Meet Paul Rhoads, one of the founding partners of Achieve Energy Solutions, LLC. Their mission is to provide clients with the latest technology and market intelligence so that they can make informed decisions regarding their overall energy strategy.
At EnergyPricing.com they are changing the way you shop for energy. Clients can access instant pricing or utilize their reverse auction technology to drive down their rates.
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Tell us a little bit about your current projects. What exciting milestone would you like to share with our readers? (Don’t hesitate to delve into your achievements, they will inspire the audience)
Paul Rhoads: At the beginning of 2020 heading into the pandemic, I, like many others in my position made the decision to transform the company to keep up with the economic climate. We were selling energy like every other broker was and I knew we needed to differentiate ourselves from the competition. I made the decision to start disclosing our profit margins and commit to low-fixed margins on our sales. This separated us from other brokers selling energy and helped thousands of businesses and homeowners save on their electricity and natural gas bills with a level of confidence.
We saw an increase in eCommerce traffic and the need to modernize the way people shop for energy online. Our team is currently developing a full-service shopping experience unlike any other in the energy space. We want our clients to have an effortless shopping experience and feel confident in their electricity and natural gas agreements.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Paul Rhoads: I’ve been selling energy for almost 10 years. In 2012 when we originally founded the company, we were notably a two-person shop. Now we’re licensed in 15 deregulated states and looking to expand internationally in the coming year. Our industry is ever-changing and I’ve found that you need to be able to pivot. We’ve tested a lot of different services to offer our clients and not all were profitable. Have I thought about giving up? No. There are definitely other career paths that would be easier but I truly stand behind our mission and the impact we’re having on the energy industry.
From the beginning, we’ve always said that the energy contracts we recommend to our clients are the same ones we’d enroll our own businesses and homes with. There’s a lot of other energy companies out there that give us a bad name and it’s been an uphill battle differentiating us but also a satisfying journey when you build strong relationships with your clients and they see the difference in our values compared to some of our competitors. We never shy away from a question on how we’re paid. Our honesty and integrity are what I want consumers to see and know that when they come to our company, they’re getting a great experience and leave feeling good about their new energy contract.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Paul Rhoads: These would be the three most common mistakes I see:
- Thinking they will get rich quickly. Success will not happen overnight. You need to put in the hard work first.
- Jumping right in before researching and detailing your strategy. You don’t want to start and get halfway through and realize you are on the wrong path and start all over again.
- Entrepreneurs need to listen and learn from other highly successful people. One of the best items that I learned was listening to an Arnold Schwarzenegger speech. He mentioned don’t ever go into something having a plan B in case it fails. If you have a plan B that means you’re doubting that you will actually accomplish your goals. To be successful you need to believe in yourself 100% and your idea and not waste any time on developing a plan B strategy.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Paul Rhoads: We knew the direction we needed to go well before the pandemic. The pandemic just forced us a little sooner to make the transition. Everything we purchase now is primarily online and the energy industry should be no different. We’ve spent a lot of time developing our eCommerce strategy and working on a unique experience, unlike any other energy company. The advantage we bring is the evolution of the industry. We’ve been selling energy for a decade. We know what our customers want and now with the power of technology, we have the ability to revolutionize the industry. It’s a very exciting time for EnergyPricing.com.
In your opinion, what makes your company stand out from the competition?
Paul Rhoads: Transparency. We put it all on the table for our clients. If you choose a rate right off our website to enroll, you’ll know who the energy supplier is before you sign up and all of their terms and conditions. If your business wants to utilize our reverse energy auction technology, you’ll see every energy supplier bid, who they are, and our margin. Regardless of the rate, you select in the auction, our margin stays the same. We’re not capitalizing on an opportunity to add extra money into a rate because one energy supplier is significantly less than the rest. We pass that on to our customers as savings.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Paul Rhoads: I’d say:
Visualization of the end goal – Being an entrepreneur is all about believing in yourself and your ideas. Yes, we are looking to be a profitable company, but the core driving factor for our company is that we truly will be able to change our industry help the customer receive lower rates from suppliers.
Adopting Technology – We are always looking to the future and seeing what technology people are adopting. We are trying to be the technological leader in our industry.
Team Building – It is a team effort. Your company will only be successful if you have all the right employees and partners supporting you. You will not be able to accomplish your goals by yourself.
How important do you think it is for a leader to be mindful of his own brand?
Paul Rhoads: Understanding your brand is key. Once you determine how your company is different and how you want the customers to perceive you, it is important to stay with it and not deviate from course. When we originally set up the company we documented our brand colors, values, and mission so all employees and leaders could look back at it.
How would you define “leadership”?
Paul Rhoads: A great leader is someone who is always thinking ahead and trying to guide their company for optimal success. A great leader also understands their personal shortfalls and delegates those responsibilities to people who are better suited for the task. In the end, a great leader understands the company’s success solely doesn’t rely on them and their vision, but it is all about empowering their employees and business partners to believe in that same vision, and the company accomplishes it together as a team. Go EP Team!
Do you think entrepreneurship is something that you’re born with or something that you can learn along the way?
Paul Rhoads: Yes I do think people are born with the desire of being an entrepreneur. However, you will learn over time from your mistakes and people that mentor you on how to become a successful entrepreneur. The biggest piece of advice I can give any young entrepreneur is to try and find a mentor who has gone down that path before and learn from them. Having a mentor that has knowledge and experience will only fast-track your personal success. You won’t have to make those same mistakes they made before.
What’s your favorite “leadership” quote and how has it affected the way you implement your leadership style?
Paul Rhoads: I always’s liked “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan. I learn it is all about the team.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Paul Rhoads for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Paul Rhoads or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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