Harvey Mackay on what it takes to succeed


One of the most sought after leadership and networking experts in the world, is right here among us.

Harvey Mackay -- Minnesota born and Minnesota proud has been helping people achieve their goals by achieving his.

“The biggest room in the world, Kelcey, the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement,” Mackay told Fox 9’s Kelcey Carlson during a recent interview.

It was his drive and attitude that helped Mackay turn an envelope company into a multi-million dollar business.

“People ask me what is your gist, what do you believe to be a success?  It's three words -- prepare to win,” Mackay said. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.  It's measurable, identifiable and attainable.”

He's written seven best-selling books on sales and leadership. Two of them are on the New York Times' top 15 most inspirational books of all time.

His savvy evident in 1984 when he was tasked to get football coach Lou Holtz to take the head football job at the University of Minnesota.

"45 degrees below zero when he got off the plane, I wanted to hide him from Sid Hartman ok, so I met him at the gate, whipped off his glasses put a stocking cap over his face and led him and his wife down the concourse down to my car,” Mackay said

By studying Holtz - he figured out a way to get him to take the job.

“And one of the reasons why is that I could get inside his head and find out what did he really want,” Mackay said.I’m the guy who gave him the right to go to Notre Dame if he would take us to a bowl game which he did.”

The thing is – Mackay says networking in business doesn't change even if the world does

"Most people think that it's a whole new world, I disagree with them, that it's a whole new world out there. From my perspective nothing could be further from the truth. So what I’m saying the honesty, integrity, the persistence, the character, the work ethic all of those successful synonyms you have to have today.”

And Mackay is still coming up with new ways to work -- recently launching Harvey Mackay University where students get access to all of his books and lectures from 30 influential leaders -- leaders like Lou Holtz.

As much as Harvey Mackay likes to teach -- his greatest piece of advice is to keep learning.

“You don't go to school once in your life time. You're in school all of your life.”

He also has a huge belief in coaches.

"I’m a huge believer in coaches.  I have a coach for everything.  I have a marathon coach.  I have a language coach, Russia, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese because I go to these countries. I’ll have a subject, challenge time and action calendar and go get the best people I can find to train me and that's it.”

At 85 -- he shows no sign of retiring.

“I've got what's on my tombstone already.  I've written it.  What does it say?  He couldn't sleep fast enough.  I hate to go to bed at night.  I'm going with my boots on.  Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life.  And that's what happened to me.”

Harvey Mackay believes in finding opportunities.  For instance, he and Larry King were both at the same place promoting their books and ended up sharing a three minute cab ride.  Mackay offered some advice to king about selling his book and the next thing you know, he books Mackay for his show, introducing him to a nationwide audience. 

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in – includes advertiser stories