An exclusive interview with Jason P. Bliss, Ceo and Co-Founder of the Healthy Living Network, one of the largest post-acute home health, hospice and private duty providers in the western United States. Jason also supports aspiring entrepreneurs as an active angel investor with funding and scaling options for their organizations. He enjoys spending his free time with his five children and spouse of 20 years.
Tell us about yourself?
I was an introverted kid who ate lunch in the high school bathroom as a freshman in light of not having friends in a new school. Eventually, I shed my insecurities and thrived at sports, studied abroad, secured degrees at various universities and advanced from healthcare positions to become the co-founder of one of the largest post-acute home health, hospice and home care providers in the western United States.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
The business idea was birthed after my son received years of acute treatment at Stanford Hospital. My plan was to find a way to avoid living in and out of hospitals by providing an in-home medical support service for nursing and therapeutic needs, as well as palliative or hospice care when appropriate.
My amazing co-founder Caroline Breeding and I launched the Healthy Living Network in 2008. We made it our mission to ensure rewarding experiences for our employees and positive outcomes for our patients.
How much potential market share can you achieve in next 3 years?
Our current plan is to open between 10 and 15 new locations a year. This is a tall order, but it could be accelerated through additional joint-ventures or large-scale acquisitions.
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
Does my own unpublished 450-page fantasy book count? I prefer to read accounts from history, which have the greatest ability to change how I think about the past and present. One I enjoyed recently is Jacques Lusseyran’s autobiography, And There Was Light.
Jacques, a blind resistance fighter in France during World War II, had two fundamental truths that resonate with my own: “The first of these is that joy does not come from outside, for whatever happens to us, it is within. The second truth is that light does not come to us from without. Light is in us, even if we have no eyes.”
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
My worst purchase was Ikea furniture — I loved the furniture, which found its way into most of my offices around the western United States, but the thousands of pieces required to put it all together was too much work.
My best purchases ever include a Darth Vader helmet with original Star Wars figurines inside, a Snoopy snow cone machine and the “Girl Talk” game that I gave away during an event with our executives and marketing team at Tahoe — it was a big hit!
What takes up too much of your time?
Answering emails. We have become more and more reliant on communicating via email than ever before, and I’ve started responding to every email before the end of the day, even if it takes me until midnight to do so. I don’t think this tradition will continue.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?
To college students, I would say make your own path. Don’t be afraid to make calculated mistakes — you have time to rebound. Finally, don’t waste your money on unessential things. Save, invest, but don’t just spend it on items you will forget years from now.
New startup business owners need to take risks. At the same time, they should have a detailed plan with short and long-term goals and be willing to pivot if necessary.
For hopeful entrepreneurs, my best piece of advice is don’t try to be the next Elon Musk, Steve Jobs or any other success story — instead, strive to be the best version of yourself. Be willing to take honest feedback from others. Finally, pick your partners wisely — they can make or break your startup.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
I could name various individuals that have influenced or impressed me with their accomplishments. Many strive with the daily grind in hopes of sitting amongst the tech giants with their massive wealth.
My belief is that your greatest return comes from the relationships you have around you. The simple things in life have the most memorable impact. And the relationships outside of work have influenced me the most.
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
Ensuring work-life balance. Having provided services to a large population of seniors as they age, there are two prevailing thoughts that often emerge — one group focuses on regrets, while the other embraces relationships.
About ten years ago, I sat separately in front of two entrepreneurs whose net worth was valued at over $100 million. Alone, with no family by his bedside, I witnessed one of the men struggle with a terminal illness. A few weeks before dying, he told me about his estranged children, who were more interested in his money than anything else.
Contrast that to the other retired entrepreneur. He shared some of his most cherished experiences from a life filled with the belief that you could thrive as an entrepreneur as long as it didn’t overshadow your family. He too would eventually pass, but his life was the one I wanted to emulate.
How people should connect with you?
Vizaca is a global media company which talks about Startups, New Business Owners, Technology, Global Entrepreneurs and share success stories.
Our aim is to provide Exposure, Outreach and Connecting them with the right audience and promote their businesses worldwide. We are formed by Global Entrepreneur’s who has wide experience in technology and business development. Our aim is to create value for startups and making them recognized by the mass audience.