When you have your eyes set clearly on a goal, regardless of what hindrances are presented, you will always find ways to achieve it. In this episode, Ben Baker talks to Maxwell Ivey, a totally blind man from Houston, Texas known around the world as The Blind Blogger, who does not let his disability stand in his way when it comes to conquering life. Writing a book called Leading You Out of the Darkness into the Light, Maxwell shares how getting out from one business and pursuing your true goals paves a way for a better version of success.
Listen to the podcast here:
Creating Your Version Of Success With Maxwell Ivey
Wherever you’re accessing the podcast, whether you’re on Spotify, iTunes, iHeart or whatever platform you are on, subscribe. Enjoy the show and send it off to all your friends. Let’s create a bigger community and I hope that you’re enjoying it. If you’ve got any questions, send me an email at Ben@YourBrandMarketing.com. I love to hear from you and find out what’s going on. Find out what guests you would like to hear from and we’ll go out and we’ll find them for you. Thanks for being part of my amazing audience. In this episode, we have The Blind Blogger with us. We have Max Ivey. Max, welcome to the show. What is The Blind Blogger? Where did you come from and where are you now?
I appreciate it, Ben. It’s good to talk to you because I had the pleasure of having you on my podcast on the What’s Your Excuse Show? I’m looking forward to this.
I love doing these back and back things. You and I met through social media, which is amazing to me, the number of people that I know around the world through connections on social media. You and I met through our mutual friend, Maura Sweeney. She’s an amazing woman and she’s been on my show. You’ve been on my show. I love the conversations that come out of when you get offline with people. When you sit there and say, “I met somebody on social media, but let’s get them onto a phone call. Let’s get them on a Zoom chat. Let’s get to know the person, find out a little bit more about them.” That’s what that social media is amazing because it gives you a way to reach out, build a layer of trust, understanding each other, but then you’ll talk to one another and get to know what the person is about and what they’re passionate about. Let’s get into it.
I couldn’t agree with you more on that because of a lot of people that are in business online or that are creative entrepreneurs, they are missing out on huge opportunities to connect with people. To not only move friendships further faster but also to maintain and support their mental health to avoid those feelings of isolationism. By saying, “I met this person on social media, why not get on Zoom or Skype or Messenger with them and have a real conversation?” Some of us have a podcast, those conversations end up getting recorded too. There are many people with content to do messages, tweets, emails and they have no desire. Some of them are even scared to have an actual conversation with people and all of them are missing out big time.
I find that things get misinterpreted quickly online, whether it’s an email, whether it’s a tweet, whether it’s a text message or whatever because it’s not real-time because it’s not back and forth. After all, you can’t sit there and say immediately, “What did you mean by that?” You’re waiting for an answer and all of a sudden somebody sends you a message and you go, “What do they mean by this?” They’d go offline and all of a sudden, it’s 1 or 2 days before they respond. All of a sudden, you’ve lost that whole level of trust, that whole level of understanding. When you get on a phone call or a Zoom chat or whatever, you can have those conversations. Thanks for being part of my conversation.
Thank you, I appreciate it. As far as your first question about who is The Blind Blogger? Where did he come from and how did you get here? I started in a family of carnival owners and I was lucky enough to help run the business alongside my father for about fifteen years before his death to cancer led to the closing of our small traveling carnival. We were able to join up with my uncle’s carnival and become part of his business for a few years, which gave me a little time to think about what I was going to do next. I had done the bookings and operated some kids’ games and they weren’t interested in having me help them with their bookings.
On a bigger midway, my kids’ games were failing. I said, “What else do you know that you could do?” I thought, “I can probably help other people sell their used rides because I’ve done that.” I started a website called The Midway Marketplace. I had no idea how to build a website and what is an online business person or a business person, in general, would look like. I had to learn many things including I ended up having to hand-code HTML, recruit clients, set fees, right copy, manage media, record videos and then eventually, social media and emails, much stuff. Some of it was challenging and some of it was curious and interesting and exciting. I did that for 6, 7 years and I’m still doing it.
People came along and they said, “Max, what you’re doing the way you take on these challenges with joy is inspiring. We want you to share more about those experiences.” I said, “What the heck? I’ll do that.” I started TheBlindBlogger.net where I share the more personal aspects of being a blind entrepreneur. Through the fact that people keep challenging me to try new things. That has led to three books. The fourth one’s on the way in April, over 200 podcast interviews, traveling the country, solo, public speaking, helping other people get exposure for their creative work and my podcast the What’s Your Excuse Show? If I would say one thing that’s got me here, it’s been good friends who have seen things in me. I didn’t see myself or who challenged me to try stuff that scared me, but because they asked me to do it, I tried it anyway.
I want to give back and get people to understand this. You are legally blind.
No, I am totally blind. Technically I have light perception, but that means I can look at the light fixture and tell if it’s on or off. That’s because I have no peripheral vision. That’s the extent of my vision.
People need to sit there and think about this. When you were saying, with creating The Midway Marketplace and The Blind Blogger and everything goes with it, you’re doing this without the opportunity to see. Creating websites, building relationships, building companies and doing that. It’s hard enough for anybody. I’m not going to say perfectly healthy because you are perfectly healthy. It’s dealing with something that is a challenge and it’s amazing how you’ve overcome that challenge to be able to sit there and say, “This is who I am. This is what I’m about, these are the things that are a reality in my life and it’s not going to keep me from succeeding.” I want to get into that as where did that mentality come from? That came from when you were a lot younger to be able to sit there and say, “Yes, I can and this is how.” How did you get there? That’s a magical thing that a lot of people should truly understand.
Part of it has to do with the decision you make when you get to a point in life where things are not the way you wanted them to be and will probably never be the way you wanting them to be that way again. I would say the beginning comes from the fact I grew up in a family of carnival owners and in the carnival industry business, whatever the proper term is, it’s an unforgiving way to make a living. Nobody cares what happened to you. All they want to know is on Thursday or Friday night or Tuesday afternoon, “Can I buy a funnel cake or a cotton candy? Can I ride a Ferris wheel? Can I go win me a stuffed animal?” Beyond that, they could care of us if you’ve got three tracks on the sides of roads or you broke your wrist and one of the pieces of equipment.
When you grow up in that business around those people, there aren’t a lot of people in that business who are self-pitying what was the people? Generally, we don’t have the resources we want. We’re short on time, we’re short of money, but there has to be a solution and we’re going to find it. Those are the people I grew up with, my grandmother, my father especially. My dad was one of those people who always would tell me there was nothing I couldn’t do if I set my mind to it. I was creative and sometimes he would even say shrewd but his point was that if you decide you can do it and you’re willing to put in the effort, there will most likely be a way to make that happen.
I was part of a scout troop for visually impaired people and over four years with the help of a lot of other people, including the Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, other Scouts teachers, I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, which is something only 3% or 4% of people in America have done. If you talk about the number of blinds with Eagles, it’s an even smaller group. Those were times when I learned the lessons. Working in a family business alongside my dad, there were a lot of creative problem-solving. My dad was most famous for this line because we would get to towns, a lot of times me and him, we would go back for the last load.
With me being blind, I could do the work as far as setting up and taking down rides. They always felt like it was a little dangerous, not me endangering them, but them endangering me, maybe letting something fall on me or into me. A lot of times I would make that trip and we would get back to town. We would make opening and people would go, “Max, how did you all do that?” The one thing he would always say to him, he’d look at him and he’d smile and he’d go, “What? Did we have a choice?” Those were the people I grew up around that I live with. I went up and down the road with for years before I started this other stuff.
I love that, “Do we have a choice?” A lot of times the answer is no. A lot of the time is we’re put with stuff in front of us and I don’t care if you’re blind, I don’t care if it’s money issues, I don’t care if it’s the economy, I don’t care if it’s competitors in the marketplace, it doesn’t matter. We’re all going to reach a point in business somewhere where we’re going to look at things and go, “What do we do now?” There are two different types of people. People that are going to solve the problem and people are going to figure a way around it. People who’ve ever going to be better because of the challenges that they are. The people that crawl into a little ball and rock their knees and go, “Whoa is me.” That’s a lesson that every single entrepreneur needs to learn is that there is no straight line, there is no easy button. There is no hack for success in business and we’re all going to run into challenges and we’re all going to get to things that seem insurmountable.
The question is when you look at something that you think is insurmountable, are you going to sit there and go, “I can’t do that and throw up your hands?” Are you going to sit there and say, “How do we fix this?” I love the fact that you’re a part of the second. I want to know how did you go when your father died and you moved to your uncle’s carnival and you realized that there might not have been a place for you there? What led you to sit there and say, “What’s next and how do we move forward from there?”
It was simple. I wasn’t happy. I was showing up on a Midway that wasn’t mine, where they didn’t want me there, with games that weren’t making any money. Without the money to purchase new equipment or to update the equipment I had, I thought this is not sustainable. It got to a point where my mom and my brother had to take money out of their food trailer to buy the stock to put into my game so I could stay on the Midway. That was when I finally convinced them. I came to the decision myself a year or more before that it wasn’t working, that I wasn’t happy. That I would be much happier if you all would let me quit and go home and do what I’m doing, which at the time was The Midway Marketplace and growing that business, let me focus on something that’s growing. It’s mine that I could do something about. I would show up on the Midway and be there because there was the attitude, “He’s part of the family. He should be here.”A good question you can ask yourself is can you be happy even if you're not financially successful? Click To Tweet
It was next to impossible to get them to that point of should and should not. “No, he doesn’t need to be here just because he’s part of the family doesn’t mean he needs to be here and be miserable.” Finally, they let me and my crazy dog Penny spend more time at the house. I was able to get more work done and spend more time focusing on things that were positive that I enjoyed doing, even though they were challenging and less time around people I didn’t like being around. It got to the point where I was unhappy enough to do what I had to do to get the time and space to do something that made me happy.
I grew up in the construction business. My father owned a commercial renovation company for 35 years. Probably about the time I hit about 19 or 20 years old, he and I had to have a conversation and sit there and say, “Is there truly a room for me to succeed within this company?” The answer quickly was, “No.” He didn’t want to grow the company to a place where there would be room for me to succeed and room for me to grow, room for me to do the things that I wanted to do. I realized it’s his company. He started it. It’s his baby. He has the right to run the company the way that he wants to run it. We shook hands and I went off my way.
There are a lot of people that feel this obligation to be part of the family business, whether I’m miserable, whether I like doing it, whether I don’t like doing it. Whether I’m successful at it or I’m not successful with it, I have this obligation to be part of the family because it’s the family. I want your opinion on this. We all need to sit there and say, “Can we be successful? Can we put ourselves in a position where we know that we’re going to succeed and we’re going to feel good about ourselves?” That’s why I left because the answer was no. I want your opinion on that, in terms of being part of that family business because that’s always a challenging place to be.
You were blessed in being able to have that conversation with your dad because I wasn’t able to have that conversation with my uncle or my cousin. I still haven’t been able to have that conversation and probably never will because my uncle was passed on and my cousin is not one of those types of people you can have that conversation with. I did the next best thing in my first book, Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into The Light. I discussed this whole idea of deciding to finally leave the business and do something on my own. I thanked him in the book because if it wasn’t for him and others making me uncomfortable where I was, I’d probably still be there and I would be unhealthy if even alive and probably still struggling. At least, I’m still struggling. I still worked every day trying to get to that point were making more reliable, sustainable income than I am but I enjoy the struggle.
I would say, “You have to have that conversation about whether or not you can be successful in the company, but I’ll take it a little bit differently.” Even successful may not be the total decision-maker. If you can determine that there’s a way for you to be satisfied in the business, then you could stay. If you can never see yourself rewarded by the work you’re doing or feeling a part of the business to the point where whatever small parts you’re doing, whatever amount of money you’re making from it that you feel like you are investing in something and that you’re part of something. That was how me and my dad were able to continue going up and down the road all those years is because we weren’t making a lot of money. We weren’t seeing a lot of big progress in the business but it was us against the world. We were working every day to be as good as or better than the other guys to grow the business so that next year we’d make more money. I’d say, “Can you be successful?” is a good question but the other question is, “Can you be happy?” even if you’re not financially successful.
That’s determining success on your terms. I love that you said that, is that success is not always money. Success is rarely money. We all need money to survive. We all need to buy a house, put our kids through school and put food on the table. There are givens that we need food. I’m far from being a socialist. However, to me, success is determined by you. You can’t live by somebody else’s level of success. You need to be successful on your terms. You need to say, “These are my goals, these are the things that are important to me. These are the things I want to achieve in life and these are the things that are going to make me a better person.” The question is, you can sit there and say, “Am I doing this? Great.” If I’m not doing this, maybe that’s a kick in the pants we need to sit there and say, “It might be time to go look for something else.”
Coming from this world from the point that you come at it from somebody who’s into developing brands and creating them or growing them. One of the biggest reasons for failure among a lot of entrepreneurs is because they have set themselves to goals if they see other people achieving. I honestly think that one of the most dangerous presences on the internet are people like the Kardashians because they are making millions of dollars from their online efforts. They invested in things. They appear to be happy. We don’t know if they’re happy or not. You can never tell what’s going on in the mind of the other person. There are way too many people who’ve got into the online world thinking they were going to be Kardashians or whatever the next name after them is. When they either can’t reach those 6, 7, 8-figure levels or they can’t reach them as quickly as they expect it to, then there’s a lot of disappointment, frustration and even depression.
That goes beyond your life. You’re right, people look at the internet and they said, “Look at somebody succeeding,” but you never see the B-side of those people’s lives. For people to remember the 45 with the B-side, when you flip the record over and you play the opposite side, the record was never quite as good. The song on the B-side was never quite as good. If you look at a lot of people online, all you see is their hero moments. All they want to show you is how wonderful things are and how great things are. The beautiful homes that they have and the cars and the clothes and all that stuff. You never see what happens when the lights go off and you never see the challenges that they go through. All of these people go through challenges but the problem is when we look at social media, all we see is the limelight and we can’t sit there and judge ourselves by somebody else’s highlight reel.
I remember the B-side. You brought back a great memory of mine. The B-side of Otis Redding’s The Dock of the Bay, I can’t remember the name of the song, but the lyrics were offensive. We can only play that side of the record when the parents were out of the house.
I can’t remember what the name of the song is, but I’m going to have to look that up.
A lot of curse words on the B-side of Otis Redding’s The Dock of the Bay. That was true and it’s true on social media and it’s a great reference. One of the things I get quite often from coaches and from people who are sharing their thoughts about me online is they’ll go, “Max, I know your brand is authenticity, but could you maybe be a little more positive in your language about your authenticity? You’ve seen my stuff.” If stuff happens, people are going to know that it happens. I’m not the person that’s going to hide the bad stuff because I’ve read great novels and if you go back to The Hobbit with Bilbo Baggins, they had to drag him out of his hole at the beginning of that book. At the end of the book, he helps kill a dragon. There are lots of bad things that happened along the way in a great novel. I’m trying to live a life where it’s along those same lines and say, “The bad stuff happens but did I learn from it? What can the people following learn about me or themselves from it? What positive did maybe come out of it?”
I don’t know if you were at MAPCON in 2018, they lost my luggage and people said that the way I handled myself, it was as if I was wearing a new suit from Armani or something. I spent a week with four-day-old jeans and a t-shirt. Earlier this year, my flight was late. I had to spend the night in a hotel with nothing and because I stayed positive throughout it, I sold one of my books to the guy pushing the wheelchair, helping me get through the airport to my next destination. The bad stuff that happens in my experience is out there. It’s in my books, it’s in my podcast. I’ve turned down people for my show because as I told more than one person, “I don’t know that you’ve ever struggled.” If I don’t know, you’ve struggled, how are people watching my show know that you’re struggling? If you’ve never struggled, we’re sending them the wrong message.
That’s it, we all struggle and we’re all better off because we’ve struggled. If our life goes from one highlight reel to another highlight reel, if we go from being hired to our dream job to all of a sudden become the Vice President to become the Senior Director, to become the CEO of the company, the end and die. How interesting is our life? We made a lot of money. However, it’s the things that happen along the way. It’s the people that we meet. It’s the challenges that we have, it’s the challenges that we overcome and the lessons that we learned from it that make us better. If you look at the hero’s journey, you look at The Lion King, Simba did not become king without challenges. We all have challenges in our life. We all have days where we wake up and we go, “What do I do?”
If we all realize that and realize that everybody around us has those same feelings that we do, we’re all going to be a lot less harsh on ourselves because you alluded to it earlier in the sense of depression that goes on. It’s amazing in the world because everybody thinks that the world should be perfect. Nobody’s crap stinks, but it all does. We all have these days where we get up in the morning and we sit there and say, “I don’t know where I’m going or how I’m going to get there.” It’s how we get through that day and we get onto the next day.
All of a sudden you moved a little bit forward and you’ve gotten beyond that depression and you’ve gotten to a point in your life where you can sit there and say, “What’s next?” That’s what makes us better people. That’s what makes us more interesting. That’s what makes people want to follow us. That’s what makes people want to listen to us because we have that tapestry of life. It’s the tapestry that we all go through that makes us the people that we are and makes the successes that we have in our life that much sweeter.
While people often wonder why an author would recommend somebody else’s book, one of my favorite books on this subject is called the Adversity Advantage as written by Erik Weihenmayer, who’s a visually impaired, a blind person that summited Everest, had done a lot of other crazy things. He is bonafide crazy. In my opinion, that book is better than the adventure stories about the places he’s been, the stuff he’s done because it gets into the struggles he had as an elementary and junior high school student. As a school teacher in Arizona before the other stuff happened. He talks about the value of our diversity. My book also gives, techniques and exercises you can do to get to where you can understand it, appreciate it and use it. It’s our struggles that make us who we are. I agree with you that if everything went well, it would be boring. Think about this too, if success is a drug and people who start off where nothing goes wrong, you have to wonder at some point what will they do next? What will be good enough? We live in a country or a world where a millionaire is no longer considered the ultimate in the financial world. We have millionaires and billionaires and we’re soon going to have people worth over $100 billion. Beyond the fact that adversity helps us, I wonder about people who never have struggled if they don’t also have the problem of having to continually find more success.
We all need goals. I don’t care if you’re worth $100 or you worth $100 billion. We all need to get up in the morning and say, “What’s next? What are we going to do?” It’s not chasing the rainbow. It’s not looking for the brass ring. It’s motivating yourself to sit there and say, “What else can I achieve?” I wake up every morning and say, “Who can I help? Whose life can I make better?” That to me is a great day. If I can go to bed at night and say, “I made three people’s lives better and they can achieve their goals because I was able to lift them and help them move forward.” To me, that’s a great day and it’s not about me. My life is a lot of respect is not about my success. I get paid. I make money. I do amazing things and have a blessed life.
My motivation in life is watching other people succeed and that’s why I podcast, I write books, I speak life and I consult. It’s to sit there and say, “How can you make other people’s lives better?” The more we as individuals can sit there and say, “What motivates us individually? What are the things that motivate you? What are the things that get you up in the morning and what are the things that keep you going all day long?” If more people ask themselves that question honestly and stop saying money, stop saying fame and money because those are dividends. What do you want to do to make your life and the life of people around you better? If you can figure that out and figure out how you can achieve those goals, you’re going to live a better life and other people’s lives are going to be affected because of that.One of the biggest reasons for failure among a lot of entrepreneurs is they have set themselves to goals they see other people achieving. Click To Tweet
It works best longest term and it reminds me of what most of the great homerun hitters have always said. I understand you’re from Canada so I don’t know if you all get baseball up there much.
We’ve got the Blue Jays.
Most of the great hitters have always said. They never tried to hit the ball out of the park. They only tried to hit the ball hard and let the homerun take care of itself. Doing the work, as you’re saying, helping people accomplish their goals, which is something we both have in common, that’s the objective. The money, the fame and the pats on the back are the dividends. That’s a great way of explaining it and I do wish more people could get past the idea that the only measure of success is money, jewelry, cars, houses, boats, etc.
Let’s get through this. What took you from The Midway Marketplace, an industry that you knew? You knew the buy and sell. You got comfortable doing this to move you to the point where you’re a public speaker, an author and a blogger. What was the transition and what caused that transition to occur?
It began in 2013 because at that point I was frustrated with the fact that I wasn’t able to attend the major trade shows for the industry. I didn’t have the facility to go meet people face-to-face, not even here in the Houston area because I live in Conroe, which is a suburb. Transportation options were nonexistent. They’ve gotten a little better, but still no real easy way for me to get around the city. In 2013, I answered an ad on LinkedIn to appear on a radio show call hosted by Brian “The Hammer” Jackson where he was wanting to feature small business owners. I signed my name up. They picked me and I went on the show. The first week was horrible, but he asked me to come back. The second week went great. I end up doing his show every Friday morning for six months. I got accustomed to sharing my experiences, doing interviews, asking questions, answering questions. It was a great learning experience.
What it did was, it started to open me up to the possibility that I had more in me. I was capable of more things than salary or amusement equipment. I had friends, there was a lady named Adrian Smith who I refer to as my blogging mama, who had been telling me for a long time that I could inspire others. That the fact that I had a built-in The Excuse and didn’t take advantage of it was inspiring to other people. There are lots of people that don’t have a good reason to keep them from going after their goals and dreams and yet they sweep, walk through their lives and don’t take any actions.
She said, “That’s what makes your story compelling, what’s makes you inspiring and sooner or later you’re going to realize it.” At the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, I won a competition for a guest blog post and somehow in the middle of the night exchanging emails between me and the blog owner in India, there came out this blog post, Life Lessons from The Blind Blogger. It was things that I had learned along the way that it allowed me to build a website, to grow the traffic, to get comments and that stuff. That post appeared. It got over 100 comments and the things people said to me after reading that post, the emails I got, it finally made it click inside me. “Max, you are doing well at this equipment stuff you do know the industry.” There are lots of other companies in the industry that are bigger than you, but you’re still succeeding. I’ve made several sales where I angered a couple of the big dogs because they thought they had exclusive rights to the equipment I sold.
Between those various events, it finally sunk into my brain that I was capable of more. To me, this is where the most important part of your community, whether it’s online, in person or both, comes into play because of great people in this world, the true friends. The people that have your best interests at heart. The ones who will say, “You’re hiding. Your BS-ing yourself. There is more inside you than you are letting the world see. I want to be there when you finally accept this.” Because I had these talented, qualified, successful people telling me that this was in me. That my message was inspiring other people, whether I wanted it to or not. Because of all the time spin on the radio with Brian and with some of his team, it all came together. I wrote the first post, which was titled, Think I’m Ready to be an Inspiration.
It’s that Aha-Now.com and the site are owned by Harleena Singh. She’s an amazing woman who managed to get stuff out of me that I hadn’t. Even that I was nowhere near ready to say to myself, much less to the rest of the world. That was the final moment. The thing that pushed it over the edge. Of course, it was the heartfelt replies to the posts that I got after it went live. Let’s not forget the important part here. Every person that’s listening to this knows at least one person or maybe they are that person that needs to hear that something special about themselves. If you know this person and you know this thing about them and you haven’t told them yet, then when you heard his podcast, I want to hear that you’ve told them. That you’ve explained it to them. You’ve made the case that, “You are this. Whether you realize it or not, you’re an excellent baker. You do great parties. You sing great thank you notes.” Whatever it is, tell them because it may not only be something that will improve their day or maybe something that will change their life and start them on a path towards something that they never thought. Something they never saw inside themselves before. If you don’t tell them.
We all need champions of our brand. We all need people that boost us up and show us what makes us special because sometimes we don’t see it in ourselves. Sometimes we don’t see our unique purpose, our magic. Sometimes having somebody that can sit there and tap you on the shoulder and tell you, why you’re special and why you’re valuable, that not only makes us feel good, but it gives us purpose and it might point us in the right direction.
Don’t forget the explanation because a lot of times you will tell somebody they’re special, but you don’t tell them why. Sometimes, we have this natural inclination to disbelieve those things about ourselves. The explanation is what it will take to make it sink in.
Max, I need to let you go, but I’m going to ask you two questions before you go. What’s the best way for people to get in touch with you?
Here’s the last question I ask everybody. As you leave a meeting, you get off a podcast, you finish off an article and you hit send, what’s the one thing you want people to think about you when you’re not in the room?
I would say that I am not anything special. I’m not the most talented, prolific and consistent, but I am the guy who shows up every day and works his butt off.
There’s a lot to be said with the person who shows up. Part of the thing is if we don’t show up, the magic can’t happen. Thank you for showing up, Max. Thank you for being an amazing guest on my show.
Thank you, Ben, for having me. I always appreciate and enjoy these conversations. I look forward to seeing you again in the future.
- Spotify – Your LIVING Brand Live show
- iTunes – Your LIVING Brand Live show
- iHeart – Your LIVING Brand Live show
- The Blind Blogger
- What’s Your Excuse Show? With Ben Baker
- Maura Sweeney – Previous episode
- Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into The Light
- Adversity Advantage
- Think I’m Ready to be an Inspiration – article
- LinkedIn – Max Ivey
About Maxwell Ivey
Maxwell Ivey, known around the world as the Blind Blogger is a totally blind man from Houston Texas.
He grew up in a family of carnival owners. He also grew up knowing he would eventually lose his vision.
Having become legally blind when entering junior high school his determination and help from family, teachers, and other mentors he was able to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, graduate from a traditional high school and college, and work alongside his family for over 15 years until his dad’s death forced their small carnival to close.
Needing a new outlet, he started an online brokering company for surplus amusement rides. This was before WiFi, word press, or social media; and he had to learn so much including how to hand-code HTML, recruit clients, set fees, write copy, build an email list, use social media, and start a blog.
People were inspired by the way he took on difficult challenges and encouraged him to share more about being an entrepreneur who happens to be blind.
That lead to him becoming the blind blogger, writing three books so far, traveling the country solo, appearing on over 200 podcasts and radio shows, helping others get exposure for their work through storytelling, and starting his own podcast the What’s Your Excuse? Show.
He continues to take on scary challenges and unexpected opportunities. He loves an adventure, so who knows where he will have been or what he will have been up to by the time you read this.
One thing is for sure if you have questions, just ask. The overriding theme of his brand and his life is that everything we do is an opportunity to learn and to teach others.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!