JinJa Birkenbeuel

Founder of Birk Creative

JinJa Birkenbeuel is a trusted business advisor who fosters a lively creative process. She also has extensive experience networking for entrepreneurs and business leaders, and also consulting them on how to create and manage their personal brand and social profiles. Since 1997, JinJa has provided personal branding and representation for civic leaders and entrepreneurs in the public and private sectors, created marketing and advertising campaigns for NGOs, not for profit organizations and institutions, and collaborated with private and Fortune 500 companies like Google, Inc., SolarCity, Ericsson, AECOM and more. JinJa Birkenbeuel serves on the board of directors for the Jewish-Black Business Alliance and Young Chicago Authors. JinJa is also songwriter and publisher for Utah Carol, a musical group that composes songs for film, advertising and business.

Where did the idea for Birk Creative come from?

I decided that I wanted to be closer to the client decision making. I wanted to have a closer proximity to the creative and strategic development process. I left my last job and opened my company.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Right now, I don’t have a typical day, given we are in a pandemic. My three sons are in a virtual school, so I have added responsibility 24/7. I’m more productive in some ways because I’m not traveling as much. I use delivery services to save time.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I write things down in a journal, by hand with a pen.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The awakening of entrepreneurs to online establishment which breeds success.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I take risks and chances on ideas and people.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Save more money.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

That I’m an introvert.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Write as many articles as possible that are aligned with your expertise. Don’t be afraid to share what you know.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Go with your gut. It will never fail you.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I made a decision on the fly without letting the client know. I failed to take into account the client’s ego around the assignment. I was right, but they needed to participate in the ownership of the decision I made on their behalf.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Help entrepreneurs convert their articles into eBooks and help them sell them.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A router to help me have reliable internet for all the video calls I’m running during the pandemic.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Google Drive. I organize all client and staff files in the drive. I don’t worry about security or storage issues. I love it. And it’s collaborative, so I can share files if needed, all over the world from anywhere.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Thank You For Being Late by Thomas Friedman is an incredible discussion on the acceleration in technology and how we humans are not keeping up with it. The Pulitzer author also describes his childhood in Minnesota and how he realized much later in life, the lies he believed about his success, which he later unpacked and dismantled as white privilege.

What is your favorite quote?

“Seize the day.” by my Mom.

Key Learnings:

  • Be succinct and simple in communications
  • Study and research for when opportunity knocks
  • Set intentions and lead with positivity
  • Always be curious and open to innovation