Advice to a New Generation of Entrepreneurs: Tackling What You Can’t See
By Future Energy Solutions CEO Daniel Gold
I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a class of Entrepreneurship students at Nova Southeastern University. Professor Nick Castaldo, former Partner and CMO of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, invited me to provide his emerging generation of entrepreneurs with real-life observations and advice. It was an opportunity for me to share my business experiences and what I’ve found works… and what doesn’t.
Contrary to what most people think, you don’t have to be a business major to become an entrepreneur. You just need a vision, courage and maybe a little bit of insanity. Students in this class were pharmacology, nursing and dental majors. Even an art major student approached me afterward to discuss a business idea she was considering. New ideas are great, don’t get me wrong, but ideas alone cannot support a thriving business.
So what is the key to a successful business? I shared that the students can’t focus solely on what they can see, like the process and the end result; they need to tackle what they can’t see, things such as possible obstacles along the way, rapid growth pros and cons, etc…
I discussed how looking at things differently helped me turn Future Energy Solutions — a business headed towards failure — into one of the region’s top fastest growing companies.
To achieve this, I stepped back and was able to recognize that the lighting industry was not conducive to creating long-lasting business relationships, and I was not afraid to try something unheard-of: giving away my product in exchange for a percentage of the energy savings. It’s how FES’s unique business model is turning businesses into Customers…and keeping Customers profitable and happy. That’s the secret to entrepreneurial success.
In speaking with these budding entrepreneurs, both during and after class, I was impressed with their curiosity. I hope they continue to dream, to ask the right questions, including those that they can’t see, and pursue their vision.