Troy Biesterveld is a nuclear trainer with more than 15 years of experience. Biesterveld started his career in 2006 when he joined the U.S Navy as a nuclear trainer. He worked there until 2006, and he was an Engineering Watch Supervisor by the time he left. While working with the U.S Navy, Biesterveld also took the initiative to upgrade his trainer and general people management skills. He enrolled for a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management at The New School. Armed with experience and skills, Biesterveld joined NextEra Energy Resources after leaving the Navy. He excelled there as a nuclear operations training supervisor and only left in 2016 to grow his career in other organizations. In 2017, Biesterveld was appointed a senior evaluator at the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. He continues to hold this role among others where his skills as a nuclear trainer are needed. Outside of work, Biesterveld is a philanthropist and has a soft spot for charities that focus on animal rights. For years, he has been a regular contributor to the Humane Society, a non-profit aiming to save animals from cruel living conditions. He recently doubled his contributions to this organization with the hopes of saving 4000 dogs from testing facilities.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I would attribute this to the first job I landed with the U.S Navy, where I worked as a nuclear trainer. As the years went by, I fell in love with my job and took steps to grow in it. I have even undertaken undergrad and graduate studies in human resource management and leadership just to be in a position to offer the best as a trainer. That’s pretty much how I got here, and I hope to do even better in my career going into the future.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day involves meeting with trainers who work under me for progress reports. I also get a tally of the specialists I am supposed to train for the day and prep them for training. To make my day productive, I work with very strict timelines. The idea is to optimize the number of people and issues they are trained on at any given time. I believe in whatever venture one is in, planning is key if you want to grow productivity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In my line of work, new ideas are usually the result of collaboration between different players. It is rarely a one-person show. That’s why whenever I have an idea that I believe can be helpful to my team, I always share it with fellow professionals. They critique it, add their ideas, and in the end, we get a working concept that can help propel us forward. I have applied this strategy for years, and it has never failed me.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am most excited about technological advances in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality. These technologies provide an immersive experience where learners get to understand and apply theoretical concepts in a virtual environment. These technologies offer a safe environment for practice on things that would otherwise need labs. I believe in the long run. These technologies will serve to make nuclear training safer and more exciting. I believe we could see more people willing to enroll in nuclear-related careers, and that’s a plus.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I believe that would be a willingness to learn. Knowledge is not static, and things are constantly changing. A smartphone today can accomplish multiple times more tasks than the computers that took us to the moon. Similarly, by always seeking out new knowledge, you learn better ways to do the things you spend a lot of time doing today. This approach has helped me accomplish everyday tasks more efficiently. I would advise anyone looking to get ahead as an entrepreneur or in their career to consider doing the same. Be hungry for knowledge, and you will never lose your competitive edge.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to find something they love and learn everything there is to learn about it. This will help you grow your skills as you get older, and over time you will become an authority in whatever market you are in. While it is tempting to try and be a jack of all trades in your youth, there is a risk that you may never master any of them. It can turn into frustrations later along.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I always disagree with my friends on when nuclear fusion will become a reality. Most of them believe we won’t experience this tech before the 2050s, but I tend to differ. Based on the breakthroughs that have been made in the last 5-years, I am positive that this tech could be rolled out commercially in the 2030s. So far, data on progress shows that I could be right, and my friends are wrong.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As I mentioned earlier, I always want to learn new things at any given time. The world is constantly changing, and what makes the best today could be obsolete tomorrow. That’s why you need to have a constant hunger for knowledge. By learning new things, you discover how to do your job in a way that keeps you at the cutting edge of your job. It is a strategy that has worked for me countless times and can definitely work for you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
That would be consistency in delivering quality work. As a trainer, it is my job to ensure that everyone that goes through my training becomes a good ambassador of my work. So far, it is a strategy, and I am always in high demand by different organizations. I intend to keep giving my best, and use that to help take my career to even greater heights.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t really have any memorable failures. Professional life is full of ups and downs; you go through disappointments and success cycles at any given time. Whenever I fail, I don’t dwell too much on it. I learn from it and make sure not to repeat the same mistakes. This has helped me improve over time since every failure serves as a learning process for long-term growth.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I honestly wish I had one. However, I urge readers to find a problem wherever they are and offer a solution. The bigger the problem you can solve, the bigger the business will likely be. That’s how business works, I believe.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently sent $100 to an organization that helps rescue dogs and help them find loving homes. I did it because I love animals and believe they deserve a good life. There is a lot of cruelty against dogs in this world, and frankly, I can’t stand it. I wish I could do more.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use zoom a lot. It helps me handle meetings from anywhere quite effectively. Since I discovered it, things have gotten really easy for me. I don’t even have to be at my office at all times.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I have read many books, but one of my favorites is, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It has helped me become a good trainer and develop deep professional relationships.
What is your favorite quote?
I love the quote, “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it,” by Henry David Thoreau. This quote reminds me that you don’t become successful by obsessing about success but rather by engaging in productive economic activities.
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.