Jim Beach is a serial entrepreneur, McGraw-Hill bestselling author, speaker, and award-winning radio host.
At the age of 25, Jim started the American Computer Experience and grew the company with no capital infusion to $12 million in annual revenue and to over 700 employees. The company was the world’s largest technology training company for children and enjoyed tie-ins with Microsoft, Intel, Lego, NASA, and many others. After this business was sold, Jim taught at Georgia State University and was the top-ranked Business School professor 12 semesters in a row.
Jim’s classes (that started a real business every semester) were noticed by a Bloomberg reporter and that lead to …
1) the McGraw-Hill bestselling book School For Startups,
2) the 4x global b-plan contest-winning School For Startups online entrepreneurial program, and
3) the SBA Media Award-winning School for Startup Radio on 25 AmFm stations.
Jim’s McGraw Hill book School for Startups was published in June 2011 and reached #9 on all of Amazon and #1 on the business section. The book continues to be a best-seller after many years and received 4.8 stars from over 110 reviewers. It was excerpted by Entrepreneur magazine and the Wall Street Journal India. Jim was featured in a UPS commercial, was referred to as the “Simon Cowell of venture capital” by CNN, and has appeared on NPR, MBNBC, CNN, the New York Times, and many others.
The daily School for Startups Radio show won the Small Business Association Media Award and it is featured on 25 AM/FM stations and several of the online platforms. Interviews include authors Brian Tracy and Ken Blanchard, Ted star Simon Sinek, Shark Tank star Kevin Harrington, Astronaut Mae Jemison, Pixar CFO Lawrence Levy, Cisco CEO John Chambers, Entrepreneur Russel Brunson, and over 4,200 others.
Can you tell us about your professional background?
I have an entrepreneur since I was 25. Coke fired me and someone there suggested I start a business. I had never thought of that, but it was good advice. I have started lots of businesses since then, some cool, some colossal failures. That has led to opportunities I never dreamed of.
Today, I try to help others to start businesses. I believe creativity is overrated (93% of businesses are copies of others, so just copy an idea to start). I believe successful entrepreneurs reduce risk until starting a business is a no-brainer (never risk more than the cost of one good week of vacation, say $5000). And I believe passion is great for the church or mosque. Love your family but liking what you do is enough. Liking your own business is better than working for the man. I am passionate about the lifestyle of being an entrepreneur and about the freedom I have. I am not passionate about the stuff I sell. I believe anyone can be a successful entrepreneur! My previous books and my radio show are designed to make more low-risk entrepreneurs.
What inspired you to write these two novels?
I have always wanted to write a thriller. 25 years ago, I outlined a book with a Chinese government official as the bad guy, but never got any further. When the Corona virus started to make the news, I saw the opportunity to incorporate very current events in a novel. Staying at home full time allowed time in my daily schedule to work on this project.
When I started to work on a book, I saw that the country, the world, needed something to laugh at. Satire seemed the way. The news is surreal, crazy, scary. I ran across the 1960’s Stanley Kubrick movie Dr. Stranglelove on TV, and it fit the mood of the country. The silliness of that movie led me to satire, and to two books. I wrote the same story twice, one for Trump fans and one for Biden fans. The cover design for the books was also inspired by the movie poster.
We need to laugh more. We need to stop judging people based on politics. Friendships should not end because of politics. The world is going through serious, unpleasant times. Sometimes a funny book makes it easier.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with throughout your career? What was that like?
I met Masayoshi Sun, the Japanese owner of Softbank, at CES one year. I greeted him in Japanese (I did my MBA and worked for Coke in Japan). I ran in to him again the next year, and he remembered my name and school I attended in Japan. Made me feel like I was the billionaire.
You host a very successful radio show. What is that like?
It’s the best job in the world! I get to talk to great people every day. I interview famous CEOs and 9-year olds with brilliant ideas.
What’s your best piece of advice for those looking to write a book or start a business?
Tell your friends what you are doing and task them to hold you accountable. Have your friends ask tough questions and make sure you are getting work done every day. And whatever your guilty time sucking pleasure is (TV or golf or cooking or whatever), give it up for a while.
What other projects are you planning?
I am working on a book for the Blockchain Chamber of Commerce and a new radio show for fiction lovers.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I connect with all on LinkedIn, and @EntrepreneurJim on Twitter.
Thank you so much for joining us!