The Talking Series is a weekly segment that delves deeper into topics discussed by guests of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast.
In 2006, three brothers from New Jersey were dropped from their record label after their debut album failed to find an audience. They had two choices: let this setback destroy their dreams or use it as motivation. Less than a year later, the band was signed to a new label and ready to release their follow-up album. While they knew they’d created something special, nothing could have prepared them for how different life would be once they broke Billboard’s top five. Exactly 12 months after losing their record deal, Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas were superstars. In the sixteen years since the Jonas Brothers became pop sensations, they’ve released five studio albums and have sold more than 17 million records. Kevin Jonas recently joined us for a special rapid-fire segment of the Everyday Warrior Podcast to discuss success, teaming up with Wells Fargo for the Active Cash Card, and more.
Today we look at Kevin’s greatest achievement, what he values most in life, and where he sees the Jonas Brothers at 50 years old.
The Greatest Measure of Success
At just 17 years old, Jonas was already performing in front of enormous sold-out crowds, had millions of adoring fans, and graced the cover of countless magazines. Soon after becoming a household name, the Jonas Brothers won Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2008 American Music Awards. Since then, they’ve racked up 121 nominations and 61 wins, including the award for Top Group at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. With so many accomplishments, we were surprised by how quickly he answered when we asked about his greatest achievement.
“My legacy, my journey, and my goal is to set a good example for my daughters,” he says.
Family is as important to him today as it was growing up. That’s why, despite his hectic schedule, he spends each morning with his children.
“I love to do breakfast for the girls,” says Jonas. “Even if I get in at 4 in the morning, it doesn’t matter—we still do breakfast.” When someone measures their success by what they do for others, rather than with the typical benchmarks, it reveals a great deal about their character. Despite everything, Jonas remains firmly grounded, which is a testament to his upbringing, values, and the strength of his family.
It’s All About Mindset
The key to success is having a positive outlook; our mindset shapes how we view the world and determines how we react to challenges and opportunities. It’s never too late to develop a healthy mindset, but a lot of what we believe comes from our childhood. The Jonas brothers learned a lesson from their father who shaped their approach to success and outlook on life. Jonas says his dad would always tell them: “Even if you’re [on] top, live like you’re at the bottom.” While this advice initially seems to be about money, it’s not.
“It was about staying hungry and…[taking advantage] of the opportunities you’re given,” says Jonas.
Although he heard this mantra throughout his childhood, Jonas admits he didn’t fully appreciate the wisdom behind his father’s words until his late 20s or early 30s. Regardless of when it happens, once you understand the power of developing the right mindset, nothing can stand in your way.
Family and the Future
It’s no secret families don’t always get along—especially siblings. That’s without the added stress of touring and taking on massive responsibilities at a very young age. While being surrounded by family has benefits, those critical of the band often overlook the steep downside.
“I think sometimes people forget that we’re brothers, and they forget the dynamics [of]…family and how challenging that can be,” says Jonas. After some difficult times, the three brothers appear to have come full circle. While nobody knows what the future holds for the former teen idols, Jonas says he’ll be satisfied if “we don’t lose each other, which we could have done long ago.” Jonas adds that he and his brothers will know they’ve made it when “we stand up on that stage in our fifties, [with] our kids around us, and we’re still a family.”
For Jonas, success is making breakfast for his girls, talking with his wife for hours, and playing music with his brothers—the rest is just noise.
Check out the whole conversation with Kevin Jonas on The Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast, available now.
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