We had the good fortune of connecting with Wayne Branigan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wayne, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I wanted something for myself. I’ve spent 25 years working for someone else. I have two boys and I know, a job is something I cannot leave for them. As an adolescent, I was very technical and had a peculiarity for technology. Once, I left the corporate world in 2018, I decided to challenge myself and take that leap of faith. I’ve always played it safe but I was extremely unhappy. I knew to start my own business would be challenging but I was up for it. It couldn’t hurt. Instead of thinking it couldn’t work; what if it does work? The better answer I decided on was it’s GOING TO WORK. I decided that I’ve put a lot of time and energy into making someone’s else dreams come to fruition but not my own. I studied and learned as much as possible about entrepreneurship and then, I went to work.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My biggest decision came right after high school. At first, I was thinking I wanted to join the marine corps. I went to the recruiting office and spoke to someone. I have never been afraid to do things myself and put in hard work. I get this from my father, he has played a huge role in molding me into the person that I am today. I didn’t want to go to a traditional college because I didn’t like the idea of taking courses not related to my major. I decided on ITT Technical Institute and I earned a degree in Electronics Engineering. While attending ITT, I got a job at a large computer company as a hardware technician. This was directly aligned with my goals.
I left my manager position at a sports apparel store in the mall. The experience I received as a manager, landed me my career job with Bellsouth Mobility, soon to become AT&T. I believe this is where I became a professional. I would stay with this company for the next 19 years. I grew in so many ways. I’ve learned how to interact with people, time management, competition, and what it takes to operate in the corporate world. Being in leadership was my biggest challenge. It was rewarding and extremely stressful. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the type of person I want to be.
Being complacent in life will definitely hinder you. I’ve learned you can never limit yourself. I wouldn’t trade my experiences because I’m here now. I’ve had great and horrible leaders but I’ve learned from them all. My career progression started out easy for me. I was full of energy and driven but I fell victim to staying in an unhappy place for far too long. I know now, that my health is the most important thing to me and I’m no good to anyone if I’m not healthy. My message is clear – strive to be the best person you can be. Learn and go do what you want to do. Make yourself happy.
Don’t be stuck because of a job and live your life unhappy. What’s the point of being alive if you’re not feeling alive? Before you know it, you become middle-aged and questioning your choices in life. Don’t worry if you didn’t get the position you wanted because you are good enough; just that person didn’t see it. Your talents are needed, keep going, your hard work will pay off. My brand is all about giving your best every time because people deserve it. It doesn’t matter if you just dealt with someone difficult, you have to hit the reset button and give the next person your best. I still have dreams of having a large corporation. I want my employees to love what they do. I’ve learned a lot about how to treat people. My mission is to ensure my clients and my employees know, I have their best interests in the forefront, always!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston is a tourist city and there are tons to do from every edge of the city. Dining will be a must. It doesn’t matter if you want fine dining or some local favorites. The Turkey Leg Hut is a must if you want a good vibe and great food. You might see some of your favorite celebrities, so get there early due to the long lines.
Start your morning eating at The Breakfast Klub, you won’t be disappointed, again, long lines so be prepared. If you’re looking for BBQ, check out Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland, TX, a suburb of Houston. These are just a few but trust me, you there a plethora of options. Houston has a lot of museums that I visit quite frequently. Houston Museum of Natural Science, Children’s Museum, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, and Space Center Houston are some of my favs!
Shopping – The Galleria in Houston is the 8th largest mall in the nation and you can make a day of it. Outlet malls on the South and Northside of town and they’re worth visiting, Water parks – Some of our favorites are Splashtown and Typhoon Texas. It’s hot in Texas, so going to a water park is the perfect place to cool down. Sports – Home of the world champions Houston Astros and Houston Rockets. Head over to NRG stadium and catch a Texans game or if you want to catch some “Fútbol”, check out Houston’s professional soccer team. Nightlife – There is no lack of options for nightlife either. Head downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Avenue, or Rice Village, and you’ll find plenty to do.
Last but certainly not least, if you are here in March, it is a must you check out the Houston Livestock show and rodeo. This is an experience. Let me put it in this way – The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world’s largest livestock show that brings in 2.5 million total attendance each year.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think the person you would want to shoutout the most is yourself. You have to decide who you are and take the steps to becoming that person. With that being said, there are a couple of inspirational figures that nudged me a little. The first would be my wife. She always believed in me and say all the time how talented I am, even when I was suffering from the imposter syndrome. The photo booth business was something she brought to my attention. I was doing some photography work here and there and wanted to add another aspect to my business.
The public figure Steve Harvey really touched me. After taping an episode of The Family Feud, Steve Harvey spoke to the audience about “jumping”. That’s something that I would never do because of my fears. His message to that audience was clear to me. I knew I couldn’t continue to live out my days on earth and not take risks. That’s when I went to work.