‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Explained the Reason He Keeps a Notebook Beside His Bed

by Clayton Edwards

When you think of Mike Wolfe, what comes to mind? There’s a good chance that you think about American Pickers when you hear his name. More recently, you might think about his feud with Frank Fritz. However, there is much more to Wolfe than just the TV show. When you dig deep into the storage shed that is Mike’s mind, you see that, above all else, he is an entrepreneur. He created the hit show, sure. But he is also a businessman. He buys and refurbishes old buildings. Additionally, he helped to save a small town bike shop while finding a way to add vacation rentals in the same building. The TV show just helps him follow his passion and continue to build his business portfolio.

Mike Wolfe sat down with Robin Robins in 2013 for her Keeping It Real series. During that interview, he took several questions from the audience. However, before he did that, Wolfe talked about what helps him be a successful entrepreneur. He said that one of the things that helps him is keeping a notebook beside his bed.

Mike Wolfe On His Bedside Notebook

Before Robin Robins opened the floor for questions, she complimented Mike Wolfe’s entrepreneurial spirit. Then, she asked him to talk a little more about his business and being an entrepreneur.

Wolfe started by saying that he had been self-employed for 26 years. Keep in mind, this interview took place in 2013. So, now he has been the master of his own fate and checkbook for about 34 years. Then, he went on to discuss some of the things that helped him grow his interests into a career.

First, Mike Wolfe noted that before he was able to sell American Pickers, he knew that he had to put in the work every day. He said that he did this by thinking in what he calls his “alternative energy,” about everything. He defined that as looking at things from new angles and breaking things down into their simplest form before really digging into those thoughts.

Then, he explained why he keeps a notebook by his bed. Mike Wolfe revealed, “I’m one of those guys that’s always kept a notepad next to my bed or a voice recorder next to my bed. I have some of the most amazing thoughts at two or three o’clock in the morning. A lot of times, if I fell back asleep I wouldn’t remember what it was.” However, Wolfe doesn’t just jot down quick thoughts during the night. In fact, he said that he has written entire treatments for shows in the wee hours of the morning.

We can learn a lot from Mike Wolfe. One of those things is that the simplest things, like a notebook by the bed, can be a big step on the road to success.