In today’s episode, we welcome Jake Sturgis, the founder and CEO of Captivate Media. Jake founded his company in January 2014, making it his full time job.
He makes it clear that his company doesn’t just make videos, but produces content that has a deeper meaning, connecting with the audience. Captivate Media focuses on answering the “Why?” instead of the “What?”. His entrepreneurial journey is just beginning, as he is only 38 and has been adding a few employees to his team each year.
Bobby: To this point, what is the greatest point in your professional career?
Jake Sturgis: I think it was that moment that I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur and leave my full-time job. I kept thinking of hurdles and different things that I wanted to have in place before I took that step on my own. I finally learned that I couldn’t keep waiting for the stars to align; I was the one who had to make that decision. I would have to step in and make the conditions right for me to step into entrepreneurship.
That moment of getting over all of the fears and the voices in your head that say, “no, you can’t do this” is freeing. It came down to me not wanting to live my life in regret and not being able to look back thinking, “what if I would’ve taken that shot, taken a chance?” I am super grateful that I did take a chance, but getting to that point was a process, something that kept me up many nights.
Bobby: So, for our listeners, how old were you when you took that leap?
Jake Sturgis: I was 34 years old when I did that.
Bobby: What aligned and what happened that made you think that you couldn’t wait anymore to jump into entrepreneurship?
Jake Sturgis: For me it was faith, taking a step out into the unknown, not knowing what the next step would be. It was a family decision, so getting my wife onboard as well was a big part of it. I had two young kids and she was working part time. I needed that inner voice inside of me that was saying, “you can do this.”
I knew that I had enough friends and family around that no matter what I wouldn’t end up on the streets without food. People would take care of me. As soon as I shared with others that I was going to start my own business, people began to rally around me, asking if I needed help with anything. People came out to help support me and help me get launched, and that made it a much less isolating feeling, knowing I wasn’t all alone.
Bobby: Yeah, I think an important thing you just said was about having a core network around you that supports you as an entrepreneur. That’s so helpful.
Jake Sturgis: Absolutely. As I said, I had so many friends I could rely on. It’s important to have connections so that you can make a phone call when something is going on in your life that not many other people know anything about.
Bobby: For sure. Now that we have covered your greatest moment, tell us about a moment that you were closest to giving up.
Jake Sturgis: I think it was month two or month three of starting the business. I reached out to my network when I started things with an expectation that my phone would be ringing and that I would be getting emails. By month two and month three, I really started to second guess myself and wondered if this was a bad decision. The phone wasn’t ringing and the emails weren’t coming in. It was my low point going back to my wife at home and she would ask, “Did you get any business today?” I would have to tell her, “Nope.” Did the phone ring? “Not today.” Having those conversations were hard, not knowing if I’d be able to support my family.
Bobby: If you had one do-over in your early twenties, what would that be?
Jake Sturgis: So, I worked a lot in college. On one hand, that was good because I left without much student debt. But on the other hand, I look at my brother and sister who both traveled abroad while they were in college or shortly after college, and I am a little jealous.
Once you leave college and enter the working world or maybe you get in a serious relationship, it’s really hard to go back to those days where you don’t have many commitments and you are able to go somewhere else. I was never able to really immerse myself in another culture. That’s my biggest regret because it’s not something I can easily do right now, I’ll have to wait until retirement.
Bobby: That’s definitely understandable. I have always had a hard time balancing that idea of working hard or studying abroad. There is so much learning in travel.
Jake Sturgis: Absolutely. It’s made me better. The few mission trips I have gone on have impacted the way I interact with people and how I take life in.
Bobby: Sweet. Now this is the hard question: if you were to die tomorrow, what would be your single biggest regret?
Jake Sturgis: I think it’s not connecting with others. I’m one of those guys who thrives on deeper conversation, not superficial chitchat. I look at my social media platforms and I’ve got quite a few friends on them. But as far as the people I actually reach out to and talk to and have relationships with, it’s not that many.
Now in my late thirties, there are fewer and fewer people that I have time to connect with. I often times think, what if I took fifty friends on Facebook and every week of the year reach out to just one person that I haven’t talked to yet this year. That might sound kind of awkward for some, but it’s one of those things that I should do to reignite those relationships that have been lost.
Bobby: I totally get that. Now, what is one life hack that listeners should do this week to become successful?
Jake Sturgis: For me, I have found I do my best work in the morning. Not everybody is that way. But I start my workout at 6:15 and get my day going. I think it is those morning hours and finding that consistent ritual that can really set your day up for success. Whether that is meditating, reading news, or working out, finding that routine will center yourself and give you energy for the day ahead. By the time I get home and put the kids asleep, I am shot and ready for bed myself. I used to stay up late and get a bunch of stuff done, but I found that doesn’t really work. Instead, I tell myself that I will do even better work if I get to bed and set myself up for the next day. I will be more focused.
Bobby: Right now. I want to be respectful of your time, but before we let you go, do you have an ask of the audience or any parting thoughts?
Jake Sturgis: I think a big thing is finding your passion. For me, much of the work we do is mission and purpose driven which gets me up in the morning. It gets me fired up. It fires my employees up too.
Bobby: Awesome. So find that passion. Well thanks Jake for joining us today. Talk to you soon.
Thanks for checking out Episode 3! Some things to remember from the podcast: go out and see the world when you are young and have the chance. Also, do not take your personal connections for granted; stay in touch with your friends as you start your career.
Lastly, this week work on waking up early. Many of you may roll your eyes, but give it a try. Getting an early start to your day can increase productivity.
That’s all we have for now. We’ll see you next week when we talk with David Hoy, the CEO of David Hoy & Associates. Bye!
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