Joe’s Bio

2012-joe-michaelIndustry Experience

Dr. Joe Johnson is an entrepreneur, investor, and start-up expert. He has worked and studied the field of entrepreneurship and organizational leadership for over 25 years.

Over these years, Dr. Johnson has launched and funded over a dozen start-ups, mainly in small and high-growth companies. Additionally, he has over a dozen years of commercial real estate investing experience buying over 10 million sq. ft. of property spread out over dozens of states.

He is the founder and principal of GoodField Investments, which is his main investment company. Johnson uses the company to fund new startups and his own personal investments in real estate or other unorthodox ventures. He is the Founder of Welfont, a startup that is one of the nation’s fastest growing real estate organizations (www.Welfont.com).

His biggest professional passion is GoodField Foundation, which is a Ministry Investments group funded by Dr. Johnson and dedicated to funding entrepreneurial research, entrepreneurial ministries, and underprivileged entrepreneurs throughout the world.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

From time to time, Dr. Johnson will lead one his start-ups as a Founder CEO, during the more tumultuous start-up stages before the concept either succeeds or is proven not to work. If the concept is proven, he then turns it over to a new CEO that can scale the initial concept with success. As a Founder CEO, he leads new start-ups with an entrepreneurial spirit, visionary strategy, organizational discipline, venture capital accountability, and over 25 years of experience.

Joe has a PhD in Organization Leadership majoring in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Regent University and an MBA from Ashland University. His doctoral and ongoing academic research is focused on studying variables that lead to high performance entrepreneurial start-ups and organizational leadership.

As a born entrepreneur, Joe’s first business was a landscaping business, complete with industrial equipment, trucks and several employees. He quickly figured out that he could make more money by getting more jobs. He had his first employees before he was old enough to have his driver’s license.

Eventually, Joe became a full-time college student, captain of his collegiate swim team, and academic scholar athlete, all while running his business with as high as 20 employees.

Upon earning his MBA degree, he worked on developing an entrepreneurial career with all the peaks and valleys.

Business Career Highlights

  • At age 24, he was brought in as CFO of a $12 million insolvent technology company 2 months away from bankruptcy, and was shortly promoted to CEO while leading a highly successful turnaround in less than 12 months.
  • As an entrepreneur or angel investor, Joe has launched or funded dozens of start-ups, mainly in small and high-growth companies.
  • Led, negotiated, and managed multiple mergers, spin-offs, acquisitions, and exits.
  • Consulted as advisor or consultant to dozens of organizations either in the start-up or scaling stages, as well as troubled companies looking to turnaround it’s financial performance.
  • Saved SUCCESS Magazine out of bankruptcy, re-launched it with a new team, which won “Best Design Launch of the Year Award” and gained over 500,000 in print circulation, which was subsequently sold for millions of dollars.
  • Grew a start-up company from conception to over $60 million market value and 3,700% growth in less than 24 months without any outside start-up capital or equity financing.

Purchases and Ventures

  • Bought a real estate and investment training company near insolvency and turned it around to making millions in profit in less than 4 months by modifying the business model, restructuring the management, and refocusing on just three key performance metrics.
  • Raised over $50 million in investment capital consisting of debt, equity, and other creative financing methods for his own ventures and investments in media, publishing, education, events, financial services, real estate, and start-ups.
  • Helped reshape industries and invent innovative business models, while creating hundreds of jobs by hiring hundreds of employees through various start-up ventures.
  • Helps raise millions of dollars for non-profit organizations with a specialty in entrepreneurial ministries looking to change the world with new effective ministry and social change concepts.
  • Active as a commercial real estate investor for over a dozen years, personally investing in over 10 million square feet of industrial, office, retail, land, residential and special purpose facilities throughout the U.S.
  • Works to help end the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of thousands of underprivileged entrepreneurs throughout the world by helping fund thousands of microloans in over 75 countries through Kiva. See www.kiva.org/lender/drjoejohnson.
  • Serves as a board member and strategic advisor for various organizations in the past and present, in both the non-profit and for profit sectors.

Major Career Learning Experiences

In his career, Dr. Johnson has also made investments that have both made and lost millions of dollars. Fortunately, although his batting average for new high growth start-ups is less than .500, his home runs more than make up for it.

Through his start-ups, angel investing, and real estate investments, Dr. Johnson has amassed a substantial personal financial net worth. But to say the least, it was not easy.

As a serial entrepreneur and investor, he has embodied the motto: “if at first you don’t succeed, try again” as most of his major successes have been preceded by a prior failed experience in the same industry.

 

1st Major Career Learning Experience

With his early success and a lot of zeal came an early failure. At age 21, he went bankrupt with his first business failure.

However, he thought of a unique model from his failed experience and launched a new business in the same industry but changed a few variables and retooled it.

This business allowed him to finish his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Economics and earn his MBA in Executive Business Management while making more money per summer as a full-time college student and collegiate athlete, than most households made in a year.

Joe then sold this business and later paid off his former creditors of his prior failed business because he could and he wanted to, despite having no legal obligation to do so.

 

2nd Major Career Learning Experience

Later, Joe launched a business magazine that was initially successful but after he made a leadership change, the magazine began to lose money and eventually he had to get back involved just to shut it down properly.

However, this experience served as the foundation that helped him develop the unique business model that brought SUCCESS Magazine out of bankruptcy from a previous owner. Prior to its bankruptcy, SUCCESS Magazine had over a one hundred-year history going back to the 1800s with owners like Alexander Graham Bell.

After the effective turnaround, the legacy of SUCCESS Magazine  spanning three different centuries, was not only saved, it was sold for millions of dollars in 2007 and continues to be published today (www.Success.com).

 

3rd Major Career Learning Experience

In 2004, Joe launched an organization that acquired millions of dollars in commercial real estate assets. But then came the credit crisis of 2008, which collapsed Bear Stearns, Lehman brothers and nearly shut down Bank of America. His real estate organization also failed as a result of the credit crash and was not able to recover.

However, just like his former learning experiences, Joe was able to learn from his mistakes, make some key strategic and model changes, and get back in commercial real estate industry.

This time, Joe launched a completely different organization in the same industry with a different model, variables and an incredible team. In turn, this retooled model became a success and ultimately led to the development of Welfont and its affiliate companies, which now is one of the fastest growing real estate organizations in the country (www.Welfont.com).