Luxury Coach & Transportation

January 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 28 of 67

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION JANUARY 2019 27 Being a gambler of sorts and taking chances brings to mind the saying, "there is no reward without risk," he said. Every time you buy a new vehicle, try to penetrate a different market, or hire specific people; you're not always sure what the end result will be. "Always bet on yourself because you understand your greatest strengths; when you know what you're good at, success is almost guaranteed." Rise And Grind During his 10 years in prison, he had an epiphany. Rejecting the "little voice" (his conscience) built on wisdom is what had gotten him into trouble. He made a decision to listen to the voice in prison, because he never wanted to return. He spent time building relationships with the smartest men in the pris- on yard, and read newspapers and books to educate himself. After reading about top chefs in the country, he realized you can't just talk about success — you have to hustle for it. He started a catering business in prison and got creative with whatever ingredients he could find. "You have to have that beast mode mindset, and rise and grind every day. Learn from what makes someone the best in the industry, and ask yourself 'What do they know that I don't?'" Learning From The Experts When he left prison, Hender- son had to create a brand and diffuse the stigma that came along with his past. "I knew it'd be like someone wrote 'felon' on my forehead. As the face of your brand, how you look, walk, socialize, and talk dictates the relationships you can garner to get access to people's knowledge and connections," he said. You should study people who succeed in your industry. "e competi- tion is heavy, and if you aren't on your A game, it's only a matter of time before you're gone." He advised the audience to never chase money; chase opportunities instead, because opportunities lead to relationships, and relationships lead to money. "Access to subject matter experts is more valuable than anything. Money will always come if you have a bomb product and the right business model at the right time." Finally, look at your company culture. Is it one of learning? Do your employees love what they do? You must treat your internal customers as well as your external if you hope to succeed. "Our talent cannot provide service to people that they don't get themselves. ey have to buy into the vision of what you're trying to sell. As owners, we are in the business of making people better. It's not about giving people directives or telling them what to do because you're the owner; it's about bringing everybody to the table. Because often, the failure of a company is directly linked to the talent that works for you." — weaknesses of the drug dealers he saw. He learned from the most successful on the street, and figured out what they were doing wrong. Why were they getting arrested? He didn't get involved in any violence or gangs, and dressed differently to keep himself from getting caught. It worked for five years…but he learned the hard way it was his product that was bad. Street Knowledge e things he learned on the streets came back as transferable skill sets he could use when he got out of prison. He learned some key elements to becoming a great salesperson. Building strategic relationships was important. To become the best at what he did, he had to build a team of subject matter experts. "Every great manager understands he has to employ people strong in areas he is not. It's impossible to be an expert in every aspect of your business," he said. Having the best product in your market and fostering your unique gift to help you succeed in your endeavors will also help you get far. Henderson's gift was that he likes to be around people. In turn, this became his biggest asset in selling his product. "Your God-given gift is something you do extremely well at a very high level with the least amount of effort." "As leaders and entrepreneurs in our respective industries, we are where we are in life and we become the best versions of ourselves, because at some point we discover our gift." In Henderson's book, "If You Can See It, You Can Be It: 12 Street- Smart Recipes for Success," he presents two decades of life lessons he gained on his redemptive journey from drug dealer to TV celebrity chef to nationally acclaimed speaker.

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