SJ Barakony

Dedicated Business Champion with Expertise in Leadership Development, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Planning


SJ Barakony is a Serial Entrepreneur, Advisor, Futurist, Thought Leader, and Board Member with more than 8 years of success serving other entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, and other varied institutions. His broad areas of expertise include entrepreneurship, replicative leadership, business development, and strategy.  SJ has a passion for youth/teen entrepreneurs, start-ups, and family businesses.

SJ is a CMA (Consultant, Mentor, & Advisor), Facilitator, and Founder of Service Before Self Leadership: An Educational Solutions Provider where he designs and implements customized solutions - whether they be via paid services on retainer (mentoring, advising, group facilitation (Mastermind, DISC, or DJ to DJ)), and/or specialized consulting (creating POW (proof of work), lifelong learning cultures in workplaces of all kinds, replacing POC (proof of credential)).

He serves as a Community Ambassador for the Startup Space App & a Brand Ambassador for Web Strategy Plus. He is also the Market Area Director (MAD) for the northern half of Columbus/central OH with the H7 Network.

SJ's business model includes designing and/or implementing customizable solutions for business owners to address three deep, fundamental problems with the traditional approach to the K-12, college/university, and also graduate tracks of education in America.

He is now, or was actively involved previously, in the following mentorship and/or advising programs/organizations:

  • YEA ( Young Entrepreneurs Academy )
  • Teen Entrepreneurial Camp
  • OWU's EMF (Econ Mgmt Fellows)
  • Sundown Group's 'Ask an Expert' Program
  • HECOA conferences (where he has spoken a total of nine times )
  • ECDI 's Professional Advisory Network (PAN)
  • 1MC (One Million Cups) Columbus
  • Sea Change Accelerator ( social enterprise program )

SJ obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Management from Ohio Wesleyan University. He serves his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan (OWU) on the Central Ohio Alumni Leadership Board.

SJ is also a prolific guest blogger (Innovate New Albany & and aspiring podcast host, who has previously guested on two podcasts as of the end of 2019.

2011 - Present

CMA (Consultant, Mentor, & Advisor), Facilitator, & Founder - Service Before Self Leadership: An Educational Solutions Provider

Service Before Self Leadership: An Educational Solutions Provider

  • Advocate for servant leadership
  • Mentors and provides consulting for youth entrepreneurship programs
  • Shared economy expert and advocate
  • Helps business with future-proofing

2019 - Present

Community Ambassador - Startup Space Apps

Startup Space Apps

2018 - Present

Brand Ambassador - Web Strategy Plus

Web Strategy Plus

  • Actively serving as Web Strategy Plus' Brand Ambassador for the Columbus Metro and Central Columbus areas

2017 - Present

Market Area Director (MAD) - N/NW CBus Metro - H7 Network

H7 Network

I’m Available To Advise On The Following Subjects


Business Development



Specializes in working with family businesses

Helping business prepare for shared economy services

Mentorship, input and advice on a key project

Softskills specialist