Dan Watkins is the CEO/Founder/Operator of GloFX, a company that designs, engineers, manufactures and sells unique glasses as well as LED & glow products. Dan didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. Nonetheless, his interests and skills have led him to entrepreneurial triumphs.
Dan is driven by success and doing what other people think he can’t do. Dan started GloFX with $400 capital in 2012 but now it produces millions of dollars in annual revenue. His company, GloFX, was recently recognized by GrowFL as a Florida Company to Watch for 2016.
In this interview, Dan shares a bit about his competitive advantage and how having a great system can produce overwhelming results. He also mentions talks about growing his company to $1M in 30 months...incredible. Enjoy!
His advice for entrepreneurs starting a business:
Work smart, not hard. Apply the 80/20 rule, always. And, have good employees, good systems, and good products.
What made you start GloFX? When did you know that you have an actual business and not just an idea?
I started GloFX because I was tired of working for other people. Sometimes, you just realize that all of your hard work is paying off for someone else. GloFX was originally a side project. I am a big fan of the 80/20 rule, and I realized I had an actual business when I spent about 20% of my time on GloFX, but it was generating about 80% of my personal income. That says a lot when you're working a 40 hour a week job and 80% of your income is coming from somewhere else.
How did you find your competitive edge? What makes your business unique from others?
I found GloFX’s edge when I found Diffraction grating film. This quickly evolved into the product line that accounts for nearly 60% of company sales: GloFX Glasses. There are many factors that make GloFX unique, but our line of Dimensional Eyewear is the best in the world. It sets us leagues ahead of the competition. No questions asked.
What do you think is your greatest asset that makes GloFX successful? How does it help the business?
Systems. Like most businesses, we have a system for everything. If you create a great system, almost anyone can run with it. Every part of my business has a system to it. Each system is a gear in the GloFX machine. When they're all running together, these gears (systems) produce a hell of a result. Having awesome employees helps too ;-)
What's your most epic moment/story as an entrepreneur?
Our first million dollars is a pretty epic story. I started GloFX with about $400, in my garage, by myself. Seeing $400 snowball into $1,000,000 in sales in less than 30 months was pretty cool.
Have you encountered failures/roadblocks while running GloFX? What did you do to overcome or use it to your advantage?
There is no such thing as a roadBLOCK. Only challenges waiting to be overcome. Anything is possible, and any problem can be solved.
We face challenges every day. To be honest, it’s one of my favorite parts of business. I enjoy logic, problem solving, trial and error, etc. You can’t be right 100% of the time, and if you learn from your mistakes—weaknesses can turn into strengths. I get motivated when I see a challenge.
Some of our biggest clients turned us down for years before we got in the door with them. Each time we were turned down, we came up with a better strategy. Needless to say, our playbook is now stacked with awesome plays for landing new clients and excelling our business.
Have you ever felt like giving up? What would you say to an entrepreneur on the brink of throwing in the towel?
Everyone has those bad days. But any entrepreneur will tell you that giving up is never an option.
If you're facing a challenge, or set of challenges, that make you want to give up—step back. Pause. Think about core business principles and look for the work-around. Find your angle.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur? Is there anything you're most proud of?
Doing what other people think you can’t. Self-worth.
Do you believe there’s some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
There are patterns to everything. A successful business is one thing, but the act of “entrepreneur-ing” is often defined differently.
Who has been your greatest inspiration? How did she/he/they shape GloFX?
My parents and my competitors.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students and young professionals in Florida who want to become entrepreneurs?
- Work smart, not hard.
- 80/20 rule, always.
- Good employees, good systems, and good products.