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Oct 25, 2017

Going through hardship is difficult and can sometimes leave very painful memories. But what if you can take the challenges you’ve gone through and turn them into a powerful story that inspires others? This week’s episode dives into how you can find your story and tell it in a powerful way.

JT McCormick is the President and CEO of Book in a Box, a company that will help you tell your story and write your book. JT has personally faced a lot of hardships growing up. By all accounts, he shouldn’t have succeeded, but he worked his way up from scrubbing toilets and is now the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company. Find out his story on today’s show.

For the first ten years of JT’s life, all he saw while growing up in the projects were pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts, and overall despair. He did not know any better, until one day he and his father drove through a very rich neighborhood and it opened his eyes to the possibility that life has much more to offer.

JT’s father was a pimp in the 70s and JT is one of 23 children fathered by him. He is the only child on his mother’s side and she grew up in an orphanage. JT grew up mixed race and faced discrimination from both ethnicities because of it. For the first nine years of his life, he grew up with his mother, who was a single mom on welfare. After that, he lived with his dad and the experience can best be described as ‘chaos.’

A billionaire once told Bill, “One of my main lessons in life was to be thankful for the problems you have.” Your problems are difficult, they’re unpleasant, but at least they’re yours. For this billionaire, he'd rather have his own problems than someone else’s problems.JT’s mother told him to never judge someone because everyone has a story and you don’t always know what their story is. This piece of advice stuck with him and became the inspiration for his business today.

Bill has noticed that all of the relationships we hold as people, no matter what position you’re in or whether you’re a young adult or a senior citizen, all of the ways we relate are just extensions of things we learned as children and the way our parents interacted with each other.

The thing about is, if you don’t access your story, you close yourself off from relating to other people or from other people relating to you. Everyone has hardships and struggles, whether it’s losing their house or getting a divorce from their spouse.

You don’t have to be ‘perfect’ or leave the emotions/stories out of business because no one is perfect and we are all emotional. When you share your story, you also build trust with your peers.


Interview Links:

What Is the What: A Novel, by Dave Eggers

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable,
by Patrick Lencioni



Scaling Up for Business Growth Workshops: Take the first step to mastering the Rockefeller Habits by attending one of our workshops.

Scaling Up Website

Gazelles Website

Bill on YouTube



“I can’t change the past. I can’t change I was sexually abused or the parents I was born to. I can change the future.”


“One of my main lessons in life was to be thankful for the problems you have.”


“Never judge people because everyone has a story and you don’t always know what their story is.”

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Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...And Why the Rest Don’t, is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed, where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher, host of the Scaling Up Business podcast and a leading business coach with a Gazelles.

We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).