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SPI 541: How Lewis Howes Achieved Record Earnings, Lands Celebrity Guests and Finds Inner Peace

Today on the show I’m joined by my good friend, Lewis Howes. He’s a New York Times Bestselling author, a lifestyle and business coach, a former pro athlete, a top-ranked podcaster, has been featured on numerous television programs and magazines … and that’s not even half of his list of accomplishments!

Lewis and I talk about building a successful agency. Lewis shares what he’s learned on his journey to success—the trials, heartaches, triumphs, and the wisdom he’s gained along the way.

We talk about what really matters when it comes to building your team, and how serving others can bring the greatest amount of contentment and peace. Lewis speaks candidly about how he never envisioned being a leader, preferring to contribute as a faithful role player, but eventually embraced leadership as an entrepreneur.

This was a fun episode to record, and it was great to catch up with Lewis. If you’re struggling with finding your purpose or having difficulty growing your business, and you’re looking for encouragement and wisdom from one of the most successful people I know, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this interview with Lewis.

Today’s Guest

Lewis Howes

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 1000 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 Gurus 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.

You’ll Learn


SPI 541: How Lewis Howes Achieved Record Earnings, Lands Celebrity Guests and Finds Inner Peace

[00:00:00] Lewis:
The challenge is, you got to know what your mission is, what your vision is, and get clear on it. Don’t do it because you think it’s exciting or cool, but do it because you have a bigger reason behind it.

I said, “I’m going to try this for one year. I’m going to do it for a year. I’m going to do it once a week for a year, and let’s see how it feels.”

I’m not going to try to make any money. I just want to add value and help people.

[00:00:43] Pat:
Lewis, welcome back to the Smart Passive Income podcast. It’s it’s been a minute.

[00:00:48] Lewis:
My man! It’s been too long. It’s good to see you, brother.

[00:00:50] Pat:
Way too long. I think the first time you were on the show, if you remember, you were talking about LinkedIn, and that was your jam.

[00:00:55] Lewis:
Was I really? What, was that like eight years ago, or something?

[00:00:59] Pat:
It was. You told a beautiful story about how getting injured actually helped you. And I’m not going to get into that story. Everybody can go back and listen to that and do a little time travel, but things are going awesome for you, and I wanted to bring you on to talk about this journey that the podcast has taken—where it’s gone.

[00:01:15] Lewis:
It’s been fun.

[00:01:16] Pat:
How you been, man? Things are going good. Tell us how good.

[00:01:20] Lewis:
I’m very grateful. One of the reasons I’m grateful is because I feel peace in my heart. For many, many years in my life, I was trying to figure out how to create peace, as opposed to just being peace. That’s probably a little bit off topic, but I think no matter what we’re creating, whether we’re launching a podcast, or Pokemon channel, or a business, or a physical product, or whatever it might be, we’re seeking something.

For me, it’s been important to continue to heal whatever’s gone on in my life so that I can be peace while I create, and create from a place of acceptance, of self love, and peace. That has allowed me to create with a lot more energy, clarity, focused excitement, less stress and anxiety, and more joy.

That’s the foundation of where I’ve been over the last year creating that journey for myself.

[00:02:19] Pat:
What does peace mean to you?

[00:02:21] Lewis:
Being able to sleep at night within moments. I means things don’t go according to plan, not being triggered into reaction mode, and stress, and anxiousness, and frustration, and angry mode, but more, “Okay. That’s unfortunate,” and allow myself to feel something for a moment. Really just going back into what’s most important, which is my peace, which is a place of, I may not like something. I may not like what someone did to me or said to me, or how something was broken down in my life. I may not agree with it, but allowing it to take my peace and have power over my peace just means that my attention is going into the problem, as opposed to a solution or into what I’m grateful for in those moments.

I used to hold on to things a lot more, especially in my twenties and early thirties. Now, it’s different.

Something happened a few days ago with a team member of mine that we had to let go; they did something illegal. It was kind of shocking, and I was like, “Wow, this is like just common sense.” But at the end of it, I was like, “Okay, I can sit here and be frustrated and upset, and message this person my anger, and how I can’t believe this. Or. I can say, “Alright, let’s just do our due diligence, move on, and get back to my vision and my purpose, which is being of service to people. Which is creating from a place of helpfulness—of solutions for individuals.

I think that’s something you do extremely well. Your whole journey has been teaching people, “Hey, I don’t have the answer. Let me go figure out how to make a dollar. Let me figure out how to make ten dollars, a hundred dollars. Here’s how we did it this month. I messed up here, here, and here, but I’m going to go try something new this month, and here’s what I learned.”

That’s kind of what I’ve been trying to do, as well.

[00:04:13] Pat:
That’s great. And, you know, often takes time for us to get to that point where we can have that clarity. We can have that sort of mental stability to make those decisions, because like you said, things are going to happen that

[00:04:22] Lewis:

[00:04:22] Pat:
Our control.

[00:04:23] Lewis:
I mean, you got kids, so you know, this way more than me, you know, it’s probably things out of your control every day that you’re like, what am I, what are these kids doing? They don’t listen to me. They’re this or that, you

[00:04:31] Pat:
Yeah. Yeah. And it’s, it’s easy to go, oh, are we failing right now? Or are we bad parents or anything like that? And you know, every situation is different, but we also have to remember all the things that we are doing well, and the things that we are grateful for, that is just going to be a journey that everybody’s going to continue to be on.

And, you know, as you know, as you’ve grown like new levels, new devils,

[00:04:52] Lewis:

[00:04:53] Pat:
Like, what are the big devils that are sort of haunting you now as a result of like your huge success and your reach and the network that you’ve built? It’s, it’s amazing, but I’m sure it comes with some,

[00:05:02] Lewis:
Yeah, I think, I don’t know if it’s a devil, it’s an opportunity for growth, which is, I never thought of myself as leading a team. Like I was the receiver in sports. I was like the, the game time play, I made the plays, but I wasn’t like the, the orchestrator of the team. I wasn’t the rah rah guy.

I wasn’t the, you know, directing people on the team. I was like, I don’t want that. I just want you to throw me the ball or give him the ball to make the shot. And. You know, I’ll just be happy with that. I never wanted to be like, okay, here’s what we’re doing. Here’s the vision here’s and here’s what you need to do better.

And coaching people that was never my intention. And it’s kind of something I rejected in sports because I was afraid to take on that role. But, When, when taking on a business and building a team, it’s, it’s not really an option. Sure. I’ve hired someone, that, that works with my team and manages a team a lot. So I can be in creation mode more, but I’ve still got to make tough decisions and lead people and become a, and develop myself as a better leader. And I think that is an opportunity. We doubled our size of our team this year. So bringing on more people, I’ve never had this many people on my team. So it’s just, how do I navigate that?

How do you manage, how do you give time to people and onboard people and train and develop leadership skills and others, and just make tough choices. So for me, I never wanted that, you know, 10, 15 years ago. And I think I’m embracing it more because I understand that’s, what’s going to support me in accomplishing our mission. which is serving a hundred million lives weekly to help them improve the quality of their life through media and content. And I can’t do that on my own. I can’t do that by myself. I can’t do everything on my own. I’m not good enough to do it all on my own. And it’s going to take a team of people to support that mission.

[00:06:52] Pat:
Was there ever a sense of pride that came along with your work, such that it was hard to let go of it and give it to others? Or was it really easy for you to hand those things off?

[00:07:01] Lewis:
I would love to hand things off, in a second, if I knew someone could do it, you know, at, at a level that I was excited about and they would make me, I would let it go so quick. So it’s learning how to find the right people who already have that skill or having the patience to onboard and train someone to get to a certain level where I feel comfortable.

And I think that’s just the challenge. You know, someone like me and you, we learned so many things in the last 10 years, really on our own, we, we tested so many things from course creation to building the websites, to writing content, to creating videos, to editing it, to launching a webinar, to creating a slide deck, to going to events, to learning public, speaking, to learning how to sell, to affiliate marketing, to all these different things.

Like we just learned on the go and most people learn one of those things, you know, at, at a, at a job or something they learn, they take on one skill and then they don’t go beyond it. You and I have developed on a hundreds of micro skills that all combined create what we have from what we’ve built. And I think that’s really hard to expect someone to come in and be like, okay, so you should just know how to set up and run a webinar when.

Most of the world has never done one and never done one at the level. We’ve done them. So how could they really do that? Or we just expect you to create this course or develop this worksheets or something that might seem so simple to us. Isn’t intuitive to someone else. so really having the patience to teach and train over and over as opposed to expect someone to understand and get it right away has something that I’ve had to learn do.

[00:08:36] Pat:
Yeah. I mean, we experienced that back in the day, when we hired VAs from overseas, for example, it’s like, Hey, go do this. And you know, they try, but you got to teach them, you got to train them. So give yourself a little grace if you’re hiring people or if you’re trying to find some help, you need to know that you’re gonna have to invest some time up front to also, help them help you essentially.

[00:08:54] Lewis:
And the challenge of being, as you might, you might bring someone on, you might think they’re great and you spent three months trying to train and onboard and they’re not the right fit. And then you feel like, oh, I should just go back and just do it myself because it took so much time and it didn’t work out.

And I think you’ve got to be willing to this. What makes someone more scalable in their ability to be patient and hire the right people and realize they may leave in three to six months, or it may not work out. And that’s just

[00:09:20] Pat:

[00:09:21] Lewis:
The business cost.

[00:09:23] Pat:
How do you, as you, are hiring your team, consider culture within your business, you don’t just hire for the task, right? You hire for culture and being a part of the team. How do you, how do you get to know somebody in that short period of time?

[00:09:36] Lewis:
I just did an interview yesterday cause we’re, we’re constantly interviewing people and recruiting and looking to hire. And I interviewed someone yesterday after they went through a few rounds with my team already and I said, listen, This whole conversation is to scare you to, to not be the right foot, because it’s part enrollment, but it’s part, are you ready for the task of what’s going to happen?

And let me paint a picture of what we expect and what our standard is for our team. And they read in our, in our job description, they read the core values of the company in our job description. So we put that there and say, this is our values. This is our mission. Do not apply if you’re not aligned to these values in this mission.

So we try to really get people not to apply, and just unqualified them early on. Then they come through the, we get tons of applications and our team is sifting through and really only picks like, okay, who are the three of these 300? We think are the best candidates. Then let’s put them through an interview process and it’s all about values and vision because I’ve realized, I think I heard Elon Musk say this in a video. He was like, so many times I’ve made the mistake of hiring based on talent. but what I should be hiring more on is values and kindness. And he’s like, I’ve hired so many extremely talented people who are not nice people and it hurt me and it hurt the culture and that, you know, and it hurt the process.

And I think finding people that have, I always say this it’s about the attitude and energy and the effort, you know, we can, we can train you more on the skills. What we’re doing is not rocket science. We don’t have to be like these brilliant architects like you where it’s, it’s not rocket science. It’s not, you know, mathematics with architecture and design.

It’s not this complicated thing. It’s. Stuff that we can teach and train people on, but the attitude, the energy and the effort is the most important quality for me and alignment towards our values and our mission. If you’re not excited about what we’re up to with our values and our vision, then don’t be here.

You can go somewhere else. You can go work wherever Facebook, Google tick-tock, or start your own thing and take on the weight of being a business owner. If that’s what you want to do or be a consultant, whatever. but if you’re looking to build something to change lives and you want to see people grow and improve in their life, then that’s what we’re about.

But attitude, energy and effort was what I preach constantly because so many times on the sports arena, I witnessed incredibly talented athletes who were way better than me. I mean, so gifted freaks of nature, physically, right? Athletically coordination, everything. And when their attitude or their energy or their effort was down or low, it took everyone else down and it hurt the team and allows people got, you know, removed, put on the bench and then removed from the team eventually if they didn’t change their attitude, their energy or their effort.

So we’re here to make an impact. And you can’t do that when there’s a few people that are taking down the rest of the team.

[00:12:41] Pat:
Yeah, you remind me of that moment in time when Allen Iverson was complaining about practice, right.

[00:12:48] Lewis:
Talking about practice. Yeah.

[00:12:50] Pat:
And you know, you got to show up, even if you are the star player, you still have to be a part of the team and show up and. Lead by example, and even doing a great job of that, especially in the podcasting space, I’ve seen your growth.

I’ve been watching you from the sidelines you’ve developed as a interviewer. You developed as I’m just a skilled entertainer and somebody who I could feel really, truly cares about the people who are watching and listening on the other end, when you started your podcast, what were some of the huge struggles and challenges that you had?

We have a lot of people who are interested in starting a podcast today. I mean, today is now easier than ever to do so, but it’s up here that matters.

[00:13:24] Lewis:
Yeah. I mean, it’s easier than ever to create and launch when we were doing it. I mean, you, on one of the first two people I talked to when I was looking to launch my podcast, you and Derek Halpern, because Eric had a show, I think it was called social triggers back then.

And this was 2012.

You started your podcast in 2011 or 2012. 2010. Yeah. So you were, oh gee, before me, you were, you were like second wave, you know, Joe Rogan was when he was 2007, eight or nine or something. And then the kind of the weird quirky tech podcasts that, you know, had their own little small raving fans. And that was it.

I guess maybe some MBO NPR show or something. And then you were kind of like second wave and then. That’s wave 2.2 or something. I don’t know, two, two and a half, in 23, January, 2013. I’m coming up on nine years now in January. And I remember calling you and Derek and being like, I remember specifically what you said.

I was like, do you think this thing has any legs, this podcasting thing? And do you think it’s going to go anywhere and like, do you enjoy it? And you told me it’s one of the most fun things you do. I remember you saying this, you said it? was one of the most fun things you do. And you also said something around the lines of, I don’t know if this was exactly how you set up, but you said something around, you know, the quality of listener, like the quality of person who consumes it is such a high. quality relationship, like the relationship I have with those people. And it’s a much more qualified lead for things on promoting people sign up from there. And I was just thinking to myself, okay, like maybe there’s something I can do this. And, I had been just interviewing people for my own sake just to learn from people for, for years, but I wasn’t recording them.

And I really started thinking like, maybe there’s a way I can get this out and help more people because I wish they could hear these conversations, you know, stuff like me. And you would have at I too am and like Vegas blog world or something, you know, it’s like, I wish I wish people could hear what I’m learning from PatFlynn over here because it’s incredible conversation with them we’re having. So the challenge people are going to face today is obviously, I don’t know how many podcasts are there now over a couple million, I think.

[00:15:37] Pat:
A couple of million.

[00:15:39] Lewis:
And I think. The challenge is you got to know what your mission is, what your vision is And get clear on it. Don’t not just do it because you think it’s exciting or cool, but do it. because you have a bigger reason behind it.

And I remember saying to myself, after I talked to you and Derek, I said, I’m going to try this for one year. I’m going to do it for a year. I’m gonna do it once a week for a year. And we’ll see how it feels. And I’m not going to try to make any money. I just want to add value and help people. And that was my attention.

It was not like no one saw this podcast and thing being like a big business. It was just more of like, people didn’t even know how to download a podcast back in when you were doing it, you had to teach people and educate them. Okay. So you go on your phone and then there’s this like purple little thing and you have to like click it and then you have to type in a smart, passive income, and then you have to go there and you have to click subscribe,

[00:16:29] Pat:
Yeah, I think back then it was on the iTunes app. It wasn’t even

[00:16:32] Lewis:
It was iTunes. Yeah. It wasn’t even an app on the phone or whatever. So it was so much harder to get people to listen it was challenging. So I think the challenge people have is getting clear on their intention and knowing that this is a long, long game, unless you’re the, the one person listening, who’s got 5 million followers, 10 million followers that might be able to transfer 5% of your audience over.

If you’re lucky, if you push as hard as you can and get five, maybe 10% of people over after a few months, but that’s, that’s a stretch, you know, that’s, that’s hopeful, wishful thinking, and people will check something out once. But if it’s a bad product, they’re not going to come back. It’s going to be so hard to get them to come back and listen or watch again.

So you’ve got to make sure that. you gotta be in this for the right reasons and you gotta be in it with a, a long-term vision in mind, not a short-term vision of how do I make money quickly rather? How do I serve one person? And that’s what I, that’s literally what I thought. Like if one person listens to this and it helps them, then I’m cool with that.

And I remember thinking I’m creating this for me 10 years ago. I wish I had this to listen to because it’s what I need to learn. And, yeah, I, I just think that the mindset’s gotta be, I’m coming into this with a long run, you know, I’ve done. I don’t know how many videos I’ve done. I think I’ve done over a thousand videos on YouTube now.

I think, I don’t know. I have to go double-check but I think it’s maybe like 800 or a thousand videos. And I feel like it’s just now starting to take off. Like, I feel like it still has. Take it off. I feel like we’re about to hit 2 million YouTube subscribers, you know, a half a billion downloads on audio and video combined for long form listen or long form view.

We’ve got, you know, billions of short form views and, you know, one to two minute listens or video views here and there. But I don’t count that towards downloads. really it’s like, our watch time on YouTube is 24 minutes, 24 and a half minutes, which is every time someone clicks that they watch for 24 minutes.

And our YouTube rep says that’s our YouTube rep says that’s. Unheard of like, they don’t see that on their YouTube stats internally. We also have live much longer videos, you know, hour, hour and a half to our videos. So it’s, we can keep people longer than a 30 to 60 minute video that someone might has or 10 minute video.

But so we really count like, okay, are they listening for over 20 minutes? Because that’s a deeper listener or viewer. And I just think you gotta, you gotta be willing to, to mess up and, and be consistent with your mistakes in terms of like, I’m going to keep showing up and making it better. Even if I mess up so many people you’ve seen pat I’m S I’m assuming started, and they stopped within six months because it just gets hard.

And they’re like, I’m not making any money. It’s hard to book guests. If I’m doing an interview show, or it’s hard to like constantly come up with ideas for content, if I’m doing solos and, you know, I’m only getting 50 views or 50 downloads. Why am I doing this? So you’ve got to have a deeper.

Service-based mission in mind, in my opinion, otherwise you’re just going to be unmotivated and thinking I’m not getting results after a year, two years that I want, well let me go try something else. And so this is, you know, pat and I have been doing this for Pat’s over 11 years. I’ve been doing this almost nine years and I feel like in the last two years, it started to see like growth

[00:20:05] Pat:
Yeah. That’s insane. I mean, it just shows you how long the game has to be. Sometimes. I mean, we look at other creators here on YouTube or on podcasting, who, you know, I remember interviewing MKBHD here on the podcast and he said that his first a hundred videos were for his first a hundred subscribers.

Right. And now he’s at like 15 million in Mr. B’s, same thing as first several hundred videos were just Minecraft videos that really didn’t do anything as he was finding his voice. And look, I’m now he’s got viral videos and he’s breaking the internet and stuff. I don’t know

[00:20:35] Lewis:
Squared games and everything. Yeah.

[00:20:36] Pat:
X-date, it’s so crazy before we get into what the podcast looks like now, and some of your strategies that are working today, I do want to ask you back to when you first started, how did you know that when you took this gamble on starting a podcast?

That, yeah, this is the thing like, I’m going to go in and I’m going to commit to this for a longterm. Now, what was that moment? Or was there a moment.

[00:20:54] Lewis:
I didn’t know when I first launched it, I just knew it was something I was really excited about. and I knew that it was played into my skill sets because I was already curious about people I was curious about learning and I love to sit down And interview people. So I was like, maybe this could be a platform I could use. I think when I did, like my, I remember launching a, a course, called School of Greatness academy and getting a bunch of people sign up through it and I use the podcast to promote it. And getting so many people signed up and the engagement I remember thinking about you, cause I was like, wow, these people are fully engaged and committed.

And it’s because they’ve been listening to me for, for a couple of years and improving so much. And so now we do like a six month kind of bootcamp, personal growth, you know, accountability program for them. And. Those are still some of the most passionate, you know, community members that we have that get incredible results.

And I remember thinking, oh, there’s something here with this community. You know, it started with a one episode and one listen, and now it’s grown to this. And then maybe like doing my first live event and seeing the people in personnel, then I was like, oh, these people are passionate and excited about what they’re learning and approving.

So that was another level then writing in New York times, best selling book based on the podcast, I was like, okay, this is like mainstream now. And now getting it like mainstream press and being on Ellen and today show and good morning America and all that stuff. I was like, oh, like, this is a real thing.

You know, it’s not just you and me like thinking, Hey, let’s do a podcast in our basement. And you know, maybe a few people listen. It’s like, oh, this is reaching mainstream audiences.

[00:22:33] Pat:
Right. Like your media company now.

[00:22:36] Lewis:
Exactly. And I and it’s funny because. Three years ago, I was doing a strategy session with a friend of mine, Rory Vaden.

Who’s a brilliant strategist and, and business mind. and I go to him for a lot of strategy now. And three years ago, I was just like, huh, I feel like I need. To come, come visit you Roy and Nashville. And I was like, I don’t know why, but I feel like you just have such an analytical strategy mind that I feel like you can see things differently.

I’d love to come and just see like the direction of my future. Kind of give me feedback on my brand. I’ll tell you my vision and what I’m up to, and just kind of give me some feedback on what you think I’m doing well. And where do you think I can improve? And after this two day session with him and he goes, I wasn’t going all in on the podcast.

I was doing the podcast to promote my courses, my mastermind, my books, my events. It was a tool to promote my stuff, but I wasn’t making money from the podcast really three years ago, I was making some off advertising, but we weren’t like taking it seriously. It was like some ads would come in. I’d say like maybe yes, but I wasn’t like focused on it. And here’s a scary thing. I wasn’t monetizing YouTube. I’ll get back to that in a second. So three years ago I do a session with him. and at the end he got. Okay. Something for me is very clear and I may be, You know, ignorant here, but the main thing that you have that you do the best at that is the easiest for you to do that impacts the most people is the podcast. And yet you’re not really monetizing the podcast and you haven’t gone all in on it. you do it on the side to promote your other stuff. He goes, why not just go all in and building a media company and being media don’t be a mastermind based on revenue. So we analyzed all the revenue streams and based on revenue, our company was a mastermind and courses company.

Cause those were the two highest revenue streams. So he’s like, yes, you have media, but based on revenue, your company is a mastermind and course company. And what I want you to do is start moving that over. And maybe that doesn’t happen year one, but it starts swinging the pendulum to where your media will start becoming number one. and these other products and services and coaching and events will be 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, whatever. And I was like, man, I dunno. I just don’t see it. You know, I didn’t see it clearly, And he’s like, in order for that to happen, you’re going to have to give more time and attention towards the podcast, the show, which is the main thing.

You’re just not making It the main thing yet. You’re going to need to go all in on it. And at the time I had been recording, I remember thinking seven years ago, I was like, I feel like video is going to be a thing in the future. Let me hire a videographer, let me hire an editor. And we’ll just start filming all these interviews and doing them in person.

Because at the time everyone was doing like the Skype, you know, e-comm call recorder. This is presumed. it was like you just recorded on Skype And you did audio only. You didn’t really record the video, then it was just like audio and, you just post the audio. So it must’ve been seven years ago. Where I was like, I just feel like I need to record these. I think it was kind of a time, like Gary V was starting to do the daily and he like The rock came on board. Maybe he came on board like the year before. And they were like just doing more video content. And I was like, I just feel like I need to film these, but I wasn’t making any money from filming.

So I was investing in a team to record for five years and I didn’t make a single dollar off of video, but I was posting them on YouTube, the V the interviews twice a week, I had nothing optimized. I wasn’t optimizing thumbnails or titles. It was just kind of, they didn’t even really look that good thumbnails.

It was kind of like to throw something up with an image. And it wasn’t until the beginning of last year that I looked at, I said, you know what? Let’s just turn on YouTube. For some videos and see how it does. Like, I have no idea if it’s going to make me a few thousand dollars or, or what I turn it on the first month.

And I think it made like $25,000. I remember thinking, well, it’s not nothing it’s. It was like, oh, that’s something it can pay for like a few people on the team. It wasn’t close to what our main revenue streams were, but I was like something. And then actually it was like, huh, I wonder what, like all the views I’ve had on YouTube.

And I went back to see all the views and then I calculate based on the CPM of that month. And I was like, oh my gosh. I was like, this is a million dollars that I would have made how to just push one button to turn on ads. But I remember five years prior when I started filming and posting on YouTube, it was very kind of sleazy ads and people’s videos.

Right. And I was like, eh, I don’t know if I want a Ferrari in front of all like my videos about like, you know, growth and mindset. Yeah, exactly. So I was just kinda like, ah, I don’t want to put, I don’t want other people to leverage my brand to sell their stuff. So I just want, and I just want to give for free.

I was just like, you know, I’m just going to give for free, cause we weren’t really monetizing the shell. We weren’t thinking of that as the main revenue we were thinking, let’s just help people. And then if they want more, we can sell them our programs and services and our coaching. so we said, okay, we’re going to go all in on this media thing. and it’s going to take some time to start transferring and making money and, and building that revenue stream. So that was three years ago. And now show is the number one revenue stream in terms of media, you know, just media in general from audio. Last year, the end of the year, we turned on the ads and now YouTube is a multi seven figure revenue stream yearly from just ads.

Just ad sense, which is kind of nuts. If to think about it. It makes me want to throw up in my mouth. Cause I realized I’m not that good of a business person, from not seeing this sooner. But I think sometimes we, you know, we need, we just need to learn at our own pace, but I was like, you know what? The thing that I’m glad that I did. and I saw The longterm vision was hiring someone for seven years ago to start filming. And now all these old videos, because YouTube is evergreen, whereas audio is more linear and it’s much harder to get people to go find a discovery your back catalog. people do, but it’s a lot harder, you know,

[00:28:52] Pat:
And there’s no algorithms.

[00:28:54] Lewis:
With YouTube.

I have videos from 3, 4, 5 years ago that are, that will pop and be our number one videos of the month that can make 5, 7, 10 grand in one month that I shot five years ago. And I’m like that excites me because now we’ve got a thousand videos or something like that. And we can keep optimizing through two buddy or whatever other software people to use to optimize thumbnails, where we can pretty much see that we can get the growth really quickly once we optimize thumbnails and titles.

[00:29:25] Pat:

[00:29:26] Lewis:
Me, that excites me about what’s possible for the future with video.

[00:29:31] Pat:
And that’s exciting to me, Lewis, because as I told you, before we hit record, and as people who are listening to this might not know this is actually our first time putting the cameras on while doing an interview here on the smart, passive income podcast. And this is up on YouTube now, or eventually it will be.

And so I would love to ask you for all of us and selfishly as well. What are some tips you have for that? Because as somebody who’s been doing audio for so long, I’ve just been, you know, I remember recording like a, like a test of this. And I remember I was kinda like, like this, like leaning over and it wasn’t camera friendly, but it was like, you know, I’m in my zone with my mic and now I have to be present on camera too.

That’s a lot like, right? Like what are some tips,

[00:30:16] Lewis:
Coming across from, you know, I film on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays, and I usually do two interviews a day for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday on my film days. and Now we’re doing two hour interviews and it’s, I’m sitting across from someone in person staring into their soul being attentive and present, you know, at the, end of that it’s a lot of energy for four hours a day of on screen interview time, plus preparing plus connecting with guests before and after. And you know, everything, it’s a lot of energy. but I think you got to figure out what your zone of genius is. And for me, I’m comfortable in that space. It’s something I like doing. It’s something that’s, you know, works for my type of personality. I mean, there’s so many things that we could talk about, but I, I think it starts with the basics and this is going to sound boring and really not sexy and not advanced, but I mean, the thumbnails and titles are like everything.

Just like the cover of a book. If people don’t have a great cover of the book, they’re not going to buy it. It’s not going to spread so thumbnails and title. stressing about them like obsessing and split, testing them over and over again, we use a thing called two buddy, which is, I think, 50 bucks a month or a hundred bucks a month.

And it’s a software that allows you to split test your thumbnails. And I’m telling you, we went from a million and a half views a month, pretty much consistently for a year and a half, two years. And it was kind of like slow, incremental. So maybe it was like 750,000 range views a month, four years ago to like a million a month for a year and then a million and a quarter for another year, then a million and a half until last year in, I guess, January, February, March.

We started split testing. We started doing a bunch of split tests from previous videos. So videos that are already out for years or months, we would start split tests in the thumbnails and the titles. We went from an average of a million and a half years, a month after we were split testing for six months, we started to see growth right away the next month, a little bit and a little bit every month.

But then after about six months of split testing, I don’t know, 500 videos. It went from a million and a half to like 6 million views and then 6 million views to 7 million and then seven to eight and a half. And then it hovered there for a few months and it stayed. And then I think maybe it went down to like six and a half again, and then it went back to 10 million and then it’s kind of been around the nine to 11 million view range this year.

So without split testing and having better thumbnails and titles we’d maybe be at, I dunno, 3 million views a month. I can tell you to like, be entertaining or have great questions or come up with great content. But the content is irrelevant. If people don’t click on it. Yes. You need the content to be great.

And all these other strategies to make people stay after 60 seconds and the end screens and yada yada, but I’m telling you it’s a thump. Game, it’s a title game. Then you’ve got to deliver on a great product. You’ve got to make sure your, your stuff is good and engaging and have the right edits and all that different stuff.

But we have, you know, we don’t have fancy graphics on our videos. You know, it’s a sit down interview, it’s a conversation with three cameras and we edit the camera. I want someone’s speaking and zooms in or zooms out, or it goes to me or it goes to the guest. It’s not like this animated crazy, like in your face, you’ve got to be a high energy.

No, it’s actually kind of like chill and we compete. We get people to watch for a long time and we get millions of views on our, to our videos. So what you got to figure out is getting people to the thumbnail on the title is the most important thing, obviously. And I’m sure everyone’s heard that. And, but they don’t do it You know, you hear this and then you try to update once, but then you don’t do it again We are updating a hundred thumbnails a month. and the ones that perform well that, okay. This one took off from three years ago and it’s rising and it just got 300,000 users month.

Let’s split. Test it again to see If We can make it better. And that’s what we can, we don’t stop split testing. We keep going. And that, that takes time. That takes energy resources. Maybe having someone do that, you know, but that’s half the battle in my opinion, from what I’ve seen for our personal channel. and then it’s really, we analyze the data. I tell people all the time, like, yes, I go off intuition. I go off gut feeling. I go off all these different things. Curiosity. If it’s not working based on what the data shows, then we switch it up. I don’t let my ego get in the way I say, oh, people don’t want to watch this.

Okay. So let me cut that part out and let’s get into the content quicker. I think a lot of people do long intros and, and you see based on the data and your backend analytics, that like the first 60 seconds is the most important. And if you can get people to stay, if you can get over 50% of people stay in that first minute, that’s great.

But if it drops down up 30%, cause you’re just like not getting into the content right away or not sharing the value, then people have to leave.

[00:35:26] Pat:
Yeah, they’re going to leave. And then YouTube is not going to help you send that

[00:35:30] Lewis:
Then they’re not going to promote you. Yeah. They’re not going to promote you. So 80% of our traffic comes from this is just the strategy of our channel.

80% of the traffic comes from. Suggested views. So not even from subscribers and for me, that’s intentional. As I’m trying to grow subscribers, I need to get videos suggested on the right-hand column of other videos more frequently. So new people can discover the show. And so 80% comes from, you know, non-subscribers suggested viewers and the goal is once they listen or once they watch once, can you get them to subscribe?

So now they’re subscribed to see your full catalog and everything coming up. and so we really. We really have a lot of strategy around the themes of content, the types of content and checking the data all day long. Okay. What are the other channels that are related to that are watching our videos?

What are the other videos that are related to other videos out there? People are watching shared audiences and creating content around that. so it’s a constant tweaking game. It’s Hodson tweaking testing data scientific game that we have, you know, obsessing about. And, there’s so many little things you can do.

You know, for the last year we grew so many subscribers because we posting 10 stories a day on our YouTube channel. And we’re noticing when we post stories, we get more subscribers.

And you can track it.

[00:36:57] Pat:
The story’s not shorts, like

[00:36:59] Lewis:
Stories. Like a little, 10, 15, second stories. So we were first, we started with three a day and we’re like, oh, we’re getting subscribers.

Let’s try five. Oh, we’re getting more. Let’s try 10. And it tells you your subscribers where they’re coming from are coming from stories. Are they coming from your community tab? Are they coming from your, your, main videos? so, okay. Whose task is is to Do 10 stories a day and test this. Okay. How many posts a day on community tab to drive back to our channel? you know, all these different things, collaboration, all that stuff. It all adds up. And I think people in order to really grow on your YouTube, podcasts or YouTube platform, I think you’ve got to be obsessive about the data and don’t do what you think is going to work. Do what you see as working.

[00:37:45] Pat:
Nice. That’s awesome. Now, as we close in here, I have a couple more things I want to chat about. Number one is again, I’ve seen your growth as an interviewer over time, and it’s one of the things that makes your content. Once people click and they get in, or they find the podcast on apple or Spotify, it gets them to stick around.

This is why you have such long viewership and why you have such engaged people because of the interviews.

And so what tips do you have for somebody who is just starting this process to get in front of a person or on camera, or even just audio only. How do you make that interview? Great for a person listening on.

[00:38:19] Lewis:
I think be authentic to who you are. Don’t try to be somebody. You’re not, there’s a guy who his name is Bobby over on Instagram is his name. And he’s got a very small podcast, maybe gets a few thousand downloads a month, but he’s been doing it for five years and he does it every week for five years, kind of like the millennial generation.

And, five years ago he hit me up and he said, Hey, you’re like my one of my top dream guests. I’d love to have you on. And I was just like, I’m not really doing a lot of interviews right now. I’m just doing my own thing. And you know, it’s, it’s hard to say yes to every podcast out there, especially if it’s just starting you obviously, you know, so I said, you know, hit me up in a year because I wanted to see, are you going to keep doing this?

You know, is this a consistent thing or just something you want right now, he hits me up next year. Hey, would love to have you on, he did this for five years and pretty much every time I was kinda like I kept, I watched him. I was watching and seeing what he’s up to. I kind of seen as Instagram, I was always, I was always observing him and ended up running into him.

I was on a run here in marina, Del Ray on the beach. And he like runs up to me and he goes, oh my God. Oh my God, dude, this is an incredible moment for me. Like, I’ve been wanting to meet you and this, and this is so serendipitous. And he goes, you know, I’ve got my three, I think it says 300 episode coming out.

I’d love for you to be that guy. And I go, yes. And I go, you know, I’ve seen you grow over the last five years. I see your consistency, your energy, your positivity, your effort, like let’s do this. And so I get on the episode with him and it was, it was a nice moment. Cause he goes, he’s kind of like, okay, like you know, I had a photo of your direct message you send to me that said, keep going.

When the first year I’ve had it up on my wall for so many years in my room, my bedroom was my podcast room. When I converted into, you know, all these things and like your voice and your podcast has been such an inspiration to me and all these things he said, and he’s like, I just need to take a moment before we start, because this is actually happening.

And I’m just like, I feel so grateful it’s happening. He was authentic in that moment that maybe. Awesome, man. I’m so glad I can be here. And you know, I’m so glad it was a win-win for both of us. And, he was authentic to it. He wasn’t just like, okay, so those houses here, and we’re going to talk about something and the acting like it was a normal thing or whatever, he was like, he took it in, he was authentic.

He was showing his kind of realness of the moment of like, this is a big moment for him. someone else who may not, it may be I’m like whatever to them, but for him it was like a big moment. And it made me just appreciate it and want to give more and realize like, okay, he’s not like this incredible interviewer, like across the table thing, but it was a cool experience.

And I’m, I’m glad I did it. So being in that authentic place and realizing, you know, it took me five years, almost every other month. For five years, I was reaching out to Kevin Hart’s team to get him on the show, took me five years to kick Kevin Hart. I’m still working on the rock, right?

[00:41:24] Pat:

[00:41:24] Lewis:
Pulmonary much every few months for eight years, almost nine years.

And his agent is my agent and I know his publicist and I know his videographer. It’s like, I know his team and it’s still not happening yet. So it’s being real with who you are. obviously being extremely prepared about knowing the guests and the information and, listening, listening is key.

I think you do a great job of listening. I think I interrupt people probably too much cause I get so excited. but really listening until people finish, is a powerful strategy as well.

[00:42:00] Pat:
Thank you for that. That’s huge, especially from somebody as seasoned as you, you had mentioned reaching out to Kevin Hart and then hopefully, and you mentioned the keyword yet you have yet to get the rock on your show. He’s just blowing up and I would love to see that, Your ability to get these mega celebrities.

I mean, I don’t want people to think that they have to have mega celebrities on their show in order for it to be successful. There are many podcasts that I listened to with guests who I’ve never heard of them before. And they’re some of the most valuable episodes I’ve ever heard, but it’s very obvious that you have somehow been able to wrangle the top A-listers in, in music, in motion picture and film, like how is it literally just be persistent until they say yes or there’s gotta be more to it.

[00:42:44] Lewis:
I think there’s a few parts. One is I’m constantly building my personal brand so that people are aware of me. And so I’m finding ways to create meaningful content. That is shareable. That is building my personal brand on social media. I’m building my personal brand as an author. I’m building my brand as an interviewer.

I’m getting press. So I’m doing whatever I can to showcase my credibility through personal brand. if someone reaches out to me and says, Hey, I’d love to have you on my show. And I go to their Instagram, they’ve got a hundred followers and they’ve got nothing to show or they haven’t showcased their personal brand or their credibility.

Let’s say, why would I go on, why would, some celebrity want to come on my show? If I didn’t have a personal brand that they thought, oh, this person has done something like, at least he’s at a level of credibility where I can trust he’s built a personal brand. So that’s, that’s one thing. The key, and the value of having personal brand.

I just feel like that gives you so many more opportunities. The second thing is the consistency of my show. I think, because I’ve been around for almost nine years now, people can trust the credibility of the show. Like I said, with this Bob guy, I was just like, okay, you’re just launching a show. You have like, what three people this and why would I what’s in it for me?

You know, it’s something on the front of you, but what’s in it for where’s the wind. So the consistency over time after he was like, I got my 300 episode, I’d love for you to be it. I was like, yeah, now you’re, you’re credible And you’re consistent. And I think the third thing would be the timing of it.

Like sometimes people just re I hate it when someone sends me an email and they’re like, I love the have on our show. I had this person and this person, this person, and here’s my calendar link to sign up. And I’m just like, this is the worst strategy I’ve ever seen in my life to someone just cold email you and say, here are the five people I’ve had on that.

I think you might know, because my Calendly link, please sign up for a time that works for you. I’m just like, well, I don’t need this. So it’s, it’s knowing the audience. The timing of what they want and what they need. So I had Dwayne Wade on a week or two ago, and he had a book come out. I’d try to get them on before, but he didn’t have anything to promote.

So when people have something to promote that is meaningful to them, start reaching out then, or reach out three, six months before, you know, they have something. So be aware of what people are up to, what they’re coming out with and find ways to reach out to them or their publicist to stay in communication.

Like Kevin Hart always had something that was, he was promoting. He always had a movie or a comedy tour, but his publicist said, no, he was booked and busy every time, but I didn’t stop me from keep reaching out. When I saw him having something to launch. Finally, he had a self-help book come out on audible and audible original.

She reached out to me, the publicist reached out to me and said, Hey. Now’s the time the timing was right. The opportunity was right. of what he wanted to promote. I have the audience that would want a book like that. So it was timing. And you’ve got to be okay with people saying no to you for potentially years until you book a big guest.

[00:45:58] Pat:
Hmm. That’s such great advice. Now, you and I are able to connect because we’ve developed a friendship together over the years. And so you were just gracious enough to say, yeah, totally. Like I I’d love to help you.

[00:46:09] Lewis:
I haven’t done it. I haven’t done interviews. Maybe I’ve done five interviews all year because, But I’ll do it for friends because I don’t have anything to promote on a big level. And I don’t want to do too many interviews until my next book comes out, which is hopefully end of next year is the goal is the intention. Then that’s when I’ll say I’ll do every interview possible. and so it’s, again, timing for me, but because we’re friends I’m willing to, you know, do whatever, so,

[00:46:36] Pat:
Yeah, no, thank you. And, and I know that you have this book coming out and we’re going to have you back on to chat about it and get more specific to what that book can do for the audience, but we’re here just hanging out and I’m learning and I’m, I’m learning. I’m sure the audiences, and I appreciate you for that.

I want to know, I want to get this story from you. You know, we had a tough year last year with COVID and a lot of things happening. And one of those things that happened was, you know, Kobe Brian passing and his daughter, and that was very hard for, for the entire world. and you had interviewed Kobe Bryant on your

[00:47:09] Lewis:

[00:47:10] Pat:
Would love to hear the story about how you were able to get Kobe. What was that experience like for you? And then how did you feel after you heard about the new.

[00:47:18] Lewis:
He was my favorite interview before his passing. And I was tell people like, everyone always asks, like, who’s your favorite guests? And it’s hard to say like in one, because everyone’s incredible. But I would just always be like, Kobe is one of my favorite for sure.

And it kind of happened. It happened last minute.

How I got them on literally happened the night before the interview. We booked it and. He had a podcast Again, this is timing. He had a podcast, called the puny. That was an amazing podcast. It was a storytelling podcast with sports themes And it was all audio actors. So it was scripted, but it was teaching lessons to kids.

So parents could play in the car, for 15 minutes to their kids on the way to sports practice.

[00:48:05] Pat:
That’s So cool.

[00:48:06] Lewis:
And it was a beautiful, beautiful podcast. And his team had reached out and said, Hey, his podcast, like just launched. and they think he was like top 100, but he wanted to be like Kobe Bryant. He wants to be number one. right?

So like top 100 and apple charts, this is 2018. and this publicist reached out to someone on my team and said, Hey, Kobe wants. to promote this more. And we’ve heard about School of Greatness with, you know, Lewis is an athlete and he has athletes and stuff like that. So it was the right show, right?

Timing, you know, I had credibility for years and they said, you know, he’s got one time slot, like four weeks away, are you free to do like a 15 minute interview with him? Right. And so I get a call from the person on my team that says, Hey, I just talked to like the publicist for Coby. And they want, you know, he’s open to doing an interview like, in a month.

And I go call them back and do not hang up the phone until you get him to confirm. Tomorrow, first thing I go, or sometime tomorrow I go call them back and do not hang up until you get a confirmation. I will go anywhere. I will do whatever it takes to make it happen. tomorrow. I will cancel everything on my schedule

[00:49:20] Pat:

[00:49:20] Lewis:
And they, this is probably four or five o’clock at night, day before.

Right. And I’m like texting the person. I’m like, do not hang up the phone until you get a confirmation. I go, I’ll do any time anywhere tomorrow. But if we booked this a month away, it’s going to get rescheduled. It’s not going to happen. I’ve interviewed, I’ve booked so many interviews with celebrities where it gets rescheduled.

It gets pushed. They have something that comes up And this is, like the last thing on their mind. So I said, first thing tomorrow, tell me where to go. They call me back after they talked to the publicist and they said, okay, 8:00 AM his office, orange county tomorrow. And I go, Don, I’m in. And so this is, I don’t know, 5 30, 6 o’clock at night.

Now I had a, an event that night. I was going to a friend of mine, Lindsey Stirling, who is a friend of mine and also, a guest on the show, incredible violinist. She had a concert in LA that day that I’d already committed to. I had tickets to I wanted to show up for her. So I said, okay, I think our show is at like nine o’clock. I’m going to go for an hour. And then we’ll come back and study and prepare, get some sleep. And then I was going to get up at 5:00 AM and drive to the orange county, which is about like an hour and a half, two hours away or whatever. And, get there early to set up to make sure I’m prepared and not rushed. Lindsay didn’t go on. There was like another band before her Lindsey then go on to like 10 30 or something. So I’m there waiting. And then I go I leave at midnight and I’m like, for whatever reason, I was just like, I’m not stressed. I’m kind of like anxious, but I’m not too stressed about it. I’m like, I’m going to figure this out.

Tiffany, my filmer editor at the time I S I, I had talked to her before I go, Tiffany, you need to be at my place. we’re going to pack the gear, be at my place. Oh, you know, we’re going to drive down and get as much information about Kobe on his personal professional life that, you know, and come ready to tell me everything.

And she was a big Kobe fan already, so she knew a lot. And we get in the car. I think it’s like 5:00 AM or something. We listened to a few episodes of the Pune. These podcast are 15 minutes each. So I think I listened to three episodes trying to get the vibe of the show. Then I go tell me everything for the last hour. and she’s telling me this that, and that, and this story. And I go, okay, great. We get there. It’s six 30, maybe. the assistant like unlocks the door for us. She’s there waiting. She unlocks the door to the office and the lights are off. She turns the lights on, right? There’s no one there. we walked into the, the office of his office in orange county.

And she was like, this is where we typically like film stuff or shoot things. And I was like ah, it’s not really. And it didn’t look good for me. I go, can I see the rest of the office was a big office space. She said, yeah. And so we walked down this kind of long hallway with glass windows on as conference rooms.

You like walked down a long hallway with glass windows on both sides of you conference rooms and offices. That then opens up into a bigger office space, like a bigger kind of shared office space. We walked down the hall and I looked into this whole space and nothing looked interesting to like set up her filling.

So we walked back down the hall of this glass kind of a hallway. And at the last office, before it opened back up into the original space we’re into, I see like a shape in the back, probably 20 feet in the back of this room of just. man, you know, just kind of sitting here like this and looking up, and there was no computer on, there was no phone.

He was just like looking up, turned away. So he didn’t see me or anyone who was like turning the corner of his office. And I was like a Kobe. This is like 6:30 AM. And she goes, yeah, he’s, he’s been here. He’s the first one here almost every day. He was up at four with his daughter working on the gym. And then he came here to prepare for the day.

And I was just like, oh my goodness, this is insane. He’s here at 6:30 AM. The guy just won an Oscar. for one of his short movies he’d just won five NBA championships. He just retired. And he was training at 4:00 AM with his daughter And here by 6:00 AM or whatever it was, I was so impressed with just walking by and seeing him in the darkness without a laptop or phone in his hand. Visualizing dreaming, whatever he was doing, preparing for that day. It blew me away to see like that experience. And then, we were setting up for the next hour, you know, we were, it wasn’t for another hour and a half until they missed a start time. 8:00 AM is when we’re supposed to start. So I’m wondering when we set it all up, but I’m wondering, is he going to come out at all? and he can’t see me, but I can see in a part of his office because where we’re studying up, we can kind of see an part of it, but the lights were turned off the whole time. So I’m thinking, is he coming out? And he’s going to say hi, I have no idea. Maybe 10 minutes before 8:00 AM the lights turn on. And someone, some executive walks into the office and I don’t know what they talk about, but the lights come on three minutes before eight, he comes out and this guy’s like, punctional on time.

He comes out and I’m thinking to myself, I got three minutes because the publicist said you’ve got 20 minutes for an interview. Now a little Wayne and his production crew is setting up in another part of the office. Now they’d come and they’re setting up for an interview right afterwards. So like in 20 minutes, little Wayne is doing an interview for some, like, I don’t know, HBO sports thing, whatever security, all these people.

It’s just like, I’m like, what, what is my life right now? This is weird. And I’m thinking to myself, man, I hope, you know, when you meet people that are inspiring to you online or something or an author or celebrity, and then you meet them and you’re like completely underwhelmed. This was the opposite. I was overwhelmed of how kind and generous and present he was.

And right away, he came up to me cause smiled and shook my hand. And, and I remember thinking I’ve got three minutes to connect with him because if this is only 20 minutes long, you know, I want to make sure he goes into. and I, and I said to him right away, I said, Hey, Colby, I just want to say, I really acknowledge you for, so Tiffany’s putting on the mic and I’m trying to talk to him before we get started. And I’m like, I just want to acknowledge you because you know, I, I have a lot of Olympic friends who’ve put in the Olympics and all of them say some of their favorite moments are when they got to meet you in the Olympic village, like in the athletes village and how cool you were and how you just like took photos with people and how you showed up and watched sports and just cheered on the other USA athletes.

And I just really knowledge you for that. and I say, I play with the USA, team handball. you know, I’ve got a lot of Olympic friends and he goes, well, you play handball. And I go, yeah, he goes, I love that sport. I played that growing up in Italy, it was one of my favorite sports. So, right, right away, we’re talking about handball

[00:56:14] Pat:
Did you know, that? Did you know that he.

[00:56:16] Lewis:
I didn’t know that, but I knew, but I knew he grew up in Italy And I was thinking, he’s probably heard of this sport, you know, because it’s big, it’s bigger in Europe. So I was thinking, he’s probably heard of it, but he’s like, I love that sport. It’s incredible. I played it as a kid growing up I go, that’s amazing. And then I said, you know, we’ve got some, we’ve got some mutual friends and they just say, you’re like the most incredible guy. And he was like, and the publicist was like, who do you know, who have you had on that nose? Kobe? And I go, no back Djokovich. And I said, Right? what? A four? I was saying, someone else, he goes, Novak is my brother.

I love that guy. He’s such a competitor. He’s so cool.

[00:56:51] Pat:
And you guys are connecting.

[00:56:53] Lewis:
We were vibing right away. He was lighting up thinking about his childhood in Italy, and the Olympics, and handball, and his friend Novak. And I had these pages of papers of everything that I wasn’t allowed to talk about from the publicist. “You can’t talk about this, and don’t bring up this.” All these things that were off limits. I reviewed these notes of what not to talk about, and said, “Is there anything else that’s off limits that you don’t want me to talk about or bring up?”

He looked me in my eye, we’re sitting now, I can touch his knee. We’re right next to each other. He’s looking at me, he’s like (faical expression). I go on, I know we’ve only got 20 minutes. So, I’m being mindful of time, and I know there’s these things that are off limits. “Is there anything else?” He looks me in the eyes. He goes, “Ask me anything you want and take as long as you want.” I was just thinking to myself—I get chills just thinking about it—we connected in three minutes, and he was just really generous with his energy, with his time. He had a full packed day, and he was generous with his wisdom. He really shared deeply.

Afterwards he actually started following me at his account, still follows me. He was messaging me. He’s like, “Hey, I would love to do this again.” We messaged a few times because his team reached out a year later in 2019 when he had a book come out, and I was supposed to do another interview with him at the end of 2019 during a September-October timeframe.

But I had my annual conference, Summit of Greatness, that week. I could have flown back for a day and then gone back to the event. But I really needed that time to prepare for the event. I was like, you know, he’s going to have another book and another thing, and he said, “Let’s do another one in the future if you can’t do it.”

I was like, “Oh, I’ll be able to do something with him next year.” Then three months later he passed. It was really unfortunate. I’m really grateful I got to have that experience with him. It’s not like I was best friends, or friends with the guy. I met him once, but for me it was a really meaningful experience.

So many people have said that interview with him was one of their favorite interviews of Kobe of all time. So, for me, it was really meaningful to have that moment and to be able to create it. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t could have more moments with him, but it was a powerful experience that I’ll always remember.

[00:59:24] Pat:
Thank you so much, Lewis, for giving us that story. I was right there with you when you’re talking about it. I appreciate that. I recommend everybody go watch that right now, if you have an opportunity. So, we’ll link that in the show description.

Lewis, I could talk to you for hours, my man. I appreciate you so much.

The School of Greatness, on YouTube and on your favorite podcast app.

Anything else you want to plug right now? We’ll have you back on with the book later, but man, I just appreciate you so much.

[00:59:50] Lewis:
Thanks, man. I appreciate you.

[00:59:51] Pat:
This has been great. Thank you.

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