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The Wow Factor

Dec 23, 2020

Ben Harrison is the Founder, CEO, and lead designer of Jonas Paul Eyewear, a startup committed to helping children feel beautiful in their glasses and preventing childhood blindness in the developing world. Ben’s background is in photography and web development and design, and he has extensive entrepreneurial experience, having co-founded four companies before Jonas Paul Eyewear. Ben continues to participate in numerous humanitarian projects, both domestic and international, and currently serves on the board of Cornerstone Trust with his wife, Laura.


Ben joins me today to describe how his love of art and creative pursuits started and how that fed into his interest in entrepreneurship in a quest to build a comfortable life for his family. He shares why he and his wife were shocked by their son’s medical diagnosis and how the processes of seeking specialist care for their newborn gave them the impetus to start their business. Ben also explores the power of connections and industry knowledge and the pivotal moment that opened the way for Jonas Paul Eyewear to grow and expand.


“Noticing and developing the gifts inside your kids is so good for us leaders to take note of.” - Brad Formsma


“We knew that this new narrative included suffering, but the greatest things get built in the valleys of life. How often do you experience true growth and true change when things are easy?” - Ben Harrison


“You're created for relationships, for God and each other - the Jesus way is to lean in through the storms and through the sunshine times.” - Brad Formsma


This week on The Wow Factor:

  • Ben’s academic background and the essential lesson he learned from his course in graphic design
  • Why Ben and Laura started their initial photography business and held off on having children for seven years
  • Their experience of raising a child with additional needs and what they did to their social circle
  • FDA regulated and getting finding a manufacturer self-funded start-up
  • The communication challenges involved in finding a manufacturing partner and the differences between a product and service-based industry and mastering the supply chain
  • Why Ben is passionate about ripple out the support they give their son and the creation of the Buy Sight Give Sight program
  • The leadership challenges Ben has learned as the company has scaled
  • Jonas Paul Eyewear’s fast growth and how Ben’s role has changed in terms of where he now provides value
  • The current challenges that they have to work through due to the COVID-19 crisis


Ben Harrison’s Words of Wisdom:

As a leader, you may not always feel that you are the most qualified, but you should listen when God rouses you to action and be willing to take the first step. Leaders need to do less talking and more loving into people and encouraging them, especially in these tricky times.


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