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Editor: [00:00:00] Welcome to another interview. And I have a feeling that today’s interview is going to be rather engaging, fun and extremely motivational because James Malinchak is one of America’s leading keynote speakers and business coaches. USA today named him the world’s premier speaker, trainer and coach is also been featured on ABC’s hit show, ‘Secret Millionaire’, and now James, it’s a great pleasure to welcome you to the interview.
James Malinchak: [00:00:24] Hey, thanks for having me. I truly appreciate it.
Editor: [00:00:26] It’s great to have you with us. As, I mentioned in the introduction, you’re widely regarded as one of the best motivational
speakers in the world. Can I start by asking? Was that always an ambition?
James Malinchak: [00:00:37] No, it wasn’t actually, um, Uh, I just remember saying, man, but if I can make two, $2,000, when I was getting out of school, I made $2,000 a month.
I’ll be set for the rest of my life. Yeah, that’s it I’ll pay my rent, pay my car insurance. I’m good. Right. And, um, I have a friend who is a, kind of a celebrity pretty here in the U S he’s a former pro football player. His name is Joe Theismann. A legendary quarterback for the Washington Redskins. And I want to see him speak back in 1995.
I’d never seen a speaker before. And, uh, I just loved what he did. Like he got up there and told stories. He motivated, inspired folks. And we went out to lunch after and I asked him not knowingly, very ignorantly. I said do they pay you to be out here? And he looked at me like, yeah. And I, said, well, what they pay you like $50 or something?
He looked at me, I got nine heads. He said, “no they paid me $10,000!” This was back in 1995. And I almost fell off the chair. “So they paid you $10,000 to do what? He said, “to deliver that speech.” I mean, Joe’s $25-$30,000 now.
And I was like, what? They paid you to talk for 45 minutes? And Joe is the guy that started explaining the speaking industry and how it’s really a business and I’m the kind of guy you don’t have to hit me in the head with a two by four, twice.
I catch it the first time he did right. And I can help people. I can inspire them, and they will pay me? Oh my gosh, I’m going to do this. And I did. And my first talk was, well, actually it did about 80 for free. Cause I didn’t know anything about the business side of speaking. And then my first paid talk.
Was $50 and a free dinner. And that’s how I got started.
Editor: [00:02:29] And which did you enjoy the most? The $50 or the free dinner?
James Malinchak: [00:02:32] Well, I’ll take the free dinner because I actually had to drive about three and a half hours one way. And I emceed an event for about four hours and then I drove three and a half hours back.
So I think I used the $50 up in gas. I think the free dinner when I got there was better.
Editor: [00:02:50] Well, you’ll from a small town in Pennsylvania. So how did you go from such humble beginnings to becoming one of the world’s most revered authors, speakers and business coaches?
James Malinchak: [00:03:00] Well, you know, I think growing up in that small-town environment, Had a lot to do with it.
Um, wonderful, great people. We had about 6,000 people in our town and we didn’t have much. Dad work in the steel mill, uh, on the trains, hauling coal and all kinds of scrap metal. And moms was a lunch mother at the schools, meaning serving lunches to kids going to school. So we didn’t have anything.
And, um, I think growing up in that environment, well, the blessing I had was I had a cousin. It was very successful. It came from that town and he would always invite you. You need to New York city to, uh, live with him. It was a commodity trader on the commodity exchange in New York and these gold, silver and merch and top pits and a very wealthy guy.
And, and he was the guy that showed me what’s possible. And that it doesn’t matter where you start in life. It matters where you decide to finish and that you could be doing have anything you want life. And it’s something. My father taught me that if, if you can do anything you want life. If you listen, if you don’t lose it, the people will tell you, you can’t do something, and you just believe in yourself.
And so I think, and this is what I think is so important today for folks, you know, folks are doing certain things. They may want to do a bigger goal or a bigger dream, and they don’t think it’s possible. Cause they’ve never been shown the way or have the door cracked open and had some light coming in.
And I think that’s what my cousin did to me. You know, he was, I mean, I saw this whole world, you know what I mean? Like this guy had like rolls Royce and things like that. I mean, I was a steel mill town kid. I didn’t even know that was even possible for somebody like me, but because he cracked the door and showed me just a glimmer of light.
Now what I tell people all the time, people will give you a crack door with a glimmer of light and an opportunity, or, you know, some advice, but then you’ve gotta get off your ass and do something with it. You know, like, I, I was just fortunate that I followed and bid exactly. Here’s my rationale. If this man is successful and very wealthy and has tons of celebrity people that look up to him, maybe I ought to listen to him and do what he says.
Editor: [00:05:19] Yeah. Yeah.
James Malinchak: [00:05:20] And so that’s all I did. You know, my, my part was easy. I just had to execute on the. Plan or the past that he already created for himself. I just had to do for me. I don’t want to say it was easy. It was a lot of long hours and things like that, but I didn’t have to kind of create it. I just, so I was, so folks look for somebody who already has what you have.
They’ve already figured it out and then go up and ask them to mentor you. If you have to pay them to consult or coach for you, you do that because they’re, they will not cut your learning curve in half. They’ll cut it back 90%. Cause they already figured it out. Yeah.
Editor: [00:05:56] I mean, a lot of people talk about luck as being a key element here.
No, I’m not, I’m not lucky enough or also on. So what would you say James, um, about luck is, has it played a part in your success, would you say?
James Malinchak: [00:06:12] Absolutely not. No. So saying, you know, relying on a that’s an easy way out. That’s like saying, you know, I watched the movie, the secret in the universe is going to give me everything.
So I don’t actually have to do anything. I’ll just sit on my couch and I’ll wait for customers to come in or I’ll wait for money to walk in or I’ll wait for the love of my life. Know, crawl through the window because I’m giving it up to the universe. Come on, let’s get real. If somebody believes and they believe that it’s just luck that gets handed them.
I mean, you’re better off waiting for more Mo Larry or currently from the three Stooges to bring this up. No, it was when preparation meets opportunity and then you get off your butt and you do something about it. No, I absolutely do not believe it’s luck.
Editor: [00:07:00] I, I completely agree. So, I mean, in terms of your own business and your own success, how hard do you push yourself?
James Malinchak: [00:07:10] Wow. I love this question because I grew up in a steel town and I watched my father who was the hardest working man I’ve ever known in my life. He, uh, he wouldn’t get off a day from the mill and he would like, you know, put a fence around the yard. That’s his day off. Right. Or he would get a day off and he would dig up swore pipes from the, uh, sanitation for the soar.
Like he would do some work, like hard manual labor. And I used to believe that hard work is what it takes and. So it wasn’t until I got out on my own and started being a, an artist and thinking things through that, I realized something, um, it’s not about working harder. It’s about working and most people say smarter, and I said, that’s absolutely correct.
Note from the editor:
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