#PassionIvy – Jay Friedman, COO The Goodway Group

A nationally recognized and accomplished digital media expert, speaker, and writer, Jay Friedman regularly speaks at top industry conferences, writes for leading industry websites such as adexchanger.com and imediaconnection.com, co-authors Goodway’s digital media how-to books, like 30 Days to Paid Digital Media Expertise, now in its 8th edition, and helps lead the largest independent programmatic media company on the planet – The Goodway Group.

Please welcome to #PassionIvy – Jay Friedman, COO The Goodway Group


The Marketing Ivy – How do you personally define “Passion”?
Jay Friedman – If you passively remarked to Galileo, “Geez, the stars are really bright tonight,” you’d spark his passion and he could talk to you about the stars and universe for hours. Passion is something that evokes an emotional response even in its weakest form.

Please state your name and your personal passion.
Jay Friedman. I’m personally passionate about behavioral economics. Yep, sounds a bit geeky, but understanding what makes people tick, how the brain works, and how to best work with each person individually is, in my opinion, a huge key to success.

How did you and your passion meet?
Freakonomics! Seeing the real reasons behind people’s actions felt like I was getting the answers to a test that few others even knew existed.

What motivates you to continue pursuing this passion?
I want to be the best husband, father, friend, and leader I can be. In order to do that, I need to relate to each person in my life differently and understand what motivates them. As much as I’ve read and learned about BE I also know we’re in the “Lewis and Clark” days of neurological research and there is so much more yet to discover.

What are the most useful resources you use to stay educated toward your passion?
Being such a new field, the resources are fairly limited. I’m an active reader on the subject, and I’ve even taken to applying BE knowledge to TV shows and movies to understand character motivations.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your passion?
The brain is best at two things. Creating shortcuts, and reinforcing our ego. The brain prefers thoughts and decisions that substantiate these two activities more than anything else.

What is the most unexpected thing you’ve learned?
We’re almost never rational, yet we think we are nearly all the time.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
Presidential hair. Ok, jokes aside, as much as I work on staying in “curious” mode vs “debate” mode, it’s never enough. As I look at Facebook posts about world events, it’s clear that the vast majority of the U.S. isn’t curious at all, but very rooted in their own beliefs (see above for brain’s two best abilities.) That is harmful in the world, the workplace, and in personal relationships.

Who do you most admire in life?  Why?
My grandfather is a no-brainer on this one. Most immigrants to the U.S. come with the change in their pocket and a work ethic that can’t be shaken. My grandfather’s ancestors were no different, but my grandfather was the guy that decided he wasn’t going to stay working class and that he was going to succeed. Then, at 63, he lost all of his retirement (long story, his own fault.) Yet he went back to work at 65 and worked until 86 years old as a traveling furniture salesperson. This rebuilt his finances and let him live a comfortable life and spoil is grandkids. That inspired me.

How do you measure success?
Success means different things to different people. In general, I would say it’s defined as achieving the goals you set out to accomplish, yet calibrating the course along the way through curiosity and open-mindedness.

What achievement are you most proud of?
Personally, it’s raising what are turning out to be two great kids. Professionally, leaving a corporate job to start a digital media business that now gives 300+ people the opportunity to do amazing things every day.

What things do you not like to do?
Any chores at home. Some people relax by cutting their lawns. All of that drives me crazy.

What are you most thankful for?
A healthy family. You can buy anything but health and happiness, and health is a significant ingredient to happiness.

If you could have a 3 minute conversation with the younger version of you, what would you say?
“Play the game, Jay.” The first five years of my career were significantly less successful than they could have been because I was actually trying to do the work associated with the job rather than build relationships and support. At 24 I was hired to lead the marketing efforts for an 800 person company with a reasonable marketing budget. Despite my age at the time, I still am impressed today by some of the marketing thinking I provided there. However, because I didn’t build relationships and ‘play the game’, I wasn’t successful in my role there.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.”

Jay, it was a pleasure having you participate in #PassionIvy and sharing your passion with us – Thank you.

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