Jacques Poujade has spent years as a professional in the financial world, but for the last 10 years, he has been a Managing Partner with LendPlus. LendPlus offers financial solutions for those who may have trouble qualifying for a mortgage when trying to purchase a home. He has seen a lot during his tenure as Managing Partner, which is why we were eager to talk to him in a brief interview about how he started, how he stays motivated, and more.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
A lot of people thought I was weird when I was in elementary school and telling people my favorite subject was math. I guess the default answer at that age is supposed to be lunch or recess or something fun like that. I just really always liked numbers, and that obviously carried over to my line of work today.
What was your first job?
My first “job” was landing a spot as a paper boy for my hometown newspaper. I worked hard at it, but obviously only made a little bit of money. My first actual job was actually at a bank one summer. I was a teller, and although I was limited in what I was allowed to do, it opened up the financial world a bit for me.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
Well, I guess technically you could say that it all started when I was a bank teller. I’ve always had jobs related in some way to the financial world. It has just sort of evolved to what it is today with LendPlus. I have always been someone who sort of roots for the underdog. We work with a lot of people who feel as though they have been doubted or overlooked when applying for a loan or financing. Turning dreams into reality got me hooked in this particular industry.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
Every job related to finance can help someone prepare for the next one. Finance is something that is not taught enough in schools. A lot of it comes down to real world experience, especially at an early age.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
I can’t really think of my best day of work ever, but I do know about my best day of work this past year. We received a call from a mother of three who said she basically gave up hope as far as getting approved for money to finally buy her first home. With three kids as a single mom, she only lived in small apartments until working with us. She was very patient and willing to work with us, and we were able to find a solution. She’s sent us four different thank you emails since, including a physical card during holiday season with a picture of her family at the new house.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
That story I just told certainly helps. I just feel as though so many of our clients have heard “no” or “sorry, we can’t help” way too many times. I like to show them we are different.
Have their been any business ideas you’ve heard that really excite you?
I like business ideas that push the status quo a bit. I like to feel that LendPlus does that in some regards, because I’m sure some loan and financial companies aren’t too fond of us. There are too many business ideas that are basically the same thing that already exists. For example, be Uber, not just another taxi service.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
When I first started, people were actually still pretty skeptical about doing business with companies exclusively online. I’ve seen some unorthodox techniques for sure in that regard. Looking back at some of those ad campaigns, it is a wonder some of them converted. We have become much better, and smarter, with how the internet works since then.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
LendPlus has been the one company I’ve spent the most time with in recent years, so I’d have to say seeing this grow has been pretty great. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when we first started down this path, but it has grown and carved out its own niche in the lending world.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
Don’t be afraid to take chances. I had the chance to take some when I was younger, but was afraid. In the internet age, the next great idea has a chance to take off if the right people are behind it.