John is the CEO of Jive Communications, a cloud-based business phone company closing in on $100,000,000 in annual recurring revenue. He has been an entrepreneur his entire life and loves the process of starting and growing businesses. Jive is now the largest privately owned VoIP company in the world. He is also a co-founder of Jive Communications.
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- Speek – John’s small business resource
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3 Key Points:
- It’s possible to grow a bootstrapped business—so, do NOT be discouraged.
- Be prepared, because you never know when the market will shift.
- Create your own executive family and stay “aligned” with one another.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:21] – John is fired up to be an entrepreneur
- [02:04] – “There are a lot of high profile software startups…”
- [02:16] – John built Jive with blood, sweat, and tears
- [02:34] – He believes in execution over hype
- [02:58] – John’s family has made a lot of this possible
- [03:53] – John’s area of expertise is bootstrapping a business
- [04:22] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: John made money in college while he was figuring out what profession he wanted to do. He wondered if he should start his own company. He left school and made $500K in one summer. He had two growing businesses and they needed a phone system. A local company quoted them $25K/business. John and his software developer friends got together to solve the issue by starting Jive. Three lessons to keep in mind: reinvest obsessively, lower your personal income, and take the opportunity when you see it.
- [09:53] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: At Jive, they had to pick out certain markets to aim for. There was government funding that reimbursed schools and libraries for phone service. Three years ago, the government decided to stop reimbursing and that caused the entire market to freeze.
- [11:49] – It was a blessing that John didn’t have all his eggs in one basket
- [12:08] – Be prepared at any point
- [13:07] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: “In building this company, everyone on the team was a domain expert…but then when we’d come back together and talk about our vision, sometimes we’d have misalignment. It just hit me like a brick that executives need to have dual professional lives”
- [14:39] – You have to become a committed executive family
- [15:37] – There a ton of benefits that come with being an executive family
- [16:45] – Be aligned and come together to discuss the most important things
- [17:44] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “I was thinking I needed to finish school”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – Have the courage to start a business on your own
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I give myself one primary goal each day”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Speek
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Traction – “A very hands-on resource for taking your business to the next level”
- [22:01] – Be obsessive about investing in your business
- 22:55 – Connect with John on his email, LinkedIn, and on his website
- 23:18 – Fire Nation gets 2 FREE months VOIP Service from Jive! Simply email John and mention his EOFire episode!
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