Shawn Anderson is a #1 ranked motivational author and international keynote speaker. A seven-time author and the creator of Extra Mile Day… Shawn has also built a million-dollar company, pedaled a bike ocean-to-ocean across the U.S. (twice), and created adventures in 50+ countries…including having walked across seven countries since 2014.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

My entrepreneurial life started growing up in Reno, Nevada. My first gig? At age 10, I sold giant nightcrawlers (worms) to fishermen. I would post an ad in the local newspaper…sit in my front yard in the early morning hours on weekends…and fisherman would stop by and buy my worms by the dozen.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

The power of networking in the NOW in order to create great opportunities for the future. I let a lot of great contacts slip away from college.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I couldn’t get my first book published…83 rejection letters. I’m not sure how close I came to not sending out the NEXT letter, but somehow I DID. From that, I learned that I’m never done chasing a goal unless I tell myself, “I give up!”

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I don’t seek to receive value; I seek first to add it. Because of that simple mentality, the right people and opportunities have always found me.

What is your morning routine?

I don’t start thinking when I wake up: “What do I have to do today?” Instead, I take control of my mindset right from the beginning of my day. I begin each morning by asking myself THREE-morning questions:
  1. What am I excited about doing today?
  2. Who can I serve today?
  3. What am I grateful for today?
By controlling what goes into my mind early…I am creating positive mental and emotional emotions from the very beginning.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

I journal every day…and have been for 20+ years. When we journal our lives, we tell ourselves, “My life counts!” When we journal our lives, we grow in self-awareness and in power to create our own destinies.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Always do I plan “tomorrow” the night before. For me, being productive and finding success TODAY always begins the night before. Having a plan to wake up to gets me rolling on the plan early in my days. And I know the power of sticking to that plan.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Two books. Og Mandino’s The Greatest Miracle in the World and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The first shined a light on a great way to write motivational books. The second showed me how powerfully life-changing a self-accountability system can be.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

Quotes are great…if they can be remembered and applied. Instead of quotes what I have found MOST useful are simple thoughts:

  1. “Go the Extra Mile.” It has helped me climb mountains I’d never have climbed.
  2. “If it’s going to be…it’s up to me.” It reminds me not to wait for change to be created…but instead, to be the creator of the change I wish to see.