Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Josiah Nelson, Co-Founder and CEO at Trolysis:
What does your company do?
Our company specializes in renewable energy, more specifically an aluminum-powered generator. I know an aluminum-powered generator doesn’t sound that exciting, but imagine putting $4.92 worth of aluminum in the trunk of a Tesla fitted with our system and driving from Seattle to San Francisco without having to stop. We’re the first fully renewable energy source that can load balance a power grid and the cost of the electricity produced by our system is about 82% cheaper than the US national average, making us the cheapest form of renewable energy on the planet.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’m the Co-Founder & CEO of Trolysis. I started this company a year ago and that was after 2 years of research on the idea itself. since then, I have scaled it to include a team with collective prior experience including Google, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Fitbit, Paypal and NASA. It's been an exhilarating role and I love going to work every day knowing that I'm making a marked impact on the energy industry. I take part of my day almost every day to read feedback from early adopters who are incredibly excited about what we’re building. That sort of support gives me motivation like nothing else ever has and that is one of the best parts of this role.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Our biggest challenges include bringing on funding and determining a long-term strategy for aluminum distribution. Due to many "moonshot" renewable energy companies going bust in the past several years and losing billions in the process, VC interest in the market has cooled significantly, making access to funding much more challenging. Regarding aluminum distribution, it's not necessarily easy to go out and buy bulk aluminum right now even though it's incredibly cheap. We have to overcome this by creating cost-effective distribution methods like p2p recycling, etc.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
I would tell myself to worry less about what is beyond my control and to take advice. It's easy to get caught up in the big picture and worry over every little aspect of the business, but by taking a step back and looking at things methodically, making short-term, achievable goals that lead in the direction of the big picture, much more gets accomplished rather than just spinning your wheels. Furthermore, I have been given tons of great advice in the past and whether I took it or not, outside perspectives always proved valuable. There will always be somebody smarter or more experienced and assuming you know everything is not only naive, but it's a fast path to failure.