Building an Empire Together w/ Jeff & Kalisa

Be a boss, date a boss, build an empire. I’d have several empires if I had a dollar for every time I have seen that meme recreated on every social media platform. People are in love with the idea of building a business and legacy with the woman/man of their dreams. That meme has manifested itself with Jeff Belizaire and Kalisa Martin. A couple that had a dream, and built it together.

Jeff & Kalisa are the founders of the BnB The Runaway Jamaica. They launched their dream business on Kickstarter and was the first hospitality business to ever get successfully funded on the platform.

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What we learned:

  • You can mix business with pleasure. It’s common to hear the term “don’t mix business with pleasure.” Jeff & Kalisa said it’s possible but most people fail at one thing: Recognizing compatibility. Most people realize how they are compatible romantically, and those same traits don’t always translate professionally. They found ways to compliment each other in the professional sense. I know it sounds easier than it really is.
  • How to shine on Kickstarter successfully. They key to going viral and getting funded is having a compelling story. You have to invest in your PR campaign and roll out just as much as your product. The other element is having a strong team. Jeff also reminds us that the hard part starts after you get the money, not before.
  • How to create pillars for your company. This is just another way of developing company values. Kalisa crafted these pillars to represent the vibe, local culture, and overall quality of the experience she wants her guest to have. But they also give us tips on how we can develop the pillars for our own ventures.