Jake Fackrell – Founder & CEO, Domega

Jake Fackrell is an accomplished businessman, entrepreneur, father of six, volunteer, and community leader. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Utah Valley University and received a Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University in 2004. Jake is experienced in founding and leading businesses from inception to multi-million dollars in revenue and profitability. He excels at finding needs and creating solutions to meet those needs.

Jake follows his personal motto: “Work hard, coach and be coachable, and help people achieve abundance.” By following these principles, Jake has helped thousands of professionals succeed and he has been instrumental in helping many businesses grow. Jake founded and financed Real Estate Data X-Change (RedX) and helped it grow to six-figure monthly revenue. He was also instrumental in putting Marketecture on the map by securing multi-million dollar strategic partnerships. Currently, Jake is the founder and CEO of Domega, a successful international high-tech lead generation and data acquisition and filtering company. Domega currently has over 45 employees and has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. by Inc. 5000.

Jake has received several awards, including runner up in the BYU business plan competition. He is also actively involved in his community and church. Jake currently mentors budding entrepreneurs.

Jake and his wife, Tamara, are the parents of six children. Jake recently finished an endurance cycling ride from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas. He also competes in races and triathlons including Ironman 70.3. He enjoys studying history, reading, wake boarding, paintballing and traveling.

Tell me about your early career.
I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life. I started mowing lawns with my brother when I was eight, sold doughnuts to businesses when I was eleven, and started a collection agency with my cousin when I was sixteen. It’s in my blood. In college, I started a coupon card business that I sold to my competitor, and in 1999, just as the Internet was beginning, I started an online portal to sell homes. In 2005, I started Domega and have steadily grown it into what it is today.

How did the concept for Domega come about?
In 2005, I started a company called FSBO Leader. I developed technology to aggregate raw, unstructured, non-normalized information from the Internet and then the technology would structure, normalize, and augment the information. At first, the technology was used in real estate. We would find every For Sale By Owner and run the data through our tool to extract the important details about the property, fill in the missing information, and then deliver the valuable data to our customers.

How was the first year in business?
The first year in business was filled with hope and optimism coupled with risk and uncertainty. To fund my new venture, I took out a second mortgage on my house and borrowed from credit cards. I soon ran out of money just when sales began coming in. There’s nothing quite like building a product from scratch and then getting your first paying customer. That’s when some of the risk goes away and you know the product will sell.

What was your marketing strategy?
My marketing strategy was to work with industry-specific coaches and trainers and have them refer clients to us. We also attended trade shows and events.

How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
The company grew at a snail’s pace the first few years. We began building the product at the end of 2005, released our first product at the end of Q1 2006, began getting some traction in 2007, then in 2008, the economy crashed and the real estate industry was hit particularly hard. Necessity is the mother of invention, only we had already invented a powerful tool, but we just didn’t realize it. One day, I was speaking with a colleague and we began to brainstorm other industries who could use our tool. We came up with several, and within a few months, we landed a large customer in a different industry! It wasn’t until 2010 when we started to see exponential growth and we’ve had some nice growth years ever since.

How do you define success?
Success is determined by persistent and consistent diligent effort. When we are able to empower achievers to create abundance, we have succeeded.

What is the key to success?
Never give up. Innovate. Think outside the box. We live by the mantra, “If there is a will, there is a way.” Be passionate about what you are doing. Take good care of customers and they will take care of you.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
When circumstances in life knock you down, you haven’t failed if you get back up and keep trying. You only fail when you give up. Help others succeed, and in the process, you’ll succeed.

What are some quotes that you live by?
“I am never bored at any time or any place, for being bored is an insult to oneself.” – Unknown

“Success is determined by persistent and consistent diligent effort.” -Jake Fackrell

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

What are some of your favorite books?
Anything by Jim Collins, including Beyond Entrepreneurship and Good to Great, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Multipliers by Liz Wiseman, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey, Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, Scaling Up by Verne Harnish, Winning by Jack Welch, and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (and anything else he writes).

Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
The absolute toughest day was when I started a company, invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of my own money to get it off the ground, gave my first two employees equity, and far too much trust and control only to find that one day I was locked out of my own office and my business bank accounts had been changed. My partners had successfully done a hostile take-over of a company that neither one had invested any money into. I was forced to walk away from a company I had started and I had to start over from scratch and with no money. I did, however, learn some valuable lessons.

When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
My family is my number one priority. Everything I do, I do for them. I consider my team members family. So, when things get tough, I think of my family and extended Domega family and keep pushing because Domega doesn’t just support my family, but it supports nearly 50 other families as well.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Find a need and fill it. Think of creative solutions for problems. Be passionate for what you are doing. Work hard and work smart. Working hard doesn’t mean neglecting your family. Set boundaries. You’ll find you can get the same amount of work done in less time by setting boundaries. You’re young, don’t be afraid to take some calculated risks. Always be learning. Your end goal should have a higher purpose than making money. The money will come if you focus on a greater cause like helping people.

This interview was conducted for research purposes by Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.