Kurt Witten is a very successful entrepreneur with a specialty in the pool building industry. He has made great leaps in this industry to the point of establishing Seventeen Pools, a reputable market player in the container pools market. The company utilizes modern and state of the art techniques to turn cargo containers into lovely pools while also keeping them affordable for the average homeowner. Kurt has excellent communication skills thanks to his communication background, a gift that he uses to the maximum to communicate his business vision to his employees. He leads a team of technicians that he inspires to deliver quality and work fast to meet customer deadlines. It is this combination that has seen his magnanimous growth and success in this industry. Kurt is also a giver at heart, often giving back to society for a good cause. He is known to donate to charities supporting homeless people. Since the pandemic triggered lockdowns started, Kurt has given a lot to charity and has helped feed and clothe many homeless families. When not working or giving to charity, Kurt loves spending time with his family and enjoys taking them to exotic destinations worldwide.
What is your hobby?
I love traveling. In the last 10 years, I have been to more than 100 destinations in the U.S and Canada. Globally, I have been to more than 50 countries and interacted with people from many cultures. One of the reasons why I love traveling is because it opens up my mind to new ideas, and perspectives on life. For instance, I can confidently say that how I manage stress has improved significantly since I started traveling the world. From my interactions with people in Central Asia, I learned that simplicity was the key to a happy life. Global travel also made me more aware of the reality of climate change. I have been to places where the effects of climate change are displacing entire populations. This changed my consumption habits and I am more proactive on forums that are fighting for a greener, more sustainable planet. Honestly speaking, without my widespread travel, I would not be as successful as I am today. I would urge everyone to try and travel to a different country, even if it’s just once every few years. You will love it.
How did you get started?
I developed an interest in travel very early in life. The idea of experiencing different cultures always fascinated me. Once I graduated college, I worked toward establishing a business that would give me enough money to travel the world. I toyed around with several businesses but like most inexperienced entrepreneurs, I failed big time. However, I never gave up and along the way I stumbled upon the idea of container pools and I ran with it. The idea itself came unexpectedly. I had visited a friend for dinner and noticed that he had installed a container pool in my backyard. I found it fascinating because it was beautiful, and most importantly, it was affordable. I thought about it for days then decided to turn it into a business since I knew lots of home owners who do would love the idea of owning a pool in their backyards. 6 months later, I registered Seventeen Pools and after going through several cost related challenges, the business picked up. Today, we are a respectable brand in the supply of quality, yet affordable container pools. It’s been a long and tough journey but it’s totally worth it. Today, I can travel the world with ease and enjoy the beauty of diversity.
Tell us what you love about it.
What I love most about traveling is that it opened my mind to new perspectives on how to run my business. For instance, I stopped being motivated more by money, but by the need to positively impact people’s lives. So far it has worked. Most of the people that order container pools from us are families, and they use them to catch up in the evenings and weekends. I noted that orders for our containers shot up during the COVID-19 lockdowns, as people looked for ways to ease the pressure of staying home with all forms of anxieties accompanying them. In fact, several of our clients have called telling me that their family bonds have grown stronger ever since they installed our container tanks. It makes me happy to know that even during these tough times of COVID-19, I run a business that is positively impacting on the lives of my clients and making the world better a smile at a time.
What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?
In my numerous travels around the world I have spent thousands of dollars on souvenirs from all over the world. Most of my spending has been on art and luxury services. There was a time I went to Kenya in Africa and spent over $1000 on life size sculptures of a lion and an elephant. Then there was a time I spent hundreds of dollars on deep tissue massage while in a week’s travel in Thailand and several other countries in South East Asia. My spending is not really about the material aspect of it, but to just have fun and keep the beautiful memories of the places I have visited. There are many times I have bought pointless stuff when traveling, but whenever I look at it, I feel happy reminiscing about that destination. I would advise people who love traveling for fun to not focus so much on the money part of it, but on the experiences and memories. At the end of the day, those are the things that matter and will make you happy long after you have spent the money set aside for travel.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?
I have so many of them I am not even sure I can document them all. However, one of the best places I loved shopping while traveling is Dubai. They have world class malls that stock pretty much anything you can think of. I was able to shop for clothes from all parts of the world and get to experience the culture. Another shopping destination that I fell in love with is Nairobi Kenya. It’s one of the best places to shop for indigenous art, jewelry among many other things. I found the place to be very affordable too, and the people are friendly. I have a long list of other shopping destinations, but for me, these two remain my all-time best. In fact, if I had limitless resources, I would shop there daily.
Are there any good books for beginners?
There are tons of books online that one can read and get a better understanding of the world, and by extension travel better. However, I don’t rely so much on books for travel destinations. I use my imagination to choose a destination. For instance, I can take a map of the world, randomly pick a destination then research on it online. If it is safe and has interesting things to see and do, I plan a trip and land there.
How has your hobby changed your life?
My hobby has made me a better person, who is more appreciative of people from diverse backgrounds. I strongly believe that if more people actually traveled the world, issues like racism would disappear. People would realize how much we all have in common as members of the human race. We would also learn how much stronger we all would be if we accommodated ideas and thoughts from other cultures. Honestly, without travel, I am not sure I would even have run my business as successfully as I have done so far.
What advice do you have for others just starting out?
If you are just starting out on travel, I would advise that you start by investing in a good camera. Travel is about capturing experiences, and the more of them you can capture, the better. I have lots of experiences that I look back to by going through a camera that I bought several years back when I started traveling. If you are into a thrilling outdoor adventure, consider investing in a GoPro. Basically, let capturing all the good moments be your primary goal when traveling and you will love it. Another thing I would advise one to research on is security. Living in the U.S, Canada or other western nations can give you the illusion that the world is safe. Unfortunately, it is not, and there are many risky places on this planet that are simply not worth visiting. Therefore, before you pack your bags for that vacation, research as much as possible on its security. Also, follow all the guidelines that the embassy gives you about the destination. If you do that, then you can enjoy travel without putting your personal security at risk.