Jesse Ransford is an avid skier and outdoorsman. Growing up outside of Aspen, Colorado, Jesse spent his afternoons and weekends on the slopes of Aspen Highlands training as a ski racer. Jesse also enjoyed acting in spring musicals and exploring the visual arts, particularly photography.
When it came time for high school, Jesse was determined to leave the Roaring Fork Valley. Despite his parents’ opposition, he applied to a small boarding in New Hampshire called Holderness. At sixteen years old, Jesse began his Sophomore year of high school in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Because the student body was composed of people from across the United States, and even the world, Jesse gained new insight to cultures, languages, and traditions that were never introduced in the Roaring Fork Valley. By the end of his senior year, Jesse had certainly made an impact on the community: he had earned numerous athletic awards, and was an elected member of the senior class. Jesse graduated with High Honors and a 3.7 GPA.
In the fall of the same year, Jesse Ransford matriculated to Wake Forest University with the hopes of pursuing an Economics degree. Though he thoroughly enjoyed the challenging academics of the University, he missed the Colorado mountains that defined his childhood. As a result, Jesse decided to take some time off in Aspen where he worked at his favorite boutique clothing store Rag & Bone. He later left retail to pursue an internship with the Neoplastic Functional Institute in which he assisted the rehabilitation of clients with spinal cord injury. Jesse also interned with the Jared Polis for Colorado campaign, where he consistently yielded the highest voter capture rate.
Currently, Jesse is taking classes at Colorado Mountain College while he works as a sales professional at Theory. When he has time, you can find Jesse on the slopes or volunteering with paraplegics at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Jesse plans to transfer into the Economics program at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Where did the idea for Jesse Ransford & Co. come from?
Jesse Ransford & Co. is an independent, volunteer-owned and managed, healthcare consulting company that assists healthcare providers and wellness professionals to train people to heal independently and achieve their goals of a pain-free, life-long, high level of function.
Originally I contacted Lauryn Maloney, the founder of the Neuroplastic Functional Institute, to assist me with dyslexia. Lauryn herself is profoundly dyslexic and has dedicated much of her career to tutoring students with learning disabilities. After developing a strong relationship with Lauryn, she offered me an internship with her organization. The summer internship program consisted of a pilot rehabilitation program for patients with spinal cord injuries. Through aquatherapy and neoroplasticity, the study proved to help parapalegics regain functionality. I fell in love with this powerful and rewarding work, and began to assist patients on my own.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day varies significantly. Along with working with NFI and personal clients, I am also a college student and a sales associate. Because most of my work with paraplegics are individual sessions, I have the flexibility to work around my school schedule.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I learn more from my clients than they do from me. New ideas are usually suggested from a client and then, I as the trainer, build off of them. They know there bodies more than I do, so it’s better when they tell me what they need.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I recently read an article about researchers from the University of Louisville and the Minnesota Mayo Clinic using electrical stimulation to excite the spinal cord, helping signals from the brain reach the affected muscles, in what is referred to as epidural stimulation. I am also excited about the potential of virtual reality (VR). A research study from Duke University showed some promising results for paraplegic patients using a VR headset and brain-controlled technological devices.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Constant communication. In our line of work, things are always changing. Whether it be sudden snow, or a caretaker being sick, it’s impossible to solely rely upon appointments planned for many weeks ahead. It’s important for our clients to know they should only train if they feel up to it. It takes paraplegic s much longer to recover than the rest of us. I urge them to cancel at the last minute if need be.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Ask for help. Don’t try to do everything yourself. People want to help you succeed.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I would recommend taking advantage of all the opportunities that come your way because you never know where they might lead.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Because the work we do is unique, the community always wants to learn more. They’ve never seen anything like it before. They’re curious. Educating people is a great way to build connections and deepen ties with others. It also has contributed to the growth of our business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
As schools are transitioning to an online format as a result of the Coronavirus, I am finding the adjustment very difficult. It doesn’t seem like anyone has mastered the art of online education, at least for traditional in-person schools. I believe that if an entrepreneur were to create some new software solutions that could easily transition from in-person to online classes, they would be very successful.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I’ve just started working with my own personal trainer. Now that I’m out of high school, I no longer have an athletic obligation. This was something missing from my life. After only a few weeks, I already feel better physically and mentally.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Squarespace for websites, Microsoft for documents, and Adobe for photos and contracts. I love Squarespace because of it’s simplicity and built-in sleek design. The Adobe apps take a while to master, but now that I have, I won’t dare to use anything else.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
If you like entrepreneurial memoirs, I highly recommend “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. The book is easy to read, yet entertaining the entire way through. Knight’s humble tone conveys not the story of an innate genius, but one of a persistent human being who makes all the mistakes of a great entrepreneur. Knight’s story is the American dream at its finest.
What is your favorite quote?
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
– President Barack Obama
- Ask for help. Don’t try to do everything yourself. People want to help you succeed.
- I would recommend taking advantage of all the opportunities that come your way because you never know where they might lead.
- Educating people is a great way to build connections and deepen ties with others.
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.