James Adams

Chief Talent Officer, Adams Limitless | Founder, A Limitless Academy | Host, Unlimited Potential Podcast


Finding your purpose and the effect of personal development

Since it's the first episode, James introduces himself and his entrepreneurship journey. His story started with an interest in personal development. James volunteered to participate in a eleven day meditation workshop. Eleven days of complete silence - no writing, no technology, no talking, just eight hours a day of meditation. With no experience, and the constant desire to push himself, James took the leap. He got a ride to the retreat (so he couldn't escape) and started the routine: 5:30am wake up calls, hours of meditation, vegan diets. It was a lesson in being present, and it took him three days to get his mind to stop wandering.

He'd always been the type to be busy - he was working long days in the construction industry and then bartending at night. He was in constant motion and was an extremely hard worker. But something was missing.

Five days in - and after a heartfelt and fruitless escape plan - James was able to settle into the meditation. With a new sense of clarity and calm, James knew he was on the wrong career path. After a transformative work experience, James decided to try university, but he found it difficult to hone in on the right purpose. He agonized over selecting the right courses in school; he was the first in his family to attend university but he felt confused and lost. University wasn't the right fit, so he decided to try college, finishing up a a business degree.

Upon graduation, and with no clear direction of what was next, James felt like he was square one again. How did he get a job? What did he do with this degree? He tried a bunch of different jobs but didn't feel like anything was the right fit. One day, he was approached by a recruiter. While the opportunity she presented didn't feel right either, something about the exchange stuck with him, and he'd made an impression on the recruiter. She said that recruiters "helped people find more meaningful careers". It was like a lightbulb went off. He'd struggled to find his own path. What if he could help people avoid what he'd gone through?

It meant a fresh start. He approached his girlfriend at the time with this new opportunity and said: "hey, I want to try this new thing, I have no experience, I want to leave my salaried job and try recruiting, and by the way it's 100% commission." Being incredibly supportive, Fernanda was all in. She thought it sounded like a great fit. She was ready to support them both while he got off the ground. James jumped in.

In the first eight months, he set all the records. And by "all the records", we mean: he made zero income in eight months. A lot of people would have given up way before the eight month mark. But something inside James felt right. What had to change? James's boss approached him at that point and said "I don't think this is for you, maybe you should try something else."

James was at a loss. He was struggling with credit card debt, he was constantly worried about his card getting declined, but he wasn't ready to give up. He managed to get his foot in the door in a few boutique agencies, he dug down and started to grow his skills. He'd been working at a recruitment agency and had given himself one year to develop his skills, and then he was going to start his own business. He was comfortable there, there was talk of him becoming a partner, it was getting harder to imagine. And then, a year to the day, the company laid him off. A year to the day. It was exactly what James wanted. However, it was two months before his wedding to Fernanda. And they had just learned they were expecting.

To ask Fernanda again to support him while he started his own agency, and accept the risk, while they were starting their family and managing the expenses of the wedding, seemed huge. But once again, she was supportive, on one condition: he had a month.

At first, James felt despondent. He'd been laid off, the pressure to make this work felt huge. It felt impossible to get off the couch and get started. But he had a family to provide for, and he made it work. After that first month, he got his first cheque of $30,000. They enjoyed their wedding, their honeymoon, and returned to a new chapter. Two years in, James and his team run a six figure recruitment agency.

James had to make a few stumbles to get to where he is today, but the most difficult path is not necessarily the best way. He's interviewed hundreds of people from various positions. His commitment to helping people find the right role, and skip some of the stress in between, has led him to launch a new online learning vehicle (A Limitless Academy) to help people get to their end goal a lot quicker.

This is not to impress you, but to impress upon you that anything is possible.

James Adams

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