From Air Force service to City Council of El Mirage service, to print shop business owner, Jim has utilized his experiences and lessons from his military service to improve his careers in both public service and private enterprise. Currently he operates International Minute Press providing printing, business cards, folded cards, and custom vehicle wraps.
When asked about what lesson from his military service has help him the most, he expounded greatly to the single question.
“Discipline. Treating people with respect. Military is one of the neatest experiences for races, and creeds. We had to work together. So it didn’t make any difference if you were Cuban, Mexican, or black, or white, or Indian. We had a mission. You put those things aside and we were a team. That was probably the best thing I learned. It was the most helpful thing in life. In those days, we had a lot of segregation going on. Even like today, I know they call it segregation, there’s bickering going on. But in those days we had people who really hated people of different color and walks of life, and you couldn’t be that way in the military. We had to work together is why. That gave me some talent to continue on in my life like that. I don’t look at people now on what your race or creed is. I ask are you productive?”
What’s the most difficult aspect to deal with in your business?
“In today's world, many don’t know how to work as a team. They become destructive forces of a team, and that’s the hardest thing to overcome.”
How has team building helped your business?
“When buying the business, I was fortunate to have an employee come with the shop with 20 years of experience, and he is a team player. The only thing he cares about is getting the job done and get the job done right. That makes my life easy. Perfect, because he knew everything about printing. So, when we look for people we look for everyone working for us to be a team player.
What’s the best lesson you can teach an employee?
We teach the philosophy, ‘nobody is better than another and everyone can be replaced.’ If you believe you are better than another, maybe it’s time for you to leave. We can find someone to fill your shoes. As cruel as that sounds, it makes people think differently. When we work as a team, no one will take shortcuts, because one of us will see it, and we are going to make sure that shortcut is not going to be there. Now, no one lets that car go out of the shop without being perfect either. They know someone is going to talk about the car and they don’t want others talking trash about their work. They all make sure it is going to look good. We have a very small loss rate of customers.
We end up treating each other with respect and dignity. That is the mindset of the military. It’s a mission.
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