We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Tietjen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Self-employment is not for everyone. I’ve been a W2 employee only once in my adult life. While owning your own business can and should be one of the scariest thing you do in life. Risking everything you have in life for the pursuit of prosperity and success comes with a price. Risk challenges you on all fronts of life specifically the balance between happiness, health, friends. family and loved ones. Finding balance is the hardest part when it pertains to risk. I’ve raised tons of capital in my career and have opened up nearly 10 businesses in my 50 years on this Earth. I’ve personally risked everything 3 times along the road. I’ve failed more than I have succeeded. I’ve hit home runs and I have fallen flat on my face. Risk has pushed me to never stop trying. Risk teaches you that you will do whatever it takes to be successful or die trying. Risk can be your best friend and your ugliest enemy. But with high risk comes high reward. If you are not willing to lose it all or take a chance the security of a 9 to 5 corporate job might make more sense for you but I can assure you the satisfaction you’ll get knowing that you own your own business will be one of the most gratifying things you can accomplish in life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Don’t be afraid to do things differently than everyone else. Just because someone does it one way doesn’t mean there aren’t multiple right answers. Everyone thought I was crazy for placing a 21′ ski boat inside the bar. I was questioned along the way about my vision over 100 times during the bars buildout. But what sets us apart are those quirky, funny, creative components that make the Dive Inn so successful. Think outside the norm. Try things other people aren’t willing. Be creative and follow your gut.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a Dive Bar aficionado. So much so I bought www.DiveBars.com at an auction in 2020 and have no idea what I am going to do with it yet. Every Dive bar is unique and has a story to tell. I love that aspect. Bellying up to a bar and talking to a regular that has been sitting at the same stool for 4o years and can tell you everything you want to know about every single person that walks through the front door. Bantering with a bartender and learning a few good dirty jokes to add to your arsenal. When out of towners come to visit I only take them to the little holes in the wall. The hidden gems that have peculiar smells, friendly faces and unique characteristics that tell a story.
To Name A Few
Don’s Club Tavern
Barry’s On Broadway
Phil’s Place/Embassy Tavern
El Chapultepec (RIP)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many to name but let’s focus on the one who taught me about the one thing that matters most in business: SALES. My Dad (Steve Tietjen) was a commission based sporting goods manufacturers representative his entire life. Our family owned a VW bug for most of my early years as it was all we could afford. Dad was on the road more than not. He was always trying to make a sale and collect a commission. There were no draws or base salaries in those days. If he didn’t sell something we didn’t eat. If he wasn’t on the road he was on the phone setting up meetings or calling on potential buyers. He was always selling. Over the years his reputation pursued him and the lines got better, the buyers got bigger, and the commissions grew. There were good years and bad but he always took them in stride and never gave up. He taught me you cannot win them all and to never take no for an answer. It might sound cliché but until you’ve lived it it won’t make sense. Take a chance at least once in your life, don’t have any regrets and live every day to it’s fullest. Be kind, honest, and place integrity at the top of your list.