Damian Bunting is a game changer. He's charismatic, driven, and humble. A perfect recipe for success. I was fortunate enough to meet him through 1 Million Cups Jeff City, but as of lately, it's more of a treat to see him outside of his boutique-style gym. At the turn of 2018, Damian got hyper-focused and started drilling in on his goals. A choice that I respect and admire. It's my pleasure to introduce you to such a multi-layered business owner in our beautiful city.
Q. What's your favorite aspect of being a local business owner in Jefferson City, MO?
A. Jefferson City is unlike anywhere I've lived in the past. I've spent time in Liberty, Kansas City, Philly and more. The old town, traditional feel of this place is so unique. At first, I really went through culture shock, but after I allowed myself to really understand Jeff City, I started to appreciate it. It's not "cliquey" as people say, its community-centered... people want to know that when you are here, you're going to truly be plugged in. People grow up here, go to school here, raise a family here... it's home to generations of the same families. All of the local businesses and locations have such a rich history, it's important that everyone here or coming in understand what this city means to everyone. I think that can be off-putting to some, but in my opinion, only those that aren't here for the right reasons. I love it!
Q. What's one thing you wish people knew about your business?
A. That we are for everyone. We have such a passion for helping people, but let's be honest... we don't look like the typical Jeff City crowd. I don't say that as a crutch or excuse, but I do think that at first glance I, and to a lesser extent Morgan, could give pause to some who could truly benefit from what we have to offer. At the end of the day, however, we attract those that are meant to work with us so I guess it balances itself out.
Q. Who are your mentors?
A. Eric Burkett is a friend of twenty years. He has helped me in many ways, and his insight into the mindset of Jefferson City has been really helpful. He has such a gracious heart and at times, I can lack the tact needed to run a business in such a tight-knit community. He has really helped smooth out a few of my rough edges. Second would be Tom Kolb. He is such a giant figure in this area from a business standpoint, but his humility in the face of such success has always been something I admire.
Q. From conception to implementation, how long did it take you to start your business?
A. TWO MONTHS! Speed is everything in small business.
Q. What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs in our area who are wanting to start their own business?
A. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? People are willing to work a second job for someone else that leaves them stressed, unhappy, and still unable to make ends meet. Why not deal with all those problems, BUT at the feet of your own business that involves your passion! If you have to work, why not build your own empire?!
Q. Do you have any other businesses? If so, what are they?
A. I just started a consulting project on the last question! It's called 2nd preneur. We look to help inspire local people to identify, brand and promote their passion as a means for secondary income. We help those who HAVE to work a second job, do so by focusing their time and effort on something they love.
Q. Who is your hero?
A. My great, great-grandfather, Abram. He was a North Carolina slave born in 1833. I often think of his life and what he must have gone through daily. I always remember his struggle when I want to feel sorry for myself. My hardest day could never compare.....that's why I tend to keep a positive outlook.....I have an amazing perspective of real struggle.
Q. Who is your biggest supporter?
A. My amazing girlfriend and partner, Morgan. I have never met or been with someone who is so supportive and encouraging. She truly is my rock.
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