What is your life motto? Keep Growing! Don’t forget where you came from or you might not be able to find your way back.
When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? I began pursuing right after college. I was trained as a biologist, became a marine biologist for NOAA and almost got washed overboard on a resource assessment expedition, quit, went to Bermuda with some college friends, saw the lifestyle of Entrepreneurs, become enamoured by it, and went on a quest to become one. It was a odyssey and journey into entrepreneurism and marketing. Success is a relative thing. Becoming independent or free and not having to work for someone else (earning six figures residual income) was success in the beginning. But it was a series of successes and failures over 10 to 15years that led me to the epiphany to start Market America 18 years ago which has become bigger than us.
How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream? All the time. Some people accuse me of being a workaholic or fanatical. I tell them, you are totally wrong because I am a “ playaholic”. My work is actually play because we are having fun. We work hard and play hard and I do not know which is which because they overlap and blend together. We are passionate about living.
Describe how difficult the business really is? If business were easy everyone would be a success and that would be wonderful. The truth of the matter is that there really is no competition because most people are not passionate, or practice anticipatory forward thinking as to how what they are doing effects the outcome or result. Instead they drift and become a victim of circumstances rather than making things happen. The key is finding something you are passionate about and identifying a need or a way to shift paradigms, by doing something that is needed more than what is currently available. Then the circumstances, people, money and whatever else is needed will be attracted. It is often said that the ‘devil is in the details’. But actually the devil is in the concept, if the concept is wrong the details do not matter. If the concept is right the details can be worked out.
What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson? My biggest mistake (and only regret) was not starting earlier to pursue my vision and entrepreneurial ideas (doubting myself). Instead I was a contractor or number 2 or 3 man for others and went up or down with the ship; even though I saw the same shortcomings or mistakes repeated. It was Loren than challenged me to make it happen on my own and lead the way. I guess her belief caused that ‘billionth of a volt to snap across my cerebral cortex’ to give me the confidence to do it on my own.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? If you want to be successful, identify a paradigm shifting trend or concept and lead the parade rather than getting in at the tail end of the parade!
What is the piece of advice that you weren’t? Thinking and believing is more powerful than money, the economy or people. Think big, because you will never be bigger than your thoughts. We become what we think about all the time. As a result you will be lead to the answers and circumstances to bring it into reality. Most people accept what they are told and don’t think for themselves very much. They watch TV, gossip, criticize, listen to people tell them that nothing will work and so that is what they get in life. Be careful about what you want (really want – not wish for0 because you are sure to get it.In fact you probably already have it.
In your mind, is formal training essential? It helps and I recommend it, but it is not essential. Following one’s passion and heart is what is essential. I am thankful for a liberal arts education because you learn deductive reasoning and have a broad foundation. So you end up knowing a lot about a little and a little about a lot and can talk intelligently about almost anything. That came in very handy in my career. And you know how to research and learn anything that you need to know.
What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career? Dream big, because you will never be bigger than your dreams. Don’t do what people say you should do—follow your passion, intuition, and desires. Listen to your own good thoughts and intuitions! Seek out and associate with people who are what you want to become. Surround yourself with successful forward looking people. See yourself in your mind’s eye where you want to be or what you want to become. Study what others on that path have done. Determine what you must do for that to become a reality. First you must find what you want (most people don’t have a clue), then you must be able to logically accept that it can happen. To do that you need to break down what you must accomplish, produce or achieve each year, month, week and day. The daily unit should add up to the weekly unit, which equals the monthly requirement, which ultimately achieves the annual milestone, which will eventually achieve the long-term goal. Along the way measure, monitor, adjust, and you will control the result. It works every time. When things go wrong or obstacles detour you, it is because what you were doing was not in line with reality and by adjusting ou are led to the answer or solution.
What kept you going when you felt like giving up? Fear of failure. Facing everyone I told that I was going to make it. Financial destruction. And the knowledge that what I was doing was possible and it was just a matter of time. I burned all bridges and it was all or nothing and we never looked back. Most people stop just shy of the breakthrough or success. It is the universe’s way of testing you.
Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? I believe that luck is when opportunity meets preparedness. There is no doubt that timing is everything and you need to be able to recognize it. Luck is a function of mathematical probability and when you study reality and line up your actions to work in line with reality (what’s possible going forward), the probability of success increases dramatically. Probability works in your favour when you work with large numbers and have enough possibilities. There is no doubt that from time to time probability or “luck” works in your favour, but it doesn’t prevent success either.
I remember people who told me when i was beginning the venture—“That will never work, you are crazy, you will never make it.” Years later when we were very successful and financially well off and they ran into me they would say: “Wow, JR , look at you now and all of your success—you sure are lucky”. At first I was abashed and taken back and then realized that they were right: “Your absolutely right! I sure am lucky that I didn’t list to you !”(your rear end or ‘ass’)