FILED IN: Clients Who Inspire, Small Business Spotlight
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman, Founder
We are so excited to kick off a brand new blog series today. But this isn't just any blog series. This one is really special. It recently occurred to me just how lucky we are at M&G to work with clients doing so many incredible things in their lives and their businesses. Because they've inspired us so much, I knew it was time to shout them from the rooftops in hopes of them inspiring you too!
We're kicking off this series with a long-time client of ours Kendra Barnes, owner of The Key Resource, a real estate investment education firm. A little background...Kendra first came to us when she was planning a retirement celebration weekend for her military mom who was retiring at the highest possible enlisted rank in the Air Force after 30+ years of service! Kendra wanted to surprise her mom, and in turn all of the guests, with patriotic welcome gifts. In conversations throughout the design process, it was obvious how proud Kendra was of her mom and how generous she was in pulling out all the stops to make the weekend something her mom would never forget. She talked about how strong and steadfast her mom is and it quickly occurred to be that Kendra is just like her mom, hard-working and just as determined in her own right. A little fun fact...Kendra recently gave birth to her first daughter Avery and we have no doubt that Avery is one lucky girl having such strong female role models to grow up alongside.
Okay, okay, enough from me. We can't wait for you to hear from Kendra in her own words...
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business or line of work?
I’m a real estate investor! My husband and I own rental properties in DC and Maryland. I recently retired from my government job at the age of 32! I also founded The Key Resource to teach people how to get started with Real Estate Investing.
Tell us about your mission and core values related to your business and life?
My motto is “You are Worthy of Wealth”. I want people to realize that they are worthy of wealth and that wealth is within reach! Many people believe that wealth is a prerequisite to invest in real estate, when it’s actually a byproduct of investing in real estate. You don’t have to be rich. You can literally start right now, with what you have. It just takes a mindset shift! My mission is to inspire, empower and educate people to start investing to build wealth, and most importantly- I want them to start out better than I did.
Tell us how you got your start.
My husband and I got into Real Estate investing randomly! Believe it or not, a board game is what started it all! We played a game called Cash Flow and it changed our lives forever. After playing the game, we realized that we were missing out by not investing in Real Estate. Just a few months after playing Cash Flow we bought our first rental...and wasted over $50,000! That’s why I’m so passionate about helping people start out better than we did! There’s no reason anyone else should have to make the same mistakes. Despite the mistakes, we kept going and now we are addicted to real estate! We now own 8 rental units total.
What advice would you give to the 18 year old version of yourself?
Save money. The 18 year old Kendra spent every dollar she made, had multiple credit cards and was living above her means. I had no idea how important my credit score was. I didn’t realize that my poor money habits would affect me years later when I bought my first home!
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
When I’m not managing my rentals or hosting a webinar, you can find me thrift shopping, watching Netflix or baking some gluten-free goodies!
What is your biggest challenge in business ownership and/or your career?
Before I started The Key Resource, I owned an online wedding gift shop. Switching from running an e-commerce business to becoming an infopreneur was TOUGH! When I ran my e-commerce shop it was easy to price the goods for sale, but when it came to putting a price tag on my knowledge and expertise, I found it really difficult.
What is your biggest joy in business ownership or in your chosen career path?
Seeing that “Aha” moment that my students have when they realize that they can do this! And getting an email or text from my students with a photo of them in front of their first home or rental property. I live for those moments!
What advice would you give to others looking to follow in your footsteps?
Why was gifting important to you for your wedding/event/client experience?
Gifting takes events to a whole other level! Especially when the gifts are from Marigold & Grey. When I was planning my mom’s retirement weekend I knew I wanted to thank all of her friends and family that came to celebrate. Many of them traveled from out of town so I thought it would be a nice touch to have welcome gifts in their hotel rooms when they arrived. The welcome boxes were a hit! The retirement was over a year ago and people are still talking about them! Gifting is one of those things that really makes for a memorable and meaningful moment that’s talked about for years to come!
I also use Marigold & Grey welcome boxes for my Real Estate Retreats. Nothing says “Luxury” and “VIP” like a beautiful welcome box with a customized handwritten note!
Who are some people you find exceptionally inspiring and why?
Tiffany Aliche “The Budgetnista” is a huge inspiration! All middle schoolers in New Jersey are now required to learn financial literacy in the classroom because of a bill that she initiated called “The Budgetnista Bill”. I truly believe that this should be nationwide! Our youth need to learn about money at a young age to set them up for success in life. Learning Geometry is fine, but kids need to learn about budgets, saving, and investing too.
Any big announcements related to your business that we can share and help promote? Please explain here.
A huge 'thank you' to Kendra for sharing her story and insights with us today! I'm practically in tears over here in thinking about the impact she's had and is continuing to have! She is constantly offering up useful, practical, and educational content to her audience so be sure to follow along and support her in any way you can. For a peek at the retirement gifts she created with us, visit here!
Images by: Marrica Evans Photography and The Lens Experience