Author, publisher, and virtual mentor Michael Hyatt has been inspiring writers & entrepreneurs for years, both on his site and in his best-selling books. But Michael didn’t always have a large online platform. He began where we all do, and worked his way to creating one of the most well-known blogs & personal brands online.
In today’s interview, Michael is sharing with us exactly how he progressed as a blogger & entrepreneur, and also tells us about his upcoming course, 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever.
EKB: Many thanks for the opportunity, Mr. Hyatt. For our readers who don’t know about you and your work, please kindly introduce yourself.
I am the author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World and the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want.
I am also the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the seventh-largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. I’ve worked in book publishing most of my life.
Now, I am the founder and CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company, an online leadership development company. My mission is to be a “virtual mentor” to overwhelmed high achievers who want to get the clarity, confidence, and tools they need to win at work and succeed at life.
I have been married to my wife, Gail, for thirty-eight beautiful years. We have five daughters, eight grandchildren, and a dog named Winston. We live outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
EKB: What’s the turning point/tipping point of your career?
I think it’s tempting to reduce it to a single moment, but I can point to four critical points of change in my online career.
Starting my blog was the first major step. It was in the summer of 2004, and at the time, I was the CEO and Chairman of Thomas Nelson. It was my way of sharing what I was learning and understanding for myself the brave new world of platform-building. I’ve always been a bit of a technology geek, and I loved hacking my way through code and using shiny gadgets. Having a place to write and distribute my ideas in a matter of minutes was truly empowering. It’s still a thrill today, and it’s why I believe most anyone with something to say or sell should start a blog.
The next key step was getting active on Twitter. I remember sitting in my living room in 2008 and telling some friends that I was going to “try this Twitter thing” for 30 days. It was an experiment. Needless to say, it worked! I have help managing social media now, but I set aside time practically every day to listen to my followers and chat.
The third major turning point was stepping down as the CEO of Thomas Nelson. As my blog grew, I found it increasingly difficult to give expression to my gifts while running a company the size of Thomas Nelson. So in 2011, I handed the reins to a new CEO and focused full time on writing and speaking.
The final step came in 2013, when I met Stu McLaren. He helped me see that, in order to help more people, I needed to package up my knowledge into digital products. That way, I could create a WOW experience that truly helps people transform — and make a living, too!
So with his help, we launched Platform University, an online membership site for anyone who wants to grow their online presence. We also started 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, a 5-day goal-setting course that helps you set and accomplish big goals.
EKB: You’ve mentored many. What are the common problems faced by your mentees?
The people I coach and mentor are gifted and passionate about their work. They are devoted to their loved ones. But there’s too much to do and too little time, and they feel overwhelmed.
In some ways, they’re victims of their own success. Their success has outpaced their ability to manage it while still attending to the things that matter most — faith, family, health, and community.
And I’ve been there. Earlier in life, my professional career was taking off, but my inner life was falling apart. My health and my family were suffering. There was always more to do than there was time to do it.
But I learned — through a lot of struggle and pain — that the answer isn’t simply to get more done. The answer is to get the right things done.
I don’t believe we have to choose between success in our businesses and success in our personal lives. I want to help people navigate the challenges of both so they can succeed at both.
EKB: Your 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever program has helped numerous people to make meaningful progress toward reaching their full potential. Can you tell us a bit about your program?
5 Days to Your Best Year Ever is an online course that takes the guesswork out of setting and achieving big goals. With about 30-45 minutes a day for 5 days, you can have the clarity on what you want in 2017, the courage to pursue it, and the commitment to stick with it (even if you’ve failed in the past). Over 15,000 people have gone through the course now, and their accomplishments inspire me. They’ve lost weight, they’ve hit audacious financial goals, they’ve published books, and they’ve revitalized marriages. It’s truly wonderful to behold.
EKB: The program sounds awesome! How can we find out more about joining it?
We only open registration about one week out of the year. It’s around the end of the year, when we’re in that powerful place of reflecting on this year while looking ahead toward what’s to come.
This year, you’ll be able to register from December 6th – December 15th. That’s it. Just head to bestyearever.me to sign up.
EKB: The world we’re living in keeps changing. Please share your tips on how we can be more responsive to the changes, so that we can achieve our goals in life and business.
There’s a quote from Mark Zuckerberg that I love: “In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Hoping against change is hopeless. We end up fighting against our own growth and development. Instead, we have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone if we want to achieve lasting and meaningful progress toward what matters.
If that doesn’t come naturally to you, my advice is to stay curious. Read books and seek out new podcasts. Take a course or attend a seminar. Travel. Meet new people. As you inject those fresh sources of inspiration into your life, you’ll find yourself venturing farther and farther out of your comfort zone — and that’s where all the growth and fulfillment happens!