MI: Hey Don! Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.
DD: My name is Don Durand. I’m originally from New York but I currently live in Florida. I am Haitian American with an education in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute in Georgia. Obviously, I did not peruse that dream. I’ve given that responsibility to my wife. I do cook, but mostly for main events or small gatherings. I’ve got four beautiful children who have taught me the value of patience.
I’m also a big basketball junkie, and I’m very competitive in that sport. I’m a very competitive person, period. So, if I see someone else with more business of more trucks etc., I think, “Why can’t I do that myself?”. “Why not me?”. I use their motivation as motivation for myself.
MI: What is OJEI Transportation & Logistics all about?
DD: I’m going to give credit to my wife for thinking up the Company. It was mainly founded on her concept. She pitched the idea of the trucking industry to me. After a lot of research and seeing the financial gains, we decided to go ahead, all hands-on deck, and we dived on in. We took courses and soaked up all Don Durand and Jennifer Belgrave were unusually well-prepared to finish their business planning process when we met them. More and more people are discovering the trucking industry as a great industry in which to start their own businesses. We help clients to finish their business planning process and do not expect clients to have all the information needed to complete the plan. But Don and Jennifer stood out from the start.
We have no pics for them, I told them they could send pics and we would put them in their plan, but have heard nothing back – Maybe some people will not want their pics in it.
the knowledge we could. We saw the potential growth in it, but it was also something that we could leave behind for our children.
MI: Is there a key moment that made you decide to jump into the transportation industry?
Answer: What really made it for me was the ability to no longer work for anyone. To really branch out and to challenge myself. Truth be told, when my wife was talking about it, I wasn’t for it. I was like “Nah, I don’t care.” But once I started seeing the potential, once I saw the numbers, that’s what really got me interested. So, I decided that it was time for personal growth and I challenged myself to take it on.
MI: What are some of the values that drive YOU?
DD: I think challenging myself is very important. But I also value my wife and children. They inspire me to do the best I can, in everything I do. I don’t want to have to continue living the life my parents led (paycheck to paycheck). I wanted to grow some generational wealth and expand on that too; To create a future for myself and for my children. That’s really the main reason.
MI: Is there any advice you could give to first-time entrepreneurs?
DD: I’m sure it’s probably the same thing any in business but I would say that number one is “Consistency”. And number two; Not allowing whatever obstacles you may face to get in your way. To start a business, you need to put some money into it. You have to put yourself into scary situations to get it started. For anyone looking to start a business, do your research and find a good company you can tie yourself to. Don’t just go by the numbers, and don’t get bogged down by the all the work. It can be very overwhelming. Reach out and ask for help. Surrounding yourself with the right people is absolutely necessary.
MI: Is there anything that you struggle with, as an entrepreneur?
Answer: The fear of starting. There’s nothing else. It’s the fear itself...knowing that you’re going to embark on a new chapter in your life, and commit to something that you’ve never done before. But when I think of the bigger picture, that’s what motivates me. That risk. That failure. That’s what is consistently around for many business owners. If you don’t take the risk you won’t succeed. You can’t be afraid to fail.
MI: Do you have any favorite books/films/ podcasts?
DD: I watch anything that motivates me. I would say right now, the book that has changed my mindset the most is “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” That book really sticks out to me because it has opened my mind and allowed me to see things I didn’t see before. It also changed my approach to how I think about money. Also, with four kids, their hobbies are now my hobbies.
I will tell you this anyone I know who is in the Eastern time zone and are looking for a business plan writer, I am sending them your way. I’ve talked to Matt yesterday and he’s a great individual to speak with as well, I will absolutely give Jennifer your regards."
MI: How has a Business Plan, written by the Plan Writers, helped you/ your business?
DD: It has helped tremendously! I recently sent an email to Alex Durang in regards to a few updates that needed to be made. I’m a very transparent person. Originally, I told my wife to go ahead and write the business plan. I said, “How hard can it be?”. But after speaking to a financial advisor, I realized I needed to do a lot more work. What I originally had wasn’t enough.
So, we researched some companies and came across the Plan Writers and saw the way you guys made your presentations. The entire Plan Writers team was very professional and patient. The Plan Writers provided patience, authenticity, and realistic advice. The entire experience, from beginning to end, has been extremely...awesome. I can’t think of another word to describe it. It was AWESOME.
For the price that you pay, is it worth it? 100%. From graphic design, the wording, to the presentation itself, you guys do it all. For someone who has no background in plan writing, for someone who thought it could be one page, the Plan Writers is a business that I would recommend to any individuals that need funding or a business plan.
Don Durand and Jennifer Belgrave were unusually well-prepared to finish their business planning process when we met them. More and more people are discovering the trucking industry as a great industry in which to start their own businesses. We help clients to finish their business planning process and do not expect clients to have all the information needed to complete the plan. But Don and Jennifer stood out from the start.
With a background in banking for 25 years, Don Durand prepared for his retirement from banking by getting his CDL and planning to launch his own trucking business. That’s a real retirement plan! Being prepared to start the business planning process is important, and Don and Jennifer were so well prepared that we were confident from the start in their imminent success. In fact, Don and Jennifer prepared for their $500,000 loan request as if they had never set foot in a bank and they took nothing for granted. We think the story of Don Durand and Jennifer Belgrave is not only instructive but it is also inspirational. For a career banker to get his CDL, learn the trucking industry, prepare to assemble a business plan, seek a $500,000 loan, and launch a business, which is also the ultimate retirement plan, says a lot about the trucking industry ... and it says a whole lot about Don Durand and Jennifer Belgrave!