The Causey Consulting Podcast

Guest: Safety Sam Hawkins - Boxing Coach, Safety Expert, and All-Around Cool Guy

August 12, 2020 Sara Causey Episode 32
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Guest: Safety Sam Hawkins - Boxing Coach, Safety Expert, and All-Around Cool Guy
Show Notes Transcript

My guest on today's episode is Safety Sam Hawkins. Sam Hawkins is a safety speaker and consultant with more than 20 years of experience. He also coaches and manages professional boxers and he's the author of Jab 2 Win.

Key topics we cover:

✔️ Sam's own entrepreneurial journey.
✔️ How he's paying it forward and helping others make good business decisions.
✔️ How to create a real culture of safety.
✔️ Misconceptions around safety that can damage your business.
✔️ How to reach Sam if you're interested in working with him.

You can find Sam online at:

Unknown Speaker :

Hello, hello and welcome to today's episode of the Causey Consulting podcast. I'm your host Sara Causey and I'm also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at A very special guest today, Sam Hawkins. Sam is a safety speaker and consultant with more than 21 years of experience. He coaches and manages pro boxers, which is pretty darn cool. And he's also the author of jab to win. Sam, I know you're a busy guy got a lot going on. Thank you for taking the time to be my guest today. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah. So tell us more about your own entrepreneurial journey. You mean you've worn a lot of hats. You've led a pretty interesting life. What motivated you to become a safety expert? Well, safety I kind of fell in. So the entrepreneur side of that is they're two different stories. Years ago, I was studying to be a firefighter in Toledo, Ohio, started working for a company that does hazardous waste cleanup and disposal. So just responding to you know, hazmat spills, I was one of the ones with the shovels, you know, suddenly crapped to a to a hose and I ended up connecting with the safety guy of that company, which was the first safety person I've ever met. And I didn't know this was a profession. So it kind of aligned with firefighters help people say people and and he kind of groomed me to a few years later being that company safety manager. Ironically, no schooling or anything just kind of underpin him, and then you ship that all the way to 2013. So from there I went from being a safety guy with multiple companies. 2013 moved my family from Ohio to Indiana, and six months later I was laid off. One of the things with that in safety that was actually my third layoff and just reality of safety is a lot of times when when budgets get tight with companies, safety is the first thing to go back, but it's true. And this was another one of those cases, came home talk to the family said, hey, look, I got laid off today. And everybody's question was Okay, are we moving again? And yeah, it was more of you know, wow. You know, and, and at that point, I decided, you know, what, I'm, I'm a bet on myself and go out here and try this consulting thing. had no clue about business being an entrepreneur. But it was, you know, mouths to feed. And here we go. So what's funny about that is here we are in 2020. And I've been a safety consultant for seven years. Nice. Yeah, and I get that you're right. It is something we don't like to admit. But when the budget gets tight, safety does typically get cut. And that's probably not the best strategy. But yes, you're absolutely right. And I totally get what you're saying. I'm curious to know since you coach and manage pro boxers, I people would throw rotten tomatoes at me if I didn't ask him this episode. You know, tell us about your own experience with boxing your own career. What's going on there? Oh, so once again, another story, we may have a bunch of crazy stories. And that's good. So, to talk about my boxing career, you have to first admit that I'm a guy who played that in high school, I didn't play high school football but went on to play Semi Pro Football with the Michigan timberwolves. So I was a fullback there in fairness, I got cut the same year now so but my God had this great career, but and getting cut as a fullback. He's usually this big guy who kind of opens up the hole for everybody else to kind of do work. And my oldest brother was the boxer in the family growing up so he's go to glove champion box for years trained. And I was always around his training can see how grueling it was because I ran track so it was different, different avenues there, but I learned a lot just watching them and picking it up and going to the gym. So when I got cut from football, I decided, well, I'm gonna go to a boxing gym because I know how good the workouts are gonna strip this weight down, I will come back in better shape next year and be the starting running back. That was my mindset. So I go into boxing gym, and Toledo, Ohio. And again, I'm at this point, I'm in there about six months and I'm just working out to be working out to lose this weight and they convinced me get in the ring with some of these guys. So a couple weeks go by and I'm getting in with different fighters, different fighters, and they keep putting in other fighters. And I assume like maybe a month later they come and tell me by the way, guys, you whip last week we're all pros. Oh, wow. Like I didn't know I didn't even know that was there. Now I'm the fast forward in that story of probably a year later of just training. I had a guy come in with the contract for the term pro and I'm sitting here once again a guy who now has had zero amateur fights is turning pro because I was actually beaten up pros so I jumped into smiles for the course I'm like yeah, I'll take this opportunity jumped in there. I absolutely love love the sport just experienced the the training and everything towards the end I didn't I actually didn't fight that long because I didn't know enough about the business side of it itself as itself but what you don't realize in boxing is when you turn pro is a business first and the the business moves weren't as smart for me so I ultimately end up retiring after seven fights so I was four and three in the last three fights you know, we're ones where we took for the money and we we fought it with the goal of winning but what probably shouldn't have taken that fight when you think of managing a fighter. So after retired a setback, kind of analyzed the sport, started training local head local gyms there, help them get like to keep the youth off the street and teach them discipline and things like that, you fast forward now I have three pro fighters who I am now managing to have a smarter career than I had. And moving them the right way towards the top because what what ends up happening in boxing is these guys need to get 10 to 13 wins before people the world ever sees them on TV. Yeah, so there is no strategic moves you make there which I did make so I kind of it with the seven fights I cut myself out of the TV and the big money just because of not making those decisions. So I do that now with these fighters to help groom them teach them the business side of it because they're they're all fighters they want to get into just throw punches and if they get a phone call to fight whoever today they want to find them but this is not the move you make today based off of this situation. So I think my my intro into boxing was really a setup to teach me to be able to move these guys smarter than I was moved Nice, nice. That's very inspirational. And I like how you say, let's don't meet on accident. What a great slogan for anything related to safety. I love that. And I'm wondering, like, what are some of the biggest misconceptions that you see around safety in order for people to not meet you on accident? What are some things that they should be doing or some things that they should not be doing? Well, I think what the biggest misconception is, it costs money. It costs too much money to work safe. Yeah. And then the next one is, the misconception is if we do the job in accordance with the regulations, it will take too long. And those are those are the two misconceptions. And the only reason those are there is because people see safety equipment and we're just we can talk simply hardhats both cost the company money. And we know the whole This is kind of like insurance. You pay your insurance every month. If nothing happens, you think it's pointless. But the minute you have to replace a totalled car, it makes sense. Yes, you know. And so what happens there is companies are putting it in the front of, we don't, we don't buy this stuff. It's not it's not been into either the projects or the work processes. And then all of a sudden, it becomes a extra cost. So a lot of companies I deal with, we start changing the mindset to, for instance, their construction company, and they're doing the project when they quote, their project, that equipment is quoted in here. So now, it's not this extra cost that we're putting on top of what we had to do, because the cost is in there. So you instantly change the mindset of acceptance of buying that equipment. And then it's the same thing with time these days, whether work or not, or all trying to get things done quickly, is way possible. I mean, that's why microwaves are, you know, you know, admitted and still being sold right? But if that process includes safe, you know, then, again, we're now not adding an extra 10 minutes to our job, because this is the time to do the job. So companies have to have to give workers that amount of time, you know, to put on put on your heart is to put on your glasses to put on your boots. If that 10 minutes isn't, you know, added it to the project that at the end of the week, all they see is an extra 10 minutes every week, you know, or every day that we offer to the employees and they see it as a loss. So the biggest misconception there is, you know that it slows the job down if you do it safely. And then safety costs too much money to do. Yeah, I think that's really well said. And I'm wondering, from your perspective, how can a company or a worksite really create a strong safety culture so that everybody's bought in from the management all the way down? Everybody understands the importance of it and and that safety is their own responsibility. So how do you kind of create that kind of culture around it. So what I say and I'm safety, especially when we're talking cultures is people kind of mimic what's important from the top. Yeah, you know, when they did they were they're showing up for because of a paycheck. I mean, as much as they would love the company. If four weeks went by they said, Okay, come in and do this work without a check. Nobody's showing up. Right? But so they're but they're there for a paycheck and they mimic what's happening from the top, as they see that importance for you know, that that is it's important to senior management. It's important to the people in the office side of those checks. It starts to become the way we operate as a company. And we The reason why I say that is so many companies write a safety policy and say, Hey, where's your safety glasses? Anytime you're in this room, and all the workers in that room will have their safety glasses on? They'll see five or six people from management walk through without the safety glasses. Yes. So at that point, it tells those workers enough that okay, this is one of those bs rules or one of them that you. No, it's uh, see ya, as they put it, they could care less when they see those same management that same those same top senior guys coming through with that protection, though, then it becomes real. And that And that, to me, that's the biggest thing a company can do. It starts at the top, but it's leading by example. Flat Out. I like that. So you have a diverse background, you have some really interesting skill sets. Who do you typically work with whether someone is listening to this and they really want a safety speaker or consultant? Or maybe they want to go pro? Maybe they're a boxer and they're like, yeah, hell yeah, this guy's got some good skills. He knows what to do. Who is your ideal client? Who would you most like to connect with out there? From so from a safety perspective, if I'm working with the company at this point, I'm looking for companies who are who want to be proactive about safety, who genuinely care about keeping their workers safe, and they're saying hey, you know, This is our situation, how do we fix that? Or how do we prevent someone from coming in, you know, that's the kind of company that I would look at what they have in place, and kind of coach them through what they need to, you know, to be successful and safety, if they if they have safety in places get a little lacks that they need somebody to come in and light a spark lender, or motivate people to care about safeties or more. Those are the companies that I come in and speak for, on the DOT side, when it were these days, I'm starting to get more into doing expert witness work. And what we're, what that comes in is, in most of these cases, what I'm dealing with is attorneys who are looking for an expert witness where they have a a person who's been hit by a semi and it's not their fault, is to explain to explain through the processes of DOT and what we could have done to prevent that. So that's a very specific area. They're fighters these days, I no longer work with amateurs just because of time, which I go into amateur gym to speak anytime. So if anybody has amateur gym if they want to get them on on zoom, if they're not, you know if they're not local or if you want to have the come to your gym, I do all that for free. I'll come in and talk and motivate kids for free. Or if you're, if you're a nonprofit and you want me to come talk to your kids, that's my passion. I do that. That's not even a client, just call me and we'll figure out how to get there. But if you're a pro and you're looking to improve and take it to the next level or be properly managed, that's also that's what I'm looking for. We'll look at where you are in your skill set. Have a realistic conversation about how far you can project and then see if we can work good together. When it comes to fighters. My number one thing is his effort and working hard if I can outwork you, we won't work together. I love it. So if somebody is listening and they fit that criteria, and they want to reach out to you where's the best place online for that person to go to get connected with you. The best place to find me is jump on LinkedIn put it in safety Sam Hawkins I'll come up you connect with me there you'll be able to find all my other channels if you decide to follow those as well but LinkedIn safety Sam Hawkins, follow me there. Um, I put out videos on there quite often so nice. Well I know you're busy. You've got all these different hats that you're wearing, all of which are interesting, by the way, there's no there's no hat you're currently wearing. That's not fascinating. So kudos on that. And I thank you for taking time out of your day to to be a guest on the podcast. My pleasure, you have a good one. Once again, my guest today was Sam Hawkins, a safety speaker and consultant and also a coach and manager of pro boxers. If you'd like to connect with him, you can go to LinkedIn and find him as safety Sam Hawkins or just safety Sam one. If you enjoyed today's episode, please share it. If you haven't already. Take a quick minute to subscribe to this podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now. Transcribed by