Jaime Van Wye is the founder of The Zoom Room®. Her eco-friendly, active lifestyle dog training franchise celebrates the social aspect of dog ownership. The Zoom Room is the only brick-and-mortar dog training franchise in America and the first dog agility franchise in the world. The Los-Angeles based company is now the fastest-growing pet franchise in the U.S. with 10 locations that will soon grow to 27 in the next few years due to franchises signed on to open locations.
As part of an ongoing series to illustrate how the benefits of participation in college sports extends beyond the playing field, NCSA asked Van Wye how her athletic career helped her become successful in the business world.
What college or university did you attend?
University of California, Berkeley
What college sport did you play?
What are the most important lessons you learned through sports?
Perseverance and hard work. I learned that you do reap the benefits of whatever hard work you put into something. Any time you start your own business, there’s a lot of things you don’t know and a lot of things you have to teach yourself or learn through other means along the way. I was a philosophy major, so I had to teach myself a whole different set of skills once I got into the business world that I wasn’t prepared for. Being an entrepreneur, I think you definitely work harder for yourself than you ever will for someone else. These are things I learned through sports.
What did you learn through sports that your formal education did not teach you?
A big part of sports is losing and learning how to persevere. In life and in business, sometimes you lose and sometimes you win — you’re not always going to be a success. This is something that not a lot of people realize, but as athletes, we are prepared for. You realize that there will always be another race, game or contest and that there are more opportunities ahead that you can train for and conquer. As an entrepreneur, there are ideas I tried out and they didn’t always work. You just accept those things and move on to what’s next.
How is business like sports?
They are similar when it comes to the value of teamwork. Even if you’re not in business with someone, you are still dealing with other people — customers, vendors, etc. Any kind of business is a team effort. You must surround yourself with people who will make your business better — and more importantly — who have different skills. I’m not good at every single thing I do, so I need a great team to round out the other parts. You can’t have a whole team of point guards, you need a need center and forward in there somewhere.
How have sports helped you become successful in your field?
Sports has been integral in in the Zoom Room’s success because we are taking the aspect of sports and making it accessible to people and their dogs. There are so many things that I’ve done as an athlete that I’ve translated into this business, like jumping over things, running around and cross training. My knowledge in sports, business and pets has helped me to recognize a huge gap in the market for a business like the Zoom Room.
What advice do you have for student-athletes?
Coming out of college, it’s definitely hard to get out of that team environment and transition into the working world. Since sports is such a big part of your life in college with your teammates, it’s important to develop the same type of relationships in everyday life. You are coming from a structured world of practice and camaraderie and then when you’re out of college, that structure is gone. It’s important to try and maintain some semblance of that in life after college.
f you’re an athlete interested in following in Jaime’s footsteps and succeeding in life by playing collegiate sports, then click here or call 866-579-6272 for a free evaluation with an NCSA Collegiate Scout.