Episode 8: Interview with James MacNeil


Get to know more about James as he shares the story of the obstacles and how did he overcome it.
In this episode, James discusses the three basic questions in life and how to powerfully pronounced your personhood.

Listen to the podcast here:

Podcast highlights:

01:31 – A Little Bit About James
02:00 – Who are Some of the People James shared stages with?
07:32 – The Toughest Thing to Overcome
10:45 – Building Your Tribe
12:47 – Who Am I? What Do I Want? Why Am I Here?


James MacNeil is the Author and Founder of Verbal Aikido, The Guru Builder and DreamLife GPS. He is one of the world’s most accomplished speakers having addressed more than 2,000 live audiences and having shared the stage with mega-brands like Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Larry King, Bob Proctor, Steve Forbes, Rudy Giuliani, Robert Allen, Harv Eker, and Sir Richard Branson.
Through his work on radio, television, corporate training programs and the worlds biggest stages,
James has helped countless thousands around the world to embrace their best possible lives and to
Be More, Do More, Have More and Give more


Michael Silvers [00:01] : Hi Everyone, this is Michael Silvers. I wanted to welcome you all today to the mentors again. Pleasure to have one of the brilliance and the brilliance that we bring and a gentleman all the way from Canada. But I want to let you know that part of what we do and what we create is being an entrepreneur. So here are sitting outside this beautiful neighborhood, but the clouds and the Starbucks and I’m not promoting Starbucks and we know the difference between a [audible]. Think try and work out a mentor studio and listen to them. Even wrong business might encounter her protector, entertaining person. You want to know where his entrepreneur, but it’s somebody to listen to because they might have the lifestyle or the ideas or the thoughts to get you there. So with that being said, we always look for, of course, the best of the best in the world. And here’s one of the best of the best. Like to introduce everyone with a thunderous round of applause. Mr James MacNeil. How you doing’ James?

James MacNeil [00:57] : Doing Great. Thank you so much Michael. It’s a big honor. Actually, a big honor to be a part of your community, you have an incredible group of minds and hearts and genius and to be allowed to be in that playground is just an honor. Thank you so much sir.

Michael Silvers [01:10] : You are so welcome. You know, and just tell us a little bit about yourself.

James MacNeil [01:17] : Sure. So I’m one of those guys who basically I got started as a speaker because of my story that I came from a very difficult beginning and that’s not uncommon for speakers. I have ADHD, had challenges as a child, couldn’t get along with anyone, couldn’t read till I was 21, couldn’t speak till I was nine and without any degrees, I’ve now shared the stage with virtually everyone. Everyone that you’ve worked with, everyone you know, probably. And then on top of that I became the world’s highest-paid consultant with the world’s most powerful banks as a communications expert. All of that with no justification. Blessed with results I guess.

Michael Silvers [01:56] : I liked that blessed results. And who are some of the people that you’ve actually shared stages with and what’s been your most entertaining or most thoughtful moments with them on stage?

James MacNeil [02:07] : Oh, beautiful. Thank you. So, well, you know, the two that jumped into my mind were number one when I shared the stage with Sir Richard Branson, what I loved about him more than anyone else is he was just a real dude. Like he just wanted to hang out with us and it had like this like following, and you’ve probably seen it, Michael, where they’ve, you know, it’s almost security and he tries to not have security around them, but they controlled his time and protect him from, you know, normal people or whatever it’s called. But he just wanted to hang out with the rest of us speakers. It’s like, sorry guys, they’re making me go. And earlier that day he was dressed as a woman, as a flight attendant on a competitor’s airline because they lost a bet and it was one of those cool days and he got rid of his makeup, showed up with us, and he just wanted to hang out.

James MacNeil [02:51] : He was a real dude. I love that. The other one that came to mind is Lizzie Velasquez. Do you remember? Lizzie Velasquez? She’s famous for a very sad reason. She was named the world’s ugliest woman as just a young teenager, and when I shared the stage with her, we just had such a beautiful moment. We hugged each other and she’s just an incredible soul. We were over in Singapore for that one and she’s just a real deal. Just another genuine soul who loves to make a positive impact. Those are the people that touched me most.

Michael Silvers [03:19] : Yeah. That’s great to hear because again, you’ve had, and that’s actually great because that’s a very wide range. That’s two different people from two very different in a way backgrounds because if you read Richard Branson, you know really where it came from, he was his family. His especially his grandma said, you could do anything you want. You can really make of yourself, you know more and you can, you know, this whole you can do it. You can do inside. And what keeps you, and you’re Canadian so we know you’re the nicest man on the planet, but though it might be a little colder where you are than where I am. What does keep you going every single day? You know, especially those days that things quite look the way they should.

James MacNeil [04:06] : Well, it’s an interesting thing. It was some people know who have been tracking with me that I’m a widower. My wife passed away five years ago and I was only married one year and two weeks to my absolute dream girl. We had a beautiful love story and when she passed and I went through that, who am I? Why am I here? What’s the meaning of life? Those deep questions. I realized that everything I ever wanted to accomplish, I’d already accomplished. And that was by the age of 47 came from, as I said, the wrong side of the tracks. I had earned more than I ever dreamt of. I had done cooler things, met cooler people, accomplish things, earned the respect of those I respect. And I realized that was done, which was a really odd place. And so then I thought, OK, well then why am I still here?

James MacNeil [04:44] : I must be here for a reason and it’s not about me anymore. I’m passed me, we covered that. And so why am I here? And so I just continued to ask myself, how can I be the biggest blessing to connect with source energy, source, love, God, whatever you want to whatever term you’re comfortable with, the force, if you’re a star wars fan, and to be connected and then to pass on the best loving encouragement and information that I can. And I spent the first 20 plus years of my career as a speaker teaching people how to get rich. And I did that very well and people were very grateful. But then I realized that it wasn’t the end of the story. People didn’t even know who they are, why they’re here, what they really want. And so I just ask deeper questions and continue to serve people at a deeper and more profound level to answer the biggest questions that a person might face. And that turns me on. I just love watching people ignite the life of their dreams.

Michael Silvers [05:34] : You know, it does. There is something about that, that feeling and the difference is I think as we get maybe as we get older, we won’t go there, but 24 ish for right now. I like you. What? What makes a difference is it’s that a service piece, right, is we’re really serving others and it’s not from the Oh God, my ego feels so great. It’s the same for those of you going into Hollywood or even a business entrepreneur. The start to wrap around, how can I be of service as I move forward in my career? Does that not make a difference every day?

James MacNeil [06:12]: Oh, absolutely. I mean, whatever you do, you know when you put your hand to the plow, they say, you know, don’t turn and if in every role an actor was to play, every song a person was to sing, every poem a person was to write, every business a person was to launch. If you asked yourself the question, how does this enrich the lives of others? How does this touch someone? Meet someone where they’re at, help them feel like they’re not alone, help them feel there is hope and meaning and there’s reason and there’s grace. They can be forgiven, they can restart and somehow touch the planet through your art form or your business form. There’s no greater thrilled to know that some life breathes easier because I’ve existed and that’s the greatest calling I think any of us can have.

Michael Silvers [06:54] : Right. That’s fantastic. Well, I don’t even say anything else. It is so true. And what you know, again, from your experience, this is a question that always gets asked and everybody wants to know like what was your worst day? Right? We always have this, but what is sort of that big obstacle that you did overcome with everything that you said in the framework that you’ve created and you know, I’m out there starting a new career in and everything’s going wrong. How do you keep going?

James MacNeil [07:25] : Well, I think it’s funny when you asked that, I was thinking of the time when I was going through the grieving process, the toughest thing to overcome was that choice to be willing to be happy again. That was the biggest thing, to choose to be willing to be happy again because I didn’t want to be happy again. I thought it was just a fool’s play and so I was just done. But then when you’re asking about business and so on, you know, how can a person continue to move forward? It’s the “remember in the darkness what you knew in the light“. When you’re in those dark days, it’s great to be able to ask yourself, why did I start this? Why do I do this? Why am I here? What is my purpose and my calling? Do normally people are driven by wanting to meet the needs that weren’t met for them. People have a longing to be the dad they wish they had or the boss they wish they had or the mentor they wish they had or the artists they wish that they had as a child. To be able to connect with them on a different level. And so if we can go back to the why, the why do I do this, right? The foundational questions. Who am I? What do I want, why am I here? These things can pull us through anything and we’re amazed to find out just how strong we actually are.

Michael Silvers [08:32] : Yeah, that’s really good. You know, and it does. It’s that inner soul, right? It’s that inner peace of us that we keep moving forward and surround yourself. So the other thing that I found that was always incredibly helpful for me at least surround yourself with people that are smarter than you, right? Surround yourself with people who are moving forward and have their own challenges. But we’ll support you and really be there for you from a service piece, which is why we’re bringing mentors. How have mentors shown up in your life?

James MacNeil [09:02] : Well, that’s a great question. For me, I actually didn’t have them interrupt me. Let’s start with that. I had to hunt them down. I was searching for people who had in the past or are currently achieving the results that I desire. I was seeking mentors and I didn’t have a lineup of people saying, boy, I went up for my life and you young man. I didn’t have that. What I had to do was I had to find someone who getting those results. I had to beg, borrow, crawl and claw my way into their world, and the way that I did it was I didn’t have any money to pay them. So what I would do is I would just simply find ways to make the money. So I became a rain maker in the lives of people who I wanted to be around. And it’s amazing when you show up with millions of dollars in your hand. People are willing to let you through the door. And so I just found ways to generate insane amounts of money for people who I wanted to get in there and they allowed me to stay there because I just can’t make them rich. And so I found a way to bless them in a way that would let me stay close.

Michael Silvers [09:57] : That’s great. That’s fantastic. Love it. And people really know [audible]

James MacNeil [10:17] : Sadly it broke up so much. I just see your smiling face now. I’m so sorry sir.

Michael Silvers [10:25] : But my smiling face is a good thing. That’s good.

Michael Silvers [10:30] : It is. It is truly about [inaudible] really building a group around. And not all [inaudible] Did that come across?

James MacNeil [12:44] : No, it did not. But I think one of the things that did come across as drawing a tribe, but one of the things I would encourage people to do, and be, if you’re building your following, building your tribe, building a real powerful group, what’s required is, let me say it this way, the more powerfully pronounced your personhood, the more you attract and repel. And so you become more attractive and repulsive the more you become. And so all the right people come close, all the rest are free. And so you only attract the right people because who you are is so pronounced, so overt, you stand where you stand, you believe what you believe, you come off the way you come off. And so I attract a perfect audience to myself and we have a tribe that’s growing and blessing the world. And that’s because everyone else just stays away from me. They’re not interested. The only people come near me or people who dig what I am and how I am. And so the more pronounced you are, the more the right people come close and the rest stay away. It’s beautiful.

Michael Silvers [11:43] : It is great. This has been great because it really makes a difference to have those people circle around us and really the to have the mentors and really everyone. That’s why, you know, we bring the best like James out there in these podcasts that anybody can access. And again though, we do have them, you know, at the mentor studio and part of the website and part of the membership site because we want to give you more and more and more want to do it, very cost effective. And we want to give you the best mentors in the world. We want to create the tribe. I love that.

James MacNeil [12:14] : Yeah.

Michael Silvers [12:14] : You know, and it is really being together at that point. So before we go. And by the way, if anybody wants to know more about James, he’ll be under our faculty section. He doesn’t even know that yet, but he’ll be able to in our faculty’s action and you can have more information on him and he’s just amazing and great, but anything to let anything last, parting words that sounds wrong. Last words for today’s meeting.

James MacNeil [12:39] : Until next time. Dream Life Gps, but we ask is three basic questions. And this is can go deep and wide and for every [inaudible] Number one, ask yourself, who am I really? Number two, what do I want really? And then number three, why am I here? If you can go deep on those three questions, life gets a lot easier and smooth. You’ll fall into the river of flow and just live your dream life. And that’s my hope for you, your dream life. And it starts with who am I, what do I want, why am I here?

Michael Silvers [13:09] : That’s fantastic. Thank you so much. It’s been another great show today. Everyone. Thank you for listening. Thank you for all the reviews by the way. Everybody’s been laying on there, so it’s really exciting and we’ve got lots more podcasts coming up for you. We have the weekly shows will also have live q and a’s and we look forward to everybody being with us on this journey. James, thank you so much for your time today.

Neal Sperling [13:31] : Thank you sir. It’s an honor.

Michael Silvers [13:32] : You’re welcome. All right everyone. We’ll talk to you soon on the journey

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