Success Secrets of 9 Top Leaders
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In 2000, the company began as a manufacturer of fuel cells. The technology and market didn’t grow as planned, so Hoku diversified. So, in 2006, Hoku opened divisions for solar production and installation and hasn’t looked back since.
“I think persistence is one of the most important things about being an entrepreneur because it’s so difficult and so lonely to be an entrepreneur,” says Dustin Shindo, Hoku’s chief executive. “I think at the highest level, it’s when you come up on a challenge that you really don’t know you can overcome.” For an entrepreneur especially, it’s a challenge that can put everything, from your family to your house, at stake.
“That pressure and burden is difficult,” he says. “To be able to say, ‘Look, I believe so much in this business, the concepts, the strategies, my abilities. To push through that and not give up is — I don’t want to call it a skill, but a trait of an entrepreneur.”
Along with persistence, Shindo believes passion and performance are qualities every leader and entrepreneur needs to have.
At the age of 35, Shindo has already led a software company, a beer brewing company and an alternative energy company. He’s always put the company before himself. “I care more about Hoku and its success than myself being CEO,” Shindo says. “I think as a shareholder, I’m the right person today, but it doesn’t have to be that way.”
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