Have you ever met a person and the energy was strong from the first interaction? What about making a response to a serious question that ended in laughter? If you can answer yes to both statements then most likely you’ve encountered an individual who is not only genuine but willing to go the extra mile for comradery amongst their peers. James Boening is the General Manager of the Audi dealership located in Union City, GA but also the force behind The Alpha Team; a group of talented people who strive to build a gap between the community and other industries with a sense of morality. Also, the process of hosting seminars that connect other cultures and purpose in life.
Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to sit down with James and it was nothing but a wealth a knowledge. An author, businessman, and all around asset to our culture is a key factor in why relationships are so critical in our society. Follow the interview below as we discussed cars, dreams, failures, success stories and the will to be an anchor for those who may need guidance.
JT: Before we start this interview, I want to thank you for this opportunity. Your story is very interesting to me. Detailing cars at 18, selling cars at 20, owning a used car lot by the age of 25. Did you always want to work in the car business?
JB: Thanks for having me. No, I didn’t know what I wanted to do then. I went to GA Southern for a year and I became successful really quick in the car industry and stuck with it.
JT: You started off detailing at first. Did you see yourself doing this in the future?
JB: I was blessed to have great people around at such a young age. I started selling cars then owned a used car lot and made a lot of money by keeping things in-house. I didn’t have a large staff so I had to make things happen on my own and it grew from there. Being from Flint, Michigan I was already accustomed to making things happen with limited resources.
JT: If you were not in the car industry, what would your career be and why?
JB: If I wasn’t in the car industry, I would love to be involved in coaching on the collegiate level. I love the sportsmanship of sports and the winning mentality. I don’t have a favorite football team but I do follow coaches. I like how they found ways to motivate adults and young men without intimidation.
JT: Why is connecting to your community so important when running a successful dealership?
JB: It’s very important because culture is key! You have to create that human aspect between the community and it is a huge effort.
JT: What is your favorite car of all time?
JB: If I could drive a car every day, it would be an Audi S8. For the weekend, I would love to drive a Pagani Zonda!
JT: Sweet ride! For me, it would be an all black Range Rover with peanut butter interior! Tell me more about your history in the car industry.
JB: I have done so much in my life I don’t know where to start! I went from selling cheap cars to higher-end vehicles and opened an exotic car shop. I believed it failed because I was 30 looking as if I was 18! I feel as though my age did hinder me somewhat in the car industry. I lost a small fortune but it didn’t slow me down. Between the age range of 25-42, I was strictly an entrepreneur. With 2 kids and a devoted wife, I made sure my hands were in many pots. I was a partner in a recording studio called Hot Beats with Russell Freeman. Not to mention, I opened a restaurant called Club Cabana in College Park, GA. It was a jazz club with amazing food and music but it failed. I always felt as if I was a good verse individual and I still feel as though I can accomplish anything. It wasn’t till I was 43 when I started working for someone else. I am just blessed to be around people who have my best interest at hand.
JT: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
JB: In 5 years, I see myself leading an automotive company. I love the Audi brand but you never know in this business. The industry is always changing and very unique. People change and you move to opportunities that fit your personal growth.
JT: What kind of legacy you want to leave behind? What do you want people to remember you as?
JB: I want to be remembered as a driven individual who sought results but didn’t jeopardize my morals to achieve them. I want my legacy to be generational that has the potential to touch others. I want to keep that connection strong within our culture and bridge the gap between other industries. Faith has no boundaries. Talk to everyone and touch everyone you can.
JT: What does True Urban Culture mean to you?
JB: TRUE URBAN CULTURE means being the bridge between different cultures. Sometimes we have to be siloed. Bridge together many cultures to create oneness. I am huge on treating every vessel with dignity and respect. Even during the hiring process, my goal is figuring out how this person can be an asset to the team. Not who they worship or the color of their skin.