immersion active This is a topic that many people are looking for. bluevelvetrestaurant.com is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, bluevelvetrestaurant.com would like to introduce to you In the Trenches with Jonathan Boehman of Immersion Active. Following along are instructions in the video below:
“I m cathy callahan brady and welcome to in the trenches today. We ve got got a very special guest. This is jonathan jonathan bowman. Right from immersion axe action active.
I m always sort of kind of close that s all right we get it all the time exactly thank you for coming sure thing so this segment. Gives me a couple opportunities one to completely go off script. Which everyone knows i do but really the big part is to give me an opportunity to thank you you have been tremendous i mean just with the whole edge group with our accelerator. I think you re the one advisor who s shown up pretty much pretty close to every single time and i can t tell you how much i appreciate it it s been awesome to do great experience for me.
So. I told one of the participants. The other night i get so much out of it being there it s very fulfilling for me. So.
It s a you know it goes both ways. Yeah. Well thank you i m glad to you see that i think. Most of the advisors.
Really do see that a member at one point. When i was looking for individuals like yourself to help advise the company somebody said how are you gonna convince these very busy founders and ceos to take time limit if they re like me. And everybody is we get so much out of it i d rather just do this then all the other stuff. But anyways we digress and now you re on our team t or e.
One or the other come on both we re trying out both yeah see which one makes but they both have fun so far. I know they re all see i get to go to all of them. Which is kind of cool yeah. But anyways thank you for that what you ve done is just tremendous since i can t tell you how much i appreciate it absolutely tell us a little bit about immersion.
Active you were the founder mmm. I was one cofounders. So founders recently have exited that s right. But still with them yep.
So tell us born yeah. So about it s about 21 years ago. My business partner david and i founded the company and it was we can talk a little bit about that journey. If you want is you want as you want to ask me questions.
But it was about three and a half years ago. That we we sold to one of our bigger clients and so now we serve both them and and a variety of other clients. So it s a pretty unusual setup. The company as a whole focuses on helping companies who are looking to connect with older adults online mm hmm so it started off as a traditional kind of marketing agency advertising agency evolved to be strictly digital and then we focused on older adults.
So right now the focus has gone even even further and we work a lot in what i d say kind of the property development realm. So a lot of our clients are active adult communities for like 55 plus. Senior living communities. And we still do quite.
A bit of work for other companies like some health and wellness companies. Anybody who s really saying i need to message this group differently. Because what we found and why we specialize this in the first place is it s a really ignored audience like back when the baby boomers in particular. We re young everybody was focused on them and they re like ah baby boomers baby boomers and then as they aged it was kind of their kind of forgotten about by the marketers on madison avenue.
Who just wanted to target the younger audience and so we said hey well they re being ignored. That s an opportunity for us and and so we really leaned in there. And started to develop an expertise behind that and that was that was probably about 11 years ago..
I d say i m probably getting that wrong we won t hold you to it so. But why this particular business. I mean was there a passion behind it was there something that i mean there s always a why behind a certain business. I m always curious about that yeah and it changed very much over time.
I would say i mean over 21 years that it ought to i would say but when i when i started the business. I was 25. I had you know you know nanaia that s right i had barely any workplace experience. But i knew everything we always and it was just this feeling of like oh you know we can do this so much better or my business.
Partner and i we would get together in our off hours. And it was in the early days of the web. So we would kind of geek out on different things. And say we want to be doing this stuff.
And you know we can do this so much better and and so we just started off in his basement. You know bought all the equipment that we needed all the software that we needed and just scrapped at it like one client at a time he actually kept his day job for about a year and and i but i just went went in full time. I asked my dad can i can i live here. I started this you know and you know he was really my both my parents were supportive of that at the time.
So that was a nice option to have you know not a lot of people. Yeah. You know i didn t have to live in a you know a 200 square foot apartment or anything like that so that was the next year. I think.
But yeah. It was great so we just kind of went in and slowly built over time. I think at our largest. We were about about 30 people and there s been swings and we re around that number right now again you know with recessions and everything you tend to dip a little bit.
And that s that s part of being a business owner right that s right so what are some of the lessons that you ve learned over that i mean cuz at 25 of course. We know you knew it all. But now 20 years later looking back what would you tell your 25 year old self. With with what you know now what would you do differently.
Yeah. Well you know what s really interesting is there are so many different kinds of resources out there right now and they ll be different in another years. I m sure. But with all the lean startup material and that attitude of you know love the problem.
Not the solution. You know when you think you have it all figured out you can be very blind. When you make mistakes. And i think we were really hard workers and and i think we were talented too so a lot.
But big when you have just talent and you re not listening to maybe market signals blood sweat and tears can get you through a lot. But the the big advice really i would say there back to my future self is like you got a like look at every experience that you have when something doesn t go right. And you don t want to make that mistake again. But to do that you can t just say well i won t make that mistake again because it s not going to be the exact same situation right so you got to get really good at looking at why didn t that work in the first place and and looking inward and being really honest with yourself.
If you have a business partner. You know with your business. Partner and being able to build on that and move forward. And i think we got better at that over time and you know we were probably there were cases where we were lucky to like not have something put us under.
But like i said we were always really hard workers for like this isn t gonna this isn t gonna knock us down right we re gonna we re gonna keep going but that whole attitude of of looking at looking at what you did wrong and really understanding and kind of bringing things back to what is the problem that we re really trying to sell them here so and that s that goes back to the lean startup. Thing. It is so so huge yeah..
It s easy to fall in love with an idea well that s faster and as as entrepreneurs. Every other day are really really easy right become blinded to how cool something sounds mm hmm. Because nobody is honest with you about like your feedback on things yeah. The markets honest right.
But your parents are gonna be you know they re gonna all that sounds great yeah you know and you know your friends are gonna be like sure and then people that work for you even sometimes you make sure so unless you really put a process in place to be able to to analyze like what are we really doing here why are we doing it that s what i would do differently. Because i think we would have grown so much faster. Yeah approach. Yeah.
I think. These accelerators are really teaching. Me that as well even more i mean i always knew it you know how that is you know it then you don t really know it. So i mean how many entrepreneurs jump out there and they go oh yeah.
This is great and everybody s gonna buy it but they ve never even asked anybody whether they d really be interested or not. But hey they got the website and everything s perfect so now you have a business right that s right if we build it they will come right so at 25. You decided what 20 years. Later you re just gonna sell the business and was gonna work out perfect yes.
It was about the plan well no you know i mean i think you know you kind of go on journeys throughout your life. And so when i started. I didn t i didn t have kids. I wasn t married and my business partner was in a very different position.
He had he was married and he had two very young kids mm hmm. Not sure i could do that kind of same thing. So kudos to him for you know having enough entrepreneurial spirit to do that when he had when he had babies in the house and we just gotten kind of to a point. We had always talked about what s the beginning.
The middle in the end right and so as we got kind of toward a certain point. We started having discussions about mm hmm. Do we want do want to stay in this do we want to do something else. It s it s it s tiring to be an entrepreneur.
Yeah and you know we said we wanted to build a company that was if we built a company worth selling. We would have a company worth worth keeping mm hmm. But we always kind of kept the option you know we could keep the option in our pocket and an opportunity arose with our now parent company. Which is called home instead senior care.
They re one of our bigger. Clients and just a great values finn. I mean. What are the founders of that company are amazing people they ve they ve grown their franchise system to be the largest in home non medical in home care company in the world.
They re in like 16 countries or something like that and you know they ve done so well. But is there the kind of people that like sit down like have a beer with you and like you have a sandwich somewhere. And just chat with you like real people they actually care about all the employees. And there s when you think about the whole franchise.
System there s about 70000 of them like that they have real hearts. And so that was a real important thing to us. We didn t want to just sell to get out right you know it was and it was to be able to do something a little greater so for us. It helped us offer more benefits to our employees.
Kind of gave us an interesting mix of like the best of like a bigger company and then the culture of a smaller company so that s a really nice nice measure still with them right really absolutely three to three and a half years later so. It s been it s been a really good ride in a good decision and at the end of the day. We can go home and say we ve worked on something important mm hmm and it s helping people and and so that i think is another and part of it it wasn t just like how can we squeeze as much money out of as much profit out of this as possible so it was a win win across did any of your employees..
Leave or they go with their wha. Let me think back here we so yeah over time. I mean three and a half years certainly really the company looks pretty different right now. I would say.
But there still is a kind of a core group of people that have been there since the beginning. But we had to also build out new new talent to be able to service. Our parent company in a different way the group that i run. There now is a the innovation group so we re kind of the de facto innovation team for our parent company and they really valued having us outside of outside of their company.
Mm. Hmm across the country to be able to kind of keep a good perspective on the business. What does that actually mean i mean what do you do for the main company. Yeah.
I m going up with the creative new. I guess without getting it without getting into specifics and you may be familiar with how innovation teams work at different company. And there s a lot of different functions they can play. And so we ve actually tried a few and said hey.
The organization s not not ready for us to be a skunkworks so we kind of started off as you know just building stuff. But there s always a resistance. I d say no not always. But probably like 99 of the time from what i hear from other people that work in this field.
There s a resistance between kind of like the operational side of things and in an innovation team until they kind of it takes time to figure it out like how are we gonna work together. However you got stepped on each other s toes do you work on stuff. That s down the road. You are you are you duplicating efforts that that i m working on right now and so we kind of saw like hey.
There s there s more change that needs to kind of go on here. So we stepped back and went into a model. Where we are kind of empowering. The people that are in the organization empowering them so much as helping them advance their ideas and so we re there as a resource to be able to help them look and say okay.
What problem are you really trying to solve right and really boil that down and then let s figure out how we re gonna measure this how are we gonna know that s true and then how are we gonna run some real rapid tests so that you don t go down the road over right. I have the perfect solution for this and then a year later you ve rolled something out to a huge company and it s not doing the job. And that s easy. It s easy for that to happen even if the solution to check a lot of the boxes.
So we try to help people with both of the stuff. That s what would say incremental. So you know changes to processes. And the current way of doing things to kind of more evolutionary and disruptive ideas.
They re gonna be like how are we going to replace what we re doing now with the next. Offering and there can be some tension around that kind of thing of course god we re gonna butcher the business in rain well are we gonna do that or somebody else gonna do that to us so i d rather be in control of that journey. Yeah. No kidding the next fitting so that s that s what we do we try to wait.
But we try to really lean in there and help people with their ideas. Because it s a network of like there s like 700 franchise. Owners. Goodnight and these guys are all on and women are all entrepreneurs and they ve got ideas that they want to try out right you know they re in a but they re in a franchise.
This game so it s it s a you know there s a formula. But when you want to step outside that formula. We re kind of like a way they can step outside of the formula and try new things so that s that s always really exciting because we get to work with all these exactly that s right up your alley is the entrepreneur..
Absolutely now i get why you like the strategize our business model canvas so much and why are you guys were using it if it s it fits perfect yeah. It s a great tool. Yeah so i could go on and on and i people disconnect. But hey we can still keep having a good time talking.
But we need to know we need to wrap it up sure is there any piece of advice that you d like to leave an entrepreneur with you know your your 25 year old or a book. Or a quote or something that kind of has inspired you yeah. Oh there s i mean. There.
s been there s been tons of things so i mentioned a couple really quick. And i mentioned earlier. The quote from ash maurya love the problem not the solution right so. His book is running lean.
And he is scaling lean. Now and those are that s a really important thing to kind of absorb. I think as a young entrepreneur and it kind of goes in line with something that steve jobs. Really said is like you got to kind of start with a customer experience not with the technology.
Because you can t kind of make that force the technology into you know serving a customer. He inherently understood a lot of that without using the same words as i think we re using in the innovation space. Now so i think that s why he had a lot of success mm hmm. But maybe one of the last things i would say is for for any young entrepreneur is learning how to manage people because when you re 25.
And you got this great idea and and you know you hire your first employee. They don t come with a manual you know. But there are good resources out there so i m a book that i read a little later into my journey was called managing right for the first time. And it s by a gentleman named david c.
Baker. Who we ve used as a consultant over the years and he just has like one of the smartest guys that i ve met. But it s just an amazingly helpful book to kind of relate in in my field. That i was in with a lot of creative people and then he had the account side of things so all these different personalities is he local.
He s not he s out of nashville. But and it s not like a super well known write book. I would say i ve never heard it self publishes. He s got his own book label and everything the only problem with these interviews is you guys come up with the most interesting books and then it s like amazon here.
I come again. Yeah. You can t read everything that people. Tell you about them is a good one for a young person starting a business and i ve actually i don t think i even have my copy anymore because i ve loaned it out and got it back great thank you again for everything.
And i think we re gonna be seeing you again here. Very very soon yep sounds good remember. Which one tear. It s one of them wonderful right yeah.
Thank you it s been great. Yeah. Well. Thank you guys for watching.
And come check out fitzie org. So you can meet the rest of our advisors and get to know kind of behind the scenes of fitzy have a great day you ” ..
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