Co-authored by Britt Hysen
Imagine losing the career of your dreams. Your spirit is broken, your bank account is empty, and you feel as if the world is against you. This was life for Lewis Howes in 2007 after a broken wrist ended his professional football career.
On the verge of hopelessness, Lewis came to a personal crossroad. He could either feel sorry for himself or learn a new skill that would pave a path to success. From the cushions of his sister’s couch, he turned to LinkedIn for guidance and quickly realized the abundant opportunities that existed on the platform.
How LinkedIn Changed Lewis Howes’ Life
As an ex-ball player with no college degree, Lewis targeted what he knew best- sports. He spent every waking hour connecting with industry professionals and noticed the need for a LinkedIn group exclusively for this circle of people. Lewis started the Sports Industry Network and within a year grew it to over 10,000 members.
He witnessed first-hand how professionals were using LinkedIn’s tools to obtain jobs and develop their businesses, and saw an opportunity to capitalize on the market. Devoting his attention to business, marketing, and relationships Lewis launched a multi-million dollar business, selling online education courses to help people leverage the power of Linkedin, Facebook and Webinars.
During this time, he was able to meet some of the most notable people in the world and expand his professional web of associates. This was the beginning of his reinvention.
REINVENTION THROUGH THE HELP OF MENTORS
Like all successful people, Lewis didn’t get there alone and it didn’t happen overnight. He tells MiLLENNiAL early in his career, inventor Chris Hawker, taught him that “the invention process takes a long time to develop.” Knowing he “wanted to have it all,” Lewis would go on to create a self-help enterprise. At 31 years old, he has launched one of the most popular podcasts in the world, secured a book deal and has coached many people along the way.
BUILDING AN AUDIENCE AND GAINING TRUST
While Lewis works hard at maintaining a loyal audience, he assures us “you’ve got to do something that builds momentum.” He points out a few areas in which he focuses the most attention and says, “it’s been a combination of creating great quality content, adding value to a lot of other trusted sources and influencers, becoming friends with influential people and the consistency, over the years.”
With a passion for sharing his knowledge, his mission is to help 100 million people do what they love for a living and create success for themselves. In doing so, he has started, The School of Greatness, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people he admires, and an exclusive course designed to grow entrepreneurial ventures.
He has since hosted over one hundred of the most accomplished people in the world on his podcast. From entrepreneurs and athletes to best-selling authors and thought leaders, Lewis has had the pleasure of interviewing Shawn Johnson, Tim Ferriss, Krista Tippett and Tony Robbins among others.
LEVERAGING PAIN TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS
If it weren’t for the exhausting attitude of an athlete, who knows if Lewis would have had the motivation to create a self-sustaining business. He credits his success to his competitive background. “I’ve experienced more pain than most people. I played a full season with a broken wrist.” Having been through that kind of prolonged pain, Lewis sees life and work differently than other people. His goal is to be a champion, achieve greatness, give back and help others do the same.
GIVING BACK & ACHIEVING GREATNESS
Aside from helping individuals navigate their professional lives, Lewis is also involved in one of the fastest growing transformational for-purpose organizations in the world – Pencils of Promise.
Pencils of Promise builds schools and trains teachers in underdeveloped regions of the world, where children don’t have access to quality education. For Lewis, who sits on the board of the organization, education is something very close to his heart. “I was always in the special needs classes. I couldn’t remember anything and had trouble in general,” he admits.
Lewis explains his passion for the organization comes from his desire to help kids improve their way of learning. “When I heard about what Adam Braun was doing with Pencils of Promise, I had just started making more money and I was looking to give back. At the time they had only built a few dozen schools. Now, they’ve built over 250 schools and I’ve personally built three.”
Encouraging millennials everywhere to go after their dreams, Lewis provides a strategic roadmap for those who are lost in the mix. His one-on-one coaching sessions and speaking engagements provide insight on how to get the most out of your resources. The social sphere can be overwhelming, but if used right, it can help open doors you didn’t know exist.
To learn more about Lewis Howes and his debut book, The School of Greatness, in which he shares the lessons from his experiences with sports, relationships, and business, visit LewisHowes.com.