When Paul Hughes left school at the age of 15, he had a plan – work at McDonald’s and take it easy.

But Paul’s dad had a different plan – get an apprenticeship and work hard. The old man even found a job for Paul as an apprentice boilermaker / welder. So that was that.

Paul, the 119th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, initially disliked his new profession. Eventually, though, it grew on him. Over the next 15 years, Paul worked his way up from sweeping floors to a senior front office job.

It makes sense once you get to know Paul – he’s got a lot of energy, he’s a hard worker and he’s ambitious. He’s the sort of person who gets stuff done.

Three years ago, Paul co-founded a fast-growing solar company called QuadSol, which services residential, industrial and commercial customers, including big clients like Costco. 

Paul’s main job is to make sales. His main tactics are persistence and relationship-building. 

Paul’s theory is that the more people he knows, the more potential clients he gets in front of and the more value he offers them, the more sales he’ll make.

It works.

McDonald’s loss is QuadSol’s gain.