Earl Heard's 'meaningful media' inspires and uplifts
by Lisa Tramontana
Earl Heard vividly recalls the moment his priorities changed. It was August of 1997 and he was on one of his many business visits to Houston when he was carjacked at gunpoint and beaten into unconsciousness. He remembers believing that every breath he took would be his last. “My first thoughts were of God and my family,” he said. “I feared I would die before I got help, and as I went in and out of consciousness and eventually made it to the hospital, I kept promising God that if he would spare me, I’d devote the rest of my life to being a better Christian and to sharing his message of love and forgiveness with others.”
Heard made good on his promise immediately and in 2005, founded BIC Media Solutions, a company that produces “meaningful media,” including books, films and speaking events that help people find peace, happiness and success. If anyone knows about the search for those elusive virtues, it’s Heard, whose 50-year entrepreneurial career has been filled with more ups and downs than most people can imagine.
He began his career with Ethyl Corp. as an operator in 1965, and left in 1980 to launch a training video production company. Unfortunately, the company folded in just two years, and nearing the age of 40, Earl found himself starting all over again. He founded Business & Industry Communications (BIC) Alliance in 1984, but it was a struggle to make the company a success. He admits that the 1980s were a time of great hardship for himself, his wife Bodi and their daughter Dane. In his book It’s What We Do Together That Counts , Heard describes the difficulties he has faced – crushing debt, family problems, career setbacks, the death of loved ones, physical stress, a business partner issue, tax problems, and insults from others who belittled his ideas and doubted his ability to overcome adversity. “But in the end,” he says, “all of those things made me more determined and brought me closer to God and my family.”
Indeed, Heard can rest easy these days. At 75, he and Bodi now have three grandchildren and celebrated their 50th anniversary on Valentine’s Day this year. Their son-in-law Thomas Brinsko is at the helm of Heard’s multi-faceted business BIC Alliance (which includes BIC Magazine), IVS Investment Banking, and BIC Media Solutions. The Heards are grateful that they now have more time to dedicate to family and worthy causes in the community.
Best of all, Heard can focus on the “meaningful media” branch of his company, which continues to grow. BMS has published 10 books and three films, all with messages of hope and inspiration. In the last few years, Heard has especially enjoyed the filmmaking aspect of the company.
Rock Bottom and Back – From celebrities to ordinary people, this film chronicles the personal stories of people who have overcome remarkable adversity – abuse, drugs, alcoholism, etc. – and are now giving back to society and living Christian lives.
A Gift Horse - Torn apart by the loss of her mother, Amanda spends time at a ranch where she develops a special bond with an unloved and rejected horse named Misty. Amanda turns Misty into a true champion and restores her own happiness in the process.
Urban Country – A troubled young girl decides to move to her family-owned horse ranch in a small town and care for her dying mother. The trailer is complete and the film will be released in coming months.
BMS projects not only spread a positive message, but they are partly produced with local talent, including scriptwriters, authors, filmmakers and production assistants. Heard says he is also proud of the partnership between BMS and New Orleans Mission, which provides food, shelter and spiritual guidance to the homeless in New Orleans, and in a new program, is giving them opportunities to train for film production work.
In everything he does, Heard looks for ways to help others, focus on the positive, and be a better person. In fact, that’s the topic of his most recent video, Becoming a Better Person , which can be viewed online at BicMediaSolutions.com.
“I really believe happiness is a choice,” Heard said. “And I think most people want to be happy and make others happy as well. This begins by becoming a better person. How? First, you have to make that decision and commit to it. Second, you have to list all the things you need to change in your life. Third, you have to clean house. Get rid of temptations. Sometimes, it even means letting friends go. If they are pulling you down, they shouldn’t be in your life.”
Being a better person also means looking for ways to be of service and help to others. “If you have hit ‘rock bottom’ and you’ve been able to lift yourself up, that’s a great joy,” Heard said. “But if you can help another person do the same, it’s an even greater joy!”
The time to make changes in your life is sooner, rather than later. After all, no one knows how much time he has …
“Train yourself to always think about God and family first and foremost,” Heard said. “We are all going to leave a legacy … after we are gone, we will be measured by what we did to make the world a better place.”
For more information about the BIC Alliance companies, including BIC Media Solutions, check out BICMagazine.com, BICMediaSolutions.com, or call (800) 460-4242.