Kurt Witten has had great success as an entrepreneur in the real container construction business and fabrication. He is well known as the Chief Executive Officer of Seventeen Pools, a company specializing in building container pools and shipping container homes. His company provides clients with energy-efficient construction services and is well known for its creative designs turning cargo containers into beautiful and luxurious yet affordable pools. Kurt has managed to steer this company to its success using his skills as a great communicator and experienced businessman. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Brandon University and a film tv/business management degree from Columbia College and has been in business in various industries from way back. He further has a dedicated team of real fabrication professionals and skilled workmen who deliver clients’ orders in record times. His excellent communication skills enable him to sell his ideas and communicate his business vision with ease. His company is also well known for its superb customer service. In addition to his businesses in home fabrication and otherwise, Kurt is a well-known philanthropist. He often gives a lot to nonprofit organizations that support homeless people. He also loves spending time with his family by creating time from his busy schedule.
Where did the idea for Seventeen Pools come from?
The idea for Seventeen Pools came while having dinner at a friend’s home. He had just installed a customized container pool and I thought of how to turn it into a business. I got the ball rolling and through hard work, we have made tremendous progress over the years.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day involves meeting my sales team to look at customer orders and other metrics in the morning. I then spend the afternoon meeting clients and closing new deals. I also like to have a healthy balance of work and exercise which keeps me focused and well rested.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by testing them at a small scale. If the idea works, then I work on ways to scale it up.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am most excited by the increased adoption of container pools by home owners. It points to more potential for growth in the long run. I see how excited home owners get when they know that they can fit a container pool in to their landscape
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I trust my staff to do a good job. By delegating, I have more time to focus on customer acquisition.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to be aggressive in chasing dreams. It is only by pursuing your dreams with intent that you can achieve them.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I am struggling to figure this one out. I am more of a consensus type of person and rarely have hardline positions.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am always meeting new people, and actively scouting for new opportunities to grow my business. I would advise everyone to do the same. Never be complacent or you will lose business to competitors
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I focus heavily on customer service. Every satisfied customer is always an asset to the business as they act as a referral to the next one.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I engaged in several failed businesses while younger. I overcame these challenges with a winning spirit. I would dust myself off and keep going until finally I got it right.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I am a go getter, and if there was an unexploited idea out there, I would definitely go for it.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I gave it to a non-profit helping the homeless during the pandemic. It felt good spending money to a worthy course.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I am quite heavy on Zoom. It helps me keep in touch with my clients and employees.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It is a book that entrepreneurs can find useful in logical decision making.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is play by the rules, but be ferocious by Phil Knight. It is a quote that every entrepreneur should live by.
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.