We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Latricia Taylor a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Latricia, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – walk us through the story?
I would say about 10+ years ago I had the idea of opening a food truck of some sort near my home. The main reason was one day I wanted some fried fish, you know like what you get at home. However, I did not want to cook it myself. Since I am not originally from Jacksonville I often call my friend to ask where I can find things or how to get to them. I gave her a call and ask where can I find some good like home cook fish from. I didn’t want anything from a sit down restaurant chain. I wanted a mom and pop type establishment. She said, she goes to a little spot on the Northside of Jacksonville, At this time she lived on the Southside an I live in Orange Park area. I told her that was ridiculous to have to drive that far for food. I know I know some people do it and will do it. Well as time speeds up in 2018, I shared that story to some family members and stated I wanted to open a food truck to sell some of those just quick homemade items on my side of town. I don’t think anyone really took me serious. Fast forward to 2021, I was talking to my son about this idea again and at the time he was about to turn 21 and he’s a bit of a risk taker for business. The younger generation knows what they want and take the leap. He said, mom you have to take some risk to get to your dream. He also, reminded me that I always say, there aren’t loses, you only have lessons. The lost is not taking the step. After hearing that in March 2021, I took the risk and bet on myself and purchased a trailer to convert into a food trailer. Now this was a huge risk but I was happy to have taken the leap. The journey of building out the food trailer has had some ups and downs. I have learned so much along the way. The one thing I love is that I am working with family and friends to bring my dream to life. My son and husband stepped in and worked on walls, flooring etc. a family friend help with electrical work. We still have a lot more to go but since we are still experiencing this pandemic and my fellow Food truckers are getting sick left and right. I am okay with working to complete the build out all of 2022 with the hope of doing it debt free in the end and having the biggest grand opening in 2023 for TNT Food Shack! This journey isn’t about being first or last but accomplishing your dreams no matter the risk.
Latricia, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I am a serial entrepreneur. I run a non-profit, I am an Author, I am a Empowerment strategist (I provide life skills or business type coaching to motive, inspire along with tips and assistance for life or business), I am working on being a huge food trailer business as well as recently becoming an Real Estate Agent.
Through my non-profit we provide various resources to meet the needs of the youth and families in the community. We do this by opening up opportunities for scholarships, creating platforms to educate youth on topics such as bulling, business, college etc. We donate and support other organizations that provides resources to families and youth as well.
As an Author I have published my personal experience and journey surrounding losing a child and ways I began to cope with my loss with the intention of helping at least 1 person. I published a journal which allows people to write down their feelings, organize them and begin to create a plan of action for their life. I co-authored a book with 9 other ladies that touches on the topic of young ladies growing up without their father but overcame the obstacle and are successful women. In addition, to publishing a workbook targeting young girls ages 7-14 to help with building strong self-esteem by providing exercises and suggestions and activities that teach self-love and self-care.
As an Empowerment strategist (better known as business/life coach), I am able to help give individuals ways to guide them, encourage them and inspire them to step out of their comfort zone and go for the things they want out of life. Things such as start a business, go back to school, change job careers or deal with family issues. I have gone through so much and learned so much over the years that I realize people gravitate towards me and valued my opinion. I enjoy talking through things with people and seeing the transformation in their life.
The Food business is new to me but not new to my family. My husband has been in hospitality and food service for over 20 years. My business mind and his skills just made sense to enter into the Food Truck industry. Although we are not up and running we are at a steady past and can’t wait to officially introduce our business to the community. I say we are carrying a baby and once it’s born it will be amazing.
My newest venture is Real Estate. This venture was a dream over 20 years ago. I think my son was 1 years old. I thought about becoming an agent as at the time I was thinking of going to law school and I felt it would allow me to leave my corporate job and make money while I pursue my law degree. Well I was talked out of it by others. Fast forward my son started having interest in real estate, like major interest. Him and I spoke a lot about some of his plans and he started saying he wanted me to manage, oversee etc with his plans. I didn’t think anything about it until another close friend gave me more insight on real estate agent training and here we are a License Real Estate Agent looking forward to going hard and collaborating with my son on another family business. As well as a lane to help me retire from my corporate job.
Having several streams of income is important in today’s economy. After experiencing the pandemic many people was not prepare to be out of work sick or business being shut down. We had many people unable to pay rent, become homeless or can’t feed their family. Therefore, pandemic has taught me to go for and live life to the fullest.
As I continue to build the brand for my food trailer, I stay connected to other female food truck owners to learn, gain and provide support and stay encourage. When I do have my grand opening I want people to have heard so much about my business that they come in crowds because they can’t wait to taste the great food.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
Resilience- the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness
Without getting into a deep back story. I experienced a tragedy in my life in 2014. This tragedy could have broken me to a point I would have lost everything. However, having support and encouragement from others and knowing my family needed me I push through. Some days are hard but from that tragedy, it birth an Non-profit that has been going strong for almost 8 years- helped over 1k + people and donated thousands of dollars. The tragedy birth an Authoress a woman who is an introvert but felt it was important for the world to hear her voice and she is doing that through literature of her own. The tragedy gave me the courage to produce confidence and stand tall in the front when most days I wanted to hide.
I know that I am a resilience woman as I stand today overcome any odds that people set before me. I bounce back when many counted me out with starting the foundation and how long it would last. I didn’t allow outside noise stop me from publishing my first book because they didn’t believe in me. I am continuing overcoming toughness while working to make my dream come true as a Food trailer owner.
Resilience is something in you and either you have it or you don’t. You can’t fold under pressure and if you do, don’t stay in that space too long. I remind myself daily through affirmations that I am enough and anything is possible if I set my mind to it. Therefore, I block out the outside negativity and focus all my energy on the positive.
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
I had to unlearn how I approach and dealt with business relationships. In business you have to understand the type of relationships you have with people and ensure what you think you have everyone is on the same page. I am a strong person but I am kind hearted sometimes to a fault. I want to see everyone win who is around me or connected to me in some way. I will say that if you don’t know what and who everyone around you are to you, you can set yourself up for disappointment and heartache. Through my years of working hard in Corporate America, doing my side hustles, and in current business. I realize I can’t want more for others than they want for themself, I also, can’t pour more into others and not pour into yourself. I am an nurturing person so over the years I have put my goals/vision on back burner to help others in need no matter the capacity. However, when I needed them the most, no one was answering the phone. I don’t blame anyone but myself. I know better. You can’t take care of others before taking care of yourself. It’s good to help but never put more into people who aren’t pouring into you as well as create a health boundary and understanding of the relationships. Communicate what expectations are for the relationship therefore, everyone is on the same page. Business relationships are important but are hard at the same time.