By Willie Jolley
NNPA Columnist

Steve Gilliland is a motivational personality who did not read about rags to riches stories – he lived one. Today, he is one of the most popular personalities on Laugh USA on SiriusXM, plus he is now one of the most in-demand speakers in North America. But that is not way he started out.

On Christmas Eve 1997, at the age of 39, Steve Gilliland found himself broke, busted, and disgusted. He was sitting in his unfurnished apartment bankrupt and believing he had no purpose for his life. He sat, cried, and replayed his mistakes over and over and over in his head. Gilliland’s marriage had ended. His credit cards were maxed out. In addition, he was paralyzed into taking no action. He sat sobbing, “Why me?”

Fortunately, Gilliland was challenged by a friend to seek out a counselor. Reluctantly, he made the call. During those early counseling sessions though, he struggled with not being ready to change.

The tipping point came for Steve Gilliland when the counselor responded to one his “why me” moments. The counselor simply said, “Years ago, you selected your path, now you are living it. Only you can decide to turn the page on your life! Now what are you going to do about it?”

That counselor helped Gilliland realize that God had a plan for his life. In addition, while he may not have always made the right decisions, God gave him the ability to decide and then make it right.  And he did. He has been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, become a star of TV and radio and made millions of dollars.

Do you have someone who encourages you to be the best you that you can be? Is there at least one person in your life who has the courage to tell you the truth? Is there anyone who loves you enough to force you to grow?

To be a success if is important you associate with OQP… (Only Quality People). The late author and speaker Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said: “You will be the same person in five years except for two things – the people you meet and the books you read!”

Gilliland now tells others to do what he did. He started by growing. He made a commitment to read books and listen to positive audios. He surrounded himself with positive people he wanted to model. He took inventory of where he was and where he wanted to go and got busy making it happen.

He is now recognized as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian. His appeal transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. He believes the amount of money we earn or the success we achieve produces emptiness unless it is in line with a purpose beyond ourself.

He believes having a purpose is the essential ingredient to motivation. And that passion is what allows us to overcome our challenges.

Steve has built a multimillion-dollar company from the ground up on the same philosophy. His motto is straightforward: “If you take care of people, the business will follow.”

Here are nuggets of wisdom, extracted from Steve’s interview on my SiriusXM show:

• The first 30 minutes of your day sets the tone and determines your day.

• Feed your mind positive information every morning. It will be the key to making the rest of your day powerful.

• Be honest about your present situation and how you got there. Then, you can grow your future and never go back to your past.

• Make a plan for how to get where you want to go, even if it needs to be altered along the way. It is better than no plan at all.

• Be willing to do what you do not want to do, so in time, you can do what you really want to do.

• Work hard. Work on you. And do what you need to do to achieve your goals.

• Invest in yourself. Mastery of life is mastery of self.

• Surround yourself with the kind of people who have the character that you want to have. Look for good models of excellence.

• Think Positive and Do Positive.

• Look for ways to create multiple streams of income.

You might not have made the right decisions in the past, but God gives you the opportunity every day to make it right. Turn the page and move on!  It’s called another day of life. Use it well.

Willie Jolley is America’s #1 Inspirational/Motivational Speaker/Singer/Author!  He is the host of the #1 Motivational Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and the opening speaker on the national “Get Motivated Business Seminar Tour.” A member the National Speakers Association’s Hall of Fame, Jolley was named “One of the Outstanding 5 Speakers In The World” by Toastmaster International.  He is the author of several best-selling books and can be reached through his website (


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