Month: August 2020

Nice Guys Don’t Always Finish Last

On Celebrating the Everyday Kind of Heroes and Sheroes

Well, COVID has successfully upended our world. Four months ago, we did not know we would still be in this spot come August. Many small businesses are still battling waves and still feeling out to sea. To whom or what can we turn? Who is championing today’s solutions? To compound our issues, in our quest to find heroes, we have also sought to redefine them. Still, no one doubts their utility––we still need all the heroes and sheroes we can get. Especially now.

But if I have my eyes open, it doesn’t take much time to find local heroes. I’ve got them right under my nose, right in my hometown. Oh, they are not the cape-wearing kind of hero, but the everyday kind that you meet on the sidewalk, and you are totally unaware of all they do behind the scenes. People like Scott James. It was never his end goal to be a superhero. It is the way he does business every day.

What does a superhero entrepreneur do differently?  

They are full of gratitude. Scott recently completed a project with our company for the primary purpose of expressing this gratitude. (See attached!) He had so many people he wanted to thank and so many heroes in his own life that he teared up telling me about them. Then he was disappointed when we didn’t have room to mention them all. We would have to save some for later.

They give back. Scott has never forgotten the adage that once you have reached success, you have a responsibility to reach for someone a bit behind you and pull them along too.

They empower and enable the success of others. Scott supports our community in every conceivable way. He buys the kids’ 4H steers, supports the sports teams, serves on the Chamber, serves in Community organizations, on citizen action committees, and is a general all-around go-to community leader.

They never forget their roots. Scott also supports the local economy that supports him. He is not in business just for himself. He buys back into the community.

They don’t make customers. They make friends. Scott could make a friend out of a fence-post. This social finesse is the crowning virtue of any true entrepreneur.

They are reliable and dependable. These may seem like little things, but they are not. In small business, the little things are the big things. You might not think this one any big deal. But if Scott didn’t show up, people would notice––big time. (Would anyone notice if your business were not there?)

Scott is a great encouragement to me because he is proof that nice guys don’t always have to finish last. He brings the kind of character and values to small business to which we can all aspire. You really can run a business, play by the ‘rules,’ take care of your employees, and offer excellent products and service each day to people who rely upon you, and still make a profit.

It’s possible to chase the good and do the good for the greater good. Most heroes aren’t out there slaying dragons. Scott James doesn’t wear a cape, but he is my kind of hero. Quiet and unassuming, he is there when you need him. Indeed every dependable entrepreneur who embodies age-old values like honesty, courage, and integrity,  gives back, and works for the good of others, can be a Hero or a Shero too. Who is fighting for the common good in your neighborhood? Be sure to find them, buy them a cup of coffee, and express your thanks. You might just be entertaining angels unaware.

And hey, that might well be you. We applaud you!

Scott James is CEO and Chief Entrepreneur of James Oil in Carlisle, Iowa. James Oil has been supplying extraordinary fuel service to the Central Iowa area since 1947. Are you in this area and need a fuel supplier? Look no further. Visit to learn more. 

To see the whole trailer, click here 


Know anyone who qualifies as a Super Hero? 

Do you work next to Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, or Wonder Woman? Nominate your incognito SuperHero Friend on our FaceBook page. Tell us why they are a super hero to you, and why you think they should win this prize in three sentences or less. On the last day of this month, at 5:00pm, we will draw one name from those nominated and send both you and your friend a Chair Cape so that the whole world will know and celebrate their SuperHero qualities with you! Click here to visit our FaceBook Page.