The Years Behind an “Overnight Success” – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #15

by placers on November 12, 2021 in Outside Insights


When asked about Apple’s “overnight success”, Steve Jobs explained that it was 18 years in the making. Sometimes we make success look too easy and the real gold is in the lessons learned and the many mistakes we make on our way to reaching success.

A decade and a half ago Rob Gilfillan and I found ourselves in a peer advisory group with many other early stage business founders. As young leaders, we were full of vim and vigor and our businesses took as much time or more as the young families we had started and were raising simultaneously. We always have had a lot in common: we were people driven leaders, led sales and marketing for our firms and we might have been a touch or two overconfident. We just knew we were going to grow our firms and become wildly successful.

Fast forward to today and now I’m sitting with Rob to learn more about his incredible personal and business journey with his firm Cenero. Today Cenero is a large multi-region technology innovation firm- they design, build, service multimedia systems for a company’s meeting rooms and office space. An already in demand service, now front and center with work-from-home and hybrid arrangements now in vogue. Check out this week’s episode of Outside Insights where Rob shares his journey, his failures and his lessons learned so that our community can learn from them.

Listen in to hear more about:

– How Rob discovered his business model and customer base through a core customer that was a great mentor.
– How Rob’s approach to work and health has evolved, how necessary sacrifices paid off and how success gives us choices.
– Rob’s definition of success as a “Famillionaire”. It might be a borrowed phrase, but to Rob, success is defined by much more than awards and money.
– The benefits of a company culture that allows for and learns from failure.
– If you ever wanted to start a company and wondered how a founder deals with the early lean years when Sundays bring on the worry of payroll and how they got to 60M and beyond, then Rob’s story is worth the listen!
– What it takes to work on your business and not in it.

PS – Rob recommends a gem of an app called Headway. The app includes short summaries of popular business books. As a reader and knowledge guy, I am hooked! I suggest you check it out too if you always wish you had more time in the day to finish your reading list.

Until next time,

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