Sometimes your big break can come AFTER something seemingly terrible happens. I was fired after 4 successful years with Jantzen Sportswear. They were bought out they cut half of the sales territories. It led me an opportunity with Tony Robbins and ultimately my 29 year speaking career.
I love to read biographies and just finished – Merv. If you are under 40 you likely said who? Merv Griffin was amazing in many ways. He started as a big band singer, game show host and talk show host. After his first talk show was cancelled by NBC after six months, he felt going back to host a game show, Word for Word, was a step backward and “lose his talk show host prestige. Merv said, “I’d seen plenty of people with prestige out of work.” But the offer was not just to host the show but also PRODUCE it.
He formed his own production company. “Every performer wants a better hold on their professional destiny, but few want to put in the time to learn how to run a production company. I wanted to learn.”
This changed everything for Merv. When he died in 2007, he was worth well over a BILLION. That is when that was a lot of money! It was largely by creating Jeopardy AND Wheel of Fortune. His inspiration for Jeopardy was his wife Julann saying, “Why don’t you do a show where you GIVE the contestants the answers?”
(This was after some big game show scandals. Do you remember the move Quiz Show?) Merv said, “Sure, and I will end up in the slammer!” Then she said, “5280 feet.” I answered, “What is a mile.” The light bulb went off! That is how it happened. He also wrote the music in 30 seconds for the show, and he later said he made $100 million on the song alone!
In 1980, at the time the biography was published, he was just launching Wheel of Fortune. That is 42 years ago! His inspiration for the show was to have a take-off of playing Hangman. Both shows are of course just as popular as ever. He is a true legend, AND it came because of a major failure. Tell me about an experience how adversity in your life led you down a different path.