6 Major Keys to Success Learned from Steve Harvey’s Essence Festival Durban Keynote Address

Steve Harvey’s humble beginnings are no mystery. From a humble beginnings to becoming one the most recognizable people on global television. How did her get there? Through sheer grit and a force of will that propelled him to the top. Harvey took a few detours to his eventual success and when he arrived in Durban for the inaugural ESSENCE Festival he let us in on some of the major keys that have helped him gain and retain wealth. Read on for Harvey’s tips:

1. Visualize your success
Vision boards aren’t just for Pinterest moms and teenage girls. Harvey is a firm believer in them. You want to be a media mogul? You want to be anything in life? Make a plan. Visualize that plan. Then put it everywhere you can see it. Harvey’s vision board is on his phone, laptop, iPad, everywhere. The more he sees it, the more choices he makes that bring him closer to his goals; one of them being to someday own Essence magazine and have $100 million in disposable income. The vision board works to keep him focused and every time he reaches a milestone, he updates it. The day he bought a private plane, he removed that dream and added more.

2. Don’t follow your passion, follow your gift
Everyone has a gift. Everyone has a passion. A gift is something innate, which each of us does with minimal effort and very limited resources. Some of us impart knowledge, some of us cut grass, some, fry chicken. You need to find and hone that gift. Harvey has a friend who used to cut grass for $4 a pop as a boy. Now he owns a landscaping company which rakes in $4 million a year. His gift is to cut grass, he took and honed that gift into a million dollar business. Another example of using your gift is that of Colonel Sanders (the man who created KFC). Harvey pointed out that the KFC brand is globally recognized; all because Sanders recognized and monetized this gift of frying chicken. We can’t all be rappers so find your gift.

3. Keep pushing, you never know how close you are
No one ever said it would be easy. If it was easy to make and retain wealth we’d all be having champagne breakfasts. The average person will give up before they hit pay dirt because we want quick fuss-free results. That’s not how it works. Steve Harvey was honest about his journey to wealth; he was homeless, broke and dejected and at one point made a paltry amount a year and ended up living in his car, believing that he would one day make something of his talent of telling jokes. You don’t need a million dollar idea, you need to take a $10 idea and make sure you can make it 10 times worth more. Once it becomes worth $100, make it worth $1000. Inch by inch, everything’s a cinch. Nothing comes easy, you gotta keep pushing even when it seems like a dead end.

4. A lion doesn’t turn its head when a dog barks
Haters are a part of life. They can be a friend, associates, a relative or even the girl at work who doesn’t even know you but can’t stand you. When you’re climbing your ladder to the top, why would you stop to kick at the haters? Keep it moving, those things they say have absolutely nothing to do with you. Checking on the haters does one thing: it slows you down by distracting you. When that girl from accounting says,”Who does she think she is?” It’s not who you think you are but who she thinks you are. Just keep it moving.

5. Quit listening to people with no money telling you about money
When Harvey was a kid he stuttered badly. When asked to write what he wanted to be when he grew up, Harvey said he wanted to be on TV. Using his speech impediment, his family’s poverty and his Blackness, a teacher humiliated him, saying no one like him would ever get on TV. Every year at Christmas he joked he should send her a little gift – a TV, so she can watch him. Never ever be discouraged by the words or actions of people that don’t have the kind of money you envision yourself having, nor a solution to help you get that money.

6. A mistake is not the end; it’s a teachable moment and opportunity
When Harvey wakes up in the morning, he says he takes a moment to start the day with gratitude and requests to God. One of the things he asked for during one of his daily moments of thanks was to have a wider global reach. He was elated when he became the first African-American host of the Miss Universe pageant. He was at the top of his game and reaching audiences in countries beyond his expectations. Then… that fateful mistake when he called Miss Colombia the winner when the real winner was Miss Philippines. How did he respond? He had asked for a wider global reach and he got what he asked for; just not exactly the terms he had wanted. The first thing he did was take a note from Kim Kardashian and made money from a low moment. The lesson: Don’t wallow, turn it around. Harvey’s new Merry Easter holiday sweaters make light of that error while making him some tidy change. He didn’t allow this to become the end of his hosting career for the pageant. He’s now part owner of the Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants.