Being your true, authentic self is to literally paint your destiny

EARLIEST ENTREPRENEURIAL MEMORY: Pretending to sell my grandmother’s collection of high heels back to her. WHAT DO I DO WHEN I'M STRESSED: Meditate. When I can’t, I walk away from the stress or until I gain clarity. SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME LAUGH: Candid videos of people getting scared by strangers--the best.

Allan Jones

Eliminating the friction found in employment

BUILDING A BRAND FOR THE SMALLER GUY. Allan Jones, a Founder and CEO, suggests that Bambee HR was founded on the disruptive idea that every business should have access to an affordable human resource manager just like any big-scale or Fortune 500 company. “In a lot of ways, Bambee is a brainchild and culmination of all of my professional experiences rolled into one. It’s a reflection of my time as an executive at two HR companies, as well as developing start-ups and working to solve problems for people facing complex workplace issues,” he explains.

Born and raised near Los Angeles, Allan was attending a local community college when he bumped into a woman at a concert and they struck up a conversation; impressed by his wit and intelligence, she promptly invited Allan to interview with her company. Tech came naturally to Allan: he joined another tech company, started his first company at 23 years old, “and then I became the youngest Chief Marketing Officer at a billion dollar company, working for ZipRecruiter.”

That work informed Allan’s understanding—both big and small companies faced the very same issues and focused on the very same problems. “These little mom and pop places had the same HR struggles, but having completely different experiences because of the limited resources and tools to support their smaller, and thereby unique, needs. So it led me to build Bambee. I wanted everyone who is following their own entrepreneurial dreams to have the same tools as the big guys,” he says.

At times, Allan admits that he often felt a bit alone or removed from others, even at the highest levels, and in many ways this very much crystallized his leadership style into one that is deeply inclusive and focused on social and workplace fairness and justice: “I don’t know that I can talk about being LGBTQ+ without also addressing that I’m brown—trying to parse one from the other is fruitless. Being both has allowed me to build an immense amount of resilience over the years.”

PAINTING WITH A BOLDER SET OF COLORS. Allan, a serial entrepreneur, is often sought after for advice: “I can’t stress this enough, you have to always be willing to bet on yourself. It will never be the wrong bet, it’s just that you might have delayed gratification. You just need faith, patience, and a way to pay the rent. Everything else is working your tail off and always looking yourself in the eyes and knowing you’re making the right calls.” He also suggests that “hands down, I think authenticity is by far the most underrated currency on Earth. Regardless of who or what you believe in, being your true, authentic self is to literally paint your destiny in real time—it’s that simple.”

While Allan finds authenticity to be a simple achievement, he knows entrepreneurship is not: “Building a business is hard. There will be times when things get tough and the easy path will lead to compromising your beliefs. These considerations can shake the center of your moral compass. And it is in those moments, when you choose the harder, more honest path, where your resilience is built. You have to look past the short-term and do the best for yourself, your company, your clients, and your investors. You have to be the bigger person in order to reveal the bigger picture,” he says.

“Anyone, and I mean anyone, can look down on people or a segment of the population and just acknowledge their struggles as fact instead of a problem to be solved. That’s never been me and that’s not Bambee. I see the differentiation. I see the resilience in people, in companies. And I want to build better tools to help others build better solutions and experiences. And that’s what makes me successful: my aim to make others successful along the way, too.”

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Presented with Pride Here is the first collection of one hundred incredible and inspiring LGBTQIA+ venture-backed entrepreneurs featured in this year's Gaingels 100.