We Are Warriors

Article by:
Jim Jacobs, EO Philadelphia
Jim Jacobs
EO Philadelphia

If you drive past the local hockey rink at 6:15 a.m. on a winter’s Sunday morning, this is the loud chant you’d hear coming from the mouths of 14 kids, aged kindergarten to third grade. They each sport red and blue “war paint” under their eyes, and they’re screaming at the tops of their lungs as they prepare for their youth hockey game.

In addition to my duties as the owner of a commercial real estate brokerage, I’m also head coach of the Wissahickon Warrior Mite travel ice hockey team. When I’m not screaming at my staff to get something done, I’m screaming things like “Attack! Attack! Attack!,” “Create your opportunities!” and “Get right in there!” to the kids. When I signed on as their coach, I knew it would be up to me to teach them all about hockey and sportsmanship. As it went, I’ve learned more from them than they could ever learn from me. The same could easily be said about my short time with EO.

In my business, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs in an advisory capacity. Recently, I’ve watched a lot of businesses shrink or struggle to survive in the down economy. Just recently, I met with a business owner who was forced to retire; he wanted us to sell his building. His business went from doing about 50 to 60 new custom kitchens a quarter, to doing only four or five.

Like the seasons, our economy is in the dead of winter. However, thanks to EO, I’m seeing signs of thaw. When I’m coaching, I tell the kids after a tough loss that there’s only one way I know how to change things— just get up and go. Lead an offensive strike and skate as hard as you possibly can because the harder you work, the more you’ll win. Don’t take a shift off. Learn to trust your teammates. I’ve applied these same philosophies to my own business.

I’ve met some incredible teammates while in EO. Business is a team sport, and you play better depending on the level of skill of the players on your team. I can already tell that joining EO is the best decision I’ve ever made for my business. I’ve made some terrific friendships, gotten some invaluable insights into my business and realized that my problems are much smaller than I originally thought, thanks to the sage advice of my Forum. What’s more, I’m seeing opportunities I wasn’t cognizant of before I joined this group, and it’s opened big doors for me. If you ask me, it’s much more expensive NOT to join EO.

It’s a new economy. Banks aren’t lending, and everyone’s cutting back. That also means there are opportunities all around us to take advantage of the climate and smartly grow our businesses. If you’re reading this, getting up at 6:15 a.m. on a Sunday to coach your team is probably a normal thing. So here’s my pre-game speech for my fellow EO members:

“Time to attack! Trust in your EO teammates and get to know them. Get yourself in the game and don’t take a shift off. Attack, attack, attack! Time to put on some war paint and scream loud enough to wake the dead! Find a way to get to EO events, have that burning desire, want the puck and support your teammates. Together, we will win! Together,we are WARRIORS!!”

Jim Jacobs is the president of the Jacobs Realty Group, a commercial real estate sales and advisory firm. Fun fact: In addition to hockey, Jim has completed five triathlons. E-mail Jim at [email protected].

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