Tell us about yourself and what you do
Jeff Lopes is an entrepreneur based in Toronto who has founded companies like, Kimurawear and TrueBlue Homes. Jeff’s passion for business coaching has recently been elevated to a higher level of Jeff Knows Inc. Podcast. In Jeff’s busy lifestyle, family, health and business all have priority, with the balance appearing to lead to moving him forward. I had a chance to sit and interview Jeff and ask him about his professional career, his Podcast and his lessons.
Has being an Entrepreneur something you have always gravitated towards?
As long as I could remember, I have always hustled. At 12 and 13 years of age, I would be spending my weekends selling sports cards, till registering and operating my first company before my age 17. All my companies have been established out of a passion or interest I had at that moment in my life, and I feel that is a factor in why most of my projects have always succeeded. Did my taste of disappointment? Of Course, I took the moments as lessons to make me even resilient. I am extremely passionate for branding and that has helped me to create brands that have succeeded in very competitive industries.
What keeps you motivated?
Just one thing, “Purpose”, It’s has always felt natural for me to drive to be the hardest worker in the room and this is something I install in my two children. I am a strong believer there is always going to be someone, smarter then you, more athletic then you, those are things you cannot control. But, being the hardest worker in the room is an aspect you can control. I have always taken the mindset, am up earlier than your competition, and am ready to work harder than your competition. A lot of entrepreneurs will always say “work smart not hard”, I say “work smart and work hard” and do not be scared to get your hands dirty if you want to rise to the top of whatever industry you desire to succeed in.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I’ve always found the Purpose of succeeding for my children, as a husband and proud father of two children. I always thought that no matter what you do or how exhausted you are, if your child asks you to do something with them, you stop and drop what you’re doing. As an entrepreneur, I believe strongly in planning and a strict schedule helps you to manage your daily lives. Often your business can clash with family activities, those are days that I compromise time, which means I will work later in the evening or make sure I don’t miss this dance recital or the baseball game earlier in the morning. So my advice to fellow entrepreneurs is a simple one, I strongly recommend creating a balanced schedule, focusing on a timetable based around family time and try understanding that tomorrow’s your company will still be there, but the family may not.
We are on this planet for a very short time, so we must enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. Please stop making excuses and find out a way to make time and effort. Everyone will come across that one moment, you can bring back time and spend one more day with a loved one, so do not allow yourself to live with regrets.
What is the personal advice you want to give young entrepreneurs?
The first step is to find and convert a passion into a business. The most valuable gift of business is to wake up and do what you love each day. Then set targeted goals for yourself and the business and write it down. In order to prevent losing your driving power, I always recommend that we set our goals around three month, six month and one year marks. Then focus daily goals till your first 3 month mark, accomplishing these daily goals build a domino effect, which will help build the necessary momentum to be successful. I always also advice, find a coach or mentor in the field you’re trying to break into, someone successful. Reach out to them for advice, even one simple thing they may pass along to you, can fast forward your company by years. So just be open to learning from others and adapt any of these lessons, to help avoid future errors on your end.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
As an entrepreneur, the two greatest lessons I learned are:
1. Be always ready to work the hardest in the room, regardless of the progress you have achieved in taking your pedal off, someone in your rear view mirror will always try to pass you. I discovered earlier in my career, you may be urged to take your foot off the pedal when you taste a bit of success. This sensation changes fast when your competitors begin to eat a bigger chunk of the pie. This feeling obliges me to understand, to ride above and to stay on top, and to be the hardest worker in the room that motivates my staff and illustrates to them that I lead by example.
2. Believe in your vision and enthusiasm, there will always be doubters and individuals that will question and challenge your goals. Focus on you and never and I man never waste energy on any individual that are not ready to support you, concentrate that energy on achieving their goals. When I started Kimurawear close to fifteen years ago, it was too small or too difficult a market to break in, I had plenty of doubters challenging my new company. I am very pleased to show that people are wrong and the adversity and doubt tend to stimulate my passion to succeed. Any individuals that will question or attempt to stop you from achieving your goals, the reason they doing this is because they are too afraid to pursue their own dreams and want to see nobody else succeed.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
Currently I am building a 16 acre cabin resort in beautiful Northern parts of Ontario Canada, on a gorgeous piece of land that is expected to be finished in summer 2021. I am very happy to see how I can develop in the next 12 months at a personal and business level. I’ve done a great deal to build my brand, which works together with Jeff Knows Ink Podcast. The aim is to take my passion for fatherhood and my passion for entrepreneurship and merging them together to help other Entrepreneur dads, find balance in both areas in their life and succeed in both.
Where can our audience connect with you?
I’m always eager to pass on my expertise and even have a lessons or a couple, to be quite accessible to fellow entrepreneurs through below links: