We recently sat down to interview Rodney Wiltshire, Former Troy council president and small business owner.
Please tell us more about yourself.
My name is Rodney Wiltshire. I am a former Troy City Council President, longtime public servant, owner of a thriving small business, and a dedicated family man. I continue to manage operations and the day-to-day of my business, which occupies a great deal of my time and energy at the moment.
I am an entrepreneur and proud member of the local community. I work hard not only to keep my business strong, but to ensure we are doing everything we can to add value to people’s lives and collaborate with other businesses and organizations to secure the best future for our city, our neighbors, and the region.
What is your expertise? As a professional, what would you say is your unique value proposition?
My expertise mainly revolves around solar energy, customer service, and business management. I combine my skills in these areas to ensure each customer gets the best service, products, and experience possible. I manage a thriving local business that consistently delivers an exceptional product, and works closely with new customers to locate, design, and implement the solution that best fits their family’s unique needs. My value prop is a start-to-finish service experience few others in this industry can provide, something that not only leaves its mark but creates a memory that translates into word-of-mouth referrals, repeat business, and long-term savings for the customer.
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you stay productive and efficient on a consistent basis?
I wake up early, map out my day, and follow a schedule that allows me to address urgent matters and achieve my short- and long-term objectives. Whether it’s employee strategy meetings, service strategizing, product improvement, customer calls, vendor relationship management, or sales initiatives, I make sure each task is planned and scheduled beforehand, so as to ensure everything of importance is addressed and processed as efficiently as possible.
Additionally, I also bake in time each day and week for the unexpected, creating flex times where I can take on new challenges and develop resolution without interrupting the general day-to-day. This allows me to stay productive and consistent no matter what our team faces.
What is it about your industry that has held your interest and motivated you to continue in it?
I enjoy working in this industry and among people who share my passion for solar and exceptional customer service. This field has high growth potential and is filled with people who not only believe in it, but are personally invested in its future. To have the opportunity to wake up each day and collaborate with others toward a shared goal, and one we all happen to really believe in, is what continues to motivate and inspire me to keep going.
Which professional accomplishment or success story are you most proud of? What stands out as one of your most notable achievements?
I am so proud to have built this business from the ground up, and to have the chance to watch it flourish and thrive every day. The fact that I’m able to be part of a thriving company and dynamic, high-growth industry, and to manage an organization I had a big hand in ideating and building, is something I take great pride in every day. To me, running a successful small business and being part of a wonderful small business community ranks as one of my greatest accomplishments to date.
Of course, I am also extremely proud to have had the opportunity to serve the community as a public servant. My tenure on the council offered an incredible challenge but also the chance to meet, speak with, learn from, and serve people from across the city. Public service is not something I take lightly, and to have had the opportunity to hold such a role and be part of something bigger than myself was truly incredible.
Can you name a particular challenge or obstacle that tested your mettle and what you did to overcome it?
Like many small business owners, I found the early days of building the foundation and securing your company’s place and mark to be an immensely challenging process. Having the idea is one thing, but building the framework that idea needs to become something tangible, something real, is another thing altogether. Luckily, I had great people around me that provided support and reassurance each step of the way, and that network helped make the entire operation possible. I have a pretty strong constitution and inner resilience, but I may not have been able to overcome those initial challenges without that support.
What would you say are some essential skills needed to be successful in your specialized field?
I would say determination and flexibility/adaptability. Determination because, quite honestly, you’re going to face moments of adversity no matter what industry you’re in or type of business you run. You need to have the determination, the resolve, to manage crises as they happen (and they will happen) and quell the voices and urge to give up. Determination keeps you focused and can provide an invaluable push that keeps you on track, even when everything seems to be upside down.
Adaptability is also crucial. Startups and small businesses face challenges that demand new ways of thinking, and new approaches to problem solving. While it may seem counterintuitive, leaving room to pivot and change direction here and there is what often keeps you on the right track.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’re excited about?
Projects tend to crop up over the course of running a business. I won’t lift the lid just yet on what we’re planning or working on, but I will say that exciting new things are on the horizon, and I can’t wait to tackle what’s next.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t let failure dissuade you from taking the next step.