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Episode 168- Stephen A. Smith on There’s No Such Thing as an Overnight Success

April 27, 2023 • Inspiration & Motivation
Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith is one of America’s most popular sports media figures, known for dishing out his opinions on the hit show First Take. He’s the host of the podcast Know Mercy and the founder of his own production company. But if you think you know Stephen A., you don’t. In his new memoir, Straight Shooter, he shares the unlikely story of how he went from a sports-obsessed kid with dyslexia to the face of ESPN. His story is one of relentless drive, passion and grit. On this episode, we talk about the highs and lows of his career, showing up as your authentic self, and expanding his platform beyond sports.

Follow Stephen A. Smith: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Show Notes

  • How he turned his childhood struggles with reading comprehension into success in journalism (1:34)
  • Stephen A. Smith’s early career as a beat writer and journalist (3:15)
  • Why getting let go by ESPN in 2009 forced him to reevaluate and be better (6:30)
  • The incredible success of First Take and the pressure to maintain the top spot (9:43)
  • What he has learned from his boss Dave Roberts at ESPN and applied his own leadership journey (14:46)
  • Earning his own platform beyond ESPN and not limiting his career to sports (16:30)
  • The biggest misconception people have about him (18:06)
  • “Make sure it’s easier for others to live with your truth than for you to have to live with your lies.” (21:36)
  • What’s one thing you wish you knew earlier in your career? (22:30)
  • How the political climate has affected dialogue in our country (24:18)
  • Leaning into difficult conversations (28:10)
  • Making judgment calls while on live TV about what news to report (32:18)
  • Confidence comes from experience and going through adversity (36:43)
  • What is your next career move? (37:27)
  • The life-changing career advice he received from Kobe Bryant (42:16)

Resources / People Mentioned

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