Stay the course for your personal goals, but adjust course based on the trends. You need to meet where your clients are.
Jay Eitner is a proud product of the New Jersey public schools. A graduate from Union High School in 1997, Jay attended The American University in Washington DC with a BA in interdisciplinary studies. He began his teaching career in Roselle, NJ teaching a variety of subjects, including social studies, computers, and literacy. Known for being ‘outside of the box’ and for strong technology infusion, Eitner strived to make a learning environment that were technology infused, student centered, and data driven. Jay received his Masters Degree in 2004 and was hired to teach 8th grade social studies in the nationally recognized East Brunswick Public Schools. During his time in East Brunswick, Eitner has written & received over $140,000 in grants for his students. Grants ranged from podcasting equipment to creating a fully-interactive goldrush experience, where students dug for gold during their westward expansion unit. Jay obtained his supervisor, principal, and school administrator certificates from the NJPSA NJ-EXCEL program in 2009. Administratively, Eitner has served as a middle school Assistant Principal, a K-12 Supervisor of Social Studies, and a Superintendent in two New Jersey Districts. This past summer, Eitner successfully defended his dissertation on the importance of Professional Developement for educators. He has presented a series of workshops on digital leadership, technology infusion, and student achievement for grades K-12. Accolades include received the honor of ‘National Superintendent of the Year’ in the Educator Voice Awards from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
My company was founded in 2005 when the internet and education weren’t necessarily connected in a positive way. Effective navigation was needed to help educators how to understand the power of the Internet and how it and its’ platforms could be used in the classroom.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day begins at 4:45. I’m on the road by 5:20 and work until the daily tasks and unannounced instances are put to an end.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring my ideas to life by planting seeds, cultivating them, and then watching them blossom. You cna only do so much alone.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love how technology is changing so much for the better daily. I understand the frustrations of learning something new, but these are the times we are living in.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One of my strongest habits is staying persistent. When I get knocked down, I get back up again. Over and over. I will not yield, and I will not stop until I reach my goals.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take your time, and don’t care about what everyone else thinks of you. You are here for a reason and purpose. Fulfill it.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
People love to throw the word ‘change’ around, but when it comes TO change, most people don’t want anything to do with it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend that you stay the course for your personal goals, but adjust course based on the trends. You need to meet where your clients are.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
It’s paramount for all educators to connect, engage, and continue to grow. If we do not meet our learners where they are today, we will do a disservice to our future. I will continue to grow, learn, and move onward so that meaningful, affordable, effective, and fun professional development will be available for our educators and administrators.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One of my biggest failures has been to embrace / ‘take the bait’ of trolls and those who don’t like me online. You’re never going to win fighting someone hiding behind a keyboard or screen.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would love to see a school transportation company that could offer on-demand services like Uber or Lyft. It would be a lifesaver for so many schools.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently treated myself to a subscription box from RobbVices.com. I like to enjoy some of the finer things and the monthly subscriptions they offer are wonderful.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
One web service I use on a daily basis are the services of Mike Munter. Mike provides a myriad of resources to help you understand the analytics and schematics of Google. The internet is the Wild West; Mike’s services help you successfully navigate it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book I recommend to all those serious about staying relevant in their field is “The Do-Over” by Jon Acuff. today. Acuff’s book speaks of four elements that all great careers have in common: relationships, skills, character, and hustle. The book’s unique approach will give you the resources to reinvent your work, get unstuck, and get the job you’ve always wanted.
What is your favorite quote?
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Franklin
- Successful educators and administrators embrace technology, not shun it.
- Meet people where they are today. If you don’t, you won’t reach them.
- Remember that you are your biggest cheerleader. Be proud of yourself and where you have gotten.
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.