Craig Fuller is a firm believer in helping others grow, both professionally and personally. Throughout his twenty-five years in the banking industry, he created courses and trained employees in new accounts and sales effectiveness. Recognizing that the success of his employees meant his own success, Craig worked his way up in the industry to be recognized multiple times as a top-performing branch.
Born in Oakland, California, Craig’s family moved to Florida when he was two. After graduating high school, he joined the army and worked on the patriot missile system used in Desert Storm. He began college courses while still in the service, eventually moving to full-time after his honorable discharge. With degrees in Business Management and Economics, Craig entered the workforce as a teller and worked his way up to Branch Manager.
As the pandemic began, Craig’s position allowed him to see a growing need for logistics help in the local area for several business customers. Seizing the opportunity to provide these necessities, he opened Rescue Me, LLC, a company that can locate hard-to-find materials and deliver them directly to work sites. As a self-motivated individual, Craig is also searching for new and exciting opportunities in his area.
Tell us a little about your industry and why you chose to create Rescue Me, LLC?
Many of the business customers I’ve had over the last several years have had issues with hiring as COVID ran its course. Many downsized staffing in anticipation of less business. This was a short-term solution, but they weren’t expecting business to pick back up as fast as it did. As we opened back up, there was a shortage of both workers and supplies. Right now, paint is in short supply everywhere. If one of my clients needs several gallons, we will find it and bring it to the site for them.
What do you love most about the industries you are involved in?
This is my first taste of entrepreneurship. I haven’t had a particular interest in construction, being in the banking industry; however, when I saw the need, I knew I could use the opportunity. I had built connections throughout my career that I could use to fill the need. I’ve definitely had to research more to find which suppliers can get what materials are needed, but it has all been a learning experience and an opportunity for growth.
What does your typical day consist of?
It’s a combination of driving around to locations to pick up what is needed and get to job sites. I spend a lot of time on the phone, getting new requests. We are still fairly new, so getting our name out there for contractors to reach us is also a focus. I have learned the best marketing is still word of mouth. I always ask my clients what else I can do for them. As I learn more about what they need and deliver it, they know they can count on me. Other contractors that are having the same problems then find out what I do and will contact me.
What keeps you motivated?
The opportunity keeps me motivated. There is such a big need out there right now. Contractors need to keep their skilled workers on-site and construction moving forward on time. Having someone that can do the lower level logistics, like getting that paint to the site, saves them time and resources. There is a level of gratitude I am seeing as we deliver those needs that really motivates me. It’s actually been a fun experience. I’ve been outside more during the day, which is new, and I find it really enjoyable.
How do you motivate others?
You find out what their goals are, and you help them achieve those. Their success means my success. Both in the banking industry and now with my company, it’s the same. When my focus had been on training new employees, one of the first things I would do was ask each person what their goals were. Once someone realizes that they are valued and that you do want them to find their version of success, they will work harder for you and the company.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I do a lot of reading. The most recent I’ve read is Grit by Angela Duckworth. It explains that your talent is not an indicator of how successful you can be. It is about taking that talent and combining it with passion and perseverance. You can accomplish a lot when you need to or when you want to.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting in your industry?
You should learn to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Recognizing and actively working on areas in your life that could use improvement is such an important part of finding your success. If you feel really passionately about something, go for it.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
By knowing what is really important in life. I have two great kids and a wonderful wife. I have always tried to leave work there and really be present with my family when I get home. It’s something I found so important, and I am grateful that I have been able to maintain that habit.
What traits do you possess that make you a successful leader?
I think empathy is the best trait I have as a leader. Everyone has a story or has overcome something in their life. There was a diverse team in my bank, and I valued and appreciated all the differences they brought to the table.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
I have been fortunate to know many strong and supportive people throughout my life. I don’t know that I have a specific role model, but I do appreciate everyone that has encouraged and helped me be successful. I am grateful for my wife and my family.
Also, my father is who I think of when I need strength. He had a good handle on work-life balance and was always there for me growing up. I like to believe that I am as good a man as he was.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
The loss of my father and older brother in the course of a year. It was like the world was pulled out from under me. I take one day at a time and move forward each day. I have been pulled closer to my mother since it is just her and I left our family. It gets lonely sometimes.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
In life being a good father to my two kids. In a professional sense, I won the literal “ Trip to Hawaii” three times with two different banks. Not too shabby! But it took a good deal of effort from others. My teams have been great. And luck has a hand in it as well. Still, it looks great on a resume!
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
I had an uncle that once said, At any job you have, look around and find the one thing no one wants to do and become an expert at it. At the Credit Union, it was IRA accounts. I became the IRA go-to guy. Mostly by just reading the fine print disclosure that we had to give everyone when they opened an account! The best day was when my son repeated it back to me about his own job! I was so proud!