Skip to main content

Episode 66 — John Morgan — The King of the Jungle Returns: LIVE from the EVOLVE Summit

"The one secret that I have found: it's not brains. It's the willingness to work. Nobody that I know that is very successful has not been a hard worker." - John Morgan

  • How do you get all the people in your organization working towards the same objective?
  • What keeps John going even after achieving so much?
  • How does he keep growing the biggest PI firm in the nation?
  • Why did John diversify into the attractions industry?

A Start with Heart

John Morgan sits atop the summit of American personal injury law. His firm, Morgan & Morgan, is the largest PI firm in the US with 94 offices in 49 states. John's law practice employs over 700 attorneys and tries more cases than anyone else in the country.

John rose from humble beginnings. After growing up poor in Florida and Kentucky, John's older brother Tim was severely injured while working as a lifeguard for Walt Disney World. But Tim was denied help and compensation by his employer. So John dedicated his life to fighting for individuals like Tim, who had been denied help and treated unfairly.

Outwork, Outgrow

John has several philosophies that have brought him success. He shares these in his two books, "You Can't Teach Hungry" and "You Can't Teach Vision." To John, hunger is paramount. To be satisfied is to be finished. You can achieve all sorts of unbelievable outcomes if you are willing to put in the effort and never stop driving forward. As he says, "The most successful people that I know in my life — it's not that they were the smartest. They were the hardest working." To John, a leader's job is to find and cultivate people with that hunger and make sure they're all pointed in the same direction, towards the same goals.

Another of his favorite phrases is, "If you're not growing, you're dying." John doesn't slow down. Even as leader of the largest PI firm in the country, he's constantly expanding geographically and vertically. Just this year, he's added new practice areas like toxic tort litigation. The growth never ends.

Lending a Hand

John brings the same passion to other areas of his life. He champions causes that he believes in, regardless of political affiliation. Fighting for the legalization of marijuana has earned him the nickname "PotDaddy,'' and he led the charge to pass the $15 minimum wage in Florida, a state not known for its progressive policymaking. He and his wife have also broken ground on the Morgan & Morgan Hunger Relief Center and started Harbor House, which provides help for abused women and children.

John has expanded in business too. Since 1997, he has owned and operated a series of "edutainment" centers called WonderWorks. These attractions, often styled to look like a building crash-landed upside down, contain hands-on science exhibits and exhilarating educational demonstrations for kids. Now five locations strong, WonderWorks does gangbusters for John and helps engage local students in STEM education. True to form, he has found a way to make money while also helping the people around him.

Key takeaways:

  • Alignment is key. Make sure you and the people working for you have the same goals, otherwise you'll get nowhere.
  • Believe in yourself. At the end of the day, you're the person you can rely on the most.
  • Swim upstream. Resistance means you're moving in the right direction.

Links and Resources