The Bulu Box co-founder was blatantly honest about his entry, participation and experience with the Pipeline fellowship program.
Confession No. 1: Jarrett didn’t want to apply for a Pipeline fellowship.
Yes, it’s true. His business, which provides samples of health-related products as a subscription service, is time-consuming enough and he didn’t think getting involved in another group would be worth his energy.
“I made a bad assumption that it was just another entrepreneur event – which I love attending – but they can really suck up a lot of your time,” said Jarrett, who helped start Lincoln-based Bulu Box in April 2012.
But after a few friends and colleagues kept pointing him to Pipeline, he decided to take their advice.
Despite the fact that he showed up to his first interview wearing jeans, Jarrett made it to the second round of interviews and was accepted into the program.
However, after the first few gatherings, he realized he had sat through each session with the wrong attitude (Confession No. 2).
“I entered into it with the mentality of, ‘How much can this benefit me? What can a network like this do for me?’” he said.
They weren’t bad questions, but they were the wrong questions to ask.
“It took me toward the end of the first module to realize that it wasn’t about me and my business, it was about the Pipeline family,” Jarrett said. “We are not competitors, we’re on a team together, and that’s when (Pipeline) really started benefiting me and others.”
After every learning module, Bulu Box improved, Jarrett said. The company added Bulu Box Weightloss — a product overwhelmingly welcomed by customers — which seemed like a no-brainer, but it was something Jarrett hadn’t originally considered. It took the input of other entrepreneurs to open his eyes to what was missing in his own business.
“It’s hard to find other entrepreneurs that are at the same phase of business that you are,” Jarrett said. “(But) this is that group of people and it’s just an awesome network where you can be 100 percent honest with everyone and get 100 percent honest feedback.”
Bulu Box increased its earnings from $5,000 in monthly subscriptions to $100,000 each month, a jump Jarrett attributes to his hard-working staff and his involvement in Pipeline.
Jarrett said he’s excited about the growth he saw in 2013 and is looking forward to seeing it continue with his expanded network.
“I really thought it was going to be a pain … but it turned into something I really looked forward to,” he said.
He’s anticipating who will be on the list of fellows for 2014, and hopes he can help the next class of fellows as they navigate through Pipeline.
So, want to know Jarrett’s final confession? (Hint: It’s more of a fun fact.)
Only the three original founders of Bulu Box know the meaning behind its quirky name.
It makes for a good story, Jarrett said, although he didn’t say when he planned to reveal the meaning behind the name.
That’s a confession that will have to wait for another day.
*** This story is part of a five-part series about the five Pipeline fellows from Nebraska and how their year in the program impacted their business and personal growth. ***