Independence Public Library

Author Interview: Jim Correll (Text Only)

February 2, 2018

Jim Correll Biography

Email:;  Phone: 620-252-5349

“Change the Mindset, Change the World”

Jim Correll just may have figured out the biggest secret to business success, and it didn’t require an advanced business degree to do it. Instead, it’s been a matter of following his instincts, sponging up knowledge from thought leaders, making mistakes and pursuing passions in a wildly diverse 25-year career working in small business, manufacturing, entrepreneurial ventures and post-secondary education. What has he learned? When your mind is open to possibility rather than pessimism, amazing things can happen.

In his work as a business coach, entrepreneur mentor and the director of Fab Lab ICC and the Successful Entrepreneur Program at Independence (KS) Community College, Jim teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to challenge the archaic models of conventional business thinking and education and explore new paths for solving the world’s problems through innovation, creativity, trial and error. A former professional photographer, Jim encourages his proteges to first look at the world through a wide-angle lens, then focus their efforts where they believe they can make a difference and take the shot. “The environment may not be perfectly composed, you may not have just the right angle on your first try, and you certainly may feel over exposed when you put yourself out there and launch an idea,” he analogizes. “But so often, the raw, candid moments we capture are the most representative of real life, the ones that draw us in, take our breath away and haunt our memory.”

Such are the lessons of entrepreneurship, says Jim. There’s no script, precise formula or lesson plan. Success requires a willingness to try something unconventional and to redefine failure as learning. It’s all about the mindset, and anyone can achieve it.

Jim regularly shares his insights through multiple channels, including regional and national public speaking engagements, local print columns and radio features, classes at the community college, weekly community roundtable discussions and one-on-one consultation. His goal is to build a growing circle of “entrepreneurial thinkers" with a limitless ripple effect.

Jim has served on boards and committees for several local and state economic development and business organizations (highlights below), and his most recent work as the director of the Fab Lab maker space in Independence, Kansas, has garnered multiple accolades. In May 2017, he was named among the “50 Kansans You Should Know” by Ingram’s magazine.

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