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From turning down the chance to attend The United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, to dropping out of Sam Houston State University, to working retail, Jake Shafer has achieved the success that would normally take a lifetime. Through determination and networking, Jake was given the chance to alter his own path. Edward Yip (current business partner) brought on Jake to his private mining company just based on his hard work ethic, quick learning abilities, and his personal morals and values. They rebranded and grew the company within only a few years. With Jake’s motivation and character, their company, P.W.I. Investment Group, Inc., not only owns China’s second largest barite mine and multiple other types of mines in Mexico, but they also are involved in dozens of other industries and projects.
City where you’re from: Houston, TX
Hobbies: Cars, shooting range, piano, traveling, camping
Favorite quote: “Never lie, steal, cheat or drink. But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love. If you must steal, steal away from bad company. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away.” -Hitch (Will Smith – Movie)
What are you working on? How did you come up with this idea?
Jake Shafer: I am always working on different ventures. For many years, to this current day, I have provided valuable minerals such as barite, gold, and even silver to dozens of industries. This has created a large network for myself and has given me the ability to help others in their own ambitions. Now many of my other projects include helping entrepreneurs with their own start-ups, assisting networking based companies, private investments, motion pictures, commercial development, commodity trading, freight forwarding services, oil & gas land acquisition, business consulting, and even helping inventors with world changing ideas.
I am very fortunate to be given the opportunity for success. I started from nothing. No degree. No experience. What I did have was the dedication to reach the impossible. I wanted to not only show my family, but myself that I could do great things in life. When this impossible goal became a reality, I knew it was only right to start paying it forward to those around me.
How is your company different?
Jake Shafer: Pacific Winds International (P.W.I.), and our subsidiaries, provide different services and opportunities just like every other company started by entrepreneurs. What sets us aside is the reach we cover globally, our assets, and my business partner/best friend/brother Edward Yip. P.W.I. has acquired one of the largest silver mines as well as China’s second largest barite mine. Aside from mining, P.W.I. has that ability to help your large oil corporations to your high school student looking to turn an idea into a vision. We established a unique open door policy. No matter the age, the industry, or the location, we will sit down with every individual or company.
What’s your dream with your company?
Jake Shafer: My dream is to break the mold. Business isn’t like yesterday. Your network is now just as valuable as your degree, if not more. My goal for the company is to inspire future entrepreneurs. I want to connect the older generations with the new as business today continues to change. Hopefully this will lead to finding cures for cancer, developing new technologies, or even discovering more secrets of our past.
How do you creatively advertise?
Jake Shafer: My most important form of advertisement is by creating real relations through events, various clubs/memberships, and everyday interaction. Now that business has taken to social media, I am currently showing the internet the capabilities of my companies and the morals/values we hold. Your content is essential online, but your actions after those posts or videos are the key principle.
What are your mistakes or regrets?
Jake Shafer: I have made many mistakes just like everyone else. These have caused financial troubles, the loss of relationships, and even the loss of great, life changing opportunities. But I DO NOT have any regrets. Our world learns and grows from our history. Societies thrive based on learning from our mistakes. So why should I regret a mistake if it has helped me develop as a person later on?
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
Jake Shafer: First, always stay true to who you are. Never change for money or social status. Secondly, NEVER GIVE UP! I had to start working offshore for a while. Our company came to a halt, no income was generated, our lifestyles completely changed. For 3 years I had to be gone 20 days a month. My sleep schedule changed every 10 days. I was outside 80 hours a week learning the true meaning behind “earning a paycheck”. Still through literally the blood, sweat, and tears, I used my down time to work on bringing our company back to life. If you truly want something don’t give up. It may take years, you may not see any results, but you will achieve those goals!
Teach us something about public speaking
Jake Shafer: Whether it’s advertising on YouTube or hosting an event, public speaking is very important to entrepreneur. It gets your brand or product out there while showing the audience who you are. You do not have to be great either. Take Mr. Elon Musk for example. He is terrible at revealing a new invention to a crowd, but he is one of the wealthiest men alive. Public speaking ranks next to death in one of the top fears people have.
What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month?
Jake Shafer: Just recently, I learned a lot about financial management companies. I found that even though these experienced professionals are good in what they do, it is imperative to follow and ask about their strategies. I learned so many different way to utilize your capital in some of the most unusual ways.
Teach us something we don’t know:
Jake Shafer: I am sure you have been asked to sell a product before. Make sure you research it until you keep getting the same answers. One of our main products we mine is barite. Most in the oil and gas industry know it’s used as a weighing additive in mud for drilling. Unless you are knowledgeable in other industry productions, most do not know barite is used to make the brakes on your car, the plastic or rubber you find in almost everything, or even used in the medical field. So make sure you always research!
What do you think you do better than most people?
Jake Shafer: Inspiring those around me. I went from being a college dropout with nothing to my name to a successful businessman that has led meetings with corporate executives at just the age of 23. I lead those around me and show that it is possible for anyone.
What should an entrepreneur focus on?
Jake Shafer: As an entrepreneur, I would suggest to focus on communication and relationships. Whether you are interested or not in that email a contact sent you, always reply. It shows respect. You could potentially harm that relationship. You never know if their good friend is the guy who wanted to invest $50 million dollars into your company.
What are some of the best books you’ve ever read?
Jake Shafer: Honestly, the best books I’ve read have either been my college history textbooks or military related. The history books have taught me the mistakes I shouldn’t recreate. Books like The Lone Survivor show me the true meaning behind motivation. But most importantly, remind me how fortunate I am to be given the opportunities these brave men and women provide.
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple years?
Jake Shafer: In the next couple years, I see myself traveling to speak at more events throughout the country. My vision for our company is to lock in 5-10+ year contracts so I can 100% focus on helping others through my own experiences. I want to leave a great legacy behind for my kids.
Thanks for sharing your inspiring story on Future Sharks Jake! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!