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 Tami Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO at Entropy Technology Design, Inc.:
What does your company do?
Entropy Technology Design, Inc., is a certified 51% woman-owned software/hardware-driven threat detection company specializing in severe weather, lightning, tornado detection and other threats such as mortar fire, sandstorms, tunneling and drones. My company has developed a disruptive new technology that will improve how we react to severe weather and other threats. Entropy's NIMBUS™ proprietary technology platform detects and alerts users in real-time of severe weather. Integrated with key partners we will also provide early detection and disconnect features to safely take valuable electronics offline to avoid surge damage and loss of equipment. Nimbus will help save human lives, animal lives and property. This technology's warnings in worldwide geographic areas without U.S. weather capabilities is critical. Although we developed this technology with the primary function of lightning, thunderstorm and detection in real-time, we have found other applications that are needed to protect the skies and waterways.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am the founder and CEO of Entropy Technology Design, Inc. It is a thrilling challenge to be a woman in this male-dominated industry. I enjoy being part of a technology platform that will change many aspects of the weather, natural disaster, drone, and military combat arena. Nimbus will be a critical interface with IoT, smart cities, the fight against terrorism and climate change. Imagine knowing you will be the first to provide tornado detection that gives a person up to two hours' notice even at night!
Just imagine how valuable this is to first-responders (e.g., police, firefighters, EMTs). I can trust my entrepreneurial instincts to push through all the blockades, traps, and closed financial doors to find a way through or around obstacles which energizes my business acumen. I love turning a “no” into a “yes.” Hard work, ingenuity and a can-do attitude at the end of the day fuels me. True entrepreneurs never give up. Period.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Naysayers and access to capital. Like Elon Musk (whom I hope to meet one day), or anyone who started with nothing and fought to bring an alien concept to life, they likely encountered the naysayers. The Chinese proverb I have in my email signature says it all : "The person who says something is impossible to do shouldn't interrupt the person who is doing it." Secondly, access to capital that doesn't suck the life or kick out the founders.
I am not building and growing this company to just abandon my baby. I have had to fight with everything in me to maintain my 51% control. I find it pathetic that it is quite acceptable for founders to be expected to starve as they create their masterpiece only for the sharks to wait or create vulnerability, so they can bully their way into ownership. This needs to change. It occurred to me that while I absolutely can say #MeToo I would also suggest a business version of #MineToo!
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Regardless of your place or position in life, don't allow yourself to be bullied or manipulated by anyone. I know now that “calm wisdom” does seem to come with age. As I look back, I have always been unafraid of uncharted waters. In fact, it is what took this Midwestern girl and helped her survive and overcome an oppressive marriage and her escape from Beirut. I would tell a younger version of myself that change only comes when you survive and overcome your obstacles. Don't view them as failures, think of them as a new pair of stilettos when the old ones go out of style. You cannot hide from life. You have to demolition it one brick at a time towards success.