David VS Goliath – S1 – Episode 12 – Jessica Kendrick
In this episode Adam DeGraide interviews the mover and shaker Jessica Kendrick from the Kendrick Law Group. Jessica discusses the challenges and opportunity associated with balancing work life, family and charitable interests all while maintaining and growing several successful businesses.
Adam DeGraide: (00:00)
Coming up today on David Vs Goliath.
Jessica Kendrick: (00:02)
If I can make business and that merge together, everyone wins.
Adam DeGraide: (00:07)
You ask the right people, the right questions, and remember the answers. You can be very successful.
Speaker 3: (00:18)
Welcome to today’s episode of David Vs Goliath, a podcast dedicated to helping small businesses leverage technology to not only help them compete against their large competitors, but win. Your host is currently the CEO of Anthem Business Software, a free time Inc. 500 recipient and a serial entrepreneur with a passion to help small businesses everywhere find, serve, and keep more customers profitably. Please join me in welcoming your host, Adam DeGraide.
Adam DeGraide: (00:49)
Hey everyone. It’s Adam DeGraide with another fantastic episode of David Vs Goliath. Welcome to what we believe to be one of the best business podcasts in the world. And we are excited to bring it to you every week, DVG style. I’m your host, Adam DeGraide, as I mentioned, and today’s episode is brought to you by Anthem Software, where you can find, serve, and keep more customers profitably with our all in one software marketing consulting platform, take a quick 122nd tour on their website at anthemsoftware.com. Now, before we get into today’s episode with Jessica Kendrick, from the Kendrick Law Group, make sure you also visit us online at davidvsgoliathpodcast.com.
Adam DeGraide: (01:32)
Give us your email. You get email notifications on the podcast and you can also apply to be on the podcast, which we’d love to have you at. And you can also find us on YouTube. Obviously, if you’re a listener, you can listen on Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple, basically anywhere you can imagine. And if you are primarily a listener, this is a visual podcast. So if you’re used to listening, you can also come and watch us on our YouTube channel, David VS Goliath Podcast. So we are so excited to have Jessica Kendrick. Jessica, welcome to David VS Goliath.
Jessica Kendrick: (02:04)
Hi, thanks for having me. I mean, it’s so exciting. I don’t know what to expect so let’s see.
Adam DeGraide: (02:09)
Well, just follow my lead and you’ll be no problem at all. Jessica, one of the things that first time I met you, you were, I believer the chair of the gala for Make-A-Wish, which is a charity that we support. I know that you support Make-A-Wish as well too. And Jessica controlled this event like a freak, she just got up there took control. I mean, the event was amazing and that’s been a passion of yours. I mean, we’re going to obviously talk a little bit about business, but philanthropy is a big part of your life as well as being a mom and running a business which makes us all of our lives interesting, it’s not just about us at a desk. It’s about us experiencing life and philanthropy is a big part of that. And if you would tell people a little bit how you got involved with Make-A-Wish and what was so passionate for you to be a part of it.
Jessica Kendrick: (03:00)
Yeah, I love Make-A-Wish and I love that you guys always support and still support. So do I, but it really started when I was small. My mom was the one that jumped into helping everybody. So when I was little, that’s all I did, we’d go after school and we’d go to the domestic violence shelter. And I got to know the kids there that were going through it. And then we did some with pediatric oncology in the hospital. So it really just was ingrained in me from a young age. So it never went away. And that’s what I intend to do with my kids is I throw them into things, even though they’re little, they’re starting to see that the number one thing well, at least in my life is you should always give back, no matter if it’s a dollar or $10,000 or a million dollars, whatever you can do every dollar counts and letting my kids at four and six get to know that and learn that. And my employees, that’s just really a culture I wanted and if I can make business and that merge together, everyone wins.
Adam DeGraide: (03:57)
Yeah. And you have done that, for the listeners and watchers. Jessica’s a very interesting person. I mean, she’s passionate about her businesses, but she’s just as passionate about helping people in the community, which I think is fantastic. We’re going to come back a little bit to the charity stuff in a little while, but I thought I would be good to start with that because that’s how you and I met. And I was very impressed. Very impressed then. And I’ve obviously checked you out online, it’s kendricklawgroup.com, is that correct?
Jessica Kendrick: (04:27)
It is. Yeah. That’s my law practice and I have all the other businesses, like we all know what to do running around and doing multiple streams of income.
Adam DeGraide: (04:36)
Yeah. So tell people a little bit about the law group and you call yourself a boutique, which means that it would be specialized or really a personalized touch. Tell people a little bit about the law group.
Jessica Kendrick: (04:49)
So the law group started six years ago and it was right when I had my first kid and realized the big law practice with wanting to be a mom was not going to work for me. It works for some, but not for me. And so I launched the law group and in my head, when I launched it was like, it’s just going to be me and my paralegal and we’ll be good and it’ll give me something to do and I’ll be a mom and I’ll give back. And then from there, all the people that are with me now jumped over and were like, “We want that same work life balance.” And they all have the drive to be so successful. So you really have to have that too to make it work. And we specialize in almost like the person, a business owner, what are they going to need?
Jessica Kendrick: (05:31)
Estate planning, business planning, very transactional, very proactive law. And so that’s been our number one thing is how to keep you out of trouble. You can’t do it all the time, but be proactive. And in the long run, it saves you money to be proactive and you get a little peace of mind. And then from that, we just layered it with other areas such as real estate, which was when then we started opening title companies is all our clients were having us review real estate documents. And we’re like, “Well, we can even streamline this easier for you.” So it just started growing from there. And I’m blessed because I have a ton of awesome partners that jump in with me and without it, I wouldn’t be able to grow it without them. So that’s where it’s really just blew up from there.
Adam DeGraide: (06:14)
You did it almost like out a necessity, right? You wanted to have that life balance, a traditional law firm wasn’t doing that for you. So you looked for an angle and to create your own space, when you made that space, the interesting thing folks is when you find your space, other people are attracted to that space and they want to get in it as well too. And you’ve gone from yourself to having partners. How many partners do you have in the law firm right now?
Jessica Kendrick: (06:39)
We have four other attorneys.
Adam DeGraide: (06:41)
Jessica Kendrick: (06:43)
And I mean, at one point we had seven and two of them moved away or had other passions and went different routes. But overall it’s been, the attraction is you can have a successful career, but you can also be a mom or a dad or grandpa and balance that you can work from anywhere. We also took law very digital, everything we can do from anywhere. The typical older law firm is all paper. When I was pregnant, I had to run in and get paper files. So essentially going back and forth and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a transition as grows, but that’s where really we had to learn how to shift. So yeah, out a necessity. I was like, here’s what I have to do to be home with my baby.
Adam DeGraide: (07:26)
Yeah. Man, I got to tell you, they say there’s a few reasons why people start their own business. A they’re broke or there’s desperation. In other words, they need, or they’re inspired to do something. And in what inspired you is in time with your family, making a good living, having time with your kids, teaching them about the world. And you said something very interesting about your mom, your mom showed you what it was like to be around things and people that had needs. Right?
Jessica Kendrick: (07:53)
Adam DeGraide: (07:53)
And so it probably helped you identify in your own life. What was important to you? What did you need to be satisfied? And you figured, “Okay, I love being a lawyer. I love the whole concept of it. I love business, but I want to be a mom first and somebody own my own business.”
Adam DeGraide: (08:13)
And I think that’s admirable and fantastic. So congratulations to you. That is a very rare thing for people to listen to their hearts and then instinctually do it. I tell people all the time that hesitancy is the death of an entrepreneur, but action is the life of an entrepreneur. And that’s what this podcast really is about Jessica. We’re trying to inspire, we’re trying to educate, we’re trying to activate small business owners. So when you think about you opened your door, you put a shingle up, you said, “I’m going to go do this.” Was it kind of like a shotgun thing? Or did you plan it out or did you just make it up as you went along?
Jessica Kendrick: (08:52)
So it mixed both. I’m a planner. So in my head I conceptually planned it, but in no means did I do what I advise other people to do. I didn’t sit there and write it down. I wasn’t like, “Okay, this is how much I need to bring in to cover the overhead.” I just was like, “I’ll just make it work.” And since then it was more in my first year that I was like, “Oh, I should probably start seeing what I spend versus what I’m bringing in and how we’re growing.” And so then it got a little better organized than the first year.
Jessica Kendrick: (09:24)
But I think in my opinion, a lot of entrepreneurs do that because if it’s just you, you’re like, “I feel like we already have this in a risk taking, I’m just going to risk it.” And what’s the worst case area in a year it doesn’t work. And I have to go back into standard, big law. That to me, for me personally, I know everyone has their thresholds, but to me that was not the end all be all. I was like, “Well, if that’s what happens, that’s what happens. And it’ll be okay, but I don’t want that to happen. So let me find every way not to make that happen.”
Adam DeGraide: (09:53)
Yeah, exactly. My buddy, Bob Tasca says, plan B sucks. He wanted to make sure, he might have more than one plan A, but he’s definitely not going to have a plan B. Now with your partners that are involved now, do you guys get together and plan and set goals now? Because I mean, you have different layers in the business now. You got title companies and you’ve got the legal firm. And so do you sit down and say, Hey, we want to add this many clients here. Do you get that granular? Or is it more like, “We just want to have a good time and make enough money to survive.”
Jessica Kendrick: (10:25)
A bit of both, to be honest. So I have one partner, who’s my partner in all the companies, Sarah. And she is my best friend through all of this. And everyone was always like best friends at work together. You’ll ruin your friendship, we’re like two opposites. So when I’m with one, I’m a big picture and she’s like, “Whoa, can we back up and do some of the details on how to get to the big picture?” I’m like, “No, you just jump off the cliff, you just do it.” And she’s like, “Yeah, I mean, we can, but we might want to have like a parachute.”
Adam DeGraide: (10:58)
Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Jessica Kendrick: (10:59)
It’s me and her that do a lot of the business planning and we do, we get to the point of somewhat granular, it’s I think with law, it’s a little hard. You’re like, “Yeah, I want five clients, but do I want five, $10,000 clients a month, five, three, $20,000?” So it’s a little more like, what areas are we going to focus on and grow? And then we look at a revenue stream and I’m like, okay, if we hit this revenue, we have much more profitability. As far as title, we go very granular. I can be like, I want to add 10 closings a month. And this is exactly how we’re going to get there. And if we don’t get there, XYZ failed. So way more granular on that side, because I think it’s more monetarily more averaged.
Adam DeGraide: (11:40)
And between the different companies that you have, how many people work alongside with you guys, so you got four lawyers. And then if you looked at all the different entities, how many people are you responsible for right now?
Jessica Kendrick: (11:50)
We have 27 employees between them all now.
Adam DeGraide: (11:52)
It’s amazing I tell people my businesses, once they reach 50 employees, my eyes glaze over and I start to walk around like a zombie because people don’t really realize. I mean, it’s a lot. I mean, I remember I was telling a story a few podcast back about how I had 170 employees in my first business and you know your company is getting a little too big when you leave for a couple of months and you work remotely and you call in and they’re like, “Hey, it’s Adam, I’m looking for Joe.” And they say, “May I ask him what it’s regarding to?” Well, you’re like, I own the business. I own the business. And I need to speak to my chief operating officer. So it gets a little weird as you start to add more and more employees.
Adam DeGraide: (12:35)
When you think about people, how do you find great people? Because one of the things we’re trying to do with this podcast too is helping people discover tips and tricks. And you, I would imagine I’ve always told people A players attract A players. If you have a positive outlook and you have fun at work, that’s going to attract people that have a positive outlook and fun at work. I know that’s a big piece of it, but are there any tools, is there any tips or suggestions you can give people that are looking to get good people that stay?
Jessica Kendrick: (13:04)
Oh, well, I think there’s a few things I always look for. I used to always be so resume based like, oh, they have experience in this. I pretty much look at a resume to make sure there’s maybe not a massive gap or consistent jumping. But other than that, I’m like, okay, I want to meet the person. I want to see how they are. I want to see how they react to me. I think especially being a female, it’s gotten better through the years, but in the beginning a lot more, if I was interviewing men, it’d be a different reaction. And I was younger. I mean, when I started my company, I was 30 and I was interviewing people older than me. And they were looking at me like, “Are we going to take you seriously?” And I’m like, “Well, I’m the one hiring you.” But I think a lot of it is [inaudible 00:13:48].
Adam DeGraide: (13:49)
You’re the one looking for a job.
Jessica Kendrick: (13:51)
You’re asking me to pay you. But it’s really to me, just a vibe and I’m big on interviews or not interviews. I’m not like, “Give me your five best qualities. Give me this.” Everyone can lie. All of us know how to give the elevator speech where we sound amazing. I literally get there talking. I start talking about my kids. I start talking about chaos. I start talking about how if I don’t show up to work, because then they get comfortable and then I start learning who they are. And we’ve had some terrible employees. We’ve had some that I’m like, wow, I really thought that would be great. And you find it out. But I think the biggest thing I’ve found is when I find them through other people, like a friend of a friend and I don’t care if they have the experience, I can train the experience, but they have the work ethic.
Jessica Kendrick: (14:34)
And just the loyalty, which is hard in today’s society is to find that loyalty of someone not to leave for an extra dollar an hour. And really packaging something that’s not just money based. We all want to make a ton of money, if someone says they don’t want to make money, they’re lying. And they’re not my person. Everyone is incentivized by money in my opinion. But there should be other things that come with it. And a lot of our packages we do things together. We are giving back where we do remote Fridays so they can work from anywhere and little things like that, that I’ve noticed in today’s society and how we’ve gone very remote have played a big picture because like my assistants, like I love it. I go to the beach, we have a beach condo. I go to the beach on Thursday night and can stay till Monday morning. And that gives me a whole extra day to get away. But she’s working almost harder. So it’s finding that balance, I think. But I think it’s just getting people talking.
Adam DeGraide: (15:30)
Yeah. I have a great question. I love to ask people. And so if you’re ever interviewed by me, it always ends the same way. Jessica, I’m going to do it with you right now. Jessica. You ready? So Jessica you’re on death row. What’s your last meal?
Jessica Kendrick: (15:46)
Number seven from McDonald’s with a large Coke.
Adam DeGraide: (15:49)
Okay. And then my follow up question always makes him a little uncomfortable. Why are you on death row?
Jessica Kendrick: (15:58)
I killed a lot of people.
Adam DeGraide: (16:02)
Now see, I’d hire you in two seconds. I thought those answers are the ones that get really, really, really interesting because people are like, “Why am I on death row?” Because you never really think about that. Right?
Jessica Kendrick: (16:13)
Well, yeah, but I mean, if I’m there, I better have done a lot of damage.
Adam DeGraide: (16:18)
Exactly right. That’s right because you’re on death row right.
Jessica Kendrick: (16:21)
If I’m going to do something, it’s going to the fullest extent.
Adam DeGraide: (16:25)
Well clearly, because I’ve known you for a few years and that’s definitely the case. So Jessica, hold on a second. We got to take a break from our corporate sponsor Anthem Software. I’m Adam DeGraide, this is David VS Goliath will be right back.
Speaker 3: (16:37)
Anthem Business Software system is designed to specifically help small businesses just like yours find, serve, and keep more customers profitably. We do this by providing you with the most powerful software automations and marketing services to help your business compete and win in this ever changing digital world. Take a short video tour at anthemsoftware.com.
Adam DeGraide: (17:00)
And we’re back with Jessica Kendrick. Jessica I always throw my arms up in the air. I get pumped. I pointed the camera. I can’t help myself.
Jessica Kendrick: (17:28)
I’m in on this.
Adam DeGraide: (17:28)
It’s be yeah, you’re got to be a little entertaining in the process. Now I was reading on this sheet before the show that used to be a collegiate athlete. And you had a chance at actually going to the World Cup, but you got an injury. Talk to us about your passion for sports and what happened in your life at that point?
Jessica Kendrick: (17:52)
Well, I spent my whole life playing soccer and it was my passion. I loved it. I went to college for it. I mean it gave me the foundation that I have in business. You just work until it works. But yeah, when I was in college, I was a center back. So I was a bit heftier than I am now, 40 pounds heftier. And I blew my knee. I kept blowing my knee. I blew my ankles. So it wasn’t in my cards is how I look at it. It was my goal in my entire life, but it wasn’t in my cards. And so I had to just shift. I think every on entrepreneur has that moment in their life that they had to shift their entire life, whether it be in business or life or personal life or anything. And that’s really what drove me into wanting to have run something, wanting to own something, wanting to take my passion that I had my whole life in soccer and throw it into something else. So yeah.
Adam DeGraide: (18:47)
Yeah, soccer takes discipline. I used to play soccer as well too. And when I was a high schooler, I was a pitcher and I had a bone chip that I never wanted to get surgery on, but I was invited to try out for the California Angels and at the time the Montreal Expos, but that wasn’t in my cards. It just wasn’t in my cards. And everything happens to us for a reason. I mean, anything happens to us for a reason. You had certain ideas and plans, but that can still be devastating. If that was a dream and a goal of yours and then your knee blows out, have you seen the guy that Joe Rogan talks about knees over toes?
Jessica Kendrick: (19:23)
Adam DeGraide: (19:24)
Yeah. If you go to Instagram, it’s called knees over toes. This guy has exercises to support the knee muscle. So you don’t injure it. Pretty wild. So check it out I have [inaudible 00:19:35].
Jessica Kendrick: (19:35)
I finally didn’t do that because I dance on a table on a Friday night, a little too much and I can barely walk on the Saturday. So I’m a little beat up.
Adam DeGraide: (19:43)
That’s great. That’s great. Now in your law practice, in your different businesses, what tools do you use to A, run your business and then B, market your business? I think people would like to know that.
Jessica Kendrick: (19:58)
Number one tool to run my business is awesome people around me and learning how to delegate and trust that they are doing it, how we’ve trained them to do it. All the digital stuff we can all have, that’s all comparable, but I think it really comes down to the people around me and how they can implement. If I walk out of this office for a week, two weeks, a month, it still runs and it runs how it would run if I was sitting at my desk. And then as far as marketing, it’s people too, we do most of our marketing. I’d say 80% of all our company’s marketing is through charity work. And that’s not saying we use charity work, but if I’m going to go and pay for an event, that’s a marketing event or I could pay for a charity event and it goes to charity, we’re picking the charity event.
Adam DeGraide: (20:48)
Jessica Kendrick: (20:50)
And then you’re connecting with people that are like-minded just like us. I mean we met at Make-A-Wish we’re like-minded we give back, our company gives back all the time. I respect that. And a business owner, I want to work with business owners or clients that have that passion too. And it doesn’t have to be is mine, but at least want to jump in and want to help people because I know we’re going to get along then and we’re never going to really dislike one another because we have a common interest.
Adam DeGraide: (21:16)
Yeah, totally. And that’s an interesting concept. So if you’re going to spend 10 grand here or 10 grand at a charity event and get the same exposure, it’s a double win, triple win. Actually, if you think about it, everyone’s winning at that point in time in the charity. That’s really good advice. Now you’re [crosstalk 00:21:33], I’m sorry, go ahead.
Jessica Kendrick: (21:34)
Sorry. I get asked to do conventions and stuff and they just don’t fit for my company. I just want to put my staff in places that they’re giving back. And then we also invite clients. So if we buy a table, we invite clients because then they see working with us. This is where we’re giving our money away to.
Adam DeGraide: (21:53)
I love it. And it’s definitely something that we do as well as you know, we do.
Jessica Kendrick: (21:58)
Oh yeah. You guys are hugely charitable and I have always loved and respected that with you once more.
Adam DeGraide: (22:04)
Now you started your own foundation or your own charity as well. Is it a couple of them or is it one of them?
Jessica Kendrick: (22:09)
Just one, just one say our hard work.
Adam DeGraide: (22:14)
Tell the folks a little bit about it.
Jessica Kendrick: (22:16)
So four years ago we started Hope for More Foundation and it was purely because at that point, my oldest was two, two or three and he wanted to start giving back and he wanted to give food away. And so we did a food drive and it was so he could do it because all the charities wouldn’t allow little kids inside to the food banks and all that. They’re too little. So we started doing that, me and my partner, Sarah and her little boy at the time was four. And they sat in our hallways for two straight weeks, packaging boxes for kids with no food. And that’s how they conceptualized it.
Jessica Kendrick: (22:52)
Kids with no food kids with no food. And just naturally from that they learned, Santa would come or presents would come and they’d be like, “Well, we don’t need this present anymore because that little kid with no food has no toys probably.” And so that just made my heart so happy. And so we started Hope for More Foundation, which was started small food drive, and now it’s taken off. We’re up to next year, we’ll have four events. But our biggest event was a concept where it was an anti gala. We all go to the black tie galas. We all love them. They all do great things.
Adam DeGraide: (23:28)
I saw that. It wasn’t like red solo cups and country music and stuff. Like what?
Jessica Kendrick: (23:34)
Yeah, it’s pretty much going back to college tailgating yet still like open bar, nice bar, food trucks, a lot of fun, but it was like, instead of paying for the hair makeup gala gown. And at that point you’re over a grand normally donate that all to the cause, come in jeans, come in a T-shirt. I mean, one year I was in a T-shirt and leggings because I was running. I was like, it is what it is.
Adam DeGraide: (23:59)
I’ve got to come to one. We saw it, we thought about going, we never went. I’ve got makes you invite Crystal and I next time I think that would be something we would love to do.
Jessica Kendrick: (24:08)
I will, it’s coming up February 5th. So I’ll send you guys info. Yeah, it’s awesome.
Adam DeGraide: (24:14)
Yeah. Send me an invite. What are the things that you mentioned about your kids? You were raised with a mom who showed you that. You’re raising your kids to see that. And at an early stage, it reminds me a little bit about even what we do in our offices, people see us our work ethic or not. And that directly affects our employees. Your processes that you have in your business. Do you map them out? There’s some businesses that get very granular, like we do. We try to blueprint everything.
Adam DeGraide: (24:44)
So if a client calls and they have this objection or this question, here’s the 10 things we say, if somebody has a question about SEO, we send them a video to explain how SEO is done. And so they can do it. If they got questions about the best ways to do social media, we provide links and education. And we really try to think through these things, to have my employees know where these things are to use them as research sources to our clients. Do you take it to that granular level at the law firm? Or are you just relying on natural abilities to get it done?
Jessica Kendrick: (25:18)
A mix of both. As we’ve grown, I’m getting more granular. So when we were smaller and I was more here and hands on and knew exactly what was being said, I could hear the receptionist. I could hear everything. We didn’t do it like that. I mean, I think 10 employees and under you start just kind of going like here, do it, take it. We’re growing too fast. Take it. But when we hit about 15 employees across the companies, we started really making manuals, processes, even email templates on like, “Hey, if people send this, here’s what we need you to write back.” Because [crosstalk 00:25:51] better.
Adam DeGraide: (25:52)
It’s smart by the way, Jessica too, we used to call it McDonaldization you mentioned that McDonald’s is your death row dinner. I called it. You have to McDonaldize your company. If you walk into a McDonald’s as an employee, they have a manual on everything you could possibly imagine, including how to sweep the floors so that McDonaldization has allowed them to scale. And also not to, and to have more efficiency out of their team. And quite frankly, people need to know what they need to do because otherwise they’re just making it up. So I highly recommend for business owners that if you haven’t started to get granular, you really should. Because it makes a big difference in your business. What is?
Jessica Kendrick: (26:37)
I’m going Chick-fil-A. If I have to take a manual from a fast food, I’m going Chick-fil-A status. I have never had a bad experience at Chick-fil-A.
Adam DeGraide: (26:46)
And by the way, it’s my pleasure.
Jessica Kendrick: (26:49)
Exactly. You know exactly if someone worked at Chick-fil-A because they say that.
Adam DeGraide: (26:53)
That’s right. It’s my pleasure. It’s actually my pleasure because I’m the one eating this amazing waffle fry that is killing my waistline, but I don’t care. No I love Chick-fil-A. There’s no doubt about it. And consistency is the key. So I mean, everything in the culture of an organization, your culture of your organization is charity. So people are going to have to be charitable to be a part of your organization. I’m a results driven CEO. So to me, it’s about, we have a business plan. We have goals. We’re going to hit those numbers. And if we don’t, who’s paying the price?
Adam DeGraide: (27:31)
And in some cases I might fire myself if I have to. But at the end of the day, we have to be very, very process driven. It’s critical. Now, Jessica, I am going to take one more quick break. And then when we come back, we’re going to talk about courage, which I believe is the stone that the shepherd boy used to slay the giant Goliath. And it takes a lot of courage to open your own business. Not one, not two but three, a charity, be a mom all at the same time, we’ll be right back, in a few seconds on David VS Goliath. Stay tuned.
Speaker 4: (28:07)
At King Sixteen, our agency has done some exciting things over the years, we’ve designed and built amazing experiences for customers. And launched several vehicles for Audis and Porsche. We’ve thrown extravagant parties inside whiskey distilleries, and featured amazing and products for brands like Ray ban and fossil. We booked some incredible talent and designed cutting edge stages for those performances. We even through a red carpet gala in the middle of nowhere on a horse farm with hundreds of celebrities, which was difficult, I guess you could say we’ve done some of amazing things for our brands and partners. Now the only question is what will King Sixteen do for you? Find out at kingsixteen.com that’s kingsixteen.com.
Adam DeGraide: (29:25)
And we’re back again with Jessica Kendrick, probably the coolest person, oh, I don’t know about the coolest person, but one of the coolest people, definitely in the Orlando area. And I love O town, by the way, I live in Orlando for my listeners and watchers. They may not know that, but I live in Orlando. I love it. Although I do not spend the summers here because of this.
Jessica Kendrick: (29:46)
I was like, you are not here some parts?
Adam DeGraide: (29:49)
I cannot do the summers here. So I will be elsewhere in the summer, remotely doing David VS Goliath. But it’s been exciting. So courage. When you think about that, sometimes people think of the cowardly lion, courage, but at the end of the day, it’s a word that I think is underappreciated and there’s entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs that listen to David VS Goliath. And they watch the show and they want to get inspiration and they want to build that courage in them. You said something like, “If it doesn’t work, no big deal. I’ll go get another job somewhere else.” Some other people personalities, they want to be an entrepreneur, but they’re locked in fear. When you made the decision to go out on your own, because you wanted that work life balance, that took courage. What was the intangible and how did you feel the very first day you started your business?
Jessica Kendrick: (30:42)
I was like, “Oh gosh, what did I just do?” No. I mean, I think it was empowering and it was like, “This is going to be amazing.” And then day one, I found 50 things that I hadn’t thought of and had to just start being an assistant pretty much. I was like, “Oh we do need a copier. I thought this little printer would be fine. We need a copier.” I mean, it was just all the little things. No one set you up for that the first few months I was like, “Well, I’m not a lawyer right now. I’m pretty much a glorified, assistant trying to figure out these little things and then let me go be a lawyer. And then let me be back to an assistant.” And you’re just a lot of things you just never of. And there’s no book-
Adam DeGraide: (31:22)
There’s no book.
Jessica Kendrick: (31:24)
… possible that can prep you. I read 50 books and they missed all the basics, they’re high level. And you’re like, “But what about the little things? What happens when someone yells at you? What happens when someone’s unhappy? How do you deal with this?” And I mean, I was fortunate. I had a bunch of lawyers that were great mentors and I would just call them at all hours of the night and ask them some really dumb questions. And they would remind me that no question is stupid. And so literally at that point I was like, “Okay, this is good.” Well, they told me it’s stupid if I ask it more than once. But it turns stupid if you ask it more than once.
Adam DeGraide: (32:07)
By the way, if you ask the right people, the right questions and remember the answers, you can be very successful. That was a quote by Bob Tasca Sr, when he was teaching and mentoring his kids to run their business. He said, “Listen, kids, if you ask the right people, the right questions, remember the answer, you can be successful. You ask the wrong people, the right questions. You’re dead in the water.”
Jessica Kendrick: (32:37)
That is true.
Adam DeGraide: (32:38)
Jessica Kendrick: (32:39)
Adam DeGraide: (32:40)
And my advice to people that want to build a successful business, you probably should go find people that have done it and ask them versus the guy who failed at it. “Hey, how did you fail?” No, you want to find out how people win and how they get to it and good people that want to give back like Jessica. And I like to give back too. We love to help people learn what those answers are.
Jessica Kendrick: (33:02)
Oh, I love it. Yeah. If someone came up to me and said, “I’m opening a title business, one street over from you,” I’d be like, “Okay, there’s enough business to go around. And I’m solid and enough in the business I have that you’re not going to take it.” So.
Adam DeGraide: (33:16)
I have a very good buddy of mine who has a very big company in the title business. His name is Jesse Biter from PropLogix. I’m not too sure if you’re familiar with PropLogix. He’s one of my best friends. So there’s a little shout out to my boy, Jesse. And to PropLogix, although they don’t pay me to be on this show. Although I have to talk to Jesse-
Jessica Kendrick: (33:38)
They should after this, they have a great reputation. So I have to commend him for that.
Adam DeGraide: (33:43)
Yeah. No, no. He’s an animal. The guy’s an animal operator and one day you’ll meet him. There’s no doubt in my mind. I’m sure there’ll be a time comes when you can meet the guys. Very, very successful. When you think about that very first day that you hung that shingle up and you put your head on the bed that night, how did you feel?
Jessica Kendrick: (34:02)
I felt proud of myself. I felt for once I was like, I did something on my own, so I’ve always done things on my own. But when looking back, I mean, I have amazing parents, who always empowered me to be on my own, but I always had something to fall back on. I can fall back on this. Even in college, I had a team to fall back on. This was truly the first thing I did that it was like me, I built this, I did this. I got to make it work. And my pride kicks in where I’m like, this is not going to fail no matter what I have to do, I’m going to make this work.
Adam DeGraide: (34:38)
That’s awesome, man. It does feel great. Doesn’t it? When you realize that you could do it and you did it and here you are still doing it. What advice?
Jessica Kendrick: (34:47)
I mean, there’s some days I don’t want to be doing it.
Adam DeGraide: (34:50)
I understand please be reasonable. What advice would you give to that man or woman right now who is either discouraged or scared?
Jessica Kendrick: (35:04)
Find a mentor. I think finding a mentor or two, if you can find two or three, it’s great. But find someone that you can just say what’s on your mind, ask the questions. They’re not judging you. They’re saying, “Yeah, I’ve been through that. This is how I got through it. You might be different, but here’s some ways.” I think that’s number is if I didn’t have in the first year, the mentors I had, I probably would’ve gotten a little discouraged just because you do, you just get in rut and you feel a little lonely out there because you’re by yourself in a business.
Jessica Kendrick: (35:36)
So I just say, find a mentor or two that are amazing. And I think they have to be a mentor that has a similar work life concept. For me, my mentors were dads or moms. They had kids. They had to understand that I couldn’t work from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Because that had to be my time. I shut down and focus on my kids.
Adam DeGraide: (35:59)
Jessica Kendrick: (36:01)
If you don’t have that, they’re never going to get it. I had other mentors that didn’t have kids and they’re like, “Just work the weekends.” And I’m like, “Well, yeah, I’m always working, but I also can’t work and not be present in my kids’ life because then this concept is not going to work for me personally.”
Adam DeGraide: (36:17)
Yeah, you know what? And you said it so perfectly setting boundaries and finding a mentor of kindred spirits, and finding someone that can link you and lift you up. I always liken it to oxygen. We need to breathe in and breathe out. Right? So when we breathe out, we reach for someone that we can lift and bring it over and that we can look up and get some breath from somebody else. It makes a huge, huge difference in our life. Jessica, this has been amazing. I hope you’ve enjoyed being on the podcast.
Jessica Kendrick: (36:45)
Oh, I loved it.
Adam DeGraide: (36:45)
You’re doing a great job.
Jessica Kendrick: (36:46)
Adam DeGraide: (36:47)
Yeah, by the way, make sure you subscribe and make sure you get all your friends to subscribe, share it on social media when it comes out. This has been an amazing episode with Jessica Kendrick, I’m your host Adam DeGraide. This is David VS Goliath. The greatest small business inspirational, educational and activation show in the world. I’ll see you next week. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great day.