Fearless Founders: a storytelling series giving people a chance to know the faces behind Urbaanite inspired businesses and brands. Conversations are our thing, people!
I would like to start by saying, meeting Arkeisha Cox was a super great, unexpected experience. She shared her story and encouraged me in my own journey, allowing me to see in real-time what faith and believing in yourself is all about. Her story of becoming the first African-American owned Avis Budget owner in Nashville is truly one for the books. Enjoy and share this little conversation with some of the dream chasing people in your life. Oh, and make sure to grab the 6 pieces of life + hustle nuggets Arkeisha provides at the end!
So, just how did you become the first African-American, woman owned Avis Budget Rent A Car franchise owner?
I was actually interviewing for a Territory Manager position and the district manager invited me to come on as a business partner rather than an employee. It was totally unexpected, surreal and exciting all at once.
Your story reads like a true testimonial, tell us the quote/scripture you live by?
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. It’s one that I remember from my childhood. It wasn’t until I got much older that I would realize how those words would carry me thru some the hardest times of my life. After already having lost my mother in 2006, I lost my father in March of 2015. Reciting this scripture and other inspirational quotes and phrases is how I’ve learned to cope. But it also reminds me that God will never give me more than I can handle.
You are a wife, mother and now owner of two businesses in Nashville, how do you balance it all?
I feel like I have to have 3 or 4 irons in the fire at the same time. For a long time, I accepted every opportunity that came my way. But the more centered and focused I become, I’m learning it’s ok to say no to some things. Especially if it interferes with my family time. I keep several calendars and set reminders to help me stay organized. I also prioritize tasks by level of importance or level of urgency.
I also have a great team at Paparazzi 615 as well as Avis Budget. This allows me to delegate duties to them if my attention is needed elsewhere.
*Oh did we mention, Arkeisha is the owner of a fun, photobooth company in Nashville, Paparazzi 615. Weddings, family reunions, parties, she has you covered.
Arkeisha with her husband Deverick and daugher Zion
Car rentals are a community staple, what will set your operations a part from other rental locations?
With me having a public relations background, I will be very diligent to enhance the customer’s experience at my location. I’m looking for relationships that will be residual and mutually beneficial for myself and the clients we serve. Customer loyalty and brand recognition is what I thrive on. My goal is to educate, empower and employ individuals that feel the same way!
Can you share a few of the cars people will have a chance to experience when ordering from Avis/Budget Mt. Juliet?
Absolutely! Mostly all of our cars will be 2015 or 2016 models. Our clients can reserve any car class from a drop top Mustang Convertible to a Mercedes Benz, Yukon or a 12 passenger van!!! The choices are endless. There’s something for every budget and nearly any lifestyle you can imagine.
What tips would you give the entrepreneur trying to live out their dreams?
- Write your vision and make it plain. Pray and fast about what you want and be open to hear the answer. Make tweaks if necessary!
- I believe nothing is impossible with the God I serve. Anything I want or need I simply Ask, Believe and Receive it….The universe will only return what you put out there.
- Show gratitude and be thankful for things seen and unseen. (The Magic by Rhonda Byrne). Read books like, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
- Surround yourself around positive, like-minded people (I love connecting) and you never know what doors could open for you. Stop talking about it and put forth some action to make it happen!!!
- Remember it’s ok to fail. Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet and even Bill Gates failed at something before they were successful.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help or admit your mistakes. At least you can say you tried!!!