What kind of legacy will you leave behind? In this personal and motivating talk, Jim Cavale modifies a tried and true formula for intensity to build the case for living a life of intent, so that we can all leave behind a lasting legacy.

A technologist and entrepreneur of many passions, Jim is the COO at IronTribe Fitness, devoted to scaling the client experience during their rapid franchise growth.

TEDxBirmingham 2014 – “Rediscover the Magic” – was held on March 1, 2014 at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, Alabama. 15 speakers plus several artistic performers spread their ideas with cross-disciplinary mix of attendees from the Magic City, ranging from civic and business leaders to professionals, educators, technologists, and artists. TEDxBirmingham — like all TEDx events — is an independent, volunteer effort. It is not organized for political reasons, monetary reward, or personal gain. Everyone associated with TEDxBirmingham does so because they believe in the power of ideas to change the world.

This TEDxBirmingham talk is shared with you by Baker Donelson.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

You hear it all the time… “I want to change the world!”

But is there a formula behind it? How can you truly make a lasting impact? How can you leave a legacy, if you will, that will change things for others who live on this earth far after you’re gone?

This month’s essay quickly went from a written piece to a video diary. I simply couldn’t capture my thoughts as good in text, as I felt I would be able to on camera.

It’s the first in a series of essays and videos, coming your way in the next few months, on the topic of TIME. It is this topic that will be the centerpiece for my TEDxBirmingham in March 2014, when I am the final speaker at this day long event that will take place at the Alys Stephens Center, on the campus of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB).

There are several components that make up the beginnings of the formula I share in this video.

Establishing YOUR purpose (Pu) – your ultimate reason for being here on earth, something that you can’t actually finish yourself, but what you hope to do that can live on after you’re long gone.

Creating a vision toward YOUR purpose (Vi) – what has to happen in the next years to come, to be closer toward your purpose before you leave this earth.

YOUR values (Va)  – these are non-negotiables that are at the heartbeat of who you are.

Setting YOUR goals (Go) – without the above, you cannot set goals within the context of what you actually want your life to stand for.

VARIABLE #1: PEOPLE (Pe) – who are you going to make an impact on, through your relationship with them? The more who you affect with your purpose, the more lasting effects you leave on this earth after you’re gone.

VARIBALE #2: TIME (Ti) – neither of us are promised tomorrow, let alone the 80 or so years we all expect to live on this earth. Thus, how can we steward the time we are given, in the wisest way possible?

The formula for maximum INTENTIONALITY is;

(Pu+Vi+Va+Go)Pe / Ti

Brian Phillips has been a friend for 11 years now.

He is actually one of the first guys I met, when I arrived from Syracuse, on a plane down to Birmingham, this weekend back in 2002!

He’s taught me many valuable lessons and poured into me to help me become the leader I am today as a father, husband and entrepreneur.

As I prepare to do a TED talk next March, on the oh so important topic of TIME, and the fact that it is no doubt the number one resource we have… I decided to start interviewing men and women around me, who have very unique and influential perspectives on this topic.

The best place for me to start, is with Brian.


In honor of my mother’s birthday, here is a re-post of the video that I made for her funeral that took place in June 2012.

She always asked me to promise that I’d never forget her, and of course, I never will.

She impacted me more than any son could ask from his/her mother.

I post this today, very thankful to the Lord God above, for the blessing he gave me in Maryann Cavale.

I just finished reading [and then listening] to the book “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years”, by Donald Miller, the New York Times Bestselling Author of his memoirs “Blue Like Jazz.”

Whether you know it or not, the power of your story can be something very special. Getting to unlock it and become comfortable with telling it, however, is a big challenge that most people simply cannot overcome.

Ironically, the main principal that makes up a great story, is “overcoming conflict”, so my best advice from reading and then listening to this Donald Miller classic, overcome your fear of telling your story and instead, use it as a tool to engage with new friends or even develop a bigger network for your business.

Miller’s journey goes from figuring out how to tell his story in an interesting plot that people would care enough about to listen to… To instead, editing his own story (basically, editing his life!) so that it is simply more interesting altogether.

I remember sitting at The Sky Bar in Los Angeles in 2006, just after graduating college, and meeting an executive from Sony Pictures.

He had a private table and I somehow finagled my way to sit with him and his guests. Anyways, as I entered a web of conversation that he was also heavily engaged into, I asked him what his number one piece of advice is for me.

Knowing I was a New Yorker living in Alabama, aspiring to make an entrepreneurial impact [from previous interaction we had that night], he told me to write down one new sentence of my ongoing story (my life esssentially), each day when I woke up… FOREVER.

I’m not going to sit here and act like I’ve followed his advice radically, but I have done it enough that I can always tell my story in an updated manner. Using my journal and my memory, I’ve been able to really create a solid tool in my story.

My story has helped me do a lot socially and in business, which in turn, builds my story even further! It’s an incredible notion that everyone should follow!

Another thing my story has done for me, is to make me more comfortable with accepting the happenings I may not like, because I know they are just another part of… you guessed it, MY STORY.

For me, my story is just another phrase for “God’s Plan.” His sovereignty over me and my path in life, is so evident, whenever I reflect on my story.

Go out and make your story interesting. Be diverse. Stay open to new ideas, activities, groups of friends, careers, etc.

Study both ends of the spectrum in every realm of your life.

It’s amazing what just one degree of change today can mean for your life, just a couple years from now.

Robert McKee, THE Storytelling Guru, has THE TOP workshop out there on this topic, while also accomplishing a career as an award winning screenwriter.

Check out some thoughts he has on story in this video and I hope to hear your story next time we meet!

PS – If you don’t know my full story, feel free to pick through a menu of content about me, by CLICKING HERE.