Both my parents had the entrepreneurial spirit. They owned and operated everything from a ranch supply store (first Featherlite trailer dealer in the state), restaurant and convenient store (biscuits and gravy anyone?), auctioneering (I enjoyed taking bids…except for that one time I accidentally sold a pistol to a guy at a massive gun auction), real estate and appraising (time to drive out and look at some comparables…), farm and ranch (I was raised by a John Deere tractor), etc. I learned all kinds of invaluable skills, and while I was born into incredible privilege, it did come with high expectations. In any case, whenever I’d talk to my Grandma about worries and an uncertain future, she’d remind me, “Oh don’t worry Jamin, you do so many different things. You’ll figure something out to get food on your plate.”
During and after college years, I worked all the kind of random jobs college students do – welder, radio DJ, carpenter, youth counselor, tutor, substitute teacher, RV technician, condo maintenance worker, etc. When I flew the coop and moved to the Black Hills in 2010, I had more independence and naturally followed a similar path as my parents. It was Airbnb hosting and property management, photography, home inspecting, etc. From 2012-2018, I finally dove headlong into the world of academics and higher ed admin.
These days, I’ve finally narrowed down some of my skills and passions by advocating for cooperatives (employee-owned firms) and similar movements that distribute power, produce solidarity, and foster wellness amongst workers (the other 99%). I do private consulting and collaborate with many colleagues who want to turn the lemons of statism and capitalism into something more tasty.