Anthony Winston III, P.E. started Winston Engineering Inc because he wanted to make a positive impact on the construction industry and spend more time with his family. While he is originally from Chicago, IL, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with Emphasis in Power Transmission and Distribution at Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. He got his start in the defense industry but chose to make a change. Anthony got his Professional Engineering License in California and moved to focusing on the power industry.
Prior to founding Winston Engineering, Inc, he gained a vast amount of experience first by working in defense designing and updating missile/radar test stations and then moved on to being a test director and designing a validation system for a 8MW, 15,000RPM high speed electric compressor motor. Just before launching the company, Anthony was responsible for coordinating automated Lutron lighting design, designing the controlled plug load systems, and designing a temporary power system for Loma Linda Children’s/Adult Hospital construction.
Winston Engineering Inc was started 6 years ago and has been providing MEP Engineering for residential and commercial buildings.
Where did the idea for Winston Engineering come from?
I’ve always known I wanted to start my own company during the first year out of college. Once I walked away from government defense and started working in construction, I realized that I could provide Engineering drawings for buildings.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m typically up by 530 or 6am. I workout and afterwards I immediately start addressing emails from my employees. I spend the bulk of my time doing client outreach. I am lucky to have my team as it allows me to focus on growing the business.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Owning your own company allows you to pivot and make decisions very quickly. I’ve worked for very large companies and making business changes is very difficult. Essentially anytime an idea for a new business opportunity comes to me or presented by an employee, the decision is made pretty quickly whether to move forward or not.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Renewable energy. Having the opportunity to provide designs that positively impact the environment is really exiting. Winston Engineering Inc provides solar, battery backup and generator designs.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Always putting the needs of my employees first. There is no company if you don’t have a solid team. As the leader, you have to make sure their well-being always comes first.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to travel more and explore other career opportunities. As a kid, I assumed that college was the only route to take to attain success. Although I am happy I chose my career path, it would have been nice to know all options.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
This could cause a bit of a stir but it involves religion and my non-belief in a higher power. I will leave it at that.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read! I don’t read in the traditional sense but I do consume a lot of audiobooks. Topics include business, Black History, leadership, etc.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Automating my LinkedIn outreach. I use tools that connect and send messages to prospective clients. Once they respond, I then step in and take over. It may seem disingenuous but I only have so many hours in a day.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
A few years ago I wanted to bring a “Top Golf” type facility to my area. I partnered with another company that provided Golf entertainment technology for a driving, got an expensive feasibility study conducted and spent hours crafting business plans & pitching investors. COVID struck and killed the project. I did learn that I should have “pretotyped” the project. Not too long ago, I read (audiobook) “the right it” by Alberto Savoia. It teaches your how to determine if your idea is worthwhile without spending a lot of time and money.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Travel Roulette. It would be awesome if someone developed an app that takes your travel preferences and comes up with a list of states (and countries) you may like. When you decide you want to go somewhere, click a button and a random place is selected for you with a full itinerary.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
This tough because we don’t spend much. I would say Spanish lessons using the Pimsleur app. It’s unfortunate that the rest of the world makes it normal to speak multiple languages but not here in the states.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Monday.com is an AMAZING project management tool. Prior to signing up, we used excel to track projects. It has a lot of customizations and visual components to keep your team on track. It also notifies us about project due dates.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Slicing Pie by Mike Moyer. I can go into a lot of other books about starting a company and being a great leader, but if you don’t know how to set the ground work for dealing with business partners, you’re done. This book goes into detail about slicing the pie so it’s equitable for everyone. Quite often business partners split everything down the middle. The distribution of sweat equity is almost never equal.
What is your favorite quote?
The 12 P’s taught to me by my fraternity (Phi Beta Sigma). Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor performance, Piss-Poor Performance Produces Pain, Period.
- Read, Read, Read!
- Put your employees first.
- Use technology to free up your time so you can focus on growing the business.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.