Mike Taylor of Environmental Surface Solutions: “My biggest guiding principle is to approach everything with intentional velocity”

In general, there definitely needs to be a higher standard for cleanliness set, and people need to learn the difference between simple disinfecting and eliminating a pathogen. Moving forward, businesses will need to employ someone to do this to keep confidence and safety levels high. ESS has set the standard for “clean,” and we have […]

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In general, there definitely needs to be a higher standard for cleanliness set, and people need to learn the difference between simple disinfecting and eliminating a pathogen. Moving forward, businesses will need to employ someone to do this to keep confidence and safety levels high. ESS has set the standard for “clean,” and we have created education tools that show how our solution works. Through ESS, our partner companies can reinstill confidence within their employees and assure them that they will return to a safe and sanitized workplace. Our solution can provide peace of mind, a more productive workplace and an end to this disruption of normal operations. A broader embracing of these steps will bring companies back better than ever and allow everyone to return to work with more confidence.


As a part of my series about how leaders can create a “fantastic work culture”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Taylor.

Mike Taylor is a leader and educator in environmental safety and is the proud founder and CEO of Environmental Surface Solutions (ESS). He has a proven track record of over 25 years’ experience developing proactive solutions to tackle environmental safety challenges across several industries. He developed ESS and its solutions to be the gold standard of clean to rid locations of pathogens ranging from viruses, bacteria, and other elements that cause harmful diseases. Prior to founding Environmental Surface Solutions, Mike was the founder and CEO of Creative Sports Concepts, which installs hardwood and synthetic athletic flooring, outdoor tracks, playgrounds and athletic equipment to bring clients the highest standard of safety and performance to facilities.


Thank you so much for your time! I know you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us about your backstory, and how you got started?

Prior to founding Environmental Surface Solutions (ESS), I was the founder & CEO of Creative Sports Concepts (CSC), which brings the highest standard of safety and performance to client facilities through the installation of hardwood and synthetic athletic flooring, outdoor tracks, playgrounds and athletic equipment. CSC worked with Nike, Adidas, Monster Energy, Michael Jordan, Steph Curry’s foundation and other professional sports teams to protect staff and team members. In working closely with those athletic facility clients, I recognized the need for effective antimicrobial solutions to eliminate athletic infections, which led to the ideation for ESS. I am also part-owner and partner in Aeras Fog Electrostatic Technology, which has developed a revolutionary, charged electrostatic solution for the delivery of disinfectant. That is how ESS came to be.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose-driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When you first started your company, what was your vision, your purpose?

My vision was to expertly and meaningfully service our clients’ needs and partner with them to embrace their challenges. One of the core challenges we have focused on at ESS is how to set and maintain superior standards for safety and sanitization through protocol implementation within athletic facilities. When I started this company, I was responding to that need I had witnessed firsthand within the athletic industry — a need we are now seeing widespread awareness of through COVID-19. There’s a much wider range of people and businesses we are now seeing who need our solution.

Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?

My biggest guiding principle is to approach everything with intentional velocity. In everything we do, we want to bring positivity and peace of mind to others. This means that we are intentional with our work and how we speak, which helps us bring that energy back to us through the people we work with. I believe that the energy we put out in the world is what we will receive back. No matter what the ups and downs are, if we are putting our best foot forward and providing everyone with the necessary resources, we will see better results.

Thank you for all that. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share a few of the personal and family-related challenges you have faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced during this pandemic has been having to sacrifice long periods of time with my three children (ages 10, 13 and 14). I am constantly traveling for work to areas around the country that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, so each time I return home, I must quarantine for two weeks. I have to maintain social distancing protocols even at home when I want to talk with my family. My daughter’s asthma puts her at higher risk of COVID-19 complications, so I couldn’t even hug her for six months of this year. Having any kind of quality time with my kids is a challenge right now, because I want to keep them safe, while also servicing my clients and the public through ESS. To address these challenges, I remind my kids of how much I love them and make sure they know that I am trying my very best. It is important to look forward in the future in the face of adversity, and they know that I am just trying to keep them safe.

Can you share a few of the biggest work-related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

There is a lack of education and understanding of the current status of COVID-19. The fundamental differences between a regular virus and COVID-19 are not understood by many people. We were able to create our solution by first learning anything and everything we could about this virus, including how to eliminate it. So, I tackle this challenge by teaching others how COVID-19 works, and how it is spread.

Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the Coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?

At ESS, we are passionate about giving people the peace of mind and confidence that their home and businesses will be COVID-free. I recently received a call from a family friend, who had just had deaths on both sides of his family within days of each other. Loved ones were planning on traveling in and out of town for the funerals, and they grew concerned that back-to-back services within the same funeral home could lead to an outbreak of COVID-19. ESS came in and proactively treated the funeral home, which gave them the peace of mind and comfort to know they had done what was necessary to prevent an outbreak.

Obviously, we cannot know for certain what the post-Covid economy will look like, but we can try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the post-Covid economy will be trying for many people across the globe. Yet, at the same time, post-Covid growth can present opportunities. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate from the post-Covid economy?

In general, there definitely needs to be a higher standard for cleanliness set, and people need to learn the difference between simple disinfecting and eliminating a pathogen. Moving forward, businesses will need to employ someone to do this to keep confidence and safety levels high. ESS has set the standard for “clean,” and we have created education tools that show how our solution works. Through ESS, our partner companies can reinstill confidence within their employees and assure them that they will return to a safe and sanitized workplace. Our solution can provide peace of mind, a more productive workplace and an end to this disruption of normal operations. A broader embracing of these steps will bring companies back better than ever and allow everyone to return to work with more confidence.

Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in this next season?

ESS is already in the process of building a National Qualified Applicator Network, which will consist of experts within my sports flooring dealer network. This network will operate within the education and athletics space, so we can ensure that these facilities are as safe as possible. We rapidly train people who work in these facilities to serve the community, which we believe will help boost the post-COVID economy.

Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?

I encourage others to first educate themselves, study safety protocols and think about what guidelines they follow in terms of cleanliness. We have learned firsthand through our customers how important it is to educate yourself on the products you use every day. Most consumers do not truly understand how routine cleaning products are developed or how they effectively clean surfaces. These products are creating our next environmental challenge coming around the corner. We should be teaching everyone that soap can be a more effective cleaning method than a surface disinfectant.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote is, “When talking to yourself, watch out for the answers you may get.” This is important because it helps you discover whether or not what you say and think is true. You should never lie to yourself. Being honest is something I value, so I live by this quote.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can find out more about Environmental Surface Solutions at www.environmentalsurfacesolutions.com.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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