5 Things We Can Learn From Steve Harvey’s Success

Written by Patrice on December 23, 2015

Steve Harvey really doesn’t need much introduction. We all know him from his time with the Kings of Comedy, his sitcom, his talk show, radio show, books, interviews, speaking engagements and most recently, the Miss Universe pageant. But what many don’t know is that Mr. Harvey has been a silent and virtual form of inspiration behind-the-scenes at Bassline. His story and journey to success is remarkable and we encourage everyone to stop for a moment and listen when he decides to share a bit of wisdom. From being someone who started comedy in his 30s while homeless, to being extremely successful at anything he touches, there was no choice but to gather and type out 5 things we’ve learned from his success. Here they are:

It’s Never Too Late

We see people’s success, but rarely see the road they took. After achieving his success, Mr. Harvey became extremely open and transparent, and we learned that he actually started comedy in his late 20s, a time period in one’s life where we expect to have all of the answers and on our road to being pretty settled. Not Mr. Harvey. On Oprah’s Lifeclass show, he talks about starting comedy at 27, and then living out of his car between the ages of 32 and 35. Now 58, Steve is at the height of his career with his own talk show, award show, radio show, movies, books, and the host of a well known game show.

For some odd reason, we believe that we will have all of the answers to life’s trajectory in our mid to late 20s. There are countless people who found success later in life from a simple idea that they decided to implement quickly, or from an endeavor that they’ve been pursuing for years. No matter what it is that you’d like to pursue, age should never be a factor. It’s just simply a matter of time before it’s your turn to become successful. Your road to success begins the moment you decide to go after what you really want.

Dream BIG

Before comedy, Mr. Harvey had dreams of being on TV. He’s had his fair share of “haters” and people doubting his capability of being on TV. But look at him now. He’s not only on TV, but he’s on the big screen as well. In a world where many think small or choose to think within their own city limit, Mr. Harvey has taught us that it is perfectly okay to dream big. There is literally no dream that is too small for the world. In fact, that dream could possibly save someone’s life or encourage another, like he’s encouraging us today. So don’t be afraid to dream big. Just make sure you work diligently to make that dream a reality.

Be Clear On Your Brand

Some were surprised by Mr. Harvey’s success as a relationship expert, which we saw brought to light through his book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Some even doubted his advice because he had 2 failed marriages prior to his third, which appears to be quite successful. But what many failed to realize is that his brand stems from his sense of humor, his ability to communicate efficiently with his audience, and his real life experiences. This is what propelled Mr. Harvey into becoming a household name and quite successful. He has no shame in mentioning his humbled beginnings and his past and present relationships. His book, that has now became a huge box office movie staring well-known black actors, including Kevin Hart, has opened another door that allowed him to diversify is brand in a way that none of us foresaw. Billed as a relationship expert, in 2014 Mr. Harvey launched a new dating website called Delightful. His style of dress also led to a men’s clothing line full of custom tailored suits.

Despite people questioning his credibility, you cannot help but to see how his brand was identified, developed, and firmly planted that allowed him to grow his empire exponentially. So before you start your journey to success, be sure that you’re clear on your brand and how you’d like the public to perceive you. This is key in having longevity in business.

When Starting Out, Be Everywhere

When starting a new business or venture, many believe that if they build it, people will come. Unfortunately, in today’s society where each and every market is overly saturated, the idea of people showing up because you built something has become naive. One can easily question why they should come to you when someone else offers the same thing. Why should I go to your show when someone else I know and like has a show that same day? This is why it is important to be everywhere when starting out just to get a feel for the crowd/market, what you like and dislike, to identify any opportunities, and to get your name out there in the community.

Mr. Harvey mentions in numerous interviews that he would perform anywhere when he was living out of his car. It wasn’t because he was desperate for money, but he wanted to build a reputation and to become known. This led him to the gig that propelled him on his journey, a gig at The Apollo Theater, where he later became host of Amateur Night at The Apollo. I’m sure it can become exhausting being at every single event there is and walking away with no solid lead. But keep in mind that every person you interact with will walk away knowing who you are, what you do, and what you represent. There is no telling who that person knows. So remember, to get out there and “shake hands and kiss babies” all while putting your best self in the forefront.

Never Give Up

After reading his story and all that was written above, you can easily see the numerous amount of times where Mr. Harvey could have given up. He could have given up his passion for comedy when he was homeless for 3 years, and he could have given up on love and chose to be a divorced man for the rest of his life. But despite that and everything else that has happened to him throughout his 58 years of living, he never gave up. So don’t you dare think about it. Success could be right around the corner.

*BONUS* Honor Your Mistakes & Wrongdoings

This post was written 4 months ago and sat as a draft, until now. After the debacle we all witnessed this week surrounding Steve Harvey, it was imperative that we add a bonus. The day after Mr. Harvey named the wrong winner then immediately corrected it, the internet was filled with blogs covering the incident from every angle you can think of. It was also horrible to see how many called him out of his name for the human error that any of us could have made. There were people who thought that this was the end of his career and that he would never be invited to host a live pageant ever again. Days later, we saw that majority were absolutely wrong. Not only did he have a multi-year hosting contract with the pageant in place, he is also a part owner of WME/IMG, who purchased the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants from Donald Trump!! His investment is well beyond hosting duties.

This is a perfect example of when you have a well-defined and polished brand, that’s consistent and authentic. What happened this week is a major win for Mr. Harvey. He has put these pageants back on the map with a huge spike in ratings, and he also showed us that we are human, and it is okay to admit your mistakes or wrongdoings, then resolve them immediately. In a society that is so ego-driven and emotional, it was refreshing to see how he corrected this error, no matter how awkward it may have been.

Steve Harvey is a perfect example of how a great brand can override your mistakes, when you take ownership.



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