PRODUCT Toronto Issue 9 (14)

Building a business is a daunting, difficult, and demanding task. It requires courage and passion. PRODUCT has always hoped to expose its readers to the idea that success is not accidental. While many people take their own path to entrepreneurship, ultimately their success is earned through hard work and determination.

Jesse Jones’s path began in front of hundreds of people. In 2010, he had studied marketing and had been working as a brand manager at Timex Group Canada for a few years, when he was invited to speak at a business and marketing conference at Queen’s University. His presentation, touching on how he applied lessons from school to his job and loved it, received amazing feedback from the attendees.

Inspired by the positive reaction, he created the idea for U-ology 101 on the ride home. U-ology 101 is the name Jesse used to brand his innovative and inspirational approach that helps people uncover their passion and how to actually live to achieve it.

Then in January 2011, he launched Ten81 Lifestyle Inc., a consulting agency that applied his methods to branding and marketing. Inspired by his own message, Jesse left his “9 to 5” job to follow his passion. He was invited to speak at more conferences, developed engaging social media platforms, and saw his message stick. However, the business was not growing as fast as he hoped. A little over a year after he started Ten81, Jesse found himself working part-time jobs to keep the lights on.

Facing the hardship and struggle many small business owners suffer through, Jesse seriously questioned whether he should take the easy route and go back to being an employee, or remain on the rocky, solitary path of entrepreneurship. Jesse decided that he didn’t want to sacrifice what he loved and wanted to do whatever he had to do to keep his passion alive. Ten81 and U-ology would survive another day.

About a month and a half later, in 2012, Jesse got his break. He received a call from a friend at McDonald’s with an opportunity to conduct a portion of their employee training about how to brand yourself as an employee and build yourself and your business. The success of that session was a testament to Jesse’s belief that his ideas were fresh, innovative, and transformative.

Jesse used that experience at a major corporation as a stepping stone to keep building Ten81. Using Inspirational/Aspirational Marketing, Ten81 endorses the art of engagement among people and uses a holistic approach to marketing – one that connects to consumers not just through a logo, but as a part of their lifestyle.

Ten81 helps put the soul back into business so companies can find more in their relationships with consumers and their employees. The unique, multi-faceted level of engagement Ten81 promotes helps organizations learn to understand individuals and their lifestyle choices as the means to engagement.

Through his passion and belief in himself, Jesse Jones persevered and created something successful. The determination needed in order to follow your dream rather than run back to safety requires the resolve to make it work and the passion to believe in yourself. As Jesse’s story teaches us, success may be around the corner!