Persistence and hard work are the most important pillars to living a happy and successful life.
Marc and Michelle Collopy are passionate about providing a fun, safe place for families to spend time together and stay fit. Together with good friends Drew and Sue Wilson, the couple founded Rockin’ Jump, a franchise of trampoline parks with 32 locations nationwide and an additional 80 units sold.
Marc is Rockin’ Jump’s senior vice president of franchise sales, while Michelle is the franchise sales and hospitality coach. Prior to their adventure in entrepreneurship, both had booming careers in the wine and spirits industry. As director of sales for Young’s Market Company, Marc was instrumental in growing BevMo! from six to 130 locations. Michelle, a Young’s Market Company sales representative, managed more than 100 accounts and was a top performer.
When the Collopys aren’t traveling to new location openings, you can find them at home in Danville, California, surrounded by their four children, ages 10 to 18. The kids are the real reason they were brave enough to take the leap of faith and start a business from the ground up. Michelle loves to cook, and Marc loves to coach any sport the kids take up. In between the soccer fields and the dinner table, they live to entertain their friends and family.
Where did the idea for Rockin’ Jump come from?
In 2010, we took our kids to a trampoline park. We were shocked to see how crowded it was and how much fun the kids were having. However, we were also shocked to see that there was nothing there for parents to enjoy. After that experience, we decided to create the ultimate trampoline park with Drew and Sue Wilson, our friends. We paid attention to every detail to ensure we created a welcoming and fun environment for people of all ages. After experiencing great success with our first two parks, we were approached by a friend, who said our business was set up perfectly for franchising. After some initial hesitation, we took the plunge.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
Our primary goal is the ongoing care and support of Rockin’ Jump’s park locations. This includes handling everything from fielding customer calls to managing website updates. We also direct franchise owners to the appropriate vendors for services and consult with franchisees on marketing, management coaching, inventory, and branding accountability.
Finding ways for us to remain productive is usually a nonissue. As with any business, there are usually three small fires that require our immediate attention at any given time. At first, growing our business brought stress to our partnership, but fighting together has helped us build understanding and comfort in the day-to-day craziness. Relentlessly putting out fires is something we do for each other, for our children, and for our franchise family.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Rockin’ Jump is run by a team, not by individuals. We express our opinions openly and take criticisms seriously. A member of the team is usually in charge of bringing a rough draft of a new idea to life. However, once this idea is presented to the team, we all make an effort to contribute, enhance, and polish until finished. Although compromise can sometimes be difficult, bringing new ideas to life would not be possible without outstanding teamwork and symmetry. Our company is fortunate to be blessed with teammates who know how to work together.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
More and more Americans are pursuing healthier lifestyles: healthy food, healthy atmospheres, and great fitness. One of the best things about Rockin’ Jump is its ability to disguise fitness as a fun activity for children. The health trend toward safer, better, and healthier living is very exciting for us.
What is one habit that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Ensuring we remain passionate about what we’re working on. Passion isn’t necessarily a “habit,” but it’s an outstanding motivator. Passion allows us to work 80-hour weeks with a smile. It motivates us to work hard and provide excellent service.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Learn how to find gratification in working very hard. Persistence and hard work are the most important pillars to living a happy and successful life. And don’t expect a little hard work (or even a lot of hard work) to go a long way. The world doesn’t owe you anything, but working very hard does tend to open more doors over time.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It’s more important to have the right thought process than to be right. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Being right for the wrong reasons will not help you be right in the future. While I’m sure many would agree with this statement, I don’t think there are many who actually live it. Wanting or needing to be right is a trick our minds play on us to get us to make decisions. However, being right once for the wrong reasons can have disastrous consequences down the road.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Bruce Lee provides excellent advice: “Be like water.” The ability to twist, shift, pivot, recycle, and start over is ridiculously important when you’re starting on a new idea. Your first attempt at bringing a new idea or business to life will likely not work. Iterating on ideas, products, services, and business models is the key to finding something that will fit nicely into the market. As your company grows and your brand becomes more defined, you can move away from iteration and focus on growth, but in the initial stages, “being like water” will benefit you greatly.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Hard work, flexibility, lots of research, and iteration are key in the earliest stages. The strategy at this point is not to define your exact business too quickly. Let the market teach you a few lessons before you attempt to settle on an exact service or product. Once you’re seeing legitimate and consistent returns, the best personal strategy is to always be on the lookout for a talented individual to replace your current position. As the company grows, so will your roles and responsibilities. It’s massively important to always look for someone who can replace your current job so you can move to the next level.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had numerous failures in my career. As a young entrepreneur, one of the most important things is to go out and fail as much as you can. Failure teaches you that you’re not invincible and that ideas and opinions can be invalid. Failure teaches you the right way to think about processes. Most importantly, failure teaches you that you can overcome the odds again and again, as long as you’re willing to adapt and persevere.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
We always thought it would be cool to have an app that acted like a radio station, but the selection of music was picked and voted on by the community. You could have different stations based on the size of the community and location: a “national” station, a “San Francisco” station, and a “Collopy” station just for the family. Actually, our kids would pick the worst music — and we’re sure they would say the same thing about us!
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
A small popcorn in a movie theater.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
We’ve hired Condorly to fully support our digital marketing and lead generation efforts. The best part of our day is connecting with individuals interested in our brand. We find our productivity increases when we have the opportunity to focus more heavily on the jobs we love to do. We don’t like to spread our efforts too thin. Condorly’s management of our digital marketing and lead generation efforts has given back to us time we use to communicate with new leads, customers, and our franchisees.
What is the one book you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Lean Startup ” by Eric Ries. This book embodies the “be like water” mentality, with the added layer of “do it cheap.” Being stubborn in your ways, forcing the market to fit your product, and throwing money at problems is a recipe for a failed company. Listen to the market, listen to your customers, and don’t be afraid to change an idea or evolve.
What is your favorite quote?
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”
– H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Marc on LinkedIn:
RockinJump on Twitter: @RockinJump
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.