We had the good fortune of connecting with David Antelo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, how do you think about risk?
Utter the word risk and our brains immediately go into defense mode, it’s just human nature. Conventional ideas like risk/reward ratios or risk mitigation are based on the premise that taking a risk is an adverse prerequisite, or some obstacle to overcome to achieve a desired result. I learned something at a young age that changed my relationship with risk. I was a small kid as a freshman in high school but I wanted to play football…the epitome of risk, just ask my mom. Somehow I managed to get the most tackles and never got hurt, earning me the nickname Antelo the Hun. I think it was because I never braced myself before a tackle and went in as hard as I could, which in hindsight probably not the smartest thing to do. But over the years I realized that defending against risk limits us, it causes us to focus on bracing ourselves from getting hurt and becoming short-sighted. I certainly don’t condone reckless abandon, but instead I feel that risk should be viewed as way to reach higher ground, a way of achieving greater perspective and creating opportunities that are simply out of reach from those who focus on the danger first. I have experienced “pain” from risk over the years, but as long as it is respected, risk can be part of the desired result instead of something to completely avoid. I like to tell my team to embrace ‘mitigated chaos’ and practice ‘controlled enthusiasm’; both will keep you safe and humble.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Some call it chance, others call it fate. But whatever you believe I have always thought that God has a plan for us, and it’s never a straight line. I went from the financial industry to pursuing my entrepreneurial itch. Everyone knows about the global water crisis but I have always felt that meeting some of the challenges are achievable with some new ideas. I was fortunate enough to meet a brilliant engineer who shared the vision of providing clean water to those who couldn’t help themselves. Creating equipment designed with the right balance of technology and ease of use was the focus. The product lines were focused on the end user, rural locations, limited resources and minimal access to spare parts. With the help of some amazing people at several NGO’s we have been able to realize the goal of helping to provide resources and solutions. The company has managed to attract and build a team that believes in giving more than what is expected. This team has stuck through some challenges and taken risks, and despite the hurdles, we have become more passionate in what we do. This dedication translates into constant innovation fueled by the gratitude of those who we have helped.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since we are headquartered in South Florida just 45 minutes from Miami, I think the only limitation is the amount of time you have on vacation. For seekers of nightlife (socially-distanced of course) there are outdoor restaurants providing exquisite cuisines from all 4 corners of the globe. Beaches, museums and art districts will satisfy anyone’s tastes. For those wanting something more low key, Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale and Mizner Park in Boca Raton have restaurants and quieter beaches. I recently told a friend to bring his family down, they did some deep sea fishing and of course did the Disney experience for a couple of days. Let’s just say that if you visit South Florida and you can’t find fun and adventure then you should probably fire Siri or Alexa (no bias here).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As cliché as it may sound, it would have to be my parents. My dad engrained the fundamental principle that a strong mind and a strong body are part of the whole. And that the mind is the most powerful force in the universe, it controls everything we are, we want, and can achieve. But there always needs to be balance and perspective to keep ego in check and learn how to develop emotional intelligence, cue mom. It takes a special set of parents to allow enough freedom while instilling discipline and self control. As part of growing up my parents conditioned me to understand that learning is a lifelong process, it never stops because when we stop learning, reading, listening to others who offer knowledge and insight, then we might as well hand over the reigns to chance and mediocrity. Online resources are almost too easy to get these days so my 6 year old son will have an easier time than I did. Almost every relationship has provided me a brick to build my personal and professional life and there is simply not enough time list them all. Simply find something you are interested in and search every audio book on it and let your mind figure out where to go next.
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I took them or were from my team