We had the good fortune of connecting with Ian Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ian, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Throughout my career, I’ve faced adversity in many shapes and forms. From my early days as a young manager facing age related issues stemming from leading those much older than myself to my relatively recent departure from corporate America, the consistent definition of my success has been my ability to handle adversity and face challenges head on that others avoid or ignore.

In my early career, I was thrown into management at age 17. By 19, I was general manager of a restaurant and the lead trainer for franchisee candidates for a company called Pizza Street in Kansas City Missouri. At the time, the owner operator, Mike Guidry, was my unofficial mentor. He taught me countless concepts and lessons both for life and career. The main lesson he taught me was to face adversity and challenge head on, identifying opportunities and ultimately making decisions to push forward based on what I learned working through the process.

This lesson has continued to be engrained into my head throughout my career. Most recently, I was a director for an international water purification company. I had responsibilities for all sales activities for Texas, Arizona and California. During the year 2020, we all faced numerous challenges. The particular challenge, when selling business services in a pandemic, was to convince folks that their office would eventually get back to work and utilize these products. During 2020, my team had an amazing year. We were first place amongst all sales teams for each month leading up to November. That’s when I got the call. 8 years of hard work and dedication ended in a 3 minute conversation and a two month severance package was sent. I was beside myself. I was the guy you “never fire” because my hand was in so many projects and because of my track record. This was, but far, the most devastating point in my career.

I had climbed the corporate ladder and was on the cusp of a regional vice president role that I was technically already doing, but it all ended in 3 minutes. At this point, I had two choices. One, let this destroy me and my self esteem. Or, two, use this as my motivation to take on my next adventure.

Following this course of events, I reached out to a company where I knew several of the senior leaders. After a little back and forth, I was asked to create and launch a service line for cutting edge air and surface purification technology for their national sales team. I created all training and sales material, delivered the training and sold the product line myself. Something was still missing though.

After some soul searching and deep conversations with my wife, we made the decision to move near my family in Tucson Arizona. We decided that we would stop chasing my career and move where we wanted to be. We would let my career find me where I was.

Upon delivering the news to the company I was launching the product line for, I was blessed with another opportunity. The CEO of that company contacted the CEO of Pure Water Solutions, which had operations in Phoenix, but nothing in Tucson. After a few conversations and details were worked out, I launched Pure Water Solutions of Tucson and started getting to work.

Since starting last June in Tucson, we’ve already added more than 100 new customers to this market, focusing on point of use water for wellness, on demand ice and water systems and air and surface purification devices. I’m slowly, but surely creating a definite market presence as the company in town that truly understands water and cares about our customer’s needs.

Had I not learned to deal with adversity at an early stage in my career, I may never have picked myself back up after my recent departure from my “dream job”. I may have just gone into a hole and stayed there.

It isn’t whether or not you will face challenges. We all will. What truly shows your character is how you respond in the face of adversity. Get up. Dust yourself off and get to work.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
You will never make it in life by avoiding problems. Approach each day head on, not letting yesterday spill into today. My success is directly related to my ability to move forward, even when there’s no clear direction.

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?
My favorite place to be is in nature. My wife, and sometimes the kids, like to hike anywhere and everywhere. Prior to moving to Arizona, we would vacation here, taking time each visit to hike in nature as much as possible. The serene beauty and quiet of hikes into the mountains and canyons keep me grounded and focused. We specifically moved less than a mile from Saguaro National Park East to be able to jump into nature within minutes.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my success to my wife Erin. She has been with me since my days as a restaurant manager through the present day. She’s seen me at my best and at my worst. She could’ve left when I’ve been down and difficult, but she’s been with me through it all. I never would be where I am today without her.

Instagram: @imcarter39

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/ian-carter-imcarter39

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