I am one of nine children born in Saginaw, Michigan back in 1959. I began working in the financial service industry in the Detroit Metro area in 1986, and for the next 25 years helped start and/or build several successful companies. I left that industry at the end of 2010 and in early 2011 started The Shoe Shine Guys, a mobile shoe shine and shoe repair service.
I have always enjoyed writing and started writing a blog several years ago. The blog started out as a way to talk about my business experiences, but ended up evolving into a more personal account of my life, and the journey I have taken since accepting Christ. The response to the blog has been very encouraging.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOOK -
The book is about me and the epiphany that took place on January 12th, 2008. The book talks about the transformation my life took since accepting Christ and the journey that I have been on ever since. It illustrates the 10 bits of wisdom, or principles, that were instrumental in that journey and how they helped to change the relationships I have with those around me.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE 10 BITS OF WISDOM FROM THE SHOE SHINE GUY-
I had thought about writing a book for the past 10 years or so. One of my shoe shine customers, who I had never actually met and who was following my blog, had mentioned my writing to a publisher, Waldorf Publishing, and they gave me a phone call. I tend to be a procrastinator, so when Waldorf Publishing called, that gave me the push that I needed to write the book.
The inspiration came from my family and the changes that had taken place over the last several years in our relationships. The growth, and the forgiveness, and the reconciliation that had occurred over that period of time is a big part of what inspired me to share my story with others. If I could keep one other person from going down the road that I had taken in my early years, the writing of this book will have been well worth the effort.
HOW MUCH TIME PER WEEK DO YOU SPEND WRITING OR EDITING YOUR BOOK -
During the time that I was writing the book, which was from late November 2014 until the end of April 2015, I spent the majority of my free time writing. I would come home from a full day at work shining shoes and spend another 3-5 hours writing. On weekends I would put in about 10-15 hours of work on the book.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT -
Currently I am back to writing a blog about every 3-4 weeks. My book was just released as of October 15th so I am anxious to see how it does and the response it receives. I have done some interviews and book signings and have some speaking engagements coming up in the near future. I don't have another book in the works at this moment, however I have some ideas and will see how the rest of this year goes before making a decision.
Title: 10 Bits of Wisdom from the Shoe Shine Guy
Author: John Early
Genre: Spiritual / Inspirational
John Early worked in the corporate world for over 25 years. From the outside looking in, it seemed as though he had it all: the beautiful family, the magnificent home, the nice cars and great vacations, the fabulous income with the big 401k. He had what most would consider the American Dream. This was John’s idea of a dream, and this dream was all about him. Then suddenly, in an instant, like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, John had an encounter with God that transformed his life forever. John takes the reader through that transformation and the total impact it had on not only his life, but on the lives of those around him, especially those closest to him-his wife and children. He lays out the 10 key bits of wisdom that were instrumental in reconciling and rebuilding those broken relationships. His road on this journey is paved with: Knowing your purpose, Character, Attitude, Goals, Teamwork and Trust, Respect, Courage, Regrets, Reconciliation, and Grace. This book shows all of us, no matter our circumstances or how dark our days may seem, that God is brighter still. Let God start to transform your life.
John moved to Houston, Texas in 1980 at the age of 21. He worked in sales for a manufacturers rep firm selling oil equipment. Sales territory was most of South Texas, driving 4000-5000 miles per month. John had the opportunity to call on customers that were located in remote areas of South Texas as well as the corporate offices of some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world located Houston, Texas.
In 1986 he moved back to Michigan and went to work as a mortgage consultant for a small mortgage company, Tranex Financial and worked there for 13 years. Starting out as a mortgage consultant he moved into training then became an officer of the company and eventually bought the firm. In 1998, he merged Tranex into the Hantz Financial Group.
He worked with Hantz Financial as a Vice President and financial consultant until December of 2010 focusing on marketing and client relationships. His team assisted high net worth clients with their tax planning, estate planning, investment strategies and business owner concerns. Providing advice to clients who needed sophisticated financial planning. While at Hantz Financial the company grew from 100 employees to over 500 and John was able to help build one of the largest practices within the firm.
In April of 2011 he created The Shoe Shine Guys. A mobile shoe shine service that started with an idea, one truck and a handful of clients. He now has three vehicles, a full service cobbler store and hundreds of clients. His company continues to add new clients every month and receive calls at least once a quarter about expanding to other parts of the country.
John attended Saginaw Valley State University. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Janet, for more than 32 years and they have two grown children, a son in law, and a grandson.
A sports enthusiast, John was an avid handball player for over 20 years (new titanium knee and work have sidelined him for a while) and was the Canadian national doubles champion in 1999.