We had the good fortune of connecting with James Darby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk has always played a factor in my life. When I was `13 years old and my friends decided to surf a spot in Peru called “Villa” I was petrified. The spot had a reputation for being aggressive. I sat at the shore preparing to head out with my friends and decided I wasn’t ready for it, I left and I was called all sorts of things for bailing. At the same time, I was competing in BMX every Saturday. The first jump was so high and long that I would not jump that first jump but will always end 2nd or 3rd place regardless. Years later I classified for the BMX World championship and I have traveled the world surfing. Risk is a combination of experiences that makes us confident enough to jump into the unknown. It’s also exciting and scary at the same time. Sometimes you fail but the end goal is to succeed. I have risked a lot, maybe everything this year 2020, but I am confident I’ll make the jump. Regardless of the billion obstacles, I can see clearly the end result.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I see my business life as a marathon. I had my ups and downs, and I have taken it for granted and put my life into it. When I am inspired I get all sorts of ideas and advice and execute them. I am still trying to figure things out. Ideally, I would like the business to not need me as much so I could call it a real business, but I am miles away from that. I do love what I do so it.’s no biggie, but I would love to see my business go into that next chapter one day, A small business owner is a marketing specialist, accountant, interior designer, research guru, and has a masters in doing it all. The wisest advice I have for all business owners is to be resilient and never give up.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was coming over to visit me here in San Diego, I would take them on a small boat trip around the Coronado bridge, and stop for lunch in one of the boat accessing restaurants in Coronado. Perhaps walk or bike the area after. I would take them to the many different restaurants and pubs in downtown San Diego, Little Italy, North Park, pacific beach, and most definitely take them to el Pescador in La Jolla for some good cocktail shrimp and some delicious scallops. If it was December or January I will take them to Mammoth mountain or Lake Tahoe for sightseeing and snowboarding/skiing. Before departing I would like to show them Julian and their delicious Apple pies.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is going to sound selfish but I literally had no one and had all odds against me when starting out. Everyone who I turned for help said I could not do it. That I should stick to where I was. It was my first year in a sales company here in San Diego and I did well. In October 2008 I called my cousin in Peru and offered him a surf trip to Costa Rica. We met there and after a week of fun, we decided to head to Nicaragua. Long story short, we were ambushed by 7 guys with guns and rifles in a truck heading against us on a dirt road. We were driving supposedly into a surf town but we were lost, they made me get out of the car and I had a gun pointing at my face telling me to get into their car. My mind pictured me and my cousin tied up to a chair somewhere in Nicaragua and these guys asking for ransom money that none in our families could ever pay. I pretended to be going crazy and screamed several times grabbing my head “What’s going on! What’s going on! they guy proceeded to point at my feet, and I literally “don’t know how” Jump over a fence wire on the side of the road, rolled Rambo style and ran into the bushes thinking I was going to get shot at any time now. Luckily no one shoot and my cousin was screaming as loud as he can “what …. f are you doing!!! I left him behind. I heard my car and the kidnapper’s car leaving, so I knew they took my cousin. I came back to check and both cars were gone. I ran for 40 minutes till I found the surf town, asked for help and a long story short found my cousin a few hours later. They had left him because they were afraid I had called the police and they were going to be intercepted. When I came back from this trip I opened USA Financial Consultants. I had $10,000. I rented a 5 office, 18 cubicles, and a conference room. I purchase a printer. I placed sticky notes all over the cubicles with college books to make it look like I had a lot of employees there. I purchased a $1,000 radio show and started my own business, The business grossed about 1 million its first year, and it’s done better every year since, I then hired people for advice.