Jono and Kirsty Rowe are what you call a powerhouse couple. At such a young age in their 30s they have achieved what many would dream of over a lifetime. From humble beginnings growing up in small towns of New Zealand, they now impact thousands of people all over the world. Values, principles, and service are at the core of everything they have built and at the heart of what they stand for. Coupled with Jono’s financial literacy expertise and Kirsty’s creative flair and intuition, they have developed as a powerful leadership combination. There aren’t many areas of life that Jono and Kirsty lack the ability to speak to as they continue to build businesses and develop families through their leadership programs.
As if running a global business wasn’t enough, Jono and Kirsty Rowe also have 4 children under the age of 10. They allocate much of their spare time to public enterprise projects such as their recently launched podcast, The Legacy Academy Podcast.
Jono Rowe has a background in financial services and extensive experience with working with a wide range of clients in Banking, Insurance, and Asset Management. His time in a Big 4 Accounting firm and leadership roles over many years has laid the foundation for expanding into entrepreneurship and investments. Jono is a qualified Chartered Accountant with ‘Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand’ and has a unique set of skills with both the financial technical expertise as well as the business acumen underpinning his business success.
Kirsty Rowe is equally as talented and skilled with a background in education as well as being highly trained in several genres of dance and music. This has brought a real creative and innovative element to the couple’s business ventures and complimented Jono’s skills to help expand their leadership curriculum. As a mother of four, Kirsty has an entrepreneurial edge which has developed into a unique capacity to be both an exceptional leader in the home as well as in key business roles.
How did you get started in this business?
We were living in Melbourne, Australia, when Jono was working for Ernst & Young back in 2012. We had recently become parents with our first son Jasper and our perspective on our quality of life was being altered. Jono was enjoying his work and the people he was working with but there was something missing. I (Jono) started looking for other options to get ahead as I had always been interested in business and investing, dabbling in share trading, foreign currency, and real estate. We were hungry to get ahead and build a life where we had more options. During this time, we met our mentors and some other key leaders we’ve been fortunate to learn from and do life with over the past few years. It was only after convincing them to take us under their wing following a 6-month pursuit that we were fortunate to be taken on as equal business partners. This was a defining moment for us, the rest is history.
How do you make money?
Over the past 10 years, we have been focused on building multiple cashflows as we believe having diversity and variety is key to strengthening your financial position and establishing financial independence. As I (Jono) was building my career in financial services and eventually becoming CFO of a large construction company, I have consistently been focused on personal development and financial literacy outside of my 9-5 day job. Initially, we began building skills and income through accessing existing online revenue-sharing platforms to profit share off credible and tangible supply chains of ethical and sustainable product brands and systems. From there we scaled our revenue into other countries outside of NZ and built systems that allowed us to shift our focus to developing people on a more holistic basis. We achieved this through building and growing a world-class leadership program with an emphasis on life coaching, and effective mentoring. We focused on the philosophy of ‘people before profit’ to deepen the foundation of our partnerships and then grew that foundation into a strong and reputable curriculum. This curriculum is unique, values-based, and in our view, world-class in the sense that it empowers those operating within our company to think independently and grow a brand of their own long term.
As we have increased our income from our early beginnings to other platforms, we have then applied investment principles, learned from the likes of Warren Buffet, Tony Robbins, and Peter Mallouk, expanding into real estate and equities as vehicles to compound on the cash flow we have built. Cash flow remains a primary focus in all aspects of our businesses and the coaching we provide to those we work with. Without cash flow, there is no freedom, and without freedom, we are bound to serve someone else’s dream rather than our own.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
When we launched into business, we started the journey knowing it was a long-term one. We were well prepared with a strong foundation of principles and values which sparked the reasons why we started out in business. This allowed us to be more focused on the long-term outcome of why we were going into business. We were profitable within the first few months of business because we focused on keeping our operating costs low and utilizing existing platforms and systems to scale our revenue. We have always been more focused on the strength of building and reinvesting into the development of assets rather than quick profits. This has meant our business over time has scaled and multiplied into a much more profitable business today, allowing us the financial flexibility to expand and divest into other areas.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Plenty of times. It’s like trying to excel and succeed in anything. When you have a big goal and an impactful vision, it takes a lot of faith to step outside your comfort zone and move into uncharted territory. The moment you decide to chase a goal, at that same moment, resistance kicks in. Self-doubt, unbelief, and lack of confidence were all there at the beginning for us. The key to staying focused and committed to the path we were on was staying plugged in to our mentors and keeping our eyes on the prize of why we were doing it in the first place. Confidence and belief then grew over time as the results continued to flow. Now we are blessed with experience and can impart that to others starting out on their own journey to success in business.
How did you get your first customer?
Jono’s mum was our first customer and has continued to be our most loyal one (Jono and Kirsty laugh). Whatever business venture you start, it should be your family and closest friends who jump at the bit to support and encourage you. It’s what we call your A LIST, your closest friends and family. For us, it was Jono’s mum and his wider family who initially supported and encouraged the launch of our business venture.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Other than referrals and vetting for the customers and clients we really want to work with, one key marketing strategy is to always be adding value to others for FREE. If you want more customers, more clients, more partners in business, then add more value. Offering quality products and services is not necessarily about price, it’s about value. The value being provided is more important than a transaction. To us, business is about people and the lives that are positively impacted by the value that has been added. We are constantly focused on adding value to our current clients, partnerships, and prospective customers.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
In recent months, one tough decision we made was to move on from people who are unwilling to seek understanding and permit the grace to hear our heart and vision for those we are committed to serving. We have recently had to make a difficult decision to disassociate ourselves with a couple of key individuals who we thought had our best interests at heart but turned out to be more concerned with their own positional leadership and popularity than they did with co-laboring alongside our mission to help others. Success in business is about the right people, and we have learned to guard our hearts and create boundaries in the right places to protect our character and integrity which is most valuable to us. This is more important than any money or success can give. We always apply the Golden Rule when people choose to dishonor or disrespect. Treat others the way you want to be treated, no matter how low they go. Bless them, encourage them, hold our heads high, and move on.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
There are some key ingredients that have been primary factors in our success in business and life to date. Commitment, work ethic, consistency, focus, and effective mentorship are the primary 5 keys we believe have been the formula to our growth. Without a doubt though, it has been pursuing mentors who had the ability to help us become who we are today which has been the most important element of our journey. Success is simple, but it’s not easy. Through effective mentors and coaches, we were simply willing to do what others weren’t which is why we have options today that most don’t. Our advice is simple: do what others won’t so you can live like others can’t.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
For Jono, it was walking away from his corporate career to be a full-time Dad, full-time husband, and full-time free family man. One of the primary reasons we have built a business is to give our family the financial flexibility to make decisions based on our values. For us, it’s being full-time parents while our kids are young and investing our spare time in helping others achieve the same. The moment we all stepped off the helicopter to greet our family and friends to celebrate that significant milestone, we felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. That moment was about follow-through, the essence of integrity. We followed through on the dream we declared.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We are excited about the endless possibilities and exponential global growth that is ahead of us being in the online commerce space, as well as the millions of people craving more with their life and looking for a purpose in what they do. We are most excited about the individual and family impact through the development of leaders over the next several decades. We believe in the value of building businesses through entrepreneurship to develop families and impact communities to leave a legacy that matters. It is this unwavering faith and expectation which we are on a mission to impart to those who are hungry enough, and patient enough, to go on a journey to build a legacy that impacts generations to come.
What business books have inspired you?
The list is endless, we are reading every day and always looking to learn more. The most inspiring books for both of us were some of the first few we read early on in our business journey. Namely, “Cashflow Quadrants” by Robert Kiyosaki, “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olsen, and “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg. These three books have been life-changing in many ways as we have both implemented the principles and strategies in them over time.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Give yourself time to succeed. Allow yourself time to grow into the person you need to become. Personal growth is an ongoing process, and we must allow time to develop and foster both experience and skill development. It takes effort and persistence but it’s not going to happen overnight.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
To the right person, yes. When it comes to mentoring someone, we believe that there should be established expectations and sufficient trust built in the beginning before agreeing to a long-term commitment which is also a key ingredient if the partnership is to be a successful one. Being a mentor to someone is both a privilege and responsibility and brings about an element of primary influence in someone’s life. A mentor provides coordinates and direction to improving oneself on a lifelong journey of growth.
If you’re looking for advice or a mentor, there are four key questions that should be initially asked. There are more than this, but we would recommend these four are discussed when first seeking mentorship. Firstly, the mentor needs to have RESULTS in the arena of life you are seeking council. The fruit on the tree, in the relevant garden, is essential to taking advice. You don’t take business advice from a student at university/college for example because they don’t have the experience and success over a consistent period of time. Make sure you’re seeking mentorship from someone who knows what you need to know.
Secondly, they must have the ABILITY to help you. Mentorship should come from someone who has the results AND the ability to help you. This means they have a game plan, strategy, framework, or process to walk you through your journey to success in your field. There is no point pursuing a mentor who has what you want but can’t articulate how they are going to equip and empower you to grow. That’s called opinion, and opinions don’t help people.
Once you meet someone who has the results and the ability to mentor you. Then the question is asked, are they WILLING? This one is obvious but often overlooked. Everyone knows someone successful or can name a well-known expert in their field. But do they know who you are and are they willing to mentor you?
Finally, people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When it comes to seeking a mentor, we believe that having a long-term relationship is always a good factor when you are allowing someone to be a primary influence in your life from a mentorship perspective. There is little value in meeting someone for coffee on one occasion and then calling it mentorship. Quality effective mentoring comes from individuals who are able and willing to be with you long-term on your journey to success and fulfillment. Trust is established and strengthened over time. The way you know you can trust your mentor is by giving them 25 years to prove it to you. Time proves character and the results speak the truth.