Branding Matters

Jim Button - Build a Village

January 13, 2021 Branding Badass Season 1 Episode 6
Branding Matters
Jim Button - Build a Village
Show Notes Transcript

This episode of Branding Matters is a little different. The conversation takes a bit of a detour away from branding and veers into more of a spiritual direction. The reason being is that just over 4 years ago, my guest was given one year to live. But against all odds, this unicorn is still here and living what he describes as “a life with purpose.”

 His name is Jim Button, and he is the Co-Founder of one of Calgary’s favourite breweries - Village Brewery. A true leader in marketing and community building, Jim’s passion for community investment has earned him impressive accolades which include a philanthropy award from the Canadian Association of Fundraising Professionals, TWO “Top 40 Under 40” awards with Avenue Magazine, and Community Builder of the Year award from the Alberta Small Brewers Association, just to name a few.

 I invited Jim to be a guest on my show today to discuss why he thinks it takes a village to build a brand. I also wanted to discuss Jim’s new fundraising program that focuses on the mental health of kids living with cancer. 

💥IF YOU WANT HELP GETTING YOUR CLIENTS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR BRAND,  REACH OUT TO ME ON SOCIAL AT BRANDING_BADASS OR EMAIL ME AT JGOODSON@GENUMARK.COM

Joelly Lang:

Hi, I'm Joelly, your branding badass, and welcome to my new podcast branding matters. Before I introduce my guest today, I wanted to share with you that this episode of branding matters is going to be a little different. The conversation takes a bit of a detour away from branding and veers into more of a spiritual direction. The reason being is that just over four years ago, my guest was given one year to live. But against all odds, he is still here and living what he describes as a life with purpose. His name is Jim button, and he is the co founder of one of Calgary's favorite breweries, village brewery, a true leader in marketing and community building. Jim's passion for Community Investment has earned him impressive accolades, which include a philanthropy award from the Canadian Association of Fundraising Professionals to top 40 under 40 Awards with Avenue magazine, and community builder of the Year Award from the Alberta small Brewers Association, just to name a few. I invited Jim to be a guest on my show today to discuss why he thinks it takes a village to build a brand. I also wanted to discuss Jim's new fundraising program that focuses on the mental health of kids living with cancer. I am so honored to introduce to you my friend, Jim button. Jim, welcome to branding matters. Hi, Julie, that is quite a mouthful and very impressive.

Jim Button:

And it always makes me feel awkward.

Joelly Lang:

I know you're so much. I mean, community was the common theme throughout that, which is really, really impressive. So Jim, thank you so much for being here. It means a lot to me. I appreciate it so much. It's great to see your handsome face. You look really great. Okay, so let's get into your career. So when I met you, and it's funny, you moved here in 93. I moved here in 94. So not long after you. I think you had just started a company called the event group. Is that correct?

Jim Button:

I had, but for four years before that, I had a company called financial planning initiatives with my brother. Yeah. Okay. I left that and started the thank you for Dave Howard.

Joelly Lang:

Right, who is a client of mine today. So tell me about the event group. How did you start that and why and how there was

Unknown:

a gap in how marketing was being done. Everybody was forgetting the one to one engagement is all about, you know, I came from a media background where he's all grps and cost per 1000s, and things like that. And they weren't in my mind taking the time to really understand their consumer and what motivates them and what changes their mind and or encourages them to buy your product. And that's to one to one engagement, which was provided by vents. So got into that.

Joelly Lang:

And how long did you do the events group? And you guys, you were pretty successful. You did some pretty big events in Calgary here,

Unknown:

seven years. Okay, that was great. Yeah, great time loved it.

Joelly Lang:

I know you're having a lot of fun.

Unknown:

Oh, it was fine. Who cares? I'm sure 2000 people selling out events in

Joelly Lang:

Oh, I remember Calgary cares. That was a great event that was and that was sort of when you know, AIDS awareness was pretty big. And you guys did a phenomenal job with that. That was a great event. And so then after that you had a couple of other jobs or you

Unknown:

just took jobs. I wasn't, you know, I'm never good jobs guy. I'm better on my own. And started with Arlene Dickinson adventurer, PR event marketing promotions team. Yeah. And that there after three years and joined big rock as their Vice President of Marketing and Communications, part of

Joelly Lang:

the eddies that was a huge Calgary event. And I mean, those were so fun, was that you're sort of doing Did you get that?

Unknown:

Or that it started that two years before he hired the event group to do it. So okay. I needed some management. And so we took it on. And we managed it for about seven years. And I've managed to, obviously internally there for three years, quite a long time, but it was fun.

Joelly Lang:

The eddies were great. You know, I mean, I was working in advertising at the time I was working, I think at Ogilvy and Mather. And I remember actually a couple guys I work with entered in one and for people who don't know I mean, the ideas was just you we had people I think it was just local, I think and then eventually became national where they would submit their own ads to sell big rock beer. It was great marketing. It

Unknown:

was great to know there would have been to make videos back in the 1990s Say that again. You know how hard it would be to make a video back in the night right? Exactly.

Joelly Lang:

Not like today. Oh, yeah. He had the super eight cameras and I know now

Unknown:

you look at it this way. They had an event where solo 2200 people yeah Both minutes I was on record. Oh, you had to phone in? Yeah, wait. So 2200 people drinking your beer, giving them $2 to drink your beer and watch your beer commercials

Joelly Lang:

and sell your and make commercials about your beer

Unknown:

making commercials is a brand dream. And I don't know why they stopped doing it. But it was.

Joelly Lang:

It really was brilliant. And so then obviously, beer is in your blood. So let's fast forward to village brewery. Tell me about how you got involved in that. And what motivated you to start that I was

Unknown:

at big rock at the time, and they got me and their loss, their loss and hired me back full time there to try and get it back to its roots of community. Right at the time. They're doing much better in terms of that now. But at the time that people that I was working with were very much more focused on what the multinationals were doing and trying to emulate their behavior. So I had a lot of fighting to do to try and keep things like daddies alive anyway. So they let me go. There was always a group of people that bigger up that I was friends with. And we always talk about what if if I had my own brewery, I would know all those things. And so a bunch of us got together and started the process. Turns out there was two different groups starting a brewery at the same time. there hadn't been a new brewery in Calgary in 15 years. And so the fact that we found out Larry terminer, who is a brewer and ciliary who would you hire as a brewery says why would you ask that question? Because we're starting a brewery when Susie can where Calgary says, We better talk. I said, Why? Because I'm doing the same thing. Oh, no kidding. Okay. So we get a little philosophical to see if we're all loving. And as it turns out, we were so the group got together. And there was five of us soon to be six of us as partners that started February with a collective at the time, 140 years of beer experience between all of you, we're very, very serious marketing guy, we had a sales guy, we had a CFO of a brewery, we had a brew master from a brewery guys, it took apart breweries and reassemble them for 15 years, and I've mastered most experienced brew master in the country. So

Joelly Lang:

yeah, that's your Well said. And so the name I mean, I'm assuming it comes from just that, again, back to that whole sense of community.

Unknown:

It takes a village? Absolutely, absolutely. We looked quite far and wide for a really funky building and location to build it, but it was taken way too long. And the rules back then were able to brew a million million and a half bottles of beer a year was the size of the facility, obviously, now you don't have to do that. And you couldn't be in an inner city kind of scenario to be an industrial, we're trying to break all those rules. And the original place that we were gonna be was in the East Village. So it was gonna be the East Village Brewing Company. Yeah, after that didn't work out. It's just not LD ethos. It takes a village was there drop the East it became it became village, and it's all about is that exact? How do we as guys that have been around for 40 years? How do we how do we do a different? How do we not just sell beer? How do you recognize what we've all experienced, which is that beer is actually a currency onto its own. And that it is a social lubricant, and it brings people together. And you can make things happen when you when you have beer. So I said, Let's, let's build a better community around using beer is the is the focal point, then have fun?

Joelly Lang:

Well, I think you know, I think that's brilliant. I mean, back to when we talked about the 80s. And how it sold out so quickly. And you know, I listened to one of your TED Talks. And you talked about I think it was one of your TED Talks you talked about and invite some buddies over and say, I'll pay you 10 bucks an hour, or I'll give you a case of beer and everyone will go to the beer because it is that experience, right? We talk about branding, you talk about you know, you're not selling, you're not really selling beer, you're selling an experience, you're selling that sense of community. And that's really, you know, when we, when I talk to clients about branding, and when you try to brand yourself, you're trying to sell the experience of community and of like having a beer at versus here's 10 buttons, exactly.

Unknown:

The story I always say is can you come up and move to Saturday, I'll pay you 2144 plus. Right? Because that's a case of beer. Beer would be the person would say if you said the financial then it becomes a commoditized conversation versus if you have a an emotive center. Let's have a beer helped me move then it becomes more about getting together having conversation helping each other.

Joelly Lang:

So where did you come up with social lubricant? Is that yours? Probably is off the top of your head

Unknown:

just seemed natural. Yeah.

Joelly Lang:

It's great. I loved it. When I heard I was like, that's awesome. Taking to the whole theme of community. Tell me a little bit about circle carnival. How did that start?

Unknown:

That started and what is it for people who don't know it's a food, beer and music festival.

Joelly Lang:

There's that beer again. And music is another thing right? Isn't music another thing that brings people together?

Unknown:

If you didn't have a world of color, you could be deprived. You know, God bless engineers and accountants and we need them and they're very good at what they do. But if you only see black and white, then you're missing an awful lot of color.

Joelly Lang:

And talk about an even playing field like you can bring people from all socio economic statuses and all different everything and music, you know, brings us all together and I don't actually beer not so much but I Consider your

Unknown:

study you like

Joelly Lang:

I like cider. Yeah. All right. Anyway, sorry, go ahead. But I'm like a girly girl.

Unknown:

So after I left big rock, I actually started at Evans hunt at the same time to write the digital marketing firm at the time, a small group of people, and it's now upwards close to 100 people. So I was doing that and, and village birth, exact same time. So for eight years, I had two roles. But what the beauty is, is between my connectivity through village, and all the clients, we live with the clients of tourism, Calgary economic development downtown Association, I could keep going on of all the organizations and companies that are all responsible for building our city, I get to share all of their strategies on top of each other, on what motivated people what were the thoughts to people, I found in it quite often that there's hotspots are the same with every organization. And in terms of civic organizations. And I'm getting back to your circle story here. The thing that was most interesting is that if you lived in Calgary for a long time, or you lived in the suburbs, you thought this was a boring ass town. But if you are new to Calgary and or you lived in inner city, you thought this was one of the most connected vibrant, arts oriented great restaurants 10 things to do every night, because you knew what was going on. in the suburbs are you held on to an old paradigm, you thought it was a lousy city. So the objective that we took when we connect connected, I call upon James of food trucks, and percent, let's create a festival. We'll start at inner city, but the objective is to slowly move it out to the suburbs, because by starting in the inner city, we'll get all the people that love that stuff. And it filled out later we sold like 7000 people tend to buy our third year. Amazing. And it was incredible. His food trucks everywhere music stations, everywhere yoga, there's kids all day long, it'd be full of kids and music. And then the evening, it would be real dense, centered music, beer was able to drink the whole thing. Its purpose was to go into a community, pull the people out of their houses, and pull people in their community and get to meet new people. And that purpose was to keep moving it around the city or city. Right. So

Joelly Lang:

I mean, obviously now with COVID it's not happening, but is it still happening? Like did it and or is it still something? Hopefully when things? Yeah,

Unknown:

it's taken a hit case of COVID. My dream is to keep it going.

Joelly Lang:

Keep it going. Right? Well, that's an that's great initiative. Jim, I'm gonna switch gears for a second and get a little bit personal with you, because I think it's important is let's talk about your cancer and talk about your diagnosis. You are given a year to live. Yeah. So can you tell us about that day

Unknown:

that day? Sure. Went in had cancer a year and a half prior, had my kidney removed. And then

Joelly Lang:

what kind of cancer was were you initially diagnosed with?

Unknown:

kidney cancer renal cell carcinoma, okay. And so every six months, I was getting a scan. And in this scan, I walked into the room. And you can tell with my wife, Tracy, and you could tell right away that something's going on. He had the oncologist also had a an intern with him. So this guy was staring at his feet. And I went, Oh, something interesting is about to happen here. Anyway, went through the doctors, great. The oncologist great. He told me the news was pretty specific Matter of fact, and the news was that I had 18 lesions in my lungs. And it had metastasized, and that we just went through a bunch of detail. And my wife said, so what's the prognostication and he? He turned to me says, Do you want to know Jim? No, I'm sure. He says, Yeah, year, maybe year and a bit to live. That kind of blows your mind, right.

Joelly Lang:

He's the last thing in the world you ever expected?

Unknown:

Well, yes or no? Yeah. He had cancer a year and a half divorce, he had a little bit of an inkling to take a kidney and not have any of those cells transferring off somewhere else just seemed, I wasn't that I was expecting it. But I wasn't surprised by it. Okay, and so that day, this is a really interesting story that day, we eventually found our way home remember, Chase, never talking about it, and you're giving each other hugs, talking, crying, all the things that happen as you digest it. And I looked at a text from a friend of mine named avnish Mita. And in that text, it said that geometrical healing help you know my by took you in a healing session last night, and I spotted dark clouds over your lungs. I think it's something serious. You should go see a doctor. So imagine him the nerve to send something like that. Think Lloyd Hello, Jim. Receive it? Well, Jim, think I'm a nutjob. And how will I take it? And I took it as it turned out to be the moment where I said, you know, we are all connected. This is a shared experience. He and I talked right at that moment. And we talked quite a bit the next day for three hours

Joelly Lang:

and you told him to just come from the doctor and big dog been diagnosed it well.

Unknown:

Yeah. apologize for not asking permission to take me into a healing session. I said, Well, what's a healing session? And he says, Well, I project you. Oh, you kept popping in my mind. So I projected you onto a wall. And I sent you with a bunch of people that I trust that have insight. Okay, back up. Are you in a boardroom? This is a picture of what's going on.

Joelly Lang:

Like you're trying to get this? Yeah. Yeah.

Unknown:

I just found that this crazy news that just got all the context resolved crypto for me at that time, so I, so he said, No, no, this is all in my mind. As you know, my dad has been training and I've been training my whole life.

Joelly Lang:

So is he a spiritual healer? Sorry? Is that what he does? No,

Unknown:

that's just what he does. He's a very spiritual guy.

Joelly Lang:

Okay, so that's just who he is. That's just who he Okay.

Unknown:

Wow. He's got this capacity to do all sorts of incredible things in his mind, okay. I've learned from him. I also took a meditation course, I also took a cheap Qigong, really practicing. And now I've gotten into visualization and meditation, and I can calm my body down. And I think a big part of the reason why I'm still around is a positive attitude and things like taking care of my mind and calming myself down through things I learned from him in that moment. But that moment, switched in university, often taken these types of meditation, a whole course on meditation, you know, and then away from it. And so this reactivated

Joelly Lang:

so that day, so how many years ago was that day that you were given one year to live? And four and a half, four and a half years? Okay. I know. Well, you know,

Unknown:

I know I get where you're at. Yeah, yeah. I

Joelly Lang:

just was curious. Because it wasn't, it wasn't a year ago.

Unknown:

Cuz that's something I should probably know.

Joelly Lang:

Yeah, the foreign half here. Okay. So you have this incredible story. You You're on this journey, and then you decide I'm going to share this journey with the world. So you started gathering with Jim blog? You are I mean, that blog, tell me why and what motivated you start that because you are so raw, and you share the good and you share the bad and the ugly? What Why are you doing that? Like what motivated you to start this blog?

Unknown:

Well, a bunch of things, the initial motivation, and I learned along the way, but the initial motivation was, I have a big network. And I knew I'd be happy to answer this question a lot. So I thought it'd be really easy if I just said, Go to the blog, right. But then when I learned along the way, I was actually writing especially because I was afraid of writing. And all of a sudden discovered I love writing. So that became really awesome. I also think, cathartic for you. I was gonna say it was also very cathartic. And there's many times where you're writing something and you're writing through tears, or you're writing a blog.

Joelly Lang:

I read it through tears sometimes.

Unknown:

Yeah. Well, there's times when I'm writing it, I start it and go, there's something really bugging me, I don't know what the hell it is. So I'll just get on and start clickety clack. And all of a sudden, I got it all of a sudden comes to me what I'm what's bothering me. And I put it down on the blog and the blog. And as a result, I get, you know, I'd say probably, on average, once a week, I guess somebody that reaches out to cancer or has a friend that has cancer, or a mom or dad that has cancer that looks to me for some advice, or if I wouldn't mind spending some time with them. I just had one last week where somebody phoned me up from trial and said, I got a guy that just got kidney cancer, can you give you a call? And so we spoke for an hour and a half. And so it's become quite a powerful tool for me. And I think a valuable tool for others going through the experience.

Joelly Lang:

Do you think you'll ever turn it into a book? Because when I read it, I think this has got to be a book.

Unknown:

I've had lots of people say that I've had somebody say, Oh, right. Yeah. It's like a book for you. This has got to be a book, take each page and just publish it. Do

Joelly Lang:

you think you whether or is that in the works? And we're not supposed to talk about that right now.

Unknown:

So you know, it would be a book of like an unfinished book.

Joelly Lang:

Yeah. Well give you a syrup.

Unknown:

I'll tell you one thing two years ago, I can't come on two years ago when I was. Well, it was that time where you're in the hospital. You wake up and your brother is there from China, a brother from Belize, your brother from Toronto Tamia from Muskoka kids. Oh, from your like, what is the wake up and go? Why is everybody Yeah, and so around that time I was started writing letters for all the birthdays for my kids. I wrote my last blog and told people I gave him keys to my blog and said, so I've written the last blog. Now, now that I was put those two years ago I haven't gone back and looked at it. So I should probably go back and refresh that blog. But I thought it was a goner. You know, I guess the part that's hard for me is the end of the blog is not written yet because it's written in there.

Joelly Lang:

Well, you know, what, aren't we all a story in the process, though? Really? I don't think any of us could really write our and so speaking of your blog, you know, Jim, you are one of if not the most positive people I know I've ever met. I mean, I you know, we don't see each other that often. I mean, I've known you for many years, but we've only we run into each other, you know, the first few times I ran into and last few years, I actually didn't even know you had cancer, which, when I found out after I was like, did I see anything offensive, but you know, I mean, we'd run into each other here. And then you're always super positive. And you always treat me again, someone who's not even in your inner circle. Like, we're good friends, and you're very authentic. And you're very real and very optimistic. And I love that though you you write in your blog about a pity party. And you talk about that, because at the end of the day, you're human, right? We're all human. And tell me about the pity parties? Do you have them often? And how long do they last and share a bit about that?

Unknown:

Yeah. So the underlying question is, is, Are you positive all the time? Hey, I don't much Obviously, I'm not. But pity parties aren't that often. And you know, I could have a pity party for about 20 seconds to there. Sometimes they're short, and you just have to kind of go, alright, that sounds really lousy feeling I had. But when I wrote that pity party, I needed to make sure that people knew that it wasn't always always up. And you have to recognize when they talk about. And I've never gotten to the point where suicides into my mind. But I have enough people that I know that have had pity parties that have lasted long enough time that they have committed suicide. And I know enough people that have committed suicide that you would not know on the outside that they were having a pity party inside. And so it's important that even if somebody looks like they're having, they're always positive, and they're always doing great, but they don't also have tough time. And so that's where the shared experience must share responsibility we already we all have is when you ask somebody how the hours to actually genuinely ask and to not be afraid to ask the second question. If you have some doubt in the veracity of that response at that time?

Joelly Lang:

Well, the standard answer is usually I'm fine. Yeah, I do want to touch on that gym for a second, because I agree with you wholeheartedly. I do also think, though, that, you know, there are because I have the same experience. You know, I think there's also the mental illness aspect of it. You know, I think when people are, you know, we have a lot about mental illness and depression and awareness about that. And I think that, you know, there's a pity party, but then, you know, there's people who have suffered from clinical depression, and it's out

Unknown:

of their control 100%. And I had a glimpse of that back and bow rate. when I very first started on chemotherapy, there was a drug I was on, that I was dark, I did not want to talk to people, I couldn't understand why people were happy around me, and how rude it was that they were talking about how good the food tastes, everything. And I'm sure you went into a depression, no doubt. So it was a chemical induced one. And it gave me a wake up call to understand how tough depression is and how mental health is, it's a disease that you cannot manage on your own. And that's why I was saying it's a shared experience. Because if you do have a mental illness, and you do have somebody there that is with you, your chances of coming out of it and or surviving and or managing are always bad. And that's the point of the pity party,

Joelly Lang:

right, right now with COVID. And there's a lot of people that are struggling and suffering from maybe not necessarily chemical depression, but just at times are tough. And I'm sure there's a lot of pity parties. So you also talk about this book that you said was really helpful for you, you know, Man's Search for Meaning. Can you talk a little bit about that book and why it was so helpful for you.

Unknown:

If you ever want to see somebody that has a really had a really hard time, I think he wrote a book started writing the book just after he had spent a long time in internment camp during the Holocaust. And wow, when he writes about the harshness, and sorry, who's

Joelly Lang:

the author? What's his name? I was gonna write it down. And then I forgot, but it's no I mean, we can look it up Man's Search for Meaning is the name of the book.

Unknown:

Yeah, as soon as you set it ahead, and again, and it just sorry,

Joelly Lang:

it comes up, you can just bring it up again.

Unknown:

Yeah, the book is all about how he got through, and how the people that survived Auschwitz, and these internment camps, how they got through, and they in large part, it's what I've taken when I give people if I give anybody advice, it's three things. One is, this is a shared experience. Number two, live a life of purpose. So in this book, he talks a lot about how if the people that had purpose or a thing to get to or to live for tended to be the people that made it out and then once they're able to crush that out of you, then you will to live disappeared. And so my sense My life is governed by a life for my children and my wife, and secondly, to live a life of purpose, which is why we did the fundraising for kids with cancer to help with their mental health while they were dealing with cancer and their

Joelly Lang:

Yeah, I wanna I want to touch on that the pediatric psychosocial oncology, right? Is that where you're free to

Unknown:

you know, it's a shared experience. So when chase I got cancer, I was one of the head cancers it's like me saying when when I was pregnant,

Joelly Lang:

no, but you know if you hear a lot of the times Tracy and I, you know, when we went on our walk, you know, she's just lovely and very strong. And you know, when you're the caretaker, it's different, but it's all different emotions that you're dealing with. So I totally agree.

Unknown:

To be honest, Julie, you know, it's harder for the caregiver. Well, it's

Joelly Lang:

different, but it's different. But the caregiver, absolutely it you are going through it together.

Unknown:

And so we availed ourselves of lot of services. One of the leaders in the world is here in Calgary, in psychosocial oncology. So it's the mental health of somebody dealing with cancer, because cancer is a beast, in terms of how it can affect you mentally. And so there's been in bear bolts approached us to they had great success, and we immersed ourselves in many programs. That's where I took the Qigong and the mindfulness and with Tracy, and then Tracy's taken caregiver support groups and things like that. So the support that we've gotten through this, he came to us and said, Really, there isn't a lot of research is relates to juveniles to kids. And so they wanted to set up a fund to create research on that. So they can start creating programming for other organizations to be able to use programming based on good solid research. So we set out to raise $5 million COVID here, but along the way, we had raised enough that we took a change in tact, we had a conversation with a group of us and said, You know what, we've got enough to start going, let's not wait till after COVID, get it going. So we've got enough to go for five years of research. So the organization's built the hiring of the head researcher, all that stuff is already started. Research is being chosen. There'll be able to get stuff going. And then once

Joelly Lang:

things settle down,

Unknown:

things settle down. We'll have ironically, it might even be a better way to do it. Because we'll have proof points. Yeah. Yeah, that's true. friend says I was trying to get to the 5 million Soviet endowed fund, so they never had to worry about raising any money. Yeah, there's no self propagating fund. Now we have to raise funds after the five years but

Joelly Lang:

and that, well, I've no doubt. And that fundraiser you had I think it was probably last year and the way that everything was donated, right, the food, the beer, the music, the band, the venue. I mean, the I've never been to the end, even the tickets, it was just everyone was like, just pay what you can write and everybody, you know, again, that sense of community. That was a really fun night. And you know, and there you were, you know, I have to tell you, I was blown away there you were at the front, greeted every single guests, hug them or like just made them feel like really special and welcome. And, again, amazing. So yes, that was really what a great initiative. And I've no

Unknown:

doubt, favorite part of that name was the fact that we raised a lot of money, and I got to hang out with a lot of my friends. I was on stage giving a speech, I was just getting into the part where I was gonna thank Tracy for all our support. And I said, I want to offer you my undying love. And I said that I just cracked out Well, I took that video. Remember, I was just gonna get you laughs Oh, hi. We're nice. And the audience lost it. And to me that was a big, it's a big part of what I want to do by talking about my cancer journey, is I want to take away all the stigma about death and dying. Because when people are in a tough spot like I am, if I wasn't as open as I was with this, I'll tell you what happens. Every time I walk down the hallway in hospital, and my thing I'm carrying with my IV tubes all into me, my transfusions that are happening, they don't look at you cannot look at sick people in the eye.

Joelly Lang:

Because it makes them uncomfortable.

Unknown:

makes them uncomfortable. Because they've in North America, we've been told to avoid talking about death. Yeah. So talk about it. Be open with it, talk to your family about it. Be prepared for it.

Joelly Lang:

I appreciate you so much for saying that. So I have a question here. I want to ask you and I know we're gonna wrap up because I know you have to leave here. What's your spirit animal? Am I a unicorn? Yeah. And can you tell us why? Cuz I think that's such an awesome story.

Unknown:

Well, I kept going in and out of the hospital had almost had this near death. couple of times. Within a six month period, Tracy said she looked me in the eyes, held them by the cheeks and said, You're a freaking unicorn. Because I kept coming.

Joelly Lang:

Yeah, surviving. And then Wasn't there a story but where you were visualizing but your cancer and

Unknown:

told this my TED talk and freaked out the whole audience

Joelly Lang:

I know. But it was so great, because then I love that one of your friends gave you a picture with a unicorn carrying the Buffalo.

Unknown:

Yeah, to stop the cancer. Further story in short, is because I was visualizing I was a I'd actually asked my radiologist friend to take my scan superimposed it over a picture of my body so that when I was meditating and visualizing, I could see exactly where the tumor was in my pancreas, because that's what's causing all the problems. So I could go in there, and I can work on it in trying to reduce it. And then when I found when I went down there to work on it, I started taking like lasers and lightsabers and hacking it and I've always said I'm not fighting cancer. I'm always said it's not a battle. I said, I'm living with cancer. And I've learned to live with this. And so it felt contrary to my belief system that I was hacking away. So I called up avnish. And we said, avnish I'm doing this I don't believe in I think I can see it. And I don't believe I'm doing this. And he says, Well, what if and his spirit animals buffaloes is one of your little baby buffaloes? joking, but it's the work of a little bit of buffaloes stand up there and stomp on. Yes. Okay. So right on there. I'm visualizing this one day, and I'm doing really well. But I get up to the tumor. And the tumor is no longer flat on my pancreas. It's actually up like a mushroom. And I look at it and go, Wow, that's crazy. I felt all these buffalo here, ready to go and reach it, but they can't reach it. And I, I don't know how many how this visualization honestly works. I just go into this meditative state. And it's with an intention. Yeah. And these things start happening. So this happened this day, a buffalo get up to it, we can't get to it. So all of a sudden, about an hour, I think these unicorns start picking up the buffaloes, and they dropped them on top of the tumor. And what's happening is, it's all dusty up there. And they hopefully you can't see the edges. So it's fearful, they're gonna fall off to all the unicorns started taking them down. So it's a weird story. And I was laughing. And I came out of the meditation, I usually meditate in our bedroom, I came out of the bedroom to the living room traces what was so funny in there, I said, You're not kidding.

Joelly Lang:

I love it, though. Jim. I mean, you know, whatever it takes. And and I do believe visualization is huge and extremely powerful. So I love that story. So I just want to finish off, you know, when I reached out to Originally, I asked you to be a guest on my podcast, and my brand is branding badass. And you first thing you said to me is like, well, I'll do it, but I'm not a badass. And you know, I think that's so interesting, because when I think about a badass, or my, my definition of a badass is somebody who is, you know, gets knocked down and is constantly gets back up, and who is authentic, and real and is themselves whether they're sitting with President of big company, or sitting with someone, you know, on the streets, they're always their selves are always authentic. They always say what they mean. And they always do what they mean. And it's just a real fighter. And I mean, I think you personify all that. So you're probably one of the baddest acids. So it's, it's, it's a compliment. And I just want you to know that I think you're a real badass, and I am so so. I mean, I love talking to you. And thank you for being so open and sharing your story with everybody. So if anyone wants to learn more about your pediatric fundraiser, because I know that's a really passion of yours, what's the best way to get ahold of you more about it? Well go to my blog. So what's your blog is just

Unknown:

bloggers gathered with gym.com? Yeah, the information is in there. And you can send me an email from that address. And I respond, like I said, I get, I've got people in Russia and China and South America all over the places sending me texts and ask me questions. So if you want to know more about it, go into their happy to have a conversation and help you understand why it's important cost support.

Joelly Lang:

Well, you're your real inspiration. So thanks again. And you're looking well, and so we will I hopefully I can see you in person soon and give you a real hug. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. All right, Tim. Thank you. Bye. And there you have it. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed the conversation with my friend, Jim. This podcast is a work in progress. So please make sure to rate and review what you think. And please subscribe to branding matters on whatever platform you listen to. And if you want to learn more about the branding badass, that's me. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn under you guessed it, branding badass. Thanks again. And until next time, here's to all you badasses out there.