Six years ago, God blessed me with an amazing opportunity to begin working with Forrest [Walden] and the Iron Tribe brand. In 2011, I got the chance to open up the second-ever Iron Tribe gym on Highway 280 in Birmingham, and then in 2012, Forrest invited me to join him as an equity partner in the entire brand, as we began to open up more of our own gyms and launched the Iron Tribe Franchise partnership opportunity.

I’ve had a ton of fun laboring each day with our team to serve our franchisees and gym members at Iron Tribe locations across America – as our footprint has grown beyond 40 gyms in 15 states, impacting thousands of lives and winning some pretty awesome awards, like the most recent INC. 5000 honor as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for the third straight year!

As fun as its been and as thankful as I am, I’ve decided to accept a generous buyout for my ownership in Iron Tribe, and thus, I am stepping down from my role as President. I’m confident that this a great decision for me as an entrepreneur, my family and for the Iron Tribe brand. I’m still as bullish as ever, on the growth ahead for Iron Tribe and extremely excited for Forrest, the Leadership Team and our franchise partners, for what lies ahead.

I will remain a part of our brand as a client here in Birmingham, along with my wife Yazmin, based at the Iron Tribe 150 community. I’ll be at our annual TribeCon Franchise Conference as an attendee, to be there to visit with our franchise community and support our leadership as they take Iron Tribe to its next phase of growth.  

As I move on to my next chapter, I reminisce with some of my favorite moments from the past six years;


I’ll never forget the first-ever workout at the first-ever Iron Tribe.


Standing at the freshly built Iron Tribe 280 location. The second-ever Iron Tribe gym!


This was the original Iron Tribe Headquarters – 400 Sq. Ft. of beautiful space! This was some operations training I put together before we opened up our third and fourth Iron Tribe gyms in Birmingham!


Forrest and I traveled to Phoenix for Infusionsoft’s annual conference, as finalists for the Small Business iCon award. On the same day we opened up our fourth gym (Iron Tribe Mountain Brook) and launched the Iron Tribe Franchise model, we won this award as Infusionsoft’s top user in the world!


Especially as our team continued to grow, it became harder to get everyone together, but that much more special when we could. Here is the team from the first four Iron Tribe gyms and our growing corporate team, at one of our awesome annual Christmas parties.


We’ve been blessed with a lot of smart entrepreneurs around us, to help us learn and build systems, tools and solutions to scale Iron Tribe more efficiently. This picture is with Dave Lee and Brad Martineau from Sixth Division, where we built some awesome examples of just that.


I never knew my broadcasting skills from my younger days, could come in handy in business. But our growth at Iron Tribe has given me the incredible opportunity to get on stage in dozens of cities and talk to other entrepreneurs. Something I get really charged up on doing!


Last year, I got to dust off my coaching skills a bit, as I went on a “President’s Tour” and visited Iron Tribe gyms all over the country. I got to coach with our teams at each gym, as well as meet clients and hear their Iron Tribe stories!


Forrest and I were able to do the first visit on our respective CEO/President Road Tour, together. In Tuscaloosa, we were able to lead a team meeting with franchise owner Kevin Gann and his entire team.

We’ve been coached by some amazing experts. Most recently, we spent the last year or so getting coached by Dave Ramsey and the guys at EntreLeadership, who have taught us so much about leading and learning as an entrepreneur.


Rarely did we ever miss a workout while on the road growing the Iron Tribe brand. I think I’ve hiked up Camelback in Phoenix, at least 5 times. The first one was with Forrest in a really tough time in my life (had just lost my mom). I’ll never forget this hike. We dreamt big.


We established our Leadership Team 2.5 years ago. Every week, month, quarter, etc., we get together to work on the things it takes to grow our brand for greater impact. What an amazing team!


The first-ever TribeCon annual franchise conference. This even brings together our brand ambassadors from across the country, every November. I’ll be attending the fourth annual TribeCon this year. Can’t wait to see everyone!


What an amazing opportunity. God has truly blessed me. Iron Tribe is bigger than I, and will continue to grow and impact folks without me as President. I’m so very thankful for the opportunity to have served for the past six years and help this brand get to where it is today. Thank you Forrest, Leadership Team, Franchise Partners and especially our members across the brand; you were why I worked as hard as I could for this brand and I hope I can do so again in my next chapter.


My TribeCast Interview w. Legendary Sports Reporter Roy S. Johnson

##### Roy S. Johnson has quite a unique perspective.

From growing up as an African-American in the Civil Rights era in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to his college tenure at Stanford University thereafter, Roy was groomed for his eventual career in journalism.

For three decades, he was based in New York, where he worked for the likes of Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, and Men’s Fitness. He’s appeared in, directed and co-produced documentaries on ESPN, including ESPN’s acclaimed 30 For 30 series.

He came up at a time where African-American journalists were few and far between. Roy’s work paved the way for many incredible journalists who would come after his arrival, and he did it at a time where African-American athletes like Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, Isaiah Thomas, and many others, used their platform to create change in sport.

Roy was there to cover it. He covered Michael Jordan’s 3-Peats and the rise of Tiger Woods in golf. He’s seen a lot, covered a diverse cast of characters in sports and business, and then he ended up in Birmingham, Alabama of all places, in 2014.

I saw a piece he wrote on Ali recently, for the Alabama Media Group (, which Roy is now working for as a sports columnist. His name seemed familiar. I knew I had seen it before in an ESPN film and sure enough, I looked him up to find out I was on point!

We connected and our conversations were so contagious that I just had to get him on for a TribeCast interview. I’m proud that God connected us and excited to share our talks with you.


Why My Wife and I Chose To Start A New Business Together


“Work can convince you that you are working hard for your family, while you are being seduced through ambition to neglect them. Don’t let it happen. Don’t sacrifice the most important thing in your life for your dreams.”

– Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor

I’ll never forget the cloudy January day, when I finished Every Good Endeavor, a manuscript blessed with the wisdom of New York City Pastor Tim Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian).

This book pushed me to realize that my work is temporary, but my life is eternal. I walked away from it with a challenge to myself, to not let the “law of diminishing intent” win, as it does with most continuing education or personal development attempts. You know, when you read or hear something and get excited, only to do nothing with it in your own life.

I chose to push myself a bit, by thinking about ways I can further leverage my gifts from God, to be a blessing beyond any monetary score or career accomplishment that the world would hold high. Instead, using those relationships to share my personal story of faith with others, giving them a chance to hear about the greatest hope we have – Jesus.

“How can I dream without making my dream bigger than the relationships God has blessed me with?”

– My Internal Question after reading Every Good Endeavor

For those who know me well – let’s face it; I am a passionate dreamer who likes to architect an idea into a plan that I am willing to carry out as the mason [if possible].

This is something the world celebrates. This is something I embrace. But is there a point where this is an idol and not only a distraction from my relationships with those I love, but also a distraction from my faith?

My answer was and is an astounding “Yes”.

So my conviction when I read this back in January 2013, was that I must use my work to attempt to further impact everyone I lead or come in to contact with; this includes customers, team members, friends, family, and especially my wife and children.

Let’s read it again;

“Work can convince you that you are working hard for your family while you are being seduced through ambition to neglect them. Don’t let it happen. Don’t sacrifice the most important thing in your life for your dreams.”

Seduced? Am I actually seduced? Am I neglecting my loved ones but blind to it, because of my addiction to the ambition and intense passion for which I dream?

Tough questions to ask yourself. Tough questions I asked myself.

I began to set better parameters in my life, while still passionately dreaming, but for a greater purpose.

I am still setting these parameters every day and getting feedback on where I fall short. Feedback from my business partner, Forrest. Feedback from my Leadership Team. Feedback from my wife. Feedback from friends. Feedback from my kids.

It’s not always easy to hear, but it always gets through my head in a way that makes me better.

It will be an everlasting challenge for a guy like me to disconnect from my dreams and enjoy the present moment with those relationships God has blessed me with.

To “be where my feet are,” as Dr. Kevin Elko so simply puts it.

During these past few years of praying, reading, writing and digesting these questions, my wife Yazmin has been building a side business in our garage. Women from throughout our Ross Bridge neighborhood here in metro Birmingham, let alone from neighborhoods all over the city, have been coming to our home to get their hair, makeup or spray tan on a regular basis.

You see, my wife has dreams too. And as much as she respects my dreams; they aren’t her’s.

She has been building this beauty business in our garage, while giving birth to and raising our three children, Savanah, Sofia and James IV.

Pretty incredible!

Yazmin and I share in the passionate dreaming we do for our marriage, as we have dreams for our lives together. We also share in the passionate dreaming we do for our kids, and the things we hope they get to experience in their own lives.

But, as I saw her building her new business, I thought about what it could look like for us to share in a business dream together. Because I love everything about being an entrepreneur and she loves everything about what she gets to do for her female clients with the beauty services she so wonderfully provides.

I also thought about what it could look like for our children to see us starting and growing a business together, and how they could contribute, learn, and the natural ways our relationships with them could grow through this experience.

After lots of prayer, ideating and journaling; GLOW was born.

Yazmin originally fought for a brick and mortar salon concept, offering these hair, makeup and spray tan services, amongst others. Although I thoroughly enjoy the brick and mortar route we’ve taken with Iron Tribe, I felt like the opportunity for GLOW was more in line with the recent growth of the tech industry’s “on demand economy”.

Together, Yazmin and I designed a plan to pair two key groups through a mobile app we would call GLOW; the existing network of trained professionals who want to deliver these hair, makeup and spray tanning services when their schedule allows, and the other group is the marketplace of women who need to access these professionals in an on demand format that makes it easy to research and schedule an appointment to come to their home, place of work, hotel, or even for the customer to visit the professional’s place of work.

The past eight months have been intense, with lots of work amongst our existing roles as parents and my existing role as President of Iron Tribe. We’ve had to fund the business, which has meant sacrifices in other areas of our lives.

And the blessing of Matt Landers, CEO of Platypi, along with his wonderful team of co-founders and staff, has been the key to getting GLOW branded and designing our GLOW marketing plan together to the point where we’ve SOLD OUT our brand launch party.

In addition to the branding and digital marketing, Platypi is building the GLOW app, which launches on the Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores later this summer.

Ultimately, Yazmin and I are dreaming together, as a family.

It’s a blessing that God has given me, to be able to do something like this. And, one of many things my leadership position at Iron Tribe continues to teach me, I can use this blessing to bless others.

GLOW will follow in our Iron Tribe footsteps to “Connect God’s Blessings With His Purpose”, as we will bless others with our hopeful growth as a brand here in Birmingham and beyond.

I’m so excited to be able to embark on this journey with my wife.



My TribeCast Interview w. Greg Everett of Catalyst Athletics

Presented by SFH – Stronger Faster Healthier

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Click HERE: Download TRIBECast On Apple iTunes!

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Show Notes
  • Jim talks with Greg about his time with Robb Wolfe at NorCal Strength and Conditioning and what led him to Start Catalyst and focus more intently on professional weightlifters.
  • Jim and Greg discuss the differences between progression and scaling and what methodology is more effective.
  • Greg gives his insight on wearable fitness trackers as well as the state of the fitness industry today.
About Greg Everett

Greg Everett is the head coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, which has won multiple National Championship and American Open team medals, and whose over twenty national level lifters have collectively won over a dozen individual national competition medals. He remains a competitive lifter at the senior national level with a top placement of fifth in the National Championships, and is the 2015 Masters National Champion and masters American record holder in the clean & jerk in the 105kg 35-39-year-old category.

Everett is the primary content creator for Catalyst Athletics, known internationally as one of the top sources for weightlifting educational material and weightlifting training programs, and publisher of multiple books on weightlifting. Catalyst Athletics also offers coaching certification based on Everett’s methods and curriculum, and has been providing weightlifting seminars around the world for almost ten years. He has authored multiple popular books; Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches has been the most popular book on weightlifting available since shortly after its original release in 2008.

He owns the Catalyst Athletics gym in Sunnyvale, California, where he coaches his competitive weightlifting team, and which also provides training for recreational weightlifters and athletes of other sports, and has published the monthly journal, The Performance Menu, for over ten years.

In 2013, Everett released the first feature-length documentary film on the sport of weightlifting in the US, American Weightlifting, which he wrote, directed, produced, shot and edited on his own with no outside funding.


About Jim Cavale:
As Iron Tribe’s President, Jim’s focus is scaling the Iron Tribe Fitness athlete experience throughout all of its gym markets, leading each of his department Vice Presidents and Franchisees to innovate new growth strategies and engage their respective teams to achieve the brand’s purpose of creating fitness communities that change lives!

Jim Speaking On Stage