Dan Gheesling came to the University of Central Florida to speak today at a Campus Activities Board event, and I had the chance to do a personal interview. Dan is the winner of Big Brother 10, a CBS Reality TV show. As the winner of BB 10, Gheesling received fame, bragging rights and a $500,000 reward. “From a blue collar family,” he went into Big Brother for the money and used it to go into real estate. He realized his passion for reality television at a young age, when he found himself obsessed with Big Brother and Survivor.
While at Michigan State University, Dan obtained the position of Graduate Assistant and youngest coach of the football team, which was a record setting achievement. When he turned twenty-one years old, he used this to apply not only for the show Big Brother, but also for Survivor. Unfortunately, it took years of rejection and doubt before this “normal guy” got cast, even acting like a “jerk” for attention. His determination and gaming strategies made him the first and only person to win BB by a 7-0 unanimous vote, and he returned as a Coach on BB 14 to make it to the top two again.
Currently, Dan serves as an author and life coach to teams and people that ask for his advice. He even runs “How To Get On Reality TV” podcast courses. Through his struggles and success, he lives by the motto that if you want something badly enough, you get obsessed with it and you make it happen. In December 2013, his newest book, Clean Your Own Mirror, will release. Gheesling outlines the six duties of being a leader and influencer, including self-reflection. This inspirational celebrity emphasized tonight how important and applicable these duties are for young professionals and student leaders.