HomeEntertainmentMike Rowe Tried to Work in Trades, Took a ‘Long Time’ to Realize He Wasn’t Cut Out for It

Mike Rowe Tried to Work in Trades, Took a ‘Long Time’ to Realize He Wasn’t Cut Out for It

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Former “Dirty Jobs” star Mike Rowe might just be the most interesting man in the world — or at least he gives the Dos Equis guys a run.

While he might mostly be known for his time on “Dirty Jobs,” Mike Rowe has done plenty more in his lifetime. He actually entered the world of show business as an opera singer and actor before earning acclaim as a television host. Now at 59-years-old, Mike Rowe is one of the most recognizable faces to television enthusiasts around the world. His resume shows a very diverse set of skills and special talents that have taken him from the lighted stage to the host’s chair. There is truly not much that Mike Rowe hasn’t done in the world of show business.

But show business stardom wasn’t always in the plans for Mike Rowe, who preferred working with his hands at a young age. His grandfather was a tradesman and a genius, according to Rowe, when it came to building houses. Mike Rowe admired his grandfather’s skills as a tradesman that he hoped to follow in his footsteps someday. It didn’t take long for him to figure that he needed to investigate other skills that he might have as he wasn’t quite as handy as grandpa. In a 2019 interview with Plough Magazine, Mike Rowe talks about his family’s influence on his career path.

“Most everyone in my family except my parents, who were schoolteachers, were farmers, fishermen, or tradespeople,” he says. “My grandfather, who lived next door, was a master electrician – one of those guys who could build a house without a blueprint. He was a genius in his own way, and I was determined to follow in his footsteps.”

It didn’t exactly work out that way for Mike Rowe.

Mike Rowe Recognizes Tradesman Talent Diffiency

The world is full of people with different talents. I am a writer. You might be an accountant or a firefighter or a zookeeper. The point is that we all have something that we are good at — and plenty of things we aren’t so good at. Mike Rowe discovered this at a young and we are all better off for it.

“Unfortunately, the handy gene is recessive, and apparently, I didn’t get it,” he says. “It took me a long time to get the message that I was not going to make a living in the trades, but it was my grandfather who gave me a different way to think about things. He said, ‘Look, Mike, you can be a tradesman, just get a different toolbox.'”

That turned out to be some of the best advice Mike Rowe ever got.

“I was 17 when I started looking at music and acting,” he says. “While I didn’t initially love them, I learned that I was good at them. At least, better than I was at making things. It was a valuable lesson: just because you love something doesn’t mean you’re going to be good at it, and just because you don’t like something initially doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it.”

Wise words there from Mike Rowe and something we should take into consideration.