5 Lessons Learned and an Endearing Bear Hug From Mike Wolfe of American Pickers

I had a fantastic opportunity to meet Mike Wolfe from American Pickers. He shared his journey as a boy digging through the trash to becoming a TV hit series star.  His story was inspirational, fun, energizing and full of wisdom for any entrepreneur chasing after their dreams.  I wanted to share some of Mike’s Wisdom with you to encourage and lift you up as Lliam and I were.

  • The importance of MAKING it happen every day. Mike has been self-employed for more than 26 years and he claims a key to his success is – he simply gets up and has created a habit of “Making It Happen” every single day.  He said this with such compassion and conviction that you could tell that it has been a rough road.  Nevertheless, he “made it happen” each and every day.
  • Core Value – Make a Personal Tangible Difference in Other’s Lives. Mike shared that he always knew he was supposed to make a personal difference in other people’s lives – not just writing a check to some nameless, faceless person.  His heart told him to make a personal connection with people.  As an example, he is a “hugger” when he meets someone new or serves others.  He said there is something magical about connecting with others.  This sentiment hit home for me – because I hug others as well.  Maybe it’s just a southern thing – we, here in the South, slow down and just give people hugs. Likewise, his show American Pickers gives him this opportunity every day.  The show is not about the junk; it’s about the personal stories and connections the people have with their stuff.  He thoroughly enjoys learning and sharing those stories with others. It’s about the people and their stories that make him love the show so much.
  • Stay Grounded and Remain True To Yourself. As Mike’s success grew, doors opened and opportunities blossomed.  Some were good and others just didn’t sit right with him.  He said “no” to many opportunities that others dreamed of because he had strong convictions about his beliefs, right and wrong.  I can tell you that after you have sweated blood and tears for a personal passion, it’s hard to say no to opportunities but I applaud Mike for staying “true blue” to his values.   In doing so, the right opportunities presented themselves.  He showed that one can fulfill their dreams and stay true to one’s core and central values.
  • Being Told No Is An Opportunity. Mike pitched his TV series countless times and faced too many rejections to count.  Instead of giving up, he used these moments as opportunities to improve and better his game.  He said that “No – often simply means not right now – not No forever.”  Taking this outlook, he pressed on and eventually the right opportunities presented themselves.
  • Tapping Into Your Alternative Energy. As Mike shared his story, it became very apparent that he is extremely open-minded. He kept referring to “tapping into his alternative energy” and being intentional about not future casting how things should work out.  As he was rejected time and time again, he always tapped into his alternative energy to see new possibilities emerge – perspectives not yet explored.  He said this practice has been a game changer for his personal development, relationships and career. He encouraged us to do the same.

So when I went up to talk with him after his on-stage discussion, it was as if the world stopped around us.  He gave me his 100-percent undivided attention.  I told him I admired his conviction on being a hugger and that like him, I was a hugger and stronger for it.  Next thing I know, he gave me the biggest bear hug like we were old kindred spirits. It caught be off guard and I giggled in the moment. His gesture spoke loudly and illustrated his genuine love of connecting and impacting others. I hope you take these pearls of wisdom and apply them in your own life to create moments and opportunities of a lifetime.

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