Today we’d like to introduce you to Jerry Won.
Hi Jerry, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Though my official plunge into entrepreneurship began in 2020, my desire to share Asian American stories and to build communities and brands began long before that. I began my professional career in 2005 after graduating from USC and for the first ten years, I was a sales and marketing leader in the real estate, banking, and insurance industries. It continued on with an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and then a pivot into strategy consulting at Accenture and Enterprise Sales at WeWork. While I enjoyed what I did and the people I worked with, I always felt that there was a lack of spaces and opportunities for Asian Americans to share their authentic stories and to build strong communities in the corporate spaces to which I belonged. So I decided to start them myself.
On March 2, 2020, as a gift to my daughter on her first birthday, I launched Dear Asian Americans, a podcast dedicated to sharing authentic Asian American stories to celebrate, support, and inspire our community. We talk to everyday Asian Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life to learn how their American origin story and upbringing shape the way they view the world and how they now wish to inspire others. We are on pace to share Episode 100 on the one year anniversary this March. Building on Dear Asian Americans, I launched Just Like Media in May to develop and launch more Asian American storytelling platforms. These shows now include MBAsians (a show for and by Asian students earning their MBAs in America), The Janchi Show (a show for and by Korean American adoptees), The Asian CRE Network Podcast (a show highlighting the Asian professionals within the commercial real estate industry), Korean American Parenting Podcast, and many more.
Most recently, I launched Beyond the Resumes, a daily bite-sized podcast sharing the world’s best and worst career and life advice for those in school and early in their careers. I’ve also built the largest community of Asian podcasters and industry professionals globally called the Asian Podcast Network. We celebrated our very first Asian Podcast Summit and Awards on December 27, 2020 where we shared the learnings from the first-ever State of Asian American Storytelling Podcast Report 2020 and awarded 33 well-deserving podcast honors for their hard work in sharing our stories. In 2021, we continue our work of building communities and empowering others to share their stories through our work in podcast production, business coaching, and course + community development.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s never a smooth road starting your own business, particularly in a space where people who look like you don’t exist as much. But knowing why we do what we do and whose lives we impact helps us get through the tough days and keep recording and producing.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Just Like Media is a media company focused on sharing authentic Asian American stories. We develop, create, and launch storytelling brands that share Asian American stories seldom told. Our shows include Dear Asian Americans, Beyond the Resumes, Asian Podcast Network, The Janchi Show, MBAsians, Korean American Parenting, and 34 For 34. What I am most proud of is the impact we’ve had on community: the hosts, the guests, and the listener community. We know we’ve changed lives through the stories we’ve shared and the relationships we’ve built. No amount of listens, follows, or reviews (as validating as those may be) can ever compare to the emails and messages we get sharing with us how hearing our stories have made them feel less alone in the world and to be seen and heard for the first time. I am proud of the team we’ve built, working together with people from all over the country, most of whom we’ve never met. In addition to producing our own shows, we also produce shows for clients, from idea to upload and provide consulting for shows and brands. We will be launching a number of courses in early 2021 to help others take their ideas and passions and start their own show brands.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
It’s going to be hard but be unapologetically focused and dedicated to your mission and the impact you want to leave on the world.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.justlikemedia.com
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/jerryjwon
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/jerrywon
Family Photo and Headshot by Nathan Nowack Photography.