Author: Chris Van Dusen
by Jonathan Rays
What’s your backstory?
I am an entrepreneur at heart. I love launching and scaling businesses. My main focus is Parcon, but I have also worked with my team to create and launch our own brands such as Bota Hemp and Matic Reach.
Before launching Parcon, I spent time as the Digital Strategist for a full service marketing and advertising agency where I worked with clients in many sectors including food and beverage, apparel and telco. Prior to that, I was also the CMO of tech and entertainment industry startups. My professional journey prior to my marketing and media career, included time as an executive in the real estate investment banking, medical devices and construction equipment industries. I always say there are very few industries that I have not touched in some way. I am passionate about scaling companies that are sustainable or sellable.
I am a former college athlete (I was a left handed pitcher at William & Mary) and naturally competitive. This means I spend my days (and nights) solving complex problems and finding strategic asymmetries to beat the competition. Every morning (and sometimes evenings) this means practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?
I am fortunate to have been born one of those people with endless energy. My kryptonite has always been only investing 100% of time into business endeavors thinking that was the key to an optimal life. I have more recently found an important balance between investing in my company’s health and my own personal health.
Every morning I practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and have to solve complex variable problems - after fighting another trained person trying to submit you, the rest of the day seems a little bit easier.
My true motivation, however, comes in creating enough flexibility to spend the most time I can with my family.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? What lesson did you learn from them?
My wife, Sara Van Dusen – drops mic! She is partner in all things life and business Her best lessons:
1. Do not give up, but don’t be afraid to pivot
2. Grind smart not hard means impact over activity
3. 30 coffees in 30 days - get out there and meet people. You are nothing without a community of people. I employ this advice on the daily.
How do you push through your worst times?
I have a mantra that helps me continue to show up. It is an old quote: “The only way to get out of hell is to keep walking.” I would add to that: “No one cares – keep moving.”
But truly, knowing I have a rad group of family and friends that care about me – the rest is a bonus.