Thomas Giella, founder of Complete I.T. Computer Repair & Network Solutions, founded his company after growing and selling an automobile lighting startup. He also volunteers with and is a motivational speaker for youth with learning disabilities.
"Growing up, I had a lot of issues with learning disabilities, ADHD, SLD, and I had a bad speech impediment due to chronic ear infections," he said. "My parents really helped me work through it and now I give back by working with nonprofits that help kids like myself. I enjoy doing talks for them to help them see that many successful people like Einstein and Tesla struggled with some of the same difficulties they are."
Complete I.T. is a full-service, diversified technology firm providing assistance with everything from the basics of virus removal and data restoration to web design and all the way to enterprise level firewall setup and server installation. The company prides itself on the flexibility to do custom work and even helps with audio/video needs including A/V distribution system installations.
"We started out doing just website design because every piece of business advice says to not try to do everything," Giella explained. "We were hesitant to do computers, but our customers kept asking about it when they found out that we could provide that service. That was our a-ha moment - realizing our clients did want us to do everything. When we got into government and Fortune 500 companies, we saw they also liked having one contact for all their needs."
Giella was one of the first to participate in Pasco County's Co.Starters class and was also a client of its SMARTstart Business Incubator.
"Co.Starters was great because it was an open platform that allowed me to express ideas and receive real feedback," he said. "I still use the same lessons learned. As for the SmartStart Incubator, it gave me a business address at first. But then it allowed for me to communicate with successful business owners, and I found that the issues I was having, they were also having and some had found a solution for them. It allowed me to build confidence in myself which carried over to my business."
Giella's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to cut your losses when something isn't working. "If it doesn’t work, move on," he said. "If people aren't ready for a great idea or don't have the time for you, then move on. Either you're not doing something right or the industry isn't ready."