Work Potion #9: Michael Strahan on How to Succeed in Business

Earlier this week I attended Salesforce’s Small Business Basecamp, a half-day conference offering hands-on advice on how to grow and launch your business. In addition to Salesforce, there were many leading brands represented including Amazon Business, Squarespace, WeWork, Yelp, Zenefits, RingCentral, and others. The agenda featured a fireside chat with media personality and SuperBowl Champion, Michael Strahan. Below are excerpts of Strahan candidly sharing lessons from his experience in business and as an entrepreneur:

  • When presented with a new opportunity: Do it for yourself. You have to take a chance on yourself.
  • On what moves him forward: I try not to be scared. I’m scared every day. I’m scared right now. With football, I was driven by fear more than I was driven by success.
  • On transitioning from sports to Live! I had already convinced myself that it was too hard for people to see you outside of what you already normally did, and that was a roadblock I had for myself. (When trying something new) you almost feel that most people don’t want to see you succeed at more than one thing. I had to get over that.
  • On making the most of the journey: Go on and have fun with it. I had fun with it, I enjoyed myself. And that’s not something you can mask, I was genuinely enjoying myself (on Live!).
  • On imperfection: We’re all human. I didn’t want to be perfect. Nobody wants to be perfect. I don’t want to be perfect, it’s too hard to try.


    Michael Strahan, Salesforce Basecamp @prez13

  • On his reaction to GMA’s job offer: (At first) I said no because I was scared to death, it was so far out of my wheelhouse of what I did. It was one thing to jump from sports to daytime morning television, but it’s another thing to jump to a news division. Then I realized am I not trying it because I don’t think I can do it, or am I not trying it because I’m scared. There is a difference, (and) when I really thought about it, it was because I was scared. And so I gave it a shot.
  • On his role at GMA: I’ve learned something throughout every journey. And I feel like GMA is so different from anything I’ve ever done. It’s the most difficult TV thing I’ve ever done. It requires a muscle that I’ve never had to exercise, and so it makes every day interesting for me.
  • On teamwork: You have to know everybody on your team. You have to know how to inspire certain people because everybody’s not the same. You need to know how to push each and every individual.
  • On leading a business: When I was on the field I was representing them (everyone). And that’s how I look at our company now, everybody is working for us, everybody feels valuable no matter what their role is because we all work for each other.

Conversational Storytelling, or The Art of Sneezing


not Adele.

It’s just me,
Andrea. We haven’t met yet.
But I think we will, one day soon.

I’ll be the one writing in a notebook with a pencil, drinking coffee;

there’s one chair free, it’s opposite of me. You may hesitate momentarily at the idea of sharing space with a stranger,

then decide to walk over and ask, “May I sit here?” at the same moment I lift a Limited Edition Blackwing from the page, glance upward with a kind smile and say, “Of course.”

I clear off half the tabletop for your laptop, textbook, newspaper, iPhone, hard drive, earbuds, glasses, tissues, and whatever else you remove from the knapsack on the floor, as you place the cold/hot beverage on the corner closest to your dominant hand, pull out the creaky wood chair and fold your frame into it.

Seconds, minutes, hours pass in silence. Then you sneeze, I say Salute. Your eyebrows either furrow in confusion or your serious, not-so-serious face cracks a smile. Then you pull an earbud from your ear and we start talking about different customs on how to respond to sneezing. We debate the best way to cover your nose and mouth (hand or inner elbow) and rate the softness of tissues. I remember carrying twenty tissue packets on my trip to Asia and still not having enough. You laugh and nod knowingly.

I smile. You smile. Boom: we’ve connected. The stories we exchange become a part of our daily tapestry, anecdotes we retell later to co-workers, friends, and family. A debate we post on a blog, across social media or even at our local. They may even inform a purchase when we run out of tissues.

A chair scrapes against the floor, a phone rings nearby and the ambient noises float back to the foreground. You check your watch, I check mine. We say our goodbyes, maybe even exchange information.

Humans thrive on creating emotional connections. We connect through our stories, learning about the world and each other through shared experiences.

Conversational storytelling creates moments for brands to make real-life connections with consumers.

If all you have is this one moment,
how will you use it?
Share your stories.

Right here,

This post originally published on Medium. The format of this post was created in a Fibonacci Sequence.


Photo Credit: David’s Mighty 3