Inspirational Words from Houston’s “Mattress Mac” , Jim McIngvale

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The American Advertising Foundation – Houston chapter recently hosted the AEFH Scholarship Awards.  It was a great day as we handed out thousands of dollars to a special group of students.  This is one of our biggest events of the year.  We also had a special guest speaker. You might know part of the story, but do you know the whole story behind the guy who “saves you money”?  Gallery Furniture has grown from humble location on I-45 North at TIdwell, to a major brand in Houston and around the world.  You’re going to want to share this Podcast with as many folks as you can.

He came to speak to the winners at the AEFH Scholarship Awards Luncheon, held annually as part of the American Advertising Federation Houston’s educational outreach efforts.  Jim McIngvale gave the room a whole bunch more about life in general, and how a focused attitude can beat the ups and downs the world deals out.  He taught us how to “shine a light” on the issues, whatever they may be, to “get over” the bad days and get back up to make tomorrow a success.  You might have heard this story before, but even so, it’s worth a second listen.  This is one of those speeches that would be a great family sit-down.  Tell the kids to put down their devices and open their ears.  Mac’s message has no generational barriers, only great advice.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION:

Ray Schilens:
Hey, it’s Ray Schilens here.

Bruce Abbott:
And this is Bruce Abbott and thank you for Feeling the Ad Love here with us at Radio Lounge.

Ray Schilens:
Find the job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

Bruce Abbott:
Those are the words of our lovable hometown hero, Jim Mattress Mack McIngvale.

Ray Schilens:
I’m on the board of the American Ad Federation here in Houston and we had Mack as our speaker for the AEFH Scholarship Awards Event.

Bruce Abbott:
Now if you’re here in Houston, you might’ve seen the TV and radio commercials that Mack is famous for and you got to admit, you love what this guy does for Houston.

Ray Schilens:
The top Houston advertiser, well, that’s a given.

Bruce Abbott:
But what he gives back to our city is mind-blowing.

Ray Schilens:
And his story, Bruce, is even more amazing.

Bruce Abbott:
It isn’t as much about advertising and marketing, but it’s more about what to do when you can give back.

Ray Schilens:
His most famous words are…

Bruce Abbott:
‘Saves you money’.

Ray Schilens:
That’s right, but his mantra goes a lot deeper. Words from millennials and boomers alike all wrapped up into a great chunk of audio for you.

Bruce Abbott:
I tell you, this is one you’ll want to share with those you care about.

Jim McIngvale:
I was at the Astros game the other night, Monday night, they invited me out to do the first pitch. I didn’t have a parking pass. I parked way over somewhere and I’m wondering, walking up with all the fans to get in the stadium, and this guy says to me, he says, “Mack, where’s your security?” I said, “What do you mean?” He says, “Where’s your security? You need security?” I said, “I don’t need security. These are my people. I’m with my people here today.” Advertising, marketing people are my people. That’s who I am, is what I’ve done for the past 40 years of my life and I’m proud to be an advertising person and be associated with great people like the folks that love advertising and all the media partners in here, who I think make the world a better place. So thank you for having me here today and I’m honored and thrilled to be here.

Jim McIngvale:
I did a speech this week where they donated money to Texas Children’s Hospital. None of them where they donated money to a women’s shelter and now for marketing scholarships for young people. Again, that’s who we are in Houston. We are the world’s biggest givers. We like to give, we like to help other people out. We’ve been doing that for over a 100 years. We will continue.

Jim McIngvale:
I came to talk to the students and give you my Mattress Mack’s 10 rules for a successful life. Some are the same as last time. Some are new, but anyway, here it goes. Number one, find a job you love to do. You’ll never have to work a day in your life. I think it’s real important that you don’t go into marketing or accounting or become a lawyer or a doctor because your parents want you to do it. I think you need to do what you want to do. I think you need to do what gets you excited in the morning and you want to get out of bed and you can’t wait to get to work.

Jim McIngvale:
I will tell you a story about some of my history. I gamble a lot and I’m involved in the racehorse business. I became a millionaire in the racehorse business. The only problem is I started out as a damn billionaire, but that’s another story. So a couple of years ago I was trying to figure out how to make these damn horses run faster, and I came across this story about this woman named Temple Grandin. And Temple Grandin is a world’s authority on animal welfare and she is a savant. So anyway, I got to know Temple and I got to know her story.

Jim McIngvale:
Here’s a woman that she was born to a wealthy family in Boston and her mother was concerned because after three years of age, she didn’t speak a word. Temple has full-blown, off the charts, autism and Asperger’s. But her mother wasn’t giving into the diagnosis of ‘this child will never amount to anything’. Her mother was like everybody in the audience here today, not a buyer but a seller. And so her mother got her lots of help and her mother spent countless hours working with little Temple trying to make it to where she could function in society. She would never be normal, but she was going to help Temple use that disability as an ability.

Jim McIngvale:
And so she worked with her countless hours a day teaching her how to speak, and her mother and her father would have dinner parties at their home all the time. And little Temple being full-blown autistic was terribly shy. Her mother made her put on her fancy dress and go introduce herself to every person at the dinner party, every time they had a dinner party. Made her get out of her comfort zone. And that’s something I want to encourage you students to do. Get out of your comfort zone all the time.

Jim McIngvale:
It didn’t take time for little Temple to go to high school. Her mother insisted she go to this boarding school. She didn’t want to go away from her mother. She was shy, introverted and autistic. But she did and they put her in charge of the horse barn. There was eight horse stalls there and she had to clean out and muck the stalls every day. She didn’t want to do that, but she did it. And then she soon found out she fell in love with these animals, these horses.

Jim McIngvale:
When Temple came to be 18 years old, she was going off to college, her mother said, “You’re going to go to your aunt’s cattle ranch in Arizona.” She said, “You can either go for a month or three months, which do you want?” She said, “I guess I’ll go for three months.” So, she went to her aunt’s cattle ranch and she fell in love with cattle. They raised cattle and sold them to the feedlots and this woman would get down in the cattle shoots and see from the ground level, like a cowboy, because she sees the world through a different lens.

Jim McIngvale:
So fast forward, Temple Grandin went on to get a PhD in Animal Husbandry from Colorado State University and now she’s 72 or 73 years old. She’s done more for animal welfare than anybody in human history. She’s done more for animal welfare than anybody in human history, and that goes back 800,000 years. And she’s also one of the world’s experts on autism and Asperger’s and speaks all over the world on those subjects. She gets paid enormous sums for her speeches and every dime from her speeches go to fund the scholarships for her students at Colorado State and she loves going to work every day.

Jim McIngvale:
Her and I were talking about jobs and she said, “I would encourage every child out there to try five, 10, 15, 20 different jobs. If you want to go in the marketing field, try lots of different marketing opportunities, lots of different jobs in the same agency or different agencies and find the one you love. You’ll never have to work a day in your life.

Jim McIngvale:
So I’m at a meeting with Temple, we’re having breakfast six months ago, she’s got the New York Times laid out, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. She’s scanning the pages like a computer, just flipping them over one at a time. Unbelievable, this woman. She loves her job. She changed the world. You can too. This full-blown autistic woman who had no chance, has now changed the world.

Jim McIngvale:
They have a problem on airplanes where they put these animals in these cargo pins and then the animals are dying. So the FAA called one person to solve the problem, Temple Grandin. She solved it. An amazing idea of the human spirit. Find a job you love to do. You’ll never have to work a day in your life. And you say, “Well, what if I experience prejudice and bad treatment when I go out there?” Get over it. When Temple Grandin was going into those feedlots, when she was a new PhD, and this was back 40 years ago in the 1960s, she had to dress up as a man to get in the feedlot. And she changed it forever. Find a job you love to do. You’ll never have to work a day in your life. That’s my number one piece of advice. And if going to work doesn’t excite you more than your favorite activity, find a new job.

Jim McIngvale:
Number two, realize that work is life’s greatest therapy. Human beings were put on this earth to live, work, play, and die in groups. We are made to live, work, play, and die in groups. Work is life’s greatest therapy.

Jim McIngvale:
I have a wonderful little child. Her name is Elizabeth. When she was 13 years old, her mother, my wife Linda, came to me, says, “Something terribly wrong with Elizabeth.” I said, “What is it?” She said, “She’s got this weird disease where she washes her hands 400/500 times a day and she does all these strange rituals and compulsions and she’s lost 30 pounds which she didn’t have to lose to begin with. She’s afraid to go back to the public school, Westfield High School she goes to,” and her mother said, “I just don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Jim McIngvale:
So we took Elizabeth to several Northeastern area psychiatrists, and they all said they’d never seen such a severe case before of obsessive compulsive disorder named Howard Hughes disease after a famous Houstonian. And several of these doctors said in front of that child, the best thing y’all can do is put her in a mental institution for the rest of her life.” They said that in front of my little child.

Jim McIngvale:
Well, her mother and I weren’t buying that stuff. And so we searched the world trying to find a place for this child to get better. And we finally found a medical clinic in Topeka, Kansas one day and we took her up there and put her in that mental health institute, that cold snowy February day there in Kansas, and now all of her nightmares were coming true. We were abandoning her, putting her in a mental health institute for the rest of her life. That’s what she thought. That was her perception, her reality. Nothing could have been further from the truth, but that’s what she thought.

Jim McIngvale:
As we left there that day, her little face was pushed up against the plate glass wall screaming at her mother, “Mom, please don’t leave me here,” because she felt we were going to leave her in that mental institution for the rest of her life. And she sat down on a couch, she cried and she vomited. And this little girl came and put her arm around her, said, “It’s okay. I felt the same way when I first got here. I’m leaving in three weeks and this place saved my life.”

Jim McIngvale:
So, Elizabeth got out of Menninger, came back to Houston and re-enrolled at Westfield High School and she was doing well. Then she had another relapse and went back to Menninger, which at that time had moved to Houston. Because you see, mental illness is a cruel disease. No one knows who it may strike or why. Mental illness never goes away. It lasts forever. My child will always be walking on the edge of a cliff. I cannot keep her from falling. She went back to Menninger for another eight weeks and got back out. And then she started helping other people with mental illnesses. And she found through doing this work, it gave her therapy. So her work became her therapy and her work became her therapy. And now this child who they said would never finish high school, who they said we should lock in a mental institution for the rest of her life, she has a PhD from the University of Houston and she is a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, so she continues on the road to success.

Jim McIngvale:
Because work is life’s greatest therapy. You want to feel better about yourself, go to delight a customer. Right? Go take care of a patient. Go make somebody’s day. Human beings were made to work.

Jim McIngvale:
Next Mattress Mack’s success tip, this is one of my favorites. Get rid of your sense of entitlement. Somebody said on one of those videos a while ago that they were less fortunate. I don’t know how you say you’re less fortunate when you live in the United States. We’re the most fortunate people in the history of the world. We should be grateful for everything and entitled to nothing. We should be grateful for everything ad entitled to nothing.

Jim McIngvale:
I got those kids that work for me, several of them, they’re now illegal, but they swam the river coming here from Mexico. And they went through the forest and the snakes were everywhere trying to get here. One of them told me he never had meat when he was a child. The only way they had meat in his village was when a cow fell off the cliff and then they would harvest the cow if they didn’t get to it too late. We’re the most fortunate people in the world living in the United States.

Jim McIngvale:
My end of the free home of the brave, land of opportunities for all of us. I didn’t have any money when I got to Houston and as Bill said, the odds of me making it were about 10 million to one. But you know, my wife and I had a great big unfair advantage and that unfair advantage was called desire. You can do anything you want to do in the great free enterprise system if you want to do it bad enough. We’re not living in Venezuela. We don’t have power outages. We don’t have grocery stores with no groceries in them. We’re in the greatest country in the world and we all have an opportunity every day to go out there and make customers’ lives better, make our own lives better and get better together.

Jim McIngvale:
In other words, quit whining and do something about it. And value yourself with continuous education. Education is the greatest gift I know of. It’s the only thing I know of you can take all you want, there’s always plenty left for everybody else. There’s always plenty left for everybody else. I’m 68 years old and I try to educate myself every day. I run on a treadmill every night because I’m too old to run outside. But I watch these videos. I’m watching this incredible video the other day between a Catholic bishop and a Jewish rabbi. They were talking. And the Jewish rabbi told this story. I’m continuing to educate myself at age 68.

Jim McIngvale:
He told this story about this young kid who was eight years old in Germany during the Holocaust. He was Jewish. All they had to eat in the family’s household was margarine. And it came time for a Jewish holiday and his father lit the candle with the margarine they had left. And the kid screamed at his father. He said, “That’s all we have to eat. How could you possibly do that?” And the father said, “My son, I have learned that human beings can go for three weeks without food, three days without water, but they can’t go for three minutes without hope.” That child went on to survive 18 concentration camps. 18 concentration camps, lived till he was 101 years old. We can all educate ourself every day to inspire ourselves to do better, to do more for ourselves, for our clients, for our families, for our community, to make the world a better place through continuing education.

Jim McIngvale:
Number five, prepare for setbacks. I see all this stuff on media now about not being a bully and learning how to be fair and all this, and that’s good stuff, but you know what? Life ain’t fair. Life ain’t fair, and nobody said it was going to be fun, easy or fair, and I can promise all you graduates here today, they’re going to knock you down a lot. My motto is real simple. Fall seven, rise 88. They’re going to knock you down a lot. Prepare for setbacks.

Jim McIngvale:
One thing this country used to pride itself on was overcoming adversity. Pride yourself on overcoming adversity. Pride yourself on being anti-fragile, on being the most resilient person on the planet. Prepare for setbacks and look forward to those setbacks and charge into the fire. Don’t run away from it.

Jim McIngvale:
Number six, you’ve got to innovate or evaporate. My mentor W. Edwards Deming said, “Change is not necessary. Survival is not mandatory.” He said, “Change is not necessary. Survival is not mandatory.” As Bill said, all of this gray-haired people in here that are in media, have seen lots of changes in the last 40 years. And it continues to change all of the time. But you know, that’s right because change brings opportunities for people that embrace change. Most human beings hate change. We hate a disruption in our routine, but the world is being disrupted every single day.

Jim McIngvale:
My little business, brick-and-mortar retail, is totally disrupted by Amazon and Wayfair and all those people. I did a speech for KBR in Dubai about three weeks ago, and the lady who’s the head of KBR, we were talking about the decline of brick-and-mortar retailing. She said, “Come to think of it, I haven’t been in a retail store in four years.” It’s a challenge. We all have our challenges, but we’ve got to innovate or we’re going to evaporate. But the good news is challenge brings new opportunities for us to seize upon and grow with.

Jim McIngvale:
Number seven, be a people person. All you kids out there grew up in the digital age. You probably spend 12 to 15 hours a day on a screen, whether it’s your phone or your iPad or your computer. All that stuff is great, but it teaches no soft skills. You got to learn how to relate to people. The people that are most successful in this life are people persons. My advertising lady, Brenda, she’s the world’s greatest people person. Her husband, Ed, is the world’s greatest people person. They know everybody in this town. If they don’t know them, they’re going to go up and meet him.

Jim McIngvale:
If you create a network of people, then you have a problem in life. There’s somebody you know who can help you out. Again, human beings were made to live, work, play and die in groups. The biggest challenge for you young people, is get off those iPads and go meet some people.

Jim McIngvale:
Did you know that in 1850 the average size of the US household was 10.5 people? 10.5 people. The average size of a US household today is three. Or for every three households, is a household of one. We have an epidemic of loneliness in this country, an epidemic in great Britain. They just established a Cabinet Office for Loneliness. Got to get out there and meet people and the more people you know, they’re going to help you advance your career and be a people person.

Jim McIngvale:
Number eight, shine a light on it. Leave a life of transparency, not of life of opaqueness. Shine a light on it. Get out front, show them what you do, what you can do and don’t hide anything. I am a huge Catholic and the Catholic Church has a huge problem because they’re not shining a light on it. They’re covering it up and it only gets worse, don’t it? Shine a light on it. Light brings hope.

Jim McIngvale:
I have a racehorse. She was named after me. Her name is Workaholic. But anyway, she has a muscle injury and I was talking to my sister-in-law who’s my trainer the other day and they use this laser light therapy. And the muscle injury is four inches below her skin, but by shining a light on that muscle, the muscle gets better. Shining a light on anything in life makes things get better. Be terribly transparent in your life. Have nothing to hide. Transparency is good, light is great.

Jim McIngvale:
Number nine, there is a woman here in Houston that all you kids need to know about you, you scholarship recipients. Her name is Yvonne Straight. 65 years ago Yvonne Straight, her father was a doctor at Methodist Hospital. She gave birth to a beautiful baby and the baby had severe Down’s syndrome. Back then the age expectancy of a child with Down’s syndrome was six years old. And Yvonne was told, she went to all these doctors desperately searching for hope for her child and they all said, “Hopeless situation. No chance.” But Yvonne wouldn’t give up on her child.

Jim McIngvale:
And so she’d been to about a 100 doctors and have her hopes dashed a 100 times. She heard of a doctor at Purdue University up in Indiana and she had an appointment to see him on a January day and there was an ice storm across the United States. So Yvonne and her friend were going to go from Houston to Indiana with their child and drive through all this ice and snow. And Yvonne thought about not going because she didn’t want to be disappointed again. And something in her said go. So they draw all the way up there and that doctor got this child to make a sound and Yvonne said, “Maybe there’s hope for this child.”

Jim McIngvale:
So Yvonne went on to start The Briarwood School for children with learning disabilities, like her child with Down’s syndrome. And then she started Brookwood, which is a home for adults with learning disabilities and everybody at Brookwood, even the paraplegics have a full-time job because Yvonne, like me, believes work is life’s greatest therapy.

Jim McIngvale:
And so I have an adopted child named Regina. She had had eight years of total global neglect and after we got her, when she was eight years old, she got kicked out of three more schools. I mean, by the time she was 10, she had been kicked out of six schools. So I was trying to get Regina into Briarwood, so I called Yvonne, who I knew, and she got Linda and Regina a chance for an interview at Briarwood. And they went up to Briarwood to interview her and Regina promptly kicked a fit in the lobby and laid on the ground and kicked and screamed for 45 minutes. Linda gathered her up, was totally humiliated and took her home.

Jim McIngvale:
Yvonne called me the next day and said, “Mack,” I said, “What is it?” bracing for the worst. She said, “Regina has been accepted into The Briarwood School,” and I said, “Must’ve been her interviewing skills.” Anyway, Regina went on, did very well at Briarwood and now she’s 18 and she’s building her life here in Houston. She’s a good kid. But I asked Yvonne, “Was Regina the toughest child that they ever had at Briarwood?” She said, “Oh no, not by a long shot.” I said, “Well, who is?” She said, “It had to be this boy named Tracy.” I said, “Well, tell me about Tracy.” She said, “Tracy was in one of my first classes. He was incorrigible. He was horrible. He broke up every class. He was a mess the whole time.” She said, “Many times I want to kick Tracy out of school, but I didn’t have the nerve to do it.”

Jim McIngvale:
She said, “Back then we had three classrooms at a Methodist Church over here on Westheimer. Tracy would run out in the middle of the street trying to get cars to hit him.” She said, “One day Tracy escaped the classroom, climbed up to the top of the church, was up on the steeple, 40 feet above the ground, threatening to jump off and kill himself,” and Yvonne’s down on the ground. Her and Tracy have a standoff for about 30 minutes and finally she gets Tracy to come off the steeple onto the roof. He climbed into a tree, comes off the tree, breaks the limb off, goes over there where Yvonne is, takes this tree limb and sticks it in her leg like that. Blood starts shooting out of her thigh.

Jim McIngvale:
Little Tracy’s laying on the ground, he thinks it’s really funny. And Yvonne says, “No matter what you do, I’m going to straighten you out. I’m not going to give up on you. I will straighten you up before you leave here.” So Tracy stayed there another three years and got better. Then he went off to high school and Yvonne hadn’t seen him since.

Jim McIngvale:
Fast forward 30 years later, Yvonne’s visiting her friends at Briarwood School. She’s now the Chairman of [inaudible 00:24:58]. Then this good-looking guy comes running down the hallway saying, “Hey, Miss Straight! Miss Straight! Miss Straight! Do you remember me? Do you remember me?” She goes, “No, I don’t remember you. Who are you?” He said, ” Oh, but yeah, Miss Straight, you got to remember me. I was your favorite student.” She says, “No. Who are you?” He says, Miss Straight! Miss Straight! It’s me! It’s me, Tracy!” And Yvonne thought to herself, “My goodness, I’m surprised you’re still alive.”

Jim McIngvale:
She said, “Tracey, you look great!” He said, “Thank you, Miss Straight.” She says, “Where do you live?” He said, “I live in Los Angeles,” and Yvonne being a good Texan thought that’s not good. The land of fruits and nuts. She said, “Tracy, do you have a job?” He said, “Oh yeah, Miss Straight,” he said, “I got a good job.” She said, “Really? What do you do?” He said, “I’m on television. Did you ever see my show?” She says, “No, I don’t watch much television.” She said, “What show are you on?” He said, “I’m on Cheers.” She said, “What do you do?” He said, “I’m the bartender. His name is Woody Harrelson.” Yvonne Straight changed the world.

Jim McIngvale:
A couple months ago she’s 91 years old. She had a fell and hit her head, had massive bleeding in her brain, lost all of her memory for 18 hours. She willed her memory back in 18 hours. She willed it back. She was at the hospital, they told her to stay for four or five days. After she willed her memory back, she said, “I have an appointment at… Brooklyn was a big donor, I’m out of here.” Put her clothes on and drove herself out there at 91 years old. A life force for good. Become a life force for good with your life. Don’t just make a lot of money. Make a lot of difference.

Jim McIngvale:
Number 10, why are we here? I want to take you back to September 2nd, 1944. United States Navy aircraft carrier San Jacinto. It was a beautiful Saturday. The youngest ever naval pilot at age 19 had a mission. He and his two crew mates were to fly off the USS San Jacinto in their Avenger airplane and fly to Chichi-Jima Island and bomb the radio tower on that island. The youngest ever naval aviators’ name was George Herbert Walker Bush. They knew it was going to be a difficult task because several planes off of that aircraft carrier tried the day before and the anti-aircraft guns were just incredible around there and none of them had completed their mission. Undaunted George Herbert Walker Bush took off with his two crew mates.

Jim McIngvale:
One of president Bush’s favorite statements was C-A-V-U. Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited. And that was the type of day it was. As he neared the island where that radio tower was, the airfield with anti-aircraft bombs bursting all around his airplane. The flack was unbelievable. As he got closer, his plane was hit by one of those bombs and he thought to himself, “My God, we’re going to go down.” Undaunted, he continued on his mission. They dropped the bombs over the radio tower and damaged part of the radio tower. Then they roared off to sea.

Jim McIngvale:
Now the smoke and fire were filling the airplane and his radio wouldn’t work. He couldn’t talk to the two crewman in the back, but he turned the airplane upside down and screamed for his two crewman to hit the silk. Hit the silk is a Navy term for bail out. He assumed they had bailed out. He rided the airplane, kept flying. Then the flames became uncontrollable. He parachuted himself out. As he ejected from the airplane, the force of the wind was so strong, pushed him back and his head hit the tail of the airplane. A giant gash on his head.

Jim McIngvale:
Pulled one of the ripcords, half of the parachute opened, forgot to pull the other ripcord. He hit the Pacific Ocean, plunged down 20 or 30 feet into the sea, ingesting seawater all the way down. Finally fought his way to the surface and all he was concerned was, “Where are my crew mates?” And he couldn’t see his crew mates. Then he looked up in the sky above him, it was Japanese and American planes in a firefight, and he found a… there was a raft somebody had dropped about 50 yards from where he was. So he swam to the raft, climbed on the raft and the raft had no oars.

Jim McIngvale:
The current from the Pacific was pushing him toward this Japanese controlled island that was famous for cannibalism. So he was laying in the raft, peddling with his arms, all the while vomiting over the side, sick from ingesting the seawater. And he did this for two hours. And then a periscope stuck it’s way through the top of the Pacific Ocean, and thank God it was an American submarine and they rescued George Herbert Walker Bush. When he got on the submarine, all he wanted to know was, “Where are my two crew mates? Where are they at?” And he was told that they were lost at sea and he was devastated. Devastated.

Jim McIngvale:
For the next 74 years of his life, George Herbert Walker Bush got up every morning and said two words. He said, “Why me?” He said, “Why me?” He said, “Why am I lucky enough to be alive when my crew mates are dead? And so many people on that USS San Jacinto with me are dead and thousands of ally soldiers are dead. Why me?” He said, “Why me? Why am I lucky enough to have a loving and supporting God? Why am I lucky enough to have a loving and supporting family? Why am I lucky enough to live in Midland, Texas and have the opportunity to be an oilman or live in Houston and have the opportunity to be an oilman and then a politician? Why me?” And every day of his life for the next 74 years of his life was dedicated to doing one thing, living up and earning the right to be alive when his two crew mates were dead.

Jim McIngvale:
The Eagles did a song after 9/11 it was called, There’s a Hole in the World Tonight. There’s a Hole in the World Tonight. There’s still a hole in Houston after losing George and Barbara Bush last year. Never once did he ever whine or complain, even when he lost the presidency of the United States to Bill Clinton. He didn’t whine. He didn’t complain. He just did his duty. A life worth living. And how often do people like me say, “Why me,” when we had a bad day at work? Why me when we don’t make that sale? Why me? When we get caught in traffic. George Herbert Walker Bush never complained a day in his life.

Jim McIngvale:
My friend [Peter Rousseau 00:32:22] was the press secretary for President Bush when he was in the White House. Peter now teaches Marketing and PR at Sam Houston State University. And he tells a story about when he was press secretary and made a grievous mistake. And he said most presidents would fire a person had he made a mistake like that. And he got a call to come into the Oval Office. He’s quite nervous and he walked into the Oval Office and President Bush said to him these words, he said, “Peter, you’ll hit a home run next time.” What a guy. What a guy.

Jim McIngvale:
Why are we here? Life is not about you and me. Life is about helping others. And I added a bonus 11 point as Steve Jobs afterthought. I encourage all you graduates to do here today, do something radical with your life. Do something radical with your life. Don’t play it so damn safe. Don’t be so conservative. Go for it. Go for it. You know in early first and second century AD, the Christian Church developed because those Christians were radical and their song ‘and you’ll know we’re Christians by our love, by our love.’ They did radical things all the time, but nowadays we want to play it safe.

Jim McIngvale:
When I opened that furniture store for Hurricane Harvey, I became an instant national celebrity. Like that was something special to do. What’s special about it? You open the door, people are drowning. These are my people. You let them in for God’s sakes. What’s special about it? That’s where we’ve gotten in this society. We’re not risk takers. We need to be risk takers for good. And as marketers and people that control the media, you can get out a moral statement. The moral statement is life is not about you and me in this narcissistic self-driven world. It’s about helping other people. It’s about helping other people.

Jim McIngvale:
The best thing I did during Hurricane Harvey was set an example for all those young people out there that no matter what race, color, or creed they were, they were welcome at Gallery Furniture. That’s the way I was brought up. That’s what my parents wanted me to do. They wanted me real and transparent. They wanted me to care about people. On the back of that Catholic church I went to for the first 18 years of my life, it said one thing, love one another, take a chance. Columbus did, didn’t he? Take a chance.

Jim McIngvale:
So as I think about something to do with my life, my wife and I own this huge lake house in Lake Travis. It’ll easily sleep a 100 people and the damn thing’s empty all the time. I haven’t told her this, but I’m wanting to do something down where we open it up for foster kids or we open it up for CPS workers where they can come down there and recharge their batteries when they do such great work all the time. I have a foster child, Regina, who suffered eight years of total global neglect. She ate ketchup and baby formula for two years of her life. That was all she ate.

Jim McIngvale:
And I find it difficult in this country that we don’t pay more attention to foster kids. And the caregivers of these foster kids, because all they see is the worst of society all day long. It’s kind of like cops. Always sees the worst of society and it burns them out real quick. So I’m planning on doing something radical with my life before I leave here. So, when I go up there and see the Creator, He’ll say, “You lived a good life and you tried to market some degree of decency to the people.” I think that’s what we all should do is go out there and have a great life and make a lot of money. But more importantly, like George Herbert Walker Bush did and like Barbara Bush did, we should make a difference. Thanks very much.

Bruce Abbott:
Now the words of Jim McIngvale, that’s not just Feeling the Ad Love, that’s just feeling the love. So if you don’t have a lump in your throat right now or other feel-good emotion, I don’t think you were listening carefully.

Ray Schilens:
Seriously, this was good and we hope you enjoyed it as well.

Bruce Abbott:
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Bruce Abbott:
We’ll be back soon with another don’t miss moment in audio history on Feel the Ad Love.