1. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
-Be a good listener. Not only to your employees, but also your company (financials, customers, etc…)
-Communication. Words are very important and being a good communicator leads to more sales and customer retention.
-Team building. My businesses are only as good as the people in them. I learned early on the importance of surrounding myself with quality people.
2. How do you generate new ideas?
In the Internet marketing field, we are constantly generating new and innovative ideas for our clients. The first step I take is to gather as much information as possible on the subject. I look for nuggets of information that stand out and organize them based on priority. Then, my team and I brainstorm how we can use this information to enhance user experience.
3. Name one business failure and what have you learned from it?
My biggest business failure as an entrepreneur was going into business with a family member. It might work with some families, but I will never do it again.
4. What is your greatest business fear, and how do you manage it?
My greatest fear with Champion AC would definitely be major vehicle accidents. We currently have 15 trucks/vans on the road and average 3 major accidents per year. With over 1000 vehicle deaths per year, I’m always concerned about our employees on the road.
5. How do you define success?
I define success as making progress in life. I feel that success and achievement are often confused. In my life, success is a never-ending pursuit of progress. Success lies squarely in my personal growth.
6. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment in business was when one of my mentors from my military days came to visit me and was blown away by what my companies had evolved to. Until that point, I hadn’t really stopped to evaluate what my team and I had built. Seeing his eyes open up and the smile on his face was a rewarding feeling. I’ll never forget that day.
7. What is one thing that no one knows about you?
One thing no one knows about me is that when I retire I want to be a math teacher/coach. I’ve always wanted to be, but have kept it to myself.
8. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Moz.com! If you haven’t heard of SEO Moz then check them out.
9. What is your favorite EO memory?
My favorite EO memory was going to Enchanted Rock with my forum. We had a blast and really started opening up to each other.
10. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.