Read as Cameron Manners talks about his career as CEO of Nu Flow. Find him at www.nuflowtech.com and on his Twitter feed in the sidebar of this interview.
What do you do for a living?
I am the founder, president & CEO of the leading worldwide in-place pipe rehabilitation company for buildings’ inside infrastructure.
How would you describe what you do?
I am in charge of Nu Flow’s global image and marketing strategy. I develop and improve our reach into other countries, further expanding our presence and dominance in our industry.
What does your work entail?
First and foremost, knowledge of the industry and technology is imperative. You need to have the ambition, drive and stubborn determination to lead a company and continuously try to bump it up to the next level. There is a lot of big-picture planning, idea brainstorming and presentation preparation.
What’s a typical work week like?
If I’m not traveling, I am in our San Diego headquarters office having meetings with prospective international partners, investors or prestigious customers. I provide strategy insight and training to our technicians, share ideas with the marketing team and work closely with the COO. I also update our marketing and PR team with the latest company news to make sure the word gets out.
How did you get started?
In the 1990s, I was a trenchless pipe lining technology for drain lines, but it was limited to large-diameter municipal pipe projects. The technology was inefficient and hard to use. I saw an untapped market for lateral pipes connected to the sewer mains, so I developed a trenchless solution for small diameter pipes that can be used inside buildings. I founded Nu Flow in Toronto in 1998, followed by the establishment of Nu Flow America in 2005 in the U.S.
What do you like about what you do?
It’s tough but fun. I get to do something that I love to do and I get to see my ideas grow around the world. Being the CEO of a startup, I get to create plans and ideas that mature in front of my eyes.
What do you dislike?
Dealing with the Peter Principle is the toughest part of my job. I don’t like to see people not reach their maximum potential and instead fall short of what I believe they can be or do.
How do you make money?
I am paid a salary plus stock in the company.
How much do people in your career make?
Most CEOs of innovative companies make more than $100k/yr.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?
You must have common sense and on-the-job training. You must understand the actual plumbing community before you move up.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Dealing with different personalities is challenging. Also, it’s more political than most people think.
What is most rewarding?
Winning a large contract and watching our products installed. It’s exciting to take our work to new feats and then have a happy customer. Also, to watch my ideas and dreams affect so many is extremely rewarding.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
It takes a lot of sacrifice, time, and a lot of energy. You must have competent people around you in order to be successful. It’s equally important that these people are trained correctly so that the product is what you made it out to be and everything is consistent. Always be afraid, yet never afraid of what’s around the corner.
How much time off do you get/take?
I’m on call 24/7, 365 days a year.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
A lot of people think CEOs golf and can do whatever they want, and that might be true in a big company, but in a growing company, there is very little down time. We are always on the go.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
Get Nu Flow in every city and every country on the planet and intimidate all other competition.
What else would you like people to know about your job/career?
The biggest thing for people to understand about being a CEO is that you don’t have all the answers, but you have a knack for figuring things out. You can never believe you know it all. Every day I learn, not only from people all around me, but also from the situations that I find myself in.