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Meet Jay Feitlinger of StringCan Interactive in Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jay Feitlinger.

Jay, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in New Jersey causing constant concern for my parents; not only for being extremely shy and causing typical teenager trouble (like stealing my parents car) but for my poor grades. I was happy when I got C’s but the D’s were not uncommon which resulted in me earning the lovely position at the bottom 10% of my high school class.

One of my worst memories in high school, even worse than getting locked in a locker, was when my guidance counselor suggested I look into waste management services as my future career. Watching those guys in the freezing cold winter in NJ was motivation enough for me to get my life in order. When I got accepted to Arizona State University I decided that this was going to be a new chapter in my life and I would take it seriously. From my first semester until graduation I got A’s and B’s. My grades, plus some amazing friends, helped me gain the confidence to break out of my introverted shell. I found that I was really good at dealing with people and fell in love with marketing and sales and knew that it was the career path for me.

After college I started working for MCI WorldCom and became one of their top sales managers in the southwest. During a sales award event in Maui, our CEO Bernie Ebbers got arrested for accounting fraud. I have always been a very loyal person and had invested 50% of my commissions buying WorldCom stock and had accumulated over $400,000 of stock in my mid 20’s. I thought life was set until I learned that the stock was frozen, couldn’t be sold, and eventually I sold it many years later for $12.37. This loss stung almost as much as being told I should be a garbage man from my high school guidance counselor. I decided at that moment I would never allow someone to have that level of impact over my life and I chose to become a business owner to “control my own destiny.”

Over the last 20 years, I’ve launched eight different companies, all related to sales or marketing. Some of these businesses were considered failures as I closed them down for various reasons; however, the level of knowledge and experience I gained after reflecting on each company helped me make the next one even stronger. When I reflect on the last eight years with my current business, StringCan Interactive (https://www.stringcaninteractive.com/), I’m so proud of those years of hard work as my team and our culture makes me look forward to each and every day coming into work. I’m very excited for our future!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it has definitely not been a smooth road, even with my current business that has been going extremely well the last few years. About five years ago, my wife Rachel who has been with me through all of my business startups, told me over dinner that she wasn’t happy. I didn’t understand; she explained that she felt like we were more like roommates than husband and wife. My heart sank! This was the last thing anyone wants to hear from their best friend and spouse. Her concern was hard to hear but after a few days of self-reflection I knew she was right and I needed to do something about it, soon.

The way I was raised was to become a good husband and provide for my family and that meant getting a stable job and work hard, long hours. Being an entrepreneur rules out the “stable job” part, but working hard long hours was how I operated. My wife and daughters didn’t like that and even when I was not at work I was on my phone checking emails or answering calls, or worse, they would be talking to me and I was clearly not paying attention as I was thinking about work. Hearing my wife’s feedback was exactly what I needed, a major slap in the face. It took me about a year but I worked very hard on creating a healthy work-life integration. And the success of that experience had inspired many of my entrepreneurial friends to want ask and want to learn what I did. They followed my process, which was essentially the processes I put in place at StringCan, but adjusted for families, such as goal setting, and also had great success. A few of my friends suggested I make this available to others so I took that challenge on and over that next year I wrote and published my first book, Family 2.0: Harness Business Principles to Reboot your Family in 4 Days (https://www.amazon.com/FAMILY-2-0-Harness-Business-Principles-ebook/dp/B06XVMMCHR).

Every day a new challenge comes up, but either my skin has gotten really thick or I’ve gained an insane level of patience, and I see these challenges as opportunities and not a wall I can’t get over.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the StringCan Interactive story. Tell us more about the business.
We specialize in helping businesses that cater to families. We’ve become very good at understanding how parents think, their buyer journey, and how to market to them online. We’re very proud of our focus and the fact that we say “no” to new business if they don’t serve families.

We aren’t a typical agency that tries to upsell our services to make more money. We want to be known as a trusted partner – an extension of their team. We treat their investment as if were our own money. We’re not all about flashy fluffy reports, we’re results-driven. Everything we do should help our clients reach their goals. We’re proud of our client’s accomplishments and seeing their results and hearing their feedback validates why we’re different and what sets us apart.

Types of businesses that fall under our 5 main client verticals that cater to family are:
1) Activities: swim schools, gymnastic gyms, dance, camps, martial arts, cheer, music, clubs, preschool / daycare
2) Wellness: health clubs, gyms, nutrition, healthcare products, weight management, spa
3) Education: tutors, enrichment, language, college prep, museums, training, cooking
4) Destinations: hotels, vacation, amusement parks, cruises, destinations
5) Home: pets, renovation / remodel, technology, interior design, technology, transportation, maintenance

Our main focus is generating leads and sales using search marketing, local search, social media advertising and review management and development. Other popular services include:
– Buyer persona development
– Comprehensive website analysis to uncover issues and opportunities
– SEO
– Content strategy, development, and syndication
– Paid advertising (Google Ads, Facebook, PPC)
– Programmatic media buying
– Email marketing
– Sales tools consulting & support (CRM)
– Consumer retention marketing
– Website design and development
– Recruiting
– Social media consulting
– Franchise sales development lead generation

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Trust! I have learned over the years to have trust in yourself and more importantly your team. If you’re a micromanager it means you don’t have trust and getting in the way of your team will prevent your company from growing. You’ll also lose amazing team members who weren’t given the opportunity to shine, learn, and grow. The growth of team members grows your company, and by extension, personal income.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
The name of the photographer is Fernando Hernandez and the name of his company is PhotograFher.

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Kimberly Davey

    August 26, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    This is a great representation of Jay. What is impossible to truly capture in a written interview/story like this is the fact that Jay has an infectious personality – and more energy than a real, live Energizer Bunny. Mix that with a little bit of Cray Cray and an enormous heart, and you have an amazing manager, team member, friend, business advisor.

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