Jeff White is a true serial entrepreneur. With two successful exits under his belt, he is now on his next big data startup.
As an entrepreneur, Jeff has certainly pulled off some enviable feats. As a founder and investor, there is plenty to learn and get inspired by his story.
We got together for a recent episode of the dealmakers podcast. He shared why he made the leap from the 9-5, tips for making it through the tough days, and what’s possible when you go all-in on your ideas.
You Can’t Run From Entrepreneurship
Jeff White says opportunity is always knocking. Many people ignore it and don’t answer the door. Some think it is just a fantasy and try to follow a more conventional path. At least until they find they just don’t fit as a cog in the system.
Originally born and raised in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington DC, Jeff was always drawn to engineering and problem-solving. Politics may dominate the region, but VA has been developing its own tech alley too.
He always thought he would end up being a corporate executive. He spent most of his early life on track to becoming a CEO in corporate America. He got an engineering degree, a computer science degree, and his MBA.
His professional career was spent rounding out his experience in sales, marketing, and operational experience. All the time applying principles of taking data and creating solutions to operational everyday problems.
He worked for Caterpillar and AT&T. Then one day at work with one of the largest companies in America someone came into his offices.
They started counting the ceiling tiles. They said that depending on your ranking in the company you are only allowed so many ceiling tiles in your office.
They would be reorganizing and remodeling everything accordingly. It was absurd. He realized strategy didn’t have a place there. Common sense was clearly absent.
He was in the wrong place. He left and never looked back.
Three Guys & A Napkin
Jeff had seen plenty of operational and managerial issues at the big companies he worked at. They were scaling globally, yet often had trouble managing and knowing what was happening in the next cubicle.
Yet, between these eye-opening experiences and other case studies he knew nothing would be done without people. Regardless of how smart you may be, no matter what talents you have in different areas unless you have a great team your results are going to be subpar.
Despite having the luxury of working in a stable job, with a solid paycheck, he leaped into entrepreneurship. Even in spite of already having a family, kids and a mortgage payment.
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