My name is Jake Gasaway. That’s me in the photo, the little face in the computer. And that’s a photo of our company when we hit 50 employees in the middle of 2015. I wasn’t able to be there when we took the photo because I live in the Chicagoland area and work remotely now. My wife Michelle and I moved back to the Midwest when we were about to have our first child, James. More on that in the blog.
Until I was 23 years old, my entire life revolved around athletics. I was fortunate enough to earn a D-1 football scholarship (less than 2% of high school football players earn an athletic scholarship of any kind) to Western Michigan University where my athletic compulsion continued, and perhaps even worsened. Then one day my senior year ended and it was all over, just like that. In 2002, the lights went out in the stadium for good.
Even though I was a Senior Captain and Center on the football team, I had a decent idea I wouldn’t go pro since only 1.6% of college football players get drafted; not to mention I was undersized and slow as hell. Luckily I focused enough on my schoolwork and preparing between games, practices and workouts to secure a great job right out of school with a Fortune 500 company (Philip Morris U.S.A.). Since joining Philip Morris, earning my M.B.A and co-founding a startup, I’ve acquired a real education about corporate America, startups, and now fatherhood.
I’m a long way from the locker room and wish I knew then what I know now. Don’t get me wrong, I wish we could all play forever, but the fact is that no matter which level you make it to in athletics, it will come to an end. Thinking about that a little bit can go a long way. That is the purpose of this blog. I want to share my unique perspective as a former athlete that has been successful in Corporate America as well as my own Startup (Stitch Labs) in Silicon Valley. I’m still new to this fatherhood thing, but hopefully I’ll do ok there, too. What makes me qualified to write about this topic? Subscribe and hopefully you’ll find out soon enough.
Everyone should have a resource to be able to ask questions about how life will change when athletics are in the rear view, and the web makes it easier than ever to do so. Please join the discussion as I talk about everything from the early, and sometimes privileged life of an athlete, to getting that first job, to knowing when to take a risk. I don’t know it all, so feel free to jump in and help me out….even if that means babysitting. This kid is tougher than football ever was. 🙂