John Patrick Latta is the Chief Operating Officer for two companies founded by his father, a logistics firm called East Coast Transport and a financial firm called Latta Financial Management. He is also the founder of his own real estate company, Latta Properties, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Latta Development.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, John Patrick Latta spent a good portion of his youth being taught the ins and outs of the family businesses by his father. He spent his academic career earning a degree in business with a minor in entrepreneurship from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, all the while playing basketball for that institution’s varsity team.
Upon graduating, John Patrick Latta set to work learning every aspect of the operations of East Coast Transport and Latta Financial Management. As recompense for this tremendous effort, he has been named the sole heir to both companies, and will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer when his father decides to retire. Now, with two decades of real world experience to his credit and a company of his own creation to oversee, John spends his workdays devising strategies to expand the businesses under his purview and seeking exciting, new opportunities for investment. He cites patience and surrounding himself with supportive, challenging, and inspirational people as the factors most responsible for his success.
In his spare time, John Patrick Latta enjoys following basketball, watching movies, attending concerts, and spending quality time with his family and his girlfriend.
Can you share a little about the early days of your company?
My father is my idol and my best friend. He’s a self-made multi-millionaire, a real entrepreneur, and I’m just trying to follow in his footsteps. We have another company called Latta Financial Management—I’m the COO of that as well—and we basically act as the bank for multiple real estate dealings. I’ve spent my whole life, which encompasses the early days of both companies, studying my father and watching how he conducts business so that I can be the best entrepreneur and executive I can be.
How have you achieved success?
I’ve been in the logistics and financial industries for over 20 years. I started in my high school days, filing papers on weekends, and I’ve worked in every facet of the company. Around 2008 or 2009, I totally immersed myself in the companies, effectively becoming a sponge to learn from my father and grow as a businessman. I have an excellent work ethic because it was ingrained in me. My father believes in working hard, and that’s how I am, too. I’m very proud of where I am, business-wise.
What obstacles have you overcome in the process?
I’ve overcome a lot of things. I believe everyone has demons that they face in life. I lost my stepmom, aunt, brother-in-law, and cousin to cancer in 2017/2018, all in the same year, so death has been a big presence in my life over the past five years or so. I’ve also fallen back at times and lost ground, just like everyone else, but the important thing is where I am now. I’m sitting on top of a $60 million a year company that’s becoming mine, and I’ve earned that because of the hard work I’ve put in.
What drives you to succeed?
I always tell myself I want to be the best that I can be, and my girlfriend makes me want to do that. She is my inspiration. She drives me, she challenges me, and we push each other every day, whether it’s to get up at 5:30 AM and go to the gym, or just to do the right thing in any given situation. Everyone needs a goal in life, and mine is to be the best person I can possibly be by surrounding myself with supportive, challenging, and inspirational people. My girlfriend is on the top of that list, without a doubt.
How has your definition of success changed over the years?
Growing up, I thought success meant money. Now, after gaining some much-needed perspective and wisdom, I define success by making everybody else around me better at what they’re doing. I now understand that success is a team effort instead of a solo effort. I’ve learned through the years that I’m so successful now because of who I’ve surrounded myself with—that’s the key thing.
What has success meant to you?
I think that the company is achieving success when I see evidence of our growth, or when I see that we’re doing things that we’ve never done before and doing them well. When we try new ventures and different approaches to logistics that East Coast Transport has never done, it means a lot to me. I know the success has been achieved on my watch, and that means success for everybody that’s involved with the company. That’s how I know we’re doing good work.
Do you have advice for others on how to be successful?
Yes, my advice is simple. The biggest thing I had to learn after entering the business world was patience. Patience is not just a virtue in and of itself, it’s something you definitely need in order to attain success. To paraphrase an old cliché, Rome wasn’t built overnight. If you just have patience and take a few extra seconds to step outside the box and wait for something to happen rather than be impulsive and act on it immediately, you get a whole different perspective on business and on life.
How do you feel success affects a person’s outlook?
I think success affects everybody differently. For some people, it’s taking a company from $50 million to $60 million in net worth. However, my own personal outlook is based more on making everybody better and growing as a unit. Once again, I give credit to my girlfriend because we’re so good for each other in that respect. She and I challenge each other every day and activities like going to the gym together and everything we do together, without exception, betters our success. That is a launching pad for success for me. Regardless of what happens, good or bad, I know it’s going to be a good day because I’m starting it off on a solid foundation.