Jul 11, 2017
Today’s guest joins Kevin from Salt Lake City, Utah. Jeff experienced great entrepreneurial success in the business world. Jeff talks about creating (and selling in one case) two companies: Health Benefits America in eyeQ. In this episode, Jeff focuses on the attitudes and preparations he took to ensure that he was successful in his ventures.
[:45] Jeff shares his lifeline. He switched his major several times during college, but graduated with a business degree and went into financial planning with his father and brothers. Right from the get-go, Jeff found a lot of success with financial planning. But after several years, he began to observe and seek out a new way to use his expertise.
[2:24] Jeff talks about what was going on with health care in the government, and how this served as an impetus for his business. He also talks about other instances where businesses were able to do something better, faster, and cheaper — a great opportunity to get on the map.
[4:57] In 1986, Jeff and his partner Ron started their company called Health Benefits America. In order to build their database, they traveled around the states to gather data so they could provide information on which health care plans were best in each state. This database made it much easier for corporations as well as the employee.
[10:22] They changed the industry by making things simply: doing it better, much faster, and much cheaper than the systems that were currently in place. In ten years, they picked up 127 Fortune-500 companies. After they built up the company in the West, they were able to sell services around the country.
[13:33] Jeff talks about how they were able to sell and grow so quickly. They got connected with ADP and were able to grow at an even quicker rate. This whole process of selling the company to ADP was done in ninety days.
[18:54] Jeff credits much of his desire to grow and “be the best” to his father. This initiative allowed him to use some of his past expertise, such as landscaping, as well his new knowledge.
[23:22] In 1996, Jeff began exploring ventures with his current company, Infinite Minds. This program helps to make kids better learners. Jeff got the rights in all English-speaking countries. They went to market in 2000.
[25:02] It is very hard to make it in Ed Tech; Jeff has stuck with it because, unlike some of his other businesses, Infinite Mind/EyeQ really helps to change lives. It only takes 5-7 minutes a day, and the payoff for reading speed and comprehension is huge.
[28:43] Some of the things Jeff is interested in, outside of work, are things that challenge him personally, rather than team sports. He is involved in triathlons, as well as climbing, and endurance runs.
[29:48] What’s next for Jeff? When he sold the company, he decided he was going to learn one new thing a year. So he’s been taking the opportunities to gather new experiences.
[31:30] Jeff talks about his influences, and what he finds inspirational in others. Overcoming obstacles makes you more driven — the secret to success is not your IQ, it’s your ‘I do.’
[33:50] Jeff’s current goal is to get eyeQ in all schools. It’s more than just speed reading, it’s brain training.
[35:05] Jeff is willing to talk to people and share ideas about how to get started. His biggest advice is that you’ll never make it until you know something well. Spend some time getting to know the business you want to help change, and let them pay for your learning time before you try to implement your ideas. Don’t get into businesses you don’t know.
Mentioned in This Episode:
Health Benefits America (now owned by ADP)