Jeff O’Hara began his hospitality career in 1985, working part time while a student at Florida State University. His career has taken him to every corner of the hospitality industry – he has worked in luxury boutique hotels and 1,000 plus room “supertankers.” He has managed small restaurants and developed B&B’s. Along the way he has started and developed 7 other hospitality businesses and 2 real estate companies. He has also backed several start ups as an Angel Investor, including firms in the fields of technology, biotech, consumer staples and alternative energy. He is an active member of the NOLA Angel Network and Lagniappe Angels, and has also backed start ups through the Rockies Venture Club.
Jeff’s new book Have Fun, Fight Back and Keep the Party Going: Lessons from a New Orleans Entrepreneur’s Journey to the Inc. 5000 was released under Inc. magazine’s “An Inc. Original” label in December 2018. A native of Kingston, NY, he received a BS in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University and an MBA from Tulane University. His father lives in upstate New York; he has a sister in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and a brother in Sioux Falls, SD.
- Entrepreneurial roots shoveling snow, delivering newspapers, and working at a supermarket by lying about his age.
- At age 30, Jeff realized he didn’t like being told what to do.
- Relationship building in the age of tech.
- Is everyone cut for entrepreneurship?
- Service-based – innate quality?
- “Hire for attitude and train for aptitude.”
- How 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Great Recession changed his business.
- Part of being an entrepreneur is having setbacks that are entirely outside your control – and seeing if you can fight through these instances.
- Book is about being resilient and still having fun.
- 90% of work is showing up.
- “The only asset you can’t get back in business is TIME.”
- Which customers respect your time? What’s your best use of time?
- “Invest time in your team, put systems in place, and coach your people to be as good as they can be.”
- About book writing – be patient!
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