Although Rajendra Hariprashad was in the Marines, his most trusted weapon—the one that launched him into private enterprise as a business owner—was not a rifle, but a 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse. During his four years of service, he taught students behind the wheel of his own compact sports car. When he was discharged and went back to New York, he shelved law-enforcement career ambitions and opened Ena's Driving School.
Today, the school teaches road safety to new and seasoned drivers alike. Along with prelicensing and defensive-driving classes, instructors lead motorcycle, CDL truck, and CDL bus lessons. Rajendra's business savvy and entrepreneurial acumen have won him press in Forbes, Fox Business, USA Today, and other media outlets. He even partnered with truTV's Impractical Jokers to prank students who were behind the wheel for the first time. Afterward, several neighbors and new customers called to inquire about classes and how to fit a spring-rigged banana-cream pie into the glove compartment.
Rajendra's law-enforcement career continues to remain on hold. "I'm lucky," he says about his driving school and other business ventures. "This is fun. I want to be in the open road."
With participating locations nationwide, Auto Care Special lets customers reach out to their local garages for a grab bag of free and discounted maintenance services. Cards may be redeemed for multiple vehicles over the course of one year for services such as oil changes, safety inspections, and engine-light diagnoses. Those who move or create alter-egos over the course of the year can scan the locations page for participating garages in their new cities of residence to receive a complimentary maintenance bundle.
Like any good party-planning operation, Blu Midnight Event Productions helps weddings and large events run smoothly by collaborating with vendors and ensuring things run on time. But unlike the others, Blu Midnight makes events even more special with free uplighting, pin-spot lighting, and centerpiece design, helping clients save hundreds of dollars. Its coordinators are always available for in-person or call-in consultations, and they take care of every detail in the planning process, including bridal showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties for brides and grooms.
Taxes and tax laws are often overwhelming. That's where the professionals at Tax Genius come in. They assist both individuals and businesses in financial areas, helping them with tax preparation, resolutions for IRS problems, and bookkeeping. They also help their clients gain technological proficiency, offering e-filing that reduces the wait time for tax refunds down to 10–14 days, which corresponds to the gestational period of a nest egg.
At Golden Touch Boot Camp, owner Dewayne Barrett helps clients reach their personal fitness goals using his experience as a personal trainer and as a competitor in international high-hurdling and sprinting contests. Barrett and his staff assist athletes and casual exercisers alike with personalized workout plans, weight-loss and muscle-building regimens, marathon training, and specialized classes in boxing and kickboxing. The staff also includes massage therapists trained to knead out athletes' muscular aches. An assistant cross country track and field coach for St. Johns University, Barrett boasts a number of athletic accomplishments, most recently a 2011 World Championship bronze medal for Jamaica in the 4x400m.
Creative Study Zone helps middle-school and high-school students develop an arsenal of academic skills. During standardized exam-prep courses, teachers lead lectures and conduct group exercises designed to improve test-taking strategies. Students also complete practice tests created by the College Board and review fundamental concepts in reading, writing, math, and spitball shooting. The center’s afterschool homework program helps students complete daily assignments while also providing motivational support, and private tutoring offers one-on-one instruction in a range of academic subjects.