Scott Selzer is the CEO of StruXure Outdoor. Scott Selzer is a thought leader, influencer, and risk taker, and provides the vision and energy that has inspired the creation of StruXure Outdoor. Scott Selzer joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has awarded StruXure Outdoor as an Impact Company of 2019, and we are delighted to have Scott join us for our Leader Round Table Interview. The StruXure Outdoor story is very interesting, and we are very excited to not only interview Scott about his very successful business and entrepreneurial spirit, but also put Scott through our popular speed round as well.
Scott, thank so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview, and answering some questions about leadership, your vision, and your passion.
1. Can you describe what the “elevator pitch” for StruXure Outdoor is?
At StruXure Outdoor™, it is our mission to change the way people LIVE, by bringing the indoors out. In order for people to spend more time outdoors, they need to be comfortable. By providing a structure that offers protection from the elements, one that can be optimized at the touch of a button, we are delivering a new level of comfort. We are making the pergola structure the centerpiece of the outdoor experience. Staying true to our mission has led to us becoming one of the fastest growing luxury outdoor brands in the marketplace, and has been the basis of our ability to attract great people and to provide a great product.
2. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give CEOs just starting out regarding keeping a company moving forward, and please tell us the key to your company’s success?
My advice is to be willing to work harder than you ever imagined, and to fire yourself as often as possible. What I mean by that is that most people starting a company have limited working capital and a very small staff, which means the CEO must wear many hats. As soon as you are able, start firing yourself from jobs within your company that you may not be great at or as passionate about, and add people who are better and smarter at those tasks. The more frequently you can fire yourself and hire the right people for specific rolesl, the faster your company will grow.
3. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as StruXure Outdoor, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Entrepreneurs should embrace the challenging times as opportunities, because those are the periods that lead to growth. I like to use the lobster analogy. When a lobster has grown to its pain point, it sheds one shell and grows a new, larger one. The same holds true in business. Without pain points, we are left thinking that our business is just fine as is, which leads to change averseness. It’s the challenging times, the pain points, that precipitate change. And if you are staying true to your mission, embracing the challenges will lead to growth. If you never encounter challenging times in your business, then that means you’re not growing. Don’t shy away from challenges, seek them out. That’s the way you will experience exponential growth.
4. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at StruXure Outdoor, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
First of all, if providing an outstanding client experience is not a part of your business goals, then you are not going to succeed. That said, having happy clients 100% of the time is unrealistic. Things go wrong. But when they do, it is important to embrace these moments as opportunities to improve the client experience, no matter what it takes. At StruXure, customer satisfaction is always top of mind, but if something goes wrong, we will do whatever is needed to make it right. It may not always be the best short-term financial solution, but it’s more important that we maintain our reputation for delivering the best products and the best service. That will always lead to happy clients.
5. What is the one overriding belief that StruXure Outdoor has about what it is doing?
We truly believe that we can change and are changing the way people live. The definition of a home is the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered. Most people make the interior of their home as comfortable as possible, but, ironically, the less expensive outdoor real estate is often ignored. By covering some of that outdoor space with a structure that can be easily adapted to weather changes and can provide protection from the elements, we believe more people will starting looking at their outdoor spaces as extensions of their total property investments. The same is true for commercial businesses. If they can capture additional square footage that they already own or lease, and make it functional, why wouldn’t they?
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, what do you do to keep up with the changes? What do you read to stay abreast of things?
I subscribe to the notion that CEOs need to be voracious readers. Reading is a pathway to learning, and if you don’t keep learning you’re dead in the water. Given the amount of air travel that I do each year, I’ve found that using an audible app helps me stay on top of my reading list. The app keeps me nimble; it allows me to “pick up a book” wherever I go.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead StruXure Outdoor?
StruXure’s mission—to change the way people LIVE, by bringing the indoors out—is my “Why?” And how I, and the entire StruXure team, achieve this is encompassed in what we do every day. We really do want to change the world by changing how people live. I am excited to get up every morning to make this happen, by ensuring that our products are top notch and that our network is getting better, stronger, and larger, and also by looking for new and innovative ways to achieve our mission.
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
While we’re on the topic, Start with Whyby Simon Sinek is a great book! It actually had a lot to do with how I came up with our company mission statement. I am also inspired and influenced by numerous biographies about other successful entrepreneurs.
9. In one sentence, can you tell us what the most important thing about being a leader is?
Being a successful leader is about doing and serving, rather than telling and demanding.
10. In one sentence, can you give some advice to fellow entrepreneurs wishing to build a company as exciting as StruXure Outdoor?
You have to start with a really good idea/product/service first, and then you have to have a big, audacious goal that you are able to articulate to everyone that you want on board your rocket ship. If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, it’s not going to work out. Also, if you can’t attract the right people to help you, something isn’t right with your plan. Remember, it takes time to build a business, so don’t let doubters discourage you. Just make sure you have a solid, big idea.
Scott, we would like to have some fun and do our famous “First Reaction” round with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only.
Here you go!
1. In three words or less, What makes a successful CEO?
Great leader / delegator
2. Describe StruXure Outdoor in one word?
3. Describe StruXure Outdoor customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee for StruXure Outdoor?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about StruXure Outdoor?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Passion / Hard work
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at StruXure Outdoor?
Exciting, yet demanding.
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English Language?
Scott Selzer, thank you so much for sitting down with us at our DotCom Magazine Impact Player Round Table. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping others to learn more about your company and what it takes to be a leader. We wish you, your family, and of course StruXure Outdoor, nothing but the best. Thanks again!
The Scott Selzer Roundtable Interview brought to you by DotCom Magazine.