Star City Six – John Fulwider
gear80 helps entrepreneurial leadership teams in Lincoln get everything they want from their businesses. John Fulwider is a Professional EOS® Implementer and the founder of gear80 (www.gear80.co).
Tell us a little about your business.
I help clients like EyeCare Specialties, ComPro, Bulu Box, Bluestem Fiber, and Berry Law Firm implement a proven, complete system with a set of simple tools that get them vision, traction, and healthy. We get to the point where everyone’s rowing in the same direction, gaining consistent traction to execute on the vision, and moving forward together shoulder-to-shoulder as a healthy and cohesive team.
How did you get started in the business?
gear80 is the fourth business I’ve founded in Lincoln. Before this, two of my executive coaching clients said the same thing to me in the same week: “John, I need tools.” For both clients, their visions were clear. Their teams were healthy and cohesive. But the accountability, discipline, and execution that were supposed to link the two were absent. They were frustrated. So I went looking for tools and found Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman. The book described a complete solution to the problems my clients were facing, in fact to every problem all my clients nationwide over seven years had faced. The solution was called the Entrepreneurial Operating System, or EOS. At that same time, my older daughter was getting old enough to notice how often I was traveling and her crying broke my heart every time I left. So I committed to EOS and decided I’d only do it within an hour of Lincoln.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Struggling with the effects of anxiety and depression on my performance as a business owner, husband, father, and friend.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Joining the EOS Implementer community. I’m one of 187 business owners worldwide professionally trained to help other business owners implement EOS. Like our clients, we’re all on a path to EOS mastery, so we meet for a full day each quarter, and up to two hours each week, for continuing professional development. This is important for two reasons: 1) If a client issue stumps me, I can get an answer, confidentially, from among 186 other people doing exactly the same kind of work; and 2) It’s not (as) lonely at the top of my business.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wonderful wife of 19 years, Jami Lynn Kirkvold Fulwider, is a nurse and teaches nursing for the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing’s Lincoln campus. We have three rambunctious kids: Lillian, 6; Lucille, 3 2/3; and Lucas, 10 months.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
The day Jesus Christ saved me.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
MilkWorks, Lincoln’s breastfeeding support center. My wife and I are infertile. So when we finally got pregnant after four long years of soul-crushing struggle, we were perhaps more nervous than your average parents about our newborn daughter’s health. Breastfeeding was not going well at the hospital and we were terrified. Our doula called Ann Seacrest, executive director of MilkWorks, and arranged an after-hours, weekend consult for us. Ann and her staff are our heroes.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Sebastian’s Table, which is reopening this year!
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?