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Jim JacobsJim Jacobs is the Founder and CEO of Focus Insite, a leading market research firm specializing in qualitative recruitment services for various industries. With an innovative approach, the company takes on projects of diverse complexities and offers invaluable insights that help shape its clients’ business strategies.

With a strong background in sports, particularly hockey, Jim has leveraged his leadership skills both on the ice and in the boardroom. Before founding Focus Insite, he worked in sales and management roles across multiple sectors. His blend of entrepreneurship and coaching has uniquely equipped him to build effective teams and nurture talent, consistently driving his company toward success. Jim’s dynamic approach to business and development led him to make significant contributions to the field of market research, establishing him as a respected figure in the industry.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Jim Jacobs talks about Focus Insite and how it serves its clients
  • How Jim transitioned from running a side hustle to an authentic business
  • Focus Insite’s evolution of services since its inception
  • The key talent Jim hired to grow his business
  • What Jim does to instill culture in a remote setting
  • The power of ask
  • How Jim’s experience coaching hockey influenced his leadership style
  • What Jim considers his business superpower
  • Personal development resources Jim recommends

In this episode…

Building a business is like building a championship sports team — vision, strategy, and continuous development are essential. But how can you apply these strategies to grow your company?

As a hockey coach and business leader, Jim Jacobs combines his experiences to share unique insights on leadership that apply to both the sports field and the business world. His journey offers a distinctive lens on how the disciplines learned on the ice can translate to entrepreneurial success. Jim says sharing a clear vision can motivate a team and why ongoing training helps people grow professionally.

In this episode of the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Jim Jacobs, Founder and CEO of Focus Insite, to talk about the link between sports coaching and business. They also discuss the value of helping team members develop, the hurdles of running a business, and the rewarding experience of changing lives through leadership.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02

Welcome to the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast where we feature top founders and entrepreneurs and their journey. Now let’s get started with the show.

Jeremy Weisz 0:13

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Today is no different. I have Jim Jacobs of And that is I N S I T E .com. And Jim, before I formally introduce you, I always want to point out other episodes people should check out of the podcast in your in EO. And you’re always learning I’ve had some amazing people from EO on my podcast, Robert Hartline grew his, his two companies actually software company, and actually grew a chain of cell phone stores to over $100 million and sold it and just a pretty amazing story. And so he did two episodes and really talks about productivity. And I’m not sure how he gets accomplished, what he gets accomplished. I had EO member Adi Klevit, who does, she has a great podcast to check it out. But she does. SOPs for companies. She’s an easy button for a company to produce SOPs, so they can do things standardize and train their staff and make their business more saleable. And all that fun stuff. So check her out, check that episode out, we geeked out Jim on our favorite productivity, tools, and software. So I still really listened to that one. That and many more. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that? We actually help you run your podcast, we are an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast we do the accountability, the strategy and the full execution and production. So we call ourselves in the kind of the magic elves that work in the background and make things look easy for the host where they can sit back, relax, have the conversation and run their company. So you know for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade a profile that people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should you have questions you can go to to learn more. And I’m excited to introduce Jim Jacobs, he’s founder of And they’re a nationwide leader in qualitative recruitment. And they’ve served companies like Adobe Tesla, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, I can go on and on with the companies they serve. He’s, you know, has some amazing stories because he’s talking and their company’s talking directly to the consumer. Right. So that’s what consumer insights are, and they help these companies make big decisions, not off of guesswork, but actually coming from the consumer. So check them out, he started the business with a broken arm $20 Bill, and he made the Inc 5000 play six on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s soaring 76. In terms of growth rate, he’s multitalented. If you’re watching the video, you can see in the background, there’s this picture. And he’s also a hockey coach. And he coached Melbourne prep to a state championship for the first time in 17 years. And as I mentioned, he’s also a member of EO – Entrepreneurs Organization, attended Harvard and Wharton School of Business for the executive education. Jim, thanks for joining me.

Jim Jacobs 3:26

Wow. Thank you for having me. Pleasure to be on.

Jeremy Weisz 3:28

So let’s start with you know, I described a little bit about Focus Insite, but tell people more about exactly what Focus Insite does.

Jim Jacobs 3:37

No problem, let’s focus insight, what the heck is Focus Insite, what do we do? We are the nation wide leader in qualitative market research recruitment, the What the hell does that mean in English? Okay, so, you know, fortune 500 company, I mean, not only fortune 500 companies of all sizes, they have, you know, huge decisions to make on how they market their product or service. And the key to that, is getting what, you know, getting what people really think about that product really interviewing people who use their product, or who don’t use their product. Why do you like it? What don’t you like about it? Right? So all those opinions, that information is extremely, extremely valuable to companies, who companies have, you know, had one idea for some sort of marketing campaign and have changed it, you know, done one ad based on people’s feedback. And so that happens all the time. And that’s what we do is you supply the product we supply to people, so, you know, companies or market research firms who need people to participate in studies. That’s what we do.

Jeremy Weisz 4:45

We’re gonna get into that a little bit, and people can go to your website, and I don’t know, do you have a lot of people joining the database because people can actually make money from doing this, right?

Jim Jacobs 4:55

Yeah. Yeah. That’s always fun for all my hockey and golf buddies like the alcoholic beverages study, right? They get in they get paid $150 to have drinks. Right.

Jeremy Weisz 5:07

So this is online focus group.

Jim Jacobs 5:10

Online. So this is, you know, this is an absolutely a you know, I mean, there’s one you see on on election we do on your everyday essential. So, yeah, for sure. So there’s always people who need different opinions on or who will pay you for your opinions on various different products out there. Like you see, like virtual reality. That’s a neat one that we did. We did that years ago where we did. We did a big study for Oculus go where we shipped out free headsets for Oculus go. And I’m Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah. And then the, you know, the people got like, I guess 200 bucks, and they got a free headset. And you know, the end client on that one was Facebook. And there were there were using data to say, Hey, should we acquire the activity Oculus go. Then six months later, I walk into Best Buy Christmas shopping, and all of a sudden if the Oculus go by Facebook, so it’s pretty neat. Like we did the whole study behind that.

Jeremy Weisz 6:12

Well, that’s awesome. Yeah. So I mean, obviously companies can contact you if they want to get consumer insights. But consumers can go on your website, too, and possibly get opportunities as well.

Jim Jacobs 6:23

Yeah, absolutely. Just, you just go in and sign up our database. And and then you know, when you qualify for a study, we’ll send out a link on email and you fill it out. And if you qualify, well, that’s what we do when we get you in. We’ll get you scheduled. And there you go. Right there. Join us panel. You got it.

Jeremy Weisz 6:43

Awesome. Love it. Let’s talk about, so go back.

Jim Jacobs 6:48

Jeremy, come on, we’ll get you in something with that.

Jeremy Weisz 6:50

I’m going to chemistry Are you kidding, like I would have been all over the Oculus I bought one I could have got one for free and been in the study, come on. Like, I’m gonna check all those out. I’m not a big alcohol drinker. So I’m not like a good fit for that one. But I’ll check the other ones out. I’m gonna spread the word on that you want to make some extra cash. Go ahead. You broke your arm. So what happened?

Jim Jacobs 7:17

Oh, my God, I was coaching hockey, the passion of mine. And I coached all different levels from the Learn to play for five year olds, up to 18, and even some college. So, of course, all level certified role levels, and coaching little guys kick out from behind me, I fly near, break my arm, have to get surgery. And I can try for six weeks. So my former business was a commercial real estate broker. And you’re just you’re doing your all the time you’re at different properties, right? So you’re, you’re driving all this drive all over the place. And I couldn’t leave the couch. Right? Because I know, I was in a, I was in a sling and a cast and whatnot after the surgery. So a friend of mine had asked me if I wanted to be in a focus group on Facebook, they had a, a company doing this. And I was a member of Entrepreneurs Organization with them. And that was how it started. I ended up getting in that group. And I said, Wow, this is probably something I could start as a side hustle. While I’m, you know, the real estate markets depressed, and I was chasing some commissions, though suing for. And little did I know, this met a few criteria that I liked, which was, you know, had a recurring revenue stream, essentially. I mean, It’s project based business. But you know, once you once you acquire a client, you will do multiple projects with the client as opposed to real estate where the one off type of sale. So it wasn’t an overnight thing. But you know, it took a while. But I did see a huge potential in this. And that’s how I started Focus Insite.

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