Thursday, Dec 10 – The guys are joined by Dusty Flanagan from Applied Consultants as they discuss all the possibilities 2021 could bring.
[0:00] [background music]
Jim Schauer: [0:09] Good morning, LinkedIn community, energy community and more. Where I would normally start off with one of my wacky intros today is a little bit different and we’re I would actually say James you was humbled as I am today.
James Cross: [0:22] It’s a good day. We got a good show. We’re kind of stealing today. Jim were stealing from a couple things were going to steal. First of all from one of our friends at Connections for Life over it Upscope. They always kind of do an intro like this you know talk about an episode and then jump into it.
[0:40] The other thing we’re going to steal is we did an awesome episode on Applied Consultants second episodes of their safety series called “From the Trench.” Instead of this week, what we’re going to do is do a little cross promotion. And actually air that same episode on our show, but we thought we’d lead in this way, a little bit different.
Jim: [1:04] I think it’s great.
James: [1:05] So I love stealing all the stuff so much easier.
Jim: [1:08] It’s much easier. And again, I again I was hot we were humbled that they asked us to be their second guest and again that we were the inspiration months and months and months ago from them watching “Coffee with Jim & James.”
[1:20] They actually came to us and said do we do you guys give us your permission? We’re like, we don’t need permission like just being respectful bunch of great guys great organization outstanding outstanding organization. We’ve known him for years.
James: [1:35] Jim, you kind of hit on it. But the you know, the the kind of by‑product that we didn’t expect that unexpected byproduct was that other people would be inspired and create shows kind of like ours.
[1:48] Seeing that and hearing that from folks, I mean what could be what’s any better? I just letting things continue to grow exponentially the more more eyes we can get on our industry in the folks that are you know stuck at home trying to still make their sales quotas and then still do those types of things and still network and build those relationships. We hope that more people create these conduits just like that.
Jim: [2:15] What do I like to say connect the dots.
James: [2:17] Connect the dots so I guess man it without further adieu, Let’s just roll, right. Through it. Let’s do it. Let’s do magic right here.
Dusty Flanagan: [2:27] Good morning everyone and welcome to the second episode of From the Trench. We are excited to have two really great guest with us today, which you probably heard about us to talk about them on episode. One two, good guys two great friends of mine Jim Schauer and James Cross from Coffee with Jim & James.
[2:47] Guys. Thank you so much for being here today and being a part of our second episode and we’re just we’re just excited for you guys to be here. Huh? How are you guys doing?
Jim: [2:55] We’re doing great today.
James: [2:58] For sure.
Jim: [2:59] I dreamt about this all night. I barely slept.
James: [3:03] We were talking about it when we were prepping for the show how weird it is being on the other side. So if we if we kind of flow in and out of characters, I do just bear with us. If we start asking you questions best. Yeah well with it.
Dusty: [3:19] That’ll be OK. I’m not sure I’ll give you the right answer but I mean, it’ll be OK, you know and it’s funny because like you said you guys are usually on the other side y’all are hosting the show and asking questions and we you know, like we talked about in our first episode we came up with this idea and were inspired because of you guys and what you did.
[3:42] Kudos to both of you for our for coming up with that and helping us reach out and talk to our audience and our in our clients and our inspector. So it’s really been a good tool and great asset for us.
[3:55] Right after the last time we saw each other was in February. I think James, you know, Jim we were all down at a conference that around the Houston area and and man right after that kind of March Madness happen. I mean the COVID hit everything just shut down and I think that’s about the time you guys come up with Coffee with Jim & James was it that?
Jim: [4:17] It was James. Let me let me jump in here because it’s something near and dear to my heart. You’re absolutely right. I mean it was it was crazy at that point. We you know, everybody is traveling the world was as we knew it type of things and then I remember getting a phone call from James saying hey things look a little awry.
[4:35] Literally like, you know Energy Worldnet and as a as a company we service customers in multiple countries. So we’re very what’s the word? I’m looking for portable. We’re very, you know, we’re ready to go and literally within 24 hours we took You know a headquarters and you know, put it out there.
[4:57] It was very seamless, you know, other than the normal things that happened that we all encounter now bandwidth issues or as I like to say broad bandwidth.
Jim: [5:09] Anyways, that that was it and I and then our own personal note, Coffee with Jim & James, you know last, you know decade of my life. I’ve been on the road non‑stop, I mean 25, 30 shows a year half the year on the road.
[5:25] Literally within a couple weeks. I’m in the corner shaking saying what are we going to do? And James says hold on. Hold on. I got this idea. I was at a establishment wrote some things down on a bar napkin. He goes. What do you think about this? I’m like me be on TV, that’s what I call it and James is like no, it’ll good.
[5:45] It was it was great. It was a great release for us was almost therapy for us. We like to be in front of people. We like to talk to people and it was a way for for us to do that and really to bring some good stuff to the industry.
[5:57] That was really our function was to you know, keep in contact with folks and you know, if we can share one thing that positively impacts one person that maybe shares it with another person. That’s it’s a great day.
James: [6:12] Absolutely I want to add just he stole the words out of my mouth. I’ve used them multiple times. He just stole them is you know, it is therapy. That’s been the coolest part for a lot of people just seeing faces that they know and being able to just have a conversation.
[6:30] You guys were on our show at the beginning and it was really nice then because it was a really a shock that we all went through from one day to the next and all of a sudden we didn’t have that. So I think I think if nothing else if it’s brought like Jim said a couple of smiles here in the air from his corny intros or we talked about sharpen the saw or seven habits or one of those things.
[6:58] We’ve gotten so much great feedback from people that you know during this time. We’re using it to really, you know up their skills and and focus on some of those soft skills and stuff like that because what else are we doing? He might as well, right? So that’s been really awesome to see also.
Dusty: [7:16] Well, you know, like you mentioned we were only one of your first episodes and pay tribute to You guys I mean look at there. So it is Coffee with Jim & James.
James: [7:27] And Applied Consultants.
Dusty: [7:30] All right. Awesome.
James: [7:31] This one even product placement. I already had this is my travel mug.
Dusty: [7:35] There you go.
Jim: [7:36] I would love to have one of those mugs. I’m just saying.
James: [7:40] Jimmy. I use this mug every time I travel to the living room, every time.
Dusty: [7:48] [laughs] I will see you. Jim what I can do to get you out of those nice travel mugs.
Jim: [7:56] Maybe you know a guy.
Dusty: [7:58] I know a guy. James is Jim talked about kind of what Energy Worldnet you know and Coffee with Jim & James. There’s probably one or two people out there that maybe not have heard of Energy Worldnet. Can you kind of explain who you guys are and what you do?
James: [8:15] Jim Jim? I couldn’t decide if that was a shot at me because I’m you know, essentially marketing does fall under I have the brand guy, right? So, you know, if someone doesn’t know about it, then please don’t judge me for it.
[8:31] We’ve been we’ve been servicing the industry a natural gas industry for 25 30 years, you know, and we’re really based on kind of a three‑legged stool compliance technology and education. Ultimately we’re training qualifying folks out there on the pipeline making I’m sure they’re in compliance.
[8:54] Ultimately at the end of the day empowering those people that have to run the reports and do the things and manage contractors and and ensure all the boxes are checked and then some right where there every step of the way whether it be consulting or just the technology that holds it all together for the awesome training that we can provide too.
[9:14] That’s the big part of it. Our vision is to make the world a safer place to work. And so that’s what we’re out there trying to.
Jim: [9:24] Can I just jump in? I just want to add one thing. I know that those pillars are three‑legged stool so speak but I want to make it a four‑legged stool because something that’s very near and dear to I would say our heart James’s and my heart is thought leadership.
[9:38] It’s a very interesting sentence thought leadership or words, but it’s really getting out in the industry, you know, it’s doing the presentations that we do in the past live now their virtual Coffee with Jim & James, you know, we try to have Have fun. Yes, my wacky intros are designed to make people say is this guy for real?
James: [9:58] I was going to say exhausting but same thing.
Jim: [10:02] For you they’re exhausting but you know for for me, you know, it’s fun. But, you know, if we can if we can do things to have people think a little bit and then about anything that they can improve in their life again the seven habits to safety to whatever you know, that’s that makes us feel good in the morning, noon, night, you know before we go to bed saying that we’ve done something positive today.
Dusty: [10:27] Yeah, I mean absolutely. It’s just watching your guys shows and and and knowing you guys personally and on a professional level and knowing what Energy Worldnet does and it’s just the information with the Coffee with Jim & James the information that you guys bring to to the followers and the listeners and in the LinkedIn world and everything else. So it’s really been awesome.
[10:50] James, you get us just recently went through I guess a new branding and and if I remember right you and I talking about this and how did that come about because it’s just kind of this is kind of your baby. Correct?
James: [11:04] [laughs] Like it or not. It’s my baby. Yeah, you know, it’s a great conversation that started when we went back and looked at it all that went back and really really far but officially really started at the end of last year where we said, you know what we’re going to recommit to our user experience.
[11:29] Everybody said oh, so this is the technology thing we’re going to you know, put a facelift on something and I was like, well, not really I mean, yes, but it’s also it any touch point we have with a user a client potential client industry. When are we say user experience any person on the either side that might be a user Of any product or tool or service or anything that we can impact that experiences was our goal.
[11:58] Yeah, it was a new logo and a new colors new website and all those things which are really important but behind all of that really was a movement both internally and externally that that we’re putting across to be brave and to get out there and get involved and be a part of the conversation and you know, just do good stuff in the industry and beyond for our people that are a part of it all of it.
[12:29] So I think we’re I would love to say it’s going well Dusty it’s so awesome. It is it’s great. Energy’s high, you know, but we haven’t even got to go show people yet. You know, we’re still stuck in our houses. It was a great internal movement. We’re getting our ducks in a row. We’re ready to go.
[12:48] We hope 2021 of the coming‑out party. We’ll see. It’s going to be fun man. It’s been a blast and and Jim can probably you know, see what it’s like can probably talk a little bit on what it’s like to you know, I’m the brand guy. What am I going to say? [laughs] You’re going. Yeah, of course the brand guys. Can you say the brand products the rebrand projects going well?
[13:16] Jim can probably give you a you know, some insight from an industry for you know, an industry guy. He’s just a natural gas guy, Jim Schauer.
Jim: [13:25] I am I know and that’s a good point and I’ll tell you James. I’ve been through a rebranding few in the passons with some companies like a CenterPoint Energy, you know up in Minnegasco. I mean it was a big thing and at that point I was you know, like a like thousands of us, you know, being fed the information and it helped and everything.
[13:47] This one was a little bit different being part of the whole brand team. I got to see the inner workings of what all this takes and I have to tell you it is exhausting just even to go back and think about it. I mean James would be working till 2:00 in the morning, you know, the designers working till all hours of the night.
[14:09] I always thought you know, oh, well, you’re going to change the logo we’re good to go and it’s so much more than that. It opened my eyes. I mean it really did and I’m not a novice but I am a natural gas guy. And so I usually think of all rebranding new logo We’re done, you know 24 hours later out the door.
[14:26] This was months, you know, if not years of you know, thought thought leadership by James and you know, he really is the has been and is the visionary driving force for that along with you know, Coleman Sterling our CEO and Geoff Isbell our president and all the execs and etc.
[14:45] James is the he’s kind of that one where you just kind of look at your like what’s in James’s mind. Where is he going with it?
James: [14:53] My wife says that all the time.
Dusty: [14:54] [laughs] …always turning.
James: [14:59] Thank you, Jim.
Dusty: [15:01] Thanks for making me look good Jim. [laughs]
James: [15:06] Can you tell that I’m Jim’s boss.
Dusty: [15:11] [laughs] Serious questions. Alright, we kind of hit on it at the very beginning, you know with all the impacts of COVID and everything else that’s happened. Like we talked about kind of starting in March, you know, Jim. What do you think our industry is heading in as far as that as far as that goes?
Jim: [15:31] In relation to COVID? Let me let me yeah, let me into that you one thing from my standpoint and I’m being very blunt right now. I you know being a natural gas guy for decades, you know, I lived by shaking hands traveling get it on planes being with people the whole bit. All of a sudden and a snap we became into this virtual world.
[15:53] Again, I’m not a spring chicken and some people use, you know, virtual worlds like, you know easy as you know, making a cup of coffee for me it was not and I look at our industry that way to that how well we had to be as I say baptism by fire. I mean we had to get into this virtual world.
[16:10] I do think hope pray that we’re going to come out of it and get back to some sort of hybrid normal. Meaning that we’re going to be safe. We’re going to be take precautions that whole bit and understand what happened in the past. You know, what what COVID was so we avoided in the future.
[16:27] I think this whole virtual world be in a hybrid kind of married within it as well as the in‑person put those two together. I think it’s going to be better. So yeah, there’s a lot of things that happen during COVID that you know are have been challenges but there’s a lot of good opportunities that came about of it.
[16:46] We’re going to come come away with some great positives. From COVID impact, that’s how it feels.
James: [16:52] I’m gonna I’m gonna take that another direction Dusty and because I know where a lot of people’s hearts are right now and that’s You know, we just went through an election. We you know, we’ve been talking about you. You’re we’re talking about a new virtual world for a workforce that was already aging that we’ve been talking about for years and years on how are we going to bridge that skills gap?
[17:22] I guess what what I want to tell this goes back to thought leadership that Jim said and what he just said about opportunity is the good news is it’s easy to play victim and and to say man. we’re in for a rough few years. I get it. We’re in it. We’re still in it, right?
[17:44] There’s there’s a part of thought leadership that is, you know, I can be upset about what’s going on. Or I can go figure out how to effect some change, right? And so whether you realize it or not, there’s a whole bunch of people behind the scenes of all this sitting on committees sitting on boards and impacting what our industry is involved with the in and and what’s happening from legislation.
[18:09] There are task forces and groups. Like the DCA that are putting together people for a better cause and that’s you know, that’s just some of what’s going on right now. So only talk about man what’s going to happen in these next four years and beyond I think you’ll be really surprised how long we’ve been talking about these things.
[18:32] I say we I haven’t even been here this long but but what I mean is we collectively as an industry have been talking about these things for decades. They’ve been telling us that natural gas is going away, and that you know and I get that now there’s a little more motivation.
[18:50] We also know the reality of what can’t go away and now things will change. So I see there’s a lot of opportunity. We were worried about a skills gap and how these new generations were going to come in.
[19:00] Well, guess what? We got a pandemic and now everything went virtual now who’s concerned right? So I think we’ve been we’ve been guided in this path and I buy some really awesome people behind the scenes and You’re not involved in it. And you want to affect change reach out. Let’s let’s get you on a committee somewhere.
[19:19] I promise you and everybody chime in on the comment and of these things. If you’re if you’re a part of committee looking for members, there’s a bunch of people that want to make change right now. Let’s do but let’s do it.
Dusty: [19:33] Absolutely. And and and I appreciate you bringing up the the political aspect of it because that is that is in everybody’s mind and heart right now. Where are we going and what’s going to in so so I do appreciate you bringing that up.
[19:48] Jim, as you mentioned as far as the technology, you know, when the COVID hit kind of where we went with going to the Zoom Meetings and things like that. We kind of talked about on our first episode and I know you’ve guys have discussed it as well.
[20:01] My life has changed so much from from going out in the field and seeing are seeing are people and meetings and conferences and things like that to having to learn how to do Zoom Meetings and such like that.
[20:16] It was you know for for an old dog and I’m not extremely old but for someone that used to be in the field and and not always been on the computer and doing these type of meetings, we’ve had to learn and it’s been challenging but at the same time it’s been good. It’s given us some wonderful opportunities to be able to reach out to a lot of different people.
James: [20:36] I mean, look what we’re doing right now. Dusty Flanagan, would you have ever in your life told me that this one? You would have been doing in 2020.
Dusty: [20:47] No.
James: [20:47] No. Look at us.
Jim: [20:50] random drug testing that they brought back.
James: [20:52] That’s what I said.
Dusty: [20:54] Exactly, John said your crazy.
James: [20:56] No doubt. It’s a very awesome place that we’re at. I pray that, like Jim said, there’s a hybrid that we’re moving to and we can still do good from this and play cherries and pits with it and get the good parts and apply it to what was already working before and have an awesome path forward.
Dusty: [21:17] Absolutely.
James: [21:19] That’s what we’re praying for.
Dusty: [21:20] Yes, sir. Well guys I’ve got I’ve got one important question and this is something I’m going to kind of steal from you guys and and please don’t get mad but I love it when you ask your guests this question, and I’ve always wanted to ask you.
[21:35] Both of you and and and Jim will start with you and then James will answer second guys. Guys, do you love what you do?
Jim: [21:42] [laughs] I could give the shortest answer that we had a guest. I want that we answer that and usually people go on and on in the guest goes yeah kind of do. No. I absolutely are you kidding me kid? Hopefully you can hear it and see it in me. I love it.
[22:00] I mean I wake up, you know when you can wake up every morning and be like, wow. OK, we got this today. We got that today. We got this all we got to make sure that gets done and then, you know, you’re going to bed at night. You’re like, oh wait. I just got to check one more thing, you know.
[22:14] When you have that in your life when you have that passion and that attachment and again, it’s such a great thing being with Energy Worldnet such a great thing. We have in Coffee with Jim James having you know, all the things that we do, you know, being part of one of the best industries in my view in the world the energy industry here in the United States. It absolutely thrills me.
[22:37] So do I love what I do? I can emphatically without any reservation say I absolutely.
Dusty: [22:46] Awesome. Awesome James. What about you my friend?
James: [22:49] Yeah. I’m getting there.
James: [22:56] I’ve only been in this industry for almost five years. We’re just under five years and you know, it’s a blink man. It’s one of those million years ago yesterday kind of things, you know, so but it felt like home I grew up in West Texas. So, you know, it’s it in foreign to me, you know, a lot of the stuff. You’ve been to West Texas this week Dusty?
Dusty: [23:19] Not this week last week. I was there.
James: [23:22] I mean anybody who knows that knows the industry and grows up around that spent 20 every year. Until I moved up here there so it always felt like home to me for sure. You know, I think for the first time in my life, I’m getting to kind of just dream and ideate.
[23:45] If somebody if somebody was trying to sell me Coffee with Jim & James on a napkin 10 months ago. I don’t know that I would have bought it so kudos to to Geoff and Coleman for trusting me sometimes. Um, but I think for the first time in my life, I’m getting there. I’ve tried to do this but really lead with my heart.
[24:08] I hope in my actions people are seeing the results and and you know that kind of answers the question, you know for them. I just I try to just keep doing good things for the industry, you know, and I think it’ll take care of me if we can take care of it. So man. I love that I have I feel like I’m home.
Dusty: [24:30] Yeah, absolutely. Well, I can tell you just for myself from a personal standpoint. I can tell when talking to either one of you guys in person or on the phone that you absolutely do enjoy what you do and actually love what you do. Just just see the excitement in your voice and always the advice that you give me when I have questions or need help and things like that.
[24:52] So you guys are absolutely super and just keep doing the great work that you’re doing.
James: [24:58] Thank you.
Dusty: [24:59] I want to sincerely thank both of you I was and I can’t tell you how excited I was when I reached out to you and said, hey, we’re getting ready for episode episode 2 you guys be willing to be a part of that? Both of you just responded quickly and said, yes, we would be glad.
[25:12] We were excited and I was just absolutely delighted to have you guys here. So thank you so much again for being here being a part of this and it’s James it remind me again. It takes it takes a what what’s that? The key phrase and we always use?
James: [25:31] It takes a village. That’s why we’re here.
Dusty: [25:34] It does it takes all of us to continue in this industry to keep it going where it is to keep everyone safe, you know and kind of our our model would apply to this you know, you just been in and I think about this and people don’t realize how important it is, but safety works when safety is applied, you know.
[25:57] Not to throw us kind of a bone out there with applied there But it’s a true meaning safety works when safety is applied. So we encourage everyone to work safe every day and want them to know what the importance of that is.
James: [26:10] Dusty, before you wrap this whole thing. I just want to thank you for letting us be on and be a part of it and be a part of you know, when you guys came up with this idea and you know, y’all were reached out to us was like almost as if we had to give you permission, you know, you didn’t.
[26:28] What I mean is being a part of the whole thing and getting to use each other to bounce ideas off of that’s part of why we do everything we do and you guys are doing awesome thing at Applied and the whole group over there. We’re thankful to be a part of it, and I’m thankful for you guys being clients also.
Dusty: [26:46] Well, thank you.
James: [26:47] Spreading the word know you some of the best evangelist. We have it sit are on this call right now.
Dusty: [26:53] Absolutely. Well what guys again? Thank you. For tuning in to our second episode From the Trench. We greatly appreciate your past comments questions things like that for tuning in highly encourage you to go to Coffee with Jim & James watch those guys follow them like them share them as well.
[27:16] We just greatly appreciate everything that you guys in the field are doing because if it wasn’t for you guys, neither one of us would have a job. So for that, thank you. Stay safe. God bless and and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s. Thank ya’ll.
James: [27:30] Bye‑bye.
Jim: [27:31] Bye, everybody. Stay safe.