We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Kopel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
I’d argue that the most important lessons of my life are the ones that I seem to be reminded of again and again. Of those, my favorite lesson is to focus on the “who” and not the “how.” The last forty years have been a series of non-stop surprises both professionally and personally and I’m sure the same is true for you. At 16 years old, I had no desire to own a clothing line and yet, at 26, I owned and operated a men’s & women’s contemporary clothing brand that I had built from the ground up. At 26, I could never have envisioned that two years later housing bubble would burst and put me out of business. At 28, I didn’t dream of owning my own bar in Hollywood but, at the age of 30, I signed my first lease. See where I’m going with this? Through all of the ups, downs, pivots and prayers one thing remained the same: I had a clear vision of who I wanted to be. I wanted to be proud of me and I wanted my family to be proud of me too. That desire informed every decision. I wanted my professional life to reflect my personal life. That inspired partnerships with friends and offers to be involved in projects I hadn’t even imagined. I didn’t want to live to work, I wanted to work to live. That gave me unique perceptive when evaluating opportunities. If core values create successful businesses, then they also have the ability to create successful people. Choosing a set of principles to live by, deciding how I wanted to live my life and being aligned with that singular vision for my life was the best investment I’ve ever made.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I walked the path for over 20 years. I started as a Busser, worked my way to Barback, then to Bartender to Bar manager to General manager to Owner/Operator. I’ve run everything from dive bars to fine dining restaurant and everything in between. I’m one of the lucky restaurateurs that’s made it. Not only do I have a successful, profitable and award winning restaurant but I also have the most luxurious possession a restaurateur can have: time. Time to spend with my family, time to focus on my health and time to help folks just like myself. In 2019, I founded FLO, an all-in-one communication platform focused on helping restaurants optimize their business and dramatically grow sales. I love this industry and I love the people in it. The joy as I experienced by serving my community as a restaurateur has been completely eclipsed by the satisfaction I get from helping fellow restaurateurs build better businesses and lives for themselves. Whether you need bailing out or building up, I’m here to help.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”–Chuck Palahniuk Here’s the short list: My parents for showing me how to love and be loved. My grandparents for being the first to invest in me. Gerald Franks for lying to help me get my first job in L.A. Ronnie Smith for offering me that one-off patio bar position at Element. James Sinclair for offering me the GM positon shortly thereafter. Sasha Perl-Raver for giving me the confidence to strike out on my own. Julian Medina for helping to get my brand “discovered”. Trent MacDonald for jumping on board to help steer the ship. That wonderful man whose name I never got that helped me settle my debt with the bank when the clothing line went belly up. Mark Egland for seeing enough potential to invest his time, love, experience and money in my future. Sammy Monsour for helping to save my restaurant and my career. Lawrence Moore for her endless enthusiasm and support in helping bring my message to the world. Daniel Shemtob for introducing me to the Entrepreneurs Organization. Josh Holtzman for being the friend and mentor I wanted and needed. Michael Rotella for giving me a voice. Stephen McKeon for giving me a platform. Everyone employee and patron who’s invested their time and money in helping to make my dreams come true. But, most importantly, my wife, Katerina, who’s enduring love and belief in me has given me the confidence to chase our dreams.