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Jimmy John's Speaking

Entrepreneurship at Notre Dame

October 14, 2012

Jimmy John Liautaud gives a speech at Notre Dame about starting a business and offers guidance to a young entrepreneur.

After speaking to a group at Notre Dame about his business success, Jimmy John Liautaud waited to meet attendees. Victoria Trujillo, a freshman at the school, waited in line hoping Liautaud would offer her some advice on starting her own bakery. When she met him, he offered her much more – his business card with a promise to sit down and discuss her business plan when she was ready.

“That’s what it’s all about” he said. “I love growing young people, watching people bloom, love helping people. It’s about teaching them to fish, but not giving them fish.”

Jimmy started his sandwich business, Jimmy John’s, when he was just 19 and was a millionaire by age 30. Most of the 1,200 stores bearing his brand are franchises, but Jimmy stays involved with his owners and inspires them to do their best work. When it comes to success, his message is simple – work hard.

“Arrive (to work) an hour earlier and stay an hour later. Work on Saturday. Volunteer for everything you can. Man, just do it,” he said. “Even if your boss doesn’t notice, someone will. Anything you can do that shows that you’re trying to kick ass — show them you kick ass. Hard work separates good from great.”