“Lessons from ski racing serve as my guide to my academic, professional, and personal endeavors.”
After learning to ski as an eighteen month old critter, Jake spent a large part of his life competing at a high level as an alpine ski racer. Though he raced at the Division I level, Jake never made the US national team and wasn’t able to turn a passion into a profession. Despite this, he’s taken a countless lessons from the slopes and applied them to other pursuits.
“Ski racing, for me, was a constantly-evolving kick to the knees. For any given race, there’s only one winner, and there are dozens of racers that set out to win but fall short. The odds of being a consistent winner are tough. It became very important to recognize relative success in this sport because it’s just so rare to win all of the time. Well, at least for me it was!”
The ability to recognize and enjoy relative success is so much more productive than dwelling on those days where you’re tenths of a second away from achieving your ultimate goal. Jake has found this lesson to be applicable for his academic, professional, and personal pursuits as well. He believes it’s this learned skill that lends itself well to people that set appropriate goals and also find innovative ways to reach these goals.
“Competing forced me to continuously evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. By being brutally honest with yourself about your own attributes, you can train or compete in such a way that best positions you to make progress.”
This mentality has helped Jake find success in many facets of his life but most notably in the workplace. Whether finding innovative ways to source new investments or helping portfolio companies navigate their way through problems, Jake believes an upfront, truly honest recognition of any problem is the fastest way to reach a resolution.
“Hard work almost always carries the day.”
Jake’s biggest takeaway from ski racing stemmed from the idea that hard work, over a long period of time, almost always trumps innate skill. While the combination of hard work and God-given talent is most ideal, only one of those dials can be deliberately turned. Since its inception, the Volition team has embodied this principle and is a contributing factor to the group’s current success.