San Diego Exec Jason Hughes Explains Why ‘Enjoying the Journey’ Has Been a Factor in His Success

Jason Hughes

Jason Hughes understands that how one chooses to do business matters. The San Diego CEO says the secret to keeping his team members and clients happy has always been about “enjoying the journey.”

He explains the phrase is a core value of his company and his lifestyle.

“The idea is if you’re moving forward and toward something worthwhile making progress, it’s the journey, not the end,” Jason Hughes says. “It’s all part of this process. So if we could get everybody enjoying the journey and trying to have every day be positive, that’s our goal.”

At his San Diego headquarters, a neon “Enjoy the Journey” sign adorns a company wall above a doorway, as a fun reminder to the team as they leave the office, and the phrase is emblazoned on company T-shirts. It’s one of many personal touches his San Diego office features, along with multiple skylights, a cozy living room, and images of team members and their families. Jason Hughes also aims to offer a fun, productive work atmosphere, from including a billiards and shuffleboard table in the game room, to incorporating music in the office by playing light, upbeat tunes throughout the space — they even have a baby grand piano and guitar on hand in the living room. He emphasizes that he wants team members and clients to feel fulfilled and acknowledges that enthusiasm is infectious. After all, Jason Hughes wants his team to feel at home in his offices, and makes a point to provide customized touches including fresh flowers, original artwork, and gourmet coffee. He also offers an annual outing for team members and their families, and it’s not unusual for the firm to host talent shows, vintage video game playoffs, or shuffleboard tournaments.

“However we can play a part in creating successes for our team and our clients, both personally and professionally, we want to,” Jason Hughes says. “I think part of it is just understanding the definition of success. I happen to define it along the lines of Earl Nightingale in his book The Strangest Secret. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

Jason Hughes on Why the Journey Matters

The Hughes Marino team believes in playing hard and working even harder. Jason Hughes often finds himself asking: How do we enjoy our time at work with our teams while also knowing we’ve got a job to do?

Jason Hughes and his team are commercial property specialists and offer clients a myriad of services from tenant representation, project management and lease expense audits, as well as lease restructuring and advisory to global companies for their corporate real estate portfolio administration. Fortune magazine deemed his company the No. 1 Best Workplace in the Nation. His San Diego headquarters has also been a hot spot for motivational speakers to come and inspire his team. New York Times bestselling author Jesse Itzler has been a return guest to talk about embracing opportunities, maintaining a positive mindset, how challenges lead to growth, and his take on enjoying life’s journey.

“This is serious stuff,” Jason Hughes says. “We’re saving our clients tremendous amounts of money, a tremendous amount of risk, and getting them the most optimal real estate outcome.”

While culture is king at Jason Hughes’ company, the San Diego resident never wants to lose sight of why he started the company in 2011.

“I don’t care whether it’s a building lease or a purchase; it should be an asset, rather than a liability, for any company when corporate real estate is done right,” Jason Hughes says. “While we’re not saving lives, we’re still providing very serious services to businesses that often have significant influence on their success. At the same time, it is important for all of us, including our clients, to enjoy the journey and process. I always ask our team, ‘How do we want our clients to feel?’ We want them to feel informed, confident, and appreciated. If we can make that happen for our clients, we are winning because our clients are winning.”

President, COO, and owner Shay Hughes says she’s proud of how their company has been a part of each team member’s life journey, and it’s a constant reminder of why they do what they do day after day.

The Magic of Moving Onward

“We are much more than a team of professionals working toward a common goal of advocating for our clients. We are a team who loves what we do, loves who we do it with, and loves enjoying the journey,” says Shay Hughes.

Senior Vice President Jeffrey Shepard was so inspired by enjoying the journey, he decided to write a company blog post about it.

“‘Enjoy the Journey’ is one of our cherished values and a very important one at that,” Shepard says. “It reminds us to stop, take a breather, and appreciate the little victories, the family trips, and valued relationships we come across along our path. We must make a conscious effort to enjoy the journey each and every day.”

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