I’ve been working for several years with Brennan Zelener, CEO of Newaya Recycling in Fort Collins, Colorado. Brennan continues to impress me as a proactive, energetic entrepreneur. I love working with him.
Anne: Tell us about your business. What does Newaya do?
Brennan: Newaya provides trade-in solutions to regional cellular carriers and e-commerce sellers. We test and resell the used electronics that come through our programs to businesses in 20+ countries.
Anne: What sets Newaya apart from its competitors?
Brennan: Without a doubt, I’d say it’s the people on my team. Over the last 10 years, I’ve been fortunate to put together a small group of creative tech enthusiasts as employees who make Newaya a fierce competitor in the trade-in industry.
Anne: When did you start Newaya and how did you get the idea for the business?
Brennan: The business started as a hobby, really. In college I began buying, repairing, and reselling used cellphones as a side hustle. The operation grew incrementally over the years and today I’m proud to say that it supports a staff of 7 people full-time.
Anne: What do you enjoy most about running Newaya?
Brennan: I get a lot of short-term joy being able to wake up each morning and focus on solving business/technical problems. I think my favorite part about the long-term (which I’ve just gotten to experience more recently) is seeing people’s professional growth after working with them for a number of years. That’s been very rewarding.
Anne: What has been one or two of the biggest challenges as you have grown Newaya?
Brennan: Leading and managing people is hard and honestly a bit lonely. That’s one of my favorite things about working with you, Anne. It makes a big difference being able to have a coach and sounding board in each delicate interpersonal management situation I find myself in.
Anne: What advice would you give to someone wanting to grow their business now?
Brennan: Just do whatever it takes to keep experimenting!