Episode 90 – Wisdom Revisited with Author Jeff Jarrell

Welcome back to The Main Thing Podcast! This is a special episode. It’s the next in our mini-series “Wisdom Revisited,” where we are reconnecting with a few of our most popular guests from Seasons 1 & 2. As we revisit those guests and their ‘main thing’ wisdom, what will we find? Has it remained a primary driving force in their life? Or has something new taken that place of prominence in their heart and mind?

Three years ago, Jeff Jarrell appeared as our wise guest on Episode 19. In this special 25-minute episode, we have the pleasure to revisit Jeff and his main-thing wisdom from 2020.

Jeff Jarrell is a financial advisor and small business owner. He has written his first book, which will be published in late May 2023. Jeff is a passionate about serving others, especially through his volunteer efforts in the autism community, as well as other community service. Jeff’s hobbies include cycling, golf, travel and exploring coffee shops. And he’s one of the wisest people I know. Jeff joins us from his home in Columbus, Ohio.

Listen and discover how Jeff Jarrell has applied – and perhaps evolved – his Main Thing wisdom.


Ep.19 – The Main Thing Podcast featuring Pragmatic Wisdom from Jeff Jarrell

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Autism resources and education CARES

Jeff’s company website visit Jarrell Black online.

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Content You’ll Enjoy in this Podcast

[00:01] – Jeff’s’s Main Thing #wisdom from Episode 19

[00:20] – Intro

[01:18] – Welcome and brief look back to May 2020

[02:30] – Expectations

[03:31] – Brief bio of Jeff Jarrell; loving coffee, Jesus & people; serving others

[05:05] – Superpower of inviting and including others

[05:36] – Change & adapt; Jeff’s life events of past three years; autism; surgeries

[06:45] – When parenting requires tough love; authenticity

[07:50] – Overcoming health challenges

[08:15] – Revisiting Jeff’s Main Thing: “I don’t know”

[09:30] – Jeff reveals a new guiding principle

[10:40] – The value of a five-minute pity party

[11:35] – Power of a positive mindset; the stories we tell ourselves

[12:05] – Skip relates Jeff’s wisdom to Maureen Doyle and Greg the Technician

[14:00] – Jeff’s powerful story illustrates how he applied his main thing wisdom

[16:40] – Discussing Jeff’s new book, “Setbacks and Step-Ups” (coming May 2023)

[19:25] – CARES for WV to benefit from Jeff’s book

[20:00] – What’s on the horizon for Jeff?

[21:35] – Who among the community of listeners might need Jeff’s help?

[22:05] – Thank-you and goodbye

[23:25] – Outro

[23:45] – An invitation for you to help support our wisdom programming



Jeff Jarrell, what’s the main thing that you’ve learned in your lifetime so far? Skip the main thing that I have learned in my life is to be genuine when dealing with others and to not be afraid to say the words, “I don’t know.”

That was the main thing. Timeless wisdom shared by our wise guest here on the main thing podcast. It resonated with us. Perhaps rather deeply. You spoke of, you said we want more from these wise thought leaders. We heard you loud and clear and so we are reconnecting with a few of our most popular guests from seasons one and two. We will revisit those guests and revisit their wisdom. Their main thing.

What will we find? Some say true north will always be true north. Others say there’s nothing permanent except change. Has it remained the primary driving force in their life? Or has something new taken that place of prominence in their heart and mind. Here in this special episode of Wisdom revisited, we’ll find out how each prior guest has applied and perhaps evolved their wisdom. Here we go. 

Jeff Jarrell, it is such a delight to have you back on the main thing podcast. Skip. This is an honor and a pleasure, and this is it. Treat from it any this afternoon. Jeff, you know folks just heard your main thing from May twenty twenty. That is almost exactly three years ago.


It got me thinking about Jeff the situation when we recorded, where we recorded, and if anyone rewinds their clock back to March 2020 or April 2020, that puts us squarely in COVID. I have to guess that we recorded just prior to COVID shutting down everything? I was on my cell phone walking around my bedroom, which was a make shift office. And, yeah, we were pretty much on close to lockdown, close to quarantine, and it was a surreal feeling.

And I think back then, we all had the thought that based on what we were being told and what little information was out there, and the thing will be over in a couple of weeks. The thing will be over another couple of weeks, you know, temporary. You’re right. Absolutely. That was the mood, that was the hope, that was the feeling.


I’ve got a classic photo selfie I took at the CrossFit gym. I’d just coached a class. And we knew we were shutting down a rope and the marker on the whiteboard, see you all in two weeks, and I had the date, April, whatever it was. See you then. And that’s what we thought. This were those were our expectations at that time. How wrong we were.


Well, you know, as a financial advisor, probably my biggest job is to manage client expectations. And, unfortunately, without being political, I don’t think the government I don’t think the powers in charge of leaders did a great job of managing societal expectations. Although they didn’t know what they were dealing with, you know, I give them a whole pass for that. Right. Right. It’s still they didn’t do a good job of managing societal expectations.


Jeff, let’s remind folks. You mentioned Financial Planner. Let’s give them an update on who were who am I talking to today? Jeff Jarrell first of all, I’ll start, but then let’s just kinda kick it back and forth. You’re one of my best friends. So folks you’re you’re listening to someone who is one of my best friends in the whole world, someone who I admire greatly, someone who is a trusted adviser with with my finances, but also an adviser in advising me on matters of family and and life and friendship and helping me set goals.

Jeff, what else should they know about you for folks to understand who they’re hearing from today?


Coffee, lover, Coffee snob to a degree. I’m not a K-Cup kind of guy. I just can’t do that do that anymore. Gosh. I love my family. I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. I love people. I love making people happy. Yeah.

Love serving others. Yeah. I mean, that’s that’s what it’s all about, Skip. We’re not here to be served. If you go to our company’s website, you’ll see a quote from me on there. We were put on this earth to serve others, not to be served.

If people would practice that — Oh my. — what a what a great world it would be. I’ll take another turn at at defining who they’re hearing from to they, Jeff Jarrell is the best person I know at inviting and including others.


You have a superpower for thinking up cool things to do and inviting me and other folks to join you in that you always have a great idea. Hey, Skip. Let’s go do this. And nine times out of ten, my head starts nodding. I’m going, yeah. I want in on that. Thanks for asking me. That’s sounds really fun. So that’s to me one of your superpowers.


Share with our listeners kinda what’s been going on since they heard from you in Episode 19 nearly three years ago. Wow. A lot. Change. Change and adapt. Yeah.You know, you and I both love March Madness, where it’s all about win and advance. This has been change and adapt.


So let’s see, Skip. We’ve moved. So last summer. So for some of your listeners that knowing me this might be a shock, they may not know. We moved to the north side of Columbus, Ohio. We did that for our son, Noah who just turned twenty three and he has autism. Right. And we did it for services and for his future. Yeah. And we are so thankful that we did that. Let’s see. I’ve had the Tiger Woods microdystectomy back surgery since we last visited It was that low back surgery November of 2020.


Then sadly, we had a falling out with our youngest daughter. And parentally had do the hardest thing we’ve ever done, which is ask her to leave the house, get her out of the house, and tell her that we loved her with all of our hearts, but we just didn’t love what she was doing. Yeah. I think a lot of parents can identify with that at some point in rearing their children. Parenting is not easy! No. It’s not for Sissies.


Jeff, I admire your authenticity. I was not gonna bring that up, but didn’t know if you’d wanna talk about it on air. And so thank you for just keeping it real. And sharing with our listeners, I think that gives you relatability and credibility that you’re not mister Instagram highlight, real life is easy, breezy, everything’s perfect, and you know, let let’s just float along.

No. So that happened, we did the move, and then not shortly after we had moved, the old right knee bugaboo really kicked in, and I had total knee replacement. December of 2022. So I’m four months post op and doing well, but I’m telling you, I am the bionic man, dude.


Folks will have just heard your main thing, wisdom, which you shared with us, again, episode nineteen, May 2020, you said: “Don’t hesitate to say, I don’t know when you don’t know.”

And that was unique. It it was a valuable block in the foundation of this wisdom conversation that we’ve been running for the last four years. Very valuable. And it goes back to your your inherent organic authenticity. So you’re on here today in something called wisdom revisited. So let’s revisit that main thing that you shared three years ago,

Jeff, is that still your true north on your compass? Is that still something that guide your life or has your main thing changed or evolved? I would say it is still vitally important But the past three years since you and I last did this, I’ve learned a a much more valuable lesson in my opinion.


Skip the lesson that I have learned, the lesson that I have been taught has been just move forward. Just move forward with every facet of your life. Move forward with your really close personal relationships. Move forward, you know, you and I are a coin appraisal help nuts. Right. And it doesn’t happen overnight. Right.


But for somebody just starting out, it can seem daunting. You know, if you’re learning to play the piano for the first time, just starting out same star. Just move forward. Just move forward. Yeah. You get knocked down. Just get up, move forward, take that first step.


I think that if we can do that, If we can remember that we should be always moving forward again with every facet of our lives, our spiritual lives, our health lives, our relationships with our kids and — Yes. — friends and with our spouses. And it It just makes life so much richer, so much forward, so much more enjoyable,

But it’s so easy to wallow in our self-pity. And say and say, Woe is me. The system is stacked against me. Everybody’s against me. And you know what? For about five minutes, that’s okay. Have your have yourself a have yourself a good cry. Have yourself a pity party. Get angry. Right? Yes! Get angry for five minutes, but then you know what? Put it behind you and move on move forward.


You know, the old saying is, hey – what happened in the past is the past? What happened in the past … is the past. But what’s in front of you…. What’s in front of you can be a better day. You gotta make it that better day. Mhmm.

I want to make it that better day. And if you’ll get up in the morning, you’re gonna say, Today’s gonna be a good day! There is something there is some scientific evidence that it is a trigger in your brain to your the emotional part of your brain, and you will have a better day. It doesn’t mean you’re not gonna have something bad happen, but you know, you’ve gotta set your own tone for the day. Yeah. You’ve gotta control you’ve gotta control the day skip. Don’t let the day control you.


Jeff, I’m reminded, I wanna share two quick thoughts with you. These are reactions to what you’re saying this wisdom that you’ve shared with us today about the importance of move forward. And what what you just gave an example that reminds me of our most recent guest, Maureen Doyle, who talked to me about, what story are you telling yourself today? Life is so much… our success is so much a product of the stories we tell ourself. And are you telling yourself a good story? So I think you just gave us a great example there of how that comes into play.


The other one is one of the most powerful life lessons that I’ve learned. I’ve shared it on YouTube, and it’s a story about my my days at Frontier Communications, when I had a chance to meet a fellow named “Greg the Technician.” And he was a super performer. He was standard deviations better than every other person like him that did the same job he did, and I had a chance to travel with him one day. In his white truck, in between appointments … I said, “Greg, what’s your secret, man? Well, how can you be thirty to fifty percent better than everybody else?”

He said, “Skip, it’s real simple. I pull up the ticket, the next the next job of work I have to do, and I look at it. I read it, think about it for a second, and I say, ‘Well, that’s going to be easy'”.

And that was the secret to his success. That success was borne out in hard business metrics and measurables that were sustained every years. He tells himself it’s gonna be easy. He moves forward.

Don’t have that word ‘can’t’ in your vocabulary. Just move forward and you will. Powerful! So powerful!


Jeff, I wanna take you to the book and I want to ask you to talk about a time and life where you got knocked down, and you had to move forward. And in fact, you had to crawl on your hands and knees.

On October 19, 1984, a Saturday night that changed my life forever – for the good. But I was headed home about eleven thirty on Saturday night, and I was in my little red Ford Escort. and skip it had the black louvers on the rear window, and I’d spent it I spent a lot of money on subwoofers and all that in the car, you know. Like every testosterone filled boy, my age.


But I get run off the road, and I hit my head against the windshield and ended up in a ditch and had a concussion and was in shock. And I guess self preservation just kicked in. So I crawl on all fours across the two lanes coming down Greenbrier Street. And I’m in the two lanes going up Greenbrier Street. And a guy’s taking his girlfriend home in his pickup truck that night, and he thinks that I’m a plastic garbage bag. No joke. That’s what was in the police report. So he hits me, broadside, and drags me about 40 yards … is what we were told. And he stops because his girlfriend heard me screaming. Whoa!

They used airbags to inflate the rear of this pickup truck. I was beneath the right rear axle.


And I woke up on Monday afternoon, and my mother was staring at me, and my left leg was in traction. My my hip had been dislocated in my left hip, and it had been surgically pop back in. Mhmm. Yeah. Left hip was dislocated. Right leg was crushed right above the ankle. And my back looked like hamburger — Mhmm. — my right ear had been shaved off — Mhmm. — and was hanging in by the earlobe, and Yeah. They put Humpty Dumpty back together again.


And five and a half weeks later, I went home from the hospital about two or three days before Thanksgiving, and Yeah. Start start it all over again. Well, that’s a great start opening to a book and and it would be a great fiction story, but it’s actually true. Jeff, the book is so exciting. Thank you for letting me read a manuscript to draft. Thank you for letting me look at some of the illustrations. I can’t wait to get a copy. And and to read it and to share it.


Because I know it’s all about it’s keeping in this theme of move forward. Because in life, we’ll have setbacks. We might get into a car wreck. We can get hit by a truck, and you’ve got to have a comeback from that. You your knee goes out. You’ve got to have knee surgery, replacement. That’s a setback. You’ve gotta have a comeback from that.

And that’s that’s the theme of your book, isn’t it? It is.

You know what? You’re gonna get knocked down in life? And that little voice in your head telling you to get up. That’s just that’s god just wanting you to get up. He’s not asking you to get up and run a marathon. He’s not asking you to get up and sprint. Mhmm. He just wants you to get up and take that first step forward. Yeah. And, you know, that doesn’t mean that it’s gonna be a walk in the park. You’re gonna get knocked down again. But you know what? If you don’t just keep getting up and moving forward, that is what life is all that is what life is all about.


Jeff, do we have a title for the book yet? Set back some step ups. There we go. There we go. And what’s the current schedule when it’ll be available? So Christmas day for me is coming in mid May when a box will show up to my house. I’ve purchased the first hundred books that I’m going to autograph and give away to family and friends and clients and things like that. And then, hopefully, I get to share it with some you know, some small groups, some church groups, some FCA groups, or what have you, but that’s that’s the timeline. Somewhere around mid May, Awesome. Christmas comes in May.


If listeners want to acquire a copy once we publish this show and they’re listening right now, could they reach out to you? To purchase a copy. They could reach out to me, skip up learning a lot about writing above through this process, but my understanding is they’ll also be able to go to Amazon and buy it on Amazon. Mhmm.

It’s going to be an inexpensive book somewhere in the seven to eight dollar range. And I don’t want a penny out of this. So I’m gonna donate all of the proceeds are going to CARES for West Virginia, which is nonprofit that does advocacy for folks with autism, which is near and dear to my heart.

Fabulous. Really applaud your generosity, Jeff. “Setbacks and Step-Ups.” Did I get it right? Setbacks and step ups you sure did. By Jefferson K. Jarrell, can’t wait! With illustrations by my favorite Tennessee Volunteer, Chloe Lineberg, someone near and dear to your heart.


You plan, you execute your plans…. So as we sit here today in April 2023 and books coming out next month, what’s on your horizon beyond that, Jeff Jarrell? 

Skip for one of the first times in my life, I’m gonna revert back to one of my main things, which is I don’t know. And what I mean by that is I I do have a life changing event coming up here in the future that I’m not at liberty to talk about today, but it’s gonna free up some time for me. And I’ve been very open. I’m trying to be very patient and just whatever is God’s will — Mhmm.

For this free time that I’m going to have, you know, I keep telling him my heart is open, my mind is open, I’m ready. Whatever. Lay it on me. Yeah. Again, let’s let’s go. You know me. I won’t sit still. I won’t let dust collect underneath my feet.


I would love to get involved with something to do with kids. I would love to get more involved using the book. With Church Church Group’s FCA Huddles…. Right on! I would love to be a mentor to kids that are thinking about getting into the business world, you know, that kind of thing. I think I have a lot of experience and hopefully some wisdom to steer her there. I’ll vouch for that!


This is a community. Our listeners and all of our guests that have been on the main thing podcast as they heard what they just heard as you sort of confessed, which you just confessed to say, I’m open to something new. We’ll have your contact information in the show notes. And so folks have an idea if that’s an idea and someone said, I wanna get Jeff involved in this. Don’t hesitate, move forward on that notion that you had and contact Jeff. He does he does have so much to offer.


Jeff, I want to thank you personally for being such a staunch supporter of the show. As a former guest, as a regular sponsor, as a frequent sponsor of episodes, and now as a patron, just really thank you so much for supporting what we’re doing here and our ongoing work.

You’ve got the best podcast in the business. And I really think that the information that you are providing and the types of guests may not included the types of guests that you have on there. They just provide such practical spot on take it, listen to it, go apply it type of wisdom that is missing today and would make our world a better place if everyone would put it into use.


Well, thank you. It’s a it’s a labor of love. Couldn’t do it without support from folks like you. Thank you so much for sharing your heart today, for letting me revisit your wisdom, and for sharing such an encouraging message to us and such a helpful valuable message with us all today. It’s good. Thanks for having me on. Thanks for letting me plug the book, talk about a labor a lot. Thanks for letting me do that. And anytime I can tell if I’m here. Hey, Jeff, so long for now. Alright. Bye-bye.

Wow! That goes by incredibly fast, doesn’t it? Time flies when you’re hacking wisdom. I hope you’re left wanting more. Sync up with this again next time on the Main Thing for nine more minutes of wisdom.

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