Episode 140 - Jimmy Standley : Enjoy The Ride

Jimmy Standley Thumbnail.jpg

Jimmy Standley is the President & Founding Partner of Sole Bicycles. During his junior year at Chapman University, he was brought in to help with operations of the company. Available in six different styles, they ship their bikes directly to consumers doorstep 90% assembled. They have two locations, their Venice Beach Flagship store and on campus at USC’s Student Village. They’ve collaborated and built custom bikes for NikeBeats by DreRed Bull and more. They’re more than just your ordinary bicycle company and have created an entire lifestyle brand around Sole through hosting events, curating Fixtapes for riders to listen to and through collaborations with other brands.

Even having battled numerous hurdles over the past eight years including lawsuits, manufacturing issues, scaling back & rebuilding a team, the passion still remains the same for him. Have a positive impact on people's lives, one sole bicycle at a time. 

In this Episode Jimmy discusses traveling 600,000+ miles around the globe, a reminder to always keep a good mindset, how maintaining balance helps us avoid burnout, how technology is helping us live better lives, success is the ability to wake up and control your destiny and why we must always remember to enjoy the ride.

Podcast Outline (Time Markers For Audio Version Only)

  • Jimmy gifts the bearded man with very own single speed / fixed gear Sole bicycle (4:20)

  • Born/raised in Denver, Colorado (5:45)

    • Father was a lawyer, mother was a nurse

    • Was the oldest of 4 kids

  • Traveling over 600,000 miles across the globe (9:55)

  • Skiing, lacrosse and music were big passions of his growing up (11:20)

  • Attended Chapman University and majored in business (Orange, CA) (13:55)

    • Always wanted to live in Southern CA, got an education scholarship and played lacrosse for their club team. Started DJing parties. 

  • Connects with Chad Donnolley to start Snowball Music Festival in Denver, CO (19:30)

    • “Coachella” of the mountains. Skiing, music and partying

    • Profitable it’s first year with 15,000+ people in attendance

    • Meets Jake Medwell & Jonathan Shriftman (founders of Sole) as they invested in the festival (23:50) 

  • Looking for summer work, Jimmy gets brought in to help with operations of Sole Bicycles (24:25)

    • Both Jake & Jon refocus their attention on a seperate business, Jimmy gets promoted as President of Sole his junior year of college (26:05)

  • Wanting to offer a variety of different bikes, Sole came up with 6 unique styles (30:55)

    • Single speed fixed gear, The Dutch Step Through, The City Cruiser, The Three Speed City Cruiser, Coastal Cruiser, Coastal Cruiser Step Through 

  • Business starts in LA but spreads to cities throughout the US. Sole ship products direct to consumers for free, 90% assembled (32:25)

    • Had two actual locations: Venice Beach Flagship store and USC Student Village

  • Collaborated with brands such as Anheuser Busch, Goose Island Beer Co, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre, Nike, Marriott Hotels etc to build private label bikes (34:20)

  • The alternative transportation industry of 2019 gives consumers plenty of choices of how to get from point A to B (38:40)

    • Rentable scooters / bikes, Uber etc 

  • Creating a lifestyle brand around Sole (42:05)

    • Sole curated Fixtapes (mixtapes for riders to listen to on their commutes), artist blog series, hosting events, visual content around the brand etc 

  • Some of the struggles Sole has battled: lawsuits, running out of money, manufacturing issues, scaling back & rebuilding team (49:10)

  • The process of making a Sole bicycle (58:25)

    • Manufactured outside of Hong Kong, shipped to Long Beach and stocked in their warehouse in East LA

  • Within the next year, Sole is looking to expand into different products (61:25)

  • 8 years with the company, Jimmy is the President of the company (62:25)

    • The team of Sole today 

  • Knowing when to pivot (63:15) 

  • Now knowing what he knows now, the 1 advice he gives his younger self: enjoy the ride (69:10)

  • What scares him the most today : global warming (69:35)

  • Greatest strength : being a problem solver (75:10)

  • Definition of success has changed over the years. It’s not all about money (76:10) 

  • Jimmy’s purpose: having a positive impact on people's lives through bicycles (78:10) 

  • Ask Bobbay any 1 question: What’s been your biggest failure? (80:15)

  • Where to find Jimmy + Sole on social 

  • Best advice for finding a passion/purpose (88:05)

    • Put yourself out there and go try things

    • If something brings joy to your life, put the work in 

    • Put your best foot forward