Finding peace and inspiration in prison was the last thing Tom McMurrain ever expected. It was also the last place he ever thought to find the answers he was looking for in life.
When Federal Judge Hunt handed down a sentence of 87 months in prison for mail and wire fraud, he could never have imagined he was actually forging the next ‘virtuoso’ in the ‘Crowd’ industry.
But, that is what happened. Unlike most inmates, Mr. McMurrain spent his 87 months in a deep state of introspection, questioning everything that had happened in his life. A quote by Einstein set him on a path of ‘Self’ discovery: “Many of the challenges we face in life cannot be changed with the same thinking that created them”. This quote led Mr. McMurrain to create his own variation; “Until you begin asking the right questions of life, you will continue to get the wrong answers.” With 153 counts of financial fraud leveled against him and facing 25 years to life in prison, he quickly determined that he had been asking the wrong questions of life.
During his “incarcer-sabbatical”, Mr. McMurrain crossed paths with a fellow inmate, Tim, who would change his life forever. They would sit for hours, talking about life and philosophy debating everything from economics to anything that appeared to be “broken” in life. One day, Tim asked Tom a question that would profoundly affect him. The question was, “What is the absolute source of power?” This question started Tom on a journey much like that of Santiago in the bestselling book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This was one of the books he read that would greatly impact his approach to life.
Many people go through challenging times such as cancer, prison, addiction, abuse and war, to name a few. These existential experiences are the ‘desert of life’ that can either make you or break you. More than sixty percent of inmates go back to prison within three years as broken souls, not being able to break the criminal cycle. Many veterans return from battle suffering significant post-traumatic stress syndrome, putting them in a prison of their own. In the case of cancer, well-known author, Dr. Bernie Siegel, says people who get cancer either want to die, worry themselves to death or want to live. Cancer is a prison that has one key to unlock life, the desire to live.
Besides overcoming the challenges of prison, McMurrain endured 9 months of chemotherapy and survived a battle with cancer at age 30. Mr. McMurrain agrees that all of these ‘prisons’ are profoundly the same. Many ‘survivors’ end up getting divorced and the homeless rate of ex-offenders, veterans and cancer victims are all higher than the norm. Trauma, finances and excommunication all being significant factors in these challenges of life. McMurrain states, in his 30’s, he had cancer, battled alcohol addiction and went to prison, a decade that ironically saved his life but one he would prefer not to repeat.
But in a phenomenal twist of fate, prison actually forged Mr. McMurrain and he credits it for saving his life, his marriage and his relationship with his parents, which for 20 years had been a volatile one. He read over 400 books on philosophy, personal development, finance, and faith. Chasing the answer to Tim’s question, he devoured books looking for bread crumbs out of the forest. He ultimately found his answer through meditation and silence. Mr. McMurrain knows that until he, “brought the waves of the ocean back to the surface in his mind”, he was lost.
To keep his skills sharp, he reached out to Robert Kiyosaki, author of the worldwide bestselling book Rich Dad Poor Dad; to Steven Scott who authored Mentored by a Millionaire; to Rick Warren from a Purpose Driven Life; and to Jeff and Rich Sloan, who wrote Startup Nation, for the purpose of supporting a prisoner re-entry program. From this, McMurrain created ITEA, Intercon Transitional Education of America. The five-course program included business law, self-development, business plan writing, spirituality, and business finance. Over 500 inmates graduated from the course. Thus, the seeds of success for Mr. McMurrain began to grow behind the locked gates of society.
He feels, “You have to let success flow and for that you have to be open to success coming into your life”. Mr. McMurrain goes on to say that, “Most people are cynical and negative towards success, treating it like an enemy or unattainable reality. What most people don’t realize is that mediocrity is a greater enemy, causing more pain in life than success. The fact is it takes an equal amount of sacrifice to be mediocre as it does to realize success.”
When he left the gates of prison, he could honestly say that he had found peace in one of the most challenging places on earth. McMurrain says, “walking out of the gates of prison, leaving my noisy, ignorant and arrogant ego behind, with a new passion for success, was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.”
Furthermore, “Miracles, like success, can happen if you are open to them, but like everything in life it is good to have a ‘Miracle Plan’ to create what you want in life. I was facing 25 years to life for more counts of financial fraud than Bernie Ebbers, Kenneth Lay and Kozwolski combined…I prayed for a miracle and I got one from Judge Hunt,” says Mr. McMurrain.
One of the courses he taught with ITEA was called the Miracle of Success. It was an assimilation of the 400+ books that he had read. He says the seven tactic M.I.R.A.C.L.E Success Strategy probably will become a book one day.
The M.I.R.A.C.L.E of Success tactics include:
M – Mentor Advisory Panel – When you begin your success journey, you are going to need a M.A.P. to guide you. Mentors will show you the fastest point between ‘A’ and ‘B’.
I – Inner Awareness Integrity – Before you can get real with success you have to get real with your Self (emphasis on capital ‘S’). You might ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ but once you get to the top, your foundation will crumble beneath you.
R – Re-engage your Purpose – To stay motivated, passionate and focused every day, you must know your “why”. Nothing will drive you harder than your purpose and the minute you lose sight of it you will start heading towards your prison of life.
A – Attitude Determines Your Magnitude – If you are going to shake the earth and impact people in a positive way, you need to be careful about what you allow to enter your mind and body. For example, if you put bad gas in a Ferrari, your horsepower and performance will be reduced. Your attitude works the same way. Input determines your output.
C – Consciously Create Your Dream Lifestyle – Many people sleepwalk through life and dream at night only to wake and find that nothing has changed. Being a conscious creator requires you to dream with your eyes open and have the courage to create your dreams through goals and tasks.
L – Leverage Time, Technology and Talent – Success requires you to leverage everything in life including your mentors, your inner awareness, your purpose, your dreams, technology, talent, and finances. Leverage accelerates and amplifies the success in your life.
E – Envision IT and Own IT – You have to determine the ‘IT’ in your life and take ownership of it. Most people go through life leasing their opportunities and they never take ownership of anything. The truth is most people ‘lease’ their life working to help others realize their dreams.
These 7 M.I.R.A.C.L.E tactics are what Mr. McMurrain is using to create a new definition in the fabric of global business, a future multi-billion dollar industry he calls ‘crowdnetworking’.
One of his mentors, Hubert Humphrey, the insurance team building magnate who recruited and led some of the largest sales teams in the world, stated, “If you want to create a multi-billion dollar company, you have to identify a massive problem in society and match it with a massive solution”. Good advice and he is following it.
So, what massive problem does Mr. McMurrain feel he can fix with “crowdnetworkingR”? He says, it’s the same problem the dating industry solved with online dating websites using collaborative filtering technology. He believes the fear of meeting people, building relationships and becoming a ‘Value Creator’, a term introduced to him by one of his mentors Larry Benet, the author of The Art of Connection, is a major problem, not only in the US but globally as well.
He has a point. The traditional practice of business networking is inefficient and ineffective. You walk into a room of hundreds of people and you don’t know with whom to talk. Mr. McMurrain’s new mobile app that he has under development will solve this problem. The app will ‘sweep’ the room looking for high value target market prospects providing you an opportunity to “identify” people in the “crowd” who are most likely to do business with you. Appropriately enough, this app is called CrowdentifySM.
“CrowdnetworkingR,” Mr. McMurrain says, “will redefine traditional business networking as we know it and make it more proactive, productive and profitable”. In combining the proprietary terminology with collaborative filtering, location aware technology, and the coming BluetoothR Beacon revolution, he is confident that crowdnetworkingR will become the new industry standard for new business discovery.
Can an Ex-con create a multi-billion dollar marketplace? You might not want to bet against this guy. He has a clear vision, the problem in the marketplace is real, and the technology that he is using to solve the problem is also being used to create multi-billion dollar valuations on individual companies like UberR and WhatsappR.
Want to be a beta tester for the Crowdentify app CLICK HERE
crowdnetworking, crowdnetwork, crowdnetworker, and crowdentify are registered trademarks of CrowdNetworker, LLC.