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MJSA Member of the Month

Five things you should know about Jason Dow

Jason Dow, Jason Dow Jewelry, Honolulu

What’s the best business advice you ever got—and acted on?
Perhaps the most cliché of all advice that everyone loves to share is, “Work smarter, not harder.” The best advice I learned from along these lines was to really make it a point to practice delegating. I’m a do-it-yourselfer to a fault...and I love to figure out how to do things on my own.  Whether it be engraving, accounting, building a website, or plumbing, I historically always do it myself—which can be either really successful or a complete disaster. So learning to manage others to complete tasks can make a big difference. 

I’m so stubborn and particular about how I like things done that this is the single most difficult thing for me to do. In an effort to let go of this hindrance, I came up with a reminder for myself called HELP: Happiness Equals Leveraging Professionals. I calculated how much my time was worth per hour, and if I could hire someone to do it cheaper, it was time to delegate.

What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in business, and what did you learn from it?
Trying to branch out into too many avenues. I’m constantly having to battle my inner desire to go off on tangents, whether it be designing furniture, creating an iPhone App, or developing an entirely new and different jewelry line. In all of these examples, I managed to invest capital and come up with a loss—and ultimately injure my main business. From this I learned that it is crucial to discipline yourself to really—and I mean really—focus. You have to just say no to distractions and keep your head pointed in the right direction. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be ready or willing to change direction, just that focus is critical to accomplishing your goals.

If you could invite three people into your shop/business for the day and pick their brains, who would you choose?
Most certainly Leonardo DaVinci: After all, he just about led an entire renaissance. Leonardo Fibonacci: If the language of art is mathematics, then I’d imagine Leo could give me some serious insight. And perhaps someone like John Hardy: Surely building your own Balinese jewelry factory compound complete with organic farming, employee living quarters, and high quality craftsmanship takes strong vision and business sense.

What’s the best book you ever read that served as a source of inspiration to better your business, product, or personal outlook?
Most recently I enjoyed reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm GladwellPatience, perseverance, and some well-earned “luck” are crucial to phenomenal business success. This book gave me good analytical insight into achieving one’s goals.

Tell us your secret to success—in 10 words or less.
There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.



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