Nothing worth having in life is easy, and Jeff Ber is living proof. When Jeff Ber was diagnosed with testicular cancer, it changed the course of the rest of his life. Fueled by the same sense of determination that progressed his career, Jeff not only defied the odds and beat cancer, but has continued to advocate for reduced stigma surrounding men’s health as the VP of Operations at OneBall. Jeff Ber has since overcome multiple hurdles towards building a career that helps his clients realize their potential, and just took the leap into entrepreneurship.
From Calgary, Alberta, Jeff Ber has more than a decade of experience specializing in business management. Having been repeatedly recognized for acumen in analysis and business management services, Jeff Ber has always had a knack for creating personal relationships with individuals and business clients. In 2015, Jeff Ber was named “Young Gun of the Year” from a leading independent publication, recognized for his ability to push the envelope through innovation and growth. Jeff is now taking a leap into the world of entrepreneurship, in hopes of providing fellow entrepreneurs and professionals with guidance through his business consulting services.
Independently and on a freelance basis, Jeff Ber now provides entrepreneurs with advice regarding problem solving strategies, idea and concept development, and market and competitor analysis. In hopes of helping launch successful start-ups and small businesses, Jeff Ber is excited for this new chapter.
Visit Jeff Ber’s website for more information: www.jeff-ber.com
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I love being able to help people. From my role as Vice President of OneBall to my new role as an entrepreneur, I want to be able to help others. I have been an avid volunteer my entire life and have found a real purpose in being able to help others achieve their goals. Whether it is helping entrepreneurs with concept development or doing speaking engagements around the importance of men’s health, my goal is to inspire, encourage, and help others however I can.
How do you motivate others?
No matter what I am doing, whether it is public speaking or conducting a business deal with a client, I always try to speak to people’s strengths. Through my own experience, a kind word, encouraging sentiment, or genuine connection with another person can be a bright spot in someone’s day. Whenever I am trying to motivate people, I start with encouragement. I start with what is possible, not focusing solely on failure, mistakes, or problems. I like to consider myself an opportunity-focused individual, not a problem-focused individual. I keep my mind, heart, and eyes open to what is possible. I think that is the strongest motivator for anyone.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by anything and everything. After I conquered testicular cancer, I learned to appreciate the small things in life. Life is short, and you can find inspiration in absolutely anything—it is an active choice that anyone can make. If I am looking for inspiration in helping a client work out a problem, I don’t look at what other businesses are doing, but try and clear my mind, go for a walk or cycle. I find that sometimes focusing on something other than the problem can be the best way to solve it.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
As an entrepreneur, a work life balance doesn’t exist in the way you think it might—at least not on a daily basis. One week, I may be busier at work than usual, and that means prioritizing work over family, friends, and personal time. Another week, it may be March break, so I prioritize family, friends and personal time over work. A work life balance can mean different things to different people. As long as you find time for yourself and your loved ones, whether it is on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, I think that is a work life balance. It is also critical for everyone in your life to understand your changing priorities in advance, which can manage expectations.
What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?
I recognize that I do not have all the answers. Any successful leader I have worked for (or with) has taught me that knowing you do not know everything can be your superpower. I really count on my employees for their knowledge, expertise, and guidance. There is a common misconception that successful leaders have all the answers, but that could not be farther from the truth. Successful leaders know when to seek out assistance when they do not know the answers. There should be no shame in ‘not knowing’, only not wanting to know.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
Beating testicular cancer is one of the hardest obstacles I have overcome. In that moment of diagnosis, you make a choice: to fight or to run. I chose to fight. Luckily, with OneBall, I am now able to channel this positive energy into the work I do with others. Through my experience, I am now able to give back. It is important when you are faced with any obstacle to rise to the occasion.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. You should always make yourself your number one priority, despite how selfish that sounds. If you are not happy, healthy, and fulfilled, you will find it difficult to be there for your family, loved ones, and workplace. Taking care of yourself first means setting healthy boundaries around how you spend your time and who you spend it with.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
Don’t let the fear of judgement stop you from doing what you want to do. After I defeated testicular cancer, I came to the realization that life is short, and not everyone’s opinion should matter. Starting a new business is tough, and it brings about the fears of, “What if it fails? What will people think?”. But those limiting beliefs do not matter, because more often than not, the people who matter in your life will be proud of you for trying, even if you don’t succeed on the first try.