Glen Smith

Glen Smith

Former I.T business owner turns to alternative energy

Glen Smith knew he wanted to work in alternative energy. He was interested in something with at least a green slant and a focus on business. Glen began searching around to see what he could find. His first idea was the solar electricity sector so he taught himself how it all worked and built a small setup to familiarize himself with the parts. Once Glen felt he had a grasp, which didn’t take long, he began to go out and talk to people, attend seminars and go to functions. Glen set some criteria for what he wanted in a company.

Even though Glen had financial challenges he kept in mind what he wanted. At one of the Solar events that he attended Glen approached a company on behalf of a new friend who was looking for work in the area. Glen liked the angle that they were taking. They invited Glen to stop by any time and visit their firm.

Glen did visit their firm in Sebastopol and talked to the owner about his business and how he was making it work. Glen looked at this as part of his research and an opportunity to chat with some local folks. After an hour or so of conversation in which he gave no indication that he was there looking for work, the owner started selling Glen on what they were doing and how someone like him would be a great fit. They had been exchanging their own stories in an open and truthful way and were getting along pretty well. One of the reasons Glen had stopped in was to check in on the feeling he got from the people that he had met at the solar event and to see if there was some way he could contribute, even though his thoughts were that it would most likely be a shorter term vision. Glen was open to see what direction it would take.

Glen then began an MBA program in Sustainability from an obscure school in Berkeley called The San Francisco Institute of Architecture.

They had sent Glen a invitation to take a look at the “Green MBA” program that they rolled out and were offering an unbelievable price for Certified Green Building Professionals. Glen started this program.

So, while Glen was standing in the Sebastopol warehouse with the owner of this little company where his original interest was only to visit and learn.

Glen was wearing a pair of shorts, flip flops, t-shirt, unshaven and not expecting a conversation about his future in the business. Glen listened to what he was saying about his business model, his approach, the kind of culture he would like to create and the people he would like to attract. Glen started to see himself there! The next day Glen had an employment contract, a new truck and all the stuff he needed to get started. Glen remembers the process he went through with Craig Nathanson-The Vocational Coach. This was what he was looking for. A good opportunity for Glen to help grow a business, have fun, work with good people and satisfy some of his desire to work in alternative energy. All that and he gets paid for it too. So far so good.

What can we learn from Glen’s story?

New fulfilling work can start with a vision, an informal visit and honest discussion of what one’s loves to do and how they want to contribute. This can lead to great things.