All In Podcast

82: Jacob Clopton, Owner & President, Clopton Capital Lending

Daniel Giordano


In this episode of All-In, host Daniel Giordano welcomes Jake Clopton, an entrepreneur who has found (or carved out for himself) a niche within the commercial real estate lending industry. Was the path to founding Clopton Capital Lending a straight one? As is usually the case with any successful startup enterprise, it was not quite that simple. There were stepping stones, challenges, surprises and a learning curve along the way.

A native of upstate New York now established in Chicago, where he is raising a family, Jake shares a combination of elements that have shaped his business story. The most important facet perhaps has been his ability to focus keenly and do his homework. Rather than scattering his attention among different disciplines and activities, Jake adheres to a philosophy of running one race at a time. Clearly that strategy has worked for him, since his firm is going strong after well more than a decade in business.

Jake works with CRE owners throughout the U.S. to provide finance solutions for commercial mortgages, bridge loans, home builder financing, construction, and joint venture equity. The market might be cyclical but its evolution is constant. Jake enjoys watching how various commercial properties reconfigure and reinvent themselves for future market opportunities.

Enjoy this fast-paced exchange between two entrepreneurs who have built their lives around having independence, choice and opportunity. Even if sometimes accompanied by risk, Jake says founding Clopton Capital afforded him the alternative he needed to traditional corporate structures that were never going to be the right fit. He leaves us with some advice from the trenches and wisdom about the importance of adhering to healthy, energy-enhancing daily rituals.


  • Jake’s early years took him from an upbringing and college in upstate New York to an adventurous stint living in Argentina. Ultimately, he moved to Chicago, where he pursued an early career in trading until a lightbulb went off and he found a niche within the lending industry that set the stage for the successful firm he ultimately built.
  • When Jake looks ahead, what’s the driving goal? Very simply: To do better than last year! Always to be improving.
  • Part of how Jake maintains his market share involves carefully observing his competitors and assessing where they are so he can look for ways to go where they aren’t.
  • Is there more commercial space available in the current post-pandemic landscape? Short answer is: Yes, depending on your needs.
  • Jake does a breakdown on the commercial real estate market’s evolution and reinvention within different types of spaces, from big box to warehouse to apartment complexes.
  • Dan asks Jake to share what his motivators have been – the things that have taken him down his career path. A big part of his journey has been about finding entrepreneurial opportunities and moving always toward the direction of growth and improvement.
  • Jake shares his most significant challenge – which did not so much grow out of his entrepreneurism as out of his initial attempt to work within a traditional corporate/management structure.
  • What gets Jake out of bed and at peak performance day to day? He shares his routine:
    • His kids are an alarm clock, so he gets an early start.
    • Exercising and eating right.
    • Keeping a consistent routine.
  • Jake’s key advice for entrepreneurs just starting out: There’s no silver bullet. You need to start small and grow bigger, bigger, bigger. Also: Don’t let research and analysis lead to paralysis. Just start!
  • What Jake does for fun? Not a lot of free time, but when he has it the gym and hanging out with his three kids are favorite pastimes.
  • Dan wraps up with contacts for Jake (links provided below).


  • “I have a philosophy of not trying to run too many races. I want to really focus and do what I do the best.”
  • “When you go that marketing road you can spend a whole lot of money really fast and maybe it goes somewhere – and maybe it doesn’t.”
  • “Commercial real estate is very sector-specific for how it’s performing and certain areas are very cyclical.”
  • “The drive (for me) was always to be an entrepreneur and doing my own thing and not working for somebody else. There’s always a growth aspect. It’s like lifting weights. You’re always trying to get to the next level.”
  • “Instead of wholesaling my work to people that work under me, I wanted enough back-end support to be able to just do a lot of the work myself. That transition was difficult, but in the end worked out extremely well.”
  • “Getting up early and getting into the right mindset for the day really helps out.”
  • “If you’re feeling good and have energy, that’s going to translate into a happy life.”

About Jake:

Jake is the founder and president of Clopton Capital, a commercial mortgage broker and financial intermediary that arranges and structures commercial real estate finance, specializing in the $1 to 50+ million debt and equity space. Our typical clients are private investors, family offices, and real estate companies. 

Contacts for Jake:

About the All In Podcast Show:

The All-In Podcast Show presents top Entrepreneurs, Innovators and World Changers willing to share their breakthrough moments and how they are changing the world. Focused on being “All-In” on the four areas of life: faith, family, finances, and health, host Daniel Giordano invites mentors who exemplify balance and a commitment to building a bold life of excellence.

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