I had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with Layne Beal, CEO at Viridian to learn more about his backstory and the importance of mindset as an entrepreneur.
1) What’s your backstory?
I was born and raised in Colorado and currently live in Denver with my wife, two sons, and dog. Growing up, I was into nature and science, spending as much time in the outdoors as possible exploring the Rockies. After high school I thought I’d pursue environmental studies or biology. During college, however, I decided I needed a degree with a higher probability of employment. I ended up in IT and network security for the first few years after college. I then went on to get my MBA from the University of Denver and made a career change, joining one of the Big 4 accounting firms providing a wide range of technology audit and risk advisory services to clients for the next several years.
As I was contemplating how far I wanted to take my career in the firm, it was clear that another 20 years didn’t appeal to me. It was time for a career reset, so after months of exploration, thought why not join a startup and see if we could transform what I knew to be groundbreaking technology into a delivery mechanism for natural therapeutics. It’s been a fun transition and I am lucky to be surrounded by a lot of smart people!
2) Many perceive the entrepreneurship as a solo journey. Who or what has helped you most along your journey?
In a lot of respects, it is a solo journey. Having worked with some of the largest corporations across a variety of industries, it’s easy to lean on a large team and tap into what seems at times like a bottomless pit of talent. Flipping to the world of entrepreneurship has been challenging for sure, but it also has helped me understand that we’re all capable of so much more if the passion to succeed is there. I’ve been lucky to have a number of people in my life that have been through similar journeys before and have provided me with invaluable counsel. Bottom line is a startup requires the willingness to learn, roll-up your sleeves, and take on a lot more than you may have ever imagined. But this also doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Finding the right people with the same passion, all marching towards a collective vision of success, will inevitably make the journey more attainable and rewarding.
3) How do you deal with challenges?
Relax. Reflect. Reboot. Challenges come up all the time and from all directions. I try to keep an open mind and understand what’s in front of me without thinking about the worst case scenario. It’s important to think through the challenge and how it relates to the big picture. Many times, this helps with prioritizing things a bit differently, but often there are opportunities hidden that once uncovered, can open up new paths towards success. Coupling the inherent challenges of a startup with the ever changing regulatory and market competition challenges of a competitive industry, it’s been fun figuring out how we most effectively deal with everything that comes our way. So far, so good.
Thank you Layne for your time and we look forward to following along your journey!