Adam Ferrari is an accomplished petroleum engineer and is the founder of a private oil and gas company, Ferrari Energy. Throughout various roles in the oil and gas industry, Adam was inspired to learn more about property rights and the inner workings of petroleum exploration and extraction. After gaining expertise in the energy sector Adam obtained knowledge of the financial industry through his time at an investment banking firm. He then pivoted to bootstrapping his own business, Ferrari Energy, from the ground up as he blended his knowledge of energy and finance together.
This endeavor saw him shift his perspective to work directly with people on a personal level to understand both their stories and needs. He emphasized the importance of making the effort to engage in meaningful face-to-face interactions in a world that is so digitally focused and at times seemingly removed. Adam found success in this field. His company provided over 2,000 landowners divestment and lease opportunities on their respective lands.
Giving back to the community is an important pillar for Adam and under his leadership, his company made meaningful donations to non-profit organizations in both Chicago and Denver including; St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Freedom Service Dogs, Denver Rescue Mission, Coats for Colorado, and Next Steps of Chicago. His heart is especially close to Next Steps, which is devoted to the wellness of people suffering from paralysis because his own father lives with this condition. Dan became quadriplegic at the age of 67 and has since been receiving care through Next Steps of Chicago.
Where did the idea for Ferrari Energy come from?
My grandfather was an Italian immigrant who worked for most of his life as a coal miner and laborer. He was very proud of his Italian heritage and the name Ferrari. To me, Ferrari means taking a product we all use in our everyday lives and making the best possible version of it, and Ferrari Energy takes that concept and applies it to our work in the oil and gas industry. At Ferrari Energy, we offer landowners insights that are unmatched by operators and our competitors so they can make the best decisions with their land.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I describe my days as organized chaos. My business is driven by the energy of the acquisitions team and the tools we have built. I keep a priority list, and I ensure that the most critical items are addressed first. I split these action items into things that are “nice to have” and things I “need to have.” The key to being an effective business leader is to finish the critical items on the list first. Although this method sounds obvious, it is not always easy to execute.
How do you bring ideas to life?
A lot of people come up with ideas. We all run into people who have big ideas and pitch them with enthusiasm and passion. It is one thing to have an idea, but bringing it to life is no easy task. Taking action is what makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur. Bringing an idea to life often requires trial and error; you have to start somewhere, and it is vital to keep moving forward. Stagnation is death to a developing concept.
Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to bringing an idea to life. I write out a plan, then begin to execute said plan, refining it as I move forward. This process has allowed my partners and me to develop everything from custom databases to algorithms that value assets automatically. To me, nothing is more fulfilling in business than seeing an idea come to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m looking forward to the development of better bandwidth across the board in technology. We are a technology firm in a field that hasn’t fully embraced modern technology. As bandwidth capabilities improve, we can crunch more data faster and access proprietary data quickly. This enables us to make decisions expeditiously, which directly improves the bottom line of our business.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I obsess over the little details. We build tools that digest large amounts of data, and small mistakes can become amplified into big problems in our system. I believe a business process is a summation of smaller tasks and computations, and ensuring small details are correct is imperative for scaling business processes.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You don’t need to do every deal. When I was younger, I wanted all the business I could get, even if it came at the expense of my company. As a young entrepreneur, it is vital to know when to say no. Saying no is not bad. Nobody has more than 24 hours in a day, and you shouldn’t spend precious hours on projects or deals that do not move the needle.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I do not know if I have the data to fully support this being true, but I believe that teams are more effective in an office setting where they can interact in person vs. the remote work settings that seem to be commonplace in the current COVID-19 world we live in. I can say there are many people I have spoken to that simply do not agree with this point, but to me, you cannot effectively replicate in-person engagement no matter how good the software.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I prioritize building deep relationships with key partners. Genuine connection is what differentiates powerful and inspiring leaders from lackluster ones. AI will never replicate a real human connection.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Work smarter, not harder. This tactic seems obvious, but not everyone embraces the concept. There’s an abundance of automated software products available today to help any entrepreneur grow their business more efficiently.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I participated in a dry hole drilling project where we burned about 1 million dollars as a group. I learned how to forecast risk more accurately, which enabled me to make better decisions in the future.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Most successful startups simply improve upon an existing idea or business. That should be your guiding principle when determining what market or product to focus on for your startup.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I purchased a new pair of running shoes! After buying the new kicks, I started working out more, which ultimately benefited my professional life. The better you feel, the better you will work. It is that simple.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Dropbox and Salesforce. Dropbox is fantastic in terms of ease of use and expanding your business. It eliminates the need for onsite servers and will allow you to get up and running ASAP. Salesforce is a bit daunting in terms of setup, but it is a lifesaver once you get it configured properly. Managing remote sales teams would not be possible without tools like Salesforce.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Life Beyond Google. This book will get you thinking and may even lead to the next amazing idea in business!
What is your favorite quote?
“If you aren’t growing, you are slowly dying.” In business, this couldn’t be more true. You must always be looking forward and taking advantage of all available opportunities.
- Keep moving forward in business—stagnation is the death of a startup.
- Work smarter and not harder. Use the tools available to help small businesses get up and running faster.
- Treat failures as learning moments and use them to become stronger and more aware.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.