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Live Inspired Podcast Episode 008: Interview with Don Yaeger

John O'Leary

oleary_2048x2048_podcast_post_dyaeger_finalSurround yourself with excellence & that’s what you’ll become.

Today we have on our show Pulitzer Nominated author of 25 books Don Yaeger.

From Walter Payton – one of the most prolific running backs in the history of the NFL – who wanted his book to NOT be about football, but about leaving a legacy as an organ donor…

To John Wooden, who many consider the greatest coach of all time as he led the UCLA Men’s basketball team to 10 national championships in 12 years.

You are going to hear amazing examples of individuals living inspired through Don’s LIBRARY of books he’s written and subsequently, friends he’s made. He’ll also share the lessons he’s learned as a business owner, son of a preacher, husband, and father.

My Key Takeaways: 

  • You’ll never outperform your inner circle. Surround yourself with excellence and that’s what you’ll become.
  • “Make it your goal to have every person be better for having spent time with you.”
  • Be present because tomorrow is promised to no one.
  • Write your spouse a love letter often – because you can.
  • In relationships, we often look for things that drive us crazy. Instead, look for things you LOVE. It will change the way you relate to each other.
  • Order Don’s book, the biography of “the best coach of all time” John Wooden, A Game Plan for Life
  • Get a free chapter from Don’s newest book Great Teams: 16 Things High Performing Organizations Do Differently

The LIVE INSPIRED 7 segment is a series of 7 questions, shared “rapid fire” and answered boldly (without prep!) by our guests. My hope is to leave you reflecting on our guest’s answers and YOUR answers… and excited to apply ideas from today’s show to help you live an inspired life.

Don Yaeger’s Live Inspired 7

1. What is the best book you ever read?

I don’t read much fiction, but Nicholas Sparks wrote The Notebook and I’ve read it over and over again. My mom suffered from Alzheimer’s. He is such a gifted wordsmith.

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do?

I wouldn’t stop working that’s for sure. I’m on the national board for Make-A-Wish, so I’d help grant lots of wishes.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?

It’s a picture of my wife and I from our wedding day; the outside part of the frame was signed by all of our wedding guests.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?

One more conversation with John Wood. I just loved being in his presence. The last time I saw him I said “Every time I leave you I feel like a better man than when I arrived.” “John looked me and said: Don, I hope you make that your standard.”

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

If you want to be better, always improve you inner circle.

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20?

Slow down. I wanted everything way too fast for way too long.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?

He inspired many by telling the stories of others.


If you enjoyed today’s episode, subscribe, rate and review this podcast on Apple Podcasts and anywhere you get your podcasts! You’ll be the first to know when a new episode is available AND you will help grow our LIVE INSPIRED Movement.

I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Until then, remember: Today is your day. Live Inspired.

2 replies on “Live Inspired Podcast Episode 008: Interview with Don Yaeger”

Your interviews of exceptional people is so inspiring. Thank you so much. Today I listened to you interviewing Don Yaeher and his books about inspiring people. I’m going to the bookstore to buy several. By the way On Fire is already in my grown children’s Christmas stocking. God bless you John OLeary!!
Susan McLaughlin

Sweet Susan, thanks for joining us and for sharing your feedback! I hope our grown babies love their gifts…enjoy reading Don’s inspiring books and stay ON FIRE! J

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