Exclusive Interview With Ken Waks
Very excited to speak with you today! You’ve been up to some exciting things lately, what can you tell us about your recent ventures?
I would love to, and thank you for the opportunity. It has been a whirlwind lately. Most recently I’ve signed a contract with Meta to host & produce my own live show on their platform Super, it will take place every two weeks on Monday evenings and I plan on bringing on inspiring individuals who are doing incredible things building businesses and having huge impact in their communities. The first few shows are already set but I am always looking for new talent, so if anyone reading this wants to tell their story please contact me! I will also pay you for your time.
In addition to that I continue to work my 9-5 working with the biggest CPG companies in the world helping them build their own tech platforms that integrate directly to Walmart’s advertising UI using API.
Also I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t at least tease that I have recently founded a startup, which is still in stealth mode. I can’t give too many details on it just yet, but I will say this. It will be a learning platform giving additional monetization to creators and professionals as well as lowering the barriers to entry for new creators. I’m very excited about this opportunity that I believe will help so many others.
You’ve done all of this recently while dealing with some serious health issues, would you be open to sharing what’s been going on with that?
It’s a long few stories but I’ll try to make it succinct. Last year I went to the ER with debilitating stomach pain, I thought my appendix had ruptured. It was worse than that though and it turns out it was my intestine which had ruptured and an absess had formed in my abdomen. After about a month in the hospital I was released with a colostomy bag to adjust to for 6 months as my stomach healed from the removal of 4 feet of my intestine, my appendix, and the e-coli infection that I also got.
When I went back to the hospital 6 months later in November to have my colostomy reversed, I was to be there for 3 days, instead I was there for 10 as I received ANOTHER hospital acquired infection called c diff which is incredibly painful and difficult to get rid of, and I am still struggling with that months later.
Despite that I was still in the gym daily, playing tennis, lifting, getting myself back in shape from all of these ailments, only to tear my Achilles tendon a few weeks ago and to have to get surgery to repair it. I will be on crutches for the next three weeks and then a walking boot for 6-8 weeks before starting physical therapy. It is considered the mot devastating injury in sports and I am trying my best to navigate that.
How do you stay so positive? How do you stay so motivated juggling all of these things? The personal, the professional, & the health?
The cliché is that you don’t know what you have until you have it taken away from you. I’ve struggled with health issues my entire adult life, I now just accept it as part of my reality and what’s important then is to have other outlets or avenues that serve you, for me, it’s about creating things primarily for others.
I’m not as insanely work driven as I was earlier in my career, I have worked quite myself quite literally into the hospital before, having a panic attack after an annual review that didn’t go the way that I wanted it to, as well as having developed a heart condition from the stress of one of my previous jobs. These things changed my relationship with my job from being my life, to being a part of my life that is supposed to serve me.
From that I now am permanently remote, with a great manager and team around me, with unlimited PTO, and a Bay Area salary with the flexibility and empowerment to work anywhere I want at the times that I want to.
What I’m trying to say is this, there is opportunity in every struggle. When I got injured instead of bemoaning the situation and becoming bitter I instead asked myself, “what can I do with this time that I wouldn’t have had otherwise?”
What’s next for you and how can our readers connect & follow your journey?
My focus now is on building my business, my social medias and content creation, as well as recovering from my Achilles tendon tear. For those so inclined, you can find me on TikTok @Ken, on Instagram @WaksonWaksoff, and on Linkedin at Ken Waks. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story today.