Decades before the “green” movement was hijacked by hordes of fanatics, environmental lawyers, politicians, and Al Gore, Rod Schneidmiller began experimenting with ways to eliminate troublesome bugs without using insecticides that also kill beneficial insects.
More than 30 years later, Schneidmiller sells his brightly colored reusable yellowjacket traps through major retailers all over the world under the familiar RESCUE! brand. He and his wife Georgette still own the 60-person Spokane, Washington company, which does about $20 million in annual revenue.
Make no mistake, this isn’t some generic business success story. It clearly highlights just how far off track today’s entrepreneurial craze has gone.
A second-generation agronomist, Schneidmiller had the courage and foresight to make environmentally friendly traps when everyone else was carpet-bombing fields and lawns with toxic chemicals. His initial sales calls were met with ridicule but he stuck with it and the market for green products eventually caught up.
This guy is a true innovator and a real entrepreneur. He’s a private person who loves what he does and focuses on doing it better than anyone else. His patented trap designs are ingenious, as is the technology behind the attractants his company also develops.
How did a small business end up with valuable shelf space and online at every major hardware retailer and garden center? It’s a killer product that’s better than anything else out there. Period.
You couldn’t find a more stark contrast with the hordes of wantrepreneurs and solopreneurs riding one social media-hyped fad after another, from personal branding to content marketing, from emotional intelligence to employee engagement, from growth hacking to the sharing economy.
Pay close attention, folks. This guy is the real deal. This is what a real business leader looks like. He didn’t follow the crowd but carved his own path. He focused on doing one thing better than anyone else, unpopular as it was at the time. And he stuck with it. And because it’s a great product that customers love (including me, btw), it’s stood the test of time.
That’s what real entrepreneurs do. That’s what real business leaders do. They don’t follow the crowd in the virtual world; they lead in the real one. Do you?
Image of Rod Schneidmiller courtesy Sterling Rescue