What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
a.Ability to take risks. The bigger risks you can afford to take, the bigger the payoff in the end.
b.Handle rejection well. The path to great success always goes through valleys of failure.You have to stay optimistic about your ideas and not let the failures change your thinking.
c.Great Communication. To sustain a great business, you need to be a good leader. That starts with great communication. The ability to communicate with different people is invaluable for getting things done and others to follow.
How do you generate new ideas?
I surround myself with smart people. Smart people facilitate discussions that are thought provoking and stimulating. Like many entrepreneurs, we never have a shortage of great ideas. Just a shortage of resources (time & money) to execute them all.
Name one business failure and what have you learned from it?
My biggest failures have been the times when I let others talk me into going in a direction I did not believe was the best way. From those times, I have learned to trust myself and my decisions.
What is your greatest business fear, and how do you manage it?
I fear stagnation. A business that is stagnate is silently dying. If I feel things are in a rut, I will rock the boat a little to initiate change. Change in the right direction is a great way to kick start a stagnated period.
How do you define success?
At this stage of my career, I am building a legacy business (opposed to a lifestyle business). The goal of the business is to positively affect future generations of my family, either through proceeds of a business sale or from future generations of family leaders in the company.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
We have had a lot of significant wins that managers could be involved with, but not as many for all employees. When we were one of only 25 businesses in San Antonio to win a 2012 Inc. 500 Fastest Growing 5000 award it was something everyone could be proud of.
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
I am an extremely high D & I (DISC lingo), but most new that already. I guess am a pretty open book.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
SilkRoad because they have been innovative in the human capital management space, making traditionally HCM software fun and social. They manage to be “cool” in a relatively “uncool” industry. We have adopted this trait and strive to make our technology productive, easy and fun. And Google because, even though they may be becoming a little too intrusive, they have had the ultimate mix of branding, technology and culture.
What is your favorite EO memory?
Watching Rob Simon walk the board through a strategic mapping exercise. It was a great process which I have strived to implement something similar in our company.
In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.