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Daily Inspiration: Meet Stephen Jaye

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephen Jaye. 

Hi Stephen, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My story is the classic case of having a career fall off track, then having to dig deeper and return to my core sense of self to get things back on track. Growing up I was fascinated with weather and studied atmospheric science in both college and graduate school. My love of statistics transitioned me into a career in data science, which is lucrative but turned out not to be a great match for my personality, as I am strongly extroverted and like big picture thinking. For some years I felt like a lot of what I was doing on a day-to-day basis was lacking in meaning and I wasn’t doing what I was meant to be doing. 

This experience, however, inspired me, as I started to learn just how common it is. It feels like there are about 60 million people in the U.S.A. alone in a similar situation. I wanted to use my core sense of who I am to help more people overcome this feeling. Inspired by observing people around me in Denver, conversations I had with other attendees at events like TedxMileHigh, and a spiritual experience on a backpacking trip, I decided to start Action’s Antidotes. The purpose of the Podcast is to inspire listeners, especially those who feel stick in life, with stories of people who have followed their passions and made progress towards something they care about. 

The title of the podcast represents a return to my core sense of self, as Action is a nickname I had in college. It represents what many would consider a weakness. I can’t stand to just sit around and do nothing. Oddly enough, there are discussions on the podcast about the need to slow down, unplug, unwind and rest. However, returning to this aspect of my core identity represents overcoming analysis paralysis, or overthinking, and taking on an initiative that is bringing meaning to my life. 

I spent much of my childhood in New York, my teenage and young adult years in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest, and have lived in Denver for 9 years. In Colorado, I love cycling, hiking, skiing, and whitewater rafting. I also love the entrepreneurial community here in Colorado! 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My primary struggles are quite similar to the struggles most people will encounter. Taking on initiatives like starting a podcast is almost always more work than people think it is. On the surface, launching a podcast sounds easy, just start recording and publish. While I will acknowledge that the process of starting a business almost invariantly requires even more effort than what I put into the podcast, it is definitely far more effort than what most people think. Getting noticed is also a struggle that nearly all of us have. I just spent the whole week at Denver Start Up Week handing out hundreds of business cards for the podcast to get the word out. Finally, the core identity of the product I am offering still needs some fine-tuning. Essentially, I need to figure out what I want to offer the people who are struggling with the feeling of being stuck in jobs, and sometimes lives, that lack fulfillment beyond the discussions in the podcast. 

I believe that nearly everybody who takes on an initiative like this one encounters some version of these three problems: hard work and sacrifice, gaining traction, and having to reimagine their brand. It is important not to let these inevitable challenges stop any of us from taking on pursuits that are going to bring meaning to life. I feel like a great attitude to take is simply saying “If I care about this enough, I’ll figure it out.” Because “figuring it out” is what we are called to do. If these things were easier, they would be far less rewarding. Or, someone else would have already done it. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am proud of the series of stories and discussions I have shared and plan to continue to share with my listeners. My guests have included different types of people, from different backgrounds, with different types of pursuits and different struggles. It is my goal that every single person who checks out my series of discussions will find at least one they truly resonate with. I am also quite proud of my interview style as I have gotten excellent feedback on it from both my guests and listeners. The way the discussions unfold and the wide range of topics covered in this series is what sets me apart. In one of my early podcasts, we were discussing the common pushback people get from their peers when they share their ideas. “It’s already been done.” Or, “the market is saturated.” The response says it all. “The market is not saturated with you.” Essentially, if you are being true to yourself, and not trying to copy someone else, then what you’re doing hasn’t already been done. It will have its own unique flavor and reach new people in a new way. I bring my personality and unique perspective to every discussion on Action’s Antidotes. 

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
The breath of my intellectual curiosity. There are a lot of different types of pursuits covered on Action’s Antidotes. I’ve had so many discussions about so many different topics. However, I noticed that I’ve found every single one of them interesting. I interview my guests before recording the podcast to make sure our discussion will be a good fit. I always find something interesting about both their specific endeavors as well as their journey. The follow-up questions just come naturally to me because of my curiosity. I often joke that I am naturally interested in every topic out there with the exception of coupon clipping. 

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