Daniel Happy Henky Halenko was running security company Bellit in the UK but over the years it fell out of alignment with his values and became stagnant. In under 20 months, he managed to turn his enterprise around and set up a new forward-facing business alongside it – Source. The enterprise that fully reflects his identity, values and takes the idea of ‘smart homes’ to the whole new level. Here are four powerful entrepreneurial lessons that Daniel has learned along the way.
1. FROM STAGNANT COMPANY TO FUTURISTIC COMPANY
2 years ago, Daniel was out of flow and completely caught up in the daily running of Bellit:
“Our business had been adrift, and all of my time was spent inside it. We hadn’t kept up as the world changed. We were a traditional, 38 years old company, providing security systems such as alarms, CCTV, and fire alarms. I had looked into the smart home concept, but never knew how to incorporate it. But I did know we needed something fresh and innovative”.
Looking for advice and inspiration, Daniel attended Fast Forward Summit, where he met futurist and social entrepreneur, Roger Hamilton.
“When I started talking to Roger about smart homes, I was fascinated with his perspective. He made me think bigger and broader. Rather than smart homes being one component of what our company could do, he encouraged us to see it as our core value.”
Daniel was increasingly challenged by the negative, fear-based industry Bellit was a part of and he wanted to move away from it. Through conversations with Roger, however, Daniel realised that instead of changing or adding to current services that the company provided, he was better off setting up an entirely new company- in alignment with his values and the future of home design.
“After the conference, I joined Roger’s Crystal Circle mentoring group for entrepreneurs. Conversations around how homes hadn’t changed in 100 years, other than bringing the toilets inside and putting in central heating, got us thinking about what will homes be like 100 years from now, and how can we influence that. Technology is one aspect, but it was the bigger picture concept of the ‘enlightened home’ that truly inspired us. People that live in enlightened homes will hopefully have a much richer and fuller lives. And that’s truly in alignment with our own values.”
2. START WITH A NICHE
The idea of ‘enlightened home’ led Daniel to found Source – a company that is going to focus on positive security solutions for landlords. Daniel wanted to make sure that he set up Source as a forward-facing and exponentially scalable company: both in terms of the services he provided and the way he structured it.
“We’re turning into what we hope will be the first employee owned security company in the UK. I was really looking at how everybody can share a piece of the pie. We made a more decentralised hierarchy structure, which we took from Roger and the way he works with his teams. We also started to think how we can solve bigger problems though our company, so we’ve aligned it with the United Nations Goals.”
He is also launching Source with a particular niche in mind:
“Source, for the first year, will focus on a micro-niche, which is another thing I’ve learnt from Roger. We’re going to focus on the short-term rental market, such as Airbnb. We’ll be the UK’s first, dedicated smart home security provider.”
The company is going to offer 3 products to start with.
“Each one of our packs either makes you money or saves you money. We will be providing The Virtual Concierge service for AirBnB: where a tenant will have their own code to get in, and verification that they arrived safely – for communication between the tenant and the landlord. The Happy Neighbour pack prevents people from making too much noise at night by giving early warning for the tenants via sound level meters. And lastly the Comfort Pack regulates heating and lighting controls, so the landlord can reduce energy or electricity waste, for instance if heating is left on when tenants are out.”
Daniel already has about 60 landlords waiting for the release of his products, well before he has even launched the company.
“As Roger suggested, we’re working on the model of getting the first 10 customers confirmed, and then building up to a 100”.
3. ALGIN TEAM WITH VALUES
Being part of Roger’s Crystal Circle helped Daniel align his business with his identity and values. His new company Source was easy to align, but he was also inspired to restructure his existing team at Bellit, crediting Roger’s Wealth Dynamics profiling system for his success.
“Wealth Dynamics is tangible, so was easy to roll it out and because of this, I pretty much have a whole new team. It totally transformed our recruitment decisions. Nobody gets to the second interview without doing a profile test. I won’t even work closely with a supplier unless they’ve had a profile test.”
The restructuring of Bellit freed Daniel up to start building Source, and allowed him to be more authentic in the business:
“The language we are using is the biggest thing that’s changed. We created a weekly rhythm with team meetings, bringing in personal and professional successes, and showing people how their thoughts are impacting their life, and how their work impacts their life. We also integrated our business with B1G1 as a Business for Good, which reinforced my belief that we’re offering more than just products and services. In the past I might have backed off from integrating my personal views and values in the business but now I realise it’s essential to the kind of company we are building.”
4. POWER OF COMMUNITY
The courage to be more authentic was very much influenced by the Entrepreneurs Institute community:
“I’ve made these inspiring global connections, and the changes we’ve made have been influenced and supported by these people. My peer network is the single biggest thing I’ve taken from EI and it’s helped me make and sustain the multiple changes.”
Daniel wanted to share the experience and value that he gets from his entrepreneurial community. With most events happening in London, Daniel became the Entrepreneurs Institute City Leader for Manchester. He decided to bring The Entrepreneur Fasttrack event to the North West. In this new one-day event, Roger and his global team fly in to help local entrepreneurs to 10x their business growth.
“There are lots of people interested in social entrepreneurship here. Everyone who speaks at our Entrepreneur Social is a well respected entrepreneur, who does more than just care for their own product. I wanted to bring more about what Roger talks about into the Northwest.”
Daniel is hoping that the event will impact over two hundred local entrepreneurs, and any profit he receives from the event will be put towards the growth of Source and his entrepreneur network.
How can you make sure that your company is in alignment with your values and the future of your industry? How can your ‘tribe’ support the growth your business and the spreading of your message?