One of the requests I’ve had of late is to begin conducting interviews with Authors, CEO’s and other business personalities that would be of interest our readers. Well, ask and you shall receive….I first stumbled across Phil Gerbyshak on the blogosphere by posting a comment on an article he authored. An e-mail dialogue ensued, and a few weeks later Phil and I have learned that we have many things in common…A passion for personal development and learning, a love for baseball, and admiration of Zig Ziglar among other things. My hope is that I will be the first one to put Phil Gerbyshak on your radar screen, and that you can follow along with what I believe is truly one of the rising stars in the personal development business. May I introduce Phil Gerbyshak, author and speaker. On to the interview…

Mike Myatt: Where did you grow up and who were your earliest influences and why?

Phil Gerbyshak: I was raised in Crivitz, WI (population 996). My earliest influence was my first baseball coach, Wayne Baumann. He taught me to practice like you play, to work hard, play the game the right way, and no matter what you do, to always have a positive attitude. This is information that even now, I think about every day.

Mike Myatt: Personal development is clearly a passion of yours…Why?

Phil Gerbyshak: I firmly believe if I’m not learning, I’m not living, so I focus on developing myself as much as I can. I also realized that the only person I can truly motivate is me. So I try to be as motivated as I can, and I hope that rubs off on others and inspires them to take action and develop into the amazing people we are all called to become.

Mike Myatt: “Make It Great!” seems to be somewhat of a personal life statement for you…Please explain.

Phil Gerbyshak: Make it Great IS a life statement of mine, you are absolutely right. Make It Great! is my alternative to have a nice day. MAKE means that there’s activity behind whatever you do instead of just something you have in your hand. And GREAT is the alternative to nice. It means I’m not just settling for whatever is handed to me, I’m going out and getting it, developing it, and making it great, whatever IT is at the present time for me. I do everything all the way and Making It Great is the only viable alternative I see.

Mike Myatt: You just authored your first book. What inspired you to write “10 Ways To Make It Great”?

Phil Gerbyshak: I’ve read a LOT of self-development and motivation books. Some have really inspired me, and some have really confused me and left me wondering “How can I apply this to my life?” After reading about 50 books in 2004, I realized in early 2005 I had something to say about the self-development scene, so I started blogging about what I thought Make It Great! was. I also started thinking more about what has really been most successful for me and summed it up into 10 steps, 10 ways, that we all can Make It Great! I put together not just what has been successful (the theory) but also HOW we can do this, (the action steps). My book is set up with 10 theories and action steps you can take right now to crank your life up and really Make It Great!

Mike Myatt: What is your favorite quote and why?

Phil Gerbyshak:“You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar. I firmly believe that the more people you help, the more good you can do in the world. The more good you do in the world, the better the world is, and eventually, you will get what you want. There’s no such thing as an overnight success; helping as many people as you can is the fastest way I’ve found to be successful.

Mike Myatt: Who are your favorite authors and why?

Phil Gerbyshak:My favorite author is John Maxwell. Dr. Maxwell’s message is always on point about leadership and self-improvement, and he is always relevant. His book “REAL Leadership” is a favorite of mine, as it takes on Relationships, Ethics, Attitudes and Leadership, 4 topics that are in short supply in many folks normally thought to be leaders. I also love to read Tim Sanders’ books, specifically “Love is the Killer App.” Tim’s messages are always about likeability and love, and the more human side of leadership and life.

Mike Myatt: What are you currently reading?

Phil Gerbyshak: I’m finishing “Get Your Ship Together” by D. Michael Abrashoff and will be moving into “The 360 Degree Leader” by John Maxwell soon. I’m also going to be listening to “Inspiration” by Wayne Dyer, which is a great way to learn!

Mike Myatt: If you could offer our readers one piece of advice what would that be?

Phil Gerbyshak: Never stop learning! With podcasts, blogs, audiobooks, websites, newsletters, and more, you have more information at your fingertips than ever before. Pick a topic or 3, and become an expert!

Mike Myatt: What’s next for Phil Gerbyshak?

Phil Gerbyshak: I’m currently doing some speaking engagements about self-improvement, leadership and motivation and I hope to do more in the future. I’m also going to be working on the sequel to my book, called “10 More Ways to Make It Great!”, and I expect to have it ready sometime in 2008.

To get a copy of his book or for more information on Phil Gerbyshak please visit his blog.