Dr. James Fleckenstein was born in Omaha Nebraska and moved to Seattle Washington. He attended the University of Washington for college and medical school. He did his residency in Radiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he became Professor of Neuroradiology. An accomplished scientist, he also inherited a keen business sense from his accountant father and family full of business people. His company, Flex Properties which started as a means of developing properties for vacation has now diversified into the area of medical wellness tool development.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I like to wake before the dawn. The time before dawn is like free time. It’s like time doesn’t exist and I am free to do what I might not think I have time for, like exercise, or planning a vacation, working a crossword puzzle, reading a book. By defocusing on the issues of the day, I find I am more able to focus on them later when it matters.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Pen and paper. I know it’s very “now” to use computers and smart phones for everything but I find by doing things the old-fashioned way, the “analog” way, that I am more invested in an idea. When I make a calendar, I do it on paper. When I make a plan, I do it on paper. I feel more personally invested in an idea when it flows from my hand to my pencil.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Blockchain. Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Metaverse. I don’t fully understand it but it’s intriguing where it’s going.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Early to bed, early to rise. Early to exercise.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Miracles and magic are real and depend upon the laws of physics.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Write things down in a notepad.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Take the best traits you see in your bosses and try to emulate them. I used to think the way to lead was to rule with an iron fist. Now I know that consensus building is superior.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Don’t sell too early.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Somebody needs to figure out how to recycle plastic bags.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Dinner at the Warbler.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Powerpoint is so useful for things other than presentations. I designed a whole house using it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I have two: The Four Agreements and Three Magic Words. They both instruct in how to create positive things in your life.
What is your favorite quote?
“Return to the breath.” When all else fails, breathe.
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.