Episode 4 - Open Your Eyes - Jake Olson
- By Brendan Egan
- Feb 20, 2019
In a special episode of Let's Engage, Brendan Egan interviews Jake Olson about losing his eyesight, football, starting a business, and more in a must listen to episode. Jake is available for experience and speech bookings on his profile at Engage.
Jake Olson: Welcome to, Let's Engage episode number four. Today I'm with my co-host Brendan Egan and our producer and technician Daniel Hennes. And we are excited to bring in today...Brendan?
Brendan Egan: Jake, you don't know who our guest is?
J: No, you haven’t been telling me
B: *Drum roll* Our guest today is the one and only Jake Olson. Jake, thanks for joining us today.
J: Oh, wow.
Daniel Hennes: Brendan, for the record, Brendan probably practiced that intro in front of his mirror for the last like 30 minutes.
B: I've been practicing for the last three days. Jake, thanks for joining us today.
J: Oh, of course. Thank you. I was, I really was not expecting this.
B: Well, I'm glad we finally got a surprise past ya. Literally, we couldn't think of anyone better to have on this show than you. So we wanted to turn the table today and get to interview you about your amazing story.
D: We also didn’t think very hard, because we definitely could have found better people and we decided not to think very hard.
B: That's what you get for putting Daniel in charge of finding talent for the shows.
J: Yeah, exactly.
D: Exactly, it's a bad, it's a bad recipe.
B: Jake seriously though, starting out I mean you, you are an amazing motivation to so many people out there. Um, I know you don't even try to do it, but you truthfully are. Tell our listeners a little bit about, you know, your story for those that maybe don't know it. Um, and kind of what it was like growing up and, and uh, just tell us a little bit about, about, you know, leading up to age 12 and, and kind of your life story.
J: Yeah. Well, I was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer at the age of eight months old. It was bilateral median in both eyes. And when the doctor found it in my left eye, they had to remove my left eye given that the cancer had progressed to a point where we couldn't treat it. And the real fear is it moving through the optic nerve into the brain. And then there, uh, you know, across the body and then, and then it's unstoppable. So the, the removal of the eyes, you know, the last, the last resort, you know, it removes the cancer but also costs you obviously your eye and your eyesight. And so we removed my left eye, uh, at the age of one, but we actually were able to save my right eye. It was, the cancer had not progressed to the same extent in my right eye. So we were actually able to save it. And um, unfortunately though after we cured it in my right eye, about a couple years later, it had occurred again, the cancer. We found the cancer again. Um, we fought, it went away. A couple years later we found it again. Um, and this kind of started a cycle in which by the age of 12, that cancer came back around eight times. And so, you know, each time, we would fight it with different treatment options. And eventually at the age of 12, back in 2009, um, you know, the cancer had come back. But this time the doctors had told me a, a different story in that they had exhausted all treatment options and this time and we couldn't treat it. And as a result, you know, we had to move to that last resort, which was the removal of my right eye, which obviously at this point was my only eye and that meant I'd have to go completely blind. So, you know, that started a journey, um, which obviously was painful and you know, sad and uncertain at first. Um, you know, I was a 12 year old thinking about life without sight and your future was scary. And again, I didn't know what to expect. I was mad. Um, you know, I was at a very, um, you know, again, tender age and was looking forward to the rest of my life. Now I had to do that without sight. It was scary. And so here I was a 12 year old, but I started a journey in which I had to overcome blindness and you know, look at myself and look at how I overcame cancer for 12 years. And now I could overcome blindness and you know, started just doing normal things again and continue to do the things I love, which was including playing football and golf and going to school and getting A's and hanging out with friends. And eventually I, you know, I found myself here at SC and met the right people. And here we are today with, uh, with this growing business.
D: I mean, there's something I think, interesting you said. The doctors wanted you to take a week off of school and your parents wanted you to take a week off of school. But you went back the next day and do you remember what, what did, what did you tell your dad? What was the, the, the core sentiment of what you relayed to your dad about why you're going to school?
J: Well I, you know, I, I don't know if I said this for certain, but you know, my, my dad definitely, you know, has been a big proponent of, of me and believes in everything, you know, I can do, especially, you know, on the, on the golf course and you know, in, in life. Um, but, you know, you just said, you know, that the Jake train is moving so, you know, you can, you can get on or, you know, you don't, you can get off, but, you know it's moving, you know, my life is going to soar. And so, you know, with that, I, you know, I went back to school the next day. I remember getting up and taking a shower and, you know, I, it was like mid-day and I was kind of like, what am I doing here at home? Like, yeah, my friends are at school, I want to go back to school. And so, you know, I visited them for a little while and um, you know, it was, it was, it was a little weird at first. You know, like all my friends didn't really know how to react. And, you know, it's kind of still learning how, just how to live life without sight, you know. But, uh, but yeah, I mean it was just a mindset I kind of took since the moment I woke up from that surgery that took my eye, which was just, you know, life is going to go on and my life is gonna go on and you know, I, I can jump on life's train and people can jump on my train, but it’s going to keep moving. So, you know, choo choo.
B: For those that don't know what choo choo Jake. Jake has a fantastic book: Open Your Eyes. I, uh, Jacob, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I finally just read it a few weeks ago. I was on a flight and literally it's the first book in a while that I read cover to cover. And I mean just the, the story and some of some of the things that we learned about you along the way in there are just absolutely amazing. I know the book takes us through this, but take us through, uh, the night leading up to your surgery, you know, and then, and then kind of that next morning waking up and going in for surgery. Um, you know, what's, what's it like knowing that you're going to go in, was it, was it a burden lifted off your shoulders? Was it more, you know, fear of never seeing again? Kind of just take us through what was going through your mind as, as you were going into surgery and then, um, and then also kind of what happened after you woke up after surgery.
J: Yeah. Well, you know, it was, I found out I was going to have to lose my sight on October 1st. And you know, ended up, my surgery ended up being on November 12th. So, you know, give or take, there's, there's a month and a half there of, of knowing you're going to lose your sight. And so, yeah, I mean, the thoughts of, you know, this is my last time I'm going to see this or whatever it was. It was, it tormented me for that month and a half. You know, I obviously had really cool experiences with USC and you know, across, um, California, you know, I went to, I went and played Pebble Beach for one last time. I got to go to sit courtside on a Lakers game. I mean, there's so many cool things that people did for me and, um, I'm forever grateful for that. But, you know, again, you know, it was definitely times where I would just, it would, it would kill me and just, you know, to know that it was going to be my last time seeing. Um, and you know, that that night I was up here at SC, the night before that, Wednesday night before my surgery and it was, uh, it was definitely, you know, uh, a hard day. But when I got up here, man, I mean this, this, this place up at SC is, is like a fortress, you know, it was, it was kind of keeping all those emotions away. I was with the people I love, which was my family and I was with Coach Carroll and you know, you can't not have a smile when you're around Coach Carroll and, you know, I was around the team and the players and it just was, it just was, you know, I describe it as like going to Disneyland for the first time, you know, it's just kind of like kids who just can't, you're just not in the regular world, you know, you're in a different world. And that's how I was up here. And so, you know, it was, it was special being up here and, um, you know, I remember going home that night and I honestly don't remember that that night too much, um, of falling asleep or whatever. But I do remember my mom waking me up the next morning and, you know, I was, I was crying when I woke up and, you know, it was, it was a tough morning again, you know, especially driving up and leaving my house. It was, you know, those thoughts of me, you never, you know, not seeing these images when I came back was a, was real painful and, you know, obviously going into surgery and then, um, you know, I remember one, kind of one of the hardest parts where it was when, when the, when the nurse asks, you know, I had my IV and I was, you know, in the bed ready to go. You know, at this point, we know we're all really bawling. Um, but I remember the hardest part was, you know, she was, she like, cause all the nurses and doctors kind of knew me. And so obviously they had emotional connection with me and, you know, grown up with me. It wasn't my first time in that operating room. So she just was like, “Hey, you know, let me know when you're ready. You know, the push to propofol” and like I, you know, I, I would, I was never going to be really ready, you know, I know. I didn't know really what when to say it, I mean it was kind of like, I, you know, it was just a real tough, tough decision. So anyways, but, you know, and when I woke up, I was comforted by my parents who were right next to me on the bed. And, you know, I realize I couldn't see, and it was my new reality, but it was, you know, um, again, I, I say this when I speak, which is just, you know, there's, there's a road, there's two roads to go down when, when people are met with those kinds of circumstances of life altering, you know, uh, circumstances, which is just, are you going to continue to live life? Are you going to continue to live a life that is happy and that think do the things you love? Or are you going to sit there and imagine what life would have been if everything went your way? And if you weren't ever in that accident or in that circumstance, and I promise you if you look at people at the end of their lives, people who chose to go down the hard road of, you know, suiting yourself up preparing for the challenges and the hits that you'll take going down a road where it's uncertain and you know, you're going to put yourself out there and try to figure out how to live life again and do the things you love. It's a lot more satisfactory at the end. Cause you know, you know, you went through that, you did the things you wanted to do, you enjoyed the journey, you made friends rather than being at home sitting and wondering, you know, what would my life have ever been like and pointing fingers and listening to excuses all day long. And that's just, it's not, it's not a way that I think people should live. And it's definitely not a way that I ever wanted to live.
B: Jake, where do you, so that, that's, I mean that's a super powerful message, especially, you know, being 12 and, and losing your sight. And I know you've lived that since, since that day. What, what gives you that drive? Where do you get that motivation? I mean, most people that are 30, 40, 50, 60 years old that are infinitely older, wiser and have lived more of their life, uh, you know, still never really find that, that drive, that passion, that motivation, that, that desire to, you know, get, get over, whatever, whatever the negative circumstance may be. Like you said, whether it's a, a loss of somebody, whether it's an accident, whether it's whatever the unfortunate circumstance may be, but for you individually, what, what gives you that drive and that motivation?
J: You know, I mean, I, you know, I think first off I've been very blessed to be around a family and a support system that loves me and supports me and really allows me to chase my dreams. You know, that was playing football or golf or you know, expecting me to still be a just straight A student. You know, there was, there was a, there was, you know, a lot of, a lot of push, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't only me having that mindset of I can go do whatever I want, you know, my parents are supporting me and that encouraged me to, to become a better golfer than I ever did with sight and you know, and that's, and that's what I wanted to do. And I have my dad there pushing me along the whole way. So I mean, I, you know, I'm very blessed in that regard and you know, my faith has played a big role in my life in that and the strength that it takes to, to overcome, you know, a lot of diversity I faced. Um, I, my personality, I think, you know, I'm, I'm really stubborn. Um, and you know, blindness was just another block in the road. And, and you know, if, if blindness and cancer wants to give me a fight, that's fine, but I'm going to outlast. I mean, I'm going to, I'm not saying I won't take kits and get knocked on my knees and my back and be hunched over trying to breathe, but I, I'm gonna I'm going to outlast them. And I, you know, I don't know. It's just, just, it's just a mindset that you've got to take again. You know, life does go on and you can either go on with it or you can't, but you, what'd you can't do is you can't just sit there and think about, and wish life would be different because life is unfair and it throws curve balls and things happen to people all the time. And the people that continue to go out there and win and achieve and, and finally finish it, get at the finish line are the people that chose to take those hits and keep moving forward, you know. Um, no one, no one, no one's at the top of the mountain saying, oh my gosh, that was the easiest, you know, climb ever. I didn't think it'd be that easy, I mean, no, no one, no one's done that. Even the most successful people, you think, Oh man, they, they've had all the money and opportunity in the world. Guess what? We're starting a business right now and I hope this business does become, you know, worth billion dollars. But it's, it's hard working here, man. I mean, it's, it's, it's really, it's really, really, really hard work and there's a lot of challenges in that. And so, you know, it's not only cancer, it's just whatever you want to face in life, there's, there's going to be that decision to be made of, you know, how much are you going to take? How, what, what kind of hits you're going to take and are you going to keep moving forward? And, and you know, only you can make that decision. Again, you can surround yourself with people that are going to support you and love you through that. And I encourage everyone to have that support system. But at the end of the day, you, you do have to make that decision.
B: Jake, love that. And you know, something that's fresh on my mind. And, and I know with Engage, you know, you myself, Daniel, our whole team's been talking about this, but let's just, let's just give a mention to the Fyre Festival really quick cause something you just said just really, really made me think of that. So you, you know, for those that don't know, Fyre Festival was this sham of a promise of a concert down in the Caribbean island and it really got started with their, with their teaser video, right? They had all these models come down and they shot what looked like paradise and they looked like a perfect thing. And, and, and behind the scenes they had none of the infrastructure or funding to actually make this happen. And you know, Jake, you brought up a really interesting point is that, you know, people that are successful, people that have already found their way, whether it's financially, whether it's just in life, whether it's spiritually, whatever it may be, you know, we don't really see their story of how they got there anymore. You know, we just kind of see this image of what they want to be seen as or what the world sees them as or what social media portrays them as. And a lot of times that's really far from reality. I mean, you look at, you know, you look at Fyre Festival and that's a classic example of, you know, hey, here's, here's something that looks like a dream on social media and you get there and it's a disaster. Right? Um, and so it just, you, you saying that though just kind of really struck a chord with me because it's, it's, it's so true. Especially I feel like in today's society that you don't know the full story and it's easy to want to give up because you don't know the hard work of someone else put in that maybe you're not seeing it at that point in time.
J: Yeah, no, I mean, it look like everyone has excuses. Everyone can have an excuse. I mean, literally everyone can have an excuse. The difference between people is, are you going to listen to excuse? Are you going to let that excuse dictate your future or not? You know, it's, it's, again, it doesn't have to be my excuse. It could be I'm blind. You know, uh, your excuses. You, you grew up in a poor family. Your, your excuse could be, you know, you weren't, you weren't the smartest, you had dyslexia. Like, you know, uh, Jared Blank did. You know, your excuse could be you weren't gifted athletically. I mean, eh, like there's, everyone has an excuse and sure some are more valid and real than others, but everyone can have an excuse. And again, that the thing that differentiates people is that, you know, are you going to listen to that excuse? Or are you going to just move on and let you know, let, uh, let yourself dominate life like everyone can, you know.
B: So you're someone that didn't, didn't let the excuses get in your way. Let's fast forward. You get into USC, you make the football team, uh, take us through just, you know, emotionally, mentally, like what, what's going through your head when you find out you're on the team?
J: Well, my Senior year after playing two years in Varsity as a long snapper from my high school, you know, I went to a pretty prominent high school and in that regard for, for football. And so, you know, coach Sark, which was the USC football coach at the time amongst other coaches around, obviously the country would be at our games and practices, you know, recruiting and stuff. And you know, I obviously knew coach Sark cause I'd been with the program since I was 12 and we'd come visit and once I started playing football in high school, well, you know, I'd be kind of be, I have to be at recruit status because you know, we didn't want to violate any NCAA, you know, terms, you know, we don't do that here up at SC. So, um, basically my senior year I was at a practice up here at SC and Coach Sark and Pat Haden come up to me and I said, you know, “hey you're obviously planning coming here, right?” I'm like, “yeah,” they're like, “you need to get the grades to come in.” I'm like, “yeah, I, you know, I have real solid grades.” They’re like, “okay, well when you get in here, we want you to come snap for us on this team.” And we're like, I'm like, “wait, seriously?” And they're like, “yeah, like, we want you to be part of the football program beyond the team and staff for us.” And I was like, oh my gosh. So eventually, you know, February comes, um, of that year, my Senior year, and I got to get a call to come to this. Um, it was right after the recruitment class. I get a call to come up to a kind of a donor type dinner where they introduce the new class and I, uh, they introduced me and they said, you know, “Jake's going to be a member of our football team coming up here, here's coming to be a freshmen. And you know, there will be a day where he snaps in the Coliseum for us.” And that was just an amazing moment. And I remember putting on the hat like, you know, the recruits do, I put on the SC hat and the band was playing and you know, I knew I was going to be a Trojan. I was gonna be able to have the experience of a lifetime.
B: Did you, did you so Jake, did you, when you heard that, when they said, this is Jake, he's going to snap first one day. Did you believe it? I mean, did you really think you're going to get out in the field?
J: Well, I knew it was a good snapper. I mean, I played varsity my junior and senior year, so yeah, I, I knew I was going to, going to, um, I knew I could snap, you know, I was like, you know, I remember even practicing that summer, you know, I, I’d play the fight song and snap, you know, during the fight song, you know, so it's was like, I had no doubt in my mind where I kinda got was when I first arrived. Um, a couple of the doctors were real skeptical with, with just the liability of me being out on the football field, and they didn’t understand really what it was like for me to be out there. And they were scared I was going to get hurt or whatever. And you know, I kind of really had to fight through that. Um, and their, and their doubts and you know, that that's where I really got frustrated. But, you know, I, I said, okay, you know, I'll, I'll show you then how strong I can get. I'll show you how big I can get. So, you know, if someone takes a look at me, it's like no way he's going to get her out there. I mean, he's a mammoth of a man, you know, and that's, that's what it kind of got my drive in the weight room if, you know, saying, okay look, you don't think I can, it can play because of my size. You'd think you know, I’m weak or something. I'll disprove that.
B: That's awesome. Let's go to that, that game, Jake. So, so you get the tap on the shoulder. You, you, you put the helmet on and you see it up, you're going in, um, take us through that. I mean, was that, was that all happening in slow motion? Was it happening so fast that you didn't even realize it? Kind of take us through that moment.
J: Well, you know, Coach, Coach Helton had come to me earlier that week and said, you know, mentally prepare yourself. We want to get you in. I was all geeked up and you know, I had a great practice, we couldn't, you know, I snapped a ton and you know, I was feeling really good. Um, and you know, we're in the game and he'd say, he originally told me, you know, you're going to go into second quarter because you know, we all, we want you to in a meaningful snap. Um, and you know, we didn't want, you know, we didn't want to be up by like 45 or whatever and you know, put you in or whatever. So ends up, you know, it's, it's really low scoring and we're kind of in a real battle and so don't get in the second quarter, don't get in in the third quarter. Fourth quarter's can rolling by. And I'm like, okay, I don't know if I'm going to actually get in here. Maybe this is just not going to happen today. And you know, we're, we're only up by, uh, I think 11, um, you know, in the fourth quarter. Sure enough there, uh, uh, Western Michigan is driving to score and you know, again, if they score and get the two point conversion, it's a three point game. It's still close. So, you know, sure enough, Marvell picks off the ball and takes it back and right when he took it back, you know, I was like, okay, you know, maybe this is it. And really, you know, even through high school you can talk to any long snapper, you know, we like to be loose and warmed up. So, you know, usually in high school, every offensive drive, once we got the ball you get a few snaps in and then, you know, if it took a long time, there's a quarter break.
Once they started really getting a few range, maybe we'll get one more snap real quick. Um, but sudden change is always difficult, you know, pick six or a kickoff return or something like that where you just got to rush out there and you know, you obviously trust in yourself, but you, you, you don't, you really don't, you know, you, you didn't have a snap and you know, maybe 10 or 15 minutes. So, um, so at that, that's like, that sudden change all sudden like, oh gosh, like this is the way it's going to have to go. So, so, you know, I, I run out there and you know, Coach calls the timeout, I actually did get to get one snap in real quick and I ran out there. Um, it was kind of crazy, I'm like, oh my gosh, it's actually happening. Like here I am on the Coliseum snapping for an extra point, there's another team lined up on the other side. Like the ref is here, like this is just literally insane. Um, but once I kind of got over the ball, I'm like, okay, Wyatt is actually not that far back. Like just this is just normal, you know, just normal snap. And he actually called, he called the cadence a lot faster than I thought he would have. Like I kind of got my hands on the ball and, and you know, I didn't really have much time to think about it. He just called it and I snapped back there and you know, um, I knew it was good snap. I felt it come off real nice and Chase kicked it in and I, you know, I heard the guy go, you know, the kick is good and everyone went nuts. And they come jumping on me and it was just, it was an awesome, awesome moment. I just, I, it was really a culmination of hard work put in, um, you know, kind of obviously since I've been there since I was 12, just how much that team meant to me and to be playing forward. And then, you know, everyone in the stands too. I mean, let's not forget, the Trojan family was, was there for me when I was 12 too, you know, so everyone in that stadium was kind of feeling that same, you know, bliss of here's this kid that we grew up with watching, you know, and I kind of had that experience with, and now we get to root for him personally out there on that field. I mean it's kind of like everyone was my family member, which I think that's what made it really, really special.
B:I know it wasn't too long ago. You guys wrapped up your, your season, obviously you're in your Senior year now, getting ready to graduate here in a few months. Um, take us through. I mean, is it, is it kind of surreal? Is it kind of, you know, is it, is it, is it a sad time? Is it a happy time to be graduating and, and kind of what does the future hold?
J: Yeah, I, you know, I, it's funny because, you know, Freshman and Sophomore Year of college, I mean it's, it's really fun and Junior year, I mean, all these years I've been really fun. Um, however, you know, there, there is a time where, you know, now it's like we're second, second semester Seniors and we're, we're going to graduate in a month. It is, you know, you look back and you kind of see these Freshmen and Sophomores on campus now and you're just, you're just out of kind of, oddly enough, only three years makes a difference. But if you're just kind of a different point of life, you know, I'm ready to kind of get going here. Class doesn't seem as important anymore. You know, I've, I've learned what I needed to learn. Um, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm doing all these different things that I want. I, I love college, but, you know, I, I wanna kind of get out there and really, you know, get, get the ball rolling. And so, you know, I know a lot of people are really sad when they leave, but, um, you know, from, from an academic standpoint and school standpoint, I think, I think we're ready. Um, I'm ready, you know, from a football standpoint, it was sad. I mean, it really was, especially hard season ended, but, um, but, you know, I, that the football program will, I'll be, I'll be with it forever, you know? And that's, uh, not something that I really believe in. And so, you know, the Trojans will always be and, and, uh, have a special place in my heart.
B: Let's, let's shift gears a little bit. Let's talk a little bit about Engage. Um, you know, I know that that's something that you hold near and dear to your heart and something that you're passionate about and interested in. And, um, you know, as, as, as I've been along the journey with you and as you've learned and I've already learned in some other instances, you know, running, running a business is hard and starting a business is even harder. Um, from your perspective, Jake, what have been some of the most amazing, inspiring moments so far in starting a business and what have been some of the most challenging?
J: Oh, man. Well, you know, I think, I think starting, uh, starting this business, it is exciting. I mean, it's, it's, I know I'm passionate about it, I know Daniel's passionate about it. We're all, we're all very passionate. We all live the problem and then want to solve the problem. And I have friends and teammates and you know, that, that experience the problem all, all, all the time. So, you know, we're, we're excited about that. And, you know, I think one of the inspiring moments was, you know, definitely, one when we actually had someone who believed in us, which was you and John. That was, that was inspiring. He was someone who was like, Hey, you know what? Like, is it actually, we see this, we see your vision. You know, it's kind of like taking our glasses and putting them on you and you're like, oh wait, these are the, like these, these prescriptions actually work for me too. I see the same thing you're seeing, you know? And that's really cool, you know? And uh, you know, another inspiring thing was when the site was finally built and we uploaded it and we're like, this is so cool. We got some, some talent signed on, we put some bookings through. And you know, I think there can be more, more inspiring moments, you know, especially as we get some traction and, and you know, we've already gotten some people that have just found us by googling us or, you know, wanting to, to hire talent. And, you know, I think it's, what's, what's really gratifying, gratifying. It is just our talent we have on, you know, when they, when they do an experience with the, through us, uh, you know, that it's easy for them. It works, they're happy, it's, it's a much better way of doing it. You know, that these people want a different way doing it and we're giving them it. And they like it and we have a relationship with them. So is it, you know, it's like, okay, really cool. We just, we just helps someone, obviously all of these, these, you know, the, the influencers and the talent we have on our site where we, they can go and motivate lies. Like we just helped that happen and they just, you know, we, we, we used the experience for both parties, which was really cool. And then, you know, challenging man, hell man. Where do I begin to challenges? Um, the challenges was by finding someone like you and John. I mean, you know, they're, they're raising money is a very hard thing. You know, people obviously are, are more protective of their money than kids sometimes. Hahaha
B: It’s true
J: And so, you know, wanting to, having them believe in you and say, look, you know, we have something that we really are going to work hard towards, you know, being college kids obviously, and being so young. I think some, sometimes I, you know, and I think, you know, do my own tour to toot my own horn, but between Daniel and, I mean we've, we've presented ourselves pretty well and, and you know, and we never ran into someone who's been real like, “Nah, you're college kids, you can't do anything or whatever.” But I think there is a little more of a barrier at the, or hurdle you have to jump over. But we do it and, you know, we know what we're talking about and, um, you know, I think, you know, you can speak about this Brendan too, but I, you know, just, there's, it's almost like your, your golf game a little bit where it's just like, you can have a lot of good shots, but there's, there's always something that you just thought, man, we got to fix that. Or a man that could have gone better. It works. It's just like a...
B: That's just the reality of business Jake. It's just, you know, like there's, there's always something you can do better, do more of, do, do differently. Like that's just the nature of being an entrepreneur. And I mean, I've been limited for over 10 years now and it's, it's, it just becomes part of you and, and, and I think that's what drives people to be successful is that they have that mindset and they're constantly improving and they're constantly innovating and constantly looking for, you know, what, what can I make better? And you know what, Jake, one of my favorite quotes in business is from Richard Branson, it's “To launch a business means successfully solving problems and solving problems means listening.” Just the businesses that I see that are successful, and Engage is one of them. And then you just mentioned it is they solve, they solve the problems that their customers, their users, their clients and they listen to them and make it better. And I think that's just, that's, that's what I'm so excited about personally at Engage, Jake, is that, you know, working with you and Daniel and the whole team, um, you know, it's, it's really a great place to solve problems and I think what we're doing is addressing a huge, huge problem in the marketplace.
J: Yeah, no, we're excited. Then, you know, we, we got a team here that we're really, really excited about and, uh, I, I can't, I honestly cannot wait to see how far we can take it.
B: Jake, in closing, I've got one question for ya. Uh, let's, let's hear a good, good story. Um, what's a funny moment or an awkward moment or just something in, in regards to being blind that like, that's happened to you, that, that sticks out? Like something that maybe someone did or something that you did to someone? Like what's, what's a funny, awkward blind moment?
J: A funny, awkward blind moment? Uh Huh. Um, let me think. You know, I, so like I, it goes both ways. So, you know, a lot of guys like to mess with me when I'm, when I'm, uh, you know, like for instance like guys on the team will like, you know, I would say hand me the football and they'll kind of like toss in my hands, but obviously like kind like hit off my hand. And they’ll be like, “why didn’t you catch that” or something or you know, like they'll try to mess with me, make these comments. But I, I definitely play the game back and it's, I've, I've gotten some good ones. I remember one time I was with, um, before practice started, we were playing with this tennis ball and Wyatt are, my holder was like 25 yards away down the field and Chase our kicker was with me and we were like, “I wonder if I could beam white with a tennis ball.” And so like I tried throwing it and it like misses him but he doesn't recognize it. Like I through it kind of like it was a little too far away for him to recognize it. So we go retrieve the ball, come back and he's like turned away from us. And I throw this thing and he points my left hand where it is. I just, you know, pull my left hand and kind of try to throw the ball in that line. And this thing is like a beam and just nails him in his neck. Okay. I mean he is a, he has his, he has his shoulder pads on and his helmet on and you know his pants on. So like the, you know, even if it hits the shoulder pads, it's not like it's gonna hurt that much, but this thing stinks. His neck, it's right on the neck. And I remember he turns around, he's like, “who threw that?” And like Chase is like “Jake did.” And he's like, he of course is not going to believe it because you know like yeah. So he comes in like chart starts like trying to like beat up Chase or these other guys. It's like, it's like hahaha
B: It was Olson.
J: Yeah, it was me the whole time, you know, or like, it's definitely moments like that where I'll, fool someone where it by doing something kind of, I don't know, beyond the odds where there'll be like, okay, “like Jake either didn't do that or you're not blind or something like that.” So that's awesome. That's awesome.
B: Jake, thanks for being a good sport today. I had fun turning the tables on you and playing host today and, you were a great interviewee, so, so appreciate your, uh, your good sportsmanship there and Jake, like all of our talent is available for booking on our website and letsengage.com. Thanks to our listeners for joining us for another episode of Let’s Engage and we'll be back soon.
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