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Griffiths writes first book

January 10, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Jim Griffiths, long-time Pine Island resident and publisher of "The Nautical Mile," has written his first book, "Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It!"

"Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It!" is a book about "bridging the gap between school and life. It's a book about creative thinking and thinking like an entrepreneur," Griffiths said. "If people would adopt entrepreneurial thinking into their personal lives it would solve many of our personal challenges as a nation."

Griffiths adopted "entrepreneurial thinking" early in life. After leaving Cape Coral, Griffiths spent his teenage years in the Florida Keys spending much of his time fishing. Griffiths credits much of his success in life to his first "entrepreneurial thinking" experience when he was a teenager in Key Largo.

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"We all love what we're good at," Griffiths said. "I found something I loved and I was great at fishing. Or rather the reward of catching."

Griffiths watched the schools of snappers swimming in his canal and studied their behavior. Small snappers were easy to catch but Griffiths wanted a big one. By studying their behavior over several weeks of trial and error, he caught a 15-inch snapper.

"About as big as they got in that canal," Griffiths said. "I experienced failure, frustration and the inability to accomplish something I had put so much effort into. The story about catching the 15-inch snapper isn't about fishing. It's about consistently trying something different, improving technique and learning from your mistakes. It's about not giving up."

At 14 years old, Griffiths ran away from home, making his way to Sacramento, Calif. At 17 he joined a rock band but after learning he didn't have musical talent, he headed for Dutch Harbor, Alaska, where he spent two seasons commercial fishing.

A friend gave Griffiths a book, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach. "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" is "a story for one who knows that somewhere there's a higher way of living than scuffing the tracks of others, someone who yearns to fly the way their own heart yearns to fly ..."

"Seagull wasn't about flying high or fast," Griffiths said "It was about breaking your own barriers, physically and mentally. I learned a lot from that book."

Returning to Florida at 22 years old, Griffiths tried his hand at publishing.

"I placed classified ads all over the U.S.," Griffiths said. "I sold 'The Alaska Quest,' a three-book set on how to get a job in Alaska for $39.95. People would call the toll free number - I never talked to a person. I kept changing the recording they heard until I started to make sales."

"The Alaska Quest" didn't make a lot of money but, "it offered great entrepreneurial lessons," Griffiths said. "It builds your skills."

"'The Nautical Mile' began in August of 2003 as a flyer that soon became a publication for the coastal community for Southwest Florida," Griffiths said. "It is a newspaper-style magazine that's a source of information. I learned more in the first year about being an entrepreneur than anything else I've done. In that first year you build the foundation for years to come.

"Entrepreneurs don't think out of the box, they invent boxes and they make things better...," Griffiths said. "That's why I wrote the book. I want to share the things I've learned about problem solving and getting the life you want. Entrepreneurial thinking will give the reader the life skills that will take them anywhere they want to go."

Griffiths book "Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It" is available in paperback at -



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