Roughly seven years ago I set out on a project using my many years of experience in the petroleum industry. The intent was to develop a better product to clean equipment used in the petroleum industry. As our recent press releases show, that idea became something very different.
Now my company, C6-Zero, is helping create a cleaner environment for all of us, using our innovation to bring new products to market while helping other industries such as construction, energy, and marine, among others, to achieve their carbon reduction goals.
I am lucky enough to have partners who believed in me when many others would not. But none of this would have been possible if I hadn't also learned about the blessings of second opportunities and taking advantage of them. As humans we need to never forget and learn from the lessons of our past.
C6-Zero wasn't my first attempt using this innovative process to remanufacture used asphalt shingles into new products. As any new industry matures, things do not always go as planned. Regulatory agencies do not always understand new technologies. Not understanding is human nature and assuming the worst is unfortunately another human trait as well.
As with most of us, I am not perfect. I have made missteps in my life, and I believe I have learned from those missteps. One misstep of my past has caused me more pain than most people will ever know. It was a financial dispute. I take full responsibility for my misstep. In the end no one suffered monetarily. One of the unfortunate results has been that unscrupulous regulators and others have used that misstep against me personally and the technology I developed. This was done to discredit the technology for no other reason than to massage overinflated egos.
Over the past several years I have suffered many setbacks and learned many lessons. Unfortunately, my loved ones have taken the brunt of the pain for many of those lessons I learned. But I do take comfort in knowing that there are many, many entrepreneurs who have experienced similar setbacks, and millions of people who made similar missteps. The questions are, did they allow those missteps/setbacks to define them? Did they allow the missteps to control them? Or did those missteps guide them to become a better person?
In my case, it was realizing that I would not allow those missteps to define me or be an impediment to the technology I developed. I made the decision that it was time to stand tall and admit I made missteps that influenced many of those setbacks. It is now time for me to embrace my past and admit I have learned from my missteps. Acknowledging those missteps drives me on a daily basis to become a better person. This in turn forces me to work harder and accept nothing less than 100% from myself and know that failure is not an option. I must always perform better than the rest, because if I don't someone will always be there to remind me of my previous missteps.
Unfortunately, even today there are people who still try to use those missteps against me, the technology, and the company. They don’t believe in the American Dream and that all of us have the opportunity to build a better life using lessons learned from our past as motivation. As my father would say "Don't confuse me with the facts; my mind is already made up.” The technology is real, and the process works. That is a simple fact that is now proven daily in our first full production facility.
Knowing all of the above and knowing how past regulators have disqualified the technology because of my personal missteps, I knew I had to surround myself with the best people in the industry. As always, I knew this company would be held to a different standard. Even to this day this remains true.
As I typically say, this technology's previous success did not matter. What mattered was the mistruths of the previous regulators. Or as I like to say my truths became lies and their lies became truths for one simple reason: my previous missteps.
Looking at the simple facts, I have created a process that defines the circular economy. A proprietary solution to remanufacture post-consumer asphalt shingles that otherwise would end up in landfills. I am building a company that has the potential to reclaim millions of barrels of oil (similar to diesel fuel) per year, while at the same time reducing the release of thousands of tons of Co2.
The result of these past six plus years is that C6-Zero has accomplished what many experts said was the un-accomplishable. I have put a great team together and it is growing rapidly. Additionally, I have amazing, supportive business partners that have helped me build something that has taken skill, determination, luck, and a lot of hard work, along with some important self-reflection. We are a company built on the belief that solutions, both physical and metaphorical, can create a better world and address real challenges that as a society we can't ignore. We must as a society develop common sense solutions to become a true circular economy.
As the founder and leader of this company, I know I am far from the person I should be, but I do know that each day I’m closer to becoming that person.
Thank you for visiting our blog please keep checking in for regular updates on C6-Zero continued journey.