SJ Barakony

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

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

Advisor Biography

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

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

2019 - Present

Community Ambassador - Startup Space Apps - Startup Space Apps

Advisor Skills




Business Development

Advisor Industries