We had the good fortune of connecting with JD Nielsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi JD, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Obviously the inital thought of working for yourself is self explainatory: Not working for the man, not doing things for others but spending the time that you do here on this planet building something for yourself (a similar argument to buying a house vs renting a house). I knew this from the beginning, but when you start I think this aspect of starting your own business dimensishes and you are only left with the day to day (what you put in and what you get out of what you’ve built). And this is where the true variables of the business star to show thru.
With that said, I truly believe that having your own business is the best way to do that exact thing: To put INTO this world what you have to offer (be that a service that you are good at and what to offer others, a product that will help revolutionize our society, a center of food, wellness) and what you have to get back from that business. The more you put in, the more you have to get back from that, and this in and out is honestly the main reason why I ever wanted to work for myself and becomes the fuel that exists to get up every day and work hard towards a simple goal: TO make the world (and my world) a better place!!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I think the biggest thing about our company is how caring a little bit about your customers goes a long way. We have been a business for over 8 years and in all the years and all the growth we have had, we have been able to do it WITHOUT a single cent in promotion or not a single minute spent with marketing (100% organic word of mouth), and not many businesses can say that. Were unique not ONLY because of us, but also our industry just happens to have a very low bar when it comes to what is accepted, and a little bit of caring toward customers really does go a long way with regard to that. I think the goal is to constantly wanting to be the best you can, even through the range of emotions that comes from working with customers every single day (since there are ones who make you upset, others that need everything spelled out for them) and if you can constantly make sure you are putting the name of your business as the most important thing (ie: Not over reacting or letting your emotions get the best of you and giving your business a black mark with regard to its name), that will really go the furthest. This can be then taken to your personal life (not letting the small things make you emotional towards those in your world), which can then lead to helping you become a better person all together. It all starts with control in the business!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh boy, I guess this all depends on the type of person who was visiting, what they were into, how many times they have been to LA, etc. But I think in general, most people like to get a full mix of the LA layout from the dirty grimy Downtown LA to the beautiful licks at in Santa Monica, and to get a full mixture of food and entertainment from conservative to edgy.
For 1 particular evening, I would start with some appetizers and early drinks at Opaque in Santa Monica (this restaurant is a place that serves your food completely in the pitch dark, no lights allowed: The servers are usually certified blind so they are really good at getting around in the dark already, but it is said to enhance other senses of smell and taste when you have no sight — interesting). From there, I would hit the beach to check out the boardwalk, maybe ride some rides, and hit some waves if we are feeling up to it. From there, dinner at Carnies on the Sunset strip (eat your food in a train car, anyone?), then we could hit the strip for a live show (maybe at the Roxy or Viper room, unless there was a larger show at the Hollywood Bowl, which would be the ideal venue). Then another stop at the Magic Castle where the small to large magicians there will blow your mind, along with the amazing old school decor of that old school Hollywood landmark. Then we hit the Powerhouse bar, which is the most amazing dive bar on the planet, right off the Hollywood walk of fame (which we could also check out). And we would finish the night at Clifton’s Cafeteria in Downtown LA, a historical building from the 1930s that recently was refinished and has 3 floors of food, drink and dance which would be the amazing end to a beautiful day!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As I sit and think about this “Mr. Miagi” character in my life (of which there are none), I naturally feel like not really any ONE specific person, group, organization, or book is really responsible for the successes we have had, but after realizing that I could have never done this myself, honestly, I think I would send a shoutout to all the other entrepreneurs out there that deal with all the things that most entrepreneurs have to deal with: From the long intensive days of working, handling the many (if not EVERY SINGLE) job duties that exist in our businesses, financial hardships, employee problems, growth constraints, and issues, etc etc. I think there isn’t a single thing in the world that makes someone stronger, more apt to deal with the crazy world out there than building and running a successful business from the ground up. SO, here’s to all us crazy idea makers who think we can take over the world!! (Glasses raised…)