Kirk Keating: Disabled and Running His Own Business

As a young man, Kirk Keating loved riding his motorcycle and playing various sports. According to him, he felt “10 feet tall and bulletproof”. His life would change in the blink of an eye, however, when he was involved in a motorcycle accident during his mid-20s. Doctors told him he would never walk again, but that did not stop him from being self-reliant.

“I remember being in rehab with a lot of 20-somethings and it seemed clear to me that a portion of us would end up going home and sitting on the couch drinking beer and a portion of us would get back into our lives and move on,” Keating says.

He wanted to belong to the latter group, so he returned to the workforce. For the next two decades, Keating served as an information systems management professional in his hometown. When the company he worked at decided to move its IT operations from Tempe, Arizona to Ohio, he looked for other options. While exploring franchise opportunities, Keating came across GameTruck. Founded in 2006 by Scott Novis, GameTruck is a video game arcade on wheels that can accommodate up to 16 players simultaneously.

Keating loved the concept and became a franchisee in 2011. Today, he works from home and heads a team of five employees. He says he is used to living and working in a wheelchair, which generally doesn’t hinder him from going about his day. There are occasions, though, when it can be hard to go on sales calls, like if a building has too many stairs or doesn’t have a ramp. Though, according to Keating, he can “still get around well.”

Truly an inspirational example to all, Keating believes that people like him shouldn’t look for opportunities in terms of their disability. He advises emerging entrepreneurs with handicaps to go on their search just like anyone else would and pursue what they’re interested in.

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