Charlottesville Motivational Speaker Jim Harshaw Jr

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Call Jim: (434) 409-0257

Failure, struggle and setbacks are not only an inevitable part of life but a necessary step on the path to success. Jim Harshaw has learned many life lessons on the wrestling mat. Having been a Division I All American and won three ACC Championships for the University of Virginia, trained at the Olympic Training Center and competed overseas for Team USA he has experienced significant triumph and devastating defeat. He relates those powerful lessons of failure, struggle and setback to empower his audiences to overcome their own challenges and achieve success despite their inevitable failures.
Jim is a speaker, executive coach and host of the Wrestling with Success podcast.

Keynote: Failure and the Blueprint for Success

TEDx main2.edit.MiniPartial list of Speaking Events

  • Albemarle High School Leadership Academy
  • American Camping Association
  • Business of Food Conference
  • Cliff Keen Coaching Clinic
  • National Wrestling Coaches Association
  • Rotary Club of Charlottsville
  • Rotary Club of the Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Special Olympics Virginia
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • University of Virginia Engineering School
  • University of Virginia Human Resources
  • University of Virginia Student Athlete Excellence Awards


Failure is the scariest, hairiest topic you can unleash in a room full of big dreamers, but Jim’s confidence, empathy, and intelligent ideas helped us flip the beast on its head. By sharing on his own experiences with struggle and success and providing easy-to-use tools to inspire, define, and move us toward our goals, he made it safe (and easy!) for us to step into the ring, defeat our internal saboteurs, and let go of our fears of failure so we can finally succeed.
Elizabeth Derby
Brand consultant,

Jim hit a homerun when he spoke to my engineering class at the University of Virginia.  In his professional, athletic, and family lives Jim has exemplified the attributes needed for success.  I encourage everyone with the opportunity to consider him for a speaker on the topics of leadership, communication, and the value of failure.
Ross Thomas, PhD.
Adjunct professor, University of Virginia School of Engineering

We were looking for someone who could not only lead a goal-oriented workshop for the inaugural Business of Food Conference, but who was also engaging and knowledgeable enough to serve as the day’s MC, weaving together the agenda throughout the day for all the attendees by motivating and inspiring them to maximize their experience and take-aways.  We were very pleased – Jim was all that and so much more!  
Betty Hoge
Director, Central Virginia Small Business Development Center

Your presentation spoke volumes to me. While the idea is simple, we learn from our mistakes, life, work and experiences do not always lend itself to this philosophy. The idea of failure is an important component of education and while we place such significance on test scores, graduation rates, and having the highest GPA; I was reminded failures are the most important part of the equation. Furthermore, we must allow them to become socially acceptable in education.  Until we do so, we will continue to see today’s youth struggle to reach a level of perfection that is not sustainable. Thank you for your inspiring words!
Jill Dahl
Principal, Charlottesville High School

I can’t give you enough praise for today.  My students were inspired. I was inspired.  I don’t know if you realize the power of your presentation but it is real.  I love the way you get your message across through your stories; my students were hanging on every word.
Steve Foutz
Founder, Albemarle Leadership Academy