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Motivation from famous entertainers: Johnny Carson gets serious about success

Johnny Carson (1925 - 2005) was a TV icon as he hosted The Tonight Show for 30 years. Born in Nebraska, Carson did not let fame destroy his mid-west heritage as he interviewed thousands of stars from TV and movies, politicians, sports figures and musicians. Appearing with Carson would give a career a positive jolt or sell tickets and books because he was truly the “King of Late Night” television.

More motivational thoughts.
More motivational thoughts.
Photos used by license from, slide design by
Motivation from famous entertainers: Johnny Carson gets serious about success.
Used by license from

His success was not instantaneous. He started his career as a magician before joining the comedy writing team of the Red Skelton television program. He hosted an unsuccessful variety show, unsuccessful remake of the same show and only moderately successful game show host.

Yet he was to become arguably the most successful television entertainer of his day.

“My success evolved,” Carson said, “Working at the business at hand ________.”

  1. Each day.
  2. For the first two hours of my day.
  3. When ratings are down.
  4. When times get tough.

For the correct quote ending, click here.

This is another installment of a series of quotes by famous entertainers. Some wonder how an entertainer can inspire someone trying to pursue a career or build a business. The truth is that entertainers must be shrewd businesspeople in order to manage their career, finances and public image. Short quotes from them often serve as an inspirational thought of the day.

Guillermo Williams of in Rochester Hills, Mich., recommends using motivational stories to help set a workplace culture of success.

“Motivational quotes are a great way to set a positive tone at the beginning of a week, workday or meeting,” says Williams. “By adding some information about the person being quoted you create credibility for the speaker and make the quote more impactful.”

This quote can be used for an individual’s daily reflection, preferably in the morning to get their attitude focused for the day. It also serves as an anecdote for employee training in the areas of:

  • Goal setting.
  • Self-awareness.
  • Leadership.
  • Problem solving.
  • Business strategy.

This series is based on a motivational series from and is used by permission.