Jim McIngvale on Being Successful: 10 Success Tips for Graduates & Entrepreneurs From Mattress Mack by Donna John

Entrepreneurs Career
a year ago

Jim McIngvale on Being Successful: 10 Success Tips for Graduates & Entrepreneurs From Mattress Mack

Jim McIngvale (aka Mattress Mack) may not have had a nationwide spotlight shined on him until he opened his furniture stores up for Hurricane Harvey victims. But if you live in the Houston area, you've always known his name, his kindness and his generosity. 

McIngvale gave a speech at the American Advertising Federation (AAF-Houston) and the Advertising Education Foundation of Houston (AEFH) scholarship presentation, which was held at the Junior League of Houston, where he shared with graduates his 10 success tips. "Education is the backbone of this great nation, and it was an honor to coach up these young ladies and gentlemen!" he says. 

Here are Mattress Mack's top 10 success tips: 

  • Find a Job You Love to Do and You’ll Never Work a Day in Your Life: “Find your passion. Put your footprints into the sands of your passion.”
  • Remember the Joy of Work: “I think one of the things that a lot of the citizens in this country miss is the joy of work. Work is life’s greatest therapy. In this country when you meet somebody, you don’t ask them this or that, you ask them what you do. Work defines us in this country.”
  • Get Rid of Your Sense of Entitlement: “Get up. Go to work. Make something out of your life … I’ve got these kids at Gallery Furniture. They come to me when they’re 17 and 18 years old. They’re totally lost. All of a sudden, they find something they’re good at. Three or four years later they’re proud of themselves. They’re accomplishing things. They’re making money. They achieve that thing called the American dream. You can, too.”
  • Education Is the Only Product or Service That You Can Take All You Want: “There’s always plenty left for everybody else. What a wonderful product, education. One of my favorite sayings is, ‘I look at what I do to see what I believe.’ Successful people like you scholarship recipients here today, do the things that unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.”
  • Prepare for Setbacks: “One thing I want to guarantee to all you students: In life, you’re going to get knocked down early. You’re going to get knocked down often. It’s going to happen every day. You know, life is not about failing. We all fail. Life is about how you react to adversity. Prepare yourself in life for setbacks. They’re going to happen every day." 
  • To Be Successful in the 21st Century, You Have to Innovate or You’re Going to Evaporate: “Learn early in your life to be a change agent. Most people hate change. I’m here to say the only constant in life is change. Improve it. Learn how to embrace rapid and tumultuous change. That’s the time … that’s the era we’re living in.”
  • Don’t Let Success Go to Your Head: “The biggest barrier I have in my future success is my past success. What I did in the past is only what’s going to work in the future. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
  • You’ve Got to Tell Your Story Over and Over and Over: “Then you got to tell it one more time … If after graduation and college, you’re lucky enough to get into the advertising business, and the sales business, and the marketing business, please remember to tell your story over and over, and over and over, and over and over again just like Steven Spielberg does because it works.”
  • Make It a Priority in Your Life to Become a People Person: “Probably the most important thing for your success is your network of people that you cultivate. Life and business, I have learned at a later point in my life, are about relationship building. People like to do business with people they like, trust and believe.”
  • Dream Big, Think Big, Do Great Things in Your Life: “Houston and Texas and the United States remain the land of opportunity, the home of the free, land of the brave and land of opportunity for all of us. The United States has a giant immigration problem. That’s because millions of people are trying to get in because they too want some of the incredible opportunities that you and I all too often take for granted."

“One last thing as Steve Jobs used to say: Remember when you go home tonight to kiss Mom and kiss Dad and tell them thank you for all they’ve done for you.”

Photo: Donna John, Jim McIngvale and Martin John at 2022 World Series in Houston, Texas. 

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Elisa Schmitz
I love this, Donna John . Mattress Mack is so inspiring: "Dream Big, Think Big, Do Great Things in Your Life." YES! Thank you for sharing this!!
Tabitha Jones
How inspiring! What a great piece :)
Dieter Schmitz
Yes, Donna John this is a wonderful story. The world is blessed to have such generous spirits.
Donna John
Yes, I think so, too. Thank you! I'm from the Houston area and we love Mattress Mack down here. He opened up his furniture stores during Harvey, other floods and the winter storm we recently had. Let people sleep on all the furniture and treat it like it was their home. Even fed them. He's a great man. Joseph Armato

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