About Jack Groot
My entrepreneurial example was my late father, Jake Groot. The family business of home building and developing real estate began in the late 1940’s after he emigrated from the Netherlands. Jake was a visionary and a risk-taker: his leadership shone through understanding the customer, attention to detail, problem solving, great customer service and out-of-the-box thinking, and he built an amazingly successful business till his retirement in 1992.
When I was young my dad told me, “Jack you’ll never be truly happy lest you own your own business.” Whether that statement was prophetic, insightful, or simply his view on life, it proved to be true. Over the course of the last 25 years I have created, owned and operated a number of businesses – some successful, some not.
My greatest and longest lasting success, a retail coffee bar, was noted in 2014 as one of the “10 Best Coffeehouses Across the USA” by USA TODAY® Travel Destinations. Along with that I had created a Coffee & Business Training School and did industry consulting.
In early 2014 I was approached by the owner of a 90-year old coffee company interested in buying me out lock, stock and barrel. Although I had no plans to sell, their recent foray into quality coffee and retail growth were enticing and the offer was such I could not pass it up. It included the purchase of all my business assets and a long-term employment contract with a Directorship role I felt was the next, and possibly final, step in my career.
Although hiring an entrepreneur/owner is knowingly risky, we both felt it had a good chance of working. And though it did work for a while, what I had hoped would carry me to retirement turned out to be a 9-month consulting gig. I had been my own boss for too long and it brought us to the inevitable – a parting of ways.
I took a few months off to process and begin planning for the future. Evaluation of my personality, giftings and experience lead to two things – real estate and consulting.
I acquired my real estate license and am learning the ropes. I have the business experience, so the business aspect of real estate is easy for me. My work is in finding my niche, learning real estate law and contracts and simply serving clients.
My other passion is consulting and coaching: helping others succeed. Since coffee is not an option (contractual non-compete) my focus will be mainly small-medium size business consulting, as well as eventually real estate/property management consulting. My objective is to help businesses develop sustainable operations in three main categories: people, processes, and profit – all needed to insure long-term business success.
Another passion is writing. I was a monthly columnist for a coffee magazine for almost 10 years and have blogged for just about as many. It is my way to give back, to help others and to connect with people who may benefit from my experience just as I benefitted from those who helped me.