John's company, Pilgrimage Development, builds and operates Zips dry cleaners throughout Maryland and the surrounding areas. John describes Pilgrimage Development as being profit-oriented and customer-focused. While he is a successful business owner today, 15 years ago, John was struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and served 5 years in federal prison. "Growth comes from tribulation," John says of his past experiences and how they have shaped where he is today. John's company is committed to building stores in the city and helping to set up programs like MND. John stressed the importance of having mentors and sharing a joint goal and direction with those around you. When he was struggling, a mentor of John's gave him a car, job, and check so he could see his family. John learned to humble himself, and letting people teach him enabled his later success.
Todd is a chef and runs online cooking classes. Prior to attending culinary school however, Todd worked in sales, but didn't enjoy the work. He wasn't passionate about his work, although it was a good job, and found this to be a detriment to his success. Todd was a good amateur chef and enjoyed cooking, and decided to quit his sales job and go to culinary school. While in school, Todd felt his passion for cooking develop. After graduation he went on to become a chef for the NSA and then a large hospital where he cooked for large quantities of people. Todd went on to open his own catering company, and although he struggled in 2001 and again in 2008, he continued to pursue his dream and used his sales background to get back on his feet. He decided to build his own cooking school and began putting cooking videos on YouTube, growing his following to over 5,000. He turned this interest in his online videos into webcookingclasses.com. He now sells his online cooking videos and has received a number of emails telling him how much he has inspired individuals and families to eat together, save money, and improve their health. Todd encouraged clients to never give up and to believe in themselves. "The path to success is not straight," he said. "If you sincerely believe in what you are doing, the money will follow." Todd is proud to be helping people all over the world and giving back to his alma mater and community.
As a mother of 4 young children, Beaumont needed to work but felt she didn't have much training or confidence. She did know that she loved to travel and loved helping people and so she began volunteering at a travel business. She taught herself the computer, and learned the business and how to work with different clients and customers. When one of her children asked her to help him book a trip for his sports team at the University where he coached, Beaumont did so. She now books travel for NCAA fans and really enjoys her work. Beaumont's advice to clients was to find your strength. While being a mom means you don't have just one job, she urged clients to stay with it and to find at least three things they are good at. "Have passion, be patient, and don't get discouraged," she said.
Kimberly owns her own nonprofit, Potential Me, which helps build confidence for women and teen girls. Kimberly grew up with a very structured life in Connecticut. There was a lot of pressure in her family to perform, and at the age of 15 Kimberly found out she had a debilitating disease that left her feeling very depressed. She stayed home and kept to herself and starting selling her clothes on Ebay to make money. She still wasn't happy though, and realized that keeping her condition a secret was what hurt the most. She told more people about it and her confidence grew. She moved to Baltimore and started Potential Me. Originally, the nonprofit began with Kimberly buying special occasion dresses for young girls to help them feel more confident. Now she also helps women who are just out of prison get professional clothing for their interviews. Kimberly also encouraged clients to be persistent and to match their interest with their passion.