#222 – A Leader By Accident With Jim Rafferty

Thomas green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the episode today, we have Jim Rafferty. Jim, welcome. Thanks, Thomas, nice to be here, appreciate it. It’s nice to have you, would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Sure, I am a marketing and communications consultant based in Baltimore Maryland USA and also the author of a book called “Leader By Accident”, which, as the title would imply sort of, revolves around leadership and really a number of things, but grows out of experience where I was thrust into a leadership role unexpectedly and the difference that made a few years later and sort of stepping off the ledge into entrepreneurship and hanging up my own shingle, which you know, is almost a decade ago now. Well, thank you for the introduction. What does it mean to be a leader by accident? Well, in this case, the story is that I very suddenly became scoutmaster of our son’s Boy Scout troop when the existing scoutmaster and his wife and two sons were all murdered by their oldest son, which is more horrible than it sounds.

I still truly have trouble saying that, and that maybe doesn’t sound like a real big deal in terms of leadership, but I had zero experience in terms of ever having been a boy scout or a scout leader or having any outdoor skills to speak up for that kind of thing and we honestly didn’t know if the troop would Survive that and as it turned, you know, we were about 25 young men suddenly reduced in numbers and without a scoutmaster and it was odd to me that they turned to a guy with no experience in that moment and with the help of a lot of other people stepping up and doing more. The troop, not only survived, but thrived and I spent five years as the scoutmaster and it was amazing string of adventures that challenged me and stretched me and took me out of my comfort zone and that really fueled the journey into entrepreneurship when I was shown the door at the job I’d held for a little over two decades at that point and I mean it had truly never crossed my mind to do anything other than have somebody hand me a paycheck and provide my healthcare and all the sort of safety net that goes with having a job.

But I wound up doing something very different and it was probably the best professional thing I’ve, no doubt, the best professional thing I’ve ever done. As I said almost a decade ago and I’ve never been happy or you know, however you care to measure success in terms of you know, income schedule, flexibility, loving your work, all the boxes that we like to check. So one thing definitely led to another in terms of that and that really is the gist of leader by accident book. Well, congratulations on, well, first becoming an author, second making it through, should we say successfully if that is the case. What did you learn from that, from being sort of put in that, should we say, quite unique position. It’s you know, there were two parts to it. There was the actual physical challenges of things I hadn’t done before, just normal camping trips, you know, weekend outings, but also high adventure trips down to the Florida keys, into Yellowstone national Park and on a non scouting trip in the middle of all that, my wife and I and another couple hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and spent four nights down there and hiked back out and you know that part of it stretched me and challenged me and took me places I’d never been before.

And then they, you know, the the leadership side of it in terms of having to shepherd that group helped to shepherd that group through a very, very difficult time also helped a lot in sort of informing the skill set that I need going forward. So one of the things which I think you’re happy to talk about is that the advice for someone who is put in that position of being an unexpected leader, what would you say to that person? Don’t be afraid to uh not know what you don’t know. I was I was very up front with the the young men of the troop about my lack of scouting skills and that we were learning these things together sometime and we sometimes and and we had some, you know, more experienced hands around me to help. So so that was huge. But you know, I never hid from the fact that you’re pretending to be something I wasn’t, I think that’s that’s really key and I think it translates really well now too, you know, a really challenging time for leaders in in business environments, you know, here in the age of the great resignation, what do you think that that was the case initially?

Like the the opposite, basically. So why do you think it was the case that people felt like they had to hide what they didn’t know previously? You know, I think it’s something that comes with, you know, experience, but because I can remember, you know, moving to Baltimore in my mid twenties to be program director of a radio station and managing a staff of, you know, half a dozen or seven people, every one of whom was significantly older than I was. So, you know, your natural inclination is to, you know, fake it and pretend that you’re more experienced than you are and in hindsight, that was a mistake. And I think just having some years on me, by the time the Scoutmaster thing rolled around, um you know, helped, you know, and and you you just did you get to a place where you’re willing to say, look, this is it, this is what I know, this is what I don’t know, and I and I need your help with this, and I think people appreciate that in, you know, any setting, Do you think it comes from insecurity? Yes, 100%. Okay. I did want to ask you initially about the fact that you’re an entrepreneur now, and is it right that going through that leadership experience actually helped you get into entrepreneurship?

Yeah, absolutely, it did. Um I don’t think I would ever have had the guts to say, you know, here, I’m going downtown to file the paperwork to launch my company and I’m gonna come home and tell the state of Maryland to stop sending the unemployment checks, you know, which I did had had I not lived through the previous few years and and been been stretched and pushed out of my comfort zone by the scouting stuff and that really is one of the main themes of of the book, Leader by accident is the, the kinds of things that can happen when, when we do challenge ourselves and when we, when we do the things that we’re afraid to do or, you know, that scares us a little bit. So what’s the story of how you started your business? So, I had had this job, I was the marketing and sales manager for a home Improvement company here in Baltimore for not quite 21 years and uh new owner took it over a year before and that did not go real well, much more detail about that in the book.

But anyway, I found myself out of work and I started to look for a job because that was all I ever knew how to do was look for a job and that was a good idea in theory I guess, but honestly there wasn’t a whole lot of demand for, you know, then 51 year old self taught marketer, so I really, you know, it was a difficult time, Our son was a year away from college, my wife had always worked a few part time jobs, but I was the main breadwinner and provider of health care and it was a not a happy summer here in the, in the rafferty household. Um, and then actually someone from the scout troop who owned a local business came to me and asked me if I’d stop in and talk to him about his website and some other stuff and then my brother in law who lived out of state and ran a company in an industry I didn’t even know was a thing really uh asked me to look over a proposal, he had to redo his website and then a former boss who had started his own company asked me to come by and talk about things and, and I thought, well wow, somebody’s trying to tell me something here, maybe there is a path.

And the thing is though, that I think the old gym, the pre scouting jim would have taken all that on as the side work and done at nights and weekends and whenever and would have kept looking for a job until I found one whether it was something I actually wanted to do or not. And you know, I think that those experiences that I had had and and stretching myself both as a leader and and sort of in the physical sense in terms of the you know the camping and hiking and the things that we did. Um you know I said let’s do this and as I said, you know went downtown, filed the paperwork and launched the company and and just stepped off the ledge into entrepreneurship and it turned out great, you know I love my work and you know I really thought that I would be sort of the home improvement guy because that was my background but I have clients in all kinds of industries that you know it’s just and that really is my favorite part is is meeting new ones and learning about what they do and what makes them work and all that.

That’s been a lot of fun. So are you in websites? Is that what you do? Yeah, a little bit of everything and that’s another part of it that I love. Yes, I I build websites for clients. I also you know manager email newsletters and their social media and still some traditional radio tv print and just general strategy communication. How are we going to approach this? And you know having that first conversation with a client who says I need a website and like well okay you need a website. But why what what’s what’s your business model? How does it work? Where does your business come from? You know, is this website gonna drive new business or is this website had this conversation two days ago? This website is really a brochure because that’s not that’s not ever going to be a driver of your business because you’re not in that kind of industry. Uh so that those conversations are great, every client’s different, every day is different and and that’s really what I love about my work. And you remember how you got your first client first paid one those three people who I just talked about who all reached out to me became my first three clients and remained that two of them still are.

The other one was until last year when that company changed hands. My my brother in law remained my client for several years after he was not my brother in law anymore. So I was always kind of proud of that. But yeah, they you know, God bless them for sort of showing the way and and that led to others and lead to others. And it’s really all pretty much come from referrals from other people, which is great. I haven’t had to go knock on doors which is, you know a blessing. So basically saw an opportunity and due to your, should we say your leadership um principles or your experience you decided to go for it. That sounds good summary. It is, yes, it is a good summary. And the other thing I think that gave me a little bit of a maybe an edge. It was you know, I mentioned the new ownership and and you know sort of surviving that for a year at the company where I worked and the new ownership was kind of obsessed with consultants, we had a parade of consultants come through and you know, on the one hand it was frustrating where over and over again I would suggest doing things a certain way and sort of get ridiculed for it and then the consultant would say the same thing and you know it would be gospel.

But on the other hand I sort of paid attention to how they carried themselves and I knew what they charged and how they worked and I saw how they interacted with the staff and I think sort of paying attention during that year, gave me a leg up when it came time to hang up my own shingle. Absolutely, it’s interesting because you, right until you know that that’s a possibility. Um you know it doesn’t open up to you as an option, but you saw it as an option once you’ve got that experience and went for it, so well done on on doing that then you’ve never looked back, right, right? Yeah. And in the moment as I’m watching these consultants come through, I wasn’t you know, my I was not on doing that myself. I mean, it really never crossed my mind until I felt that, you know, that was the only logical path to take. But but yeah, I mean, it definitely helped to sort of pay attention. Just little things like, you know, the ones who interacted with the staff, you know, beyond what they were doing, you know, who took the time to sort of get to know people, I guess is what I’m saying versus you know, came in dispense their wisdom and left.

You know, there’s a good way in a bad way to handle things and, you know, I paid attention to that. So what’s your take on the, on the comfort zone? I think we need our comfort zones, you know, and especially over these past couple of years, you know, we’ve discovered our comfort zones as we’ve curled up on the couch and binge watched and sort of been forced to to stay in our comfort zones maybe. Um, you know, and we need that, we need our family, we need our pets and we need our home and in our place where we can, you know, sort of be at peace with with everything. The danger is that we stay there, right? And if we don’t challenge ourselves now and again, then then you don’t, we don’t change and we don’t grow in the book. I used the line from the, you know, some unknown preacher who said God loves you just the way you are and he loves you too much to let you stay that way. You know, we we need to be changing and challenging yourself. So, you know, we don’t need to live outside our comfort zones. I’m you won’t find a bigger homebody creature of habit than than I am, but we do need to try new things and and and not say no.

I used to talk about this with the scouts all the time about, you know, the opportunities they would have to try new things and how important it was to just not say no and to keep an open mind and some pan out and some don’t. But, you know, I’ve I’ve done a lot of work again, I mentioned it in the book that maybe isn’t straight, you know, marketing consulting and wasn’t, you know, it’s sort of technical writing, but when it came along early days, my dance card wasn’t full, you know, and I said, sure, I’ll give it a try. And I mean, that work over the years has helped put a couple of kids through college. So, you know, I think, you know, keeping an open mind, pressing ourselves, trying new things, stepping out of the comfort zone that that’s you know, otherwise we just stay who we are and you know, life’s too short to do that. So at some point you become an author, when does that happen? The book was published in october of last year by morgan James publishing and it was a few years in the making, mostly because of me, you know, I would my M O was sort of right for a while and then set aside and then come back a couple of months later and come back to it and edit and write some more.

And and also it’s it’s very much of a pick it up, put it down, digestible white sized chunks. The publisher likes to call it an airplane read, you know, it’s not terribly long. Um and and it was a great experience and the places it’s taken me into conversations like this, you know, um since it was published have also, you know, really been neat, you know, some speaking opportunities have come out of it and that sort of thing. So the feedback on it’s been really, really nice and and very, very gratifying and start to finish. How long would you say that it took to write? It was a few years, but again, most of that was on me and, you know, I had, if I took out the chunks where I set it aside and went away and did other things that it probably would, you know, say a few months worth of work all told. But, you know, the book is the structure of the book in Scouting, there’s a thing called the Scoutmaster minute, which essentially is a little many homily given by the Scoutmaster at the end of each weekly meeting to to the young men of the troop.

And when I became scoutmaster, I realized, well, ok, I don’t know three ways to start a fire without matches or how to find north without a compass, but that’s something I can probably do a reasonably good job at. So I worked hard on those and I kept an archive of them over the years and it was very gratifying to me that a number of our young men at their Eagle Scout ceremonies, you know, in reflecting on their scouting careers, mentioned those scoutmaster minutes as a source of inspiration. So I use those throughout the book and you know, take the lesson that I was trying to teach to the scouts. And then in the chapter that follows, try to translate that for something meaningful for for you and me and people trying to get through life and through business and leadership and all that sort of thing. So leadership is a theme for sure gratitude is a big recurring theme in my in my talks with them and this sort of comfort zone if you want to call it that. But this notion of not saying no when new opportunities present itself, because, you know, at that age, it’s so important when they’re teenagers right in the scout troop, mostly in, you know, they’ve got so many competing voices and it’s so important, it was so important to me to be another positive voice in their ear, you know, hopefully reinforcing what they were already hearing at home, and a lot of it does, I think translate really well to to the business world, what would you share on gratitude, as you mentioned that, you know, there was one that I did very early on and it was pretty simple, it was about, you know, the wind at your back, how I had gone out for a run and you know, this wind was blowing in my face and I thought well that’s great because on the way back it’ll be pushing me along, I’ll feel it helping and I never did notice that, you know, that the wind helped and I said to the voice of the troop, I said, so is that how we are as we go through our days, we notice only the things that annoy us and not the things that are good, you know, and it takes a little more effort, I think, to to call out the positive things and to notice them as we go through our days and if we don’t do that, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of complaining about everything all the time.

And that was really before social media took over our lives and you know, this, this daily shouting match, that we all consumed with our eyes and ears, you know, on social media and cable news and and and everywhere else, so, you know, I think that the stream of negativity has gotten wider and deeper and, and it takes even more effort now to, to counter that. But that, that particular scoutmaster minute as I said, I delivered pretty early on in my tenure and then again towards the end, a week rolled around where I just didn’t have time. My, my last year of scoutmaster overlapped my first year as entrepreneur. So there was a week where I just didn’t have time to prepare a new one. So I dug into the archives and was very up front with the scouts. I said recycling one here and so it’s about four years later and I delivered the opening line and out of the corner of my eye. I see one of my older scouts and he nods his head and he smiles and I hear him murmured to himself, I remember this one and that, that was one of the more rewarding moments really to know that something you said to a teenager four years ago actually stuck, you know?

Yeah, well some things are important to be reminded about, right? Yeah, they are. And, and, and, and that’s it, you know, that I think the word reminded is so key there because we’ve all been told many times that we need to get out of our conference zone. We’ve all been told many times that we should cultivate a sense of gratitude, you know, but I always come back to the, the sales trainer, zig, Ziglar, somebody said to him at one point, zig, the trouble with this sales training of yours is it doesn’t last. And he said, well neither does showering. That’s why we recommend doing it daily, you know, and that’s it. I mean, and that really is sort of the, the gist of my book is, you know, it’s probably mostly things you’ve already heard, but there are things you need to be reminded of and, and I’ve had so many people reach back to me and say, you know, this is what I needed to hear right now and people going through stuff at work or going through stuff at home or, you know, family things or whatever. And it was just the, you know, the little nudge that they needed at the right moment.

So that, that’s, you know, immensely satisfying to hear that kind of thing from people. I think zig used to say For all the positive versus negative things, you need to hear 16 times more positive things than you do for every one negative thing. So you’re mentioning, you know, social media and news and that, that sort of thing. So your book, I would imagine is one of those things that you need to add as a positive message, right? Yeah. I mean, it’s gotten so much harder and, you know, we’re, we’re sort of like the, you know, it didn’t happen overnight. So, you know, we’ve just sort of collectively like the frog in the pot of water with the temperature being turned up gradually. You know, we’ve sort of gotten used to this just constant stream of, you know, like negativity and shouting and all the stuff that goes with it. And it’s, you know, it’s unfortunate. But it does. I really do believe it takes an active effort to counter that. And my, my thing is very simple.

I know some people do gratitude journaling. I think that’s wonderful if you have the time and the discipline to do that every day, mine’s a little simpler. I started doing this around the same time I launched the company and when I go to bed at night, the last thing I do before I close my eyes is come up with three things that happened that day that I am grateful for. And some days it’s a real challenge to come up with three things. And other days it’s a real challenge to decide which three things. And that’s great because that’s a real good, really good exercise in what’s important, you know, but that has made a difference in my mindset. And it doesn’t mean that I’m, you know, happy and walking around whistling all the time, but it means that I’m more positive, just, you know, and that’s maybe more important, I think. Thank you for sharing that. Do you have a favorite chapter in the book, mm hmm asked me to choose a child. Golly, Um, I’ll tell you the the one that I’ve had a lot of feedback on uh probably more than anything is the and there are a couple.

But the gratitude part has has generated more um, than that. And there’s also uh, there’s a chapter towards the end that it really doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the book. But it’s sort of really a eulogy I wrote when my next door neighbor and best friend passed away a few years ago. And something about that has really resonated with people. Just the kind of person he was, you know, he was a guy who lit up a room and when you met him, you thought, well there goes the world’s greatest salesperson. You know, he just kind of kind of personality. But it took a little longer for you to realize that it was not an act that you know, that there was some depth there and he was just a marvelous human being. And and that chapter for you know, people to read something about somebody they didn’t know really has generated a lot of a lot of feedback. Thank you for that. And would you say that you enjoyed the writing process or was it tough? Yes, I did enjoy it. So that’s really interesting because in the book, You know, I sort of own up to the fact that well here I am preaching about getting out of your comfort zone.

And I’m talking about, you know, a tragedy that happened in 2008 and then launching my company in 2012 and well what have you done lately? And the answer is well, I wrote a book which I’ve never done before. I didn’t realize then I’ve realized since the book came out, that was not really the the stretch for me because I write every day, I write blog posts and social media posts and email blasts for people and and all that kind of thing. And I’m very comfortable with conversational writing. So this certainly was bigger scope and you know, the organizational part, what order should the chapters go in and and which Scoutmaster minute goes with which chapter and that kind of thing, that was a challenge. But the actual writing in hindsight, I do that all the time where I realized I was out of my comfort zone was When I hit send on an invitation to a little book signing event for about 40, 50 people and I realized that this little baby of mine that you know, I had worked on for a few years was now going out into the, the wild world to be judged by people who were not related to me, you know, and that was really uh, you know, it took me a day or so, you know, I’m not a real outwardly emotional person, but I, I had my version of a little meltdown over that and my wife and a good business friend sort of talked me off the ledge and my my business friend actually said to me, so the guy who writes about getting out of his comfort zone is upset because he’s out of his comfort zone.

And I went, ah yes, there it is. And that really was what it is, that was the stretch that, like, you know, here’s this very personal memoir, really, you know, slash self help slash advice, you know, leadership book and and now it’s now it’s going out there to be judged and you know, it’s turned out fine, but that, that was a moment that that really took me out of my comfort zone in a big way again, congratulations, It’s not the easiest thing to do, would you say you’re proud of yourself for doing it? Yes, yeah, I guess I am. Um I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities that have come from the, you know, the chance to speak to some groups and and tell the story, you know, in sort of a keynote situation and that’s been a lot of fun hearing from people like, I mean high school friends who, you know, through three degrees of facebook, found that I wrote a book and I get this letter out of the blue from one that’s like this long about how much a book meant to them and you know, and then we had a phone conversation and reconnected and and things like that and strangers and that that part has been so yeah, I’m not sure proud is the right word, but, you know, really satisfied.

And a great example is the quote on the cover, which is from robert Gates, the former Secretary of Defense here and former C I A F. C I A director and that was, you know, I reached out to a former friend from a Scout troop and said, look, I’m at the point where, you know, I if I could find somebody with who’s famous to say something nice about the book, that’d be great. And he said, well, I know somebody who knows him. So this is, you know, now the equivalent of a third degree linkedin connection, I guess right. It’s, you know, I don’t know, Mr Gates and one Monday morning I come down and in my email is this glowing review that he had absolutely nothing to gain from doing. And I’m so deeply grateful to him for that, that that really, you know, it’s it’s a nice thing to have up up on the top of the front cover of your book is, you know, a quote about the quote that says, I couldn’t put it down, you know, from bob Gates. So brilliant, Great to hear. And regarding your goals. I mean, whether for the book or, you know, anything else have you got anything in mind at the moment?

I would like to continue to keep the book moving forward and we’ve done that with, you know, a lot of great conversations like this one and some, you know, speaking appearances as I said, and as we come out of, you know, two years of Covid and start to gather in person that that those opportunities become more frequent. So that that’s great and and yes, and continue to, you know, I’m not gonna I never had any visions of, you know, retiring because I wrote a book. Right. So I’ve got to also keep the other business going and keep the plates in the air and continue to grow that. And so far it’s it’s been manageable. So do you think you got another one in you or not? I don’t know. I think we’re gonna let this one play out first. If I do, it’ll be based on some of the the feedback I’ve had, the stories I’ve heard in response to what I wrote here in the first book because people have come and share their own things and and all that. But I don’t I don’t know if there’ll be another one. Sounds like it’s starting already to me. Yeah. Yeah.

We’ll see. I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s a book or a series of blog posts. We’ll find out. So what does success mean to you jim boy, that’s such a good question. Um as I said earlier, you know, we we have different ways of measuring it, right? And some are all about the numbers in the bank account and some are about, you know doing work that you love and you know, for me, even before I was an entrepreneur, I’ve always been blessed with work that allowed me to participate in my kids lives as we raised them, you know, to be the to be the scoutmaster to be before that, the baseball coach, the soccer coach, that kind of thing and you know, because once they get to high school they cease being ours for long chunks of time, right? All the activities revolve around school and, and we don’t see a lot of them and, and because I was involved in scouts, I was you know able to stay really have a front row seat for a lot of what our son was doing as he went through those years and he’s 26, almost 27 now and and doing fine our, our daughter who’s three years younger, she is here in Baltimore and she’s a nurse and one of her bigger hospitals.

Um, so you know, that, that, that for me is success. I could have, you know, probably made more money along the way, I could have made different career choices, but you know, I was there for my kids and and to to raise a couple of really cool people and and that that for me is probably more than anything and say I would say for my wife who you know made the decision to stop working full time when we had kids and I made sure that was her decision and not mine. Um uh you know, I think that really made a difference in how they turned out and and there are people who maintain two full time jobs and are wonderful parents, we know many of them, but I think that was the right choice for us. There is a theme in relation to that question, because I do like to ask it to know what people’s definitions are and it is typically around being a good parent raising Children. So it’s interesting that societally we look at success differently than perhaps what individuals do, but I might be reading into that based on the type of person that comes on this podcast, one of the two, what are your thoughts?

Yeah, I think we do and you know, I’m not going to judge anybody if they measure success a different way than I do, but that that’s what was important for me. You know, I’ve always, you know, I read a blog post once about sort of celebrating the end, you know, when when people ask you what you do for a living, right? And you say I’m a marketing consultant that well, you know, I I always like to be doing a lot of different things. I’ve been a singer all my life mostly in church, but I mean, you know, a paid soloist, right? And I still do that and I’m a marketing consultant and I’m an author and I’m a speaker and you know a parent and all the things that that go with that and that’s what makes me tick, I love variety in my life and I would not do well doing just one thing. Other people are exceptional at one thing and that’s what makes them successful and that’s great. But that’s not me. Is there anything that I should have asked you about today? I think you covered it pretty well. Really, I really, I I enjoyed the questions because they, you know, they were around the book, but not about the book, which is is great and I think you know, the the only thing I would say maybe as a final thought is that, you know, here we are in what we’re calling the great resignation.

And I actually saw an article about 2, 3 days ago that said right now in the us there are two open positions for every unemployed person which is never in modern history been the case. And you know, my favorite business saying is that people join companies and they quit bosses. Right? So I think there’s a focus on leadership now and especially on empathetic leadership now because as a leader over the last two years, you’ve had to learn how to not only lead your team, but lead them in a way that allows them to not be in person and to maybe be, you know, raising kids who are, you know, stuck at home, you know, learning remotely and all these changes, we’ve had voiced it upon us by the pandemic and that part of things, I think that that’s sort of empathetic leadership has, has really resonated right now for that reason, it’s a challenging time. Well, I did have one reserved for kind of like a closing thoughts if you like, and it is entrepreneurs who are just starting out, what advice do you have for them?

You know, it’s the same thing I would say to a leader who’s just starting out, I mean don’t be afraid to ask for help and to admit that you don’t know what you don’t know. And one of the things I talked about in the book, which is a form of getting help right, especially if you’re doing a solo entrepreneur thing. One of the first things I did almost by coincidence was I met a guy who’s now a dear friend and business partner in another venture. Uh, and he was just taking over this organization that does monthly peer group meetings for business leaders. So one morning, every month on the third Wednesday or you know, there are several, but that’s mine, 8-12 of us gather around a conference room table and we solve each other’s problems and you really get to know each other personally and professionally, you get some great advice and I’ll tell you in my early days of being an entrepreneur, you know, being able to sit there and give advice and realized that it was being well received and that it was meaningful. That was a huge confidence booster that made me think, wow, you know, I can do this, you know, so don’t go it alone would be, you know, which is sort of the, the corollary, right?

Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know and don’t go it alone, you know, find a support group, whether it’s a formal peer group like that, whether it’s just some like minded people, you meet at networking event and you know, set the morning aside every month and have a coffee and talk about what your challenges are and help each other, because I’m a very, I’m a guy who’s very comfortable with my own company and being solitary, you know, you know, I can spend days on my own, but even being that kind of person, it’s just vital that, we get some help and people are so willing to help. I mean when I first hung out my shingle, I reached out to everybody I knew and said, hey, can we have a coffee and and talk about this and everybody was so supportive. One guy who runs a little ad agency gave me copies of his agreements and some of his legal documents that he uses and all and just said you know, changed the name, it’s fine and you know, things like that that were just so you know, people are so willing to help more than you think. So, don’t be afraid to ask for that help.

Yes, cuts down the learning curve as well. So, if you’re learning from, let’s say three or four different people that might take you months or even years to learn by yourself. So, it’s great advice. If people want to buy the book or connect with you, where do they go? Sure. leaderbyaccident.com and they can find me there, they can find the book there, the book is on amazon Barnes and Noble. All the usual places you buy books but there’s links to every one of those. So start at leaderbyaccident.com and you’ll you’ll find everything you need. Well, thank you for being a great guest today and congratulations again on being an author. Jim, thank you very much. Thank you Thomas. I appreciate it, really enjoyed the conversation