Welcome to the Join Up Dots Business Coaching Podcast With Maxwell Ivey
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Introducing Maxwell Ivey
Maxwell Ivey is today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
He is someone who is marching on with his life, with something that many of us would consider a huge hindrance.
In fact a total game stopper.
He is a totally blind business owner, blogger, sometimes podcaster, and newly self published author.
Born into a family of carnival owners in Texas, USA, he lost his sight at age 12.
But having a natural gusto for life this didn’t hold him back, and he graduated college, before working in the family business alongside his brothers until his father tragically succumbed to lung cancer.
How The Dots Joined Up For Maxwell Ivey
Faced with his own mortality, he made some life-altering changes, undergoing gastric surgery to lost over 250 pounds.
He started his own business, buying and selling amusement rides, and learned how to blog using software for visually-impaired people.
Overcoming many obstacles, he has made a name for himself online and now shares his experiences on The Blind Blogger.
And with the companionship of his crazy Dalmation-mix, Penny, he now spends his days singing, reading, blogging, writing, creating videos, and coaching
And of course inspiring everyone he comes in contact with.
So does he remember when he first realized that he was slowly losing his sight as a young man?
And does he find now that his life has found the path that feels right because of it, and not despite of it?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Maxwell Ivey
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Maxwell Ivey such as:
How he struggles on a daily basis to see what the fuss is all about, when others are inspired by the activities that he performs everyday.
Why he remembers with great fondness the times that he spent with his Father riding the highways of America.
How he struggles with working his social media profile due to the inability of seeing, and is amazed that more companies can’t see this.
How he had to sit and get really quiet to find the skills he possessed that he can utilise and help build his future.
We discuss how the true power that he holds is, in in his words “The Blind Card” and he needs to bring this to the fore to make the big difference to others.
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Full Transcription Of Maxwell Ivey Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcast is mastery.com, the premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro. Check us out now at podcasters mastery.com.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:38]
Yes, hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of Join Up Dots. This is Episode 359. I’m David Ralph. And of course, we’ve got another guest on the end of the line, who’s going to share with us his story. And it’s quite a story this one actually because he is a guest who is marching on with his life with something that many of us would consider a huge Hundreds in fact that total game stopper. He’s a totally blind business owner blogger sometimes podcaster, a newly self published author. born into a family of cannibal owners in Texas, USA. He lost his sight at age 12. But having a natural gusto for life, it didn’t hold him back, and he graduated college before working in the family business alongside these brothers. And two these father tragically some succumb to lung cancer. Now faced with his own mortality, he made some life altering changes undergoing gastric surgery to lose over 250 pounds. He went started his own business, buying and selling amusement rides and learned how to blog using software for visually impaired people overcoming many obstacles. He’s made a name for himself online and now shares his experience on the blind blogger. And with the companionship of these crazy Dalmatian mix Penny he now spends his day singing, reading, blogging, writing, creating videos and coaching and of course inspiring everyone he comes in contact with. So does he remember when he first realised that He was slowly losing his sight as a young man and does he fine now but his life has found the path that feels right because of it. And not despite of it. Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Maxwell Ivey. How are you Maxwell?
Maxwell Ivey [2:15]
I’m doing just fine David. I’m actually doing even better now that I’ve heard that introduction. I’ve heard other people come on your show and comment on how how it made them feel to hear you give them the big build up as you call it. And I thought well, they were just saying that but it does have sort of a an arm thing into your into your bio gives you a little chills when you hear somebody give you that kind of an intro.
David Ralph [2:40]
Well, as I say to this to everyone, it’s your story, isn’t it and you can only create an intro based around what you’ve done if you were somebody that spent the last 30 years sitting on a sofa watching Telly and eating Dorito chips when it is not going to be that much of an intro. So the fact that you are somebody that is you know, marching on with your Life and really sort of overcoming things, which stop many of us in our tracks. It’s gonna be a good intro. Max, you deserve it, sir.
Maxwell Ivey [3:08]
Yeah, I know. And I have told people one of the things that keeps people for realising just how special they are, is a lot of times you don’t sit down and think about what all you have done or are doing. And so I like to every once in a while, make a list of what I’m doing and go. And Mike’s, you know, you’re pretty good, especially, you know, and I think more people ought to sit down and make the same list, you know, some people call it counting your blessings, or, or, or taking stock, but I think that if more people would just sit down and go, Okay, what did I do today? What did I do this week? What do I do this month? And look back at what they’ve done and realise, hey, I don’t know a lot of stuff. Well,
David Ralph [3:48]
but you have done a lot of stuff. And I suppose before you get to know you, I suppose the defining factor is the fact that you obviously lost your sight at the age of 12. But since I’ve been speaking You just for the last five minutes, I quickly realised that that actually hasn’t defined you at all. You actually are doing incredible stuff. Because of it, despite of it, it didn’t really matter. Did you see that as something that is inspiring to people?
Maxwell Ivey [4:16]
No, I honestly did.
As a matter of fact, when I started the blind blogger, I started it about eight months ago now. And I started it finally, after two months of having an online argument with every friend I have in the blogging world, who basically said, Max, you are inspiring you what you do every day is a big deal. And sharing your story is important to the rest of the world. And I would go, Hey, I’m just a guy who shows up every day. I’m trying to help people sell carnival rides and games so that I can make a living and support my family. And all this other stuff is just stuff that has to be figured out in order for me to do that one job and they go Max, you’re not getting it. There are too many people out The world who have no reason to not do things, they have no physical problems, the whatever mental problems they think they have or not as, as big a factor is your vision is you’re doing it, they can’t, they need to hear that you are because you can inspire and motivate them to, to do more with their lives. And I finally agreed with them. And I started the blind blogger, which is actually my second blog, I had been blogging for about two years, writing posts about amusement equipment that I had for sale or giving advice on people wanting to sell amusement equipment. So this is my second vlog. But if you go into my blog post and and or to a couple of guest posts that I’ve written, and you read the comments, and you can tell there was a conversation going on, and people had to literally convince me that I was an inspiration. So now I have embraced it. I accept it and I realised that people need me to share my story. So I continue to do it. That’s why I’m doing shows like yours. And then do you look back on it now
David Ralph [6:05]
and kind of go? What was I thinking? Yes, I can see what they were saying now, are you still slightly in denial?
Maxwell Ivey [6:14]
There are days when I’m slightly in denial. For the most part, I get it, especially because it seems like every time I write a new post, somebody will go Max, you inspired me to do this. Or one of my favourite ones was a friend of mine was riding with a friend of his he had been trying to talk into starting a blog for years. They saw a car ride going down the road, and he told his friend, he said, You know, I have a friend My XIV He’s fine. And he writes a blog about rides like that. His friend turn it and looked at him and said, you know, if he’s doing it, then I have no more excuses. He said, Can you help me start my blog? So when I get posts, comments like that on on my blog or on videos, that just reminds me that yes, I am an inspiration, but I do Have those days where I go? You know? I don’t, there are some days don’t get it. And I think part of the problem is, is that there are some blind people out there who I think are just really doing awesome things like one of my first one of the first people I started reading a couple years ago when I was was really making changes my wife was why I’m a mere I never say his name, right. But that got climb the Seven Summits of the world. You know, to me, that’s big. But I’m finding out the more and more I go through this that to a lot of ordinary people out there a lot of less, less aggressive, you know, less thrill seeking type people out there. What I’m doing every day is a big deal.
David Ralph [7:44]
Yeah, no, I agree. Totally. And before we so take you back in time, how blind are you? Can you see anything who is it total darkness.
Maxwell Ivey [7:53]
I have what’s considered like perception because the doctors don’t actually like to say anyone is totally blind, but I can see Myself open one was born with perfect vision and started losing my vision at age four. And basically, I started running into things and falling down more than the rest of the kids in the family. So they decided to have me checked out. It was found out that I had retinitis pigmentosa which everybody just says RP cuz nobody can say retinitis pigmentosa fast. And nobody can spell it without googling it.
David Ralph [8:27]
So And do you remember but the things that you could see, did you know because I’m always fascinated dp been blind for that long. What your perception of stoppies because there’s an awful lot of stuff that you just haven’t seen. You just kind of feel it, I suppose.
Maxwell Ivey [8:42]
Yeah, and a lot of it is pop culture related. A lot of things on the internet people have to explain to me because I just didn’t haven’t seen them in, in print or on TV or movies. Like for the longest time. If I were if somebody asked me about a TV series, I could tell you the names of the character. But I couldn’t tell you the names of the actors actresses hmm because I did didn’t have a way of seeing the credits on the screen as move your TV show was going on or coming off so but I remember things like I can remember the telephone, the Flintstones, us I can remember the Pepsi and Coca Cola logos. I started losing my vision at four, I had a decent amount of vision till I was 10 or 11. And from age to about 12 or 13, I lost most of my vision, which is pretty common for men with Rp. Man with RP tend to have a big vision loss during the time they go through puberty. And somebody asked me about that recently. I said, Yeah, I said, you know, about the time I would have wanted to look at girls. I couldn’t see him. I said, Well, I could see him in two dimensions, but there’s no fun in there.
David Ralph [9:50]
Yeah, but you could feel them. That’s the thing in it. So what about the OB? Yeah,
Maxwell Ivey [9:54]
yeah, what 12 or 13 year old guys gonna have the guts to ask for that.
David Ralph [9:58]
Wow. Yeah. Awesome. So I suppose I’m 44 and I still can’t get away with it Max
Maxwell Ivey [10:05]
40 I’m 49 I’ve only gotten away with it was,
David Ralph [10:10]
well, I buy it was a memorable one. So I’m sure it was a memorable ones. So if it is it easier, and I suppose it’s a million dollar question, but um, did you feel it’s easier to lose your sight, younger band, say in your 30s or whatever? Is it? Is it easier when you kind of haven’t really got up and going yet?
Maxwell Ivey [10:29]
I think it’s easier for people who lose their vision all at once. And I think it’s easier for people who was there earlier, the earlier that you lose it the more I think the better that you will deal with it emotionally. I think that people who lose their vision traumatically late in life like victims of car accidents or some of our veterans that are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Those are the people who have the hardest time when losing their vision especially if they Was all at one time.
David Ralph [11:02]
So so when you, you, you you lost the opposite he was a young kid, but you still went through it. And you still had the gusto as we said in the introduction to go through college and graduate and come out the upper end with the passion to help your family in the family business. Now, how did I feel about that? Well, I grant glad to see you come out and sort of start taking your end of the rope, or were they kind of thinking, well, what’s he gonna do? How is he going to do this? Is he going to be a hindrance? Did Did you feel there’s a problem in that regard?
Maxwell Ivey [11:34]
I think it depends on who you ask. If you’re asked my, my mother, her preferred her thing was, well, he’s here. I’m happy to have him here. But I don’t know what he’s going to do here. If you would ask my dad about it. He would be like, well, he’s a big, he’s a big strong guy. If somebody leaves him, he can help us put the rise together and take them apart. He doesn’t mind calling people on the phone and ask Going to first off so we could have him help with doing the event bookings. If, whenever they needed to win whenever we needed to buy or sell equipment of our own, I was asked to help with that because I had the time to ask a lot of people questions or call them up on the phone and get more information for for him so that he didn’t have to spend that time. And when he would drive a lot of times, a lot of times he would want somebody to be with him while he was driving. But he could take one of the people who could see because they could do more at the event location, so I spent a lot of time on the highway with him. Some of that time we were spent broke down on the side of that way and sometimes everything went smoothly but you know, we were, we were best friends. We liked the same music. We cut our hair the same way.
Neither one of us wore a beard, you know, it was
very, a very special time in my life. And I really miss him. I miss hanging out with my best friend. And I tell people, you know, we were broke a lot of the time was, there were some days I wasn’t sure how we were going to get to next week. But I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every minute of it, because I was where I wanted to be. I was doing what I wanted to be doing. I had a passion for it. You know, it’s, it’s one of those things that in the moment, you know, you could sleep on a you could sleep in the bed of a truck, you could shower under a hose, you could do whatever you had to do, because you knew you were in a place you wanted to be.
David Ralph [13:44]
I love that. I love that. And I love the the the the feeling of spending that quality time with your dad because so many people don’t do and I’ve done two road trips with my dad, and I look back on it now and I think Yeah, but that was real quality time. Just him Me for like four or five days in a car together? And did you do remember much of it as a slogan? Or was it just now looking back on it rose tinted glasses.
Maxwell Ivey [14:11]
Um, my dad had a great sense of humour. He was a wonderful storyteller. He could always find the positive and just about any situation, I think a lot of the stuff that I have in me that makes me do able to do what I do now, I learned from a lot of that from him. So at the time, it never really felt like a slog, the only time a year that it felt like it was real, a real drag a real hard thing to do was at the end of the season, when you get to November, December, and you’ve got two months of wintertime where you’re, you’re basically going to be killing time. You know, yeah, you work on equipment, you get ready for the next season and you do your booking. But you have that time when you can, you’ve got you got too much time on your hands, and you can sit and think about Okay, what kind of you We have Was it a good year? Was it a bad year? And a lot of times when we would sit down and November and think about it, we would go Okay, we’ve got to do it better next year.
David Ralph [15:11]
And and what kind of travelling fair was it? What is it the kind of one that you would imagine with sort of coconut sheis and different kinds of things? Or was it more mechanical with Dodgems and different things?
Maxwell Ivey [15:26]
We were a relatively small show the most rides we ever had was maybe eight or nine rides. We had a ferris wheel what you would call a swing boats. I’m one of the big slides never had a coconut shine but we did have four or five six games we had the fairy floss stand. My my uncle’s on bigger carnivals and we did and you know that’s the thing about being in a carnival families I had one time my family had four shows travelling around the state of Texas. In the middle part of the country
David Ralph [16:02]
and stores that you just couldn’t win on, did you max you know the kind of buckets of bounty at the bottom so you can’t do all that kind of stuff now the coconut to the table and all that kind of stuff.
Maxwell Ivey [16:16]
No, no, I never did that. I’ve got relatives who did it and and even my dad did it, you know? Because back in the day, that was what you did my dad when he broke into the carnival business, which y’all call the funfair business or the fairground or fairground operations. But when he broke into business, he broken in a game called the six cat is called six catches. You had two sets of three cats, you could have two you could have two people playing but basically, it was one guy working the player or what some people would refer to as the mark. And basically, if the operator of the game didn’t want you to win, you weren’t going to win. If he wanted you to win, you would win every time and you know fortunate way the business has changed quite a bit it’s become more corporate and that means a lot of people like me and my family aren’t doing it anymore but you know a lot of that stuff has gone by the wayside there are still some small shows out there that operate those kind of games with the buckets like you mentioned where the ball was pretty much never going to land so that you can win the huge teddy bear. I’ve I’ve had I’ve got relatives who bet the sights on machine guns that operated duck paws without winning Doug sentiments. I’m not gonna lie to you and say that hasn’t happened or that isn’t happening because when a new ride and this is no exaggeration when a brand new music ride, say like, say like the sizzler or the scrambler when a brand new a family ride costs a quarter of a million dollars. There’s going to be pressure to generate that money from somewhere. Yeah, and the most profitable things on the Midway or the mode and the games.
David Ralph [18:02]
And how do you construct it? I’m fascinating because it’s it’s a kind of romantic image, I have a base, but you go into a town and you throw up the thing and then you’re there for a couple of nights and then you take it down and you move on to another one. Is it all been planned? You don’t just find the field and set up you’ve got to contact the town and say, Do you want us first of all,
Maxwell Ivey [18:25]
in most cases, you know in advance you’re going to be there but there are, there are still times where you call a shopping centre owner or a mall owner up on Monday and you set up on Thursday. That does sometimes happen. Usually it’s because you’ve had a date fall through or say the fairgrounds you were going to go to his head so has had so much rain that you can’t get on the lot. But for the most part they’ve the schedules are plan you show up on Sunday night or Monday. You open by Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and then come Sunday. Saturday or Sunday night you’re putting the stuff back on the trucks and going to the next town. Unless you’re doing an event that’s two or three weeks long, which, you know some of the really big events where you bring in more than one Carnival operator, they’ll last some to three weeks. The Houston livestock show and rodeo the biggest rodeo in the world at last pretty much a month counting the BBQ kickoff they have the first weekend.
David Ralph [19:23]
So it really is a kind of master class but the hustle muscle as we call it on the show. You literally have got to hustle constantly avenue to make make a living on it.
Maxwell Ivey [19:35]
You know, you’re absolutely right. And I’ve never thought about that. But I think I’m going to have to steal that from you.
David Ralph [19:41]
You have it. You have to steal it.
Maxwell Ivey [19:45]
But yeah, that’s one of those things. I just, you know, I don’t always think of it that way. But yeah, I spent 20 years and what amounts to a doctoral
candidate course, in hustle.
I wasn’t always successful, and I’m not Well, March would be if they went back and looked at my transcripts, but I did complete the course.
David Ralph [20:05]
And you do you think when you look back on it, that that hustle which is now ingrained into you? Does it help in the entrepreneurial world? Because when we talk to people time and time again, and it’s a kind of hustle is more important than talent, but talent is vitally important as well. But talent doesn’t go anywhere without the ability to get it out there in front of the right people.
Maxwell Ivey [20:28]
Well, you’re exactly right. I mean,
I need to keep a calendar or a clock or something and keep track of how much time I spend. But I know I spend more time promoting posts and appearances on shows that I spend doing
David Ralph [20:42]
and is that the way of the world now, you know, did you actually like that, that social media kind of stuff that you have to do or would you rather just throw it out there and see where it lands.
Maxwell Ivey [20:53]
I hate the social media stuff with a passion.
It’s partly because of the numbers. sites and the fact that there’s always a new site that you’re supposed to be on next week. I just gotten to where I feel like I understand Pinterest, and now people still are telling me Instagram is the thing. The other thing I hate about social media is that every single one of them, I have to figure out how to use that site with my screen reader. Hmm. And most of them don’t make it easy on you very few of them. Think about blind people using their sites when they create these social media networks. So actually, a couple of my favourites are not necessarily my favourites because they’re the biggest or the most effective that but because they’re the easiest to use, and the people on them or people that I can expect will actually benefit me in the long run for the time that I was spending. I love aha, aha now. And I love kings.com those are two relatively new relatively small sites, but they’re very accessible and the people on there Are people who we can help each other? move our businesses forward? I feel like I’m getting some real results. But yeah, somebody asked me recently, if I had money to spend on one worker, one salaried position, what would I do? I said, Well, I used to say, if I had that kind of money, I would hire a car and a driver being being blind. That’s the obvious answer. But now I think if I had to choose between a car and a driver, or somebody to handle my social media stuff, I would just have to keep calling taxis and use it over.
David Ralph [22:33]
But as soon as you say these things, I think Yeah, like this afternoon, I was setting up a kind of weird Facebook profile kind of stuff. And I was reading all the the help for it. And I got about 25 minutes into it and for our can’t be bothered with this. And I sort of stopped it, because I can see it. So when you’re actually trying to do it, literally blind, you know, to quote that phrase, it must be impossible. Wow, that’s a hell of a business idea. Isn’t it for the People out there to set up a way of the blind population of the world to be able to do these things and do them easily and fast. People would buy into that big time I imagine.
Maxwell Ivey [23:13]
They would if there were more of us. The problem is we’re not a big enough community to make people think that there’s a profit in the business model. You just mentioned
David Ralph [23:21]
how he got a worldwide, you know, I’m guessing but there’s got to be gotta be millions of blind people worldwide.
Maxwell Ivey [23:29]
Yeah, there are worldwide, just a lot of them women and parts of the world where they’re not necessarily going to have access to it even if you offer it. I am interested to see what’s going to happen. I’m hearing really good things about be my eyes. It’s a new social network online. It’s a app being created by people over in Norway, I think. And basically what it does is it connects sighted people with blind people. And you if you have a questions like Say you have a say you have a, a cooking recipe that’s not available on your computer. You can hold this thing up to your up to the phone to the camera on your smartphone, take a picture of it and then have a conversation with a cider person who has signed up to be a volunteer for me my eyes and they say that it’s it’s really growing fast and what we would consider third world or underdeveloped countries, which surprised me and the the owner of the company that started it has a mother or son or something that’s why which is probably you know, it’s not a big surprise to me that he would start an app like this because he has somebody close to him that has a vision problem. But uh, it’s really growing fast and like I say it’s an interesting model people sign up and and volunteer to help blind people with everyday tasks and You work together through a through video calls and Skype or FaceTime or whatever on your phones.
David Ralph [25:08]
It’s amazing, isn’t it really, but there is so much good out in the world and you don’t hear it until you have a conversation like this. And you know, because that is something that you would think be more recognisable on online people should be talking about it, I suppose. Or maybe as you say, there’s not a big enough market to bring it to the fore.
Maxwell Ivey [25:31]
But I’m finding people are talking about it on tech sites and on sites for smartphones but I’m not finding it in the everyday media, like I would expect it to be. I would think that this would be the kind of thing you would see the nightly news programmes doing stories about people being helped would be my so that part of I’m kind of surprised but I gotta say it is getting a lot of conversation on blogs for people that are into tech and iPhones and things like that. So,
David Ralph [26:01]
but let’s play some words now. And it’s from a famous lady in America. And it’s going to take us through to the next part of our conversation. But this is Oprah.
Oprah Winfrey [26:11]
The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because, you know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [26:43]
Now, we normally play that in kind of the context of being overwhelmed and stressed as you’re trying to build towards success, you know, what is the right path to take? How do I overcome these challenges that have been thrown in front of me, but of course you you’re getting these challenges every single day. So how do you overcome them when you’re sitting down? Is it as Oprah says, Do you just think, what is the right way, and you just do something and work through? Because I know I booked you on the show. And you had to learn how to use the booking system. And it didn’t dawn on me, but you would even have an issue with that, because I just send them out to everyone. So how do you do that? Is it is it that step by step process that she talks about?
Maxwell Ivey [27:24]
I can’t believe that I haven’t heard that good of audio before. And I’m going to have to ask you to send me a link to it because it couldn’t be more about who I am. If I had if I had written it for
David Ralph [27:35]
gaining everything from me, Max. That’s the second thing now.
Maxwell Ivey [27:39]
Well, you know, I can’t help it if you are insane, and you’re showing me things that, you know, I should have heard before now and now that I’ve heard and I’m like, because that’s that’s one of the things I had to do. I had to get to a point where I could, I could think about, okay, who who am I What skills do I have and what can I do now that I’m not a current And that is the first part of our message there to get still and quiet and think about what’s the next thing? And then as far as facing each challenge, that’s basically what I do. I go, Okay, here’s the problem. Do I have? Do I know how to get there? right this minute? If not, do I know somebody? Who can do it for me? Or do I know somebody who can teach me how to do it for myself? And so what she said there couldn’t be more about me if she had met me before she said it. You know, that’s probably a little prideful, but it’s how it’s how it feels. And what you were saying about the calendar thing? Yeah, when I have a few months ago, the first time somebody sent me one of those, I couldn’t use it at all my screen reader wouldn’t access it. So I have a friend online. It’s a big fan of mine. Her name is Kelly wood and she’s a coach in California. she volunteered to sign me up to those four Whenever I needed to, but every so often somebody would send me the form and I go, Okay, let me check again, just to make sure something hasn’t changed in the, in the websites or in my screen reader to where I can do this myself. And last, you know, a couple weeks ago when you sent me out the form, I was able to use it. Of course, we’ve had to go back and forth on, on what time it actually signed me up for because I wasn’t exactly sure how that part of it worked. And now I know that whatever time it says is the time and your time zone. So we figured that much out between us.
I, sadly I missed the show I was supposed to do on Friday because I didn’t realise that whatever time zone you’re using those programmes is local time or Zoo time, as they would say in the military. So, you know, you basically became part of my community because you helped me figure out how to use this Calendar.
David Ralph [30:01]
And it doesn’t take a lot does it? That’s the thing. It doesn’t take I, it was a couple of emails from me. But it’s taking you to that next step. And that’s the thing that I loved about that speech about Oprah. It doesn’t take a lot for you to move forward. It just means something, and it’s the right thing. And if you find that right thing, big momentum can build up quickly.
Maxwell Ivey [30:24]
Yes. And another thing is, if you are looking for that right thing, if you’re open for the right thing or the right person to come to you, more often than not, it will. More often than not, if you’re open, and you you, you let people know that you need help with something. Somebody will show up and offer to do it or offer to do it for less than they would normally charge you or offer to teach you how to do it yourself.
David Ralph [30:51]
And when you say people just show up, do they literally Are you one of these kind of characters that your life is full of strange coincidences and things that just kind of come your way.
Maxwell Ivey [31:03]
Exactly. There are lots of people. The current version of the Midway marketplace was done by a webmaster who charges a lot of money to design websites. And he heard online that I was transferring my website from HTML to WordPress, and that I was having trouble, a volunteer to help. And then he found out how big a project it was. Because my wake section has literally hundreds of pages to it. And he didn’t quit. He just continued to do it. And then after he transferred all over, he showed me how to add new pages to it so that they would look just like the stuff he had done. I was having trouble promoting my website, getting people to come to my blog when I was blogging about the music ministry, Adrian Smith, one of the big time community builder Milner. Her thing is building communities online. She responded to me she taught me a lot About how you the best way to promote a blog or a podcast or a website is to get to know people online, leave comments, share their content, send them emails, get to know them as people become friends. And then as you slowly build a community when you have projects you need help with or when they have things they need your help with. You’re there to support each other. So yeah, I have lots of times where stuff like that happens.
David Ralph [32:30]
And what can hold you back because in this conversation, it literally sounds like you’re blowing the Terminator, you just get up every morning and you power through everything, and you get to where you are. And no one’s ever told you that before max.
Maxwell Ivey [32:47]
Nobody’s ever called me that before.
David Ralph [32:49]
Well, that’s how I see you. So is there anything that can hold max back because it’s hugely inspiring as I say that you are an author and we’re going to talk about In a moment, but you’re a blogger and you’re an entrepreneur, everything literally, from the point of view not being able to see it’s, you know, you’ve been in darkness all the way through and you are taking bigger challenges and risks on a daily basis when many people out there that are sitting there doing jobs and not going for what they want, you’re going for what you want every day.
Maxwell Ivey [33:25]
Well, the only thing that really can can stop me is if I let other people or I let myself stop me because, as you know, no matter how good your life is, there gonna be times where things don’t go your way when people disappoint you or products don’t live up to expectations or whatever. It’s just not your day or not your hour. But it’s all in how you respond to it and how you how you look at it. I’ve gotten to the point where I can find
the positive aspect of just about any situation
I can find good and People, although sometimes it’s real hard. But, you know, I think the best example of this is when I was a teenager people made fun of me when I sang because I mistakenly thought by watching TV with limited vision, that people who sang on TV didn’t move their lips. And people made fun of people made fun of me and I stopped singing of a couple years back, I needed to do an intro for my first video and I didn’t have a way to make a professional snazzy video intro like you have. So I said, Okay, why don’t I just sing for a couple of minutes and then I go into my video and people liked it. I continue doing it. And just a few months ago, I started recording myself singing some of my favourite songs. Some of the songs me and my dad sang when we drove down the road so I’m
David Ralph [34:51]
so country songs or what
Maxwell Ivey [34:52]
Yeah, Country, Country, Country Western, you know. Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash. George Jones classics and then later on some of the some of the classic sounding guys from the 80s like George Strait, Randy Travis, you know what I started and like I said, I started recording myself singing I’ve put some of that on YouTube and people continue to tell me that I sound good. You know, it’s, it’s what it is I’m, you know, I’m not Garth Brooks or Travis tritt I’m, you know, not rock country, but I enjoy singing gives me pleasure to share that. But there’s a case where I basically hid that part of way for, what, 20 years 30 years because I had gotten embarrassed and let somebody who may or may not have known what they were talking about, shame me or scare me into not doing something that I enjoy doing.
David Ralph [35:51]
That’s a key point, isn’t it? That is a key point. The fact that you are enjoying something and throwing on YouTube, leaving yourself open to it. Did you do get some horrible comments on YouTube, but you’re still still willing to do it? I think I think that’s brilliant. And I think that’s one of the key lessons to this episode. But if you want to do something, you know, don’t worry about anyone else. Just go and do it. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, you know, just just do it and see what happens. But we hold ourselves back that way. Somebody’s gonna say something nasty, or some buddies gonna laugh at me or, or whatever. And more often than not, people don’t even pay attention because they’re so busy in their own life. They just get on with it don’t know.
Maxwell Ivey [36:30]
Exactly, exactly. And I’ve been fortunate so far. I haven’t received any negative comments, but I haven’t had any of my YouTube videos go viral yet and I so until you get hundreds or thousands of people watch something, you never really know whether you’re going to get negative but you know, I love it. When somebody sees one of my videos last week, I posted one on on Facebook and one of one of my friends over there said, okay, when can we start the campaign to get max On, on America’s Got Talent, so I thought that was really cool.
David Ralph [37:05]
Yeah, I’d love to see that. Yeah. What would you sing if you got up there?
Maxwell Ivey [37:10]
Well, if if I stay true to myself, which is what I always do. My current theme song is the river by Garth Brooks, which is one of those more traditional songs because I
David Ralph [37:21]
I’ll be honest, I don’t get Garth Brooks. I don’t understand what his appeal is.
Maxwell Ivey [37:28]
His appeal is he’s enough rock to get the teenagers to listen to country.
David Ralph [37:34]
So he he sort of just crosses over does he somehow
Maxwell Ivey [37:37]
exactly he’s basically crossing over he’s like a lot of the modern country singers that really aren’t country. We’ve even got country rappers now. So when I was in the country, on my serious I listened to I listened to 57 which is the 80s and 90s or I listened to Louis Roadhouse, so I don’t get the music either. But like I say the river is is one of his more trouble. Songs it’s so fairly uplifting tune about about life. So it’s become kind of my unofficial theme song. I’ve sang it in my current intro video on my coaching site, the blind blogger.net I sing part of the river at the beginning of that video. It’s a good song, I
David Ralph [38:18]
think you would enjoy it. I’m gonna look it up straight after this. Absolutely. So so when you do your coaching, because I’m fascinated, but you had to get quiet and try to find the skills that you could take forward as you couldn’t do this or the fair ground anymore. And was coaching part of that was writing Did you think to yourself, yes, I could become an olfa or are you surprised by that as sort of everyone else?
Maxwell Ivey [38:44]
Well, as far as the coaching and and the writing the book, this is all in the last eight or nine months. So we’re we’re talking about something that’s a relatively new thing. That as we talked about earlier, my friends had to talk me into seeing myself as having that opportunity. Basically I, I share my experiences that I share what I’ve what I’ve learned over my, my journey here and try to try to use that to motivate other people to take action in their own lives. And to help them determine what it is that they want and how they can go about getting there. And it helped them keep help keep them motivated along the way. And if you know in true honesty, I have to admit that I haven’t had a paying client yet for my coaching. I have helped quite a few people in formerly and I, I have for testimonials so far from people who have benefited from my blog or from posts that I’ve shared with them on social media. And, you know, I know that when the right person or excuse me, the right people hear my message. I’m going to have plenty of clients, so I’m not really worried about that. I’m I like to tell People, one of the things that you need to get clear on is what would you consider success or failure? And I like to say that I am professionally successful. I’m personally satisfied. I’ve just haven’t been financially rewarded for it
David Ralph [40:12]
yet. And do you think you’ve got that mental barrier that most sort of new entrepreneurs have of actually quoting a professor someone actually charging because I see it time and time again, but people go, it was a long time before I made any money. Even though I had clients, I didn’t feel that I was able to provide value. So I did it for free. Did you feel that that is a mental barrier in yourself, like so many people?
Maxwell Ivey [40:39]
I did the free offer. And I did it for a couple of months and was it was not working for me. I even offered it free to two people individually, individually impaired community and as a rule, unemployment is very high in the community and generally anything free is something that people will Get on to it, you know, in the blind, visually impaired groups, and nobody there took me up on free coaching either. So I’ve gotten clear with the idea I have value to offer. I can help people, of course, you know, people have to have to be ready for a coach and I have to be the kind of coach that they need. But I have no problem with charging. I understand that I have you. And, you know, I’m currently listed at 100 at $100 an hour for coaching. I’m still available to speak to groups for for my expenses. But that’s only because I haven’t done any actual public speaking yet. And I feel like whoever goes first ought to get the benefit of taking the risk.
David Ralph [41:45]
Good on you. Good on USA. So when you started writing your book, and I’m looking at the title now leading you out of the darkness into the light, a blind man’s inspirational guide to success. How did that come about? Was that a connection A blog posts that formed a book or did you sit down deliberately to write this?
Maxwell Ivey [42:06]
Actually, it was not my idea. I was it doesn’t seem like this
David Ralph [42:11]
Your idea to be honest?
Maxwell Ivey [42:14]
Well, I tend to I tend to struggle against myself in certain areas. Okay. I tell people, I have no trouble with the Midway marketplace. Because I grew up in the business. I know a lot about it. It’s part of who I am. So I have no trouble there. But when it comes to when it comes to this, the coaching being a mentor being an inspiration to writing, a lot of that is still there still inter-terminal? Yeah, but the point but the point is, is Eve co envelope, she writes a blog. And her thing is helping people develop online products. And I wrote a comment to her asking if she had any specific suggestions for people and she wrote back and said, You know, I need to write a post about that because obviously my post didn’t go far enough. She said, but I want to invite you to an online summit, there’ll be five of you. Each of you will have an hour to present yourself and to sell a product. And I said, I don’t have a product for sale. She said, will write a book. I said, Come on, there’s no way I can write a book. She’s she said, the thing is in September, it’s August now as August of last year, she said, Sure, just write a short book, you can do it. It’ll be no problem. She’s and I said, Okay, I’ll agree to it. And I’ll get started on it. But don’t be surprised if I have to tell people on the day of the event, that when they sign up for the email, they’re signing up to get the book when it’s finished, and it’s not finished yet. And she said, that’s fine. Two weeks later, she gets back to me says bags, they decided they want to make it an all female event. So you’re out. I said, Well, okay. I grew up in a business where it’s all about putting people in on the Midway, or, as I say, in concerts, is about butts in the seats. And I understand on the internets faces in front of the screens, so I’m not mad, but I’m gonna keep working on my book and That was in no August, early September. And I want to say in November I found I submitted it to an editor and in January it was finally available on Amazon. So
David Ralph [44:11]
an empty to sit back and go, what am I going to write? Or did you have it all sketched out beforehand? How did you do it?
Maxwell Ivey [44:20]
Well, I had been thinking about writing a book about my wife and I had actually written a few a few chapters or a few stories few pages out and had them on my computer. And but but I thought, you know, that that really wouldn’t be I would really need to need to have more time to do something with that. But she sent me a couple of the books that she hadn’t written and you know, I just started writing and basically, I just, I tell you what, I had written a guest post a month before, and I decided to to take the guest post and expanded into the book. So I had a fear to a little bit there. But I will admit when I was wrong and yeah, I had I took the idea from a guest post I wrote for aha now and in June of last year,
David Ralph [45:13]
and is it going to be a follow up? Is there gonna be into the darkness to or whatever, out of the darkness? The Revenge.
Maxwell Ivey [45:22]
The Revenge now, um,
I think that I still have a book in me as far as my life leading up to before all of this happened. And I think in a year from now, I would like to write a book and go, here’s what I told people they should do. Here’s what I’ve been doing, and here’s how it worked. For me, I think that it would be a great companion book to that book. Because, as you know, there are a lot of people out there who are giving advice, but to have somebody you know, follow their own advice and then check back in a year or two years later. tell you how it’s going. I think that would be a very powerful thing for people that didn’t, that have been following me or that, you know, decided to pick up the first book.
David Ralph [46:11]
But I think it’s hugely powerful anyway, isn’t it? You know, because I think I would prefer to have a coach like you, but is dealing with it on a daily basis. You know, it’s not that you’re just sitting in a lovely office, and you’re spouting out these words, you are overcoming challenges every single day. And I think that is that there’s a key message that you’ve got, which I don’t think you’re quite projecting enough. And I think there is a big market for that. And I think it is basically, you know, if I can do it, and I can’t see anything, then what the hell you worrying about something, something along those lines?
Maxwell Ivey [46:48]
Well, you may you may be right, and I you know, you asked me earlier if I still struggle with the idea that it’s a big deal, what I’m doing and I think that the fact that you can asked that question means yes, I am still fighting myself a little bit, I need to just go all in and really use the blind card as they would say, in. If you got if you get a bunch of blind people together talking about it, they will refer to something like what you just said is using the blind card. So maybe that does hold me back a little. But I like what you said there that you like a coach that’s working on this stuff in their own life every day. And when the call was over, I’m going to have to sit down and and think about that and try to put that into my stuff on my website that tells people what kind of what kind of coaching they’re going to experience. Yeah, I think
David Ralph [47:42]
it’s you know, get on with it coaching you know, just stop your moaning get up every morning, put your socks on and don’t let anything hold you back. Really. Preferably something more than just socks. But um, if you want to leave just that man it’s up to you
Maxwell Ivey [47:58]
are Dr. Laura’s book towel Stop whining and start doing. Yeah,
David Ralph [48:02]
yeah, something along those lines. Yeah, absolutely. Okay.
Maxwell Ivey [48:06]
So I’m gonna have to find, I’m gonna have to find me a new catchphrase something. I’m gonna have to think about that. And see if I can come up with a with something that’s that says. I’m not that says, hey, I’m just doing it you need to you need to get over it and do something with your life too or something.
David Ralph [48:24]
I still like the blind Terminator. That would work for me.
Maxwell Ivey [48:31]
Yeah, but I could probably run into trademark problems with that. I don’t know.
David Ralph [48:36]
Did you say that? You didn’t see it? Yes. Just put it out there and see what happens.
Maxwell Ivey [48:42]
I like you. I really like you. I love that. That’s kind of what? You know. Some people have told me that I might get into copyright trouble with this with the songs I’ve put up on YouTube and I’m like, Okay, well, when they catch me if they come when they complain about it, then I’ll worry about it. So yeah, okay, I’m the blind Terminator.
David Ralph [48:58]
Yeah, there you go. Wait, I can’t wait to see that movie
Maxwell Ivey [49:02]
feature as, as featured on Join Up Dots with David Ralph, I’m the blind Terminator.
David Ralph [49:07]
That’s going to be the title of the show. So I’m already building up your branding here. So what I’m going to do, I’m going to play the words now that have built the whole show. And these were the words that Steve Jobs said back in 2005. And I really will be interested to see whether you can see the path, like Steve talks about this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [49:27]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. That will make all the difference. Can you see what he’s saying, Max?
Maxwell Ivey [50:04]
Yeah, he’s saying you have to have faith in yourself or what you’re doing because you have no way of really knowing where it’s going to turn out.
I think I got that correct.
David Ralph [50:14]
Yeah, no, absolutely. And do you have a big.in your life when you when you look back on everything, do you kind of go? Yeah, I think that that was it. That’s when the real Max was born.
Maxwell Ivey [50:25]
Well, I like to tell people that when I when I first started the website for selling amusement equipment, that I thought I couldn’t do anything else. I thought that was the only option available to me at the time. I was I didn’t realise that I had some very important and very useful skills, most notably the ability to learn new things and the desire to to basically do whatever I had to do to get to the next step. But at the time, I thought, Max You don’t want to Carnival no more. What else can you do kind of like be here, these sports athletes at the end of their careers to go? I don’t know anything else. And, you know, now that I look back at it, I’m thinking, well, at that time when I was forced out of the carnival industry, when I would had to do something else. That was a big blessing to me. And, you know, I used to blame my cousin, because there were some stuff happening on on there midway, where my games that I still had a couple of games, and we were still occasionally working with my uncle’s Carnival, that were basically couldn’t make any money with my games anymore. And I used to blame him. And I used to say, you know, he basically ran me out of the business. But you know, he did me a favour, because if I had still been travelling with him with the Midway, I wouldn’t be doing any of this stuff. I wouldn’t have had the time I wouldn’t have had the internet access. I mean, if you ever tried to run a business from a, from a data card in the middle of nowhere Easy, it’s your eight fun. So, yeah, that was the moment. And I at the time I thought, you know, things are over, I’ve got to find something to do next. But I say if, if, if I knew my cousin would accept it, I would go Thank you. I would say you did me the biggest favour anybody could have done by making it to the point where I could no longer stay on this midway.
David Ralph [52:27]
We see that time and time again. But the real dark moments you look back on it, you got thank God for that. And I I’ve had the same in my life. And I think every guest comes along. And we’ve had some horrific stories where people you know, literally were just about to kill themselves. And then something happened and they look back on it and they go, that was my worst day ever. But my best day ever, that kind of vibe, because I can see how their life has moved on from that point. So it doesn’t surprise me at all with your big.
Maxwell Ivey [52:57]
Well and the other thing is is is that At the time that was happening, my health was deteriorating. And I was at the point that if I didn’t go somewhere where I could pay attention to my well being physically, I could have easily been dead by now. I had high blood pressure my my legs had tight, discoloured skin to him that people get before having a coronary incident. My blood sugar was borderline diabetes. When I finally did get to a regular doctor, I was taking seven prescriptions a day, you know, I had to be treated for sleep apnea. And, you know, it’s only been in the last two and a half years since I had the gastric surgery that I’ve gotten to where I’m really healthy now. I used to weigh 512 pounds. Now I’m down to 255 260.
David Ralph [53:47]
That’s huge. I’m what we do in stone over here, so I’m not quite sure what that works out to.
Maxwell Ivey [53:53]
But it’s about it’s about it’s about 18 Stone now. So you still have big fella Well, yeah, but I’m six foot four. So yeah.
David Ralph [54:05]
No get away with it. You can tell me you’re seven feet tall, but that’s still 18 Stone you’re carrying around.
Maxwell Ivey [54:11]
Well, 20 stones would be 280. So I’m guessing it’s about 17 or 18. Somewhere longer there. So
David Ralph [54:18]
we’ll put it this way in an arm wrestle, I think you’ll win.
Maxwell Ivey [54:21]
Now, my arms are my weakest part of my body. My legs are the strongest because I spent all those years carrying all that weight.
David Ralph [54:27]
Now, of course, yeah, absolutely. Well, what we’re going to do now, Max, we’re going to bring the show to the end. It’s been a fascinating discussion, and we are going to take you back in time on something we call the Sermon on the mic. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Max, what age would you choose and what advice would you like to give him Well, I’m going to play the theme tune and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [54:55]
D league with the best beer on the show.
Maxwell Ivey [55:12]
Okay, if I was gonna go back in time I would go back to when I was a teenager graduating from high school and I would tell myself Max, there’s so much more inside you and so much more in store for you in your life than you could think of or imagine at this time. And you really need to keep yourself open to all the possibilities. Don’t be stubborn and decide on a particular path and continue to go at that path regardless of anything else. Because there may be something even bigger and better available to you if you’ll just keep your heart and your eyes and your mind open to it. I’d also say don’t be so stubborn. When people want you to get the get treated for your snoring and for your have some new something really about your weight problem. Listen to him and Never be afraid to ask for help. Because if you don’t ask, they can’t say yes. And there are a lot of people out there just waiting to say yes, just waiting to answer to give you help. If you just ask,
David Ralph [56:13]
Max, how can our audience connect with you, sir?
Maxwell Ivey [56:17]
They can find me at the blind blogger.net. Or if they want to check out the Midway and look at some of the right images that’s midway marketplace. com. On Twitter, I’m at Maxwell IV, Pinterest on Maxwell IV. Basically, if they look for Mr. Midway or Maxwell IV, they’re probably going to find me the book The blind blogger.net is currently my my main thing that I’m involved with and I need to get these links added to that website. Currently the only link on there is my Twitter page.
David Ralph [56:53]
Well, where I have all the links in our show notes to lead them across and Max, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Joining us dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures maximise it. Thank you so much.
Maxwell Ivey [57:11]
Well, thank you so much for having me on David. I really feel like we’ve connected and become friends through this and I look forward to to hearing what happens with you and the other people that appear on the show.
David Ralph [57:25]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcast is mastery.com. The only resource that shows you how to create a show, build an income and still have time for the life that you love. Check out podcast is mastery. com.
Now, David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life, head over to Join Up dots.com To download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.