Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in telecommunications but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Skyler Ditchfield, CEO of GeoLinks, located in Camarillo, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
GeoLinks is a full-fledged telecommunications company that owns and operates its own networks and is also a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) with one of the largest fixed wireless networks in the United States. GeoLinks is the largest fixed wireless spectrum holder in the USA with national holdings. Headquartered in Southern California and ranked on Inc. Magazine's Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America several years running, GeoLinks delivers high-speed broadband, Digital Voice, SD-WAN, Cloud On-ramping, Layer 2 Transport, and both Public and Private Turnkey Network Construction expertly tailored for businesses and Anchor Institutions nationwide. More information on the company can be found at www.geolinks.com.
Tell us about yourself
I have always had an entrepreneurial desire. Selling things at a young age converged well with my interest in technology and communications. I started my first business at 19 years old and began my entrepreneurial journey of building, selling, and buying businesses then.
In 2011 I co-founded GeoLinks. Seeing a huge opportunity in the market for a disruptive telecommunications carrier that could fill the gaps of the big providers and serve up competition that would beat them and provide an alternative in served markets.
I am motivated to create success all the way around. That means success for our clients, giving them the best service and experience we can. Success for our staff, better jobs, better culture, and always improving the environment they are in so they have thrived and the company.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Over the past 11 years, we've grown from a small startup to landing on the INC 5000 multiple years in a row, acquiring over $4B of spectrum assets from Verizon to have the largest fixed wireless spectrum holdings in the USA. Now we have to leverage those accomplishments into more success. Everything you achieve is just a new platform to jump off to go higher.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The toughest part is dealing with tough scenarios. You don't think of the hard things you will have to deal with. Whether it's frivolous litigation, theft, forces outside your control, layoffs, etc., every business has its challenges, and those that involve people are always very tough.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Let the marketplace educate you. Every time I've tried to reeducate the marketplace, I've failed. No matter how cool or neat the product or idea was, it's just too expensive. The marketplace does the talking, and you provide what it demands!
- You have to be willing to do anything and everything to get your company off the ground. For example, when GeoLinks first started, I did everything from sales to technical support to help build the networks. I was never afraid of the number of hours or worked it took to accomplish something. This includes learning Accounting and always double-checking your books. Even if you trust someone else to do it, still learn and keep an eye on what's going on because if you don't keep track of your cash, you'll be out of business.
- Successful people fail many times over– those failures, however, become part of the growth of your business. You have to have the grit to stomach those many storms and weather them. As long as you keep trying, you never fail.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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