NEW! Free Mini Series “Zero To 7-Figures In 12 Months. Watch Now
Right Arrow
Join The One Percent

Lewis Howes: How A Tragic Sports Injury Opened New Opportunities in Entrepreneurship

Capitalism.com
|
November 27, 2020

Lewis Howes grew up depressed and aimless. As an adult, he slept on his sister's couch and didn't even make enough money to pay rent.

Fast forward to today. 

Lewis Howes is a member of the U.S. Olympic handball team and a bestselling author. He is also the host of School of Greatness, a podcast where he interviews influential figures, like Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone.

Lewis Howes's life took a complete 180 despite his unfavorable circumstances growing up. Let's explore his backstory and how he became a successful entrepreneur.

Ryan had dinner with Lewis, Gary Vee, and a bunch of other entrepreneurs. See what happened:

The Story Behind Lewis Howes: LinkedIn Coach, Bestselling Author, and Founder of the School of Greatness

Lewis Howes Profile

Who is Lewis Howes?

Lewis Howes carries quite the resume:

  • Lifestyle entrepreneur
  • High-performance business coach
  • Keynote speaker
  • Former professional football player
  • Two-sport All-American
  • Current USA Men's National Handball Team athlete
  • The host of the podcast The School of Greatness
  • Contributing writer for Entrepreneur
  • Featured on Ellen, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, Forbes, and Men's Health

If you thought that was a mouthful, this list was only a preview of his many accomplishments.

Next, let's move on to his net worth.

How Much is Lewis Howes Worth?

There is no definitive answer for Lewis Howes' net worth. Various sources place his net worth within the range of $10 million and $14 million.

How Did Lewis Howes Make His Money?

We don't know exactly how much money Lewis Howes has to his name. However, we can highlight his various income streams:

  • His digital entrepreneurship journey started with LinkedIn. Following this pathway, he teaches companies how to capture more leads and drive more traffic and sales through social media.
  • In 2008, Lewis Howes founded SportsNetworker, a social media marketing consulting firm within the sports industry. 
  • He started the Sports Executives Association, a monthly membership website for sports executives. 
  • In 2009, Lewis Howes also started Inspired Marketing, which created educational materials based on social media.

Lewis Howes, like many other entrepreneurs, compiled his knowledge and packaged it into multiple books:

  • LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World's Largest Professional Networking Website, published in 2009
  • The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide, published in 2012
  • The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy, published in 2015
  • Finally, The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live to Their Fullest Lives in 2017

Lewis Howes School of Greatness

In 2013, Lewis Howes launched The School of Greatness, his podcast where he interviews influential figures within their respective industries. His interview with Grant Cardone explored topics of happiness and business. He has interviewed Matthew Hussey, British life and relationships coach, about dating. Howes' podcast explores multiple themes. Lewis Howes also recently interviewed Joe Dispenza, an international lecturer, and bestselling author, about unlocking the power of your mind.

iTunes regularly features his podcast on the Top 50 podcasts and has over 150 million downloads. He also partners with sponsors, including ZipRecruiter, Mint, Azlo.

Lewis Howes and the NFL

Lewis Howes initially wanted to be a pro athlete. He started playing professional football in 2007. He went into the NFL draft but wasn't good enough. Instead, Howes played in the arena football league and planned to work his way into the NFL. However, in his second game of the rookie season, he injured his wrist, putting his professional football career on hold.

Lewis Howes’ Story

Lewis Howes had traveled through many valleys before reaching the hilltop. Let's explore his backstory to understand how he overcame adversity.

Early Life

In many interviews, Lewis Howes displays vulnerability at the hardships he faced as a child. He suffered sexual abuse at only five years old. He was also in special needs classes growing up. 

Moreover, he was lonely and without friends. When Howes was eight, his brother went to prison for selling drugs. Parents didn't want their children hanging around such a "bad" influence. Howes felt disconnected from the world. 

However, his isolation and hardships emboldened him. Howes channeled his aggression and angst into sports. And for a while, he succeeded. He played professional football and was a Two-Sport All-American.

While Lewis Howes was an excellent athlete, he didn't have a backup plan. He soon realized this when his athletic career took a pause. During a game, Howes injured his wrist and couldn't play anymore. 

However, Howes didn't have a job or a college degree — he left early to play in the NFL. And this happened during early 2008 when the economy was terrible. By putting all his eggs into playing sports professionally, he backed himself into a corner. 

Howes felt disillusioned and depressed.

Bouncing Back

During this time, Howes was living on his sister's couch for a year and a half. Howes had no money to his name, and his sister wanted him to start paying rent.

So, he went on Craigslist and applied for a job with a sports marketing company. He received a callback, and they scheduled an interview.

But deep down, Howes knew that the conventional employee life was not for me.

"I remember getting ready for this interview, and I just said I can't do it," Lewis Howes said in an interview with Bryan Elliott, host of Behind the Brand. He felt like he would get the job and so he decided not to attend the interview. 

"I just had to go full-force with what I knew what I was passionate about, which was my lifestyle design. I wanted to create the right lifestyle for myself and build a business around that," Howes added.

LinkedIn

Later, Howes' friend suggested he get on LinkedIn. LinkedIn wasn't as big as it is today, but it was steadily growing. Howes took his friend's advice. And it turned out that this would be the one opportunity that would get him off his sister's couch.

Howes spent up to eight hours a day connecting with influential people. He started learning about how to navigate LinkedIn, how to get noticed, and how to capture leads. Eventually, people began asking him for help.

Howes started teaching people about LinkedIn. In the beginning, he charged only $50. But as demand rose, so did his prices. Eventually, he was charging up to $300. Lewis Howes shared a story with Albert Preciado with Driven T.V. about how he helped one client secure a $10,000 contract. Seeing the results of his work, Howes started calling himself a LinkedIn coach.

But Howes wanted to move beyond one-on-one coaching.

He looked into hosting live workshops. Howes created niche professional networking groups in different cities on LinkedIn. Then he planned his first networking event in St. Louis, Missouri, and started promoting it only through LinkedIn.

It was completely free, but he offered five sponsorship tables for $250 each and secured all of them. 

On the day of the event, people rushed through the doors. He made relationships and shook each person's hand. He started realizing that he could do this in other cities and start charging money.

So he did. He charged tickets for entry and even partnered with the managers of the venues. He negotiated a split of the sales on food and drink. Howes started seeing many money-making opportunities and seized them.

When a friend suggested he write a book, Howes rode that idea. 

In 2009, when he was only 25, he co-wrote and published LinkedWorking. This was his first book, and he did a seven-city book tour, using LinkedIn to promote the events.

Howes was making decent money from his LinkedIn business and book sales. However, travel and speaking were burning him out. He wanted to expand his brand beyond LinkedIn.

So, he sold his LinkedIn business to his partner in 2012, and in 2013 he launched the School of Greatness podcast.

Lewis Howes School of Greatness

Howes' identity shifted throughout the years. Before, he was just "the athlete." Then he was "the LinkedIn guy." 

But he wanted to be more than just a marketer or athlete. 

After selling his online business, he stumbled across podcasting. At the time, podcasts were still new. But Howes had a hunch that it would explode one day. While he didn't know precisely where podcasting would take him, he knew that he wanted to interview the world's most outstanding leaders.

So he adopted a white-belt mentality and started learning. He wanted to learn how to make podcasting big, and he wanted to know what the most extraordinary minds had to say about success.

In 2013, he launched the School of Greatness podcast. Today, Howes has over 900 episodes under his belt.  

And that brings us to today. Howes has worked steadily on his podcast. He has even interviewed influential figures, including Robert Greene, Tim Ferris, Gary Vee, and Marie Forleo. Howes dedicates himself to helping every person design the life and business that they want.

What Can Entrepreneurs Learn from Lewis Howes?

How does someone go from sleeping on their sister's couch for a year to building multiple online businesses and income streams? Here is some wisdom you can collect from his journey.

#1 Nurture Your List

Howes always focused on delivering value and building relationships. One way he does this is through his email list. Your email list is one of the most powerful assets you can build as a business.

"The larger the list and the better relationship with the list, the more you're able to sell to them," Howes told Bryan Elliott.

And we agree. 

There are so many benefits to email marketing:

  • It's a cost-effective way to capture leads, market your campaigns, and engage your audience.
  • Your email list is YOURS. You can lose your 10 million Instagram followers if Instagram ever goes bust.
  • Email marketing is permission-based — people subscribe to your list because they WANT to hear more from you.

But growing an email list and growing your audience is challenging.

Bryan Elliott asked Howes what people can do if they have low open rates and people start opting out. "You're not delivering enough value," Howes responded.

And he's right.

These days, nobody is just going to give away their email addresses. They probably already have hundreds of emails cluttering their inbox. Why add more?

You need an incentive:

  • Access to an online mini-course
  • Checklist on how to something
  • Quick explainer video
  • Fun quizzes
  • Exclusive content libraries
  • Limited-time discount on a product

What did Lewis Howes do?

At one time, he offered a quiz: "Which Celebrity Entrepreneur Are You Most Like?". This quiz alone helped Lewis Howes grow his email list by 42%. His free incentive was fun, quick, and invited curiosity.

When brainstorming how you can grow your email list, determine what insane value you can offer for free.

#2 Get Clear on the Steps

Ellen Degeneres invited Lewis Howes on her show to share advice for people who want to build their businesses. One woman shared her struggles:

"I was just laid off after working 16 years for the same company. Despite losing half of our household income, I was excited to finally have a chance to pursue my dream of a career in health and fitness. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to start."

Here are the three steps Howes had to offer:

  1. Get clear on your vision.
  2. Find a mentor.
  3. Take massive action.

Let's break down what that means.

Getting clear on your vision can be a lot of things. For entrepreneurs, it's having a clear understanding of what product or service you want to offer. More importantly, it's about understanding your target market. Who are you serving? If you need help with this, check out our guide on building a winning marketing strategy.

Next, you have to find a mentor. The lone wolf approach can be a huge mistake for an entrepreneur. Some people have already done the things you want to do. They've built the type of business you want for yourself. While there's no replacement for hard work, you can save yourself from costly mistakes.

Even if you can't find someone near you, you can study the greatest business minds. Buy their books, listen to their interviews, and study how they achieved success.

Finally, taking massive action is exactly what it sounds like. As an entrepreneur, you don't have a boss telling you what to do each day. You'll need to manage yourself many days and ensure you're hitting the right milestones that lead your business to success.

#3 Stop Directly Trading Your Time for Money

Lewis Howes' online career started on LinkedIn. He was working with people one-on-one on how to upgrade their LinkedIn profiles. At the time, this worked for Howes. He was making enough to get off his sister's couch.

But he wanted to reach a wider audience. This led him to host workshops throughout the country. Multiple people would attend his events, and he would share his knowledge and expertise.

It was when Howes wrote his book when he transitioned from offering services to offering a product. 

But he was still hosting events. Isn't that still a service?

You could argue yes and no. The important thing was that he commanded an audience. Eventually, he could use his live events to market and sell his book.

Then he wrote another book. And another. Now, he sells multiple products on his website, including webinars about making more money and building a digital empire.

See, the limitation of trading your time directly for money is that you limit your profitability and scalability.

There are only 24 hours a day.

Even if you raise your prices, you'll eventually reach a cap where your customers will say, "That's way too high!"

Products-based businesses tend to be easier to scale. You've done the work upfront. For Howes, that was packaging his knowledge in a book or webinar.

Now, you can focus on marketing your product and meeting demand.

If you're currently trading your time directly for money, look for ways to create a product. Your business dynamics may shift. But it will often lead to a greater capacity to scale your business.

Lewis Howes Philanthropy

Lewis Howes is an avid supporter of Pencils for Promise. This nonprofit organization helped to increase children's access to quality education. Howes has led five campaigns that have helped collect hundreds of contributions. Through his efforts, he helped build 39 schools and support over 30,000 students.

"For me, it's important to contribute in the best way possible I can to the world . . . I try to contribute through showing up for people one-to-one, I try to contribute through donating resources, donating money, donating time to the best of my ability," Lewis Howes told Albert Preciado with Driven T.V.

Howes has visited countries like Guatemala, Laos, and Ghana to help build schools and engage with the children. During a Pencils of Promise gala event, Lewis Howes received the Philanthropist of the Year award.

Lewis Howes’ Family

This is little information surrounding Lewis Howes' parents. The Lewis Howes Wikipedia page lists his brother, Christian Howes. Christian is an American violinist, teacher, and composer.

FAQs on Lewis Howes

How old is Lewis Howes?

Lewis Howes was born on March 16, 1983, and is 37 years old at the time of this publication.

Who is Lewis Howes married to?

Actually, Lewis is not married. He has been in a relationship with Yanet Garcia since January 2019.

How did Lewis Howes meet Yanet Garcia?

According to sources about Lewis Howes's partner, Lewis Howes started dating Yanet Garcia in 2019. Yanet Garcia is a Mexican meteorologist and reads the news for Televisa Monterrey, a Mexican TV network. Many news sisters refer to her as the "World's Hottest Weather Girl."

Where did Lewis Howes go to college?

Howes attended Principia College and graduated in 2005.

Final Thoughts

Lewis Howes spent over one year sleeping on his sister's couch. He had no direction, no vision, and little money to his name.

Yet, he succeeded despite his circumstances. Despite his rough childhood and an injury that put his athletic career on hold, he pushed through.

You can do that too.

And one of the best ways to level up as an entrepreneur is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. 

Inside The One Percent, we discuss strategies for building businesses and keeping more of the profits. If you're just starting, check out this free training series — it's our best information all in one place. And when you're ready for a community of entrepreneurs that support each other like nothing else you've ever seen, join The One Percent.

Free Mini Series

"Zero To 7-Figures In 12 Months"

Watch Now
cross