Wired to be an Entrepreneur
There are some people that seem to be born with an entrepreneurial gene. Though it may lie dormant for a while or appear to be domesticated, eventually it will come to life, break out of its cage and make opportunities, not just wait for them. As Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki said, “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire, the magnitude of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way.”
Steven Terry, the owner of Sena-Tech, certainly fits the profile. His company is described as “Brevard County’s low voltage electrical supplier,” specializing in security systems, audio/visual systems and structured cabling, along with a host of other electrical services.
It’s in the DNA
“I knew since childhood that I wanted to own my own business,” Terry stated. “I was inspired by family members and close friends who were business owners.” His first venture was launched before he was out of high school. Terry and his “Uncle” Wes Fayed operated a handyman company, called S & W Maintenance. Steven was the “S” and had his initial first, “because it sounded better.” Though Fayed had the experience, they owned the company 50-50 and did everything from installing ceiling fans, to repairing roofs and painting.
Even after he attended a technical institute to become a certified Mercedes-Benz technician and went to work for a dealership, they kept the business going at night and on the weekends. However, when opportunities of advancement with the dealership didn’t materialize as expected, he jumped at the chance to own and operate a health food store in Winter Haven. After a couple of years though, his passion for technology, combined with a desire to live somewhere besides Winter Haven, was like the song of a siren. They sold the store (which is still operating successfully today) and he seized the opportunity, “to combine my love for technology and the construction industry … and that’s when Sena-Tech was born.”
Do What You Love
Terry’s mother, who along with his father and grandfather served as his mentors, used to quote the famous Chinese proverb to him – “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.” It is advice he has taken to heart.
Of course sometimes loving what you do is learning what not to do and those lessons come from the school of experience, which is where Terry said he got most of his education. He conceded, “You learn to not take shortcuts, to do a job right the first time.” But his most memorable lesson was to not let customers dictate standards, which he knew was going to hurt them – and him – in the long-run. He explained, “When our business was new, I was bidding out a security camera job in Orlando. Instead of using the cameras we recommended, the company wanted us to give a quote to install a system that they bought at Costco. We did, and installed their equipment. Well, a few weeks later they were burglarized, but the camera resolution was so poor you couldn’t make out the identity of the thieves. And they blamed us! I decided, if people don’t like your prices, it is best to just walk away.”
What Terry seems to like most about his job are his customers. He explained, “A lot of high-tech and government clients have complex needs. It’s exciting to listen to their needs and then provide them with services and products that meet their expectations. Some technology we just take for granted, but when you work in this field it makes you truly appreciate it and how interconnected they are to enabling and enhancing our lives.
Living the Future
Terry sees the future of the Space Coast as one that combines business and lifestyle. He conceded, “As a business owner, you never really have a day off, and I am truly blessed to have a great wife, Jeanne, who is understanding and supportive.”
He plans to continue expanding Sena-Tech and is pretty sure he’ll open more businesses in the future. But life for him is much more than just work. He shared, “As a child, I took the Space Coast for granted. But having traveled quite a bit I have to say the Space Coast is one of the best places to live. I like to spend my free time in or on the water whether its surfing, boating, or fishing – any day on the water is a great day! And being so close to Kennedy Space Center, we get to see serious space technology in action, which no one else on Earth can.”