10 Questions with Mike Kendra

by Mandy | Apr 22, 2021

Mike Kendra
General Manager

FP Solutions RI
Cranston, RI

Mike Kendra is a member of Inner Circle Entrepreneur (ICE), D2’s intensive entrepreneurial coaching program. He and his wife Heather have been married for almost 21 years, and their son Chris is 16.

What is your business and how did you get started?

Our business is called FP Solutions RI. We help advisors prepare financial deliverables – our goal is for advisors to spend less than 10 minutes creating financial planning deliverables.

My wife is a financial advisor at Ameriprise, and she started doing this as a side job just to make some money. She got a referral and then another while she was also growing her book of business, and then she got really busy. I was an operations manager and plant manager in manufacturing at the time and started helping out on nights and weekends with data entry. This was in 2010, and it snowballed from there. In 2015, we decided this was a business and I came over full time. We started hiring people and went from there. Today, we have 15 employees.

What do you like about what you do?

I like the process-driven nature of what we do. We can go in and help advisors set up a process to make it easy for them. I also like training people. I’m all about growing people and training them for new opportunities. We get a lot of college interns and people changing careers, and I like to teach them all about the business.

Watching someone on the team blossom when they start off in a role or change roles and then grow into that role that’s been the most rewarding thing for me. We put them in the right role and they just flourish in it.

What advice would you give to a college graduate just starting their career?

Find a good mentor or good environment where you can learn. Ask a lot of questions, and be willing to continuously learn. The most successful people have a beginner mindset and are always learning something.

What are your hobbies and interests?

Anything to keep moving. I like to run and weightlift, and I do some surfing and skiing. I do races like triathlons and distance races. I did an Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid, NY in 2018 (it’s beautiful but really hilly), and I’ve done three other marathons. I trained for seven months for the Ironman. I’ve been a lifelong runner, so that’s my go-to event. I hate the biking and I love the swimming.

What purchase under $100 has most impacted your life in the last six months?

We subscribe to Hello Fresh, and that’s been pretty cool. It’s very convenient and makes you make dinner.

What book do you most give or recommend to people?

First Things First by Stephen Covey and Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institution.

What’s a hidden or unusual talent you have?

I can sing and cover songs on acoustic guitar. My favorites are punk rock or rock.

What do you want to check off your bucket list next?

More travel, when the world gets going again. I want to go to Chilean Patagonia – I love to see the scenery and go to remote places.

What’s your motivation in life?

Helping others solve problems and pursue financial freedom. I like to be useful.

If you could put up a giant billboard with anything on it, what would it say and why?

I’m going to steal Nike’s and say Just Do It. Whatever you think is holding you back in life, it probably isn’t holding you back. If you just go out and try, you’ll probably get way farther than you thought you would.

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