231 Transcript

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[Music]
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[Music]
welcome to scaling up the podcast where
we scale up on knowledge so we don’t
scale up our systems i’m trace blackmore
the host of scaling up h2o hopefully
your voice to the water treatment
industry and i hope that over this past
year you have grown as a professional
water treater i also know that there’s a
lot of people out there that listen to
me that aren’t in the water treatment
industry so for you i hope you have
grown as well one of the goals that i
have on each and every show is to try to
give you a little nudge to do something
different so you can get better so you
can wonder about something that maybe
you weren’t wondering about before and
because you’re wondering about it you’re
able to go find out more information
information that you did not have
before you started wondering about
whatever it was that you were wondering
about so i hope we have a complete
nation out there of wonders and you’re
taking that wonder and you’re making
yourself better one day
at a time and speaking of days it is
just hard for me to believe that we are
almost out of days this year
this show is airing on christmas eve
merry christmas everybody i hope you all
have a wonderful holiday i hope you all
are wrapping up your 2021
in the best way possible i hope you are
with friends and family
and i hope you’re thinking what are the
things that i need to take from this
year what has life taught me this year
so i can apply it next year i also know
if you are a listener of the show
you know each and every year i talk
about goal setting i talk about
how do we make ourselves better this
year so stay tuned for upcoming episodes
where i am sure to do that again i
always wonder is that an episode that
everybody appreciates and i get so many
people that come up to me at events and
thank me for doing shows like that
because apparently it does motivate
everybody i’m just giving you a little
glimpse into some of the things that i
do each and every year to make sure that
i am growing and i am very fortunate
that you all enjoy hearing what i do for
myself
sharing that with all
of you
and i have to say sharing what i know
with all of you
really makes me better at what i know
and what i do
the fact that i’m able to explain it
allows me to understand the information
that i think i know
even better and whenever you’re trying
to teach information that you think you
know and there is a reason i’m saying
think you know it when you change your
perspective from somebody who thinks
they know the information to somebody
who has to teach the information it
changes everything that you think you
know about that particular topic because
now
you are the perceived expert you are the
person that has to answer the questions
as you’re teaching it to somebody else
this was something that was taught to me
in a very early age if you want to truly
master material and i am of the belief
that i don’t think you ever master
everything in water treatment there’s
just so much out there there’s so much
to learn
but to get a better grip on the things
that you do know or that you need to
know whenever you learn something new
put yourself in the situation where you
are responsible to teach that to
somebody else as quickly as
possible whenever somebody goes to an
event a training event and especially
people that send people to a training
event and they’re worried if those
people are going to utilize those
resources that are being spent on them
wisely by going to this training event
and specifically i’m talking about an
owner sending a team member to a
training event if you’re ever worried
that they’re not going to pick up
everything that they should invite them
to teach the team
something that they learned when they
get back i promise that will immediately
shift the mindset and if nobody’s asking
you to do that and you are just
attending an event i want you to
volunteer for that i want you to say i
really appreciate you sending me to this
event and to show my appreciation to
show you how serious that i am taking
your investment in me
i want to teach a group of people
something that i learned at this event
trust me if you have that conversation
with whoever your supervisor is
they are not going to think twice if you
ask to go to something in the future
it’s a win-win for everybody
well i hope that gives you a glimpse
into the mindset that i have about the
knowledge that i’ve acquired over my
career and continue to acquire well
there’s so many people out there that
have that same attitude the attitude
that a rising tide raises all
ships that if i teach you something i
didn’t take away from me
i just added to everybody and then if
you reciprocate by adding more knowledge
back to me or somebody else
that’s how we get that raising tide so
it’s with that introduction that i want
to move into our interview
my lab partner today is james mcdonald
james i love it when you come on the
scaling up h2o podcast how are you
i’m doing great trace thanks for having
me on again how are you doing
i’m doing great because you are here
james we have done so much together this
year in previous years i’m hoping we
could spend today
talking about some of those things maybe
giving a little teasers if anything’s
going to happen into the future and just
catch up a little bit
sounds good to me
james you do so much for the water
treatment industry and i know there are
people out there that are thinking why
on earth would somebody give away
all of that information why don’t they
just keep it for themselves so they’re
not giving it to their competitors
people aren’t using that person’s
information against them possibly to get
the same business
why do you do it
i think what you say quite often is
really the reason why we both do it a
rising tide rises all boats and also i
just was thinking this week as well i
heard someone say there’s no i in team
where there’s no i in water but there is
a wii you know there’s a we in water and
so we’re all in this together in any way
we can help make this profession more
reputable more honorable have people
have passion for it you know the the
better it is for all of us and we’re not
building up our competition we’re
building up our profession we’re
building up our future co-workers we’re
building up our future you know folks i
serve on committees with and what have
you it really is a team approach
i love that answer we’re not building up
our competition we are building up our
industry and folks if we don’t have an
industry what’s it all for
exactly
james how did you get into this mindset
did you just start on day one saying i’m
going to give everything i can to this
profession or did you build to it
i’m glad you asked that because there i
have two stories that kind of build into
why i do these things one is you know i
i grew up in a small town in kentucky
and um i grew up on land that’s been in
my family for 170 years and i got family
all over the place more cousins than
what one i could count
and i knew my grandparents my
great-grandparents even you a couple of
my great-great-grandparents
and i remember some of my fondest
memories of growing up are going to
visit those grandparents and how they
would share their knowledge with us and
whether you want to listen or not they
would share their knowledge about
farming and gardening and in
construction or whatever they they knew
about hoping that whatever we learned
you know from them would make us better
as well and so i took that and i never
forgot that how freely they shared their
knowledge out there and their passions
for the things that they did and the
second story out there is um my dad he’s
retired now but he owned a cabinet shop
and he when i was little he worked for a
cabinet maker then he started his own
cabinet shop and he built it right
behind our house so i grew up with my
dad always home basically you know i was
i was lucky in that way and i remember
one day this young man came to my dad
and he said hey i’m interested in
learning how to build cabinets but i
want to start my own cabinet shop
company would you teach me and my dad
could have easily said no i don’t want
the competition no i don’t want to give
you all my secrets but that never even
crossed his mind my dad knew that the
market was big enough for the both of
them and he said sure and that guy i
remember him showing up early i remember
him working late and i don’t remember
how long he did this but he did it for
quite a while he learned the tricks of
the trade he’d learn how to make
cabinets how to run a cabinet business
and he went and started his business on
the other side of town and yet he and my
dad stayed friends until now you know
they were still alive and my dad never
lost business because of that you know
he knew the mark was big enough for both
of them and he my dad liked what he did
and he shared what he did freely and
those two lessons stuck with me as i
grew up as well and what i do now and
sharing what what we do and there’s not
a whole lot of secrets of what we do
trace you can find so much of this in
books online but it’s just keeping it
out there in front of us constantly is
what you and i do we’re always pushing
and pushing it out there on a very
consistent basis so the way i was raised
and the sharing and giving freely you
know i don’t give away our trade secrets
in my company or anything like that you
know i do have a line but at the same
time you know i have a passion for this
and i i do think if i had been a lawyer
if i’d been a doctor a dentist a shoe
salesman if i if whatever i’d been i
probably would have the exact same
passion for what i do now and i probably
would have had social media pages out
there posting the greatest piece of
garbage i found or the best case you
know i won what have you i would i would
have done the exact same thing and maybe
that that is the lesson i learned better
than than anything is to like what you
do have passion for what you do and
share what you do and that’s what i do
james i think what you did was start a
movement i think that when water
treaters came together they were always
suspicious of each other and they might
have given a little bit but it was
always with the intention of what they
were going to receive and
you came to the water treatment industry
and you started working through linkedin
tell us a little bit about that because
i think that changed the entire
landscape of how we now communicate with
each other the way you just described
well linkedin i started that back in
2011 i’d been on linkedin before that
but one day i was thinking what is the
power of linkedin so i started thinking
really hard about it and so i made my my
profile very complete because back then
you had a rating and i wanted 100 i
couldn’t get that 100 i finally figured
out i needed referrals to get 100 so i
have a very complete profile into trying
to achieve that 100
but at the same time i saw the groups
out there and i was reading the groups
so many of them were just advertisement
after advertisement after advertising
they were boring and and they weren’t
engaged so i wanted to to change the
paradigm of those groups and i did i
thought instead of letting these people
ask the questions i’m going to ask the
questions and i’ll let them answer if
they want to
and to my surprise they answered and to
my surprise they’ve answered from across
the world and as i do the industrial
water treatment group you know i have
people in well over 100 countries
answering these questions i know i have
people kind of wait for the next one out
there because our job we’re kind of like
lone rangers out there many of us are
not not all of us are but many of us are
and like your show is a voice for them
to listen to each day my question of the
day was something that that kind of
connected our global community so that
people from opposite corners of the
world could talk to each other and add
each other times and listen to each
other as well
i’ve shared this on the podcast before
you were the first person that i called
when i was thinking about starting
scaling up h2o and the reason i did that
is because of what you just described
you paved the way so we could have a
podcast i think if i started the podcast
and you didn’t do what you had done
previously on linkedin i don’t think
people would have been ready for it i
don’t think though pumped would have
been primed so i really think
that you are just as responsible for
this podcast as i am and you pour into
this podcast almost as much as i do with
ideas and segments so from the bottom of
my heart and for everybody in the
scaling up nation i want to thank you
for that because you
help this podcast be the best that it
can be
well trace thank you very much honestly
i never thought of that connection
before so it’s nice of you to make it
but we feed off of each other your
popularity and what you do verbally out
there audibly out there and then what i
do out there and all the other social
media platforms they they play off each
other very well we help complete the
picture but it doesn’t mean that there’s
not room for others out there to find
their puzzle piece to help complete this
picture as well
james i will say it’s definitely more
fun to be able to collaborate on ideas
about this show with somebody and i get
so many comments when i go to an awt
event or another like organization event
where people have questions about how
you come up with some of the things that
you come up with so i thought i’d take a
moment to maybe ask you
some of the questions that i’ve received
about james mcdonald
okay a little scared let’s do it
so we’re going to talk about james’s
challenge and of course that’s the
challenge that we’re doing each and
every week this year but a repeated
question i get quite a bit is how do you
come up with the challenges
you know i’m an engineer so i’m very
visual in my head and when i set there
to come up with the challenges for for
each of the weeks i picture myself out
in the field and to be honest i don’t
carry a test kit anymore i’m more in the
office but you know all the years i was
out there and i know that the people who
i stand on the shoulders of or on the
backs of really are the people out there
running the pins and blues every day
they’re the ones within my company who
can pay my paycheck they are the ones
who listen to my my voice out there
every day so i i know that they they are
the number one audience i’m speaking to
so i picture myself in the various
plants in the various areas i have been
in my career and as i’m walking through
the plant i’m looking in that boiler i’m
looking at that cooling tire i’m looking
at the operators i’m looking at that log
book i’m looking at the plume and i
visualize all this in my head and i’m
remembering my mentors and what they
pointed out to me and so it’s very
visual thing for me and it’s it’s really
a walk down memory lane when i think
about when i first started the industry
as well and and i’m looking at not just
the technical aspects i’m thinking about
the people as well so one of my favorite
james’s challenges i did was one of the
first and it was writing handwritten
notes
because i learned the value of that very
early on when because i like to write
handwritten notes notes to people and it
was christmas time and my company was
big on not handing out novelties and
trinkets we’re like you know we’re there
for our value we don’t need these
trinkets to show our value so we never
had trinkets
and i had handwritten all my christmas
cards to all my customers and as i
walked into one of my customers he’s in
his cubicle and his counters are filled
with cookies and tins and all these
other things he got from all of his
vendors but he i walked in had a big
smile for me we speak a bit and he said
james i want to tell you and he walked
up and grabbed my card off his cubicle
wall and he said your personal heartfelt
handwritten card means more to me and he
took his hand and just moved across the
entire selection of cookies and things
he had he said means more to me than all
of this
and that right there taught me what it
means to handwrite someone something we
don’t write people’s we email them we
text them but to take the time my
handwriting’s horrible it’s getting more
horrible the less i write but when we
take the time to make that connection it
means something and i’ve written all
these cards out to people over the years
and every now and then i get a card back
and when i get that card back it reminds
me as well what that meant to that
person because that card back meant a
lot to me as well the smallest things
can mean everything to a person
i have to say that was my favorite
challenge as well
you sent me a card i sent you a card and
because of your prompting i received
dozens of cards that week
it was amazing and i’ve kept every
single one of them and whenever i think
i don’t have time to do a recording or
to plan the schedule for the the next
couple of months because i’ve got all
these other things that actually do pay
the bills going on i look at those cards
and i’m like no
this is helping the industry which is
ultimately helping everything else i
want to thank you for sending that
challenge out there it allowed me to
thank some of my mentors many of which
i’ve had on the show and i’ve done on
the air but there’s just something about
when you put pen to paper and people
receive that card and they know that you
could have sent a quick email but you
didn’t you took the time you wed inked
the envelope you stamped it you took it
to the mailbox and then it came to them
all of that just wraps up into i
appreciate you
yes it does and i’m like you i keep mine
as well and i’ve had people who have
been studying for their um cwt and have
told me that they kept that card on
their cork board as inspiration and and
then you know they they called me up and
told me that and that means a lot to
know that one word one little small word
like that can inspire someone in that
way that’s very humbling to know that
someone thought that much about it
jase you brought up the certified water
technologist and i’m sure you get
comments like this as well but people
will come up to me and they’ll thank me
for
them getting their cwt and i’m always so
humbled by that and i will immediately
say that was all you you did all the
heavy lifting with that and they’ll say
well you inspired me you did this you
did that
how do you
thank them for that because i i don’t
want to ever take something away from
somebody’s achievement that’s as huge as
getting the certified water technologist
and i appreciate them thanking me for it
but again they did all the heavy lifting
they did they did and actually i’ve
always had a hard time wondering how to
take that as well and you did an episode
last year i think where you talked about
the same thing when folks come up and
thank you for something you know you’re
like how do i how do i handle this thank
you or the praise they give you for your
soul what have you and you have you made
a very good point in that it means
something to that person to thank you
and you need to acknowledge that it
means something to them to thank you for
that it’s part of their emotional
journey and getting that as well and if
they see you or they see me or whomever
as part of that journey you know i i
graciously listen to and and accept and
thank them for what they they said to me
but also just like you remind them that
really all the brains behind it was them
all the motivation behind it was them if
i had a small part to play in that i am
happy for absolutely and thank you for
telling me it makes my day
well i appreciate that i said that for
my own well-being i want to make sure
that i’m always handling that properly i
look at what we do
as we are casting pebbles into a body of
water and we don’t know where those
ripples are going to land but people
will take those ripples and they will do
something with it and when somebody
does
thank me or thank you for
getting their cwt
i just visualize those ripples going out
and that’s how that person used it
i do too and pay it forward absolutely i
love that now this is my favorite
question that so many people ask me
they want to know do you play the guitar
in the intro to james’s
challenge i so wish i could say yes to
that i wish i was musically inclined but
no i do not all i can say is no but
thank you for the compliment for having
that kind of faith in me but no i do not
so with that
what would you say is the reason that
you decided to do
james’s challenge this year
well back in the beginning of
2020 i had wanted to increase my
knowledge of industrial water treatment
so in 2020 i did a reading with james
series and because i was like i want to
read more and so i had a goal to read
more i was like why don’t i take others
on this journey with me so i posted
every week a free article i would find
online that i thought was useful and
informative and i shared my reading with
james journey for entire year had a
great response from it
folks seemed to like it i enjoyed doing
it but also you know i think a year is
long enough for a theme like this you
know i want to keep it fresh so when new
years came around for 2021 i was
thinking you know what next and i forget
exactly how you and i had connected on
on this trace i don’t know if i reached
out to you or you reached out to me or
what have you but i came up with you
know why don’t i pose a challenge each
week something in a dust water treatment
out there and so we came up with the um
with james’s challenge and so you know i
i came up with with the list we went
through i recorded my segments i made my
memes to post online
so
it came out of my reading of james but
it came out of wanting to share it and
you were you you were graceful enough to
allow me to share it on your show as
well so i really appreciate that
and the other thing too you know i had a
reading with james i had james’s
challenge you know i either had the
world’s largest ego in naming all of
this after me
or at the same time what i thought
carefully about this name and i thought
carefully about so many of our guys out
there being on the road alone
and i thought you know being able to
personalize these things means a lot
hearing trace’s voice in your head in
the car you know every once a week or
whatever it means a lot and so i
attached my name to it
to personalize it you got another fan
out there who’s a super fan or what you
guys all do james and trace and so
that’s you know more than ego that’s why
my name is attached to what what i did
with reading with james and james’s
challenge
well i’m glad you shared that i didn’t
realize that and that does mean so much
when people
see me at a conference and they come up
to me
they instantly start talking to me as if
we have been friends for years and it’s
the first time we’ve ever met in person
but i have been riding along with them
side by side to every one of their
accounts for the last four plus years
and you’re right there is so much
personalness that goes out uh to that
person and they’re not alone anymore
nope they’re not alone anymore it means
a lot you know i knew you before your
podcast but i had a had a similar
experience we we were doing a recording
at a marketing firm we worked for and
there’s this guy who narrates so many
other videos and i’ve heard his voice so
so many times so when i came there to
work with him to narrate with our video
i was talking to him like i knew him
forever but yet i could kind of see him
looking at me out of the corner of his
eye because that’s the first time he’d
ever met me and then all of a sudden hit
me so i explained to him why you know
it’s like i feel like i’ve known you
forever and he’s like you know i get
that all the time because i hear his
voice so much
and it’s a great honor it really is
yes james we’re wrapping up 2021
are we gonna hear from james in 2022 on
scaling up h2o the whole scaling up
nation wants to know
well like i said i like to do one-year
stints on these themes and so we are
winding down
james’s challenge and so there will be a
last episode it’s already recorded and
waiting for you
but there’s something in the works for
2021 and i’m not going to say yet but
you will soon hear it
well let’s shift gears on that
cliffhanger i have never heard a better
one we’ll have to wait and see let’s
shift gears to industrial water week you
love our industry so much you decided
that gosh darn it we need a holiday and
this industry is so incredibly awesome
we just don’t need one day we need an
entire week to celebrate the awesomeness
that is industrial water treatment
and we just celebrated our
fourth year yes fourth year that’s
amazing i remember when you called me
saying that you were doing this
and
i want to ask you how have you seen
industrial water week change over the
four years well when i first started it
i knew it would be somewhat of an uphill
battle to get people to accept it to get
people to think that you know this isn’t
just james and his company behind it you
know to get that this this is an open
source holiday it is our holiday and i
believe i told you from the very
beginning that and you mentioned this on
your shows that really you know this is
a four to five year adoption process as
to when folks start taking full
ownership and really starting to engage
in it so i’m a very persistent and
consistent guy so year after year i keep
saying industrial water rick you have
gone along for the ride and taken your
ownership of your part of it and i love
that and i love that it has grown to
such a point that when you talk
industrial water week you don’t always
talk james mcdonald and industrial water
rig you just talk industrial water week
because it’s its own entity and i love
that and it has taken you know about
four years but this last year really was
the most engaged ever i mean we had we
had companies large small we had people
from across the world not only just
hashtagging but sharing pictures selfies
of where they were and sharing stories
of what have you of what they were doing
and so it was really really fascinating
to see the growth and i just have so
much hope for next year being the five
year anniversary we could build upon
that as well and thank you trace you
know it wouldn’t have gotten anywhere
near the traction if you’re not
dedicated a week of your time each and
every year to make this happen so thank
you for being part of that
well it was my pleasure and i was just
amazed this year checking out all the
hashtags all the social media posts that
people were doing
and and that was affirmation that people
really were getting engaged
because it is their holiday you know i
started the first day i have the website
and duster water week you can learn all
about it but that’s where the eye ends
and like i said there’s no iron water
there’s a we
and so it is truly about us and so go
out there
use this as a reason to share with the
world what you do and why you love what
you do use this as a reason to share you
know your company of what your company
does use this as a reason to offer
training use this as a reason to
get your passion for this industry out
there in so many many many ways
what’s some of the feedback that people
have given you on industrial water week
some of them have been so thankful to
have this attention given to what they
do for a living like like you and i know
you’re either born into it which you
were or you either fall into it which i
did you know kind of thing and we talked
to our parents and our grandparents and
our aunts and uncles and and siblings
and whatever else and they want to
relate us to pool care or or their
aquarium or what have you and so they’ve
been thankful to have something to
gather us together to celebrate you know
we have your podcast that’s a gathering
for us we have the various things i’ve
done with my dust water week group or
whatever this is a time for us to
celebrate because of gosh darn it if we
can celebrate donuts we have a donut day
we can have a pizza day if we could have
a middle child day a potted plant day
all these other days we can certainly
have industrial water week
absolutely that’s bigger than donut i
think
i love that james what are some of the
ways that you’ve heard people celebrate
industrial water week
oh my goodness i saw
there have been some good ones out there
like um folks that made cakes you you
had the water cake last year and folks
made cakes folks this year made cakes
folks this year fitted into the other
company celebrations they had there i’ve
had folks write articles for it i’ve had
folks give webinars for it as well and
i’ve had you know one great guy even do
a podcast a day on it as well i don’t
know who that possibly could be but yes
so many different ways and i i just love
it when they just comment on things that
are posted out there tagged with
industrial water week and they just
comment with their experience out there
and careers friday may actually be my
favorite day of all of it because that’s
when you hear people’s stories that’s
when they start sharing how they were
born into or fell into it or what have
you and that and that’s really
interesting i really like hearing the
personal side of what we do
james one of my favorite things to do
and i’m not a big social media guy but i
love to go on linkedin and see what
james has concocted in his next cartoon
i have to ask how do you come up with
all of that
well all these years i’ve been in the
industry i kind of have a dry sense of
humor at times but all these years i’ve
been in the industry i’ve seen all these
funny things and i’ve never had a venue
to share these funny things other than
101 laughing at him or whatever and at
the beginning of the pandemic i was
looking for things for my daughter and
my son and i to do and my daughter is
really good at art and i was like why
don’t we draw cartoons together so i
found this youtube channel
that kind of gave a lesson on drawing
cartoons and so we drew these superman
looking cartoons and
and i was like you know that wasn’t so
hard and my daughter had done these
various cartoons on her own so i was
like let me see what kind of characters
i can come up with and then i was like
and my very first one was talking about
how not not all heroes wear capes and i
was talking about how capes get you know
burned and chemicals spilled on them and
called around pump shafts and all this
stuff and i showed from behind of this
water treatment professional carrying
his lab kit boiler in the background
behind him and he has this tattered cape
on him with the tag line you know not
all heroes wear capes and so it started
there with wanting to celebrate what we
do and then i realized you know i got
all these other
thoughts that i think are funny
hopefully other people will think are
funny as well and i i guess they do i
enjoy
watching to see
how much attention they get some of them
that i think are hilarious don’t get as
much attention as the ones that that i
wonder really are they going to perform
and all of a sudden they get all this
attention you know i can’t predict
really which ones will be hit and which
ones won’t but i have over 60 of them
now or oh it’s 70 or 70 now and you can
find them all on my industrial water
science dot com forward slash fun
website that’s where they come from at
the back of my head from all these years
in the industry and i laugh at them i
hope other people do
i will be honest a couple of them i have
to think about but then i’ll eventually
get them but you are extremely talented
and
so many people wonder you’re doing so
much
how do you have the time to do it
of course i have a full-time job and i
don’t do these things during my
full-time job but i do have these things
in the back of my mind and of course
part of my full-time job is i’m our
director of technology marketing’s have
a marketing group and then and i keep
that segregated from what i do
personally as well because that’s
company marketing myself i’m marketing a
profession that’s what i see a lawyer
would market his profession a doctor his
profession me as industrial water
treatment professional i find ways to
celebrate our profession and i i do this
you know at night as i’m sitting on the
couch i have my ipad i have a software
drawing program called procreate i have
my apple pencil there and i just start
drawing or i just start making my next
meme or i or i have open up notepad i
have this whole list of notes i keep
there and on saturday mornings is
usually when i end up recording a
podcast segments for you as well when
the family’s all asleep other people
play golf i don’t play golf uh other
people i have other hobbies you know
after i had kids my kids for my hobbies
seem like i don’t know what i did before
i had kids but just letting this passion
for industrial water week spill forth
from my body
is my hobby
you really do so much i have a favorite
though i love everything that you do but
i definitely have a favorite i am the
biggest fan
of detective h2o so i want to ask you a
couple questions around that
how did you come up with the idea to do
this
1950s noir-based detective character
that was an industrial water treater
you know it could the the story kind of
reminds me of the journey of the
simpsons actually because the simpsons
started off
as just a segment on the tracy allman
show and so this concept started off as
just a little tiny segment at a company
i worked at before we had a newsletter
and actually my book drop by drop came
from all those articles that are written
in that newsletter but there’s a little
segment in there where sometimes i’d go
off on this noir
almost sometimes superhero kind of
language in that little video article
right in the corner and i really don’t
know how people responded to it or not
no one like ever even mentioned it but
then when one day i was like you know it
kept sticking in the back of my mind i’m
like you know i like the whole new our
take on what we do there’s all these
parallels trees of what we do as in dust
water treatment professionals we’re
detectives we’re doctors we’re mechanics
you know there’s all these things you
can think about you can even say we’re
chefs because we’re we’re cooking up all
these ingredients and whatever out there
you know i mean there’s all these ways
out there so i was like you know i i
want detective h2o this is a guy and i
named him herbert henry oxidane his
initials are hho dr h2o
and also you’ll see the power three
often times in the writing because his
phone always rings three times and i
like the pyro3 because there are three
atoms in h2o molecule power three
because we deal with the three phases of
water you know there’s all the pyruvate
in water and so you’ll see that in there
as well and sometimes if you listen to
the names of my characters you know i
had a guy whose last name was muriatic
for muriatic acid you know i’ll throw in
things like that in there as well but it
just came from that little bitty article
in this newsletter and it grew in into
this and you’ve been very nice to
include my my one-man show audio
recordings what we’ve done there and yes
on a future version i’d love to have you
voice a character in there yes
there it is nation you heard it it is
going to happen and just a month or two
ago i had another guy who spoke up
saying you know if you ever want a voice
come to me so i i all of a sudden i have
two people who i can go to for a voice
so i’m really looking forward to that so
i have another episode written it’s
published on linkedin but i haven’t made
it into the audio version yet so there’s
one coming
james how do you write those what’s your
process
i have an excel sheet where i keep my
ideas
and then when it comes time to write
when i look at that excel sheet of ideas
and uh whichever one strikes me inspires
me at the moment i just start writing i
have my format usually where it starts
off with my detective h2o you know it’s
always almost always raining there in
waterville and whatever and and i just i
remember all these black and white
movies i saw as a kid when all there
were were three channels and you had to
go up and turn the knob yourself and put
the um dial on you so you can go above
channel 16 or whatever it was there and
just watching all these old black and
white movies and that’s what comes in my
head every now and then i’ll go out and
search online for some more um language
of what a detective may actually say you
know into our and you know mine mine’s a
mash-up it really is it’s not it’s not
pure new or i think noir is actually far
more depressing than what i make it in
mine so so it’s it’s my watered down
version all puns intended of noir
and we’ve mentioned a few of them but
you do so much more you’ve got a website
out there do you mind reminding the
scaling up nation of those
i have um industrialwaterscience.com
out there and i made that because i know
there are people newer in our industry
looking for a place to go to learn more
looking for a place to go for
inspiration perhaps and if you visit
that that website you’ll see links to
various other websites which is a lot of
what or what it is links to other
websites that give you information on
testing on boilers on cooling towers on
chemistry all of that and so i’m always
looking at other people’s websites to
see is there something i can really link
to to share on that plus you’ll find on
the on on the fun page all my comments
you’ll see that there’s a detective and
doctor h2o page on there as well and
you’ll see uh links to it to the risk
trade organizations too so just go on
there wander around if you find a broken
link let me know and i’ll fix it but
it’s just it’s my way of giving back to
the industry to hopefully inspire people
to learn more about it and to help push
them along in their careers
you mentioned people that are newer in
the industry and even talking about this
makes me feel old but that’s what we’re
doing we’re trying to make sure that
there are enough people that when you
and i retire and all of our generation
that there’s plenty of people that are
making this industry great that are
working within this industry so what are
some of the things you think the scaling
up nation needs to know to make sure
that we are bringing new people into
this industry
well i think number one as a
company
i think the management of the company
needs to come to a decision to not be
afraid to let the people under them
their employees
encounter these other people within the
industry not be afraid that they’re
going to hire them away because that’s
weakening our industry as a whole when
really if we allow and encourage the
networking and connections allow them to
go to the conventions and write articles
or whatever else when we allow all of
this we become stronger as a whole and
your company becomes stronger too
because all of a sudden um you know you
have all this new knowledge that comes
flowing into your company so i think it
starts with with the heads of the
companies opening up the floodgates so
to speak all puns intended as well so
that they can encourage those who work
for them to reach out and to network
with other people but i’m really
encouraged by by some of the of the
model examples i see out there right now
you know i’m a gen xer i think you are
too tracy i am yes yes but there are
those out there right now who are
shining stars and speaking of of shining
stars or rising stars you know at the
last awt convention lathe charles was
won the very first rising star award i
was so happy for him he has given so
much to her industry he has written
articles on his website he has done
videos based on pumps and controllers
whatever he’s been involved in awd ethic
training and in presentations so he’s
he’s a great rising star but there’s
other ones out there too you just
interviewed jed kosh out there and chad
you know i i followed his rule of thumb
thursday for
as long as he’s done it now i’m so
encouraged by this young man taking the
bull by the horns out there writing he
reminds me of me in my early writing
career just writing about what inspires
him at the time and i absolutely love
that and i encourage him in all the ways
i can we have
chandler mancuso and he’s presenting at
the convention he’s he’s putting himself
out there and and michelle lund of
course we can’t we can’t forget her
number one young professional
organization within the at awt and she
you know she doesn’t have a technical
background no water treatment she was
born into this with her father and she i
believe and correct me if i’m wrong
michelle you can call me up later um has
more of a marketing background but she
has has given her whole body and soul
into promoting our profession and i
think that that’s great but it’s not
just folks in in our our country in the
us you know i see people i have a friend
in pakistan muhammad um
he started a whatsapp group and i’ll ask
him if he minds perhaps we you can
include that on on the show notes page
as well there’s a guy in dubai um
sampath achara and he um you know he’s
always out there involved and commenting
on others and and encouraging others and
even we we have um semra goal is someone
from turkey migrated here to the us and
she is getting involved in in our our
subcommittees and she is now our
pre-treatment sub-committee chair in the
awt so we do have many many models out
there of what it is to to give back in
the industry and and connect so i’m
really confident that um i’m going to be
learning just as much from them as they
may have ever learned from me
well james our industry is always
talking about how do we inspire younger
people into
this industry
but we have all these generations that
are in our industry how do we just
inspire anybody
well you know we we start off ourselves
you know individually reaching out to
them when we see them doing something
that we like you know you reach out to
them and you thank them and you
encourage them and encourage them to do
more and it goes on either end of our
spectrum we talk about so much about the
young folks coming in but we have people
retiring out the other end and these
people retiring have so much knowledge
and while they may not want to be out in
the field anymore perhaps you know they
can they can give webinars perhaps they
can write articles or what have you
gene tonetti is a gentleman i worked
with very early in my career in the
first days and years of my career and um
i noticed that after he retired he
started his own consulting company but
he was writing a blog on his web page
and i’m like gene this this blog you’re
writing is so genius all these other
articles the things we see are very
technical technical technical well gene
can be very technical the blogs he was
writing he’s writing is very practical
i’m like we can learn so much from this
practical approach you have in your
blogs and so he started talking with awt
in the analyst so now he writes for
tales from the water side these very
practical articles in there and i think
it’s great so now we have the analyst
it’s very technical presentation with a
practical side to it as well so it’s
encouraging folks who retired don’t
retire i once asked the question
and when i say don’t retire i mean
keep giving is what i mean i once asked
the question in a poll once to my
linkedin followers do industrial water
treatment professionals ever retire
and the overall consensus was no we just
slowly dissolve away
and there’s so many ways that you just
sitting back in in your lawn chair
outside and give back share your
knowledge we we want to hear that i want
to hear that i know many other people do
as well and you know i’m a big fan of
linkedin and linkedin makes that so easy
it’s so easy to go on linkedin not just
write a comment but write an entire
article i mean it makes it so easy and
you know who knows one day maybe if
you’ve even volunteered to trace
blackboard maybe you’d find a room for
you there as well reach out in all
directions
james as we mentioned at the top of the
show we are winding down this present
year and for
next year
we’re having to deal with raw material
issues we’re having to deal with you
know all these things that are going on
within the water treatment industry we
survived a pandemic we’re still learning
how to deal with all of that
what advice do you have for the scaling
up nation
with whatever is going to hit us next
year
always keep the big picture in mind i’m
a big picture guy and it’s so easy to
get lost in the details in the crisis of
the moment these crises which were all
in together and never forget that too
big picture and that we’re all in the
same boat together and that things we do
individually things we do as a company
can can help or understand or hurt our
industry especially as we’re going into
our crisis on a supply chain so what
have you if we start hoarding product
you know we’re going to hurt the other
guy and do down the street what have you
so it’s keeping the the big picture
realize we are a community and
face the details tackle the details but
don’t forget we’re here to treat water
and we’re here to help our customers
we’re here to deliver value to them and
we may find all new ways of doing that
when the old ways may have struggles we
may have to come up with new ways and
that’s okay
james my last question for you how do
the mcdonald’s celebrate the end of the
year
what’s your tradition what do you guys
do for new year’s
in the years you know since we moved to
texas and we were here back in 2015 we
don’t have our our same friendship
connections we had in ohio because we
were there for 20 years now you know it
is it’s just the four of us we spend the
four of us my wife and my my 13 year old
daughter who turns 14 tomorrow and my
eight-year-old son and we stay up for
new year’s and because you know we were
born in eastern and eastern time zone
and we live there for most of our lives
we celebrate um new year’s at 11 o’clock
texas time which is midnight east coast
time and it’s kind of easier on the kids
too but or lately start your own but yes
that’s what we do it’s very personal for
us
james i want to thank you for not only
coming on scaling up h2o again
but all the things you do to help
scaling up h2o to help the entire water
treatment industry i truly believe
that you created a movement and people
are now in the habit of giving back of
talking to somebody they might have
thought as a competitor before
of sharing ideas of lightening the load
for everybody and i think that all
started with you so thank you for all of
that
well that’s very kind and thank you
trace and thank you as well for being on
this journey with me and with all of us
and thank you for everyone out there who
gives back and all the various ways they
do we’re we’re in the boat together and
as you say a rising tide rises all votes
or as i say we will make this place a
better place drop by drop
i always get so excited when james
mcdonald drops by the scaling up h2o
podcast i remember the day i called
james i was stuck in atlanta traffic
and i had this idea i think i shared
this several times it wasn’t really my
idea other people told me that i should
do it and then i went to james to talk
to him about starting the scaling up h2o
podcast i don’t even know if i had a
name back then
and james without taking a breath he
said yes you need to do this whatever
you do you need to start doing this and
as i was going through
the trials and tribulations of not even
knowing what a podcast was not too long
before i had the idea of doing the
podcast and learning on how to produce a
weekly podcast and of course it wasn’t a
weekly podcast in the very beginning but
it very quickly morphed to that
james was there for the entire ride and
i was able to ask him questions he was
able to give me advice and he was just
such an integral part of making sure
that we deliver the product that you are
used to day after day
and speaking of that
james this entire year has been giving
us james’s challenge we heard some of
the behind the scenes behind james’s
challenge during the interview so here
is a brand new
james’s challenge
[Music]
hello scaling up nation the next james
is challenged as we grow as an
industrial water treatment professional
drop by drop is
[Music]
question everything and continuously
learn
if this series of challenges has taught
you anything i hope it is that there is
a lot to learn and experience in the
world of industrial water treatment
no two days are the same
no two accounts or systems are the same
no two people are the same
just because it’s how things have always
been done doesn’t mean it’s how it
should be done
and just because it’s how your
predecessor did it does not mean he or
she was totally correct and even if it
is correct learning why it is correct is
just as valuable
be sure to share your experience on
linkedin by tagging it with hashtag jc21
and hashtag scalinguph2o this is james
mcdonald and i look forward to seeing
what you share
well i hope you are enjoying james’s
challenges we don’t have many of those
left we only have one week left in the
year so
what is james going to do in 2022
i guess we are going to find out
together
what james has in store for us for next
year hey speaking of next year i want to
make sure that you have a few events on
your calendar
these items that i’m getting ready to
mention they fill up each and every year
and there’s always people on the waiting
list there’s always disappointed people
that they cannot attend what am i
talking about i’m talking about the
association of water technologies
technical training seminars i am so
fortunate to be part of that committee
and if you go to one of these technical
training seminars you will see that i
have the honor of doing sales training i
also teach you water treatment math i
even do some things over in the
fundamentals and applications class i
absolutely love being part of these
seminars and i hope you can be a part of
these seminars too you have two
opportunities one opportunity is going
to be in seattle washington february
23rd through 26th
so if that’s close to your home make
sure you sign up today by going to
awt.org
or if cleveland ohio is easier for you
to get to then mark your calendars for
march 30th through april 2nd
we are going to be in downtown cleveland
for our second installment of the
technical training we try to do two of
those each year to make it easy for
people to travel to where it’s closer to
their home of course we have so many
international listeners if you’re not
living in the united states it probably
doesn’t matter which one you go to which
city do you want to see but i would love
to see
you there and the only way i can do that
is for you to grab your spot before they
fill up so go to
awt.org today to go ahead and sign up
couple other items that you might want
to put on your calendar are the water
and wastewater equipment treatment and
transport show that’s going to be in
indianapolis indiana february 22nd
through the 24th and the geo water
technology conference that is going to
be march 21st through 23rd in austin
texas and the last thing i’m going to
mention is the thing i want to make
absolutely positively sure that you put
on your calendar and that is our next
hang our next hang is going to be on
january 13th at 6 00 p.m to 7 p.m
eastern time
i love hosting the hang it’s so easy you
can just log on wherever you are on a
zoom call
we are going to have some fun things
that we’re going to start off the call
with that i’m instantly going to put you
into a couple of breakout rooms where
you’re going to meet your fellow water
treaters you’re going to meet somebody
potentially that can unlock the key to
that question that you have that you
haven’t even thought of yet
two months down the road let’s say in
march you see something and you remember
that person you met on the hang you can
now reach out to them and you could get
the advice
that you need please do not miss the
incredible opportunity that the hang is
by networking and getting to know people
that you would have never have run into
before go to scaling up h2o.com forward
slash hang to register for the january
13th hang
nation i will come back with you
next week for some year ending tips and
i hope to inspire you to have the best
2022 that it can possibly be
i know that you listening to this show
has made my 2021 fantastic so thank you
for all that you do listening to this
show week after week for telling your
friends about this show for sharing
content for posting on social media for
leaving comments on wherever you listen
to this podcast i want to thank you for
all of those things because of that we
have the show that we have today merry
christmas have a great week take care of
each other
see you next week folks
scouting up nation if you keep doing the
same things you’re going to get the same
results and that’s why joining a
mastermind like the rising tide
mastermind is a game changer in allowing
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the rising tide mastermind is the
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to find out more about the rising tide
mastermind go to scaling up h2o.com
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