90 Ideas in 90 Minutes: Jim Mueller

President, Mueller QAAS


The following are the ideas presented by Jim Mueller, president of Mueller QAAS, at the BizTimes Media 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event:

1. Know your purpose
“If someone came up to you and asked ‘What is your purpose in life?’ have an answer! Like Vince Lombardi, mine is God, family, and work – with passion and determination.

Jim Mueller

“Over my lifetime, the values that my parents, close relatives, teachers, professors, mentors and friends have molded me. Currently, my purpose professionally is focused on three areas:

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  • “Promoting a very valuable asset we have in this community, higher education. UWM, MU, MSOE, MATC, WTCT, Carrol College, Alverno, Mount Mary, Cardinal Stritch, etc. As a community, we need these human resources to work and play here.
  • “We need the brightest women to remain in this community and have a professional acceptance in our community. This can be done with an attitude adjustment on behalf of the leaders who control the economic strings in our community or a real success story like Epic locally.
  • “Affordable health care. We need a combination of health care and business leaders to be transparent about this issue and act in a positive and effective manner.”

2. Make progress every day
“Set goals and objectives. Plan your work, work your plan.”

3. Strive for excellence
“To be all you can be, do your best each and every day. Can you imagine a world or country that would possess this gene? People being personally fulfilled, proud of themselves, role models to children and playing out life to a full extent. I do believe everyone has this opportunity, although at very different starting points.”

4. Manage your time
“There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Maximize every precious second. Ask yourself ‘Is this the best use of my time? Of my co-workers’ time? Of my clients’ time?’”

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5. Learn by listening
“We have two ears and one mouth. Simple math! Many of us fear being around people who ‘know it all.’ Listening is learning and learning is a life journey.”

6. Surround yourself with smart people
“Know your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to be around people who are smarter than you. This is how you learn and grow.”

7. Give back
“Community service renews the spirit and can be a great way to meet like-minded people. Whether you’re able to give your time, talent, or treasure, find a cause that you’re passionate about and give back. So many opportunities! I would like to believe that the individuals who earned some or all of their wealth in Wisconsin would feel a need to give back proportionally. My dream would be in time, talent, and for most executives, treasure. Wouldn’t it be nice for Wisconsin if the fortunate people contributed to our tax base instead of leaving for six months and one day?”

8. Embrace change
“Change presents opportunities, and those who are nimble and open to change will be the first to seize the moment. This is the world we are in – embrace it! Farmers used to supply a lot of income to families in the U.S. The same for manufacturing. Look what Uber and Lyft have done to the taxi business. This business will change with self-driving cars. All opportunities!”

9. Do the right things for the right reasons
“Respect is earned, not given. Act honestly and ethically in all that you do to earn the respect of others. Then, give respect to those who earn it!”

10. Eternity
“Your actions each and every day determine how you will be remembered now and forever. Betraying your values and giving in to temptation can damage your reputation permanently. There are very few ‘secrets’ long term.
“Observing behavior (people watching) is one of my pastimes. I love Disney World and Las Vegas to people watch. Back in the day, George Webb’s at 2 a.m. was great locally. I wonder if ‘everybody’ does something unethical, will that behavior be given a pass?”

Click here to see a video of Mueller’s remarks at the 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event.

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