Did you know that 90% of the factors that make the difference between a happy life and an unhappy life are factors within your control. One life hack proven to help unlock your best life is setting, pursuing, and achieving goals.
But, Don’t Take My Word For It, here’s an example of how other people – people just like you – are choosing to achieve happiness through their goals.
Yes, you can choose a happy life, but don’t take my word for it!
Are you ready for a dad joke? I offer you this "dad joke" as a light "amuse-bouche" to entertain your mind before we get serious. My dad joke may be groan-worthy, but it's worth every penny you paid for it, right? A lady suspected her house was haunted and suddenly converted it into a tavern… I guess she was possessed by the entrepreneurial spirit.
A New Home: Competitors Join Forces In Goal-crushing Domination (Interview)
In this week’s Don’t Take My Word For It post, I am sharing a new Interview with a Goal-Crusher. In these interviews, I sit down with someone accomplishing big things by setting and achieving their goals to learn their secrets. Then I share those secrets with you. It’s like free mentoring from someone already on the road to success. Who doesn’t want that?!
Today’s interview is an absolute treat! In this interview, I am sharing a story of someone (two people, actually) who found the right career fit and became unstoppable.
Jenn and Lauren separately became realtors through their own unique journeys. Then, they decided to stop being competitors and joined together to build one of Columbus’ fastest-growing and nationally known real estate empires.
Jenn and Lauren’s story doesn’t stop with selling houses; they are courageously jumping into tons of other business opportunities, too. After reading their story, you may find yourself wondering if you are really as “busy” as you think you are.
This is an exciting one!
Please introduce yourself and tell my readers about you, Lauren and the LKW Home Team. Can you please share your story and some of your results and recognition?
Hi Tony, my old friend! I am Jennifer Kessel-White, and I founded the LKW Home Team with Lauren Lucas in 2019 after becoming a licensed realtor in 2017.
I spent over a decade in management in the hospitality industry; what I enjoyed most in that field was the constant interaction with both familiar faces and new ones. There came a point where I felt I hit my glass ceiling and realized I needed growth and had a problem with authority – which encouraged me to start my own business.
I really dove into everything from personality tests to guidance from those who knew me well. For some odd reason, real estate kept coming up, and I never thought that would be my path.
Finally, something in me just said, go for it.
See, unlike many other careers, with real estate, your options are endless; you can make as much income as your heart desires. There is no ceiling; it is your own business to run however you like. You can join forces with others. You can go solo. You can work in particular niches or fields. Or, you can do a little of a lot.
Lauren went into real estate after her home-buying experience went awry. The agent she worked with was greed-based and did not educate her. The transaction went horribly and was never completed. After that travesty, Lauren knew she needed to be a better educator in the field.
Lauren had an extremely introverted personality, and I am rather extroverted and enjoy having new conversations. We both worked at the same brokerage and are both in the LGBTQIA+ community, so we ended up being each other’s competition.
Our brokerage, Keller Williams, was having a career visioning seminar in Cincinnati that we attended, and an entire afternoon was dedicated to finding your strengths and weaknesses in your business. The seminar aimed to help you focus on what you excel at and understand areas in which you or your natural attributes don’t necessarily excel.
When we received our findings, Lauren and I quickly realized our answers were completely opposite. I mean, EVERYTHING was the opposite. At that point, we concluded that if we melded our businesses, we would both benefit immensely. That’s when we created The LKW Home Team (Lucas, Kessel-White).
We certainly eased into the transition; I mean, at that point, we didn’t even know if we liked each other as individuals. We decided to get “divorced” before we got “married” in our business. We met with a business attorney and figured out what would happen should our business, unfortunately, not work together.
Since The LKW Home Team’s inception in 2019, we have been recognized as:
- Yahoo Finance’s 2021 Realtors to watch in the USA and Canada.
- 2023 Forbes Top 10 Women Leaders Who Conquered the Year.
- The top 5% of Realtors in the nation.
- The top 1% of Central Ohio Realtors (of more than 10,000 total).
- The top 15 Agents on social media in Ohio.
What motivated you to launch the LKW Home Team? What was your vision?
Lauren and I are very big supporters of entrepreneurship. We have both spoken at many business events, podcasts and magazines, sharing the triumphs and tribulations of business ownership. Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest careers, the largest decision, and the scariest.
We want to be around to help lift you up when you need it.
We also want to tell you that we have been there and done that!
- We launched the LKW Home Team, where just shy of 80% of our business is from past clients and their referrals. We attribute this to the client experience we provide (both during and after).
- We own a short-term rental and just purchased our first long-term rental.
- We just purchased our first flip (together) in Powell. It is a higher-priced home, and I (Jenn) take on the design and finishes. I really enjoy interior design and decor.
- We co-own a short-term rental management business, Elite 614 Property Management, where we are finally in a position to take on additional clients.
- Our newest venture, Elite Agent Academy, is in its infancy and is where we will be offering online agent training courses & coaching.
- We are part of a development project, Quint Living Group.
We love learning and growing and are always cooking up a new business idea. We are obsessed with looking at business models that we feel could be a little better and then just going out and doing it.
What was the first step you took to get started building the LKW Home Team into a real estate powerhouse?
Lauren and I knew we respected each other’s drive and that collaboration would get us further than competition. But starting a business requires more than that … we did not know if we really even liked each other before we joined as a team. So, as I shared in our story above, we worked with an expert (a business attorney) and got “divorced” before getting “married” in our business.
What were your biggest challenges in achieving your goals? How did you overcome them?
Oh, we still struggle with our biggest challenges today.
For starters, we each think the other is brilliant but are our own worst personal critics.
We definitely suffer from imposter syndrome.
We unfortunately hold masters degrees in, “If it’s not perfect it’s not ready.” We know that sometimes you need to release the program, start the venture and grow, but we tend to be members of the “if you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all club.”
I think we excel best when we remind the other how talented they are and reassure them that they are moving in the right direction. We really need to cheer each other on, which seems to go a long way!
One of our strengths is our ability to accept a challenge or to say, “Hey, you know what would be cool..” Insert business idea. We determine who wants what role (knowing our roles is crucial to tame our egos and keep the vision aligned). Then, we just study, absorb, and learn; when we feel ready, we launch.
What goal success tips and techniques have worked well for you that you would like to share with my readers?
When you truly believe you are made for more, you must be willing to embrace the idea of being seriously successful.
Many people are actually more fearful of the growth that their business may receive. It can be scary. New roles need to be identified when a company grows or when a small side hustle becomes a glorified business, and leverage is a beautiful thing.
You need to know when it’s time to hire. Have systems in place and training manuals available so you don’t become one of many who say, “I can just do it myself.”
Eventually, your business potential will stall if you play every role. One person can control their radius, but you need others to grow you tall and wide.
I am also a very passionate brand believer. You should know your ideal customer, what they want from your business, how they find your business, and why they will refer other customers to your business. Once you master this, life gets really fun because you only work with people you want to work with.
You have found your people!
There is an entire book’s worth of knowledge there.
What is one big goal you are pursuing now?
Speaking of being a passionate brand believer, that’s the focus of my personal growth.
I would like to be a public speaker for business organizations and entrepreneurial events. I plan on discussing brand building.
I intend to do a TEDx Talk about it and write a book. Then, I would like to take that info to speaking events.
Our real estate business is our bread and butter. We are excited to grow our team and welcome new agents to the LKW Home Team, but our clients have high expectations, so the agents need to be the right fit.
Our short-term rental business, Elite 614 Property Management, is successfully helping local and out-of-state Airbnb owners manage their short-term rental properties, bringing some serious return on investment. And we are welcoming more owners to reap the rewards of a management team.
We currently own one short-term rental, but I have a cabin goal that has been sitting on the back burner list for too long, so I see another short-term rental in the near future.
We just purchased our first long-term rental and are really enjoying that opportunity.
We are halfway through flipping a large home in beautiful Powell, where we are using high-end finishes to make this home, which has not been updated in over 30 years, reinvigorated for the new owners. I love interior design and decor, so styling this home has been a pleasure. Though Lauren often has to pull me back and remind me we are not living in the home – I tend to go a bit overboard on the design choices.
Our investment company is Welcome Home 614.
Lastly, we are still building our real estate coaching business, Elite Agent Academy. This business helps take real estate agents who have been in the business for 5 years or less from struggle to success. We do this through a series of learning options catered to how you learn best, from self-paced videos to one-on-one coaching to solo materials to read at your leisure.
What else would you like my Operation Melt readers to know about you, the LKW Home Team or about goal success in general?
We have two kids, Caden (9) and Elliot (6), who we share custody with Jenn’s ex-wife.
We have 2 wild dogs: Theo (3) and Lumi (1). We also have an 18-ish-year-old cat named Shane, who is deaf and blind.
We mentioned some of our awards and recognition above and welcome any and all opportunities to speak on podcasts, videos, YouTube, events, etc. We are excited about encouraging entrepreneurs to strive for their dream careers.
Jenn is very interested in teaching business branding.
Lauren is taking on one-on-one real estate coaching.
We are always looking for a fantastic real estate opportunity to purchase. We would be honored to assist in making your short-term rental profitable.
Our utmost passion is in real estate, where we are invigorated by helping change family trees for our clients by providing them wealth through real estate. The wealth that is built is certainly providing endless possibilities for the hundreds of families we have helped buy and sell. These are life-changing numbers for many!
How can people learn more about you?
You can connect with us through Instagram or our website:
- Jenn Kessel-White: @welcomehome614
- Lauren Lucas: @lifewithlkwhometeam
- Join our Columbus Collective weekly email list
I don’t know about you, but I really felt it when Jenn said, “When you truly believe you are made for more, you must be willing to embrace the idea of being seriously successful.” It makes me reflect on ways I may be holding myself back from “being seriously successful.”
There were so many other gems in their story, too; they are undeniable goal-crushers.
Here are some ways that The LKW Home Team employed Project Manage Your Life principles to grow their nationally-recognized empire:
- Set SMART Goals: Jenn and Lauren committed to a series of goals, each bigger than the previous one. Becoming realtors, combining their businesses and their goals grew even bigger from there.
- Build a plan that works for you: Jenn and Lauren discovered they had very different personalities and that working together was better than competing. Then they worked with how they were wired (leveraging their strengths) to grow their business one step at a time by trying new things – sometimes waiting to be “ready” and other times taking a leap of faith.
- Expect and plan ahead for problems: Before taking the plunge and combining their businesses, Jenn and Lauren planned for what would happen if it didn’t work. Having a plan in place helped reduce the probability and impact of failing.
- Don’t go it alone: The LKW Home Team started with the help of an expert, a business attorney, to help minimize their individual risk. Then, they began building their team with people who “fit” with their vision and didn’t try to maintain control of every aspect of their business – they trusted others enough to let go.
- Enjoy the journey: Needless to say, Jenn and Lauren love what they do and are killing it… they are undoubtedly enjoying their impressive journey.
Needless to say, knowing Jenn and Lauren is a pleasure and a source of inspiration! I am humbled by the opportunity to share their story with you.
Do you “truly believe you are made for more”?
Do you want a little help setting and crushing the goals to build the life of your dreams? I am here for you. I am a certified Master Life Coach, and I love helping people unlock their goals to build the lives of their dreams. I would be honored to be your “Goals GPS” and give you the turn-by-turn guidance you need.
I believe in you; let me help YOU believe in you!
Meet Coach Tony
My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.
I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal.
I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt.
Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals.
Breathe new life into your goals
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