Jacob O’Connor is not your typical High School student. He runs a successful podcast and company called Venture Mentality. But there’s so much more to his story than that…
Jacob has always done well in school, but during his sophomore year of High School, he realized that he just wasn’t interested in what was being taught. He wanted to be traveling the world, talking to high performers, making a difference; but he pushed that aside because he didn’t think that life was possible for himself.
Towards the end of his sophomore year, Jacob decided to apply to an elite entrepreneurial program called the Monroe County StartUP program. Around this time Jacob became fascinated with personal development and self-education. He began experimenting with different businesses; he started a lawn mowing business, a car detailing business, and he began selling customized popsockets. None of these were overly successful (though he did manage to negotiate a deal where his popsockets were sold in a local store) but these little “experiments” started to open his mind to what was possible. As all of this was happening, he was accepted into the StartUP program.
Junior year of High School is when everything changed for Jacob. He was studying harder than ever, not for his classes, but for his businesses. Jacob became extremely disciplined and started waking up every morning at 3:20 am to work on himself and his businesses. The early hours of the morning provided time for Jacob to work without distractions. His mornings would consist of cold showers, morning gratitude practices, working out, researching different business models, reading personal development books, and listening to business podcasts before he would head to school. The StartUP program replaced his first two classes of the day, so rather than being in school Jacob was traveling to local businesses and learning about them with a hand-selected group of other High School students. At the end of the school year each StartUP student was challenged to start their own business or develop their own product.
Jacob ended up creating a seat cushion for truck drivers designed to alleviate back pain, promote proper posture, and offer maximum comfort to the user. He worked with a global company in the area to develop the cushion. Jacob prototyped, tested, and sold all of the remaining prototypes. Jacob ended up winning the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the StartUP program later that year.
The company Jacob had worked with to create the cushion was so impressed by his professionalism and skills that they offered him a paid internship on their product development team- which Jacob accepted and worked all summer. While at work he would listen to business podcasts, specifically Addicted2Success with Joel Brown and Rise of the Young with Casey Adams. While listening to these podcasts, a question began to form in his mind: what separates the high performers (professional athletes and famous entrepreneurs) from your Average Joe’s who seem to float through life without a purpose? He decided to start a company that could provide resources for answering this essential question. Thus, Venture Mentality was born. Venture Mentality is a company designed to help people reach their goals and overcome their challenges. Jacob has built a website for his articles, videos, and resources, created an Instagram Page (@venture.mentality)in the personal branding, motivational, and business niche, and also launched a successful business podcast. In the one month that his podcast has been in existence, he has done interviews with some of the highest performers in the world, such as Joel Brown, Casey Adams, Jason Stone, Andy Dane Carter, Ben Newman, among many other famous people. He has interviews scheduled with some of the biggest names in the entrepreneurship sphere such as Grant Cardone. Venture Mentality is gaining traction quickly and the young company’s future is bright. Jacob has been able to achieve all of this, and he’s only a senior in High School.
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