Warning: This episode contains explicit content concerning multiple deaths that occurred in Sedona, AZ in 2009.
James Ray talks about his experience going from the top, to the bottom, due to a tragedy that he now take responsibility for as a leader. Ray also talks about finding his way back, and what he learned about leadership along the way. This episode is about personal responsibility and what you may sacrifice for success.
About Indestructible Wealth: I’m Jack Gibson. I’m your wealth strategist and I’m here to help you make some money. The Indestructible Wealth Podcast is for young entrepreneurs who want to make, keep and grow wealth to enjoy now, and for years to come.
Episode #30 – From $20MM Debt & Darkness…Meet the Comeback King with Special Guest James Ray
Welcome to the Indestructible Wealth Podcast. This is the place where we help young entrepreneurs to make, keep, and grow wealth that you can enjoy now, and for years to come. I’m your host Jack Gibson, a serial entrepreneur, founder of multiple seven and eight figure businesses, and wealth building strategist. Each week I’m going to share my tips, resources and secrets, to help you create a plan and build the life you’ve dreamed of.
Jack: All right, everybody welcome back to indestructible wealth. As you guys have seen me talk about on my Instagram story, I’m super excited for today’s esteemed guest speaker, a man who has been a huge influence in my life dating back to my first personal development seminar in 1998 in Chicago. Mr. James Ray, thanks so much for being here today, James.
James: Yeah. 1998, holy cow. It makes me feel old. I’ve been at this for a while right?
Jack: There’s a lot of my listeners who weren’t even probably born yet. Don’t feel well if that makes you feel a little bit older. It does to me.
James: Yeah. They didn’t help. They didn’t help Jack. But anyway I’m grateful. They’ll still be alive and kicking and healthy especially given what I’ve been through, which I know you know about.
Jack: Yes. Yes. We’re going to dive into that. James, his company name is harmonic wealth global. So he guys, is this not perfect or what to have him on indestructible wealth. Yeah, that was back in 1998. I was a college student just getting started in business, James and I remember going to that and on the way home, I got pulled over on the drive home from Chicago, right after the event. I think I was so excited. I was like, I was speeding. So I asked the officer, “Are you pulling me over to check if I’m drunk driving? I can just try to play off the fact that I was probably going 20 over. And he’s yeah, that’s kinda my job and he’s where are you coming from? And I’m like we just, we came from this incredible motivational seminar and he’s like, where are you super motivated? I’m like, yeah. Is it obvious? And he said, okay I’m going to let you off.
James: I’m going to try that one next time. If that works, nothing I ever do works right. To get off.
Jack: No normally I don’t get off. We got a lot to cover with your story. You have one of the most incredible business stories of my opinion that I’ve ever read, or certainly that I personally know. So tell us a little bit about how you got started in business, your background and let’s roll.
James: Yeah, I’ll do my best to condense and because I’ve been around and active for going on for decades now and so I started, first of all, my formal education has been behavioral sciences, applied behavioral sciences. Now he’s really into psychology and spirituality and all the things that make us tick. And I thought if I could study those things and figure out how I work, then I might be able to improve my own life because I was really insecure and introverted as a young man. I got my first job at AT&T in sales and I did really well. And so from there I started to move up the corporate ladder. I got promoted to a national sales trainer for AT&T and that was my first adventure in front of the room. And when I got in front of the room, I was just like, man I’ve found home. It just worked for me and it moved my spirit and so did sales training for a while. Then I was a sales manager and I ran the top retail operation in the nation for AT&T back when they had retail operations, I then helped them build a national telemarketing center. So I have a lot of background in telemarketing and went to New Jersey headquarters and worked at headquarters and in New York and New Jersey for a number of years, ending up at AT&T school of business as a C-suite consultant.
And so my job with at and T was to work with executives, CEOs, presidents, vice presidents, on things like team performance, communication, leadership skills, sales skills, all those kinds of diversity, all those kinds of things that make us successful in both life and business. In 1992, I took a package, AT&T was going through massive disruption. And I took a package to get out early and to start my own business, which I knew I wanted to do and the rest was history. I started off as a business consultant straight up when I first left for a number of years and then that event Jack in 1998 was my very first public event ever. So you hold the distinction of being there. I really wanted to move out of corporate consulting and corporate training into public events because what I learned, Jack, what I experienced was that I had all these people in the room at corporate. They’d been told to be there, but they had no financial investment, no skin in the game. And most of the time they didn’t want to be there. They had to be there. And I, it was really frustrating for me because I really wanted to make a difference in their lives and all of them were just buying their time and watching them watch.
Jack: They’re just going through the motions.
James: Going through the motions. And so that event in 1998 that you attended was the very first event that I ever did outside of a business forum. And man, I thought I was on my way. I was so excited because that room was lit and it was an energetic room and I was energetic. I didn’t know what I was doing really, as I needed to see.
Jack: I would have never known that was your first event. I’m even surprised to hear that because you, I don’t know if you’ve faked it until you made it but you were really strong onstage. So that’s incredible.
James: Thank you. And I think the content has always been strong and the delivery has just gotten better and better, and the production has gotten better and better. And so anyway, I went through a lot of ups and downs through all of that and it got really tough. Because I think we had 500 people in Chicago, my very first public event and that was attributed to a couple that I was coaching at the time in Herbalife who were at the top of the food chain and they helped me fill the room. And so I thought, man, I’m on my way. We went from 500 people in the first event, and then I scheduled another one and there were some events that had 5 people. And I really struggled and was on the skinny branches for years and years, on vision sandwiches and faith cookies attempting to do what I loved and what I felt like spirit God, the universe had sent me here to do and almost threw in the towel numerous times because I was just living on credit cards and it was really tough. And then I was ready to quit Jack. I went to Egypt. On one of my big adventures and if you’ve read the book harmonic wealth, which I know you have, I talk about a lot of my adventures I’ve been really blessed to have and I spent 2 weeks in the desert with the bad ones who are the nomadic tribes in Egypt and I was ready to cash it in. And I spent the night in Moses cave on the top of Mount Sinai. That’s another story and I came out really re-energized and inspired and literally within weeks after that trip almost quitting Jack, the secret hit and thank God I didn’t throw in the towel because it hit and it hit big if you’ll remember, and it went worldwide. And so I got catapulted into a whole new arena and the rest is history and I was on Oprah numerous times and Larry King and I was on the today show once a month.
Jack: I was at your event probably 2 or 3 weeks after you hit Oprah and being at a previous event with a few hundred people and then now I went as a volunteer to help out and now you have this incredibly packed room with 3,000, 4,000, 5,000. It was maybe more crazy. I worked the back of the room where you were upselling, your next events, a spiritual warrior creating wealth all of those and I’m processing cards back there and there are people coming back spending, $10,000, $20,000 and like completely opened my mind to the possibility of if you provide value, like people will pay and they’ll pay top dollar. So it was crazy to watch you grow like that. That was amazing.
James: It was an amazing experience to have and here’s to your point, Jack, for all of the entrepreneurs who are listening to us today people always find all of us, always find the money to do the things we truly value. And we just do, and if we don’t we can’t find the money then it means we just don’t value it. I use the example of if you went outside today and you had 4 flat tires would you find the money to buy 4 tires where one says, yes. Okay. Let’s say those tires are released to $300 a piece. So we’re talking about $800 minimum. How many of us have $800 laying around that? We just are ready to throw out. Not a lot of people and yet, why will you find the money? I have to have a car. No, you don’t, you want a car, you can take an Uber, you can take a bus, you can take a taxi, you can ride a bike. Oh, those things suck, James. I don’t want to do that. Exactly. You want a car and so you’ll find the money because you value your own car and that’s the point. We always find the money to do the things we truly value. Everything else is just a good story, it’s an excuse. And that was an incredible experience. And then, I don’t know how far you want me to go. there’s a dark side of this too. I built an Inc 500 company, $10,000,000 a year business. I was pocketing $4,000,000 a year, which was just mind-boggling and I moved to Beverly Hills and I lived on Holland drive.
Jack: And some vacation homes?
James: I had 7 properties, a place in Kona and I was just really financially blessed but to the point of wealth, Indestructible wealth, which I believe we can develop indestructible wealth and I know you do too. You wouldn’t name your podcast that.
James: We have to redefine what wealth really is. And I’ll tell you, Jack. I was not as happy when I was making $4,000,000 a year as I was when I was making $300,000 a year. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but it’s just not true.
Jack: I believe you, because I have the same thing that happened.
James: Yeah. I’d love to convey to your viewer today. When I had a $10,000,000 business, everyone’s oh my God, wouldn’t that be great? That’s what I want. Okay. If that’s what you want, just understand. There’s a dark side of that too, because when I had a $10,000,000 business I had $10,000,000 worth of problems and I was on the road over 250 days a year, and I was sleeping 4 hours a night and I was single and alone and I was just exhausted, feeling exhausted nonstop and so there’s always a prize for the prize. So just make sure that whatever you’re going after you think it through and you ask yourself, what’s the price I’m willing to pay? And most people don’t do this because there’s always a price for the prize and the bigger the prize you’re going after the bigger the price yet to pay, if that makes sense to you? And then obviously all of that crashed and burned and if you want to talk about that, we can talk about that too.
Jack: Yeah. You were one of the fastest growing companies privately in the country at that time. Weren’t you?
James: Yeah, Inc. 500. We hit that in 2009 and my investment advisor at the time told me in March of 2009, James you can retire and live comfortably for the rest of your days because I was quote financially set. Little did we know by October of that very same year it would all be completely gone. Every bit of it gone, the Inc 500 company, the reputation, the life savings, all the investments. I had 7 properties, I had seven foreclosures, so it would all be gone in a matter of a handful of months in the same year after he told me I could retire for life. So boy what a life lesson that is.
Jack: So you talk about the dark side to the story, tell us what happened. I think most of my listeners, they were too young, probably at the time to where they were paying attention to the media, or even had any idea what you’re referring to.
James: Well in my latest book, which I know you’ve read the business of redemption book.
Jack: Amazing book.
James: Thank you very much. I really lay it all out very clearly but here’s the short story, is that in October of 2009, my team, my company, and I had an experiential event in the deserts of Sedona, it was a 5 day deep dive into the drivers of success or failure. Now let me clarify that because regardless of what you’ve been told or taught, the drivers of your success or failure are not your marketing, it’s not your sales techniques, it’s not your skills. I’m not saying those things aren’t important. Of course they are, but the drivers of your success and failure are not outside of you Jack they’re inside of you. And so what we were doing in that 5 day deep dive was we were diving deeply into unresolved emotional issues with psychology, which tells us most of those things happen at 13 and younger. And then they drop out of our awareness and we think we’ve dealt with them, but we haven’t and psychology also tells us that 95% of what we do every single day is driven by your unconscious mind. If you think about that for a second, that means you’re running on 5%. 95% is autopilot, and it’s driven by these things that we’re not even aware of and so the rub is how do you deal with something you’re not aware of if you’re totally unconscious of it? So what we were doing was doing, going through a lot of exercises, experientially to bring those things up into conscious awareness so we could heal them, release them and set you free. And it was an amount a week, Jack. It was a small group at the time, 52 people and you mentioned thousands. This was for 52 people and I was working up close and personal with every one of them. And we worked hard. We worked long, we cried together. We laughed together. We hug and those people very quickly moved from client to friend.
James: Frankly knew more about many of them, maybe most then their nearest and dearest loved ones because of the nature of the program. They were disclosing all of these things and we were working through them methodically and so at the end of that 5 day.
Yeah, the sweat lodge was an experiential way to take everything we’d done metaphorically throughout the week, mentally, emotionally, and put it into our bodies and move into an environment where we would have to push up against our own comfort. And it was always a great experience for 5 years prior, but something went horribly wrong in 2009 and unfortunately we will to this day, not know exactly what happened because there weren’t a lot of forensics done or follow-ups done but at the end of the day I lost 3 friends clients who had become friends they lost their lives that day. And it was heartbreaking Jack. If you’ve ever lost someone that you love and care about, I’m sure, you know how that feels. The emptiness, the void is the lack and I had invested my entire life trying to help people. Now, someone had been incredibly hurt and had lost their lives on my watch. And I just as I talk about it in the business of redemption, as the leader of this event I was responsible and I still am responsible. Wasn’t intentional? No. And that was eventually clarified there certainly was no intention, but when you’re the leader then be careful what you ask for because so many people, oh, I want to be a leader. I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to have my own company, but here’s the thing, Jack, when you’re the leader and something goes sideways in your business, you throw your team under the bus. You can try, but it just doesn’t work. You can’t blame. No, you can’t blame the facility, you can’t try to sidestep the responsibility as a leader. I was and I am absolutely responsible. It was my event. It was my team. It was my choice to do what we now know is a dangerous activity. And so therefore that’s my responsibility and that’s the price of leadership and what I tell people all over the world now is that if you can’t step up to that then you should probably step down because that’s the price, that’s what it costs and the price is high and it’s something I live with every single day. And when that happened Jack, my American dream that I was living, fell apart like a charge of broken glass. The first thing I lost was 3 people I loved and cared about and that would have been more than enough, but it didn’t mean there was because the state of Arizona came after me for manslaughter, which is if you know the legalities which I didn’t, but I do now, manslaughter is intentional harm. It’s like going into a drug store with a gun and shooting the guy behind the cash register. And that’s what they charged me with. And the minute that happened I not only was it the last 3 people I loved but I lost my dream home. I lost my Inc 500 company. I lost my life savings. I lost my reputation. I quite frankly lost my self-confidence and I was indicted. I was prosecuted and I eventually lost my Liberty. I was acquitted of manslaughter and the jury said, Hey, there’s no spread of evidence here that anything was intentional but included in our legal system included with a manslaughter charge is a lesser included called negligence and so I was charged with negligence and I accept that, there could have been some things done better. I wish there would have been I miss some things God, I wish I had enough, and yet the state of Arizona wanted 30 years. And so if they had gotten what they wanted, I wouldn’t be talking to you here today.
James: I ended up losing my Liberty and I went to prison for 2 years. And so I went from this top of the mountain king of the hill, if you will, to the lowest of lows and I talk about that entire experience as well in the business of redemption, which I know you’ve read and it was a horrific experience. But fast forward, I got out in 2013 and I was standing in the deserts of Arizona and I was in horrible physical condition. I had incredible periodontal disease. I lost 40 pounds that I didn’t need to lose or want to lose. I was homeless. I literally was homeless. I was alone and I was $20,000,000 in debt. Now, if one of your viewers or listeners.
Jack: In millions?
James: $20,000,000. Yeah. And here’s the reality. If you’re broke today and you’re listening, I will never minimize that. My heart goes out to you and I know that’s a tough place to be and yet when you’re $2,000,000 a debt broke, looked good to me.
Jack: Fantastic. Wow!
James: Yeah. Broke was $20,000,000 over my head just to be broke and I had to get my head on and I was vastly in need of redemption and hence the name of the new book and redemption. A lot of people will misunderstand what that means. It’s used in a lot of religious circles. And that’s great. I respect that. And yet, if you look up the actual name of redemption or the actual definition, it means to gain or regain something by paying the price. And so I would ask if you’re, do you want to gain something you’ve never had? Most will say yes. Do you need to regain something that you once had but you’ve lost? A lot of will say yes. Then you got to pay the price. As we’ve already discussed, there’s always a price for the prize and the bigger the prize you’re going after the bigger, the price you have to pay. And so I was vastly in need of redemption and I had to get my head on and be willing to pay the price to end up where I am today. And here we are, going on 9 years and I have a really comfortable, modest home in Henderson, Nevada. I don’t really have any need for a Beverly Hills estate anymore. I was grateful to have the experience, but we could talk about that one that was more headaches than it was worth too. And I’m married. The greatest woman on the planet and I know you disagree with that, but you should. Yeah. Any married man should argue passionately with me about that. But I didn’t even know her in 2013 and I’m here talking to you and I’m doing what I feel like God has sent me here to do and I’m really super grateful for all of it. I don’t want to do it again. Don’t get me wrong.
Jack: can’t imagine you do.
James: No, it was hell it really was. And yet who better to help you get through hell than someone who’s been there. Anyway, that’s a long story. I know and I tried my best to abbreviate it and I don’t know how well I did.
Jack: Yeah you did great. I don’t know really how much you could have left off. Definitely everybody listening to this show has got to get the book because you guys, the details that he goes into in the book are pretty incredible, including some of the conversations with the inmates and just really a life-changing perspective that you offered there. I think being a wealth show, right? Indestructible wealth, your company’s harmonic wealth, you’ve talked extensively about the true origin of the meaning of wealth. Tell us more about that. What are the real roots of the word and what is harmonic wealth when probably most of my listeners have no idea what that truly means. Some of them I’ve talked to about it because I use your stuff, right?
James: Yeah. I’m glad. I’m glad. I set off on this grand adventure and in 2005, when I was writing my last New York Times bestseller, harmonic wealth to redefine wealth because 99% of the people, if you ask them what wealth means about 99% are going to instantly say money. If you trace the etymology of the word wealth back to its origins, it literally translates as wellbeing. Has nothing to do with money, now money is and can be a part of that, but I’m going to submit to you, it’s only one piece of the equation. So harmonic wealth is a state of harmony and wellbeing. And the 5 key areas that I call the 5 pillars of your life financially are one of them only 1/5, relational, mental, physical, spiritual, and when all 5 of those are in harmony. Not in balance, and you know Jack I beat up on the concept of balance because even the people who talk about balance are not balanced. Okay. Let’s just face it.
Balance. Balance is unrealistic. Harmony is dynamic. It’s like life. Quantum physics, which I’m a huge fan of tells us that energy is always in a state of flux. It’s always in a state of vibration. It always has a frequency. It’s always moving and never sit still. And so balanced is a stillness that cannot exist.
Harmony on the other hand is more like if I want to use an analogy, it’s like a jazz quartet and if you’ve ever heard jazz, sometimes the league guitars lead, sometimes the saxophones lead, sometimes it’s the bass, sometimes it’s the drums, but they all come together. To form this magical tapestry called music and that’s life. So sometimes you’re going after finances a little bit more than you are with relationships and sometimes you’re going after health and fitness than you are with spirituality. But what I’m going to suggest to you is that you never totally let any one of them go to zero. So in other words, you’re constantly looking at financial, relational, mental, physical, spiritual, and you’re putting some degree of energy at all times towards each one of those things, because I can promise you Jack I know so many and I’ve coached so many multi-millionaires. I’ve coached billion dollar companies and these people who are hugely financially successful if they don’t have a spiritual connectivity, they feel empty. There’s a void and I’m not here to define spirituality for you. That’s a personal thing. You define it for yourself for some it’s religious, for others it’s not. And I’m not qualified to define that for you. But there’s also other people who make a tremendous amount of money.
I’ll tell you a quick story. There was a very successful investment advisor in Manhattan that I was introduced to, and he wanted to meet me and talk to me to potentially work with him and his company. And I do a small amount of 1-on-1 coaching and I do a lot of business consulting. And that’s where I built my roots in AT&T and I’m grateful the AT&T for that. And so we met in Manhattan at a small little after hours place, and he was talking about what he was doing and he was hugely financially successful.
And I said to him, and he was obviously grossly overweight and I said to him, let me ask you a question. How many days a week do you work out? He said, man I’m too busy. I don’t have time to work out. I said to you really, I need to encourage you to make time, because if you don’t make time to work out life is going to make time for you. And he goes I walk from the subway every day to work. And I said with all due respect is not enough. And he’s yeah yeah yeah. He didn’t hire me. And now fast forward, 3 months later, I got the word that he had a heart attack and died and so the point being is that whatever we neglect becomes the weakest link in the chain, financial, relational, mental, physical, spiritual, they’re all important to true wealth wellbeing. And if you neglect any of those the weakest link of the chain is going to break the chain and we’ve heard that. So hopefully that makes sense to you.
Jack: Yeah. I teach this to my team all the time. Even have them do this exercise of doing the whole wheel. The wheel of whole life success is what I call it. You ran it to me 20 years ago and it was really eye opening to think about if one of them goes down to zero or maybe not even zero, if it goes down to 2 or 3 out of 10, that it creates this incredible drag on the rest of the other areas of your life? The areas of true wealth when my spiritual life was really in the tanker, that had a tremendous drag on my relationships and everything. I didn’t have my power center and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled and good. So I think spot on in terms of what I’ve experienced over the last a couple decades that wealth is not just financial and I do preach that on my platform all the time and I think sometimes people just have to figure it out for themselves. They need to learn it themselves, that once they get the money, then they realize, oh man, this isn’t all that it’s really, I thought it was going to be cracked up to be.
James: Yeah it’s so true. And that’s where, I think we need leaders and so many people think that leadership is just about business and it is, but I submit that leadership starts with leading your own life. And how can you be successful at doing anything if you can’t lead your life successfully, because eventually you’re going to break and so the new leaders, what I call the leader for the future, have to change the conversation. And I believe we need to change the conversation because look, Jack, let me just give you a couple of stats every 40 seconds in this world, someone commits suicide every 40 seconds. All right. If you look economically, we have a higher standard of living. We’re doing so much better. 16,400,000 people in the US alone admit to being depressed and they’re on antidepressants. And that’s just the people who are honest. We have this higher standard of living. We’re doing well economically, but why are we depressed? Why are we committing suicide?
43%, according to Gallup of the people surveyed are too exhausted to perform in their daily work. Why are we so worn out? Why are we so tired? We’ve got our values skewed and so coming back to my original premise, I believe the leader for the future has to change the conversation. We have to move the conversation from strictly money to meaning. Because every single one of us wants to live a meaningful life and when we come to the end of it all, that’s all it’s going to matter. We have to change the conversation from economics to ecology and a lot of people think college is only to do with nature and it is. But if you look at the word ecology, it really means it’s the harmony of everything in life and how it works synergistically together, the biosphere and how everything works together and we’ve got to move the conversation from pure profits to purpose. You’re a purpose seeking device in a purpose filled universe. You’re here for a reason. Everyone intuitively that I’ve ever spoken to knows that now they don’t know why they’re here. They don’t know very few people know what that reason is, but they intuitively feel like I’m here to do something. I’m here to contribute something I want to be meaningful. And so that’s what I believe the leader for the future has a more comprehensive approach to life and living and looks at people versus just products and I could go on but hopefully that resonates with you and I’m guessing it probably does.
Jack: Yeah. I made a lot of money one year, my first, very first year in real estate, about 5 years ago, over $1,000,000 and that was probably the most depressed kind of state or year of my entire life, because I wasn’t really pursuing my purpose and the meaning of why I was put by God. So over the last 3 years, this is why this platform came to be that I knew I was missing something. I didn’t know exactly what that looked like, but I knew that I was here to mentor and to help younger entrepreneurs, younger professionals, to make better decisions and teach them lessons that I wish I had been taught. So I’m tracking.
James: Well, God bless you and kudos to you. I’ll tell you just recently. My wife and I worked together and she’s incredibly talented. Her name is Bersabeh. She’s Persian, and very few people can say her name, right? So she goes by bear. But nonetheless we were working with a $50,000,000, company just recently, and we had a large consulting contract and it was very lucrative and we got to a point because I’m at a point and she’s at a point we’re together at a point where we want to work with people who have similar values and are committed to similar things and really don’t just check off the boxes but really want to do what it takes and pay the price for the prize, if you will. And we very quickly found out that this was not the case. And so we decided to dissolve the contract and some people say you’re nuts because it was incredibly lucrative. And this is not the first time I’ve done this. I’ve in many cases when I felt like, Hey, there’s just not a congruence here and they’re not doing what they say is important. They’re not living what they say they value, and they’re not willing to do the work to make the changes that they want. They just want some quick fix. And it’s all about the money. It’s about the profit, not the people we walked away from. We would dissolve the contract and that takes a lot of courage Jack, particularly in the disruptive times that we live in but one of the things, and this is going to sound somewhat mystical, I can go there. And I have a lot of references for this. When you do what your heart tells you to do, and you have the courage to follow that, then you’re blessed. Something shows up and I can prove this because that has happened to me more times than I can even enumerate. And something shows up somehow some way from somewhere and I’m sure your listener has had an experience. How many times have you jack like you were going down for the third time and something shows up so what I’ve learned is that when you follow your heart, you follow a path with heart, it will fulfill you and you’ll be blessed and when you follow a path without heart, it’ll suck the life right out of you.
Jack: It’s amazing!
James: It’ll make you wish that you make you wish that you never even stepped on the path.
Jack: Yeah, no, I’m I definitely can see that play out many times with myself and a lot of people that I work with as well. So James, let’s talk about financial advice you’d have for some younger entrepreneurs. You’ve been through as far as to my knowledge, some of the most incredible ups and a $10,000,000 business and then the down of a $20,000,000 in debt of anyone I’ve ever personally met. So you’ve got a lot of wisdom packed into there when it comes to finances. I think that you could teach to let it rip.
James: Yeah. I think the number one thing that I would convey to everyone is that you have to understand where money comes from and money is an idea Jack, it’s not pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents on it. It’s not, how much of those do we even use anymore? It’s not credit cards.
It’s not Bitcoin point me to a Bitcoin show me what a Bitcoin is nobody can do that. Because it’s an idea it’s out in the ether somewhere.
Jack: Most people don’t even understand it, what it is or ever even heard of it.
James: Right. Or any kind of cryptocurrency. So we understand that money is an idea. And when you get that, then you really have to ask yourself the question: how many ideas can I have? Well unlimited. Okay, so then how much money can you have? You can have as much money as you can have ideas. Now not all ideas are going to work. Most of my ideas aren’t quite frankly. But how many do you have to have to make it work for you? Not that many. And so when you turn away from me, Bitcoin is worth $40,000 right now. I say, go in and I’ve got a Bitcoin. So I’ve got $40,000. Guess what? Give it a minute. And then it went up to $60,000 at one point, and then it went all the way down to below $30,000. So how does it fluctuate so much? Stocks, same thing. It’s all an idea. It’s all psychology. Psychology drives everything. Psychology always drives your strategy. So if you can get this principle and stop judging yourself and measuring yourself by your bank account or your investment account because I told you, my investment advisor told me I was worth way north of $20,000,000. Was I really, because in a matter of months I was worth zero and then less than zero. Was that ever really worth that? The answer is you’re worth as much as you can be innovative, creative and resourceful, because money is an idea. And so turn away from bank account measurement and definition and all those things. That’s the first step, second step and this is going to sound pretty old school, but it’s really solid advice. Spend less than you earn. Period, Bersabeh and I are into minimization. I’ve lived extravagant lives and you go to social media now and there’s these people who shall remain nameless. Look at my plane, you got to have a plane. Look at my watch, look at all the properties I own and I really feel sad for those people because I almost bought a plane once in a friend of mine talked me out of it. That’s another conversation. And I’m glad he did, but, I had all these real estate holdings and I had this big investment portfolio and again, it was gone in a matter of months. So was it really real? So the third thing is to that question: what is real? Well the only thing that has true value is the thing that cannot be lost, stolen, or taken away. If it can be lost, stolen, or taken away, then it has no value. The only thing that has value or is those things that can’t be lost, stolen or taken away. So you asked me James, what is that? That’s who you are. Who you are, you really are, cannot be lost. It can’t be stolen or taken away. It can be given away. If you make poor moves you can give yourself away but it can’t be taken away and it can’t be lost and so when you invest in the source, then you understand that the source is something that operates through you not from you. And if you get that distinction. Jack you’ve been around me long enough that my favorite saying when someone says, where are we going to get the money I say from wherever it is and that drives some people crazy. We’ll look at your bank account James, you don’t have that money in the bank account. It doesn’t matter. The money is out there. There’s trillions of dollars out there. And all we’ve got to do is pull from this infinite source and remember who we are remembered as an idea remember that we are a vehicle on a channel for spirit or infinite potential to come through and so the degree that we become a better channel then we have everything we need and more and I hope that answers your question.
Jack: That’s amazing advice. Drill into my listeners into my platform the old school advice that you gave. So it’s always great to have that hit once more. So there’s certainly some things that are just timeless, right? That’ll never be replaced. I know that you just talked about James, you’ve mentioned the story of Viktor Frankl quite a few times throughout your presentations. And he had everything taken away from him and found that the true meaning of his existence was a lot different than the physical wealth and he lays that out in his book which you’ve recommended, I’ve recommended on my Facebook platform very similar in that regards. Am I on track on that?
James: Yeah, man, search for meaning. It goes back to Viktor Frankl. It goes back to what we talked about earlier that I believe the leader for today and tomorrow has to change the conversation and one of those things that I mentioned was we have to move from money to meaning when we live a meaningful life, which is really what we want it does that mean you’re going to be a mega millionaire? No, it doesn’t. There’s no guarantee of that. But what it does mean is that you’re going to live a happy and fulfilled life. It’s going to be meaningful and when you do what your heart tells you to do when you follow a path with heart, then that’s a path that is a great path. It’s fulfilling and I would love it, my life is fulfilling and I’m not even close on paper to where I was back in 2009 on paper. Now notice how I say that on paper, because paper is not money. But it’s an idea I’m so much, I’m so much wealthier in every way, even financially than I was in 2009 now on paper and not even close. But in reality, yes. Why? Because I have so much more experience. I have so much more learning. I have so much more awareness and those are the things that bring through wealth including finance.
Jack: You’ve talked a lot about forgiveness in your book and on your platform, is how you ended your book. How were you able to do that? You had some people come after you to really make a name for themselves in your trial and the media certainly got ahold of you and their version of the story surprisingly was different than yours. Can’t believe that the media exaggerated or get all the facts.
James: Must have been the first and the last time ever not, but nonetheless it’s unfortunate Jack and I won’t go off on this tangent, but we don’t really have journalists anymore we have sensationalists.
Jack: They have to sell it.
James: They have to sell it on time and if it bleeds it leads and if it shocks and people want to watch it. And so at the end of the day, who’s responsible? We are, if we wouldn’t buy into it and follow it and watch it and listen to it, then they do something different, but they’re giving us what works and we’re responsible for that. I’ll tell you, forgiveness is a tough one. And I’ve worked on that I worked on that for years and years, I anguished in solitary confinement which I talked about in the business of redemption and even afterwards and in working to forgive and here’s my definition of forgiveness and I said this all the way back on Oprah the first time I was on Oprah and even before that, I said to forgiving is the ability to say thank you for giving me that experience all through forgiving ends in gratitude. If you’re not grateful then you’re not there yet. And the reason you become grateful is because you realize one of the seven hermetic laws. One of the other things I’ve been blessed to be schooled in is hermetics. And one of the seven hermetic laws of the universe is called a law of polarity. And I wrote a little bit about that in my second book, the science of success. My first book rather and polarity basically says every up has a down, every good has a bad, every left has a right and so there’s always a polar opposite. And so consequently, as bad as something is based on our perception. It means it’s equally as great. And that seems a little romantic, but it’s true because we live in a dualistic universe. And so the only reason something is quite bad is because we’re comparing it to something we believe is good. And it’s that comparison or that polarity, if you will of the opposite that defines it as it is. And so when we get to the point of true forgiving, thank you for giving me that experience. What we’ve learned to do is to turn what we believe to be trash into treasure and easier said than done. But to take what appears to be trashed based on my desires, my preferences, my perception and find the treasure in it is real mastery. And it’s always there. It’s just that most of us aren’t willing to dig into work to get there and so it took me many years and there’s 3 levels, I’ll say real quickly of forgiveness. There’s self. And that has to come first for me, man. I beat myself up Jack, because 3 people died on my watch and I cared about them.
Jack: Of course, man, anybody who knew you though, they knew without any doubt that your intentions were 100% pure and right. And good. And that the people who got ahold of the case simply had wanted to make a name for themselves. The media wanted to make a story and you were caught in the cross hairs of anybody that I’ve ever talked to, and I’ve had several people that I know that have gone through your program they all know where your intentions were in the difference that you made in their life. And at the end of the day as you said, you’re going to have a lot of people, thousands of people that maybe don’t even realize it, how much your work and what you did even 20 years ago, continues to reverberate and continue on in their lives and weave in and out throughout their success today. Like me, I still use today and everything you’re talking about today, just to bring back how much and remind me of how much that you taught me, that I still teach and pass on and utilize to create the life that I’ve created today.
James: That means the world to me and that really makes it worthwhile and I greatly appreciate that. And so I had to forgive myself because me and I’d be myself. I was like, man what did you miss? How did you miss it? What could you have done differently? Why did you do it differently? Why didn’t you, why this, why that, why this? And if you can’t, at some point in time, I had to really sit down and it took me a while because I anguished and it didn’t help that the media was just hammering me.
But it took me probably almost the entire time, if not the entire time in prison which I was indicted for 3 years and I went to prison for 2 years. So 5 years, it took me to really come to the point where it’s Hey James you know what your heart was, you didn’t do this on purpose. It was a mistake and it was horrible and if you could change it, you would, but forgive yourself and maybe it makes you a little bit more compassionate and loving and not so judgmental of other people who screw up and miss things and do things incorrectly. And so that was my first self.
And then the second one is others. And that’s the one that you’re referencing where there was, not a lot, but a few people who went out and wrote books, scathing books, talking about how, I was all about the money and it was all about me and I was so this, that, and the other. And I knew for a fact how many late night hours I spent on the phone trying to help them with their business and on and on. And I was just like, holy crap. I can’t believe this. Or people in the industry who unfortunately the personal development and the spiritual industry were the harshest. Those who taught love and forgiveness they were the harshest of all and that really hurt, how could this happen? Well I had to come to the realization of Karl Pribrams work and he’s a Neurophysicist who won the Nobel prize for proving that nothing is outside of us that is not projected from inside of us. Carl Yoan, which I’m a big fan of said that which is most unconscious within us must have need be projected out on to other people. And so basically I became the poster boy for the darkness that was in a lot of people that they refuse to see in themselves because I have it, you have it, everybody has every trait and so I came to a point of forgiving and saying, Hey they don’t understand what they’re doing and so you can’t judge someone based upon something they don’t really know. You can, but this is not wise. So I forgave others and then finally the situation, the entire situation, God if I’d have stopped before the sweat lodge if I hadn’t had done that if I hadn’t tried to, in the event was with a big experiential bang on and on and by the way, all the facility that put it on the facility, the built a lodge and those who did everything to bring it together which wasn’t me or my team. I had to forgive the entire situation. So self others and situation and it took me a better part of 5 years to do that. But there’s a tremendous amount of growth and learning in that.
Jack: Yeah, I was on a call with my business coaches. 3 months ago I was having a hard time, really hard time. I took on a client that I instincts told me not to and it was very costly financially, emotionally, still today. And they said, look, you did the best that you could with the information that you had at the time. You have to go back. In time have a conversation with yourself and forgive yourself. You have to release it because you just can’t keep living like this. Yeah I understand. How long you mean it took you 5 years? It could have taken you a decade to go through that all 3 levels there. That’s a tough thing to forgive all those 3 things but amazing word.
James: It is.
Jack: I have. One last question before we close out I really want to go back to try to serve the younger entrepreneurs that are getting, going and building their own financial wellbeing. The idea of money as an idea, can you give me a couple examples of maybe tangible or what exactly how that plays out when you say that? Are you referring to okay there’s no limit to ideas to how to grow your business. There’s no ideas of new businesses you could start and how you could serve others ideas of creating potential investments that flourish. What does that look like tangibly?
James: It’s all of the above. And let me just say I’ll give you, first of all Bitcoin’s a great example. What is a Bitcoin? We don’t know.
Jack: It’s a shared public ledger. I don’t know other than that.
James: It’s an idea. It’s an idea on the internet somewhere and yet we’ve placed value on that idea. Let’s come back to the U S dollar and I’ll just talk to the U S but this let me give you an example in India. I think a year and a half ago, or thereabouts. There was a whole bunch of people in India who had rupees, which is the currency of India, stashed under their mattress. They didn’t have them in the bank. They had them stashed and they felt really comfortable and really secure because they had all this money, these rupees stashed under their mattress, and then the crooks and crannies the government of India found out about this and they had all this money out of circulation. They don’t like that. They want the money in circulation. And so what did they do? They came out and they made all the old rupees no longer legal tender. They came up with a new rupee and unless you have a new rupee you have no money. So that too is to the same point. The money was in agreement all the way back in the 70s, we disconnected from the gold center.
Richard Nixon did that. And there was a time where every single dollar was backed up by gold. And so there was a tangible asset that was attached to this intangible dollar. We disconnected from that and now what we have is Fiat currency. There’s nothing backing it up and you look at the debt ceiling and how it just keeps going and going, and they just kept printing and printing. And so now you have a real estate background, real estate prices are rising for a time.
James: Yeah. In sales were off the hook, but guess what? It’s not that the real estate is appreciating it’s that the dollar is depreciating. If you look at gas prices if you look at grocery prices they’re just grocery prices have about tripled just in this year and why is that? Our grocery groceries really more expensive to produce? No, it’s that the dollar is worth less. And so to my point it’s just an agreement and this is so important to get it’s an idea, and I’m not here to be a fright longer at all. I think when we see things clearly, then we say okay, this dollar that I’m holding in my hand is really it’s a currency of debt because the federal reserve has printed this off and there was a promissory note from the government given to the federal reserve which is an independent and industry and independent entity they’re not attached to the government and the government goes in and says I need X trillion dollars. Okay. The federal reserve’s turns on the presses and prints them off. Okay, now I give them a piece of paper that says here, I’m going to pay you back with interest and here’s this piece of paper they give me these Presley printed dollars and what are they really worth? They’re not worth anything. Only what we agree they’re worth. It’s an idea and so if you look at how the game is played then you can play the game. And just don’t buy in. My teacher, Don Jose Luis, the Toltec shaman told me years ago, Santiago, he called me Santiago you can play the game, just don’t buy in just realize it’s a game. And so when you understand the rules of the game, then you can play the game very successfully and you realize that the economy goes up and down and the stock market goes up and down and Bitcoin goes up and down and the dollar we just print more and more of it which means every dollar you have is worth less and less. And so what’s really going to bring you financial wealth. It’s your resourcefulness, it’s your creativity, it’s your innovation, it’s the God given abilities that you have to access this infinite intelligence and allow it to come through you as an open vehicle and vessel to create. Every tradition tells us that we’re created in the image and likeness of God, every spiritual tradition. That means if God is a creator, then guess what? So are you. And so your job here is to create and to the degree that we get creative and innovative and resourceful and resilient, and we don’t attach ourselves to, oh, worth this amount of money. Because I have this in the bank. That could be gone in a nanosecond. We’ve already determined that, or that can drop in a nanosecond. So your true net worth is who you are. It has nothing to do with what you own or what you do or what you have.
Jack: Man, that’s a powerful way to close out. I really want to make sure to give you an opportunity to share about your upcoming leadership weekend. I know James, this is going to be an evergreen broadcast, right? So there could be people listening to this and there will be people listening to this a year from now but we do have a live event coming up that I wanted to give you a chance to talk about. And then what are some other ways that if they do miss out on that, that they’re going to be able to follow you if they are. I’m sure that they’re inspired by what you’ve said today. How can they get more of James Ray and harmonic wealth?
James: Yeah, we have, and I’m glad it’s evergreen because leadership for the future is an event that we do at least once a year and this year we haven’t done it yet but it’s coming up on August 27th to 29th, 2021. And if you’re listening to this past that time that’s okay, because I’m sure we’ll have another one posted for 2022, but probably later in the year, but here’s what I’d like to encourage you to do is we’ve talked a lot about leadership and changing the conversation. We’ve talked about the areas in which we must thrive financial, relational, mental, physical, spiritual, August 27th to 29th, we have an experiential opportunity on zone. It’s normally $997. And for your listeners, we’re going to give them $500 off, which drops it down to $497 and they need to use you.
Jack: That’s incredible.
James: Thank you. You and I have a long history here. And so it that you need to use the promo code. That’s appropriate. All lowercase wealth. And so I sent you the link and maybe you can post that. It’s, my website is jamesray.com. If you don’t see the link on indestructible wealth and we’ll just go.
Jack: Yeah. Will post that in the show notes for sure. James no problem and then any other place I can post it, I’ll post it for sure.
James: Yeah. And we’ll leave that’s just for your listeners. So if it’s evergreen and you happen to be listening after the fact then we’ll leave that there and that’ll be that promo code will be reserved just for you and your people. But it’s a 3 day. Live event. It’s very experiential. We’re going to, I’ve got one of the top anti-aging experts in the world coming in to talk about how to have youthful, vibrance, and energy, and how to live a long long healthy life, which Bersabeh and I both personally work with him and we’ve worked with him and I’ll tell you, given that I’ve been to hell and back, and I still feel great and I’m still incredibly healthy. I’m just super grateful. And we do all the right things. We’re also our personal trainer is ranked number 43 in the nation and she’s a nutritionist as well and if you want to know how to eat right, and how to get in peak fitness, and shape she’s going to be there as well we have a lot of exercises on helping you clarify your vision, your purpose, your values, which is why you’re here. And there’s so much more that I won’t take time to get into today, but leadership for the future August 27th to 29th in that link that you have. If you click the link, you can get all the details plus a lot of testimonials from people who have attended and we’d love to have you come and we’ll plug you into a community of growth minded individuals from around the globe who are looking to be wealthy and looking to have an integrated and complete and fulfilling life and I, and to lead and to change the conversation. And if that’s you, then we’d love to have you join.
Jack: That’s fantastic. Sounds like an incredible opportunity. I appreciate you sharing that with all of us. The discount code is amazing. Where else can people follow you? Where are you active the most on social James?
James: I’m really active on Facebook is James Arthur Ray. Twitter is James A. Ray, and then on Instagram, my wife and I share an account. So that’s a little bit more unique to find it’s @jamesarthurandbearray, sometimes he’s a Teddy bear. Sometimes she’s a grizzly bear.
Jack: Definitely watched that. Which one you call her, if depending on the situation.
James: Yeah, that’s right. @jamesarthurandbearray. And we share an Instagram account. I had my own account and I got shut down in 2020 and my team couldn’t for the life of them, get Instagram to tell us why and these social media platforms do a lot of things and they’re just like, didn’t meet community standards or something. I don’t know if we’ve started a new.
Jack: That’s what they say. The only thing you can own is your actually you own email list. You don’t own any of your social channels. They’re not your real estate.
James: No. You don’t, it, it on mine, I had 30,000 followers and it was gone in a heartbeat on Instagram which. It didn’t even really hurt nearly as bad as Jack after losing a $20,000,000+ estate. It’s okay.
Jack: I can handle this one.
James: I can handle Instagram. But we’re religiously growing our Instagram following and we’re methodically making that happen and I’m on LinkedIn too James Arthur, Ray I’m on all of them.
Jack: It’s amazing how you just get tougher and you can be more resilient. My cryptocurrency dropped 300K what, 2 months ago and pretty much overnight. And I did, I think my golf score, but that day bothered me more than that, it’s okay, no problem. I’ll get up.
James: Yeah. It’s just an idea. I got plenty of those. We you Trump me because we were Bersabeh that was attempting to transfer some of our crypto to the bank and we hooked up. I don’t know what happened exactly, but we lost $10,000 and the click of a mouse.
Jack: You sent it to the wrong address yeah I know.
James: I don’t know, they, I think someone took it in and put it in their own account or something but it’s just an idea anyway, so it wasn’t real to begin with.
Jack: I don’t think too many people are going to get that quite yet, but they will at some point.
James: I’ve been on this planet at 63 years. You learn through experience the things to sweat and to get twisted about become less and less than last, it’s just not as much as we make it out to be in a lot of cases. And when you’ve gone through tremendous crash and burns, it makes you really come back to the heart. And I’ve said this many times, but come back to the heart and come back to center and say, Hey what’s really important in life. And it’s not the things that we’re conditioned in many cases to believe.
Jack: Yeah. That’s amazing. Thank you so much for being on the show and your wisdom. My wife when I told her I got you on, she’s been to your seminar. She remembers you very well and still very much looks up to you and she’s like what you got James Ray, how’d you do that? I’m like I messaged him, I asked.
Jack: It was something like I just didn’t make any assumptions and, I know you’re busy and I know you, you’ve got a lot of amazing accounts you’re working with, but you know what, I bet you he would love to come on and share with me and for me and my team.
James: You were one of my greatest success stories for a long time. You gave me permission to share your story and how you had grown your business, given the way we work together. And in fact, when you message me, your listener doesn’t know this but you do. I said, are you the Jack Gibson? Are you the Jack Gibson?
James: And you’re like, yeah, that’s me. That’s me. I’m like, holy crap. It’s really great to hear from you again. So I would love to see you and your wife, both. One of our online events and it just be really great to experience that with you as well.
Jack: Yes, I’m sure that will happen. You will definitely see us again. So thank you so much. I know that my audience, I’m going to get a ton of feedback from this episode from now and for potentially years to come. So again, I appreciate all your wisdom and experience and I tell you guys ordered, go tonight to Amazon and get the business of redemption. Your life will never be the same after reading it. It is an amazing book. And with that signing off, thanks so much.
James: Hey, if I can do anything to help you, let me know and keep doing great work, Jack. God bless.
Jack: Godbless. That’s a wrap for this episode on the Indestructible wealth podcast. Before we part ways, I want to help you to take advantage of 2 incredible tax saving strategies that could help you save a lot of money. All you have to do is leave me a 5 star review – if I’ve earned it – and comment in iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you tune in. After you’ve done that simple step, just email me a screenshot to [email protected] and I’ll send you everything you need to save money on your taxes for years to come. If you’d like to dive deeper into your own wealth building strategy, check us out at myindestructiblewealth.com and follow along on social media. Also, please share this podcast with anyone who’s looking for guidance on their own wealth building journey. Until next time, remember our mission here is to help you make, keep, and grow wealth you can enjoy now, and for years to come.