Keep on punching

Do What You Love is a series that showcases the entrepreneurs behind emerging companies. In this edition, we sat down with Adam Bellin, Principal at Redhouse Capital Management. Here’s what he shared:

Adam Bellin

The biggest thing I learned from my family is perseverance. Everyone in my family is a serial entrepreneur, and my grandfather is the most senior entrepreneur. He always says, “Keep on punching.” For him, you can accomplish almost anything if you put your mind to it. You just have to keep your head down and keep on pushing forward. He’s in his nineties and he’s still punching.

I had an opportunity to start a business abroad. It was in China, importing natural gas from Russia to Ukraine. My family’s been running a ball bearing business in China since 1987, so I worked for the family company for almost two years before I felt confident enough to move there. And it was amazing. In my first year of living in China, I absorbed more knowledge and life experience than I had in four years of college.

When I got to Shanghai, there was a palpable energy in the air. It was late 2008 and when I was working in New York, everyone was downtrodden by the recession. China didn’t take as hard of a hit as the rest of the world. Be it foreigners or locals, people there were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. There were a lot of movers and shakers.

The entrepreneurial spirit was very present in China. In the first dinner I had there, I met some young, motivated people doing interesting things. They were such a stark contrast to my friends in Manhattan who had standard professional careers. The guy on my right worked for Razorfish and the woman to my left worked for the first carbon emission free hotel in the world–and she exported freshwater pearls from china to the U.S. on the side. The guy across from me had a startup that manufactured spare parts for nuclear reactors. It was eye-opening. They showed me you could do something new and different.

In todays business world, people think that success is only achieved at the expense of others. That’s not necessarily true. I’ve learned you don’t need to screw people or be so cutthroat. Treat everyone equally, and treat them like human beings. If you’re a good person, good things will come.

It’s important for me to help people. That comes from my grandfather. He’s always thinking of how he can improve the lives of others. Redhouse Capital is definitely an outlet for me to do that. We offer consulting services to companies in their growth stage. They are at the tipping point of their expansion and we help them launch to the next level.We can affect change in these companies, and seeing the direct result of our help is fulfilling.

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