Jared Loftus: Shake Them Haters Off (The DOcast)

Jared Loftus getting cozy with the t-shirt business.
Jared Loftus getting cozy with the t-shirt business.

Spotting a trend for an entrepreneur is hard, repeatedly capitalizing on a trend is even harder. Jared Loftus founded Tiger District after LSU’s ’03 SEC Championship game, brought one of the first food trucks (Taco de Paco & Ninja Snowballs) to the area, and launched the first co-working space for entrepreneurs in Baton Rouge, LA. He’s also on the board of C.A.T.S. (Capital Area Transit System), puts together a free art gallery, and raps on his free time.

I had a chance to sit down with him at Louisiana Tech Park in Baton Rouge, the headquarters for College District, to talk about his journey and how he got started.

Be sure to get a pen and a pad, his story is jam-packed with ideas and tips to grow your business.

Interview with Jared Loftus

Sponsored by: Hanley’s Foods — Louisiana-inspired, natural, fresh foods.

  • Where did you grow up? (02:42)
  • How Tiger District get started? (04:18)
  • When did you know to make the move from brick & mortar to online? (08:50)
  • When did you know to move online? (14:08)
  • “The store was the cash cow, but it had limited capacity.”
  • How did you begin to market it online? (16:34)
  • “We track every-single link we put out.”
  • Google URL Builder (tool reference)
  • “90% of our ad-spend is on Facebook.”
  • How do you staff each district? (24:50)
  • People talk a lot of trash in college football (26:01)
  • “There is always going to be haters, always.”
  • What struck you to start a food truck? (27:34)
  • Springwise.com (weekly email on entrepreneurial trends)
  • “We’ve done so much business on craigslist, it’s like a gold mine of resources.”
  • “There are a few things more permeant than cutting a hole in the side of a vehicle.”
  • Jared cutting a hole in the Ninja Snowball truck (video)
  • How important is social media with food trucks? (33:35)
  • How did you come up with the name Taco de Paco? (36:38)
  • Dat Foo! on WAFB (local tv segment)
  • How do you find locations (food truck)? (39:09)
  • “I dislike the title of Serial Entrepreneur.”
  • Are the businesses balanced now? (41:53)
  • “Starting with multiple business is a recipe for disaster, start with one and focus.”
  • How did you spot the co-working trend? (45:03)
  • “There’s a difference between spotting trends and spotting trends where you are.”
  • What do you like to do outside the office/food truck? (50:55)
  • Zapp’s Beerfest
  • Acquire board game (amazon link)
  • What’s a book, a song, and quote you love? (53:48)
    • Book: Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk (audiobook version is narrated by him and it’s off script) & The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (book on amazon)
    • Song: With My Own Two Hands — Ben Harper (video) & Stevie Wonder
    • Quote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
      — Theodore Roosevelt
  • “This entrepreneur thing is tuff, you’ve got to surround yourself with good people, whether they work for you or not.”
  • What’s next for you and where can people find you? (1:02:13)
  • “Don’t get caught up in your hype.”
  • GIVEAWAY: Simply comment on below for your chance to win a College District t-shirt! The winner will be randomly selected on 4/3/13.

Check out Jared at:
Website: CollegeDistrict.com
Twitter: @JaredLoftus
About.me: about.me/JaredLoftus

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The DOcast - People doing the unthinkable.The DOcast is a series of interviews from amazing entrepreneurs who are doing the unthinkable. With topics on how they got started, where they’re going, and how you can learn from them.
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5 thoughts on “Jared Loftus: Shake Them Haters Off (The DOcast)”

  1. Inspiring interview. Nothing better than hands on learning and that is exactly what Jared did to grow his business, he got in there and got his hands dirty. Brilliant guy.

  2. Jared, great interview. You really seem to understand the power of social media and measuring. What resource would you recommend for someone to get into social media?

  3. Awesome Podcast! Really enjoyed listening to Jared’s story. Tons of good takeaways! Keep up the good work fellas!

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