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Episode #64 - A Servant's Heart Sharing Hopeful Content: An Interview With James Marland
Episode 6730th November 2023 • Speaking From The Heart • Joshua D. Smith
00:00:00 00:44:46

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Helping others in their greatest time of need can be a compassionate act of kindness that goes beyond our comfort barriers and may be looked upon as awe from fellow human beings. What if you were going through life, not exactly certain of the acts of compassion you were to provide to others, let alone yourself? Our guest today, James Marland, describes his fascinating personal and professional careers that have ultimately converged on not only adopting his son, Jeremiah, but have allowed him to start the Course Creation Studio in helping others find content in their works (and lives) to be justly enriched, not only monetarily, but through the longstanding work he has done for all his life. Being a compassionate person does not always mean having all the answers, but it can be discovered through a path that is designed for all of us to navigate.

Guest Bio

James Marland is an MBA and MAM holder who boasts over two decades of experience in mental health practice administration. After working in the corporate world to fulfill the ambitions of others, he decided to become an entrepreneur and freelancer in 2022. His mission is to help others produce and distribute good content that benefits the world. That's why he founded Course Creation Studio. Through his courses, James provides strategies to help people break free from the fear of failure, shape their own destinies, and make a positive impact through their expert knowledge. James produces 3 podcasts and has been a host of the Scaling Therapy Practice since 2022.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/coursecreationstudio

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/assistantsautomationai

@jamesisnext on Instagram

YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChu8TfU7pkW06Ut2KxgSmsg

Website: https://www.coursecreationstudio.com/

  • Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) (http://www.adoptpakids.org/Swan.aspx) - The Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) is a partnership among the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange, public and private adoption agencies, organizations, advocates, judges, the legal community, and foster and adoptive parents. The network is administered by DHS through a prime contractor. The purpose of the network is to build a better collaborative adoption process in Pennsylvania.

Visit Our Website: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/

Visit Our Business Website: https://www.yourspeakingvoice.biz

Support The Mission Of The Business! Donate Here: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/support

Intro/Outro By: Michael Dugan, Podcast Host: Voice4Chefs

Transcripts

Intro:

Welcome to the podcast where relationships, confidence, and

Intro:

determination, all converge into an amazing, heartfelt experience.

Intro:

This is Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

Welcome back to episode number 64 of Speaking from the Heart.

Joshua:

Today, we'll have James Marland joining us.

Joshua:

James has his master's in business administration and is also an MAM holder

Joshua:

who boasts over two decades of experience in mental health practice administration.

Joshua:

After he worked in the corporate world to fulfill the ambitions of

Joshua:

others, he decided to become an entrepreneur and freelancer in 2022.

Joshua:

His mission is to help others produce and distribute good content

Joshua:

that helps to benefit the world, which is why he founded the Course

Joshua:

Creation Studio, which is something that we talk about in this episode.

Joshua:

Through his courses, James provides strategies to help people break free

Joshua:

from the fear of failure, shape their own destinies, and make a positive

Joshua:

impact through their expert knowledge.

Joshua:

James produces three podcasts and has been the host of the Scaling Therapy Practice

Joshua:

since 2022, which in this episode, we not only discuss the fact that he's done

Joshua:

all those things, but he's also adopted a son, which we talk quite a lot about

Joshua:

how he got to the be somebody that is a foster parent, but I think what is even

Joshua:

the most telling of this whole entire episode that we'll go through is that

Joshua:

he has this vision, not only of helping others, but the fact that he's been able

Joshua:

to do this through all the things that he's experienced with the valleys that

Joshua:

he's been in, and even being able to rise to the top of the mountains through

Joshua:

all the different types of aspirations that he wanted to have, not only from

Joshua:

the corporate world, but also in the nonprofit world, he decided to take

Joshua:

matters into his own hands, which is what this awesome conversation was all about.

Joshua:

With that.

Joshua:

Let's go to the episode.

Joshua:

All right.

Joshua:

We're here with James Marland.

Joshua:

James, thanks for sharing your heart with us today.

James:

Joshua, thanks for having me on the show.

James:

I'm really looking forward to this conversation.

Joshua:

I am too, and full disclosure, I have already let the audience know

Joshua:

everything about you, and I am really pumped about the fact that we are not

Joshua:

that far away from each other and just especially since you grew up where I

Joshua:

grew up, which is in Lancaster, I really love that you are part of that town.

Joshua:

I have that right, right?

Joshua:

That you grew up in Lancaster, or did you just move there?

James:

I've been living in Lancaster area since 2000.

James:

I moved down here after college with my wife.

James:

She lived in the Hempfield school district area.

Joshua:

Yeah.

James:

So I still feel like I'm learning.

James:

The locals know everything about the different towns and where they are and

James:

I'm like, "I think it's near a Walmart."

James:

Tell me where the Walmart is and give me directions by the Walmart and then I'll

James:

be able to figure out where your town is.

Joshua:

Don't worry.

Joshua:

I'll take you on a tour after we're done with this show.

James:

Sure.

Joshua:

But James, I want to say that I was really impressed with

Joshua:

your story and really how you got to be what you're doing now.

Joshua:

One of my first questions for you is that you have a lot of experience with

Joshua:

not only the mental health practice

James:

Mm-hmm.

Joshua:

But also dealing with the corporate world, and you shared a lot,

Joshua:

especially on your website, which I'll link it in the episode notes for our

Joshua:

listeners, I'm wondering if you could talk about the connection between mental

Joshua:

health and the corporate world in your view, and maybe that means telling a

Joshua:

little bit about your story so that we can get a big picture view of what you did.

James:

Yeah.

James:

Let me go back a little bit.

James:

I was raised in a home where my mom worked in mental health.

James:

She did job coaching for people and went out into the community with people who

James:

needed help getting jobs and staying at work, and she worked in schools

James:

and she was just very compassionate towards people with disadvantages

James:

or people who needed help, and I think that kind of caught on with me.

James:

You got to work but help people.

James:

You got to help people, and so, after college, I went to work

James:

for a mental health facility.

James:

I actually went to school to be a youth pastor because I wanted to help.

James:

I felt like my church, my upbringing, didn't necessarily;

James:

I think I would've done better.

James:

I think I would've been a more successful adult if I had somebody at

James:

the church to go to and help, and my church was kind of small, so we didn't

James:

have a youth group or anything, and I'm like, "I need that in my life.

James:

I want to help people", so that's what I went to to school for and

James:

after college though, I started working at a shelter for children.

James:

It was in mental health, and these were kids who were there for 30 to 90

James:

days, and my heart just broke for them.

James:

Some of them had visitors and some of them connected with adults and they

James:

weren't as depressed or anxious, like the ones that connected with people just

James:

improved slightly in the treatment, and the ones who didn't connect with an adult

James:

and the ones who didn't connect with somebody, you could feel them hardening

James:

and your heart just broke for these kids.

James:

Who's going to be there for them, and so I thought, "I go to church and I have people

James:

who are supposed to be people of love, and then I go to the shelter and work,

James:

and that's my job.", and these kids need love, so I thought maybe I could try to

James:

start a business or a nonprofit foundation to help kids who need mentors and connect

James:

the church with them, and that kind of started a seven to 10 year journey.

James:

I went to school, I got a Master's of Ministry; Leadership Studies at

James:

Lancaster Bible College, and that was really good for me, and I started

James:

trying to get support from local churches to help, and I was giving.

James:

I made material and gave it out, and one of the things that kind of derailed

James:

me is I couldn't get my own church that I love dearly to sign up for it.

James:

It kind of broke my heart that I was really passionate about this ministry.

James:

I was really young, like in my twenties; 25, 26, 27, something like that.

James:

I didn't necessarily have a great business plan, but I had a vision, and I couldn't

James:

even get my home church to sign up for it.

Joshua:

Wow.

James:

Now some other church; yeah.

James:

Some other churches signed up and we did some good work, but it just wasn't what

James:

I expected, so that kind of, going to school and get the masters and getting

James:

some leadership things kind of started my journey towards business, but I also

James:

continued to work in mental health.

James:

I spent another 16 years in admissions, so I admitted people to day hospital,

James:

inpatient treatment did some outpatient work, and I stayed there for 16 years.

Joshua:

That's incredible, especially knowing that those differences are

Joshua:

happening in your life between having that professional career, or even volunteering

Joshua:

at your church, but then you're seeing the other side of it; the human aspect of it,

Joshua:

where those children needed help, which leads me to a question that I've been

Joshua:

really, really wanted to ask you about.

James:

Sure.

Joshua:

I saw that you adopted a child-

James:

Oh yeah.

Joshua:

With your wife.

Joshua:

I want you to tell us a little bit about the adoption process.

Joshua:

Was that because of doing all this work with kids?

James:

Well, so there's a funny story that I tell.

James:

I was working with the children at the day hospital and we had a

James:

Thanksgiving dinner and I said, "I was thankful for my adopted son", and

James:

one of the kids was like, "Adopted?

James:

Why don't you do it the natural way?"

James:

It was just embarrassing all the way around the table.

James:

Everybody laughed.

James:

The reason is we just couldn't.

James:

There's some medical reasons why we couldn't have children, even though we

James:

had tried and after about 10 years of marriage, we were like, " This isn't

James:

working", and so we decided to put our name up for Swan: the Statewide

James:

Adoption Network, and we had interviews with couples and families and just

James:

different things, and one time we even had somebody who chose us and

James:

they said, "This is the due date."

James:

She went to the hospital and they gave us calls and we're waiting to come pick up

James:

the baby, and then we didn't get a call.

James:

We didn't get a call.

James:

We didn't get a call, and then finally, the caseworker said they decided to keep

James:

their child, which that is their right, but it was kind of like heartbreaking for

James:

us, but just a few weeks or months later, we got this call like, "Hey, we have

James:

this emergency situation with Jeremiah.

James:

Are you able to come to the office?"

James:

We're like, "Sure."

James:

We go and we meet him, and then the next day, we go back and we take him

James:

home; just this emergency placement that was foster to adopt, so he was

James:

still in foster care and it could have been another situation where the family

James:

is able; there's two tracks in that.

James:

One track is reunification and one track is adoption, and so it was another

James:

year or two before we were able to adopt him until the court system went

James:

through, but that was also a blessing.

James:

I felt like my life has several stages up until I got married.

James:

I felt like I was relatively mature, and then when I got married, I realized

James:

that I was not mature at all, and then when we adopted the child, I

James:

didn't realize how selfish I was when you have to take care of somebody.

James:

That really opened my eyes to just like, you got to do more for the family; do more

James:

for other people, so it wasn't necessarily adopting because of the working with

James:

shelter and kids, although that probably did play a part in it, but we wanted to

James:

go through adoption, because we wanted to have that addition, that love in our home.

Joshua:

I have to say that for having that sort of love in your home, it

Joshua:

definitely seems like to me that allowed you to really grow as a family

Joshua:

unit, because I was even looking at some of the pictures that you have

Joshua:

displayed on your website, which-

James:

Mm-hmm.

Joshua:

For my listeners, I really encourage you read the full story because

Joshua:

I think seeing how it's laid out on your website, James, is really incredible,

Joshua:

but I just see that compassion in both of your eyes, your wife and you.

James:

Mm-hmm.

Joshua:

Along with just the smile that Jeremiah has as a result

Joshua:

of just feeling that bond and-

James:

Yeah.

Joshua:

Yeah.

James:

We're in a new adventure now.

James:

He's 19, ready to work full-time and get into debt by buying a car.

James:

He wants a sports car or a sportier car.

James:

We helped them with a Honda Accord; a nice, safe, reliable

James:

car, and he wants to trade it in for something faster, so whatever.

Joshua:

No, that is awesome because I know that there's some

Joshua:

good ratings out there on Honda Accord so you made the right move.

James:

We thought so.

James:

He's into tinted windows and sportier looking cars.

Joshua:

Taking a big step back for a second, and looking at even

Joshua:

some of the things that led you to ultimately creating the Course Creation

Joshua:

Studio, which is your business-

James:

Mm-hmm.

Joshua:

Which we're going to talk about in a few moments, I promise

Joshua:

you, but I'm wondering with the jobs that you had before, I noticed that

Joshua:

on your website, you talk a lot about, "Yeah, I had everything together.

Joshua:

I thought that I was following this plan that was laid out for me, but

Joshua:

actually it wasn't the plan that everyone said it claimed to be.

Joshua:

It's something that took me backwards and then I had to-

James:

mm-hmm.

Joshua:

Be able to build it again, but then that was taken away from me."

Joshua:

Do you feel that those experiences helped you to become who you are today,

Joshua:

especially being the entrepreneur that you are and having these awesome

Joshua:

opportunities with your family?

Joshua:

If you say that, what are some of the things that you think

Joshua:

happened in those experiences that translated into what you started?

James:

I'm very grateful for the career I had in mental health.

James:

I worked as mostly support staff and manager, intake staff

James:

for; it's called Philhaven.

James:

It's WellSpan Philhaven now.

James:

I'm very grateful for them and the people I met and the opportunities I had.

James:

Some of the trainings I went to has really helped me understand myself

James:

as a person and help other people and listen and still keep some compassion,

James:

so I'm very grateful for those things.

James:

I think the thing that might have held me back that you were touching on is

James:

I just expected I would work, commit myself to a company, work as hard as

James:

I can, and they will take care of me.

James:

I wouldn't have to fear anything and they'd kind of take care of me

James:

for the rest of my working career.

James:

I even, at the advice of one of my managers, I was kind of bottlenecked as

James:

an advancement and they said, "Well, you can get a manager's degree, an MBA, or

James:

become a therapist; get a therapy degree", and at the time I was supervising some

James:

therapists for interns for their job, and I'm like, "I don't want to be an intern."

James:

They got to do two more years of work after school or something, I'm like, "Ugh.

James:

It's not for me", so I decided to get an MBA and I got an MBA at Shippensburg and

James:

that was a great journey for me, so I thought I was doing all the right things,

James:

trying to make my division profitable, and then the company got bought.

James:

The freestanding psych hospital got bought and the new owners cut

James:

some positions and that was mine.

James:

They combined some roles, and I did not have the therapy degree, and so

James:

they hired a therapist to manage this site and I was out, and that was tough

James:

because I felt like I had given up some things to stay in that role, and I had

James:

put my hope in that and my security in that, but in reality, I wasn't creating

James:

security because when somebody else can control your paycheck, that isn't very

James:

secure, and so that was a hard lesson to learn, but I guess I'm a slow learner

James:

because I then joined another company, which was another wonderful experience.

James:

If you're in the Lancaster area, or even they've expanded, I worked for Move

James:

Forward Virtual Assistants, which was a company of Move Forward Counseling;

James:

same owner, and I took over that for three years and built that from three

James:

or four virtual assistants to over 20, and we provided secretarial services for

James:

therapy offices in the United States.

It was a great position:

built the training materials, built the leadership

It was a great position:

system, made contracts, and then the owner decided to sell, which is fine.

It was a great position:

It was a business decision and I think she was, I'm just guessing, she's expanding

It was a great position:

her therapy practice, which she did a lot.

It was a great position:

It's amazing what she did, but she had this side business and she sold it,

It was a great position:

and so then that was another position where I had been like, "Oh, I got to be

It was a great position:

secure now because look, I've grown it from, 10 or $20,000 to half a million

It was a great position:

dollars in a year of income; not profit though, that might be one of the issues.

It was a great position:

A lot of the money went to salaries, but built this big business.

Joshua:

As somebody that sits on a board of directors for a nonprofit,

Joshua:

that's a lot where those expenses go, especially with the different

Joshua:

things that we have to take care of.

Joshua:

I mean, we can't do it without the people.

James:

Yeah, and so it was probably the right decision to sell, and the new

James:

owners are like, "Well, we can't keep you on", so then that happened again.

James:

I put my trust in something that somebody else controlled my paycheck, so I guess

James:

that's why I decided to start the business of Course Creation Studio, because

James:

if I can get my own clients or help people create their own online courses

James:

or marketing or social media type of things, then I am in control of my own

James:

destiny and it's up to me to do the work.

James:

It's up to me to find the clients.

James:

I'm not depending because the paycheck was sort of like a false security.

James:

It was hard for me to learn that lesson, but that paycheck that

James:

you're depending on somebody else to do was more false security.

James:

Now I do have a lot of fears, right?

James:

A lot of fears, but I had to step outside my comfort zone

James:

to get to what I really wanted.

Joshua:

I love your story in that regard because it is about stepping out of our

Joshua:

fears and being able to say that we have something that we can contribute to the

Joshua:

overall good, and many of the things that you've just said remind me so much

Joshua:

of what I had to go through, especially starting the business that I have a

Joshua:

coaching business called Your Speaking Voice, to be able to provide those sort of

Joshua:

opportunities for clients to work through what their vision is of themselves,

Joshua:

to really find their voice, and I love the fact that we have similar aspects

Joshua:

because I talk about finding our voice.

Joshua:

You're talking about writing your own story, and I love that-

James:

Yeah.

Joshua:

So much, because we are lining up of essentially the main purpose of this.

Joshua:

When you were going through those career changes, James, and then you landed on

Joshua:

Course Creation Studio, what made you decide that you wanted to do this line

Joshua:

of work, and when you're explaining that-

James:

Yeah.

Joshua:

Can you explain a little bit about what the business

Joshua:

actually provides for our listeners?

James:

Sure, so what made me want to do it is I'd worked in

James:

mental health for 16, 18 years.

James:

A little bit of nonprofit, a little bit of church work, and I would

James:

read blog posts of therapists and I was like, "This could be a course.

James:

This is something that is really, really helpful for other people", and it got me

James:

thinking, "Why aren't more therapists or professional helpers or people that I pal

James:

around with, why aren't more of them doing this?", because there is such a crunch for

James:

mental health services right now it's hard to get in for some things and then there's

James:

specialized services where they might not have it in your area, but there's somebody

James:

three states away that has exactly what you need, so I wanted to combine my

James:

passion for connecting and technology and I'm sort of like an early adopter

James:

for things; technology wise anyways.

James:

How could I use my passion and skill to help nurture some people with great

James:

ideas and get it out into the world?

James:

There's also a second point to that is I have a family member.

James:

I have a sister who my parents adopted when they were in their sixties.

James:

They still have the helping gene, and they're going through some growth

James:

struggles, and my dream is that there would be a, if not now, but sometime in

James:

the future, some sort of therapist or group or course or group or cohort that

James:

they could go to that maybe I helped create or somebody else created, that

James:

people don't have to suffer, and there's hundreds of people out there like that,

James:

that maybe not have the adopted a child when I'm older, problem or issue, but

James:

maybe they have a child with anxiety about taking tests or an anxiety going to school

James:

and they just need some skills to help them get through that, and I know there's

James:

a therapist out there who can write that course, without even looking at any notes

James:

or books, because that's what they do.

James:

They help people day in and day out, and they have the data to back it up.

James:

A lot of them are researchers and they just love the data,

James:

they love the literature.

James:

They can do it easily, and so it's just this ripe field of content that

James:

you can pull that out of them and get it into a course or a podcast; some

James:

sort of material, online content, so that people can benefit from it, so

James:

that's sort of where the genesis came from, of Course Creation Studio, is

James:

helping the helpers get their content out of their head off the page and into

James:

the hands of people who could use it.

Joshua:

My mouth dropped open when you said, "Yeah, my parents, they're still

Joshua:

adopting, especially as they're older", and now I'm starting to understand where

Joshua:

that came from quite clearly, and wow, that is incredible, like your family just

Joshua:

does have that help gene, and even if you just saying now the premise of the

Joshua:

business, I'm thinking, "Okay, this is where it all ties together for me", and

Joshua:

it's starting to make a lot more sense as to why your heart is so humongous

Joshua:

James, because I definitely see that with just the things that you want to

Joshua:

do and help, and I had a guest that has a business where they actually upload

Joshua:

content from a content creator and then they help to distribute that, but it

Joshua:

sounds like you are more involved with the process and that if somebody has

Joshua:

that idea stuck in their brain, you're trying to get it out for them and I really

Joshua:

would love to hear a little bit about the presentation part of it, because

Joshua:

I saw that as one of the six services.

James:

Sure.

Joshua:

I provide public speaking coaching for people so that they can

Joshua:

express that material, so it's a little bit different, but I'm kind of curious

Joshua:

how that works so that our audience-

James:

Yeah, so I help get out all types of content, so I do podcasts,

James:

blogging, social media posts, course creation, presentations.

James:

I'm missing one, but the presentations; people give me outlines or just basic

James:

ideas and I do research and turn it into PowerPoint presentations.

James:

Some of them want to be a little more involved and they give me a

James:

more detailed outline and others are just like, "I have this general idea.

James:

Here's a book on it.

James:

Can you help me with an outline?", so I love research.

James:

I love technology.

James:

It's easy to look things up.

James:

It's easy-ish to get journal articles, and with AI now, you don't have to

James:

wonder, "Oh, is this a good title?"

James:

You can just say, "Hey, give me 10 titles for the topic of, I don't know,

James:

depression in older adults", and then it'll give me 10 titles and I'll be like,

James:

"Oh, I like that and I don't like that", so it's easier now, I think, to do some

James:

research than it used to be, but I just like crafting things that are useful

James:

and will be used, and that allows the talent, I guess the speaker, to focus

James:

more on practicing their speech and perfecting their part, while I can spend

James:

two or three hours making a presentation that might have taken them eight to 10

James:

hours to do because a lot of therapists are really good talkers and listeners,

James:

but not super good at technology and it frustrates them to no end.

James:

Well, I can just take that and do it a little quicker and then also

James:

it takes the time off their plate.

Joshua:

I was going to say that you make a very important distinction here, so why

Joshua:

should I hire you over something that I can type in the ChatGPT right now and spit

Joshua:

out an answer for me because, I think I know the answer and I really want to hear

Joshua:

it from your own words though, because I know that there's a big difference.

James:

Yeah.

James:

ChatGPT lies.

Joshua:

Mm-hmm.

James:

I mean, it's great for a lot of things and I do use it,

James:

but I'm editing it continually.

James:

I'm putting humanity in it.

James:

I'm adding stories.

James:

I am making it look like a human wrote it, so yes, you can do it yourself,

James:

but even if it takes you half the time, you're still doing it, right?

Joshua:

Yeah, that's the big difference is that there's a human element, there's

Joshua:

a human connection to it where we'll be able to more sympathize with somebody or

Joshua:

a group of people that are essentially trying to have this content delivered,

Joshua:

and yeah, maybe at some point, James, I'll be knocking on your door saying, "Yeah.

Joshua:

Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Joshua:

I need some podcast content.

Joshua:

I'm wondering if you could help me out", but I'm not at that point yet

Joshua:

running out of ideas, but I'll certainly keep you in mind for my own purposes.

James:

You can definitely use AI for those types of things, but if

James:

you don't have a human behind it it reads like a computer wrote it.

Joshua:

That is really important as well, that we kind of segregate between not

Joshua:

only the things that a computer can do, but what a human can do as well, and I

Joshua:

think some people are forgetting about the importance of those sort of things.

Joshua:

James, we're almost out of time and-

James:

Sure.

Joshua:

In a few minutes, I'm going to ask you to let our audience know of how they

Joshua:

can get in contact with you and also what are some of the things that you provide if

Joshua:

they want to reach out to you directly as a thanks for being part of this show, but

Joshua:

before that, my final question is this.

Joshua:

I feel that in this day and age, It's so easy to get caught up on

Joshua:

the dollar signs, so everything that we do, we have a dollar.

Joshua:

We have another dollar.

James:

Mm-hmm.

Joshua:

We do this.

Joshua:

That's another dollar that we do that, and I was just telling you before

Joshua:

we recorded about something that happened to me, that essentially will

Joshua:

give me a lot more opportunity in the financial sense, in terms of financial

Joshua:

security, but I feel that in your life.

Joshua:

I feel like in my practice myself, I don't think it's about the money.

Joshua:

I think it's about the connection and as somebody that has gone through so

Joshua:

many different things, losing jobs and because of just things that were totally

Joshua:

out of your control and having these relationships with people, especially

Joshua:

kids, especially even your adopted son, what would you say to somebody that is

Joshua:

feeling like they don't have anything to give, but they should give because

Joshua:

it will open new doors of opportunity?

Joshua:

I feel like that's what's been happening in your life is that you have been open

Joshua:

to that expression, so how can we change your mindset is more specifically what

Joshua:

I'm asking from you in terms of the question of how we can change ourselves

Joshua:

so that we can be just like James Marland, because I know that sounds a little

Joshua:

narcissistic, but I think that you have a unique take on this and I want to hear

Joshua:

it, and I think my audience would too.

James:

Sure, so let me start with this.

James:

For many years, even having a good job and getting a good paycheck

James:

from the mental health facility, I felt like my life was directionless.

James:

I was on this treadmill that went nowhere, or take it another way, I don't

James:

know if you play board games or video games at all, but one of the cool things

James:

about that is you get missions, right?

James:

They're like, "Hey, your objective for the game is to", I don't know,

James:

"in Monopoly, get all the money", or in Settlers of Catan, it's like to

James:

get the longest road or something.

James:

There's all these missions that you're supposed to do, and, for

James:

many years, I felt like I had completed most of my missions.

James:

I graduated from high school, I got married, I got a bachelor's

James:

degree, I got a master's degree.

James:

I became a manager and I have some upward mobility.

James:

I adopted a son and then I got my second master's, and then, what is the next

James:

mission in life, and I felt I was just going through the motions, and life had

James:

stopped handing me mission cards and that was not a good place for me, so I read a

James:

book, Here On A Mission by Donald Miller.

James:

Donald Miller's the StoryBrand guy; most people in business know Donald Miller,

James:

and it just reignited my view of myself that I wasn't just a side character.

James:

I was the main person in my own story.

James:

I was the hero, and it helped me get out of victim mentality and just like,

James:

"Well, I can't do anything about it."

James:

It helped me see myself as somebody who has an active participant in my story.

James:

I was the hero and it taught me some skills that I still use today, like

James:

journaling and writing down goals for the day and setting up goals for your

James:

week or month or quarter, but not only that for one year goals, five-year

James:

goals, 10 year goals, and then the thing that ties it all together is

James:

I wrote out a eulogy for myself.

James:

What would you want people to say about you?

James:

When you die, who are the five people you would want to speak at your funeral, and

James:

what would they say about you, and none of it was he left me a bunch of money.

James:

It was all about my wife was there and my son was there, and some of

James:

my coworkers were there, and he was a good friend and you could

James:

always count on him, and he created community groups or connected people.

James:

It was all that type of stuff.

James:

It wasn't like, "I wish I would've worked one more hour", or, "I

James:

wish I would've done these things.

James:

It sort of set up the next season of my life as I was going through

James:

all these job losses and body blows, like what's going on?

James:

It sort of was like you don't have to be the victim.

James:

You can be the hero, and that was really meaningful to me, and also in the book,

James:

it talks about man's search for meaning.

James:

I believe it was the guy who was in the concentration camp and how he endured

James:

things, and that was just an eye-opening book about what is the meaning of life

James:

and things like that, so that is my deep connection, and I got some things

James:

right, and that has kept me on mission.

James:

It's more than just the money.

James:

It's like what do I want at the end?

Joshua:

I think that is an important question, and even so, I have clients

Joshua:

that I have them write their story, kind of like write their eulogy, as

Joshua:

to what they want to see themselves towards whatever those successful goals

Joshua:

are, so you're really sharing something that I think is truly important.

Joshua:

James, I want to give you the last few minutes.

Joshua:

Talk to us about the Course Creation Studio.

Joshua:

What's the website?

Joshua:

How can people get in contact with you?

Joshua:

How could they work with you?

Joshua:

I'll give you the last few minutes.

James:

Okay, so yeah, the main website is coursecreationstudio.com, and on

James:

it you can find some free things for the listeners, so there's several

James:

free tools to help you identify an idea that you might want to teach on,

James:

and how to validate that using Google and Amazon, and answer the public is

James:

a good website for what people are searching for, so there's tools on that.

James:

I have a blog there, and one of the things is hiring a virtual assistant,

James:

so what are some things you need to do to hire a virtual assistant, and I'm

James:

created a job description that you can just download and adapt for your own.

James:

It is aimed at therapists, so you're going to want to change some of the things,

James:

but a lot of it is the same, and that's one of the big problems people have.

James:

I want to hire somebody, but I don't even know how to do it.

James:

I've hired 50 virtual assistants when I worked for the virtual assistant company,

James:

probably thousands of job application reviews, so yeah, download that tool,

James:

and the thing that I'm most excited about is just I want to give back to

James:

the community, and so I have a lot of information about assistance, automation,

James:

and AI, so I created a Facebook group.

James:

If you're even remotely interested in those things, it is for mental

James:

health providers or helpers, so that's the tagline in it, but if

James:

you're interested in that, just search for it on the Google groups.

James:

Assistance, Automation and AI for Mental Health Providers, and I

James:

would love to answer your questions.

James:

When people ask questions, it's like, "Oh, this is my people.

James:

These are the people I can help", and I just want to develop relationships

James:

with people that way, and it's just a sharing thing, so the webpage

James:

and the Facebook group are ways you can reach out and connect with me.

Joshua:

You definitely have shared a lot with us today, James, and I really think

Joshua:

that your unique perspective on this, despite all the different things that

Joshua:

you've been through, definitely showed the true character of who you are and

Joshua:

what you're willing to do to help others, and I really appreciate you sharing that

Joshua:

testimony with us today, and I think, as a matter of fact, you're inspiring

Joshua:

so many people to maybe even think about adoption, so I will put in the episode

Joshua:

notes about SWAN if you are interested in checking that out too, and James, thank

Joshua:

you for Speaking From The Heart today.

Joshua:

Thanks for being part of the show, and I hope you much success in this business,

Joshua:

and maybe, just maybe you got a client out of me today too, for being able to learn a

Joshua:

lot about who you are, so thank you again.

James:

Thanks, Joshua.

James:

It was great to be here.

Joshua:

I want to thank James's servant leader heart for being part of the show,

Joshua:

because that simply in itself exemplifies this awesome conversation that we had

Joshua:

and continue to even have, even in our own lives, as to how we can make such

Joshua:

a substantial impact, not just to the people that we influence that we don't

Joshua:

even know who they are, maybe they are at even a younger age and they don't

Joshua:

understand what they're going through, but helps us to understand fully what we

Joshua:

potentially can be if we're compassionate and have that sort of mindset that can

Joshua:

continues to give no matter what kind of things that we go through in our

Joshua:

lives, and I think that this really starts off with a big question in itself.

Joshua:

Why do it?

Joshua:

I often want to ask myself of even James, for that matter, why do it, because

Joshua:

I think that for many of us, having this sort of mindset means that we're

Joshua:

sacrificing so much of ourselves and creating so many different other things

Joshua:

in our lives that often maybe we don't even want to have in the first place.

Joshua:

We can have our own children, at least some people can.

Joshua:

We can make our own money, at least some people can.

Joshua:

We have all these other things that we can give, as some people do have those other

Joshua:

things that they can give, but what really boils down to it is the motivation and the

Joshua:

creativity in which it all starts from, and I think James's story of especially

Joshua:

the different things that he has done in the nonprofit world to become what

Joshua:

he is and trying to understand that that is some sort of inherent gift that is

Joshua:

often given to us, whether that's through our parents or even our upbringing in

Joshua:

general, really helps us to create the different types of opportunities that we

Joshua:

can compassionately listen to, and I think it's really about not only connecting

Joshua:

with children, but also connecting with adults, because it's about being a role

Joshua:

model for others, no matter what age you are, in order to understand what you can

Joshua:

ultimately do to achieve great success, and that's something even at my age,

Joshua:

I'm still trying to do all over and over again in order to understand fully the

Joshua:

capabilities that I can provide to others through the work that I do, and it's about

Joshua:

being a role model when other people might not necessarily want to be a role model.

Joshua:

It's about being an inspiration when sometimes you don't feel like you

Joshua:

could be an inspiration, and it's about sometimes doing things that you're not

Joshua:

comfortable with in order to grow and be able to do even bigger things, but

Joshua:

it all starts with having that vision.

Joshua:

We can often get derailed from even some of the best places that we often think

Joshua:

can be that source of inspiration, that source of strength, because sometimes

Joshua:

society tells us that those are the places that we go, but let's face it, even some

Joshua:

of those things, some of those churches, some of those role models that we have

Joshua:

in our lives, whether they're sports figures or political leaders, sometimes

Joshua:

get it wrong, but that in itself means that we have to teach lessons along the

Joshua:

way of the important inherent qualities that each of those situations create.

Joshua:

It means understanding that we can make an impact no matter what it is with somebody

Joshua:

in order to give them the best version of themselves down the road, and I think

Joshua:

really this conversation that I had with James exemplifies having the opportunities

Joshua:

to help people and create ways in which we can move forward, no matter what obstacles

Joshua:

might stand in the way, whether they are the good or the bad, but really the

Joshua:

question in itself then comes to this: are we doing the right things that are

Joshua:

taking us in the right direction, and this is where it starts to get really

Joshua:

hazy, especially even being coached.

Joshua:

Obviously, my expectation every time that I do something in my life or I'm

Joshua:

helping somebody with my business, is to ultimately help them become the

Joshua:

best version of what they want to be.

Joshua:

Sometimes it also means understanding and even processing

Joshua:

what you can be in your own right.

Joshua:

It means understanding maybe these are the things that I can do, but these

Joshua:

might not be the right things to do.

Joshua:

It can mean that I understand so much about what this value has added

Joshua:

to me, but at the same time, might not add so much value down the road.

Joshua:

Doing the right thing at a certain moment in a certain space of time might seem

Joshua:

appreciative and might be something that we need to look at, but maybe we need to

Joshua:

think about what happens down the road.

Joshua:

What happens immediately after that?

Joshua:

What happens three months, six months, maybe even a year, five

Joshua:

years, or even 10 years down the road?

Joshua:

I think the Japanese, the culture itself, especially Toyota, really put that into

Joshua:

practice with a lot of the automobile industry as we see it, which, yes,

Joshua:

today we hear a lot more about electric vehicles and the importance in which it

Joshua:

will save the environment, but Toyota already had that plan years before even

Joshua:

competitors started to think about it.

Joshua:

If you think about even some of the vehicles that are on the road today that

Joshua:

are hybrid, most of them started with a Toyota brand, and that really helped

Joshua:

you to understand clearly that some of the executives, some of the people that

Joshua:

were thinking long term, needed to know how to do this technology when no one

Joshua:

else was thinking about this technology at a massive scale, like even companies

Joshua:

such as Tesla do today, and I think it's really understanding that sometimes the

Joshua:

decisions that we make in the present do have ramifications down the road, which

Joshua:

really puts into question how much trust can we really put on something else that

Joshua:

we might not feel comfortable with or know about, and how much trust are we

Joshua:

going to put on it when money's involved.

Joshua:

I often hear something that in business we often have to know our value, quote

Joshua:

unquote, and I would agree that we do need to know some sort of value

Joshua:

as it relates to what we provide so that we can share it with others.

Joshua:

That part of it is true, but when we start to put money behind it, which is something

Joshua:

that we all need to have in order to survive, especially in the economies of

Joshua:

scale that we have, I think that we need to take a big step back and think about.

Joshua:

What is money itself?

Joshua:

It's something that we believe in that has inherent value.

Joshua:

It's something that we believe in as an exchange of a good or service, which we

Joshua:

don't have to necessarily barter anymore with like goods or items or services.

Joshua:

It means that we're being able to provide something of value to someone

Joshua:

else, to exchange with them, to know and engage with them in ways in which

Joshua:

we often might not engage with them in other, any other time, but the thing is,

Joshua:

money, as we often hear, can be the root of all evil only if we are willing to

Joshua:

let that be the evil that controls us.

Joshua:

I don't think that money in its itself can be a bad thing.

Joshua:

It's what we put behind it, us being human beings, the emotions, the value,

Joshua:

the association, those are the things that we could get stuck in, and then

Joshua:

always think that we don't think that person adds that much value to it, so

Joshua:

I'm not going to pay them that much.

Joshua:

It's almost as if you're tipping at a restaurant.

Joshua:

Are you going to give your waiter or waitress 20% as they should be given,

Joshua:

when especially they do great service, or are you going to give them more than 20%,

Joshua:

or you going to give them less than 20?

Joshua:

Maybe they didn't stop by your table as often as you thought, or maybe

Joshua:

they didn't refill your drinks or ask you if you needed anything else

Joshua:

before they wrapped up with you.

Joshua:

Often, we think about the fact that sometimes the things that we have in our

Joshua:

very lives that we put trust in, sometimes those things can be broken, and maybe

Joshua:

that person that was helping you was going through a bad day, but I think that really

Joshua:

puts into place the victim mentality.

Joshua:

We are not a side character, as even James mentioned toward the very end when

Joshua:

he was talking about Donald Miller, and I think that it's really understanding

Joshua:

that sometimes victim mentality is getting outside of our comfort zone, getting

Joshua:

outside of our head, thinking that we're always the one to blame and thinking

Joshua:

about the ways in which we can blame others for the good things that we are

Joshua:

able to do, and that's right, I said it.

Joshua:

Blame things.

Joshua:

Blame others for the good things that are happening.

Joshua:

Instead of thinking it in a negative context, like we could think of

Joshua:

money, what would happen if we start thinking about things that are good?

Joshua:

Can we have that run in our family just like it does with James when

Joshua:

it comes to adoption, which I found out in this episode about

Joshua:

his parents doing the same thing?

Joshua:

Can we have compassion for others as a result of thinking about all

Joshua:

those good things, because we're blaming them for all the good things?

Joshua:

If we start to change that dial, instead of being on the wrong side of the fence

Joshua:

and putting it on the right side, can we really start to make a conversation

Joshua:

about ourselves become more than just the value or the sum of money?

Joshua:

I think James made that decision by stepping outside of the workforce and

Joshua:

really doing something now that offers people other materials, the things in

Joshua:

which can be built from the fact that we can help others, not only with their

Joshua:

podcast, but also helping them with the materials that could be sold to the world,

Joshua:

because knowledge is power, and through knowledge, we're able to create some

Joshua:

of the most fascinating things that we never thought possible, but maybe we can

Joshua:

create some of the most fascinating things possible if we just change the mindset of

Joshua:

what really we're all about, because that, if we're able to do good things, it can

Joshua:

change everything that we ever imagined.

Joshua:

It can help us become not just the things that we want to be, but

Joshua:

maybe down the road, might help pay us back in massive dividends.

Joshua:

Thanks for listening to episode number 64 of Speaking From The

Joshua:

Heart, and I look forward to hearing from your heart very soon.

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