About this episode

Meet Jeanne Schaaf, Race Director and Co-Founder of Ultra Expeditions. Ultra Expeditions creates incredible running adventures, organizes races, and develops custom coaching programs for all ability levels.

I’ve interviewed several past founders who, along their journey, created race companies. They’ve even shared some behind the scenes of what is needed to execute one. Yet, for the very first time, during my conversation with Jeanne, I heard a side of the running experience I have never heard before. It was a side which focuses on the journey leading up to the race, and less about the finish line. That is when I realized the running experience closely mirrors the entrepreneurial journey.

Jeanne’s story is rooted in one of the most unique dimensions of an entrepreneurial story, the immigrant story. She takes us through what life was like as a child and how her parents encouraged her to think outside of the box. She shares some insightful thoughts about limiting beliefs, by runners and maybe even aspiring entrepreneurs. This is Jeanne Schaaf’s Startup Story.

In this episode, you’ll hear

  • Her early upbringing, being raised by adventurous parents, and being encouraged to think outside of the box
  • How the fact that her parents were Americans by choice played into her own overall work ethic
  • Jeanne’s post-high school aspirations of being an entrepreneur, attending Ohio State University, and what she actually ended up doing right after college
  • Her experience in food services and being a woman in a male-dominated industry in the 1980s
  • About her 12-year employment with PepsiCo (turned Yum Brands), including how and when she began working in product development
  • Her leap of faith moment, deciding to leave Yum Brands at the height of her career to pursue entrepreneurship and the creation of her first venture
  • How wanting to find balance in her life ultimately led to running and her first meeting with the co-founder of Ultra Expeditions, Jason Gates
  • Jeanne and Jason began to look around at the running space and realized there weren’t races out there they truly were looking to run; and so the seeds for Ultra Expeditions were planted
  • Launching the first race in 2015, some of the challenges experienced, and how they built a foundation for the company early on
  • How Ultra Expeditions is different from other running companies in the marketplace, plus why Jeanne believes anyone can be a runner

“I believe anybody with passion and desire can accomplish quite a bit.”
—Jeanne Schaaf, Ultra Expeditions

Resources from this episode

Throughout the month of January we are highlighting the mission of Destiny Rescue. Visit thestartupstory.co/rescue to help today.
Ultra Expeditions: https://www.ultraexpeditions.com
Ultra Expeditions on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ultraexpeditions/
The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney
The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/

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If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.

He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.

Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory

Special Guest: Jeanne Schaaf.

Listen Now

January 28 2020
Jeanne Schaaf, co-founder of Ultra Expeditions
Sponsored by: Your Logo Here

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