Eric “ET” Thomas: 10 Years Of Breathing Success [VIDEO]

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then youll be successfulis quote you’ve probably read, heard, seen posted somewhere or scrolled past memes of it on social media. But that quote was created by the one and only Eric “ET” Thomas. It was something he said in a video that went viral having more than 100 million views across various youtube channels.

ET is a Detroit native who never spoke to his father until he was 30 years old. He was homeless, living in abandoned buildings in Detroit, and literally eating out of trash for food.

It’s been exactly 10 years since the viral video (seen above) of him speaking to a group of students went viral. That video led to more speaking engagements, books, high profile bookings and bigger success.

eric thomas

In fact, as CEO of his Consulting Firm, ETA LLC., Eric has led his team through the doors of dozens of reputable organizations and Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Quicken Loans, AT&T, Nike, Under Armour, New Balance and UPS. He has also consulted for major Universities and the major sports teams within the MLB, NBA, NFL and MLS.

But 10 years ago, that viral video, was actually an accident.

“Actually a guy recorded that video for his thesis, but he never used it for his thesis” confessed ET on the Gary Vee Show. “That group in the room was about 40 or 50 kids who were about to get kicked out of Michigan State and I was going off. Their parents had just been laid off of Ford, GM and Chrysler. We’re talking about right when the country hit the depression and this was these kids chance to get a degree and turn it all around. So I had to go off and somebody just happened to record it.”

“Somebody spoke into me when I was 17 years old. They literally saw this success in me,” says ET. “I was 17, sleeping in abandoned buildings, not taking showers, eating out of trashcans. A pastor at a local church I used to go to sometimes with my homeboys said ‘You can do it’ and he helped me get my GED and sent me to college. And once I got there, it was a new environment and I was just so thankful, I had to pay it forward.”


While the typical undergraduate student takes between four to six years to complete their studies, ET took 12.  For most, that would have signaled the end of any future academic aspirations. But, for ET, it was a launching pad for success.  In 2005, ET completed and received a Master’s Degree from Michigan State University and on February 5th of  2015, Eric successfully defended his dissertation and received his PhD in Education Administration from Michigan State University.

ET will probably be the first to tell you that life, even with success, still isn’t walk in the park. It still takes work.

“Life hasn’t been a crystal stair for Eric Thomas. I’ve one, two, three aunts die of cancer in the last 4-5 years. Life will…