Follow-up is crucial. Always get back to your customers with the information they requested as quickly as you can.

 

David Grislis is the founder and principal of both RG Enterprises, a firm that provides private driving instruction for military contractors, and DJG Textile Sales Corp, which markets textile products to various industries. He draws on close to two decades of experience closing sales and managing large distribution networks in his efforts as an entrepreneur, having served in a number of sales management positions at companies such as Sperian Protection (Honeywell) and Bullard. Today, David is also a business development consultant for DuPont. He lives in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

In 1993, David Grislis enrolled in the Community College of Rhode Island in the hope of opening doors that would lead to future opportunities. After earning his Associates Degree in business administration, David pursued further education by enrolling in Johnson & Wales University. In just two years, David graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in entrepreneurship and business law.

During the early years of his career, David excelled as a sales associate and, eventually, as a sales manager for multiple companies. At the Radici Group, where he worked as a sales manager, David Grislis acquired in-depth knowledge on how to manage sales and marketing operations. Along the way, his team helped to develop and launch technical coated fabrics for industrial applications.

David secured a position with Top Value Fabrics where he assisted in the development of PTFE laminates for use in industrial rainwear. All of David Grislis’ hard work translated into a new position as a sales manager for Sperian Protection, a world leader in personal protective equipment.

Rising to the challenge, David managed a network of more than 20 distributors throughout the Northeastern U.S. and Eastern Canada. After nearly three years in this role, David was offered the position of Northeast Regional Sales Manager with Bullard, another leading manufacturer of personal protective equipment and systems. David worked to develop business and close sales with new pharmaceutical, manufacturing, biotech, and industrial customers.

David Grislis dedicated nearly five years to managing direct and distribution sales for the Northeast region until he was promoted to his current position as Business Development Consultant for DuPont Protection Technologies. Over the course of the last three years, David has worked to develop end-user awareness of the superior performance of Nomex, Kevlar, Tychem, and Tyvek, specifically in the oil and gas industry.

Throughout his career, David continued to work on his dreams after hours, and he went on to found two organizations: RG Enterprises and DJG Textile Sales Corp. RG Enterprises provides private instruction in off-road driving techniques with the Department of Defense to military contractors, while DJG Textile Sales Corp works to market various products, such as textiles, garments, and hospitality products, to hotels, sportswear manufacturers, the marine industry, and military contractors. Possessed of incredible experience and knowledge, David has proven himself as a sales professional, a team leader, entrepreneur, and business consultant.

Today, David Grislis lives with his wife and three sons in Narragansett, Rhode Island. He spends his free time playing hockey and serving as a USA Hockey youth coach for his twin boys. With an eye to the needs of his community, David invests his time into foster care and adoption as an advocate, foster parent, and Foster Parent’s Advisory Board attendee.

Where did the idea for DJG Textile Sales Corp come from?

After spending several years in the industry, I recognized the need for qualified, aggressive and responsive sales experts for manufacturing companies that are looking to move their products, either directly to consumers or through distribution.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I start the mornings bright and early following up on emails that came in during the previous evening or overnight. Then it’s time for breakfast with the family before I head off to various meetings throughout the day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

There’s a lot of hard work that’s involved. I try to focus on one thing at a time so that I can see each project or idea through to the end in order to make sure it’s successful. However, even if you’re excited by an idea, you need to be prepared to abandon it early on if it appears that it won’t be adopted by consumers or the market.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Renewable energy; the emergence of this sector has created many other parallel opportunities for entrepreneurs.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I wake up early and start each day at the same time.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Save your money—or reinvest into into business ideas or other ways of making money.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

People do business with people who they like, regardless of what it is they’re looking for, the quality, or the price.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Follow-up is crucial. Always get back to your customers with the information they requested as quickly as you can.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I’ve explored markets that have shortfalls, in either available products or services, and tried to meet those needs myself. Necessity really is the mother of invention.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

You’re not an entrepreneur unless you’ve failed numerous times. You have to know when your idea or your business is hitting a wall and pull out early before you dedicate more time, money, and energy to it. It’s a difficult skill that requires a lot of thought, and potentially some emotional discipline, but it’s the key to succeeding as an entrepreneur.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I’d recommend opening a car dealership where you can walk in and purchase a new or used vehicle in under one hour.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Apple airpods. I don’t know how I’ve lived without them!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I use Quickbooks for reports, on-the-go expenses, bookkeeping, and so much more.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, although I recommend getting it on Audible.com as it’s very long. It’s a great example of how not to run a business; the oil and gas industry has operated in the same manner for over 100 years, which is broken.

What is your favorite quote?

“The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears,” by General Jim Mattis.

Connect:

https://twitter.com/davidgrislis
https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidgrislis/