Jazz Gill is the founder and Innovator of the original SPARBAR®️ that has become a viral sensation within the Global Boxing, MMA, and Fitness Training Industries. Under his leadership, SPARBAR has been used by a plethora of famous Professional Fighters, Professional Athletes, Celebrities, and everyday people from all over the World.
His incredible journey over a decade now has led him to set the stage for SparBar to grow into a worldwide sports fitness brand company. Previously, Mr. Gill successfully worked on blue-chip projects such a Warner Bros, Jaguar, Mars, JCB, and Mitsubishi over the past 15+ years. With an expert vision for Innovation / in-depth knowledge of processes of successfully taking products to market from concept, ensuring global growth & maximizing brand awareness through unique marketing methods in the combat sports space.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Jazz Gill: My name is Jazz gill, hubby to my gorgeous wife Sandra and father to my two beautiful girls Angelina 6, and Ariana 3. I am the founder of the global boxing and fitness brand SPARBAR® which I started in 2011.
Growing up I was very disruptive as a teenager with way too much energy to burn. I was asked to leave college before being kicked out and left with no qualifications. I worked in the evenings washing dishes at my bothers winebar and invested the money in a home PC to teach myself software engineering and finally ended up working for Jaguar after being rejected 3 times.
I started SPARBAR after starting boxing in 2011 where I came across a stick-in-bucket concept at my local gym where I spent the next 4 years innovating to eventually launching in 2015 where it became an overnight viral sensation. The rest is history …
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Jazz Gill: True entrepreneurs are born they are led by purpose, vision, and change however many do not even realize it, In many cases, it takes that one magic moment of inspiration to unlock the genius within and set you on the journey that was always yours to follow.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Jazz Gill: Trusting, hard-working and purpose-led
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Jazz Gill: Sparbar is a global boxing, MMA, and fitness sports brand, we are the inventors and pioneers responsible for bringing to market the concept of sparring without a partner with our innovative training equipment. From becoming an instant viral sensational with close to a billion social media video views we realized very quickly how we are aligned with the younger demographic being trendy and socially impact-driven.
We started our own ambassador program in 2018 to give children a platform to showcase their incredible skills in the combat space with sponsorship, equipment, and in most cases even equity in our company. Today we have close to over 100 ambassadors from as young as 5 years old and as far as Ghana and Nigeria.
We believe we are a true next-generation brand and support many talents through our youth and community development projects spanning across the world. We support grassroots and strive to help them become striving communities to give opportunities that otherwise would be difficult. Our greatest achievement is the giant steps we’ve made delivering Corporate Social Responsibility and changing the culture that we can always do more to help generations of the future become the best version of themselves. We have a fantastic culture within our brand that really cares and that I am so honored to be part of.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Jazz Gill: It’s going to take longer and cost more than you expect to become established and financially sound. Many startup businesses fail due to running out of cash or failing to raise enough capital during their initial growth phase because it took longer than initially planned to reach the miles stones required to succeed in business.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Jazz Gill: Absolutely, exactly the both stated above were harsh lessons it definitely took longer and cost more than I could ever imagine, I lost everything in the pursuit of bringing innovation to whats is a very traditional space including my home, cars and even wedding rings. I found myself surviving in one room on a weekly food budget of £6 per week with my wife and newborn baby. Every mistake is an expensive one when you are self-funded and have minimum resources. It nearly cost me everything. Thankfully I am able to share my experiences from a place of valuable lessons learned.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain.
Jazz Gill: To be brutally honest if I knew what I do know now I probably would not have started. If I was to give advice I would say have a detailed business plan, do your competitor analysis, and market research. Make sure you are prepared and have a realistic overview of what you are trying to achieve in your business. Define your short, mid and long term goals and methodically set out to achieve them one step at a time. Trust the process as you will not have control of many of the things you think you’ll have. What I mean by “trust the process” is trust your instincts and remember the why? Many of us trade in their WHY? when we find some degree of success. Stay authentic to yourself and you’ll be halfway to becoming an inspiring entrepreneur with strong values at the core of everything you do.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Jazz Gill: I was told in a meeting by a very senior investment associate that I should give up my ambassador program and was questioned whether I wanted to make millions or be a charity.
People will question your judgment from time to time and you may find yourself doubting based on their opinion. This is normal however you have to question what are their intentions, are they good or bad? sometimes you have to follow your gut instinct and not every opportunity presented to you is the right option no matter how lucrative it seems. When you are questioned in a negative connotation it’s not a slur on your ability as a founder/ CEO, it’s more from a lack of understanding from the outside.
I can tell you first hand our SPARBAR brand ambassador program is our secret sauce without it I think we would not scale the heights of today. I cannot reiterate enough how important it is to trust in yourself and your vision. This will attract the right people who believe you and what you are doing.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Jazz Gill: COVID has imposed unprecedented restrictions across all industries, the global economic landscape has significantly shifted. If you are a commodity-led business like SPARBAR you need to look at localized development such as manufacturing. With supply chain disruptions and extortionately inflated prices import costs of goods, it increasingly will become difficult to run a profitable business in the long term.
Alternatively, the good news is it’s easier than ever to remote work and set up internet-based businesses offering services through digital platforms without having many overheads. We are now moving into the metaverse and opportunities are vast.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Jazz Gill: Entrepreneurs should never quit, it’s ok to quit it doesn’t mean you are a failure. When I think about it I only become a true entrepreneur after quitting my full-time job 6 years on from when I started my brand. It’s the old cliche but there are no failures it’s only lessons. I made many mistakes on my journey however I grew from them and am very grateful for these experiences. Do not let a setback or two discourage you as long as you give it your all and even if you decided to walk away you will look back and smile about it one day. You dared to try and it was not for you at this moment. I was in my late 30’s when I started SPARBAR before that I never had any intentions whatsoever, in fact, I was very happy working a 9-5 job. It was only when began my own brand in 2011 I began to realize I do not belong there as I’d found my purpose.
There is no rule book to becoming a budding entrepreneur so there is nothing stopping you from having a second stab at it. Just remember you have a head start on what to expect this time. Ding ding round 2!
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Jazz Gill: You have to be mentally strong and hardworking and a great communicator, most of the time you’ll be doing many different job roles learning about your business and more importantly yourself and the people you do business with. This is a contradiction but you have to focus and be driven but have an open mind. Expect a few punches on your nose, just like boxing you might be sore for a few days but you’ll soon learn to avoid them by slipping, blocking, and ducking and actually start enjoying the journey as you learn your craft. Business is no different who knows you could just be the next world champion in your industry. Wouldnt that be something to have your hand raised for!
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Jazz Gill: From my own experience, there is nothing better to prepare you than on-the-job learning. Some are born leaders and they are bold, smart, and possess the qualities to make great entrepreneurs. Aspiring leaders may have to develop over a period of time and how they overcome the challenges they face will make or break them. The good news is we live in a world of instant access to data and information you can quickly find role models online and endless help guides. Many of the best founders have written biographies of their experiences and the lessons learned.
The chances are that what you want to do in business is already done and there is a successful blueprint for you to follow however if like SPARBAR you are a pioneer then the percentage of success is going to be extremely low. You have to be prepared to pave your own way and be the trailblazer, If you do get it right you will be a gamechanger and this is your ticket to much well-deserved success. Congratulations!
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Jazz Gill: I would love to be a UN Ambassador to help inspire and create opportunities for children around the world through grassroots sports.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Jazz Gill: The obvious answer would be Muhammed Ali being one of my all-time idols for obvious reasons however Martin Luther King Jr would be my choice. I think it’s important to acknowledge the progress society has made and a reminder to ourselves that we are all part of the same race to be kind to each other. love each other, help each other regardless of gender, race, or religion.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jazz Gill for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jazz Gill or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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