Today we talk about, James Drury, a public speaker that started his entrepreneurial career by opening up a Laundry Mat as a side hustle with his corporate day job. And we talk solitude of traveling alone, and an entertaining story about a fear of a heart attack and falling face first into sheep manure. Please welcome, James Drury, to LearningFromOthers.com
- 0:27 – Business Background
- 10:37 – Six Years ago
- 12:36 – Ethics
- 16:37 – Advice from an Expert
- 19:14 – Business Failure
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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Hey, it’s David Burton from learning from others’ dot com. And today we have a guest James jury, a serial entrepreneur from Chicago with the continuing education school for auctioneers. And he also does public speaking and has a wealth of knowledge and a diverse background. James, I appreciate your time.
And thanks for joining the show, Damon. Great to be here. Hey, so you are, um, you know, you started your career with a laundry mat, at least your entrepreneurial career. Is that right? That is correct. It got to the point in my corporate career, then I said, where am I, where am I going with this? Am I increasing my net worth?
Am I increasing my income? Am I going to be a, I was in my late thirties. And I said, you know, once, once you get about 40, 42, 45, it gets a little bit more difficult. To get gainfully employed in a career that you’ve, you know, that I started when I was 25 in the medical business. And, uh, so I saw that coming up in the, uh, in the windscreen of the car, if you will.
And, um, and I was enjoying my job. I was traveling all over. I was a regional manager for a biotech company. I mean, I had all the accoutrements because I was flying. I was sitting up front. I had the Festa made suits. I had the best Mercedes and you know, I’m 36. I’m gone. This is cool. And I was singled two thumbs up.
Right. Well, I just got, I said to myself, well, I’ve got this S class Mercedes. Maybe I should get a Porsche. And with that Damon, I said, wait a minute, this could all come crashing down. So I had met a fellow who was a broker for laundromats, and he said, James, what you need is a laundromat. And I said, no, I don’t.
So we had a nice conversation about this and what he showed me is that he, the question was this, James, can you put together in five-year furs? I increased your net worth by about $150,000 by working this job. I said, no, I don’t think so. He goes, well, I can sell you a laundromat that is profitable. You can buy the business and buy the land and the owners will finance.
You just got to give them a nice down payment. I said, well, how much do I need? And he told me, and I said, well, okay. And so what I did demon at the time, since I was thanks so much, I had frequent flyer miles. And at that time you could sell your frequent flyer miles. And I did, and I did. And that’s how I finance my first and second laundry man while I was still working, I really liked flying around knowing people were putting quarters in my machines.
Yeah. And so every month I knew I had an amateurization table and I knew I could see every month, every time I wrote a check. My net worth increased by 2,500 and my debt load decreased by 2,500. And I had a few hundred dollars a month just to pay for gas, going back and forth. So my goal was okay, five years.
I can pay this off. I have a nice asset. That’s worth about $150,000. It’s going to be throwing off some, some nice money, not enough to live on, but it’s going through a little extra money and that’s a good thing. So six months after I bought purchased the first one, I sold off some more frequent flyer miles and bought a second one.
I said, this is good. And once again, on a five year note, walk the land and. Every, you know, every month that load went down, net worth went up, I’m going, and I’m still working. I’m going to get, this is good. This is really good. So years progressed and I sold off the first one and I kept the second one for almost 20 years as a side business.
And here’s what I learned. I learned a lot, but the first thing I learned was this assigned business. Does not provide you usually usually with enough money to support yourself. You know, even though I sold off the Mercedes and I no longer needed testimate suits, I still had my monthly mortgage and this and that.
And I said, okay, so I’m going to have to continue to work. I’ll have this business on the side that is now paid for it’s an asset. And it’s throwing off some, some nice money, taxable money that I can use to pay for other things. And I, I’m not relying solely on my employment that morphed into, uh, th there’s a progression here at Damon that morphed into my Meadows in the medical business.
I wound up working in the medical auction business. So I became an auctioneer. I still have the store. And so I was working for a.com starting back around 99 and I was a.com millionaire for about, Oh, about that long about a nanosecond, you know, those a 50 cents options went to $83 and went back to price.
When I went back down to 30 cents, um, it happens so fast. If I, if I had a cold, when it hit 83, when the cold was over, they were worth 35 cents. So it was all kind of thing. But, uh, I didn’t go nuts so crazy. Like a lot of people and go out and buy a new Mercedes or buy a million dollar home. I just said, let that ride where it goes.
It goes, so I couldn’t sell it. I could not sell it. I was locked out. Because they were options. But what it gave me is an opportunity to pick up a new career line and that was become an auctioneer, still had the laundromat going. And one thing led to another. And, uh, I been helped. I helped a friend of mine who was in the real estate auction business.
And this is where everything really started to take off for me. In 13 States in this country, auctioneer’s are required to take continuing education to renew their license like a real estate professional, uh, attorneys have to take continuing education. Auctioneer’s have to take continuing education. So I drove downstate Illinois.
One, one day. I think I left on a Tuesday and then Wednesday and Thursday, I had to take my 12 hours and then I drive home and I’m going, I had to drive. Yeah, two and a half hours stay in a crappy hotel and then drive two and a half hours back. I said, there’s gotta be a better way. So I was teaching some real estate, continuing education classes, and I called up the state and I said, um, do I need a license to teach continuing education for auctioneers?
And the lady on the other end of the phone downstate very nice lady, uh, said, no, you have to show competency.
Well, Damon, you know, I in mind, see how many years of college post high school I’ve got a four, five, six years post high school, seven. And I said, well, you know, I was always taught that you never answer a question with a question, right. So I said to her, I said, I got to ask you. Define competency in your mind.
I need to know where you’re going with this. And she said, well, how about formal education? I said, master’s degree hours towards a PhD, taught at the college level, been an auctioneer. But at that time for, uh, since 99 and been about 10, 12 years, and I said, okay, I, I have a license to teach real estate CE in Illinois.
And she said, you’re qualified. And then she said, and this was the life changer. She said to me, why don’t you start your own school? Hmm. And I said to her, I said, well, that’s not why I called, but since you’ve opened that door, I said, if I would start a school, it would have to be online. And online only she goes, that’s what I’m talking about.
I said, no, one’s doing that. She goes, no, really? Ooh. So I said, let’s end our conversation. I’m going to call you back in 30 days, Mark it on your calendar. I marked it on my calendar. It’s 30 days later, I called her. And I said, okay. I, I filled out the application for the school, have a checkmate out because I have to pay for the license.
I’ve written four classes. I have a demo video up. So do I put everything in there? FedEx box and ship it down to you. She goes, you’re kidding. I said, Oh no, I’m ready to go. I just need approval. She said, what you had, she didn’t know what to say. I said, well, what do you want me to do? And she said, could you come down and make a presentation to our board?
I said, sure. When is it? She goes, uh, 30 days. I said, sure, no problem. I’ll be there. Tell me where to be and what time I arrived. Um, She introduced me to the board of, uh, the robotic six, seven people, maybe eight. And I made my presentation. One fellow was totally against it. And the chairman of the board said, so let me understand this, James.
I can go to my computer and. Take my classes online and I don’t have to travel anywhere. I said, you can watch the videos in your underwear. I said, I don’t care. Cause I can’t see you. And he goes, he looks around and he goes, does anyone object to this? Besides this guy over here? No one said it was a great idea.
They go approved. What year are we talking? Six years ago. Wow. I was thinking, you know, everybody being so surprised that it wasn’t available online. I was thinking this was a while back. That’s interesting. So then I said, well, gentlemen, thank you very much, but there’s just one more thing. They said, what’s that?
I said, well, two States, Illinois and Wisconsin, after you take the 12 hours, there are four classes, three hours each after each class, you have to take an exam. And the twist in that is it has to be a proctored exam. Like when you’re in college in school, you know, the instructor is there watching you take the exam.
So I said, the one more thing is this. I said, I found a company out of California. And, um, I’ll just tell you the name’s called Proctor you. And I said, they. Have a system where if you have a camera on your computer, they watch you looking at the screen to take the exam online with your computer. Gotcha.
Who didn’t want to approve me for online? Education said, well, who’s, who’s doing this in Illinois. I said, well, that’s a good question because I asked. The same question. He goes, well, who is it? I said, the university of Illinois in champagne is utilizing the same company and I’m not arguing with them. The chairman said approved and I was the first company with online education in Illinois to be approved with online testing.
Wow. So yeah, go ahead. You know what, I’m curious. What, so what do auctioneer’s learn on a continuing education basis? Sure in Illinois and other States ethics. Yes. There’s always ethics and real estate also. They’re all, there’s always an ethics course in the renewal period and the is every two years or so.
So they always require an ethics course and okay. Just talking about what’s right. What’s wrong. What is ethics? And there’s been so many books written about ethics. Um, I can, I’ve been, I’ve written four classes on ethics, always something different, always looking at your business and how you interact with your, with the public, because we’re in a public business and we’re handling other people’s money and treasured goods.
So we have to be ethical. Otherwise we’re out of business and it’s like anyone, if we’re an auctioneer, they screw up one time. Their reputation is done. Yeah, they’re done. Forget it. Put a fork in them, put them away. They’re there. They’re out of here. The other class that they have to take is a review of Illinois auction law.
This year, I did a little twist. I based on a phone call from a client, uh, about revenue. When to charge sales tax, when the auctioneer is required to charge sales tax, there has been some confusion. So I did some investigation, made some phone calls. And so the auction law class is talking a lot about make sure or that sales tax is collected on various auctions.
Let’s say, for example, Damon, if you were an auctioneer and you purchased something was a, you purchased a bunch of things and you sold them at auction. In Illinois, you’re required to collect sales tax because you’re acting as a retailer.
So there’s that. And then there are two electives and, uh, this renewal period I taught, uh, six hours, two classes about storytelling marketing. I talked about how to put together a, um, elevator pitch. Because most people don’t understand what is necessary to put together an elevator pitch. And then I explained how to tell a story about items, you know, for example, for an auctioneer, uh, let’s say Damon came up to me and he’d say, Hey James, what is this?
Well, we both know what it is. You would probably come up and say, Hey James, what’s the story on this? Well, you have to be prepared to explain a story behind it. You know, it may have a, the story may make it more valuable in the eyes of a potential purchaser. So those are the kind of a thumbnail look at the four classes that I put together for this renewal season, which is going on right now.
That’s an interesting, it makes not a sense that you have to be able to tell stories as an auctioneer and just like you said, to increase the value of the asset. Um, so it’s an interesting transition, you know, laundry mats to auctioneering. Um, I want to go back a second to the laundry mat. You had mentioned that you kept the second one, but salt first, what was the, what was the defining factor in acting one of them and not the other.
Uh, the defining factor was this from my home to the first one from the first one to the second one to the second one, home was 90 miles. It was taking up too much time. And, uh, the two, the second one was more profitable and that’s why I sold it off the first one. Yeah, I’ve actually had a personal interest in laundry mats.
Um, you know, I, I, my wife does, um, she’s a cosmetologist and at one point I built a salon for her and it was right next to the laundry mat. And I was always fascinated at the, you know, to some extent it’s passive income because you’re not there babysitting and all the time. Um, and, and the same thing, I’ve had an interest in car washes and storage units.
Um, but now it’s an interesting model. Um, yes. Um, I will tell, I will, I will share this with you Daymond. When I got into the, uh, Korean laundry business, I said my front, my friends were more concerned with, uh, my failure rather than my being successful, which I, it was a pretty interesting combat jam. What’s going to happen if you fail.
I mean, it’s a laundromat. I said, Hey, everyone needs clean clothes. Yeah. And I said, well, so. Why are you? I asked some people, why are you so interested if I fail? Why aren’t you asking me? Like, Hey, what are you going to do to make me this even more successful? So finally it got to the point, Damon, where I said to someone, I said, look, if I fail in this laundromat, just because of my enoughness, this thing goes down, down the tubes.
So to speak, I said, I don’t look at it as a failure. He said, well, how do you look at it? I said, I look at it as I made some missteps because I didn’t know enough. I said, so failure is defined by me as they can’t take my education. They can’t take my morals, my ethics, my sense of humor. They can’t take my voice.
They can take all my worldly possessions. They can’t take my clothes and my American express card, which I pay off every month. So give me, give me 24 36 months. I’ll be back bigger and better than ever, because I’ve already made the mistake and believe me, Damon, when you’re in business for yourself, when you have you start out, you know, you make mistakes, it just.
It happens, but it’s an education, you know, I’m not going to tell you that stand here today, Damon and tell you that all of my adventures have been successful. I will tell you about the one that didn’t work. I’m not gonna call it a failure. I will tell you that I started a business. I spent $250,000 and. I made nothing, nothing.
It didn’t work. And I was convinced it was going to work. Everyone that was in the business at Jim, this is a great idea. And I threw a lot of money at it and it didn’t work. So what did I learn? Someone asked me. I said, what I learned is don’t do that. Okay. That’s pretty, that’s pretty simple. What would you say was the cause of that business’s failure?
It was a business to hold a general auction. Let me tell you what the business was. And I’m going to tell you why. I think it didn’t work. The business was here in Chicago to sell power sports motorcycles, jet skis, we’ll say collector cars under $50,000 a year. Toys, if you will. Right? Sure. And what happened was, is that in retrospect, because I couldn’t figure out what happened.
I studied this as I moved down, but every once in a while I go back and I think about it. What I discovered is that the month I opened, it was the exact month that the recession started. Uh, so here’s what happened, Damon. Many people had purchased Harleys and they would buy them basically with no money down.
And all of a sudden they’re out of work, a lot of the people and they wanted to sell it, but the value of their item was less than they owed and they had more money in it. Then they’re ever going to get out. And that was the problem. That was the problem. So I closed it up, lick my wounds, took me a year to figure out what I was going to do next and off we went.
And that’s when cornerstone started. That’s the online school. Yeah. I totally agree with your message. And it’s coincidental because this morning I just posted on, on social media, something along the lines of, you know, those, the people that win are the ones that learn from failure. And, and there’s always an opportunity to learn from every experience good or bad.
So I, I, I completely agree. Oh yes. Oh please. Yeah, you’ve got failure. You’ll learn more from failure. I think then from success. Yeah, definitely. And, you know, uh, it, it sucks to be in that moment, you know, rightfully so. But yeah, there’s a lot of opportunity to learn afterwards. Right? You take all this experience now, now you start cornerstone and you transition your business experience.
Um, and then that that’s even evolved as well. And so you’re also in the world of public speaking now, too. Is that right? Damon? Uh, yes and no. When I tell people this, they’re saying, how did you move from one to the other? And I just say to me, it’s a logical progression. Here’s what happened. I received about, let’s see, this is October, about a year and a half ago, 16 months ago, I received a phone call from a client and he said, Hey James, do you remember that class that you wrote on marketing to millennials for auctioneer’s?
I said, Oh yeah, yeah. He goes, I took that class. I learned a lot from that class. I said, good. I said, you know, you providing your options on your phone. Now he goes, yes. You told me to do that. I said, yeah, that’s correct. Um, he said, I attended a conference. He said it was outside of the auction room. And he said, what I found out is that, or this fellow came up and talked about marketing to millennials, selling the millennials and what they’re looking for.
He said, I learned more from your class than I did from this guy. And I know what they paid him. And I said, really? Okay, well, Damon things happen for a reason. Um, about 30 days later, I receive an email from a fellow in New York city that I’d been following for about three years. I read about him in Forbes magazine and, um, he puts out a blog and he had this particular blog and I don’t open them all the time, but that one I did.
And he talked about a woman who’s had out of Toronto who, uh, has an online school program on starting a public speaking business. And he said, well, that’s interesting. So one thing led to another Damon and I hired her as a mentor. It’s a 10 month program and I wound up, uh, putting together two keynote speeches.
All based on my experience and life experience and business experience. Uh Hmm. That’s how the public speaking business started. You know, she said, okay, you have to write a book. Well, okay. All right, here we go. Uh, going to write a book. So, I didn’t know. I knew what I wanted to talk about the first thing.
And so I wrote a little children’s book and it’s called a man named Bob bub. And it’s a story of a little boy who was out with his grandfather one day and the grandfather takes him to three places. It’s a true story. It’s my story. And, um, I’ll have in the South suburbs of, uh, of, uh, Chicago around Lansing, Illinois.
And uh, every place my grandfather took a, he lived next door to us at the time. And three places. He took me, he’s going up and talking to these people. He’s going, Hey Bob, Hey Bob, this and he pumped that. So we finally went at a hardware store in downtown Lansing, Illinois. And I’m going to tell you the name because they allowed me to put it in the book.
And it’s Gus Bock, Vock hardware in Lansing on Ridge road. And, uh, He takes me there. And you know, I shake hands. He introduces me as his grandson, blah, and all of that. And we go home and my mother says, so how was your day with grandpa grandfather? I said, grandpa knows everyone. She goes, what do you mean? I said, we went here.
We went there. We went here. He knows everyone. And everyone is named Bob.
So Damon would have taught me. You know, at her age seven, eight, that he was unafraid to go up and talk to anyone. And when you’re a child, you absorb, you observe, you will listen. And all of my life, I’ve just had the ability to go up and talk to people. And it took me many years to figure out what was the catalyst for that.
So, You know, working with my mentor, I start, I have a keynote speech called you can never know enough people. And because yeah, of that, that’s turned into a public speaking business. The other keynote is talking to people over the age of 50 to start a bit who are interested in either buying or purchasing a business.
And you need to talk to everyone. You need to leave. Listen, I mean, I started two businesses on a phone call. Yeah on a phone call. No one wants to believe me on that one, Damon, but my hand to God, it is, it is the absolute truth. And, uh, just talking to people, you get ideas and you think about it and, uh, I, you know, I’ve started three businesses after the age of 52 or two are, you know, active businesses, the school of public speaking business, but the auction business is not, and that’s okay.
Don’t do that again. What, uh, what type of royalty are you given the state employee that answered your phone call?
I have an excellent relationship with her. Uh, whenever a question is I receive a phone call and I can’t answer it. I tell them to call her. And I, I always preface that say makes you be very, very, very nice to this lady. She is. She is the best. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Take care of her. So my next question, you kind of started to touch on and it was about speaking.
So what audiences are you speaking to these days and what can your audience learn from your presentations? My audience are, uh, primarily those close to 50. Over 50, who wished to purchase or start their own business. And I’m going to tell them all as many mistakes that I made and things that I’ve learned, because I don’t want anyone to make the same mistakes because they’re avoidable.
You know, the, the first, like I’ve been putting together some commandments. One of my, my first commandment is this. If you start or buy a business, don’t think that it’s going to replace your corporate income. People need to understand just because you may have a great idea. It may not work. The first 12 months, and you’ve got mortgages, college expenses, this, this, this, and this.
And if you’re in a corporate setting, you know, you’ve got your vacation, you’ve got your perhaps four, one K or something don’t give up your day job until you are absolutely positively convinced or the business is throwing off enough money. That you can let it go. Don’t let it go until everything is going okay.
Mmm. The second commandment is if you’re working and, and, uh, any type of job, and you start something on the side to get, you know, it’s either you want to increase your income or you want to increase your net worth. And that was my goal. When I started, um, Don’t tell anyone what you’re doing.
Damon. I can’t stress this enough. I have told people this, they have looked at me and I have told them. I said, if you tell anyone what you’re doing, I will find you. I will take my Nerf bat and I will beat you. And I’m not going to, I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to get your attention. Don’t tell anyone it’s no one’s business and it would hurt you in your corporate job.
I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen it happen twice, twice, and I’ve never, I never told anyone what I was up to. Never, never what’s the main, what’s the main thing that you think is at risk when people, if people do say something, so is it their day job that they’re. They should be concerned about, or is it, is it the support system, their day job?
There’s and here’s how I, this is how I see it, David, and this is my opinion, my opinion, only if you have a, uh, some type of, you know, your you’ve got a you’re gainfully employed and you let everyone know that you’ve purchased a laundromat or you’ve started an online business. You’re selling things on Amazon, whatever it is.
Are you making, you know, uh, uh, you’re making some extra money by selling things on eBay, whatever it is when it comes to review time. No. Um, it doesn’t matter how good of a job you’re doing. You know, your supervisor may say, well, Hey, Damon’s got this thing going on the side. He doesn’t need the money. This person over here needs the money.
Uh, Damon’s really not all into his job here because he’s got this other thing going on. That’s taking up some of his mental time when he should be thinking about his job here. You don’t need that. Damon. No one needs that. That’s why I say it’s your business. Keep the dear self. That’s that’s how I see it.
Sure. Now, um, this, this topic of not quitting your day job is interesting where your audiences around, you know, 50 year olds give or take. Um, do you see it? It’s interesting for me to compare that to younger audiences and younger entrepreneurs, because it seems like these younger audiences are obsessed with VC money or funding instead of grinding or shoe stringing or.
Self-funding by keeping your day job. Um, do, do, do you run into that with the more mature audiences where they say, well, why don’t I just take on funding? I’ve never been asked that question, but I have some definite ideas about that. And it all has to do with age for a younger audience. We’ll say, you know, maybe up to 35, 40, 45.
There, they still have runway left in their life. If they make a mistake, if you’re 50, you don’t have as much runway left. Um, when you’re younger, you’re willing to take perhaps more risks. And I admire the, the millennials and. No going out and getting VC money. And I just had a phone call from a friend of mine.
Some fellow is starting a new real estate company. He’s like 33 and he has picked up, uh, I think he’s very high, nine number, uh, VC money to start his company. And, um, I admire that’s great. That’s great. But for the older person, you know, 50 and plus are getting close to 50. They may have other responsibilities and, you know, just not give just life stuff.
So some people are starting second families. They don’t want to take that, that risk and risk everything there. They become risk adverse and that’s all it comes down to. And I get it. I understand it. You know, when I was in my late thirties and I started these things up, you know, I still had a lot of runway left.
Well, Hey, you know, if it goes down the dumper, so what I can start again. Yeah, yeah. That’s all that’s. I think it just comes down to age and, um, how much time you have to recoup case something goes sideways now, offline, you had commented that you CA you know, one thing that you kind of tell your younger self or the listeners to learn from is that you cannot buy a job.
Um, can you elaborate on that comment a bit? Sure. What I learned is that your side business that’s, as we talked about it a little while ago, your side business, in my opinion, this is all my opinion, Damon, your side business. Uh, I’ve seen people think, you know, I’m going to buy a job. I’m going to buy this business.
This is a going business. And, um, I’m going to buy a job and it’s going to replace the income I have and all the things that I have now, I’ve seen too many examples. Of that not happening. Uh, not really don’t realize how much work it takes and, um, in terms of hours and, um, all the decisions you have to make.
So don’t think you can buy a job. I’m saying that if you purchase a business, have it on the side. If you’re getting close to 50 or 15, plus I’m saying, look. If can afford it. That’s great. But just be careful. That’s all I’m saying. Just be careful about what you’re going to be doing, because I don’t want you to have to sell your house.
The wife will get mad and the kids will get mad and all this and all of that. Just be careful what you do out there. Let’s be careful out there. Think about think before you jumped. Yeah, always, always sound advice. You know, um, James, as, as we’re kind of getting towards the last few minutes of our call, uh, tell me a little bit more about what you do, um, outside of work you had mentioned during the hiking, what else do you get into?
Well, the past three years, three years ago, I did the first half of the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the pilgrimage. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. Yeah, I heard of it. Yeah, go ahead. Okay. And then the second year I finished it up, uh, and then last year, at this time, I just completed a walking the Wicklow way through the Wicklow mountains of, uh, South of Dublin.
Um, what I find the community center Thiago is a pilgrimage that’s been going on since the time of Charlemagne it’s 500 miles, you know, just a good stretch of the legs and, and it tests you and you think about your life, then that’s the whole idea behind it. And it ends at the cathedral of st. James in Santiago, Spain.
It’s a very moving emotional. Um, physically draining, physically challenging, um, walk. Um, but when you’re done, you have a sense of, uh, your serene sense of peace, a sense of accomplishment. And for me, I thought about all the people that I’ve met in my life, as many as I could think of, and I will share with you and your audience, what I thought about.
All the people you meet in life. Did I ever do anything that could have negatively impacted their life? Did I ever do anything to anyone that could have possibly ruined a relationship with a spouse? The children. And it’s kind of like throwing a rock in an OCOM pond. The ripples of something I may have done could have affected their spouse, their children, their grandchildren.
And that’s what I thought about. And it changed how I approach anyone today. I want to give them the best advice with caution that I possibly can. And it’s. It’s it’s, it’s very, um, like I said, it’s just very moving. Experience to do, do the Camino de Santiago about a hundred thousand people do it a year.
And, and I’m from all over the world. I walked with a woman from Ireland who teaches in a one room school in on Western, the coast of Western Ireland. I was stunned that there was still a one room school. I walked with guys from Portugal who were half my age. And I said, gentlemen, you just keep on trucking because.
For every, for every three steps you’re taking, I’m taking one I’m in here for the long haul. I said, it’s the tortoise and the Hare with you guys. Um, who else did I walk with? Walked with a fellow from Hamburg, Germany, and, uh, he had a pack on him, Damon. He was camping and I don’t camp. I stay in BnBs and hotels at the end of each day.
And. He was going to be camping out. He had his cooker with him and good for him. Uh, last year I walked the Wicklow way by myself on day three, I found out I wasn’t supposed to be walking it by myself, but that’s a whole story. I’m climbing up the side of a mountain with the, I didn’t realize that an Ireland Pete was in the mountains.
I thought it was in a bog and rain was sideways blowing me down. I had to climb up the side of this mountain on all fours with the, uh, sheep manure. Okay. And the mud, I’m trying to be polite with the manure word here, Damon, um, the peach and the mud. And I get to the top of this thing that took me about a half hour crawling.
I get to the top and I’d go, okay, James, what are you thinking that you could do this,
but I did it. Um, I will tell you that, uh, When I, when I landed in Dublin, I weighed myself at the airport and I weighed 198 pounds, 10 days later, I’m back in the airport on my way to, to Paris. And I weighed myself again, 183. I was burning up the calories. And if you want to lose weight, walk the Wicklow way.
Yeah. Now are these tracks, are they organized? Are you just, you just kind of go, the Camino is, uh, there are. I know of about three Outfitters. I used one out of a double and yeah, they will set up everything. So you take the home like, um, they they’ll put you in hotels. Yeah. And a B and BS along the way. So you, you know, maybe walk 15 miles a day and you can walk in with a group personally, I like to walk alone and because I meet people along the way.
And I hear, I hear their stories. It was great. Um, so the Camino, there are more people, uh, the Whitlow way you start in Dublin and go South. Well, I did it the other way I went, I took a bus down to the end point and then walked back to Dublin. I will tell you, Damon, I only, I only came across about five people in nine days.
Uh, on the Whitlow way, I, uh, I walked by the Guinness estate where they were filming episodes of the Vikings, which I’ve never watched. And, um, the, it was, it was beautiful and scary. Yeah. My last day on the hike, I looked at the, looked at the sun. I looked at my watch. I said, I have about an hour and 20 minutes of light left.
And I don’t know how far I have to go. And I’m looking out over this Vista and this Valley and I looked to my right and it’s green. It’s beautiful. And there’s nothing except green and beautiful and mountains. I look to my left. It’s green, it’s beautiful. I’m looking probably five, 10 miles each way. And I’m in the middle with sheep.
Two deer and me and an hour and 20 minutes left to sunlight. And I don’t know how far I have to go for this city boy. There were no phone lines. There were no electrical lines. There were no houses. There was no smoke from a house way off in the distance. It was just me. And I’ve never, ever felt that small.
And my Newt in my entire life. And I hope everyone can feel that because it made me, it provides a good story because it’s all true. But, uh, it, you know, I said, where am I going to go? The trail was, was not really marked well, Damon. So, um, I could see this fence way, way, way down, down the Valley. And I said, okay, I’m going to walk to that point right there.
I walked to that point. And that’s where they had the ladder where you could climb over the fence, literally dead reckoning, Damon. I found it by accident climbed over, and then I’m walking and I’m walking and, and, uh, the, the, the trails were so steep. I could only go sometimes only 20 feet and I had to stop five minutes and let my heart rate go down.
Yeah, there was one point I said, okay, my heart is pounding. My feet are slipping on the sheep manure. I have my walking poles, my heart is going. And I said, okay, this is where it ends, James. You’re going to have a grabber or you’re going to have a heart attack. You’re going to do a nose plant in the, in the sheep manure at your funeral.
They’re going to say, how did he die? He didn’t always plant in sheep, manure in Ireland. And that’s your legacy. That would be my legacy. So I got one last question. Um, on this track topic, do you find that these tracks were more physically or mentally exhausting or kind of equally the same. For me, I would say it was, uh, more physically.
I train here in Chicago before I did the Camino. I probably walked in the 10 months going up to the Camino, a thousand miles. We had some very nice, uh, forest preserves around here. Uh, and I’d throw on my backpack with 30 pounds and off I would go. And if I can, I couldn’t get down to the forest reserve and walk on the Hills and valleys.
There I’d walk around the neighborhood. I think I’ve walked in every down every street and every alley in my community, in the adjoining communities, just to keep walking with my pack of 30 pounds and that you have to get into, I fought for me. I had to get into a mindset that I could get my car and be somewhere in five minutes with my feet.
It’s going to take me an hour. And I had to get over that mindset. And once I got over that, you know, I, people see me, I’ll tell them, you see me on the trail. I could be singing Manford. Mann’s do I, Diddy. It’s a nice taste for me. You know? And the other thing I do is literally I talk out loud, like, you know, I’m talking to Damon today.
I think about my business. I think about what I want to accomplish. Just I’ll be talking out loud. Well, if I do this, then I have, I should be doing this. Should I be doing that? Let me think about this. It’s just for me, it’s my therapy. If you will, I love it. You know, and I’ll be out this weekend doing a quick six miles.
Oh. And by the way, the last Sunday I was out, I was, I walked the neighbors, dog and everyone. Loves dog. I met this young lady and we were chatting about this and that, and my backpack. It has a patch from the Camino walk in my, in the shell that you carry the dignity. It shows that it signifies that you are Pilgrim on the Camino.
She said you walked the Camino. Yes. Well, my, my boyfriend and I are starting a podcast about exotic travels. Do you have a business card? She said, I’ll be calling you in about a month. I said, okay, fine. You never know who you’re going to meet. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. No great stories, James. Um, I appreciate your time.
Uh, everybody James jury again, serial entrepreneur, continuing education school for auctioneers and public speaker. Uh, before we go, why don’t you let the listeners know your websites, where they can get more information from your social media, whatever you want to put out there. Sure. Uh, my website is Jane speaks D R you are why James jury speaks.
And, um, there’s a total free number there. Eight eight eight four four nine three four five. Oh, give me a call and we’ll sit down and talk. If you want to have a speaker talk about starting a business after the age of 50, or talk about how important it is to talk to everyone and what you can learn by just talking to people.
Love to talk to you, Damon. I want to, I want to thank you for the invitation. Thank you. You bet. No, I appreciate it. It’s been a great perspective hearing about the opportunities for, you know, the more mature entrepreneurs. Uh, it’s been a good experience now, James, before we go, we surprise our guests with a random question generator.
And so you don’t get a heads up. So your question is what is your favorite condiment?
Uh, well, since let’s see my favorite con, that would be like a side is mustard Manet’s Oh, that type of a condiment. And if it, if it’s too, if it’s too much of a stretch, I got a backup for you. Well, I’m going to give you the, give you my answer and I want the backup to, um, my favorite condiment. Is a good barbecue sauce, like on a burger or something like that.
Yeah. Yeah. Are you, are you, are you, uh, so what about stakes? You know, some people are like a sauce has ruined a steak or they make a steak. Um, I’ve been known to among, among my buddies, uh, when the wives are out of town, they all want to come here. Cause I cook. I’ve done steaks, uh, salted. Salt heavy salt, heavy pepper, pepper.
I did a filet with a chocolate sauce. These guys were licking the plates. It was, I mean, I said, you guys are a bunch of Neanderthals. Once a bunch of meat eaters, the chocolate sauce. They said, Drury, there’s no way this is going to taste good. And they, they tried their first bite and they said, Oh, this is great.
Okay. Would hit me with the backup question, Damon or back. Your backup was, was much more subtle. Um, what is your favorite season? Ah, definitely fall. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, the, the, the older each year, the past is I’ve becoming a bigger fan of fall. I used to categorize it all the same as winter, but I’m starting to appreciate it more and more.
No, I L I like fall and I, there was one point when I was working for the.com. Uh, I spent the summer of. Uh, this early, late spring and early summer in Manhattan, I lived in Midtown and I got to tell you a springtime in New York is special and it’s still special to me, but my favorite is, is a fall. I like it.
James, James, Jerry, everybody. Appreciate your time. Um, catch him on JamesDrury speaks.com and, uh, James we’ll keep in touch. I appreciate it. Thanks Damon. Have a great week. Okay.