BLOG

What 'School of Greatness' Author Lewis Howes Learned From the School of Hard Knocks

Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author and host of the wildly successful School of Greatness podcast, was named one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 30. He went from making $250 a week and living on his sister's couch to being described as one of the five internet gurus who can make you rich. Bullied in school and challenged academically, Lewis joined Glenn in studio to talk about his amazing journey and the playground pivot point that drove him to success.

Enjoy the complimentary clip or read the transcript for details.

Glenn: School of greatness, one of the top podcast, over 30 million downloads, detail magazine calls Lewis Howes one of the five Internet gurus who can make you rich. Named one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 30. At 33, he has built and sold several multimillion-dollar online businesses, and here's the reason why he's on this program. He's from Ohio, he went from having a dream of being a professional football player, it ended in a snap, if you will of his arm or wrist. He went from making $200 -- $250 a week having food stamps, so he had food on the weekend to living on his sister's couch for two years?

LEWIS: Year and a half.

GLENN: Year and a half. Two years later making over a million dollars a year. And it's all because of a mindset, and I want to pick up the conversation. We don't like to bring people in until they sit down on the chair as we're inducing them. But a mistake happened. And he sat down on the chair, and we started talking, and this is going to be a Frank and open conversation. Because he sat down and said something about my story that you read up about my story.

LEWIS: I'm so inspired about what you created and I'm always interested about the origin story of someone who's so driven, so successful, and who has a massive impact on the world. Usually, when someone has a huge impact on a lot of lives, something happened or a series of events happened.

GLENN: Correct. That drives them.

LEWIS: That drives them.

GLENN: And we were talking about my mom's suicide. And he said "Well-- I mean, I don't have that. But.

LEWIS: Yeah, I was sexually abused when I was 5, I was raped by a man that I didn't know. The baby-sitter's son. By 8, my brother went to prison for four and a half years selling LSD to an undercover cop. My parents were always arguing and fighting and eventually got divorced, and I was bullied in school because I was a special needs learning disability student, you know? I had dyslexia, hard to read and write. You know, I --

GLENN: Yeah, yeah, whatever. Did you hear that Stu, he had his front quarter panel that he had to replace in his car. When was that? About 1998?

STU: Yeah, insurance covered it but --

GLENN: So, please, stop your whining, man. Stop your whining.

LEWIS: Yeah.

GLENN: I'm really inspired by people who I like pivot points, you know? Pivot points tell me everything you need to know about a man. Because life is not about what happens to you. I know that sounds trite, but it's not. It's about that moment that you say "I'm at the brink. I'm right here on the edge. And I'm either going to jump -- or I'm either going to fall off and die, or I'm going to jump because I've got an idea, and I want to do a different thing."

What was your pivot point? Where was your low point?

LEWIS: Well, there were many. For whatever reason, when I was picked last in elementary school playing a dodgeball game on the playground; right? I was picked last, it was two captains. Two guys in my class, they picked all the guys on the team, except for me, and then they started picking all the girls.

GLENN: Oh, boy.

LEWIS: And I remember I was the last picked by default to get on the team. And at that point it was, like, third or 4th grade, and I was, like, I'm never going to be picked last again. I'm going to train my mind or body or brain so that this never happens.

GLENN: Wow. Because I continued to be picked last.

[Laughter]

I just kind of went dead inside. So that's an interesting choice to make.

LEWIS: Yeah, that was a moment of time. Now it's so long ago. But there were so many moments where I continued to try to improve myself whenever something bad happened, I was, like. Okay. What can I do -- this is feedback for me. How can I be better? How can I improve my life? So my vision was to be a pro athlete, you know? That was my goal to be in pro sports because that's all I really knew how to do. I wasn't good in school, so I was, like, what's the other option? If I can get paid to play football and hang out with my buddies, awesome. So I just trained every single day to do that.

GLENN: And you really didn't pay attention in school.

LEWIS: I tried, but I couldn't consume the information or retain it. So it didn't matter how many tutors I had, how much I studied, it was just exhausting. I would read a page over and over for 20 minutes, and I couldn't remember what I was reading. So it was just really terrifying. And terrifying for me to read aloud when the teacher would say read aloud. I would just miss the simplest words. So it was intimidating, scary.

GLENN: Humiliating.

LEWIS: Yeah, humiliating, I was already being picked on. So I couldn't wait until the bell at 3:30 to go on the sports team and just let it all out.

GLENN: So you were the stereotypical dumb jock.

LEWIS: Yeah, I was. I was. And it was challenging, but I found kind of my niche in school@.

GLENN: You didn't get into the NFL. You made it into arena football. You were making $250 a week. A little different than the NFL.

LEWIS: It was so brutal because every week they're bringing in new guys who have a dream to play. There's, like, no rules in the arena football league, pretty much. It's like bush league. People are going so hard. They're doing any cheap shots they can. The referees don't really care. It's like the wild, wild west of football. It's so physical, you're pretty much landing on concrete every play, and there's walls, you're constantly getting banged up.

GLENN: You break your wrist.

LEWIS: I played wide receiver, so I don't have into the wall trying to catch a ball and snapped my wrist.

GLENN: That was it.

JEFFY: Did you catch it?

LEWIS: I did not, so it was even worse.

STU: Does it count as a drop when you break your wrist? I don't think it does.

GLENN: I think it does. It does.

PAT: Arena football is interesting in that the wall is the sidelines; right?

LEWIS: Yeah.

JEFFY: Indoor war, baby.

PAT: Surprising more guys don't do that. Get hurt like that.

GLENN: So then you go from, you know, making $250 a week to making nothing, living on food stamps.

LEWIS: And I was in college debt. I didn't graduate college yet. This was in 2007 when I was injured, so ten years ago in August.

GLENN: Oh, good now you're right up to the financial crash in Ohio.

LEWIS: Exactly, exactly. I don't have a college degree because I left early to try to make the NFL draft. You know, I didn't really have any skills, besides playing football, but that was gone now. And, again, 2008 and 2009, they weren't hiring for people who had MBAs and degrees in the first place, so I was out of luck. And a mentor of mine, you know, my sister, bless her heart, she just let me crash there for a long time and eat her macaroni and cheese or leftover food that she had. And I was living off about three credit cards at the time, so I didn't have any money coming in.

GLENN: Hang on a second. Were you at that point, were you still this bright eyed guy that you are now? Or were you depressed and, like, I'm just not going to make it?

LEWIS: A little bit of both.

GLENN: Okay.

LEWIS: I was depressed and sad that my career was over, and I thought I was going to come back. I was in a cast, so I broke my wrist, they took a bone out of my hip and put it right here because the bone crumbled so much, so they couldn't put a screw in it. So I have a big scar here from the hip surgery, and I was in a cast from here to here for six months.

GLENN: From his shoulder to fingers.

LEWIS: So my fingers could move, my thumb was tight, so I could just do this.

GLENN: So anybody who was coming or going, you were, like, hey. See you.

LEWIS: What's up, guys. You know the movie rookie of the year? Ever see that baseball movie?

GLENN: Yeah.

LEWIS: The kid had an arm cast and had superhuman strength afterward. I wasn't like that.

STU: Was that a documentary? Because that --

GLENN: Surprisingly, that I believe was a Disney movie.

LEWIS: Yes, exactly. So six months like this on my sister's couch, no money, you know? No college degree. 2008, 2009. And it was just kind of -- I thought I was going to be able to come back. I was, like, I'm going to be able to make it, I'm going to be strong enough. And after the cast came out, it was another year of me recovering just so I could bend the elbow and the wrist to get a certain amount of strength. So I realized. Okay. I'm probably not going to go back to the arena league and make 250 bucks a week and make it to the NFL, two or three years later, it's not going to happen. It was already, like, a tough spot for me.

STU: Is that a tough moment of realization?

LEWIS: Really tough. It took years for me to overcome, like, the feeling every, you know, fall that came around football season, it was hard to watch the game because I would play against guys in the NFL, like, oh, they're making it and look at the money that they're making and look at the opportunities and look at me here.

GLENN: Jeffy's son was in the NFL.

LEWIS: Oh, yeah?

GLENN: And was out within an injury.

JEFFY: Within a year, it was the same kind of feeling. In the end, it's been difficult. It's been, like, three years now.

LEWIS: It's your identity of. It's what you wrap your whole life up in. And when you don't have that, it's hard to move forward and feel confident.

GLENN: I think that happens -- I mean, I'll be real honest with you. This will be everywhere. Stu was saying don't.

STU: There's no point in going into where you're going.

GLENN: You don't even know where I'm going.

STU: Yes, I do. I've known you too long. I know where you're going.

JEFFY: Yes, we do.

GLENN: You know, yesterday, Tucker Carlson takes Bill O'Reilly's spot. Well, you know, I was at 5:00 and the 5:00 show moved up to 9:00 and Tucker moves to 8:00. All great stuff. I'm so thrilled for all of them. I really am, and I wouldn't go back to fox. I don't want to go back. But it is a weird thing to see, you know, would have been, could have been, whatever, and it plays with you. It does play with you. But I think that happens in everybody's life. Whatever it is you do, you see good people that you like, and you're, like, I wonder if I could have -- I wonder -- you know what I mean? It's hard.

LEWIS: Yeah, there's a guy that I played against in college named Pierre Garçon who's still playing wide receiver, and I played against him in the national champions. I went to a small D3 school, and he was a stud in the other D3 school, and I broke all of these school records against him. He didn't even do that well. And at the end of the game, he says "You're the best wide receiver I've ever seen." And I was, like, "Wow. Okay."

This guy was playing in the NFL for ten years saying this to me, I was, like, what could have happened? What if I just made one practice squad and caught a touchdown and they're, like, we're going to keep you want to a two-year contract, understandable you just never know.

RADIO

FEC's Twitter/Hunter Biden ruling was RIGHT? Conservative FEC Commissioner explains

Remember when Twitter blocked the New York Post's Hunter Biden laptop story from being shared right before the 2020 election? The FEC ruled that Twitter did NOT violate election laws by doing so. But while many on the right questioned if this was the right call, Glenn has a talk with conservative FEC Commissioner Trey Trainor, who explains why he personally disagrees with Twitter's decision to block the story, but agrees with the FEC's final ruling: "Everybody on the right would have gotten a complaint filed against them immediately if we would have found that Twitter violated campaign finance rules."

TV

WATCH: Weaponizing Crisis: Exposing the Hidden Hand After January 6

First comes the "crisis," then comes the expansion. The federal government is seizing on the January 6 Capitol riot to take carte blanche to do whatever it wants and weaponize the event to further empower the new overlords of our country — the intelligence community.

On Glenn TV Wednesday, Glenn Beck reveals what's happening with the U.S. Capitol Police and argues they've morphed into a new arm of the intelligence apparatus, boosted by a massive increase in funding and surveillance equipment and new offices OUTSIDE the Capitol building. The Biden administration has also hidden basic details regarding January 6. Why did officials refuse to release the name of the officer who killed Ashli Babbitt? Where are the 14,000-plus hours of CCTV footage? As any intelligence organization knows, it's best to operate outside the realms of oversight.

Glenn exposes the hidden hand of government that could be used to punish and destroy innocent Americans who are only guilty of holding the "wrong" political view.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Image source: Video screenshot
ARTICLES

‘Both miraculous and horrendous’: Glenn Beck gives emotional update on Afghanistan rescue

The conditions in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule — for Americans, allies, Christians, women and more — continue to deteriorate, and the people there continue to plead that we will not forget them. On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck gave an emotional update on current evacuation efforts, including the tragic story of one girl — an American passport holder — who was not rescued in time.

"I have a pit in my stomach like I haven't had in a while. What is happening in Afghanistan is both miraculous and horrendous," Glenn began. "What's going on right now one of the most amazing things I've ever personally witnessed — the evacuation of Americans, those [Afghans] who helped us, Christians that are dying, women that are under incredible conditions. I see things that I can't show you. I see the pleadings from people who are in safe houses, 'Please, don't forget us.' I see what they're being sent by the Taliban.

"If I die today, my entire life will have been worth it for what you have helped get done, in just the last three weeks. You have saved well over 5,000 people," he continued.

Fighting back tears, Glenn added, "I ask that you pray for those in the Middle East, that are in the midst of doing work, that a Moses-style miracle will happen. ... There are several people that are in dire need of medical care. Friday, we told you — along with the congressman from Oklahoma [Rep. Markwayne Mullin] who had just returned — [about] a father and two daughters that were blue passport Americans, and a mother who had a permanent residence, a Green Card. The daughter was very ill. And they thought, that if we couldn't get her out of there, that she would lose her legs. I got a call on Saturday morning, that we were too late, that she didn't lose her legs. She lost her life, waiting. There are now two Americans, instead of three."

Glenn showered his audience with gratitude, repeating that "well over 5000" lives have already been saved because of their incredible generosity, but lamented that there are still thousands more people yet to be saved.

Watch the video clip below to hear more updates from Glenn:

.

To donate to these rescue efforts, visit NazareneFund.org or MercuryOne.org.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

RADIO

Economic TAILSPIN? THIS may be why The Fed stopped publishing GDP reports

Branches of The Federal Reserve Bank recently announced — while nobody was paying attention — their decisions to stop publishing GDP forecast reports that the financial industry 'has used forever,' Glenn says. But now new updates from the Atlanta Fed may provide clues as to why these reports have been suspended. Those clues hint at a coming 'economic tailspin,' Glenn says. And, 'When you know something is going to cause the economy to go into a tailspin,' Glenn explains, 'you can either just say, well, that's the truth…or you can just hide it. You can just not publish it.'