Where do you reside currently?
Fort Worth, Texas
What do you do?
Commercial real estate | Laundromats | Mobile App (Legacy Journal App)
In commercial real estate I am both an investor and a broker. I am co-founder of Laundry Luv, a chain of mission-based laundromats that seeks to improve the communities where we operate. I am co-founder of Legacy of Love, Inc., aka the Legacy Journal mobile app, where we help parents to quickly and easily capture moments, memories, and lessons that can be passed down to future generation. We help you to tell the story of your life with text, photos, videos, and audio.
What is your top personal value?
Setting a great example. This is so important to me that it is the crux of my personal purpose, aka my "Big Why" Ken's Big Why To be the best possible example, to my wife, my children, and to others who may look to me for inspiration, in all areas of my life, including: • Business & personal finance • Charity & benevolence • Health, fitness & adventure • Leadership & personal development • Love & relationships • Spirituality
What do you do when you aren't working?
Our favorite thing to do as a family is spend time on Texas ranches. We love it so much that we just recently purchased a 300 acre ranch for our family to enjoy for generations to come! We also love to travel and experience new places. We love travel so much that we have purchased a 45-foot Grand Design Momentum "toy hauler". We also love the simple things, like sitting outside by the firepit and gazing at the stars!
What makes you unique?
You will notice that LOVE is in our corporate names (Laundry Luv and Legacy of Love). I love helping people to become the best version of themselves. Sometimes this is in fitness, sometimes in fatherhood, sometimes in business and entrepreneurship. I often interview customers of the Legacy Journal app. I had a call this week with a guy named Mat. Mat shared with me that he is now writing a quick story EVERY SINGLE DAY to his young son and new born daughter. He is telling them about his (and his wife's) love for them, about their development, about his hopes for their lives, and about some of the lessons he hopes to pass on. He shared that although he plans to be around for decades, if something were to unexpectedly, his stories would be there for his children so they would know more about their father, his love, and his hopes for their future. THIS IS WHAT I LOVE!
What is the number one goal you are trying to achieve in your professional life?
Kaizen - to get a little better each and every day
Can you define the word Entrepreneur?
In my mind, and entrepreneur is someone who is taking an idea from 0 to 1. Someone who has the vision, the passion, and the dream. They are willing to suffer the inevitable LOWS that come in business and life. Yet they get back up, dust themselves off, and push ahead.
What did you do before you became an entrepreneur or business owner?
I served a tour in the US Navy during Gulf War I Then I completed college and received a Finance/Real Estate degree form TCU Then worked in the insurance/investment field for about 3 years From there, my entrepreneurship journey began
What happened to inspire you to start a business or buy one?
I have multiple businesses that have their own origin story. Let me share with you how Legacy Journal App got started. In 2003 I began a very simple process of writing a journal for my daughter. She was 10 months old when I wrote the first entry. Since I can type faster than I can write with pen and paper, I decided to do it "digitally" instead of analog. This was WAY before apps and smart phones, so I started the journal in a Word document on my computer. I wanted a rhythm with the journaling that I could/would stick to (and not be THAT guy to start with a great idea only to let it fade into the abyss of things forgotten). I settled into a regular pattern of journaling once per month. When my son was born two years later I started the same process with him. As time went on I learned that you could add photos into a Word document. I later learned that adding too many photos into a Word document will cause everything to crash (and cause you to lose your data). I started using digital note taking products around 2012 (like Evernote and One Note). As these programs were much more versatile than a Word document, I started adding my journal entries into those products. At some point I migrated from Blackberry to iPhone (I hated the lack of a keyboard for years...now I love it). As I got used to the iPhone I started putting some journal entries into the Notes section on my phone. As the years went by I ended up with the most treasured and precious stories of my children's lives in all this disparate places (Word, Evernote, One Note, iPhone notes, etc.). My intention all along was to gift these stories to my children when they graduated high school. As that day was getting closer I needed one safe, secure, and digital place to keep all the stories and memories. I searched online and in the "app stores" and could not find anything that addressed my needs. That was what eventually led to the creation of the Legacy Journal mobile app. Now I have all of my stories in one place. And it happened just in time! My daughter graduated high school last June and I was able to give her 18-years' worth of the stories of her life. You can watch a video of the moment here. So now I have hundreds of stories (for each of my three children) all on the little device that goes with me everywhere. I will continue to write to my children (and grandchildren someday) until the day I die. When that day comes, I know the most valuable thing I will leave behind will not be money, businesses, land, or assets. It will be the words I have written, the photos, videos, and audio messages included, that tell the story of our lives.
When you started what mistake or failure taught you the most about running a business?
OMG....I could write a book about the mistakes I have made in this one business alone! In fact, I have actually written a resource document that I share with others that are considering starting a tech venture/mobile app. One early mistake I make was building for multiple platforms. Out of the gate we released a web app, an iOS app, and and Android app. I simply didn't know better. And unfortunately no one I spoke to gave me advice NOT to do it that way. I now advise people to start small with ONE platform. Iterate, pivot, make changes, make updates, learn, build your user base, and THEN move into multiple platforms.
What support did you have?
I have some type of business coach since 2010. Coaches, advisors, and mentors have played a HUGE role in my success over the past 10 years. Two organizations that have been instrumental in my growth as a person, professional, husband, and father have been GOBUNDANCE and FRONT ROW DADS.
How do you stay motivated to keep trying when there is a set back?
Some days are hard. I mean REALLY HARD. That is the life of the entrepreneur. It is important to celebrate the little victories and to appreciate the opportunity to be in the arena. Many people are too scared to take a chance. They stay trapped in a life working for others and struggling to make ends meet. I practice gratitude every single day. When I am grateful, it is hard to be angry, disappointed, envious, etc.
Share a success you are very proud of.
My greatest success is my beautiful wife and my amazing three children. I am married to my soul mate. And all three of my children are VERY smart, highly emotionally intelligent, and driven to do good in the world.