How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
After college, I began my career as an engineer in the oil and gas exploration business. Once I had learned the ropes through various roles within the industry, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own company. My inspiration was always not to be limited by the rigidity of the traditional corporate structure. “Some birds are not meant to be caged” is a quote from the Shawshank redemption and for me being a cog in the wheel or a large corporation felt like being in a cage, and I needed to pursue the freedom of being a true entrepreneur.
How do you make money?
Our company makes money by acquiring the mineral rights to various parcels of land and ensuring the value extracted from the land via oil, and natural gas production exceeds the amount we paid for the land. We achieve this through rigid adherence to scientific and financial models crafted with decades of industry experience.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time that you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle it?
When you dive into deep water with no life vest, there are always doubts present. Those who deny this are simply not being honest. I had occasional doubts as I was beginning my entrepreneurial journey, and instead of dwelling on these doubts, I simply worked harder. We all have a simple choice of what we focus on, and I always shift to positive thoughts when doubts creep in.
How did you get your first customer?
I was cold calling prospective clients and connected with a lovely family from Kentucky that I ended up doing business with. I simply identified several opportunities and did the work to ensure one of them came to fruition. My company ended up acquiring just over 80 net mineral acres of land in Weld County, CO, from this particular family.
What is the toughest decision that you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Continuing to march forward in business despite a global pandemic was a very tough decision I have been wrestling with on and off for the last three months. There has been so much uncertainty globally, and in the energy markets specifically, that has created significant challenges to my business. Nonetheless, I remain very optimistic about the future, and thus I elected to continue deploying capital and solidifying various aspects of my business.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Recognizing an opportunity and moving quickly is certainly one of the attributes I possess that has aided me greatly during my years in business. Paralysis by Analysis is a very real thing for many people that prevents them from acting. Staying put is safe for many people, so they never move from their comfort zone. Being independently successful in business inevitably leads to uncomfortable places at times.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Being able to offer health insurance to all of my employees was a deeply gratifying moment for me in business. Knowing that my labor and vision enabled that made all the long days and sleepless nights endured worthwhile.
What does the future hold for your business?
I believe the future is very bright for oil and natural gas exploration, which may seem counter intuitive to many. Politics aside, the physis around energy consumption and production requires us to consume lots of oil and natural gas, and thankfully plant earth contains an abundance of both oil and natural gas. I believe certain trends will continue, such as electric vehicles, but that electricity has to be generated and transferred, requiring a massive amount of oil and natural gas. Overall, the world will consume more oil and gas in the future and not less as populations expand and standards of living rise in third-world countries worldwide.
What are you most excited about?
I am most excited about launching a platform to allow private “main street” type investors to invest in my company. The world of financial services consists largely of institutions that are in between investors and assets, and I would like to provide an alternative to this by eliminating as many of the middle institutions as possible. While this approach may not be best for everyone, there is certainly a large number of investors who will find this approach to be both refreshing and long overdue.
What business books have inspired you?
My greatest source of inspiration is the bible. I know this may sound strange as the bible is clearly not a book about business, but to me, it serves as a foundation on how to treat other people. In my business, the relationships I build with both my employees and potential clients are a significant driver of my success. Adhering to the life principles that I have learned in the bible has enabled me to forge stronger relationships in so many ways. If everyone in business lived by the principle of treating everyone as they desired to be treated, the business world would be a much better place.
Leave us with one point that few individuals know about your company.
My company is really a technology company within the oil and gas industry. Many people tend to associate this industry with being stale or behind in terms of modern technology, but my company, in particular, is very much at the forefront of using modern technology to be more efficient in everything we do.