Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
Sometimes the biggest opportunity for knowledge acquisition is what we don’t realize we must learn in order to succeed. This is how Dave Menz defined success, what he needed to do to reach his goals, and the total amount of impact realized.
In this show, you will hear how to: chase the next level of success; study business to help make the right decisions right now; and incorporate a three- to five-year vision to create a lasting business. Jess Dewell talks with Dave Menz, Founder of Queen City Laundry and Laundromat Millionaire, about scaling a small business.
Scaling a small business has its challenges, and each of us face a unique journey due to our strengths and weaknesses … and interests! Dave Menz, the Laundromat Millionaire, shares his experiences in repeating successes and learning from failures, resulting in the continued growth of his thriving company to multiple locations – as well as changing an industry along the way.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: Dave Menz
What You Will Hear:
Started as a side hustle.
Small goals added up to big success; how to chase the next level.
Dave’s future was (and is) to serve his community.
Compares himself only to his past – is there improvement today?
Find the way to stay ambitious and get to what you want…no matter what.
Investing in self and reinvesting in the business.
David Menz 00:00
When I found entrepreneurship and business ownership, I just said to him, like I could do both, I can do what I’m here to do. And if I do it really well serve my community and make money to mandate, I have no idea what I was in for.
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions it can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 01:04
Everybody. Welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. Do you want to know something every once in a while I come across a person that not only has a great story, but that thinks like me, which you know, I will adapt to think like a lot of people but to truly think like me, we already know he’s going to be creative. We already know he’s going to have out-of-the-box thoughts, we already know that you are going to be entertained as well as learn because what do we want to do here? We want to be learning from each other. But even more importantly than that, we want to keep the conversation going. The expertise that Dave men’s brings as a laundry industry veteran will be surprising. You might think what is this? What can I do here? And guess what? Not only did he start as a side hustle, he now owns multiple locations. He has scaled his business, and he is the host of the laundromat millionaire business podcast. Why is this important to us at the Bold Business Podcast, not only has he started from a side hustle scaled to a full-time business, and now helping other people in his industry as well as outside of his industry like us. He is a passionate entrepreneur like us. He has a husband, a dad, and a husband and a dad from Cincinnati, Ohio. And I have to tell you, he is the owner of the Queen City laundry chain of laundromats. He’s also an author. So guess what? You need to listen to what he has to say the story he shares is a unique path. Because he decided to have success. He decided to design that success. And he decided to learn from what was happening to him along the way to get to where he is today. Dave, welcome to our show.
David Menz 02:52
Thanks, Jess, I hope I can live up to that I was a lot.
Jess Dewell 02:58
You already know you you came.
David Menz 02:59
I’m really important all of a sudden.
Jess Dewell 03:01
As you should, as you should I have to tell you, well. So one of the things that caught my eye when we were talking early on, so really, it was probably my ear was all about the fact that you started as a side hustle. Was it ever going to be anything more than a side hustle?
David Menz 03:22
I mean, when I started out the first laundromat that I bought was losing money. So my first goal was just to get making money. And I thought if I can get this nice little side business from losing money to making money, that’s a, that’s a win, right? Yeah, I think beyond that is like gravy. I mean, I literally was thinking I was a very middle class, I was alignment, I worked at the local telephone company, I was the guy that claimed the telephone poles and fix the phone lines. I was married, I had, you know, three kids at home. And my wife was a school teacher. And so I mean that my expectations for success were pretty low. I mean, I remember thinking at one point, like I had a mortgage payment that was like, I don’t know, 1200 bucks a month or something like that. And I remember at one point, we had got the business making a little bit of money, and it was making, I don’t know, 1500 bucks a month or something like that. And I was still working my full-time job. And I remember thinking like, I’m 32 years old and basically don’t have a mortgage payment. Because my business my side hustle pays my mortgage payment and I like thought I was killing it. You know, the, the truth of the matter is I never dreamed in a million years, it would turn into half of what it has now. But I’ve always been a pretty ambitious, ambitious person about like, chasing that next level. Whenever I achieve something, I’m always like, okay, awesome, great. What’s next? And then I would just want to go on to the next thing. So I never dreamed in a million years it would turn into what it is today. But I wasn’t afraid to chase what that looked like either.
Jess Dewell 04:46
And so you didn’t think too far in the future. You didn’t necessarily have the end in mind. You just knew you were ready for this challenge and you were looking for something to be the next and didn’t even know if this was going to be the next
David Menz 04:59
No, no I didn’t know I mean, I knew whatever I got into, I would find a way to make it successful because I just won’t quit until I do. But I think the, I think the ceiling for success within this business in my mind, when I got into it was if I can ever quit my job if it can replace my income of my w two job, and support my family, and I can do this full time, that would just be a dream. Wow, that was like that was like it. And I wasn’t once again, I wasn’t afraid to, to chase something beyond that. But I’ve always been like a long-term thinker in the sense of like, maybe two to three years out. Yeah. And I’ve also been pretty balanced in the sense of I don’t really let myself go much beyond that. Because I’m just a very tunnel vision kind of guy. I have to be like so obsessively focused on how many get that two three year vision or goal. But I won’t like let myself go beyond that. Because I don’t want to get distracted. Does that make sense? It makes sense. It’s the right way to do it, just kind of how my mind was
Jess Dewell 05:53
There is no right way to do it. And true to the nature of even though, you know, we have all this prep work done. And we started from the same place. I want to stay right there for a minute. Because when you said what did you when you said you thought that the ceiling for your success would be to replace your full-time job? That was the original goal.
David Menz 06:14
Yeah, that was the dream. I don’t know if that was the goal. Okay. It was literally like a dream. I mean, that was you have to understand I was 32 years old. I didn’t go to college. I barely graduated high school, I was the bottom third of my class. And I like I had, you know, everything’s relative. I’m in Cincinnati, Ohio, the cost of living here is pretty low. But I mean, my, my w two job was probably making 80 $85,000 a year with overtime and stuff. My wife was a school teacher we were making in the low hundreds together. Yeah, that was like the stereotypical middle-class white picket fence dream. And I didn’t go to college, and I barely graduated high school. So like, I didn’t really allow myself to dream beyond that. I wasn’t afraid to try. But until I found a next level of success, I just wasn’t willing to let myself go there.
Jess Dewell 06:58
I hear you. So you as a protection mechanism,
David Menz 07:03
I guess. Yeah.
Jess Dewell 07:05
In a way, we all have those. And is that all hindsight that you know that?
David Menz 07:10
Yeah, I definitely didn’t realize it at the time. I mean, I was, you know, when we bought the first store, once again, it was losing money, we had borrowed $85,000 to buy this business, I was losing money. In an industry I knew nothing about. I was literally just like trying not to go bankrupt. When I bought it, like, hey, if I could I remember telling my wife, if we could just get this to break even, like the, the business note payment on our original SBA note was $1,500 a month. And it was a five-year note, you know, 60 months, I remember telling her like, I felt like worst-case scenario if I could get this business from losing money to just break even. Yeah, but in five years, the side hustle would no longer have that $1,500 Note payment. And so we would have a side business that made us $1,500 A month in income. That’s right. That was actually like the first mini goal, if you will, was just to not lose money.
Jess Dewell 08:05
And okay, so I have a question for you here. And this may or may not work. So you tell me here. My question is when I hear you say my side hustle, basically paid for itself. And then my side hustle not only paid for itself, it paid for my mortgage. That is a mindset, mindset shift. Something else besides my work is paying my bills. Right? did you when did you learn that along the way? And is this another hindsight thing? Or did you consciously choose that?
David Menz 08:42
Well, I had studied business my whole life, I’d always wanted to be a business owner. I was I don’t, you know, I was, I was a little kid in elementary school hustling, candy. Like, just like, that was just who I am, you know, the lemonade stand or whatever you want to call it. And so all I knew was I just wanted to own my own business. And yeah, I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t know or care, anything beyond that. And when I got my first business, I was just like, I’m gonna see what I can do with this. And I’m gonna give it everything I have. The funny thing is, like, I’m not saying I’ve neglected my corporate career by any means because I made sure I did a good job. And you know, good days pay for good day’s work for a good day’s pay. But at the same time, the day I bought this business, I spent more time on my business than I did at my full-time job. I went to my full-time job, I worked my 40 hours, I wouldn’t work any overtime unless they made me unless it was mandatory. And I literally worked 80 to 90 hours a week, between my full-time job and my business. So while it was a side hustle, that was my future, and I didn’t know what my future looked like, but I was all in on that. And I no longer you know, I’d been at this corporate job for, I guess, 12 or 13 years at that point. And there was a time where I was all in on my career. I was trying to be promoted. And I was promoted several times over that 12 or 13 years. The day I bought that business. I was like, That’s my future. I’m done. It’s like status quo, do my job, not trying to get promoted, or anything like that at work, I was just trying to grow my business and, and serve my community. That was important to me too. I wasn’t just trying to make money. It was important to me, part of the reason I was attracted entrepreneurship is I felt, I felt like I could kind of have my cake and eat it too. Yeah, I could, I could get that like fulfillment and life that I didn’t get. And some people do. But I didn’t get from a corporate career. And I could serve my community and meet a need and solve a problem and make money. And that was really why I was always so fascinated by entrepreneurship because I was raised in a household where like, I was kind of taught like with it with my faith that like we’re here to serve each other. It’s important, it’s part of why we’re here on Earth. And yes, we need to make a living and put food on the table and all those things. And so when I, when I found entrepreneurship and business ownership, I just said, Man, I can do, like I could do both, I can do what I’m here to do. And if I do it really well serve my community serve other people in the community that I can make money to. And mandate, I have no idea what I was in for. That was a very, very micro look at entrepreneurship and business ownership. And it’s why I’ve just kind of fallen head over heels in love with it.
Jess Dewell 11:14
Yeah. And, you know, it makes me think when, when you talk about the future, sometimes we don’t know why. But we know. And we don’t everybody says we’ll know your why. And I think you know, part of your why, but then there’s a different kind of why, why am I doing the thing I’m doing right now is very different than the why that I am here to be and have or to be and do I guess right? And so we can get those jumbled up. And it’s great to hear that you have those separated out. I know I want to do this. I know I want to do this yet. Here’s my here’s the reason I am really here. And the rest of the stuff are the house in the woods in the wares that make that possible. And really,
David Menz 12:02
I think when we’re young, and I think when we’re young, I’ll speak for myself. When I was young. I was focused on like having a family and then when I had a family supporting a family. So but like once I was able to do that. Then now it was like my what’s next thing, and I wasn’t obviously giving up my ability to take care of my family. It was like what’s next? And I just looked at myself. And I was like, you know, I worked in corporate America. But like I said, I was in the trades. I was in a union position. We worked outside it was kind of a blue-collar job. Yeah, I saw a lot of guys that had been doing that job for 3040 years. And they were physically broken down. They were mentally broken down. They hated their life. They were miserable. And I was just like, I don’t want to be that guy. Right? I don’t I don’t want to be that guy just for an ADK your job. Yeah. And I think that’s kind of what like, spurred into me, like, let’s look and see what else is out here. And then I kind of went back to quote-unquote, my roots. You know, wanting to be a business owner. Yeah.
Jess Dewell 12:59
So that, what next? And you’ve meant, you know, and you said two to three years a couple of times, do you think about in that two to three period, you said you had tunnel vision, which I think is an incredibly interesting skill and that focus and the ability to be determined and disciplined about it? Do you wait until the end of the goal now that has been reached that what’s next, before you consider something new? Or are you like, cool, I have reached a certain stage. So I can start thinking about what’s next. And it’ll be fully formed. So you can jump right in?
David Menz 13:32
Yeah, I think it’s honestly a little bit of both just is it, I’m just speaking for me how my brain works. Nobody else. But you know, for me, I think it’s always like a moving target. Like I always say, I’m always two to three years out. Well, if that’s the case, then I don’t wait two to three years to be another two to three years out. It’s like always a moving target. It’s like remember that dangling the carrot analogy or metaphor that we use, you know, like, you’re never going to actually catch the carrot. I always say like, I’m just, you know, every time I accomplish something in life, whether it’s a small goal, or big goal or pivot in my business, where I’m going to shift away from this, what I thought I was going to do and shift into this. Anytime I do that, it just resets that target for me. And so I’m aware, I’m never going to catch the, the final version of that. I’m a big believer and leave of living every day, every week, every month of just chasing the best version of me. I don’t compare myself to others. I don’t compare myself to other people’s talents or gifts or strengths or weaknesses are a chase is the tomorrow’s version of myself. And I compare that to today’s version of myself. And so I do that as a husband, I do that as a father. I do that as a Christian. I do that as a business owner and I say, I don’t ever want to find what I call comfortable complacency. I’m terrified by comfortable complacency. I always want to be challenging myself and growing. And you know, I mean, sometimes that means you’ll try things and then you like kind of crash and burn like it’s just the nature of the beast. That’s right. I’m not afraid of failure either. So it’s just I don’t know if that makes sense. But I’m just like always kind of moving that target on myself.
Jess Dewell 15:06
Well, it makes, here’s the thing we, I told everybody at the beginning, we really think like, my favorite imagery of this is Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting called ladder to the moon. Usually, people know her for painting flowers. Well, she also painted other things once in a while. And this was a night sky of the desert, the night sky in the desert, and then the desert in the night. And then there’s a ladder that is floating. And I think it has like seven runs on it, I have a picture of it on my wall over here, print. And I call that my five-year plan. Because every single because it’s floating every single year, there’s always going to be more rungs ahead of me, I just might not know what those are yet. But I’m always on the outlook for that. And so as you’re describing this, this picture of the ladder to the moon, and I’m kept looking over at my wall just because of that I’m like, That’s it. That’s how I do it. That’s how I do it. So while everybody’s brains are different, it’s interesting to make sure that we know how other people’s brains are working. Because sometimes we force ourselves into a shape because we’re told we think we’ve compared we’ve listened, we have doubt. And that’s something you’ve been able to overcome. So going from one topic to the next real quick, then is how do you not compare? Is that just like who you are?
David Menz 16:27
Yeah. You know, I think I’ll preface it at once again, and just say like, obviously, we’re all very different. Some of the similar but we’re all very different, right? I think for me, it’s just I’m kind of pragmatic in the way that I view that. Okay, I’m just like, I’m just, I just don’t. I mean, I don’t want to say that I’m not aware of my surroundings. I mean, I see like, if I’m driving a Camry, and they’re driving a Ferrari, I can tell, like I’m aware, and I’m like, oh, good for them. I’ve never had like that envy or resentment. I think it’s probably because I grew up really, really poor as a kid, and I had nothing. And I would look around and there was some kids that have something and some kids that have a lot. And then of course, there were some kids that had nothing like me. And I just always learned from a very young age that like, but I live in a world or country or an environment where I can pretty much like I taught myself very young, I could go get anything I wanted. Like if I just was willing to sell candy, or do a newspaper route, or sell lemonade or whatever, even though my parents, you know, they provided for my needs, but definitely not my wants. That if I wanted anything, I could go get it. And so I think I just early on programmed myself, I guess you would say to say like, you know, if I want X, how do I get it? Like I would always come back to me. I would always say like, as a young kid, when you grew up when he grew up in poverty like you learn at like the age of zero, basically that no one’s gonna give you anything. Like it ain’t ever gonna happen. I’m not ever going to inherit anything, it’s not going to happen. And once you get that burned into your brain, like it kind of rewires your brain to be like, Okay, well, that’s just that just doesn’t exist. Nobody, nobody would leave me a billion dollars, are you crazy? They might as well leave me a billion dollars. And I think what do you just have to accept that in your mind? Then you say like, what, what am I capable of? That’s why I say I kind of take a pragmatic approach of like, it’s kind of an internal thing. I wouldn’t worry about what other people do. That distracts me from what I’m trying to do.
You are listening to the Bold Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. But first, I want to take a moment and give you a peek into what additional services and solutions you could access to Fast Track Your Business. This program was created to develop your capacity on demand by sharing insights, tips, as well as lessons learned by business leaders unedited and uncut. And we don’t just stop there, there are three additional benefits to help you reach your growth goals. You will also have unlimited access to one, hearing tips and insights to develop yourself as a leader to get better results more often, to experiencing viewpoints from many different business leaders. Three, receiving frameworks to build core competencies and to more effectively focus on business growth and leadership. altogether. The Fast Track Your Business program will allow you to face uncertainty, anytime, anywhere, you can access what will become your most versatile tool in your toolkit by going to Fast Track Your Business today.com. Now, back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 19:28
I remember my grandma telling me stories about my dad how he would, he would walk something like four miles with the lawnmower so that he could get spending money so he would mow lawns, he’d walk in a direction for four miles and knock on doors and whatever he could make going down once you know go in one direction and come back a different direction he would do and what did that, that sounds like the same thing. So by the way, those of you listening out there listening and I want you to think about what’s the thing that you had to Do that nobody provided for you? And when what is the strength that can come from that? Like what data sharing with us? Because we all have a strength that comes from something that was burned into our brains. And I think, I wish I had that. Let me just tell you what day if I’m like, that was other things were burned into my brain, but not that and that is something I sometimes feel like I chase, how do I not squirrel?
David Menz 20:28
How honestly, I think that’s why I’m so focused. Yeah, I think it’s why I won’t allow myself to be distracted. Because whatever I’m chasing whatever that, that goal or version is, like, nothing else matters. It’s, it’s almost like a defense mechanism in a way like, I’m just you would think I’m like homeless and starving. And which, you know, I’ve never been homeless, and I’ve never been starving, although I’ve been poor. So you would think I’m like, it’s like this lifelong, you know, childhood trauma mechanism. And maybe it is. But it’s just like, even if I want something as silly as like, I want to go into vacations next year, instead, I would certainly not a traumatic thing, if I only go on one. But if I decide that’s what our family is doing, then I’m gonna figure out a way to make that happen. And that’s just like what I call a micro goal, right to bigger, bigger holes or bigger things.
Jess Dewell 21:16
Of course. Well, and if it was something that didn’t align if two vacations didn’t align with the goals you were already working on, it probably wouldn’t happen anyway. And so would you filter that out and say, well, that’d be nice. But maybe we could do this. Maybe we could have a pizza night every night instead of a second vacation because it actually fits with whatever this bigger two to three-year vision that I’m in right now is? Do you family? Do you adapt to that and think about that with your micro-goals?
David Menz 21:47
What I do is, is play like a manipulative game with my brain. Outside of Dave here, you might, you might enjoy this Yes. Ya know, what I do is I decide that something would be fun, not important, not a big deal, we’ll all be just fine if we don’t take any vacations, right? But I just decided, like, you know, instead of taking one vacation every summer, what if we took one of the summer and then we took one in the winter, or spring break or whatever, we’ve never done that before. And so I decided that something I’d like to do, well, then I set myself what I call macro goals. And I say, okay, when you achieve your fourth store, and when you achieve, let’s say that store does 10k a week in gross revenue, at a 30% margin, then you can reward your family with x. And ultimately, the macro goal is I’m trying to grow my business, I’m trying to serve more people trying to build wealth for my family, whatever those things are. But every time I achieve a macro goal, I have a micro reward, if that makes sense. And so what what I’ve studied over and over again, with ambitious people, is a lot of times we’re ambitious, until we get what we want, like I want a new SUV, or I want a nicer house, or I want whatever. But then when we achieve it, that’s the end. And I’ve always said I want my end to be so far out that the rewards are not commensurate with the goals, if that makes sense. And so I’ve worked for, I’ve worked for years to give my family a fairly small and significant reward. I just don’t want to I don’t want it to be balanced, I want it to be completely tipped in one way. Because that puts us in a position where we can build wealth without having to worry about being over-leveraged. It puts us in a position where we can be very generous, because if you’re looking for him every day when you live your life, there’s always opportunities to give and serve. And there’s always people in need. And I always said like I don’t want to reward our family so much, you know, whether it’s lifestyle or whatever, that anytime we see someone in need, we can’t meet that need, or even have the question can I afford to help them. And so it’s just the kind of a macro-micro type of thing that like I said, it’s just kind of a game that I play with myself. I mean, years ago, I decided that I wanted to get a nice luxury SUV for our family, we would have been just fine if we didn’t, but I decided I did. And so I set some goals to grow the business to x, and do these things we could have easily afforded that luxury SUV. At the time I woke up and decided I wanted and I just said, you know, I’m going to set these new goals and challenge myself. And then when I achieve them, then we will get that reward. And my wife thinks it’s kind of crazy. But it’s just honestly, it’s not that I lacked motivation, but it’s just a part of how I motivate my psyche to keep going.
Jess Dewell 24:30
Well, there’s another piece of that too. You are very, and this is, this is really important in business and business ownership and entrepreneurship when we’re taking risk all the time. To avoid that entitlement concept to avoid that, how come it’s happening to everybody else, which you don’t have. But I recognize you’re very clear about what you want, versus what you have versus what you need. And I think that that clarity in your personal life seems to be doing well by you in your business life because you’re able to weave those together, which is really good for your family. It’s really good for your children to watch and see and learn what gets to be burned into their head. You get to design that a little.
David Menz 25:19
Yep. And I share that with them. I mean, like I said, my wife, just kind of like she knows. That’s how I am. She’s like, okay, whatever. But my kids are always like, but can we afford the vacation now? Yeah, we can. But we’re not they haven’t earned it. And they’re like, What do you mean, we haven’t earned it? Well, we gotta go learn it. Well, but then the stuff you did before, didn’t that earn it? No, that’s in the past. You can’t, you can’t, you can’t dwell on the past good or bad. Kids Well, in the past, and it’s just like, I don’t know, it’s I, the only way I know how to describe it is it’s a game in my mind, to keep me motivated. And I don’t lack motivation. I’m pretty ambitious, just naturally. But it’s, it’s I think what it is, for me is just a balance of everything I achieve in life, a better never even approach, the microcosm of only serving me. Like you, like I said, I achieve a macro goal, I get a micro reward. Well, what happened there, maybe I create a new jobs, maybe I donate more money to charity, maybe I bought someone something that they needed a wheelchair, I don’t like just, they can go even go anywhere with it. I just always want to be in a position where I can, I don’t have to question those things. And so it’s just a part of, you know, there’s, there’s also a little part of it to jazz where there was a time in my life where I wondered because I grew up poor. And I said, you know, if I ever achieved X amount of success, and I don’t even know that I really quantify that. But will I shut it down? Like, even if I’m 35, if I reached a place where I was financially independent, and everything was paid for, and I had a lifestyle that my parents never dreamed of having, then what I lose my motivation, lose that edge? Would I not want to go chase more. And I’ve, I don’t know if fear is the right way to approach it. But I’ve always been cognizant of that. And I’ve always said to myself, like, I don’t know if we’re all this way. But I feel like I have a little bit of like, lazy bone in me. And I don’t ever want to let that like, I would just want to just keep that pressure on that lazy bone. And that’s why I just call it a game.
Jess Dewell 27:18
Well, we all need games, we all need ways to, I’m going to go come right out and say trick ourselves into motivation for whatever we need as an individual. I also have a lazy vote.
David Menz 27:32
I think we all do. But I always hesitate to say that because I’m like, I don’t want to speak for you. I don’t like I don’t exactly. I’m like I gotta leave because I suspect we all have a lazy voted.
Jess Dewell 27:43
Exactly. And, and has our to end we call them comfortable chairs in our house. Right? It what’s going on? And when I hear and I want or let’s just do this, because we can we are also very fortunate in that way. It’s, well, what are we doing to ensure that because we can has that bigger impact to your point, our process is a little different. We also have a process like that we and I think that that’s really important for those of you listening if you don’t have a process of that, and I’m going to call it gamification because it really is what it is. Where’s your strength? What’s been burned into you? What’s your fear? How can you leverage that? And then what are you not only giving back into the community, that residual ripple, the new locations, the more communities you get to be and the jobs that you get to create the people that you’re able to know, the family, you’re able to influence and design and bring up into the next generation of what that will be for our communities. All of those things factor in. And sometimes we forget, like, Well, look, we got everything we did. So let’s go to the beach. I actually don’t know any true serious entrepreneur entrepreneurs that actually do that.
David Menz 28:57
Do you struggle with it? It takes me two or three days to decompress. And I can enjoy myself for a day or two. And then you’re back. And then you’re like, I always say, Well, I tell my wife is like Can’t you just relax and enjoy vacation? And I’m like, You don’t understand, like, she knows now. But there was a time when we had these conversations. Yeah, I’m like being an entrepreneur isn’t what I do. It’s who I am. That’s right. And so when we go on vacation like it for an employee, who that’s what they do, and I don’t mean this negatively, but that’s what they do for a living to make money support their family. And if they didn’t need money, they wouldn’t do that. If I didn’t need money, I would still do entrepreneurship. It’s a game. It’s who I am. And I see that I can make an impact. And I always say like I’m 45 years old, I always say I’m running at 150 miles an hour. And I don’t mean that in a morbid way. What I mean by that is I want to see how much I can accomplish. Honestly, how much of an impact I can leave. Some people call that legacy. You can use all type of different words or metaphors to describe these things. But I just don’t believe we’re here to just get by. And even if we have 100 million dollars, and we only need $5 A month to live on, I still don’t believe that we’re here to build just enough wealth to be able to survive until we die, or even like enough to leave some to impact the next generation. So it’s for me, it’s not about money. Like, for me, it’s about impact. It’s about leaving the world a better place. It’s about believing in my mind that the world is a better place tomorrow than it was yesterday because Dave men’s did X. And that’s the edge I don’t ever want to lose. And I, I honestly, I suspect most entrepreneurs and business owners have that. It’s why you see so many super uber-successful people that, you know, amass a ton of money. And what do they do with their time? Well, they give back, they mentor, they, they work for score, and they work at charities, and they donate time in the hospital because they still want to make an impact. But maybe they’ve gotten bored with money, like making money is so easy to them. They don’t want to make money, they want to go volunteer and push a little lady around in a wheelchair. Because like somebody has to do that. And that’ll change her life. My point is that I personally believe that maybe not all of us, but most of us, we really shouldn’t live every day. Like we’re just we’re here to make an impact. And it’s it is okay to check out from time to time. I struggle with that. But it’s hard to check out and be like, I’m just gonna take a week for me and my family and different things like that. But I just personally, like I don’t believe in the word retirement, like I like that’s a made-up word. I don’t believe in it. I’ll never retired or maybe I’m already retired.
Jess Dewell 31:33
I’m gonna say how many times have you retired? Right, when you left your corporate job? I think that was a kind of retirement when people brought something new, right? So I’m with you. But I’ve ever worked. I expect to work as long as I am able because I am curious. I want to know what’s going on. I have things to learn. I have something to give, even if I don’t know what it is just yet. In the next whatever that next is. And I really liked that point that you’re bringing up? How does that show up inside your business? Now? How, how does that show up in the way that you choose to solve the problems that show up for not only a single store but all of the stores in your communities?
David Menz 32:12
Yeah, what I, what I do well, two things with my local retail businesses in Cincinnati. It shows up in my employees. Because whether they know it or not, I’m, I’m teaching or coaching or ingraining in them that they need to always be growing. They need to be curious. And it’s always done in a, in a sense of servitude. Like this is just what we do when you work here. Like if you’re, if you’re not going to do this, you don’t work here. This is who we are. We’re always trying to be better tomorrow. As an organization. We’re trying to fulfill more needs. serve the community. And it doesn’t always have to be like buy a new store. And then take it one more one thing, one of the things I’ve really become passionate about so I wrote my book, laundromat millionaire that you mentioned in our podcast, and we do conferences now we just got done with our first laundromat millionaire conference where we had 125 laundromat owners from all over the country fly into Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And we all spent three days together. And it was basically a conference on entrepreneurship, business ownership within the laundromat industry. And the point of that was trying to teach other laundromat owners how to do what we do, or me trying to learn from them. I’m not just there to teach, I’m here to learn to. And it’s what I call in my book that the title of my book is laundromat millionaire. But kind of the headline is the grit to elevate an industry. And the idea behind that is I’m trying to elevate my industry. Because I there was a time where I was probably definitely naive enough to think like I could own all the laundromats in the world because I’m ambitious. And I was like, I love this business. This is amazing. I make a lot of money. I serve people, I change communities. I want to win every laundromat in the world. And then I realized like, okay, that’s ridiculous. You can’t do that. And I was like, Okay, well, how can I impact the world in a macro a big picture way. And then I realized, you know what I have, like, I came from nowhere. And I had to scrape and scrap and I had to hustle. And I had to work on a you know, shoestring budget and all these different things. And I said, Okay, I can help a lot of other people do that in their markets, whether it’s Atlanta or California or Florida or Chicago or wherever it is. And so that’s where like the coaching program and writing the book to teach people how I did what I did. And you know, the podcasts we do, it’s why I come on podcasts like this is just here’s the deal, what I call gold nuggets.
Jess Dewell 34:22
I’m going to tell you between I had, I had no idea about your industry before you and I talked the first time since then, it has come across my radar twice. I know it’s been about 60 days from our first conversation to today. I will tell you it’s come across my radar twice the laundromat industry as a job that jobs that can always be in community. Organizations that can have a profit and that they last and they’re. they’re less impacted by volatility in the marketplace. And so I’m gonna just throw that out there to everybody like this was not on my radar, I was really intrigued by Dave’s story. And at the same point in time, since then there are these other things coming out as we’re watching things happen in our macro economies, that this industry is getting some face time and face value. So, Dave, I think you’re part of that. And what you’re doing is going to help other people recognize what that opportunity is to. So I think you’re on your path to that.
David Menz 35:27
Thank you. I appreciate that. I don’t I don’t pretend to be the only one.
Jess Dewell 35:30
No, I know there’s a group. But your part is part of it. Right?
David Menz 35:35
Yep. No doubt at all. I mean, I’m becoming well known for saying that I believe the laundromat industry is the best small business in America. Yeah. And I, actually I have my own podcast, we interview people on it, stuff like that. One of the podcasts we did, we didn’t have a guest on me and my wife. And she just sat down. And she said, You keep saying this, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is? She was like, Why do you believe that the laundromat and we spent an hour talking about why I believe that’s best small business in America. And it was just kind of a boom, ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom, this podcast, like our podcast is super big a couple 1000 views or whatever it is. We got like 80,000 views in like two weeks on this podcast. And so it’s just you know, a lot of it’s just about like showing people. And part of the reason I’m so passionate is because, you know, this is anecdotal, but roughly 80% of the laundromats in this country are in a terrible state of disrepair. And the fact of the matter is that a laundromat in any community, it’s a vital community resource. This is not a luxury, this is not, there’s 14 pizza places, if one goes out of business will pick up from 13. That’s not what this is, this is a vital community resource. And the problem is that, you know, as inflation happens, and different things happen in business in life, the you have to be able to be efficient, you have to know what you’re doing, you have to have that knowledge and that education, to be able to run a healthy business if you’re going to continue to invest in it, reinvest in it, and serve that community. And what happens is, eventually laundromat owners, they get to a point or this has happened in the past, they get to a point where they have to choose between taking home a profit and making money for their family and reinvesting in their business. It’s a very capital-intensive business. And most people go to him bad if you make them choose, they’re gonna choose their family. And what happens is that business just slowly but surely becomes less of a community resource and more of what I call a community eyesore. And so it’s important fact of matter is this, it’s important that we get the word out that this can be done well, that it is important to the community, but it can be very profitable, but it needs to be done a certain way. And the way that they’ve been done in the past doesn’t really work in the future. I always say the laundromat and the password kind of run is like this commodity mindset like you just have four white walls. So I’m washers and dryers, and a change machine. And it just kind of quote-unquote, runs itself. It’s the stereotypical passive business, right? And there was maybe a time where that was moderately true. But it’s never been more untrue than it is right now. This is a service business. It needs to be run a certain way. There are still people in the industry, a lot of them that believe they can run their business a certain way. And I always tell them the same thing. I’m like, Well, maybe you can today, but maybe can’t tomorrow. So that’s something we need to think about because this is a vital community resource.
Jess Dewell 38:24
And not yes, and, and all the listeners out there, I have to tell you take these words to heart because you feel this way about the work you’re doing. And can you be as passionate about it? And what can you do? And how can you show up to make the change that you need to elevate your industry as Davis his? Now for those of you who are listening, you’re going to hear this part. All of you public listeners, we love you. We want you to have great content. And we’re also going to say goodbye right now. We are going to continue this conversation as part of the Fast Track Your Business today program. And we have some more questions. We’re going to be talking about change. We’re going to be talking about the reflection process. We’re going to be talking about Dave’s biggest learnings and who knows whatever else comes up, I mixed all of that over in the Fast Track Your Business today program. So if you want more, go to that website. Otherwise, we’ll see you for a next awesome funfilled immediately useful program that you know and love from us.
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