|David Taylor, Jr., RaceCAR Waterboy, LLC|
If you meet David Taylor, Jr., ask him what he does for a living and he will hand you his business card. David is living his dream of being his own boss. He is the owner of RaceCAR Waterboy, LLC, where he sells ice-cold bottled water at NASCAR races, major street festivals, county fairs, and many other events. Even with multiple disabilities, David has become a successful business owner and has the confidence and freedom to make his own decisions and live “life in the real world” as he chooses.
David began his customized self employment quest by meeting with a counselor with the local Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. The VR counselor requested that David develop a business plan for his business idea. David’s case manager directed him to attend a micro-enterprise, or small business ownership, training, given by the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Before David could begin RaceCAR Waterboy, his business plan had to be approved by VR in order for them to purchase his equipment. The Small Business Center helped David with his business plan, but when he took the completed plan to VR, initially they denied it. David appealed the decision. With accommodations, David can do his job. He works behind a table that fits his wheelchair with level coolers on both sides of the table, making them accessible. He has a calculator to make correct change and a money box set up like a cash drawer. David also uses an accessible van and trailer. An accessible work environment gives David what he needs to perform the job, and for this reason, he appealed VR’s decision. Not only did David win the appeal, he helped change VR’s rule. If an individual has a Circle of Business Friends, VR now only requires that one essential job function be met.
RaceCAR Waterboy become a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in 2007 and also operates as a third party vendor. The business has a contract to sell Dasana water at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with Coca-Cola through Levy Restaurants. David continues to work with the NASCAR Team and began doing speaking engagements in 2007. He has been the keynote speaker for several events across the country. He shows people with disabilities that owning your own business is not just a possibility, but a reality. The sky is the limit. David says, “Think outside the box. Can we do it? Yes we can!”
David recently spoke at the 2009 International Center for Self Determination Conference in Winston Salem, NC. He has been nominated for the 2009 Association of Persons in Supported Employment (APSE) National Entrepreneurial Award. David is also the author of a book called , “Micro-Enterprise 25 Step Business Plan Workbook”. This workbook allows individuals to develop a business plan and most importantly, people with disabilities can develop this plan! The book it not bound, making it a book people can actually work out of.
David has been speaking at National and International conferences since 2007 including Pac Rim in Hawaii; The Arc of the United States' national and state level conferences; TASH's national conferences; the state conferences of many People First chapters; APSE's national and state level conferences; SABE; AAIDD; Choice Conferences. His book is now published in USA, Canada, Mexico, England and Australia.