As a boy, Jim’s two ambitions were to be a baseball player and a cowboy– common ambitions for a Texas boy, but Jim clung to his dreams with tenacity because he had no other choice. The stories of how he came to this conclusion and how he pursued his twin goals are hilarious, but poignant.
An aptitude test taken in high school revealed a possible career that Jim resolutely vowed to avoid. His college major was chosen by default rather than desire, as was his first job. Nevertheless, he progressed from a junior accountant to being twice named one of the 100 most influential accountants in America by a prominent accounting magazine—all the while trying to disprove that aptitude test. Jim had not chosen accounting as a profession—it had chosen him.
Returning to his small town roots and opening a CPA firm, Jim soon discerned that clients needed more than tax advice and accounting—they needed help in reaching their hopes and dreams. He met the requirements to become a CFP and a CLU to help them reach their goals.
Sensing a paradigm shift in the financial world, Jim was one of the first CPA’s in America to become a Series 7 Registered Representative and Licensed Securities Principal. He was soon teaching accountants and stockbrokers how to progress from pushing numbers and picking stocks to become financial planners. He authored three books during this period, including How to Become a Successful Financial Consultant. Featured in Forbes and Dow Jones Investment Advisor, Jim became a nationally recognized authority and a sought-after speaker and trainer and the co-founder of a broker-dealer.
At fifty-three, he left it all to pursue the abandoned dreams of his childhood—to be a cowboy. He made a covered wagon and horseback trip across Texas to retrace the journey his ancestors had made two generations earlier and wrote Biscuits Across the Brazos to chronicle the trip. He traveled the team roping circuit as an amateur and worked roundups on big ranches. Working beside real cowboys sent him back to writing. Using lessons he had learned from more than 10,000 client interviews over thirty years and memories from his rural Texas roots, In the Rivers Flow, his first novel, was published in 2003. Rivers Crossing followed in 2005. Rivers Ebb, a Writers League of Texas contest finalist, is the third novel in his Follow the Rivers trilogy.