by Darla Vasquez - Mar 02, 2017
Dirk Dieterich – current owner and officer for West Royalties, LLC; Charts, Ltd.; Eco-Logical Environmental Services, Inc.; Turbo-Trac, USA, Inc.; and West Discovery, LLC – recently spoke with Rawls Business Leadership Program students about his experience as an entrepreneur and how his time at Texas Tech helped shape his future.
Dieterich, who graduated with a B.B.A. in Finance in 1978, spent only three years in the professional world before transitioning to entrepreneurship and becoming his own boss. Since then, he has spent decades building his companies and experience through hands-on initiatives in a variety of areas. Since 1981, Dieterich has been involved in the founding or acquisition of more than 20 companies across diverse industries, including oil and gas exploration, mineral acquisition, natural gas measurement, environment consulting, green technology, and low-income real estate development.
With these experiences, Dieterich had unique insights to offer RBLP students during a luncheon in the Dean’s Suite, as well as a lecture with the entire RBLP class. Utilizing specific examples from his current work, he spoke about the importance of perseverance and dedication. According to Dieterich, pure perseverance separates successful entrepreneurs from non-successful ones.
“When you start a company, you have to be willing to see it through,” Dieterich said. “You can not walk away from it when there are employees, customers, and stakeholders who rely on you to be there and to give your best effort.”
Dieterich detailed the qualities that make great entrepreneurs, saying that you have to be able to build a team. He says an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be the smartest person in a room, but they must be able to find the best and smartest people in any field and help them collaborate smoothly. Dieterich says students have incredible opportunities to begin practicing entrepreneurship at the Rawls College.
“Texas Tech is a great place. Take advantage of it,” Dieterich said. “Having spoken at a number of schools, I can see the difference in the honest, “take charge” entrepreneurship spirit at Tech. The teachers have an incredible base of knowledge and honestly care about the quality of the student experience.”
To round up the day’s events, Dieterich provided students with his “10 Battle Tested Rules for Survival in the Entrepreneurial World.”
- Be passionate about your work.
- The smartest person surrounds themselves with smarter individuals because they recognize that they have the most to gain.
- Manage your risks – know your risks and stack the deck in your favor.
- Stay alert. Always keep an eye out for hidden opportunities.
- Never waste time saddling a dead horse. Learn when to cut and run from unproductive products, services, employees, and customers.
- There is no perfect way to fund all businesses, but there is a best way to fund yours. Research your options and decide what is best for you.
- Learn the financial ins and outs of business. Keep a close eye on your herd because nobody else will.
- Seek business pursuits that create recurring revenue streams. It is no more difficult to build a business that generates income while you play ball.
- Never hang your hat on a single product, employee, service, or customer.
- Ride your vendors and suppliers into the sunset. The goal is long-term relationships built on trust and results.
To view more photos from Dirk Dieterich’s time with RBLP students, please visit the Rawls College’s Flickr account.