Today is May 5 and the Navigate the Chaos is “how often do you jump at an opportunity?” Comedian Steve Harvey has a current net worth of approximately $200 million. If all you see is his current net worth, and ignore his path to navigating his chaos, then you will struggle as you travel down your path.
After being born in Welch, West Virginia, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio where Harvey graduated high school. In his 20s Harvey was a boxer, an autoworker, an insurance salesman, a carpet cleaner, and a mailman. He first performed stand-up comedy on October 8, 1985, at the Hilarities Comedy Club in Cleveland, Ohio. In the late '80s, Harvey was homeless for three years.
He slept in his 1976 Ford when not performing gigs that provided a hotel, and he showered at gas stations or swimming pool showers. Rich and Becky Liss helped Harvey during this time with a contract for carpet cleaning and credit at a travel agency.
To help celebrate his 56th birthday on January 23, 2013, the producers of the Steve Harvey show surprised him with a video appearance of Rich and Becky Liss. Caught completely by surprise an emotional Harvey told his audience: "I was 26 years old, struggling, I didn't have nothing and these people owned a furniture store in Cleveland and these people took me in and gave me my first contract with my little carpet cleaning company. When I was 27, I became a comedian and they gave me an account at their travel agency...I've been looking for you for years! Thank you. You bailed me and I never forgot it."
During one Thursday in 1991 Harvey was in Pensicola, Florida and called his answering machine. At this time in his life the struggling comedian was 34 years old and had $35 in his pocket. He lived in his car and spent nights in hotel parking lots. On his answering machine were two messages. The first message was from Chuck Sutton with Showtime at the Apollo in New York who offered him a job that Sunday night. But Harvey had no money to get to New York. The second message was from Tom Sobel from the Comedy Caravan in Jacksonville, Florida who had an opening in his comedy club the next day - Friday night. The gig paid $150. Harvey raced to Jacksonville and did such a good job they hired him back for Saturday night at another $150. With $300 he then went to the airport Sunday morning to catch a flight to New York.
When he arrives early at the Apollo Theater with all of his life’s belongings in two bags, he has no where to go. The manager allows him to stay upstairs until his 11:00pm performance that night. On this day he meets D.L. Hughley, Dwayne Johnson and Jamie Foxx. All were young comedians trying to make it in the business. All three got booed off the stage. It was late in the evening and Harvey took the stage. He was nervous and witnessed the audience boo the three performers before him. But he turned the audience around and had them laughing throughout this routine. That night he made $750. In one week, he went from $35 to $1,000. But he was still broke.
A few weeks later Sinbad, who had been host of the Apollo show, quit when he was offered a job on the television show “Different World.” Mark Curry then became the host, but he quit when he was offered the television show “Hanging With Mr. Cooper.” The Apollo went back to Harvey and asked him to try out hosting for the Amateur Night since Sinbad and Curry had left. He jumped at the chance and started the longest running tenure of any host in the show’s history.
As the host of Family Feud Harvey often greets the audience one day before the taping begins. In a May 10, 2019 taping of the show Harvey talked about jumping with the audience and said:
“Every successful person in this world has jumped. Eventually you are going to have to jump. You cannot just exist in this life. You have got to try to live. If you're waking up thinking that there's got to be more to your life than it is, man believe that it is. But to get to that life, you're gonna have to jump. And if you getting up going to work on a job every day that you hate going to, that ain't living, man. You just existing. At one point in time, you ought to see what living's like. But the only way to see what living's like, you got to jump. Now here's the problem, I'm gonna just be real with you, when you first jump, the parachute will not open right away. You gonna hit them rocks. You gonna get some skin tore off on them cliffs. You gonna get all your clothes tore off. You gonna get some cuts on you, you gonna be bleeding pretty bad. But eventually, eventually, the parachute will open. Do yourself a favor, man. Before you leave this world, before you die, jump, just jump one time. Just jump.”
He details his story in his 2016 book Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance. Harvey jumped at one opportunity after another. He was living in his car and jumped. He had $35 in his pocket and jumped. He jumped at one opportunity after another. It took a long-time for his parachute to open.
How often do you jump at the opportunities in life?