Cole is the CEO and founder of Roycon, where he marries his passion for Salesforce and the capability to make business more efficient with his technical skillset and extensive Salesforce background. Cole can deliver unparalleled solutions that truly showcase and capitalize on the power of the Salesforce platform.
Where did the idea for Roycon come from?
As a business owner, I had tried to find tools and platforms that allowed me to ideate, develop and deploy business processes and features quickly but had never found a solution that enabled me to do so to my satisfaction. When I discovered Salesforce, I knew I had found the platform on which my entire business could be ran on. I became an evangelist and knew that I wanted to help other business executives arrive at the same conclusion and enable their businesses to run better, as I had. In working with previous technology service providers, I knew what a bad experience looked like so I sought to create a company that empowered businesses to become better versions of themselves in a manner that was the opposite of what I had experienced. I wanted our individuals to function as true partners and consultants as opposed to order takers and uninspired developers. Thus, the idea for Roycon was conceived and that is what we are today.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m on calls from the moment my day starts until it ends so it’s hard to get anything done. In the past I had to work nights and weekends to be able to work on the business because I had no time during normal business hours. I still don’t have that time but I’ve surrounded myself with highly competent people who do have the time and are able to execute on the guidance that they are given. I focus on outlining the tasks that I’m wanting my team to focus on, providing the acceptance criteria for each, and conducting check-ins to gauge progress.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I rely very heavily on the collaboration and feedback from my team. An idea is worthless unless it can be executed upon. The path towards successful execution requires perspective other than my own, requires buy-in from the team members that I’m relying on to implement these ideas and it requires synchronization across teams. I’m responsible for outlining the problem that is needing to be solved, outlining my cursory ideas on what I believe it will take to solve these problems but letting my team of talented individuals work together to help bring these ideas to fruition through thoughtful discussion, planning, and execution.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The role that businesses are playing in overall social responsibility. Marc Benioff wrote a book dedicated to the concept of “Business as the greatest platform for change” and that is something that is near and dear to my heart. The days of businesses existing solely to provide shareholder value are coming to an end and being replaced by businesses that provide value beyond Wall Street. Social responsibility is now a much more common conversation that is happening in boardrooms across the country and those conversations are resulting in changes to policy that results in improvements in equality, ecological impacts, living wages being paid, and net positive impacts on the communities that these businesses operate.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Delegation and the understanding that my job is no longer to solve all of the problems that the business is confronted with. My job is to outline the problems we’re facing, prioritize them for action and provide my team with the direction necessary to allow them to come up with and implement solutions to those problems. This greatly frees up my time and empowers others within my organization to utilize their talents and reinforce their investment in the company as a whole.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Lose the ego, and ask for help. Understand your weaknesses as much, if not better, than your strengths and find individuals to offset your weaknesses instead of trying to master every aspect of the business. To quote .38 special, “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go. If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control”.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Perfect is not the enemy of good.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constantly being open to changing my mind on things when new information is introduced. Digging my heels into an idea, a concept, or a philosophy simply to avoid conceding defeat or to avoid being wrong will only serve to hurt you in the long run.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Servant leadership has helped to foster an environment where egos are minimized, infighting is scarce and overall buy-in and commitment from my team remains constantly high. I’m nothing without the team members that I rely on and providing them with an environment that empowers them to do what they love, to express ideas, to voice concerns, and see those expressions result in change yields the greatest employee satisfaction. My priorities are, in order: Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction, and Owner Satisfaction.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Trusting but not verifying. I’m a very trusting person by nature and I innately believe everyone will operate/work with the same work ethic and approach that I take. I also trust first impressions too greatly and that has led to significant challenges when it comes to hiring. I have to defer all hiring decisions to my team to make sure due diligence is performed because I’m too trusting when individuals sell me on themselves as I genuinely want to believe them and see them succeed. By migrating from making all hiring decisions myself to a decision-by-committee approach, the quality of employee has increased significantly.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I had this idea a long time ago and I’m not sure if this was ever brought into fruition or if it’s even feasible from an engineering standpoint but I discovered just how much water pressure was in my home when I was installing a new bathtub in one of my remodeling projects. I didn’t screen the downspout on all the way and when I turned the water back on, that thing shot out like it was fired from a cannon. Being the fact that water is used by everyone everyday, putting a mini-hydro generator on the main water supply line on every house has to be a great way to generate energy. If you pair that with a battery, every time your kid takes a 20-minute shower or you run the dishwasher, you’re generating energy. I talked to an engineer about this awhile ago and he had mentioned that there were significant challenges in accomplishing this but I refuse to believe it’s impossible.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Meat slicer. I’m a creature of habit and have more or less the same lunch every day during the week (when I’m working from home). I buy meat in whole (turkey breast, roast beef etc) and had to manually slice them every week and the pieces weren’t uniform, they were uneven and just looked like they were cut by an amateur. In comes the meat slicer and now I have perfectly uniform cuts of meat that provide me with a consistent meal every day and lasts the same with minimum deviation.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I mean, this is too easy considering what we do but Salesforce. We literally run every aspect of our business within Salesforce. From leads coming in through the website to candidates applying for jobs, managing sales, creating estimates, sending those estimates for signature, generating invoices, receiving electronic payments for those invoices, managing projects, logging hours, and handling customer issues, everything is done on Salesforce.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
There’s a number of them but I think the most impactful book early in my career was “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber
What is your favorite quote?
“Saving money can be expensive.“ We operate in a world where the services we provide and the software for which we provide these services are very expensive and there are a lot of cheaper alternatives in the marketplace. However, clients who opt for the less expensive platform or partner usually end up regretting it and coming back to the table months later but this time, the overall cost is much higher because we have to undo everything that was done poorly or migrate them from the lesser platform.
- Listening is more helpful than speaking when it comes to being in a leadership role. Listen to as many opinions, perspectives, and suggestions from your team as possible before deciding the direction to take.
- Once a direction has been defined, delegate work accordingly and empower your team to deliver for you.
- Failure is to be expected, don’t fear it or try to avoid it, welcome it with open arms as an opportunity to grow and advance.
- As an entrepreneur, it’s not your job to have all the answers. It’s your job to build a machine that is adept at identifying problems, creating solutions, implementing those solutions, and moving forward.
- There will be few highs and many lows. The key is to continue to push forward knowing that there will always be problems but those problems are solvable if you have the right mindset, the right culture and surround yourself with individuals who are brought into the mission you’re setting out to achieve.
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.