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Jim was an entrepreneur before entrepreneurs were cool!
It’s true. He created and ran his own printing company (with 15 employees!) at the ripe old age of 24 — and he’s never looked back!
Always an entrepreneur at heart and one who tinkers with whatever happens to be new and fun at the moment, he’s truly a team player and always happy to help another person or another company to reach their goals — in whatever way he can.
That’s still true to this day.
Here’s a collection of photos from Jim’s earlier days that I compiled to highlight some of his “fun” jobs…
Jim’s First Entrepreneurial Adventure – Dolphin Press in Jacksonville, FL
Jim hard at work as owner of Dolphin Press in 1988. He was only 24 years old when he started this printing and publishing company in Jacksonville, Florida. He had 15 employees, and together they did over $1.2 million in business each year!
Working at Paramount Miller Press in Jacksonville, Florida
Jim showing me how the printing presses work at Paramount Miller Graphics in Jacksonville, Florida.
Jim’s New Job With Gannett Offset Took Us To Pensacola, Florida
Soon after Jim and I met in December of 1998, Gannett Offset in Pensacola started calling Jim. They were looking for a new print salesman, and they knew Jim from all of his printing experience through the years. Initially, he told them No, because he wanted to see where our new relationship might go. After repeated phone calls from Gannett and lengthy discussions between Jim and myself, we decided that he should take the job!
Jim’s Office at Gannett Offset in Pensacola, FL
Jim doesn’t really believe in making his office space look too “lived in”. Through the years, the only things he’s ever “decorated” his offices with are: 1) The picture of Satchmo that’s hanging on the wall behind him; 2) A football that’s been autographed by dozens of Hall of Famers; and 3) A small stack of books about printing, plus one book of Yogi Berra quotes.
Jim Got His Own About.com Web Site
Jim (seen here in his favorite About.com T-shirt) took photographs for the Pensacola.About.com website (that I wrote for) until he was hired as a “Guide” for his own site: 4wheeldrive.about.com in 2001. What started as an informative web site about buying new SUVs and 4-wheel drive vehicles, has today become a how-to site for those who enjoy the sport of offroading (driving Jeeps and 4WD vehicles off-road, as opposed to on). Jim handled all of the technical questions, did all of the backend website coding, and wrote a lot of the articles. I researched and posted most of the links on the site, and spent a good deal of time writing articles for the site as well.
Jim Hard At Work At Ambrose Printing Company in Nashville
When we were in Pensacola, Jim got word that Ambrose Printing Company in Nashville was putting in a new press and needed a new salesman to sell printing for the new press. The printing world is a very small world, and he happened to know someone currently working there. After an interview, Jim took the job and we moved to Brentwood, Tennessee. Jim made so many phone calls each day, that this headset made the job even easier.
Jim Giving A Tour Of The Printing Press
Jim’s most favorite thing in the world is to serve as “host” to guests and visitors — whether it be showing them around town, or like here… showing them how a printing press works. This time, Jim is giving my mom the behind-the-scenes tour of the Ambrose printing presses.
Creators, Writers and Sellers of PitPass Souvenier Programs
After attending an IHRA drag racing event in 2002, Jim got the wild idea to create and sell souvenir programs at all IHRA motorsports events. It all started when he was asked to print something for the IHRA Drag Racing Association and they invited him to attend a race. When he asked where he could get a program of the weekend’s events, he was shocked to find that there was no program. After months of planning, numerous conversations involving the IHRA and Ambrose Printing Company (where Jim was working fulltime at the time), and support from a handful of friends who helped us pull this off, it all came together. We created PitPass souvenir programs for the IHRA. These were 56-page 4-color magazines that profiled all of the weekend’s drivers in each class, in addition to lots of fun facts, in-depth articles, and advertising. You can see that we sold them for $4 initially. Later, we upped the price to $5 apiece. Our friend, Mike, went above and beyond, and became our partner in crime in this entrepreneurial endeavor. We sold our premiere issue of PitPass at the IHRA’s first event of the 2003 season.
Career Shift For Jim
In 2003, Jim went through the same sort of career-shift that Lynnette went through years earlier. It’s that point in time where you come to the realization that you need to be passionate about what you’re doing in order for you to be happy doing it — day in and day out. It doesn’t have to pay a lot. It doesn’t have to be the most prestigious job on the planet. It just has to be something you love. I’ll never forget the day that Jim packed up his personal belongings at Ambrose, called me & asked if I wanted to go to lunch, and said, “Oh, by the way, I quit my job today!” I couldn’t have been happier. It was great knowing that he would finally be pursuing his dreams… on his own terms, and with his integrity intact.
Adding “Pressman” To His Resume
Jim has had a very diverse career in the printing and publishing world. And, there is a very small network of printers and publishers who tend to look out for one another through the years. When he switched gears mid-career, he did so purely to maintain his sense of integrity and pursue personal dreams in line with his strong work ethic. When others heard that Jim was pursuing new opportunities, he got a lot of calls, one of which led him to Trader Pub. He chose to work for Trader for the unique opportunity to run yet another type of press for the first time. If you live in Atlanta, Cleveland or Chicago, you’ve probably read copies of AutoTrader or Truck Trader straight from Jim hot off the press!
We moved from Florida to Tennessee in 2001. All signs point to the fact that we will probably retire here — by choice. We L O V E Nashville! Our favorite places to live are just south of the City — we’ve had houses in Brentwood, Franklin, and Spring Hill. And we have properties in Leipers Fork, Cookeville, and Lewisburg. This site is where I share my best tips for moving your family to Nashville and/or visiting Nashville for the first time — with the ultimate goal of helping you find fun things to do in Williamson County and Davidson County. When I’m not out & about enjoying the Nashville area, you’ll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I’ve written over 500 articles on this site! Many of them have upwards of 100K shares.