From Orphan to CEO: An Interview with Manny Lopez
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing one of my favorite people; Manny “The Man” Lopez. I met Manny back in August when he invited me to Los Angeles to first appear on his weekly show for entrepreneurs, “Best In Business”…and then to speak the next day at his event ServeX which was for me my 100th paid speaking opportunity within my first year as a public speaker. I have since spoken at ServeX Orange County and am slated to speak again in December at ServeX San Diego. Manny Lopez has opened the door to embracing a mindset based in service to others for millions of people through his service minded business ventures, publications, and speaking events which he uses to raise awareness and monies for charitable organizations.
LMH: Thank you Manny for agreeing to sit with me and share your incredible story and business insights!
ML: Thank you Loren for having me.
LMH: First of all, Manny could you tell us what it is exactly that you do in your business?
ML: My focus is helping business professionals, entrepreneurs, coaches, authors, and speakers how to duplicate their message of value in an automated way. This has been my focus for well over 6 years now, and through entrepreneurship and mentoring, I was able to develop a means of expressing myself freely. You see, I was orphaned very young, was always told “no”, and because of always being limited, I was led to believe that I would never have any true opportunities.
It is now my passion to not only help business persons, but to also teach these skill sets to former orphans, kids who are in foster care…that sort of thing, because it is a true passion of mine to see this mindset become a primary focus to those who might not otherwise be exposed to it.
LMH: That’s awesome Manny, and of course as a former foster child myself…I fully connect with all you just said there! So could you tell us what you do today; what types of businesses you run, how these businesses came about, and in what order did you build them?
ML: My journey into entrepreneurship actually began back in high school. I knew even then that I was most likely not going to be able to afford to go to college, and as fate would have it…I met, fell in love with, and later married my high school sweetheart Nancy. My dreams of having a family where opportunity, love, and security were the cornerstones was what truly made the decision for me, I needed to secure a path which could lead me to all these things. My wife Nancy and I were blessed with our first child when I was only 19 years old and the responsibility and passion of being a father actually propelled me into entrepreneurship by the age of 21.
My first time taking a stab at business didn’t go so well; I failed miserably, found myself homeless with a toddler and a wife who was pregnant with our second child. I had been blessed to have found a mentor and so I reached back out to him, he told me something that was destined to change the course of my life forever…he said; “Capture the leaders, and you capture the market!” What that meant was; be a sponge for knowledge, go and find the experts, the leaders in every area you can that is of interest to you and learn what they have done and how they have done it, this way you can then apply this knowledge to forge your own path, do what you are passionate about doing.
I used this information to learn, learn, and then learn some more! Having been in a market that targeted consumers, I opted to now work within a market that targeted business owners. The one thing that I was certain of from the beginning was…I did not want a copycat business, to pattern myself after something that was already out there, that someone else was already successful with.
My first business was a company that basically took Facebook pages and turned them into a website, we actually called them Facebook Websites…and in less than two years I was named “ONE OF THE BEST” by Facebook. I suddenly began to get some big interviews from sources such as Bloomberg Radio, NBC for example. I was now being invited to some pretty spectacular events and found myself networking with some very influential people within the industry; this then grew into a concept of serving from there. I instantly removed money from the equation because I instinctively knew that the knowledge I could gain from these leaders was far more valuable in the long run than any invoice for a grand or two that I might be able to someday send them.
My next move was to begin to capture success stories from my working relationships with these influential people, these known leaders…people like Les Brown the internationally renowned motivational speaker and noted author. Once I began creating success stories with these types of people, it then made it very easy to create further opportunities, to open doors that were previously closed or unavailable to me. Although it was initially my skillsets that got me noticed, my ability to create apps, to create funnels, and duplicate my clients’ message of value; I then began to take my story, my message with me…again, removing the making of money from the equation and replacing it with the concept of service.
Currently I own and operate 3 different agencies which all fall under the umbrella of “Custom Online Branding”. I have a branding agency, an advertising agency, as well as an app development agency. Our app technology is branded as “Universal Mobile Apps”, but we are currently introducing some new technology into the market place called “Universal Smart Apps”, think of this as combining the power and functionality of downloadable apps with the simplicity of a mobile website…it’s all pretty incredible and very exciting!
LMH: Wow…that’s great stuff Manny! So tell me…would you recommend someone who is just starting their business, someone who does not have any name recognition already within the market place as many of your well-known clients do, would you recommend them to consider having their own business app created, and if so; why?
ML: Great question! Recently, Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook was quoted as saying; “If I could change something about Facebook, I would have never started Facebook as a website; I would have started Facebook as a mobile app.” The user base of a mobile app is where the value is found, I have personally worked with many companies who have actually launched their start-up’s via a mobile app, so to answer your question…YES, I would highly recommend a mobile app for the new business owner. The reachability of any consumer base will be unparalleled to every other means of getting your product or service before your target market.
LMH: Manny, you also have a weekly show for entrepreneurs called “Best In Business”, can you tell us what the show is all about?
ML: On “Best In Business”, I teach entrepreneurship, I teach how to turn your passion into success, I interview people who have had tremendous success in either creating a business, starting a business, or becoming well known in a specific niche. Really it’s just focusing on how these entrepreneurs have actually done what they have done in creating their success. These interviews go much deeper than simply what these entrepreneurs are doing in business; I want to know their personal stories, those stories of triumph over tragedy. You know, every successful person has a back story; how they grew up, the various challenges they encountered along the way, who their mentors are…these types of things. There are many people out there who can create success, but can you make it duplicable, can you make it relatable? I want every listener, every viewer to hear these interviews and then say; “If they can do that, if they can accomplish all of that in spite of their challenges…then so can I!”
LMH: I think that’s incredible Manny, and right in line with your commitment to service in all that you do! These are all great insights that I am certain all successful entrepreneurs can agree with and get behind. Having personally worked with you Manny and spoken at two of your ServeX events, events that focus on “Serving your way to success”; I can certainly say that your message of maintaining a service mindset has done wonders for myself and many others that I have met at your events. Thanks so very much for sharing your insights and strategies with me and the readers of MoneyInc.com, I will continue to follow your story of success and share with others all the great insights you have provided!
ML: Thanks Loren it was a pleasure sharing with the MoneyInc.com followers!
For more information on Manny “The Man Lopez”, please visit: www.Fromorphantoceo.com For more information and to reserve your seat at ServeX San Diego December 16, 2017, please visit: www.servexevent.com. Manny Lopez’s latest book “The Hustle Code” is currently available on Amazon.com. Loren Michaels Harris can be found at www.lorenmichaelsharris.com