This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jim Stoval. Jim is an icon. He’s shared the stage with everyone from Zig Ziglar to Tony Robbins. He’s the bestselling author of 30 books including The Ultimate Gift, The Ultimate Life and The Lamp which have been made into major motion pictures.
Jim has been a national champion Olympic weightlifter, the President of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network, and a highly sought after author and platform speaker. Steve Forbes said “Jim Stovall is one of the most extraordinary men of our era.”
You see, Jim is blind and he has shown through his life and work that no matter who you are or your situation, you can accomplish anything. In fact, for his work in making television accessible to our nation’s 13 million blind and visually impaired people, The President’s Committee on Equal Opportunity selected Jim Stovall as the Entrepreneur of the Year. He was also chosen as the International Humanitarian of the Year, joining Jimmy Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Mother Teresa as recipients of this honor.
It's truly an honor to have him on and I can’t wait to have him share his wisdom with you in this episode.
Jim was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma and still makes it his home. His businesses stretch across the world. He grew up with one ambition – to be an All-American football player and play in the NFL. He had the size and speed to do it and was heavily recruited and scouted. As such, he never cared about school or anything. He didn’t have a plan B.
Then one year, during a routine physical, he was diagnosed with a condition that would cause him to lose his sight. His dream to play in the NFL died and he was confronted with this massive problem that was a blessing in disguise.
Of all that you’ve done and learned on your journey, what have you found that truly matters?
- Jim has over 10 million copies of his books in print and the movies off them have grossed over $100 million.
- The story of the book and subsequent, the Ultimate Gift is what truly matters.
- The secret of life is to find our gift and then we achieve meaning when we share it and give it away.
- We achieve meaning when we truly serve humanity with that gift.
- So many people play the wrong game.
- You can go from world class to mediocre by playing the wrong game.
How does someone go about finding their gift or confirming they have found it?
- You must grow, advance and develop – otherwise, you are choosing only with the options you have currently.
- You start with what comes easy to you that everyone else seems to think is hard.
- You have to find what you enjoy doing and then find meaning with it and how it can matter in a larger way.
- And you need to be able to profit in it.
- You don’t “make money.” You “earn it.” And you earn money by creating value.
- Ask how you can serve more people and create more value – the money will follow if you can do that.
How do you see money?
- The big lie – If I have enough money, I wouldn’t have any more problems.
- Money doesn’t solve your problems; it makes you more of whatever you are.
- Valuables without values is like a loaded gun. Get and instill the right values before your get the money.
- Money is not a goal. It is a tool.
- We don’t want money, we want the things money will buy and we need to know what those are.
- Otherwise, we get caught up in the “disease of more,” where are never satisfied and “more” never comes.
- The disease of more is an empty pursuit.
At the 16 min mark, Jim talks about losing his sight and about changing your life by changing your mind…
- Jim made a bargain with God and challenged God.
- It all happened at a state fair. He saw an exhibition of weightlifting.
- And then went to a concert at fair without even looking who was playing.
- And then the announcer came out and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Ray Charles”
- In that moment, Jim found his message in the magic of seeing Ray Charles and realizing a blind guy could do something.
- That was the beginning and what put him on his path to be an Olympic weightlifter, his businesses, etc.
What have you learned about how to develop and winning and succeeding mindset?
- The magic words “Somebody ought to do something…”
- Those words are an idea.
- The world is weighting for a great idea and we trip over them multiple times a day.
- The have a great business, you need idea of “somebody ought to do something” and then ask, how can I help other people avoid that problem or issue or improve this situation for them.
- Care about others and solve their problems. It’s about them and not you. That is how you succeed.
What have you learned from your relationship with Steve Forbes?
- They met after Jim was chosen as Entrepreneur of the Year.
- Steve is a 3rd generation and handed the business built by his father and grandfather.
- He had a choice of growing it and taking to the next level or sitting on it. He did the former and has built it into the powerhouse it is today.
- It is different to take something successful and grow it and keep it successful, than to start from nothing and grow something. They are two different skill sets.
You’ve written 40 books, is there a favorite? If so why?
- The best book is Keeper of the Flame.
- The best-seller is the Ultimate Gift.
- They are all special in their own way, but the Ultimate Gift is in a league by itself.
What is Ultimate Productivity?
- Productivity is a matter of getting the most of what you put into something.
- It involves intensity and efficiency.
- It came out of a conversation with Steve Forbes.
- The biggest source of productivity knowledge came from John Wooden, who Jim spoke with weekly until his death.
- It comes down to how we motivate, communicate, and how we act.
- It is not about time; it is about results.
- The things you measure are the things that will move.
- Activity is not productivity. Don’t confuse them.
- The one commodity we don’t get any more of in life is time. Every day you should be doing something to get closer to your goal.
- The time to get in the game is today.
Jim and I continue a discussion on this and it’s best to listen at around the 32 min mark.
What would be your advice a young entrepreneur to succeed, not just in the beginning, but into the future?
- First, they need to understand what it is to be an entrepreneur.
- The name is overused.
- Entrepreneurs are the ones who do everything in our society. Everyone who is employed works for an entrepreneur.
- Everything invented, built, etc. started in the mind of an entrepreneur.
- Entrepreneurship is not for those that can be talked out of it.
- You have to be so committed and have deep passion for it.
- You must also realize that you have a lot of bosses as an entrepreneur – your customers are your boss and can fire you by voting with their dollars.
- Next, you must have serious delayed gratification. There are a lot of rules that have to be learned.
- Self-education is critical to succeed as you competing against the best.
Best Quote: You don’t “make money.” You “earn it.” And you earn money by creating value. The more value you create, the more you earn.
Jim's Misfit 3:
- The biggest dream, you’ve ever had in your life is alive in you and well. The big scary dreams are real and hell is standing before your maker understanding what you could have done if you had gone after the dream that was inside of you. The question is not “can we,” but “will we.”
- You will be the same person you are today 5 years from except for the books you read and the people you meet.
- You change your life when you change your mind. Guard your mind and the input into it.
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