830. A Profitable Business Good for Schools
Jeremy Barnhart experienced a very successful corporate career in finance, becoming a partner at Deloitte. But it had him working long hours and traveling, taking him away from his wife and three young children. He simply wasn’t having fun with his work and he wanted to live a more active and present life.
Now Jeremy has time to coach his three sons’ basketball, football and baseball teams. He is a co-owner and vice president of franchise development at Apex Foundation Co., originally Apex Fun Run, a healthy and safe alternative to school fundraising. The company partners with schools to raise funds for campus needs. The concept incorporates a two-week character building and leadership program that culminates with a student “run” to raise donations for schools. His company has also opened the door for 80 franchisees in 21 states.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Jeremy grew up in a home that valued education and athletics. His father was a teacher, and both parents played and taught tennis. He participated in college athletics and took his studies seriously. Eventually, he earned an MBA from the competitive Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and became a partner in 10 years in the top-ranked accounting and consulting firm now known as Deloitte. Today, he combines his passions for education and athletics in the firm he created.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
After serving as a Deloitte partner for six years, Jeremy retired from the firm. “I decided to prioritize my family over my career and the almighty dollar. Finance and accounting was a field I thought I could go into and have very quick success, get quick promotions and make a lot of money. Once I was in the firm, I realized that was true, but I didn’t really enjoy what I was doing. I never had a true passion for accounting or finance. The piece that I enjoyed most was helping my clients add value.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“What drove me was being able to see a lot of entrepreneurs who had their own businesses. I realized that none of them had any skills or attributes that I didn’t have. So, I thought, why want to continue on a path that I wasn’t enjoying when I could create a business on my own that could be successful, where I would care much more about what I was doing?”
Steps to Success from Jeremy Barnhardt
- Identify your talents and strengths.
- Determine how those strengths and skills can tie into your passions.
- Start researching opportunities. Get good advisors, counselors and information about the many opportunities out there.
- Consider a franchising opportunity. “I guarantee you, there’s something out there that aligns with your skills and passions.”
Connecting With Jeremy Barnhardt
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Careers: Financial, Fund Raising, Non-profit