Don’t miss this episode of the FlipNerd.com VIP Interview show. My guest, Extreme Athlete, Jeremy McGhee has nothing to do with real estate. He has everything to do with always giving your best, focusing on doing what you love, and never making excuses for why you can’t do something. An auto accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. From climbing mountains to diving with sharks…it hasn’t slowed him down a bit. He never makes excuses, and you shouldn’t either!
Mike: Welcome to the FlipNerd.com podcast. This your host, Mike Hambright, and on this show I will introduce you to VIPs in the real estate investing industry as well as other interesting entrepreneurs whose stories and experiences can help you to take your business to the next level.
We have three new shows each week which are available in the iTunes Store, or by visiting Flip Nerd.com. So without further adieu, let’s get started.
Hey, it’s Mike Hambright back with another Flip Nerd VIP Show. Today I have with me a very special guest. He’s not in real estate, but he’s an awesome guy, Jeremy McGhee. He’s an inspiring voice and thrill seeker; he’s an extreme athlete, snow skier, mountain climber, and much more. And he’s also paralyzed from the waist down. So if you need some inspiration today, you want to learn how to stop making excuses and hear an awesome inspiring story, please stick with us today.
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Hey, Jeremy, welcome to the show.
Jeremy: Thanks for having me, Mike.
Mike: Awesome; I’m so glad you’re on. This is really, like I said, a real estate focus show, but I always have room on for inspirational folks and entrepreneurs and things like that, and you have such an amazing inspiring story that I’m glad you’re here.
Jeremy: Sweet, I need to get a house, too, so if you want to help me out with that.
Mike: All right, hey, we know some people.
Jeremy: In San Diego?
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. I mentioned that I’ve been following you for several years now; we kind of crossed paths probably six or seven years ago for a totally unrelated subject, and I’ve been following you on social media and have always been inspired by you. I’m not quite a cyber stalker, but I’ve been following along and definitely getting a dose of reality a little bit once in a while.
So before we get into some of your extreme sports and things that you do, swimming with sharks and stuff like that, just some crazy stuff; tell us a little bit about your story, about how you got to where you were and I know you had an accident and obviously you were born with full capacity, and had a motorcycle accident and kind of got a chance to start your life over again. Why don’t you tell us a little bit of the backdrop?
Jeremy: Well, my motorcycle accident was in 2001. I was 25, so you can do the math, and figure out my age. And you know it wasn’t–although it was a big event–I always say that it didn’t really change me. I’m still the same person. And my mind set has been, I still need to be me; I still need to do the things that I would normally be doing, and so I just need to figure it out now.
Jeremy: And that’s kind of been my mind set from day one. Honestly I almost died, so I’m just lucky to be alive. And from the very first second just thankful. I’m human, I have my days, I get grumpy and I get angry; I’m just a regular guy. But overall my mind set has been just, all right, Jerry, you’re just thankful to be alive, so let’s figure this out.
A few years ago I had to have a surgery that landed me in a hospital bed for two months. I was unable to get up at all for anything for two months, and stuck in this hospital bed. And I had some time to think while I was there, and I came to the realization that the reason for my little life in this crazy world is to do all these things that I would normally be doing, and share it with people. When I got out of that bed, I started just filming myself and surfing, on a given day skiing, and sharing it. A few years later we’ve got a movie out. We just shot the first one, and it’s been a very exciting ride.
Mike: That’s awesome. And I know since the time of your accident, when did you start doing some of the sharing of your story? There’s this personal drive in you that you’re on a mission to just do what you need to do, and you’re not going to let anything get in the way, which is awesome. But when did you start sharing that story? I know you speak in a lot of different venues to kind of inspire others and help motivate others, when did you really start doing that?
Jeremy: About two and a half years ago. I remember I made the decision to believe in myself. I was kind of at a low time in my life, my bank account was negative for weeks at a time, and I was really down on myself. And I woke up one morning and I just looked out at the ocean and I said, “I am meant for something big and I’m going to believe in myself.”
And in that moment, if we do that, if we make that decision, we automatically become a pillar of stability. And my life has just gone up hill from there, from no money in the bank at all and down in the dumps to now it seems like all my dreams are coming true right now.
Mike: That’s awesome.
Jeremy: And all it took was just making that decision.
Mike: Yeah. Why do you think so many folks–it’s so easy. We’re probably somewhere around the same age. You always kind of wonder if it’s an age thing, you grow up and some people just get in a rut and they don’t seem to get out of it, or it could obviously have to do with influences, like what your parents were like and things like that. I mean, we all get in ruts. But there seems like there’s just this overwhelming funk of people that, for one reason or another, have turned themselves into a victim of not being able to move forward in one way or another. What do think causes that?
Jeremy: Well, I think it’s biology, honestly. In general, around our mid to late twenties, our brain makes a shift and it’s this left brain of ours, its sole purpose is to protect us.
And it tells us we can’t be uncomfortable, we can’t experience pain; we need to nest build and be comfortable. It’s biology. Evolution has created these dopamine influences in our brains to make us want to stay put and become complacent. Well, that’s not really necessary in this world anymore, and evolution is a little outdated in that way.
Jeremy: Motivation actually becomes something that we need to choose in our adulthood; it’s biology, it’s what our brain is set up to do. And when we choose it, when we stop listening to that voice that we need to be comfortable and we can’t experience pain, I believe that’s when we begin to live an inspired life in our adulthood.
Mike: That’s great. And in your specific instance, and I know a lot of other folks that are leaders in different spaces that have very much the same outlook as you, saying that I’m meant for this, I have to go change lives and I know that it’ll benefit me in some way, but this is what I feel like I have to do. What do you think about how folks kind of get over that hump and not just recognize that they have a calling to go do what it is they want to do, but that they have a calling to impact others?
Jeremy: Well, people always ask me the question, “Well, why would I experience pain or be uncomfortable and go experience things?”
Well my answer to that is; this is a pretty amazing huge world with all kinds of incredible things to explore and experience. Why would you not? And getting over that hump really just takes making that decision, honestly.
Well hopefully it doesn’t take a slap in the face like I had. Hopefully it doesn’t take being close to death. I’ve been close to death twice in my life now, and the realization that life is this very, very thin thread and can end at any moment; today could be our last day on this earth. And we all have things in the back of our mind that we want to do, whether it’s exploring or it’s an inner journey or it’s learning something new, like a new language or an instrument even.
It doesn’t have to be this crazy thing. What are we waiting for, because we might not have tomorrow? And realizing that, if it takes someone like me telling them or actually being close to death, coming to that realization I think is where people start getting over the hump.
Mike: Yes, and it does seem for a lot of folks it takes some sort of extreme accident or health issue or disease or something like that to be awake up call, which is a shame, but it’s just the reality of the world we live in sometimes. But I know your message is definitely, you know, sometimes you learn from other people’s stories as well, which is obviously a big part of what you’re doing. I think what you’re doing is awesome, man.
Jeremy: That’s the whole reason for it. We try to stray away from the word ‘inspire’ and use the word ‘provoke.’ We want to provoke you into action. Life is short.
Mike: Indeed. In the interview here, we don’t do a ton of editing to show some of the videos and some of the extreme stuff that you’re involved in, tell us a little bit about some of the–for folks who don’t know you–some of the bigger, extreme sports that you’re involved in, and I know you’re involved in everything, but in terms of skiing, and obviously, your big adventure was climbing to the top of Bloody Coup Lar. Talk a little bit about that experience.
Jeremy: Well, if anybody wants to see video, I mean, they’re probably not watching this show live, so they can just hit pause.
Mike: Yeah, and we’ll have links to everything below the video, too.
Jeremy: Yeah, they can go hit those links and watch some video. But yeah, climbing Bloody Coup Lar; coup lar is a French word for the type of mountain or rock formation that it is. And the mountain is called bloody because of the red colored rock that characterized the area. It’s a major back-country route, just outside of Mammoth Lakes, California in the eastern Sierras. And it’s rated in the top 50 classic ski descents in North America. We’re talking 3,000 vertical feet and a pitch of 50 degrees. And for anybody who’s not in the ski world that’s pretty much straight down in ski world. That’s as steep as it gets.
And my friends would climb and ski this thing every spring and I actually got them together. They are married now, so they owe me their firstborn. And they would tell me about this peanut and jelly sandwich picnic they would share together at the top while they soaked in the views. You can see the mountain faces from one side, and once you get to the top you can see the wild, mysterious wilderness on the other side. And it’s amazing, it’s a whole different experience once you’re up there. And if you ever want to feel small, climb to the top of a mountain in the back country, or paddle way out in the ocean by yourself.
Jeremy: So anyway, they’re explaining this feeling and the view and their little picnic, and I thought to myself, “I want to go. I need to be there. Let’s figure it out.”
And nothing like this had ever been done before, so it was about a month or so of trying to figure out the system of how to do it. And we came up with I was going to lie on my stomach, prone, in a plastic kid’s sled. We were going to set anchors in the snow with rope and we’re going to have what’s called a jumar attached to the rope, and put a pull-up handle in the jumar. And I was going to crank pull-ups up this mountain; I was going to climb it on my own.
Mike: That’s incredible.
Mike: Do you know anybody else that has done that?
Jeremy: There’s other guys and girls out there that have done similar type things, but nothing exactly like this.
Mike: That’s awesome. And so I know you have created, essentially a project that you refer to as a drop-in project, which is inspiring people, provoking people, to basically love what they do and live for today, right?
Jeremy: Yeah, the tagline is, do what you love. Period.
Jeremy: No other explanation needed, because I believe that is the purpose for our lives is to do what we love. No matter what it is; to everybody it’s different, you know?
Jeremy: For me it’s being out in nature with my friends and going on adventures; that’s what I love to do. For somebody else it could be something completely different, but do it now.
Mike: That’s right. And so in this project you have essentially kind of a bucket list or a list of things that you plan to do and you’ve made that public, which I guess in many ways is holding yourself accountable to do these things as well, right?
Jeremy: Well honestly I’m the type of person who doesn’t necessarily need accountability for that stuff; I’m going to do it whether it’s public or filming it or not. My New Year’s resolution this year is to paddle with orcas; I’m obsessed and infatuated with orca whales right now and I’m going to go. I’ve just got a prone paddle board and I’m we’re going up to the Northwest, to Orca Island in August. There are tons of orcas in the area at the time at that time of season, so I’m going to paddle with them, get close to them, which will be absolutely… I’ll be scared out of my mind, I’m sure.
I’ve been paddling with whales here and I’ve been out there by myself and it’s the scariest experience of my life. Being three miles out in the ocean on my little paddle board all by myself and there’s buses swimming around me.
Jeremy: It’s funny, because it’s a moment that I had been fantasizing about for so long and then it happens, and in the middle of it I want to run away, because I’m so scared.
Jeremy: But I actually caught video of that experience; I hooked up with a couple of humpbacks a couple of months ago and I caught that on my Go-Pro Camera and put a little edit. Did I put it on my website? It’s on my YouTube Channel, I know that. I’m not sure if it’s on my website or not.
Mike: Okay. We’ll definitely share any links you have tied to the YouTube Channel or to buy DVDs. We’ll definitely add all of those to the website of your blog, Jeremy McGhee.com.
So tell us a little bit about the project. Is it your intent? I know you filmed essentially a documentary of your recent mountain climb, which is awesome, and I plan to get one of those today, by the way. And hopefully we can get a bunch of folks buying. You’re essentially asking for a $10 donation . . .
Jeremy: We’re not even suggesting an amount.
Jeremy: Whatever you feel; if it’s a dollar, make a dollar donation and we’ll send you a DVD, no problem. But we’ve had people make obviously larger donations and the support has been the amazing. And the proceeds go to getting this movie in front of more people, and also to our next project.
Mike: It’s your intent to continue to film these so you can share each big project with everyone, right?
Mike: That’s awesome.
Jeremy: Yes, everything grassroots, donation based; we’re not in this to make money, we’re in this to provoke people.
Mike: Yes, and I think you’re doing a great job.
Mike: So talk a little bit about some of the upcoming projects that you have slated. I’ve seen them active on your website, and there are a number of things from swimming with sharks to paddling the Amazon, mountain biking in Bolivia, and so much more awesome, awesome stuff. So talk about some of the ones that are coming up.
Jeremy: Well I have this problem; when I get an idea in my head I become obsessed with it and I have to do it. But this list that we have on the website is basically pretty much my bucket list at this point, and it’s growing because I keep finding more ideas and people send me ideas. “Hey, you should go here and do that.”
But right now I am registered for the Super Bowl of all paddle races, and when I do it it will be the most grueling thing I’ve ever endured, even bigger than climbing this mountain. That’s the Molokai Oahu Paddle Race in July. And I’ve just started my training, and if I look tired that’s why. Yeah, I’m registered to do this paddle race. I just got the prone paddle board, and I’ll be doing this race prone, and I’m pretty excited about it.
Mike: That’s awesome.
Jeremy: And the one thing that I’m really excited about is, I weigh less than a normal guy, because my legs are small and atrophied; and also my arms are conditioned to do so much more. So I might actually be at an advantage in this race, so we’re really excited to see how I do. If I can train properly, because that’s the thing; knowing the currents, knowing how to ride the open ocean swells on this type of thin, narrow board, and understanding the winds and the conditions between the islands is paramount to doing well in this race.
Mike: Yeah, this is July?
Jeremy: That is this July; I’m going to be in Oahu in June and July training, learning everything, all the conditions and how to navigate through them. So hopefully I can get to know them well enough and we’re curious to see how well I can do in this race. And while we’re there, of course, I’ll be surfing and free diving and hopefully hooking up with some wildlife in the ocean, and we’ll be chronicling all of that stuff too.
Mike: That’s fantastic.
Jeremy: So that’s our next project, it looks like.
Mike: Great, so tell me a little bit about; I know you speak at a number of corporate events; you’ve spoken at TED, like a number of things where you kind of get your voice out. So I’d like to learn a little bit more about that and then learn a little bit more about opportunities that you’re looking for to speak, because some of the folks that are on this show host some big events and things like that, some of the folks that watch our show, some of our guests. I’d like to learn a little bit more about what you’re trying to accomplish there, which is provoking people, trying to get your message out. And which no doubt you’re also inspiring people, and learn a little bit more about what you get out of that and what you hope to give others in return.
Jeremy: Well, I love speaking. I mean, every talk I give, I get so much because people are crying and want to huge me afterwards. The same thing every time we show the movie and I get to be there, it’s the same thing. Selfishly, I get so much from that; that makes me feel so good, obviously–
being a part of that in someone’s life.
But I don’t consider myself a speaker. I consider myself an adventurer, and just a regular guy telling a story. And when I go do talks, I never want to be the motivational speaker that is giving the glass half full speech. That’s not me. The glass just is what it is, and we need to figure it out basically, because the alternative sucks.
Jeremy: That’s more my talk, and I just share my adventures and let the story speak for itself.
Jeremy: And yeah, that’s my career, you know? I’m not getting any younger, I’m not going to be able to do all this extreme stuff forever, and my career is sharing those stories with people. And yeah, I’ve been getting more and more gigs, traveling around, speaking at schools, corporate events, churches, everything. And it’s been really fun; the response has been great.
Mike: That’s great. I know you have a little bit of a tour going on, too, to help share your climb with others as well, right?
Jeremy: Yeah, actually I just got back from a tour Tuesday last week, so I’ve been home for a week and it’s taking me that long to recover. I was on the road for three weeks showing the film in mountain towns across the Western mountains. We went to Aspen, Vail, Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Denver, and Bozeman. In about two and a half weeks we did seven screenings and just got back from that exhausted. We rented a car, basically, and just drove around and did it totally grassroots style, and the response has been amazing.
Mike: That is fantastic. And so do you have more… is the tour over at this point for this project, and are you ready to move onto the next project? Or is this something you continue to do on an ongoing basis?
Jeremy: Well, in two weeks we go to East Coast. We’re showing in Burlington, Vermont, Bromley, and it looks like Albany.
Jeremy: So just three or four stops over there and we have another one actually tomorrow in San Diego, so I’m pretty excited about that.
Jeremy: And I think we’ll have some screenings pop up here and there, but there’s not going to be anymore big organized long touring anymore, because our focus is onto the next project now.
Mike: That’s right. Awesome. We’ll add links to everything below, but there are a number of ways for people to get hold of you, learn more about you. Why don’t you talk about some of those ways that people can reach out to you and get hold of you?
Jeremy: Well, I’m very proud of my website, because I built it myself. That was one of the products of that hospital stay when I was stuck in the hospital bed. I taught myself how to build a website.
Jeremy: Well, it was one of the build-your-own website type websites. But that was a fun project and I’m very proud of it. I think it’s really good. And people can go there, JeremyMcGhee.com. It has my blog, my videos, contact information, all social media links are there.
Jeremy: And then DropInProject.com is the website for the film project.
Jeremy: And then people can see our list of things that we’re going to do–diving with sharks. Actually that’s a phone call I’ve got to make. Have you ever watched Shark Week?
Jeremy: Have you ever seen the one where they’re off Guadalupe Island and off Baha and they catch the huge great whites and lift them up out of the water? Have you seen that one?
Mike: I don’t think I’ve seen that, no.
Jeremy: Anyway the scientist, that’s the head scientist of all of that, I’ve been connected with through a mutual friend, and he’s really excited about doing some stuff with us.
Mike: That’s awesome.
Jeremy: He’s getting me in the water with these great whites and with bull sharks and that’s a pretty exciting one.
Mike: Yeah, that sounds great.
Jeremy: People can read about that list of everything that we’re going to be working on over the next few years, and get in contact and watch the teaser video for the movie and get the movie, get the DVD.
Mike: Awesome. It sounds like you’ve got a lot more stuff on your YouTube Channel as well, right?
Jeremy: The YouTube Channel, I don’t spend too much time on, but there is stuff there. The best videos I have posted on my website.
Mike: Okay. Awesome, man. Well, you are definitely an inspiration to me, and I think once some folks get to know you, some of the folks that follow me get to know you, and you’re definitely going to inspire some others, too. What you’re doing is awesome, it’s fantastic. I really don’t know what else to say. If I talk to you too long I might have a tear in my eye here, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Well you know what, I just think everything totally relates to the work world, the business world, and to real estate. The whole message of believing in ourselves, because we’re not motivated every day we wake up. We wake up, like, “Oh, I’ve got to show this house, or do this or whatever.”
And sometimes it takes just choosing that motivation, just climbing that mountain one pull up at a time. Whatever it is, every day those small steps, and then ten years later we look back and, “Oh, my God; look at my business; and choosing to be motivated even when we don’t feel like it.”
But while you’re doing that get out in the world and explore it, too, because life is too short and that’s going to create motivation that you can apply to your business.
Mike: Absolutely. Awesome. Well, hey, thanks for spending time with us today. I really appreciate it.
Jeremy: All right, thank you for having me, Mike.
Mike: For the folks watching we’ll have links to how to get hold of Jeremy and learn more about his Drop In Project and how you can life to the fullest and definitely keep an eye on this guy. So thanks again for joining us, buddy.
Jeremy: Thanks, Bro.
Mike: All right, have a good day.
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