TGM Classic | Jay Wilkinson | From Unemployment to Entrepreneurship Journey

In today’s episode of The Greatness Machine, Darius chats with Jay Wilkinson, entrepreneur, author, speaker, angel investor, CEO of Firespring, and self-proclaimed “geek with social skills” about the rapidly shifting world of business.

In this episode, Jay and I talked about:

  • Jay’s path to becoming an entrepreneur growing up in Nebraska and why he felt he was “100% unemployable”
  • The definition of a B Corp, as well as the strict standards that must be met to become certified
  • Why Jay believes that businesses must develop a ‘stakeholder capitalism’ mentality in order to survive the next decade and beyond
  • The origins of the Do More Good Movement and its goal to inspire purpose-based businesses and reclaim capitalism
  • And other topics…

Meet Jay:

Early in life, Jay learned that he couldn’t follow directions and eventually succumbed to becoming an entrepreneur. Before graduating from college, he started 8 businesses, most of which failed miserably. He eventually caught on, and in 1986 helped launch Campus Connection magazine in NYC which expanded to 350 college campuses.

After selling the magazine in 1992, Jay moved back to Nebraska to open an AlphaGraphics printing franchise which subsequently broke the record for the 350-store network as the fastest to reach $1M in annual sales. Today, under a different name, the printing company is listed by Printing News magazine as the #1 (largest) rapid-response printshop in America.

In 1996, Jay and his team launched a website design division and landed the Backstreet Boys Band as a client. They knew from that point on, they’d always “Want it That Way”​ and in 2001, spun-off the division as a separate company.

Today, Firespring has thousands of clients in all 50 states and all over the world. It became Nebraska’s first Certified B Corp in 2014 and was named by Inc. Magazine in 2016 as one of America’s “50 Best Workplaces.”​

Jay has invested in more than 100 startups and is a passionate advocate for the Silicon Prairie having served on the Nebraska Angels BOD since its inception.

In his spare time, Jay can be found on adventures with his family at destinations all over the world. He and his wife, Tawnya have a goal to “have a meaningful experience together in all 50 states and 100 countries.” He sits on several nonprofit boards and is an avid supporter of programs that train our youth to become servant leaders.

Jay has appeared on CNN and other news outlets discussing the evolution of purpose-driven companies and is considered a leading authority on building companies that are a force for good.

Today, he spends the majority of his time as the founder and steward of the Do More Good© Movement—a nonprofit with a mission to educate, empower and amplify companies and business leaders doing more good.

One of Jay’s proudest accomplishments is his ability to write about himself in the third person in a way that makes him sound cooler than he really is.

Meet Darius: 

Darius is your host of The Greatness Machine. Darius is a mad scientist, high-growth CEO, serial entrepreneur, author, conscious capitalist, speaker, and entertainer. Darius is on a quest to create 1,000,000 Core Value Driven Organization by 2030. He is calling this “The Core Value Revolution.” Darius is an alumni of the Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurial Program at MIT and Stagen Integral Leadership Program. Darius’s accolades include being ranked #9 Top Rated CEO in America on Glassdoor, has won numerous Stevie Awards, and has founded and grown organizations that have been ranked #40 in the Inc. 500 and were ranked #3 Best Places to Work By the San Francisco Business Time. He is all about the P’s: Passion, Pizza, Puzzles, and, especially, Pink Unicorns. His book, The Core Value Equation, is an Amazon #1 Best Seller and is available at

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My team and I are on a mission to help YOU create a cultural revolution. I want to teach you how to build a core value driven organization. 


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Don’t let your Core Values become a company artifact!  Learn how to make Core Values the language of your organization.  Pre-order my book The Core Value Equation found at the link below 

The Core Value Equation




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