The Jeff Knows Inc. is a Entrepreneurial podcast, hosted by Jeff Lopes. Jeff has over 2 decades experience as a serial entrepreneur. Building brands like Kimurawear from his home basement to a multi-million dollar global brand that has sold over a quarter million pairs of boxing gloves worldwide. Jeff’s here to educate, guide and drive you on the process from bringing your ideas and dreams to reality, with the inspiring stories from some of the top business minds.
Tell us how you got started off:
I have always been a hustler, from selling sports cards at a young age, to registering and operating my first business before the age of 17, it has always seemed becoming an entrepreneur was part of my DNA. My businesses have always been created with as a passion project and that is why I feel, most of my ventures have always succeeded. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my taste of failure, I take those moments as lessons that fuel me to work even harder. My passion for branding has allowed me to build brands, that are fueled by what I love doing.
Talk to us about your current businesses and stages for each
I have two main companies I have founded and currently operate. The first is Kimurawear, which I founded in Jan 2006 as a Boxing and Martial Art Equipment Brand, by creating unique and forward thinking active training and lifestyle products. The brand grew from a home office start up to now selling in over 1800 gyms across North America and the brand has now sold over a quarter million pairs of boxing gloves. My second company I have founded and currently operate is True Blue Homes, which is Holding company for Real Estate and has a portfolio of commercial properties and vacation rentals properties. The vacation rental business is one I am very passionate about. I currently own and operate 4 vacation properties in a four season resort in Blue Mountains and currently working on building a 16 acres resort in Muskoka, which is a gorgeous, popular vacation destination for Canadians.
What is the most rewarding part for you about what you do?
Being an entrepreneur has been hands down is the most rewarding thing for me. The reason is the 3 “F” Bombs – Freedom, Freedom, and Freedom.
1. Freedom to wake up each day and follow your passions by creating and developing things you love.
2. Freedom to spend quality time with your family and loved ones and be able to pick up and make your own schedule.
3. Freedom to make you rich, not stuck at a 9 to 5 job, behind a desk making someone else rich.
What have been some of the biggest lessons about overcoming obstacles and failure that you have learned throughout your business journey?
The two biggest lessons I learned as an entrepreneur are: 1. Always be ready to be the hardest worker in the room, no matter how successful you become the minute you take your foot off the pedal, there is always someone in your rear view mirror trying to pass you. I learned very early, when you taste a bit of success it’s easy to feel, you have made it. That feeling changes, quickly when your competitors, start taking a bigger share of the pie in your space. That feeling forced me to understand, to be on top, and stay on top, you cannot question or fear early morning and late nights and always be the hardest worker in the room, which will motivate your employees to work as hard as they can. 2. Believe in your vision and passion, there will always be doubters and individuals that will question your concepts and goals, you cannot waste energy on those individuals, focus your energy on obtaining your goals you have set. When I started Kimurawear over 15 years ago, I had plenty of doubters, questioning my new venture, saying it was too small of an industry or too hard of a market to break into. I find this great pleasure in proving people wrong, and the negativity and questioning, seem to fuel my passion to succeed. Always understand the individuals that questions and try and stop you from your dreams, are doing that because they are too scared to follow their own dreams and do not want to see other succeed.
Tell us about any new or upcoming projects you are working on
I have been doing business consulting, for the past three years, not as a business, but more of passion, giving back to young entrepreneurs and passing on my knowledge I have obtained over the last 24 years. Recently I turned that passion in to a fun project, The Jeff Knows Inc. Show, an entrepreneurial podcast. The podcast is driven around; successful entrepreneurs true life stories from around the globe. Never in a million years had I ever thought the podcast would grow so rapidly, it’s quickly turned from a passion project to now a longer term goal of mine, as an outlet to pass on knowledge and lessons to entrepreneurs around the globe. The amount of quality guests we have had on and have lined up to appear is extraordinary. Just having down to earth business and life conversations with these guests, is so awarding, I feel I am constantly learning and growing as an entrepreneur myself.
Leave us with some words of advice you can offer to aspiring and current entrepreneurs?
The three things I tell all entrepreneurs is:
1. Find a passion and turn it into a business, the greatest gift of entrepreneurship is waking up each day and doing what you love.
2. Set Goals on a personal level and your business and write them down. I like setting quarterly goals every three months, as that period is short enough not to get bored, but long enough to achieve something special. Once you have created your goals, now create a process to achieve those goals. Each goal should have a step by step process to reaching that goal and I truly mean a step by step process.
How have you used social media to help leverage your brand?
We live in an age of technology, everyone now a day has a smart device around them at all times, and as a business if you do not leverage that, you are going to fail. Social media is a massive part of our marketing budget and we utilize social media to help continually growing all of the brands, from Kimurawear to all the way to the Jeff Knows Inc. Show.
What are 3 fun facts most people don’t know about you?
1. I have an obsession over buying watches and sneakers. I currently have over 20 plus watches and seem to buy new sneakers ever few months. This all stems from years back, I had an entrepreneur I looked up to, that never dressed up, put on a pair of jeans, nice watch and some new sneakers and was able to walk into a room with suited up CEO’s and still control the room. He always said, as long as you have a nice watch, new clean sneakers and confidence in who you are, that will resonate and others will want to surround themselves around you.
2. I have a passion for fast older American Muscle cars. A few years back I took a 1979 Camaro which was parked in my parent’s garage for over 20 years and did a full bumper to bumper restoration and did ,most of the work myself.
3. I enjoy getting my hands dirty, and building and creating on my own. I am a strong believer in sweat equity and a big portion of my rental businesses I have personally done most of the full renovations myself. I love creating and I always start with a vision in my mind and find joy in seeing the step by step process in the creation of my vision.
To learn more about Jeff and listen to the podcast, visit www.JeffKnowsInc.com