Sean McGraw is the CEO of FOR Energy, a Phoenix-based full-service residential energy company. “Our holistic approach to solving our clients’ needs really sets us apart from the pack.” Learn about Sean McGraw…
Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan
First job: Warehouse manager for my father’s window company in Michigan.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: First and foremost, anything with my wife and son. We love going to new restaurants, traveling and being active or poolside. Another important hobby of mine is charity. I am a member of the Phoenix 20-30 Club. We raise money for disadvantaged youth in the Valley by throwing awesome events and fundraisers.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: This is always a difficult question for me. Especially since I always feel like I have so much work to do to achieve my personal, professional and family goals. I would say the first time FOR Energy made the INC 5000. This was a pie-in-the-sky goal for us and when we hit it, it really opened my mind to the growth possibilities. Looking back now, it wasn’t that difficult to get but it really did make me realize that my team and I can create our own future.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: I moved to Arizona to study business with the hopes of moving home after graduation and getting into the family business. Unfortunately, in 2007, that opportunity vanished. The business was winding down for many reasons. That situation really made me reevaluate my life and the direction I wanted to go. This is also around the time I realized I wanted to start my own business and own the results. This obstacle changed everything for me and put me on the path that got me to where I am today.
Someone who inspires you and why: Both of my parents inspire me. Both spent many successful years in the business world. Their work ethic, business philosophy and general attitude towards life are inspiring. The life lessons, business lessons, and other teachings from both of them have been priceless and have given me a great foundation. One that I hope to pass along to my kids. Another major inspiration in my life is my business partner, Tyler. His kindness, work ethic and positivity have always been contagious for me and our team.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: A couple things usually stand true for anyone pursuing a career in entrepreneurship. Be resilient, be persistent, be gritty, be a student for life and never give up. Similar to most professional paths in life, there are extreme highs and lows. The difference is, when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re responsible for every aspect of a business. From the team to the clients. There’s something extremely freeing knowing that the success or failure of the business and those it impacts is completely dependent upon you.
Favorite quote: It’s simple – treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I had the good fortune to be able to spend a summer in Ghana starting a couple businesses through a program I was a part of at Arizona State. The experience changed my life and opened my eyes to possibilities.
What makes someone fabulous: Uncommon authenticity makes someone fabulous.