Goizueta alumni hold more than a coveted degree from Emory; they also boast a wealth of life experiences and business know-how. In this ongoing series, EmoryBusiness.com will share their sage advice, which you can add to your own toolkit.
Jonathan Baker 06BBA
Co-Founder and CMO
Monday Night Brewery
What influence from childhood still resonates with you?
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The fact that a cartoon about talking turtles who are martial artists, live in the sewers, and love pizza has made it into mainstream culture is a testament to all the crazy ideas that might still be out there, waiting to be discovered. It’s a truly far-out concept, and yet years later, they are somehow still relevant (to me, at least).
What’s the best career or life advice you’ve received?
Question everything. You can’t improve if you aren’t curious, questioning and open to other points of view.
What’s on your music playlist?
Iron & Wine, alt-J, Radiohead, Miles Davis, A Tribe Called Quest.
Share the way you work through a complex problem (personal or professional).
I need a block of time by myself. Usually, I’ll start thinking through it while cooking or running, and then when I have time to focus, I’ll start sketching it out on paper. My consulting background has gotten me (too) attached to PowerPoint, so at some point I’ll fire up the ol’ PPT and put something more concrete down. Problems look much more solvable when they’re in PowerPoint, for some reason.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I drink so much beer at and for work that when I get home, I really enjoy mixology and cocktails. Also, I love running and reading fiction.
What is your best Goizueta or Emory memory?
I used to play volleyball with friends every Sunday at the Clairmont Campus. It was such a fun way to end the week and reconnect with folks. Plus, I was able to hone my trash-talking skills, which have served me well in business.
How do you define success for yourself?
I want to be personally fulfilled, well-loved and comfortable. I think we need to give ourselves permission to let success be a fluid thing. There are so many dimensions to the idea of success, and life is so dynamic, that we have to be able to find joy in the journey.
What is your biggest challenge?
Finding and keeping balance in my life. Especially as an entrepreneur, it can be so easy to get sucked into the “do better, do more, grow grow grow” mentality. It’s tough to stay focused on what really matters.
Who inspires you and why?
My daughter, Addie Gray. She’s almost 4 and is so full of life, humor, and wonder. It’s a great reminder to be constantly learning and to find joy wherever you can. She’s also developing a dry sense of humor, just like her daddy. I’m so proud.