Jack is a 27-year-old, former pro hockey player that is changing the game in sports nutrition. He has surfed couches, hopped accelerators, and crashed in offices to launch his company, TruEnergy. It’s the first sport shot beverage to deliver a clean boost of energy that is fit for anyone… Olympians to weekend warriors. He sleeps in a gym (literally) and lives his brand all day and night.
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What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about doing things I hate. It may sound weird, but I have grown to love jumping out of my comfort zone just to see what it would feel like. This strange curiosity has taught me to appreciate the preconceived intolerable tasks of cold calling and public speaking, to investor pitches and filming. This has led me down an exciting road filled with eye-opening experiences every single day. I am still working on the “talking to women” thing though as that level of anxiety will lead to my early demise.
What’s one of your most proud moments?
Although I never lifted a Stanley Cup or placed a gold medal around my neck, I sit here without a single regret as an athlete. Although I may not have had the most gifted IQ on the ice or the skills to pay the bills, I worked my ass off and that was enough for me. Since I was young, I always dreamed of turning pro and signing for the big bucks; however, there came a time in my career where the odds did not seem t0o hot. I was coming off a season with zero points, limited ice time, and nothing but a broken finger to demonstrate that I even played. Armed with a practically illogical self-confidence, I jumped on a plane to Denmark for a one-week tryout with a small suitcase and a hockey bag essentially wiping out my NCAA eligibility in the process. I didn’t make it. I didn’t make the second team either. On the third attempt, my life’s work proved profitable while the stars aligned. I scored on my first shift, played one of the best games of my life, and inked a contract that night in the top league. It wasn’t for big bucks, but it felt like millions. That one signature proved to me the power of grit and awarded me two of the best years of my life in three great countries. If there is one thing that I would tell any athlete or entrepreneur, there will never be a substitute for resilience.
What’s your mantra?
If you don’t live your brand, no one will.
Ironically, my first leap into the world of startups was targeting the liquor industry and not sports nutrition. Having typecasted myself in real life as a boring straight arrow (not straight A’s) type of student in college, many could not believe or understand why I would jump into something so foreign. At first, I was dumbfounded by people’s brash resistance to my endeavor; however, years later I realized the truth. Ignorantly staring into a mirage of dollar signs, I was not passionate about liquor. My mediocre pitches fell on deaf ears while my results were no better than the bold red C’s that coated my exams as a student. When a fellow entrepreneur finally echoed the phrase “Live Your Brand” just as Squints from the Sand Lot echoed the phrase “For-ev-er”, I was sold. It was then that I realized, if I don’t eat, sleep and breathe TruEnergy than I can’t expect someone to walk into a store with their hard earned cash and support our mission.
Have you faced adversity?
Honestly, I don’t think I have ever faced true adversity. Sure I have run out of inventory at the worst of times, had my bank account reach triple digits more times than I care to unveil, and even lived in some weird places; however, when push comes to shove, this was all brought upon myself. Although I have faced some difficult challenges as a young entrepreneur and seen failure more often than not, I love the process and the roller coaster ride of emotions that comes with it.
How did you overcome it?
I face business challenges by evolving quickly and creatively. While big business is slow to react, our startup thrives on turning on a dime. Sometimes, this means picking up a smaller investment last second to keep the boat afloat, while other times it means sourcing an overpriced ingredient from a new supplier abroad in the matter of a few days. Challenges are certainly stressful but finding solutions is a pretty rewarding rush. You will definitely get hit in the face from time to time. Good entrepreneurs can take a punch, the great ones counter.
What skills are you working on currently?
The organization, delegation, and multitasking.
Do you have a mentor?
I am truly grateful for the supporting cast in my life and can honestly say that I have a team of mentors that have supported, taught, and inspired me to reach for new heights throughout my life. Strangely, it seems that I have had a specific mentor for each new chapter of my life. Early on my parents who were also both athletes instilled in me the importance of hard work and more importantly character. They have easily been the greatest and most positive influences on me. As I reached new stages in life, I was lucky enough to get teamed with great mentors who have all become great friends from coaches and teachers to advisors and investors. It would not be fair to name just a few when so many have impacted me in a major way and made me into the person I am today. In the end, I wouldn’t be here without them. They know who they are, and I owe them everything.
What’s your favorite book?
The last book I read was The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It wasn’t the most riveting book I ever read; however, it is a must for any entrepreneur. It demonstrates the importance of pushing forward even when everything seems lost as the smallest adjustment could be the catalyst between death and prosperity.
What does success mean to you?
I don’t view success in terms of money. Although it is a great way to keep score, I feel the true marker of success is happiness. I would rather live 5 more years full of smiles than live another 50 full of envy. I am not saying that I don’t enjoy the finer things, nor am I saying that I don’t have materialistic desires; however, I am saying real success is being able to look in the mirror and be truly content with the person staring back.