The cavnessHR Podcast – a talk with Jackson Calame
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Jason: Hello, this is Jason Cavness, your host for the cavnessHR podcast. Our guest today is Jackson Calame. Jackson, are you ready to be great today?
Jackson: So, ready man. Thanks for having me.
Jason: Jackson’s agency, J Cal Digital, teaches entrepreneurs about sustainable revenue growth. After being told he'd never get into to business school and overwhelmed by the idea of loans. He dropped out of college and since has been involved and launched several successful startups. Jackson's favorite venture is the Passion Pro org http://passionpro.org/ and involves teaching others how to find and pursue their passions. Naturally many of his passion followers are entrepreneurs. But, also range from musicians to school teachers to stay-at-home parents.
Jason: On the flip side, Jackson is not a fan of corporate size entities or bureaucracy. He enjoys starting things, mass expansions, rewriting history, family-oriented projects and international government. Jackson’s greatest passion is being a dad. He's moving his little family of five to Costa Rica next May. Taking their adventures to a whole new level. He is honored to work with amazing CEOs and executive teams. If it's a legacy opportunity, it's hard to keep Jackson from joining the cause. Jackson thank you very much for joining us today.
Jackson: It is an honor being here Jason. I appreciate it.
Jason: So, what are some things you're working on right now Jackson?
Jackson: Well you mentioned passion Pro org. That's a big one right now. That's ultimately the foundation of my brand. As we launched, the goal is to help people. Help entrepreneurs find balance in their pursuits and not forget the important things
in life and regret it 20-30 years later. On the flip side, people who are, not to overuse the term, but the people who are just looking for purpose and fulfillment. The goal is to help them develop and figure out what their passion is and how to develop that. How to leverage what they learn about it and why that's their passion. To
drive them forward, to find purpose, build a legacy and find a community.
Jason: Jackson, interesting points. There is a lot of discussion about the work/life balance. You know some people say you have to take time to do things. Other people say work while you can. What's your philosophy on that? What do you tell people?
Jackson: It's a great question. A great friend of mine, a great mentor, Jake Larson. He used this analogy of the plate spinners. At the circus and how these plate spinners. They spin these plates. They get them going and they kind of leave them alone. Sometimes we think we need to be equal in all areas of life. But in reality, their focus is on the plates that are simply starting to shake a little bit before they fall. So, you might have to spend more time with your family right now. If you've got a teenager, you know that if you do and they're young or maybe they're at the nursing stage. So, you're up all night. In the business world, sometimes the market crashes or things change and
you have to spend more time there. So, to me balance is associated with what's your priorities.
Jason: Jackson tell us about time you were successful and what you learned from this and what we can learn from your success.
Jackson: Great question! I'll go to the startups that I've had in the past. In fact, this is something that can apply to people who are hiring. It can apply to people who are applying for jobs and considering the work environment they want to be in and then for any type of relationship as well. I've had the privilege of running big startups now and all six of them have reached this sustainability point and that's very rare. I remember reading an article a long time ago in Forbes. The writer said you are more likely to win the lottery than to succeed with your startup. I was like, oh my gosh and this was by that time my second startup. I was going and I remember thinking that I have
to find a way to beat the odds.
Jackson: So, after five-six now successful startups the key for me. There's a couple of keys. Number one my co-founders were always people who had five to 10 plus years of experience in their industry. The restaurant software I launched. The head coder was an executive chef for 15 years before doing any coding. That experience in a kitchen and knowing behind the scenes what the real pains in that industry were paramount to us. Understanding what restaurants actually needed. Rather than taking a bunch of young tech coders who have no real-world experience and expecting them to understand the problems of the restaurant.
Jackson: That's one aspect. An even bigger aspect is finding people with character and that's not easy to do. It takes some discipline as well to figure out over time what are your own virtues. Having the humility to dive into yourself and make personal changes and then just having a heart for being vulnerable with people. Recognizing what sacrifices they make for others and being willing to ask people to make sacrifices. It's interesting to see how people respond. If you find people that have character, that's something you can't teach. You need that in a business partner and an employee. For them to be autonomous, for them to take control, for them to feel purposeful. Those two aspects are really big for me. I would consider carving out both of those as a big driver of any success I've had beyond the success of my companies.
Jason: Is there a certain point where you know they might be successful. How do you figure that out? How do you know that this team might actually make it?
Jackson: Great question! It takes a lot of selflessness. I'm not perfect. I have my selfish tendencies and my wife could probably shed some light on them. But the truth is I give a lot of free time away, especially to startups. I'll have five, six, seven, eight, nine meetings with a company before I even charge them. Usually by meeting one or two times, they ask how much my rate is and we'll have some type of conversation along those regards. But I explain, that my rates are not important. Because I don't know what you need yet. I don’t know your strengths and weaknesses. I have a whole lot of things that I have to do to help your project succeed. So, I like to give away really as much time as I can. So that I can gauge how they respond. I'll do a couple different things in that process.
Jackson: One, I'll test their character. This is not that hard to do. I just push them past where they want to be pushed. To see how they respond. I'll send them a ton of homework. If I don’t receive it back from them the next week and they haven't done anything with that homework and they make a lot of excuses. Then we need to see what happens next. Then when I follow up and I hold them accountable after dropping the ball a couple of times. I want to see how they respond to the constructive criticism. Do they get defensive and fall apart? Or do they let me build them to become the best person possible.
Jackson: I don't feel like I can do that with somebody once a contract is started. You have different expectations. You start to hide from the truth because you don't want to lose the position or lose favor. I'd rather have a genuine relationship going into everything. Know who it is that you're ultimately getting married to you know and investing your time and energy. Then going blind, signing a legal agreement that holds standards and terms and conditions. I don't necessarily want to agree with. I rather find all that out early on. That's how I spend a lot of time on the projects before I decide if I want to be involved in it or not.
Jason: Now tell us about something that you failed in the past. What you learned from this failure and what we can learn from that.
Jackson: I would say that the one thing I've learned from and continue to learn from is, I had a hard time early on in my career managing how much I rocked the boat. As I mentioned, I push people past their limits and I'm the first to tell you I want people to do the same to me. I have huge ambitions and goals. I love when people give me critiques and feedback and want to help me improve.
Jackson: Even if it's shared in a negative way. I try to
find the positive in it. Maybe if I adjust it or I find a way to relate to this person. I could relate to more people like that. But when I pushed people deeper early on in my career. I had a lack of empathy. You know I had a tendency to just say, if you don't know, you can either do it or don't.
Jackson: That type of approach just wasn't very helpful. It wasn't a good leadership skill. I think being raised in a family that taught me to develop my skills and talents left me realizing that not everybody wants to develop their skills and talents. So, you have tohelp them develop the idea that you are a talented person. You do have gifts to pursue and once you're able to inspire people to move themselves forward. You know you become a much more effective leader.
Jason: Now that's something I need to work on. Like if I do 10 things and I do nine of them great and one not so well. l destroy myself over what I didn't do great. So that's one thing I have to work on myself. I make a conscious effort to work on that.
Jackson: I love it Jason. I would say yes, absolutely you put this podcast together. You sent me great forms. So many people hesitate. Or maybe someone says, Jason, I would never want to be on your podcast. Why would you ask me so early or why would you wear a red shirt to that that podcast? You know people are critical. It's real tough. It's very hard on the heart. But learning to just recognize people who are being critical.
Jackson: They're either coming from a position of love or maybe they are not connecting with something. They've got some type of personal thing. That's holding them back and not helping them see the vision of greatness. But you can't forget that you are great. If you're moving forward, trying to help the world. Then you know you should be holding your head high every day.
Jason: Yes, thank you very much. On a daily basis how do you have to add value and solve problems.
Jackson: Give me some context on this one. Let's talk about the audience who's listening. Who do you think's listening to this and then I'll give them some background.
Jason: I now have a fellow entrepreneur that is listening. He is building Dawg-Box. This is for dogs staying by themselves all day long. The dogs can use the bathroom using Dawg-Box. On the line is Latasia Warren. She's a parole officer. I have Trayvon Webster on the line. He is earning his Doctorate in Education. So, a pretty good mix of people right now. But the audience is going to be small business owners, founders and people in tech, startups and HR.
Jackson: Awesome, well what's up everybody. Welcome, let's see the best place to start. Again, I'll go back to Passion Pro org and the mission of that. If I heard it one time, I've heard it a lot of times. But it's stuck with me the first time I heard it and that's your why should make you cry. I love that statement and I had a why very deep within me. That I didn't know about. I didn't know how to let it emotionally move me every day. Figuring out what that why is and coming up with that emotion will allow you to stay true to the purpose.
Jackson: We have a lot of things that distracts us. Netflix distracts us. We see a good-looking movie or we want to watch Spider Man coming out for the 23rd time. We can’t let that distract us. But if we keep our why close enough to our heart. We'll realize there's so many of the things that we might want to be doing with our time. Instead that can be just as fulfilling or more fulfilling. The Passion Pro course starts with an assessment that says are you ready to pursue your passions. It's a personal assessment you take. You go through your answer, your strengths and weaknesses.
Free resource below!!!
Jackson: You answer what you feel your passions are. Then the course that's coming out is completely free. It is in beta right now. I'm just tweaking it and should have it launched by the end of this month. Again, completely free. It'll take you through a series of how to develop that why and why you need a why in regard to your passions. In regard to the community you serve and in regard to your legacy. How to develop what you want your legacy to be. I don't care what you do, parole officer or Navy or a janitor. Those are the three areas that you really need to focus on in order to feel fulfillment and purpose in your life.
Jason: You are correct about distractions. Distractions are everywhere. You click on Facebook and you click on YouTube. Before you know it it's like two hours later.
Jason: Jackson, next I like you talk about somebody who's helped in the past and how they helped you.
Jackson: I go to my mom on that. I go to a lot of people. You know I'm going to go to Gabriel Hershberger https://www.linkedin.com/in/tghershberger from this morning. You know he this is a stranger I met in a Facebook group on marketing. He offered to help people understand something called chat BOTS that are brand new in Facebook marketing. It's going to be the next revolution that really has a chance to replace email marketing. You'll see just as many chat pop marketers the next two years as email marketers. He took his free time out of the day for an hour to talk with me. About how it works and showed me the systems and showed me how it works on the mobile device. If you can't learn from everybody that you're interacting with you have a pride issue that you got to overcome for your own benefit.
Jackson: One time I was in a grocery store and again, I'm that guy who kind of pushes people too hard. This lady in front of me was scolding her kid and was mad at him for just looking at candy. The kid wasn't doing anything bad. I tell the lady, He's just trying to have fun. Let me help him out. I tell my sisters the story and they were pissed. They were like what are you doing? It's not your child. Let her do her thing. I had the conversation with my wife. I asked why did you think I was out of line.
Jackson: She said, what would you do if somebody did that with and your kids. What if they said you were handling it wrong? I looked at her and I said, Tasha what would I do? Let's say some hobo on the street said I was a bad parent, what would I do?
She thought about and she goes you would listen. You're right I'd listen.
Jackson" Because I don't know everything about parenting. I'm just trying to figure it out like everybody else. Maybe that person under that bridge regrets some parenting mistakes that he made. Maybe he's the best parent in the world and we're judging him by his looks. I am always open to figuring out how can I be the best parent that I can be. So, who influences me. Honestly every single person I interact with. I know I can learn from their strengths and their weaknesses.
Jason: That is a great outlook. I'm a firm believer that no matter how good you are, just be open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe there's a better way to do it. Just be open to it. Unfortunately, most people these days are not open to this.
Jason: Jackson, tell us something that people don't know about you. Your family knows or your close friends. But, most people have no clue about this.
Jackson: Sure, I’ve got fifteen half step brothers and sisters.
Jason: Wow!! 15!!
Jackson: Yes. It's an interesting thing. I am an only child. My sisters would kill me if I said that. Between my mom and my dad, I'm only child. My dad left when I was four. I was raised by my mom and my five older sisters. I have step brothers and sisters
everywhere throughout the country. A couple half-brothers in Montana. I love them all they all mean a lot to me. That's a big one and a whole Pandora's box behind that. But it shapes you when you have that many influences.
Jason: That's interesting an interesting back story. I believe everyone has a unique story that needs to be told to the world.
Jason: Jackson, I understand you have something for listeners today.
More free resources!!!!
Jackson: Absolutely!! For the Passion Pro, www.passionpro.org I mentioned you can opt into the free registration. That course won't be free forever. I don't want to put any lame false scarcity on that. It's not like it's going to change tomorrow. But the neat thing about being involved early is you will have the chance to shape where that course goes and what materials come next. Most businesses treat their websites like a business card. They just throw something up to kind of represent who they are and get their contact info out.
Jackson: But that's not going to get you any business online. It's just not, it might help you in your in your personal day-to-day relationships. But you have to treat people online as though they're valuable human beings in order to get them to interact and to buy from you online or to request your services. Online, I see people on Facebook constantly promoting discounts and saying I'm part of this new network marketing thing. You know, get your lip gloss from me and whatever else you're trying to sell. People don't like it. We all feel gross when that type of information comes out.
Jackson: Imagine walking up to people and doing the same thing. Shaking hands of the people you know. Hey, this is Bob Vance refrigeration. We don't do that. We interact and provide value. Online, it's very important and it's very different. You can't just say free consultation. You can't just throw out a coupon. You need to bring value. You need to show people that you care. The right content matters.
Jackson: Stop pushing out terrible SEO content and believing that SEO is going to be the goldmine. Look at the 10 businesses around, you all of them are invested in SEO and most of them are going to Fail within the next five years. So, is it really the key to success? No, it's not. You've got to find how to build a converting offer online. I'm happy to help show people that and work with people on it and teach people to scale their business online.
Jason: That's great Jack. Can you give us some social media platforms for people to reach out to you?
Jackson: Facebook is my prominent favorite by far. In fact, we've got a couple of Facebook groups in San Antonio. We launched a group called San Antonio business professionals unite. Then as far as Passion Pros go. I've got a passion Pro Facebook group, called Passion Pros. It's a free Facebook community to join. Everyday we're posting in there. I want you to post in there as well. Whatever the passion is. If it’s skiing, if it's family, if it's book reading. Share and inspire others in the course to follow their passions. Feel free to send me a personal message on Facebook. I stay pretty active on most social platforms to include LinkedIn.
Jason: Thanks Jackson. For our listeners, I'll put all the links to everything Jackson talked about on the show notes.
Jason: Before we get out of here, do you have any last words of advice or knowledge, you want to pass on to the listeners.
Jackson: I'll put you on the spot Jason. Jason, what's your why? Why do you do what you?
Jason: My why is that I love HR. I love what I'm doing. I want to make it easier for small business owners to be successful. There's so many distractions out there. So many things getting in the way. I want to take some of that distraction away from them.
Jackson: Let's talk about that. Why do you care about the HR and the business? what makes you really care about them?
Jason: I care about HR. Because to me it gets down to taking care of the customers. The customers are the employees, the executives, your fellow business partners and the customers of your business. As HR you have take care of all of them.
Jason: You can’t’ take care of all them at the same time. Sometimes taking care of your employees will be priority. Sometimes taking care of the customes of the business will be priority and so on. On top of this you have to make sure your company is in compliance will all applicable laws. I call this the five-legged stool. I just like helping people. I get joy out of helping people and it's a big thing for me.
Jackson: Awesome! I'm going to push you one step further. I want to hear you talk about why you care. What is it that made you care about these business owners that you don't know. That you shouldn't technically have a relationship with. Why do you
Jason: I think it’s internal. I think it’s just a part of me. Being the person I am. I'm just a helpful person. I would walk across Texas to give you my last dollar. Even if I know you don't need it. I've never been a taker. I have always been a giver. At least in my opinion.
Jackson: That's awesome! I'm really glad that we talked about that. I'd love to see you come on the Facebook group someday as you figure out what it is that started you. Was it something that your mom did when you were younger? I would love to hear the story where that originates from someday. I challenge you to take that upon yourself. Look into that and figure out what is it and it could be a series of events. I call it building blocks of faith. Because Jason, I really see it in your efforts. I know that you got a big heart and I'm always curious what is it that drove that. Because if we can figure out a pattern and what types of experiences drive that for people. Then we can help use that today to start having those experiences early on for other people.
Jason: Yes, I need to do a deep dive on that. Jackson, thank you very much for being on our show. I really appreciate it. I know our listeners received a lot of value. To our listeners, thank you for yourtime. I really appreciate it and don't forget to be great every day! Thank you!
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