August 1st marked Kim & I's 5 year anniversary owning PAVERART. I didn't think much of it to be honest, but as Dom & I pull into the parking lot, Mike is walking up to us:
"Meet me in the Podcast Studio. Impromptu, be in there in 5...." Roger that, impromptu and no homework/planning required, count me in!
Mike & I have done a few impromptu pods, maybe 1 out of every 10 or so. They tend to have some extra emotion, sometimes a harder topic, and we just kind of roll. I actually think they are our best episodes.
Mike pushed pretty hard on this episode to get to the REALLY REALLY motivation of buying a small business like Paverart. We are both pretty comfortable talking about topics, but we do a so/so job getting this thing in a tight format that is "podcast clean." But we are not doing this to become expert podcasters, our goal is to impart real wisdom through war stories, challenges and a healthy degree of critical thinking and pushback.
I enjoyed this conversation. A couple things I do NOT take for granted, and Mike, the Hustle or Bust Podcast Co-host and PAVERART's General Manager (and co-founder) is high on that list.
Mike recounts a common line/question he often receives:
Your 70 years old! Why are you still working?
One of the direct benefits of business ownership is building a TEAM. There are massive rewards, challenges, success and heartaches associated with building a team. Sometimes through this process, FRIENDSHIP happens. Mike is both a great teammate, and great FRIEND.
The world of business ownership is notoriously short term in nature. Private equity will plainly say "3 to 5 years." The truth is (they won't tell you BTW) they would prefer 1-3. That's how the game is played.
Relationships don't work that way. As a leader, building relationships SHOULD be lifelong. Great businesses AND relationships take decades to develop. Compounding. Building. Celebrating. Working through the struggle.
5 years goes quick.
I'm proud of the progress we've made taking a 15 year business into year 20+.
I've learned to ask myself a couple of "existential" questions:
1) To borrow from the great Seth Godin: If your business went away today, would anybody care?
2) My own: If you ask our own team: Will the NEXT 5 years be more exciting and better than today?
We've made progress on both of those questions. No doubt in my mind that our best days are ahead of us.
As always, welcome any feedback on the podcast!