Behind the Scenes Interview with Jason Benedict, Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of the Automation Agency
Success as an entrepreneur often blossoms only after facing and defeating traumatic ghosts of the past. That’s one of many lessons Automation Agency’s Co-Founder Jason Benedict learned and shared during a recent interview with Damien Rufus, Chief Strategy Officer of Phoenix-based Accelerated Marketing Group.
Jason and Damien sat down to discuss how entrepreneurs can transform their future by drawing strength from the past – even in the midst of tragedy. Along the way, successful entrepreneurs also find resilience and success by meeting the right person at the right time – in Jason’s case, his wife and fellow Agency Co-Founder, Therese.
THE Arizona State Experience
A native of Texas who arrived in Arizona by way of California, Jason recalls his decision to attend college there came at a time when he was on a personal journey to figure things out. Jason’s move was inspired by a friend who got accepted to THE Arizona State University (as Rufus noted: THE is important to remember for ASU alum). He enrolled in Mesa Community College and later transferred to ASU as a communications student.
“I was still trying to figure out my passion or that thing that was going to take me to the space that would open up opportunities and open up some doors for me to really explore,” Jason said, adding that the exploration into marketing and communications helped him discover that passion.
Along the way, Jason accepted an internship at a marketing agency, further solidifying his direction in the field. He considers that internship as the first step towards his dreams of entrepreneurship.
“I always knew that I wanted to have my own agency, but you know it’s one of those farfetched dreams at the time. Or, you think it’s possible, but you don’t quite have the skill set or the experience get yourself to that next step.”
But Jason soon found that perseverance can often provide that next step – and the ones after that.
“By applying yourself in every position – even if you don’t like the job that you’re in – you get yourself to the point where you recognize what your strengths and your skill sets are and know what are the things you don’t like to do. You ask yourself: ‘What can you do about that job that you’re in right now to make that the best situation that you can make it?’”
“I heard someone say if you’re janitor be the best janitor in the world. Not only does that help you as a person, but it also opens up other opportunities that you may not be able to see at the time you’re in it,” said Rufus.
After completing his internship in college, Jason was offered a position with Spark Design, which also launched Spark Magazine a publication focused on ASU athletics – an opportunity that helped him hone his writing skills and learn how to create evocative messaging that would serve him well in his marketing career. The magazine soon promoted him to managing editor. He views his tenure there as an opportunity to learn the balance a busy, focused athlete needed. “That balance kind of made me think about what I could probably do in some regard to help businesses.”
Facing Pain-Finding Love
While Jason continued to enjoy professional success as a journalist, he felt a painful pull from his childhood – a pull that was dragging him down into a pit of self-doubt, self-loathing and substance abuse, which was having an effect on his future dreams.
As a child, Jason had been sexually abused from the ages of 6 years old to 9 years old — fueling a trauma so scarring he kept the secret buried deep down for 22 years.
“It was the one thing that I’d never told anybody,” he said. “I never had the strength and courage to tell anybody what I went through as a child – for 22 years in my life I never said anything.”
Until he met Therese.
“When we first met, it was not by chance.” Jason recalled. “It was by divine intervention and I was literally at the point in my life of praying to God saying, ‘Hey, I need help. I need you to bring somebody into my life to help me to get to that next step.’”
While attending and managing a work-related event, Jason met Therese and they sparked an immediate connection.
“Therese is unlike any other woman I’ve ever met, and I don’t just say that because she’s my wife. She was actually born with beautiful abilities. She is a clairvoyant and medium.”
“When we met, she put her hand on my heart and started telling me things about myself and my childhood I’d never told anybody before and told it with such compassion. It was as if she was telling me everything that I was carrying in my soul. So, when we connected, it was like this instantaneous connection — you <know that you know that you’re in the right spot at the right time. It was that kind of sign knowing that God answered my prayer.”
As his relationship blossomed, Jason found the perfect advocate and confidant in Therese. “I was able to focus on the trauma that I had gone through as a child. I literally changed my entire life when we met. Therese helped me with every step I needed to take. Her guidance was taking me on a journey of healing and conquering the pain that had control of my life. I was free to reach for my dreams with nothing standing in my way.”
By sharing his trauma with Therese, she helped Jason realize he could transform the experience into something that could help others. “Even to this day — just saying this on any channel publicly that people can hear — I’m hoping that when I speak about this that it reaches people, and it gives them strength and courage. It’s too much to handle when you’re carrying such a big burden – all it takes is one person you know to stand behind you.”
As Jason and Therese grew closer, they discovered an even deeper connection. Therese had written a spiritual self-help book that would help Jason to change his life forever. Therese asked Jason if he had ever edited a book before and he said no. Therese offered Jason the opportunity to edit her book leveraging his editing background while working closely with Therese while she helped him heal from his past trauma. Over the next six months, the couple collaborated on Therese’s book – editing and creating marketing concepts.
As their relationship evolved from dating to marriage, Jason began to realize his work with Therese’s book help him take a new direction in life. To believe in him again.
“She really helped me to get to a point of getting clarity and seeing the vision of what’s possible. That was probably the biggest growth period for me, actually focusing on us making our dreams a reality.” So, one day my wife told me many years ago, “it is time to start our business” and from that point on, it has been a journey of growth, knowledge and wisdom to be able to help small businesses to succeed and reach their dreams as well. “Therese and I founded our business with a strong foundation of truth, compassion, understanding, and helping our clients overcome their obstacles that they were facing,” said Jason.
Adversity + Resilience = Success
Over the next few years, Jason worked his way up through the ranks working with several businesses as a Marketing Manager, Marketing Director, and eventually Chief Marketing Officer before he and his wife took the leap into entrepreneurship. During that time, he also worked with Therese to launch her #1 best-selling book on Amazon, Days Go By, Not Love.
As he experienced both the corporate world of marketing and the in’s and outs of book publishing, Jason discovered Infusionsoft and the lifecycle marketing concept. He quickly realized his potential of being able to help support small businesses with implementing marketing automation after obtaining an Infusionsoft certification. His passion for learning and infinite support from Therese sky-rocketed his knowledge into a new level of automated marketing acumen. Soon after becoming an Infusionsoft-certified partner, Jason & Therese decided the time was right for them to launch their own agency, Automation Agency.
“Every business has a different problem, and every vertical has a problem that can be automated based on what specific marketing needs they may have,” Jason said.
Today, Automation Agency continues to help small businesses grow revenue, expand clientele, enhance productivity, increase sales and enjoy more freedom from their business by automating their sales and marketing while maintaining consistent growth within their business.
What’s the secret to success in automated marketing?
“Ask questions. Discover your client’s biggest challenges and their biggest problems and then create a campaign or a product that solves that problem for that industry.”
Interested in learning more about Keap or Infusionsoft’s all-in-one CRM and marketing automation software and how it can help you to save time and grow revenue? The Automation Agency is offering a Free 14-Day Small Business Boot Camp Challenge (Valued at $2,500) that will provide you with the same software and marketing tools that have helped thousands of small businesses to automate their sales and marketing. Click here to request your 14-day challenge and receive a free trial of Keap now: www.automation.agency/14-Day-Challenge
About Automation Agency
The Automation Agency is an award-winning marketing agency that helps small businesses to grow revenue, expand clientele, enhance productivity, increase sales and enjoy more freedom from their business by automating their sales and marketing while consistently maintaining growth within their business.
The entrepreneurial hustler behind Accelerated Marketing Group, LLC and Systemizely LLC, Damien Rufus is one of the most sought-after and trusted digital strategists in the world of Online Marketing. A driven entrepreneur by every sense of the term, Damien has co-founded numerous profitable brands, including Video Valet, Proven Marketing Campaigns LLC, The Automated Seller, and Hustle + Soul. From local services business to Fortune 500 companies, he has extensively developed brands in a variety of industries for both himself and his clients.