Five Questions For … Joshua Baer, Founder of Austin’s Capital Factory
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in college. You’re completely surrounded by tens of thousands of other people who are organized, categorized, labeled, sorted, scored, and ranked in who they are and what they’re good at—and none of them have jobs.
X: What’s your biggest failure as an entrepreneur?
J.B.: As an entrepreneur, most problems are people problems. It always comes down to learning a lot of lessons, dealing with people, and hiring people and managing people. I worked with a lot of my friends and it’s been a good thing and also been a challenging thing at times. My biggest mistakes have been around not managing people the best way I could, and not learning how to get the best out of people and maybe causing longterm damage to a relationship or friendship that I now know from maturity and hindsight could have been avoided.
One of the biggest lessons is we all load up everybody else with these expectations and emotions and reasons why we think they’re doing what they’re doing. We put ourselves at the center of all that. Everybody has a lot of different things in their lives, in their world. I think what I’ve learned is that you should take people at face value, ask them why they do things, but don’t necessarily think that you know everybody’s motivations or reasons.
X: What’s the most embarrassing thing about yourself that you’re willing to admit publicly?
J.B.: Most people that don’t know me that well think of me as an extrovert. They assume because I’m very public on social media and organize and host a lot of events and do a lot of social things. People who know me know I’m really an introvert. When I want to go and recharge, I’m actually by myself. It takes a lot of energy and effort to do all these things that we do.
X: How do you relax outside of work when you want to tune out the noise?
J.B.: Sadly the most recharging thing for me is organizing my office and my e-mail box and getting all organized and feeling like everything’s under control. That gives me a great sense of relaxation and peace. It’s not super exciting but that’s where I go retreat to. For fun … my hobbies are less and less mine as my kids get older. I have three young kids, and I’m spending time with them and learning with them. [Recently,] my 7-year-old son had the flu so while the rest of the family celebrated Easter, the two of us played Minecraft all weekend.