John Benevento

Commercial Fisherman

John Benevento is an avid commercial fisherman. A parking manager in NJ and NY for decades, he now wants to start a small charter boat company. John is blending his professional talents with his enthusiasm for fishing and the water.

John Benevento has always loved water and fishing. He grew up in Wellington, Florida, fishing a lot. In Wellington, West Palm Beach, world-class horse races and fishing charters are popular.

Bow Down Charters, named after John Benevento’s boat, Bow Down, will debut in 2022. Clients can target a variety of fish species, including: Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi and various Shark species.

John Benevento currently lives in New Jersey and guides fishing trips part-time. He catches Tautog, Summer Flounder, and Bluefish in the Shark River, an estuary between Avon and Belmar.

Captain John Benevento holds a unique US Coast Guard Master’s License. It is the highest degree of seaman’s license.

Water taxis and diving boats are examples of vessels that can be operated with a USCG Master’s License.

The advanced seaman’s license has strict qualifications, including:

720 days in oceanic or coastal steam, motor, or sail boats

360 days on Great Lakes or inland waterways steam, motor, or auxiliary sail vessels

360 days on river steam, motor, or auxiliary sail vessels

John currently works with AmeriPark as a Regional Director, helping to recruit and manage over 1500 employees across 20 states and Puerto Rico.

“I believe effective leadership combines knowledge, negotiation, interpersonal skills, and management,” John says of his job at AmeriPark. Business development is about seeing the big picture and acting on it.”

Mr. Benevento regularly and generously donates to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital. John had a terrible childhood, despite his resistance to talking about it. He keeps giving to Saint Jude to aid other kids. John has also promised to donate 3% of Bow Down Charters’ overall income to unknown charities.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

The concept came from being in the business for so long and from working for so many different companies. I wanted to just branch out and partner up with someone who shares the same amount of experience.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

On a typical workday, I go to visit clients and check in on team members, making sure they have everything they need. Then, I will pop in at each clients’ location to see if there is any opportunity for improvement, walking the lots and keeping the eye out for potential risks on the lot.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am always looking for an opportunity to grow. In my daily travels, I can run into a dealership that looks like it could use improvement. That’s when I will go and approach that potential client and let them know what I could do to make their business better.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The increase in fishing competitions for kids is awesome! I have loved fishing from a young age, and it excites me to see the joy that fishing gives kids, now.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am most productive during the day, so rising early and working out, first thing in the morning, helps me get my day off to a good start.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell him to try to have more patience with the people he manages.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Money does not create happiness.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I try to pick myself back up after I get knocked down, to keep moving forward, and to not get discouraged.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Client relations are so important. I always focus on my clients to ensure that they are happy.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Our hiring approach in the beginning didn’t really work. I sought advice from peers in the industry on a better way to find more qualified candidates. Reaching out to my peers helped me overcome the problem and move forward after the initial failure.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

They should definitely develop their own ideas. They should make sure they are passionate about what they are going for. Otherwise, it will never work out.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently took an Excel class to help maximize my business potential.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I have been happy with Google Meet. I use it for both interviews and for internal meetings.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I would recommend Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute. It talks about how we tend to be blind to our true motivations and, without meaning to, sabotage our own efforts to be truly happy.

What is your favorite quote?

“There’s only one way through it and it’s not around it.”- John Benevento

Key Learnings:

  • Having a growth mindset – there is so much to learn when starting a business and running one always have a growth mindset.
  • Enjoy the now – enjoy the things in life that bring you peace.
  • Do not be afraid to fail failure is just a stepping stone into success.