Jack Rose, ’24, a Whitman student majoring in entrepreneurship has found his passion in social entrepreneurship and writing, which has led to the ideation of a venture catering to new and experienced authors alike. His love for storytelling blossomed ever since he used to watch Saturday morning cartoons with his brother. In his spare time, he has found productional value in drawing inspiration from books, movies, and video games alike.
In his most recent endeavor, Jack has found his purpose and added more fulfillment to his life by writing a memoir for his friend and mother figure, Nicole, who battles Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. His future business endeavor revolves around assisting new and experienced authors weave a compelling story from start to finish with excellent service from professionals. The operation will also aim to assist individuals like Nicole who dream of publishing but struggle with conditions that hinder them from reaching their goal. The end goal is to build an enthusiastic company culture that provides both a platform and an opportunity for people of all walks of life to be heard.
Jack’s pen is his sword entwined with emotional intelligence. In addition, his honesty, insight, and empathy have played a role in attempting to curate this tenacious project. A question he considers in the ideation of his business is, “How do we give marginalized communities a medium and offer a voice to those who currently don’t have one?” Living up to an egalitarian society, no matter your affliction or background, can have a tremendous impact on social good.
Watching trends, he sometimes wonders if social media and technological growth make print media totally obsolete in the coming years. In a world where we see eBooks and other digitally native content on the rise, Jack wants to be at the forefront of this change and sees himself as a multi-purposeful tool to expand the unspoken voices on a variety of platforms.
I asked Jack what “financial freedom” means to him, and he explains, “I like the game of it all. The freedom of choosing your income and the ability to be flexible and meet people as they are and where they are conveniently and efficiently. I aspire to be in a position where I can touch lives and bring positive change through my writing.”
For Jack, failure or setback presents an interesting opportunity. He says, “Everything you go through is either a blessing right off the bat, or a lesson meant to embolden you for the future.” Any amount of progress is good progress, which is evident through his drafting process.
Part of the gauntlet was spending nearly a year agonizing over his first chapter. Jack experienced multiple minor setbacks in his organizational structure. He describes to me, “This isn’t just a memoir about Nicole, but a story about a woman who has had a profound impact on my life. To me, conveying that feeling of being with her and having my heart strings tugged as she told me her stories was integral to laying context for the reader. I spent a long time trying to capture lightning in a bottle, and I’m happy to say that I’m finally in a content and progressive place with my writing.”
Mentorship is also crucial for Jack because it provides him the support of someone who has your best interest in mind, as well as the option to look at your work from a different perspective and have a system of accountability. He says that his family has always been supportive of him, never telling him there was something he could not do, but always encouraging him to be creative and put in the hours in pursuit of getting where he wants to be. He also looks to Nicole as an example, considering how she carries on a joyful and fulfilling life despite all that she has been through.
Looking for solutions when there are not any is the seed of many great ideas. Jack used to be a perfectionist, but has realized that failure pokes holes that allow you to fill in the gaps in this new mental space he has occupied.
From the perspective of writing, creating material is about communicating ideas felt and experienced into content that the reader can relate to and thus develop a relationship with. Not looking for perfection, but zeal and willingness for growth and knowledge have underpinned his book writing. “Humility is vital because your pride can inhibit opportunity,” he says. “Holding on to ego keeps you from adopting new perspectives and new angles. I think that great companies build a foundation with this notion at the center. The key is to remain humble, and to never lose sight of where you came from and why you started.”
Jack considers himself an innovator, which he describes as someone at the forefront of change for the greater good. Change is a way of figuring out how to do something that can improve the lives of many. Along the way, he has learned that innovation sometimes means breaking the rules. Preconceived notions of ways you are supposed to do things should be entry points to break new ground. He notes that the “weight of expectation and tradition can be crushing, and sometimes you have to push boundaries by thinking unconventionally.” His frustrations were a reminder to keep writing and keep his pen as his sword that is unwavering.
Later in our interview, Jack touched on God and his role in catalyzing his work. “There were many times when I felt like I was at the end of my rope,” he says. “I think many others have found themselves in that same position, but from a certain point of view, the end of everything could be the beginning of something phenomenal. When it feels like your entire world is crumbling, I want people to recognize that’s only step one, because oftentimes the weight of the hardship you’re going through is proportional to the reward on the other side if you can manage to endure it. The belief that there’s a power out there with my best interest at heart keeps me moving forward. All it takes is a little prayer at times.”
In Jack’s closing words, “If you think you have an idea, then tell your story. Seek people who can help you get there, and don’t be deterred by the challenge. In fact, I would encourage you to lean in.”
Story by Brandon Henry’ 24 for the LaunchPad; photo supplied