019. Finding Humility & Balance in the Unexpected with Tim Fargo

Tim Fargo is a two-time Inc. 500 winner. After declaring bankruptcy in 1991, he took that moment of struggle and decided it wasn’t how he would be defined. He pushed himself forward, launched a new company, and sold it seven years later for $20m. He then wrote his book, Alphabet Success, and built the basis for his current company while promoting his book.

Today that company, Social Jukebox has thousands of customers around the world using it to post to their social media accounts.

There’s nothing quite like going from thinking you’re hot stuff to donating blood for cash to wake up your humility.

Key Points from the Interview with Tim Fargo

  • Tim currently runs Social Jukebox, a business that came to be by accident when he was trying to achieve something else. While the “something else” wasn’t developing the way he had hoped, Social Jukebox became its own thing, and he recognized the need to shift his focus from what he had intended to what he was having success with.
  • Success wasn’t always part of Tim’s equation. Years before, he lost everything personally and professionally when his event marketing company went bankrupt along with him personally. This stemmed from Tim getting caught up in his own success, amassing debt that ultimately brought him down. And taught him a huge lesson about not believing your own hype and knowing what signs to look for that can help you check yourself.
  • When we fail, the worst thing you can do is let that failure have a lasting meaning in your life. While you can and should learn from it, you don’t have to let failure be your story or definition from yourself. Tim proved this first hand as he went on to start another company (after a journey and process of growth) that he eventually sold for millions of dollars.
  • We talked about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s obviously been wildly successful as an actor, but that was not his path. He was on a trajectory to be an NFL star until an injury took him out of football in college. If he had taken that ending of his goal as a defining failure, he would never have pushed himself so hard down the path that he’s been on now. He realized his tenacity, dedication and drive were his skills, not just the physical capabilities needed in professional football, and he used those values to propel him down a different path.
  • Every time Tim has let his mind get “infected” with the idea that he’s somehow special or better-than such that his way (and only his way) will prevail, it’s been fraught with disaster. That is the essence of what lead to his bankruptcy. Instead, it’s about having the humility to recognize that you were wrong, but then find the lesson you can take forward.
  • Tim leaves us with some advice about balance when it comes to ourselves – we’re never quite a dumb as we think we are, nor are we quite as smart as we think we are. We’re somewhere in between.


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