Passion and The Mirror with Ira Blumenthal—Episode 292 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Ira Blumenthal

Considered a modern-day business “Renaissance Man,” Ira Blumenthal was the founder and president of CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Inc., an Atlanta-based consulting company that has counseled world-class clients such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, Kroger, McDonald’s, Harrah’s, American Airlines, Disney, United Artists, Marriott, Exxon, Walmart and others in areas related to “branding,” “strategic alliances,” “change management,” “reinvention,” and “business development.” Noteworthy, Ira has the proud distinction of being the single-longest continually retained consultant in The Coca-Cola Company’s history (26 years).

In early 2019, Ira aligned with Southwestern Family of Companies in a dual role… Co-President (and Co-Founder) of The Pat Summitt Leadership Group and President of Southwestern Impact, A “Venture Catalyst.”

Ira is a published author. His successful first book, Ready, Blame, Fire! (Myths and Misses in Marketing) was followed by the nationally acclaimed Managing Brand You, published by The American Management Association and printed in two languages and audio ( It focuses on personal branding. Ira is the recipient of the prestigious “George Washington Honor Medal for Literary Excellence” (The Freedoms Foundation). In June 2019, Ira’s newest book, Your Best Is Next was launched.

The former host of a popular radio talk show, “Success Talk,” Ira has interviewed “success stories” such as General Colin Powell, Mario Andretti, Tommy Lasorda, Debbi Fields, Dr. Richard Carlson, and other notables. He has been a visiting professor at The University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University and was the inaugural Executive-In-Residence at Georgia State University’s School of Hospitality. Before founding CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Inc., Ira was a division CMO at The Sara Lee Corporation and then served as President of Rymer Foods, a NYSE public corporation he led to quantum leap growth from $90 million to well over $250 million in three-plus years. He is the recipient of the highest honor in the food business, “The Key Person Award,” and has been honored with numerous civic and professional awards and has been on a number of boards.

These days, Ira delivers over 40 speeches annually and has delivered over 2500 in his career to well over 1.2-million people on five continents. He has served as the “speaking opener” for the likes of President George Bush Sr., General Colin Powell, Lech Walesa, the late Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto, Henry Kissinger, Tommy Lasorda, Cal Ripken Jr., Bob Dole, and others. Highly respected as a business development and branding expert, to include “personal branding,” Ira has been quoted and featured as a “subject matter expert” in numerous media sources such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, BrandWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Executive Excellence, Marketing News, and more.

He has also done work with and for high-profile icons such as Zsa Zsa Gabor, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), the estate of the late Pat Summitt, media mogul Ted Turner, and others.

With his friend Aerosmith lead singer, Steven Tyler, in collaboration with Youth Villages, Ira was a co-founder of “Janie’s Fund” (, a philanthropic organization that provides help to “at-risk girls.” Ira also sits on the board of BLAZE Sports, the legacy Paralympic organization as well as on the advisory council of the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference (Dubai).

On a personal note, Ira is a tireless community activist and youth coach (coached both state and national championship teams). He was a highly acclaimed collegiate athlete and also competed internationally. Early in his career, Ira coached football and lacrosse at Towson University. Originally from New York, Ira lives in Atlanta, GA, with his red-headed Missouri bride, Kim. They have been married 37 years. He is the father of two daughters, three sons, and has eight grandchildren (another on the way). He and Kim are avid hikers and recently started their piece-by-piece trek of The Appalachian Trail.

Ira’s two favorite quotations are “The true measure of a man is how many lifetimes he can cram into one…” and “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you found out why.”

Show Highlights

  • The pivotal point in my life is when I realized that I was born to be a coach. It was a way to figure out how to educate, inspire, and lead. —Ira Blumenthal
  • It’s about blending education and entertainment. —Ira Blumenthal
  • If you’ve lived a full life, you have more rugs pulled out from under you than set out for you. I’m not about yesterday. The key to success is one word: recovery. —Ira Blumenthal
  • We have to figure out a way to rise above the challenges and obstacles and recover. You can’t go back but you can learn from it. A bend in the road is not the end of the road. —Ira Blumenthal
  • The way you rise above it is by thinking about how blessed you are. —Ira Blumenthal
  • To avoid mediocrity, the first step is to be honest with yourself. The second part is, if you can’t be passionate about something, don’t do it. Success is directly correlative to passion. —Ira Blumenthal
  • You’re not competing with anyone else in life, you’re competing with yourself. —Ira Blumenthal
  • Discipline yourself so no one else has to. (Pat Summit) —Ira Blumenthal
  • The first thing I do in the morning is to look upwards and thank God for another day. —Ira Blumenthal
  • Everything in life is 5% idea and 95% work. —Ira Blumenthal
  • From “woe is me” to “wow, it’s me.” —Ira Blumenthal
  • When you’re through learning, you’re through. It’s about continuous learning. —Ira Blumenthal
  • Everyone has to get older, but that doesn’t mean you have to get old. —Ira Blumenthal

Ira’s final thoughts: If we don’t have a focus on next, how shallow our lives would be. The key to success is not how you start. What matters is how you finish.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Dan Moore, President of Southwestern Advantage, the oldest direct-sales company in America, and Partner with Southwestern Consulting. With more than 45 years in sales leadership and marketing management, Dan has a wealth of knowledge to share on how to make better use of time to achieve life, sales, and other business goals. Each week, he interviews some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

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