135 – Rob Kenney ‘The YouTube Dad’ & Creator Of The ‘Dad How Do I?’ Video Series With Over 3M Subscribers
Our guest on this Dad to Dad Podcast is Rob Kenney of Seattle, WA, who is also known as ‘The YouTube Dad’ with over 3 million subscribers. Rob has created more than 60 ‘Dad How Do I?’ videos that have taken off in popularity during the COVID pandemic. We’ll hear about Rob’s faith and how the pandemic has brought him a huge internet following. That’s all on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast.
Rob’s 6 point mission statement:
1. Share God’s love
2. Provide a safe space for anybody to learn
3. Promote Kindness
4. Encourage Other Dads
5. Maintain trust with your kids
6. Give back
See Rob’s videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNepEAWZH0TBu7dkxIbluDw
Tom Couch: The special father’s network is thrilled to be sponsored by Rubin law. A multi-generational law firm dedicated, exclusively to serving families, raising children with special needs. It’s not one thing they do. It’s the only thing they do to find out more. Go to Rubin law.com R U B I N. law.com or call 8 4 7 2 7 9 7 9 9 9 and mentioned the special father’s network for a free consultation.
Rob Kenney: Cause we’ve really tried to promote kindness to, you know, trying to have it be a safe place where anybody and everybody could come in and just learn how to do stuff without, you know, willing, like I’m going to get yelled at. Yeah.
Tom Couch: That’s our guests this week on the dad to dad podcast. Rob. With over 5 million fans and counting.
Rob has been hosting the phenomenally successful YouTube series. Dad, how do I?
Rob Kenney: Okay, so today I’m going to show you how to fix a clogged sink. How’s everybody doing today? Nice to see you again. Uh, so today I’m going to show you how to make coffee. So I’m going to show you how to fix a running toilet. Okay.
So today I’m going to show you how to use a stud finder. If you came here looking for help finding a boyfriend, that would be a different step. Find a dad joke. Sorry. It’s data. Okay. So yeah, you have to expect those occasionally. You got to give me that. Okay.
Tom Couch: We’ll hear Rob stories and how the pandemic brought him a huge internet following in short, we’ll hear how he did it.
That’s all on this special father’s network, dad to dad podcast. Here’s your host, David Hirsch
David Hirsch: PI. And thanks for listening to the dad to dad pod. Fathers mentoring fathers have filled them with special needs presented by the special fathers network
Tom Couch: the special father’s network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for dads to support dads, to find out more, go to 21st century dads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a
dad looking for help or would like to offer. We’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad.
Tom Couch: And now let’s hear this conversation between Rob Kenny and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: Well, we’ll be talking today with Rob Kenny of Seattle Washington who works in outside sales is the father of two and creator of the dad. How do I phenomena, Rob, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the special fathers.
Rob Kenney: Yes, of course. I’m glad to be here. Thanks for having me.
David Hirsch: You and your wife been married for 30 years and are the proud parents of two Christine 28 and Kyle 25.
Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family.
Rob Kenney: Yeah. So I, uh, I was actually born in new Orleans. I’m one of eight children, I’m number seven. And the first six siblings, the older siblings were all born near Wichita, Kansas. And my dad worked for Boeing and his work started to dry up.
And so he had a decision to make and he ended up moving us to new Orleans for the space program back in, uh, 63. And then I was born in 64 and then we moved up here, um, in 66, up to Seattle in 66. And then my younger sister was born after that.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So I remember you telling me that, uh, one of the challenges, uh, when you were younger was that your parents split, which is something we both have in common.
Um, and I’m wondering how that transpired and what impact that had on
Rob Kenney: you. Yeah. You know, it’s tough. I, uh, and I don’t live there. I don’t dwell on it. I don’t use it as an excuse or anything. I just, I main reason I even bring it up is to try to give hope to people, to, you know, things are tempered. And as I’ve gotten older, I really realized things are temporary.
You know, I was temporarily young and now I’m old. Uh, so yeah, it doesn’t take long. I mean, so I was 14 when that happened. I determined as much as a 14 year old could that I would never do that myself and I, you know, that was a big goal in my life too. Raise good adults. And my wife, I married well. So my wife and I have done that where we’re almost married 30 years actually, when this airs, it might be 30 years are there.
Our anniversary is in January. We’ll have been married 30 years.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So you mentioned that your dad worked for Boeing and sadly he passed away five or six years ago. And I’m wondering, how would you describe your relationship with your dad?
Rob Kenney: Uh, you know, after we, after the family split up, I had a lot of animosity towards him and then we slowly kinda patched things up, but just, it was superficial my relationship with him up until probably about 10 years before he passed.
Uh, you know, it was basically superficial. We couldn’t talk about anything that really was meaningful. And then, you know, we reconciled before he passed. Thankfully I was able to, he asked for forgiveness. You know, I’m a Christian, so I’ve been forgiven much. So it was fairly easy for me to forgive him. It seemed a little, and I’ve shared this in other interviews that, you know, is a little anti-climactic it wasn’t, you know, it wasn’t this dramatic moment where wow.
It finally happened and it was more like, okay, that’s done now. We can kind of move on. So that was how our relationship was.
David Hirsch: Okay. Were there any important lessons that you learned from your dad either directly or indirectly that, you know, resonate with you even.
Rob Kenney: Yeah, my dad started well. He absolutely started well, you know, there’s photos of, uh, the older siblings.
And then when we were younger, we would go camping. You know, we would go, uh, fishing, we’d play football together on the weekends. You know, he’s he started really well. He just unfortunately got tripped up. And I, and that’s what I, I try to share on my channel is I try to, you know, if you’ve gotten off track, let’s get back on track, get back in the game.
We need you, you know, we need, we need good dads to be, uh, to hang in there. And again, things are temporary, you know, it’s a temporary situation. I understand, you know, look, think long-term about your life and the decisions you make. Okay.
David Hirsch: Did anyone else serve as a father figure when you were younger? Well,
Rob Kenney: my brother Rick did, when our family split up, I went to live with him.
And so he’s nine years older than me, you know? Um, at the time he was 23 and I was 14 and he was newly married. And so, you know, at the time 23 seemed old, now it seems my son’s 25. And I can’t imagine that having a teenager living with them, you know? So, so yeah, he’s and we’re really close to this day and he, yeah, I always, I go to him a lot for work.
David Hirsch: Okay, well, that’s fabulous. I can only imagine, uh, if they’re newlyweds or had been married for a short period of time that, you know, they’re thinking, oh, we’re going to start our lives. The two of them, your brother and your sister-in-law, and then you move in with them and they’re like, oh, wait a second. I don’t know if I signed up for a year, a little brother.
Rob Kenney: I know I am right there with you. That’s a, so they were in a trailer because their plan was to, you know, we weren’t well off. And so they were going to save money. Uh, you know, I, I call it a mobile home, but it was, uh, it was a glorified trailer. It was an eight by 35 trailer. My brother ended up building a shelf in the back of the trailer and put a bed on it.
And that was my bedroom. Um, so I had to walk through their bedroom to get to my bedroom, which wasn’t really a bedroom, you know? So it was. I, I feel bad for him to this day. That had to be hard. I mean, I it’s, you know, I had some tough times, but I feel bad for them. Like you said, you know, and did that. And my brother has since said that they had kind of talked about this being something that could happen.
And Karen thankfully was gracious enough to say that. Yeah, if that happens, then, then I’m on board. I’m very grateful to her too. I’m close to her as well.
David Hirsch: Well, thank you for sharing. That’s very interesting. Yeah. So, uh, from what I remember in a prior conversation, uh, you, uh, went to central college for a couple of years and you realized that maybe that wasn’t your path.
And I’m wondering, uh, what was going on when you were a younger guy and thinking about college work, et
Rob Kenney: c
I’d always wanted to play football and be honest with you. I, I, you know, I grew up, we loved football and I played and I got, uh, you know, it was pretty good. Just didn’t have a whole lot of direction.
So I played in high school and then I kind of had to work. I, you know, I was on my own my senior year. I ended up moving out of my brother’s place and moving in with my two brothers, two older brothers that were fairly close to me. Because I wanted to graduate from my own high school and my brother, Rick, who had Rick and Karen, they were moving to a different town.
And so I wanted to stay there. Um, and so, uh, but I just, you know, I really didn’t have. A normal life. So it wasn’t, you know, and I just didn’t know what the next step was. And so I was working, trying to save some money. And then I finally, when my mom passed away in 86, um, that’s when I was like, you know, I, I want to go, I gotta do this.
I got to make an attempt. And so I went to central Washington university and I tried out for the football team. And played played for a couple of years. And then I ended up getting a job at Boeing. My dad had, uh, you know, w while I was in school, I was like, he’s like, you know, I got an opportunity to get you in here if you, if you want.
And so I was like, okay, I think I, I think I’ve tried and this isn’t going where I thought it was going to go okay. Time to time to shift. So
David Hirsch: your career started at Boeing from what you said, and I’m wondering, how did you transition from there to the type of work that you’re doing?
Rob Kenney: Yeah. So that’s where I met my wife.
So that’s one of the things that God had planned for me is that when I went to Boeing, then meet my wife there. And then I got a, there was a person that I worked for there. Her husband was starting a, an audio visual business, uh, audio, visual rental business. And so I could see. Since I didn’t have the four year education, Boeing looks highly on education, which understandably so.
But, um, so I was frustrated with how long it was taken for the money to come. I ended up becoming a lead over nine people. And so they were promoting me, but the money wasn’t coming and I’m like, I, you know, I can’t wait any longer. So I had this opportunity to go be part owner of an audio visual company and it started out well, and then that kind of fell apart.
And then, so I was. And my wife was still working at Boeing and was got pregnant with my daughter. And, um, then I split ways and I was like, you know, the stress was just too much. I had to just give it up. But that was in October of 90, 91, sorry, 91. Um, Yeah. And so I was like, man, I don’t know what I’ve done with my life.
And that was when I cried out to God, actually in like, you know, if you exist, you know, I mean, get me out of the mess that I’ve made for myself. Cause it was tough. It was humbling to around the holidays, especially seeing my pregnant wife go off to work and I’m like sitting there. Scrambling trying to find work.
I didn’t have any work. And so, yeah. And then in January, uh, things kind of started falling, falling back into place. And then, and I kind of made a bargain with God that, Hey, if you can straighten this out for me, I’ll uh, I’ll do whatever I can to try to learn more about you. And cause it was. Know, I was skeptical that anybody was out there that actually cared about me and, uh, yeah.
And then things started falling into place and I knew it wasn’t a coincidence. So it was like, okay.
David Hirsch: So how did that transition into going into outside sales? Like you’re in now?
Rob Kenney: Yeah,
that was part of that. Everything fallen into place. I used to my in-between time outside of high school. And before I went to college, I actually worked for an office supply company and I went back to them to just see if they had worked for me.
And they didn’t really have a job for me, but they said, if you want to do outside sales, we can create a job for you. Uh, I’m an introvert, you know, uh, I’ve gotten better with that, but it scared me, but I was like, I need to do this for my family. I got to do something, you know, I need a job. I need a job that maybe has a career.
And I’m still thankful because they were very good to me and they helped me get my first home. The flexible schedule has been amazing. I’m so grateful for, for how that it has turned out.
David Hirsch: So if you’ve
been with the same company, all 20 plus years,
Rob Kenney: well, so I was with that company for 17. And then they were sold to the company that I work for now.
So it was Olympic office supply, and then they were sold to a company called complete office. And then complete office was recently, well, three years ago was sold to office Depot. Office Depot has been phenomenal. They’ve run us autonomously so that we were able to make our own decisions. So it’s really, they said that, you know, three years ago I was like, yeah, or I I’m going to be wearing a red shirt.
And, you know, I don’t know how this is going to go. And I was kind of too old for this, but they’ve kept their word. They’ve been awesome. It’s been great to work for them.
David Hirsch: Great to
hear. And I think what I heard you say was that the type of job you have has allowed you to balance right? Right. It’s not all about work.
Um, but you can be available to your family, right. Either with your kids and involve with their activities and their growth and their develop.
Rob Kenney: That’s huge. Yeah, no, I’ve, I I’ve seen pretty much everything my kids ever did and it went, it still went by like that, you know, I didn’t want to miss anything and I pretty much didn’t, you know, I was there, but it’s still, it’s amazing to me that it’s come and gone.
David Hirsch: Well, that’s
fabulous. And I think that’s one of the things that I realized with my 35 year career in financial services is that, you know, you have the autonomy to, you know, make your own scale. Not entirely, but you have some flexibility. And if you’re smart about that and you have a family, hopefully you can spend more one-on-one time with your wife and with your kids and, and be engaged because you’re right.
It goes by in a blank, all of a sudden they’re young adults and they’re going to be getting married and having kids of their own. And you know, it’s like, where did the time
Rob Kenney: go? Right? Yeah, it’s crazy. I look back on the pictures and I can’t believe that I’ve shared this story. I think on my channel. Yeah, I did.
When my daughter graduated from high school, I was a blubbering mess. I had that day, had the brilliant idea of coming up with a slideshow, kind of showing her growing up and you know, and all this is going to be great. So then I was an emotional wreck by the time we got to her party. And then we played that I couldn’t even, I was crying so sad because I mean, good, happy tears because, you know, she’s, I felt like she.
Done. Well, it’s just graduated from high school. It wasn’t that big a deal, but I was, yeah, it was sad because it’s kind of like, okay, that window of time we won’t have back. Yeah.
David Hirsch: Well, I think you mentioned that Christine’s also married, right? So you’ve had a chance to. Walk her down the aisle and talk about being a blubbering mess.
That’s what I felt like getting married. I’m like, wow. It goes so fast. That
Rob Kenney: was tough. So she got married right out of college. She graduated in three years from college. She turned 21 in June and got married in August. It was tough, but great, good. My son-in-law, you know, I’ve been to weddings since then.
And you know, you hear a lot of promises and you hear a lot of, oh, this is what I’m going to do, but this man has done it. He, you know, they’ve been married for seven years now and he, yeah, he’s phenomenal. Um, he’s, he’s just a great young man.
David Hirsch: Well, I guess he would be your favorite
Rob Kenney: he’s my only son, but I, you know, he, he is a great guy.
He really he’s. He treats my daughter. Well they’re best friends. They’re, you know, he’s a great guy. He’s lived up to what he promised. That’s excellent.
David Hirsch: So let’s switch gears was a little bit, um, you know, that this is a podcast, um, with our primary target audience, uh, are dads raising kids with special needs.
So I want to just talk about special needs briefly because well, you have typical kids, you and your wife has been blessed with typical kids. Your family has experienced some level of special needs. And from what I remember, uh, one of your sisters taught special. You have a cousin who has down syndrome, this is your mom’s brother’s son.
And I think you also mentioned that you have a niece who has DUP 15 Q syndrome, which is your wife’s sister’s daughter. If I’ve got it straight. And I’m wondering what involvement you’ve had and what your sort of perspective is on the world of special needs for that matter.
Rob Kenney: Yeah. You know, it’s, this is such a hard thing because my heart goes out.
To all those involved, you know, it’s, uh, my, my sister-in-law, she ended up quitting her job to stay home with her daughter. My sister-in-law’s, uh, she’s very qualified. She was working, I think for Stanford university, um, medical, but she’s making that sacrifice because she felt like it needed to be done.
And she’s inspiring. She’s pretty remarkable. They’re down in California, which makes it a little bit tough. We’ve talked about that. You know, we wish you guys were closer so that we could pitch in, because my wife’s one of eight kids too, so she has a, we have a lot of. Family up here that could be helping.
It’s a little tough and it might seem a little shallow, but I, you know, we do try to encourage her and, uh, yeah, I’m pray for them because it’s. It’s a lot of work.
David Hirsch: Absolutely. And, uh, just having family members that have a child or in some cases, children with special needs, I think gives you an insight about the importance of acceptance and inclusion.
And one of the things that I’ve witnessed Rob, is that some of the best parenting that I’ve seen is in the special needs community, these moms, uh, as well as dads, you know, don’t take things for granted. They’re usually more humble, less arrogant, less selfish. And they can celebrate small victories, right?
The smaller things, the more important things in life. In many cases, they have their priorities in order, and they’re advocating, um, in a little bit more deliberate way or intentional way because of the kids vulnerability. I think there are a great role model for the rest of the community. So thanks for sharing.
So let’s talk about what’s transpired during COVID because your experience during COVID has been quite a bit different than I will just say most people’s experience. What’s the backstory on this dad? I’ll do I.
Rob Kenney: I just wanted to have a resource yeah. That people people could have. And I came up with the name, dad, how do I, cause I pictured one of my kids in the other room saying, dad, how do I, my daughter and I, you know, even though she’s 28, we still talk all the time.
And so a few years ago I came up with the idea of this channel and the YouTube channel because I go to YouTube. My goal was to try to come up with this channel, that you could be a reference for people to be able to come back. You know, when you need it, you might not need it, you know, now, but you might need it sometime.
And I wanted it to be a one-stop shop where you can learn how to tie a tie, how to change a tire, how to, I just did a, how to dig up. The whole, Hey kids. So I’m in my backyard and I wanted to show you how to use a post hole Digger. If you’d never done it before, if you’re going to build a fence, you’ll need, need this.
Uh, and I don’t need to build a fence, but I actually do need to dig. So I thought I’d just go ahead and show you, show you how to use one if you’ve never done it before. So it started in because we were quarantined. I ran out of excuses. My daughter’s been bugging me to do it for a few years and, um, They’re just kind of ran out of excuses.
Cause I actually had the time, you know, and I started with how to tie a tie cause it wasn’t much of a commitment, you know, it didn’t take me that long and now I’ll just see what happens. You know, ironically, I started my channel on April 1st. Uh, April fool’s day. Uh, and then my first upload was April 2nd and yeah, it’s been crazy what has happened from it?
Um, it’s, I’m happy to be a resource, but the flip side is I’m sad that there’s such a need for it. You know, the stories and the comments of my subscribers. Um, it it’s, you know, it’s a little overwhelming at times because there’s so much hurt in the world.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, it is really a phenomena. Here you are doing things that are as simple as like what you and I might take for granted, right?
How to tie, a tie, how to change a tire. I’m not rocket science, right? We’re not sending a man to a movie. Uh, we’re not doing brain surgery. Right. You know, we’re about some things that are like foundational, right. Just basic things. And, uh, you’ve really touched a chord with people and what I’m sort of fascinated by because I’ve watched a number of the videos.
And, uh, one of the things that I can say very objectively is that one of your strengths is just your authenticity, right? Sort of a ordinary guy who’s, you know, been married, raised a couple of kids and you’re sort of handy. Right? Know, that’s my observation. You’re sorta handling, you’re talking about not really complex things.
Like, it’s not like, oh, I’m going to show you how to it. The engine out of your car, right. And put a new engine in. I think that would be more complicated and it’s certainly longer than a 10 minute video. Right. But, um, no, it’s, it’s the simplicity of it. That’s what I’m trying to say. Right. You know, you’ve really touched a chord with people and the fact that you’ve done this as a dad, right.
Which is what appeals to me being an advocate for the last 24 plus years. You know, advocating for dads to be involved, right. Which is how we’ve crossed paths with one another. And, uh, uh, if you’re a real original objective was just to be a resource that others might be able to use. You know, you’ve not only accomplish that, but you know, you’ve gone well beyond.
And I’m wondering, when did you realize that this was starting to take off like that? It was more than just, oh, the type of the response I was maybe anticipating.
Rob Kenney: Yeah. So early on my daughter, um, shared it. There’s a group called scrubbing in there. I think it’s a podcast called scrubbing in and they call themselves the scrubbers.
My daughter shared it in the group and they’re all about positivity trying to bring kindness and that type of stuff. And she shared it with them and every one of them was. The support. I immediately had 300 subscribers and like 300, I thought I was going to have 30 or 40 subscribers, 300. I couldn’t get my, I had around that.
I was like, wow. Okay. And then my daughter said that I think this is good. Really? I’m going to share it in a few more Facebook, kindness groups. And cause we’ve really tried to promote kindness to, you know, trying to have it be a safe place where anybody and everybody could come in and just learn how to do stuff with it.
You know, willing to like I’m going to get yelled at, you know, I just want you to feel it. Cause I, you know, in one thing I’m looking forward to is my chance. The stories down the road. I want to hear 10 years from now, some famous person that watched me and I inspired them to go try something that they didn’t think they could do.
And they did it and look at me, oh man, I I’m excited for again. Long-term you know, thinking long-term I, I’m excited to hear what, what this thing is inspired and other individuals. Cause I’m all, you know, I’m all about trying to empower people.
David Hirsch: Well, Uh, you might’ve had 300 subscribers initially, which seemed like a lot, but, uh, at last count, uh, it’s like 2.8 million subscribers.
Yeah. That’s in like six months, right. The first six months of this. And you know, it’s like, oh my gosh. Right. Um, so I’m sort of curious to know, what have you enjoyed most about putting these videos together?
Rob Kenney: Uh, I don’t know it it’s, uh, I I’m thankful that I, I feel like the Lord has kind of given me a platform to share his love with people, because I think unfortunately there’s a lot of, uh, bad publicity for Christians or for, uh, people of faith.
Um, and rightly so, unfortunately, you know, we’ve brought a lot of it on ourselves, you know, there’s a lot of religious people, but I also look at Jesus. Um, you know, during his day he was. Hard on the religious people of his day because their hearts were hardened and they were supposedly representing God.
And he was hard on them because they were misrepresenting God. And so I think I’m thankful in a small, small way I can share just a taste of God’s love for people because. God loves people, but I, you know, unfortunately that isn’t communicated very well, um, on a lot of levels. And so I love that. I love to be that.
I feel like there’s time. When at first, when it first went viral, I was in my bed crying because I just felt like I was drinking from a water hose, a fire hose. I was like, ah, I know I can’t take this in, you know, I’m trying to process it all. Um, but now that I’ve got my head around it, I’m, I’m thankful. Um, yeah, and I just want to be faithful and I want to represent him.
David Hirsch: So how many videos have you actually done
Rob Kenney: so far? Uh, I think it’s about 40 now. I I’ve lost track, so it’s kind of all over the place. Um, I, thankfully I was able to do some dad chats and I’m thankful that, and I talked to you about that a little bit as I, you know, um, there’s so much more to being a dad than just fixing things.
I, you know, I wanted to be able to share my heart and try to give some guidance to some people, you know, I did a dad chat on. Attitude who did a dad chat on integrity just to try to walk along side people, because I care about the next generation. You know, if, if you, if you don’t have a, a role model or you don’t have somebody walking alongside you, um, that breaks my heart, you know, uh, because.
We need each other, you know, and I shared that I had a video called saying that we need each other because the millennials don’t like the boomers, you know, and the boomers don’t like the millennials, they kind of put them in stereo, you know, make stereotypes about them. And when, in reality we need each other, I need my daughter.
She helps me all the time, you know, with. Social media with all kinds of different things that I can’t relate to. And then, but she needs me, you know, so we really need each other. It’s sad that there’s this gap where we’re kind of fighting each other.
David Hirsch: So I’m sure to curious to know if you have a favorite
Rob Kenney: I don’t know. I, you know, the tie obviously. Because it, it brings back memories of when I first started this, which seems so long ago, but it’s really not, not that long ago. That was good. But, um, you know, the ones that have resonated big two were, um, I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you, but, but part of that breaks my heart because some people have never been told that they’re, somebody’s proud of them.
When the thing of encouragement, I just want to leave you with is, um, I know when I was younger, I let critics keep me from doing things that I might’ve done. Otherwise I didn’t want to stick. I didn’t want to get out of my comfort zone. And so don’t let that happen to you. Go ahead and get up, put yourself out there.
If there’s something that you’re a little scared of doing, uh, I just want to encourage you to do it. I love you. I’m proud of you. God bless you.
So, which of the episodes has been viewed the most times
so far? I think it’s that one I’m proud of you. I think that’s the one that has, I think it’s closing on, on, uh, on 2 million views, the, um, my tie just broke a million.
Um, and so I think as far as being the most viewed for content. They’re using, I think is how to tie a tie in. Yeah. Well,
it’s really remarkable. I think you had one that was called. Thank you as well.
Yeah, the thank you. And I’m proud of you are the two kind of the two big ones. And it’s funny because those kind of came about because I was tapped out.
I, I, my channel went viral and I always been tried to tried to be a man of my word. Uh, if I say something I’m going to do, I want to do it. And I put it on my channel that every week I’m going to put up a how to, and it’s like, oh no, my life has turned upside down. I’m getting emails. People want to interview me and stuff.
And I had to punt. I had to, I had to just get on and just pour my heart out. And I look back and it’s pretty raw emotion, you know, because I was a wreck. I’m like, you know, uh, I said, please protect me from what, what it was I need protection from. But I think at the time I just, I was like, man, my life, I had a pretty good life before, you know, my wife and I planned, well, I’m 56.
I was going to just retire like a normal American, you know, so I wasn’t ready for this. And so it was trying to process everything that just happened and it was a little scary.
David Hirsch: So, were there any other surprises that have come out other than the ones you’ve already mentioned?
Rob Kenney: The opportunities that I have I’ve I can’t, I shared a little bit with you off the record and I can’t really speak to it too much, but the opportunities that I have are, um, remarkable, um, every week I get a couple more opportunities for sponsorships and I I’m trying to navigate that well, so that I.
You know, I don’t sell out. I’m not, I don’t want to be an infomercial. I don’t want to be somebody that, Hey, you know, buy this today. You know, if it’s something that I would recommend to my own kids, then I will. Recommend it to my subscribers. And that’s how I want to keep that relationship because yeah, if I started being a walking billboard, selling something that I couldn’t, and I’ve been in sales for almost 30 years, I’ve sold that way too.
I don’t know. Created a trust with my customers where they know I’m not going to bring them stumped than that. I don’t believe in because I wear it on my sleeve, you know, wear my heart on my sleeve. If they could read it from me, if I was trying to sell them something.
David Hirsch: So I’m, I’m hoping somebody picks this idea up and maybe there’s a book in the future.
I know you can’t talk about these things, but it seems very worthy of a book. Um, and I’m wondering if there’s been any other opportunities that, uh, you can talk about.
Rob Kenney: Yeah. Um, I mean, there’s lots of ability, uh, you know, I don’t, yeah, there’s this possibility of maybe turning it into a TV series of some sort.
So I don’t know what that would look like or not. And I, you know, early on I had several people reach out to me about that and I am working in one with one in particular now to see if it makes sense to
David Hirsch: do that. And, uh, was there some talk, I mainly remember in a prior conversation, you mentioning something about doing something.
Uh, for a not-for-profit or in the name of a not-for-profit. And I’m wondering if you’ve got any, um, updated thoughts on that?
Rob Kenney: Yeah. I, I hope to, I, you know, I that’s, my goal is to give back, I, I didn’t do this to get rich. I didn’t do it to. You know, I, I had never, ever had this plan of, okay, I’m going to do this so I can get wealthy, you know, uh, and switch careers.
Uh, that was never the intent. And I think that’s part of the reason it’s kind of, because it, you know what, I don’t come across as salesy because I, it wasn’t, I wasn’t trying to sell anybody, anything. I’m just trying to help people. Uh, yeah. So there’s, uh, Yeah, we’ll see. I do, I do have an opportunity to work with, uh, a soldier’s child.
Um, I’m going to be flying out to Tennessee next September to put on a camp, or I’m going to help work with these children that don’t have, uh, you know, the fallen soldiers, children. So, um, I’m thankful for that. And you know, I’m always open to try to figure out what, and I did, uh, A fundraiser for Starlight, um, foundation children’s foundation for kids with cancer.
Um, yeah. So if I can use this platform for good, um, I will,
David Hirsch: talked about mission statements and I’m wondering. Do you have a mission statement now, as a result
Rob Kenney: of this, I made a mission statement for my channel. So I actually have it on the wall here behind me. Um, I picked a picked six things, and again, it’s something that it doesn’t, it’s not that these are set in stone and I can’t change them, but this is what, at the time I felt like I wanted to stay on track and I put number one, I put, share.
God’s love. Like I shared with you before. I want to be able to in a small one, Point people to the Lord. And then I put number two, provide a safe place for anyone to learn. I don’t care who you are. I want you to come on in to feel safe that, um, even though I’m a Christian, you know, hopefully, um, not scaring anybody away by, you know, You need to change, you know, I’m just want to try to be there for anybody and everybody that needs some, you know, a helping hand, I want to promote kindness, you know?
So if people come on my channel and they’re trolling other people, I, I removed them from my channel. There’s an opportunity to remove from channel. You’re gone, you know, if you’re not going to be kind to each other, we don’t need you. You know, we don’t need somebody coming in, stirring stuff up. I put, encourage other dads.
I want to try to. If a dad has gotten off track, try to encourage them to, to get back on track because we need good dads. You know, the world needs good dads, um, as well as moms, of course, but dads, a lot of times are the ones that are running after the shiny objects and left these, these kids behind. Um, and then I put main train trust with my kids.
Uh, like I just shared with you. I don’t want to be a walking billboard. I want to be able to. Not betray that trust. I’m here, here for you trying to walk alongside you and help you. And I’m not going to sell you something that I don’t personally use or don’t believe in. And then the last thing was to give back, like I just shared with you.
I want to be able to, um, I’m trying to figure it out, you know, ways that we can give back. There’s so many good causes. I’d rather give my money to.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, that’s fabulous. Thank you for sharing your mission statement. I’d like to include that in the show notes, just so if somebody is looking, um, and they might be driving or exercising or something that they’ll be able to come back and, you know, have that.
Cause I think that I usually ask about advice, right. And I’m not going to ask about advice because that mission statement is something that we can all embrace. Uh, to share, God’s love to provide a safe environment, to promote kindness, encourage other dads, maintain trust and to give back. Yeah. You know, who’s going to argue with those right now, but you’d like to think that all of us would be able to embrace that.
So thank you for sharing. Yeah. And I’m wondering if there’s anything else you’d like to say before we.
Rob Kenney: Uh, no, I think, I think we’ve covered a lot, um, a big thing for me. And this was interesting because I saw this about Mr. Rogers. And one of the things I read about him was he was big on reconciliation and I, I really liked that.
Cause that’s what I’ve tried to, um, promote too, is, you know, reconciling. If you, if you need to forgive somebody, forgive them so you can get on with your life, you know? Cause otherwise you really hurting yourself. You’re holding yourself back then. I think I said that with my own kids too, you know, uh, it’s easy to, as you’re going through life to get mad about something and I’m digging my feet in here, I’m not, you know, Hey, let’s talk about it.
We need to reconcile because. Well, life is going to go by, do we really want this riff to be there? We need to reconcile and get on. And we’re a team and I’m looking, I’m doing the best I can. And I guess leave with that. I mean, like I said, we’ve covered a lot, but I think that that’s, that’s a pretty powerful message because I think we, it’s so easy to amend, let years go by and you’re, you’re letting stuff past when, oh, you’re missing out on memories that you could be making.
Let’s just be honest with each other and admit, we don’t know everything. You know, and then we can both move on.
David Hirsch: That’s fabulous. So if somebody wants to learn more about dad, how do I, or to contact you, how would you suggest they go about doing that?
Rob Kenney: Yeah. I have a, an Instagram and I have, yeah, my YouTube channels.
Dad. How do I, so he just put in YouTube, um, I think slash dad, how do I, and then, um, at that, how do I on Instagram we’re, we’re taught, we’ve talked about Twitter. Uh, I, my daughter, I don’t want to put more on her and she’s the one helping me. We’re on Facebook too, but I she’s running all that for me.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Rob, thank you for taking the time in many insights. As a reminder, Rob is just one of the dads. Who’s part of the special father’s network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs. If you’d like to be a mentor father or are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation to your own, please go to 21st century dads.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to the latest episode of the special father’s network at a dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did, as you probably know. The 21st century dads foundation is a 5 0 1 C3, not for profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content.
Free to all concern, please consider making a text article contribution. I would really appreciate your support, Rob. Thanks again.
Rob Kenney: Thanks for having me on and
Tom Couch: thank you
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