Jon Birdsong, is one of everybody’s favorite young entrepreneurs in Atlanta. Having worked for multiple tech startups, gone through the famous TechStars Accelerator in Boulder, CO, and even founded several community organizations in Atlanta, @JonnyBird has taken the leap to start his own tech startup. Rivalry.com is a sales process management software that helps drive compention among sales reps and bring better automation to tasks that happen to close deals. It’s good stuff in the works.
What do you do as an entrepreneur to balance your most important personal relationships (spouse, kids, family)?
Call, text, and make time for them. Ben Franklin has a famous line “friendships are always in need of constant repair” Prioritizing a call with a brother, a text convo with a friend is important or brunch with the girlfriend is important
What is your exercise routine?
50 pushups every night before I go to bed.
Then I run three to four miles 3-5 times a week.
What gives you the most personal energy?
Progress and traction. Doing something that works. There’s nothing more that motivates me than going down the right path and getting validation it’s succeeding.
What do you avoid because it drains your personal energy?
People who drain me.
How are you involved in the community?
Predominately two ways:
Families First: They are an organization focused on building families in and around the Atlanta area. Actually, we have a really fun event coming up on February 28th at Sweetwater Brewery. You should come!
Are you involved in a church or other religious organization? How do you think spirituality is important to your entrepreneurial success?
Spirituality is very important to an entrepreneurs’ success. How you build and grow your organization is a reflection of your mental and, I’d even go as far to say, your physical health.
What are your most proud moments regarding your own legacy?
Following a path that’s truly mine and…of course the future!
How do you find ways to help others and give back?
Outside of my work in the Atlanta Startup Community and Families First, I try to just listen. Listen to everybody. People always need someone to talk talk to and bounce ideas/problems/goals on. Listening to folks is a really powerful way to help.
What hobbies are important to you and why do they give you energy?
I try to play golf once every other week. It’s such a great way to apply the challenges and struggles of real life to sport. The bottom line, on every shot, you’ve got to dig deep and give it your all.
Do you have written personal core values, what are they?
I grew up with the Golden Rule being cemented in my head. Thanks Mom.
Do you have a personal mastermind group? Can you describe how they give you energy?
You know, I don’t. Or at least it’s not structured that way. I have folks who’s opinion I significantly respect and when I’m looking for guidance, they’re the first ones I go to. Anyone with energy emits energy — I like to hang out with high-energy folks.
What competitive advantages do you have as an individual that has made / will make you more successful than the guy you are competing against in business?
I genuinely like working with people. There’s nothing more exciting than building a team, tackling a problem, and having a ton of fun in the mean time. One quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower has resonated with me for quite some time: “leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he/she wants to do.”