Raj Jana is an entrepreneur. For the most part, he is known for being the founder as well as the current CEO of the JavaPresse Coffee Company. However, he runs a podcast as well. Here are 10 things you might not know about him.
1. Raised on the Idea that You Get What You Work For
Jana has stated that he was raised on the idea that "you get what you work for," which he connected to his background as the child of a first-generation immigrant. Due to this, he made an enormous effort to excel, with the result that he managed to do quite well in school as well as out of school. For instance, Jana has stated that he was earning six figures right out of school.
2. Got Shaken By Two Events in Short Succession
Eventually, Jana's belief in the idea that "you get what you work for" was shaken by two events that happened in short succession. First, his father was laid off from what was supposed to have been a secure job at a corporation. Second, his mentor died just three months before he was scheduled to retire so that he could pursue his personal passion of woodturning. Combined, these two events caused Jana to realize that life contained no certainties.
3. Dissatisfied Before the Two Events
Having said that, Jana was feeling dissatisfied before the two events happened. Apparently, he went above and beyond to prove his value to his employer for the purpose of securing promotion after promotion as fast as possible. However, Jana wasn't able to climb the corporate ladder at the speed that he desired for himself because there were always limited opportunities, meaning that he had to follow someone else's plan rather than his own.
4. Suggests Having a Full-Time Job When Starting Up a Business
Jana hasn't been hesitant about sharing his experiences as an entrepreneur. For instance, he thinks it is a good idea for interested individuals to start up their businesses while working full-time jobs. The reasoning is that said individuals won't have to worry about their survival should their efforts fail. Furthermore, the extra cash provides them with more room for risk-taking, which can provide them with opportunities for bigger rewards. Of course, the downside is that a full-time job means a full-time workload on top of the responsibilities of running a start-up business.
5. Thinks that People Choose Product Diversification Too Soon
In Jana's opinion, one of the common mistakes that entrepreneurs make is choosing product diversification too soon. Fundamentally, product diversification requires interested individuals to set up additional processes to support each step in each product lifecycle, which is a huge undertaking. Since entrepreneurs are so reliant on optimizing product lifecycles for their success, this can cause them to slip, thus rendering them less and less competitive against better-established competitors. In other words, choosing product diversification too soon causes entrepreneurs to split their focus at a time when they can't afford to do so.
6. Thinks that People Shouldn't Run of Stock
Speaking of which, Jana also thinks that entrepreneurs shouldn't let themselves run out of stock. In short, his reasoning is that having stock makes it possible for them to capitalize on people who want to make impromptu purchases. Something that has become much easier in the Digital Age than in previous eras.
7. Believes that Kickstarter Can Be Used to Create the Perfect Customer
It is interesting to note that Jana believes that Kickstarter can be used to create the perfect customer based on not one but a number of reasons. First, Kickstarter users fund products rather than purchase products, which has much the same result but nonetheless casts the whole process in a very different light, thus creating an increased sense of commitment on their part. Second, Kickstarters users can provide some of the first feedback on the products. This enables the companies to fine-tune their products to better-suit said individuals, which can make for more effective as well as more efficient marketing than otherwise possible. Third, this process causes Kickstarter users to become more engaged than otherwise possible. Something that makes it that much easier to form a long-lasting sense of loyalty.
8. Suggests that Entrepreneurs Take Courses
Jana suggests that entrepreneurs should take courses to learn more. This makes sense because running a start-up business requires a wide range of skills, meaning that further education is critical. Furthermore, even if people have preexisting experience with such matters, there is no guarantee that said experience can carry over perfectly from one kind of business to another kind of business. For instance, running a burger joint is not the same thing as running a sandwich shop even though the two fall within the same industry. Moreover, running one sandwich shop isn't necessarily the same as running another sandwich shop because they can have very different products aimed at very different people under very different circumstances. As for why people should take courses rather than self-study, well, suffice to say that it is very difficult for people to come up with a good self-study plan unless they already have some grasp of the subject matter.
9. Believes that the Past Doesn't Need to Define the Future
Over the course of his career, Jana has spoken about entrepreneurship with a wide range of people, which includes people locked up in maximum security prison. It was on such an occasion that he came to the belief that a person's future doesn't need to be defined by their past. Supposedly, this happened when he spoke with an inmate in his 40s when had committed a murder when he was 19 with the result that he had been locked up for 22 years and could expect to remain locked up for another 9 years. Said individual's reflection enabled him to make peace with his life-defining choice, which in turn, caused Jana to believe that other people should also be able to make peace with their life-defining choices.
10. Thinks that People Should Make the Most of Their Freedom
On a related note, the same occasion caused Jana to come to the conclusion that people should make the most of their freedom, which is very much connected to his stance that people need to reach out on their own to seize happiness for themselves.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee