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Grit.org Podcast Episode #34 with Charlie Jimerson is now live!

Updated: Jan 23

Charlie Jimerson is a powerhouse attorney known for taking on the toughest legal battles that businesses face. He's a seasoned lawyer who excels in high-stakes scenarios, with a track record of successful outcomes. Charlie's expertise spans various industries, and he leads teams of lawyers, handling everything from contract drafting to complex commercial disputes. He's also a respected figure in construction law, holding the title of Board Certified Construction Attorney. His accomplishments include numerous awards and recognitions, such as being listed in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.


He's not just a legal expert; he's a self-made success story, starting from humble beginnings, serving in the U.S. Air Force, and excelling academically at the University of Florida. Charlie is a devoted family man, youth sports coach, and MMA enthusiast. On a personal level, I've known Charlie as a close friend for about 5 years now and we have coached about 10 seasons of sports together. He is passionate, caring, and dogmatic in helping invest into our next generation, and I have enjoyed learning from him over the past few years. In this episode we cover everything top to bottom about how he manages it all. Enjoy!




Intro: Welcome to the Grit-org Podcast with Colby Harris and Brian Harbin!

In these episodes, they speak to top achievers in athletics and business to understand the habits and mindset they apply in order to build more grit.

Colby Harris: Welcome back to the Grit-org Podcast!

My name is Colby Harris. Alongside me is Brian Harbin, and we're here with today's guest, Charlie Jimerson. Charlie, thank you so much for being here.

Charlie Jimerson: Thank you for having me. What a privilege!

Colby Harris: Absolutely. Well, it's been about a year in the making, so we're happy to be here today, finally making the episode happen. Charlie Jimerson, founder of Jimerson Burr, spent five years in the air force, has a passion for sports, has a passion for law, has a passion for kids, the next generation. 

Today we're going to dive into his story, talk a little bit about everything he's done, his advice to the next generation overall, just talk about how Charlie's built more grit in his life, and he's definitely someone who, I can promise you, can take their word for it. So, Charlie, opening it up, tell everyone a little about where you're from and your upbringing, your background, where all this started for you.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah. So I'm a lifelong, I've come from a long lineage of Floridians. I'm from Sarasota, Venice area. I actually kind of grew up in this small town called osprey, which people don't really know about. So I just kind of say Sarasota, Venice. I went to Venice high school, and I think a lot of my upbringing was typical of kind of a lower middle class type of Florida, old time Florida, deep south type of upbringing. My family is what you'd probably call just a bunch of country. So for all the pluses and minuses….

Colby Harris: Southern living. 

Charlie Jimerson: With that. Yeah, absolutely.

Brian Harbin: And I know you developed a passion for sports early on. I know. Multi-sport athlete, football, track. Tell us about where that developed and some of your early passions with sports.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, with sports specifically. I think that sports specifically, I was a latchkey kid growing up, so I really kind of wasn't allowed to come home until it was pretty much dark. So you figure it out. Ride your bike in the neighborhood and keep yourself busy. And for me, that meant odd jobs, starting a lawn business or doing something like that, or just trying not to be a knucklehead with the neighborhood kids. But it also meant organizing a bunch of sports, playing football, basketball, baseball, whatever sports we felt like playing at the time. 

Sports, for me, were always like a really great outlet when you're just this kid who has a lot of energy and you want an outlet for that to be able to exert yourself. Sports for me, not only satiates that physical exertion, but the mental part, I really like the healthy competition part of it. And it was a way, I guess, proverbial way to stay out of trouble for me. With that grew passion.

Colby Harris: And on top of that, you mentioned working, staying busy as well. So was entrepreneurship or business something that you were kind of early on grasping and trying to immerse yourself in on top of sports?

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah. So I think that it's hard to reflect back on my life and think, oh, I was an entrepreneur from the get go, because when you're a nine year old, you don't think that you're an entrepreneur. You don't even know what that word.

Colby Harris: Trying to make a bug.

Charlie Jimerson: I was a kid who wanted to be able to have soda money or whatever, so the only way I was getting that was to figure out how to hustle for it. And so starting a lawn business, weeding people's, their flower beds, my granddaddy had a plant nursery at the time. And figuring out, kind of working my way onto a landscape crew, doing things like this at like 9, 10, 11, 12 years old, and just picking up odd jobs here and there. And that kind of taught me the value of hard work and self-sustenance and making sure that you're able to kind of make your choices on how your destiny unfolds and not wait around for fate. 

And I guess now, looking back, that was a real galvanizing of my entrepreneurial spirit. Once you get a taste of the fact that you can be your own boss and you can tap into a marketplace and create a marketplace and go up or down based on your own efforts, I think that's the thing that most entrepreneurs really want to do is in a way, entrepreneurs are kind of control freaks in certain ways. They believe in themselves. 

More than a lot of times, they believe in others. And when I look back at my various entrepreneurial endeavors, it was always, well, I can maybe do this better, I can do this faster, I can do this quicker, whatever. I can do it in a way that enables me to be my own boss in rise or fall based on my efforts.

Colby Harris: And although you played multiple sports through high school, the scholarship never came. Nick Saban never called you up to play or nothing. So that next decision came after high school to join the military. So tell us a little bit about that decision and how that came about to join the.

Charlie Jimerson: I mean, I was a poor kid, so I really didn't have any other options, right? I was a poor kid with no direction, no options, certainly no resources to be able to tap into. I spent most of my high school years bouncing around couch to couch, living on people's couches just to try to kind of stay afloat. I had a pretty challenging childhood upbringing for a lot of the different reasons that if you look into people with kind of fractured home life, some socioeconomic issues, which compounded, and I found myself in a position where, again, hearkening back to that rise or fall based on your own efforts type of thing. 

So, for me, my high school years were a function of survival, and I just had to make it work. And I'll answer your question shortly, but this is a long preamble. Now, I'm a lawyer, and I can't help myself sometimes with the predicate building. But at that point in time, if I were to look back at one of my greatest, if not my greatest, life accomplishment, and people have asked me that question before, I would say graduating high school was probably my greatest life accomplishment because that was such a pivotal point for me in my life, and it was a Rubicon that the rest of my family struggled with. I mean, my parents weren't high school graduates. In fact, I didn't even know that many high school graduates coming up as a kid, let alone people who went on to college or graduated from college or went on to these really successful careers. 

And when you come from that environment, that's kind of generational poverty or things like that, you just really don't know what's out there in the world. You don't know how to generate a career path to really rise up and kind of break those chains that have really held generations before you down. 

For me, when I went through my plight in high school and had an opportunity when I finished, and I was not quite the academic then as I became to be, I always had a lot of untapped potential. But when you're a kid that's really fighting for survival, studying for your English test is probably pretty low on your priority list. On the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, it's the food and shelter component that you're really trying to get. 

So in my decisioning to join the military, it was really just creating opportunities for myself, earning money for college, paving my own path, finding a way out. And there was an emotional component or, like, a drive component that I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. And I wanted to really prove to everybody around me, too, that I could do it, that I could get out and I could make something of myself. And I really believed that I could be somebody someday. And that was really just the first launching point to that.

Brian Harbin: And so five years in the air force and it sounds like obviously structure was tremendously valuable to you at that point and having good leadership and I'm sure the physical component. But reflecting back on those five years, what would you say would be a couple of key things that learned and helped shape who you became?

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah. The military does so many things for you. And so kind of an aimless kid like me who probably didn't have a lot of life experience, well, I was probably the most grizzled 17, 18 year old that I knew, but I didn't have worldly experience. Right? And so you only know when you come up in this certain ecosystem, you really only know this insular world. And then gradually over time the world gets bigger and bigger if you kind of do it the right way. 

So for me it was an opportunity to see, expand my worldview, expand my network, built confidence in myself. I had this kind of inner belief, but I was even not proven to myself. Building that confidence to yourself through incremental achievements is really necessary to generate enduring self-worth. You have to value your own life and your own capabilities. And sometimes when times are down for you, you really question those type of things. And there was a long period in my teen years where I didn't have a lot of internal self-worth. And the military is really good about that in the sense that they break you down. You're this broken birdie that comes to them. 

A lot of the folks in the military come from really challenging backgrounds. And if you really think about it, you don't see silver spoon or affluent kids like joining the military very often. It's often kind of a decision of, I wouldn't say last resort, but if you had the opportunity to go to Harvard or join the army or marines or air force or navy, what are you going to do? Well, that's a pretty simple decision.

Colby Harris: Go to UF and join a fraternity.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, any one of those things. So it takes these broken birdies and it kind of further breaks them down because that's the military way. It strips you purposefully of a lot of your individuality and some of your bad habits and then rebuilds you from the crown along with your brothers and sisters. And it creates this team and it builds this self of belief, belief in the system, belief in the group, belief in the country, belief in the mission. 

But I would say most importantly belief in yourself, and it instills those type of values, those values that are compounding and impactful long over time that are the recipe for your long term success. Things like discipline and then teamwork and camaraderie. Heck, even business functions like systems and processes, like all of the attitude based things that it takes to be successful in business or in sports or parenting or life. 

Resiliency, adaptability, and a thing that you all lean into from the grit concept, which is service above self and sacrifice and doing things for the greater good. And the military, really, if you're looking at it through the right lens, it'll provide you with that fuel.

Colby Harris: And something I want to ask you about, because I remember the first time I met you when you came to speak at camp, one of the first things I said to you was, I think I thanked you for your service and then told you, it's incredible how patient you've been. Because I think when you go the military, whether you know what you want to do when you get in or it's like a year in, two years. 

In, three years in, you still got another two, three years to serve before you have an opportunity to do anything else. So just as a quick piece of advice for anyone else currently in the military that's in that position, how did you remain patient through the process to finish out your term and kind of navigate those next steps?

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, that's such a great question, because trying to talk to 18 through 22 year olds about the concept of patience, it’s like pretty challenging – [Crosstalk].

Colby Harris: That's why I'm asking right now, and I'm not in the military. It's tough for the guys that I know that are currently in it. Year two in, they're kind of like, all right, I've had enough, two, three more years to get through. And, you know, it can get tough for these guys. It can get very serious mentally and deep for them in that process.

Charlie Jimerson: It's a slog. Gosh, I have so many thoughts on this topic. So I'll just riff, if you'll let me. So I think it starts with the question of, why did you get in in the first place? And so if somebody's thinking about getting in, there's so much more that I would have kind of done differently in that phase of my life, but some things I did right in that, and then I would say starting with the end in mind. 

So are you a lifer or are you not a lifer? And it's okay if you don't know the answer to that, frankly, it shouldn't change a lot of your decision making, certainly not with regard to your effort that you put forth as being a service member. But for me, the military was always going to be a conduit. It was always just a stopover destination and not the final destination. So I knew that I needed to earn money for college. I knew that I needed to improve myself as a human being, and I knew that I wanted to have something on my resume that I would be proud of for the rest of my life. 

And so start with your destination. What are you working towards? Whether that's a technical skill, a career pathing issue, if you're trying to earn money for college or get some other type of benefits and figure out what's the goal and then work backward associated with that, that mentality enabled me to. My time really flew. In retrospect, it really flew by. And I guess it's easy to think and say that 25 years ago, removed from it, because every day when you're 20 year old and you're forced to embrace the suck, then that's like an eternity to you.

Brian Harbin: Right.

Charlie Jimerson: But I would say that the military is full of so many benefits and drawbacks, and as you're decisioning that process and even navigating that process, understand and be aware that there's so many of both. A lot of folks that I knew that from my military days, they would get discouraged in their service. It's because they weren't really working the system. The system was working them. They were really not working towards anything. They were not taking advantage of all the active duty or veteran type of benefits and leveraging it to become a better person. 

And a lot of the folks, the veterans I know or folks that I'd served with that came out and they were kind of aimless afterwards. It's because they never had a plan going in. They never had a plan while they were there. They didn't have a sense of urgency to better themselves and set themselves up as they were getting out. And it's like, they just get out and it's like, well, now what? 

Well, what the world doesn't tell you when it comes to veterans Affairs, a lot of the times is that there's a lot of checkpoints the military has along the way to be able to latch onto those folks, even the folks who are on their way out. There's a lot of institutional things that are built in there to ensure that our services don't kick people out on the streets, even if they make the decision to extricate themselves. And what a lot of veterans do is eschew that opportunity. They don't take advantage of it, and they just put their head down and they get out. 

And it's that now, one, they're not detached from, or they're detached from a lot of society because they really didn't have a plan to integrate back into society. I want to punctuate, like, one thing on that. The military is a challenging mental and physical commitment. And so as you prepare for it and then you're advancing within it, you got to figure out ways to stay mentally committed and physically committed. And if you lose your bearings and your discipline, it becomes cumbersome and overwhelming. 

And that's one thing that the military instills, and it's the power of that compounding effort. To use the business or the investing term, it's compounding interest. The day in, day out input that you make and just a little bit better than you were yesterday, man, that adds up over time. And it takes a tough nugget to do that for like five years, 20 years, whatever, long. 

And that's where the military tends to break people. When people lose their hope in life, I've found over time that you got to be working towards something. You got to have hope. You got to see the end of the tunnel. And when they lose their hope, that's when the mental part really takes over and creates physical problems for them.

Brian Harbin: Yeah. And I think, too, it's so important for especially boys to have kind of that rite of passage into becoming a man. And I think for you, I liked how you explained how it's incremental achievements. Learn how to make your bed properly, keeping your boots shine, those simple things that you're kind of building. 

And at the end of those four or five years, you really look back. And like I told my son today before his race, I said, amaze yourself at what you're capable of. And you kind of look back and see, wow, look at all the things that I was able to do. And I know you talked about how you kind of went into the military with a plan. So did you know that you want to go to University of Florida, or did you know you wanted to be an attorney or which one of those came?

Charlie Jimerson: University of Florida was always like a dream of mine. But like I said, when you're a kid coming up in an environment that I grew up, it's. That wasn't even a possibility, like, I didn't deserve to go to the University of Florida, frankly, at that point in my life. And so I hadn't paid my dues enough to be able to earn that opportunity. I always knew that I wanted to go there. I was a lifelong gator. My cousin played on the four year starter on the national championship team. And I really love the Gators a lot. And I love Florida for what it was and is as an institution. I went into the military not really having a very clear career path other than I think I knew. 

These are the things that you have to do to be successful as an adult, like this go to college thing, and you have to then develop a skill and a knowledge base, and then hopefully that works out in some career path of choice. But I definitely didn't know I was going to be a lawyer until I got going into the military and college. And in certain ways, to be candid, it was a bit of a fallback type of career, just like, well, okay, well, this makes sense logically, I could work through the logic of why I think I could be good at this thing, and then the rest is serendipitous. 

Well, I want to touch on one thing, because I heard this really cool story recently, and you might want to share this with your son. And I'm paraphrasing it, and I might screw component parts of it. So there's this guy, John Gordon. He's a good author. He wrote the book the energy bus. There's about ten other books. You should check him out sometime when you get a chance. And I had the opportunity to meet him a couple weeks ago, and he coaches all of these really big national sports coaches and Olympic athletes and world champions. 

And there's this guy that he coaches, which is a multi-time world champion ultra-runner or ultra-athlete with the marathons and the swimming and cycling, and it's like the triathlon lawns on steroids. And he was a really mediocre marathoner like he was never a champion at all. And then this guy, out of nowhere became a world champion in ultras. And John was talking to him and said, how did you go from this, you know, good, but definitely not great athlete, and then now become a world champion? And like the most complex, challenging thing you could possibly do as an athlete. 

And he said, I stopped listening to myself and I started talking to myself. And if you really reflect on what that means, that's a really impactful, complex statement. Because when you listen to yourself, is it ever positive? It's very critical. It's a lot of self-doubt. You're gaming out scenarios of why something won't work or can't happen. Nobody's inner monologue is like you're the man. This is so good. It's really very rarely that it's a positive thing of your mind talking to you, of this constant fire hose of positive reinforcement. But when you're talking to yourself, you have the ability to make a choice what that message is, and that monologue becomes a dialogue. 

And you're talking about, I can do this. It's just this next milestone. You've got this. You've done this before, believing all the things that you need for your own personal affirmation. And if you think about this ultra-runner or marathon runner, whomever, that's necessary because you're playing a long game. That's a multiple day event. And that was just so impactful to me. I just heard that a few weeks ago and I was like, gosh, that was such a great thing. And so as your son does cross country, that might be a next level opportunity for him mentally.

Brian Harbin: Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, when I sold bookstore to door in college, that was exactly what was all about. That self-talk in between houses of like, what are you telling yourself and having little phrases of keeping yourself going because you have to be proactive. Because if you don't say anything like you said, that inner voice is going to be negative and telling you all the things that aren't going to happen. And so you have to override it.

Charlie Jimerson: With those positive phrases for sure. Yeah, I did the door to door thing when I was a 15 year old. I did surveys for cable companies, and all the old timers that I was like, on my crew were so ticked off at me because I literally sprinted from house to house and I could get like, double the surveys in for them. Fairy sprinting and the shift boss or whatever is like, yeah, he's sprinting. That's great. That's amazing.

Colby Harris: The self-talk was huge for me, too. Brian first taught me about it in 2020, just in the sense of I'd say things like, well, if this works out. And he'd be like, when it works out, or how we're going to make this happen, not if we're going to make this happen. It's funny, I actually did door to door, too. That's how we got our first pressure washing jobs. When we started pressure washing business, knocking door to door. And sometimes I even throw it out there. I'm like, oh, yeah. No, I mean, I did door to door sales for maybe like 1015 jobs or whatever. A couple of $1,000.01. 

Thing I do want to ask you about, Charlie, is that transition into your time at UF coming out of the military, I would assume you're stoked, right? Probably like so glad you're going to get all your benefits. Your time is done, you've paid your dues. I'm sure you made some amazing memories and friends while you were in the military as well, just like you talked about. It's got great structure for that sort of thing. But tell us about now going to UF, like completely new lifestyle. You're a civilian now. You're one of the best campuses in the country, honestly. So what was that like for you? Just getting to go to UF and kind of live a whole different lifestyle at that?

Charlie Jimerson: It was in many ways it was a dream come true. And so when you hit one of your really, I'm having a harder time with this later in life, but really should stop and celebrate some successes along the way. I've always been a like, I'll smell the roses when I'm done planting the garden type of guy. But when I got to UF, well, actually there's a funny story. 

So when I got this letter of acceptance to UF, which I called up the admissions office just to sure some was, I don't know if she was an administrative assistant or whatever, picks up the phone, she confirms and I give her this speech. It was probably like out of like a Hollywood movie. I was like, it was like the TiVo speech. I was like, I promise you I will never let you down. This is going to be incredible. I'm going to do so well for you. Go. I will fight for you up. I will be committed for the gator.

 Yeah, it was one of those things that I was just so proud and honored and thankful once I got there, it was definitely an adjustment period. Anybody integrating back into kind of society from the military, it's this transition period. And I had this really great transition period of six months before I went to UF, up to Gainesville, where I went and lived with my grandma. I got to spend a lot of time with her. Those morning coffees every day were impactful. Both of us benefited from that. I coached football at my high school, did volunteering, was a physical, personal trainer, things like that. Just all these things to get your mind, body and spirit, like in the right spot. 

I also had perspective. I was an older guy. I was really a second career person, not like this college pipeliner. So I had a lot of life experienced and might have been only a couple of years older than the folks or a year or two than my classmates, but I had done a lot more living, and I'd done some, had a lot of achievements. By that point in my life, what I didn't have was a conventional college experience. 

So when I was in the military, I had to be at work at like 05:30. I would work from 05:30 to six-ish at night, and then I would get my car, and I would commute 45 minutes to the campus, and then I would go to school until about 10:00 at night, sometimes 10:30. And then I got to drive about 45 minutes home. So I'm not home until like midnight, and then I've got to be at work at like 05:00 the next morning. So basically, I spent four years-ish, three and a half, four years on about 4 hours sleep during the work, during the work week. And I wouldn't recommend that now, but you can do it, I guess, when you're a little bit younger and get by. 

And so I was kind of, in a way, deprived of an undergraduate experience. So I legitimately wanted to go to UF to do some partying. I wanted to have fun, have a little bit of fun, because I kind of passed over parts of that. And so I had that perspective that, okay, you can have fun, but you got to put the work in, too. And so you can ask my kids, what's Jimerson rule number one? And they'll say, work without play. Work before you play. And that's what I would do. I would put my work in, and then I would play, and I wouldn't be the least bit apologetic about that ever, because I think that that was some really great times I had. 

But college and law school, it's more brains than Braun, and that was different a little bit than the military experience and a law school model. It's just really hard to measure your day in, day out success. You go a whole semester, and then you take a test, one test at the end of your semester. It's a really screwy model. I think it's really ineffectual, ultimately. 

So that part was weird because you don't know really if you're making progress. There's really not a lot of opportunity for feedback, and you're sewing your head at that point in time in a way, like unnecessarily generating competition with your classmates that can be really just self-destructive for me. I focused on a lot of social adaptation, networking, things like that, tried to find my passions for me. Passion finding for anybody who maybe listened to your podcast is more not necessarily seeking out your passion. In my mind, it's the process of elimination. What am I not good at? What do I not enjoy? Okay, great. Not doing that. 

Okay, this, I kind of like this thing. And do I have opportunities here? Maybe. Let's go check it out. And so law school was a process of elimination for passion finding, but I did enjoy a rigorous academic environment. I do have this intellectual curiosity that I think I'll carry with me forever. So that was a great outlet for that, learning new things and being challenged on an intellectual level. I'd never been around people so smart, so that was cool. And then seeing how you stack up was also fun.

Brian Harbin: You mentioned kind of finding your passion through process elimination, but what is it that really specifically about being an attorney or about being in a lawyer that really appealed you the most at that age, before you really even. I mean, you didn't really know anybody that was an attorney. How did you know that's where you because obviously, it's a lot of time and effort and work to go into.

Charlie Jimerson: Well, I first heard about lawyers and Willie Nelson's mama's don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Because when I was a kid, I wanted to be a cowboy, and I wore cowboy boots, and I thought the cowboys were just, like, the coolest thing. And then there's a line in that song. It says, have them be doctors and lawyers and such. And I was like, well, how is there anything better than a cowboy? So lawyers and doctors, why, they must be really awesome if they're better than cowboys. 

But when I decided I want to go to sports or to law school, it's because I thought I wanted to be a sports agent. That was really what I was there to do. And the more I got exposed to that business, and particularly the unscrupulous side of it, I realized that that wasn't quite for me, that I was trying to mix. You read all the business books and things I'd read prior to that, and you try to monetize your passion or whatever.

And that was the first time where I realized that sometimes that's not even really good advice, like, monetizing your passion, because monetizing your passion can be really challenging. It's finding something that you can be prosperous in that you can enjoy. And sometimes your passions really kind of have to say certain separate from the stuff that day in, day out that keeps you afloat. And that life lesson became evident to me. And that's not, like, to discourage the concept of don't follow your dreams. It's just sometimes your passions and what you need to be successful, like a prosperous member of society, those aren't necessarily congruent or easily attainable or whatever. It was something I realized, oh, maybe I don't have to combine those two. And I can still get it both ways. 

For me, I had the skill set to be a good advocate. I thought I could be a good advocate. I thought I could be a good counselor. I had a real passion for service, a desire to help others. Always up for a challenge. Intellectually curious, always love to compete in anything. It doesn't matter. I mean, to use Tom Coughlin phrase, I want to win that. I can't unwire that. And I'm never apologizing for that. I just. Sorry. I like to compete. It's just something so I am. Law was a ways. I wanted financial stability and security. I thought that was kind of like a noble, honorable career field. That would be something that people from where I grew up would really look up to, and young me would have looked up to that. 

And so I thought that was just like a natural path. And it's funny when you come up in an environment where there's poverty around you and folks have never living paycheck to paycheck, if even that, if they even have a job. All I really wanted to do was work in an office. My idea of like, man, that would be really cool if I didn't have to work digging these ditches that I had to dig in holes and putting palm trees in or whatever, or weeding beds or sprinting around door to door, those things. I've had probably 50 jobs in my life, but I just wanted to wear, like, a tie to work. That was like what the movies told me was……

Colby Harris: Be white collar.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, be a white collar worker and work in an office. So that I was kind of impervious to the elements and not necessarily have to do manual labor all the time. I saw the tolls that that takes on a manual labor and on a family, so really, that was kind of like the first step in my career pathing and a goal. And then it, of course, became so much more. But all I ever really wanted to do was wear a tie, and now I rarely wear tie.

Colby Harris: I think I've seen you, like, one time I came to the office and I don't think you were wearing a tie that night. I think every time I've seen you, like, post work or anything, usually it's just the button down, but do they make you wear a tie when you go into the courtroom? Is it always a tie? If you're actually.

Charlie Jimerson: I don't know that it's a formal rule. I would never fathom going to court without a tie. Of course, I've only seen one that happened once. And the judge admonished the lawyer. It was a Covid thing. People thought they could get away with all sorts of crap during COVID and, like, pushing the limits, and rightfully so. That judge admonished the lawyer. And that's just a fundamental lack of decorum and respect for the sanctity of the courtroom and the legal process, in my opinion.

Colby Harris: Well, getting to wear a tie is pretty cool. I think. I've met a lot of good people that wear ties to work quite often.

Charlie Jimerson: Make no mistake, there's a lot of great people who are working those hard manual labor jobs that are mighty fine people.

Colby Harris: Crushing it, too, financially these days. I mean, trade school is hard to beat. I've got a couple of friends that went right into trade school, and, I mean, they're living the good life. To be a single man, bringing in six figures a year, electrical plumber, whatever it might be.

Charlie Jimerson: Incredibly honorable. And definitely, you're right. That is the future, actually, of American education.

Colby Harris: Well, sorry not to specialties through trades. I was going to say some of the more successful entrepreneurs that I've had a chance to interact with since I was young. Even when I was back to 14 playing sports, people would say to me, hey, Colby, if you want to go be an HVAC guy, you want to go be a plumber, I'll help you build the whole business. Like, go get a trade, go into trade school, come out of it, and then you build the business. Right? It doesn't mean you always have to be, like, the guy on site doing it. But I do agree. Amazing history!

And I loved on it a minute ago when you touched on the passion versus kind of pursuing something that you're just good at, something that keeps you afloat, because that's something that a lot of people talk about. I think it is tough to navigate that process. But while we're talking about this, I know someone very important in your life came in about that time, your wife, Ashley. 

Tell us about meeting her, and we might touch a little bit more on just kind of the impact she's had and the support together. And then now with your family, your two kids as well. But tell us about meeting her and then how you two connected, and ultimately now what's probably been 20 years almost going on. 20 years you've been….

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah. Wow. Yeah, you're right. It has been. We've been together for 18 years, married for 15. So yeah, I met my wife when we were both living in London. It was funny, Americans just kind of flock together or just kind of end up like going to a lot of the same places anywhere in the world. [Crosstalk] -- You're right. But definitely a lot of time I've spent overseas. It's amazing how quickly Americans get magnetic and they're just finding one another. So I just had an opportunity to run into her in a computer lab, which if we listen to this, kids listen to this now or five years from now, people are like, what's a computer lab?

Brian Harbin: Exactly.

Charlie Jimerson: I guess you know a sure thing when you see it. She's an amazing human being and definitely the eyes of my heart. I wouldn't trade a trillion dollars for one eyelash when it comes to her. She's a rock and a stability piece for me. Like I said, keep your effort. My childhood was really influential onto what I became. And when you grow up in broken homes with really challenging kind of environments that can sometimes be were abusive, it's so nice to have a really strong nuclear family now that keeps things stable. And my wife is the heartbeat of that family. And I wouldn't be half the man I am now professionally or personally without her contributions.

Colby Harris: Hell of a tennis player too, eh?

Charlie Jimerson: She's all right. Yeah. I'm going to start taking lessons though, because I can't have her being better than me at some sport. And that just really chaps my a***.

Colby Harris: That competition still goes. I can hardly play pickleball with my girlfriend. She'll be like, take it down, take it down. A slight nod the one time too, then you let them win and then you don't hear the end of it all day. It's like, I wish I could tell you I let you win that one. But you know what? We'll let that one ride. Don't have to bring that up at the Darren table. Forget about it.

Brian Harbin: And she was at Florida too, so you guys dated, you know, the rest through college.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah. So I was studying in a program that was coordinated through Oxford law in London, and she was studying through an undergraduate program, and I was in my final year of law school. She was in her final year of. So I guess we continued dating through just finishing up in college. And then ultimately I moved to Jacksonville. Right? A law school. And she had to see about a boy. That's right. So the rest was history.

Brian Harbin: Yeah. So tell us about graduating Florida. You took your first job out of law school in Jacksonville. So tell us about kind of that decision, moving to Jacksonville, taking that first job.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, it was a pretty robust legal environment at the time, and that was in 2005, and had the opportunity to go to a few different law firms that had given me offers around the state. And I didn't know a single person in Jacksonville, and so I came to town. My only entourage at Jacksonville was, like, Florida, Georgia, which I always had. How do you not have a good time at know as a college kid? But I just immediately fell in love with the town. I think that there's so many positive things about Jacksonville and northeast Florida, and it's just this hidden gem. And at the time, I felt like it was a hidden gem, and I still feel like it's a hidden gem. 

I went to a good law firm where I turned down a lot more money in order to be able to have better mentorship. And what I thought at the time was a better pathway to success. And that was just an opportunity to kind of get in the door and lay some foundation. And it's funny, everybody now is probably pretty familiar with the 10,000 hours rule. You know, they it takes. And that was made famous in Malcolm Gladwell's outliers. But that book wasn't actually written until 2008. But I'd read a lot of things similar to that as a concept about the time commitment it takes to ramp up, to have demonstrable expertise in whatever you're doing. And it hadn't been monikered the 10,000 hours rule at that point, but there's so many practices that generated that. 

So when I came in to join this law firm, it didn't matter to me what their goals were. For me, it was like I knew that I wanted to be great, and I was just going to put my head down for three years of time, and I was just going to pay my dues, and I was going to take any case or challenge that came my way. Assignment gets out. Who wants this? Me. Hands first one up. I don't care if I didn't know anything about it. I was going to figure it out, and I was going to find a way, and I was just going to get at bats, lots of at bats. Just figuring it out, it's that find your passion through elimination thing. 

And I just wanted to establish, I just wanted to learn how to be a good lawyer, brick by brick, figuring out how to build that foundation. And so that's really what I did for the first few years of my career. And that's where I think that there's a disconnect now. I'm the old timer I'm complaining about. That's where I think that there's a disconnect with some of the youth right now that are coming through where they want to have that expertise and success without actually paying a little bit of that dues through the 10,000 hours commitment. And that's no way around it, man. There is…..

Brian Harbin: And let me piggyback that real quick, too, before Colby asks his question. So you talked about the mentorship really appealed to you. So, I mean, that's a great thing to touch on for a lot of kids coming out of college. What specifically stuck out about this particular mentor and what you could learn from them?

Charlie Jimerson: Well, one more successful than me had done it, more experienced. So you need somebody who's done the things that you want to do so that you can figure out means and methods. What I've come to realize is that you build your foundation of knowledge and your skills, but your habits are the things that are going to make or break you. And so the mentors really help you build your foundation of knowledge and skills. You control your attitude and you control your habits. You definitely have a large part of the control of the contribution into your knowledge and skills, but you certainly have exclusive control over your attitude and habits. 

And so find somebody who can contribute to your knowledge and skill base so that you can take your internal controlled things and optimize them. My career, from a mentor standpoint, just like, it's like career pathing, be observant and figure out from those around you not only the things they do well, but the things that they're not doing well. And there are things that's what actually promoted or prompted my opportunity to start my own firm, where I looked around and said, well, they're all right, but I can do it better. I think I can do it better. And I saw this and this and this and this. I think I can build a belder mousetrap. 

And that's important, too, when you have mentors being critically examining your mentors, almost the same way that all of our children, and probably us when we were children, got to a point where we started critically examining our parents. Like that stuff. Maybe that was a little off. I hope that helps on the mentor part or answers your question at least.

Colby Harris: And moving into that now, talking about launching your firm, what really prompted that decision? I guess it was this aspect, so say, of you thought you could do it better, but tell us then, about ultimately making that decision in those first few months of creating your firm.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah. So, I think, back to the entrepreneur question. The essence of every entrepreneur is like, I just want to be my own boss. That's really what a lot of people go into business for. I don't want to answer to somebody, you think you can do it and survive, and then when you're an entrepreneur, you have to have that real belief in yourself. There's confidence, and then there's real confidence. I'm going to bet on myself, confidence.

Colby Harris: Take over the world confidence.

Charlie Jimerson: And it was early on in my career, and I'm looking at like, okay, this is the pathway to partnership. What does partnership even mean at this law firm? Okay, so I would really have to be hitching my wagons to these people and this place. Do I believe in them a lot and had some belief, but maybe it wasn't as strong as the belief that I had myself. I knew that I believed in myself, and I knew that through my own grit that I would be able to achieve the things I wanted to. 

And even then, the same thing that prompted me to start my own law firm is the same thing that's driving me today. And that's really leaving a legacy, like going forward and breaking those chains of the things that had held my family down for generations and generations. Just plowing through that and erasing that history so that someone who wasn't born with a name is going to leave a really important name. And I thought that that was the cleanest pathway to do it by starting my own company. And then there's a million things I learned along the way, but that was definitely the genesis of it.

Colby Harris: And I know, too, it was a tough start in a sense, like you've told me before, Ashley was your first unpaid employee. It was just the two of you getting things going. What part of that do you think makes it even more special to you to have gone through that to be where you're at now? I mean, 14th floor, Wells Fargo building. You've got the most kick a** corner office I've ever seen. So thinking about that to now where you are today, I mean, what does that feel like just to be in that position now as an entrepreneur?

Charlie Jimerson: A lot of gratitude. A lot of gratitude. When you're first starting your own company, the first year plan is just survive. Figure out how to tread water, figure out ways to invest in people, process and technology. And when you build people, that builds your business. And that's what I commence a process of doing and surrounding yourself with good people. You got to have that grit to be able to see it through, because with any startup entity, you're going to fail a thousand times. 

And there's going to be lots of different reasons why you fail. But I was always going to win, and I firmly believe that it's damn near impossible to defeat somebody who never gives up. And there is no freaking way I was ever going to give up. There's no way I will ever give up, period. I will just see things through and be relentless and tenacious. And that's just a defining character trait. So that's being gritty. That's part of the grit part. Pushing your limits was really important to me. Getting through building a company in a way that got you out of your comfort zone time and time again. 

If everything seems really smooth and under control, then you're probably not going fast enough or you're not pushing hard enough. Achievement should be a form of chaos and just constant stretching your boundaries, lifting your ceiling up even higher and higher. But where we're at now, I still feel like we're really on the ground floor. I still have that same fire in my belly. What prompted me to start a company and what got us here is not going to get us there, that's for sure. 

So we're going to work on the things that I think gets us to a whole another level, another level. But the foundation, the fundamentals are there, the character traits. Like, there's no shortcuts to how we got here, and there's damn sure not going to be any shortcuts to how we get there. We're going to work for it because it's not how bad you wish for it, it's how bad you work for it.

Brian Harbin: So let me ask you this. So I think 14 years ago you started, or it's been about 14 years with Jimerson Burr that you started 15th year. 

Charlie Jimerson: 15th. Okay.

Brian Harbin: So kind of share with just some of maybe the roadblocks that you've hit over the years, some of the challenges and obstacles and how you overcame them. Maybe just some of the advice as an entrepreneur to other entrepreneurs that you would give at this point, some of the things that you've learned through, obviously putting in the 10,000 hours as an entrepreneur and then some at this point.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah. So like I said, there's thousands lessons learned. Probably thousands of lessons learned. There's -- I could talk about all the different roadblocks. So when you're a startup company, you don't have, and you're not well capitalized, you're thinly resourced, everybody's wearing like 5, 10 hats. You don't have clarity of role and job description, you don't have the money to invest in the people, processes and technology that it takes to really be successful. 

And then you start to develop a little bit of that with some business continuity and maybe you've got a little bit of turnover and maybe you can go out and hire different or more skilled professionals. And those are the type of things that I think that really plagued me as a startup company in that first five years is just getting the right people in the right places. Do they get it? Do they want it? Do they have the capacity to do it? And getting those people in the right places. And if I made 1000 wrong decisions, I would say 990 were people based decisions and learned from that. 

And then there's this kind of second five year period where we had robust growth. And those are the, we were seven times on the Business journal's fastest growing companies list every year. Hex. Since like 2013 or something, we've been on the 500 fastest growing law firms in the country. Like always in the top 100. We won every award that you can win for fast growth. But what I didn't know at the time is that you can grow too fast. 

And so I would have probably put more time into building infrastructure so that you could scale in a healthy way. And then the last five years it's been about establishing that right infrastructure and then continuing to develop what your long term identity was. When you're just a startup again, the name of the game is survived. And then you don't have the luxury of even three year, five year, ten year planning. 

Now, that's where I'm at, and I wish I probably would have done more of that on the front end to five year and ten year planning, but I just didn't have the perspective at the time on how to do that. But now I have a clear vision for where I want to go and what it's going to take to get there. So hopefully it works out for me. I'm not going to give up.

Colby Harris: Yeah, right. Hard to beat someone that won't give up, right?

Charlie Jimerson: That's right.

Colby Harris: What I wanted to ask you about real quick, just to touch on, obviously, Burr, Joby Burr, who I've had the pleasure of meeting before. Great guy, good fun. Of course. Tell us a little bit, just real quick. Not necessarily about coming together with Joby, but what are some strategies for success or partnership aspects that you would recommend for other people, whether it's in a law firm or any sort of partnership, to really create success within their business together?

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, I'll zoom out and then I'll zoom back into your question. So there's some fundamental truths in business, in life, and one of them is you get out of it what you put into it, right? That's probably the most fundamental truth that I've ever come across is anything in life. If you're not getting the results you want, well, examine what's your input there? What's your process? What's your give a crap factor there? 

In business, sometimes that manifests itself till you get what you pay for. That's a fundamental truth, too. It took me a long time to learn that. Then, you know, systems run the business, but the people run the systems. So getting your right people in place when it comes to partnership, I would say finding out who you want to, Joby's an incredible asset. Wonderful partner!

We have a bunch of really awesome people at our company and people who are vested institutions and people who are indelibly linked to our country or to our company, and we just would have never had even a modicum of success without them. And Joby's been one of the foundational pillars. But I would say if you're figuring out who to affiliate with yourself with, figure out what kind of people that you want to be around. It's a complex analysis. But in ways, many ways, it's not a complex analysis. 

So what's the most fundamental piece of any human relationship? Trust. If you don't have trust, you have nothing. It doesn't matter if it's your spouse, your coworker, your boss, your friend. If you don't trust them, it's a really superficial and non-impactful relationship. So trust is earned when actions meet words. You're not going to earn my trust by your words. Your words are just one small piece of the trust building process. Your actions are going to earn my respect and my trust. 

So surrounding yourself with people who you can trust is really important. That trust hopefully transcends into loyalty. I put a high value in loyalty. I'm very loyal to our employees. The weight of my burdens every day. My stressors are almost exclusively on how do I keep 60 families afloat and growing, and more and more are those obligations. But when you have trust and loyalty, are those the foundational pieces, then you can start building on the rest. 

And the rest is, in my mind, peripheral. If you got that, you got everything you really need. But when you're finding the right people, we follow a cash model of hiring and performance evaluation at our firm. We look at their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits, and we place a high emphasis on habits in order to see whether someone is the right fit for us, get it, want it capacity to do it. That's what we look for. Yeah.

Brian Harbin: Love it! So I wanted to ask for the last piece of our podcast. Here is just talk about some of the things outside of professionally what you're passionate about. And so funny story, you know, Charlie and our wives were friends before we had a chance to meet. And I remember Jen and Ashley had arranged for our boys to be on the same flag football team and you were going to be coaching with me. And I remember this is probably like February or March of 2020, and we had arranged a call and we get on a call talking about football and you said, hey, can you send me over your whole playbook? And I'm thinking to myself, I'm like, well, it's all in my head. And you're like, what do you mean it's all in your head? 

So we kind of had an interesting start. Your style was a lot different than mine, but here now, we've done well over a dozen seasons of coaching together and just really, really have loved coaching with you and learning from you in so many different ways. But really just wanted to ask you just about. Obviously, you have a passion for sports and youth, so tell us about, and I know you've coached dozens and dozens of seasons, so tell me kind of things that you've learned, what your passion is about coaching. 

And I know obviously you're involved in both Ford with sports and then Lila with some of the mock trials. So just tell us about where that passion lies and why that's important for you, not just personally, but professionally and all the things that you do.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, that has been fun. And I've really enjoyed coaching with you as well. You're a special human being, that's for sure. And if you've learned from me, I assure you that I've learned 5X from you. So that has been fun. I went back and calculated, I think I'd told you recently, dating back to when I was even in high school, I've coached 34 seasons of kids sports between both of my kids. And then when I was coaching before, I didn't have any kids, so I've enjoyed coaching. I obviously tried to do it even as like a 16 year old kid, just volunteering, having a good time and form of giving a back. 

So there's a lot of reasons and motivations to get involved in coaching. For me, it was about I have a real passion for sports. I really enjoy that part. So that was really great. And once my kids came along, it was just a way to support them and spend time with them and invest in them. Really anything that you can do to give back, create a positive impact. That's the legacy building things that I care about deeply in my life and when you can mentor folks, when you can nurture their talent, that's really awesome. 

And sports and coaching are like the culmination of that give back part, but also passion for the competition and that physical outlet and that part has been a really nice confluence. The element that you talked about, it's funny, like our different ying and yang, but like really perfectly balancing coaching kind of modus operandi is that you're a read and react type of coach and you get by on your feel a lot for the game, which is really awesome. You're calling plays based on the fluidity of response. 

And I would say I'm more like preparation type of like detailed preparation type of. So I have a strategy, not that I'm rigid to it, but I definitely have a defined this is how I want to approach this thing type of way. And that makes me like, it's a good ying and yang that we both have. So I've really enjoyed that. Coaching and participating with your kids has really been almost like a life defining part of my life and existence is a chance to just give back. It's a good microcosm and like amalgamation of all the things that I really care about.

Colby Harris: Yeah, and you've talked a lot about habits, too, and within your company, how important you think habits are to someone's success, and whether you're someone that's just going to college, you got three 4 hours of productive things to do a day. Or if you're in your position where you've told me you start 06:00 a.m. usually finish 06:00 p.m., coaching. Get back to the house. Probably like to read, like to do other things, like to watch UFC with Ford, whatever it might be. So tell us a little bit of an inside look to your day to day and some of the things that help you be consistent and be productive through these long days you usually have.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, I appreciate that. So it first starts with time management. I firmly believe that if you're going to be like an elite professional, if you're going to be like a high end entrepreneur and you're going to seek out the ever elusive work life balance, you have to be a ninja when it comes to time management. And time management is just a function of preparation and then execution. 

So do you have the right plan to balance your life in accordance with what your priorities are, and then do you have the discipline to execute on that plan? Show me someone who says they don't have work life balance, and I'll show you somebody who never had a plan, and if they did, they couldn't execute on it time and time again, I've found the people who are imbalanced are just going through life, and they don't have structure in a way to be able to put out fires, but still manage priorities. And for me, I'll just go on a short little kind of explanation.

Colby Harris: Let it rip.

Charlie Jimerson: Okay, so I go through this exercise every year, and I ask the lawyers of our firm to do this, and I say, what are your priorities in life? Write them down. It's like three or four things. And I just kind of give them some hints, like, it probably should be these four type of categories. It should be family, professional, community, stewardship, friends, and then, like, self-health. And I kind of also give them a little bit of hint. Like, work is not the first, the number one. 

So figure out what is number one. But work is not number one, but also work is probably not number three or number four. If you really think about it, if your work is like number four, you really can't be in a career like law because you're really not going to be successful. Effort is the X factor in my career field. And so they write it down, and they write those things down. I say, okay, good. Put that aside. 

Now I want you to write for me out. It's a random Tuesday. Write for me on a random Tuesday exactly what the perfect day is from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed in as much detail as you can possibly provide. They go through, they do this exercise, and then I say, okay, now, all your day, did you have those four categories of priorities built into that perfect day? Almost without fail, the answer is no. I say, okay, now go back to the. Well, rewrite your perfect day so that you're at least touching on those things that are important to you. Your physical, mental health, your family, your professional, your engagement in your community, and in your friends. 

There's ways you can write that into your, even if it's 15 minutes, there's ways you can write it in. They go through, they redo the exercise. They have their perfect day enumerated. And then I say, and then I have that perfect day laminated, and I put it on their desk. And I say, if you ever feel imbalanced, there's the key. There's the answer to how you get back balance, because you've already gone through the exercise of figuring out where your priorities are. Just follow the plan. Make every day a perfect day.

Brian Harbin: Love it! Let me ask you too. Just what are some of the things that you personally do to kind of keep yourself balanced? I know Monday is your day to walk on the golf course and make all your phone calls, but tell know, unpack some of the know daily or weekly part of your routine that helps you stay balanced, if you don't mind sharing?

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, I think if anybody objectively looked at my schedule, they would say it was imbalanced, but I think it's pretty balanced, I mean, all those things I care about, I account for every single day. So I could walk through the details of every day. But I can't overemphasize the importance of consistent rhythms. Like it's consistent investment. Like get into an established rhythm and rise near the same time and go to bed at near the same time. If you're exercising, figure out when you're exercising for the certain time. 

For me, it's rising early in the morning, getting a little bit of intellectual rhythm. I read for like the first 20 minutes or so, and then I'm trying to look for some physical exertion as much as I can. Depends on my motivation levels for the day. And then in the mornings, I communicate and organize. So any calls I have to have with my clients, any team meetings, any directives I need to give, any clearing of my emails, things like that, any delegation, I do all of that in the morning. 

So I try to keep my entire afternoons free for lunches. I don't have that much of a robust social life, so I try to combine business development with socializing. And so I try to have lunch with someone pre Covid. I went eleven straight years. Eleven straight years, never eating alone. COVID actually forced me to kind of reevaluate that, and I realized there was certain inefficiencies that I had there. 

So now I'm pretty meticulous about that. But that's a great outlet for me. I would say 75, 80, 75% of the time I'm having lunch with somebody and it's a proxy for that either community involvement, friendship development, that socialization part, and then some business development. Afternoons I reserve for deep work. I try to have uninterrupted time for a five hour block. And it can be whatever projects it could be for me, legal work, it can be needle moving, big picture activities I try to have. 

And then if I have a night event. I have to go to that night event. Sometimes it's coaching, sometimes it's a dinner with a client and then I'm getting home at a certain hour. That's one of the keys to also successful time management is expectation setting with your spouse and having an awesome spouse who understands that. They understand what the mutual sacrifice is and having good compatibility there and coalescence. 

And then when you get home, for me, it's all about going hard. It's like maximizing that time. You got to check your BS at the door. It doesn't matter what stressful thing you did, what positive or negative thing you did. That doesn't matter. You can't bring that home. You got to be dad. And there's a certain expectation and responsibility with what being dad means. And then you also have to have time at night to cultivate your personal relationship with your wife. They need that investment too. 

So I try to pack all those things into every day and try to stay in regular rhythm and not get too out of whack. Saturdays I don't work at all. I reserve that only for family time. And we just do fun things these days. We're mired down in kids sports, but that's our idea of fun right now. I have a blast with that. Sundays, I work at least half the day every Sunday, and I have for 15 straight years. I don't know that I've ever missed a Sunday unless I was out of town on vacation. 

For me, that's just about getting organized. It's about getting organized, getting your schedule aligned, getting things off your plate so that the second that Monday comes around, you are sprinting and you're not just working up to a casual jog. So whether it's 2 hours or there's times I work twelve to 16 hours. But I'm investing on Sunday because that's an X factor time. And generally that's how I pack it all in.

Colby Harris: And I think after that little segment right there, most people would probably listen and think, okay, this guy is doing it all right with the habits, the routine, the ideas, the philosophies by why you do what you do. And that's shown in your business. But earlier you said something about what we've done won't take us where we're going or what got us where we are isn't going to take us where we're going. If you had to narrow it down to one thing, you're going to look to do better over the next 10, 15 years within your firm, within your business. What do you think that one thing is that could take you to that next level?

Charlie Jimerson: One thing? Boy, we have so many kind of…..

Colby Harris: If you have a few.

Charlie Jimerson: No, I'm just thinking I'd like to. We have to align, like, the next step for my industry, and definitely my law firm, is a further compatibility of people, process and technology. And so my industry is plagued with a lot of inefficiency, and it has a lot of different problems. And that's a whole other rift for a whole separate podcast. But I've written on national levels and spoke on these certain issues about things that are plaguing the law and what I want to do over the next 15 years. I want to change my industry. I want to be a disruptor in law, and it's going to be a heavy lift for the next five years to change the way we work, change the model of compensation, change the dynamic of the client relationship. 

And there's a lot of details that I've got a very clear vision on how to do that. But it all starts internally with an alignment of people, process, and technology, getting my right people in the right places, getting robust technology, and starting to infuse a firehose of tech that can augment our processes and have people managing process and technology better than they are right now in law. They don't do that very well. I don't care what lawyers tell you, they're not good at managing process and technology. 

So we're going to lean into that, and I think we'll be able to be disruptors who can scale to as big of a magnitude as our risk tolerance allows. And so that's what I'll do. I want to try to change the practice of law and reclaim the value proposition of hiring a business lawyer.

Colby Harris: I was going to go the second or last one.

Brian Harbin: Yeah, go ahead.

Colby Harris: Yeah, I was just going to say -- so we were kind of talking a little bit before we got on the episode. Just two more questions for you, Charlie, one of them being you have kids, young kids, I guess, by definition, but the minds of late, teenagers knowing both your kids and how they are, so you're very in tune. 

Charlie Jimerson: For better, for worse. 

Colby Harris: Yeah, they know a lot. Just leave it at that. Which Charlie's got amazing kids love for. That's my guy. Hopefully one day he'll be in this seat on the podcast, I'm sure, with whatever he decides to. You know, you spend time around me. I've introduced you a number of my friends. You're very in tune with my generation and the things we're going through, much like Brian, just understanding, having people that, you know, kind of going through it. 

So what would be your best advice for other people? They're growing up in this different landscape, different generation. Some people would say it offers more opportunity to be prosperous than ever before. Some people would say it's so messy that they don't even want to have kids anymore to put them into this. So what would be your best advice to other trailblazers out there?

Charlie Jimerson: In terms of just like being a parent, a positive person, a business person, or what.

Colby Harris: I would say if you saw yourself now, or if you saw someone like yourself growing up now in this generation, regardless of background even, what do you think they need to know? Kind of navigating the current world we live in, I guess. Or what do you think disciplines, styles, tactics, what do you think are maybe some timeless things that are going to always be there they can lean on?

Charlie Jimerson: Well, that's the answer. The recipe for success is the same as it was since time began. It's like starting with controlling what choice, not chance, determines destiny. So make good choices in your life. There's 1000 choices we're confronted with every single day about anything. Where you go to eat, who you decide to marry, whatever. They could be insignificant or they could be incredibly significant, but make good choices. Figure out how to make good choices. And choice making is a skill that can be developed like any other skill. It requires an intake and a processing of information and then careful crafting of decision making. You're going to live or die, so make good choices and choose your own destiny. 

I guess I alluded to this concept of you can develop and acquire knowledge and skill through means and methods along the way. And that's something that I view you have to have a lifelong commitment to. There's this concept, it's called like the Japanese art of Kaizen, and it's this lifelong commitment to constant improvement. And Toyota really made that famous, I think, in the 80s. It's something that I firmly believe in. And so if you're getting better today than you were yesterday and then tomorrow better than you are today, it's just this compounding thing that's going to generate opportunities and success for you. 

So that's that lifelong growth commitment, which I think that is a timeless piece of wisdom attitude. I mean, you definitely control your own attitude. Half of life is like just showing up, showing up with a will to win or a will to participate. What's a good attitude then is kind of the question. And so like personally accountable, positive attitude, find a way can do attitude, a sense of ownership, a sense of resilience, sense of team play, just a get things done type of mentality. 

And that's all in your head. Nobody has to teach. How do you teach? I don't even know how you teach that, right? What's the old adage that every father should remember? Their kids will follow their examples and not their advice? I think you teach attitude by exemplifying attitude, but nonetheless, you can control your own attitude, and you definitely have the ability to control your own habits. I just walked through that whole time management technique that I've employed for all my professional years, and that's controlling your habits. 

And so I have habits that are associated with physical health, mental health, with ongoing knowledge acquisition, with supporting coworkers, with supporting clients, with supporting family, with supporting the community. Like packing it all in, figuring out habits that accomplish things that are in line with your priorities and your values. You could be 80 or you could be eight, and those same pieces of advice would still apply, and they will still be the bedrock of your success and your north star if you're doing it right.

Colby Harris: Yeah. Really resonated on the attitude part. I think that's one of the big problems that we have as a younger generation. That's what makes me know I'm not ready to have kids or anything like that, because I see you two doing talk about it attitude and how you can switch it on, switch off. I'm like, man, in no way am I mentally attitude adjustment capable the way these guys are. I can't do it. There's too much going on for me to be ready for that right now. So that's a dead giveaway on that one with the kids portion of it.

Charlie Jimerson: You learned that lesson in many ways. The hard way, when you're like a boss or when you're a parent, you're just not allowed to have a bad day ever again. You're just not. Every day is expected to be a good day because you can't bring your BS to the table. Whatever minutiae you're going through, you have to figure out how to handle that outside of that environment. I don't get to come to work. I had a fight with my wife. Woe is me. Something didn't go wrong for me. Nonsense. That's not what people respond to. You got to check. 

That doesn't mean that I shouldn't process. That doesn't mean that I can't have bad days. It's just you have to make a choice to not bring that to the table in that environment. Same thing in the home environment. You don't get to come home and be the I had a bad day, so I'm going to take it out on my family. That's bullcrap. You got to figure out how to compartmentalize that and push through. That's an attitude choice type of thing.

Colby Harris: So it's like putting yourself in that position over time. You kind of become accustomed to it essentially, is what you're saying through work, through your family, when you have to be in that position of leadership.

Charlie Jimerson: Yeah, you do. And it's harder at first than when you're older. It's like, what's the old grand canyon like? Water cuts through the river, water cuts through the mountain by constant persistence splashing through it. And your attitude grows and evolves over time the more experience you got in handling all of those variable situations. But the fundamental choice is still the same. Do you want to approach it with a good attitude or do you?

Colby Harris: Yeah, well, this. We could probably go all day if we had the time for it. I know you don't. I know we've got plenty of stuff to do, too. Brian's over here. Probably ready to nudge me a little bit. He's the last question. Last question. But Charlie, what a pleasure. You in today. We've got one more question for you that I'm sure you're probably familiar with already through Ford and your kids coming to camp before. But as you know, our company is built on our grit creed, which is twelve principles we believe every person could lead their life by. So my last question is, what part of the grit creed resonates most with you and why?

Charlie Jimerson: So I went and pulled that prior to us getting together today, and I'm looking through this and it's funny that the last question you asked me, what would be your best advice for upcoming kind of trailblazers? Well, I would read the grit creed, right? Every element of this grit creed. I'm like, yeah, that's important. Yes, that's me. I am grit. This is gospel to me. This is transcendent life advice. 

Each and every sentence of it, depending on the season, certain parts connect with me. I will tell you that the third part, I am not a problem spotter. I'm a problem solver. That part I have latched onto. And I try to start every new year with like a rallying cry that kind of just is like this lode star for me to constantly go revisit as to what was important to me, what was my big picture kind of mantra. And I'm looking at, I'm not a problem spotter. I'm not a problem spotter. I'm a problem solver. As being a rallying cry not only for me, but for those professionally who are around me that just recalibrating who we are and what we're all about. That's a huge one. 

I think that if you're a problem solver, who cares what the problem is? You're just a solver. You're going to fix things, whether it's you or internal or external. So right now I'm really vibing on that. But I love every single word in this thing, in the creed, man. I really do.

Colby Harris: We might have to come by the office, break more into it one of these days. Talk a little bit more about the creed, different stories about your career and how they applied.

Charlie Jimerson: But I'm going to have you come to our office and talk about the grit creed and how we can show grit. How about that? 

Colby Harris: You got my number. Usually Ford's texting me, but you know, you got my number.

Charlie Jimerson: That's true.

Colby Harris: Yeah.

Charlie Jimerson: Awesome.

Colby Harris: Well, Charlie, this has been a real pleasure. I can't thank you enough. It's been awesome. I was kind of the third coach coming in. I didn't have a real role other than hype man. And try to understand some of Charlie's plays he created. It wasn't always a success, but you and Brian have been super pivotal in my life. And I'm really lucky that Brian's introduced me to you, get to be a part of Ford's life as well, which has been like I grew up with two older brothers, so to have Ford kind of like a little brother, it's been awesome. 

So thanks for coming on the show today. We really appreciate you. Everything your firm stands for, what you've been doing, the community, supporting our camp as well, and our business. So just thank you, honestly. And I know everyone can find you. I think it's jimmersonfirm.com, correct? To get in touch with you, learn more about your services. So, Charlie, thanks for coming in today.

Charlie Jimerson: Pleasure is all mine.

Colby Harris: Absolute pleasure. Brian, any closing?

Charlie Jimerson: All good.

Brian Harbin: No. Just super glad we able to get you in here and great conversation and great to learn from you for sure.

Charlie Jimerson: Thank you!

Colby Harris: I'm excited to share this one.

Charlie Jimerson: Thank you!

Colby Harris: Thanks, Charlie! Well, that's a wrap here today at the Grit-org Podcast. Be sure to share this with someone you think it would resonate with or impact. As always, we appreciate you tuning in for another episode of the Grit-org Podcast.

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