Jim Rohn is one of my heroes
Jim Rohn (September 17, 1930 – December 5, 2009) was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. His rags to riches story played a large part in his work, which influenced others in the personal development industry.
Jim Rohn graduated from high school 3rd out of a class of 140. He went to college for a year and a half before dropping out and joining the work force. At age 25, according to his accounts, he was working as a stock clerk for Sears collecting a weekly $57 paycheck. He wasn’t broke but struggling financially, unable to see a way that would lead to his personal ambitions.Around this time, a friend invited him to a lecture given by John Earl Shoaff, an entrepreneur who impressed Jim Rohn with his wealth, business accomplishments, charisma and life philosophy. Shoaff was, at that time, VP of Sales in a nutritional supplement company called AbundaVita. In October, 1955, Rohn joined AbundaVita and began a process of personal development that culminated in his becoming a millionaire by age 31. Shoaff, who had challenged Jim Rohn at age 25 to reach for this goal, died one year before Rohn achieved it at age 31.
Rohn was invited by a friend to come and tell his “rags-to-riches” story to his rotary club. He accepted and titled his talk “Idaho Farm Boy Makes It To Beverly Hills.” The talk went so well that soon others began asking him to speak at various luncheons and other events. In 1963, at The Beverly Hills Hotel, he gave his first public seminar. He then began presenting seminars all over the country, telling his story and teaching the personal development philosophy he felt had led to his accomplishments. He presented seminars for more than 40 years.
Tony Robbins worked for Jim Rohn, who mentored Robbins during his early career. Others who credit Rohn for his influence on their careers include authors Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup book series), author/lecturer Brian Tracy, T. Harv Eker, author/teacher Vincent’s Genesius Evans, from Indonesia.
Jim Rohn died of pulmonary fibrosis after an 18-month battle on December 5, 2009 in West Hills, California.
Mr. Shoaff’s Simple Strategies to Success by Jim Rohn
My first mentor, Mr. Shoaff, over a five-year period of time when I was age 25 to 31, taught me some extraordinarily simple things, before his untimely passing at age 49. He only went through the 9th grade in school. He never finished high school, never went to college, never went to a university. So he put his experiences and ideas in very simple language, which, I think for me—a kid from the farms of Idaho—was so important.
When I would say, “This is all the company pays,” Mr. Shoaff would say, “No, that is all they pay you.” I thought, “That is a new way to look at it.” I told him things cost too much. But he said, “No, you can’t afford them.” Well, that was a new concept for me. He promised that if I would improve, then I would qualify for more money. So I learned that we don’t have to work on the company, we have to work on ourselves. Now if it had been technical, I would have missed it. If it had been mystic, I would have backed away. But it was just basic, blunt “a-b-c” stuff that I hadn’t thought of before. For me it was the beginning of what he called “personal development.”
Mr. Shoaff also taught me that life puts some of the more valuable things on the high shelf so that you can’t get to them until you qualify. If you want the things on the high shelf, you must stand on the books you read. With every book you read, you get to stand a little higher.
And the “biggie” that forever had an impact on me:
“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” That phrase changed my life. Success is not to be pursued, but to be attracted by the person you become. Put your energy into becoming a better you, the best you. Learn the skills. Practice the skills. Attract the success.
Those few simple strategies and ideas helped change my life, forever, for the better.
Thank you, once again, Mr. Shoaff.
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