Pepper Rutland was recently featured with Ideamensch, a publication that connects entrepreneurs across the country to generate new ideas about business. Pepper’s interview was quickly met with praise from the Ideamensch staff and various members of their online community. See the interview below, and for the full feature, visit Pepper Rutland’s page on Ideamensch.
Where did the idea for MMR Group come from?
After leaving a previous organization that was similar in nature, I believed that, managed differently, our business model would thrive, and it has.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is spent reacting to problems, answering questions, resolving issues or conflicts, and directing our management team on the path and business model we have chosen. Unanswered questions or issues do nothing but slow progress.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I generally bounce new ideas off my senior management team to get their reaction and look for the flaws and weak points. If we can’t shoot it down, we move on to the next step.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The trend that our country is really working toward is Energy Independence. This will truly have a long-lasting impact on our economy and where we are headed as a nation.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have the determination to complete a task in full–never leaving anything unfinished. I believe that it is important to clean up all the details that are often overlooked, no matter how small.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To be more patient. Sometimes quick reactions are truly knee-jerk, and you later wish you would have taken a little more time to think it through.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
I believe in today’s lifestyle the entrepreneur can still succeed and help influence change. That the sophisticated society we live in has not dampened that spirit, even though it is much harder than it was 20 years ago.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Organize and prioritize your schedule and routine every day. Disorganization creates chaos and confusion. People tend to migrate toward stable, structured, and organized operations.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Leadership through Example. When people see senior leaders in the “trenches” willing to do whatever to help succeed, they respond. I believe that there are two words you must eliminate in your culture to get people behind you in order to grow. Those two words are “Ego” and “Greed.”
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
To not listen to my gut instinct when I knew better, knew something wasn’t right but did it anyway because there was a compelling argument at the time. Listen to your gut, your heart, and your conscience.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Divisionalized entrepreneurship, where you invest in your management on a basis that you reward good management skills and decision making financially. Effectively, you are asking them to “bet” on themselves.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Picking up a dinner tab for a couple of military guys coming back from Iraq. It’s amazing how grateful they were when it should be us that has that gratitude.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Everything is on my cell phone, daily morning report, stock market analysis, every APP available, well maybe not every APP.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I have 5 books I recommend to our upcoming management. I personally liked Endurance by Alfred Lansing. It shows great leadership of men and how you can endure struggle in the toughest of situations.
What is your favorite quote?
“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” William Pollard