Kevin Heil, an Ohio native and Posey County transplant, is not your typical entrepreneur. He had no vision of being his own boss. He wasn’t trying to solve life’s big problems or invent the next Gatorade. Nope. Kevin just followed his passion, focused on growing his skills, and is now the proud owner of two successful ventures: In the Light Training, LLC. and Spot on Solutions, LLC. “There was never the idea I would own my own business, let alone two of them.”
So how did he get there? Well, Kevin discovered his passion for theatre while in high school. A lover of music, Kevin had been a performer with the Jr. High chorus and his local church choir when he took a break from the center stage and discovered that he also enjoyed making the magic happen backstage. “Working lights” for the school theatre performances opened a whole new world for him, and he was hooked. Back then this technical position required switching on and off light breakers backstage, but Kevin loved the job so much that he majored in Speech Communication and Theatre at USI. While there, he was immersed in the art of theatrical lighting, and his passion grew.
“To see beauty is to see light.” – Victor Hugo
During his critical high school years, Kevin attended a local faith-based summer camp, which over the years led to a volunteer counseling position, a paid staff role as a Program Coordinator, and many jobs later, the summer camp’s Executive Director position. Kevin spent the next 11 years improving the summer camp experience. Working directly with the staff, Kevin found staff training lectures could even put him to sleep. Kevin found a website, In the Light Training, that provided a portal for the camp’s staff to read, view and/or listen to the training content then quiz to prove training and understanding all prior to the staff arriving at camp. Impressed with the results, Kevin sought out a partnership with the company, which led to part-ownership and eventually full ownership of the company. Committed to the benefit to all camps, Kevin has spent the last two years “working backstage” by building a learning management system rather than having the custom built program overhauled and growing the company, so that the camp experience can continually improve in the twenty-first century.
“It’s been exciting because [starting out] I had a product I didn’t understand, and I couldn’t do much changing. Now, I have a product I understand because I helped build it. If something goes wrong, I can tweak and change it.” In the Light Training is currently targeted towards camps and churches, but it could extend to non-profits and small businesses in need of consistent online training.
In addition to acting as the camp’s Executive Director and part-time small business owner of In the Light Training, Kevin was also an insurance agent for a local company. When his position came to an end, Kevin took his next big leap into entrepreneurship by once again putting himself behind the scenes for his clients’ success. Equipped with over 15 years-experience in non-profit bookkeeping and new confidence in small business management, Kevin’s response to the downsize was simply, “Okay, thanks.” Spot On Solutions was born that day.
Familiar with the struggles of the small business owner, Spot on Solutions does the detailed work others don’t want to or can’t do, such as proofreading, insurance reviewing, bookkeeping and many other business services including inventory systems and creating WordPress websites. “It comes down to what someone doesn’t want to do. I then either learn to do it or already know what to do and keep them organized.”
One of his first customers was a fellow Cowork Evansville member who worked in grant writing. He has also traded services with other coworkers. Coworkers have even assisted with the In the Light Training rebuild. “Cowork Evansville has been a big part of my business growing… The slate is definitely full now, and it wasn’t when I started.”
When Kevin isn’t working, he enjoys his entrepreneurial freedom—spending time with his family and maintaining his creative outlets, such as helping Castle High School’s Marching Knights as a Pit Crew parent (backstage work for a marching band), conducting Zoom live streams with his church’s elementary students, and bringing his over-the-top holiday decorations to Cowork Evansville parties. Kevin has even found himself literally backstage again, working with The Foundry (Art school in Warrick County) and CSMS, now using computerized software to control moving and stationary LED lighting. “Watch out, Broadway; here I come! (not).”
The moral of Kevin’s story is simple: let your passions guide you in every area of your life.
From the author,
If movies can have an end credit scene, why can’t bloggers?
Perhaps this is not entirely relevant commentary, yet I’d nonetheless like to highlight fun details about this Cowork spotlight:
- He taught overseas for two years and lived on a tropical island. He would walk out of the classroom, turn to the right and there was the ocean. “A bit of a paradise.”
- He asked his now wife to marry him in between his break from teaching, and she had the opportunity to visit him on the island.
- Sitting on 3 phone books, at 11 years old, he flew an airplane with his pilot neighbor. Now that’s networking done right as a kid.
- Another fun fact, he’s an Eagle Scout.
●His sign off statement from the interview, was “Thanks to all my friends and coworkers, you’re the best.”