James Benham is no stranger to entrepreneurship—at 12 years old, when his dad wouldn’t hire him to work at his plastics company, he started a lawnmower business with a loan from his dad. At 16, he got a job bussing restaurant tables, and in the early 90s he became a consultant, teaching people how to navigate the internet. At 21, he started his next venture—his own company. In the end, not getting a job at his dad’s company—or control of his business—ended up being exactly what he needed to become who he is today. Without striking out on his own, he might never have created two businesses and learned customer service during his time working at a restaurant.
Now, Benham is co-founder and CEO of JBKnowledge, the “insurance industry’s leading specialty technology solutions provider." Today, he talks with Brilliant Thoughts host Tristan Ahumada about finding a mentor, innovating without burning out, listening to your customers and the importance of sticking to your values.
James M. Benham is the co-founder and CEO of JBKnowledge, a multinational technology and consulting company he's bootstrapped for over 20 years. His book, Be Your Own VC, was published in November 2022, and you can find him on LinkedIn at James M. Benham.