Jim Moseley, Founder and CEO of Sun Fire Defense is a great example of an entrepreneur that is driven by passion. His work is supported by the research of brilliant minds in industries like aerospace and wildland firefighting. Together they have innovated groundbreaking materials, such as their FireShield Fabric that can insulate against heat up to temperatures over 2300 degrees Fahrenheit. The products have already been adapted for applications such as rocket stand wraps by a major private aerospace company and have the potential to be used in numerous applications with far reaching benefits.
Jim had an exciting start in the music industry while he was also pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams. He was a founding member and principal trombonist of the Crystal Cathedral Symphony Orchestra, was the lead soloist with Roger Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra, played with Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra Jr. While he was performing, he also stayed in the business game and was mentored by Thomas L. Thorkelson and then started his own insurance agency which focused on high earners and the protection of their assets. The incredible success of his business resulted in President Ronald Reagan nominating him as one of America’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs under 30.
As a Californian, Jim has always cared about wildfire safety. Sun Fire Defense has continued to create breakthrough products that have won awards for their fire stopping abilities such as “Best Fire Defense Product- 2018”. From coatings that are sprayed onto the outside of houses as simply as a coat of paint, lasting for years, to materials that can be used to secure vents and structural openings to prevent smoke and fire from spreading throughout a home. Jim Moseley and his company, Sun Fire Defense are committed to protecting the community and will continue to deliver groundbreaking technologies to help in any way they can.
Where did the idea for Sun Fire Defense come from?
I founded Sun Fire Defense to provide the highest quality fire protection products and services on the market. I have been able to accomplish this by working with a team of experts with brilliant minds that help make this passion of mine a reality through hard work, ongoing research, and persistence.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically have a lot of tasks in a day. I am constantly doing research to keep the process of innovation going, I am working with different individuals and on different collaborations with people that are interested in our products and how they can help them in their industry, there are many ongoing projects so I am constantly busy. If I ever find myself getting distracted, I have a great team to help me with productivity too, Tashell for instance, our office manager, is exceptionally good at her job.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I have built a network of great minds to brainstorm with, it makes the process of bringing an idea to life so much more engaging. Instead of looking at an idea from one perspective, you have now grown the points of view exponentially which impacts the outcome in such a great and positive way and we have seen such great results here at Sun Fire Defense by putting these minds together to problem solve.
What’s one trend that excites you?
There is going to be a big change in the world of transportation, especially as the world starts to adjust to its “new normal” post 2020. We are already seeing a reduction in travelling by car and the positive impact it has had on the environment. I am hoping that this trend will continue to not only encourage consumers to seek more environmentally friendly transportation options moving forward but also force cities to create better solutions and maybe we will even see some new legislation on the topic.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I like to stick to a routine and part of making that routine a habit is setting alarms and reminders so I have them set for everything I can.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To find a good balance between being trusting and cautious. It is often a lesson that comes with age and with the more interactions you have with others but if you are able to learn it from a younger age, it could save you from being burned by someone that wants to take advantage of you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
People tend to be afraid of businesses wanting to collect data profiles on them, but I think when it is done responsibly it can be a great thing. Going forward, there is going to be a trend of personalization in all aspects of online shopping, surfing, social media, everything. The way we get those really intuitive, personalized experiences is through that collection of data so let’s start to embrace it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Think positively. People get the term “too good to be true” stuck in their head and it can make them too pessimistic at times and afraid to take bold chances where it counts. If you allow yourself to pursue some of the more fantastical ideas you may have, you will eventually find success in something that could potentially change the world.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Our website has been an invaluable tool for growth and when using advertising and marketing we always drive traffic to it because It has great features like videos that demonstrate the effectiveness of the products, information about the company and it’s members, and testimonials. The testimonials are a great tool themselves because I think it helps people really connect when they see real-life instances of the products being tested out and then the customer reporting back with their experience.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I think there were times when I could see that I was starting to get burned out. When that happens, I think it is critical to take a step back if you can and re-evaluate things. Try to de-prioritize any non-essentials and if needed, make a change. Sticking with a bad job or on a bad course when you are feeling burned out is never the right path to prosperity or happiness.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An app that can tell you specific things like businesses within a certain radius that are sustainable, restaurants that are farm to table, or other parameters that the user inputs.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently donated to a charity that helps pay for underprivileged children’s musical instruments so that they can have access to learning that they may not have had before.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I am often struck with ideas at random times, like the middle of the night. I use Evernote which is installed and synced on all my devices so I can grab the nearest one and make note of it. No more morning regrets of forgetting that brilliant idea I had at 2am.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis. It is a very down to earth book that provides solid advice, encouraging entrepreneurs to build a business they enjoy, that will also last.
What is your favorite quote?
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz
• Build a network of great minds to brainstorm with. This will help you to bring ideas to life in an engaging and meaningful way.
• Utilize alarms and reminders to stay on track.
• Avoid negative thinking but instead be bold in both your thinking and actions.
• Be sure that your company website is solid and has tools like product demonstrations, company history, and testimonials.
• Find apps that assist you with your productivity no matter when it is or where you are.
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.