317 - Leadership Skills from a Colonel: Tom interviews Jim Solomon - Screw The Commute

317 – Leadership Skills from a Colonel: Tom interviews Jim Solomon

Following his leader development studies at the University of North Georgia. Jim was commissioned and he advanced in his Army career to the rank of colonel and he had global responsibilities. As a leadership coach, consultant and author, Jim continues to demonstrate his commitment to developing capable leaders for future generations. Jim's leadership philosophy is very simple. It's all about We, not Me.

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 317

How To Automate Your Businesshttps://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

Higher Education Webinarhttps://screwthecommute.com/webinars

[03:32] Tom's introduction to Jim Solomon

[06:00] “We” and not “Me”

[09:45] Chambers Bay Institute

[10:56] Keeping a partnership going without killing each other

[13:40] Working since 14 years old as an entrepreneurial kid

[19:52] Big advocate of being a critical reader

[21:38] Sponsor message

[24:22] A typical day for Jim

[28:46] Staying motivated when you're by yourself

Entrepreneurial Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Higher Education Webinarhttps://screwthecommute.com/webinars

Screw The Commutehttps://screwthecommute.com/

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Screw The Commute Podcast Apphttps://screwthecommute.com/app/

College Ripoff Quizhttps://imtcva.org/quiz

Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – orders@antion.com

Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there!https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel

How To Automate Your Businesshttps://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/

Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Programhttps://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/

Chambers Bay Institutehttps://www.chambersbayinstitute.com/

Book: Seeing What Isn't There – A Leader's Guide to Creating Change in a Complex Worldhttps://www.amazon.com/Seeing-What-Isnt-There-Creating/dp/1947309587

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

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Episode 317 – Jim Solomon
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:23] Hey, everybody it's Tom here with episode three hundred and seventeen of Screw the Commute podcast.

[00:00:28] We're here with Jim Solomon and he's going to tell us what the difference is between we and me. He's going to tell us that.

[00:00:39] Check out Episode 316 if you want people coming back to your Web site, that was our last episode and it was ways to get people to your Web site and get them to come back over and over. And I don't do all of the things that are on that episode, but there's absolutely things that will resonate with you. You can get people coming back over and over, and the more they come back, the better chance you will have of turning them into customers or and increasing your ad revenue if you have like an advertising monetization model. So check out episode 316 and anything we talk about today when you want to go directly to an episode, this is 317. You put it in screwthecommute.com and then a forward slash and then the episode number. So in this case is 317. All right, grab a copy of our automation ebook, this e-book. We actually figured it out a couple of years ago. Saved me seven and a half million keystrokes with just one of the inexpensive programs and little tips and techniques that you see in this book. So this allows me to handle. Oh, we handled up to one hundred and fifty thousand customers excuse me, subscribers and 40000 customers with one temp part time temp person using the techniques in these books. The only time I started hiring people was when I had to pay too much taxes, so I started hiring people. But these will allow you to steal, you know, customers from people because you get back to them lightning fast where your competitors are or are not. So check it out at screwthecommute.com/automatefree.

[00:02:25] While you're at it, grab a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app and you can download it to your cell phone and tablet. And we have all kinds of good instructions that you can take us with you on the road. All right, everybody, stop worrying about this pandemic. I don't want to get sick, but I also don't want to go broke.

[00:02:46] And so haven't even worried about it much because I've been sitting here for 26 years selling stuff online and I know a lot of people are freaking out and working from home now or they're out of work.

[00:02:59] Well, I never want you to be in that position again. And the things that I teach in both my mentor program and my school are things that are in super high demand. Every business on the face of the Earth needs Internet marketing and digital marketing and website presence and shopping carts and product development, all these things that are nuts and bolts that we teach in my mentor program and my school. So check out at IMTCVA.org. That's my school. And later, I'll tell you about my mentor program.

[00:03:34] All right, let's get to the main event. Jim Solomon is here now following his leader development studies at the University of North Georgia. Jim was commissioned and he advanced in his Army career to the rank of colonel and he had global responsibilities. He then went on to hold numerous leadership positions within Fortune 500 corporations, privately owned companies and entrepreneurial start ups. And that's what we love around here. His spirit of service attracted him to volunteer on various nonprofit boards where he served as committee chairs and chairman of one of the largest senior living communities in the state of Texas. As a leadership coach, consultant and author, Jim continues to demonstrate his commitment to developing capable leaders for future generations. Jim's leadership philosophy is very simple. It's all about we, not me.

[00:04:35] Jim, are you ready to screw? The commute?

[00:04:40] Howdy.

[00:04:42] Howdy. Howdy. Howdy. Yeah, I was at Texas one time and I went to this bar and they went to cut my tie off with a pair of scissors.

[00:04:51] You got know you don't wear ties in Texas. Yeah, well, nobody told me I didn't get that. We were explorers in Texas.

[00:04:57] There you go. So tell everybody what you're doing now, then we'll take you back in the Tom here, your entrepreneurial journey, how you came up to where you're at now.

[00:05:06] You bet. Hey, what we like to do is we like to help those that are just starting out. Those are working hard. People like Tom, Tom to help us out. And he's helped a bunch of other folks.

[00:05:21] So we like to assist others that are are either beginning in the leadership journey, starting out their their businesses, working in organizations. We've helped people in retail businesses. We've helped people start their wedding planning businesses. We've helped people start their government contracting businesses. But, you know, just like great athletes, everybody needs a coach. And that's that's really what we do. We advise and coach individuals to help them get beyond where they are today. You know, we all want to we all want to move from where we are to where we need to be. But sometimes it's just hard. Well, it's hard to be by yourself.

[00:06:02] Well, then that leads us into that concept, that simple concept of we and not me. Expand on that for us.

[00:06:10] You bet. Yeah. It was a it was a dark, rainy night when we were hiking up in the mountains up in the northern part of Georgia. And you could hardly see anything.

[00:06:20] It was a nasty night and it was up in some of the some of the deeper areas with some big drop offs and some some cliffs and so forth, and there was there was a team of us that were all operating as individuals trying to get through some of that those confines and that thick underbrush that you see up there and in the mountains. But that rain was coming down and there was just no light at all. And so as we were trying to move our way through this this mountain area as individuals, all of a sudden there was a bolt of lightning and it didn't come from the sky.

[00:06:55] It was between our brains. And we said, hey, if we all work together as a team, we could get through this night safely, not fall off the edge of the cliff and get to the destination we were headed to. And so with that time that we started working together, almost like a well oiled machine and people were checking each other out, they were looking from side to side. It was more than one set of eyes as a whole team of eyes. And so it was that one experience that I took with me as I went through my army career, went into corporate work. And now, as I advise folks that are just starting out in business that it's all about we, not me. And I've seen it time and time again in little organizations to huge organizations. Those that are only thinking about themselves generally fail or they just don't get to where they want to be. But those that have that we concept, it's all about us. They move ahead. Tom you've done that with me. You know, as you've helped me look through things through through a new set of eyes, you've said, hey, let's let's look at this together. Not just the way I look at it.

[00:08:06] Yeah, but you didn't have to start crying. You know, it made me feel bad for things that I was saying.

[00:08:15] Well, it helped. You know, sometimes sometimes it's tough to get that kind of news. Feedback is a gift of tough love.

[00:08:22] Right. I'm glad you put it in the part about Army, because I'm thinking what is what do you do in hiking in the middle of the night with a bunch of guys up going to a moonshine still or something in North Georgia? So it was an army. It was an army thing with somebody attacking North Georgia. It was just a practice session.

[00:08:41] It was it is a training exercise. Good. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:08:44] And on that particular trip, we did not find it. Still, however, and a different time. I'll tell you about those still.

[00:08:51] No, I believe it because I'll tell you what happened to me. My dad was in his 90s and we had this big open area and every Saturday and Sunday was a flea market there. We own the property. And my dad would sit at his table and he's in his 90s and he'd just fall asleep. And the small town people just put money on the table. They didn't want to wake him up. One time. This helicopter's National Guard helicopter lands there and they jump out with M4s and it can start holding on my dad and they had seen like a marijuana field way back on our property, so hidden. And they thought my dad was the big kingpin and he's sleeping and he can't hear. He did not even hear a helicopter landing. And he's got a straw hat on sleeping like the Hawaiian punch guy.

[00:09:40] He was the guy. Yeah.

[00:09:43] So, yeah, there's a lot goes on in them there hills and it's true.

[00:09:48] All right. So this company is called the Chambers Bay Institute. Is that what it's called?

[00:09:53] That's the Chambers Bay Institute.

[00:09:55] Yeah. You know, and this is a partnership, right?

[00:09:59] It is. My business partner and I have known each other for about fifteen years now.

[00:10:04] In fact, I hired Bruce as an employee of mine while I was working for big corporate America, said we don't want to do that.

[00:10:13] We want to be out on our own so we can bring in the profits ourselves. And so that's what we did. We became good friends. And so now we've got a sort of a nationally recognized business. And it's sort of interesting. You were talking about this covid-19 time. Right, and how you're successful. And so following smart people like you, that we, too, have been very virtual over the years. And in fact, the majority of our our leadership coaching is all done by telephone. It's virtual coaching, highly effective and a best practice in the industry that we're able to connect with people at their time, whether it be late in the day or early in the morning or whatever time zone it is doesn't really matter. We're able to set that up and be very effective with them.

[00:10:58] All right. Now, I heard you say, OK, I was became best friends with this guy and then we started this partnership.

[00:11:05] Usually that ends in disaster. So. So how did you keep, after all these years, keep things going without killing each other?

[00:11:15] It's like a marriage. You got to work at it every day. Right.

[00:11:18] And I don't know. I'm not married, I hear.

[00:11:22] I am, and I work every day, but I've been married for 40 years, so I figured if I could be married to the same great woman for 40 years, I could be married to a business partner for, you know, 20, 30 years.

[00:11:34] And we could we could knock it out. But, yeah, it's you know, it's it goes back to that philosophy that I have. It's not about me. It's about we. And so as Bruce and I enter into this agreement, I took a little bit of time to work things out and so forth. We had to define our roles right. And we complement each other because if we both thought the same things and we both felt everything the same way, then he didn't need me and I don't need him.

[00:12:03] And so we've got to have a little bit of of pulling tug. We can have to have different opinions on things. And in fact, he lives up in the great state of Washington. And I live in the great state of Texas. And our viewpoints, the physical view that we look out a window is completely different. He looked at the beautiful Puget Sound every day. And I look out in central Texas that some some great oak trees and deer and cows and but it's the way we think is a little bit different as well. And we think that complements things. And so this idea of being able to bring together different thoughts collectively is what small businesses do all the time. You know, whether you're a single entrepreneur that's running your business, you've got customers, you've got suppliers, you've got other people that you have to deal with. Maybe it's a webmaster, but you always have to deal with other people. And it's how you approaches people that can make you successful and you help coach with that stuff.

[00:13:03] That's what we do. Yeah, exactly everything. So how many years you say this was going on?

[00:13:09] Our business has been in place for four, six years.

[00:13:13] However, I've been doing this before. We formed the business as I was working some some other things. I started out by advising people that were just starting out into the business world, retail services, things like that.

[00:13:28] Ok, so it all reminds me of that joke about the guys as you have been happily married for 15 years. I've been married for forty two, but I have 50.

[00:13:42] So let's let's take you back. How did you were you entrepreneurial as a as a kid?

[00:13:47] I love to. I've been working since I was 14 years old. I got hired at McDonald's as my first full time legal job. And back when McDonald's was just starting out to be big, you know. Forty five cents for a three course meal.

[00:14:01] And it was French fries, hamburger and a shake. It was great. And so I worked there and and I thought franchising was cool. And so at 16 years old, I said, well, you know, I think I'll grow up and I'll own some of these franchises, become rich and famous. And this is going to be cool. Well, I found out that, you know, it took a little bit more than that. And and so I had just finished up high school and my my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to go to college. I had different thoughts. I just didn't think I was ready for that stuff. I still had this idea of McDonald's or a franchise in mind. And and I said, maybe what I can do is maybe I can enlist in the Army for a couple of years that sort of mature a little bit, get smart, get a little bit of money, and then I can get out and I can get into this franchising stuff. Well, there was this guidance counselor at school and she said, hey, buddy, you need to go to college. And I said, no. And she said, well, how about we do this? How about if you fill out this scholarship application and you get it, I'll get you into college. If you don't get it, I'll drive you to a recruiter. I said it's a deal if you quit bugging me. So I filled out the application, I got the ROTC scholarship, and so I went to college.

[00:15:29] I happened to really enjoy the school. I went to the University of North Georgia up in the hills of Georgia.

[00:15:35] That's a great school, great education. And I had an obligation then to go into the military. So I did. And I figured I'd pay that back for a couple of years and then get out and start my my business career. Well, my first assignment was with 101st Airborne Division and and after about six months, I drank the Kool-Aid. I sort of like that army stuff. So I put off my my desire for about twenty seven years while I was on active duty.

[00:16:03] That's a couple of years. Yeah, that's a couple of years.

[00:16:05] But I didn't lose the idea. I wanted to go into business. Well, by twenty seven years later, the cost of a franchise was a little bit beyond me, but the idea of going to business never stopped.

[00:16:18] So I retired from military work. For a couple of friends of mine and big business, help the couple of friends start their businesses, and that's when I said, hey, if I don't do this now, I will never do it. And how many people out there have said that if you don't do it now, you're just not going to do it? You've got to take that leap, right? You've got it. Got to do it. So that's what I did. And I decided that my path would be with a partner, that we were able to move ahead. And and so I got into the into the business. And rather than running, we have to run our business rather than running the franchise or owning the franchise. I now can advise those that are starting their business or going into business and trying to grow and move ahead.

[00:17:04] That was your wife on board with all of this? And did you have like a pension? So you had some, you know, money to, you know, to keep you going while you're doing all this?

[00:17:15] Well, let me tell you, when I when I retired from the military and I went to work for big corporate America, my wife said, OK, keep working there because we need to pay some bills. And then when I told her the first time, I think I'm going to, you know, jump out and start my own, she said we have some bills to pay. And so I didn't. And that's when I helped some others start some businesses. And finally, I came to her one day and I just thought I'd say, we do this now or we won't. But yeah, we had saved up some money because much like Dave Ramsey says, you don't want to be in debt. We have some money. And I did have the military pensions retirement there. But it was that you got to got to have something because as everybody knows in business, unlike the government on day one, when you go into business, you start out with zero. And on day two, you have less than zero.

[00:18:13] And so you've got to work hard. You've got to move ahead.

[00:18:17] Yeah, it's it's all use so. So how did you end up getting your first round of clients?

[00:18:25] Yeah, so it's sort of interesting that we formed our company as an LLC and there's a lot of reasons, pros and cons for doing different things, you know, how you form your company, but certainly when you're forming a company, you want to be protected.

[00:18:41] And that certainly gave us a round of protection. There are our first customers. You know, you reach out to people you know. Right. And so that's that's who we went after. But we also I knew of this contract, that poem behold, it was a government contract that I had won back when I was working for General Dynamics, just after I retired from the military. And so I sort of scoped around a little bit and found that that one was about ready to be rebid. And lo and behold, we went and teamed up with a group and and won that work. And so we had a base level of regular income to keep us going. And then from there, it's through word of mouth, through marketing and and so on it. And by the way, I think I've shared my book with you that that was released last year, Tom. It's seeing what isn't there a leaders guide to creating change in a complex world and much like your books that certainly help your customers but also help your business, that that book certainly helped us because it's a quick read that's good for leaders at any level that really helps them set their asthma so they can get their business going as well.

[00:19:53] Now, you're a big advocate of reading, I understand.

[00:19:56] And for leaders and it seems like that's harder nowadays, people can hardly read and write and they're abbreviate and everything. And if it wasn't for emojis, half the people coming up through the ranks couldn't even can converse with you.

[00:20:12] That's right. But, you know, the best leaders are readers is what I say. And so here's the deal. It doesn't really matter what you read.

[00:20:21] You don't necessarily have to read these big old thick novels or even have a library card. And in fact, what I do is I'm sort of still into this physical training stuff I got to do every day. And so when I'm out in the morning doing my part and listen to audio book. Oh, good. Yeah, yeah. Like a great way to do that. Or if I'm on a treadmill or out biking or something like that, I'll knock out some books. But it doesn't matter what you're reading. You could read articles on the Internet, you can read blogs and post. There's all sorts of things out there that just help you grow again when you're reading. You want to be a critical reader. You just don't want to read it and accept it. If you want to be a critical reader. Is that something that you can buy into? What are they saying? You know, to be a critical reader when you read things and then see how that can help you? Or maybe I want to stay away from that. I don't agree with that. I want to do that. But you've learned something. Every time you read something, you learn something.

[00:21:16] Absolutely. I mean, I have two and a half massive libraries here at the retreat center.

[00:21:22] Just I've been a book freak forever.

[00:21:24] Used to be when I travel a lot, it was the hardest decision was what book can I take? I want to take these four books with me and I'm going to be overweight in my suitcase. Now, with everything on Kindle, you could think a thousand books with you.

[00:21:39] Absolutely.

[00:21:40] All right, so we got to take a brief sponsor break, when we come back, we'll ask Jim how he stays motivated and what's a typical day look like him doing, not just because of the pandemic, but in his regular business life. So so, folks, about 20 years ago, I kind of turned the Internet marketing world on its head and the people at my level were charging 50 or 100 grand up front to help you and teach you this kind of stuff, teach small business people.

[00:22:10] And I knew a lot of these people. If you gave them 50 grand, you'd be chasing him in Mexico, disappeared all year. So I said, you know, that's too risky for small business and it's just not right. So and they also knew that, you know, they wouldn't get the help if they put all the money up front. So I said, I'm going to switch this and turn it on its head. So I charged a much smaller or way smaller, like 10 times smaller entry fee to my program and then a commission on what I helped you create. And the commission was capped. So you're not stuck with me forever. So people just loved this because they knew I wouldn't disappear on them. And currently and it's been this way for, I don't know, close to 20 years, my commission is 50000 dollars. But for me to get my 50000, you have to make 200000. And this is net not gross. So it's always in your favor. And people just love this because they knew I wouldn't disappear on them and I had a stake in their success. So that's why I take calls on evenings and weekends and holidays and do whatever I can to help them because both of us are successful that way. So. So. Seventeen hundred students later, it's still going strong.

[00:23:26] Haven't missed a beat because of the pandemic. You know, we're all working from our homes anyway, so it's a very, very powerful program. And you get a scholarship to the school I was talking about earlier. It's the only licensed, dedicated Internet marketing digital marketing school in the country. So you get a scholarship there that you can either use yourself or gift to somebody. So I triple dog dare you to to find anybody, anybody's program that competes with mine, especially since ours is one on one tutoring. So you you can't make any faster progress than having somebody right there take over your computer screen and show you. Click here, click here. Don't click here. Don't do that. And it's got so many unique features about staying in my retreat center for an immersion weekend and using our TV studio and just all kinds of stuff. So check it out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com, and I'll talk to you about your future online.

[00:24:24] All right. Let's get back to the main event. Jim Solomon is here. He is a former colonel in the Army. He's got a leadership institute that he's partners with and they haven't killed each other. So that's right there. That's a good, good sign. So, Jim, what's a typical day look like for you?

[00:24:44] Well Tom, you know, I say that as a leader, I'm I talk about a leader, I'm talking about a business owner, I'm talking about someone that's maybe in charge of an organization or so forth.

[00:24:56] And and so I say leaders need to do three things. They need to think they need to read and they need to plan. I mean, we're all busy as can be, right. We're all trying to keep up with the inventories, billions, all that business stuff that we got to do. Right. But somehow during the day, we've got to be able to think, read and plan. So I make sure that it's got a little bit of that time spread throughout my day. The other thing I've got to worry about is the business basics. So I need to check things every single day on the business between me and the partner. I've got to market every single day. Tom is a great one to focus on that.

[00:25:36] He's been able to really, really help me and help me see through a new lens on how to do that.

[00:25:41] But marketing is just key and then it's relationships and relationships is everything. So it's keeping relationships up. It's relationships with all my customers know the easiest person to sell to is the person you've already sold to once when you agree Tom. Yep, yep, yep. So that's keeping those relationships up is key. Whether they're buying from me right now or not, then matter. You never want to burn a bridge and so want to keep those relationships up and then I've got to schedule time. The way we work is through several times with our clients, whether we're working one on one virtually or one on one with a group or a training session or a workshop. Those are schedule time so that those are the giving of the day. And then I work those other parts throughout it.

[00:26:27] But you know that when I your home working out of your home. Right.

[00:26:31] Working out of the home. Absolutely.

[00:26:33] Any assistance there in person or virtual it.

[00:26:38] We work all virtual, in fact all the support that we have, whether it be Web sites or CPA or we can operate our entire business virtually.

[00:26:50] And what we found during this these uncertain times with this covid stuff is thank goodness we can.

[00:26:58] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I mean, and I'm thinking my lucky stars, my lease was up on my school because, you know, I'm paying 7500 dollars a month for nothing. The all the employees are working at home, this giant building just sitting there empty, you know, so the lease was up. So I, you know, downsized and and then I'll be looking for in the next couple of months a new facility that's much smaller and cheaper because the a lot of businesses are dropping like flies. And they're also understanding that, hey, look at my productivity is up, but I'm not having to pay all this real estate. So a lot of companies are knocking 75 percent off of their real estate leases.

[00:27:44] So that overhead is huge, as we all know. And that's that's something we've got to take into account in one of the things that we found during this time period where where everybody's just there's so much uncertainty.

[00:27:58] People are struggling. Some businesses have had to let their employees off. You know, even if you've just got a couple of three or four, whatever it is. And and then as some have been fortunate enough to maybe bring some back what they've had to operate, virtually people working from home, it's been a little bit tough. You know, how how do you continue to create this culture of trust between your employees? How do they stay committed to you when they've also got the dog and the kids in the school and the husband might want a girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever it is that's going on in that house, how do they stay focused doing the stuff that you want them to do?

[00:28:36] I got an easy answer for that. I just threaten them. Yes. Yes. I guess that's and that's that's not the leadership. And that's certainly one approach. That's one approach. Well, now.

[00:28:48] All right, so since you are virtual, let's not forget the employees. Let's talk about you as the principal. How do you stay motivated when you're just by yourself?

[00:28:58] Yeah, and the way to do that is really, again, it's relationships and it goes back to we, not me, because if it's all about me, my business will fail. You know, I can't operate with just me. I need other people to operate the business. But I also need customers.

[00:29:19] And that's part of the way. Right. And so the thing that motivates me is always striving for success, always trying to improve just a little bit here and there. But because I'm versatile does mean I don't have to get out now. I might get out just a little bit less now during this restricted time period. But again, I'll turn those outings into some sort of virtual reality. And so I want to see people. So I'm going to meetings where I'm zooming with people, but getting together for a lunch or breakfast or just getting outside with some other folks or visiting clients at their site. That's got to be and it's truly during those time periods, is that interaction with others that really helps me up and gets me motivated to want to do more.

[00:30:07] Got it. Right. So tell people how they get a hold of you, how they find your books and stuff.

[00:30:12] And if they need your services, you bet they'll be at ChambersBayInstitute.com and our book seeing what isn't there a leader's guide to creating change in the complex world.

[00:30:27] You can check it out on Amazon Hardbacks Kindle or straight to our website. You go to our website, ChambersBayInstitute.com.

[00:30:35] All right. So thank you for being on today. And thank you for 27 years of protecting our country for your service, which is not enough. Not enough.

[00:30:47] People are thinking the thinking people like you for doing what you've done and risking your life for us. So, again, triple thanks for that. And we'll catch you on the next episode. See ya later.

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