing in your pockets.
When we were first introduced to Steve Harvey, he was a stand-up comedian headlining the Kings Of Comedy Tour, but he has gone on to star in his own sitcom, The Steve Harvey Show, produce and host his own talk show, release multiple books which have turned into films, and now a motivational tour. Not to mention he landed a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
Earlier this month, Steve hosted his Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success Conference in Washington D.C. (based on his latest book), where he dropped some heavy pearls of wisdom to hopefuls who looked forward to becoming business owners and entrepreneurs. Our friends at MadameNoire were there for a behind-the-scenes session to hear what Steve had to say about being homeless and living in his car before he got his act together.
Sounding like the wise uncle at the family reunion that everybody should listen to, Steve said anything worth having will require some sort of sacrifice, don’t dwell in the past if you’re looking toward a future, never compromise who you are, and always remember, you have to give up something to get something.
Here are a few gems he discussed below:
1. Success came at a price and over time
The road to success is always under construction.[…] I retired from stand-up in August of 2012 to get to where I am today. You always have to
give up something to get something.
This is what happened to me. My divorce is public knowledge, I’m a college dropout, I lived in my car, I was homeless, I made a mess of my life, and this is how I’m living now. I lost the guilt I feel about how I’m living now. I work very hard and go to work every day. I give honor to God for allowing me to come up and get over. If He can do that for me, why can you imagine it happening for you?
2. With success comes sacrifice
I don’t know if they are afraid of success more than they are afraid of what it takes to be successful. It’s the same reason people don’t eat right, because something tastes so good, they are not going to give up that taste to sacrifice for just a few more years on the planet. How can you make people successful?
3. Don’t spend too much time looking into the past
You can’t drive your car looking in the rear view mirror. That’s why the windshield of your car is bigger than your rear view mirror. Your rear view mirror is just so you can look and make sure you passed so you’re clear and can switch lanes. That’s all it’s for. You’re not supposed to stare at it and wish you were back there. You’re going to crash. If you keep looking in the rear view mirror, you’re going to crash your car.
4.Explore your gift and passion, even if it means you may have to struggle and grind for awhile
I don’t see why after you’ve discovered and recognized your gift, [you wouldn’t]do anything with it. That’s an injustice to yourself. Why would you have this wonderful thing inside of you and never explore it? Why wouldn’t you take a chance and see where it takes you? Your gift is free. If you’re living your life and it’s not what you want and there was an opportunity for the application of your gift, for you to sit there and not doing something about it is such an injustice to yourself. I can’t even tell the joy I had when I was living in my car. I was doing the thing that I was born to do. I didn’t want to give it up just to get a job and get an apartment. I was cool living in my car and pursuing my dreams because I knew it wasn’t permanent. I kept grinding and hustling. I would rather live in my purpose and having the freedom in knowing that I’m doing what I was born to do.
5. Don’t compromise who you are. Authenticity is key
All I can be is me. I know they have more education then me. I know they have more corporate value then me. I’m not that polished and I know that. But what has been the most effective part for me throughout my entire career and make my fan base gravitate towards me is my authenticity. I am just who I am. Whoever it is, corporate executives, presidents, CEOs, business owners, you’re in [the audience] because you want some more, so let me tell you what got me more.
6. Allow your children to regularly share their dreams with you and they will look forward to higher education
One thing I tell parents is that you try to beat the education into your kids. That’s cool, but you can save yourself a lot of pain if every 45 days, you sit your child down and just talk to them about their dreams. It’s a conversation they’d rather have anyway. If you really get them to talk about their dreams, whether they want to be a pilot or own a gas station or be a doctor or a lawyer, their dreams will spur them to get an education. But we don’t talk to our kids about their dreams. Find out what your child wants to be. Talk to them about their dreams. You’d be surprised how many conversations you could stop having about school once they understand that to get to their dreams, here are the steps they have to take. All of a sudden, science might be a little more interesting to them.
7. A positive mind lays the road to a successful future
You got to understand something about your brain. It operates in two sections: good, evil; positive, negative; right or wrong; righteous or unjust. It’s always a ying and a yang in your brain. The brain is like a factory; it manufactures whatever you tell it to. When you wake up in the morning, you can instruct whichever foreman you want to to go back to the factory and tell the workers to manufacture. Since I’m the boss, I just wake up and since I’m the boss, I tell my foremen what to do no matter what happens, there can be a positive result. If a door closes, I am to assume that there’s a better door opening for me to go through. I only look for the positive. I don’t care what the negative is.
The worst thing you can do is tell your big dreams to a small-minded person. I stay only on the positive side, no matter what the analysis of the situation is.
Also peep these videos from Steve Harvey’s Success Series at Strayer University. They are golden if you need a little nudge to help you take that first step towards your dreams!
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Vision Board Your Dream
Find Your Plan of Action
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