Founder Tony Vlastelica: You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone

June 6, 2017

5:00 pm

It’s easy for early-stage founders to get distracted and try to do everything, but mentors will tell you it’s better to focus your energy on where it matters to build your business.

We asked Tony Vlastelica, founder and principal of Contemporary Energy Solutions, about what he recommends for founders to hire the right people for the job and where he focuses his time.

Tony , focus, productivity

What advice has helped you increase productivity?

Try not to be a Jack of all trades — you can’t be everything to everyone. Every company is dealing with a finite amount of resources, especially startups. Focus on what you do best, and do it better than anyone else. Narrowing our focus to industry verticals that we are dominant in really helped bring clarity to how we could capitalize on our areas of strength. You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel to move forward and have sustained success. Learn to say “no” to opportunities that are outside of your wheelhouse.

Biggest lessoned learned?

Not learning the right way to hire people. Hiring the wrong people will set you back big time and cost you time and money. Hiring the right people is a skill that can be learned. It really changed my perspective and brought clarity to what had been a very disorganized process for us.

How do you get mentally prepared for the workday? 

I will usually read Bible scriptures to start my day to get me in the right frame of mind for what the rest of the day may bring.

Any advice to startups about managing money?

Plan for worst-case scenarios and work like your business depends on it (it does!). Don’t be too optimistic in projections and make sure you have enough cash reserves to realistically bridge the gap between startup and realizing revenues. Do your research and be realistic.

What book would you recommend to founders?

Read the book Who by Goeff Smart and Randy Street, and develop internal procedures to recruit and hire A players throughout your organization.

Read more tips on productivity from founders at Tech.Co

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Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC members generate billions of dollars in revenue and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

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