Thanks for sharing your story with us David. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur.
Clean Energy Solutions is the culmination of my lifelong passion for bringing new ideas to fruition. Early in my career, as a mortgage originator for one of the largest mortgage companies in the U.S., I excelled at driving inbound sales leads through innovative marketing approaches.
In 2004, I launched my own mortgage lending company, and using the sales and marketing experience that I learned as a loan officer, we grew to become one fastest growing mortgage companies at that time. In the years that followed I started several other business ventures, all the while keeping a close eye on the emerging solar industry.
I had been watching the solar energy market for several years and always thought that it was such an amazing opportunity. There’s an endless supply of renewable solar energy and it just keeps becoming cheaper by the year. It seemed like such a no-brainer, a cheaper energy source that isn’t harmful to people or the environment. This was the opportunity that I had been looking for. A good business opportunity with a good cause. Sensing the timing for solar was right I decided to get involved and started Clean Energy Solutions.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome? There has been lots of obstacles and challenges along the way, there is always is. I often tell people that being an entrepreneur is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. There can be great rewards, both personally and financially, but there is always great risk and lots of challenges.
The economic downturn of 2008 was a definitely a challenge. I watched as a lot of friends and business associates that owned successful businesses, went under and lost everything. Fortunately, we ran a lean operation with low overhead, so we were able to weather the storm and I was able to look for new opportunities. After a lot of adapting we started adding new revenue streams, and we were able to make it through a very challenging and difficult economy.
Those tough times taught me that nothing lasts forever in business and you have to be ready to adapt quickly. Listening to our clients, employees and partners at all times, helps keep us one step ahead of where the business is heading in the future.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Clean Energy Solutions – what should we know? Clean Energy Solutions was started at the end of 2013 and early 2014. We’re a solar provider that sells, installs and provides financing for solar power systems. We focus on the residential and small commercial solar markets.
We also provide solar programs that allow homeowners to simply purchase the solar energy for less, without having to actually purchase a solar system. Our solar utility programs allow the average homeowner to drastically to reduce their energy bill without having to purchase or take out loans.
In addition to the savings, one of our huge advantages is our fast installation times. This is due to our strong operations process and operations team. Our team runs the process much like an assembly line, where every team member specializes in their assigned tasks and does them to maximum efficiency. Our operations team is also incentivized based on how quickly each project is finished. Our process and great operations team has allowed us to install systems in half the time of the industry average. This results in happy clients and lots of referrals.
Currently we are one the fastest growing solar energy providers in California, with 3-year growth rate of over 4500%. In the last few years we’ve expanded from the LA area, to servicing all of California, with plans to expand to the east coast by this summer. In 2016, we were honored by Sunnova Energy Corp as their fastest growing partner, and Ygrene Energy named us to their million-dollar club.
We recently partnered with an international private equity fund with over 2 billion dollars in assets, and will next month begin expanding into Mexico, followed by Latin and South America. We believe this part of the world is one of the new frontiers of residential solar energy and we are excited to be a part of it.
We are proud to support Helping Hands Caring Hearts in Pomona that provides meals and groceries for homeless people. Through Clean Energy Solution’s ongoing support, they have been able to purchase a cargo truck that they use to pick up food on a weekly basis. We want to make sure we find ways to give back and make a difference in the communities that we service.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success? Never giving up is essential. You’re going to get knocked down and discouraged a lot of times but if you believe in what you’re doing, keep going. Surrounding yourself with good people is essential. Then of course hard work. I got my work ethic from my mother, sometimes it really comes down to who wants it more. Staying inspired is important. I read to feel inspired so I’m always looking for books to motivate and inspire me.
Aside from hard work, for me being able and willing to listen and adapt at all times is extremely important. Things aren’t always going to go according to plan. It’s how you adapt during the challenging times that make the difference.
As Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan until they get hit”. Be ready to adapt when the unexpected happens.
Address: 1055 West 7th Street, 33rd Floor, Los Angeles 90017