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Marketwired Client Spotlight: Shawn Anderson, Extra Mile America

Marketwired Client Spotlight: Shawn Anderson, Extra Mile America

When you ask him what he does, Shawn Anderson humbly responds by saying “I empower people. That’s my job.” A well-known motivational speaker and best-selling author, Shawn founded Extra Mile America, a non-profit created to empower individuals and organizations to “go the extra mile” in order to create the positive change they want to see in their local communities. As testament to his success, November 1 was designated “Extra Mile Day” in declaration of and recognition to those in local communities who “go the extra mile” in volunteerism and service. In 2009, 23 mayors participated in “Extra Mile Day”; in 2013, there will be over 400 mayors in cities large and small participating – from Anchorage to Dover, Delaware, and from Boston to Portland, Oregon.

Celebrating triumphs and overcoming challenges

To give a flavor of what Shawn does, in 2009 he embarked on a solo cross-country bike tour (4,000 miles) during which he interviewed 200-plus people in 21 cities who had been identified as “going the extra mile” – a blind woman who climbed one of the world’s tallest mountains, a triathlete who was born a congenital amputee, a 95-year-old who has been volunteering at the same hospital for 49 years, a corporate executive who gives away 82% of his company’s profits. These stories and more are featured in his book “Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose.”

If a 4,000-mile bike trip across the country wasn’t challenging enough, on day two of the 90-day adventure Shawn’s road manager (the person driving his support van) quit. In response, Shawn says, “you don’t create something called Extra Mile America and then quit on day two when things start getting tough, do you? I re-grouped when I got the midnight call and found a driver to get me to my next city. Sometimes…baby step after baby step is all we need to focus on in order to get to our final destination. And earn our ‘Extra Mile Stripes.’”

Inspiring others to be their best

Shawn’s feeling is that we get one life, so why not live the life we love? He acknowledges that life’s everyday grind can sometimes make a goal seem more than challenging – even overwhelming. As he puts it: “my ‘juice’ in life is helping other maximize potential. I find nothing more rewarding than to provide the inspiration, accountability and support system to help others ‘win.’”

Living positively, passionately and purposefully is a big deal to him. His job helps him stay fine-tuned personally so he can be of the most value to others. He says “a job that encourages you to be your best makes life sweeter in all other areas.”

Although Shawn is new to Marketwired he is already a big fan. “The customer service is extraordinary and it has been my experience that the whole Marketwired team really goes out of their way to make sure I am getting the maximum use of their product.” He uses Marketwired Mediahub to create targeted lists and distribute emails to encourage local participation and press releases to more broadly publicize Extra Mile America and November 1, the “Extra Mile Day.”

A word of advice

To someone who is interested in pursuing a similar career, Shawn has some great advice: “As the author of six books (70,000 copies in print), I often hear ‘I want to write a book!’ My #1 suggestion to achieve this goal is to pick the date on which you want to finish the book. Then take a calendar…working from the book’s finish date to the present…and break the writing of the book into small achievable parts. By doing this, you leave ‘overwhelm’ at the table and have now developed an accountability tool that will get you to the finish line.”

EMA logoFor more information about Extra Mile Day, visit . To speak to Shawn Anderson directly at Extra Mile America, call 310-402-4826 or email You can also visit Extra Mile America at

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