Smart Online Business Strategy: Interview with a World Record Holder

Image of Jon Alford PodcastSo there’s this guy, James Roumeliotis, from Massachusetts.

He’s 25 years young,  a software programmer, Guinness World Record holder, and he’s trying to make a difference in this world.

In 2007 James was inspired to help a friend’s mother who was diagnosed with Scleroderma.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Scleroderma; first off, the word means “hardening” (Sclero) and “skin” (derma). It’s a hardening of the skin.

But it doesn’t always stop at the skin. This autoimmune disease may affect  sufferers’ organs. In such cases it can be deadly.

Celebrities like Bob Saget are active in the Scleroderma awareness community working hard to raise funds for Scleroderma Research. There is no known cure so it’s a serious battle.

One that James is doing his part to fight.

The Interview

I met James several years ago while working for the same company. We’re did this interview to share his story about how he:

  • Set a Guinness World Record
  • Raised over $10,000 for Scleroderma Research
  • Leverages the internet to help spread his message
  • Landed on the Today Show

In the show, you’ll hear James referring to “we” and “us.” He’s relied on the volunteer efforts of close friends and family to pull his project together at Bounce To A Cure since its 2007 launch. He and I have been talking about the future of BTAC and I will now disclose that we’re discussing how I may be of help to  him along his journey.

It’s a great cause and I believe in him.

So, if you’d like to connect with James, visit his site at BounceToACure.com where you’ll also find links to his Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube profiles. He’s an extreme pogo guy worth watching :)

Click the play button to hear his story:

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25 Responses to Smart Online Business Strategy: Interview with a World Record Holder
  1. Jeanine Byers Hoag
    April 23, 2011 | 5:36 pm

    That’s great that you are getting involved and trying to help. I think it’s important to give back in any way we can.

    I remember hearing about Scleroderma through Bob Saget.

    • Jon
      April 24, 2011 | 7:07 pm

      Thanks, Jeanine!

      Yes, giving first that’s where it’s at. Bob is a funny guy and quite helpful and active with Scleroderma Research.

  2. Marcus Baker
    April 23, 2011 | 11:57 pm

    Awesome interview John!

    I am always amazed at how so many wonderful people rise to their challenge and excel and this is a case in point.

    To have achieved what he has must be incredibly meaningful to him.

    While having Scleroderma is of course painful and scary, it’s also what defines his purpose in life.

    Rising to this rather than just giving up is an incredibly powerful legacy to be creating and living.

    Thanks for sharing this John. :) Most inspiring.

    ~Marcus

    • Jon
      April 24, 2011 | 7:09 pm

      Hi Marcus,

      It was a fun interview. Haha, I had to edit out a laughing spell we had in there but that stuff happens. Made it all the more enjoyable for both of us to conduct the interview.

      Thanks for your support and, yes, James felt that was quite a meaningful accomplishment and a worthy cause.

  3. Devesh
    April 24, 2011 | 3:13 am

    Fantastic Interview, Jon. Hearing first time about Scleroderma. Thanks for sharing this valuable post, Jon.

    It is awesome to see people like James have raised thousands of dollars with the help of internet.

    Dev

    • Jon
      April 24, 2011 | 7:10 pm

      Hi Devesh,

      Many folks don’t know much about Scleroderma. I heard about it years ago then met James and learned more about it. Then what surprised me most was my ex-girlfriend had Scleroderma but thankfully only on her skin and not internally.

      Thanks for listening in – see you again soon.

  4. Jane | SEO Blogs
    April 24, 2011 | 10:53 am

    Hi Jon,

    It seems that the scary and the deadly disease has provided some sort of meaning to people. It is great to hear that how much influence someone could make and I am glad that you are doing your bit.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

    • Jon
      April 24, 2011 | 7:11 pm

      Hello Jane,

      Thank you for sharing. Yes, it’s inspiring how much influence James seems to have already had and hearing his future plans is exciting. It’s going to be an interesting year!

  5. Janet @ The Natural Networker
    April 24, 2011 | 3:51 pm

    Jon, aloha. Congratulations on this interview. You are a terrific interviewer which is an art in an of itself.

    What a story James has to tell. Please do let him know that I will not be attempting a challenge to his record. Bouncing on a pogo stick for 20 hours bloggles the mind. To say he was sore and stiff–WOW!

    However, as we know, Jon, it was that same determination that allowed him and is allowing him to continue his work raising money for scleroderma research.

    Jon, knowing you as I do, I can hardly wait to learn what you and James end up doing together for this most worthwhile goal.

    Best wishes for a terrific week. Aloha. Janet

    • Jon
      April 24, 2011 | 7:14 pm

      Janet,

      Aw, I really do appreciate that. You know, I think most of us can’t stand the sound of our own voice and that definitely goes for me. But I do my best to focus on delivering value.

      Can you imagine 20 hours on a pogo stick? Yikes. There’s no way I could do it so there’s a lot to be said for his determination and willingness to help others.

      Thank you for the vote of confidence, you’re too kind. I’ll do my best to help James on his journey of helping others :)

  6. Samantha Bangayan
    April 24, 2011 | 6:59 pm

    What an excellent interview, Jon! James’ accomplishments are so inspiring. It just goes to show that we don’t all have to be lawyers, doctors or otherwise wealthy because even the most random achievements can make a difference in the world!

    I loved how you two discussed the power of social media. It’s so true that authenticity is key because genuine relationships are what count. I was just chatting with Janet about how many can attract followers, but what makes a real difference is when you can keep those followers engaged and connected!

    Great reminder, Jon! =)

    • Jon
      April 24, 2011 | 7:16 pm

      Samantha,

      Hi there! You’re so right that we don’t need to have a high level job or social status to impact the world. James is the guy-next-door and is doing quite well making a splash out there.

      You and Janet got it right; gaining followers is one thing but keeping them around is no easy task. What a balance…

      Great to see you here and thank you for your insight.

  7. Usman@FirstHosting
    April 25, 2011 | 3:00 am

    okay Jon, its your recommendation and will take a look definitely.

    • Jon
      April 26, 2011 | 10:58 pm

      Thanks, Usman.

  8. Jayne Kopp
    April 25, 2011 | 9:59 am

    Hi Jon, I really enjoyed listening to your interview. I took it in last night! You do a great job.

    I also admire you for stepping out to help raise awareness for this worthy cause.

    good on you!

    Now I need to pay attention to your skill as an interviewer. I honestly thought I was listening to a well known radio show! It was so professionally put together. :-)

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Jayne

    • Jon
      April 26, 2011 | 11:00 pm

      Jayne,

      Well you flatter me but goodness I have a hard time listening to myself. Thanks a lot, Jayne, you encourage me to keep going and improve. My skills have a ways to go but I’ll do my best to bring my A-game every time.

      James is leading a worthy cause and he’s a great guy. Thanks again for your input and see you soon!

  9. Dr. Bob Clarke
    April 26, 2011 | 6:48 am

    Hi Jon,

    What an inspiring story of courage and determination! James is such a courageous person for getting out there to raise awareness for Scleroderma, and he also shows others with the same disease that they are not victims.. it gives them hope.

    Congrats to you, Jon for stepping up and helping out. Sometimes its so easy to get bogged down in our every day grind and troubles, we need someone like James and his cause to make us remember that there is a far bigger picture.

    Kudos to both of you!

    • Jon
      April 26, 2011 | 11:02 pm

      Dr. Bob Clarke,

      Yes, sir! James certainly went above and beyond I’d say. He inspired me to want to help and I am happy to be a part, no matter how small, of the team at Bounce To A Cure. Thank you.

  10. Hector Avellaneda
    April 26, 2011 | 9:52 pm

    Jon, great interview, man! It’s pretty amazing to see James be so committed and dedicated to his BouceForACure foundation at such a young age and I know he’s definitely going to be brining tons of awareness to this disease. Personally, I had never heard of it before but it’s awesome that mediums such as this one can bring awareness!

    Great stuff Jon!

    • Jon
      April 26, 2011 | 11:05 pm

      Hi Hector,

      Thanks a lot, my friend. It was a fun interview and we had some laughs.

      He’s enthusiastic and happy to be working in that space so I’m happy for him. We’ll keep an eye on him now and offer encouragement. Thanks for stopping by, Hector.

  11. Joyce Oladipo
    April 27, 2011 | 8:43 am

    Love story indeed. Just wondering is this you first podcast. You were brillant.

    James is one of the people that are making a shift in this world. I would love to make a shif in someones life someday.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Jon
      April 27, 2011 | 10:20 pm

      Hi Joyce!

      That is very nice of you, thank you. Well, this is my second show on this website but overall first time as a podcaster.

      James would appreciate that, I’ll see about getting a hold of him to swing by here in the comments. Joyce, I bet you already are making a difference in people’s lives – don’t cut yourself too short :) See you around soon I hope.

  12. Tosin@Home-Based Business Coach
    April 27, 2011 | 10:15 am

    Hey Jon,

    This is just great! I have always loved giving back.

    Someone says service to others is the rent we pay for our time on earth. We all should give back in whatever way we can.

    That disease seems so scary and I’m glad James is doing his best for the case.

    The interview is inspiring, Jon, especially James accomplishments.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Tosin

    • Jon
      April 27, 2011 | 10:17 pm

      Hi Tosin!

      Glad to hear you’re a giver, that’s important. Hey I really like that: “Service to others is the rent we pay for our time on earth.” Very cool, thank you for sharing that with us.

      I’ll likely give another update on James and his upcoming events, thank you for reading and listening.

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