MentoringMentoring Programs for People Who Want to Achieve Extraordinary Success
Steven K. Scott
Steve was born in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1948 to Gordon Scott (a highly decorated WWII pilot) and Mickey Scott (who, in addition to being the world’s best mom, was also a founding employee and officer of First Federal Savings, which grew to be Arizona’s largest savings and loan). Steve felt like the world’s luckiest kid with a wonderful mom and dad and a great older sister. His passions in his early years were baseball, ping pong, and playing with a host of friends. As Steve’s third-grade teacher noted on his report card:
“He’s certainly full of energy and attacks every challenge with unlimited enthusiasm.”
In junior high, Steve was very self-conscious about his acne, his skinny frame, and his braces. Then, in high school, his life was forever changed by three circumstances.
As Steve was starting high school, his father informed him that he would be taking two years of typing. “It became one of only three ‘all-out arguments’ I ever had with my dad,” Steve would say later. “I begged him to recant on his demand, because as far as I was concerned, typing was for girls. When I entered the class my worst nightmare was confirmed. Out of a class of sixty, fifty-six were girls.” Deeply humiliated, Steve begged his father to consider a deal. If he could become the fastest typist in the class by the end of the year, would his dad let him out of the demand of completing a second year? Thinking Steve would never beat the other fifty-nine students, Mr. Scott agreed to the deal. This is where Steve Scott first learned the power of a true incentive. At the end of the first year, Mr. Scott received a note from the typing teacher that Steve was indeed the fastest typist in the class. Little did Steve know that his typing skills would change the entire course of his life — in high school, in college, and in his career.
Because Arcadia High School did not have R.O.T.C. (Reserved Officer Training Course), Steve joined the cadet program of the Civil Air Patrol (an auxiliary of the United States Air Force) at the beginning of his sophomore year. Because he was the only cadet in the squadron who could type, he received his first promotion within a month of joining. That promotion was so fulfilling that Steve went all-out to complete the requirements for each rank advancement at an unheard of pace, achieving state and national recognition, winning various national awards, and even being one of only eight cadets in America to receive Air Force flight training to become a private pilot (with a glider rating) at the age of 16. He became the top ranking cadet in the state of Arizona and one of the top in the nation. Steve’s experience in the Civil Air Patrol created a personal realization that extraordinary success wasn’t dependent upon one’s education, economic status, or personal background. He realized that extraordinary success could be achieved by anyone who becomes truly diligent in their pursuit of a goal. He realized that true diligence involved a number of critical components beyond hard work. He also realized that the vast majority of people are not truly diligent. Steve discovered that without true diligence he could accomplish little more than mediocrity in the pursuit of anything; but with true diligence, he could accomplish outcomes greater than he had ever imagined.
The third circumstance that changed the course of Steve’s life (the first two — learning to type and learning to excel through diligence) happened shortly before his sixteenth birthday. Steve’s older sister, Sandra, took him to a Christian meeting for college students where he was challenged by a scientist (who was a former atheist) to become a follower of Jesus Christ. The scientist gave him a book titled Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. He discovered that Christianity was not about a religion but, rather, about experiencing a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Within a week, Steve found himself on his knees, asking Jesus Christ to become his Lord and Savior. In the months that followed, that relationship became the most important one in his life. In addition to his high school activities with the Civil Air Patrol, he became active with Campus Crusade for Christ and remained active until he graduated from college.
In 1966, Steve received a scholarship to Arizona State University, where he received a degree in marketing from the college of business. While there, he started and managed two Christian music groups. The New Beginning (1967-68) was a Christian folk group, and That Certain Sound (1968-1970) was a group with 17 singers and 18 instrumentalists. This was Steve’s first entrepreneurial experience, and it revealed both a love and a natural talent for business creation. It was also where he learned the incalculable worth of two strategies that would ultimately change his life — “effective partnering” and “shooting for the moon.” After two months of working with the second group, it became apparent that they needed a professional director and arranger. Steve learned that Ron Patty was not only the best choral director in the state but one of the best in America. He sought Ron out and, after two rehearsals, Ron agreed to become the group’s director…for free! Not only did the group achieve all of its goals, Steve and Ron (and Ron’s wonderful family) became lifetime friends. On top of everything else, Steve had the joy of watching Ron’s little girl, Sandi, grow up to become one of America’s most beloved gospel singers.
After graduating from ASU in 1970, Steve entered the world of business only to discover that succeeding in business was a lot harder than succeeding in college. He failed in his first job (as a management trainee for an insurance company) just four months after he started. He then started a company with three partners that produced and sold lecture notes to university students. This venture seemed promising at first — but it failed eight months later, leaving Steve broke and in an enormous amount of debt. Over the next four years he failed in seven more jobs.
In fact, his resumé looked like this:
Job Year Salary Duration Outcome
1. 1971 $600/Month 4 Months Quit
2. 1971 Started Business 8 Months Failed
3. 1972 $1,000/Month 9 Months Fired
4. 1973 $1,000/Month 9 Months Quit (about to be fired)
5. 1974 $1,100/ Month 5 Months Quit
6. 1974 Started Business 9 Months Failed
7. 1975 $1,100/Month 4 Months Fired
8. 1975 $1,100/Month 4 Months Quit
9 1976 $1,500/Month 4 Months Quit
Looking at Steve Scott’s resumé, how would you have rated his chances of ever becoming a multimillionaire? Steve said that after losing his seventh job, he was convinced he would never succeed. NEVER!
Shortly after losing his seventh job, Steve spoke to one of his best friends, Gary Smalley, of his frustration. He told Gary, “I don’t understand — no matter what I do, no matter how hard I work, I just can’t succeed.” The next morning, Gary came to breakfast and said, “How would you like to be wiser than all of your bosses?” Steve replied in disbelief, “Yeah right!” To which Gary said:
“No… There’s something you can do, that if you’ll do it, in two years you’ll be wiser than all your bosses. And in five years, you’ll probably be a millionaire!”
Steve later wrote: “I really didn’t believe such a ridiculous statement as that, but Gary got my attention with it, so I said, ‘What do I do?” Gary challenged him to read a chapter of the biblical book of Proverbs every day for two years. He told him to write down the wisdom and insights he gained and to begin applying those to his work. Steve took him up on the challenge — and he discovered 15 strategies from the book of Proverbs that changed his life. Using just a few of those strategies on job number nine, he created a television marketing campaign that doubled the company’s sales from $30 million to $60 million in only four months. Even though he was only 27, his boss offered to double his salary, promote him to vice president of marketing, and give him a company car. But instead of accepting the promotion, Steve resigned so he could accept an on offer from Bob Marsh to start a business of their own. And on May 10, 1976, Steve and Bob Marsh started their own marketing company with $5,000 allocated to create and test a television marketing campaign for a new acne product they had acquired. Within nine months their sales had grown to nearly one million dollars…a week!
The company grew so quickly that Bob hired his two sons, who later became partners in the business. The company eventually became a holding company, The American Telecast Corporation (ATC), for all of its subsidiary companies and brands. American Telecast’s formula was to acquire the marketing rights to breakthrough products, form companies around those products, and then have Steve create the television, magazine, and newspaper marketing campaigns to sell those products. The development and implementation of those projects and campaigns all utilized the powerful strategies Steve had found in the book of Proverbs, and the skills and techniques to implement those strategies that he had learned from his mentors, Bob Marsh and Gary Smalley. In 1978, Steve co-authored his first two books with Gary Smalley, and American Telecast published both books, selling them in a television campaign featuring Pat and Shirley Boone. The books, If Only He Knew and For Better or For Best, were Gary’s first books as well. They became international best sellers and launched Gary Smalley’s worldwide seminar ministry. Ten years later, Steve and Gary produced Gary’s video series, Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships, which was sold through television campaigns featuring John Tesh and his wife Connie Sellecca, and Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Each time those at ATC found a new product and created a new company, they would recruit a major celebrity as their endorsing spokesperson. Their start-up companies ranged from life- and health-insurance marketing companies to personal care products (makeup, skincare, and haircare brands) to weight loss and fitness products to educational companies. Their celebrity endorsers included Academy Award-winning movie stars, Emmy Award-winning television stars, Grammy Award-winning recording artists, and professional athletes. They partnered with more than 90 celebrity spokespersons and endorsers including Chuck Norris, Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds, Michael Landon, John Ritter, Cher, Jane Fonda, Kathy Lee Gifford, Christie Brinkley, Dick Clark, Kenny Rogers, Richard Simmons, Ted Danson, Joan Lunden, Hugh Downs, and President Ronald Reagan, to name a few.
Steve and his partners created more than two dozen companies and brands, including Deal-a-Meal, Victoria Jackson Cosmetics, Lori Davis Hair, Where There’s a Will, There’s an ‘A’, Jane Fonda Fitness, Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships, and Total Gym Fitness. Their Total Gym television campaign featuring Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley has now been on the air for more than 15 years and has produced nearly $2 billion in sales. In all, ATC’s products and services have generated more than $3 billion in sales.
In 1996, Steve’s first book, A Millionaire’s Notebook — How Ordinary People Achieve Extraordinary Success, was published by Simon & Schuster. Donald Trump’s endorsement of the book read: “Steve Scott’s uncanny insights and strategies are so specific and easily applied, I believe they can empower any reader, whether a college student, a small business owner or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, to achieve levels of success they haven’t yet dreamed of.”
American Telecast’s largest competitor agreed. For years, the Guthy-Renker Corporation had trailed American Telecast in sales. According to Greg Renker, no matter what they did, they could never outsell American Telecast. As soon as the book came out, Greg purchased copies for the company’s top executives. He said that Steve’s strategies and marketing models became their company’s marketing manual. They created detailed operating manuals for each of the strategies and marketing formulas that Steve revealed in the book — and then followed them to the letter. Within two years their sales had grown to equal those of American Telecast. In 1999, their sales surpassed ATC, and today they enjoy sales of over $1.7 billion per year.
Because of the success of his first book, Simon & Shuster asked Steve to write a follow-up book, Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams, which was published in 1998. With the release of his next book, Mentored by a Millionaire, Larry King invited Steve to be a guest on “Larry King Live.”
Following that appearance, the book became a top national and international best seller. His next book, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived — King Solomon’s Secrets for Success, Wealth and Happiness, also became an international best seller following another appearance on “Larry King Live” in 2006.
That same year, Steve and American Telecast produced The Master Strategies of Super Achievers, a 16-session DVD seminar in which Steve mentors viewers in the 15 strategies (and their corresponding skills and techniques) that enabled him to achieve levels of success beyond his wildest imagination — strategies that produce extraordinary outcomes wherever they are applied.
Then, in 2007, a meeting took place that was to radically change the course of Steve’s life. He met Dr. Robert H. Keller, a renowned research scientist and medical doctor. Dr. Keller, an immunologist, oncologist, and hematologist, had written more than 100 articles that had been peer reviewed and published in various medical journals — as well as chapters in more than 75 medical textbooks. But the night they met at Chuck Norris’s home, Dr. Keller showed Chuck and Steve his clinical studies on a patented breakthrough nutritional formula that was proven to significantly increased cellular production of glutathione, one of the cell’s most important protein chains. Glutathione (GSH) is the primary protector and detoxifier of the human cell. It is literally the cell’s first line of defense and even reduces inflammation at a cellular level. Dr. Keller had been using the product with his patients for more than ten years and had seen phenomenal outcomes.
Steve funded a new company to take Dr. Keller’s nutritional breakthrough to the world. The company was named Max International, and the product was named MAX GXL (glutathione accelerator). As samples were produced and handed out, remarkable stories of the transformational changes in peoples’ quality of life quickly surfaced. Even professional and world-class athletes were seeing radical improvements in their recovery times from workouts and their athletic games and events. Even people who were in great physical shape saw improvements in energy levels and quality of sleep, and a reduction in aches and pains. Dr. Keller’s product turned out to be everything he had claimed it to be.
However, instead of launching this company with television, Steve and his partners decided to use a home-based business model they termed “micro-business.” A micro-business allows a person to begin a home-based business without making a major investment and without maintaining a product inventory — a business in which most of the business requirements and risks are taken by the company rather than the independent micro-business owner. Max International was launched in February of 2007 and quickly became one of the fastest-growing businesses in America. To support and maintain that rapid growth, Steve invited his longtime competitors Bill Guthy and Greg Renker to become his financial partners in Max. Bill and Greg hired their own medical experts to do the “due diligence” on Dr. Keller’s product and science before they would invest. As soon as they received the report of their independent experts, they invested millions of dollars to purchase a minority stake in the business. Direct Response Television’s greatest competitors had become partners. Steve retired from American Telecast to devote the majority of his attention and efforts to the growth of Max International. Two years later Max acquired a company built around the breakthrough innovations and nutrient compounds of Dr. Herbert T. Nagasawa. Dr. Nagasawa is considered to be the world’s number one scientist in the field of glutathione enhancement. One of the world’s leading experts in medicinal chemistry, Dr. Nagasawa had created a number of patented compounds that had undergone 16 clinical studies that had been funded, peer-reviewed, and published by the National Institutes of Health and internationally recognized scientific bodies. Just one of his breakthrough compounds had 24 patents or patents pending. In 2011, Max launched a revolutionary skincare line containing four patented, fast-acting active ingredients. Today, Steve works full-time promoting Max International, its breakthrough products, and its micro-business opportunity all over the world.
In 2008, Steve also completed a multi-year effort to organize the 1,900 statements of Jesus Christ found in the New Testament into 225 topics. Steve considers the resulting book, The Greatest Words Ever Spoken, to be his most important literary effort. Scott wrote:
“The words of Jesus Christ are transformational beyond anything ever recorded in human history or literature. Their power to change lives cannot be imagined — they are truly miraculous.”
Steve’s latest book, The Jesus Mission, was by Random House/Waterbrook Press, in October of 2011. Steve is active in ministry and is partnering with the American Association of Christian Counselors and Extraordinary Women in an effort to empower people to experience greater intimacy with God by making the teachings of Jesus Christ the central focus of their lives.
Steve is the father of seven children and grandfather of five. He met his wife, Shannon, in Los Angeles in 1990 and they married 13 months later in 1991. Shannon is not only his partner in life, she is an active co-owner of Max International. Steve recently told an audience in Sydney, Australia:
“Shannon is not only my best friend and the love of my life — she is a visible, living example of how Jesus Christ wants me to be, moment-by-moment, day-by-day.”