Do you have family members that owned a business and inspired you to become an entrepreneur or are you the first in your family to take that leap?
J: For most of my life my dad has been an entrepreneur, primarily performing general construction and other related tasks, including architecture and building houses from the foundation up.
Have you ever worked with your family before at some point? If you do what are the challenges you face? If not, would you ever consider it?
J: Growing up I would often work for my dad during the summer months and on and off throughout the year. For us it was never a challenging thing to work together — maybe because I was so young — but it was a great opportunity for me to learn about what he did and how he did it. To this day, I’m blown away at all the knowledge he has about how to create great places for people to live.
When you went to college did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur or were you pursuing a “real job” at the time?
J: I’ve always had the entrepreneurial “fire,” but for a long time I thought I would probably pursue a “real job” for a good, long time first. I thought, maybe “someday” down the road I’d start my business, that kind of thing. Turns out, I don’t tend to fit so well inside most companies; at least not for very long. (I break too many “rules.”)
If you were pursuing a “real job” in college, do you wish that you would have realized you were meant to be an entrepreneur before you went through all the schooling?
J: No, I think my path was exactly what I needed. Do I think everyone needs to take the path I did? Absolutely not. But for me, it was perfect.
If I could run my business from anywhere it would be… a detached home office near a clean, walkable city.
If I had unlimited funds for my business I would…
J: Do more of what I’m doing now — help more organizations create healthy company cultures. Also, I’d fund entrepreneurs who want to build a new kind of company: one that’s more sustainable, human, and meaningful.
If I was standing in a room full of upcoming entrepreneurs I would tell them to…
J: Protect their hope. The world will do everything it can to make you jaded. Don’t let it happen.
For those dropping out of the corporate world to pursue their passion, the most important thing you need to know is… your strengths.
One thing people don’t know about me is…
J: I used to be a rock star (well, almost).
My biggest fear is… not making all the impact I can.
My hope for the future of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the making is…
J: That they realize the company of tomorrow doesn’t have to look like the businesses of today. Together, we can create a better future — one filled with meaningful work and companies that make the world a better place.