How Hard Times Can Drive You to Grow in the Business World: The Perspective of a Successful Entrepreneur

Finding barriers along the way is a common occurrence for business people and entrepreneurs. However, using these barriers as an impetus, rather than getting stuck dwelling on the negatives, is a skill that many still find difficult to take advantage of.

In the case of Adam Weitsman, a leading entrepreneur in the scrap metal business, bad experiences have not been alien to his environment. It has been as a result of truly difficult situations that he has had the opportunity to rethink his goals in life and be able to resume the development of an optimal business path for him and his family.

The death of his sister from cancer was the point that led Adam to return from New York to his hometown to support his father in the family business. With no knowledge of the scrap metal trade, learning was vastly difficult for Adam.

Speculation, debt, and financial hardship began to come along and left Adam in despair, so he made the misguided decision to cheat his company’s bank. It was an attempt that proved unsuccessful and cost him some time in prison during the 1990s.

Although it was not a long time in prison, it was enough for Adam to reconsider different aspects of his personal and business life. From being a young man with no purpose and no plans for the future, he became a humble person, capable of valuing people’s loyalty and appreciating the value of integrity in the workplace.

Focus on Growing 

After his experience with prison, Adam focused on his business’s growth. With the support of his wife and key business partners, they worked tirelessly to turn Upstate Shredding and Ben Weitsman & Son, their initial ventures, into the largest private scrap metal companies on the West Coast. 

Together, these companies plan to shred about 600,000 tons of scrap metal this year, and also operate within the automotive shredding industry as one of the largest.

In this context, it is possible to visualize that the stumbling blocks on the road are part of the growth of each person. It’s just a matter of perspective. Each person decides what to do with their experiences, whether to use them to move forward or to retreat and not meet the goals set. 

Expand in Times of Inactivity

After hitting what he considers the lowest point in his life, Adam remembers one of the most valuable lessons his father shared with him: expanding in times of inactivity. He says that in more complicated times, neither he nor his team have stopped looking for progress.

His wife left her modeling career in New York to devote herself completely to the scrap metal business, supporting him at the most critical time of his life, while her father has also overseen every aspect of the company, making sure it stays afloat.

Learn from Mistakes

For Adam, the consequences of his actions and the behavior of others in the face of what happened led him to learn various lessons along the way.

The value of loyalty was an aspect that he learned in his time with the company before going under pressure, and that remained in his favor during this difficult stage of his life. Family, employees, friends, and even suppliers of his business kept supporting him constantly, which allowed him to change his perspective.

“I realized how important integrity was in life in general: with clients, bankers, my family,” he said.

Focus on Being the Best

After the bad experiences, Adam assures people that there is nothing left but to continue developing the work in the best possible way, always focused on being the best and taking the quality of his services to other levels.      

“We measure a good day by our production and grind all night to get the product out. We continue to try to improve the quality of our ferrous grinding because now mills can choose who they buy from,” he says.

Today, Adam feels fortunate to have developed his operations in the scrap metal industry. Each of his steps has led him to emerge even more successful, to the point of being considered “the king” within his area.

On top of that, he was listed by HighKey Agency as one of the top 10 influencers to follow during this 2020, not only for his outstanding business development but also for being a dedicated philanthropist who collaborates with various organizations through the donation of millions of dollars to social causes.

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