Jacob Baranski is an entrepreneur, mountain biking enthusiast, and a father to three amazing children. He is an avid traveler with professional interests in wood working, real estate and the application of modern design. Jacob Baranski has over 20 years of experience in the wood, construction and real estate fields. His other interests include meditating and yoga, snowboarding and diving.
Jacob Baranski is a passionate entrepreneur and an ardent supporter of sustainable growth companies. As a lifelong learner, he believes in investing in personal developments, and fostering relationships on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. Jacob Baranski uses his creative abilities, hard work, and experience in manufacturing to create modern family dwellings that provide peace of mind. After a career change and 25 years working for a family business, Jacob Baranski believes that putting family first, and working for yourself on things you love is the greatest gift that someone can give themselves.
He is an entrepreneur, mountain biking enthusiast, and a father to three amazing children.
Jacob Baranski is an avid traveler with professional interests in real estate and the application of modern design. He has over 20 years of experience in wood, and construction industries. His other interests are meditating, and practicing yoga.
Jacob Baranski is a passionate entrepreneur and an ardent supporter of sustainable growth companies. As a lifelong learner, he believes in investing in personal developments, and fostering relationships on a foundation of mutual trust and respect.
Jacob Baranski uses his creative abilities, hard work, and experience in manufacturing to create simple and modern family dwellings that promote a sense of calm and warmth.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I am a firm believer in the fact that whatever macroeconomic challenges there may be, if you have the vision and dedication to create high-quality products, you will have a market for them. Everyone wants their home to be a place that offers sanctuary and tranquility, but building custom homes with quality design takes time. Not everyone has the kind of patience or skills to create their own modern dream home. The idea behind Hartman Projects was to fill this void for our customers by offering architecturally inspired luxury modern dwellings for the discerning buyer.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Usually, I try to start my day by meditating. Meditation has proven to be transformative for me. It helps me dissipate my worries and allows me to think more clearly. The clarity afforded from actively attempting to not think about the hustle and bustle of daily life often leads to freeing space for new business or family bonding ideas to develop.
Then I review if any new lands or homes have been put up for sale in regions of my interest, and this search always starts in Southern Ontario. As this is something I am passionate about, I often think about making a daily youtube video—breaking down and giving my opinions on the listings I am interested in. I think others in the field might find my views helpful and afford them a different perspective. I then visit job sites and help out where I am needed. But I am mindful about letting the expert trades do their jobs independently.
My children spend half their time with me and other days with their Mom. While I might usually travel during the day to job sites or for scouting out new property, on the days they are with me, I choose to make them the priority. On these days, my routine involves groceries, laundry, planning and cooking dinner as well as doing activities where all of us participate. When I am with my kids, I am a firm believer that business comes second. This routine definitely slows down your career, but having seen both sides of the coin, I am choosing to focus on my children while they are young. There is a limited time frame where you can help teach them good habits. I believe I will have more time for career pursuits as they get older.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Bringing ideas to life is something I struggle with, though I am learning and improving every day. I love coming up with ideas, but implementation can be a challenge. If I have learned one thing that I can advise here, it is to not get caught up in doing too much research. Meet some knowledgeable people and interact with them. Start and make mistakes and curate a new solution as you face the inevitable challenges and setbacks that come with trying to bring ideas to life. Trial and error is the method that has worked best for me. So be resilient and keep trying.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think that the fast-growing AI and the field of humanoid robots are quite exciting. There are so many dangerous and unfulfilling jobs today. If we left these parts of labor to automation and instead worked to empower peoples to strive for bigger goals it would be a better utilization of talent. Every one has a talent, a passion. This could be beneficial both at an individual and national economic level.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Attention to detail and hard work has served me well on my entrepreneurial journey. You have to be mindful of the finer points to build something great and meaningful. And there is no substitute for the hours one puts in to achieve your goal.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise younger Jake to stand up for himself more, and take more risks in business while young. Also, I would suggest he—or any other youth out there wanting to become an entrepreneur or anything similar—learn all the ins and outs of a business. Step out of your comfort zone and try to do one positive thing a day that scares you. This enables growth and helps you learn more about yourself and the world around you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Waking up at 5 AM is amazing. Being an early riser gives me a good start to the day, where I begin my day by energizing my mind with 10 to 15 minutes of yoga and reading.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I think all entrepreneurs should be mindful of is not biting off more than they can chew at the expense of the people that have put their trust in them. Also, I think we should all make sure to keep empathy as the cornerstone of everything we do.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
What has helped me is a combination of a few life values: Determination, trusting myself every step of the way, and not being afraid to make my vision come to life with very few compromises.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The failures I have experienced in my entrepreneurship journey are an intersection of personal and business. I felt like there have been instances where I did not stand up for myself and make what was important to me clear to those I was working with. When it comes to work culture, letting immoral behavior become the norm was also a low point, and compromising my own standards slowly became a slippery slope.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Spend more time learning about yourself.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Value gets me excited. Whether it’s finding the source of a product, a cheaper but equally good alternative product, or simply finding a sale on a new shirt, I am happy when I know that I have gotten real value from the purchase. So if I spend a hundred dollars and get $200 dollars worth of value, I consider that a win.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Company Cam. It allows you to keep all pictures of a project in one spot, where they are easily accessible to your team. This comes in handy for home building and interior design choices. Rather than texting each person, everyone has one place to go and follow the pictures of a project on a timeline and add their input, which saves a lot of time and improves both productivity and efficiency.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I am an avid reader and consider myself a lifelong learner. I like light, funny, and inspiring books. Green lights by Matthew McConaughey ranks high up on my list next to Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. Oops, I guess that’s two books.
What is your favorite quote?
“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard.” by President John F. Kennedy
- Practice empathy
- Prioritize your family
- Get out of your comfort zone and do one thing that scares you every day.
- Stand Up for yourself and what you believe in
- Stay true to who you are without compromising your values
- Work hard and be mindful
- Invest in yourself
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.