This week we have the pleasure of featuring Jesse Kay! Jesse is a 19 year old entrepreneur and podcaster from New Jersey. Jesse hosts Trendsetters with Jesse Kay, a show focused on sharing practical lessons and stories from some of the best minds on the planet to help inspire young men and women to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Past guests include Jack Dorsey, Gary Vaynerchuk and Adam Schefter.
Along with hosting his podcast, Jesse is the CEO of Vyber Media, a digital consulting agency helping Fortune 500 brands, professional athletes and businesses better connect, engage and monetize their relationships via social media and digital marketing strategies. We sat down with Jesse to learn why conversations matter to him. Let's dive in!
Why do conversations matter to you?
I think conversations are the key to progressing both on as an individual level and as a society. In a nation so divided, I believe the only way to progress is conversation, even when you disagree with someone. Creating valuable conversations is the reason I started my podcast, "Trendsetters". I thought that if I could interact in conversations with some of the greatest minds on the planet, it would help educate and inspire the next generation!
What has your journey been like in starting your company and your podcast? What is your vision of what you hope to accomplish with your platform?
My journey has definitely been unique, I am incredibly grateful to have an entrepreneur as a father who inspired me from childhood to pursue my passions and give me that entrepreneurial "gene". Starting at 9 years old, I began "flipping shoes" on eBay and maintained my business spirit since. I then interned for Brandon Steiner from Steiner Sports in high school through a work study program and truly learned the inner workings of running a company, it truly was one of the most valuable few months of my life. I eventually started my company, Vyber Media, as a senior in high school and it’s been the most rewarding experience of my life. However, this has obviously come with its unique challenges. Being a young entrepreneur, you definitely have to overcome some doubt and adversity from people who believe that just because you’re young you don’t have enough experience and shouldn't be trusted. However, through building great relationships, staying focused on what you’re good at and most importantly, getting awesome case studies / results, you can overcome that adversity pretty quickly. In all of my work, my goal is to help educate and inspire the next generation to pursue their passions and never take no as an answer!
How can we start more conversations about masculinity, toxic masculinity, and mental health today, especially in the athletics world?
One of the things I love talking about is mental health. Even since I was 9 years old, I've struggled with severe anxiety, panic and ADD. When I was a child, I'd always ask my parents "why me" and almost hated myself for it. At this point in my life, I couldn't be more grateful for the struggles I faced as a child, it made me who I am today. Everyone has struggles behind closed doors and public figures being more open about their struggles is the first step to getting rid of the stigma around mental health issues. It's been incredibly inspiring to see athletes from Michael Phelps to Hope Solo to Kevin Love and dozens of other incredible athletes to discuss their struggles.