Rockefeller Group Business Centers Success Story: Meet Christopher Craddock
Wondering what kind of businesses are at Rockefeller Group Business Centers?
Meet Chris from CC Trading Company, LLC, a full service introducing brokerage firm on Wall Street. Chris is also a founder and CEO of a startup in the space industry, and is pursuing his life-long aspirations from Wall Street to Space. In our exclusive success story interview, we learn from his inspiring success tips, including how he grew his business over the years and how to pursue your life-long aspirations.
- Name: Christopher J. Craddock
- Company Name: CC Trading Company, LLC
- Position in the Company: Senior Managing Director
- At the company since: June 2008
- Location at RGBC: 48 Wall Street
Q1. How did you get to where you are today?
I got my degree in physics and I wanted to go into the space industry to build rockets for mining asteroids. But instead of pursuing that path directly, I’ve decided to go to Wall Street thinking this will open up my access to the capital and financial resources I could use to pursue my aspiration in the Space industry. Wall Street business definitely taught me a great deal about the importance of connections and building relationships, as well as creating deals that “everyone eats.” Wall Street definitely built up my career and led me to where I am today.
Q2. What are the best success tips to excel/succeed in your industry?
Work hard, have a thick skin, and constantly build new business. Definitely stay flexible and constantly talk to people to connect and build your network. Ask questions all the time even if you think the questions may be stupid or irrelevant. Always ask questions anyway because sometimes people get your point through your questions, but more importantly if you don’t ask, you’ll always be stuck wondering. Asking will allow you to get to the answers and explore or come up with ways to deal with or improve the situations.
Overcoming assumptions is also a very important trait for succeeding. Instead of having many assumptions or pondering for days, just go out and test and find out. Once you know what the problems are, tweak and retool as necessary to fit the audience’s needs. Rather than producing the “perfect” things, it is important to just dive in and do it!
Also, learn how to sell. The success stories about P.T. Barnum, the entertainer who is known for his unique method of promoting his circus with random bricks on the streets, teaches us the certain “mystery” factor involved with the sales and marketing processes. Know how to build your audiences and sell whatever you offer.
Q3. What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?
Don’t sign a long-term lease on your office! It was a lot of overhead and risk that we had to bear. At times, we had some idea as to how the office space was going to be used, but it didn’t actualize and we had to bear the risk to pay over $15,000 per month for 10 years.
Also, I would advise myself not to be afraid of talking to creditor about a more flexible payment schedule. These things are really difficult to talk about at times, but they are necessary and important ones to have. If a creditor has an idea of how they are getting paid, generally they are open to more flexible terms. They just want to get paid.
Q4. Any advice to people considering pursuing your path?
Keep expenses as low and as long as possible. I would also say, it is okay to tell people you don’t have employees when you’re starting out, and it is okay that you have a mailing address only for now. Especially when investors take a look at your company when they consider potentially investing in you, zero to no overhead is always good, so always run your business lean. When you do start taking expenses, they go very quick, so always be mindful of where to invest or spend your money to grow your business.
Q5. How has the office location at 48 Wall Street helped your business to grow?
We didn’t know about RGBC until later, but the Wall Street address definitely gives us a strong business presence on our business cards and on the physical appearance. The overall presentation of the company definitely improves because of the address, location, and the professional office environment here. The flexible arrangement and office spaces are great to run our business at the highest level of efficiency as well.
Q6 Going forward: We heard you’re also starting a new business in the space industry. Please tell us about that!
The startup is called Rocketstar and we’re building a new type of engine for rockets so that space travel can be as easy as traveling with airplanes. We had talks with NASA about some collaboration opportunities in the future and we are very excited about the possibilities in the space industry. I also look forward to opportunities to grow the startup business along with CC Trading Company as some elements of the companies work well together.
Thank you for your time and great advice, Chris!