The Happy Engineer Podcast

072: Make Winning a Lifestyle and Stop Settling for a Runner-Up Mindset with James Reid

How do you feel about winning?

Is winning a result?

My guest today said NO.

In this episode, you will hear from peak performance junkie and world-renown coach, James Reid (known as J.R.), that winning is a LIFESTYLE.

J.R. has helped hundreds of professional athletes, top executives, and hungry entrepreneurs to reach their highest potential. He reminds us that you can’t build an empire if your mind, marriage, or money are going to hell.

This conversation literally brought tears to my eyes. It’s that powerful.

I would listen to it twice, at least. I already did.

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time to stop settling for a runner-up mindset!

>> Then join The Happy Engineer Community online and get access to bonus content and coaching in our free group >>



The Happy Engineer Podcast




Listen on Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Android // iHeartRadio


Previous Episode 071: Why the Great Resignation is Quickly Becoming the Great Regret with Kon Apostolopoulos




Jame Reid’s story has so much overlap with some of the challenges, traumas and depression experiences that I had in my adult life. Be totally candid with you, I was really wrecked emotionally, more so than I let on during that conversation. 

The Runner-up Mindset

James defined the Runner-up Mindset as “When I [fill in the blank], then I will [fill in the blank]. 

This mindset is a drug, that we, unfortunately, take every day.

It’s what’s between you and the goal or dream you’re after. 

This drug keeps you busy pushing those dreams that you have out just beyond your reach. 

And of course, that sneaky comfort zone plays a role as well. 

The actions that you could be taking to change your life right now, you’re not doing them because it’s uncomfortable. 

It’s going to force you to grow. You’re going to risk failure, rejection, and money. 

There are things that you’re going to have put on the line if you want to move towards it. 

And so to stay safe, to stay comfortable, we push that dream out over the horizon.

I’m right there with you. I am guilty of this too. 

I often catch myself saying “When I get to a certain revenue point in the business, then I’ll be able to hire another person to help out and work fewer hours.” 

And while I’m not disappointed with my work schedule, I love the work that I do and I haven’t felt even an ounce of burnout at all recently. But the truth is, I absolutely have what it takes to get that help right now. So guess what, I’m going to.

Here’s your assignment. 

I want you to pause and think about all the things that make up your life: work, home, health, relationships, family, your spouse, your children, your hobbies, your passions outside the office.

Bring that into your imagination and ask yourself: 

Where do I have the runner up mindset in my life? 

Where am I allowing myself to push these things off and not take action.

Where are you not taking action?

Because you’ve created this drug in your life of saying, well, when I get to this thing, then I will do this other thing..

Be brutally honest with yourself. 

And if you’re struggling, then get help from a coach or a mentor. Ask that person to hold you accountable and to challenge and to question and go through that process of inquiry with you so that you can uncover these areas. Schedule a call with my team and I

Also don’t forget to jump into The Happy Engineer Community

Click the link and join our free group. It’s growing fast. We’d love to have you in. 

Keep crushing comfort, creating courage in your career, in your life, and let’s do this.



“J.R.” is the Founder of the J. Reid Group and an international Peak Performance Strategist, Podcast Host, and Author who helps relentless pro athletes, public figures, and leaders master life, business, mental, and emotional strategies so they can make winning a lifestyle. Since 2005, he’s empowered clients to excel in their pressure-packed careers while confidently upgrading their relationships, finances, and health. 

Some of his clients include World Series Champions, All-Stars, Hall of Famers, Fortune 500 Executives, and Award-Winning Entrepreneurs whose professional contracts have exceeded the hundreds of millions. By earning an M.B.A, J.D., and a 9.8 average client satisfaction rating, J.R. has put himself in an elite category of trusted professionals and has been referred to as one of the “Navy Seals of Life Coaching.” After a life-altering car accident gave him a major wake-up call, J.R. devoted himself to mastering human performance and showing up bigger for his wife and three kids. 

As a result, J.R. has been featured by Focus on the Family and New York Times Best-Selling Author and Leadership Expert, Michael Hyatt in Your Best Year Ever. J.R. also regularly speaks to athletes, entrepreneurs, and executives on overcoming failure, winning in your career and at home, and maximizing performance. J.R. has unmatched levels of energy and experience that his clients and audience loves. Plus, he’s real, trustworthy, and he goes to battle with you – a rare combination in sports and business. 





Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: All right. Welcome back, happy engineers. J.R it is awesome to have you here. I can’t thank you enough for making time to be on the show today, man. 

[00:00:09] James Reid: Zach, I’m excited, man. We had a great conversation before you hit record, so I can’t wait to see what comes out of this.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:15] Zach White:  My man, J.R. My people and everybody listening is gonna understand why in no time.

[00:00:20] But before we get into your story and the incredible work that you do as a high performance coach, now I have to just be selfish for a. And talk a little bit about baseball. , uh, you played ball in college at a high level, like, when did you swing your first baseball bat, J.R. What, where did you get started?

[00:00:40] I can’t, 

[00:00:40] James Reid: I can’t remember, man. I’m 41 for what I did last week. You’re asking me to go back to childhood all the way, man. I don’t know, man. It, it was, , it had to be four or five years old. I mean, my oldest son literally picked up a bat at one and a half and hasn’t put it down since. So he’s got my blood man.

[00:01:01] Zach White: It was early. I love that. So in college, you were at Iowa, right? Played baseball as an Iowa Scholarship athlete. What was the absolute. Brutal thing you ever had to do in practice conditioning or like what was the moment you dreaded the most? Oh 

[00:01:19] James Reid: god. I thought you were gonna stop at brutal moment cuz I actually have a game moment.

[00:01:25] but practice it, had to be conditioning drills for sure. But I will tell you one such conditioning drill. you know, the rules in our team was if someone got caught drinking the weekend or the days leading up to a game.

[00:01:43] James Reid: The rest of the team would have to run. Oh, So literally, if you can imagine this, Zach, you get caught going out, you get popped by the, uh, the test lady, and you get to sit in the middle of the football field on a chair while the rest of us run. For days it seemed like. So that was by far the worst, that was punishment, but it really wasn’t because we did it

[00:02:10] Wow. Yeah. So that was by far the toughest moment. But if you wanna hear my game story, this is 

[00:02:16] Zach White: a funny one. I, I do. But this actually explains why you’re probably so good at accountability in your current business. Uh, cause you’ve lived some pretty brutal forms of accountability. But yeah, tell us the game story.

[00:02:28] I’m, I. 

[00:02:29] James Reid: The game story. Okay. Big 10. Well now the big whatever it is. Whatever. Yeah. The big 40 here in, in about a year or so. we’re at Michigan State. It is brutally cold to the point where one of our games got canceled due to the windshield. So I am not starting that day. And it was, funny cuz when we were walk, when we were warming up, there were literally still little piles of snow in right center.

[00:02:57] I was like, Boy, what? What are we doing here, ? of course, I’m not starting, They got the space heaters in the dugout. I got 15 layers on. It is brutally cold. Next thing you know it, I’m getting called to pinch hit. So I take, strip everything off. don’t even go out on deck. I am literally preparing to go hit no way next to this species.

[00:03:20] Oh yeah, it was one of those, Yeah. Check that off . So I’m finally warm, my turns to hit. I get up, climb this, you know, dug out steps, literally, I’m halfway to the batter’s box and I’m freezing. So in that moment I go, You know what? I don’t care what’s happening. I don’t care what pitch I’m getting. I am swinging at the first pitch no matter what.

[00:03:44] I don’t care. I just want to get this over with. So here we go. I’m sitting there freezing my tail off. Get up swing. First pitch in, Zach, I mean, sweet spotted. Nailed it. I’m going, Holy crap. I just put one over. So I’m literally, running down, trotting down the first baseline, getting ready to circle first, and I hear these muffled claps by the Michigan State fans gone, What the hell?

[00:04:22] The short stop caught the. In the left field grass. That is how hard the wind was blowing in from left field. Whoa. It was like a 35 mile an hour wind. I literally thought I had a home run in the short stop. Got it in left field and that’s when I said I was never born to be a Midwest guy. That’s why I live in Florida today.

[00:04:43] That’s why 

[00:04:44] Zach White: I before. That’s so brutal. That is so. Horrible man. Anyways, so it’s, I’ll tell one quick story and then we can actually get onto what the engineering leader listening was hoping for today. But my, my opposite story of this, I was a very small ball player in high school, like 1 35, five foot ten, a hundred thirty five pounds.

[00:05:05] I was a twig just notorious base hit, get on base guy bated second in the lineup was really good. I was right-handed, but good at putting it on the right side of the field. If coach wanted me to, our lead off guy was always on base. It was really fun. Well, I had no home runs freshman year or sophomore year.

[00:05:22] It’s my junior year. You know, we’re halfway through the season and I step up. It’s a nice warm day. Thankfully, I hate playing in the cold. That is the worst. Horrible, and I connect with one. Feels like this is a, you know, hard line drive left center. I gotta get moving to make this a double right? That’s what’s in my head.

[00:05:41] So I am in a dead sprint rounding first as fast as I can. I’m halfway to second head down and I look up at my third base coach to see like, is this gonna be a triple or do I need to get down? Is there a play at second? And my third base coach is just laughing at me. It, it had already gone over. I’m still like, and I hit it hard.

[00:06:05] It was way, it was a great, great hit, but I was pretty embarrassed cuz it was kind of that like, act like you’ve been here before. Is that, Oh yeah, no, that kind of bow . 

[00:06:13] James Reid: No, that was not happening. 

[00:06:15] Zach White: I’ll never forget my first home run. I still have the ball at home. But, um, That’s great. Yeah. Anyway, so James, from there tell us your story cuz to really appreciate how important the work you do in the world is now.

[00:06:28] I think we need to get some context around what you went through. And I know that the engineer. Leader listening, who’s you’re paying attention to, the work at Oaco is gonna resonate with this. So just kind of set the stage for us of where you went after college and your journey through life and career.

[00:06:43] really. need to give context before the context because when I was a kid, my first job was as a caddy. I was 13 years old. My mom and dad basically said, Guess what? You’re starting work. And it was caddying and I’m, I’m excited, I’m going, Oh, sweet. You know, they paid cash money, right? And then I found out what time I had to be there.

[00:07:07] James Reid: On the weekends, and it was, or on the weekdays too. Sure. Every day in the summer, four 30 in the morning, check in. I was like, Geez, mom, Dad, do you hate? Are you trying to get me outta the house or what? But here’s the deal. it was Medina Country Club in Chicago. Ended up doing it for eight years, but here I am, a 13 to 21 year old kid.

[00:07:28] Spending five hours with the most successful and most powerful people in the world. Athletes, celebrities, executives, entrepreneurs, you name it. And here I am in the middle of conversations about their businesses, their investment deals, their marriages, what they did at the club. Like every, I heard everything.

[00:07:50] In some cases they brought me into the conversation. I’m like, Do you guys realize how old I am? Yeah. But it was at that moment where I’m like, these are the people I want to help. I knew it like, I’m getting chills telling you about this right now. Cause I don’t get to share this part of my story that much.

[00:08:09] So here I am, you know, pursuing my dream to play professional baseball and doing all that deal. But in the back of my head I’m going, These are the people I wanna serve. They got a lot going on. I see ’em as normal human being. I’m just gonna keep leaning into that. So fast 

[00:08:26] Zach White: forward. Hold on a second. This is really interesting.

[00:08:30] So you’re saying even as a teenager, there was a part of you that connected to the idea of helping these people, not just being one? Yeah. Like if I’m being honest, J.R. For me, I would’ve said like, I want to grow up, you know, rich or successful or whatever, I probably would’ve fallen in that category. And you’re saying like, you actually connected to that idea at a young age?

[00:08:52] what did that mean to you back then? you know, I was naive to it then, of course, but as I progressed in my career and it, it just, I kept going back to those moments. Yeah. And specifically they trusted me. They trusted me enough to talk about this stuff in front of me. I mean, I was a stranger to them in a lot of cases.

[00:09:16] James Reid: So it’s like, gosh, I had to own that gift because not everyone, approaches someone and earns that trust right away. and maybe it was due to the fact that I knew I was five 10 and 185 pounds, like. You know, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it as a professional, but you know, fast forward, I get done playing college baseball and I start getting involved helping. That demographic, the people listening to your show and, and athletes and celebrities on the financial and business side of things.

[00:09:49] And I just knew there was more. There was always more. So fast forward beyond that, when 2008 hit, I went, ended up going back to school. Great time to go back to school in the middle of the recession, by the way, did my MBA in law degree thinking. That was just gonna be another up level moment in my career to serve this demographic at an even higher level.

[00:10:12] Well, I get the proverbial dream job. The dream offer, if you will. I get, recruited by a sports agency, which so happened to be one of the biggest sports agencies in the world, and. Knew that would provide me, or at least I thought, the medium to really serve pro athletes and their families at the highest levels possible.

[00:10:35] starting as a financial and business consultant, I was seeing the aftermath of poor strategy, poor advisors, and just not having the right people in their lives. Okay, so I get into this. and immediately, Zach, I knew I was in the wrong place. Whew. I get into this agency and you know, was sold to Bill of Goods J.R.

[00:11:02] You’re this entrepreneur, you’re our first outside hire. You know, you got these ideas and great ideas and this and that, and then it was, Hey, J.R. We want you to run with our agents. Well, Turns out I was not doing the work that I was called to do. I was doing the work that would advance the company and that struck me.

[00:11:24] So I was leaving all of my gifts and skills and talents and dreams on the shelf just to run around with a bunch of agents, cuz I had a network of people from my past professional history while I let this bottle up and I let it bottle up for three and a half years. And here’s the thing, Zach, on the outside.

[00:11:44] Oh man, JR are successful. You should, my friends and peop beautiful wife, growing, family, living the Jerry McGuire life for Crying Out. Oh man, I was that guy traveling the country every four days, going to baseball games and like that was my life. And on paper I was successful. But behind the scenes I was m.

[00:12:11] So miserable that I got off every plane. The first stop I went to is to the grocery store to get a bottle of Jack Daniels. I couldn’t go party with the rest of the gang because I was the good Christian Guy who had it all together. So what did I do? I just hidden the hotel room. Oh, wow. So imagine this going on for three and a half years.

[00:12:31] Me basically bottling up all my unfulfillment, all my misery, all my frustration, all of like, This is success. This is everything that I’ve gone to school and worked for. This is it. It got to the point where literally I was losing my marriage. I was losing my ability to be a father. My health was going to health.

[00:12:56] I was getting a lot of digestive issues happening. Cuz I mean, we don’t get in the neuroscience, but if your mind’s messed up, they’d go and affect your body. Yes. As simple as that. So,that’s kind of where this all happened and, fortunately, but unfortunately, it took a car accident. my wife and I found ourselves in the middle of a high speed chase in Chicago, and luckily walked from it.

[00:13:18] But the story there is, the reason I do the work I do today is I don’t want a life altering event to be what changes people? Because in many cases, Zach, you’ve been around long enough. A lot of those life altering events, they don’t 

[00:13:37] Zach White: end. Exactly, J.R. This is something that resonates for me so deeply because I remember the days.

[00:13:46] In my career vividly where success on paper success externally, making sure my family and friends and everybody else saw the version of Zach that I wanted them to see, that they believed was true as my career was growing and I was happy and happily married and all this, and dying on the inside.

[00:14:06] Yeah. And. I think sometimes we think like how is that possible to stay in that situation so long? And I’m just curious if you were to go back for yourself, like how did you justify or what was going on, if anything, that kept you in that job, even though you were aware this isn’t what I was called to do.

[00:14:28] It’s ruining my life, but I keep doing it. Yeah. Is there anything for you that you remember about? It went on as long as it 

[00:14:36] James Reid: did. Yes, the wrong paradigm. And here it is, and you’ll appreciate this as an athlete, whoever else is listening who was an athlete or just competes in any way, which all of us are competitors in our own way.

[00:14:50] I call it the runner up mindset. It was when, when I make it, when I get the big bonus check, when I reach a certain level in the company. Then I’ll be able to take care of my family. So the intentions were, great, Zach, which I’m assuming yours were too, and everyone else listening, their intent, our intentions are great.

[00:15:17] I wanna take care of my family. I wanna be able to bless people. Like, but how are we getting there? And who is the person executing that and who are we putting our faith? And who’s surrounding us to put that in place and keep us accountable to it. Like, see, all those things weren’t in place. It was just me thinking I had to get some external thing in order to really fulfill those intentions.

[00:15:44] And it was like a drug I swallowed every single day. I was so blind to my wife’s frustration and her anger like, How could you be that numb to someone who you’ve been married to for 10 plus years at the time just being angry at you every day? that’s what kept me going down that cycle.

[00:16:11] Zach White: I hadn’t called it runner up mindset, but I love that phrase, and I had it a hundred percent started with when I get outta debt, You know, if you fix our financial situation, yeah, that’s gonna do it. Then it was when I, you’ll get the next promotion, then it was, Yeah. Oh man, I, I totally relate to this, so I know we don’t need to get into all the, scary details of the accident, but what a miracle.

[00:16:36] You walk away. Kind of event that for most folks, doesn’t end well. Yeah. And was it an immediate like, wow, it just shook you up and woke you up to the situation and you made a change right away? Or did it take some time to actually act on that? 

[00:16:50] James Reid: See, you know, I’m usually the one making people cry.

[00:16:52] Not like it. It’s tough for me, like I got chills and tears at the same time, and it happens every time I talk about this man. My wife had to go to her Christmas party. Like that’s, we were on our way to her Christmas party. I had strep throat and just had toe surgery, so I wasn’t going regardless. Let’s just say that, right?

[00:17:12] So she’s like, Honey, I gotta go. she was so shooken up. She just wanted to be around her coworkers and friends. So where does that leave me? That leaves me in a hotel room all by myself, Zach, I literally got into that hotel room. I just wanna go to bed. I just wanted curl up on my bed, never made it to my bed.

[00:17:32] I dropped my bags, got on my knees and just, I literally cried for about two hours. And uh, usually those are the moments where I just go get the Jack Daniels. Yeah. But I called my sister that day and I’m like, She’s seeing me like, What the heck is going on, Brother ? So I share all that. But here’s the thing.

[00:17:57] It was in that moment where I said, You know what? I’m done. I am done putting the priorities that the world and that all these other people around me are telling me should be my priorities, and I’m going to put priorities in place With who I am, what my values are, and who I truly want to become as a individual, as a professional, as a husband, as a father, and fill in any blank in between.

[00:18:25] So literally it was that night, I flipped open, my computer, typed up a email to the agency and I said, Here’s the deal guys. I don’t want your money anymore. I don’t want your benefits anymore. I’m. Close the, close the laptop, go to sleep. I’m so emotionally exhausted. I just crash.

[00:18:46] Wake up the next morning. here’s the point. I need one listening to get, most people hear stories like, Oh, the runner up. Yeah. Easy for you guys to say you’re not in the middle of it. Yeah, we were. But here’s the thing. Here’s the. That next morning I’m at breakfast with my wife.

[00:19:04] Jess goes, So honey, how’s your night? I’m like, Well, I fired myself. She’s like, Excuse me. I’m like, Yeah, I resigned. She goes, What’s the backup plan? Are you kidding me? I said, Honey, I’m done with backup plans. I said, I’m going with plan A in plan A. Only. She goes, What is that? I said, Our family. I said, If I can’t win at home, how the heck am I gonna win everywhere else?

[00:19:35] Amazing. And she looked at me and she was like, Is this guy? Wait a minute. Well, time out there. This is my husband. Yeah. Is this the same guy that for the last three and a half years, put me down? And basically I was just like, I’m, I’m a cohabit. Hmm. So it was that moment that started shifting everything.

[00:19:55] And within a year, Zach, Within a year, my marriage turnaround, I was more engaged with my kids and more present with my kids. Our financial situation, turn around, and I was making more money than I ever. Oh, man. How does that happen? Right? Whew.

[00:20:14] But no one, one wants to talk about that. Every, everyone wants to just keep, keep talking about what the, the corporate ladder looks like and all that. No one wants to talk about that. Really, if you keep your values in priorities in place and stick to ’em and stand for something, you’ll actually be more fulfilled and more successful than anyone will ever tell you.

[00:20:34] Hm, 

[00:20:36] Zach White: I love this so much. I agree. A thousand percent J.R. And I’m keeping it together, but I’m pretty wrecked on the inside hearing your story because Well, the moment I almost lost to you, I dunno if you noticed, uh, when I hit my rock bottom moment in my story, which I won’t recount today, if anybody doesn’t know it, they can go listen to it elsewhere.

[00:20:55] But my sister was my first phone call. Oh, geez. And, and same, same thing. I called her up. she was the first person who I actually told the truth to, and God bless her. You know, she loved on me in that, in that moment, in a way, just like I needed to hear, you know? It was awesome. Yeah. But, um, ah, wow. Crazy

[00:21:16] It’s like hard, hard to regroup. Where do we go from here? But I just hope people really understand. Wherever the engineering leader listening finds themselves today here in this conversation. Maybe they’re, you know, connecting with a certain part of your, journey, there is so much under the hood when it comes to that comment about putting your own values first and, trusting that to believe that is true.

[00:21:38] It takes so much courage, and I love what you said earlier. The work that you do, being to help somebody make that decision before the car accident, you know, for me before the divorce, for whatever it is, that destroys your life and causes the rebound. You don’t have to hit rock bottom to bounce back.

[00:21:57] you can change that trajectory sooner. And so tell us about your work now. Like where did this take you? How did it unfold? I mean, yeah, bring us more into the present and how this has changed your life. How you then change the lives of others with the work you do? 

[00:22:13] James Reid: Well, before I, I go into that, Zach, I just wanna honor you and celebrate you for holding this space for your listeners.

[00:22:22] no offense to the ladies listening to this, you lady engineers, but to my men, like guys, we need to create this space we talk about the life altering events, car accident, the major stuff. Well, here’s the reality. The reality is our bodies are fragile, period. In every little stress response that we have, that we keep stacking and stacking in, stacking and not giving our bodies a chance to recover from, it’s leading to so.

[00:22:59] Whether it’s a psychological issue, whether it’s a physiological issue, it’s leading to something. It’s just how we are wired. So we have to step out and step into this gap that truthfully men, We’re not stepping into enough and not many people are holding space for. So, Zach, I just, again, man, I wanna honor you for even holding the space, for the people listening to this.

[00:23:28] Hmm, Thank you. How this all progressed. I mean, grace of God, my friend all this is happening in my life back in 2016. I’m still getting calls from people to help ’em. And it’s like this delicate balance between, well, do you tell ’em how screwed up you are ? Or do you keep faking it till you make it?

[00:23:52] Which I absolutely hate that phrase. I met in the middle. I said, Here’s the deal guys. I’m doing a lot of work on myself in my personal and professional journey. I’m happy to teach you what I’m going. And that’s kind of how it started. was mentoring a lot of people. I’ve been a mentor my entire life.

[00:24:11] when I went back and got my MBA in JD at LSU Go Tigers, I mean, I was mentoring, but I wasn. Charging money for it. I’m going, You know what, I’m gonna start charging money for this. Yeah. So that’s how it started. this was me in college too, and as an athlete, like I always nerded out on.

[00:24:30] James Reid: Performance and mental conditioning and neuroscience. Like that was me. I was the guy who sat in the front of the bus while all the knuckleheads played cards in the back, like to just study all that stuff. So this continued immediately I started taking courses. I hired coaches. I pursued the best in class for leadership business, neuroscience, like I just went after it.

[00:24:51] So I’m mentoring people, charging a little money, helping some leadership teams, you know, cuz I. That was my former life. So I’d go in and start working with teams and team building and structure and all that stuff. Sure. All this is going on in one part. The other part is me just getting knee deep and all things to help me perform well as a husband, as a father, and as a professional.

[00:25:18] Get really crystal clear on what truly I’m called to be doing for these people that I’m. So this just kind of led to one thing, to another. You know, I mean, Zach, you’re an entrepreneur, and I just kept throwing stuff at the wall. Yeah, I love that. And when you continue to get affirmation on Oh yeah, this and that, and then you continue to be in conversation with, my clients are men.

[00:25:42] I’ve worked with a couple women. They’re mostly like young Olympic athletes, but. It was like, Okay, gotta go deeper here. I gotta go deeper here. And then, that’s just where I’m at today, man. Just sitting in this gap with brothers, just helping them walk through and there’s a consistent theme with every single one of my clients it’s amazing when you really get down to the root of every single one I work with, whether it’s leadership team or whatever, It all comes down to their unfulfilled in some area of their life, despite success.

[00:26:21] It’s crazy, man. I know you and I were talking about this a little bit before we hit record. It’s amazing. So yeah, instead of pretending it doesn’t exist and not talk about it and not lean into it and not get curious on why, why am I feeling that way? Or why does this not feel right? We have to continue having this conversation, 

[00:26:45] Zach White: J.R.

[00:26:46] Your comment, moment ago about leaning into powering coaches training, studying mastery of this domain of not just. How to be a great mentor and build your coaching business, but to be an incredible husband, an incredible father, et cetera. One of the things with engineers, and I’ll own this because I, I am one, the, the ego, the intellect.

[00:27:14] This idea of I can learn my way and get smarter in any. oftentimes creates this sort of lone wolf like, I’m just gonna sit and study and master this on my own and, and kind of get out of it. But I also heard you say you started working with some of the best coaches on the planet to help you through that.

[00:27:32] And I was wondering if you could bring your perspective, how do we create the right balance between Yes. Use that strength of intellect and studying and learning and you know, understanding the science, but also like when is it time to. Help. 

[00:27:45] James Reid: Yeah. now. . Okay, now. Good answer. So, look man, athletes, we kind of have egos too.

[00:27:58] it’s funny. I gotta ask this question a few months ago, like, who do you really love to work with privately? And I said, I like to work with people who have high ego. , they’re their own worst enemy and they think they’re the greatest person on the planet. They’re like, What? I said, Yeah, those are the easiest ones to break.

[00:28:19] James Reid: Mm. You know why? I had humility in me, but inside that was me. So why do I say this? Get help now. And it he, Let me rephrase that. Get stronger. Ooh. See, the thing is we think getting a coach, getting an advisor, going to see a therapist, getting a counselor. It’s, We’re screwed up. We need help. Help. We’re desperate.

[00:28:47] really, Zach, this starts with a paradigm shift. Me going and, and searching out wasn’t because I needed help, it was cuz I needed to get stronger. I knew I had so much more in the tank. Yes, I needed to be driving the right car. I needed the people around me that were steps ahead of me, in some cases decades ahead of me.

[00:29:12] And I, I will tell you this, like, like.

[00:29:14] I’m gonna put you on the spot on your own show, but you, this is part of having fun and, and listen, I went to law school. we believed in that whole stupid Socratic method and all that crap, right? . Okay, Zach, it’s not a trick question, okay? When you’re not spending time with other people, who are you spending the most time with?

[00:29:38] Zach White: My own thoughts, myself, 

[00:29:41] James Reid: Yourself. So here’s what I say, and again, paradigm shift. You can’t get life right? If you’re getting relationships wrong. That relationship starts with you. It is literally has to take a new way of talking to yourself, a new way of filtering what you’re hearing from yourself. A new way of looking at yourself, like the relationship starts with you.

[00:30:14] And for all my Christians listening to this, it’s like, what? Love your neighbor as what yourself? You cannot love your na Th Zach. Honestly, this is like, well, J of course this is Basics J.R. Like, come on, I, I’m listening to this show because I thought I was gonna get some enlightening material. Where’s the 

[00:30:32] Zach White: Advanced Tips J.R.


[00:30:34] James Reid: missed. We’re so in touch with everyone else that we’re not in tune with ourselves. 

[00:30:43] Zach White: Yes. Amen. 

[00:30:45] the time is now to start building that relationship with yourself. I am comfortable and confident in giving this percentage, 95% of the people that I’ve worked with. Came in through my door in an identity crisis.

[00:31:02] James Reid: Wow. they were not clear on their values. I just did a workshop for a local company here, team of seven, very successful wellness company. And, you know, you do your post, event. you know, fill out the survey. Tell me what you think. what was your biggest takeaway?

[00:31:17] What was the most profound thing you went through during that day? Do you know every, everyone, not one or two. Everyone said values. Do you know that most of them never even went through an exercise? And here’s the scary part, Zach.

[00:31:36] When I work with my clients, and I’m sure you do the same thing, everything is filtered through your values. Yes. Your decisions, your relationships, your beliefs, your thoughts, your actions. . and values is such a core piece of our identity. No doubt. So I get you the question, Well, why are people so unfulfilled?

[00:31:58] I said, It’s an alignment issue. It’s not a performance issue. It’s not a frustration issue. It’s not so and so, it’s not that thing. It’s not this, I didn’t get the promotion. it’s a misalignment issue. And that starts with. No one 

[00:32:14] Zach White: else. I love this. all my clients, I’m gonna make them listen to this conversation because we go through, Exactly what you’re saying.

[00:32:24] One of the fundamental pieces of work is a deep exploration of values and how that shows up in your life and the rules that you might be holding subconsciously around what it takes to honor those values or for them to feel true in your life. And some of those rules are broken as you, you know, I’m sure you know.

[00:32:42] at the end of my program, When I, you know, coach these clients and many of them get, you know, dream jobs and huge salary increases and big outcomes, you know, the, the results that we measure right in life and every single time when I ask them what was the most impactful portion of the work that we’ve done together, it comes back to either a values or vision.

[00:33:04] Zach White: One of those two, but values is probably 80% of the time. Vision is number two, and. Bro. It’s like they’ve seen values on the wall at work and they’ve never really thought anything about it because it’s so misunderstood. And then you do the work and it’s a life altering experience for them. So I’m just, this is why I love your work, man.

[00:33:23] I can tell . 

[00:33:24] James Reid: So here, I’m gonna back, I’m gonna back you up even more. Okay. Cause you know, again, and I’ve been this listener before, it’s like, Oh, here we go. He’s gonna talk about purpose. He’s gonna talk about values. Since you love baseball, Hope, hopefully some people listening to this like baseball, I get referred a client.

[00:33:46] The client called the agent and goes, I need a psychologist agent. I coached him enough to know when he gets these calls to just say, I don’t know if you need a psychologist yet. Talk to my man, J.R. So Athlete calls me, we have a conversation when. Sign’s the deal. We start working together. He’s in the middle of spring training.

[00:34:10] He’s hitting a buck 43 in his arbitration year. So what that means is if he doesn’t, you know what, Or get off the pot, he, He’s gone. Yeah, he’s gone. Okay. So we have our first session. Guess what we worked on? Guess what? What he didn’t have an answer to. I said, Hey man, I’m curious. Why are you even. This life sucks.

[00:34:37] You’re traveling every day. you’re basically, I hate to use the word, okay. I know it’s a sensitive word, but a S L A V E to the system, right? See, everyone thinks, oh, professional athletes, they got the life they got. It’s a rough life. Yes. I’m just telling you, to be honest with you, I, especially these rookies, they’re undercompensated and again, that’s a whole nother topic for another day.

[00:35:03] This guy’s hitting a buck 43 in the middle of spring training about to just get sent the, the papers. Yeah. Hey man, why are you playing? What does that have to do with me hitting better? Hey, man, why are you playing? Why are you waking up? He fought me tooth and nail, but again, I love working with these high eagle guys, right?

[00:35:22] Yes. Yes. So finally we got into it and we really dug deep into the values and purpose discussion. Two weeks later, he’s hitting three. Agent calls me. He goes, J.R. What, what have you guys been? What did you do? I said, I asked him why he is playing, and he goes, , no, seriously, man. What did, What did you do? I said, I helped him understand who he truly was because here’s the thing, when I was an athlete, I remember my coaches when we played against tough teams in tough opponents and tough pitchers. J.R. Play your game. Mm. Play your game. So I didn’t know this at the time, but my coaches back then were talking to me and my identity.

[00:36:12] So I tell this agent, Look man, I just helped him understand who he is because I watched his film. he’s not playing the way he should be playing. He’s trying to be X, y, and Z player. Yes. As soon as we get to know us and build that relationship with us. Yeah. Then everything else starts to get a little clearer, starts to get a little easier, and in some cases starts to even get unnecessary. Fast forward to this player. He goes on to have the. Season of his career, he was literally career 200.

[00:36:53] Hit, I think close to 2 72 80 for the season. Got his ar, got his arm deal 

[00:36:59] Zach White: all from a values. 

[00:37:01] James Reid: This is income three 50 by 350. But, but here’s the, the bow on this whole thing. by him doing that work, it created a win-win for everyone. Here’s the deal. He made $350,000 more this year. He’s much happier.

[00:37:20] He’s contributing more to his team. Yes. just by one decision to lean into the true version of himself and who he truly wanted to become, and aligning all those decisions, thoughts, and beliefs to that had a ripple effect with him and everyone around him. 

[00:37:40] Zach White: There it is. We could just put a period and stop recording right now.

[00:37:44] I mean, that’s amazing. Well, it’s uncomf. 

[00:37:46] James Reid: It’s an Uncomfortable Conversations Act just like it was in those first few minutes with this player. It was uncomfortable. It was against the grain. But I’m telling you, we gotta keep creating more space for these discussions because this is how we’re gonna help people get to their next.

[00:38:05] Zach White: I love the story and the thing you comment like kind of the joke at the beginning, like, Oh no, here it goes. The coach talking about purpose again, and I hate that the industry of coaching has kind of. Made it cliche because it is that important, but so many people do respond that way. Like, Oh, please don’t give me another speech about purpose.

[00:38:23] but man, it’s so true. 

[00:38:25] James Reid: This, Well, don’t get me on my soapbox about, I we shouldn’t the industry, I mean, Zach, you’re a rare bird because you have dove head first into this, into what you do. There’s a lot of quote unquote coaches out there that are half. That are just feeling the waters, you know, and go, No, that’s why it’s gotten this bad rap, because there’s a, there’s a lot of people out there just playing with this.

[00:38:52] Instead of living it, you’re living it. And this is why I appreciate you and I’ll take Thanks, man. Time to do this with you any day of the week. 

[00:39:00] Zach White: All right. I gotta ask one more question before we wrap because there’s, I thought you’re just getting started. I know, man. I know. It does feel like we just got started.

[00:39:11] Passionately, love your tagline. you even mentioned it before we recorded today, the reason I love it is because I feel like culture is struggling in a big way with the concept of winning. And so for those who who don’t know, Jr, you go to his website, which you will because you’re gonna wanna get more from this amazing leader, but winning isn’t a result.

[00:39:35] It’s a life. Hmm. And the reason I love it is my coaching program at Oaco is built around a concept that I call lifestyle engineering. So we’ve got mechanical engineers and electrical engineers and software engineers listening today, but I want everybody I work with to. Realize that you’re also a lifestyle engineer.

[00:39:56] It is your responsibility to okay, become that great husband, to become that great father, to identify who you are in the world and to live into that with integrity, et cetera, et cetera. And lifestyle to me is such an important word that also has a bad rap. But can you just tell us about what is winning and this idea of winning as a lifestyle and just a little bit from Jr’s heart.

[00:40:18] Why is that your tagline? What is that all about? 

[00:40:21] it goes back to our discussion around fulfillment. I’ve, I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of winners, a lot of Super Bowl champions and Hall of Famers and, and you name it. And I’ve witnessed throughout, gosh, almost two decades of work with this demographic, if you, probably three decades if you want to factor in my caddy time.

[00:40:44] James Reid: And there was just something always missing. , like they truly weren’t being fulfilled despite winning. Mm-hmm. . And when you really unpack that, you learn that there’s a lot of people out there that are just pursuing outcomes,

[00:41:05] the reality of it is, Sometimes you’re meant to get an outcome that wasn’t desired. So you’re more prepared for a prosperous future. But we’re missing that. So here’s the thing, when I think of results, I think of outcomes. When I think of lifestyle, I think of process. Yeah. And gosh, what better demographic to understand that than engineers a hundred.

[00:41:35] Right. I mean, my father-in-law’s an engineer. He’s a general contractor. I was like, Holy cow. When I talk to him, it’s like I’m seeing like screws getting bolts and stuff like, Right. and then he asked me to help him. I’m like, Nope, nope, nope. I’m a city guy. I don’t know. Just called the handyman. it just occurred to me one day.

[00:41:51] I’m like, Oh my gosh. Like my job is really to help people get past the result. And focus on process. And if every day we can lean into the process and the, action that is leading towards the best of who we want to be and what we’re capable of, that’s process. Mm-hmm. that we could win every single day.

[00:42:16] I could literally say, You know what, today when I go spend time with my kids, I’m gonna put the cell phone. And I’m gonna focus on the feeling of joy. Like that’s the one feeling I’m after with my kids today. Joy. guess what, Zach, I could go back two hours later when the kids are asleep and I’m getting ready to go to bed and say, Hey, did I bring the joy with my kids?

[00:42:40] And if I can answer yes, I just won. But that was part of the process. Yes, for that day. In this moment with. Kids. Now what if I didn’t? What if I got caught up on something they said or did or whatever? I could go back and say, Hey, Jr did you bring the joy today with, Caleb, Noah and Mattie? Eh, I don’t know about that.

[00:43:01] Okay. In order to do that better tomorrow, just an inch better tomorrow, what would you have to change? What would you. I can get an answer to that. Love it. That’s part of the process. But if I was so just wrapped on a result, I wanted Caleb to smile and I wanted Noah to jump, and I wanted Mattie to just like do a summer salt.

[00:43:25] I missed all the opportunity to get better. 

[00:43:29] Zach White: It’s perfect. And what I love about it is you can. Every time you either win because you brought the joy or you win because you discovered what blocked you from bringing the joy. And you can change it tomorrow. Exactly. And uh, there’s no failure. There’s just feedback.

[00:43:43] Right. It’s really good. There you go. Ah, okay. Jr where can the engineering leader who’s been, listening to us rants today, where can they get connected to your amazing work and just follow you and understand what you’re up to these days? 

[00:43:57] the easiest way to go is james, j a m e s r e I

[00:44:03] I also have my weekly podcast. I do, I release three episodes a week. Uh, Monday I do an interview like this Wednesday, I recap the interview and then Friday, which is fun, I do what I call a five minute drill. Awesome. I give a key takeaway that people could just implement within five minutes. I got the name from a coach actually, who brought me through his five minute drill when I was in high school, cuz I wasn’t the best fielder.

[00:44:30] James Reid: So imagine this. Five minutes straight, two cones. I had to go from cone to cone, and when I fielded the ground ball at one cone, another ball was already being hit towards the other cone. Five minutes straight, threw up first time, but I got exponentially better every time I did that five minute drill. So I do that on Friday.

[00:44:51] So all that. Is through the website. Of course, I’m on all social medias. I can give you the handles to all that. So I’m gonna just call the engineering leader listening out and say, Go check out jr’s website. So james We’ll put all the links in the show notes.

[00:45:06] Zach White: And I’ve been listening to the podcast. It’s amazing. I love everything about the work you’re doing and cannot speak highly enough. So if anybody. To get connected, do it now. Pause the, the podcast, go check it out. Follow and subscribe to his podcast and you won’t regret that. Jay, I’m excited to hear your thoughts on this final question.

[00:45:24] I always end in the same place and, uh, this has been such a fun conversation, man. I love the work you’re doing. Yeah, man. Appreciate you and I want acknowledge you for bringing so much. servant and just the generosity that you bring in every moment, it’s just evident. So I love that about you. An honor, my friend.

[00:45:40] It’s an honor, I believe. Great engineering, great coaching. You know, the work that we do and the work that the listener is doing all has in common that Great questions lead. Answers follow. You know, questions, lead, answers follow. So if we want better answers, we need to ask better questions in our life.

[00:46:01] And so if they’re wanting to lean into fulfillment, they want more of what we were talking about today, what would be the best question you would lead them with coming outta this conversation? 

[00:46:15] James Reid: Ooh, you ready for it? I look in the mirror every single. And I’d connect with the best version of who I, I’m set to become.

[00:46:28] And I’d looked that version of me in the eye and I’d say, Hey, what do I need to do today to get closer to you? But before you get that question out, it’s gonna take your listeners and your awesome engineers to take five minutes, close their eyes, envision that best future version of. So they could see that person in the mirror every day.

[00:46:55] That question right there is life altering because what it does, it’s called psychological distancing. It allows us to just take all the stress, all the weight down our shoulders, all the stuff that we’re feeling and put it on somebody else. But what’s that one thing I need to do today to get closer to?

[00:47:18] Ask that question every day, and I guarantee you’ll be someone different. Within weeks, 

[00:47:25] Zach White: I will back that guarantee. It sounds incredible. I’m getting chills just thinking about it, J.R. Thank you so much for that and just everything you brought today and, uh, again, engineer, thank you listening. Go check out this amazing man’s work and get help J.R.

[00:47:40] Just wanna see you succeed in the world, man. Thanks again for this incredible time. You’re the best. Thank you.