The reason for starting was I always wanted to give back to a community that help me out so much. Our mission is to provide diverse opportunities and exposure for youth facing diversity, through service learning , scholarships and physical activities and we mainly focus on the middle school groups. That’s where I feel like at that age you are still trying to figure out who you are, who your friends are so we still have a chance to make a change in them.
As we all know, there has been a rash of bad publicity in sports, football specifically. With people like you doing good things for the community, how does it feel knowing you’re doing good, yet, the players who may not be are the focus in media?
Well that’s the media’s job, to get the best story so they have the ratings they need for their show, newspaper, whatever. I don’t mind not being recognized like I should. Eventually it’ll get to a place where I’m able to reach more people. Even having the opportunity to do this interview is another platform for me to show people who I am and what I’m about. Thank you guys.
Speaking of doing good, what drives you to want to give back?
I was one of those kids that didn’t have much growing up. That’s what drives me; to show a kid no matter how hard it is you have the decision to make it better.
You are also a motivational speaker, how does that make you feel, knowing you may uplift people who are looking for that inspiration. How do you get inspired to inspire people?
It makes me feel like I’m filling my purpose here on earth. To be able to tell people what I’ve been through and help them through their situation. I get inspired by looking where I came from and all the obstacles I’ve been through and then I look at my audience and see some of the same kids, teachers, pastors, mothers, fathers that are going through what I’ve been through and I let MY STORY help them through.
As an entrepreneur, what skills do you feel are necessary to be successful?
One skill is be able to be teachable. Mostly everything I’ve been through with Which Wich, I had to learn. You have to be willing to do that in this business if not you’ll be left in the dust.
What suggestions would you give anyone who came to you seeking advice on how to, not only start a business, but, to maintain it?
Being there. You have to be in your place of business. Show people that you care about it and also showing the people that work for you that you don’t mind getting your hands dirty either. I love working in my restaurant. My employees love to work with me (from what they say lol).
What businesses are you involved in or what type of businesses do you plan on doing?
Right now we are looking for our next Which Wich location and also talking to Smoothie King about joining them. I also would love to get into the game truck industry not just for me but for my kids that would be something they would enjoy.
What are your lifetime goals and how far away are you from achieving some of them?
My main lifetime goal is to lay a foundation for my family so that if anything happens to me they’ll be able to step right in and pick off where I left off. If they wanted to.
ABOUT WHICH WICH:
Which WichÂ® Superior Sandwiches was founded in Dallas in late 2003 by restaurant entrepreneur, Jeff Sinelli. The national sandwich franchise chain is best known for its customizable sandwiches, creative ordering system, and personalized sandwich bag. In 2007, Which Wich received the coveted Hot Concepts! Award from Nation’s Restaurant News, the premier trade publication for the restaurant industry. Which Wich currently has 400 locations open or in development in 38 states and eight countries. For more information, visit www.whichwich.com.