Greetings! I’m Travis Walker, and I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of Realize Now, the Growth & Learning Company. I started my work career immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois-Urbana Law School, a Top 25 Law School. I went to work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. You’re probably saying, “oh as a lawyer?” Nope! I started where everyone else did, renting cars. You can imagine what my parents thought! Well, in a very short time, I was the youngest Regional Car Sales Manager in the country, running one of the biggest territories (6 locations and more employees than most states had in their car sales departments), and having the biggest turnaround, from negative $3 million to positive $1.7 million in 18 months.
I moved to SolarCity, which was eventually bought by Tesla, starting as a Regional Sales Manager with only 1 employee and a territory that had never sold anything. I built that team to 15; it was a top 10-performing Region in 9 months. My VP came to me and asked if I wanted to do it all over again, turn my 1 team into 6, and take on a new challenge of being a Director? Of course I wanted that challenge. My team took that Director Territory to a top 3 performing territory in less than 6 months. We were generating over $100 million in revenue yearly. Our President at the time flew me to our corporate headquarters and asked, “what are you doing?” I said,
- Focusing on hiring the right people! Grow them! Get them paid! You look like a great leader with great people. They made me look good!
- Making sure that the team has diversity so we can come up with diverse solutions.
- Training and developing my team as much as I can. My job is to meet them where they are, not the other way around.
- Building great relationships with other departments so we can maximize our ability to win. Teamwork makes the dream work!
- Making sure there is a balance at home, because if it “ain’t right there”, I can’t give this my all.
He asked me to meet the CEO, and they offered me a national promotion on the spot, 1100 employees, 7 Directors nationally, and a revenue responsibility of over $1 billion dollars. You know what I did first? I focused on my people! How can we grow the people we have, hire the right people where we need to, and get those people paid. I won employee of the quarter in my 1st quarter. I moved to a VP of Sales role in 6 months, and worked for Tesla for over 2 years after they purchased Solarcity. I worked in various leadership roles in Energy and in the stores.
We started Realize Now with a simple vision; how can we help people become the best versions of themselves? How can we help them reach their maximum potential? If we do that, everything begins to take care of itself. Let’s take all of this experience, failures and wins, and help others grow the way we did. My employees and teammates always commented that this is what they loved the most about being a part of my team.
I’m here to share my experience, to help others reach all the success of which they are capable.
Accomplishments in Our Growth Topics:
- 16 years of Leadership Experience
- VP & Director Level Employee at major brands (Enterprise, SolarCity, Tesla)
- Led team of 1100+ with over $1 Billion in Revenue
- Turnarounds of multiple divisions and regions all over the country
- Leadership and Performance Awards (9 of 12 possible awards in a single year)
- ICF Certified Coach (Executive/Small Business/Career)
Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity
- National & Local Diversity Committee at Enterprise Rent-A-Car
- Led leadership conversation at SolarCity on creating a diverse team
- Created hiring training and hiring guide nationally to focus on core competencies to avoid bias in the hiring process at SolarCity
- Led leadership training on the impacts of lack of inclusion & diversity on employees at SolarCity
- Worked on various diversity initiatives at Tesla
- Led panel discussion on diversity after the George Floyd killing at EVBox
- Lead Diversity & Inclusion section of global onboarding monthly at EVBox
- Raising 3 girls and 1 nephew who are all good human beings
- Oldest daughter graduated college
- 2nd oldest daughter, senior in college and has a soccer scholarship
- 10 year old has skipped a grade, has never received a grade lower than an A, plays club soccer, won district spelling bee, and various other awards
- Nephew has straight As after moving in with us and has changed his goals in life to be what he could always be; super successful