170: Marketing, Machine Shops, and Leadership with Jim Carr

Marketing, manufacturing, and life advice are the key themes in this episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour. Jim Carr, CEO of CARR Machine & Tool, joins the podcast to impart his words of wisdom as a manufacturing trailblazer. We hear about his early days of bartending and marketing and the surprisingly transferable lessons he now applies to manufacturing.  

One of Jim’s take-home points in this episode is the importance of getting out of your comfort zone, which is something he practices regularly. He also shares how he got started with branding and marketing on the manufacturing side and why he decided to push forward with social media (even when manufacturing leaders at the time were skeptical).  

Jim also reveals the two core beliefs that keep him successful and why his passion for his work keeps him young.  


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Getting out of your comfort zone is, by definition, uncomfortable. But it also expands your world, your knowledge, and your capabilities – and that discomfort is never permanent.
  2. What holds people back in manufacturing on the branding side is a fear of what others will think, but it’s essential to push through that and try new things anyway.  
  3. Leaders need to think beyond short-term solutions and strategies and think about the bigger picture. Jim believes you should also share your vision with your team, so everyone knows the end goal.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “What holds people back in their careers is they’re too concerned with what other people are going to think. You have to do what you feel is the right thing for you.”
  • “I believe if you match your brand to the companies that you’re trying to attract, it’s good synergy.”
  • “Consistency is really important. If you’re only going to post 1-2 times a week, make sure it’s consistent on the days of the week and the times that you post because people get used to seeing that.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

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Gray Solutions isn’t just a systems integrator. They’re a team of intellectual rebels on a mission to revolutionize smart manufacturing through innovation. They specialize in Digital Transformation, OT Cybersecurity, Robotics + Vision, Process + Packaging, Turnkey Solutions, and more. Make sure to check out Episode 158 of Manufacturing Happy Hour for a full interview with their Founder & CEO Walker Mattox, or head to their website to connect with a Solutioneer today. 

3M’s Clash of the Grinders: Student Edition is a high-stakes grinding and welding competition that pits soon to be pros against each other to find the next best in the skilled trades. 3M is committed to skilled trade education with a goal of creating 5 million skilled trades and STEM learning experiences designed to inspire curiosity, improve educational outcomes, and provide transformational opportunities for underrepresented individuals. Make sure to subscribe to the 3M Abrasives YouTube channel to catch Clash of the Grinders today. 

What We Discuss with Jim

  • Jim explains how the notion of manufacturing work being low pay is no longer the case 
  • Why your branding should match the clients and partners you aspire to work with 
  • What Jim learned from his background in hospitality that he applies to manufacturing 
  • How to know when to take the leap into a different industry/new business venture 
  • Why you need to expand your comfort zone and try new things 
  • Jim’s advice for dealing with tough economic times  
  • How Jim applied his background in branding and marketing to manufacturing  
  • Why consistency is essential when it comes to branding  
  • Why manufacturers are typically hesitant to get involved with marketing  
  • Jim explains why his passion for his work keeps him young 
  • The two core beliefs that Jim holds onto 

Recommended Resources

  • Perry’s Steakhouse: An award-winning, fine-dining restaurant in Schaumburg, Chicago   
  • CARR Machine & Tool: An AS9100D aerospace machine shop that does high-value, high-precision machining 
  • My True Position podcast: A podcast for manufacturing professionals full of actionable insights into high-level issues of running a small to mid-sized manufacturing company, hosted by Jim. 

Connect with Jim and CARR Machine & Tool

LinkedIn | Jim Carr