Jim Lawlor, also known as “The PB Millionaire,” was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and moved to Iowa with his large family of six sisters and two brothers at the age of five. His mother was an ER nurse, his father, an administrator for the FBI. Jim was an above average student with a natural propensity to build things, including his own toys. At the age of 12 he built his own go-kart complete with a gasoline engine. He excelled at sports and in college was the quarterback of the football team, but his athletic career was short-lived due to injuries, so he turned his attention to his passion for photography. He won a photography scholarship and studied art but changed his major and graduated with a degree in business administration at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
Despite having a college degree, Jim found it difficult finding work in a bad economy and with his art background, painted houses as a way to make ends meet. One day while spray painting a house, his eyes became very irritated by the back spray of paint. He tried wearing goggles, but they quickly became useless when the spray paint stuck to the lens, obstructing his vision. It was then that Jim had his “ah-ha” moment. His inventive mind and his education all came into play at that one instant. Within a few days, his invention of spray painting goggles was drawn on his sketch pad, and within a few weeks he had a working prototype. He set up a small manufacturing facility and gradually began marketing his spray painting goggles.
The first few years in San Diego were tough for Jim. On several nights he slept in his car or on the beach until he found a small office space in Pacific Beach for only $200/month. The landlord had no idea that he had planned to sleep there as well. The tiny office provided a roof over his head as well as a place where he could begin working on his new company. Jim hid his clothes in the drop ceiling and showered at the nearby fitness club. He was careful not to park his car near the office at night and to keep the lights low as to not draw attention to himself living there. For more than 2 years he got away with it and was eventually able to find an apartment that he could finally afford a few blocks away. All the while he was setting up his manufacturing plant in Mexico where the orders began to get larger and larger.
By 2005 his company’s annual sales were over a million dollars. In 2006, he bought a house in PB and a year-and-a-half later converted it into a castle – better known as the “PB Castle.” Although he still owns his goggle business, he spends most of his time working on his newest brain child: “The PB Reality Show.” He attributes his accomplishments to his daily meditations which he has been doing since he was a teenager. Jim also writes inspiring blogs, giving insightful advice with spirituality as the basis of success.
Since becoming a millionaire he puts his wealth to use with the PB Millionaire Charity Fund which donates to various well-known charities. His favorite charity, however, is helping the homeless in San Diego. Jim is probably most famous, though, for his legendary parties and millionaire lifestyle. A self-described “bachelor for life”, he enjoys giving his guests a total experience that they will never forget. He says it’s all about giving, whether it is to a homeless person or a guest at his party.
Jim was nick-named the “PB Millionaire” by his film crew and it stuck despite the fact that he doesn’t like it. With his humble upbringing, he doesn’t let it go to his head and constantly reminds people that he prefers just “Jim.”