By Mary Duggan
(June 27, 2017 – ANNAPOLIS, Md.) — While many of us dread filling out piles of paperwork, Steve Edwards was full of nervous excitement as he scribbled his signature on the dotted line. As he dated the official papers, June 6, 1997, Edwards Industries was born.
20 years later, the Howard County based company that Edwards always dreamed of starting has success to celebrate and lessons to learn from.
“If I could chat with my former self, I would definitely have some serious knowledge and lessons learned to impart,” Edwards admitted. “And while business trends and conditions have changed, the journey has left me with standing business lessons.”
Though it may seem like a given, Edwards believes drive, motivation and hard work have contributed to the success of Edwards Performance Solutions, a consulting firm that provides operational performance improvement.
“You need the motivation to succeed, a willingness to work – often around the clock – and a passion for what you’re doing,” Edwards explained. “But, what entrepreneurs don’t realize is hard work often trumps talent and money alone does not ensure success.”
Now overseeing a team of 80 employees, Edwards’ business has grown in size and strength.
“I also quickly realized I was not going to be the expert on everything the company offered,” Edwards acknowledged. “I needed to admit my shortcomings, focus on my strengths and hire those with the skills the company needed to remain successful.”
“Admitting that you are not able to do everything shows employees and customers, you are committed to them, not your ego.”
According to Edwards, who claims commitment to relationships is key, trust and dedication to both customers and employees will take a business far.
“Without a foundation of ethics, morals and commitment to relationships you probably won’t remain successful for long,” Edwards shared. “If your people know you to be a person of your word, it means something.”
As Edwards reflects on his past and celebrates the present, he encourages Maryland business owners to apply the timeless lessons he’s learned for a better tomorrow.
“We have come a long way since the first days in my home office and realistically, I could share a laundry list of lessons learned,” Edwards reflected. “But, I’ve found that no matter what, the message is tied to drive, motivation, focus and commitment. Timeless lessons we can all apply.”