Going to work with a startup: The method to my madness

Jay Clouse is a business builders alumnus, and is currently the COO of Tixers, a Cincinnati startup focused on changing the way tickets are sold and traded.

Let’s do some quick math.

There are 24 hours in a day, 8 of which are recommended for sleeping, at least 8 of which are traditionally earmarked for working a job, and so that leaves a final 8 hours per day (A THIRD!) of traditional adult life to be used at your discretion. Obviously that’s a very simplistic calculation, but you get the point.

Approaching the end of my college career, that was a fact that I just couldn’t shake. Especially during the few months where I had convinced myself that I wanted to go into consulting and came to terms with working constant 12+ hour days and traveling four days a week. “I’ll just do this for a couple years, learn a ton, pay my ‘dues’ and use it as a jumping off point.”

Well, I didn’t get an offer from Deloitte or McKinsey. Those interviews were the two most difficult interviews I’ve ever done, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t enjoy the process — clearly it wasn’t a fit for me.

That soon became an apparent blessing. I’ve just drudged through four years of college work, and I was signing up to drudge through another 2-3 years of consulting as a means to an end? What end? Jumping off point for what — another job that took up way too much of my time that I wasn’t passionate about? There were plenty of other prospects, and I would be sure to learn a lot…but I couldn’t get enthusiastic about any of them.

I started thinking. The problem, I reasoned, was that I was thinking about a job. I was worried about making a good salary — even if that meant filling up all the time that I would want to put that salary to use for things that I wanted to do.

Well here’s the thing: having a job [expletive] sucks, and I don’t want to do it. Having a job, to me, means my mind compartmentalizes 8+ hours of tasks within my weekday of things I don’t really want to do. That meaning, if the pay were nonexistent, I wouldn’t do it. It would be, simply, a means to an end.

**Disclaimer** I realize a ton of people “love their jobs.”  That’s great! I’m arguingmy concept of the word “job” and not that people can’t love what they do — including working for someone else.

For me, that meant finding a means of income that integrated into my lifestyle, gives me an opportunity to learn by building and growing a business, and allows me to work outside of an imposed organizational hierarchy.

“Listen to your heart, that’s what I do.” — Napoleon Dynamite

Frankly, my passions were evident to everyone else around me.

“So what are you going to do after graduation? Start some big company?”

What’s next? Are you going to Silicon Valley?

Truth be told, I would love to jump in and start a company right now. On a small scale, I have with Boosted Brands. I will continue to make sites here and there when I have time and there is a need, but it’s not my central focus. I have a ton to learn before I start a company, and I don’t have my own idea to chase right now (or the money to afford doing so!)

I want to work on something where I can have a measurable impact every day. I want to work on something that isn’t a “job” and something that makes me excited to get out of bed, solve problems, and meet new people. I want to work on something where the working hours are Necessary a.m. — Necessary p.m. and not defined by an arbitrary corporate structure.

I want to work on a startup. That’s important — I want to work on a startupwith a team that really values what I bring to the table (yes, I know this could just be called “semantics”). And that’s why I have accepted an offer to work with Tixers as Chief Operating Officer!

What is Tixers?

Tixers is a member of the second class within the UpTech Accelerator, and a former Startup Weekend Cincinnati award-winner.

Tixers does two things. First, it allows customers to trade tickets that would otherwise go into waste or need to be resold into the site in exchange for immediate value in the form of credits on the site. For the ticketholder, the process is quicker and easier than resale, and provides guaranteed value rather than simply trying to sell them for cash. For example, now, your extra ticket to that Cleveland Indians game can be used towards a Browns ticket in the Fall.

Second, we offer traditional ticket brokerage (like Stubhub or Ticketmaster) paired with flexibility for those buying tickets on our site. When customers are buying tickets, they can choose to buy them immediately from our current and featured inventory, or they can submit a request with how much they would like to pay and where they would like to sit. We then go to work finding you the best value for your request. Tixers wants to even the playing field and unlock new experiences for loyal fans. Check out today’s article in Cincinnati Business Courier.

So if you’re looking to unload or pick up a concert or sporting event ticket, check us out. I would love to help you get the best ticket possible!