Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with Our EDTP Graduates: Meet Gregory and Derek Brock

Posted on 3/22/2016 by Ray Lamboy in LAEDA News

Gregory and Derek Brock are the owners and operators of Mutual Taxi & Limousine, and graduates of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with them to ask both of them about their experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take, with many different possible directions. What made you both decide to become entrepreneurs? Why did you both choose the Taxi & Limousine industry?

Gregory: “My grandfather was a dedicated and hardworking entrepreneur and being around and working with him, he showed me the roadmap to follow to be a successful entrepreneur. My mindset of becoming an entrepreneur started off in High School. I have been an entrepreneur for about twenty-three years now. I had a seafood business first, then a Val Pack business for coupons and started advertising in Atlantic City before I became an Owner/Operator of Mutual Taxi & Limousine. My cousin Derek was already working hard in this business before I became a significant part of it as well. I got into the taxi and limousine industry because my cousin and I did our research and came to the conclusion that there was not much competition in the local area for the Taxi business and this business was really flexible as well.”

Derek: “This path allows me to take opportunities for other people, community, my family and myself. There is no limit to your growth as an entrepreneur. I was motivated by others who took the challenge of being successful on the path of entrepreneurship. Also, I owed it to my family’s legacy to do the right thing and work hard. It is easier to make an impact on smaller cities because you do not have to reach so far. I desired to set a different example for the African American community. If you work hard and do the right thing you can make it.  I started off as a dealer in Atlantic City and I liked it because it allowed me to save money, build credit, and capital. Afterward, I looked into driving a cab. In my first week of driving a cab I made a lot of money and liked the idea of driving a cab. After about seven or eight months, I did research to get my own cab.  I had already been working with my cabs for two years, before I ran into my cousin at a festival; we both were selling food on our own separate stands, I was selling BBQ ribs and chops, and he was selling seafood. We started talking, then he started riding with me for one night in the cab and he liked the idea as well. I had two cabs and gave one of my cabs to my cousin and from there we both became partners.”

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

Gregory: “It was a great experience, I got a lot of input, and I had the opportunity to learn from beautiful and inspiring people; everyone had the same mindset. The EDTP also taught me more discipline through financial and discipline matters. I was already disciplined in these areas, but this program opened up my eyes more and prepared me further.”

Derek: “LAEDA put me on the right track for writing a business plan. LAEDA was exactly what I needed; the most significant benefit for my business. I want this to be known everywhere. I got a lot of knowledge and assistance here. You need a business plan to succeed. At the end of class I was the class representative. My class recognized me for who I really am. LAEDA really provided me with the right help in writing a business plan to implementing it outside in the business world.

Can you both talk about your journey on the road to business startup? What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

Derek: “Some of the challenges were not having money or licensing in the city. Also, our previous partners had to buy out and we were not as involved because we wanted to do everything by the book; the right way. This was challenging, but it made us so much more knowledgeable and stronger.”

Gregory: “Being excited and motivated only let’s your business grow. My cousin and I started off with nothing, but we still built our business and grew it. The community watched both my cousin and I grow along with our business and now this same community supports us. The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program at LAEDA helped us write our business plan on paper and helped us bring it to more of a success than it already was.”

Could you both tell me a little about where your business is today?

Gregory: “It is a really successful business. We do things the right way one time and one time only, we do not like being back and forth, we face obstacles and we are really organized. In our business we know everyone on a first name basis and this motivates us and our employees to do our work well and give them the best way to get things done, understand things, and makes it easier to resolve conflicts,”

Derek: “We are trying to expand to different cities. We have about five to six people as dispatchers in payroll and forty drivers (independent contractors). We offer luxury and transportation at an affordable price. We do proms, weddings, and funerals. Moreover, we allow other people to work with our company, own their own car, and put into business along with that we do Skype interviews as well." 

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

Gregory: “Derek and I both are not afraid to share what we learned with others. After all, how do you expect people to know without shared knowledge? We need more type of programs like Entrepreneurial Development Training Program that LAEDA offers. People should take this program and one mindset that gets my cousin and I both going is that we both love motivating people to do more and to do better.”

Derek: “Don’t let the struggle stop you. Keep moving forward. In order to survive you need to go down and come up. Take feelings out of business. No emotional decisions because those are poor decisions.”

Congratulations to both Gregory and Derek for completing EDTP and recommitting to their journey on the path of entrepreneurship.  If you’d like to learn more about Gregory and Derek and their business, please visit both on their Facebook at MUTUAL TAXI AND LIMOUSINE SERVICE and please visit their website at MUTUAL TAXI & LIMOUSINE SERVICE LLC.

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