“Sometimes failures or challenges force us to think out of the box and they can be blessings.” — John Ondrasik

Millions of people gained solace and inspiration from the song Superman (It’s Not Easy), a worldwide smash hit that served as an unofficial anthem of healing following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In this episode, Brian interviews the voice behind that song and many others, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter John Ondrasik, better known as Five for Fighting.

From song-writing, to producing, to performing, John has faced plenty of rejection and struggle on his road to success. He tells Brian how, today, he combines his life as a musician with working in his family’s fourth-generation wire manufacturing business and discusses themes of creativity, entrepreneurship, and collaboration.

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Inspirational quotes from today’s interview:

“This is a golden moment for people who own small businesses.” — Brian Buffini

“At the end of the day, it’s still about relationships, whether it’s relationships with a supplier who sells us wire for 25 years, or a radio programmer who plays my songs.” — John Ondrasik

“Music sounds very romantic, but behind the curtain it’s really about an exercise in failure and writing hundreds of songs to get the ten you hear, and writing thousands of songs to get the maybe two that the world knows.” — John Ondrasik

“I was very fortunate. I had success at a late age.” — John Ondrasik

“For me, it was a 15 year overnight success story…I appreciated the 15 years of getting the door slammed in my face. Unless you have that, you can sometimes think it’s all about you.” — John Ondrasik

“Focus on relationships…persevere, and then have your core values.” — Brian Buffini

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” — Steve Jobs

“You have to be practical…but you also need to take strategic risk, and you need to be honest with yourself.” — John Ondrasik

“You’re going to be faced with challenges in your career, and you can either accept that this sucks or you can say ‘How can I turn this into a silver lining?’” — John Ondrasik

“Sometimes failures or challenges force us to think out of the box and they can be blessings.” — John Ondrasik

“Music can matter in ways no other medium can.” — John Ondrasik

“Part of what makes us successful is pushing the goal posts and strategizing for the future, but if all we do is that, what is the point?” — John Ondrasik

“If your whole self esteem gets wrapped up in what you do, at some point it’s going to go backwards.” — John Ondrasik

“I’ve met people with real challenges and I’ve learned that most of us have no problems. We think we have problems, but we don’t.” — John Ondrasik

“Life moves so fast. If you don’t spend some time in the middle of it, I think you’ll miss it.” — John Ondrasik

“I’m grateful for the day.” — John Ondrasik

“We only have 100 years to live. Make the most of it. Drink deep. Love well. Invest in relationships.” — Brian Buffini



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