Always look for ways to improve upon what you have already built. We cannot succeed and accomplish our goals if we do not get out of our comfort zone. Take those calculated risks. You will thank yourself for it in the long run.
Doug Petroshius is the founder of eAllianceGov, a service that utilizes artificial intelligence to help automate local government. He firmly believes in the integration of technology into all aspects of life and how it can help us improve as a society.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
The idea for my company came when I became a Village Administrator of a Chicagoland collar county community. During this time, I reflect on how my career trajectory would end up in the next few years. I realized that not many people who were once city managers would become an independent an entrepreneur towards the latter half of their career. This is something that I desired and I would not settle until I achieved my goal. Thus, eAllianceGov was created.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I like to wake up around 5 am and begin my day by getting a healthy amount of exercise in. I then meditate frequently to set my intention for the rest of the day. I never begin my workday without spending personal time in the morning that helps me focus my mind and strengthen my body. I finished the day with about 15 minutes of reflection by journaling.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Bringing ideas to life has always been something that I enjoy doing. However, everyone experiences hesitation. They wonder if their ideas are good enough and sometimes never act on them. You inherently know if your ideas are worthy or not. Acting without hesitation is the only true way to bring your ideas to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
AI-Enabled Automation. It’s the wave of future and it’s perfectly suited for local governments who are cash-strapped and continuously expected to stretch their dollars farther and farther. Many people are skeptical about automation, fearing that it will eliminate their jobs. In fact, we’ve found that employee job satisfaction increases after bringing automation into the workplace. Reason: automation eliminates the work that people hate, thus allowing them to do more meaningful work. As we at eAllianceGov like to say, “Making humans more human.”
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Finding time to let my mind be idle. It’s where I come up with all of my best ideas and often connect the dots in ways that I would never have done, sitting at a computer. As a well-known physicist in Britain once told Wolfgang Kohler, ‘We often talk about the three B’s: the Bus, the Bath, and the Bed. That is where the great discoveries are made in our science.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would assure him that all the wonderful ideas that he thinks of are valid. Do not let other people bring you down and to always push yourself whenever you can go further. Settling for less is self-detrimental and my younger self suffered from this.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Politics are all arbitrary. Both sides of the political banner are cut from the same cloth. We must all work together to build a better America. Most people are too polarized to see it this way.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constantly challenge yourself. Always look for ways to improve upon what you have already built. We cannot succeed and accomplish our goals if we do not get out of our comfort zone. Take those calculated risks. You will thank yourself for it in the long run.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Maintaining the client-perspective. I’m unique in my industry as I have served in local government administrative leadership for almost two decades, specializing in how local government uses technology. By being the internal company advocate for our clients and prospects, I’m able to help eAllianceGov “speak the language” and relate to local government in a way that most business professionals do not..
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I wanted too much at an unreasonable rate in the beginning. I would set incredibly high expectations that were by no means feasible. I believed that I could metaphorically build Rome in a day. This cost me a lot of time and energy that would soon backfire on me. I have since learned that slow and steady wins the race.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Capitalize on building apps. There are so many untapped ideas out there that are waiting to be found on the app market. It is easier than ever to self-develop them too and the best part is, they become your intellectual property.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I treated myself out to a fancy restaurant recently and bought whatever I wanted on the menu. I forget to treat myself sometimes and decided I deserved it for working overtime recently.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Canva.com has been a godsend. I’ve never used photoshop, but I have heard that it’s a beast. Canva is much easier to use. I’ve used it for proposals, marketing, web design, and even to create a Christmas present for my mother.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend The Fourth Age by Byron Reese. It explains how AI is changing the world for the better and prepares you with the requisite knowledge to understand the fundamentals of AI, which will be required for anyone working in technology.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is “Superstition is the religion of a simple mind” by Winston Churchill. This reminds me that my direction in life is set based upon my decisions and not some other unknown force and therefore, I need to strive to make the best choices.
● Practice positive thinking to help you achieve your goals.
● How to change careers from the public sector to the private sector
● Expecting too much from your business when you are first starting can be incredibly detrimental. Remember that all good things take time in order to succeed.
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.