Run at problems, accept the blame.
Steve Sutton, a 40-year veteran of the telecom industry, co-founded Copper State Communications in 1982 alongside Roger Bingham. Sutton has deep knowledge of cyber security, IT networks, WAN, LAN, Ethernet, voice networks, hosted VoIP, telephony, unified communications, carrier services, managed IT services, and structured cabling from his years as a leader in the industry. As a business enabler, Sutton has been dedicated to helping clients maximize their ability to grow and serve their customers via technology since he first co-founded Copper State Communications. As President of the company, his focus isn’t on just providing technology. Copper State Communications aims to analyze business issues, then design solutions across the full spectrum of communications technology to enable clients to lead their fields and satisfy their own customers. Sutton’s philosophy is to run the company with respect, passion and commitment — to really dig in and work until goals have been met.
Where did the idea for Copper State Communications come from?
I saw the potential working for someone else, low customer service would be easy to beat.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I get up at 4:30, workout, breakfast, get to work! Being productive can be a struggle, I usually don’t feel I’m being productive even if there is lots of working being done because I juggle so much daily.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Screaming and kicking. Even a smaller business has enormous inertia, and resultant resistance to change. If the team won’t get behind an idea, it’s not a good idea. So convince the team and listen carefully for the feedback.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I’m excited to see America taking itself back from the media elites. The preponderance and speed of information is neutralizing the group think and political righteousness that has engulfed us for far too long.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Don’t give up.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Sorting laundry at a hotel. Bosses trip over dimes looking for pennies.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Finish college. Enjoy the ride more, tomorrow is not a given.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Instill a sense of pride in our organization, keep looking for and communicating examples of our proud performances.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Run at problems, accept the blame. In our space, most of our competitors can’t run more quickly towards blaming everything other than themselves when problems arise. We take the hit, whether our fault or not and focus on resolution.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Allowed myself to trust someone far too much without adequate oversight.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A HE washing machine that actually gets your clothes clean.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Love to mountain bike, replaced my old Camelback Mule with the newest version. Lots of storage, more water means more time on the trail and away from technology.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I use the standard Microsoft junk on laptops. Love would be stretching things a bit.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
GTD, Getting things Done. If you can’t get the baggage and crap out of your head, you have no room to have a new idea.