When his father—his lifelong idol and friend—died, Ryan Kearns was devastated. For a long time, he mourned the loss of such a significant person in his life. Steve Kearns was the one who had instilled in him the spirit of compassion and generosity even as a young boy. He decided that the best way to immortalize his father was to apply everything he taught as best as he could and start a charity in his name.
Growing up, Ryan was strongly exposed to business. His father had shown him how to move up the corporate ladder, going from a lowly entry-level job to one of the highest management positions in his company. Steve was fueled by his mission of hiring all his friends and family to help change the world for the better.
Sadly, Steve succumbed to a combination of chronic pain, opioid addiction, and mental health issues. Determined to keep his memory alive, Ryan founded Steve-O’s Last Wish to help carry on his legacy. The charity aims to raise awareness for the homeless population and to provide a helping hand to those in need.
He also dove into business himself to test out the skills his father had passed on to him. Ryan started Auto Dent Company in 2015. Auto Dent Company is a fully licensed and insured professional auto dent repair company. To maintain quality service, Ryan hires only the best technicians with certification in the industry of paintless dent repair. With his leadership, Ryan grew Auto Dent into a full-service company that provides same-day solutions such as paintless dent repair and minor auto body repairs.
Inspired by his father and grandfather to become an entrepreneur, that same year, he started Fly Low Inc., which specializes in customer acquisition and brand recognition for local businesses throughout the United States. Most recently, Fly Low helped an eleven-year-old named Summer start her own business selling scrunchies. She also taught her friends how to make money during #FlyLowSummerSchool through the company’s #FlyLowEducation programs.
The pandemic isn’t stopping Ryan from applying his father’s lessons. In fact, he is taking the circumstances as a challenge and has driven himself to go even further to help people in these unprecedented times. His current goal is to create 1,000 jobs amid COVID-19 shutdowns and give 10 percent of his profits to charities and churches that give directly back to the homeless, drug-addicted, and mentally ill.
“We don’t care about the money. We don’t care about bottom lines. All we care about is our people and how they feel. We help people create visions for their own lives and help them execute it through business development, goal setting, and charitable causes,” he said.
He is planning to partner up with companies in different countries that share the same vision, morals, and values. Later this year, he plans to do giveaways in the form of scavenger hunts in rivers in the United States. Teams that collect the most trash by weight will be rewarded with cash prizes. His goal is to remove plastics and harmful waste from the rivers so that they never reach the oceans.
Ryan Kearns is confident that his simple efforts will go a long way in making small but steady changes in the world. Though his father is no longer with him, he aims to live by his dad’s principles every day.