RD Whittington Is a Luxury Car Genie for Celebrities. Here Are His Secrets to Making Clients' Dreams Come True.
In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with RD Whittington, CEO of Scottsdale Sports Car Group, a luxury car dealership. It was condensed by The Oracles.
Who are you?
RD Whittington: I’m the go-to guy for rare and exotic luxury vehicles. I’ve done deals with Jamie Foxx, who is one of my closest friends, as well as Floyd Mayweather, Taylor Swift, ASAP Rocky, Chris Brown, Tyga, and many other high-profile celebrities.
But I’m not just a celebrity car broker — I make dreams a reality and the impossible possible for my clients. Whether I’m customizing a bus with only a week to get it from Los Angeles to Manhattan or arranging a yacht for an extravagant party, people trust me to make it happen.
What is one of your proudest moments?
RD Whittington: On June 11, 2019, I was mentioned on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” during an interview with actor Anthony Anderson. Anthony was telling a story about how he saw Jamie Foxx in a classic Rolls-Royce and asked him how he could buy a car like that. The next day, I pulled up in my canary-yellow 2015 LaFerrari, and he and Woody Harrelson took it for a test drive. The car is priced at $3.6 million and has a hybrid gas and electric motor that combines for 1,000 horsepower, which makes it very fast.
Being recognized for my hard work on a global platform like that was incredibly memorable. It was awesome to make my friends and family proud.
What excites you the most about your business right now?
RD Whittington: I work with A-list celebrities and high-profile people who are very particular about their toys. Whatever they need, my job is to make it happen, plain and simple. I’m all about customer service and having that personal touch while over-delivering. That’s what makes my business grow and flourish.
For example, Travis Barker from Blink-182 called me as he was leaving to go on tour. He needed a car for the household while he was gone and asked for a Range Rover for the next day. I found and delivered the car in less than 24 hours so he didn’t have to lift a finger. That’s the way I work; I’m all about convenience and saving my clients’ time.
What’s your favorite quote?
RD Whittington: Early on, I learned from one of my mentors: “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late, don’t bother showing up.” You only have one chance to make a first impression. If your first impression is arriving late, good luck getting a second chance at the business. Every minute is valuable, so respect people’s time.
You can lose money and make it back, but you can’t get back your time. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, from Bill Gates to the homeless person across the street. The question is: How are you using yours? Are you making excuses or making your dreams a reality?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
RD Whittington: Once you find your passion, you’ll never work a day in your life. I love cars. If I had put more focus and effort into them earlier, I would be more successful today. Focus on mastering your craft and the money will come. If you focus on money, you’ll be depressed — and no amount of money will be able to make you happy.
You have one life. The last thing you want is to be on your deathbed with a lot of wishes. I want to minimize my regrets and maximize the memories I make.
Who is the best leader ever (alive or dead) and why?
RD Whittington: I admire the pastor Joel Olsteen for his commitment to spreading positivity and overcoming adversity. Everything is energy and we attract what we think about. So, if you have a positive outlook despite gloomy circumstances, you’ll be able to find a solution to the problem. But with a negative outlook, you’ll always find a problem.
Our hardest times build character, so remember the lessons from failures and hardships. The only way to grow is learning lessons and implementing them.
How do you evaluate a good business deal?
RD Whittington: First, I consider how long it will take to get the job done. Then I can determine if I’m being charged a fair price for the work. I also need to know the person and have a sense of their track record. Especially in my line of work, trust and results are important.
As much as I prioritize my clients and customer service, I’m in business to make money, so the deal also has to make sense financially. Does this produce a direct ROI or bring awareness to my business? Knowing the profit margin lets me understand how much room I have to negotiate.
What’s your daily routine for success?
RD Whittington: My day starts the night before. I outline 20 action items I need to complete the next day. Then I wake up at 5 a.m. and have my coffee while I answer emails and put out any fires. Normally, I finish a few of the action items before my day starts. Then I head to the gym inside my office.
I have a personal chef who prepares breakfast and lunch so I don’t waste a single minute in the day. I typically eat dinner with a client or colleague to utilize my time efficiently, but I also prioritize having meals at home with family when I can.
What are a few things you would like to be doing in three years?
RD Whittington: I want to continue traveling and meeting new people, which teaches me more about different cultures and tastes of luxury. Continuing to grow my business is also a priority. I want to be a global household name for my work with automobiles, yachts, and jets.
Partnering with charities is also close to my heart. I give back to The Shriners Hospitals for Children in Los Angeles and spend a great deal of time with kids like my friend Sebastian, a 9-year-old patient there. I’ve also helped My Friend’s House in Los Angeles feed more people experiencing homelessness.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
RD Whittington: I want to be known as the biggest celebrity car broker who prioritized customer service with a personal touch and made dreams come true like a genie.
Most importantly, I want to give back and help others become successful. I want everyone I interact with to feel good, even if they’re having a horrible day. People don’t remember what you did — but they will remember how you made them feel.