Hi, my name is Philip Benford and I am the North Central market manager with Wonolo. I oversee the operations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and in my home state of Illinois. With Wonolo, I’m entrusted with ensuring our customers are having the best experience possible while providing optimum service. I’m a married father of four children, and my family is my world. I graduated from Tuskegee University in 2009. I started as an engineering major. My transition to sales and marketing is due to my passion for conversation and debate. I come from a traditional middle-class family, and after college, I moved back to my hometown in hopes to give back to the community that raised me. I believe that if you don’t learn something new every day, you wasted a day that you’ll never get back.
What events in your life have brought you to your current role today?
What brought me to my current role today is my eagerness to problem solve and help people. During my career, I continuously felt like the determining factor to work was money and not the greater good. I decided to continue my education and earned a master’s degree in project management. I’m currently pursuing an MBA with concentration in human resources. I feel that in order to help people, I need to understand how to manage and inspire.
Wonolo found me and expressed their desire to change the lives of people who are trying to provide for their families. I was once one of those people trying to find a way to provide. I was working multiple jobs and I was hoping to make ends meet. Hearing about the vision of Wonolo, I knew that this was an opportunity that could truly make a change for the greater good. Not only in my life but also in the lives of others.
When you have to make a difficult decision, what do you lean on?
When making a difficult decision, I usually rely on my religious beliefs, logic, and data. I truly feel that if you treat others how you want to be treated, more often than not, you’ll receive the same in return. Most of my successes have come through respect and common sense. Even in difficult situations, if you attempt to find a common ground and remove emotionalism to do what is right, you’ll have peace of mind with the outcome. I think that some people believe that you always have to win, but the win is both people getting something out of it. Sometimes I live by a phrase, “Men lie, my women lie. Numbers don’t lie.” Utilize the data, utilize your logic, and utilize your ethics.
What is one piece of life advice you can give to anyone?
If I can give advice to anyone, I would tell them to try. You don’t fail until you stop trying. Every time that you attempt to complete something that doesn’t happen, you learn something new. That’s honestly the true essence of the word try. The continuance to learn is going to be the best thing that you can do. I think that whether we feel the experience is good or bad, something was learned in the process. If we continue to learn from our experiences, we will always grow as people. Never be closed-minded. Don’t allow people to tell you that you can’t do something, and attempt and be okay with not getting your desired outcome. As you continue to fail, you will continue to learn. Whatever you’re attempting to do, you’re going to be that much better at it. And eventually, you will have that breakthrough.
If you really knew me, you would know that…
If you really knew me, you would know that I’m really self-conscious. Like most decisions that I make, I run the scenario over my head tens of hundreds of times, and I even have dreams about what would happen based on that decision. Knowing often that there is not an opportunity to rectify mistakes and trying to be the best that I can be, I sometimes find myself stressed out until the results come. Growing up in my household, I was always taught that you have to be the best, and you have to be better than the next person. To deal with that stress essentially, my family is the kryptonite. My family makes me laugh and feel loved. They lighten the load. Oftentimes, my two-year-old daughter usually holds my cheeks and says, Daddy, I love you. And those moments take the stress away and they fill the tank to keep going.