For entire history of the universe, the only thing that’s constant is change on every level. Atomic makeups change. Atmospheres change. Neighboring objects change. Relationships of all kinds change. Climates change. All of this is happening all the time, whether we notice it or not! In order to survive as a species, you have to react to environmental changes and evolve. You have to not only change yourself, but those around you. You have to take risks and hope you made the right choices. If you don’t, you and your species will stagnate and die.
The same applies to business. Everything changes constantly. While some things are somewhat predictable, most other things are somewhere between a statistical average and a wild guess at best. In the end, psychology and ability drive whether your species survives.
This year marks 15 years of Amerivet Services. Does this mean I’m some kind of business expert? Probably not. It just means I’ve won more business psychology contests than I’ve lost, though I assure you I’ve taken my share of lumps! What I try to do, by writing this blog and talking with other business people, is try to relay the good times and bad times in ways that can make a difference and inspire people (including myself) to evolve.
It’s also important for everyone (including me) to remember that Amerivet Services is nowhere close to my first business venture. I’ve been “in business” most of my life. I was being taught about business from the minute I was born, but I didn’t realize it until I was in my 40’s. It was just part of life to me. Nobody said “Hey son you’re going to be a businessman and we’re going to teach you how.” It was more subtle….just an expectation that things were happening and I should pay attention. My parents were subtly building a way of thinking, and quite honestly they’re still doing it. Just “normal” conversations about life, with a twist.
As I’ve progressed through life, thousands of great people have passed by. Significantly more good people than bad ones. I feel blessed because 99.9% have truly been friends, had my back, offered good advice, and helped me find my way. This world is full of great people!
The sad part of evolution is, not everyone evolves with you, or at least not at the same time. It’s easy to leave people behind even though you’re trying to drag them along with their best interest in mind. Most people like to be comfortable, and change scares them. They revolt or push back. Sometimes they create tons of drama threatening to drag everything to the ground. It’s a fact of life, and most of the military leadership schools focus for at least half a day on this problem.
Every once in a while, there’s a person who you truly wish hadn’t pushed back. Someone who could have been a hugely important asset if they hadn’t been screaming so loudly that you were doing the wrong thing when it was blatantly obvious that there was no other choice. It’s true that these differences happen. It’s also true that only time will tell who was right. In the end, it probably doesn’t matter who was right, because both of you will feel slighted by the situation and there will be no turning back.
Why am I writing about evolution now? I feel like Amerivet Services has been in the middle of an evolutionary step for 4 years. We’ve been on the cusp of an entirely new direction, and it’s getting close. Amerivet Services was built on my talents, my knowledge, my abilities. In order for Amerivet Services to evolve, we need to be able to either teach people my knowledge consistently, or we need to adapt our current business model to suit people who are readily available. We are evolving whether we like it or not!
We’ve spent the last 4 years finding out what does and doesn’t work. We know “what size” projects are right for us. We know what talent we have available on any given day. We have tools and equipment to do anything we want. Charlene and I have done a LOT of talking, and we’ll continue to talk.
As we evolve, it’s important to remember the core of our business, and we WILL continue to serve the core of our business. Quite honestly we don’t want to take anything off the plate, but we’ll focus less on certain things and more on others. We will continue to serve the building repair and construction world in every way possible, especially when it comes to structural steel. But, as Paul Harvey (for you “old” people) would say, you need to hear the rest of the story:
Back in the late 70’s/early 80’s my parents decided we needed to go into the mini storage business. It was the beginning of Gary Brown learning about building steel (I had already been building trailers for years). Besides getting fired almost every day (but still being required to work!), one little great fun corner was that I had to install several rollup doors every single day. I was paid based on how many rollup doors I could install…..Nope, not by count, but based on my DAD’s expectation of what I was capable of. So the bar was always raised a bit higher or moved 6 inches sideways, but so was my pay and self esteem based on a widely variable scale.
There are many attributes to my dad’s management methods, which are only legal in certain countries. However he forced me to evolve every day….to predict his and future customer expectations, and make myself my worst and best customer. He carried a notepad in his shirt pocket, and had pages dedicated to Gary that were just marked with dates, and 1/2, 3/4, 1/4, 0, etc. The fractions were how much of a boy I was that day. Base pay was $10 a day. If I was 1/4 of a boy, I got paid $2.50 for the day. Minimum wage was dinner and a bed….and a 5:30 AM wakeup to try again. True story my entire childhood. Those of you thinking it was 1941 are mistaken.
This management practice applied to construction, fabrication, logging, goat milking, semi-truck rebuilding, calf feeding, snap setting in Mom’s garment factory, hog butchering, and even serving random customers who arrived at the mini storage or to have their tractor repaired. The base pay wasn’t always $10. Sometimes it was nothing or a random thank you, and sometimes it was a backhoe arriving to finish digging the swimming pool my brother and I had been digging by hand for days.
Evolution is a great thing thanks to my parents, and especially my Dad’s management skills. I’ve evolved almost every day since I was born, and Amerivet Services is still evolving. Sometimes when you evolve, it’s best to focus on traits you already have. So I’m proud to announce a service that Amerivet Services has offered all along, but in a new way, new focus, new fashion!
In 2023 we made great new connections with new premium suppliers of the best products in their field! We’ve shown customers with the highest possible reliability requirements that WE can take on their old system, rehab it, and make it reliable until there’s no return, then provide and install and new product that’s absolutely reliable, and if there’s a hiccup in the product they can depend on us in a heartbeat!
What’s the mystery “new offering?” Yup, rollup doors! My parents taught me the doors. The Air Force taught me the electronics, and I’m teaching our employees the whole system. We offer HIGH PERFORMANCE rollup doors from the best manufacturers on the planet. We offer every kind of rollup door you can imagine. We install them. We service them. We HAVE YOUR BACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! Our best customer operates a dozen ambulance facilities! Our best customer now has four BIG high performance doors that roll up in less than 10 seconds! Our best customer loves that if they have an issue with ANY door, we are there to get it open and let them go save lives! They even trust us with aircraft hangar doors that support life flight helicopters! (Yes, we are experts on THE BEST hangar doors too!)
Amerivet Services is based on military performance and military expectations. We install and service military grade doors, and provide military grade service on them! We perform ALL of our work to that expectation, and we pay our employees more than $10 a day!
For our parting shot, check out how your new high performance door will look before it’s installed!