“I’ve been working in manufacturing since ‘kindergarten'”


Yesterday, we had a wonderful Arnold family gathering.  Between my nephew’s graduation, sister’s anniversaries, Mother’s Day, and my 47th birthday, we had plenty to celebrate.  One of the fun things about getting together as an entire family is sharing stories of our childhood days. Yesterday, a topic that hit the table were stories of growing up in the family-owned dry-cleaning and laundry business (and retail clothing).   Some remember who worked harder than others differently; however, all would admit it set the standard for hard work in our lives.

Over that past 7 years operating my own business, I’ve often reflected back on these times growing up.  One conversation with my Dad a few years back that often comes to mind is our sharing, “Dad, I remember working a lot of late nights and weekends growing up and how hard we worked.  However, the other thing I remember is that you never missed a ballgame and I haven’t been able to say the same for my kids.”  Yes, coming off the heals of a successful corporate career where I didn’t have near the freedom and flexibility, operating my own business has afforded myself and many others I serve much flexibility.  This doesn’t say that it isn’t still a lot of hard work because it totally is!

Another thing that has come to mind more recently associated with those times growing up and my overall career are the deep roots I have in serving in manufacturing environments.  Really, I’ve been working in manufacturing since “kindergarten”.  Yes, I remember attending 1/2 day kindergarten and folding sheets, towels, etc coming off the flat iron press the other half of the day.  As I grew older, I found myself responsible for the wash room in the summer where I was always trying to find ways of loading and unloading huge washers faster and faster.   The best I remember the motivator at the time was I simply wanted to get my work done so I could go sit on the park bench outside the laundry room, watch traffic, and eat another “Twinkie”.  Yes, I was know as the “Twinkie” kid to many in the town.

Also, over the past 7 years running my own coaching and consulting business, I’ve had people ask me what my “niche” is.  Coming out of years of manufacturing experience, I really hated it when people would ask that question.  It was if they needed to place me in some type of box versus realizing my overall business leadership, cultural development, and High Performance Team philosophies apply across the board.  To that end, I have clients who are digital marketers, web designers, New York Times best-selling authors, CPA, attorneys, financial brokers, insurance agents, real estate agents, marriage and family counselors, highway construction, HVAC, printing, film making, trade associations, sports teams, non-profits, churches, others, AND MANUFACTURING.

So, all that is to say: “What’s my niche?”  Well, now being 47 years old, I guess I do have over 40 years of experience in manufacturing including an engineering degree from one of the nation’s top engineering schools, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology .  Thus, you would probably say, my niche is manufacturing.  Matter of fact, my coaching and consulting for manufacturing businesses in on the verge of taking on a whole new level with recent conversations.  Stay tuned!

If manufacturing fits for you, great!  If not, my challenge to you is, “don’t niche me, man”!  I serve leaders and their teams in about every type of organization you can imagine.  I’d love to support you and your team in identifying what success looks like and building strategies to achieve this success all while building a healthy organizational culture.

Fill out the Complimentary Confidential Analysis form at the right of my webpage or give me a call! I’d love to learn more about your story!

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