How to Build a Successful Business and Live a Balanced Life: Lessons from Westbrook Carpentry and Millwork
Building a successful business is a dream for many people, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful. The story of Westbrook Carpentry and Millwork, a third-generation family business that specializes in master carpentry restoration and millwork on historic homes, offers valuable insights and lessons for anyone looking to build a thriving business while maintaining a balanced life.
Here are some key takeaways from the interview with the owner of Westbrook Carpentry and Millwork, Daniel:
- Ask yourself: Do I own my business or does the business own me?
It's important to remember that business success is not just about making money or growing your volume of business. It's also about what your business can give you personally and what you can give to your business. Daniel realized this when he asked himself the question, "Do I own my business or does the business own me?" He found that by reducing his workload, he could focus more on his craft and enjoy a better quality of life.
- Focus on your core strengths and passions.
Daniel knew that he couldn't be everything to everyone, so he decided to focus on his core strengths and passions: master carpentry restoration and millwork on historic homes. By specializing in this area, he was able to differentiate his business and attract the right kind of clients.
- Keep your expenses under control.
To reduce his workload and increase his quality of life, Daniel had to cut expenses. He did this by laying off his people, pulling out of associations that weren't helping his business, and focusing on his core strengths. By keeping his expenses under control, he was able to improve his profit margins and create a better work-life balance.
- Be creative and resourceful.
Daniel showed his creativity and resourcefulness by coming up with a dust control system that helped him work more efficiently and effectively. He combined a fan and a vacuum to create a makeshift contraption that worked surprisingly well. This is a great example of how being resourceful and thinking outside the box can help you solve problems and improve your business.
- Focus on your craft and keep improving.
Daniel's main focus is on elevating his craft as a practice. He believes that there is no end point to mastering his craft and that he will always be learning and improving. By focusing on his craft and keeping his passion alive, he has been able to build a successful business that he loves.
In summary, building a successful business requires hard work, dedication, and passion. It's important to keep your expenses under control, focus on your core strengths and passions, and be creative and resourceful. Most importantly, never stop learning and improving your craft. By following these principles, you can build a thriving business that allows you to live a balanced and fulfilling life.