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Scott McKain

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The country star who changed my life…

Jim Ed BrownJim Ed Brown changed my life.

I was playing drums in a family band that opened for the country star at a concert at the little high school I attended.

  • After the first of two shows, Jim Ed approached me and said, “I’m looking for a new drummer — and I’d like it to be you!”

I couldn’t believe it — a country star and Grand Ole Opry member wanted me in his band?  Jim Ed — even though he probably didn’t realize it — forced me to make a decision: I had to choose if I wanted to be a drummer…or if I wanted something else in my life.

  • I was hit with the thought that it’s one thing to PLAY drums…it’s another to BE a drummer.  One is participation…the other is commitment.

After I had thought about it for a while, I was literally shaking from anxiety as I told him that I was sorry, but I couldn’t accept his generous offer.

  • He smiled and said, “Whatever you do in life…do it as well as you play those drums.”

I only talked to him a couple of times after that…but, I’ll never forget the wonderful opportunity he provided, or his sincere kindness.  I often think of how different my life would have turned out if I had taken him up on the job.  And, I always thank him that he moved me to prioritize what was REALLY important in my life…even in my teens.

Jim Ed passed away from lung cancer this past Thursday at the age of 81.  My friends, the Oak Ridge Boys, sang at his service.  All reflected on this gentle man’s elegance and legacy.

You may never know the impact that you have on someone else’s life.  

What can you do today to make someone’s life better?

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Scott McKain is a business leader, bestselling author, and Hall of Fame professional speaker.
Scott's latest book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" reached the #1 spot on Amazon.com list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers (Amazon.com & 800-CEO-READ): "What Customers REALLY Want" (currently available in trade paperback) and "ALL Business is Show Business."
He is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty, and has appeared on multiple occasions as a commentator and analyst on FOX News Channel. His platform presentations have run the gamut from the White House lawn with the President in the audience carried live on CNN and NBC's "Today" show...to a remote outpost near the Amazon...all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces...and from Singapore to Sweden...Mexico to Morocco.
An inductee into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, he is also a member of "Speakers Roundtable" -- an elite, invitation-only group of twenty of the world's top business speakers.