Born in Point Grove, Pennsylvania to a family of humble means, he was born with such a weak and fragile heart that he was not expected to survive childhood. At age 14, the Great Depression hit and he left ninth grade to get a job and help support his family. He found work in a local dry cleaners and quickly learned every aspect of operating the business, working his way up to manager.
When World War II broke out, he wanted to join up but he was rejected by the military because of a very serious heart condition he had been born with. In order to serve, Shoaff worked as a medical volunteer with the American Field Service overseas. After the war, he was told that this combat duty had caused further heart complications. Faced with a pessimistic prognosis of his mortality, Shoaff was determined to live life to its fullest. He married his sweetheart, Flossie, and proceeded to open his own dry cleaning business which he named “Earl’s Cleaners” in Michigan.
The Michigan Winters were getting rough on Shoaff’s elderly parents, so, in 1950, Earl and Flossie decided to sell their dry cleaning business and move, with his parents, to Long Beach, California. Earl got a job at Desmond’s department store pressing suits and settled into daily California life.
The Shoaff’s next door neighbor, Marvin Wendt, took them to a success lecture in Long Beach given by Dr. J. B. Jones in the early part of 1953. Jones was a fervent believer and practitioner of the laws of success and toured the county giving lectures on how anyone who applied these laws could be, do and have anything they wanted. Dr. Jones wrote a book in the 1950′s titled The Success Quadrant that captures his philosophy and reveals the origins of Earl Shoaff and Jim Rohn’s success.
Trading on his philosophy of abundance, Jones founded a nutritional supplement company called “The AbundaVita Corporation of America.” Mesmerized by Jones, when Shoaff saw what AbundaVita offered, he joined on the spot and became a shining star in the company. Studying closely with Dr. Jones, Shoaff did so well he was promoted to VP of Sales and began touring the country giving speeches on Jones’ success philosophy and recruiting others into AbundaVita. It was at one of these seminars where a young Jim Rohn came to hear Shoaff speak. Rohn was so impressed with Shoaff, he signed up as a distributor of AbundaVita’s product line.
2 years later, Shoaff (with best friends Rich Schnackenberg and Harry Ebbert) started The Nutri-Bio Corporation in July, 1957. Under Shoaff’s leadership, Nutri-Bio quickly became a “national mania” growing to 115,000 distributors in the USA and Canada and he became a multi-millionaire.
On September 5, 1965, Earl Shoaff died from complications of pneumonia.
Some of his quotes include:
“Don’t trust your memory, keep a journal.”
“This is not all the company pays…it’s all they pay YOU!”
“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
“Profits are better than wages.”
“It doesn’t cost too much, the truth is, you can’t afford it!”
“The true mark of greatness is not found in what a person does with their own life. It is found in helping others discover that, they too, can become great.”
“Nothing comes to us, everything comes through us from us. Everything in this world that happens to us comes from in here, not out here.”
“Let’s not be moons, the reflector of the light. Let’s be suns. Let’s be the creator of the light – the creator of ideas. We all have the capacity.”