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Derek Hough

How To Pursue Your Dream & Make a Living As An Artist


Got a minute? I want you to take out a piece of paper and make a declaration. Ready? Now, write down the words, “This year, I will let go of pursuing perfection.” I want you to promise this to me, but more importantly, I want you to promise this to yourself. Too often, people will use being a perfectionist as an excuse to not start the work that makes them truly come alive. I see this all the time, and I’ll be honest, it hurts. It’s painful to watch SO many talented, gifted individuals never start the thing they were meant to do. 

And yet, it happens time and time again. Month after month. Year after year. Lifetime after lifetime. If you haven’t already let go of perfectionism, I want this to be the year that you do. We have a saying here at Greatness Media: “Done is better than perfect.” This doesn’t mean we don’t strive for perfection, or do our very best to deliver the highest quality work we can. What it means is we don’t let the pursuit of perfection cripple our progress. We don’t let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of our working to achieve our goals and mission. 

I’m SUPER excited for my guest today! He just won his THIRD Emmy and is a six-time champion of Dancing with the Stars. Today, he’s going to tell us what drove him to overcome perfectionism, follow his childhood dream of becoming a professional dancer and choreographer, and how you can do the same. His name is Derek Hough, and if you aren’t already familiar with his work, I know you’ll be happy you found out about him after this episode. 

And now, please help me welcome the one-and-only Derek Hough to The School of Greatness!

“When you heal your wounds, you heal the world.” @derekhough  

Today’s guest is Derek Hough. He’s an Emmy Award winning Choreographer and New York Times best-selling author. Derek started dancing at age 11 and has since become the only six time champion in franchise history of the hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars. He has a new live show in Las Vegas that I’m incredibly excited to go and see myself called No Limit, where you will go on a journey through a true fusion of dance and music, as Derek explores styles ranging from ballroom and tap to salsa, hip-hop and everything in between. He’s performing from September 22nd to November 21st, 2021, so make sure to check it out!

In this episode we discuss what drove Derek to pursue his childhood dreams, what to do when you don’t feel enough, how to make a living as an artist, how to let go of being a perfectionist, and so much more!

If you’re ready to learn some incredible tools to overcome self-doubt and start doing the work you were meant to do, then I know you’ll love this conversation. It’s packed full of wisdom from someone who didn’t let the odds get in the way of him reaching for the top. And now, please join me for Episode 1,167 of The School of Greatness!

“Perfection is the experience, not the end product.” @derekhough  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What are some things you’ve learned about life through all of your accomplishments?
  • What have you learned about expressing a wider range of emotions?
  • What was the thing that drove you?
  • What was holding you back from feeling a deep sense of love?
  • How did you learn to heal and what was the hardest thing to heal in your life?
  • When did you feel like you could fully love yourself?
  • What is something you’re most proud of overcoming in your life?
  • What is the roadmap to making a living being an artist?
  • Who are some examples of people that have blown up recently?
  • What do you think is in store for artists in the next 4-5 years?
  • How important is it for artists to collaborate instead of compete?
  • What is your visualization process for manifesting your projects?
  • What are your thoughts on the law of attraction?
  • How do we change our focus and feeling to manifest more positive things in our lives?
  • How do you prepare before a big performance?
  • What does perfectionism do to you?
  • When did you learn to let go of perfection?
  • How have you stayed centered or grounded with success?
  • What do you think is possible as a man in an intimate relationship?

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What drove Derek to pursue his childhood dreams.
  • What to do when you don’t feel enough.
  • How to make a living as an artist.
  • How to let go of being a perfectionist.
  • And much more…
Derek Hough & Lewis Howes
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Derek Hough

Transcript of this Episode

Music Credits:


Kaibu by Killercats

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