Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with an EDTP Graduate: Meet Chris Hampton

Posted on 2/27/2018 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Chris Hampton is a motivational speaker and trainer and the founder of Impacting Word Enterprises. He is also a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with him to ask about his experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

“I chose entrepreneurship because working a nine-to-five for someone else was not fulfilling for me. I would go to work, do eight hours, and leave feeling that there had to be something more satisfying than this. Every day, I would leave frustrated, stressed, and unhappy. I came to the conclusion that if I was going to be frustrated and stressed, it should be from building something that I can call my own. I chose entrepreneurship because of the control. It’s the understanding that whatever happens, good or bad, is a reflection of me and the choices I make.”

LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

“At a very early age, I knew that I wanted to be a speaker.  Growing up, I remember watching the public access television on the New Jersey Network and being introduced to Les Brown. I like how he encouraged people to be their best selves and live their best lives. I wanted to encourage people just like he did. When I became an adult, I spent most of my career working in sales. One of the perks of being in sales included going to my employers’ annual sales conferences and being introduced to the top motivational sales speakers. When I saw those speakers present, my inner voice screamed you can do that too! In those moments I not only learned how to sell but also how to train.  I was preparing myself for my future career as a motivational speaker and trainer.”

LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

“My experience with the classes were great. I realized that it was not just about wanting to go into business but also learning the language of business. I understood that you can't simply go into a bank and say fund my dream without having a business plan. You have to show them that you've done the work and the research. I learned how to identify a market, communicate with them through social media, and ultimately, build a brand that people will remember. There was a ton of valuable information that I can still use today. Another great part of the program was meeting new entrepreneurs who were in the same situation because it helped me realize that I was not alone.”

LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

“A journey is a good way to describe building this business because starting it was only the beginning. I've been spending a lot of time building my brand as a speaker in the community which means getting people to know who I am and what I do. In my industry, it feels like there is an army of motivational speakers, trainers, and/or coaches; so, the challenge is standing out amongst the masses of competition. If you were to ask me about my future aspirations, I would tell you that I want to be an international speaker like Les Brown (my mentor from afar). Although that’s where I want my journey to lead, I know I have to start in my community. I know I have to show up at networking events and make a 5-minute conversation last a lifetime in the mind of the listener. Since graduating from the program, I believe the Champ I Am brand has become more recognized in my community. I've spoken at conferences, hosted block parties, and even moderated the first Conversations in Camden fireside chat. At this moment, I can't say that I've had any failures. I think the only failure would be not continuing this journey and that is definitely not an option.”

LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

“Your dream can be possible if you understand that it serves no purpose if it stays stuck in your head. You have to get it out by taking steps to make it a reality. The first step must be learning what it takes to be successful. For me, taking and completing this class was that initial step. Another step, would be to surround yourself with other entrepreneurs. Not only will they challenge you and hold you accountable but they will also inspire you to grow together. I would encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to take the leap and make your business your reality.”


Congratulations to Chris Hampton for completing EDTP and recommitting to his journey on the path of entrepreneurship. Christopher Hampton has over 20 years of sales/service leadership experience. He is the founder of Impacting Word Enterprises. Chris enjoys challenging and motivating entrepreneurs, sales, and service teams as well as youth, corporate, and volunteer organizations to break out of their comfort zones. He strives to empower and equip them to release their inner Champ. For more information, contact Chris Hampton at chrishampton@champiam.org and check out his website at champiam.org

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Winter, Spring, and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com