Best-selling author, entrepreneur and Navy veteran Jason Baudendistel has decided it’s time to get a college degree.
Raised by a single mother, Baudendistel grew up in poverty.
“I was even homeless once, but the right attitude is a big part of what pulled me out of depression and got me to continue forward,” said Baudendistel, who lives in Springfield. “I didn’t want my family to grow up the way I did, so I had to change something.”
Baudendistel, 28, joined the Navy after high school. Upon returning from the navy, he started his first company – an independent record label called Bored Student Records.
“That lasted for about a year and half,” Baudendistel said. “We had no clue what we were doing; it was like throwing money into a pit.”
Baudendistel went on to work as a senior marketing executive at two different technology startups before realizing he wanted to build his own company. He started a consulting company, and then wrote his first book, “Strategic LinkedIn Marketing,” which made it on the Amazon bestseller list in 2012.
“That book actually did better than I expected,” Baudendistel said. “I knew there was a market for it, but I didn’t expect it to get the … reception that it did.”
His second book, “Spark,” did not attract the same level of popularity. This was around the same time that Baudendistel started having some financial issues, and he said his client list “really dried up” with his consulting company.
“Those events basically forced me to make a decision to regroup and go back into rebuilding,” he said. “So, that’s why I went back to school.”
Baudendistel enrolled at Missouri State University this fall and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in IT management. On top of that, he is in the process of planning a new project that he hopes will change the way online publishing is done.
That project, called Sixypress, will focus on the independent author and small and mid-sized publishers, offering them in-depth training programs in exchange for publishing with them.
“I love building new things, trying out projects, tweaking and testing, putting together a concept that I think has potential, building it up, and then introducing it to the marketplace,” said Baudendistel. “If I see potential, I just go in and attack that niche.”
Missouri Business Alert interviewed Baudendistel about how growing up on welfare and serving in the Navy prepared him for an entrepreneurial career, and why he ultimately decided to return to school.