Commit to continue to maintain a high ethical value and go about doing business without deterrence, regardless of circumstance.
A new powerhouse is emerging from the construction industry to take on the challenge of business ownership in the highly competitive LED lighting industry. Robb Sterling, of Denver LED Company, embarks on this new challenge with the strength of prior industry experience. His weapon of strength comes from years of relationship building with leading industry professionals. He established himself as a highly ethical, consistently reliable, value-added provider within the construction industry.
Robb Sterling is a native of Colorado who attended Regis University in Denver Colorado. In his early years, he studied finance during his undergraduate in 2004. He went on to earn his MBA in 2010. While he was still attending university, he worked for Lipper Analytical Services as a mutual fund analyst. Upon graduation, he continued with the company in order to gain as much career experience as possible.
Although Robb Sterling had continuous and steady growth with his career in finance, he had an outstanding talent for building relationships. A career in sales came quite naturally for him during his time in the construction industry.
Where did the idea for Denver LED Company come from?
The idea came from my experience within the construction industry. I worked with builders, property management companies, architects, and developers. My experience overall made me realize that it was a good fit. In addition, because of my involvement working in the construction industry I had great contacts within the industry that allowed me to build my network and strengthen ties.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
It is all about relationships. Establishing relationships and having great communication skills are the most important aspects of this business. This means making personalized phone calls and scheduling meetings throughout my day. My week consists of presenting the benefits of LED lighting versus fluorescents, as well as working with different manufacturers, lighting distributors, and agents. I meet with property managers, building owners, and architects routinely to make sure that everything is in order.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Marketing requires a considerable amount of creative thinking. My work ethic and integrity are known throughout the industry. There are upfront costs for clients but in terms of the long run, there are cost benefits and environmental benefits.
We shine when it comes to providing products and services for LED Certified Buildings. These buildings are required to pass specific criteria for energy efficiency. The constructed buildings are rated as Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. LED’s fall into the desired criteria for architects, building developers, and management companies. This business is very relationship-oriented and customized to satisfaction. I create the way I bring ideas to life based upon my client’s goals.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I work with millennials and many of them own or manage the buildings or properties in which I do business. They have become the decision-makers that I work with now. One of the things that excites me about working with millennials is that it has changed the way I conduct marketing. I learned to take advantage of using social media options in this digital age.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One of the biggest habits I have is to wake up extremely early every morning. I schedule time for myself to work-out and clear my head. It helps me to focus and to take on the day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell younger Robb Sterling to “cover your bases.” Pay attention to detail. Create a clear contract with all parties understanding policies and procedures. Written documentation is important. Just don’t take for granted that everyone is on the same page. Communication is key. Empower your staff to become leaders, but first, know that you’ve hired well.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Most people don’t know the difference between Capitalism and Socialism and that a society can only be one or the other, not both.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
If things do not go the way I expect, I would tell that person to remind themselves of exactly why they are in business. Every entrepreneur encounters roadblocks from time to time. It is not always negative. Just remind yourself of why you became an entrepreneur in the first place.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that works very well in business is not to try to do everything yourself. Surround yourself with good people and trust them to do what they do best.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I’ve had to face was having a negative unsubstantiated article put out in the public. I am very fortunate that I have always done business with both integrity and care. I have always had a good reputation which has been a saving grace. None-the-less, being questioned about my personal life and finances is discomforting. There are always two sides to every story. Ultimately, even though the bad press release proved to be unsubstantiated, people take bad press as the written word.
With renewed focus and determination, I started a new business providing LED lighting to the construction industry. I pivoted to a new business within the industry where I am well known. I continue to maintain a high ethical value and go about doing business without deterrence.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There should be an app that can remove or change an accent over the phone. International sales calls can come across as domestic.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Dinner at Barolo Grill!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Without a doubt, the one software application that I use the most is my Outlook Calendar. It is the one thing that keeps me in touch and on track.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend The Great Game of Business. It teaches leaders to empower their employees to be invested in the business. It encourages them to share information with everything being transparent. Trust the people you’re surrounded by and trust that they are going to hold up end of the responsibilities.
What is your favorite quote?
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.
• Working with millennials encourages you to learn and grow with social media
• Commit to continue to maintain a high ethical value and go about doing business without deterrence, regardless of circumstance.
• It is fortunate to do business with integrity and a high work ethic.
• Invest in others and yourself.
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.