Hey Justin, care to share a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I'm Justin! I'm currently a product manager by day and a film creator by night. I'm currently in the process of starting a financial consulting business where I can leverage my financial knowledge to help those around me. Outside of work I love to exercise, play golf, and play with my wife and dog.
Can you tell us what you do as the Product Manager for those who are unfamiliar?
As a PM, you are essentially the "CEO" of a product. A product can be anything from a small feature or enhancement the company is releasing to a larger scale production where multiple teams and bigger investment are needed. At Axos we focus on creating not just MVPs (Minimum Viable Products), but MLPs (Minimum Lovable Products) - products that customers will love to use.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career?
I studied engineering during my undergrad, as I enjoyed math and physics. But as I went through my various engineering classes I realized a two things:
1) I didn't LOVE engineering
2) There were so many smarter engineering students than me.
I thought to myself if I wanted to excel in the professional world, these two reasons might prevent me from doing so. The classes that I did enjoy the most and excelled at during school were entrepreneurship / product design courses. From these courses, I realized how much I enjoyed the strategy side of product development and the chance to lead a team in bringing alive a product idea.
What made you interested in your field? What do you like about it?
With the wedding film business, One Creative, my wife and I began the company with our passion for creating film and how much we enjoyed our own wedding. We wanted to utilize the skills and talents God gave us and share joy through our work to others. With the financial consulting business, I've always enjoyed personal finance and investing, so naturally I began learning more about them at a young age. As I grew older, I found friends and family coming to me for financial advice. I figured this would be another great avenue to utilize my financial knowledge to help those around me.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
I often hear people say they'd like to start their own business one day. But as we all know it, there always seems to be too little time in a day to accomplish these dreams. To those who have the desire to start their own business, but have difficulty finding the time or resource doing so, I would say start small!
Starting a business doesn't always mean you need to start off with a bang. With anything in life, I think it's important to understand the process and take one step at a time. With each step will come a learning experience and whether that step is forward or backward, you'll come out more confident with each one.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
1. Be Diligent - Whatever it is you're doing, be diligent and be intentional. Don't simply do things because others are doing it, but do it with purpose and commitment.
2. Visualize Success - Visualizing success will force you to think things through carefully and help you to plan out how you can get to your next goal.
3. Remain Faithful - In everything you do keep faith and believe. Only by faith will you remain in hopeful anticipation and will fuel you to continue persevering.
What fuels you to continue to do what you do?
Believing that I was brought to this world to make an impact on others and to utilize my skills to help those around me.
Most difficult thing about your job?
Time management. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day and everyone has many things they need to get done. Being able to not only manage my own time, but also being efficient with others' can often be a challenge.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
Be bold and never let others bring you down. I would tell my younger self that if I have an idea, whether that's starting a business or investing, regardless of what others are telling me, to be bold and pursue after it.
Best advice you've received/heard?
Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.
Any last thoughts, advice, or recommendations for someone who wants to learn more about Product Management?
Take it day by day, don't stress too much about tomorrow. Only focus on what you can control: your thoughts, your words, your actions.