Jim Jozwiak likes to be early. For our first interview for The Distance, he arrived 20 minutes early to the Starbucks in suburban Chicago where we had arranged to meet. Due to a slight miscommunication, I ended up at a different Starbucks at the same intersection, so he actually waited for 40 minutes before we figured out what was happening.
Jim was gracious, though, and later explained that his penchant for extreme punctuality stemmed from his days as a professional trumpet player. As a freelance musician, he needed to be dependable — competition for gigs was intense, and band leaders didn’t want to deal with players who showed up late or weren’t prepared. Jim arrived at all his gigs early, with enough time to warm up and even grab a cup of coffee before the performance started.
That same discipline steers Jim through his second career as a business owner running Band For Today, the subject of our latest Distance story. He manages a staff of 17 full-time band teachers that see an average of 200 kids at various schools every week, and he handles almost all the sales, marketing and billing for his 30-year-old company himself.
Running a business well takes practice, creativity, heart and the ability to improvise in unexpected situations. Sounds a lot like playing music!