We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordan Ohara and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My relationship with risk has evolved over my lifetime. I have always had a penchant for risk seeking behavior. I was definitely a problem child growing up. I just wanted to do the things that I wanted, and I didn’t really care if people told me I couldn’t. It just so happened that all the most fun things were also the most risky. I have broken dozens of bones, some multiple times. In high school, my friends and I would bomb down mountain roads on our longboards, reaching speeds over 40mph. It was difficult to do this during the day due to traffic, so we would wait until after midnight to sneak out of our houses and do it then. My interests growing up were skateboarding, martial arts, psychedelics, travel, and basically anything that would scare me out of my comfort zone.
This same risk seeking behavior led me to join the Navy with dreams of being a special operator. The appeal of jumping out of planes, handling explosives, and going behind enemy lines was just too irresistible, especially when considering the alternative career paths with my finance degree. The thought of graduating college and going to work for a bank was honestly more terrifying than that of going to war. I really loved my time in the military, but due to an injury sustained in training, after 4 years of serving, I was medically separated. However, it was my same intrepid spirit and penchant for risk taking that drove to me to be an entrepreneur.
Upon reflection of why I seem to be drawn toward risk, I’ve come to better understand that there is great power and great excitement in being put in situations with extreme consequences. I am at my personal best when I am teetering on the line of controlling the uncontrollable. As an entrepreneur you are theoretically in control of every decision you make, however the environment in which you are making those decisions is completely uncontrollable and often unpredictable. I find that I thrive when there is a direct correlation between my actions and the outcomes. Taking risks puts in perspective what is real and what is important to me. The harder something is to achieve, the more rewarding it is when you do.
Part of being comfortable with risk is not being afraid to fail. I’ve had great failures in my life as a direct result of taking big risks. The failures never feel good, and they don’t get any easier. But within each failure is a valuable lesson. Each time you get a little bit stronger, a little more resilient, and little more courageous to tackle the next big challenge. As you grow with each failure, so does your ability to attempt even bigger goals. This cycle of action, failure, assessment, and action, becomes an end unto itself. This is the essence of life. I cannot feel fulfilled unless I am taking risks, making mistakes, growing from those mistakes, and using that knowledge to improve who I am.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started a business in 2018 called Windansea Coffee. After my injury in the military, I realized there was a need for holistic alternatives for disabled veterans and warfighters living with trauma. Plant medicine, surfing, yoga, and meditation played important roles in my own recovery journey. I started the business to combine my passion for holistic wellness with my love for great coffee and tea. It was important for me to stay connected with my veteran community and to promote natural wellness for disabled servicemembers. We achieved this by committing annual donations to a San Diego based veteran non-profit called One More Wave, which heals veterans through surf therapy.
Starting a business is actually pretty easy. It’s growing the business that is extremely difficult. There have been so many times I’ve felt like an imposter or that I have no idea what I’m doing. Growing a CBD business has its own set of unique challenges as well. Each time I would feel doubt creeping in, I would think to myself, “well what else would I be doing?” I’ve just stopped listening to that voice in my head that says I should quit. This is what I want to do, and I don’t care if it’s hard. I wake up every day with purpose, with pride, and with a sense that I am manifesting my destiny. I am proud of myself when I reflect on where my business was a year ago, and how much I’ve learned and grown.
I am learning to fall in love with the process and not be so concerned with the outcome. The challenges just get harder, but you get better at facing them. My advice to anyone trying to chase their dream, be it in business, the military, athletics, the arts, anything, my advice to them would be to just start. Increase your time horizon as well. Everything takes way longer than you think. The sooner you begin, and the more patient you are with the process, the better off you’ll be. Have a strong “Why”. Chasing money or fame or clout might give you a sugar rush, but it won’t keep you full. Your values must shape your goals and guide you toward them. Those other things aren’t bad, they’re just not “it”. You need to find something deeper that motivates you through the darkest moments of your journey. The things that motivate me are the autonomy of being my own boss, being a leader, and giving back to the military community which has given me so much.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite things to do is show off San Diego to my friends and family when they visit. I love this city so much. It has so much to offer and is incredibly diverse. I’d probably pick you up from the airport and we would head straight to Tacos el Gordo in Chula Vista. It might actually be a crime to not try the al pastor tacos from there. I would probably take you through Little Italy after to grab a drink and catch the sunset over the bay.
The next day we would surf in the morning then go sailing right as the wind starts to pick up in the early afternoon. We would work up an appetite and hit any one of Brian Malarky’s restaurants for dinner. I think I spent New Year’s at Herb and Wood for like 3 years in a row.
Some of my other favorite things are taking my dog, Banzai to Kate Sessions Park, walking around fun neighborhoods like North Park, Encinitas, and La Jolla, visiting friends, going to concerts at The Belly Up, and trying new restaurants around town. Regardless of your interests, this city has something for everyone, so I’d probably ask you what you wanted to do next.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My poor mama haha. She’s had to deal with a lot stress because of me. At the end of the day, she has always supported my decisions, even when she disagreed with them. She instilled in me, humility, work ethic, kindness, forgiveness, generosity, and grace. Compared the militant household I grew up in, she made SEAL training look easy. She is the toughest little lady I know and I attribute so much of my success to the sacrifices she made so that I could have a better life than she did. I just want to say thank you to her.