Jim Rome – Nature Vs. Nurture
Even if you’re the most motivated person on the planet, I’m guessing you’ve gone through times where you felt like you couldn’t keep going. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur, and you’ve worked hard to start your own business, but you don’t have the same drive as you used to. Maybe you’re an athlete, and you’ve set incredible goals for yourself, but you keep getting injured and can’t beat your PR.
Life is a beautiful thing, but it is not without its hardships. If you want to become great, you have to be willing to endure suffering without quitting. You have to be able to push through adversity and come out stronger on the other side. You have to be ready to get up and MOVE, even when you can’t feel like you can move a muscle.
I’ve been so excited to share this interview with you guys. Today, I talk with someone who completely CRUSHES it in their field. Even though he’s gone through adversity, he has never quit and always pushed through to become better and stronger.
My guest today is Jim Rome, and it’s safe to say that he’s the MOST successful man in the history of sports radio. Jim shares the KEY question he asked himself when he was going after his dreams. He also explains what self-awareness did for him during his rise to fame and why being DIFFERENT helped him reach ultimate success.
Who Is Jim Rome?
Perhaps the most respected voice in the world of sports broadcasting, Jim Rome is the leading opinion-maker of his generation. As host of the nation’s premiere sports radio talk show, Rome is known for his aggressive, informed, and rapid-fire dialogue. Jim has established himself as the top choice of athletes and fans when it is time to know what is going on beyond the scoreboard.
Rome’s nationally syndicated radio program, The Jim Rome Show, AKA The Jungle, airs on more than 200 radio stations each weekday and boasts more than two million listeners. Jim also has a podcast, The Jim Rome Podcast, where listeners can hear even more of his sports commentary. Jim’s departure from conventional sports commentary has resulted in Rome’s unique dialogue with his listeners, and he has a legion of die-hard fans.
Jim Rome has been someone I have admired for a LONG time from a distance. He is a leading opinion-maker of his generation and completely reinvented Sports Radio into what it is today. He made the Radio Hall of Fame and is also a commentator on NFL on CBS-TV.
I love Jim’s story because he took something he LOVED, and he did whatever he could to incorporate it into his life. He is a perfect example of why our PASSION for the PROCESS will drive us faster to success than anything else.
This conversation had so many golden nuggets, and with everything going on right now, let’s use this opportunity to learn about what it truly takes to get to the top. I’m telling you, guys, this interview is remarkable, so let’s dive in!
“I Knew What I Wanted to Do From A Young Age”: Dedication to the Craft
Despite his massive success, Jim Rome is an extremely humble person, and it’s one of the things I admire most about him. But I wanted to hear his story, how he got to where he is today and gave him permission to brag a little bit about his career journey.
“My only advantage I think that I really had was I did know exactly what I wanted to do at an early age … I had professional athletic aspirations, but I did figure out early on [that] this was not going to happen to me … I grew up in Los Angeles at a very different time when there was no internet, and there was no cable, but I was obsessed with sports, man. I loved it. I had my childhood heroes, and I couldn’t get enough … I knew that the second I got to UC Santa Barbara, I checked into the dorm, and I went right to the radio station, and I never left. I just kind of locked in.” – Jim Rome
Some of you might relate to Jim’s story. Maybe as a kid, you’ve had that same passion for one thing — whether it be med school, starting your own business, or becoming a musician. Maybe you found your passion later in life, and are just now pushing into that. Whatever the timeline, you need to be completely dedicated to your craft for it to work. I really admire Jim Rome because he chose a craft in radio where things don’t happen quickly. It’s not a six-month commitment. It’s a life commitment.
In the beginning, Jim experienced his doubts. After graduating from college, all his friends were making the big bucks and thriving, and he wasn’t making that much money.
“It’s at that point that people start to say, it’s a dream. It’s a pipe dream. It’s not meant to be. It’s not for me … I knew not to give in, but you know what I did? I was one of the guys that gave in.” – Jim Rowe
After a bad internship experience, Jim quit. His parents owned a business, so he went back home to work for them. His dad was confused because Jim had never shown any interest in the family company, but his dad agreed. After six months, his dad ended up firing him (nicely), and Jim went to work at a sales job. He stayed there 38 days then quit — he realized that he couldn’t sell anything but himself.
“I call my old boss where I had an internship in Santa Barbara … he’s like, ‘Hey, Rome, what’s going on?’ I’m like, ‘Nothing good, nothing good.’… I lay out my whole sales life. I’m a failure. I’m worth nothing. ‘Do you have any radio work in Santa Barbara?’ He said,’ I got one thing. 30 hours, vacation relief, traffic reports, $5 an hour. Do you want it?’ I said, ‘yes.'” – Jim Rome
If you’re an entrepreneurial type, then this story may sound very familiar. You used to be at a job where you were unsatisfied. It paid the bills, but you knew that it wasn’t your calling. Maybe you left your job and started working on your dream. But it got hard, and you considered quitting. Jim Rowe is in the Radio Hall of Fame, guys, but he also went through a stage where he thought he wasn’t enough. Even the most successful people experience self-doubt. The thing that sets them apart is that they always return to their craft, no matter how hard it gets.
What It Truly Means to Be a Successful Person
Jim has this theory about success. It doesn’t always go to the most talented person or the most gifts person. It goes to the person who has the dedication and drive. When Jim was in college, he realized that if he was going to make his dream become a reality, he had to make himself stand out:
“You don’t have an amazing look. You don’t have an amazing voice yet. You want to be on the radio. You want to be on TV. What do you have to bring to it? Why you? I couldn’t answer the question at first. And I thought, man, if I don’t come up with that answer, I’m not going to make it. So why you, why you, why you, and when I finally came down to was this it’s going to be me because I’m going to come at it differently with a different slant rather than being the answer man on the radio.” – Jim Rome
To be great, Jim realized that he had to be dedicated and also be different. He had to bring something new to the table. This guy has a psycho work ethic. He’s ferocious, and he’s very self-aware of his strengths and weaknesses. He knows what he’s good at and what he’s not good at, and this awareness creates humility.
“It’s not about that ego. It’s about the process. It’s about wanting to be relevant. It’s about me still wanting to be competitive. It’s about me wanting to have another act. It’s about me wanting to reinvent … People look at me and my, and say, ‘Damn man, that guy’s not looking for an off-ramp. That guy’s not going away.’ And I want to be able to say, Hey man, I did not give in. And the world changed, and I changed with it, and I’m still relevant. And that’s important.” – Jim Rome
The most successful people are the people who are self-aware. They understand their flaws, they use their gifts, and they pivot when they need to. It’s not about making money or getting the fame — it’s about pouring everything you’ve got into your craft, and Jim Rome is a perfect example of this.
Jim Rome’s Shocking Interview with Quarterback Jim Everett
In this interview, Jim and I also talked about the almost career-altering experience that he had on live TV and how it felt for him to go through it. On his weeknight show Talk2 back in 1994, Rome repeatedly called quarterback Jim Everett by another name: Chris Evert. This nickname was intentional and meant to reference a female tennis player.
Rome had called Jim this nickname before, but never to his face. Everett told Rome not to say it again, but Rome kept pushing him. Everett was outraged and overturned the table, which sent Rome falling to the floor. I was eager to hear Jim’s side of the story and have him share what he learned from the whole experience.
“One regret is that I didn’t need to say it again. And honestly, I didn’t know he was that angry. It was live TV, and I didn’t play it right. It was a really bad day at work for me … people to this day, say to me, ‘it made you, it made you,’ [but] I kinda take exception to that. I didn’t want to be known for that … I had a bad day. That was my bad. I’ve apologized for that a million times. I always will. I did not handle that well, period.” – Jim Rome
The reason I brought up this incident was because it’s another example of how Jim Rome didn’t quit. This could have devastated Jim’s radio career. It was certainly career-altering. But it didn’t make him. What made Jim Rome is the prolific culture he’s created and his relentless work ethic. He has a unique way of interacting with athletes, and his ability to articulate is outstanding. He made a mistake, but it didn’t define him – it grew him.
All of us have made mistakes. Some of us have made really big ones. It could be bankruptcy, a divorce, or an unhealthy lifestyle. Sometimes we let that mistake become our everything, and we shame ourselves for the rest of our lives. Jim Rome is proof that you can break out of that. It was one of the most shocking sports interview moments in history, and it could have ruined Jim’s career, but he took a step back and redirected himself. He didn’t quit.
#MAXOUT with Jim Rome
Jim Rome is a perfect example of someone who is continuing to #MAXOUT their life, even though he’s already wildly successful.
“There’s no reason for me to stop at 55. I’m still motivated by the game and the puzzle. I still want to win … I want to make an example for the kids … [sometimes] I hear, ‘Hey man, you suck. I want to fight you.’ But the best thing that I hear [is] ‘I’m really proud of this.'” – Jim Rome
I know that there are people reading this who feel like they’ve pursued their dream, but it didn’t work out. Maybe they feel like they gave it their all, but they still haven’t reached that Jim Rome level of success. Here’s what Jim has to say to those people:
“You should ask yourself, ‘Why you? How are you different? What do you have to bring to it?’ And until you can really answer that question, I don’t think you will have a shot. And even then there’s no guarantee. But I really do think that you do have to want it worse. Create better habits, follow rituals, and do them consistently. There are no days off … If you want it badly enough, it won’t feel like you’re working through shit. It’ll feel like this is what you do and who you are.” – Jim Rome
I agree with this 1,000,000%. To make it, you have to be different. You can’t do what everyone else has done. Lean into your gifts and pivot in your career to create the business, life, or relationship that you’re seeking. I loved having Jim on The Ed Myllet Show, and I know that you will find so many gold nuggets in here about how never to quit, even when it gets hard.
Don’t forget to use the #MAXOUT hashtag and tell me your biggest takeaways in the comments below! I read them every week and select winners who get all sorts of prizes, gear, and even coaching calls with me! I love hearing from all of you, and please share the interview with anyone you think needs to hear it too!
Are you the type of person who doesn’t quit? After listening to this episode with Jim Rome, you’ll know for sure.