Motivational speaker Steve Maraboli is not the type to name-drop about his high-profile clients – world leaders, professional athletes or movie stars – who occasionally visit him at his Main Street office in Port Washington.
“I have many clients,” he said. “Some have the misfortune of leaving when there’s traffic on Main Street.”
He added, “Most high profile clients don’t come here.”
His office is a serene space. Rich wood floors, comfortable seats, the mood light and airy. The windows are mirrored, so when world leaders do drop in, there’s privacy.
What Maraboli speaks freely about is empowerment – establishing goals, and reaching them.
“Success isn’t something you have,” he said. “It’s something you do. We’re masters at wanting things, and find a million excuses not to do it.”
To Maraboli, the proverbial glass seems to be way more than half-full.
“Every day is brand new,” he said, relaxing at his desk from where he also broadcasts a radio show. “Every day is a day that no one has ever seen before.”
It’s a theme he picks up in his book “Life, The Truth, And Being Free,” where he writes, “Today is your opportunity to break free of the limiting belief that the moment answers to no one. This moment is yours and yours alone!”
Maraboli has published several books. He says he donates 100 percent of the revenue from his books and his company, A Better Today International, to charity, supporting women’s centers and veterans, creating wells in Africa, and more. He earns his living, he added, as the executive director of New York-based Michael Thomas Research Center for Social & Behavioral Science, which specializes in peak performance and human potential.
These areas have fascinated Maraboli – a Port Washington native – since childhood, although, he concedes, he “did horribly in school. I was disinterested. I think I failed lunch.”
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But at age 10, he read constantly, including “The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius” and L. Ron Hubbard’s “Dianetics.” As a teen, he focused instead on girls and sports. Upon graduating Schreiber High School, he said, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he discovered discipline, and taking control of life.
Honorably discharged at 22, he rejected promising job offers, opting instead to start his company. With just $500 and an 800 number, he printed flyers, and distributed them at train stations, ultimately speaking before small groups.
Fast forward to today. Maraboli said he’s spoken in 100 countries, and also reaches people internationally through his radio show, “Empowered Living Radio.”
“Steve is successful because he simply refuses to fail, he is philanthropic because the point of being successful is giving it all away. All should benefit from greatness, and this he knows,” said childhood friend Cathleen Cuneo Seaquist, and local entrepreneur. “I strive to be like him and wish that more people would."
“I cannot think of a man I admire more,” said Donna Drake, who hosts “Live It Up! With Donna Drake,” airing on CBS 10 WLNY. “His success stems from his approach to life which is a no nonsense straight to the facts point of view.”
And even though movie stars now seek him out, Maraboli has no plans to leave Port Washington.
“I like to walk out of my door and wave to people I met last week, or someone I knew from kindergarten,” he said, adding, “I was born and raised here.”