Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jamie Flinchbaugh, founder of JFlinch, located in Bucks County, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Most leaders are challenged to bridge gaps within their organization. They need guidance and coaching so they can be effective in all situations. We help leaders close these gaps so they can have a purposeful impact on crafting an effective, resilient organization and reach that organization’s full potential.
We work with purposeful leaders who want to craft an effective, resilient organization. To do that, they need the ability to close cultural, capability, strategic, and systems gaps. And they need the ability to anticipate future gaps so that you can easily leap across them when they arise. For any number of reasons, the problem is that they lack the clarity needed to close all existing gaps and are uncertain about what pitfalls lie ahead. This keeps them from reaching their potential, leaving them dissatisfied and maybe a little disheartened.
At JFlinch, we offer fresh perspectives, frameworks, and pathways of action so leaders can gain the clarity they need to bridge gaps and craft effective, resilient organizations. We’ve coached and advised leaders at over 300 companies, from computer chips to potato chips, from hospitals to governments. This deep and broad experience has allowed us to codify patterns that exist across a wide variety of businesses at various levels of maturity.
Tell us about yourself
I started working on the manufacturing floor when I was young, under my dad's watchful eye. I saw how hard he worked and became interested in all the moving pieces that pulled the organization together, even though my role was to clean up everything from machine chips to bathrooms. I eventually ran machine tools, wrote machine code, and became further interested in the work, which took me to engineering and business school.
I spent a lot of time in organizations running small and large teams, but always with an eye toward transformation. I was always driving by, leaving things stronger than when I found them. Ultimately, I started a consulting business that served clients all over the world because I wanted to have an impact.
In January 2020, I started my current advisory firm JFlinch a bit with a clean sheet. I started shaping what I do and how I do it to meet the needs of leaders trying to navigate the pandemic and now navigate a fast-shifting world. The ability to serve as a thought partner to strong leaders drives my passion. I enjoy every interaction when we get to tackle tough problems together.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is probably overcoming myself. There are plenty of things that stand in business success, and most entrepreneurs have plenty of flaws. The question is, will they fix their flaws or simply overcome them. I have to say that I've had to do some of both. I'm probably not a natural entrepreneur for some reason. And for other reasons, it was the only path suitable for me. I ultimately measure success through my client satisfaction. Since opening my doors with a fresh start in January 2020, I'm happy to say I haven't lost a client yet, which hopefully shows I'm delivering value.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, I included, it's the balance between the heads-up and seeing the horizon while also keeping heads-down and focusing on execution. Sometimes this is about being able to do both at the same time, and sometimes it is about deciding when to pull way up and reconsider everything or when to ignore everything and just grind out the execution. I coach many entrepreneurs as well and many struggles with this challenge. Every new idea is a great opportunity and, at the same time, a threat to deliver on yesterday's promise. A good entrepreneur needs both.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always be curious and intellectually agile. You have to learn and adjust. Curiosity helps you ask questions about yourself, your product or service, your customers or market, or anything else you need to understand. If you received a playbook, then maybe you're a franchisee. There's nothing wrong with that. But most people don't have a playbook; they must learn their way into it.
- Dare to face and move through your fears. Don't pretend you shouldn't have fears. Fears are rational, but don't let them limit you.
- Find your passion, whether that passion is for a vision, a customer, a cause, or even just the team that you're building. Very few successful entrepreneurs did it without passion, and that passion was almost never about trying to be rich.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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