Interviewee Name: Gary Vurnum, Author
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Gary Vurnum: I’ve been earning a living from the Internet full-time since December 2001, and in that time, I have created 15 products in the self-improvement niche, from general success to leadership to goal-setting to law of attraction to stress relief and so on. I’ve also written 20 books over the last few years, and set-up my own publishing house last July, and I publish other people’s books as well as my own.
Avil Beckford: What’s a typical day like for you?
Gary Vurnum: I wake up in the morning and decide where I’m going to work and what I’m going to work on and that’s it.
Avil Beckford: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
Gary Vurnum: I aim to work based on inspiration not motivation. In other words, if something inspires you, you won’t need to motivate yourself to do it because you’ll want to do it.
Avil Beckford: If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
Gary Vurnum: I wouldn’t do anything differently because I don’t believe in regrets and what-ifs and so on. We never make a wrong decision, because at the time we made the right decision based on the information we had, so everything I’ve learned along the way has contributed to where I am now, so I certainly wouldn’t do anything differently, even the bad stuff I’ve learned from.
Avil Beckford: What’s the most important business or other discovery you’ve made in the past year?
Gary Vurnum: This is a hard question for me because my whole career has been an evolution for me rather than a discovery, but the biggest one in a business context is that I don’t have to do what I don’t want to do, whereas everyone say you should be doing this and you should be doing that and I personally realize that I don’t have to do it if I choose not to.
Avil Beckford: What are the three threats to your business, your success, and how are you handling them?
Gary Vurnum: I don’t look at threats because they are negative. And again the only threat to my success in life and in business is if I allow myself to be open to doubt and fear about what I’m capable of achieving and able to do. The way I handle that is to tell people that I will do the things that scares me or pushes me by a specific deadline, and generally even if I don’t know how to do it, I still put it out there and funnily enough I find ways to get done what I need to get done so I don’t have any threats at all.
Avil Beckford: What’s unique about the service that you provide?
Gary Vurnum: There is nothing new out there no matter what people say. For example, The Secret was a different way of presenting what’s been around for thousands of years, which has been in the well-known self-help books and religious texts during that time. And really, what I offer that is unique is what people do and so I give them my own opinions based on my life journey. There is certainly nothing unique about what I say, it’s just a different way of saying what most people say.
The Secret: View first 20 minutes
Avil Beckford: Describe a major business or other challenge you had and how you resolved it. What kind of lessons did you learn in the process?
Gary Vurnum: Back in 2001 when I was trying to juggle my very successful banking career while I was caring for my seriously ill son, I was on anti-depressants and close to a breakdown. But once I made the decision to quit my job and focus on caring for my son, I came off the tablets immediately. I had removed the cause instead of handling the symptoms like most people do. The lesson I got from this is no matter what other people or the experts tell you, if something is important enough, you can do it. If you really want something and it’s important enough then you can do it if you really want to.
Avil Beckford: Tell me about your big break and who gave you.
Gary Vurnum: My big break was having a son born with multiple disabilities, back in 1998. He was seriously ill, in and out of hospitals all the time and nearly died on several occasions. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have given up my banking care and started to teach what I know. I learned from the experience and 10 years later I’m still doing it.
Avil Beckford: Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
Gary Vurnum: I haven’t had any major failures, all I have had are many lessons along the way, and I re-evaluate my plans as I go along. Failure is too negative a word in my life.
Avil Beckford: What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life?
Gary Vurnum: The toughest decision was turning off my son’s life support when he was very ill. His passing away allowed me to go back to a normal life for all intents and purposes, but it gave me insight into what’s important in life and it isn’t money, which is what most people focus on, and what I used to focus on. It was a heart-wrenching decision. I went back to normality with a much greater depth and understanding of the really important things in life.
Avil Beckford: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
- The birth of my son Connor.
- Quitting my job in 2001 without any means of income because it was the right thing to do.
- The break-up of my marriage in 2007. It wasn’t my decision, but it reminded me never to accept or settle for anything no matter what. Instead I re-evaluated my relationships and personal life. That was a hard thing at the time but it helped me in the long-term.
Avil Beckford: What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of?
Gary Vurnum: This is an easy one I expect for anyone who has children, my son Connor and my daughters, Katie who is 15 and Skye who is 6. Your children should be your proudest accomplishment.
Avil Beckford: How did mentors influence your life?
Gary Vurnum: My greatest mentors have been those ones who I’ve seen at seminars. They are the ones who offered the many hundreds of books that I’ve read. Like a magpie, I’ve taken little elements from every great book I’ve read and adapted it to my life in varying degrees because I highlight the important paragraphs. I’ve got hundreds of thousands of people who have gone on before me to thank as mentors that influenced me.
Avil Beckford: What’s one core message you received from your mentors?
Gary Vurnum: The core message is the only thing that’s stopping you is you – ultimately that’s it.
Avil Beckford: An invisible mentor is a unique leader you can learn things from by observing them from afar, in the capacity of an Invisible Mentor, what is one piece of advice that you would give to readers?
Gary Vurnum: The gurus know less about how you can be successful than you do. What works for them almost certainly won’t work for you, so like I did, you have to fit what they teach into how you operate you life, rather than try to fit yourself into the method that worked for them because you can read a book and that’s one thing, it’s someone’s life experience but everyone’s life experience is different. Even though you may believe that Tony Robbins can change your life, ultimately it all comes down to you, and you have to adapt what you learn from him into your life rather than try to fit into how he tells you to do it.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Many readers read this blog from other sites, so why don’t you pop over to The Invisible Mentor and subscribe (top on the right hand side) by email or RSS Feed.
Book link is affiliate link.