Keith Fowler of Orange County, California is a security industry expert, entrepreneur, and owner and operator of Lion Shield Protection. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, after graduating from high school in his hometown, Keith enrolled in trade school, earning multiple accreditations. From there, he was accepted into Mountain State University in Beckley, West Virginia, where he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Organizational Leadership.
Upon entering the workforce, Keith Fowler became a sheriff with the Orange County Police Department in Orange County, California. There, he received several official commendations, including the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Award for making the most drunk driving arrests of anyone in his precinct.
However, after more than a decade of service on the force, Keith decided to pursue his long-time ambition of creating his own business. In 2021, he founded Lion Shield Protection, an executive security and bodyguard protection company.
These days, Keith lives in Aliso Viejo, California. In his free time, he enjoys all manner of sports and physical activities, including weightlifting, boating, wakeboarding, pickleball, pool, as well as baseball and football. He also loves to travel. Additionally, Keith is involved in several cancer-related philanthropic endeavors, some of which include the Jimmy Fund, CHOC Hospital, Shriners Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and the Orangewood Children and Family Center.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
For me, a typical day consists of managing my 45 employees and fielding calls. Right now, we’re doing a lot of interviews to fill contracts, so I’m also working on setting up those interviews, as well as overseeing my current contracts. I try to manage my time appropriately to get the most done in a day that I can.
How do you bring ideas to life?
After I retired from law enforcement, I had the idea to start a business. I brought that to life by doing my research about what was needed in terms of licenses, certifications, and things like that. Then I just did it. I find that bringing ideas to life is all about being motivated to follow through with an interesting thought, or really pursuing something that I enjoy with all my effort.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me, especially these days, is the rapid advancement of the internet. Everything online is very streamlined and that makes a great number of things easier for my business. I can work remotely if I need to. For example, should a situation arise that needs my attention while I’m on vacation, I can be in the middle of a lake on my boat and work from my phone.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
I work out six days a week and that serves as my motivation and stress relief.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could travel back in time and speak with my younger self, I would say the following: “Always prepare for your future. That could mean anything from addressing your personal finances to mapping out your life goals, but make sure that you have a plan in place for the coming years.”
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
I think that the economy is going to change drastically within the next six months.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
I work out and eat healthy, and I recommend it to people of all ages, but especially as you get older. I think it produces an overall good feeling in the mind and body, and it helps you to live longer.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
I go to the gym or take a ride in my boat with my friends or loved ones. Generally speaking, I like to have a good time with my family to take my mind off whatever might be stressing me out.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Because of my law enforcement background, I have a lot of experience in security. Channeling that experience is the best strategy I’ve found for growing my business because it enables me to communicate with my clients, as well as show my work ethic and involvement from a customer service standpoint. This strategy has rolled over into landing other contracts. Many times in the past, potential clients have become full-fledged clients when they saw how I was keeping my customers happy with the excellent service that I provide.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
One of the major turning points in my career came when I left the sheriffs department in Orange County. I had to figure out another career that would keep me happy and motivated, and that was quite a challenge. Ultimately, I chose to listen to the entrepreneurial instincts that have always been present inside of me and create Lion Shield Protection. The lesson that I took away from that experience is this: No matter where you find yourself in life, you can always bounce back and recreate yourself if you work hard and stay focused.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would tell people to get into the security industry. With the way the world is now, everybody needs protection. Crime is through the roof, and providing reliable security is needed now more than ever. That’s likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I use a piece of software called Officer Reports. It’s a security application that monitors all my guards. I’m able to see when the guards clock in and clock out, and I can monitor the position of the guards in real time to make sure they’re doing their checks during a shift. The guards themselves can also use the software to fill out their reports. It tracks virtually all the information relevant to my business.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
I read a lot of security magazines. Doing so helps me to get ideas for streamlining my business and making it different from any other security company.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
I really enjoyed Creed 3. I’ve been watching all the Rocky movies since the 1980s, and their storyline has been building up to the Creed series of movies which have been released over the past few years.
- Always plan for the future.
- Motivation and follow-through are critical to bringing an idea to life.
- No matter what stage of life you’re in, you can always recreate yourself and build something new.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.