This is my authentic story and career path for the last decade, it's not only written here to share with others but it serves as a personal reminder for myself to reflect back on the challenges, successes and amazing years of hard work and persistence.
Hi, I’m Jamie, known as Jimbo amongst my friends and this is my story… Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa in an average home with amazing parents and friends. I went to a normal Government Primary and High School with very average, sometimes sub-average grades. I didn’t study after school and currently do not have a degree although I have done a few short courses over the years — studying just wasn’t for me.
I started at a corporate job, a technology distribution company called VastraTech straight outta school as a storeman and not knowing anything I went home every evening wanting to cry for the first three months — maybe some of you can relate, it’s scary. Being the kind hearted person I am thanks to how I was raised I started to quickly sponge from the experienced colleagues around me. I quickly started learning and asking a lot of questions and with that my experience and relentless drive to succeed rocketed. During my first six years I was promoted six times and won employee of the year twice in a row among many other monthly achievements. I ended up as the Procurement and Logistics Manager at VastraTech and part of the leadership team, earning great money by the age of 25 I thought I had made it.
During this time I was involved in a long term relationship that ended and I decided I wanted to quit my job and start my own business and this was my first taste of Entrepreneurship. The logistics business I started called Think Africa lasted about 10 months before I ran out of money and sales — even though the business backend ran like clockwork, organized and efficient, I was not a salesman.
I gave up too quickly and shortly after I got an offer at very well known Interior design company called Design Partnership as a project coordinator. With a crap ton of debt and the defeat of closing my first dream business I started from the bottom again earning half of what I was when I left my previous long standing career. One again with a lot of tenacity I put my head down and got to work, got learning and used my experience to propel me forward. After one year I got promoted to Senior Project Coordinator and then a year later got promoted to Traffic Manager — in addition to this my Mom worked as the Finance Manager so I got to spend everyday with her at work during these two and half years, it was the best! Thanks to this design company, this is where I got my inspiration from. In my spare time I started learning about graphic design, building websites and marketing and the Entrepreneurial flair started to ignite within.
During this time, I still managed to keep fit and balance my work and life activities. I have always been into fitness and training so I decided to do my personal training certification which led to other certifications such as life and business coaching. I decided to start training clients in the evenings and launched my own fitness apparel brand called WellFit Lifestyle which I ended up selling to a close friend of mine. I really enjoyed training and motivating people but this wasn't mentally stimulating enough for me and I just needed more.
While I was still at DP, I received a call from a previous colleague at VastraTech wanting to know if I wanted to join them as Operations Manager at a new company within the group called FYBOTECH. I knew the people, the products, and the business and I was excited to help this new business put procedures and processes in place to help them during this early startup stage.
After learning brand design and web development I still had a love for helping startups and one year later I decided to once again jump ship and run my own little business which was called Ignited Perception. It was a boutique design studio helping startups and small businesses with branding, web development and marketing. I knew this was my passion and the business just started to snowball. Once you realize what you enjoy and work hard because you love it, the money will always follow. I believe never chase the money —chase the dream and passion.
Then exactly 8 months in and my little business is still booming, I was doing some travelling at the time. I visited my Aunt and Uncle in Vancouver, BC Canada and I just fell in love with the outdoors, the people, the peacefulness and I just knew I wanted to live here. So when I returned to South Africa, my home, I decided to apply for a two work permit. Sold my car and a few other things, left all my family and friends and practically my whole life behind to relocate to Vancouver, BC — I was excited, nervous and this was probably the most scariest thing I have ever done in my life.
I landed in Canada and I knew this was going to be hard with the cultures so different and the way people do business. I was still helping some of my clients back home but I lost the connections and referrals to continue generating more business — plus the rate of exchange conversion wasn't great so shortly after arriving, exactly two weeks, I decided to start looking for a job to immerse myself in the Canadian work and corporate culture. I decided I wanted to work within the same industry so I landed a job at a company called Skyrocket Digital Inc. as an Account Strategist downtown Vancouver and got to work. It was tough in the beginning, lots of learning and pulling myself together however one year later and after being promoted to Digital Producer, I still enjoy working for this Agency and every day brings a new challenge.
I am excited to see how the next decade unfolds but for now, I am super focused on the present, enjoying everyday and helping others as much as I can because I believe success is not what you have, but what you have given.
"Jamie’s indomitable spirit made him the perfect candidate for the position of Traffic Co-ordinator at Design Partnership South Africa. His positivity and ability to plan, lead, unite and inspire the team at DP not only did wonders for the productivity of the team which in turn added immensely to strengthen positive relationships with our clients."
“Hey man, just wanted to send you a quick text to let you know that I really appreciate you and I am inspired by you. Thanks for all you do and how you live!”
"Jamie Windell has been a true inspiration to me and KAOS, he has helped change the way I look at business, in managing, developing, educating myself to improve my services that we offer www.kaosfit.co.za. I recommend Jamie Windell on getting your business on a professional level."
"I utilized the services of Jamie Windell for the re-branding of my architecture and construction practice, Central Park Projects. Jamie provided an incredibly rare combination of service, design flair and affordability. His response time was generally within a day and he was always willing to tweak the design in order to ensure 100% satisfaction. The design he offered were unique, crisp and specifically tailored to my needs. I look forward to working with Jamie further and would strongly recommend him to any business looking to focus on their branding."
"As a person, you are genuine, caring, selfless with a massive heart for people. I thought once you leave your absence would be missed I would no longer have the motivation to keep going but your courage and willingness to live your best life and dreams is what motivates me more than ever!! When I go though some tough times you are one of the people I draw courage from, just thinking what would you have said to me in those situation.
Your desire to live life to its fullest is contagious and your passion to be better (always learning) is humbling. You never allowed anything to get ahead of your dreams. Most importantly, you taught me How to DREAM and that it is possible to live a worthy life."
"Jamie is efficient and always willing to assist. He is a really great person to work with and always goes over and above."
“You have been a huge inspiration to me for a long time and now when I went through one of the toughest times in my life you were right there to help me. Your coaching and motivation, following up and cheerful chats has me feeling like me, doing like me and just being me. I am positive and working on bettering myself daily. You are an amazing coach, you have helped me through a terrible time and for that I will be forever grateful.”
"Jamie is a great leader, who takes charge in every situation he finds himself. I had the pleasure of working with Jamie for just a few months, but I have learned so much from him. There are managers and there are leaders and Mr Windell is definitely a leader and a "go getter."
“You are such an amazing, go-getter, motivator, always ready to listen, give advice, hugger, keep putting smiles onto peoples faces. Your presence is something I will surely miss, you have been instrumental in me having the courage to go forward. You have held my hand at literal high heights (acrobranch) and you have guided me in my life, even though you might not have been aware.”
"Jamie assisted with the establishment of our website for Stratford Preparatory School through his creative web design and customized features. Jamie liaised with us continuously ensuring he understood our requirements and messaging. He identified with us as clients and took extra care in the details. He also assisted us with social media campaigns to market the school."
"We would like to say a big thank you for helping us setup our amazing website and guiding us through our business requirements, and providing an exceptional experience making everything understandable and would recommend you to anyone looking for a business transformation His services are super efficient and all work was conducted in a timeless manner."
“I have started a new business and Jamie Windell really helped me a great deal in getting my company's name and brand out there for people to see. Very informative and always willing to help and give out advice. Will definitely recommend!”
“Jamie Windell has been a pleasure to work with, I got Jamie to assist with my logo and brand design, with a picture in my head of what I wanted but struggling to vocalize and bring my ideas across, Jamie was able to bring my ideas to life and show me what I was looking for. He was very helpful and professional as well as always ready and available when I needed advice. I would definitely recommend him to anybody needing brand design work done."
“Thank you again for your professional and quick response to my requests and making my ideas come to life. None of this would of been possible without you and your team.”
"What a great experience working with Jamie. As a startup company, we had little or no idea of the type of look and feel we wanted for our brand. After consulting with Jamie, it was not long before he took all our ideas and information and presented them in a beautiful and easy to follow website and creatively designed business stationary. The team exceeded our expectations in personalized service, we would highly recommend them to any startup business or any business looking to create a strong brand."
"Building a new professional profile to helping me unleash potential. I've barely tapped into. Jamie Windell is his name and he's helping professionals in all fields discover their talents, abilities and inspirations that can help push your career to new heights. My time with him has grounded me, humbled me and inspired me to push harder than ever before without burning out and loosing myself to this crazy rat race we will find ourselves in."
“If you want top quality, dedication, speedy as well as efficient work done for your business/brand - Jamie Windell definitely matches that description. Always one step ahead on innovative ideas and one step ahead on work in progress. He has made setting up our website and social media hassle free and always giving tips and advice along the way. Always helpful and professional, we would recommend Jamie as the first choice of contact for any help needed within your business.”
“Working with Jamie Windell was a great experience. He assisted Lentes & Marcos with organizing and coordinating a photography shoot as well as monthly management of our new social media pages. He and his team created professional design posts for our Instagram account along with gaining followers and creating engagement, which worked well. He is super efficient and always came back to me on time with constant feedback, which was so refreshing compared to some other agency's that I had worked with in the past."