Mike Johnson won the hearts of many Bachelor fans when he appeared on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette.
As Mike exclusively explains to E! News, he thought he was just looking for love on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, but he found something so much better. In both of those shows he left as a single man, but he came away from the experiences with a wealth of knowledge not on just relationships, but himself.
Now he's passing on those words of wisdom to his followers, whether they are single or not, because the way he sees it, it's never too late to learn and grow. He shares all this and more in his book Making The Love You Want, a self-help novel of sorts.
To learn what readers can look forward to and hear his opinion on Tayshia Adams taking over for Clare Crawley on The Bachelorette, check out the Q&A below!
E!: Congratulations on your book, that's exciting.
MJ: Yeah, it makes me smile. It's extremely scary because I truly am being so vulnerable. When I was on TV for trying to find the love of my life, that doesn't seem as vulnerable as this. To me this is like, I feel like I'm an artists and I'm sharing the world my baby, my creation that I worked so hard on.
E!: What inspired you to write a relationship book like this?
MJ: Like most people, I spent a lot of time in my life looking for love out in the world, trying to explore new experiences, even through reality TV. In trying to find the love that I was in fact looking for all along, I found out it was within me. And then when I realized all love begins with self love—really standing up for yourself and being true to your values, quite honestly—is the key to success. Everything changed at that moment. I knew I wanted to share that truth and my truth with more people and that is what inspired this.
E!: Some tips in the book are about how to stop looking for external validation and look inward. How do you personally achieve this when it comes to living in the spotlight and absorbing that public opinion?
MJ: It's one thing to see the public opinion but another thing to absorb it, right? I think the things that I do absorb are things from my mom, my sister, my grandmother, my best friends—my homies, as I call them—that's what I do absorb. And then quite honestly, from there, when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, that's who I have to validate. No one else. And so I have my written words on my mirror, my little mantra; my mantras that are within my book have literally been on my mirror and so it's just me, myself and I. Beyoncé said it, and that's what it is.
E!: What did you learn about yourself from your time on The Bachelorette?
MJ: A lot. I would say one of the things I learned from being on The Bachelorette is the life-changing power of courage, the power of vulnerability. The book definitely goes there. It gives you an inside look at my life and some of that stuff will come from what I experienced on TV. But the hope is that you and other readers can see parts of yourselves or struggles in my experiences. Quite honestly, being on a show, being around so many different cultures, so many different personalities for sure, a lot of alpha men in the house I learned that love self, love all. That's pretty much everything.
E!: What have you learned about what you need in a relationship and how are you going about finding that?
MJ: I have been in love before. I went on the reality TV show to find my last chapter, or my first chapter to my new beginning, and I simply learned it's okay to be vulnerable. It's not cowardly to show your vulnerability, it's actually cowardly the hide your vulnerability.
E!: What is your relationship status? Are you still looking for that final chapter girl?
MJ: I'm single. I am looking to find someone that has passions that are similar to mine.
E!: You were on Paradise with Tayshia Adams. What do you think about the shakeup and how do you think Tayshia will be as the Bachelorette?
MJ: Firstly, I definitely think that representation is incredibly important. There's nothing that I support more within that franchise than having more people of color, having people of color in a lead role. Whether it's me, Matt James, Tayshia Adams, I love seeing the progress and we'll be cheering them both on, whether it's on the show or off the show. I think that Tayshia will be a great Bachelorette. I know her personally, we've had lots of conversations about relationships and about real life, current events and she is an incredibly thoughtful person. Her emotional awareness, her EQ level is off the charts.
E!: You mention Matt James… Now that some time has passed since a petition called for The Bachelor to cast a Black lead and they picked Matt, how do you feel about the decision they made? So many fans were rooting for you.
MJ: I think that [ABC] still needs to do a whole lot more within hiring Black people and people of color in high positions, not just in the bottom tier. I think choosing Matt James, he's a pretty phenomenal dude, I think he's pretty awesome. He has a great smile. I'm hating on him because he's a little bit taller than me but he's a great guy. I felt that I'm a bit unsure of the timing. I think that that was a bit off but as far as Matt James as an individual, I think he's a great guy.
E!: Is there anything from your book that you want people to take away from it?
MJ: I am not a reality TV personality that decides to write a book on a whim. I would say that I am an avid reader, I've read hundreds of books. I am pretty much a nerd. I was a financial advisor before going onto The Bachelor franchise. I am a very analytical type of individual and this book is the most incredible accomplishment that I've ever been able to do and I hope that touches so many people.
Mike's book, Making The Love You Want, will be released on World Smile Day: Friday, October 2, 2020 and is available for pre-order now.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)