“Steve Harvey… Homeless King of Comedy”
I spend a lot of time in my line of work talking about junk food that damages the body.
Perhaps not enough time talking about the junk thoughts that damage the mind.
Steve Harvey, a man who needs no introduction, knows about junk thoughts better than most.
I remember chatting with Derek at one point, that Steve must have a bunch of clones running around. I mean, how in the world can one man host a talk show, make live comedy appearances, host a radio show, host the Family Feud, and still have time to read the wrong name at the Miss Universe pageant?
The dude is everywhere!
It’s been apparent to me from the outside, that Steve is one of the hardest working men in show business.
But I only recently got to hear a bit of his back story.
The “King of Comedy”, as he’s known today, wasn’t always a world famous funny man.
He was once a normal guy, working a normal job, experiencing a normal life.
One night he decided to tell jokes at his local comedy club. And lo and behold, Steve won the grand prize of… $50.
Not exactly a life changing sum of money. Certainly not enough to quit one’s job.
And yet, that’s exactly what Steve did.
To hear Steve describe it, it was like he felt alive for the first time in his life. He cried all the way home from the comedy club, thanking God as he went, that he’d finally discovered his true passion, his true purpose in this world.
His wife was less enthused.
Steve quit his job the morning after that fateful night at the comedy club.
And his wife quit him the following year after watching Steve struggle to make a paltry total of $3k in his first year as a “professional comedian”.
Things only got worse from there.
Steve spent the next three years living in his car. He was divorced. He was homeless. And even his family lost all faith in him telling him to “Give it up…. be a man… and go get a REAL job.”
But Steve kept telling jokes.
To see him today, it’s quite clear that the gamble on himself paid off.
Of course, there are no guarantees that Steve’s Cinderella outcome will be the same for you… but it’s a funny thing about perseverence. It seems when people push hard enough, long enough… life seems to tilt in their favor.
But to make it through the struggles that inevitably come to test your conviction… it’s imperative that you keep your mind free of the garbage advice that commonly circulates amongst peers and family who can’t or won’t embrace your vision.
Here are some junk thoughts that Steve never indulged in en route to Comedy Kingship:
1) “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
Steve explains that this is some of the poorest advice out there.
Because success requires an all-out assault.
You don’t try to get a degree from 6 colleges at once.
You don’t try to start 6 businesses at once.
You laser focus all of your energy towards one impassioned goal and you maintain a white hot desire for its completion.
One of the reasons it was so hard for me to give up my real estate license is because I had ten years of history in real estate. I had been grinding hard to develop my craft over that time learning the ins and outs of the business. Making connections, cultivating relationships, studying every online course and attending every seminar I could find. There’s no doubt in my mind that I could have been a success in real estate had I continued to persist.
But I too had a fateful day like Steve Harvey.
I know exactly the excitement that Steve felt when he drove home with his first $50 prize from joke telling.
The health and wellness niche is for me, what the comedy niche has been for Steve.
When you find something like that that lights you up… you either pursue it with everything you’ve got… or I imagine you end up regretting not pursuing somewhere down the road.
Partial commitment yields partial results.
So I had to say bye-bye to real estate.
All my eggs are in the Bootcamp basket.
2) “Always have a Plan B.”
This thought is blasphemy to the successful.
Because, as Steve puts it, you have to take away energy from your Plan A to even put together a Plan B.
So why not put all of your energy into Plan A??
But what if Plan A fails?
Get another Plan A!
This is where a lot of people go wrong with nutrition and fitness plans.
Plan A: I’m gonna try eating healthier.
Plan B: Unless there’s pizza! I really like pizza!
Plan A: I’m going to Bootcamp 3 times per week.
Plan B: Unless it’s raining, I don’t feel like it, or it’s a Thursday…
We’re often so concerned with what happens if we fail, that we don’t acknowledge the possibility of success by actually following through on our desired goal with full commitment.
Stop hedging your bets.
Go after Plan A as if it’s life or death… Because as far as your spirit’s concerned, it is!
Note: It might suck for a while.
Steve lived in his car for three years!
You have to be willing to embrace the suck.
For you, Leg Day may suck.
Not eating cupcakes at work may suck.
Getting up before sunrise may suck.
This is not the philosophy that 6-Week trial members want to hear. They want to know how soon until they look like Beyonce or Jessica Alba.
Hint: Without a plastic surgeon… longer than 6 weeks.
Embrace the suck.
It’s not sexy. But it’s the truth. Take it or leave it.
3) “The statistics are against you.”
Steve’s colleagues knew that very few aspiring joke tellers “made it” as a comedian.
“Only 1 in 20,000 make it on the Tonight Show,” they told him repeatedly.
If this is the only metric for success, Steve would still be a failure.
Steve’s never been on the Tonight Show. He’s never been on Saturday Night Live. (Although the kid from Good Burger parodies him a lot.)
Steve is a success however.
And much like me, he couldn’t care less about statistics.
90% of businesses fail in their first year.
90% of diets result in failure.
90% of New Year’s resolutions fail by Februrary.
The message is clear: Odds are, you’re going to fail. So don’t even try.
REAL TALK: Who cares about the masses that are failing?!!
What are you going to do differently to beat the odds?
One of the things that grinds my gears worse than any other practice I can think of is giving patients a death clock in the cancer business.
What gives a doctor (or anybody) the right to tell a patient, “You’ve got 6 months to live. Get your affairs in order.”
I can tell you right now… Anybody who ever tries to give me a death sentence is going to rue the day they ever tried to put a clock on my life.
“F#%$ your statistics!! Get me a doc with answers instead of asinine! I’m going to live!”
But most patients put so much faith in doctors, that they believe them implicitly, unconditionally, and even biologically. Some will die precisely six months from the date of such a diagnosis because the brain is a such a powerful thing.
You can program your success or your failure. Your luck or your lack. The best version of your life… or the very day of your death!
It all starts with belief.
What are you programming yourself to believe?
Who are the cancerous people in your world trying to poison your mind with their negativity?
Sometimes, the road towards your own personal version of success can be a very lonely one. It can feel at times like nobody has you back. And maybe they dont…
ZERO… count em… ZERO humans in this world, not his wife, not his brother, not his friends, nor his mother, thought Steve Harvey would ever “make it” as a comedian.
But none of that mattered because Steve continued to believe that he would.
And guess who’s laughing now…
Statistics are for losers.
Believe in the exception… And then… become it!
CJ’s Book of the Week: “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan
“Skedge” for 7/24/17-7/29/17
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