I recently returned from attending jvAlert Live in Denver, CO. As you know, I am quite the jvAlert Live fan and attend them as often as possible - which is not often enough for my satisfaction!
You may ask why I am such a fan of these events. Well, there are always great speakers and I always learn something new. But the biggest reason is that I meet the most interesting people! And this trip was no different.
While in Denver, I had the privilege of meeting a gentleman whose business deals with a subject near and dear to my heart. As a first aid and disaster preparedness instructor and Red Cross volunteer for many years, I know the importance of being prepared for an emergency. And so when I met Jack Jobe, I knew I had to share his story. Meet Survivor Jack!
1. Jack, tell us about yourself.
I was an only child and an Army Brat. Born Jack “Randy” Jobe in Oklahoma, raised in Germany, Alabama, Tennessee, Hawaii, Oklahoma again & North Carolina. While in Germany, we traveled to many countries of Europe. When Dad’s last assignment was a “Hardship Tour” (no family allowed due to potential danger), Mom and I settled back in Oklahoma where I graduated from OU. I started a Math Major but graduated in Speech: Radio-TV Broadcasting. My favorite interview was “Bruce Lee and Me.”
After college, I became an Emmy-nominated Photojournalist at WKY-TV (now KFOR) in Oklahoma – mostly due to my partner, Bob Dotson, now of NBC News. The award brought several opportunities; I took an offer from KMGH in Denver. I got burned out several years later and went into sales.
My wife, Jacquie and I have been happily married for 28 years. Actually we’ve been married 32, but about 28 have been happy. Ha-ha! We had two great sons and now a daughter-in-law.
2. Tell us about your business.
My business is about saving lives, preparedness & leaving Humanity better off than I found it.
3. Why did you start your own business?
I had a VISION!
4. How did you come up with the idea for Survivor Jack?
15 Days after the Haiti Earthquake, the news showed the rescue of a teenage girl named Darlene Etienne. After that long, this should have been a body recovery. As the rescuers pulled her face into the light, I was struck by a blinding VISION! I received so much information for fast. I grabbed two fresh pads of paper then wrote and drew pictures for four hours. It was overwhelming. I had to get it down. Jumbled pictures, sentences and fragments BUT I could clearly see a new type of survival tool.
5. And now you are working on that new product. Tell us more!
Imagine being able to reach into your purse, briefcase, backpack or pouch and pull out a full sized Hammer, Hatchet & Pry bar (and more). My Survival tool is based on two handles. If you were in a burning car, you could smash out your window with a hammer in one hand and cut through your ‘stuck’ seatbelt with the other. As of now the tool is in the final Research & Development stage.
6. What do you like most and least about being your own boss?
As a Solopreneur, I have to do everything: writing, editing, marketing, videos, cleaning office, learning business, networking - physically and on-line. That is the Blessing and the Curse. I have total control --- of me.
7. What personality traits and skills are needed to run a business?
Persistence IS # 1. When I’ve ‘stuck it out’, I been stunningly successful. When I’ve given up too quickly, I’ve caused my own failures. IF you are running your business like a hobby, you Might achieve a moderate success, or not. IF you run your business because it is a Burning Passion, you can go far beyond what you currently see as your limits.
8. What has been the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur?
Our school system is designed to create ‘Factory Workers’. Students get no ‘real life & Business’ training. We aren’t taught the psychology or the methods. When were you trained to be an Entrepreneur?
Now I understand the need for ‘a Team’. I have one type of personality (although a weird one) and I do some things great. I need to carefully recruit and hire the talents that are my weaknesses.
9. Do you have any resources you have used to build your business that you would recommend?
Networking & Free Publicity.
10. Do you have any tips to share on promoting your business?
I’ve had more than 10 Million contacts (viewer, readers and listeners) in the last 18 months.
While my Survival Tool was struggling to life, I began to brand Survivor Jack. Before I was first given the name, I appeared on National Geographic TV’s #1 series to date, “Doomsday Preppers” (S1E9). By the time I appeared on the sequel, “Doomsday Preppers Bugging Out” (S1E7), I was ‘Survivor Jack’ – due to a trade show I attended where a Branding Expert gave me the ‘handle’.
I look for any avenue to introduce people to Survivor Jack. (I’m here aren’t I? and you are reading this.) My 5 DIY (Do It Yourself) articles on one site have more than 115,000 readers.
These have gotten me on FOX News (local & national), dozens of Blogcasts (interviewed or guest writer), radio & TV shows. All of this is Free Publicity.
Your audience might think their business is not so ‘Promotable’. Think again. Become the “Expert”! There are people who need your product or service. The Web means you can deliver your story, thoughts and updates to your ‘Followers’ and potential clients. Build (your Niche) Social Channels, post your comments and collect emailing addresses. Short simple videos can be Highly Effective from Dry Cleaners & Realtors to Financial Planners or Restaurant Chains.
11. What other advice do you have for someone starting their own business?
THINK – “Who do I want on my Team?” – from now on? For example, I need a “Business Manager”. You have great skills in some areas but not all. A mentor once taught me, “I don’t do anything very well but I’m smart enough to hire the experts who do.” When you are starting, when cash is tight, ask for mentoring in your weak areas. I cannot hire a Full Time COO (Chief Operations Officer) but I can get help from SCORE (See SBA)