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CWJJ Episode 66: July Freestyle

CWJJ Episode 66: July Freestyle

Thursday, July 15- Another week, another episode! In this week’s episode, Jim Schauer busts a freestyle about #naturalgas and #pipelinesafety… just kidding. Seriously though, Jim and James bring this month’s flyover to catch up on upcoming events, exciting initiatives, and some fun.

Quick Links:

Jim Schauer on Linkedin
James Cross on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

Jim:  Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this episode of Coffee with Jim and James. James, my brother, I’m telling you right now, when you mention freestyle and then the hop on the Zoom call and I see you with a snazzy shirt, your hat, you know. [0:00] [0:40]

James:  Well, that kind of freestyle. [0:00] [0:41]

Jim:  Well, that’s what I’m thinking. You heard of me in the 1981 Chicago freestyle event, right? Talking dance moves, or… [0:00] [0:50]

James:  I was thinking, like, gangster rap, freestyles, you know. Jimmy, we’ve done these before, just one actually. We got our feet wet, I think couple months ago, I don’t even think we did one last month. It’s not something that we’re holding our feet to the fire at all on, but what it makes sense, the great way to kind of pick up the loose ends, and, you know, cover a lot of ground in an episode. So, I think that’s, that’s the plan today, yeah. I even got a cheat sheet, note sheet over here. So, when I look over over here, don’t judge me. [0:00] [1:25]

Jim:  Yep, and for all of our viewers again, just to connect the dots, we wanted to get on and talk about the industry right now. Talk about what’s going on now, as well as going forward for the short‑term future in the next, you know, two, three, four months, give everybody some updates. Lets, you know, continue to connect the dots and talk about some great things that are going on. [0:00] [1:47]

James:  So, for sure, and you mention the shirt. You’re dead on, any time we do these kind of looser ones, I feel obligated like, just hang out. You know, wear my comfy clothes. I used to wear hoodies, but it’s 157 degrees here in Texas today, so hoodies are out this season, but yeah, so men, we’re laid back. If I cruise back in my chair a little bit, tell me what’s up. [0:00] [2:12]

Jim:  I have my casual white shirt on today. I only have 17 different white shirts, and this is my casual one. [0:00] [2:18]

James:  It’s like your favorite one though. [0:00] [2:20]

Jim:  You know, it’s, you know, it’s good. So, let’s get started. Let’s bring people over. [0:00] [2:26]

James:  Jimmy, I want you to start. There’s actually a really exciting project that you’ve been working on. We kind of hinted on it the last time on our freestyle. [0:00] [2:34]

Jim:  We did. [0:00] [2:35]

James:  Maybe even a couple of times in between, but Jimmy you have been working on a project. I mean, honestly at this point probably two, two and a half years. [0:00] [2:43]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [2:44]

James:  You know, actually putting, you know, pen to paper, whatever you want to call it for those times. But, you know, probably in your head even before that and that’s a long time for a project, but I hear that we’re really, really close, if not there to let the cat out of the bag. So, Jimmy, I’m just going to let you run with it because it’s your baby. [0:00] [3:05]

Jim:  Well, I appreciate that and it’s been, it’s been a, quite a journey, and just to bring everybody up to speed real briefly, everybody knows that we do a lot in the OQ operator qualification world, right? And that world has been in place for about two decades now, and through just my industry knowledge and being married to a 23‑year veteran of the pipeline industry subject matter expert world. [0:00] [3:32]

James:  Who’s that? [0:00] [3:33]

Jim:  That would happen to be Tammy Bonnier from Clark Spring, Aneri. [0:00] [3:37]

James:  Shout out. [0:00] [3:38]

Jim:  Shout out, she’s gonna hit me when she… [0:00] [3:48]

James:  You said, a whoop whoop, it’s a freestyle. [0:00] [3:48]

Jim:  A freestyle. [0:00] [3:48]

James:  That’s fine. That’s totally fine. [0:00] [3:48]

Jim:  So much trouble, But, you know, just being in the, you know, in the same environment and hearing some of the things that they go through on their side in the certification world. [0:00] [4:01]

James:  Right. [0:00] [4:01]

Jim:  And it kept, you know, my mind kept going on like certification, you know, qualification, and I kept learning more and more that in, in the pipeline utility, municipality, oil and gas world, their certifications, and those run, I would say, almost synergetic or parallel to qualifications where people are doing projects on pipelines, or on grids, or whatever the case is, and they are certified by the manufacturer. So, manufacture had a process, and if these people want to apply a, everything from a composite wrap to maybe it’s a fusion machine or whatever, those people that are going to use that product and/or that process need to become certified. [0:00] [4:42]

James:  Right? [0:00] [4:43]

Jim:  My world like expanded. I’m like, this is a big deal. This is as big of deal if not bigger than qualifications, because one thing James, it, as you know, that I’ve been harping or not, harping on is the right word, but really touting, is that qualifications are in the United States, right? We talk about regulation and certifications also are now being looked at by regulators as saying, wait a minute, not just saying that you’re certified, but prove to me that you’re certified one. [0:00] [5:13] And when you think about it, certifications, they don’t know borders. So, all of a sudden somebody that is doing us a process and they need to be certified. I know just recently Clark Spring Aneri has been, they have people in England, one of their people was down in Gabon, Africa doing certifications. [0:00] [5:36]

James:  Saw all the pictures. I saw some of the pictures. I cannot share them, what they may or may not exist, but I did see it. [0:00] [5:43]

Jim:  But anyways, it immediately took, you know, it really helps people like Clark Spring Aneri to certify people throughout the world using the EW1 platform, so they can do things mobily, and so they can track it easily. The days of Excel spreadsheets for Clark Spring Aneri are tossed out the window, and it really will help them and will help us. I mean, all of a sudden, we have a global footprint. We’re dealing with Malaysia, Indonesia, Western Europe, Africa, the Americas. And so it’s exciting process James, and I’m glad that it’s, you know, the fruits of the labor are coming to, out to the, to the world right now. [0:00] [6:26] So, it’s a great time today to talk about that. So, if anybody is interested, just, you know how to get a hold of me. I would say right now, I’d be the point person for this and if you don’t reach out to me, there’s a good chance I’m going to be reaching out to you. [0:00] [6:39]

James:  Hey now. Jimmy, I’ve been close in proximity to this project so I’m seeing a lot. [0:00] [6:47]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [6:47]

James:  And, and my, for those that are more affected by OQ, you know, our US counterparts, and clients, and prospects with the push towards really company specific training. You hear custom, custom sounds expensive, but company specific, right. So, it’s one thing to get qualified on a task for corrosion, you know, of steel pipe or something, right. But it’s a whole nother to be certified by the manufacture and qualified, right? I mean it’s bringing that bar up. We talked about raising the bar for a long time. This is another effort to do just that, that and you know, whether Jimmy, you can answer this, but whether you’re a manufacturer, or an operator, or a contractor, there’s huge benefits for this. Am I wrong? [0:00] [7:41]

Jim:  No. [0:00] [7:41]

James:  It doesn’t matter where you sit, we’re all going to benefit from it. [0:00] [7:45]

Jim:  We’re all going to benefit. We’re all going to be safer, because when you think about it an operator can go into the EWN system and check a contractors, or their own people’s applications and in the same breath check their certifications and make sure that everything is, you know, up to par. And again, when you look at the core of everything that we do in the industry, being, let’s make the world a better and… [0:00] [8:09]

James:  Safer place. [0:00] [8:11]

Jim:  Safer place to work, and to be, and to live. This is absolutely at the cornerstone. So, I am, as you know, I’ve been a champion behind it for quite some time, and I am, to say that I’m excited about it and how it’s going to positively affect our industry. I am, I am very excited. So yeah, yeah. [0:00] [8:29]

James:  That’s great. Cool man. Well, congrats number one for getting it to here. I know, I know what it takes behind the scenes, and the long nights and early mornings to make it happen. [0:00] [8:40]

Jim:  We’ve been… [0:00] [8:40]

James:  And I’ve seen it personally, and I know we’re still in that process, not like we’re done or, you know, live, but we’re very, very close to taking a breath, right? That’s awesome. Cool. [0:00] [8:54]

Jim:  Absolutely. [0:00] [8:55]

James:  Jimmy, another exciting thing this week, is, all right, so full disclosure, we’re recording this right on July 7. So, this week, we had a big group travel out to Minga. We’ve got great friends over at Minga. [0:00] [9:11]

Jim:  Yep. Mississippi Natural Gas Association led by Darrell who’s been at the helm for many years. They’re, they’re there, they’re having fun at Orange Beach. [0:00] [9:22]

James:  Orange Beach, man, tough life. We’ve got four or five people go out there, Greg, Brianna, Corey, Heather. We’ve got several out there participating. Super excited to get back out. I think this is Greg’s actually second show. I thought he went to Minga earlier in the year. He went to Mississippi, I’ll just say that, I believe it was with Minga. But for a lot of people, Jimmy, this is one thing that I was thinking about this morning when I, when I was looking at the event calendar was, I bet for a lot of people this might be the first time they traveled out since 2019 because the pandemic halted it so early in 2020 that, you know, our season really runs from about end of February, early March to… [0:00] [10:10]

Jim:  April. [0:00] [10:10]

James:  Yeah, right, and so a lot of people never came out to play in 2019, you know, and you had that option. We’d already shut down by then and, so, think about that, you know, and we’re not even in that bucket yet. I haven’t traveled out to a conference yet. I don’t know about you but… [0:00] [10:28]

Jim:  Did my first one in Alabama two weeks… [0:00] [10:31]

James:  That’s right, two weeks ago. So, for me, you know, I’m still a little ways out from being out there. But wow, isn’t that wild to think about, that as an industry to be, you know, shut down and, and trying to figure it all out. So, what an exciting event for some people. [0:00] [10:50]

Jim:  It’s really, it’s great to see it coming back. I tell you for me, you know how much I travel or have traveled, and I felt like a newbie, like, how do I get on a plane? Where do I, you know what, how does a hotel key work? You know, all those, you know, I mean, I’m being facetious. [0:00] [11:06]

James:  Whatever, but it is funny traveling again, We’ve joked about that is how bad we’ve got it traveling. Especially when you think back at, let’s say, when you were in your prime of 2019, right? [0:00] [11:18]

Jim:  Right. [0:00] [11:18]

James:  When you were in September or, yeah, September of 2019, didn’t even think about traveling, you know. [0:00] [11:27]

Jim:  No. [0:00] [11:27]

James:  It’s book rental cars, but, you know, one morning you wake up book all your travel and just, you know, you knew how to pack, you knew how to function in the airport, you know. [0:00] [11:39]

Jim:  I mean it was… [0:00] [11:40]

James:  Now takes me 30 minutes to go to town, you know, and I say go to town because I live out in the country. [0:00] [11:46]

Jim:  Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting, it was, I’ll tell you just real quick, just the first day seeing people was like, do we shake hands? Do we hug or do we, you know. [0:00] [11:57]

James:  What am I doing here? [0:00] [11:59]

Jim:  And then things got better, and people still very cautious and they’re taking precautions and the whole bit, but by the end of the conference, people wished the conference wasn’t ending, because at that time, everybody was like, okay, we’re all back together. We’ve seen, talked to everybody on phone, Zoom calls and such, but I tell you, I’m excited for the Fall. We got some big home… [0:00] [12:21]

James:  Oh boy, do we have some big stuff? [0:00] [12:23]

Jim:  I mean… [0:00] [12:26]

James:  Every two years, you know, a little show pops up. [0:00] [12:30]

Jim:  What’s that one called? What is that? The one every two years. It has an exhibit all to it, AG. [0:00] [12:36]

James:  AK. [0:00] [12:38]

Jim:  Gas. [0:00] [12:39]

James:  Yeah. [0:00] [12:40]

Jim:  Association. [0:00] [12:41]

James:  Sure, so for those that don’t know the biennial trade show or exhibit is this year for AGA, which feels well‑timed, as the coming, coming out party for the industry, I think. [0:00] [12:56]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [12:56]

James:  Not to mention it’s in, you know, Kissimmee, Orlando, so it’s going to be a big deal, you know. It’s a big deal, every two years anyway, but this year especially. [0:00] [13:06]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [13:07]

James:  Been working with them and, and trying to figure out exactly what we’re going to do. We’re working through our plan for AGA, but I know one thing for sure… [0:00] [13:18]

Jim:  But now… [0:00] [13:18]

James:  We’ve joked about AGA having kind of a meta schedule for us, a schedule within a schedule. So, for Coffee with Jim and James, EWN has a booth, Energy Woman has a booth, 400 square foot booth. So, we got a good footprint, but on the backside of that, or on one side of the booth we’re actually going to set up Coffee with Jim and James. [0:00] [13:41]

Jim:  Yes. [0:00] [13:41]

James:  Probably want the main day. There’s really just one big day at AGA comparative, and so, our plan is to have live Coffee with Jim and James going, at least in the morning slot, maybe three lines for have coffee at the, at the booth, and, and bring folks on live, and we’re excited about that. And, then what else Jimmy? We’ve already heard other people pulling us in as well, that hence, the schedule within the schedule. [0:00] [14:04]

Jim:  Well, yes, you know, our good friends at Connections for Life, the UPS Go boys, as we like to call them The Three Stooges, you know, Joe, Cheng, Chad, said they’re going to be doing something similar at their booth, and you know, we just had a series of meetings with them and then I, I, every time we get together with the guys or like us, and then they’re like, how much more can we do? [0:00] [14:25] What can we do together? What can we do? So, we’re going to tag‑teaming off the Connections for Life. They have a booth also, so maybe, going back and forth between the booths. I know our friends, John Smith and all at HydroMax are very excited. HydroMax USA are going to be there and they want us to do something with them. So, all of a sudden it’s growing and growing, we might have to spread that day. Might even go a week. we might be tearing down AGA and we might still be… [0:00] [14:59]

James:  Going live, right? Doing a freestyle from them. Yeah, it’s, it’s something, it’s interesting that think of our industry, and you know what, what the big booths look like, and what it was. And I’m wondering how many will see, how many podcasts or recordings, we’ll see at peoples booths this year because there’s, you know, there’s quite, quite a bit of buzz going around the industry and I think it’s a new wrinkle we can bring to it. And then, SGA Natural Gas Connects coming up in, is that one, is it, is it Charlotte? [0:00] [15:35]

Jim:  Yeah, that’s in Charlotte. Yep. [0:00] [15:36]

James:  Down River. And honestly, we’re thinking about doing a very similar set up there this year, as well. We’re going to work through that. We’re getting down to where we’re about to make all these decisions. So, plan to do the same thing there. But, but there’s actually a cooler part that SGA’s ask. If you are part of Natural Gas Connect last year you probably saw that Jim and myself and UPS Go, Chad and Joe and Ted all combined to really do a game show. [0:00] [16:06] We did it online, and it was a lot of fun. A lot of prizes, we had a good time. We’ve done something similar with PGA, two years in a row now. But SGA’s, we were going to do it virtually for this management conference that just ended, but they said, “What do you think about coming out and doing it live at Natural Gas Connect,” and so, we’ll see if that works out. I believe it is. [0:00] [16:29]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [16:29]

James:  It’s going to be a ton of fun, and so, I think, we work it into the reception or something to bring some life to that, and really just have a blast doing it. We had a fun time on TGA. I know we talked about that on our last freestyle that we, you know, we’re getting close to that. It really was a ton of fun and laughs, and, and for an industry that, you know, has been cooped up in a house for this long now and at home, I think it’s very refreshing. [0:00] [16:56]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [16:56]

James:  Just laugh with your friends, and get some free stuff. And, I mean, the game is totally ridiculous. [0:00] [17:03]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [17:03]

James:  And I think that’s what we’re going to call it. But it’s… [0:00] [17:07]

Jim:  Totally Ridiculous? [0:00] [17:07]

James:  Yeah. I mean, because it is, but it’s a ton of fun, and man, we need it. [0:00] [17:13]

Jim:  Yeah, we do need it. [0:00] [17:16]

James:  So, we’re teaming up with, with UPS Go there as well, I think. [0:00] [17:21]

Jim:  Yes, we are. [0:00] [17:21]

James:  We have some big stuff. We also got APGA coming up, I think, at the end of this month. We got some folks traveling out for that. We got Greg and Scott are doing that from the brand side, big supporters of APGA. Our friends over there, we’ve seen them on, on the show, and Stewart and others over there. So, lots of lots of movement, its, October is going to be wild. [0:00] [17:45]

Jim:  Well, obviously it is going to be wild and that’s an exciting thing. I think, this is a proof of the pudding that the hybrid world is here. So, besides doing some of the live things we’re still doing as much as we can in the podcast format, or even in the LinkedIn Live, you know, with Jim Kunkel, Connections for Life, you know is doing LinkedIn Live. So I, we’re, we’re really weaving this thread through the in person as well as the virtual world, because the feedback has been so overwhelmingly, you know, positive and just the thank you’s that we get, you know. I, I still get them all the time, you know. Thanks for doing this. It let me ask for a half‑hour and catch some information, but that’s exciting. [0:00] [18:33]

James:  Yeah, and you and I have been kind of debating LinkedIn Live and whether it’s the right space for us. And I don’t know that we know that answer yet. I mean we’re applying and, and, you know, probably going to do it to at least try it out and use it. My thinking is, it would be really cool if we had LinkedIn Live when we do start going out in the industry again, because imagine being able to walk through the exhibit hall or, or share, you know, a message or something and being able to share that to folks that are not able to travel out, because that’s, you know, that’s the touch point. [0:00] [19:07] I don’t want to lose as we head back out, and I’ve said it again, and you said it to Jimmy, but I want, I don’t want all these people that got to benefit from the professional development side and the industry learning side because we were in a virtual world and now we go back live and, you know what, that guy, that guy, that’s a level one, you know, compliance guy at whatever fill the blank operator. [0:00] [19:35]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [19:35]

James:  Isn’t going to get that opportunity, and we know that. And so, if we rip the virtual legs out from under this thing, I think we’re shooting ourselves in the foot, right? Because our industry has grown so big. Remember that we did the TGA event, and one of the questions we asked was, how long have you been in the industry? [0:00] [19:56]

Jim:  Yeah, that was a good one. [0:00] [19:58]

James:  Someone rolled in, I think they’d been 37 years or something, it was pretty impressive. [0:00] [20:01]

Jim:  Just under 40. [0:00] [20:02]

James:  But before, before the game show, we had talked and said, we’re going to give a prize out to the one that’s been there the longest and then the one that’s been there the shortest. We had someone on that have been in the industry for four weeks, now, unless you’re a salesperson working for a vendor or, you know, something like that, you’re not going to make it out there showing four weeks, it ain’t happening. You’re probably not even through onboarding, but smart companies are seeing this how much exposure that folks are getting during this time and capitalizing off of that. [0:00] [20:35] And man, I just hope we don’t lose that. And so, whether it’s through the podcast, whether it’s LinkedIn Live, whether it’s by proxy, whatever way we can do it, and pray, I just pray that some of the bigger associations realize how streaming some of this stuff and making a hybrid approach to these conferences has got to be our our way of the future. [0:00] [20:57]

Jim:  Yeah, and we can’t lose them. We’ve gained so many, and people are, like… [0:00] [21:03]

James:  Piss everybody off that just got to do all that all year long and they’re gonna be like, go to another industry, you know. So, we definitely don’t want that to happen. But so, if LinkedIn Live is something that we feel like can bring value to the industry we’ll definitely do that. We appreciate the UPS Go guys and Conquer over there, field out, paving the way and showing us how it can be done and done successfully. But honestly, for us,we have to keep up this pace, to, we have to, you know, we’ve made a lot of changes to the show to keep it sustainable. [0:00] [21:37] And Linkedin Live adds a layer that we’re not sure yet that the investments there. And it’s not, it’s not, it, that’s just ours, because me and you, we’re the ones doing this and we’re really busy. Everybody that does it says it’s, you know, it’s work, and so for us, we just got to kind of weigh it out and decide if it makes sense for us. And, right now, man, I’m just happy to be on talking about it and getting the hang out with my friends and for now I’ll take that all day long. [0:00] [22:05]

Jim:  Absolutely. [0:00] [22:07]

James:  But, that synergy that you talked about earlier, Jimmy, that’s something that excites me and has really helped me through this pandemic is having the shows that, that you would think almost like competition or competitor shows, but I mean, there’s no time slots, you know, we’re not prime time. People watch this crap at two in the morning or two in the afternoon. It doesn’t matter, right? So, we’re not competing, and so when we really embrace that abundance mentality and said, how can we stand each other up? How can we, you know, what are y’all struggling with? What, here’s what we’re struggling with and how can we turn these into opportunities? It’s been really cool to have a group synergized around that, that is, is almost a support group, you know. [0:00] [22:49]

Jim:  Hundred percent and it’s really helped because they bounce a few ideas off of us, and we’re like, that’s a great idea. And point I have to stress too, there’s absolutely zero competition. We want therefore… [0:00] [23:02]

James:  They hang out, like we get on Zoom calls and just talk about how to make our shows better, right? [0:00] [23:08]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [23:08]

James:  And it’s a safe group, because we’re all trying to be better, right? I mean, we’re not just putting out something to put something out. So, that’s been awesome vibe with that group. We have an email chain that kind of just floats around, it seems like all the time, and all of us are active on LinkedIn and there’s a bigger group, Even Beyond, who were mentioned, but very thankful for them. They’ve been a highlight to this last 18 months, really. [0:00] [23:36]

Jim:  hundred percent. Absolutely, a hundred percent and it’s been, it’s been a hard 18 months, James. I mean, it’s been, you know, you and I have talked a lot about this and, you know, we talked about, you know, talking with the guys that helps the D, take away the stress a little bit. But really… [0:00] [23:55]

James:  It’s compressed. [0:00] [23:56]

Jim:  Decompressing, because, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s been a hard 18 months and, and when you’re working from home all the time, the blurred lines, when does work stop and personal starts. So, let’s pose… [0:00] [24:09]

James:  How was your fourth of July weekend? [0:00] [24:12]

Jim:  It was, you know. [0:00] [24:13]

James:  I mean, it’s good, but you know what I mean? Like, when, when it’s blurred like that, it’s, well, I woke up Friday and where, I was off, but yeah. [0:00] [24:21]

Jim:  I was gonna email you about something and then I realized it was July 4th. [0:00] [24:24] James; I like 4th of July. [0:00] [24:26]

Jim:  No, I’m not going to email you today. You know, that’s a, that’s a bad thing. So, I think one thing that we should promote and tell people that they really need to look at is, you know, if they’re able, if they’re willing, if they have the ways and means go on a vacation, I know that I’m going to be in a cabin, isolated, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, decompressing, and I hope no cell service there. And I hope, you know, if I have to get water from the stream, let’s boil it first. But, I mean, I’m really to the point and, I think, you know, also Tam, you know, she works 80, 90 hours a week because there’s blurred lines, and it’s like, you know, we need to get away, we need to decompress. So, I think that’s an important thing. [0:00] [25:16]

James:  I agree. Sharpen the saw, right. [0:00] [25:18]

Jim:  Definitely habits. [0:00] [25:18]

James:  We have it’s not a whole episode about it. In fact, it spirited. I mean, the really the series of we put out, but sharpen the saw. If you’re not doing it, especially during these times, I’ll tell ya, it weighs heavy on. I’m also taking a trip, funny enough, to Florida, and not to Jimmy’s house. I swear. [0:00] [25:41]

Jim:  I can’t wait to have you. [0:00] [25:43]

James:  Which be weird if we’re in the same box. But, yeah, we’re going to get away, kind of the same. We need some beach in our life. It’s been a long time since we’ve sat on beach. Again, hopefully everybody has a chance or they’re able can do it safely, both mentally and physically, but very vital, man. You got to remember why you do this stuff and I think over the pandemic I hope people realize a little bit more why we did this stuff that we do. [0:00] [26:12]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [26:12]

James:  And, I think, we’ve had a clear picture of the business side of why we do things over the last 18 months, but it, maybe it’s, you know, unearthed some things, you know, personally that some of us need to work through. So, I think, we’ve done a decent job, we can do better, and I hope we will, this past 18 months of helping people. You know, get the message out about mental health, really, right? I mean that, that’s really what we’re talking about when we say sharpen the saw, at the base of it, it’s for your mental health. And then, as we, you know, think about the pandemic and for some people, maybe the first time that, if you think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, right? [0:00] [26:59]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [27:00]

James:  Some of the first time, some people have maybe ever dealt with that, you know, generations that didn’t go to war or didn’t have, you know, those, those events where it scared the life out of you, right? That for the first time they’re experiencing that and that’s a tough thing to process and work through when you have little ones, and spouses, and parents, and grandparents, and all the things that you have to factor into that. It’s stacks heavy, right? [0:00] [27:28]

Jim:  Neighbors, friends, industry. [0:00] [27:30]

James:  I’m in… [0:00] [27:31]

Jim:  Go down the list, you know. [0:00] [27:33]

James:  Which, Jimmy, kind of leads to really the capstone, I guess, to this freestyle episode. [0:00] [27:40]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [27:40]

James:  And we knew we wouldn’t, when would we have started Seven Habits, probably a year ago? Well no, it probably was less than eight months ago, ten months ago, we actually did an episode on Sharpen the Saw. [0:00] [27:55]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [27:56]

James:  And it came, honestly, at the time because I was struggling, at that point mentally and, you know, really kind of brought it up to you, and you were like, man, people need to hear this message. [0:00] [28:08]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [28:09]

James:  And so, we just kind of went for it and threw that out there, and then we got so much great feedback on the Seven Habits that we decided to turn it… [0:00] [28:19]

Jim:  I mean… [0:00] [28:19]

James:  That was the best, that was, I don’t even know why we make other shows, you know, we should just read books, I guess. But, but so much awesome feedback from that that we decided, you know, let’s, let’s make it a little series within. And so, we did all the Seven Habits and, I think, a couple weeks ago we recorded the final episode of that which should be airing soon. I don’t think I’ve missed it yet. Sorry, if I did, I don’t watch my own stuff anymore. [0:00] [28:47]

Jim:  No, haven’t seen it. [0:00] [28:47]

James:  So, once that’s wrapped we really were trying to think, what’s our next, like series. Mini series within the episodes. And we talked a lot about different books and things we could bring to people’s attention and, and we plan to continue to do that. I mean, I think what book studies are awesome. But, I think, we’ll probably do an episode on a book, you know, and then an episode on another book. Seven Habits is just a different animal where… [0:00] [29:14]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [29:15]

James:  Where you have the opportunity to do seven episodes. Why not? Those will probably happen. But, behind it all we think a mental health series is probably the best answer, right now. [0:00] [29:30]

Jim:  Now, I agree with you, you know, a lot of people are probably saying, “Wow, mental health series,” this runs deep, you know, but it can be deep, but it can also be very enlightening and very, you know, bringing awareness to people, because, I think, what I’m learning by talking to you and talking to friends in the industry and family and all that, that people don’t really realize, it’s easy. Like, when you ever go to those classes and they say, okay, when you’re under stress, you know, count to 10, and breathe in and out, and you’re like, in this class in the environment where you’re not stressing, you got it. But then, when you’re actually under stress, do you, do you remember that? And I think right now, a lot of people are going through a lot of just, just mental, I’ll call it, anguish. Is that a good word or a mental… [0:00] [30:18]

James:  I think that’s fair. [0:00] [30:20]

Jim:  …turbulence, you know. [0:00] [30:21]

James:  Some of us, right? Yeah, and there’s not a blanket, you know, that we can throw over it. And, I think, that’s why it dictates it being a series is because there’s multifacets to it. [0:00] [30:33]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [30:33]

James:  Facets to it, right? Like if you deal with anxiety, that’s totally different than depression, you know. But, they can be commingled and they can be a byproduct of each other and so, you know, or, you know, whatever it is, right? An ADD, or, or, it whatever it might be, just Sharpening the Saw, right? As simple as that is. Not saying we’re going to have the repeat episode, but why? Why is it so important? And man, what better? What better group to bring it to you? You know sometimes people are, there’s a stigma, you know, or there has been. I think it’s lifting more and more, but there’s been a stigma for a long time, you know, with talking to a shrink, or a psychologist, or whatever, you. And we’re trying to break a little bit of that. [0:00] [31:22] And part of it comes, I’ll be really honest, in October of last year, assumed, over, or, soon to rollover each other, as well, for those that don’t know. And so, for me, this is really a kind of a personal battle that I want to bring to our industry. And then, I want to tackle it, I want to go after it because, I think, you know, that might be part of the reason I’m here. And so, I want to be sure that we’re supporting people, and then we’re also like, just making a safe place. I don’t care if people are messaging me. I like, I don’t care one bit. I just want that to be an option and be able to provide people with resources that maybe they don’t know is available. [0:00] [32:08]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [32:08]

James:  Because, sometimes that’s the obvious thing, you overlook, right? And there’s ways that we can, we can bring this information out, and Jimmy, you and I bringing it, I think it’s a little bit different than when you feel like an HR person is telling you, or, you know, a medical professional, and listen, we’re not giving medical advice during this series at all. [0:00] [32:28]

Jim:  Firstly it’s… [0:00] [32:28]

James:  It’s more of how absolutely, how we work through it. What’s worked for us and and the stories are going to get us there. So, I personally, man, I’m telling you I’ve wanted to do this and now we have a platform and why not? [0:00] [32:45]

Jim:  I’m… [0:00] [32:46]

James:  Why not now, right? I think it’s perfect timing, perfect storm for this discussion and based on kind of the samples that we’ve thrown out and, you know, to see the bait that we’ve shown the waters with a little bit, it seems like there’s some legs with it and that tells me again our mission to me. If we can, you know, really touch one of those folks that are listening every episode, especially on this topic, you know. Whether we’re saving a mental breakdown, or saving a life, or whatever it might be. That’s one, that’s when that one makes all the difference. [0:00] [33:24]

Jim:  And, and, you know my story. And most of the people the industry know it because I’ve gotten over the shame, probably nine years and six months ago. But I celebrated my ten year sobriety this year, July 10. And as everybody knows in the industry who knows me, I just talk about it, you know. I’m not one to be like, no, I’m like, “Hey, yeah, I’m sober. [0:00] [33:46]

James:  Not drinking. [0:00] [33:47]

Jim:  And the amount of people that have known me over the last years and have reached out to me, even just quietly, just saying, “Hey, I’ve been struggling during this time and do you have any advice?” And, you know, I’m not a doctor. I’m not that, I’m just a friend. I’m just a person who’s gone through it, and, and I think that’s a subject too that I’m very excited, excited. [0:00] [34:11]

James:  Jimmy, what are the stats on substance abuse, for instance? [0:00] [34:15]

Jim:  Well, that’s, that’s interesting because I actually volunteered at a recovery church and we’re very interested in them. But the old stats, pre‑COVID, were one out of 11. One out of 10 Americans struggle with some sort of substance concern. And, you know, when I say concerned, that could be like, somebody says, I had three glasses of wine last night I really didn’t want to do that, I only wanted one, you know. All the way to somebody that could be a full, you know, blown addict of some sort, and so, there’s concerns and that was pre‑COVID. We’re thinking now those numbers just, just at a grass roots level, we just know more people that are, that had it in balance before and now the balance is out of way. Think about that though. Just let’s, just go one… [0:00] [35:01]

James:  You go pick the, you pick the one out of the 12 people that are in close proximity to you. [0:00] [35:06]

Jim:  Yeah, do it. [0:00] [35:08]

James:  Yeah. But I mean, like, I’m saying, which one do you want to wish that on? And, and I think all of us will go, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I never would have thought that low, because now, we’re probably under one in ten, you know, more like one in 8, one in 9, and if you, you are a smaller company that’s got 20 or 30 employees, that’s a big difference, right? I mean. [0:00] [35:29]

Jim:  You’re looking at two to three people, and a lot of times, like I, you hide it because you’re ashamed of it. And so, you just muddle through the day and you don’t know that person is struggling, and, you know, the next time you’re at a meeting, you know, and there’s 20 people that you could say, I bet you there’s two people here that are struggling with something. a [0:00] [35:46]

James:  At least and that’s, that’s in the best case scenario, right? That’s if the cultures good. It’s a low‑stress job. It’s a, it’s a, you got good hires. So, imagine you have one bad hire in there. [0:00] [36:00]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [36:00]

James:  Or, you have a string of bad hires in there, and you have a bad manager bringing in bad people and managing people bad. You may have a whole department that, that’s affected majorly by it. And, Jimmy, to go back to the bigger stats, and again these are pre‑COVID. I think, it’s like 18.9, so I’ll just round it up because I’m a marketer. 20 percent of folks are dealing with mental health issues at the moment and something like 39, and I’ll say, again, 40 percent, go untreated. So, so, that means 10, you know, and probably now 10 to 15 percent of people in the workplace are struggling with mental health and are not getting help. Whether it be from a stigma that is pre‑existing, or just being scared, or not knowing how, or not even knowing they have a problem. [0:00] [36:53]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [36:54]

James:  And if we can bring that to light and do it in a way that people feel safe, as we do it too, you know. Reach out, reach out to others and so forth. I think that’s an obligation. I’m perfectly happy to, to provide to folks. [0:00] [37:11]

Jim:  Right. And I agree and I think you hit it, you know, self awareness, understanding yourself, and then too, that there isn’t shame in it, you know. I would only shame is, you know, keeping it inside and not letting people help you, want to help. [0:00] [37:23]

James:  And Jim, you said something about which is essentially masking, right? And whether it’s substance abuse, or anxiety, or depression, or, you know, whatever, that’s something that our, like our minds naturally do, right? You don’t want to show weakness to people. So, in their mind, if anxiety or depression is, or stress is a weakness, then you mask, you mask that. And so, what everyone sees every day is totally different, but then when you get it home and collapse. [0:00] [37:53]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [37:53]

James:  You know, that’s when I just pray that episode hits the right hands and, and, or they see a LinkedIn post or, you know, an email from us and can act on it, so. [0:00] [38:06]

Jim:  Yep, yes. [0:00] [38:07]

James:  It’s probably a big ask for our industry, you know, when people are probably watching them, they’re going out. Interesting, how this will go. But again, I’m willing to take that chance. [0:00] [38:18]

Jim:  I’m willing to take it too, because as we say at the recovery church, and we meet every Tuesday night as you know, if we can help one person, just one person then we’ve all done our jobs and we really want to do, man. Just, just help people. [0:00] [38:33]

James:  We want, we want to help stay in this industry back up. We believe a lot of awesome work has been done and like we said before, all the professional development that, that this past 18 months has given us. [0:00] [38:46]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [38:46]

James:  That’s not going away. That’s already deposited, right? So, our goal is to, okay now this transition back is going to be tough. We know people are challenged right now with mental health and so bringing them along so that our industry, man, in two years can flex and use all that power that we stored up. [0:00] [39:06]

Jim:  How are we going to do it? We’re going to do it as an industry united, you know. [0:00] [39:10]

James:  Absolutely. [0:00] [39:11]

Jim:  So, we cross those lines meaning one company versus another company. No, no, let’s break those down. Let’s, let’s, you know, build those great people. Yeah, there’s way too many good that is in our industry that we can help share that. James. [0:00] [39:27]

James:  So, Jimmy that, that’s the series, man. We’re hoping to bring that.. [0:00] [39:32]

Jim:  When is that going to be? Do we have a name yet? [0:00] [39:33]

James:  I don’t know. We’re struggling through that a little bit, doing a little, little work on that. Not struggling, but, you know, we haven’t, we haven’t sat down in a room. [0:00] [39:42]

Jim:  But, that would helpful. Mental health, mental hope, you know, all those good things, right? [0:00] [39:49]

James:  Absolutely. I’m ready to get started. I think, I think, we could probably see it within the next month. Roll out the first one out, and we’ll see how that goes and lay out the future episodes, as well. [0:00] [40:03]

Jim:  James, I think, we could keep talking for another couple hours, but we should probably bring it to a close otherwise, I don’t think, I don’t think we have enough Broadband width. You see what I did there? [0:00] [40:15] James; Fall back, it’s an inside job. You know, I think, it would only be fitting if you did that freestyle that you prepared for us. [0:00] [40:24]

Jim:  Mean this one? [0:00] [40:25]

James:  Yeah, sure, freestyle dance. Freestyle dance is out. [0:00] [40:30]

Jim:  That’s out. That’s a, anyways, let me, let me wrap this freestyle event up with a freestyle sign off. James, thank you so much for the time, brother. Every time we get together, I have to share with you. I get something out of it. It’s not just… [0:00] [40:44]

James:  Good for our mental health. [0:00] [40:46]

Jim:  Absolutely is, and I can’t thank you enough for continuing to put up with me in all my wackiness. But, you know, sometimes it’s that wackiness that we just need to do during the day just to let the stress out, or whatever. So, this is a good thing. [0:00] [41:02] For all of our viewers, we want to thank you absolutely, personally for viewing in, you know, taking a, taking the time to, you know, spend some time with us. We hope you get one thing out of today, and if you did, try to pass that on to somebody else, because that’s the most important thing. Let’s just keep that gain of goodness going. Pass it on. [0:00] [41:22]

James:  Complicity, right? [0:00] [41:23]

Jim:  Absolutely. So, until next time on Coffee with Jim and James, on behalf of James and I, we thank you very much. You all be safe, have a great week and we will see you next time. Take care. Bye, bye. [0:00] [41:35]

James:  Be brave. [0:00] [41:36]

Jim:  Be brave is right, that’s a good model. Bye everybody [0:00] [41:40]

James:  Bye, everyone. [0:00] [[41:41] music] [0:00]

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