James Clouser Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing James Clouser
James Clouser is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview.
He is a man who has travelled an usual path to where he is today.
Starting as a musician working in the church full-time, he worked hard at delivering the kind of music that inspires, and touches the soul.
But like all entrepreneurs that awake one day with the realisation that they aren’t where they want to be in life, James Clouser was the same.
He awoke one morning with the realisation that the potential that he knew was in him, just waiting to be unleashed on the world was not being delivered to the people that could use it most.
But who where those people?
How can you transform from a church musician to a mover and shaker that is creating success all around them?
How The Dots Joined For James
Well opportunities to find your true path in life, can come from the most unexpected sources, and James’s case it came from someone very close to home.
Writing an advertisement for his wife’s music studio, he was astonished and of course very pleased to find his ad produced 400% return on investment.
And after selling $50,000.00 of pipe organs in one month, he realised that he had made the step, and created a real business that he could develop for himself and his flourishing portfolio of clients.
So how did James Clouser do it?
What strategies did he use to quite literally become a copy-writing overnight success?
And more importantly, why did that untapped passion lay dormant for so long?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only James Clouser
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with James Closer such such as:
How he came from a blue-collar background and had very little direction from his parents…especially his father who feared his sons dreams of a better life!
How he was programmed as a young man to think that making a lot of money was a bad thing!
How he was a lone wolf and found it difficult to fit in with his peer group!
How he was willing to jump off the train, as he knew that it was taking him to a bad place!
How Cortez landed in the Americas and then burnt all his boats….telling his men you have one choice now, make a new world for yourselves or die!
How he believes anything is possible, and lives by the words “What’s going to happen if I don’t start!”
How she believes that we should find the one good thing, and just focus on that until success!
How To Connect With James Clouser
Every other episode to enjoy and consume can be found at Join Up Dots Podcast Archives
Audio Transcription Of James Clouser Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:27]
Yes, you knew it was gonna be me anyway, didn’t you? Yes, it’s Episode 76 of Join Up Dots. We’re coming daily, seven days a week. So if you’ve missed out on any of the episodes, jump back, they’re all archived there for you. And if you have missed out on any, any of the episodes, why have you I know who’s not listening and I will come after you. So let’s introduce you to today’s guest. He is a man who has quite simply travelled an unusual path to where he is today. Starting as a musician, working in the church for time he worked hard at delivering the kind of music that inspires and touches the soul. But like all entrepreneurs awake one day with a realisation that they aren’t where they want to be in life. He was the same. he awoke one morning with a realisation that the potential that he knew was in him just waiting to be unleashed on the world was not being delivered to the people that could use it most. But who were those people? How can you transform from a church musician to a mover and shaker that is creating success all around them? Well, opportunities to find your true park in life can come from the most unexpected sources. And in our guests case, it came from someone very close to home, writing an advertisement for his wife’s music studio. He was astonished, and of course very pleased to find his ad produced 400% return on investment. And after sending 50 grand a pipe organs in one month, he realised that he made the step and created a real business that he could develop for himself and his flourishing portfolio of clients. So how did you do it? What strategies did you use to quite literally become a copywriting overnight success? And more importantly, why did the untapped passion laid dormant for so long? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots. The one and only Mr. James closer. How are you, sir?
James Clouser [2:11]
Great, David, how are you? I am
David Ralph [2:13]
always great, but I’ll be honest, I was going through that whole introduction. And I’ve got an itchy nose is driving me mad. So um, I need you to speak for the next 15 minutes when I just thought my HR is okay with you.
James Clouser [2:24]
Yeah, go ahead and take care of that. I got it.
David Ralph [2:27]
Right. Okay, so I think company was in I think I’m back. I think I’m okay. The D h That was fast. Yeah, the I’m a quick picture. Oh, scratcher. I’m not sure what isn’t it shows you your life. Your life, sir. It’s, it’s an unusual one. It isn’t unusual. Most of the guests that I interview interview and come on the show, you can almost see the path but they are on, but yours there has been a first part of your life and a second part of your life. Do you feel that? Or is that just me looking from the outside?
James Clouser [3:00]
Yeah, that’s absolutely spot on. You know, I, I came from a family that was a blue collar family grew up in, in a town small town that was very dominant, very reliant on the steel industry. And, you know, then, when I was growing up, that that industry began began to fade. And the area that I grew up in, and the family that I grew up in, you know, suddenly, my generation found itself, you know, not firmly inside the middle class anymore. So I started, you know, my life in that kind of very hard working, not even middle class, but but blue collar, you know, sort of upbringing with no real direction from my parents, other than, you know, try to get the hell out of here, when you can. So that was
David Ralph [3:55]
James Webb to keep this or listeners and understanding of your area in America, where bounce was bad, but still still works. That was
James Clouser [4:05]
in the that’s in the Youngstown, Ohio area, probably the closest city that folks would know would be Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
David Ralph [4:15]
And these are very kind of industrial area.
James Clouser [4:19]
It is Yeah. Now, you know, in Pennsylvania, they’ve adapted a little bit more to business, but on in our Eastern Ohio, side of the border, they really never did. You know, it’s kind of unfortunate that the that city has really become somewhat of a ghost town now they’ve had over 500 homes demolished in the past year, because they’ve been vacant for so long. There. You know, it’s actually one of those situations where, instead of there being urban renewal, they’re actually levelling a lot of the buildings, and they’re basically de urbanising them. So it’s an interesting part of the of the country.
David Ralph [4:57]
So So James, the area, obviously, it’s it’s disappointing and upsetting for the families losing their livelihoods. But is it actually ultimately a good thing? Is it a transition from the new to the old, which is going to benefit the industry? Or at least the environment, environment more than what was there previously?
James Clouser [5:18]
Well, you know, it was very much like that first scenario in Pittsburgh, when when the steel mills started to die out, their business started to take root, a lot of a lot of real estate, a lot of medical research, you know, all those really big markets, where there’s a lot of growth in the Youngstown area where I grew up, which is about an hour and a half west of Pittsburgh, that area did never really did evolve. And I think a big piece of that really has to do with with the mindset of the people there, it’s very much, you know, grew up with ideas, like, you know, people who make a lot of money or bad, you know, sort of villainize using them as being responsible for for the world’s woes. And, you know, very, very much have a sense of, you know, this is the way that things are and you know, who Who do you think you are to do any better. So it’s very limited in terms of the mindset. And when you get trapped in that kind of mindset, it makes it doubly difficult for someone to actually break out of it and want to do something different, or, you know, want to improve their life because they feel like, you know, they’re, they’re wrong for doing that
David Ralph [6:32]
is peer pressure, isn’t it? We talked about this so much on many of the episodes, that the people that love you the most I your parents and your brother and sister, and uncles and aunties, and that are quite often the people that anchor you, because they’re the ones that are comfortable in their situation, and I can’t quite understand why you want to be going against the norm and pushing out into new worlds and creating a new environment for yourself. Now, you were saying that you didn’t have much direction from your parents? Do you think that was just the mindset that they were in at that time?
James Clouser [7:07]
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, my, my dad was a fourth generation, industrial electrician, you know, so that that kind of work went really far back in our, in our family history, and my mom stayed at home with us. So, you know, there really wasn’t any sort of, you know, influences around me, people that I could sort of look up to being people who, who were really happy with their, with what they were doing, and making really good money doing it, you know, that just wasn’t in my awareness at all. In fact, when, when I went to college, it was sort of a cultural shock, because that was the first time when, you know, ever really got to see people sort of aspire to be anything other than, you know, a trade worker, or a teacher or, or something like this, and it was just all sort of foreign to me, like, you know, why, you know, why would they want to do that kind of job. And for a long time, one of the things that really held me back, I think, it’s kind of a double edged coin, but I was really not wanting to get into a corporate sort of situation, you know, that, that was like the worst case scenario for me. So I really fought hard against, you know, being in being in a cubicle, and that was both good and bad for different reasons. So it was, you know, negative from from the standpoint that I wasn’t expanding my awareness to what was actually possible, and not realising that I didn’t necessarily have to do that in order to make more money.
David Ralph [8:45]
Did you know, you felt that now Now, when you look back, and you sort of join up the dots? Can you see why you felt so strongly that you were not going to go into corporate America?
James Clouser [8:56]
Yeah, just a lot of that, you know, programming from from early childhood about, you know, what does it mean? If, if someone makes a lot of money, or, you know, you know, what are the motives of these big companies, you know, they’re all, they’re all out to, you know, destroy the country, or, you know, to take advantage of our natural resources so that they could make for money, you know, that they’re, they’re not responsible, that they don’t, you know, they don’t care about having a negative impact on the world, all these different kinds of things. And then, you know, if you were a part of that, then you were sort of CO conspirator in in all of that.
David Ralph [9:37]
Did you think making money now is a bad thing? Are you showing me the money? where’s where’s your point of view of it now?
James Clouser [9:44]
Oh, yeah, it’s absolutely Show Me The Money, I’m making better money than anyone, you know, in my family ever has. In, you know, my mom actually has, has kind of caught up to it a little bit, she still doesn’t understand. she just, she doesn’t understand the idea of actually being okay with what you really want in life, but my dad never really did. And so that’s interesting, because, you know, he’s said things even even though I am a six figure entrepreneur, and now working on on multiple, six figures, you know, he said things to my wife, you know, even after I started making pretty good money, things like, Oh, you know, I know that you have your head screwed on straight, you know, he would say that to my wife, implying that, you know, I’m, you’re that you’re doing all this stuff. Yeah, exactly. Right.
David Ralph [10:41]
But that’s the thing that really is the key essence, to all the shows, it’s okay to dream. But that’s only half the battle, you can have these dreams, but it’s never going to come true without actually taking action. So can you can you remember, you know, you were saying this, there was very little inspiration, you were just seeing people go in into the mills or go into education become teachers and stuff? Who was your inspiration when what what set you apart or set those people apart that you looked at and thought, yes, that’s what I want to be.
James Clouser [11:13]
I didn’t really have anything like that, um, you know, and so, the thing that I had going for me was that I was a very good pianist. And you know, why I didn’t have a lot of guidance there. Somehow, I had the sense that, you know, if I went to college, the thing that I would do would be to just study music. And so that’s what I did. I went, you know, to college, I started out as a, as a piano major, it’s a piano performance major. You know, but again, when I, when I got into that, and vironment, it was a very, you know, foreign sort of environment. And I was only in college for two and a half years before I dropped out. Because I, you know, I just didn’t understand the, the environment, I wasn’t sold on the idea that I needed to go to college in the first place. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. On the other hand, that was sort of the catch 22 was I really didn’t have another plan. Because when I would look out, and you know, and I went to a really, really good school, really well known school case, Western Reserve it as one of the best, top 10 music programmes in the world. And, you know, even having had that happen was sort of a, you know, interesting thing in itself was really neat. But when I looked out on people going to law school, or going to medical school, or, you know, in business, you know, what I projected was all that stuff that I grew up with. And so it made me miserable to actually be in that environment, because it was sort of this double binding message from my family that, you know, in order to do better, you have to go to college, but it was almost like, Well, you know, we want you to do better than us, but not that much better. Yeah, yeah. You know what I mean?
David Ralph [13:07]
So, so So, so you were really a tortoise when you you just when put your neck down and try to sort of blend in with the crowd Really?
James Clouser [13:18]
Pretty much. Yeah. And I and I was also I’m still somewhat like this, but sort of a lone wolf as well, you know, very introverted, you know, artistic types usually are. So that was another component to it was that, you know, I had a couple of good friends in college who were sort of, you know, similar to me and how we grew up. But, you know, other than that, I didn’t do much socialising. Of course, as a, as a musician, you do a lot of practising alone anyhow. So that, you know, I like that part of it. But, but yeah, it was, it was just a very sort of confusing time. For me.
David Ralph [13:57]
It’s amazing, isn’t it about we aren’t so programme from such an early age. And, you know, I’d like to think that I’m the most positive dad that I could possibly be to my kids, but I can already see, but somehow, I must have screwed up some way. Because the little three year old five year old version of my kids who were so I can do anything and really positive in the world is going to be brilliant, somehow, but they’ve lost that. And now they are, oh, I don’t know why should be doing it. Oh, it’s too much hard work. It’s it. There’s a programming that goes on, which I almost wish that we could grab people and put them into a positive environment where they’re not going to be touched by people that will bring them down because you cannot fight it Kenya, you cannot fight it. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in America or the United Kingdom, or Africa. You are, You are a symptom of the environment that you find yourself in. And there’s no way of getting around that.
James Clouser [14:55]
Right. Yeah, that yeah, that’s certainly true of children very young. And I have two girls as well. So we’re always cognizant of that four and five year old girls. So we’re very much, you know, try to stay aware of that as well. But yeah, you’re absolutely right.
David Ralph [15:09]
When you had that morning, when you you woke up with a realisation that you had potential? Was that an epiphany? Or was that something that had been bubbling away under the surface for ages, I mean, you suddenly for one day, right, I’ve got to do something?
James Clouser [15:26]
Yeah, it was sort of, it was sort of both Actually, it was bubbling up, it had been bubbling up for a while. Because after I, after I went through my college years, I actually had a lot of success as, as a performing musician, I got to do some really, you know, interesting concert tours, and won some competitions and things like that, that really sort of jumped started a concert career. But the other side of that was that as a musician, you also have to, you know, have some colour kind of, you know, full, most people have to have a full time job at an organisation to be around that type of work all the time, you know, to really be in a music career, it’s just, you know, how the, how the economy is right now. So, you know, that’s where I ended up in church work, because it, it was pretty good paying, I mean, it gave me a middle class, salary. But, you know, I kind of found myself in a place where it started to feel a little bit too much like that, like that cubicle. And, um, you know, on top of that, the, the last job that I had in music was a very unhealthy work environment as well. And, and I knew that, and I didn’t take responsibility for walking away from it in the beginning, because the pay was really good. And it was sort of making the excuse, well, you know, I should just, I should just do this, because, you know, the money is good. And I didn’t think that I could do much better without having to move across the country to get another position. So I stayed there, and you know, that the relationship that I had with, with my superiors was was not very good. There was a lot of tension between the organisation and them, both of my direct superiors had been asked to leave the position several times, I got kind of cut into the middle of that, and, and, at some point, I, I got myself in involved in that a little bit too much. And, you know, it came down to to a confrontation that eventually led to me being let go from that position. And, you know, it was kind of like, at the time, it was like, you know, I, I’m just not doing this anymore. I didn’t know what I was going to do. But I felt completely okay. Walking away from that position. They had to pay me severance, because, you know, in our state, there isn’t anything, you know, there aren’t any laws around wrongful termination. But it, the HR department determined that it was wrongful termination, so they had to pay me severance or whatever. I’ll find it
David Ralph [18:21]
amazing just to jump in. But number one, you get paid to work in a church. I just thought it was volunteers. When whenever I’ve been in a church, and it’s once in a blue moon, probably a wedding. It’s some old lady who just seems to just walk around the corner and sat on the organ and played a few tunes. So I’m amazed is that is that common in America? And also about you have an HR department in the church?
James Clouser [18:47]
Yeah, that’s right. Well, it was a large church. I mean, yeah, you have, it’s, it’s the same, pretty much the same in the UK, you know, you have a lot more churches that have part time positions or volunteer positions than you do larger churches that have full time positions. But yeah, there are, there are, you know, quite a few churches in the bigger metropolitan areas, and also in England to, you know, there are larger churches where, you know, some of those positions require 60 to 80 hours a week, and a lot of people don’t know that, but it’s like, it’s just like any other organisation. Only, you know, churches have a music department. So it’s almost like, if you think of a school, you know, like a director of a music school, it would be those kinds of responsibilities. I’d
David Ralph [19:34]
never looked at it that way. So I, I just kind of, I just kind of feel like the churches exist, the bigger or the priest or whatever, lives around the corner, he comes in and does these little thing. And, and that’s it, and everything else was volunteers and stuff. I absolutely had no idea. You’ve taught me something new there.
James Clouser [19:53]
Yeah, a lot of them are like that. You’re right.
David Ralph [19:56]
So you’re in that bad situation, and you’re your colleague not getting on, and you’re in the crossfire. Obviously, that was a bad time for you. I can imagine, you know, going in each day thinking, Oh, God, you know, here we go again. But when you look back on it, is it a truth? That actually, you wouldn’t be here? Now, if you hadn’t been forced to leave that? Was that was that the thing that really pushed you on?
James Clouser [20:21]
Yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, it was being I think it was being willing to just jump off the train, knowing that the train was going somewhere really bad. And that, you know, jumping meant probably breaking some bones, but ultimately being being better off, and just having that faith that that’s what the situation was, was probably the best thing that I’ve done in the past two years. You know, it I’ve heard, you know, other people’s storeys like this, where, you know, you hear about entrepreneurs who are, have accomplished really great things, who, you know, they came to a point where, you know, they, they left their job, they didn’t have a plan B, I was kind of aware of that a little bit from, you know, people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and those guys, because I had a little bit of a techie background, too. And I guess that’s probably where that came from. I, I just had that faith that, okay. I know that, you know, jumping off This train is going to mean, you know, getting roughed up, but I’m not willing to put up with this anymore and live this kind of life anymore. So I just did it, you know, I just let go of that. And you know, that that’s kind of where that storey about reading the ad from my wife came in. That was almost immediately after that, because I was just scrambling to figure out what I could do.
David Ralph [21:52]
I find that hugely inspirational. And I’ve written that down how you were willing to jump off the train, because you knew that train was going to a bad place. And all our listeners out there who are in rubbish jobs and got a manager, they don’t like him, blah, blah, blah. There’s other jobs. And it doesn’t have to be the perfect job. Straight away, you might go to another rubbish job. But if you want it hard enough, and you’re passionate and you take action, you will find yourself in a better place. And I’m not just saying that because I’m on the mic, and I’m having an easy life and stuff in I’ve been where you have been. And I jumped I jumped off that train just like James did. And to be honest, as I jumped, I realised that it was the best thing I ever did. And I actually realised as I was flying into the air off that train, why the hell didn’t I do this earlier? Because once you do that, and you land on the ground, you realise it’s not so scary. And it is the scariness is the scariness of the unknown. But roots is all in positions that are not good for us. But we stay and we put up with it day in day out. Did you feel that? James?
James Clouser [22:59]
Yeah, it’s right on David. Um, you know, it’s, I think it’s an illusion, you know, that fear creates this illusion that, you know, what’s going to happen if, if I, if I jump, you know, and you start imagining all these different situations, you know, it’s kind of like that, I think to was sales when when people are first starting to learn how to sell their product or service, if they’re an entrepreneur, it’s, you know, the same sort of thing, like, you know, what’s going to happen if I, if I make this sales call, and you start letting all these illusions and things sort of dictate your your actions. But you know, the truth of the matter is, if, if you’re standing on the edge of that train car, you know that that frickin train is probably going to an incinerator, you know what I mean? I mean, that that’s staying on means basically killing your dream. And I didn’t know at that time that that’s where I was headed. But, you know, had had I known that like, like you did, I think I would have jumped a little sooner.
David Ralph [24:00]
You know, kind of looking back on all of it. I I jumped, and it was interesting. You were saying about people that jumped without a plan B, I had no plan B, absolutely no plan B until and if this doesn’t pan out doing this, then I really a god knows, because I can’t go back to corporate land. That’s just not me anymore. I don’t want to start a brick and mortar. This is it. I’ve got to make this a success. And it’s not scary, I actually find that invigorating. But this is it. This is my focus. This is all I’ve got to do. All I’ve got to do is make this a success. And it’s the first time in my life. But I’ve actually got both hands and both eyes on something and I’m moving something forward and I can see that progress. And you can do it, you can really do it and don’t sit there watching TV in the evening. crack on with it. And little by little those incremental gains means that suddenly you’re setting 50 grand or pipe organs in one month. And you do look back and you think How the hell did this happen? Oh, yes, it’s because I did this and this and this and this.
James Clouser [25:06]
Yep, exactly. Absolutely. Have you have you told your listeners the storey of Cortez Have you ever heard that the burning the ships? storey? You tell
David Ralph [25:15]
it now you tell it?
James Clouser [25:17]
Okay. Yeah, cuz this is this is perfect. So, you know, when when Cortez landed in the Americas, and he would, you know, the armies were basically there to impose martial law on the natives. You know, when they got off the ships, he ordered the ships to be burnt, you know, his own ships to be burned in, he turned to the army and said, you know, boys, the ships have been burned. You know, you’re either going to win or die. And I think that’s how you have to look at it.
David Ralph [25:48]
I do now but it’s taken me years, it wasted years, or Well, no, say wasting, I think I’ve learned so much in most, quote, wasted years, but I’m now bringing to fruition at this moment. So I couldn’t do this without those wasted years. But still, now I’m doing it. And now I’m speaking to people like you that are doing it. And an hour later, I’m speaking to somebody else who’s doing it. I just think we should all do it. We should all do it. And you know, the only people in the world but are getting Truly Rich, either people taking action, or or employers, isn’t it?
James Clouser [26:25]
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s the sort of thing where, you know, I don’t think people realise and, you know, this kind of goes back to, to my upbringing a little bit, I didn’t realise that, you know, doing things like sales could actually be fun, or, like you said, invigorating word, or, you know, stepping up to take the next challenge in your business, because it’s usually always the thing that you don’t want to do, right? That that could actually be the the thing that, you know, it’s like, I guess, if you were, you know, skiing or something, you you didn’t know how to ski, you know, that, if you’re going to go down a huge peak, and you don’t know how to ski that would probably scare the crap out of you. But, you know, if you didn’t know how to ski, it would be exciting, right? Like you were saying, and I don’t think people realise that, that, you know, it’s not, you’re always going to have those things that are, you know, it’s like the next challenge, the next challenge, and it, it seems like it’s bigger than you, when really, it’s not. And once you actually break through that, then, you know, it’s exciting to do it and to actually like step up, and, you know, be at the next level to actually be that person. That that you you know, want to get the results that you’re looking for, you know, you have to kind of step into that. And it’s exciting to do that.
David Ralph [27:46]
When I was in corporate land. Many years ago, at the for the last few years, I would say I coasted I really did, I think my spirit was, was leading me towards this path, you know, the train, the train hadn’t got up to speed, but it was certainly on its way to that bad place. But when I was in corporate land, I did really well for myself, and I got quite high up the ladder. But when I got to that ladder, I didn’t know where to go, I kind of felt like I was almost on the wrong ladder, Ben. But since I’ve been doing this, I realised that if I got to the top of that ladder, actually, I’m at the lowest rung of the next ladder. And then you have to work on that. And the guys are really kicking it out there are the guys have just kept on climbing. And they haven’t looked down, they just kept on climbing up the top of that ladder on to the next ladder and keep on going. And when they get to the top, they don’t rest they keep on going again. And the weird thing is, that’s the fun bit, isn’t it? James, that’s the bit that actually does get you out of bed each morning. Or when you’re really tired at night, you just put in another couple of hours, just go those number couple of rungs up that ladder, because you know that you aren’t doing it yourself?
James Clouser [28:57]
Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, it’d be comes, I think it becomes exhilarating when, when when you’re first starting to do this, I think there’s a period for everyone where and I know this way for me where it’s like, you know, I have to figure out what I’m going to offer. You know, some people already are, like, you know, are coming from a place where they already have a product or service. And that’s fine tune, then you still have to find an audience, of course for that, for that offer. You know, but there’s so many little things, and you know, it, I don’t think there’s anyone that goes through the very beginning without experiencing a lot of a lot of disappointment. You know, but you get to the point then where you’re, you know, you start breaking through a lot of those challenges. And, you know, just like you said, it is a lot of fun, you know that that is the the journey of business, it’s not necessarily, you know, ending up at this place that you’ve always dreamed of being it’s always, you know, taking that next step and doing more. Well, let’s bring on
David Ralph [30:03]
at this point of the show the words of Steve Jobs, which is really the theme of the show. And he spoke back in 2005, about only knowing his future, when he looked back and joined up the doors, I’m going to play these words, and I’m going to ask your feelings about them. So this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [30:21]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [30:56]
So true. And not James, those words to you? Absolutely.
James Clouser [31:01]
Yeah, absolutely true. And I think I would add to that, you know, the person that you become, as you connect those dots isn’t the same person you’re going to be today, you know, it’s almost like, the person you are now wants a certain result. So it’s like you want to replace your salary rate, or you want to make $100,000 a year or whatever it is. But when you get to that level, you won’t be the same person that you are today. And so you have to, I think you really do have to have that, that faith that taking that action, and you know, being the person that, you know, reaches that goal, being that successful owner being that six figure business owner, you know, who’s thriving, to actually step into that step into that role. And like he says, you know, looking back, everything will will make sense, some of the things will work out and some of them won’t, but it’s all about, you know, pushing forward. And, and, you know, and having that faith.
David Ralph [32:05]
Well, what was your big.in? life? What was the the dots, but really did change your life? What was it? Was it that advertisement that you you wrote? Or was it the fact that you had that epiphany that you just had that desire in you to make a life for yourself? Can you can you focus in on when your life started moving to where it is now?
James Clouser [32:24]
Yeah, I think it must have been the day after I left my job, when I woke up and just realise that anything was possible from there, you know, like, I, I pretty much at that point figured that I was going to have to move to get another job as good as the one that I had, because I was living in an area where I was kind of at the top of my opportunity, you know, in at that point that, you know, pretty much was anything was possible. And you know, why am I? Why am I settling for, for what I’m doing? And it was I think it was just that needing to know, you know, what am I actually capable of in life? You know, am I going to continue to just kind of make income incremental progress in my income through, you know, raises and things like that? Or am I actually going to go out and do the things that I really want to do with my life?
David Ralph [33:20]
Did it scare you, but it must have scared you?
James Clouser [33:24]
Yeah, it absolutely did. But there, I think there was more of me. That wondered how I could do it, then there was saying that I couldn’t, that I just had to know.
David Ralph [33:40]
So So what makes you different from all? Not all, hopefully, hopefully not all our listeners out there who are frightened to taking that leap of faith? What was it that made you go Okay, I know, I’m scared. I know, it could blow up in my face. But I’ve still got to do it?
James Clouser [34:01]
Well, I think it was the the question, what’s going to happen? If I don’t? You know, are you going to continue to stay in the job that’s not fulfilling me, we only get so much time on this planet, and you know, anybody who’s on the call? If I were to talk to them, I could probably, you know, find out, you know, What, are you really passionate about life? You know, what does life look like in your dreams, you know, and we, we tend to suppress that, you know, because we’re taught to do that, you know, we’re taught to be good employees. But the truth of the matter is, is that it’s just a choice for you to actually break free of that in to have the kind of life that you really want. You know that it’s not that there’s nothing special about me, per se, there’s nothing really special about David neither in terms of us being being able to do it. It’s just a decision, and allowing yourself to actually make that decision and then saying, okay, I’ve made a decision. And this is what I’m doing come hell or high water. I’m not living like this anymore.
David Ralph [35:17]
Four of us, for anyone who’s having a degree of success, it is actually lucky days, isn’t it? But so many people aren’t willing to take that leap, it means that the competition is less.
James Clouser [35:30]
Yeah, that’s true. Sometimes it’s surprising looking back, isn’t it? It’s like, Oh, I overcame that. Why can’t Why? Why can’t other people overcome that, but then you have to, you know, apply some awareness to it, when you know, when you’re going through your, you know, your next challenge. It’s all relative, you know, I mean, where you know, where I’m going now requires me to stretch more than I’ve ever stretched before, it’s a little bit easier than it was when I was just starting out, I think it always gets easier. But, you know, you learn, I think you learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. And you know, when when you can do that, that’s when you start making a lot of progress. So yeah, it takes a lot of grit, I think.
David Ralph [36:12]
So where are you going? James? What is your plan? You You, you copywriting businesses flushing? So how do you take that to the next level?
James Clouser [36:23]
Well, at this point, I’m really starting to target some some companies that have a lot of a lot of brand awareness, much bigger companies that I can work with, on more of a contractual basis, and then I’ll be looking to sort of expand my my team to be able to, you know, to be able to scale, you know, what I deliver to those, you know, to those to those companies. So, I’ve been sort of a one man show for a while my, my wife, last year, left her job to join me in the company, as business manager, you know, next for us is going to be probably finding someone to, you know, to partner with, to kind of help me on, on the marketing campaigns that that we do for, for these larger companies. So that, you know, we can actually go out there and get more accounts, and then, you know, be able to fulfil all of our clients needs.
David Ralph [37:25]
So you You are the wife’s boss?
James Clouser [37:29]
Yes, well, in some ways, and then and then
David Ralph [37:34]
disco Yes. And then I will edit it all down, and then we’ll play it back. Perfect. Yeah. And she I love this episode. She said, James, why did you say that? So this is exactly this is the very end of the show now. And this is the bit when I want to take you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back into a room and stumble across the young James, what would you say to him? What advice would you give him, so I’m going to play the music. And when it fades out, yo up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
We go with
Unknown Speaker [38:14]
James Clouser [38:28]
Little James, this is big James, and I’m coming back in time to tell you that you need to stop settling for just getting buy. In that there’s a much bigger future waiting for you, you’re going to go out and you’re going to kick ass. And at times, you’re not going to know exactly how you’re going to do that. But it’s going to happen. When you go out there, you have to jump off that train, you know, get off that wheel and go out there, take action, keep at it. Take all the negative stuff that that comes in, just throw it to the side and say, That’s not what I’m I’m that’s not what my goal is, you know, this is my goal, stay focused on it. And you’re going to be just fine.
David Ralph [39:21]
It’s been an absolute delight speaking to you, James, it really has and I’m sure that many of our listeners would like to contact you as well. So how can people connect with you?
James Clouser [39:31]
Absolutely. I’m going to go ahead and give you an email address. And if anybody would like any help with their with their copywriting and willing to do a complimentary critique for them when they write me at info at James closer.com. I’ll spell that James Klaus or c l o U. S er.com. info at.
David Ralph [39:58]
And of course, I can find your website and you on Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and all the other normal places. All those places. Yep, I will put those on the show notes. And thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. James is Please come back again, when you have more dots to join up. Because I’m fascinated to know what’s going to happen to you in the next few years as you continue to be the boss of your wife. So you have said it again. So it’s definitely good to know that. I do believe that the only way to build our futures is actually by looking back and connecting our past and that’s what you’ve done today. So James, closer, thank you so much.
James Clouser [40:35]
Thank you, David.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.