(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article appeared in the latest edition of The Biz Foundry newsletter. It describes a local female entrepreneur who is making a significant difference in her community. We are reprinting it with permission from The Biz Foundry.)
By Ashley Michael
I don’t know if it’s the mountains, or the air quality, or maybe it’s the ability to wave to cows on my way to work? Whatever it is, there is something special about this part of the country.
We asked Amber Flynn-Jared, real estate mogul, host of the popular Connecting Cookeville podcast, and general conquistador of life. She seems to be an unofficial ambassador to the Cookeville area. She knows absolutely every living soul in this town. She would also know the source behind Cookeville’s magic, too.
She said she hated moving to Cookeville.
“I was not excited when we moved here. I knew no one. But once I started to put down some roots, I was praying Lord, I never want to move again. Let this be forever for me.”
Amber was the outgoing and effervescent child of military parents, you see. She connected quickly, put down deep roots, then had to yank herself out of the soil and be repotted in some other new place every two years. Now, she gladly calls Cookeville home, and has been slowly building her empire here.
By empire, I mean she uses what she calls the hub and spoke business model as a guide to starting several business (a real estate team, a property management firm, a construction company, etc.). These businesses are separate entities, yet connected in nature. Each venture, or each spoke if we’re using the model’s analogy, has something to do with real estate (the hub). And each of Amber’s spokes are doing really well, which is somewhat surprising, considering she only started all this like five years ago.
Maybe she should have a podcast called, “How to build an empire in five years.” I would tune in to that.
How has she done it? How did she go from 90th ranked realtor in her association to 9th in her first year of full-time business? How has she managed to befriend nearly everyone within a hundred miles and have them all like, know and trust her? How is she so successful that she has even more business ventures slated to begin in 2019?
My estimation is that it’s nothing too scientific, really. It’s just genuine love. Love for people, love for Cookeville. She says, “Cookeville isn’t perfect, but it’s perfect for me. There is so much opportunity here, and it’s for anyone who wants it.”
In order to help others find these “opportunities” of which she speaks, Amber has become involved with Impact Club (a group of like-minded individuals who come together to give back to the community and help it to grow and flourish), and of course has started the Connecting Cookeville podcast, where she invites local entrepreneurs, community influencers, and thought leaders to tell their story. To coin the fancy term, she’s a bit of a philanthropist.
“I think everybody, deep down, wants to make a difference. To see that they’ve mattered. To know that they’ve lived and died and that their life counted for something. You see this when you really talk to people and get past facades. And I’ve seen that within this community, as far as philanthropy goes. Very few people have the connections or the resources to pursue a dream, or the confidence to head it up. But when you can give them a hand, and give them the confidence, they can take off. There is nothing more tragic to me than being buried with your dreams, and it is never too late to pursue whatever kind of dream or passion that’s there.”
Well said, Amber, you empress you.
If you want to know more about the Impact Club of the Highlands, check out their website and by all means be a part of it if you can. The gist is that members nominate local non-profits to be the recipient of a collection made on one evening, once a quarter. At this evening event, club members $100 into the pot, which will be given in total to the selected business or organization at the close of the evening. It’s Venture Capitalism for non-profits, if you want the fancy words again. Though just starting roughly a year ago, the club has already infused somewhere around $70,000 back in to the community, helping organizations like Genesis House and the Putnam Education Partnership (PEP).
To hear the heart behind many well-known faces and names in the Cookeville area, including Mayor Shelton, Superintendent Jerry Boyd and TTU president Phil Oldham, listen to Amber’s podcast, Connecting Cookeville. Also stay tuned to hear the hosts of Connecting Cookeville on The Biz Foundry’s own up-and-coming podcast as special guests.
And to be friends with empress Amber, just leave your house. I’m sure you’ll run in to her somewhere. You’re in for genuineness and hilarity – a winning combination if ever there was one.