As one of America’s most sought-after entrepreneurs, Texas-based Elton A. Hollis, III shares his tips on how to be more successful in 2023.
With over 25 years of experience in the Oil and Gas Construction field, Elton A. Hollis, III provides consulting, training, executive coaching, and all facets of safety management and compliance services to clients in the industrial, commercial and small business industries. He has appeared on the cover of international magazines such as Global Millionaire Magazine and InLife International and has had articles published in Elitepedia, The Los Angelers, Refine Post, and The Global Celebrity. VT Post has also named him in the Top 100 Entrepreneurs in Texas.
In late 2021 he published his first book, “Creative Problem Solving” and has recently published his second book, “Buy Into Yourself First” – an engaging and enlightening book that provides a detailed approach on how to not only survive the pitfalls of entrepreneurship but to flourish while enjoying the journey. It’s a book that outlines successful business development tactics and teaches entrepreneurs how to make their businesses more successful.
During his career, Elton has held a wide range of titles, from Field Laborer to Executive Ownership. He prides himself on problem-solving for his clients by utilizing a diligent work attitude with creative, critical thinking. He is well-regarded in the Safety and Training field for his Small Business training grant work in collaboration with the Lamar Institute of Technology. Elton combines this with a particular interest in helping Small Businesses to succeed by conducting marketing meetings, events, and numerous mentor speaking engagements.
Specializing in developing business growth, Elton’s mission is to use his experience, expertise, and voice to help motivate and empower entrepreneurs to realize there is a path to achieving sustainable life satisfaction and inherent success. He brings the voice of business, understands the industry perspective, cares deeply about entrepreneurs, and is not afraid to challenge conventional thinking.
Elton is the owner of Hol-Tech Resources, LLC.- a full-service consulting service that provides guidance and training in the Safety, Quality, and Compliance realms. He is also the General Manager of RT Technical Solutions LLC, where he helps lead their team to the forefront of the Industrial Electrical and Instrumentation fields. In his spare time, Elton enjoys spending time outdoors exploring the Texas Hill Country on hiking trails.
We recently sat down and talked entrepreneurship with Elton, and here’s what he had to say:
What was your life like before starting your business?
I grew up in Port Arthur, Texas, for most of my elementary and junior high school years. We led a pretty humble and simple life. Looking back, I can tell we definitely were struggling and of the lower income class. However, I never once knew that when I was younger. It wasn’t until high school that I realized how far we had come. I was extremely fortunate to have a rock-solid family unit. A man couldn’t ask for a better set of parents and sisters than I have. I also had the advantage of our neighbors being just as important and loving as our own family. This was very important as my father worked lots of overtime and side jobs to help sustain us. My mother was raising three kids, our extracurricular activities, and getting her teaching degree from Lamar University. After she graduated, we moved to Kirbyville, Texas. This is where I spent my high school and young adult years. The people I met there and the friendships I’ve made along the way, I couldn’t imagine a better place in the world for an impressionable young man to grow up and learn. This is probably the biggest reason it was an easy decision to write my first song, “Kirbyville .” It outlines and highlights some of the simple yet crucial things I learned there.
What event in your life made you decide that you were going to be in business?
When I was 28 years old, I was approached by someone I respected for their business knowledge and professionalism. Basically, the pitch given to me was this, they needed someone who could bring a blue-collar work ethic, all-around knowledge of problem-solving, and the ability to make it relatable and applicable to everyone to join their ownership. I literally looked behind me when the pitch was given, as if they were talking to someone behind me. No money to put in, no fancy suit, no polished vocabulary, just the basic things my father, mother, and my mentors had instilled in me for many years, in every endeavor since those basic things have gotten me promoted and pushed ahead more than anything.
What were the “big wins” early on that made you realize “this really is going work?
Ironically my “big win” was a failure…or more specifically, a failure happened, and the whole world didn’t end. Sure, it hurt for a bit. I was embarrassed, angry, and all the usual emotions, but the following day came regardless. I got up, showed up, and went at it again. It was exhilarating to realize one failure wasn’t the end. Coworkers still spoke to me, still believed in me, and most importantly, they gave me advice on how not to have it happen that way again. At the end of the day, I went home, and my kids still loved me, which awakened my true desire to succeed. I relate this to my first time wearing football pads at football practice. I’m lined up across from a pretty athletic guy with more experience than me, probably 50 more pounds than me. The whistle blows, and BAM… he plows me over. I got up and realized nothing was broken, no blood, and it really didn’t even hurt. Game on! I found a whole other gear and adrenaline level I had never experienced. For me, in business, it’s the exact same way when you are faced with that tough challenge or a ruthless problem; it’s time to lower your shoulder and go right through it.
On the flip side, what events happened where you weren’t sure if the business would survive, but you figured out a way to pull through?
The COVID-19 pandemic was by far the toughest challenge in business I have ever faced. Dealing with a direct problem can be extremely tough but dealing with a problem that you have no control over, now that can be maddening. It challenged us to a whole new level. Made small, local niche companies have to think on a global scale to survive. It pushed us to all work together, even if we were remote. My biggest fear in business is being unable to hand a team member their paycheck. I literally have had nightmares over this. I know we still deal with some of the fallout from the pandemic today, but it is encouraging to see the business community’s resolve to come through it.
What makes your business stand out from your competitors?
My ability to blend common sense, production practices, and safety together has been a massive part of my success with Hol-Tech Resources LLC. I also spend most of my time understanding what my potential does, what their work culture looks like, and what regulations they may be subject to. When it comes to safety consulting and training, I believe that finding a solution that is either cost-effective or could possibly make the client money in the future is the best course of action.
What motivates you daily?
My main motivation is that amazing feeling I get when I’m able to see some sort of growth or change for the better that I have played a part in, no matter how small. Helping others and spreading knowledge and wisdom have always been a huge driving factor in keeping me energized and driven toward my goal.
Who are your influences growing up and in business?
My father and mother were my first big inspirations. They taught me the value of hard work. They also showed me how a team should work by watching them work together to raise our family. I have been extremely fortunate to learn from some outstanding individuals in business. Working with my father for the first several years, he took every opportunity to ensure I learned all the ancillary pieces to be a well-rounded and effective worker. Kasey Taylor, the CEO of RT Technical strengthened my belief in humanity by teaching me to be kind to everyone I meet because you never know what they are going through. My good friend and business associate Joe Tant continually inspires me with his diligent spirit to help people and businesses. He has shown me how important it is to stop and realize every business is made up of people with individual personalities and needs. If you take time to help or inspire one, that act can spread like wildfire to the next.
Going forward, what big goals do you have for this business for the next 3-10 years?
I’m excited about the new year opportunity, and we have some exciting things coming to Hol-Tech. We are looking at expanding our services to include a full-service site compliance piece in our business. This will help facilities be better prepared for the entities that hold them accountable and keep their employees more aware and safer.
Even more exciting is watching our Small Business Friday! Video Podcast grow. Joe Tant and I started this about a year ago now and it has continued to grow beyond our expectations. We spotlight local small businesses free of charge on each episode. This allows them to save money on advertising and helps get their name out on over ten social media platforms with just over 3.1 million viewers. In the spirit of constantly changing and growing, we have added the superb talents of Bonnie Revia (BMAX Inc. Productions) and our local drone master, Matthew Chance (Drone Wurx), to our team. The response to our program has been amazing, and we appreciate our team and our gracious sponsors who make it possible.
What’s Your Top 3 advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners?
• Never, ever give up. Don’t blame anyone else for your failures; learn and move up.
• Embrace the suck. It’s going to happen, just find a positive note and push on.
• Don’t be offended so easily. It’s called “taking offense” for a reason. It can’t be given, so just refuse to fall into the trap of taking it.
How do you want to impact the world, and what kind of legacy do you want to have?
I hope I can leave this world just a little bit kinder than I found it. I don’t mean the mushy, sunshine, and rainbows feeling. I’m talking about true, steadfast kindness. Doing something nice for someone, without expecting anything, is the grandest and most sincere thing you can do for an individual. Impact, to me, is a very powerful thing. I’ve heard it said, if we had the phrase “But, what if I’m wrong” tattooed on our trigger finger and the hand we type or write with, maybe we would save some massive heartache to the world. This phrase really resonates with me. In the age of “keyboard warriors” and just firing off malicious text, social media responses, or the ill-conceived notion of “Cancel Culture,” I hope that by what I have done, said, or taught, will have debunked these methods and shone a light on how important kindness and grace are to our world.