Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Expose Yourself #1 – Smilin’ Bill


About a year ago, when I moved my site to, I promised I’d bring to your attention some of the interesting people I know or have met. It took a little while to make this one happen, but I keep my promises.

In this series of articles, I’ll talk to people who have been successful at taking control of their lives, making a name for themselves, and helping others to do the same. I’m very fortunate to have met them, and very thankful they have agreed to spend a few minutes talking with me to share part of their stories. We’re going to delve into what it took to propel these people from ordinary lives into extraordinary lives. We’ll find out where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going as each guest is asked to “Expose Yourself”.

Today I’m talking to a real, living legend. Inspired by the likes of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Tom Mix, he became a cowboy musician and horseman who performed across the Midwest, all before he turned 18. At 21, God came into his life and set him on a new path. Starting at age 29, he began a career as a highly successful environmental engineer, designing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of public works projects. During the next 33 years he married, started a family, and became a church leader.

He recently began to write and is now a highly acclaimed author with an award-winning book, creating his own publishing company in the process. Today, you might mistake this pillar of the community for a spry 60 year old because he’s so active in his community, but what got my attention was his super-positive attitude, an encouraging word for everyone, and a laugh that comes easily.

In the 1940’s, you knew him on stage as, “Smilin’ Bill and his Wonder Horse King.” Please welcome William Cummins!

WC: Hello everyone! Please call me Bill.

JC: Howdy, Bill, thanks for coming; I’m totally psyched! This is almost like getting Marilyn Monroe in the inaugural issue of Playboy, except you get to keep your clothes on.

WC: That’s quite a comparison… Marilyn has always been one of my favorites.

JC: Okay, Bill, I know you don’t have a lot of time, so let’s get right to it. Where are you in your life, or career, or pursuit of your goals?

WC: Recently I authored the highly acclaimed relationship book, Life Is Sexually Transmitted, and the award winning, The Forgotten - Volume One, honoring Korean War Veterans, which I published with my own publishing company. Currently I’m writing a book about my cowboy days entitled, KING and the COWBOY. I’m also expanding CAI Publishing by offering FREE Publishing Services to aspiring authors.

JC: That’s a lot you’ve got going on. How did you get started?

WC: I was born on a farm in Ohio during the Great Depression. I fell in love with horses the first time my Dad lifted me high onto the back of his favorite draft horse, named Babe. When I saw my first western movie, I set my sights on becoming a singing cowboy and horse trainer. My biggest inspiration then was Gene Autry. Despite a serious hand injury at age nine, I achieved my dream and headlined across the Midwest on stage and radio as, “Smilin’ Bill and His Wonder Horse King.”

JC: You loved being a cowboy; what made you give it up?

WC: When I was 19, I took a factory job to make enough money to keep my cowboy career going. Then Rockwell offered me an apprenticeship in engineering design and the rest was history.

JC: How did you get where you are now? What does it take to be a success?

WC: My secret is to dream BIG. I believe that whatever you think about and dwell upon, you will produce in your experience. Therefore, you should be careful of what you wish for and then prepare for it to come into your life.

JC: That’s huge. I’m stumped trying to think of a question to get you to expand on that, to show us how we can do that ourselves and start making our own big dreams into reality.

WC: Success is the attitude of believing you are following God’s plan for you. I was often asked how I solved difficult engineering problems. My reply was, “I pray a lot, and today I still do.”

JC: Where are you going next? What’s the next goal, the next step, the next whatever?

WC: I’m always expecting bigger and better things, because God never discards those who love Him. I hope to soon break open the secret of successfully marketing quality books for myself and other authors. But wherever God leads me, I will follow and pursue it with all the passion I can muster.

JC: What are you doing to get where you’re going?

WC: I want to assist as many writers as possible in achieving their goals. To do that I’ve developed a system called ‘CAI FREE Publishing.’ It finances the publication costs by selling a percentage of the future revenue from book sales.

JC: Why and how did you start your own publishing company?

WC: While writing my first book, I found there was a need for a simpler way to produce books that would treat the authors fairly. Based upon lots of personal research, I decided to only use professional editing, formatting, cover design, and printing. By following these decisions it was only a small step to creating my own publishing company because all the critical blocks were in place.

JC: Guys, I could go on and on, begging for more and more detail, but I’ve taken quite a bit of time from Bill’s writing schedule as it is. There’s just such a huge variety of things to ask him about, so many different careers and accomplishments. I’m simply going to have to have him back again someday so I can pick his brain a little more, get some juicy details about his cowboy show and the book he’s writing about it.

JC: Take a gander at the books William Cummins has to offer. The Forgotten looks powerful, like it could change the way we see Korean War history and that part of our world; Life Is Sexually Transmitted packs a wallop about dating, mating, and marriage; and after all I've heard about it, I can’t wait to see King and the Cowboy in my book store!

JC: Thank you very much, Bill, for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us out. I really appreciate your helping me inspire people to reach for their dreams! Good luck with the new book and the free publishing offer; I'm sure I’ll be signing up for it as soon as I get my own book finished.

WC: Thank you Jaycee. Expose Yourself is a wonderful idea you have started with your own dream. I’m reminded of the young buck who was asked, “Why did you volunteer to paddle our chief across the river?” He smiled and replied, “Because he who rows his chief across the river gets there too!

Other articles you'll find interesting or helpful:
"Expose Yourself" Articles List
Hey baby, what's your sign?
To Your Health - Part 1
Stony King - 2009



  1. There's a lot of powerful information here:

    "Success is the attitude..."

    "I’m always expecting..."

    Very insightful

  2. That is so exciting and you did a great interview.

  3. Bill Cummins Is one of the best Authors I have ever
    met. May he write many more books.

    May God Bless,
    Andrew Jackson

  4. Hey everyone! Thanks for the wonderful comments so far, please keep them coming. It's hard to say too many good things about someone like Bill Cummins.

    I realize that not everyone can be a super-nerdy computer-geek like me, and maybe it's a little hard for some of you to figure out how to leave comments? One of the things I do in my spare time is help teach people how to use computers (I'll post more about that later), so I know that sometimes they're confusing for some people. I can't figure out how to crochet or change my spark plugs, so maybe we can work out a trade. :)

    Bill and I have received a few comments over email. I don't want the computer to be a barrier to your ability to share your message with the world, and the encouraging comments are just as much a part of the process of helping the readers as the articles themselves are, so for those commenters who signed their names, I've posted excerpts from their emails (sans name, in case they didn't want to be publicly indentified).

    Thank you all for your kind and encouraging words. Please spread the good word and the good attitude, and together we'll change the world.

    These are the email comments:

    Bill I sure enjoyed reading about you, [...] I especially liked about your faith in God as I am a Christian too that really impressed me. I sure appreciate your caring enough about us Korean Veterans to honor us with your book.

    That was a great story. It makes me feel very proud that I consider myself to be a good friend of Bill Cummins and his lovely wife Ann. This was a great interview. Thanks for sharing.

    Ride ummm Cowboy!!!! Outstanding!!


    I just read your interview with William Cummins. [...] I liked the interview. It was laid back and relaxed.


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