Through the relentless pursuit of his ideas, Bolton has blazed a new trail in the automation of land development. He’s succeeded in creating a brand new process that many thought too good to be true.
This post is part of The Founder Factor, where we bring you behind the scenes with South Carolina’s most impactful entrepreneurs so that you can discover the strategies, ideas, and mindsets you need to unlock your next business breakthrough.
Now Founder and CEO of Land Intelligence, Gore Bolton’s journey to entrepreneurship was not born out of happy circumstances. Bolton was one of the millions negatively impacted by the housing crash of 2008 and 2009. What he describes as a macro tsunami, Bolton, along with his friends, clients, coworkers, and employees, took an enormous hit from an event they didn’t see coming. This led Bolton to ask questions about how the housing crash came about and how it happened without him seeing any of the signs. From this painful experience, Bolton founded his company, Land Intelligence, in 2019. “Out of a lot of pain comes a lot of emotional fortitude, and out of that comes some new ideas.” Three years after he founded his idea and began blazing a new trail in the land acquisition process, Bolton’s company has become a commercialized success with additional funding and a recently approved third patent.
While his vision for his new company wasn’t completely clear at the beginning, Bolton attributes some of his success to his history as a serial entrepreneur. “Serial entrepreneurs thrive on the impossible and chaos with the goal of turning it into something that actually produces the opposite of chaos,” he says. “You have to believe that your idea is going to resonate with other people.” While gaining traction with his company, Bolton had not only to start showing results but also defend the funding he received to the market he was trying to enter. Bolton states that the only thing harder than getting funding for your project is then entering the market and proving that you were worth the investment. “You have to decide what you believe because everyone around you will be saying you are crazy,” he explains. At the end of the day, Bolton had an unwavering determination and was unwilling to give up, which he sees as an essential trait any entrepreneur needs to survive the harsh reality of creating a startup.
In automizing the world of land development, Bolton entered a realm that no one had entered before. There were no footprints in the sand that they could follow, and instead, Bolton was creating the path for others to follow. “You are asking someone to have faith that you are going on a voyage and that there will be a good result from it,” he explains. “We had to get people transitioned out of the thinking that there is something to follow. We are the footprints in the sand.”
Bolton sees the people he brought on his team as the essential element that kept their ship running. “A startup is only as successful as the people you surround yourself with. One of the things I mentor other founders on the most is the ability to not worry about your turnover rate at the beginning. Founders go through the dilemma that everyone needs to like their idea, and everyone needs to like them, but they need to get rid of that thinking and make it about the business and the customer,” he explains. “It is the people in your company that create the process which generates the profit which then delights the customer.”
The identity and culture of a startup are what Bolton sees as the driving success behind the project. According to Bolton, healthy communication that centers around each individual’s meaningful work takes care of half the problem of creating a positive work culture. Without this strong foundation, a startup will always struggle. “As the organization grows, the ripple effects can either be a reinforcer of what you are creating, or it can detract from what you are trying to build,” he states. “Everybody wants better communication, and they expect it from you as the leader.”
As Land Intelligence continues on its growth trajectory, Bolton still sees it as an ever-evolving project that he will continue experimenting with until he finds what’s best for the company. What is his advice to those entrepreneurs just starting out? “Have faith in your idea. Have the faith that it is ok to think you have been spoken to or through. For the most part, I would say that inner drive or calling that you may have just needs enough food and water to allow it to mature. I wish I had mentorship on the timing of things because that really is important. Understanding the right timing of things is not something anyone talks about in their 20s. I am a big fan of other startups, especially in South Carolina, and we don’t have enough founders or entrepreneurs in the ecosystem, so if you have a good enough idea and the wherewithal to get it done, there is a lot of support out there—take that leap of faith.”
Follow Gore Bolton on Linkedin and stay up to date with Land Intelligence, Inc. here.
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