Crafting the Ultimate Customer Experience With Jason Friedman

Jason Friedman is the Founder and CEO of CXFormula, LLC, specializing in helping fast-growing, entrepreneurial companies gain a competitive edge through enhancing customer experiences. With a dynamic background that stretches from setting up his ventures to working with Fortune 100 brands, Jason’s expertise in business development is proven and extensive. Recognized as Ernst and Young’s New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year in Business Services, his portfolio includes work with prestigious names like Footlocker, Adidas, Nike, W Hotels, Universal Studios, and Disney. Before diving into the world of customer experience, Jason turned a profit by creating solutions at a young age, from shoveling snow to building elevated beds for fellow college students, growing the venture into a million-dollar business.

Tune in to this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast as John Corcoran interviews Jason Friedman, the Founder and CEO of CXFormula, LLC, to discuss his multifaceted entrepreneurial experience. They talk about Jason’s early forays into business as a youngster who capitalizes on snow shoveling, transforming it from a solo gig to a team operation and learning the staples of managing and motivating a young workforce. He also describes his ingenious idea to maximize dormitory space by building elevated beds, an endeavor that grows into a million-dollar enterprise. Jason doesn’t just reflect on the highs of entrepreneurship but also imparts valuable insights into building successful ventures through creating compelling customer experiences, the power of customization, and the efficiencies of a thoughtful business model. With a strong sense of mission and adaptability, Jason illustrates how to steer a business toward success while remaining true to one’s roots and skills.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • [00:45] How Jason Friedman started his entrepreneurial journey with snow shoveling
  • [11:32] The pivot from selling to leasing and the economics of recurring revenue
  • [12:28] Success through delegation: building a team that drives your business
  • [17:05] The beauty of solving problems and the concept of Making It Better
  • [23:17] The importance of storytelling and audience awareness in any business
  • [33:54] How an internship with a theater consultant shaped Jason’s career path
  • [43:56] Tips on navigating project-based business and team management
  • [41:34] Jason’s vision for his company and the steps to achieve it
  • [53:00] The pitfalls of rapid growth and how it can affect a company’s cash flow
  • [1:03:34] Understanding the challenge of business differentiation in the age of AI
  • [1:09:25] Techniques for empathizing with your customers and reducing service friction
  • [1:17:00] What are the benefits of mentorship and the influence of industry leaders?

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Quotable Moments:

  • “It’s not just about creating more value; it’s about helping more people.”
  • “Building a business is about playing to win, not just playing to play.”
  • “Most of my business ideas have come out of trying to solve a problem.”
  • “Experience is the most important thing you can think about in your business. If you’re not creating an amazing experience for your customers, You’re not going to be here tomorrow.”
  • “Improving the customer experience isn’t just about service; it’s about storytelling and connection.”

Sponsor: Rise25

At Rise25, we’re committed to helping you connect with your Dream 100 referral partners, clients, and strategic partners through our done-for-you podcast solution. 

We’re a professional podcast production agency that makes creating a podcast effortless. Since 2009, our proven system has helped thousands of B2B businesses build strong relationships with referral partners, clients, and audiences without doing the hard work.

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When you use our proven system, all you need is an idea and a voice. We handle the strategy, production, and distribution – you just need to show up and talk.

The Rise25 podcasting solution is designed to help you build a profitable podcast. This requires a specific strategy, and we’ve got that down pat. We focus on making sure you have a direct path to ROI, which is the most important component. Plus, our podcast production company takes any heavy lifting of production and distribution off your plate.

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We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.

Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk,  and many more.  

The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.

Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.

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Contact us now at [email protected] or book a call at

Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 0:00

Today we’re talking about how to massively improve the journey that your customers go on with you and your company. My guest today is Jason Friedman. I’ll tell you more about him in a second. So stay tuned.

Chad Franzen 0:12

Welcome to the Smart Business Revolution podcast where we feature top entrepreneurs, business leaders and thought leaders and ask them how they build healthy relationships to get where they are today. Now, let’s get started with the show.

John Corcoran 0:29

Alright, welcome everyone. John Corcoran here. I’m the host of this show. And you know, if you’ve listened before that each week, we get to talk to interesting entrepreneurs, CEOs and founders of all kinds of companies. We’ve had Netflix and Kinkos YPO, EO GrubHub, lending tree, Activision Blizzard, all kinds of interesting ones, go check out the archives, and you can listen to those. And of course, this episode was brought to you by my company, Rise25, where we help B2B businesses to get clients referrals and strategic partnerships with Dunphy podcasts and content marketing. And you can learn more about what we do at, or email us at support at 

And my guest here today is Jason Friedman. We’ve been trying to line this up for four to five years now. But today is the day. I’m so excited. He’s the founder and CEO CXFormula helps fast growing entrepreneurial companies really get a competitive edge, largely through crew improving, as I said in the opening, the customers experience and amazingly varied background at different companies was an entrepreneur, thick and thin, from a young age, and we’re gonna get into that in a second. He’s got all kinds of accolades. He was Ernst and Young’s New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year and business services. That’s super cool. He’s got all kinds of interesting companies in the Fortune 100 brands and institutions like footlocker and Adidas and Nike and W hotels, Universal Studios, Disney all kinds of interesting companies that he’s worked with. And in 2008, he sold his first company for over eight figures, a massive impact. But fun fact, he started off his career as a lighting designer and roadie for music groups such as Fleetwood Mac and Peter Gabriel, and Rush and some interesting bands like that. And also theater projected productions as well. So we’re gonna, we’re going to talk all about that. But Jason, it first started with shoveling snow and getting snow out. And you know, it’s so funny, I’ve asked this question of so many of my guests, and there’s a real dividing line between them, even ages 789 years old, you know, a lot of times people will, you know, figure out how to make some money as a kid. And they’ll just do it themselves. And then there’s a whole different category, I’d say, one of the 10, maybe, who figures out how to draft in their friends and get them involved, and then they can make money off the margin. And that’s such an important lesson you actually figured out was shoveling snow.

Jason Friedman 2:48

It was a labor of love, my friend a labor of love.

John Corcoran 2:53

I’ve shoveled snow before, I don’t think there’s a lot of love involved, but maybe you do it differently.

Jason Friedman 2:59

To bring them in, right. So yeah, I love that. I love that. Yeah, we you know, it was one of those things where you go out on your own, and you start in the morning and you go and you knock on doors and you say Hey, can I shovel your snow and you come up with a fee based on how long their driveway is and how many steps you have to shovel and all that kind of stuff and kind of figured out a formula after a little while and as you’re going through and you’re trying to knock on the next door and the next door the next door you realize it’s starting to get dark right? If there’s less light hours of daylight, right and so, how do I get through? I can’t even get through like this little part of the block. I want to get this whole street one. start freaking out like how can I get more done? Well, at the age of nine when this was all happening eight or nine, I couldn’t go out and get a snowblower.

My dad wouldn’t let me so in Acts and bad I had to find labor. Right so I drafted like you said I drafted all my friends and you know we started out where I’d go knock on the door I asked if they want us to do the driveway they say yes. And then we Alright guys, let’s hit it. And then we just go and get that one done. Then we go to the next one, do the same thing. And then I realized you know what, like, I’m going to leave you guys here I’m gonna go ahead and see how many more I can get. So we know how quickly we have to go and when the mind and so after I started doing that, I was just going I was the Rainmaker I’d go I’d you know, do the thing, make the deal, come back, tell the guys and gals and tell them where to go and then I go collect the money walk the site, make sure they were happy. And I was managing the business and the crews and then hit them like hot cocoa calm and I went back home to make you know thermoses of hot cocoa and I was just really keeping the team happy and keeping them moving and motivated. And were able to make a lot more money that way than me alone and also help a lot more people really right. It’s not just about creating more value and helping more people. And yeah, fortunately figured that out somehow by hook or by crook at a very young age.

John Corcoran 4:54

And you figured out the economics around it like how much I’m gonna pay my friend and you know how much they’re gonna make. How much I’m gonna make?

Jason Friedman 5:00

Yeah. And honestly, like, I also learned about bonusing, right? So it’s like, listen, the faster we get these done, the more we make. So I’m gonna give you guys an extra five bucks that we split brains drive over and get them done in less time. Right? So, right out of the box, but very quickly, I kind of started to figure out how do we get done faster? How do we, you know, how do we expand this, and at some point, like, you know, I’m, I’m making this up, because I don’t remember. But we were enlisting people on multiple blocks and kind of set up the whole routine. And we were dominating. And then as I got a little older, we did get the snowblowers. And I had, you know, I had multiple snowblowers that we purchased, and, you know, so on and so forth. So it was a fun little business in

John Corcoran 5:44

What do you think inspired all this? Or how did you learn all this? Were you a child of entrepreneurs, or, you know, the other end of the spectrum is a lot of times people I interviewed didn’t have much money when they’re growing up. And it was the only way to make some money. 

Jason Friedman 5:57

You know, it was a combination of things. You know, my father was, I would say, entrepreneurial, not necessarily an entrepreneur, he worked in his own businesses, always he was more of the operations guy that got brought in by the entrepreneur. And so he was like I say, they were entrepreneurial, he was entrepreneurial. My grandfather owned his own firm, but was like an accounting firm. My other grandfather owned his own business. So I had a line of entrepreneurial, entrepreneurial people in the family, for sure. And that’s super inspirational. Just you see the freedoms, some of the freedoms they have. But with every entrepreneurial journey, you know, there’s lots of highs, lots of lows, and the lows can get really low. And, you know, growing up, we didn’t have a ton of money. We lived fine my parents did without so that my brother and I could have, but you felt it, you saw it. And so like, I didn’t want them to have to buy me all the things I wanted, I was gonna go make some money and do it. And just always, you know, I was just more of an independent person from that perspective. And hard work. Always. It was fun, like the stuff that we did was fun. 

John Corcoran 7:05

So you’re, Your first million dollar business was in college, you figured out that people needed elevated beds, and you also had a hookup because you were involved in the theater department. So imagine you weren’t like sawing wood in your dorm room, but you’re doing it somewhere else. And you started making these elevated beds. And there’s a great story around this.

Jason Friedman 7:26

Yeah. And this was like another one of those kinds of accidental things, right. So like, in our, in my dorm room, I went to Penn State, right huge, huge school, huge campus, lots of on campus living at the main campus. And I lived in a place called Stuart Hall, right. And so it was like this narrow building with these narrow rooms with ridiculously high ceilings. And so if you want and there’s like,

John Corcoran 7:51

put it sideways, it would be a lot more efficient

Jason Friedman 7:56

That’s that, right. So the closet, a side, a little space, a desk, and a bed and that’s it, and there’s two on each side. And so, you know what, like, if our beds were up in the air, we can have a couch in here, we could walk around, like that’d be pretty cool. And you weren’t allowed to attach anything to the ceilings or the walls, but I was like I could build this kind of freestanding structure and make this work. So I went to the scene shop. I drew it all out and I built one for my dorm room. And you know, if I had a woodshop right because I was a theater I was backstage theater student I was doing set building and stuff. So I had access that not many people would have for sure right. And then I also had a bunch of scenic artists that knew how to paint things to look like they could make a piece of wood look like a piece of steel in 10 seconds. They just had that skill. And so I don’t want to bring it to my room when we set it up. And it was awesome. Like it was really awesome. Then we went downtown and we got a piece of carpet. We got a cat little loveseat couch we got like a big screen TV at the time. They were like tube TVs. 

Yeah, the really thick ones. Yeah, in a way like a million pounds, whatever and, and it was awesome. Like it was like a whole different experience. And people started coming by and they’re like Wow, where did you get that? And I’m like, I know a guy you doubt they’re like yeah, how much is it? I’m like well it’s 1200 bucks for the base model which is not finished. It’s just raw wood. Or if you want one that looks like this ours looked really fancy it had some steel it had some like fancier wood trim. And like that’s like 1600 bucks. You know and then if you want we have a hookup for the couches and the rugs and all that other kind of stuff. 

Oh nice upsells like I made a deal with the guys downtown that were selling the couches and the rugs we get a little commission for every one we sold we deliver it use of the van or truck that they had at the same shop and I put all the guys to work and we just started going to town and next thing you know you’re selling hundreds of 1000s of dollars of lofts and couches and rugs and and TVs even right because like we just we did it all there wasn’t the same. This is back in the early 90s. They weren’t all the same, like electricity like Walmart’s and all. That wasn’t just that very, you know, available, buying stuff online and having a dropped in. So, it worked. And then like literally fade out and come back at the end of the year, one of the first people I ever sold off to came back to me and said, Hey, we’re we got to like move out of the dorms and a few days like, what do I do with this thing? Take it away, and I’m like, yeah, be 250 bucks and take it away. He’s like, done. 

And so I saw oh my gosh, like I should have rented these things not sold them. I ended up calling pretty much everybody that had bought one from me and asked them that they wanted removal for, you know, 250 bucks. And I mean, almost all of them said yes, a couple of them said no, I’m going to store it, you know, or whatever. I already sold it to somebody or whatever. But most of them, we ended up doing that. And then the next year, just giving them the same price was like 1200-1500 bucks, but that was to use it for the year. And there was a delivery fee and a pickup fee of 100 bucks. And that covered our storage costs. And you know, million bucks, man, boom,

John Corcoran 11:19

amazing. Amazing. I’m gonna pause there for a second. Do you mind closing out? I think you have an email program or something because they heard a big loud ding there. The Outlook open or something like that? Open.

Jason Friedman 11:32

Let me err. I literally have nothing open. But all I have open is the spreadsheet that has.

John Corcoran 11:47

It was really like a sound I haven’t heard before. So I don’t think it was on my end.