James Kademan, Calls On Call Answering Service

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features James Kademan, King of the Ring, Calls On Call Answering Service.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

Currently, getting new employees in and getting them trained is the most challenging. Watching our employees grow both personally and professionally once they are hired and become a member of our crew is phenomenal to watch. It is amazing the difference that constantly listening to and analyzing different methods of communication can have on improving a business and its team. Through all of this we have to be vigilant in molding the culture we want, and that our clients need.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

I admire a lot of people, each for a few nuggets of success to learn from. For a main, all-around admirable person, I look to Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has always been ultra-focused and built upon his success step by step. He didn’t listen to people who told him what he was planning wouldn’t work. Plus, he made a lot of his money before he was famous through smart business decisions. His autobiography is a great read, if you make the time to check it out.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

So far, the high point of my entrepreneurial career has been the publishing of my book, The BOLD Business Book. I have gotten some great feedback and heard some incredible stories about things people have done and decisions they have made after reading the book. It has taken on a bit of a life of its own with people asking about how to write their own book (do it, it’s awesome) or creating a workshop from the content in The BOLD Business Book. I wouldn’t recommend writing for the paycheck, though the rewards in hearing other people’s stories makes the price of admission well worth the cost.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

I doubt my 21-year-old self would listen, but I’d have to tell him a few life lessons I am still learning, including:

  • Invest in index funds and a few choice tech companies;
  • Learn to code;
  • Learn Spanish;
  • Learn all you can about leadership, delegation, communication, and sales;
  • Look at every meeting, interaction, and negotiation from the other person’s point of view. Ask yourself, “What do they want out of this?”; and
  • Finally, I’d tell myself that going down the easiest path is rarely the best choice.

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What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

We have a beautiful area. Even when it is bitterly cold and I rethink where I live, the sky is breathtaking. We have bike trails, parks, and friendly people within a mile or two from anywhere. Plus, if you ever want to go for a ride to get some space, just venture a few miles in any direction and you have an open road to enjoy.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I like to think that I have a bunch of secret talents and abilities, but really, I don’t hide much. How can you these days? I am still pursuing a 400-pound bench press and I love to practice my boxing.

I used to be a mechanic, so I can fix just about anything besides a crying employee.

After years of working for and with a lot of personality types, I have learned some great communication skills. Those skills still need some refining. It turns out that I am extremely good at really annoying people for a moment, only to have them come back and tell me that I helped change their lives for the better in some way.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I don’t really feel guilty, though perhaps I should. The practicality is so limited.

I love riding my motorcycle. In my book, I talk about how you can decide how you want to feel at any given moment, that your experiences are based upon your perceptions, and that you don’t need outside stimulants to feel a certain way. I used to use motorcycle riding as an escape, as my stimulant to feel good, think, or just meditate with a motor.

From that epiphany, I ended up selling my motorcycle. It was fun, but I was making less and less time for it. I was without a bike for a couple of years. So, there I was, deciding to just be happy instead of being able to twist the throttle and make myself happy.

Recently, I found myself owning another motorcycle for the pure joy of it. It is true that you don’t need o​utside stimulants; however, when you can sit on a rocket and disappear, it makes life a little more thrilling. Often, we have to take some steps to enjoy life by actually doing something. I suppose it is like imagining jumping out of a plane vs. actually jumping out of a plane.

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