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Secret Millionaire: James Malinchak Talks About His Experience On The Show

March 25, 2011 10:00 AM by Veronica Dudo

Secret Millionaire: on ABC takes America’s millionaires away from their lavish lifestyles and places them in poor areas to live and volunteer. This week, millionaire James Malinchak traveled to Indiana in an effort to make a difference in lives of those he met.

On Sunday, viewers were introduced to secret millionaire, James Malinchak, who traveled to Gary, Indiana, a city hit hard by the economic downturn. Malinchak runs a training, seminar, coaching and consulting business. He also travels the country as a requested business and motivational speaker. He is a self-improvement specialist and is one of the top-selling authors of 16 books/products, including co-author of Chicken Soup for the College Soul.

Read Malinchak’s interview with ABC below about his experience on Secret Millionaire.

What surprised you most about your experience as a “Secret Millionaire”?
That I was actually giving much more than money. I was really giving the recipients hope, belief and recognition, and that means more to me than the money I gave.

How did you feel about the experience living “undercover”?
It was tough living undercover, trying not to reveal my identity. Whenever someone would ask about my background, I turned the focus to their organization and the great work they were doing. I almost slipped-up once when I slipped into “James the business guy” and started teaching Coach Tony how to ask for donations. The producers got concerned and took me aside to let me know I was about to blow my cover! Ooops! Sorry, when I see a friend who needs help, I have to step in.

How did you feel living on such a limited amount of money for a week?
I first learned that I would be living on $44.66 for the entire week when I arrived in Gary, IN and entered my apartment. At first I panicked because that’s not something I’ve ever done before. But then developed a strategy for making it last…and it worked!

Has your life changed since this experience? In what ways?
Every person I met while volunteering for the different organizations in Gary, IN made an impression on me that will last forever. They all taught me that “Rich Is More Than Money” and taught me a new meaning of the word RICH: R, Relationships are everything; I, Inspire others with your actions; C: Contribute and serve others; H, Have a happy mindset.

Do you have any suggestions or advice for someone who wants to become involved in helping their community?
The greatest gift you can have is when you simply give to others. You can give money, time and skills. There’s no better feeling in the world when you know you’ve made a positive difference in lives of others.

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Photo Credit: ABC

Topics: ABC Reality TV Shows, Secret Millionaire |

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