Gary O’Brien

Machinate, machinate, machinate then put it into action. If you can envision it you can do it.


Gary O’Brien, President of O’Brien’s Safety Services and O’Brien’s Confined Space Rescue Services is an experienced professional with over 34 years in the health and safety field. Gary brings a common sense safety approach to companies of all sizes and financial backgrounds.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

My last name is O’Brien and my focus is safety services.

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

My day consists of – meeting with clients, checking-in on active jobs to ensure they are on-track and everything is running smoothly, pursuing new clients, bidding/estimating projects, keeping up with industry trends…

It’s easy to lose track of time in a business where many of our clients are return clients and some have even become close friends as well as many of our employees being personal friends. Every meeting generally starts with ‘How are you? How’s the wife and kids?’ and sort of avalanches from there into a wonderful discussion about life and current events. This is one of the best parts of my day so it’s hard to overlook it when we’re in a time crunch, but sometimes you just have to keep it short and remember to contact that person later to catch up and let them know how important they are to you.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Machinate, machinate, machinate then put it into action. If you can envision it you can do it.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The Ohio Valley or Shale Crescent USA oil and gas trend is very exciting right now. There is so much potential for this area to really boom again.

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

Surround yourself with good, hardworking people (employees and friends). If they are giving it 100% I am motivated to give 100%.
Telling those employees how much I appreciate them keeps their momentum at 100% so I keep giving 100%.

What advice would you give your younger self?

My mantra has always been Family First and always will be.

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

Re-reading critical emails or correspondences before sending them…. then walking away from it and re-reading it again before sending.
Most of the time you will change your tone or wording for the better.

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

Diversify your client base. When the chips are down in one market they might be up in the other.

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

Early on, not buttoning up all the necessary legal paperwork, i.e., contractual terms and documents prior to starting a project. It was easy to get excited about job and forget to check every little piece of paperwork was completed as required and in business there is typically a lot of paperwork.

I had to make it a practice of doing this and committing to it. Nowadays my business partner and support staff also make sure we have all these things in place before commencing work.

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

Join community or civic organizations such as Rotary International or your local chamber of commerce. You will gain from what learn from others, the friendships you develop are wonderful, the networking may lead to additional business and they host activities that allow you give back to your community which is very rewarding.

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

Upgrading my smart phone. In today’s business climate we have to be fast, efficient, and never drop the ball and we are always on the move. We depend on these devices to be our mobile offices and to increase our efficiency with phone, contacts, email, text, photo, video capabilities.

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

Apple/Microsoft calendar

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

John Grisham – “The Last Juror
A college dropout took over a failing newspaper and turned it around. There is another parallel story about the racial tensions in the South in 1970 and a of course the usual Grisham crime thriller, but the story of the young man turning the Ford County Times around is worth the read alone.

What is your favorite quote?

‘Family First’ of course.


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