Attended the University of Cincinnati. The only degree I got is from the school of hard knocks. It’s a different time.
I grew up in an era when it wasn’t as important as it is today. It’s only a door opener for people. It was easier.
What is the most difficult business challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest business challenge I ever faced was the whole philosophy of starting a new concept, a whole new idea in the marketplace that was bogged down with tradition of doing things the old way. Without a doubt, that’s the hardest thing I ever had to do and overcome.
You had to sell the process before you could even sell yourself, who you were and what your company was about.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
The greatest thing that I did during that period of time was to learn how important cash is and cash flow. I’ve seen a lot of companies sit around and say, ‘We’ve got all this backlog. We got contracts. We got this. We got that.’
But they never had any idea how the cash flow was operating. All of a sudden, they were in financial problems and couldn’t understand why they were in financial problems because they had all this business. The business was either spread out or was futures.
They were creating overhead. They weren’t managing their cash and their expenditures against each other.
The greatest lesson I learned in business, not having an accounting background, was to be smart enough to sit down and say, ‘I need to know where we’re going to go.’
That’s why, even today, we do a quarterly review of our cash flow and project it out three years. That’s what drives your company.