Who are you, and what do you do?
I am the founder of a boutique oil and gas investment firm focusing on property acquisitions and investment opportunities. Prior to founding my first business in 2014, I worked as an engineer in the oil and as exploration industry for 10 years in various roles from drilling to finance. I lead a team that develops software and processes, which enables both our clients and investors to maximize the value of their respective assets. All of our work is conducted in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry. We are specialists in every sense of the word.
What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?
Do not overextend yourself and attempt to develop expertise in too many fields. Focus on a couple of areas that are valuable and in demand and become an expert in these areas. In the era of easily accessible and abundant information, you want to be an inch wide and many miles deep in your area of expertise. This type of competence is often very valuable.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.
Early in my career, I moved a little too fast in terms of evaluating business opportunities. I felt like I had to do something with every opportunity I turned up, which led me to invest in 4 oil and gas wells that ended up producing almost 100% water and no oil. Needless to say, this was a costly mistake, but the lesson was invaluable. Some of our best lessons in business are the most costly, and thankfully my mistake was not too costly to sink the ship, but I have never made this mistake again.
Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?
Oil and gas extraction and property acquisition will continue to become much more efficient than it is today. The onshore oil and gas exploration industry in the United States is incredibly fragmented and inefficient, equating to both opportunity and risk. I believe this market will be much less fragmented and more efficient in the future, which will lead to less noise overall. Only the strongest and most fundamentally competent companies will survive this transition.
What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Frequently in my industry, people make bets on oil prices rising. I firmly believe if you are gambling on oil prices, just do that, and there is no need to participate directly in the oil and gas industry. We strive to create opportunities where our margins are preserved irrespective of short-term price fluctuation in the underlying commodity. We use science and software to eliminate as much risk as possible as oil takes on what is normally a very volatile path in terms of pricing.
In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?
Clients with red flags. Some people, no matter how well you serve them, are just inherently challenging to deal with. Time is our most valuable resource and spending any of it on clients who inevitably will never be great clients is just not worth it. Choose your business associates wisely.
What is the one book you recommend most often and why?
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by John C. Maxwell. There is so much practical application in this book; it is simply a must-read for all ambitious professionals.
What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?
Keep moving forward and ensure you are learning something new every day. I firmly believe forward progress every day is critical. Most ambitious people have lofty goals that cannot be met in one day’s work, but everyone can take a series of small steps every day. Sticking in a job to build duration on your resume is important, but if you know the job you currently have is not going to lead you where you ultimately desire to be, don’t stick around just to check a box on your resume. Pursue your dreams with passion and fervor.
What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?
Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
I can be reached via LinkedIn or my personal website www.adamferrari.com.