Pipeliners Podcast - Episode 135 - Brian Dresel & Mayra Maese
Pipeliners Podcast – Episode 135 – Brian Dresel & Mayra Maese
July 7, 2020
Pipeliners Podcast - Episode 136 - Jen Holmstadt
Pipeliners Podcast – Episode 136 – Jen Holmstadt
July 14, 2020

CWJJ Episode 14: Jim Schauer & James Cross

Thursday, July 9- This week’s episode is something different, where Jim & James get a bit personal about what their passions are and how they met.

Episode Transcript:

Troy Hudson:  [0:00] Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, welcome to the most amazing interview show on the information superhighway, now Zooming to you live and simultaneously from to secret studio bunkers and dual time zones located somewhere south of Alaska, east of Area 51, north of Guantanamo, and if I give you one more clue we’ll all be in deep trouble. 

[0:22] It’s the amazing twin namesakes, separated at birth, the two most famous guys not in witness protection, it’s Coffee with Jim and James. 

[0:31] [applause]

Jim Schauer:  [0:38] Welcome to another exciting episode of Coffee with Jim and James. A big shout‑out to our LinkedIn community. We welcome you all. 

[0:47] OK, as I usually do every week, a little hint about today’s special guest, some things we might find out today. Were they separated at birth? Are they in secret bunkers north of Guantanamo, south of Alaska, near Area 51? Are they two of the most famous people not in witness protection? That one we’re going to…That one’s a tricky one.

[1:12] Always joining me is my partner in crime, my brother, Mr. James Cross. James, how are you this fine and beautiful morning, sir?

James Cross:  [1:22] I’m good. I’m excited about today’s episode. I put on my good hoodie. You know, generally when I’m, one of the first things I remember about, is every time I saw you in the industry you were wearing your your white button‑up shirt.

Jim:  [1:40] Yep.

James:  [1:41] Maybe unbuttoned a little too far, starched jeans, you know. You, you you didn’t waste…so, if you know anything about Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg and other people like that, they’ve, they’ve went down that path of, where they technically have a personal uniform.

[2:01] That way, the mindset behind it is that you don’t have to put any thought every day, or share that space up there. You can use it for other needs than what you’re going to wear, right? 

[2:11] So I’m telling you. I’ve embraced the EWN hoodie. You might have seen it on different episodes. But if I can get that across a with HR, that will be my uniform.

[2:24] But now, oh yeah, today is going to be just like diving in a little deeper on Jim and James. So, what we realized was, Jim and I were talking about it, that is Jim and I…That’s that’s an Easter egg of every episode, I think, when I say “Jim and I.” 

[2:44] We talked about the fact that actually we were inspired by our last guest, Roger Cox, who, we learned a lot about Roger that even Jim and I didn’t know, and what we realized was that we hadn’t done the same for ourselves. 

[3:02] And so we thought it would be neat to turn the, you know, turn the mic around a little bit and play the other role, so we’re going to be diving into that today. We’re excited about that. 

[3:12] Also, we’re going to kick it off and kind of rehash the story of when Jim and I met in the industry, and how we came to be, right? To where we’re at today. I never would have thought, you know, how many years ago? Four? Three and a half years ago or so, that who would have thought that we would have been doing the show together all this time later. 

[3:36] So we’re going to jump into that first. I think it’s an interesting story. And then we’ll jump into, we just got a short couple of questions Jim are going to, and I, are going to ask each other.

Jim:  [3:48] Yep.

James:  [3:48] And by the end of it we hope you learn a little bit more about us. Let’s go.

Jim:  [3:53] I like it. I like it. You want to kick off with our, how we met in the industry? Because, I tell you what, it’s, it’s close to my heart. And you’re so expressive with your your thoughts. Go ahead, Sir James.

James:  [4:07] Like a setup.

Jim:  [4:08] Yeah, I did.

James:  [4:09] I do remember, actually Jim and I probably met on LinkedIn first, and we shared some, you know, engagement on LinkedIn on different posts. We could tell, both of us were very active when it came to social media and getting the word out there. So I think we kind of latched onto each others’ posts, and really started building a relationship there.

[4:35] But it was actually at a Texas Gas Association event. I think it might have…like an [inaudible]?

Jim:  [4:43] San Antonio or San Marcus?

James:  [4:44] I think it was San Antonio [inaudible].

Jim:  [4:48] Yup.

James:  [4:48] So we we actually met there for the first time. I think even on LinkedIn we were like, “Hey, we’re going to be the same event,” because I think Jim was talking, or speaking at that event. 

[4:58] So I remember when Jim walked into the exhibit hall, I was kind of at the EWN booth, and here walks Jim. Jim, back then, this was the Jim with the long hair, pseudo mullet, again with the white shirt unbuttoned a little too far.

Jim:  [5:18] Laser.

James:  [5:19] Laser laser, and he rolled in like a rock star and I was like “Pff, OK?” and honestly at that point, yeah, right. “I’m like wow, the king has arrived.” And so, people would flock to him and talk to him when he got there and I was like, “All right.”

[5:37] So anyway, fast forward a little bit. We finally connected at the event, and I remember Jim was just trying to figure out who I was really and what…probably if I was worth his time, and we started to discuss how I didn’t know anybody in the industry. 

[5:54] So I told my story, and for those that don’t know, you know, I kind of walked away from the technology side about four years ago, a little over four years ago, and decided I was going to chase my passion. And so I told him that, you know, that’s how it came to be.

Jim:  [6:10] And it gripped me. Just so you know, James, it gripped me, that story.

James:  [6:14] Yeah, so he was like, “Hold on second. Tell me about this a little bit more,” and and so I think even later on we might have had dinner or something and we talked a little bit more but, you know, we share, we had a lot of shared…Obviously, you guys were clients back then, when you were with [inaudible], so we have shared events. We had shared engagement at different times. 

[6:39] And so, you know, it was years later when Jim decided to join us at EWN and it was kind of full circle. He had created champions within the building through these relationships and, you know, I was on board with it because of my engagement with them. I think you guys had sponsored some stuff with us as well, some conferences, brought some trucks out. 

[7:06] I mean, we really built up to that moment. So when Jim decided to come on board and join us at EWN, I was super excited about it. And again, looking back on it, it’s funny that that one interaction really built to where we are today. 

[7:22] So Jim and I have worked closely over the last couple years, and then now Jim is actually within the same department, so we get to share our vision and our goals, and obviously the what would you call this? It isn’t the silver screen. It’s like bronze or copper.

Jim:  [7:42] Yeah, maybe copper.

James:  [7:44] Computer. Yeah, like streaming that we’re on. But yeah, it’s a funny story. I don’t know, Jim, if you remember anything else that I didn’t cover, but fascinating to see where we’re at today.

Jim:  [7:56] No, you hit it. And it really goes, if you take it off the surface and dive down deeper, it goes into one of my passions, and that’s meeting people and getting to know people, having a relationship with people and understanding them and who they are as a person. 

[8:12] Because I travel all throughout the country and, you know, when I see somebody for the 2nd, 10th, 20th, 50th time, you know, I want to…It’s not, it’s business, but it’s not just business. We’re in this world for many different reasons and it’s just, you know, learning more about you and some of that stuff, just as you said, just drew me in. And, and I love that, and I and it still is very close to my heart every day.

[8:42] But I just mentioned one of my passions, and I think that that’s something to really hit on for a second because we are human beings, and we’re unique, you know as much…I almost think of James and I as yin and yang, like there’s some stuff that James does that just blows my mind, you know blows it away. 

[9:04] And then I come in with some of the industry stuff and say, you know, this is what a typical oil and gas guy ‑‑ and I’ve been in the oil and gas field for 20 years ‑‑ does.

[9:12] But, James, let me let me throw something at you because I mentioned one of my passions. What, you know, if somebody were to walk up to you like I did for that first time and say, “What are your passions in life?” Whether they’re personal or business? How would you answer that?

James:  [9:29] Man, just right to the heart, Jimmy. He just went right to it. Just not, you know, not like obviously we’ve changed gears now, shifted gears a little bit, so now we’re in my question and answer portion.

[9:42] And I, you know, we couldn’t start with like, what’s your favorite ice cream or something. Just straight for James, what’s the meaning of life? Look, it may sound funny. I’ve thought about this a little bit. Because people ask me this all the time.

[9:58] Obviously, I have a love for design and, and branding. I really enjoy figuring people out and, and what drives them to make decisions, and so forth. But you know, that’s kind of the lay‑up version, I think.

[10:17] As I’ve gotten older what I’ve realized that I’ve really loved more and more things that take time. Like, anything that it takes time to create, if you could have a passion for passion. I just love seeing passionate people put their heart into stuff. To put it in perspective…This is a stupid story, but I’ll tell you anyway, because this is what we do here.

[10:43] I, not too long ago I absolutely hated the…You couldn’t even put a shot of tequila in front of me because of the smell, right? I think we probably all have a story, when we were young, mistakes with tequila, right? And and then that smell you just, it’s a trigger like, “Oh my gosh, I do not want that in front of me.”

[11:08] So, anytime anyone even mentioned something like that I’d be like, no. It didn’t matter if it was the top shelf of the the top shelf, I didn’t like it. But one day I watched a documentary on how tequila was made.

Jim:  [11:21] Yeah.

James:  [11:21] And the time it takes to grow the plant, and all the way to creating it, and the difference between silver and gold, and the age, and all that. And after watching that, I thought, “Wow, you know, from seed to seal. That’s a crazy story to make something like that.” And, and I had a respect for it.

[11:44] Now, I’m not, you know, I’m not, respect like I’m going to run out and slam a bottle of tequila. But, understanding that it takes 7, maybe 12 years to make some of that stuff is amazing to me.

Jim:  [11:56] Yeah.

James:  [11:57] That’s a stupid example of it, but I just love seeing passion, and when people really lean into things and are able to discover and, you know, go to another level with it, I think is probably where my passion lies.

[12:15] In business, it’s a little bit different for me. You know, that’s like on a personal thing. I love artisan everything, I love crafts, all that. 

[12:23] When it comes to business I think my passion, I mean, I love leadership. It excites me. There’s always something new I can read. I love thinking that we’re shaping the next generation of leaders.

Jim:  [12:39] Yep.

James:  [12:40] There’s a book from Todd Henry called, “Herding Tigers.” There’s, it’s about managing creatives, and leading creatives, and he finishes the book with the thought of being a leader that makes echoes, right?

Jim:  [12:57] That’s good work.

James:  [12:57] And there’s not, it struck such a chord with me, because what good is a leader if it ends when you’re gone? It’s the wrong mentality. They say you’re not a leader until you make a leader that can make a leader, right? And those, that’s what drives me, really, in business.

[13:15] I want, I want people to know they have a voice. Cindy Mitchell mentioned that on our last, or when we had her on a while back. And she said people just want to be seen right? I think, back in early in my career, when I was part of teams, that I wasn’t seen, and how frustrating it was because I thought I had great ideas and nobody was listening.

[13:42] I think that there’s a place for everybody and their voice, and that, like in business, being able to drive that, is a passion of mine. I want everybody to be seen, heard, and have the spotlight for their strengths, in life and in business world. Whew.

Jim:  [14:03] That was big.

James:  [14:03] How’s that for a train trip?

Jim:  [14:05] Well, you know, but that is you, and sometimes it’s hard to sum yourself up, but if I were to describe you I would have described it the same way. Probably not as eloquently as you did, but the same thing, because you are very passionate, and passionate about wanting people to make sure that they are heard.

[14:25] And I see that every day in your actions, and it can be very subtle like, “Oh, hold on a second. Wait a minute, you know, explain a little bit more.” You know, and I, and I, and observing this it’s a really great trait.

[14:38] And it’s it’s something, you know, it almost goes back to the TGA thing, like my passion. You know, for everybody that knows me, my passion is people, you know, whether it’s family friends industry people.

James:  [14:51] I asked, I was gonna, that was the next set, so you set yourself up.

Jim:  [14:55] Yeah, did you see how I did that? I was a little…

James:  [14:58] [inaudible] Jim, what is your passion?

Jim:  [15:00] [laughs] Hey, I didn’t do that great of a job on the first one, but. 

[15:06] But, no, it is people. And my family, they always make fun of me because I can be at a grocery store. We’re having a conversation with somebody they’re like, “Do you know that person?” I’m like, “Nah, I just met him.” They’re like, “What are you doing?” You know, why are you having conversations with all these people? 

[15:21] And I do have a passion to, just to interact with people and to maybe share some happiness, you know. I mean, I really like that, and I really like to learn from people, like to understand them. And I, when I say learn, that’s also business and personal.

[15:38] But I have to tell you that’s a problem in my world, in Jim’s world, is that there isn’t a division between business and personal, it all goes together. 

[15:48] And in my signature on my email I changed it, because I used to have my phone number, my cell, and would say 24/7, and I changed it to 18/7. And somebody said, “What is 18‑7?” and I’m like “Well, I’m available 18 hours a day, 7 days a week.” I sleep, try to sleep, 6 hours at a time.

[16:08] And I just want people to know that like if they have my email, and it’s a Sunday and they have a question, shoot me text. You know, I mean, sometimes it, you know, life gets us, you know, you know, involved with many other things.

[16:21] But, you know, how many times on a weekend or a Monday morning have I come back to you and said, “Hey, I had a great conversation with, you know, Walter from California, from, you know, Dennis from North Dakota, wherever.

[16:34] And it just, you know, we meld personal and professional life, and I just really like it because I view, you know, like Chad from UPSCO  called me the human switchboard, where I connect people. 

[16:47] You know, people will call me and say “Hey, do you know anybody that does X, Y and Z?” I’m like, “I do. I got a guy,” you know, and it’s not like I’m endorsing anybody, but I just connect two people up and let them, let them do it. 

[16:57] It might be something as simple as a personal thing, or it could be something as big as, “We have an undertaking with our company and we’re putting this pipeline in, and yada, yada, yada.”

[17:08] So that’s probably where my biggest passion is, and again, I have to emphasize, family and personal, I mean, they’re so important. Family’s everything to me.

James:  [17:16] I can see that. All right, I’m going to go right into another one. You got, you got the microphone. Got it?

Jim:  [17:23] All right. All right.

James:  [17:24] Along the same lines, who or what motivates you?

Jim:  [17:30] That’s interesting. Well interesting. I would say…Oh, that’s a hard one.

James:  [17:39] I struggle with this a little, myself. So, obviously, everyone knows that we at least had access to these questions before, to formulate some kind of response. We didn’t workshop the idea of just coming here completely cold and not knowing the questions.

[17:54] And we decided, down the road, maybe once a quarter or so, we’ll do a rapid fire. Like, you know, you won’t know the questions. Here’s 25 questions. Give me your gut.

Jim:  [18:05] Those will be fun.

James:  [18:06] These, we knew, were a little more important and it really did tell our story, so little bit of time to think about it, but who or what?

Jim:  [18:17] Well, I tell you, and I was kind of pausing there for a little bit, like people sometimes also say, “If you could go back in history, who would you meet? What person would you meet?”

James:  [18:26] I thought about that question, but that’s a loaded question.

Jim:  [18:30] Well, my answer has to be the one person that also motivates me every minute of every day, and that’s Jesus. So I will say that, bar none.

[18:41] And I would also say too, in the world, everything from…I know like I work very hard for my family. And so when, you know, I work a lot of hours and I can’t spend time with the family, but I’m doing it because I’m working for my family. I’m working for them. So they motivate me.

[18:59] Leaders in the community motivate me. When I say community let’s just say, you know, people, you know, from out…When I say community, industry, energy industry, there’s so many people that I learn from, people that are, you know, CEO level, you know, all levels, you know, and I can I get motivation from a lot of folks. So, that’s kind of it.

James:  [19:20] So, you kind of stole my thunder a little bit. Just a little bit, but that’s OK.

Jim:  [19:28] Jump in, jump in.

James:  [19:29] So, so my family motivates me too. Yeah, that’s my big driver. You know, I told my son, I tell my son all the time that we, we do things for our last name around here, not for our first name.

[19:43] And I don’t remember who said that, but it was always something that stuck with me that, you know, I’m just like you, I’ve put a lot of time and effort into, you know, making strategic moves at different times for our family, and for jockeying for new jobs and taking lateral moves when it was a better fit for down the road.

[20:03] And, God help them, when I decided just to walk away from everything, they were there too. But I think just them knowing…I want them to know that it’s all in the betterment of our family, like that’s always my focus.

[20:18] And, you know, in business it’s probably a little bit different for me. This is gonna sound wild, and I’ve thought about this a lot. 

[20:25] And I…I love over‑delivery, OK?

Jim:  [20:33] Yes, you do.

James:  [20:33] It sounds silly, but if I go and get coffee and they go an extra mile for me, that’s the kind of service I want in my life, not because I feel entitled that it should be that way, because that’s what I want to provide as well.

[20:47] And I don’t care if its internal or external customers, I want to over‑deliver in every facet possible. I love the little touches. The little things are the big things always, always with me, and I like when people get in the minds of others and really figure out how they’re going to feel. They’ve soul searched it and did something above and beyond.

[21:08] You know, care packages, handwritten notes, you know, all those things are so important when I look at character as a whole. I want to, I want to do the same thing in that realm. I like seeing it in my teams, I like seeing in other teams. I like seeing it with clients and other people we make those connections with.

[21:30] Because when we’re aligned, with a little bit of over‑delivery, we know everybody’s going to benefit. But that one’s a little odd, but I see it all the time and it always makes a difference for me.

Jim:  [21:43] Yeah.

James:  [21:44] Like when you’ve got that first iPhone and it did that thing for you that you’re like, “How did it even know the first time?” You remember when Outlook or Gmail changed and it would remind you when you didn’t attach that document?

Jim:  [21:58] Oh, yeah. Yeah,

James:  [21:59] I know it’s a feature, but when you can get in my mind and really go that next level of effort, that’s huge.

Jim:  [22:06] Yeah.

James:  [22:07] I don’t know, man, that’s it’s, it motivates me every day. How can I over‑deliver and, and make a difference for somebody?

Jim:  [22:17] Well, let me, let me…Hold on a second. So, based on that too, you know, I’ll share mine in a second, but you know, when your eyes open in the morning, James, you know, what does that look like for the first 2, 3, 5 minutes, 10 minutes? What, what, what is James Cross doing when his eyes open up in the morning?

James:  [22:40] Ah, man. I have a three‑year‑old daughter, you know, so sometimes my eyes open to her eyes opening almost, you know, that terrifying feeling when you’re sound asleep and, and you don’t hear them walk in the room and they’re like, sometimes that’s really reality, right?

[22:59] But, but no, I mean really, for me, are all my parts working, number one? You know, can I stand up? Kind of walk? Can I get moving for the day? And then secondly, you know, that God blessed us with a new day and I try not to take that for granted, but I know I do, and I know that’s OK. 

[23:20] But I said to my son one time after I just had one of those days, you know, and just everything had just went against me, that I was playing the victim. I think I was actually apologizing to him one day, on one of those days, and maybe I’d raised my voice or something. 

[23:39] And I was just talking to him, and he was young at the time, not that night nine‑year‑old giant that I live with, live with now, but more of like the five‑year‑old, you know, four‑ or five‑year‑old version. And he said, “It’s OK, Dad. We can try it again tomorrow. We get another shot. 

[23:55] And so usually when I wake up I think to myself, “Here’s that another shot.” Right?

Jim:  [24:01] Yep.

James:  [24:01] Like, “All right, what are you going to do with it,” right? Because sometimes we just get moving in the rat race, we’re on our phone, we do all the things, and got to hit the ground running. But…

Jim:  [24:14] Yeah.

James:  [24:14] Either way, it’s another shot.

Jim:  [24:16] Yeah. I’m kind of…Well, you know, I, I jump out of bed going at 90 miles an hour. So I mean, first thing, you know, when I wake up, you know, thank God for another beautiful day, first of all. Let my eyes open up, you know, this person right here, Tammy [inaudible], my fiancé…

James:  [24:41] I’ve heard about her.

Jim:  [24:43] What’s that?

James:  [24:44] I’ve heard about her.

Jim:  [24:46] Might have heard about her.

James:  [24:44] Yeah. We met one time. She immediately forgot.

Jim:  [24:47] Oh, she knows you. She knows more people than I do in the industry. She loves you. She always asks about you.

James:  [24:57] We’re going to [inaudible] together. If nothing else, we’re going.

Jim:  [24:58] Yeah.

James:  [24:59] Remember, we always have Game of Thrones.

Jim:  [24:59] Yeah, you know, and she she got me hooked on that and…But, you know, waking up to three dogs and, you know, wondering, you know, I have family spread throughout the United States, from Minnesota, to Nashville, to Austin, Texas, to all over Chicago, where I grew up in Chicago. 

[25:20] But I think about family and such, and then I just get really, really rolling and I’m a, I’m definitely a morning person. Come night time, you know, by that time I’m so spent.

James:  [25:30] Yeah, I turn into a pumpkin for sure.

Jim:  [25:33] Oh, I do. I do, and it’s just, you know, like in the morning. I want to make sure my ducks are in a row and the day is lined up and I’m, I feel like I’m ahead of it. I never like to feel like I’m behind the eight ball or trying to catch up. 

[25:46] So it’s like, seriously, going on, checking Outlook, and I, I already know what’s on there, but I still have to look at it, look at tomorrow, look at the next day, see what we got lined up, because that way I can do what I do the best throughout the day, by staying ahead of it. 

[26:03] And what I do is, I connect the dots, talk to people, put things in motion, and I want to be able to give them the time to do that. And if I feel like I’m behind the eight ball then it’s not a very comfortable conversation. Like right now I’m actually on vacation, and you and I are having a wonderful conversation, and I wouldn’t change this day. 

[26:26] Anyway, when you said, “Are you sure you want to do it on your vacation?” I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” This is my life, you know, so that’s that’s about the first things I think of in the morning.

James:  [26:36] Good, and I just talked about those kiddos and I’m well prepared for one of them. I just kind of heard them arrive back. They were visiting grandparents. So if they come sliding in here, listen guys, we’re going live, it is what it is.

Jim:  [26:50] Absolutely.

James:  [26:51] So, Jimmy, along those same lines, right? What keeps you up at night?

Jim:  [26:55] Everything does. I generally two hours at a time, you know, get up and throughout the night. And no old jokes here. I am a father and grandfather, but it’s, the mind doesn’t stop. You know, it’s everything right now. 

[27:08] COVID, it’s, you know, everything in the world right now, all those things right now, but also it’s business, it’s family, you know. And when I say business, I was thinking about it last night, again, I’m supposed to be on vacation, but I had a couple ideas. I’m like, “That’s a good idea. I got to remember to bring that up when I get back in the office.” Well, or I’ll shoot an email today.

[27:28] But, you know, it’s, it’s, for me, I can’t turn it off. And I’m envious of people that all of a sudden at 6:00 at night they’re like, “I’m done. You know, now I’m in my other world and I just can’t shut it off.” 

[27:41] But that’s OK. I’m used to it, and I just want to make sure that the company’s good, that the people are good, that our industry is good, that they’re safe. First, you know in the morning too, you know, I check pipeline news and natural gas news, just to make sure nothing went awry. 

[27:59] You know, I worry about people, and we’re in a very critical infrastructure business. A great portion of the United States is related in some form or fashion to our company, and I just want to make sure that, you know, we’re doing the best we can do to make the best for our company, sorry, for our industry through our company. 

[28:19] So, I think about all that stuff, James. You know, that’s…

James:  [28:24] What a loaded question.

Jim:  [28:25] It was very loaded.

James:  [28:27] What about, what doesn’t keep Jim up at night?

Jim:  [28:30] That, that’s more it, you know, I, I dream for the day that I can maybe sleep, you know, six straight hours. That would be cool. But…

James:  [28:41] I have similar, you know, I kind of, when I was thinking about it I was like, “During this time, it’s different,” right? Like there, we have a lot of added anxiety and different things that are impacting us, and there’s no doubt about our answer today might be totally different than, you know, hell, a couple of days from now. At this point, the way things accelerate and decline so quickly during this pandemic, I think all of us are struggling with that. 

[29:09] But, you know, I’m like you. It’s hard to turn some of this off at times. You know, opportunity and excitement, a lot of the time keeps me up. I’m blessed to be able to see, you know, it almost feels like I can see into the future at times when I’m passionate about something, and, and those times make it a little tough to turn it off.

[29:32] And I wake up sometimes and jot down a note, or go ahead and, you know, use Slack and get a message across, because I’m passionate about what we do, right, and that…

[29:45] You can’t knock that. I wouldn’t change it. I’ll skip sleepover opportunities and excitement and, honestly a three‑year‑old. She, at times she she definitely impacts me too.

Jim:  [29:59] It’s a blessing, you know, all that we have, and that’s, that’s one thing, James, you know, I say a lot, and Tammy says a lot, and, you know, with everything going on we also have to just take a step back and say, wow, how blessed we are.

[30:12] You know, all the great things that we have, not the things that are being inhibited right now, or can’t travel here, and da da da, and all that. 

[30:20] You know, what about the good things? And the good things are coming about of everything that’s coming or going on right now. And, you know, just kind of keep that positive attitude. And I find that, you know, especially like you and I, when we talk, you know, after, after our conversations, I’m always like, “All right. Yeah, that’s what I needed to hear,” you know?

James:  [30:41] Yeah, and you can tell when it’s a difference between, you know, when it’s contrived like pep rally style and…

Jim:  [30:48] Oh, yeah.

James:  [30:49] You just have a general disposition towards positivity, I think makes a big difference.

Jim:  [30:54] Yeah. Well, you know in your world, though, and when you look back over the years, or even now, you know, what’s been the biggest influence, you know in your life, James? 

[31:09] You know, you’ve kind of hit on a few things already, but if you were to, if you were to say, you know…And when I say influence, it could be influencer or influence. And I, I want to make sure that there’s two different things. So, because I have a couple different ones I’m going to get on, so I want to throw that at you.

James:  [31:29] Yeah, I thought about this one a lot too because, you know, I don’t know what drives that passion for leadership and, and for, you know, doing a good job and, and putting your family on your back, and and your friends, and your community, and so forth, like.

[31:51] And, honestly, for me it’s, my granddad was a very big influence on me, my grandpa. And he, not to get all mushy and stuff because that’s not what it’s about. Rest in peace. Yeah, he was a good dude. 

[32:08] He was a hard worker. You know that generation that was molded by the Great Depression and how hard they had to work, you know, and work through it all. He was a big influencer of mine and, you know, my dad died early, when I was five, and so he was a father figure for me. So obviously that helps, but at the same time, man, as a worker that dude worked his butt off. 

[32:34] I mean, he he worked all day long in a small engine business of his own, like lawn mower repair, sharpening and stuff like that. All day long, and then would go to sleep at 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon, and then wake up and go to a night watching job at 10:00 at night and go through all the schools, and come back, he’d be at the breakfast table at 6:00, eat breakfast and then go out to his shop and do again.

[33:02] And I tell you, he was a night watchman for 22 years, I believe, and that’s, that was a very influential time in my life, right? I mean, they say a lot of your habits happen around that four or five year old age. That’s how old I was. 

[33:16] So I was grasping for people or things that could teach me how to do it and, you know, he paid me minimum ‑‑ you probably get tired of hearing this ‑‑ but my grandpa paid me minimum wage when I was four. I’d make $4.50 or $4.25 as a four‑year‑old. 

[33:36] I might go out there and work an hour, but he paid me what I was worth, and that set a tone with me as well, because that’s that’s how I live and that’s how I manage and lead teams as well, is that same influence.

[33:51] And then secondly, my mom was, is amazing, still is amazing. Kindest heart in the world. My leadership heart comes from my mother, without a doubt. You can imagine how awesome she was of an influence. 

[34:08] Hate for it all be people but that, for me it really was. Like it really set the tone and how it was going to be an adult, be a functioning person in society and, lastly, hopefully one day be a leader.

Jim:  [34:24] Yeah, that’s really good.

James:  [34:28] How about you?

Jim:  [34:29] I gotta go with my parents, too. And I don’t mean to copycat ya.

James:  [34:32] It’s obvious. I was going to say you, actually.

[34:35] [laughter]

James:  [34:36] Just to see if I could get the laugh out of it.

Jim:  [34:39] I actually have three, so I’ll do Mom and Dad. So Dad, though, growing up, he worked, had his own business, so worked six days a week, sometimes seven. He, I would get up as a kid in the morning, he’d already be gone. I mean, he would literally leave the house like at, you know, 4:30, 5:00 in the morning, come home at dinnertime. 

[34:58] And so it used to bug me probably a little bit, like “I never get to see my dad in the morning.” Then on the weekend on like a Sunday, you know, he would be up and at ‘em too, and he never slept in. And as a kid, especially when I was a teenager, he would expect me. “Chop, chop. Let’s get going.” 

[35:13] You know, all the sudden I’m like, “I like to sleep in,” and he’s like, “No, we got to do this, this, and this.” I think those work ethics, the ones I talked about earlier before, where I want to get up and get my day going, that’s my dad. That’s me.

James:  [35:25] That generation, as far as work ethic, unstoppable. There will never be a generation like it.

Jim:  [35:34] No there won’t. And he was like…

James:  [35:35] Challenge you generations, all of you. There will be never be one like it. Prove me wrong.

Jim:  [35:42] No, I, you know, it’s, it’s true and, you know, and I just thank him for getting that instilled in my head because his idea was, “We can relax at the end of the day when our work is done. Doesn’t matter what day it is.”

[35:55] And then, you know, Mom, because Dad was always working, you know was kind of the emotional, spiritual, you know, wrangled me and my brother up and you know did us. But the third influencer, so Mom and Dad, but, and this is a hard one and it may sound corny, but my industry is my third influence or influencer, however you want to look at it and I get influence…

James:  [36:19] Such a suck‑up to the industry by the way.

[36:21] [crosstalk]

James:  [36:24] Why don’t you name‑drop while we’re in it. “Not to leave out the following?”

Jim:  [36:31] Yeah, but I mean that list would be this long. I mean it’s, you know, I’ll throw Tammy in there right now, you know, because, you know, we’re in quarantine.

James:  [36:39] Smart man, smart man.

Jim:  [36:41] You know, we’re in you know, we’re in Florida, south Florida, working together, both in the energy industry, both in different segments of it, in one house. 

[36:53] You know, “When do you have a video call?” “I have it at 10:30.” “OK, you take the ‘video room,’ the master bedroom. I’ll do this…”

[37:00] But it’s kind of interesting and neat because, you know, I’m talking about things in the industry, she’s talking about separate things and it’s almost like being at a trade show or conference where you can just kind of like bounce ideas off somebody, so, you know, she’s a huge influence and influencer in my in my life. 

[37:18] So, if I didn’t give her a shout out, you know, what? I’d be hearing about it. So I should probably, she’s probably gonna say like, “You didn’t mention my name again. Did you bring me up?”

James:  [37:30] Like six times this time. Yeah, there’s an over and under, and it was four, so…

[37:37] Well, Jim. I think we’ve learned quite a bit, and then, and I say “We,” and I’m included in that, today about really, really what drives both of us. And I hope, hope our viewership appreciates that, especially, you know, in the times that we’re in, kind of knowing where someone’s head and heart is helps us to better connect.

Jim:  [38:01] Yep.

James:  [38:01] Hopefully we’ve provided that today. I’ve learned a lot about you, Jimmy. Now, it explains a lot.

Jim:  [38:12] And I learned a lot about you, and…No, it was great, just doing this. It’s kind of kind of fun just to open up and let the thoughts flow, so.

James:  [38:23] All right. Well, as we always do, thank you so much everyone.

Jim:  [38:28] Is this out? Can I can I do a typical call out?

James:  [38:31] Do it.

Jim:  [38:32] All right. We want to thank our special guests this week, Jim and James. Can’t thank you enough for both you guys giving us your time. We learned a lot about you today.

[38:43] And to our LinkedIn community, being serious, please if you want to connect with, us hit that Connect button. We want to connect with you. Send us a message if you want to be on the show. Send us a message too, we would love to have a conversation and see where that would go. 

[38:56] Coffee With Jim and James is a sustainable entity. We are going fast and forward with this and we look forward to having more unique guests, maybe more unique than you and I, James. 

[39:10] So with that I will say so long. James, you want to say so long too?

James:  [39:14] Yeah. Thank you everyone for your time, and I look forward to staying connected moving forward. So God bless everyone, God bless this industry.

Jim:  [39:24] Amen. 

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