Name: Adam Lucero
Job Title: CEO GoTie.com
Career Field: Operations
Military Branch: US Army
Military Occupation: Blackhawk Pilot
How did your military background help your career so far?
My military background has helped me in multiple aspects. In business, I have found that standard military customs and courtesies I learned and use daily seem to be a rarity in the general workplace: 15 minutes early or your late, One chance for a good first impression, Courtesy is free, Stand up tall, Always give respect, and most importantly Always be a professional. Civilian jobs love to hire and work with Vets because these are just a few of the traits that people automatically think and expect of Americas Veterans.
Did it make anything more difficult?
Specialty military skills are often difficult to directly transfer to civilian life. I’ve found that speaking directly to the companies I was interested in helped greatly; often jobs you were more qualified for were not posted.
What advice or steps would you recommend for veterans wanting to start a business?
Don’t be risk adverse! Statistics show new businesses are more apt to fail than succeed. Just like your time in the service – we thrive under pressure. I embrace a good challenge and love beating the odds. To make a business successful means you will probably be broke for a good chunk of time, many nights working late, stress on the family, lots of phone calls, and constant learning. It all comes back to the same dedication that made you a successful Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, or Marine – Dedication, and Never quitting. You have to be all in. If you are there is no reason why you won’t succeed. It doesn’t mean you won’t fail, but I guarantee you will win.
What do you enjoy the most about being an entrepreneur?
After about 2 years running GoTie I ran into my Battalion Commander and he said “Hey Capt. Lucero, how’s GoTie doing?” I said with little thought “Great Sir! I promoted myself to Colonel!” Really that was my experience as a business owner. I felt I finally had the decision making authority to run with my own ideas with no fear of disobedience or superior rank stifling my creativity. I had full authority and responsibility for the success or failure of GoTie – in 4 years with just a few people turned it into a 20 million dollar company. Seeing hard work payoff is extremely enjoyable.
What do you like least about being an entrepreneur?
Paying all the bills for sure. It is often surprising how quickly money can be spent on: Advertising, Websites, Product, Pay, Investors, Etc. I try to think about Amazon and re-invest for future growth and always making your company better.
What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in entrepreneurship?
All the generic ones everyone knows but most importantly it takes heart.
Is there something you wish you’d known or a skill you wish you’d had starting out?
I’d say sales is a necessary skill. Running a business you are always selling. People have to trust you so you’re selling yourself. You’re selling your product, your advertising, your website, etc. Everything you produce is comes back to sales.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I routinely walked through Wal Mart and looked at all the products on the shelf and which ones I could make better or which problems could I better solve. Business is all about solving a problem – you want to make sure it is a problem people want to pay to solve. Not all problems are worth solving.
What kind of education, training or experiences do you recommend?
I read blogs and forums constantly. I’m always looking at the latest technologies and wondering what the future problems will be. Formal education: MPD2 Real life education: Talk to business owners, pick brains!
What are the major components of your job role on a daily basis?
Design most of the time – New products, sales material, website images, marketing images. While designing I’m also the focal point for all subcontracted projects: New product approval, status, patents, new patents, trademarks, website copy, social media, product shipment, and of course most importantly customer communication.
What do you like about your industry?
GoTie is a simple product that is easily manufactured, inexpensive, lightweight, and does not spoil (no expiration with slow sales.)
How do you see your industry changing in the next 10 years?
More GoTies in homes!