More than being an entrepreneur and business management professional, Jeff Ber is also a passionate cancer awareness advocate. As the Vice President of Operations at One Ball, an organization that provides meaningful assistance through the testicular cancer journey and helps destroy the stigma around talking about men’s health, Jeff Ber is the backbone of OneBall. Having used his own experience to guide and uplift others, Jeff Ber is now embarking on his own entrepreneurial journey.
Jeff has well over a decade of experience specializing in business management. After earning his Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management from Concordia University, Jeff Ber joined Edward Jones as an Analyst. He continued to expand his expertise by taking on roles with increasingly executive responsibilities. Jeff Ber has been repeatedly recognized for his acumen in analysis and business management services, as well as his approach to creating personal relationships with individuals and business clients to help them reach their goals. In 2015, Jeff Ber earned the “Young Gun of the Year” accolade from a leading independent publication, recognizing him for his outstanding analysis services and his ability to push the envelope with innovation and growth.
Currently, Jeff Ber is taking the entrepreneurial leap towards creating his own business. Jeff Ber is no stranger to professional leadership, having worked his way up in the business world over the course of his career, and is about to pursue this new chapter of his professional life with confidence.
Where did the idea for Oneball come from?
After defeating testicular cancer, I had a renewed sense of purpose and drive in my life. Interested in providing fellow entrepreneurs and professionals with guidance through my business consulting services, I hope to help others with problem solving strategies, idea and concept development, and market and competitor analysis. Similar to my volunteer work, I want to be able to meaningfully help others realize their dreams.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start every day with intention, ensuring that I take the time I need for myself. Some days that means exercise, some days that means meditation, and some days that means reading. Before I attend to the priorities of the day and serve others, I have to make myself a priority.
Once I start my workday, I make it productive by following the schedule and task list that I create the night before. The key to success is being prepared. Not only do I follow this schedule, but I make it available to my team to ensure they know how my time is being divided I find that this type of transparency is important in building a tight knit team.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I write everything down. Carrying a journal around with me, or making notes on my phone, is crucial to capturing great ideas when they happen. It isn’t often that a great idea comes to me when I am ready to write it down, so being prepared helps me capture them. I often refer back to these ideas, making new notes and tying ideas together to really ‘bring ideas to life’. It will often look a little bit like a brainstorm cloud.
What’s one trend that excites you?
There is a growing trend towards reduced stigma around talking about men’s health, and that excites me. It is crucial for men and their families to have these conversations, and with technology and social media, this is becoming easier and easier.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I put my cell phone in another room, and make sure there are no ‘pop up’ notifications on my computer (not even e-mails). We have tended to favor this idea that ‘multi-tasking’ is beneficial and helps us get more done, but I’ve found the complete opposite to be true. Shutting off everything and focusing solely on a single task is the most efficient way to complete a task.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations. As the VP of Oneball, I have become much more comfortable speaking about difficult subjects, like testicular cancer. Being open and vulnerable about your experiences has a multiplying effect, which encourages others to do the same.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Being vulnerable makes you stronger. People often think that putting up a persona of strength makes you strong, but actually the opposite is true. Being comfortable, confident, and brave enough to be vulnerable with others not only builds better connections but showcases a real inner strength.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Show gratitude. Every day I think of three to five things I am grateful for. Not big things like family, my home, or my job, but little things like the birds singing, watching a rainstorm, or beating the lunchtime rush at a coffee shop. Paying attention to the small details in our lives teaches us to seek out things to be grateful for.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Listening to my employees. There is an unspoken rule in a corporate hierarchy that those at the top know everything, and that everyone else should just do what they are told. I couldn’t disagree more with this strategy. I hire people based on their grit, critical thinking skills, and expertise. I want to know about their ideas. I want their feedback. It is crucial for any business interested in growing sustainably to consider their employees perspectives.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Being diagnosed with testicular cancer was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through. I had to muster up all of my strength to say, ‘I won’t let this defeat me, I am going to fight’. I overcame it through determination, understanding that not every day was going to be perfect, but that a bad day wasn’t caused to give up.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think that a men’s health app that educates men on which tests they should be going for at what age, which allows them to track appointments in a calendar, would be a fantastic idea. People are busy and staying on top of their health often falls by the wayside. An app like this would not only educate men on what to look for but can encourage them to take control of their physical and mental health.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently purchased a fitbit, and it has been a fantastic investment. Tracking your sleep quality, heart rate, and calories burned has helped me have a greater understanding of my holistic health and holds me accountable. I would recommend that everyone tracks their health metrics in one way or another.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use the ‘notes’ feature and ‘voice memo’ capture on my phone. As I mentioned, being able to capture ideas, thoughts, and concepts as they come to me is crucial, and often my phone is the only tool available to record them. Some of my best ideas have come from notes or memos taken on my phone.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth. Talking about what it takes to succeed, Angela explores what it takes to overcome difficulty, and why certain people succeed and others don’t. It is a very interesting read.
What is your favorite quote?
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
- Don’t let fear stop you from achieving
- Take care of yourself first and foremost and the rest will follow
- Be grateful for what you have