Sometimes I ask myself how I got here. How did I end up as a businessman when that was never a piece of my life plan when I was younger?
I’ve met very successful business people and they are usually smart, engaging, and focused. But they usually aren’t smarter, more engaging, or more focused than other people I know. So what creates business success for some while other businesspeople struggle or enterprising workers who never take a plunge in the entrepreneurial pool? My range of business experience is smaller than some folks, but probably bigger than many. My opinion is that business success is a combination of some ambition, some experience, some dissatisfaction, and some luck. The parts are never equal and the results are rarely predictable.
I have spent my career in printing. I started as a janitor the summer I graduated from high school at a large printing company in Sacramento. I worked at a variety of positions over 25 years in the industry – from driving a forklift to company president with many many stops in between. Along the way I’ve had help from co-workers, managers, owners, and people who have mentored, shared, and created opportunities for me to learn and work. In 2008, I cobbled our family savings and a second mortgage to buy into a sweat equity agreement that my long-time friend Jim Davis had in place at a small printing company in West Sacramento. On April Fool’s Day, 2008, I became a minority shareholder and officially a small business owner. Although I was certainly a minority member of the ownership team, I hunkered down with Jim to eventually buy out our founding partner in less than three years with a hefty SBA business acquisition loan. At that point, I considered myself a real business owner. Not only because I was a 50/50 partner in a profitable enterprise, but because we owed the bank millions of dollars. Since then, our business ventures have done very well and we’ve enjoyed continued success.
I am hoping to spend the next few years expanding our businesses, diversifying our holdings, and finding areas to help in the communities that have offered up opportunities for a humble forklift driver from Galt. I would like this site and blog to be part of that effort. Please stay tuned.