about me


 


about me


 
"Jay Clouse Wants You to Be Your Own Boss"
– The Manual, May 2020
"Jay Clouse Wants You to Be Your Own Boss"
– The Manual, May 2020
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I vividly remember the first time someone explained to me what a "pitch competition" was.

I remember bombing my first pitch, and then watching my peers show off their very real businesses that made money.

I had no idea that I was allowed to make my own path — and from that moment I was hooked.

For the last 10 years, I've been exploring what it means to be an entrepreneur.

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In 2012, I started a small marketplace for Ohio State students. It was fine, but it's dead now. (Read more)

In 2014, I joined the founding team of Tixers, a digital ticket exchange. We raised a round of seed funding, and were acquired in 2015. (Read more)

In 2016, I joined a venture-backed startup in the healthcare space called CrossChx (now Olive) and led several product teams. (Read more)

And then in 2017, I realized I needed to get back out on my own and build my own way again. (Read more)

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Since that time, I've taken what I know about building products, companies, and product companies and applied it to creative businesses.

Unreal Collective is community of creators. Whether they are technology founders, freelancers, agency owners, or podcast creators, Unreal helps them determine critical next steps and achieve them.

I've worked with over 100 creatives and freelancers through Unreal. My clients have built launch sites for space flight, had multi-million dollar exits, six-figure crowdfunding campaigns, left their jobs to go full-time freelance, and bootstrapped technology companies. (Success stories)

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With that success came the opportunity to be a published author for Linkedin Learning and Lynda.com on freelancing and small business. (My courses)

And after helping tens of thousands of students worldwide, I've taken everything I've seen work for freelancers and created Freelancing School. (Enroll)

With three courses, articles, and community support, Freelancing School has the tools to help creatives thrive as business owners.

→ Selling for Freelancers - Proven tactics for selling more work

→ Marketing for Freelancers - Strategies to create client demand for you

→ Business for Freelancers - Systems and processes to protect your time and get more from your money

 
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With paying clients and financial comfort, I wanted to create more free resources – so I dove into a podcast.

I believe it's never been a better time to earn a living with the things that you make.

So I created Creative Elements to bridge the gap between art and business by talking to high-profile creators about the nitty gritty of building their creative career.

We discuss the specific elements of their personality, style, or approach that have helped them thrive: elements like focus, vulnerability, revision, and constraints.

By learning how these creators made a living with their art, you'll feel more confident earning a living on your own terms too.

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In 2019, I produced a feature-length documentary called Test City, USA about the growing startup ecosystem in Columbus, Ohio.

We premiered the film at the Film Festival of Columbus in September, 2019, where the film was awarded Best Ohio Feature!

The film was also an official selection of the 2020 Columbus International Film Festival.

Watch it here

I never expected to produce a film, and screening it was easily one of the scariest things I've ever done, but I'm so glad that I did. (Photos)

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On the side, I enjoy writing my weekly newsletter, Work in Progress (subscribe below) and cohosting the upside podcast, a show about startups and investing outside of Silicon Valley. (subscribe)

In 2018, upside was named one of Fortune's top 27 Business podcasts.

Business Insider called it "Almost as Good as Getting an MBA."

I never learned to swim, but I share a birthday with Nikola Tesla, Urban Meyer, Seth Godin, and Jessica Simpson. Feel free to send me a note if you want to get in touch!

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A weekly email for artists and creatives in the trenches of building a business

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Work In Progress

A weekly email for artists and creatives in the trenches of building a business