In this episode of the Share the Wealth Show, we have with us a young entrepreneur, Kenzy Barrett who started her own vending machine business from scratch. She will share with us her journey in starting a vending machine business:
✨ the challenges she faced, and how she overcame them
✨ the strategies she used to grow her business
✨ tips she got from reading Rich dad Poor Dad and all the lessons she learned along the way
Kenzy A. Barrett is a young entrepreneur who is determined to blaze a trail of success. She started her financial journey by selling cold drinks and snacks from a vending machine and has since grown her business to include multifamily real estate. Not only is she building her own wealth, but she’s also helping others to do the same.
Kenzy has a podcast called The New Adults Club which focuses on teaching young adults about the various aspects of adulthood – from finding a job to building wealth and everything in between. By addressing the needs and desires of young adults, The New Adults club is helping to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Kenzy is passionate about making a positive impact in the world, and she’s doing that through her business, her podcast, and all of the resources she makes available to her listeners. Through her hard work and dedication, she is an inspiration to anyone who’s interested in starting their own business ventures.
So, if you’re curious about the vending machine industry and how to turn it into a profitable business, this episode is for you.
“There has to be a way for you to sleep and make money and live your life and travel and do all the things that you are excited to do, and you have to be happy to wake up and do what you love. “ – Kenzy
“I think a lot of people get stuck on the idea of finding their soul purpose and they let that prevent them from taking any movement moving forward at all doing anything. Sometimes you just have to pick a general direction, sometimes you have to pick something that’s going to give you a skill.” – Nicole
Connect with Kenzy!
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenzy-alv…
Podcast – https://www.thenewadultsclub.com
Gentrification Article –
Let’s get connected!
[00: 00: 00 – 00: 00: 31]
I was nervous. I was shy. I didn’t know exactly what to say or how to say it. It really took trial and error for me to that’s probably why it took me a year to place my vending machine somewhere because it just I didn’t present myself as that person. I just was young and I you know was really hell-bent on this idea and making it happen and not working for the rest of my life, that I just kept going.
[00: 00: 32 – 00: 01: 10]
Welcome to the Share the Wealth Show, where minority professionals can learn to escape the racial wealth gap and catapult themselves into abundance. Your host, Nicole Pendergrass, grew her net worth from being negative to multiple six figures. Join her on her investigative mission to expose secret strategies of the wealthy so we can all have the tools needed to build the life and legacy we were created to possess. Now it’s time for the show.
[00: 01: 11 – 00: 02: 23]
Hello everyone, welcome back to another episode of the Share the Wealth show. This is the show where we discuss strategies on how to build, grow, and protect minority wealth. And if this show has been of any value to you, I just ask you a huge favor. Please share the show, especially this episode once you hear it. Share it with someone who needs to hear it. Leave a rating and review, a like, something. on the podcast, especially Apple, because then we can just expand in the algorithm. I’m learning all these new things about podcasting. But the message that we’re trying to share here will get presented to more people. If we have you just like and share it with one other person, that would mean so much to me. And in any case, let’s get right into the show. Today we have with us, I’m actually excited outside of our normal, but I just found out there is something within the normal that I normally, you know, people I normally interview, but Miss Kenzie Barrett is here with us today. And thank you for joining.
[00: 02: 24 – 00: 03: 45]
Um, just really quick before you jump in. I also want to read over your bio, which I thank you for sending because it’s really great. So Kenzie is a young entrepreneur who is determined to blaze a trail of success. She started her financial journey by selling cold drinks and snacks from a vending machine. She actually has a vending machine business. I know I want to touch on that and has since grown that business to include multifamily real estate. Not only is she building her own wealth, but she is helping others do the same. Kenzie has a podcast called the new adults club. which focuses on teaching young adults about various aspects of adulthood, from finding a job to building wealth and everything in between. So she provides answers in an informative and entertaining way. And I actually, I haven’t been able to listen to it yet. Are you live on your podcast yet? You are? Yeah, actually, yeah, we are. We just finished our last episode last week. Okay, all right. So I have to… definitely jump onto that. I consider myself young, no matter what the certificate says. So sure, I will find plenty of gems in there.
[00: 03: 46 – 00: 05: 04]
But Kenzie is passionate about making a positive impact in the world and doing that through her business, her podcast, and all of the resources that she makes available to listeners. So through hard work and dedication, she’s an inspiration to anyone who is interested in starting their own business ventures. That was great. Deep breath now for me. Sorry, you can please. Hi, thank you. Thank you for coming in today. That was an amazing intro. Thanks so much. Well, you wrote it. Thank you for providing this to me. So quick backstory. I recently met Kenzie at a, what are those called again? Oh my God. A ritual party. Yes, vision board party. I don’t know why did I have a brain fart for that. I was thinking about that all day because I just had such a great idea. Okay, a vision board party and in person that she had a virtual option but I had never been to an in person vision board group party before. I’d always just done vision boards on my own, normally virtual because I’m not, I didn’t have patience to cut out little pieces of paper and do all that. But because she provided everything for us. It was very well organized.
[00: 05: 05 – 00: 06: 13]
But anyway, I met Kenzie there and we just happened to start talking. And when I found out she was doing, I was like, actually, I think I need you on the podcast. And you also said when you said you were starting podcast, and then I was like, that means that just like gave me the idea. Anyway, thank you again for coming. And I guess this, this has been a long random info backstory kind of intro, but. Tell everyone kind of how you got started and did you always have an entrepreneurial type of mindset and spirit? And what got you started with the vending machines came first, right? Yeah, that was the first thing you did. Honestly, my entrepreneurship journey really started after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad. I actually started working at 15 years old. I didn’t have that entrepreneurial spirit in me. I always revered working hard, getting a job. You know, those are the things that I’ve been taught. So that’s what I did. I started working at 15 years old and I didn’t know how to communicate this at that age.
[00: 06: 14 – 00: 07: 27]
But I knew like this is not what I wanted to do. the rest of my life. I didn’t want to work for someone else. I started working at libraries and I went to restaurants and cashier and concierge. Just everything that I can definitely do at my young age. And then I finally read Rich Dad Poor Dad and it was just like a light bulb that went in my head. Like, yeah, this is not something that you definitely can’t do for the rest of your life. There has to be a way for you to sleep. and make money and live your life and travel and do all the things that you are excited to do. And you have to be happy to wake up and do what you love. So yeah, I started, I was very young though. I was about 17 years old when I registered for dad. So I had limited resources. I had no car. I had a minimum wage job. So the options for me were very limited. And when I… So I just researched all types of business. It first went from, you know, doing hair to doing lashes to, you know, just research and I never really started these things.
[00: 07: 28 – 00: 08: 44]
And then vending was perfect because it was basically me just putting a machine somewhere, At the time, it was just like $5,000 to get started. That’s nothing now, but then it was a lot of money, but it was the closest thing that I can amount that I can definitely save up at the time. So I started doing that. It took me about a year to finally place my vending machine. I knew nothing about starting a business, owning a business. So really all I started with was flyers in an LLC. And I just went around handing out my flyers to anyone who would listen, any business that I felt like my vending machines were prospering. And it took about a year until I finally found a laundromat that would take my machines. I placed them in there and yeah, the rest is history. I have so many questions.
[00: 08: 45 – 00: 10: 20]
Okay. So I’ve heard about the vending machine business so many times I follow a couple of accounts on IG and it’s always, I know that they always make it seem simpler than it really is. So one, how long did it take you to save up the 5K to get your first machine? Was that for the machine and the snacks inside or what did that look like? Yeah, it was for the machine and the snacks inside. I bought a used machine. Um, and I use my mom’s BJ card, um, to buy the snacks from my machine. Um, but I bought my use, um, sales. Yeah, they, they don’t sell vending machines. Well, I’m not sure if they sell vending machines. Actually, I don’t know. You bought a used one from BJ’s. Right. How did you even find out they were selling it? Um, Well, I was just searching online. And honestly, before I honestly went out to BJ’s to get my machine, I encountered a website that was like not an actual vending machine website and I spent all my money on it. And it was like a scam. So to protect myself, I ended up getting my money back though. But to protect myself, I wanted to go with a reliable source and one that I knew, I know BJ’s not gonna run out for my money, you know? Yeah, yeah. An actual company. So I just really did a Google search, went to the store, looked out the machine and said, hey.
[00: 10: 21 – 00: 11: 34]
Listen, I know you’ve been digging in studying everything you can listening to all the podcasts, reading all the books, even going to meetups. You basically have a degree from YouTube university, right? But you still feel stuck. You don’t know how to actually implement what you’ve learned. You’re nervous about taking the next step. So I’ve decided to start the Micro Family Investing Accelerator. This is a mentorship program where I personally guide you through my five proprietary pillars so you can learn how to buy your first commercial multifamily property and scale while not biting off more than you can chew by focusing on 5 to 20 units. That’s what I call micro family. And so you can also get hands-on guidance from an experienced micro family investor who’s been right where you are. And so you can also create the cash flow needed to give you freedom and options to build the abundant life that you were destined to live. So I’ll be limiting the first cohort because They’ll have direct access to me and I will be heavily invested in their success. If you’re ready to grab 2023 by the horns, schedule a free discovery call with me today. The link is in the show notes. And now let’s get back to the show.
[00: 11: 35 – 00: 12: 34]
See, that’s interesting because, and that was important. I’m glad that came out because that’s an important part of the journey that went to buy your first machine and got kind of scammed. Like they, they act you kind of. How do you get your money back from something like that? I would have just thought that was a loss. My card, thank God. I was able to call them and let them know that I never received my merchandise that I purchased. So they ended up getting my money back. The importance of using a credit card on big purchases like this, because then you have- And I had no idea at the time- Long projection. Oh, that’s great. Okay, so that’s good. And then even though you got your money back, your mom let you use her BJ’s car to buy. The other one was, did she make you pay her back or is that like a little a gift to you? No, I had to pay for it. Dang it.
[00: 12: 35 – 00: 13: 42]
But it definitely helped me with responsibility and just business really. I’m grateful for like that lesson for sure because it allowed me to do the numbers correctly. It was a learning curve for sure. Yeah. How do the numbers correctly? What’s that mean? Like how did you learn how to do the numbers and how much you should pay for a vending machine? How much you would have to pay per month for costs and how much you could expect to like get in revenue? Like how did you even get that blueprint of how to analyze something like that? Well, I just knew how much I had to spend and I knew how much I wanted to make. And then I calculated the actual foot traffic in my business. So I low balled myself, you know, this is something that they teach you in real estate as well, you know, always be conservative. So I was conservative with the numbers. A laundromat is a very busy place. And it was the laundromat that my machine was placed in was in a very busy neighborhood.
[00: 13: 43 – 00: 15: 25]
Even though I had all those great advantages, I still wanted to be conservative and make sure that I’m not doing too much and setting myself up for failure. So I just lowballed the numbers. So let’s say it was so long ago, I really can’t tell you the exact number, but let’s just say it was like 100 people a day. I probably did half or maybe a lot at least in that. And then times all the products in my machine and I just did that number. And I realized that it would take me about three months to get my money back for the actual machine. And then with the snacks, it would just pay for itself. And then whatever I do make, I just reinvest into new locations. Okay, so I need to, geez, this episode is gonna be way longer than I thought because I got- I just have so many questions that I want to keep going back and going over. Okay. How did you even find what is the equation is there an equation that you use to calculate that you spell that out for me because I’m simple. And then also, um, did you have a resource that you use like where did you go to find what that, you know, like what website or wherever who did you talk to what website you go to. As your resource for information, perhaps to have a known like what to look at for foot traffic. Like foot traffic, you say that to me, and I’m just like, okay, I know that means like how busy a place is, but I have to calculate that into like how much snacks I should have in the machine, you know? Okay, so first, can you spell out this equation for me?
[00: 15: 26 – 00: 16: 52]
Okay, so it’s not like an actual equation. It’s something that I just like put down. So let’s say, okay, so I spent 5,000 on the machine, right? Yeah. And then my location, I calculated 30 people a day. Who would buy a snack? 30 people buy one snack. Right. Okay. Right. And then you times that by the amount of slots are available in your machine. So an average snack machine usually has about 100 slots. Okay. So you do that times 30. Okay. and you get 300, right? Yeah. Make sure, let me put out the calculator. I’m writing it on a piece of paper right now too, because I need to keep track. And I know that’s not only for me, I know someone else is going to be listening to this and need to figure out what these numbers look like. Right. So you have 3,000. And then. 300. No, 30 times 100 is 2,000. Oh yeah, because I’m simple, like I said, go ahead. It’s okay, my calculator is my best friend. That’s how I. Yes. Things out here. So, and then you have to also factor in your fee.
[00: 16: 53 – 00: 18: 43]
So at the time, I wasn’t paying a fee, but nowadays you’re most likely would. to pay a fee to have your machine placed in a location. When you do this though, like when you’re going out to advertise to different businesses, don’t ever say like, I’ll give you 5% of sales. Like always advertise vending as a pro for their clients. Cause it is, clients get a snack, they get a drink, it’s something to keep them busy while. you know, you’re attending other customers or yeah. But yeah, so at the time I didn’t have a fee, but most likely probably would have a fee now because vending is so saturated now. So you have to calculate that and then your actual snacks. When I first started, I was paying about like $150 for all my snacks, including my drinks, my chips, cookies. Yes, a month. And then you just subtract that from your total of 3,000. And that’s how much you take home. So the 3,000 minus the rental space, if you have that, minus the cost of snacks. So the 3,000 then as a revenue number is the 30 people a day. But if you’re timesing that by the number of snacks, 100. How many snacks are, is each person buying? Oh, because it’s like, or this is a monthly number kind of thing. Right. Okay. All right. I’m just gonna leave it at that.
[00: 18: 44 – 00: 19: 55]
Number of snacks, number of people per day. Okay. So how long, I know you said it took about a year to get into your first location. What was that process like? Especially when you didn’t have a location yet and you’re a young person approaching these store owners and talking about your business that you want to put into their vending machine. How did you present yourself as reliable and that you knew what you were doing and how did you kind of sell the concept to the owners until you finally got the one who said yes. Well, to be completely honest, I was none of those things. I was nervous. I was shy. I didn’t know exactly what to say or how to say it. It really took trial and error for me to, that’s probably why it took me a year to place my vending machine somewhere, because it just, I didn’t present myself as that person. I just was young and I, you know, was really hell bent on this idea and making it happen and not working for the rest of my life. And I just kept going.
[00: 19: 56 – 00: 21: 22]
I started vending like right before the pandemic. So that’s when I started handing out flyers. So it was hard even then I had to put like flyers under the door of businesses, because things were closed, people weren’t really talking to you. It was very much mask and gloves, everything. So that’s something that I had to grow into to learn how to communicate. I’m still learning now. I’m still pretty shy, but I’ve learned how to connect with people and really share how I’ve been able to be successful in my business and how I’m really passionate about helping others do the same. Vending is definitely was a stepping stone for me and it’s something I definitely see in the future being a great business. But it’s definitely not what I love. It’s not. I don’t think is what I was born to do, but it was my learning. It’s what I needed to learn where I’m at right now. If that makes sense. It makes so much sense. It’s not what you were born to do, but it’s what you needed to do in order for that stepping stone to happen. And I think a lot of people get stuck on the idea of finding their sole purpose and they let that prevent them from taking any movement.
[00: 21: 23 – 00: 22: 30]
Moving forward at all doing anything. Sometimes you just have to pick a general direction. Sometimes you have to pick something that’s gonna give you a skill. And once you start moving in that direction and doing those things, like, cause what did you learn during that year? Like you learned a ton with tenacity, grit, like how to present yourself, like you said, connecting with people. You were nervous and all those things at first. And I figured that you were, but I said, you know, the whole confidence thing, meaning that you have to, at least in this, in that situation, fake it till you make it kind of thing to present yourself as confident, even if you’re scared and nervous. And I just think you saying that and learning how to get all the skillsets that you gained during that process of trying to get your first vending machine into a store, that especially at a young age like that, that is super commendable. And you just, you had that vision, you read the book. You saw, oh, this is doable. And what can I do? You researched different things. And then you just, like, you dug in.
[00: 22: 31 – 00: 23: 25]
And even if it wasn’t working for like a year, you started a vending machine business in the pandemic. When the places were closed, and people were not going anywhere in public. Like, guys, do you understand? Did you just hear that? She started, you were still under 20 when you started the business? Yeah, under 20. started a hands-on in-person business in a pandemic when all the businesses were closed. And she still like just kept pushing through and putting flies on the door like, I don’t care, it’s a pandemic, y’all closed, but I’ll put this fly under y’all door because when y’all gonna wake up, y’all gonna need my vending machines. Like that come on, man. Like that is the best story I have ever heard. And I absolutely, absolutely love it. Congratulations. I got just applaud you so much for that. So thank you. What once you got that first vending machine, then what was the next steps and how long did it take you you’re vending machine businesses you have three machines now right or did you do you have more?
[00: 23: 26 – 00: 24: 39]
Well actually um I just sold all my machines in New York um but I mean I know earlier you asked me like what am I doing here in Costa Actually, wait, pause, pause. Cause I didn’t even tell you guys. Pending right now is in Costa Rica. And I was like, wait a minute, if you’re in Costa Rica, why are you even doing this? And she said, oh, I guess work ethic. And then I said, how long are you in Costa Rica for? And she said, until May for whoever is not listening to this when it airs, it is February 22nd right now. This girl is staying in Costa Rica until May. And I wanted to know why and how, and I guess she’s about to tell us now. Yeah, so I was just looking at really the market, the vending market. I think vending is, like I mentioned earlier, a great business and I definitely see it a little blossoming in the future.
[00: 24: 40 – 00: 25: 37]
So I think with just AI and how internet and Zoom has created this, remote working has created this environment where people really don’t want to, I wouldn’t say don’t want to, but are more willing to, you know, do things with like machines, computers and stuff. So honestly, I see vending being something where it takes over, you know, common things like grocery stores, there’s no longer going to be a cashier, you know, there’s going to be a machine talking to. In the, especially where I lived, I was in New York. Vending is very saturated over there. So I wanted to move over internationally and expand. Vending here and introduce a lot of the great vending stores that we have in New York and bring them overseas.
[00: 25: 38 – 00: 27: 09]
So being that I was born here in Limong, Costa Rica, I thought this was a great place to start. I know the environment. I know that something like this has never been introduced to this market. And I’m really confident that it can do pretty well here. So I’m here just setting that up right now, looking for a location, trying to bring new vending machines in here. And yeah, that’s what I’m doing in that space. Oh my God, guys. Y’all, if you’re listening, you cannot see my facial expression, but I am like… I’m all founded right now. You said New York City was too saturated with vending. So instead of me just going to another state, I’m going to go across the world, halfway across the world, to another country and someplace that I know they got no vending machines. And I’m going to introduce vending machines here. Sometimes, sometimes you have to that’s that is the epitome of thinking big, think big and go home like you literally went halfway across the world. Actually Costa Rica is south but still you it’s not a quick flight. I know that I’ve been there before it’s not a quick flight. So you went all the way down to Costa Rica. And I guess it does help that you said you were born there but You weren’t raised there. When did you move to America?
[00: 27: 10 – 00: 28: 22]
When I was 10. Okay, so long enough to kind of have an idea. But that’s still, do you have family down there? Mm-hmm. Oh, okay. So that, it does help. It’s not completely foreign, but you are, you know, at least a decade, if not more, from when you were last there. And to just think about going back there and setting up. and taking a skill set that you learned here and using it down there. I just think, oh my God, I can’t wait to see what this looks like and how that explodes because that has the potential to be huge, super huge. Yeah. If there’s nothing like that down there and you start that there, you bring that there, people aren’t gonna know what to do with themselves. You might have ruined Costa Rica forever. They’re gonna be wanting everything, snap, snap. I just need my chips real quick out of my machine. Like, I don’t want. to wait, but I think that’s just super insightful to look at what is happening in the market and how you said grocery stores are even going to be replaced by like vending machines and just other machines because the way AI is moving and things are more people are more comfortable with tech.
[00: 28: 23 – 00: 29: 54]
And that’s true, like in machines haven’t really expanded to like clothing items, so even the lashes you were talking about, I’ve seen those in vending machines, shoes like roll up ballet flats and vending machines like by nightclubs. I think that’s smart. And I’ve seen like salads and airports at vending machines. Like there’s so many things you can really put full meals in vending machines. Um, so they have like pizza vending machines now. I was looking, yeah, they’re making like pizza in the vending machines and they’re finding that out. So like a fresh pizza, they’re making a fresh, a fresh pizza. Yes. So I, Jay Z actually just invested in that. see the problem is gonna be, depending on where the vending machines are at, the line’s gonna be so long trying to get the fresh pizza, you might as well just go to the pizza. I mean, I definitely wanna try it. Like I’ve never had a pizza out of my bag. I know, maybe that, try it too. Especially because I think I’ve seen some kind of automated like pizza being made on a conveyor belt kind of thing situation. So if they have like exact, and that’s the thing, when it’s a machine and you put in exact. quantities of like mixing the dough and the sauce and stuff. Like it’s, it’s that same way every single time. They’ll never be different. Right. So you’ll know what to expect and whether it’s good or bad, they’ll just have to tweak their recipe. Right. Exactly. Okay.
[00: 29: 55 – 00: 30: 32]
Okay, guys, don’t kill me, but I’m going to have to cut this episode short. This is too juicy and we need to do this in a part two. So stay tuned for the next episode that airs and you can hear the rest of our conversation. Did you love this episode of Share the Wealth Show? Be sure to connect with Nicole by following her on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook. If you picked up any of the gems that were dropped by today’s guests, make sure you not only put them in your bag, but if you know of someone who would benefit from this information, don’t keep it to yourself. Share the Wealth, and make sure to leave us a rating and review. We’ll see you for next week’s episode. Subscribe so you’ll be notified.
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