Miguel Catellier credits bright ideas, books with businesses' sustainable success
29-year-old CEO of two Sask. companies credits success to learning, persistence
Miguel Catellier's head was filled with big dreams before he had even turned 18. He wanted to start something new, important and perhaps even innovative.
He found himself at a network marketing company at age 17, straight out of high school. He learned sales strategies and discovered the world of entrepreneurship literature.
"I sort of drank the Kool-Aid and started, you know, dreaming big," he said.
Catellier said he's read hundreds of business books. In his mind, his self-guided education correlates directly to his success.
"There's no chance that I'd be where I'm at if I hadn't done that," he said.
Now the 29-year-old finds himself at the helm of two Saskatchewan start-ups, employing about 40 people and coordinating the efforts of dozens of teams across Sask. and Alberta.
Catellier's TruGreen Metal Recycling sends professional crews out to properties (mainly rural) across the prairies to pick up old metal objects and recycle them. The idea is not new, but Catellier credits his company's professionalism and credibility for its success.
"Really today we're the largest in the space in Saskatchewan and Alberta," he said. "We've got a couple thousand people still on the list — all the time — and and I'm actually surprised that at the demand, frankly. Like every year I keep thinking it's got to slow down eventually and it really doesn't."
Catellier see even bigger opportunities for growth with TruGreen Energy, a company that retrofits buildings with solar panels in order to generate energy.
He credits his interest in solar to Elon Musk's life story and Saskatchewan's sunny disposition.
"For me it just made sense. If the energy that's hitting the roof of my house is enough to power my house, why wouldn't we just catch that and use it, right?" he said.
TrueGreen Energy is a SaskPower Energy Efficiency Partner. This means that their solar panel systems are tied to the grid using SaskPower's Net Metering Program.
"I think it's very evident that that's where the you know the future of energy is going,`Catellier said.
Saskatchewan is the number one place in all of Canada for solar potential. We've got the most sun here of anywhere. We've got some of the most expensive power rates of anywhere in Canada. And so it was really the perfect place I thought let's give it a try."
Learning and persistence key
Humanity has not yet figured out how to store massive amounts of solar power (or any major energy source, for that matter). Catellier is confident that "the world's best minds" will figure it out in the foreseeable future and that when they do Saskatchewan's economy will radically change.
For now, the CEO working double duty is just trying to keep up.
"We actually got a flood of demand right off the hop, we've got over 3,000 consultation requests so far this year," he said. "Every single house, every municipal building, every school, every business — everything's a potential customer. So it's a very exciting business to be in."
As a 2018 Future 40 winner, Catellier's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs whose heads are swimming with big dreams is to never stop learning and never give up.
"Persistence and determination goes a lot farther than you know," he said. "You just need to really stick with it and continue trying until you find something that works."