Image courtesy of Jay Faires
Practicing early morning yoga on the roof of his apartment building with eight cherished friends is only one of the things that fuels media entrepreneur Jay Faires. Another might be taking off to the mountains of Utah for some much-deserved down time with two, adorable chocolate labs in tow. Jay’s centered approach to life reveals a lot about this visionary who is no stranger to high-intensity ventures. In addition to successfully launching and selling several media enterprises, Jay has served as President of Music at Lionsgate and currently acts as adviser to the media wellness endeavor Mind Body Green. He is also an avid believer in giving back to the community, serving on the board for the charity My Friend's Place that works to help homeless youths build self-sufficient lives. “I work really hard,” says Jay, “but I love what I do. In life, the pendulum is either moving forward or backward. I like to keep the pendulum swinging forward; life is exciting.”
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would those words be?
I love life!
Tell us about a girl in your life who rocks.
My mom; she raised three boys like a rock star with my pop having to be gone a good bit on business. She came from one place dealing with some pretty heavy stuff as a kid, but she has healed herself, and took it to another place with a vision. Now widowed, she is re-emerging and seeing this next cool phase of her life. It’s a great inspiration that time gives a little better perspective to.
A girl ? Well there is this one-- driven, brainiac, data smart--who totally rocks! She’s dventuresome in this amazing way. She’s grounded in her own world. She loves what she does, turns me onto great books, speaks languages I can’t begin to wrap my brain around. She’s athletic--in the sense of enjoys being active, living her life-- not just yoga athletic, which she also happens to be into. She travels to places like Cambodia and is contemplating the whole work, love, kids balance.
What are your dreams/goals/ambitions?
Well I write’em down, and I revisit them, revise them kind of all the time. For some reason I still like pen and paper for this. And I pretty much go live them or try to, die trying. Sometimes you fall on your face but you learn more there usually. Building my third company, this one with a more integrated work / life balance of friends, labs (2 chocolates), yoga, surfing and other fun stuff. And finally definitely ready for kids of my own. That’s kind of it.
What are you most proud of?
Where I am today, who I am today, and who I am becoming--at peace with my life, happy with what I’ve accomplished, and excited about what’s to come. Yeah that’s probably it; the headspace I’m in feels good and the quality of the amazing relationships I have around me due to that place I’m in. I love that adage: "You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with," it does tell a lot.
What do you find most sexy about a girl?
Comfortable in their own skin. Probably the description I gave above, yeah that’s my definitely my idea of sexy. It’s always the whole package for me. Beauty without the rest is “ehh.”
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Continuing enjoying this journey. Further along the path.
What is the number one item on your bucket list?
Never had one. If you really want something, go make it happen.
Who has been the biggest male influence in your life and why?
My Pop. He passed in January. He had a great, full rewarding life and we all got to say our goodbyes. He went 13 days after he decided with the hospice nurse to take himself off food and water. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying talks about the journey between life and death, which he definitely seemed to enjoy-- if that’s the right word. I think it was the eighth day and the head nurse had made her 5 a.m. rounds telling our family that he would probably be in a coma until he passed. Fourteen hours later he wakes up, looks at mom and says: "I've been meaning to give you this, I won’t be needing it anymore.” He proceeds to take off his wedding ring, hands it to my mom, and goes back to sleep. His passing has provided a time of reflection on the values, the drive, and the joy of creating the life you want to have that he instilled in me.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
Putting too many chips on the table is not always the best idea. LOL. And getting it handed to me. What’s Richard Branson say? - "Aim for the upside, but protect your downside." But again, you learn more from the mistakes so it all works out and its part of the journey that got me here today, which I wouldn't trade for anything.
What is one stereotype about men that isn’t really true?
You can't lump us all together. I hear women describe men as if they are this uniform species. We're each on our own journey. And yeah we can do some pretty knuckle headed things, but sometimes, not always, but sometimes we're worth a second chance.
*Interview conducted and compiled by Sheila Moeschen, IATG Senior Editor