One of the things I enjoy when speaking to people for “Lunchbreak” is seeing how different entrepreneurs employ successful business techniques. After my conversation with Hilel (Daniel) Lichtenstein, founder of NES Security in the UK, I was inspired in two areas: customer service and working on myself to have solid, focused work (you’ll see what I mean).
Hilel’s company provides a wide range of low-voltage services, including alarm systems, CCTV systems, access control, gate and home automation and audio/video installations. Under his leadership, NES Security has become one of the largest providers of these services in the UK.
Hilel’s ability to implement “extreme focus” at work had me thinking long after we spoke. I believe it will do the same for you.
I was born and raised in Antwerp until I was 15. I’m a Bobover chasid and learned in the local Bobov cheder. For yeshivah ketanah, I left Belgium and went to learn in Bobov London.
“My father is an antiques dealer with a focus on antique pocket watches. He used to work out of the attic of our home, and I always saw him working hard while also ensuring that he dedicated time for his learning. My mother helped manage a company that produced ink for ink cartridges. There are seven children in my family. I am the second to youngest, and there is a seven-year gap between me and my younger brother, so I was the youngest for a while.
“I am very close to my father, and he has been my role model of what it means to be a hard worker while not sacrificing Torah values. I make sure to have a seder in learning every day, and I owe that to my father. Sadly, my mother passed away a few years ago. After that, I became even closer to my father.
“As a kid, I always tried to make something happen financially. I bound sefarim privately and earned nicely from it.
“When I was 12 or 13, my shvugger worked in a plastics store and I used to help him after school, doing deliveries. I would work there during bein hazemanim, as well. I served customers, emptied lorries and did other odds-and-ends jobs. I would often pop in there to help.
“My brother-in-law eventually moved on, but I kept working there during off-days in yeshivah. Not being content with simply doing what I was asked to do, I offered to streamline operations and make the store more organized. The bosses appreciated it and I kept getting raises, to the point where one day the boss said, ‘You know, you make more than married men working here for many years.’
“That taught me a big lesson in life. Regardless of what job you are doing or what stage of employment you are at, you have to give it your all and truly work hard.
“I went to learn in Eretz Yisrael at Yeshivas Chug Chasam Sofer. I used to find some work to do during bein hasedarim. You know the standard plastic boxes used to house tefillin? We would spend hours putting them together and banging in the small nails that enable them to open and shut. I would also sometimes work the machines that spin tzitzis strings together—it was a great workout.