“I had to be the best, no matter where the work was coming from.”
This conversation follows Mr. Dillard’s intense journey as a business owner. His first exposure to entrepreneurialism came when he worked in a bank and found himself paying close attention to those who worked as entrepreneurs. He drew on his hardwired mentality as a competitive athlete to drive his success, something he quickly experienced in advertising sales for the CBS affiliate WOIO-Channel 19 early in his career.
He shares the challenges an athlete feels in replacing the high that sports deliver. “That never goes away.”
He also discusses his franchise business which provides opportunities for other to become entrepreneurs. About 80% of those owners have other full time jobs, so this becomes a meaningful source of supplemental income. Entry starts at $950 and requires a 5-week training program at his office in Warrensville Heights.
I hate to give away too much here, but Mr. Dillard made some powerful points, like the following:
“I have an affinity for helping African American males see their future. When I was 18 years old, on my way to an Ivy League school (Cornell), while being all-state in two sports, I had never met a black business owner or doctor, attorney or dentist. Never had a black teacher. Obviously, there’s a problem with that. So, I was like everyone else, I wanted to be a professional basketball player. That’s the only thing I saw on TV. That’s not a good thing. So that’s why I give back.”
Please dive into his story and surface with a real appreciation for the work he is doing in the community.