Angelo was born and raised in Haiti. Growing up through some of the country’s’ toughest times, Angelo developed a passion that would eventually change his life. He explained, “I lived through all the wars and I’ve seen united nations come in and try to help. There would be helicopters that fly like 15 feet above our house. I used to sit on the roof watching helicopters and I would say, yeah I’m going to do this.” Angelo and his family moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1995. Flatbush to be exact. He was faced with the task of new schools and a new language, but never lost sight of his goal to fly. Ten years later, things would finally begin to take off for Angelo.
Q & A exclusively in Video Format:
- What book has taught you a lot about business?
- How were you able to gain a network in the entertainment business?
- Who are some of your clientele?
- What have you learned about leadership from being the president of Royal Jets?
- Who do you compare yourself to as a leader?
- What have you learned about friendship throughout your journey?
1 How did you get started in the airline industry?
2 Where did the idea for a private jet company come from?
3 Where did you get the name Royal Jets?
4 What is your Passion?
5 Who are your mentors? Who do you look to for guidance in this industry?
Angelo: Well, depending on the department, we have different people that we go to. One of our first big supporters was Meeka Claxton, wife of Speedy Claxton. She put a few things on social media and a couple days later we had guys from the Raptors contacting us. She’s been a great mentor from a marketing standpoint. From the financial aspect, we have a guy John Dockins, he took one of the first hospitals public on Wall St. He’s made over 200 Million in his career. He’s a financial adviser and we call him Uncle John, haha.
6 In your opinion, what skills must someone possess to be a successful entrepreneur?
Angelo: Will Power. If you don’t have the will power you’ve got nothing. People in my old neighborhood came up with so many genius ideas, but I guess they lacked the motivation to just do it. Royal Jets is the biggest project of my life, but I’ve started several smaller ventures where I thought of it then executed it. Will power, gotta be fearless, and you just can’t take no for answer. You have to knock on doors until somebody opens.
7 Whats been your biggest challenge as a young pilot?
Angelo: Fund raising for Royal Jets. That was tough. The initial first round was $500,000 and I had never raised that much money before. Most people weren’t willing to invest in a business they knew nothing about. We had to show them why it’s a growing market, had to educate myself on a lot of things, and I had to build a team. We had to knock on doors and thankfully a few people answered. And don’t get me wrong, we’re still knocking, still looking to grow.
8 Despite that, what inspires you to succeed?
Angelo: My love for aviation. If you only do things for money you are lost. You gotta love what you do. I get up everyday and don’t have to make a cent but I would still be working. I still fly every chance I get.
9 What would you say frustrates you the most about today’s culture?
Angelo: No one is original and a lot of people want nice things but a lot of people don’t want to work for it. Success takes sacrifice. Furthermore, money isn’t everything. I mean, we all like nice things but it doesn’t make you who you are. I believe it’s best to just stay authentic to who you are no matter what you’ve done or what you have.
10 What is the #1 Factor behind your success?
Angelo: Faith. I say that because there are certain things we can’t explain or understand. We have to leave them in God’s hands and just got to have faith that it’s going to work out. I really knew that Royal Jets was going to work out. Not to psych myself up or be cocky, but I just felt it because of faith.
11 What advice do you have for aspiring pilots or entrepreneurs?
Angelo: Find the people that can point you in the right direction. That will make your life so much easier. To fly or step outside of your comfort zone you have to be fearless. Once you have fear out of the way, plus will power, and whoever you believe in is right there with you, it’s really only a matter of time. Stay patient and things will come together.
Me: They say everything we want is on the other side of fear and life begins outside of your comfort zone. Angelo you are leading by example. Glad to have you as a member of the @ShineHardFamily.