Ed Mylett is a man with a heart for the people, the presence of a king and the aura of a lion. Ranked amongst one of the most influential and wealthiest entrepreneurs in America, he is a powerhouse in the personal development industry. As a highly sought-after peak performance coach, public speaker and best-selling author, his life principles have helped transform the lives of millions worldwide.
He is the author of “#MaxOut Your Life: Strategies for Becoming an Elite Performer,” an easy to read yet powerful solution orientated book with tools on how to build self-confidence and succeed in both your personal and business life. Through his podcast, “The Ed Mylett Show,” he interviews inspiring trailblazers across various industries; featured guests include Dean Graziosi, Mel Robbins and Tim Grover.
In 2018, he co-founded Arete Syndicate with Andy Frisella to help entrepreneurs scale and tap into their greatness. Through this private, members-only community and group coaching platform, Mylett and Frisella equip business leaders with the knowledge to dominate in their respective industries. The name refers to “arête,” the ancient Greek word for “excellence,” which originally referred to war-like valor on the battlefield, but eventually evolved to refer to the general quality of “superiority or greatness” that could be applied to any area of life. Other ideals promoted and developed by Arete Syndicate are mental toughness, peak physical performance, the mastery of social skills and interpersonal influence.
His inspirational personal story is rooted in a life-changing event that occurred while he was in college pursuing his dream to play professional baseball. His dream came to an abrupt stop when he discovered he had a tumor in his leg. “It was a devastating time in my life,” he recalled. This caused him to spiral into a deep state of depression, abandon his life aspirations and isolate himself. His father intervened and pushed Mylett to get a job as a summer counselor for underprivileged children. That decision began a transformative new chapter in Mylett’s life––one of compassion and a desire to serve.
Mylett started working at Cottage 8, a group home for boys whose parents were incarcerated, deceased or unfit caregivers. He recounted, “These boys had the same eyes as me, eyes of kids who grew up with dysfunction. The eyes of boys who want people to love them, believe in them and care about them. I became an older brother or father figure to them. I took them to school. We went trick-or-treating. I was there when they opened presents on Christmas Day. My life changed, for the first time in my life, it was not about me and my ego. Instead my life was to be in service to these boys. I dedicated every part of my being to loving them, believing in them, coaching and mentoring them. I cared. I love people. I care about them––that was the birth of my gift of mentorship.”
While Mylett’s first dream ended traumatically, he found a powerful new calling in an unlikely place. “I knew God had bigger plans for me. I didn’t know what they would be. Most of the great things in our life don’t show up looking like we think they will,” said Mylett.
Since then, he has pledged to live a life of excellence, adhering to important values such as integrity, consistency and empathy. His direct and purposeful messages inspire people to live the best version of themselves in every aspect of their life. In his latest book “One More”, Mylett “…Draws on 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and coach to top athletes, entertainers, and business executives to reveal powerful strategies to help you live an extraordinary ‘one more’ life.”
STEPPING INTO THE LIMELIGHT
Tricia Love Vargas: The impact you’ve had both digitally and through in-person events where you share motivational messages is quite the calling to step up to. Some people don’t want to share personal experiences like you have firsthand. Can you tell us about your decision to enter into this space?
Ed Mylett: I didn’t want to share them either, to be honest with you. I like to be a private person. There’s a lot of benefits to anonymity. I had to weigh that. I had a long talk with Tony Robbins. He told me, “There are things you’re going to lose.” But for me, those things were pretty insignificant. All the things I gained and all the people I helped outweighs the privacy I lost. Like anything in life, if something is your calling, despite the small obstacles, you have to do it. That’s how I felt when I started. I feel stronger about it today than ever before.
OVERCOMING DARK TIMES & DISCOVERING HIS CALLING
Ed Mylett: I thought my calling was to play baseball. Like most people, my first dream ended. I found out I had a tumor in my leg from my baseball career. It was a devastating time in my life. But I knew God had bigger plans for me. I didn’t know what they would be. Most of the great things in our life don’t show up looking like we think they will.
I had no idea I was going to be in a financial company, real estate or speaking.
I got a job because my dad went to an AA meeting one night. My dad was complaining about me, saying, “My son’s unemployed. He’s living at home on our couch.” At the meeting, he met a guy who offered to get me a job. My dad didn’t even ask him what the job was before he said I’d take it.
I showed up at the place the next morning not knowing what the job was. They told me to come back when I knew what the job was. I grabbed the door handle to leave and told them, “I think the man who hired me is named Tim. I think he’s an alcoholic because he was in a meeting with my dad.”
They jumped up and said, “Oh! Drunk Tim––Cottage 8.”
I walked into Cottage 8. There were twelve boys there, all ages eight to 10. When I walked in, the room stopped. They were all getting ready for school. They stopped and looked at me. It was the greatest moment of insecurity in my life. I had butterflies.
When I was working in Cottage 8, my friends were getting jobs, making $80,000 a year and going to law school. I remember my dad telling me, “Just be the best wherever you’re planted, wherever God’s planted you. Give it your best. That’s a pattern in your life. I don’t care if you’re sweeping the floor. You may not be destined to sweep that floor forever, but give that floor your best.”
OVERCOMING ADVERSITIES & DEPRESSION
Tricia Love Vargas: During the most challenging times of your life, have you ever experienced any depression?
Ed Mylett: Many times. In fact, I would be lying if I said that even at this stage of my life, with all the financial security, I still don’t watch my mental state all the time. Just because you have great financial success or influence doesn’t mean you don’t have private battles.
The way out of that depression has been my faith. God always has my back. I also bust my tail. I get to work when I don’t feel like it. When people see someone like me, they think they’re superhuman. No one’s superhuman. I have great habits, rituals and discipline that overrides my natural laziness. The separator isn’t who’s more motivated. It’s what you do on the days you’re not motivated.
It’s your dedication. It’s your habits. Do you go on autopilot? Is your autopilot laying on the couch and not getting things done? Or is your autopilot grinding? I have this belief that God wants me to do something great with my life. I have this belief that God wants you to do something great with your life. I really believe you were born to do something special with your life. In small ways and in big ways.
People will never know all the people that have impacted my life. The difference they made in my life has helped me make the difference in millions of other people’s lives. I wasn’t always sure what my purpose was, but I’ve never questioned that there was one.
ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACHIEVED TREMENDOUS SUCCESS, BUT STILL FEEL A VOID:
Ed Mylett: That feeling happens because they’ve chased happiness. I don’t like when people think material things can’t make you happy. It’s just not true. Living here on the ocean makes me happy. Anyone who’s ever bought a new pair of shoes or a nice car knows it makes you happy. If you chase happiness all your life, though, you miss fulfillment. Happiness and fulfillment are not the same thing.
I would tell this person they’ve always been able to get what they wanted. That’s why they’re so successful. They’re just chasing the wrong thing. What they really want is fulfillment, not happiness.
Fulfillment is when you make a difference in someone else’s life. If you want to be fulfilled, you’ve got to find God’s calling for you. That calling is to serve other people. When you serve others, it makes a difference. I don’t care if it’s a business, charity work or within your family––if it treats people with kindness and graciousness, you feel more fulfilled.
When you’re doing something where you feel fulfilled, you don’t get tired. When I chased things for other reasons, there were times where I burned out. I think God just wires this superhuman strength into giving back and it doesn’t feel like work.
STOP NEGOTIATING THE PRICE
Ed Mylett: You go through mental exhaustion because you’re negotiating whether the price you’re paying is worth it; part of you chases the happiness and the money.
When I was struggling, the struggle itself was hard because I was wasting mental energy. People around me asked me, “Wasn’t your life better before? How much more of this can you take?”
The successful entrepreneur negotiates this price way in advance. If it’s legal, ethical and moral, you pay any price necessary and you don’t negotiate with yourself anymore. If you’re constantly negotiating––Is it worth it? Should I keep going?––you’re going to fry out. You’re probably going to fail because not only is the physical energy of getting your business off the ground a lot, but you’re expending mental energy going back and forth in your mind. You act like a poor person when you do that. When I was poor, I’d walk into a store and I wouldn’t get what I wanted. I flipped the price tag and asked what it cost. If you go through your life constantly evaluating the price you’re paying to make your dream come true, you’re not achieving those dreams. You’re exhausting yourself mentally before you can even physically negotiate.
POWER OF THE MIND––THE RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM
Ed Mylett: In your brain, you have the reticular activating system. It’s the filter of your entire existence on earth. It’s what you see. It’s your matrix.
If you’ve bought a new car, for example, a blue Honda, all of a sudden, you see blue Honda’s everywhere. We’ve all had the experience. Three lanes over the other side of a freeway, you see a blue Honda. How is it you see them all the time but they were always there? You filtered them out of your existence because they weren’t important to you prior to now. When you negotiate––your mind, your worries, your anxieties, your problems or what is prominent in your mind––-[it’s like you are] seeing your blue Honda everywhere. What your mind focuses on is where you’re going. It filters in and out of your existence.
BEING PRESENT & PUTTING FAMILY FIRST
Tricia Love Vargas: In your book “#MaxOut,” you say “I’m on a quest, a life mission to never be the same version of me year after year.” Is there a current area of your life that you struggle with, that you’re challenging yourself to be greater in?
Ed Mylett: As a dad, parenting is a never ending learning experience as my kids change and evolve. It’s the area where, if I’m being honest with you, I’m hardest on myself. I’m a very busy person. I wonder if I’m present enough when my children are with me.
I want to make sure that no matter how busy my life gets, no matter how many relationships and businesses and contacts I have, that my kids know they’re the most important thing in the world to me.
There is something that I do when I get home that I really believe in––I leave my phone in the car for the first hour. I don’t bring it into the house with me. There are too many temptations on there to look at and not be present––It changed me completely.
Tricia Love Vargas: Do you translate that into your marriage?
Ed Mylett: I do. We’re both good at this. We find time for each other and we’re genuinely interested in each other after a long time together.
I interviewed Matthew Hussey on my show; he said something super interesting. He said “Life isn’t shouldn’t be about finding new relationships all the time. It’s about being in a new relationship with the same person. I thought that was powerful.”
LIVING IN HUMILITY
Ed Mylett: I don’t know that I’ve always stayed humble. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become better at humility.
Sometimes it has been a blur. I worked before that blur so the Lord picked me up on his shoulders for a while, carried me and put me down in a better place again.
You have to plant the seeds. If you plant seeds, eventually, God promises a harvest in our life. Remember that you plant the seeds but you can’t provide the harvest. That keeps me in a humble state. I planted thousands and thousands of seeds. There were times that I made money and went broke. I know I’m not infallible. To this day, everything you see––my jet, my homes, my many cars and the pure cash––keeps me afraid of becoming broke. I like that fear. Not all fears are unhealthy, but I think this one is healthy for me. This fear keeps me humble. It keeps me from spending egregiously. I’ve never fully thought I achieved everything, that I “arrived.” [And] the few times I believed I “arrived,” God or the world slapped me back down, reminding me I’m not that big of a deal.
CONFRONTING FEAR & USING IT AS FUEL
Ed Mylett: Fear doesn’t overpower my thoughts. Fear makes me more aware. Fear is wired into our DNA to keep us alive. In the caveman days, we were fearful of the T-Rex chasing us. It kept us alert and alive. Fear, used properly, focuses our awareness. It’s all about how you respond to fear. I don’t want to be a guy that lives my whole life with no fears. That would be strange to me.
I want to step into places I’m afraid of because that’s where all the juice of life is. The happiest people are the ones who can deal with the most uncertainty at any given time. As humans, we’re constantly trying to move towards comfort.
Even when we’re the happiest, there’s unknown. You learn new things. When we become adults, we try to avoid these things. It’s not the absence of fear I want, but rather my response to it. It challenges me. It makes me more aware. It doesn’t paralyze me.
It doesn’t grip me. I control my fear. It doesn’t control me. I don’t want people to think I’m getting to a point in my life where I no longer have any fears. I like having fears because when I overcome them, I grow.
The challenge for me is that I do something I didn’t think I could do. I’ve grown and changed. I no longer live in fear. Fear accounts for 10-15% of my life, but when I get those butterflies, I know a magic moment is about to happen. I don’t want that to ever go away.
FINDING FAITH & PEACE
Tricia Love Vargas: How would you explain faith to someone who is unfamiliar with this concept? How did you come to it? What is the Holy Spirit to someone new to faith?
Ed Mylett: I was raised in the church. My dad, even when he would drink, would come and pray with us at night. We went to church on Sundays. When my dad was gone, or things were difficult, I had quiet conversations with God.
Many years ago, I wanted to know why certain successful business people seemed happier and more fulfilled than other successful people I knew. They told me. We prayed together, and I accepted Christ that night––I was 24.
Like many people, I fell away from faith several times after that. I’ve made many different mistakes throughout my life. The cool thing about God is that if I have faith, if I believe He loves me and that I was born in His image, even when I screw up—which I do pretty regularly—I know He still loves me. I rely on that. It’s comforting for me.
The Holy Spirit is peace to me. It is when I’m outside of myself and words are given to me that I don’t expect. I have insights, clarity and peace of mind. It’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. I can drop my ego and I can surrender. I’m much more connected to God when I’m less connected to me.
I’ve struggled with faith in my life. I wrestle with it when negative things happen. There’s been one benchmark in my life, though, and that’s that I’ve always had this sense that God is in my life. He’s got my back. He loves me. That feeling has never gone away.
HOW TO CONNECT TO GOD WHEN THERE IS NOTHING BUT SILENCE
Tricia Love Vargas: What would you tell people who are new to this concept, open to faith in their lives and praying, but feel like they are not hearing anything?
Ed Mylett: Put yourself in the Word of God. Take time every day and read scripture. The application of scripture to today will blow your mind. These words, written thousands of years ago, apply today. The more you familiarize yourself with what He said and what He taught, the more God will reveal to you. I didn’t have an epiphany where He spoke to me. People tell me they’ve had that happen. For me, it was my life that spoke to me.
This is how you know that there’s a God, if you’re wondering. Every time you’re in a difficult place, the first thing you intuitively think to do is ask God for help. In your darkest times, you look to Him. If you do that in your normal life, and have a relationship where you’re in communication, it’s just a conversation.
It’s like a muscle. Relationships grow. My relationship with God has not always been perfect. Sometimes I wonder where He is. Even my strongest brothers and sisters in faith struggle with it from time to time. It ebbs and flows. Over time, it grows like any good relationship.
HIS VISION FOR THE WORLD
Ed Mylett: My overall hope in life is that when I’m done, I’ve helped in some minute way. A little drop in the ocean of life’s consciousness––that we are kinder, more giving and growth-oriented people.
I feel that I’m a unique person in that. I look and seem like a strong, masculine person. At the same time, I focus on kindness and giving to others more than a first appearance might assume. I want to give people the tools to live better lives. I want to give them mental, faith, relationship, confidence and identity tools to be better servants of others. If I can give someone the tools to live better, that’s one thing. I want to inspire you. I want to give people the tools I learned so they can live in the service of others and ultimately for God. That’s what I hope I’m doing. I convinced myself that’s what I’m doing.