How Jiu-Jitsu Transfers Into the Corporate World
Interviewee: Jeremy Bower
Location: Melbourne, FL
Photo By: Hector Roman-Gonzalez
Jeremy Bower is the Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Givr Packaging, based out of Melbourne, Florida. Givr is a packaging company committed to offsetting our use of natural resources. Every purchase funds the restoration of natural resources. Bower is also a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Recently achieving the rank of blue belt, with his eyes set on never stopping, he continues to balance training two to three times a week, a family with two kids, and an incredibly successful company. I sat down with Bower to get his story of how Jiu-Jitsu has impacted his life, his business, and his family.
Early beginnings in Jiu-Jitsu
“I started training with Lloyd Irvin in 2012. I just randomly googled in search of a local Jiu-Jitsu gym after getting tired of listening to Joe Rogan talking about how good it was. Well, I walked in, and in the room were UFC fighters, ADCC champs, high-level competitors, Pride fighters, and I didn’t even know it. This was back when DJ Jackson, Keenan Cornelius, Mahamed Aly, Eberth Santos, and James Vick all trained there, and I had no clue who the heck they were. I was with them for a year and eventually had to step away once my son and daughter were born. At this time, I did not start Givr Packaging yet. I had a hiatus for seven years of training here or there, but not as consistently as I would like. In 2018 I started Givr Packaging and was working nonstop and began training again shortly afterward when I moved to Florida. While I was not training, I remained a fan of Jiu-Jitsu throughout the entire time, watching Gordon Ryan and the Danaher Death Squad take over the EBI circuit. I was reintroduced to Jiu-Jitsu in Tampa, Florida, by Tony Way over in Gracie Palm Harbor. From there, I later moved over to the East Coast of Florida, where I met Wade Rome at Control Jiu-Jitsu and began training under him. Through Wade and his son Chase Rome I began focusing on the dark arts of leg locks and dove even deeper into Jiu-Jitsu.”
Similarities of Jiu-Jitsu and owning a business
“With everything in life, the best things you do will require grit. I believe the best personality trait someone can have is the ability to apply grit at will.”
How does grit apply to business?
“Running a successful business is primarily frustration and disappointment accented with the highest of highs, but those are few and far between. It requires you to get up and go. Just like in Jiu-Jitsu, you might not want to get up and go to the gym at times, but you still do because that is how you get better. You throw away laziness and embrace grittiness and discipline. You must use grit as a weapon against laziness.”
How do you overcome hurdles in finding balance?
“I have historically not been particularly good at finding balance. I am constantly working on finding a perfect balance juggling my business, family, and training. I think being aware of other priorities, like family, health, and business, helps to keep it constantly in focus. As the company scales and I have more help, I can easily transition into a more balanced lifestyle. In the beginning, I was working from home a lot, which helped. My wife was a big help and kept the tires on the road, and kept my mind at ease and focused. Whenever I find myself about to say I have no time for a certain task, I typically try to ask if it is a priority. Being able to prioritize is important because you can’t have everything be a priority all at once, and that is okay. Some days my family is the priority, so everything else comes after that, and the next day going to the gym is my priority, and so on.”
How has Jiu-Jitsu benefited you?
“It is a constant reminder to remain humble. Even though it is more difficult the better you get at Jiu-Jitsu to remain humble, it sort of becomes a superpower. It is also a perpetual reminder not to underestimate what the little guys are capable of., Mikey Musumeci and Hector Roman are good examples. Just like in business, efficiency and agility are often lost as you get bigger. One of the benefits of being small is you can be fast and dangerous to the bigger guys because the risk is so small, and the gain is so big. If you are a publicly traded packaging company, you have to think ten times ahead before making big moves. Compared to being small, we can just go ahead and make our moves deliberately without asking permission. Kind of like me heel hooking kids in the kids’ class.”
Talking to Bower opened my eyes to a whole other side of the benefits of Jiu-Jitsu. Not only is it beneficial to our health, but It can also be applied to aspects of a business. Think how incredible the true grasp of Jiu-Jitsu is the next time you are in the gym. What traits can you pull from it and apply to your life?