By ALICIA LEONARD
“When I came out on the other side, all of a sudden I had a new purpose. I had a new goal. I had a new beginning. And once I realized I had that new beginning, I went at it full force.” – Local author, speaker, and businessman Jimmy Burgess.
There is one thing in common most successful people share. They have failed. They have failed a lot, a whole lot, and many only attribute the fact that they continued to get up and start over again and again, as being the key to their greatest achievements. Brains nor brawn is the true winner when persistence and fearlessness of failing is in the ring. When Winston Churchill said “success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm,” he wasn’t joking, he just knew that without people who didn’t fear failure, modern conveniences such as the automobile, electricity and telephones would not exist and wars could not and would not be won.
Local businessman, speaker, life-coach and and newly-minted author Jimmy Burgess has been acquainted with failure and success, but his optimism and uplifting spirit are at the heart of his plan and his new book: What Just Happened? How to Bounce Back in Life So You Can Do More, Have More, and Be More.
Debuting this past December on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle editions, Burgess began his journey in print to help others “bounce back” after some of life’s hardships. He lays out seven steps anyone can begin working toward finding a more satisfying and happier life.
Burgess sat down with the Herald-Breeze a few months back for a social-media interview, after this writer got a shot to read a rough draft and ask him how it all started. “I have always wanted to write a nonfiction book but never had the content that I felt was helpful to others or unique. In 2009, after facing financial, health and relational struggles, I was able to bounce back in all three areas in a rather quick manner. When you have changes happening in your life, people begin to take notice and ask you what’s going on. As I shared my story with people, a few of my friends asked me to help them to overcome some of the same struggles I fought for years before bouncing back. I helped them identify where they were and how to move to where they wanted to be. They got results, and I began to see some patterns in each case. A couple of these friends said, ‘You need to be telling people about what you are learning.’ This led me to speak to some small groups and organizations about bouncing back and maximizing our potential.”
Why seven steps? “In preparing for the speeches, I realized that the steps that I had used, and many that my friends had used, were the same steps used throughout history as a general blueprint for overcoming the obstacles we all eventually face in life. It really boiled down to seven steps. As I shared these seven steps in speeches and with individuals, a few of them said, ‘You need to write a book.’ I don’t know when it happened exactly, but at some point I quit wanting to write a book and felt like I had to write this book. Ironically, my mess has turned into my message.”
His message is written in a style easy on the reader’s eyes and inspirational to their spirit by being a very open and honest portrayal of how life can go very wrong sometimes, and how to get it back on track. Burgess also overcame one of the toughest issues for many new writers; inhibitions over public perception, “This has been the hardest part about writing this book. In the book, I share details of my personal life and struggles that I have never shared with anyone outside my family and closest of friends. I believe we always learn more in the valleys of life than we do on the mountaintop. This book focuses mostly on what I learned in the valleys of life, because I believe others have the ability to learn more from my experience in the valleys than they do any mountains I may have been on top of along the way. At some point, I realized that if I was going to share this message of hope and plan of action effectively, then I had to take my ego and pride out of the equation. I guess for me the scale finally tipped where the need to share this message grew larger than my pride.”
Burgess decided to go the self-publishing route through Create Space and since he had a good idea of his message, but was not so sure about his format yet, he turned to a pro. “I wanted to speed the process of writing the book up so I hired Ann McIndoo, an author’s coach out of California, to assist me in getting the concept from my head to manuscript in 90 days. Ann has assisted a number of best-selling authors including Tony Robbins (author of Awaken the Giant Within), Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul), and Bob Proctor (author of The Science of Getting Rich) to name a few. She assisted me in formatting my message in a way that I am excited to share with others.”
When asked for a little coaching advice on how aspiring authors or anyone for that matter can find their passion and have a more fulfilling life, he responded: “There is a unique personal desire that each of us has woven into our soul. It is the thing that we are naturally good at and no one ever had to teach us how to do it. It is the thing we do in our free time and that we love. That is where your passion and purpose lives. You must acquire the knowledge and training in that area in order to prepare yourself to transition into your dream job. I love the way others have said it before. If we would just spend as much money monthly on developing ourselves and our skills as we do on our automobile payment or repairs, then we would all be experts in our area of purpose within one year.”
Right now, Burgess is enjoying life as an author, public speaker, life-coach, local businessman, father, husband, and entrepreneur and as his Amazon bio reads, “eternal optimist.” You can find his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/domorehavemorebemore, his Twitter @jimmyburgess8 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Those on my email list will receive updates, as well as free video training on maximizing their potential,” he adds. To see a youtube video on how his book came about, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc6BLPtNBaU.