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Jack McNamara Of Rare Collectibles TV: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder

You have to respect people for them to respect you.

As part of our interview series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jack McNamara.

Jack McNamara is the Co-Founder and Host of Rare Collectibles TV. For Jack, coin collecting is more than a hobby — — it’s his passion. Rare Collectibles TV (RCTV) specializes in marketing to the coin and collectibles connoisseur. The goal is to introduce rare, interesting and historical items to consumers.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Coin collecting has been a part of my family going back to the late 1800s. My great-great grandfather was only a few dozen coin dealers in America at the time, and his passion for numismatics was passed down from generation to generation. It just made sense that the collecting bug would bite me eventually. By the time I was a kid, my grandfather instilled that passion for collecting in me. I remember my brother and I would sit on the floor with our coin albums while my grandpa pulled Lincoln Wheat Cents out of a bin. He would read off the date of a coin he picked out and if we had an empty spot in our album, he would give it to us. We called it Lincoln Cent bingo. Ever since then, collecting has been a passion of mine. After college, I tried a couple of administrative jobs in insurance and finance, but I was bored. I just kept thinking how rewarding turning my hobby into a career would be.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

When Rare Collectibles TV started in 2014, we really didn’t have any employees yet. It was me and my two partners working 7 days a week for 12 hours a day. We each had to be a jack of all trades. None of us were too big to do anything. I was filming sales presentations for television, I was sourcing inventory, I was physically pulling orders, I was packing boxes, I was a salesman, and I was customer service. It was do or die, and I had to do everything I could to keep the business operating. It was a grind, but I had a vision, and I knew Rare Collectibles TV had a future worth struggling for.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

My partners were excellent mentors for me when we first started Rare Collectibles TV. No matter how hard it was, there was always this positive energy. We all knew we would accomplish what we set out to do as long as we kept persevering. It reminded me of being on my football team in high school. We were all part of a single unit, and we were all striving for a common goal. It was truly an inspiring time, no matter how difficult it was.

Other than that, it’s my love for coins that kept me locked in. Just like my grandfather, I wanted to share this passion with the next generation. Coin collecting has been such an integral part of my life, and I know how much it helped me. I feel like the least I can do is keep this grand tradition alive.

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Today, things are going as well as I hoped for, and I know we can accomplish so much more. We’ve grown from a tiny business of just my partners and I, to a company with over one hundred employees. Now, Rare Collectibles TV has moved beyond just coins, we are expanding into other categories like militaria, vintage movie posters, and fine art. This business has grown to generating over $100 million in revenue in 2021.

There were times in the early days when we could have just thrown in the towel, but we were tenacious. We never took no for an answer. If we couldn’t figure out how to succeed one way, we always had a backup, and if that back up didn’t work out, we had a second one in our pocket. We made creative deals, we created relationships with suppliers, and most importantly, we always kept our vision for the future of Rare Collectibles TV in mind.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When Rare Collectibles TV first started out, my partner, Rick Tomaska, had much more experience in front of a camera than I did. It took me a while to get comfortable making presentations, and it was painfully obvious when my first presentations aired. It was so bad, that Joel McHale from “The Soup” showed one of my segments and completely skewered me for one of my earliest sales presentations. This really taught me that I can’t worry about what people think or say, no matter how big their audience is. Instead of letting it get me down, I used it as motivation. I went back to the drawing board and have since had tremendous success with my television sales presentations.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

At Rare Collectibles TV, our customers come first. The customer’s experience is our top priority, and we do everything we can to ensure their satisfaction. We aren’t just going out there with a sales pitch. Collecting is our passion at Rare Collectibles TV. We want to create content that is entertaining and educational. I believe that customers should know about collectibles and antiques before they buy them, so our goal is to teach them everything we can before making a sale.

Our production quality is second to none. We are dedicated to making stunning video content, providing beautiful photographs for our products, and writing the most informative and interest presentations possible.

The third thing is our willingness to work harder. Most companies just sell a handful of recently produced, easy to source collectibles. Our team of buyers is willing to go above and beyond. We have built a network of suppliers and dealers that is the best in the business. In turn, we’ve been able to build collections that most people can only dream of.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

If you want to be successful, I think the most important thing to do is adapt and accept changes in the market. You can’t keep doing the same thing and hope the market stays stationary. You have to always be thinking and getting one step ahead.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Aside from my grandfather, who introduced me to coin collecting, I’d say the two people I’m most grateful for are my partners, Rick Tomaska and Greg Thomas. I’ve learned so much from these two men, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I was much younger when I started this company, and I lacked that business experience. They understood different aspects of creating a business that I just didn’t comprehend when we started. They understood marketing, building a brand, and so many things that were out of my wheelhouse when I first started. Without their encouragement and vision, I wouldn’t have been able to develop into the professional I am today. With their guidance, I was able to share my passion with the largest amount of people possible.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

At first just spreading this hobby felt like the greatest accomplishment that I could imagine. Meeting fellow collectors and helping them build dream collections was everything I ever wanted. But now, I come to work every day and see a great group of Rare Collectibles TV employees. I can’t help but think about how our company has approximately 100 people that are gainfully employed. I’m able to help support everyone that has joined the Rare Collectibles TV family, and that feels like such a blessing.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Your business is your baby, and you’re always on call. This is generally thought of as a cliché when talking about business, but it really is true. There have been times when I have to take calls at night on a Sunday. You’re never off the clock. Sure, I can leave work early to see my son’s baseball game, but the weight of responsibility is always there. If something happens in the middle of the night, I have to be there to put out the fire.
  2. I got into this business because I was so excited about making my passion my job, but It’s not always fun. It isn’t just spreading the hobby I love. As a business owner, you’re always going to have to deal with different problems that involve interpersonal relationships. Whether it’s a customer, a vendor, or an employee, I have to be there to diplomatically smooth over any issues. Things don’t always go how you expect or want them to. At some point someone will be displeased and it’s your responsibility to fix it and make sure everyone is happy.
  3. I started this business because I love coin collecting, but I didn’t fully realize how difficult it is to get in front of a camera and have that passion translate to an audience. It’s not the same as going to your buddy’s place and talking about your coin collection. Once the cameras are on and the spotlights are pointing at you, it’s a whole different world. Once you fully realize that everything you say is going to be broadcasted to thousands of people, it becomes really hard not to be a little anxious, no matter how passionate you are. When you get on set and those lights turn on, so do the butterflies.
  4. I wish I knew just how many ups and downs there would be. Just because you had the best quarter since your business began, doesn’t mean the trend will continue. You always need to be thinking of what to do next. You can’t just take what happened in the past for granted. You always have to be on the cutting edge, you always need to be thinking about your next move.
  5. You have to be constantly evolving. Even if your business model is working perfectly for the time being, conditions can change, and you will need to adapt. When we started Rare Collectibles TV, we were mostly a live shopping network. But with so many people cord cutting these days, we had to find different avenues for us to reach clients. Change is necessary, and it should be welcomed.

Can you share a few ideas or stories from your experience about how to successfully ride the emotional highs & lows of being a founder”?

You have to enjoy the highs, but still take them in stride. There is always somewhere you can improve. You have to learn from your failures, but not get shaken up by the past. There are always opportunities to implement new ideas and get better. It’s all about balance. Every day is a new day. Regardless of your past successes and failures, there is always room for growth and development. Whether you just closed the biggest deal of your career or filmed the worst sales presentation you’ve ever worked on, you have to keep in mind you’re the same person.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I think I’d just want people to have more respect for each other. It seems like the world is moving so fast now that some people don’t have the time to treat other people with respect. It’s such a simple thing. We all learned the golden rule in kindergarten; Treat other people the way you want to be treated. You have to respect people for them to respect you. If everyone kept that in mind, it wouldn’t just help them in a business sense, but in a personal way too. Respect is so important for every facet of your life.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

https://www.rarecollectiblestv.com/

https://www.instagram.com/rarecollectiblestv/

https://www.facebook.com/rarecollectiblestv/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9jW6L6_S6C5IYC_lvISg6Q

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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