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How to turn down $115 Million: the courage to end on a peak

Trevor Noah just left The Daily Show after seven years. And I’m sad about that because I love watching him. I’ll miss him. He’s very funny.

By coincidence, James Corden is leaving The Late Late Show after eight and a half years. I’ll miss him too because he’s such a great entertainer. 

I watched both of their shows almost every night during the lockdown. 

But as much as I’ll miss them, I’m happy for them. 

It takes real courage to move on when you don’t know what’s next. 

I just watched an interview where Trevor Noah was asked why he was quitting his show when everyone was saying, ‘Oh no…’ He responded, “Well, that’s better than waiting until they say, ‘Oh, yeah! That makes sense…’”

Jerry Seinfeld was offered $115 million to make season 10 of his iconic show, Seinfeld. 

He turned it down. 

The first Seinfeld episode aired in 1989 and it became one of the most watched sitcoms on television. The show earned 10 Emmy Awards, the final season was viewed by 38 million people, and the series finale had nearly 80 million viewers. 

NBC offered Jerry $115 million to film another season and he turned it down.

In a New York Times interview he said, “The only way to know if something has reached the top is when it starts going down. I didn’t want to do that.

We’ve all seen a million athletes where you wish they didn’t do those last two years. I wanted to end the show on a peak … a point of strength… Getting that right is what makes it art or what makes it mediocre.”

For top-performers, the opposite of success isn’t failure, it’s mediocrity. 

If you coach high-performing clients, help them quit before they’re ready. 

Remember: smart people need your support more than they know and more than you think. 

And how about you… What are you doing now that you’ll regret in five years if you are still doing it?

Stop it now… 

You can thank me later. 

Love. Rich 


PS. More transparency here: almost 20 years into my coaching career, I still get nervous every time I launch a new program. When the first person signs up, it always feels like a fluke! And it’s only after the second person is in that I believe it’s real.

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