Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Arnold Schwarzenegger says : I am not a self-made man.

I don't always agree with him politically, but he is a real man.


Arnold Schwarzenegger·Thursday, December 8, 2016

I am not a self-made man.

Every time I give a speech at a business conference, or speak to college students, or do a Reddit AMA, someone says it.
“Governor/Governator/Arnold/Arnie/Schwarzie/Schnitzel (depending on where I am), as a self-made man, what’s your blueprint for success?”

They’re always shocked when I thank them for the compliment but say, “I am not a self-made man. I got a lot of help.”
It is true that I grew up in Austria without plumbing. It is true that I moved to America alone with just a gym bag. And it is true that I worked as a bricklayer and invested in real estate to become a millionaire before I ever swung the sword in Conan the Barbarian.

But it is not true that I am self-made. Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants. My life was built on a foundation of parents, coaches, and teachers; of kind souls who lent couches or gym back rooms where I could sleep; of mentors who shared wisdom and advice; of idols who motivated me from the pages of magazines (and, as my life grew, from personal interaction).


Joe Weider brought me to America and took me under his wing, promoting my bodybuilding career and teaching me about business. Lucille Ball took a huge chance and called me to guest star in a special that was my first big break in Hollywood. And in 2003, without the help of 4,206,284 Californians, I would never have been elected Governor of the great state of California.
So how can I ever claim to be self-made? To accept that mantle discounts every person and every piece of advice that got me here. And it gives the wrong impression — that you can do it alone.
I couldn’t. And odds are, you can’t either.
We all need fuel. Without the assistance, advice, and inspiration of others, the gears of our mind grind to a halt, and we’re stuck with nowhere to go. I have been blessed to find mentors and idols at every step of my life, and I’ve been lucky to meet many of them.


The worst thing you can ever do is think that you know enough.
Never stop learning. Ever.


This essay was my foreword for the new book by Tim Ferris, Tools of Titans. Thank you to Tim for donating a portion of your royalties to After-School All-Stars and for writing such a wonderful book of advice from leaders in every sector. Including this Austrian immigrant.

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