1969, Chad Everett Harris was born; hailing from Palos Verdes, California, he moved around a considerable amount in his early life between several different locations in the U.S., including Atlanta, Georgia, Grosse Isle, Michigan, Birmingham, Michigan, and New Orleans. From a very early age, Chad Harris realized his dream of wanting to become an entrepreneur and quickly began pursuing it. What began as running lemonade stands and mowing lawns soon became a career in the green industry that would last for more than 30 years.
Chad Everett Harris began to develop a reputation as a truly hard working entrepreneur, accomplishing several notable landscaping projects within his career, including the Audubon Park Golf Course, the New Orleans Sculpture Garden, and the Longue Vue House & Garden Discovery Garden, all of which are located in New Orleans.
Recently, in 2019, Chad Everett Harris moved to Rockdale, Texas, to partake in the construction of the largest data center in the world. With a proven track record of hard work and dedication, Chad believes that entrepreneurship is a noble pursuit. Not everyone is destined to be an entrepreneur, but for those who are unrelentless in their efforts, they may build a career and a legacy they can be proud of.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
Before I was even a teenager, I knew deep down that I was destined to be an entrepreneur. It was only a matter of time before I had a landscaping business of my own and I’m very proud of the journey I took to get there, from working small jobs to having a fully-fledged business as a result of my drive and hard work.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I’m the type of person who, although most of the time I’m working hard and doing whatever it takes to achieve my goals, still likes to stop and appreciate the little things in life. When landscaping is done right, it can be truly beautiful and the perfect opportunity to stop and reflect, if only for a few moments.
What keeps you motivated?
There’s a quote that I’ve really come to appreciate over the years: “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” What this means for me in terms of motivation is the notion that without the next goal or project to focus on, I can get completely lost in taking it easy and relishing my successes too long. I prevent this from happening only by knuckling down and staying focused.
How do you motivate others?
The biggest thing for me is face-to-face interaction. I’d argue that today, more than ever, the advent of technology has taken away from the basic human need to engage with people in person; that’s why it’s so important for me to take the time to say hello and motivate others by giving them the time of day and respect they need to feel at their best.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
If you can believe it, I’d say my past failures and shortcomings have been the most inspirational factor in my career. If anything, I am actually grateful that I got to experience such hardships, because it’s in the moments when you’re at your lowest that you learn to really bite back and fight your way back to the place that you want to be.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
It’s all about how you invest in your time. Every second counts and it’s just as important to invest time into taking it easy and reflecting, just for a few moments, as it is to spend most of your time working hard and getting results. The reality is, this time that you have, the time to sit back and think, is an opportunity in disguise. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking this opportunity and spending it well, because you never know what you might realize in the short span of time you take to stop and think.
What traits do you possess that make a successful leader?
I’ve always had a knack for putting in all of the hard work necessary to achieve success, and that’s definitely one of the most important traits to have. Aside from that, you need a strong sense of personability, constantly taking the time to emotionally invest in others. Finally, I’d say that you need humility; you need to be able to really look at yourself as a person and understand what you need to work on in order to be better.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment was beginning the process of starting over after over 30 years as a successful landscaper; I packed up just the essentials, took an Uber to the airport and moved to Texas to begin again. In the end, it was definitely worth it and I feel like the work I’m doing now is just the beginning.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
Take the time to thoroughly learn and understand what is essential in your life and what isn’t. Sift through all the things that you think you need to be successful or simply do what you need to do in the moment and take out everything, little by little, that’s unessential. The reality is many times the things you have trouble letting go of can be the things that hold you back from your next big success.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned is something that’s easy to take for granted. Too often, we wait for the right conditions before we move forward with whatever it is, we need to do; this means that essentially, we’re waiting for things to happen instead of making it happen. Nothing worthwhile ever gets done this way — it’s up to us to find the silver linings, every day, so that we can continue pushing forward in the pursuit of our dreams, regardless of circumstances.