Dave Lukas Chats with Dave Menz
287: Success, Sacrifice, and the Grit to Keep Going with The Laundromat Millionaire, Dave Menz
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Dave Menz. Dave is known as the “Laundromat Millionaire.” He grew up in poverty and had to overcome tremendous challenge to find success. And he did it by doing something obvious, but unique – upping the game in an industry that was resting on its laurels, the laundromat space.
He started by doing what I have come to call “chicken entrepreneurship,” building a business on the side while working a job. And now he’s a millionaire multiple times over and the author of the forthcoming book, Laundromat Millionaire – the Grit to Elevate and Industry.
Dave has a true rags to riches story that I cannot wait for him to share with you.
Dave grew up poor in Flint, Michigan. He lived in a rough neighborhood but had good parents. They didn’t have much money, but they had a good family. He learned that no one was going to hand him anything, but that he could make it happen for himself if he pursued it. He always had an entrepreneur streak in him, but as he grew up, he “took the bait” of corporate America and had the stereotypical middle-class lifestyle.
It was in is late 20’s that he realized that it really wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. He had kind of sold out on his dream of being an entrepreneur. So, over the next 5 years he and his family lived well below their means and saved to buy a business. They didn’t know what it was, but they needed seed money.
Over those 5 years, he and his wife worked really hard at their plan and looked at every business he could find, but none of them checked all the boxes until he came across a laundromat a few miles from his house.
He didn’t see any red flags in his diligence, but he saw tremendous opportunity and he seized it. The laundromat was “a complete dump and losing money” when they bought it. After going to work, nowadays Dave owns 5 laundromats and the real estate with them and has built a multi-million-dollar business. They even had a laundry pickup and delivery service.
Now Dave’s personal mission is to elevate the industry.
Why did you choose the laundromat business over all the others you looked at?
At the 10 min, Dave talks about being an entrepreneur in the general sense and the gift that it is. Dave would find that he was proud to be an entrepreneur and own a business, but when told people what kind it was, he could see the look on their face. He also talks about the laundromat business in general.
What did you learn and do to differentiate your business?
Dave’s philosophy: As a human being, he wants to be a better version of himself each day. A better husband, a better dad, and a better business owner.
You found your business on Craig’s List. Was that luck or is there still opportunity to find businesses to buy there?
You talk a lot about “Grit.” Define grit how you see it.
“To get things in life that most people in life don’t ever achieve, you have to be willing to do things that other people are not willing to do.”
What advice do you have for those looking to build their business while working a job?
At the 38 min mark, Dave and I talk about self-education and the important of that journey in helping you as an entrepreneur. Don’t every stop pushing the envelop when it comes to your self-development.
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