≡ Menu

Willie Geist Quotes

William Russell Geist

Willie Geist quotes: perspective from the TV personality.

“I’m not a huge luck guy. I think you make your own luck. I don’t really believe in some other force making your own luck.”

“Volunteer to do anything from the start. Even if it’s outside your job. Say, ‘I’ll go run and do that.’ Just be open to do anything. If you’re working on TV, don’t walk in your first day and announce your plans to be on TV. Because that’s what everyone wants to do. Just work hard for a while, prove yourself to everyone around you, and they’ll see that you work hard.”

“It’s good to be ambitious, but work hard at your job first.”

“It’s helpful to focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t do or have difficulty doing.”

“I would suggest [you] practice writing. Writing is a gift that can carry you through so much. I think being a good writer is key to everything in this business. If you can write, you can be self-sufficient, and you can always create your own content and speak in your voice, and you won’t always be reliant on other people to get your message.”

“Things will come along in life, and it’s how you handle them that matters.”

“My mom taught me how to drive on her stick-shift Jeep CJ-7 that had no power steering and no first gear. She said, ‘If you can drive this, you can drive anything.’ A metaphor for life.”

“I think the best advice that I’ve gotten, and I know it’s a cliché and I apologize for even saying it, but totally be yourself. It’s something I’ve sort of known instinctively but it’s nice to not only hear it from Today Show colleagues but to watch them live it. The people on the Today Show have succeeded and made it as hosts of the Today Show by being who they are, and that’s something different for each of them.”

“My heroes are my mom, dad and late grandparents.”

“My dad and money… he showed me its value in the way he worked for it. We never talked about 401(k)s or the swings of the tech-heavy NASDAQ over dinner, but I learned about money by watching the time and effort my dad put in at work so he could own a house and give his family a life he was proud of.”

“I also knew as I grew up that money was not going to magically appear in my pocket. I worked a soon as I could, at summer basketball camps, delivering pizzas, and doing landscaping work for three summers. There was nothing better than the feeling of a wad of cash in my dirty, sweaty, beat up hand every Friday afternoon after another week on the mowers. That’s a lesson, even if learned through osmosis, I owe to my dad.”

“I may have picked up a little more financial wisdom in my adult years than my dad had in his, but I’m no Oracle of the Upper West Side. I will pass on to my kids what my father gave me: an appreciation for money, an understanding that it won’t always just be there for you, and respect for the hard work that puts it in your pocket. And when they ask hard questions, I’ll just tell them to watch CNBC or something.”

“My dad is so unique in what he does. It’s not like I’m taking a torch from him and doing his thing. I hope I’ve carried from him a little bit of a sense of irony, a little bit of a wink.”

“All I got was a great example of someone who liked his job and was good at it and went to interesting places and spoke to interesting people. My dad didn’t brag about the thing he did today but I’d see the show and say that looks like a cool job—you get to put your stamp on something.”

“I hope I pass on my dad’s good humor, work ethic and lack of self-seriousness. Our house was always a fun place where you’d get knocked around quickly if you took yourself too seriously.”

“Landing on Morning Joe wasn’t a fluke. I was a political science major in college. I give credit to the political science department for planting that seed and stirring my interest. I interned at the CBS political unit, covered conventions. The nice thing about Morning Joe is that I do get to do serious news sometimes.”

“I got into television in 1998 when I didn’t have a computer or even an email address.”

“It’s fun to deliver material on live TV because it’s more off-the-cuff, but I like writing better. You really can measure the joke, think an extra second and nail the right reference.”

“My job is just to know what’s going on in the world. I’m always trying to absorb what’s coming in through my phone, following news organizations and politicians. It’s around-the-clock preparation.”

“An ideal day starts with putting on a good, smart, fun show where I learn something. Sometimes words tell the whole story.”

“I like my job as every day is different, and the people we get to meet and spend time with. It’s cool to be on set with people I really look up to and just hang with them.”

“People know the facts of a story just as well as the people on TV do, and they have more platforms to hold the media accountable when they don’t get it right. We are a world full of media experts. That’s a great thing.”

“I treat Twitter like a news feed. I follow you guys, I follow every news organization—left, right, center, and everything in between—and it’s like a ticker on my phone. For me it’s that you have to wade through the people who wish you were dead, and I have to respect their opinions, but it helps me stay on top of the news.”

“The thing about me is that I don’t judge my audience. I welcome. It is a big tent.”

“If I’m doing my job well, I’m asking the question the viewer is thinking about as they watch.”

“Just tell me what’s going on. And let the facts of the story make your case for you if you’re trying to make a case. You don’t have to add in snark. I think there will be a reward for people who just stick to the story and get the facts right and are not rooting for an outcome.”

“I don’t think anybody’s quite accurately branded me. I’m not sure I could do it myself.”

“The best part of having a platform and a voice is being able to help groups.”

“When you work in TV long enough, you tend to get a little jaded with different things you have to deal with.”

“When you’re young, the blue blazer feels like a grown-up costume.”

“I always say to my kids when I look around and they see the news that’s scary and chaotic, that there’s much, much more light in the world than there is dark and we try to shine that light brightly on Sunday through our spotlight pieces. So I think just lifting people up on a Sunday morning we have the benefit of some time and people’s attention because they’re not running out to go to work or school.”

“My family is healthy and I’m fortunate enough to have a job in a time when so many people are experiencing real hardship, or worse. So, I’m lucky. I wake up and broadcast every morning from home in a full studio. It’s a year unlike any I, or anyone I know, has ever experienced both as a journalist and just as a person living in the American epicenter of the Coronavirus crisis. It’s a measure of how extraordinary this year has been.”

“I describe my parenting style as ‘third-party discipline,’ enlisting anyone in uniform, from cops to movie ticket-takers, when his kids need some correcting.”

“Let your kids have memories of you being there. Not every time you see them has to be to scoop them up to go to ice cream. But you’re around for homework, to hear the story about the playground, or have an impromptu game of catch. People always ask me how crazy it is to get up so early for work, but I’ve been home for bath time and reading time and bedtime. Just to be there and have their little brains develop memories of you invested and interested and there for them the whole time. Be there as much as you humanly can be. For me it’s: do your job, prepare, do it well, then get home.”

“Personal goal is to spend every free moment I have with my kids while they still want to hang out with us.”

“If the relentless personal maintenance plan has taken over your life, give it a rest.”

“I believe life is to be lived and not survived.”

“Take life seriously, but not yourself.”

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.