In a world in which so many people seek balance, meaning, and connectedness in life, Jim Cusumano provides a tangible and inspirational road map.
—Helen D. Gayle, MD, MPH, President and CEO, CARE USA
Renaissance man James A. Cusumano has not had one successful profession – he has had five distinct and flourishing careers. Starting out as the lead singer for The Royal Teens, he then became a research scientist and executive at Exxon. Following that, he co-founded Catalytica, Inc., a booming Silicon Valley company with divisions in clean energy and pharmaceuticals. He then became a filmmaker, producing the movie What Matters Most. Ultimately, he and his wife created Chateau Mcely, a five-star luxury hotel and spa near Prague. Throughout his myriad careers, Jim pursued his passions and found true purpose and balance in life. He shares wisdom and insights in his compelling new book, BALANCE: The Business-Life Connection.
BALANCE is comprised of three distinct sections that illuminate Jim’s experience and insight. The first part is an autobiographical look at the author’s “five lives.” In this section, it becomes clear how each of Jim’s divergent careers has been strongly connected with his purpose and passion. For example, he describes how despite being on the fast track to a leadership position at Exxon – the mismatch between the large corporate bureaucracy and his own entrepreneurial spirit propelled him to quit and launch a Silicon Valley start-up, leading the growth of that enterprise to a public company valued at nearly $1 billion. Jim also explains how, at the many critical crossroads he encountered, he learned to listen carefully to the counsel of the wise people – or “giants” – he met along the way, and he reveals how others can do the same.
In the second section of the book, Creating A Fulfilling Life, Jim addresses the critical issue of how to achieve balance in both your personal and professional lives. The crux of this lies in uncovering your Essence. He writes, “We are all born with a unique ‘something’ – which I call ‘Essence’ – that gives us sheer pleasure and the potential to generate great value for both ourselves and the world. You were likely in touch with your Essence as a child, but it may have become submerged over the years by other preoccupations, or other people’s expectations.” In BALANCE, Jim offers a step-by-step method for identifying and recapturing your Essence. “The passion created in this one step often provides all the motivation, courage and energy you will need to find a new career that will lead to greater enrichment – personally, financially, and even for the world at large,” he says.
In the book’s third section, Building A Successful Business, the author shows how to grow a successful enterprise by using Inspirational Leadership to create an innovative environment. Based on Jim’s own experiences, particularly at Catalytica and Chateau Mcely, BALANCE details precisely what Inspirational Leadership entails, and how its core principles – including courage, authenticity, and service – form the basis of an organization that is personally rewarding, commercially advantageous, and socially responsible. Jim elaborates on a number of other key elements that drive long- term business success. These include unique hiring practices; targeting early commercial successes as well a long-term goals; and maintaining flexibility in any strategic plan. He believes that, when practiced diligently, these methods will yield returns far greater than “business as usual” models.
Chock full of personal stories that illustrate the author’s profound insights, BALANCE is an invaluable guide to finding one’s passion and creating a more meaningful life, both personally and professionally. As Ricardo Levy writes in the book’s foreword, “The lessons [Cusumano] draws upon apply to all of us . . .They contain fundamental concepts that can increase our happiness and our effectiveness, and simultaneously help make this a better world.”
Here's what notable authors and businesspeople are saying about BALANCE:
“BALANCE is a wonderful reminder that through gratitude and the source of creativity, we have answers to life’s greatest challenges, and can truly find meaning, fulfillment, success, and our purpose in life.”
Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Global bestselling author of more than 70 books, including The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
“Unlike so many other books on finding happiness, BALANCE does not preach. Instead, it takes you on a journey through a remarkable life. This journey will make you laugh, make you cry, but most importantly, make you think!”
Gary P. Pisano, PhD
Coauthor of Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance
“BALANCE is a genuinely useful book that’s also a delight to read. It is business and life seen through the eyes of one of the most remarkable people you will ever meet, a true Renaissance Man."
Gay Hendricks, PhD
Founder of The Hendricks Institute and bestselling author of The Big Leap and The Corporate Mystic
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"In Balance: The Business-Life Connection, Jim Cusumano brings us the message that a fulfilled life and success in business go hand in hand, built on the same foundation of personal traits and drivers. He encourages us to find our innate talents, and through them to discover our purpose in life. Honesty and faithfulness to that purpose is then reflected in our honesty with others, a key hallmark of what Jim calls Inspired and Conscious Leadership. Drawing on a full life that has successfully spanned many diverse careers and endeavors, Jim’s lessons and wisdom apply to all of us, regardless of our chosen profession or avocation. They contain fundamental principles that can increase our happiness and our effectiveness, and simultaneously help us make this a better world."
Ricardo Levy, PhD
Author of Letters to a Young Entrepreneur
“This is the story and the wisdom of a beautiful man—and a Renaissance Man at that. In Balance: The Business-Life Connection, Jim Cusumano humbly shares what he has learned so that you can be inspired to your own greatness. Read it and reap!”
Lance H. K. Secretan, PhD
Bestselling author of The Spark, the Flame, and the Torch
“What a treasure this book is! Sharing his own mystical journey in Balance: The Business-Life Connection, Jim models for us the art of living your best life, and being aware of all the synchronistic moments that help lead the way! The golden threads of your inner calling . . . the things you feel you must do . . . are weaved together beautifully by the sharing of his extraordinary story!”
Founder and CEO, Qualis International, Inc.
“Jim Cusumano’s book is more than one man’s incredibly successful multi-careered journey with delightful milestone markers in every chapter. It is a basic text brimming with wisdom for how to prosper in all of life’s endeavors by developing hope, trust, compassion, diligence, perseverance, outside-the-box thinking, and wisdom. Balance: The Business-Life Connection is a ‘must read’ for every thoughtful person engaged in business at every level of enterprise.”
Rinaldo Brutoco, JD
Founder, President and CEO, World Business Academy
“From the oldest of 10 children raised in a European ghetto in New Jersey, to rock star, scientist, corporate executive, entrepreneur, filmmaker, hotelier, philanthropist, mystic and more—how does any one person navigate each of these endeavors with such gusto and success? In following his heart and soul, a true Renaissance Man for all seasons, Jim Cusumano takes us on his exciting personal journey. In Balance: The Business – Life Connection he candidly and humbly shares what he has found to be a specific recipe for anyone to find their life purpose and passion, and thereby create success and happiness in both their professional and personal lives. I highly recommend this gem if you want to increase happiness and balance in your life.”
Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD
Coauthor with Deepak Chopra of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being
Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
“This is a book filled with energy, wisdom, passion and tools that help with navigating the crossroads of life and making key decisions personally and professionally. In Balance: The Business-Life Connection, Jim Cusumano tells the inspirational story of his life as he navigates a multifaceted journey as a rock star, scientist, corporate executive, entrepreneur, and hotelier. His path is truly a remarkable one, and the lessons he shares are universal.”
Partner, Alpha Associates Private Equity Investors
“Jim Cusumano is one of those rare individuals who have been able to reinvent themselves several times, and excel at what they do every time. In Balance: The Business-Life Connection, he shares his “secret sauce” and offers it in a way that everybody can apply to their own life plan. But this book is not about Jim, it is about the reader! His personal discoveries and wisdom are useful tools to help you live a life filled with happiness and high levels of accomplishment.”
James C. Blair, PhD
Founder/Partner, Domain Associates
“Balance: The Business-Life Connection is an unusual title for an unusual book by an unusual man. Jim Cusumano is not the typical scientist, or typical rock star, or typical entrepreneur; my goodness, how would even the word ‘typical’ apply to these different and rather antithetical professions and skills? He writes in engaging and lively style, sharing with the reader his life’s experiences, invaluable lessons from his journey of life. His experiences, such as interacting and learning from the 10 ‘giants’ who influenced him so much, are captivating as well as full of gems. Jim’s so many lives give you the impression there are different people [within him], each one of them with unique life experiences; his reflections—not dry lessons, but on the contrary alive and full of energy—take you step by step into simple but profound principles of living the right way and enjoying a full life. When you have finished reading Jim’s book, you will want to meet him in person. I was lucky to have met him and grateful to cross paths with such an unusual and fun, full-of-life man.”
Professor Menas Kafatos
Author of The Conscious Universe
“Reading Balance: The Business-Life Connection reminds me that true Renaissance Men still exist. It is fantastic to experience all of Jim’s lives, his love for his family and friends, his passion for learning, growth and his drive for making the world a better place. The most amazing thing for me is that he so eloquently makes us believe that we can do these miracles as well. Even more so, he gives us a foolproof manual to do exactly so. Now I don’t have an excuse not to try.”
Chairman of the Board, Wood & Company Investment Bankers
“Jim Cusumano is a person who has given a lot of time and thought to studying the major issue of our modern time: how, in this age of specialization, can a person give his or her life work broader meaning. He not only writes about it, but he lives it. He is a person who makes the community around him better. Balance: The Business-Life Connection is a worthy distillation of his philosophy and will benefit whoever reads it.”
Executive Director, American Chamber of Commerce, Czech Republic
“Jim is a student of science, philosophy and spirituality—a unique blend of mind, heart and intuitive energy. Achieving success by any measure in life, love and business adds weight to his assertions that a life worth living serves others as much as yourself. This makes his book an important one for our times. So many people spend hours of their life without experiencing the joy of finding true purpose and passion. They pursue material goals that provide only temporary happiness and perhaps some pain relief. Jim is a living example that it can be done! In reading Balance: The Business-Life Connection, you journey with him through life and share his lessons, and through that journey learn how to uncover your own path of purpose and passion. You will feel like you know Jim and you will in turn discover more of yourself. I thoroughly recommend this book to start your own adventure, no matter what your age!"
Founder, The Zone: Winning Cultures in Business
“Jim Cusumano has ingeniously gifted us with not only the inspiration to a life of passion, purpose and success, but he has laid out the strategic road map for us to follow. And we know that his system works, because he has walked the talk in his own life, many times over. Only a small percentage of humanity takes the leap necessary to love their calling. The result is a society that is searching for happiness outside of itself. Balance: The Business – Life Connection alone has the power to not only elevate one life, but our entire society as a whole.”
Author of Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality
“I recently had the distinct pleasure to observe Jim with his six-year-old daughter, Julia, as she excitedly showed him a cricket she had found, gently cupping the little creature in her hand. He gave her all the attention, interest, and encouragement that reflect who Jim really is. With his gift for touching the spirit of others, it is not surprising that the adventures he has pursued in both his personal or professional lives have met with significant success. Balance: The Business-Life Connection is Jim living in words and actions. I highly recommend his book to everyone.”
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Casto Travel
“This is a book from a man who has gone through a lot. For readers who are embarking upon a similar path, this will be an interesting read. How to start again, how to gain, how to lose. How good things come as a by-product of a great calling.”
Tomáš Sedláček, PhD
Chief Macroeconomic Strategist, ČSO Bank
Former Advisor to President Vaclav Havel
Author of Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street
“In a world in which so many people seek balance, meaning and connectedness in life, Jim Cusumano provides a tangible and inspirational road map. Using his own remarkable life experience, BALANCE shows us how we can live our lives to the fullest. It is a very human story that made me laugh and made me cry, but most of all it motivated me to embrace more deliberately my own path of life discovery."
Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE USA