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Episode 93: The White Brothers' Recipe for Family Business Resilience

In this episode of the Family Biz Show, host Michael Palumbos welcomes Eric and Scott White from Denver Machine. The White brothers share their journey into the family business, emphasizing their engineering background and the evolution of Denver Machine over generations. They delve into the importance of working outside the family business before joining it, a tradition in their family to ensure fresh perspectives and valuable experience.

Eric details his and Scott's path, from their education in mining engineering to their respective careers before taking over Denver Machine. The narrative touches on the company's history, its challenges during economic downturns, and how diversification and strategic decisions have been pivotal in its growth and sustainability.

Scott White elaborates on their strategies for business growth, including acquisitions and diversification. He also shares personal insights on navigating the complexities of family business ownership, stressing the value of Vistage, a CEO advisory group, in their professional development and decision-making.

The episode underscores the importance of not just running a business but also being stewards of a family legacy. It highlights the need for strategic planning, investment in people, and the continuous pursuit of growth and improvement. The Whites' story is a testament to the resilience and adaptability required to sustain and evolve a family business across generations.

Watch the entire episode!

Episode 93 Transcript


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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Welcome everybody to the family. Biz show. I'm your host, Michael Columbus, with family wealth and legacy in Rochester, New York.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and today we are joined by Eric and Scott White from Denver. Machine.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Welcome, guys, appreciate you spending some time with us today.



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Scott White: Thanks, Michael, appreciate it.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So typically what we'd like to do is ask each of you just to give us the



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: the, the 30 s, 1 min version of how you entered the family business. What generation. You are maybe even a little bit about how many family members.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know, are in the business today, or have been in the business, and



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: kind of go from there, and then we'll get. Then we'll break it. Then we'll just jump into a history of the of Denver machine.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So, Eric, since. You're on my left. I'm going to ask you, how did you know? Tell us about your journey before the family business, then into the family business. And



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Eric White: how did that work for you? So



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Eric White: my,



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Eric White: I went to college at the Colorado School of Mines for Mining engineering, so did my dad, and so did his dad. And they're all in the chain of



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Eric White: for generations in this business. Scott's also



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Eric White: an engineer for mines, and so we're all engineers, not business people, but



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Eric White: I got started because II went to Rotc and took



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Eric White:  job with the army for 5 years, most of it in Germany and the Corps of Engineers



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Eric White: and then Scott will talk about his track. But when I got done with with that stent



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Eric White: I joined the company that Scott was with, which was caterpillar tractor in in Illinois.



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Eric White: and after a few years of that I got to missing home because we live in Denver, which is a beautiful area of the country, with



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Eric White: the Rocky Mountains and a lot to do, and 300 days of sunshine a year. And and so life was too short to live in Illinois. So



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Eric White: I came back. I again followed Scott. He had come back a little earlier from Cap than I did.



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Eric White: and I went to



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Eric White: a company that was making auto bags, our auto mobile airbags.



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Eric White: They were on the explosive side and platter side. Scott was there as an engineer, and because of my army experience as an officer, I got put into an operations management job.



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Eric White: My! My folks were of the point that that they couldn't really. They didn't have room in the business for us



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Eric White: when we got our careers going, and so we didn't. I didn't get in until about 20 years ago. So I was 37,



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Eric White: okay, and Scott, too. And and about that time.



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Eric White: that that I got in.



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Eric White: I joined Scott. The company that I was with was moving to Mexico, and I got paid an extra year's income to stay. I'm with those guys. So Scott



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Eric White: Scott had some more money in the equity of his house, so he bought the company and invited me and his 50 partner a year later.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Nice. I appreciate that. So you guys both spent some time



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: outside of the family business that had already that was already in existence. Well, before you came into it had lots of experience on your own.



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Scott White: That's true.



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Scott White: And you know, I'd like to point out this is Scott. By the way, I would like to point out that Eric and I are identical twins. And so our paths have intertwined throughout our lives, and that's why we seem to wind up with the same businesses and



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Scott White: and so forth. So I also went to the Colorado School of Mines, and I'm a metallurgical engineer.



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Scott White: and we are big. Mine's family mines is a school similar to Mit or one of the other schools that people haven't heard of it. But it's a



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Scott White: it's a top notch engineering school.



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Scott White: and you can tell that we have a family thing going on there. Eric, son, just graduated from mines in geological engineering, and he's taken off and going to work



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Scott White: doing that type of work. And my daughter graduated from mines



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Scott White: a year ago, and she's working for HP. As a computer science engineer. But you know you mentioned that? Yeah, we have some experience and my particular case. I went to work right out of college for



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Scott White: caterpillar, and I spent 10 years with caterpillar. My wife and I are both metallurgists, and



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Scott White: and then we decided to move home and kind of followed that path, and then, when my folks wanted to retire.



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Scott White: I bought the business, and



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Scott White: neither one of us was invited to join the business until we bought the business, and we had to go to the bank and get the money and



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Scott White: and and go that route. And that was by design. Because my mom and dad. we're very



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Scott White:  you know. They felt very strongly that somehow they had been taken advantage of by having to work for his father



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Scott White: for 30 years and run the business while the father was retired in Arizona



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Scott White: and pulling money out of the business. And so they felt like that was not the way to go and and so that's that's what happened. It was a small enough business that we were able to make a fairly easy transition, and my dad is still involved as a consultant in the business, even though he doesn't consult much, but he loves saying that he's a a consultant. Actually he ran into another consultant that was a senior consultant.



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Scott White: and he came back and said, Scott, he said, my card is not right. It has to say senior consultant.



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Scott White: He's still so he's a he's still a member of the business, but that's that's that's how we came to own the business 20 years ago, and we're 107 years old now, and my great grandfather started it



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Scott White: so 4 generations and there may be a fifth, but in every single case of all the generations everybody had to go out, and industry and work for 5 years or more. Before they were invited to join the family business, or before they were able to come into the family business because we just felt like that was a really important



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Scott White: part of our success. To be able to bring something to the table, and also to also not be the the SOB. So to speak. You know that that just comes in, and and you know, doesn't have to show up on time, and.



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Scott White: you know, hasn't hasn't had a real job where they had to. You know where they where they know that



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Scott White: that they have to make it or break it, you know. Yeah. And and for those of you who might not have heard of what the sob is, that's the son of the boss. Right? That's correct. Yeah. So be son of the boss. So I just wanted, you know, I wanna point out something that was really interesting.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: There is no right or wrong way for a family to do their transition or succession plan.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You just do what works for.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know the family, but based on something that didn't work. You know your your parents.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I mean, you know, like you said they felt taken advantage of that grandpa was taking money out of the business, even though he was, you know, retired, and they were doing most of the work.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Or all of the work, as the case may be, and that prompted that set of circumstances prompted them to say, Hey, you know what we're going to do something different when we do this?



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And we want you guys to



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: cut a check for it, and by having to cut that check and go to the bank and be responsible for that. My gut says that you know



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: that makes a big difference. Your your investment mentally. is way different than the SOB. You know it's it's your business, and you're responsible. And the buck stops here from that moment that you take took over



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: that sound and feel right to you know how I explain that.



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Scott White: Yeah, that's exactly right. And



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Scott White: Matter of fact, I didn't pay myself the first year because I was worried, and I couldn't see how it would possibly work. But you know it did, and my folks were there the whole way.



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Scott White: making sure that we did not fail.



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Scott White: And but that that's absolutely right. From the very beginning



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Scott White: of us, owning the business we make, you know, the buck stops with with us, but.



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Scott White: on the other hand, it doesn't mean that you know, as as a father, you know my father the first 3 years



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Scott White: that I you know that he he stayed on for a couple of years, and then was kind of



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Scott White: almost 3 years, actually. And you know, just seemed like



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Scott White: that. You know, you had to do everything that you said.



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Scott White: even though he wasn't the boss, he was still kind of in control, and it took me a while, and finally I learned to say, Hey, dad, I appreciate your vice, and I'm going to



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Scott White: consult with a couple of other advisors that I've got, and I'll let you know which way I site, and once once we got that figured out, then then things got a lot easier.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Great



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Eric, would you mind taking us through when your great grandfather started the business. What was Denver machine doing at that time? What was the business? How did they make? How did the business make money when it first started.



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Eric White: Sure thing. My great-grandfather was from California originally, and when they found gold in Colorado, up near Central City he landed in Central City, trying to find gold



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Eric White: because he was a young man, and he was eager, and they didn't have much left in



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Eric White: Northern Colorado at that time, or la for him.



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Eric White: He basically



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Eric White: did not find gold and rather than starve, he learned how to take a job as a blacksmith



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Eric White: putting shoes onto the burrows which would carry the York carcass in and out of the mines.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Okay, what what year is this?



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Eric White: This is about 19, 1910.



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Eric White: Wow. I love this 3, 7 and



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Eric White: We know that he got his apprenticeship



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Eric White: down in Denver. As a machinist



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Eric White: in the day an apprenticeship was. You become accomplished machinist in a shop, and then the owner of the machine shop writes you a letter



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Eric White: that says to whom it may concern. you know Fred White, who's my great-grandfather.



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Eric White: He! He is an accomplished machinist.



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Eric White: and I vouch for him, and this is my whatever. We still have that letter hanging that exact letter hanging on our wall



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Eric White: right now, and anyway. So the great grandfather saved all of his money



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Eric White: when he could afford it. He brought his girlfriend back by about 1915



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Eric White: or so, and they were able to purchase our shop.



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Eric White: 1616. He did it with a partner.



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Eric White: Back in 1916. The shop was probably the only and largest machine shop. if not, if it wasn't the only one it you know. The machine shops of the day were



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Eric White: were very specialized because people didn't have machine tools. So when mining equipment broke



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Eric White: and he had his contacts up there and railroad equipment, and even the farmers Axel broke. you know. Then they could actually



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Eric White: do a



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Eric White: do business by getting a part repaired or a new one made because there wasn't anything on the shelf



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Eric White: back. Then they didn't have any telephones.



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Eric White: so everybody worked on a in in what was Look, what would be now lower downtown Denver. They would all walk to lunch. One of the



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Eric White: one of the surviving old hotels is the Oxford Hotel. and the story goes that he would go to lunch every day at the Oxford Hotel. It was a two-hour affair.



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Eric White: where where everybody was wearing suit and ties, and the steel supplier would make a deal with the guy that needed the work that would make the deal with the machine shop do the work.



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Eric White: and so on. And that's how business got done before telephones back in in those days.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Sure it was like a networking event



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Eric White: it was. It must have been a really fun time to be around. We have a picture of my great-grandfather above my desk right now, in line with all the generations.



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Eric White: and he's sitting with a 3 piece suit on a vertical lathe. It's like a potter's wheel



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but it turns, and then the tool comes down on that, whatever he's turning, and he's



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Eric White: he's got a cigar in his mouth, and it's just a really neat picture.



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Eric White: and it shows the the sign of the times, you know. And



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Eric White: So he he did get his wife back, and his wife had had a



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Eric White: well. Eventually they had children, and they had 3 children, and one of them was my grandfather, Ed White.



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Eric White: who would go to the Colorado School of Mines, and then he went to Sullivan Compressor Company



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Eric White: back in the day, which kind of the sole air for anybody in the audience that knows who that company is. and he worked there for 3 or 4 years. My great-grandfather in.



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Eric White: you know, started becoming ill.



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Eric White: and he was getting tired, and so



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Eric White: so he called up and invited my grandfather back into the business.



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Eric White: My grandfather came back, but he always had



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Eric White: his his interest in this new technology, pneumatic



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Eric White: tools which were air compressors



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Eric White: and wrap hammers. and in the mining industry they used them with jack-leg drills



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Eric White: and with the air compressor would would would use a jack-like drill, or where a miner would sit on it and drill a hole pattern into the rock, which they would then blast.



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Eric White: And so



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Eric White: he actually got a call from the Sullivan Compressor Company after he left the company, and he said, You know we don't have a distributorship to sell our machines.



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Eric White: and then you wouldn't happen to be able to have a corner of that shop



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Eric White: if you put a sign on your window. and from that came the second business for the company at that time, which was which was called Denver Air Machinery Company.



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Eric White: which is similar to Denver Machine Shop, had a separate location, and my grandfather became very interested in that company and the whole distributor distribution



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Eric White: business. It was the same size as one of the caterpillar distributors, or one of the American Harvester distributors at the time.



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Eric White: So that's those are the guys. He liked to rub elbows with the guys that didn't have their hands greasy.



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Eric White: and so he hired a couple of guys. The time that my great-grandfather died and passed the business to him.



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Eric White: He hired a a couple of guys that would run the machine shop, and because they ran that machine shop for most of my grandfather's career



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Eric White: they were part owners at that time.



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Eric White: and they



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Eric White: very small part of the ownership. But they



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Eric White: basically would would keep the old machinery running



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Eric White: because we're a big repair shop.



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Eric White: So they didn't always have new equipment, because my grandfather didn't necessarily want to reinvest, so they got really heavily involved in repairing mining equipment.



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Eric White: and they just kind of kept that business to folk for about 40, 50 years there.



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Eric White: And then it wasn't until my my father, Jim White.



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Eric White: he had gone to the Harvard a school of mines graduated 64, and yeah. basically took a job for Shell Oil company



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Eric White: and spent his career first with shell for a couple of years.



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Eric White: Then he owed time to the army



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Eric White: during the Vietnam era. He was in for 2 years and was Scott. I were born, and Amy came back and worked with shell for another couple of years, and then he joined the family business



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Eric White: upon being invited. but he joined on the air machinery side, too. Back in the 80 s. The mining industry



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Eric White: people might remember that there was a really bad recession in the early eighties.



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Eric White: and it took out a lot of industries. So one of the one of the companies that took out what? Which would be their distributor, which was dresser industries at the time, and those at that air compressor, and with rock drill and rock camera



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Eric White: company went belly up, and when they did that



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Eric White: the the air machine had no distributorship. They had no choice but to shut that down.



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Eric White: In the meantime the the machine shop wasn't doing well, because it was 90% edged into mining industry, and the mining industry was shutting down at that point. There was no.



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there's no money in the ore to to be able to afford to keep the mines open, so they stop.



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Eric White: meaning to repair their stuff



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Eric White: until things recovered, and my dad took over that machine shop when he shut down the other one and eventually the other guys. One by one they kind of left. And then the shop was in shambles, and it almost went out of business. Back in the early 80 s.



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Eric White: When they did that, and my dad tells a story about one one guy.



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Eric White: His name was Chuck Spiro, and he was a machinist, and one by one, when he couldn't afford to pay anybody.



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Eric White: is it? Do you know the paychecks went week to week without without a



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Eric White: being cash? Because no, there was no money in the bank. He got down to that one guy. and it was my dad trying to make the sales, and that one guy trying to



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Eric White: to do the machine, and if I worked for no money for 5 months.



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Eric White: and we later found out this. The true story about it was that his.



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Eric White: I guess the one guy I saw him a couple months ago. He walked into our shop as an old guy



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Eric White: and and his



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Eric White: during that time, when it got so bad, his wife said, well, you wouldn't believe what happened to our family that time. First of all, I wouldn't let him come back and stay in the house. He had to stay to stay working. He had nothing else to do, but then it made her go out and get a job for the US. Postal service. So she says.



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Eric White: you know, ever since that time we've had a really good living. We never really had a good living before that time. I've anyway, that's a fun story. But my dad worked hard. They were building a new airport



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Eric White: here in Denver, and he focused on many industries other than the mining industry, the construction industry



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Eric White: anywhere she could get a dime, the food, machinery, industry.



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Eric White: and the steel-making industry down in Pueblo. which would which he could repair that equipment or make a spare park which was unavailable on that equipment



00:19:47.070 --> 00:19:48.570

Eric White: and then



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Eric White: he eventually grew himself out of the debt of the other company. and they he, my mom, joined him at that time. So it was basically him.



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Eric White: They owned the real estate at that time, because he was able to buy the first building



00:20:02.430 --> 00:20:09.499

Eric White: and so they didn't even pay themselves. They just paid themselves rent for the real estate and kept on going.



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Eric White: and then, you know, and then he kept it really small. So our company did well, under a million dollars



00:20:17.210 --> 00:20:20.489

Eric White: of revenues a year, and only had a handful of men.



00:20:20.730 --> 00:20:24.759

Eric White: you know, and then they had always kept it that way, because



00:20:24.980 --> 00:20:34.049

Eric White: I guess more my mom than my dad, but but they were insecure, and thought that, you know, if they tried to grow it too big again that they would lose it. So



00:20:34.070 --> 00:20:45.199

Eric White: anyway, it hasn't gotten started out to be that big until Scott came in and and bought it and realized he didn't want to do it, I guess by himself, because he invited me



00:20:45.730 --> 00:20:46.980

Eric White: to join him.



00:20:47.240 --> 00:20:52.790

Eric White: and then. you know, we've grown it over the last 20 years



00:20:53.160 --> 00:21:07.999

Eric White: quite a bit, because we had to. We really had to hit the ground running that year, and we had to grow because we we were now having to support the rents for the parents, plus 2 incomes. We both took a huge reduction in pay



00:21:08.040 --> 00:21:14.910

Eric White: from our professional careers to come to the company, and then we said, Well, and then we paid back



00:21:15.050 --> 00:21:20.019

Eric White: Scott's original amount that he had to put into the Sba note.



00:21:20.060 --> 00:21:23.659

Eric White: And then we started growing and building and growing. And today



00:21:23.750 --> 00:21:27.289

Eric White: we are now at after 20 years.



00:21:27.560 --> 00:21:35.279

Eric White: We're now doing close to 7 million in revenues about, and about 45



00:21:35.500 --> 00:21:40.060

Eric White: people. We keep it fairly, fairly tightly held.



00:21:40.120 --> 00:21:54.020

Eric White: Nobody owns stock but Scott and I. And so we can really treat it like a family business. We're not having to pay off any anybody that's not involved directly with the business. But that's the story of the business.



00:21:54.590 --> 00:22:18.859

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Love it, Eric. Eric. It's obvious that you're really proud of that family history and all the things that the the people that came before you have done to get put kind of set you guys up in in the position position that you're in today. It wouldn't have happened at some level unless everybody else, you know, did their part through the years.



00:22:19.020 --> 00:22:24.260

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: The other thing I would that I find really interesting is.



00:22:24.390 --> 00:22:39.819

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know, your your father. If and make sure I got this right. It's not. Your father saw what your grandfather had went through when the mining industry was kind of falling apart a little differently or wasn't, didn't have the kind of



00:22:39.850 --> 00:22:45.670

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: work available that he needed to keep the machine shop going, and he diversified.



00:22:45.680 --> 00:22:54.139

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And he went out and said, You know what other industries are out there that we can serve to make sure that we don't go through that same thing that he went through.



00:22:55.100 --> 00:22:58.619

Eric White: That's an absolute family lesson which is passed down.



00:22:58.840 --> 00:23:02.569

Eric White: you know, and I think that what really



00:23:02.900 --> 00:23:21.899

Eric White: made the machine shop. Oh, stroll belly up back in the early 80 s. Late 70 s. Was when we were too invested in one mine and one mine in Southern Wyoming was doing 80% of the business for Denver machine.



00:23:22.150 --> 00:23:30.590

Eric White: And then, you know, when they got over that my dad taught us that never have more than 20% of your business vested



00:23:30.820 --> 00:23:32.910

Eric White: in any one



00:23:33.140 --> 00:23:35.230

Eric White: customer or industry.



00:23:35.310 --> 00:23:45.599

Eric White: And so we've diversified today, we do work for the food, machinery, industry, steel-making industry, the oil and gas industry, the railroad industry.



00:23:45.830 --> 00:23:48.150

Eric White: the



00:23:48.360 --> 00:23:51.060

course, the mining industry and aggregates.



00:23:51.190 --> 00:23:54.409

Eric White: and a lot of a lot of that.



00:23:54.570 --> 00:24:03.480

Eric White: And I. We're we are proud of our family's history, both Scott and I and It's a sacred thing, this company we



00:24:03.580 --> 00:24:06.790

Eric White: we're not. We're hoping that we have



00:24:06.890 --> 00:24:08.230

Eric White: kids sitter



00:24:08.390 --> 00:24:20.139

Eric White: that are eagerly wanting to join in our, that that we have kids that are educated enough in our opinions to join. Now they gotta get the experience, and they're working on that.



00:24:21.220 --> 00:24:25.040

Eric White: Excuse me. So I would say



00:24:25.310 --> 00:24:33.099

Eric White: that chance of survival of this company over is probably is good or better than



00:24:33.470 --> 00:24:36.470

Eric White: other family businesses in America today.



00:24:37.620 --> 00:24:38.680

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: That's great.



00:24:39.470 --> 00:24:45.129

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Scott! Let me turn it over to you for a second. What I'm curious about is



00:24:45.700 --> 00:24:53.200

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know Eric gave us. You know the the 3,000 foot version of what you guys do today?



00:24:53.390 --> 00:24:59.769

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  yeah. But you've been doing this for 20 years. So you know, talk about, if you would.



00:24:59.850 --> 00:25:07.040

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: some of the decisions that were that like, you know, that you work that worked out really well for you over the last 20 years.



00:25:07.110 --> 00:25:20.189

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and if you don't mind talk, you know, if there's if there's some things that didn't work out well, and you know what you would have done differently, or you know what you learn from those you know those those experiences through the years.



00:25:21.030 --> 00:25:24.809

Scott White: Sure, I'd be happy to



00:25:26.230 --> 00:25:31.710

Scott White: you know, II think when we first got started, Eric said we had to. We had to figure out how to grow.



00:25:31.970 --> 00:25:34.120

Scott White: and so we had a growth mindset.



00:25:34.210 --> 00:25:39.619

Scott White: and we still have a growth mindset. It's kind of like you're either growing or you're dying.



00:25:39.800 --> 00:25:45.100

Scott White: And and so that means constantly looking for the next opportunity.



00:25:45.270 --> 00:25:48.719

Scott White: And I think when I got to the point where I was



00:25:48.780 --> 00:25:51.649

Scott White: specifically concentrating on strategy



00:25:51.750 --> 00:25:59.060

Scott White: rather than operations in the business, to try and understand what are the good industries to go after, and what type of businesses?



00:25:59.350 --> 00:26:01.130

Scott White: And you know what



00:26:01.210 --> 00:26:03.540

Scott White: what really propelled us



00:26:03.700 --> 00:26:07.400

Scott White: was the great recession in 2,008,



00:26:07.700 --> 00:26:10.270

Scott White: the business in 2,002,



00:26:10.410 --> 00:26:22.770

Scott White: but in 2,000 2,008 there was a great recession, and we didn't have any work, but we had one customer. We violated our rule, and we had one customer that offered us a huge job



00:26:22.810 --> 00:26:29.199

Scott White: and we needed space. So we took the job, and I was looking for space, and I ran into a company



00:26:29.220 --> 00:26:30.940

Scott White: that was



00:26:31.060 --> 00:26:44.459

Scott White: they were. They were very concentrated on one industry, which is aggregate mining. but we were doing work, repair work on co-polarizing equipment, and they were doing repair work on aggregate.



00:26:44.640 --> 00:26:53.049

Scott White: crushing equipment, and it looked to me like it was very similar, and I ran right into a company that was going out of business because of the recession.



00:26:53.090 --> 00:26:56.380

Scott White: and was in the middle of an auction.



00:26:56.460 --> 00:27:02.750

Scott White: And so we made a deal with the owner, and we bought all the critical equipment at auction value.



00:27:02.880 --> 00:27:29.050

Scott White: and we hired their top 7 people, and we brought them in, and then we found a location, and we rented space in another building and just had a welding work, or whatever the heck we could find. Those first couple of years, and it really defined us because it got us into the mindset of of you know, you don't just have to grow internally. So we were able to, we were able to grow during that time.



00:27:29.180 --> 00:27:47.510

Scott White: And and so we're constantly looking for opportunities for growth. And what else we can, we can find. Another opportunity we ran into was a business that's similar similar customers to ours, but not necessarily doing exactly what we do. We do precision machining.



00:27:47.580 --> 00:27:54.630

Scott White: and we found a business that that does forming and welding and fabrication.



00:27:54.730 --> 00:28:22.559

Scott White: and they're about the same size as us. And their owner had had a stroke, and he really wanted to sell that business, and we figured out a way to to buy that business, and it doubled our size. And you know that business is done very well. It's paid for itself, and and it's become, you know, they're right within our family. And here, recently, just this last year, Eric and I. We bought a third business, which is a very small business, but it does metal cutting



00:28:22.710 --> 00:28:24.150

Scott White: with flame



00:28:24.350 --> 00:28:28.190

Scott White: like oxy fuel and plasma.



00:28:28.210 --> 00:28:51.899

Scott White: and so we cut up. You know, we cut up to 6 inch piece of steel using that into different shapes and so I would say that, you know, having this growth mindset and always looking for the next opportunity around the table has been one of our secrets to success. We've moved locations into much larger facility, and combined our operations. And that's helped us, too.



00:28:51.930 --> 00:29:12.359

Scott White: But I will talk about some of the lessons learned over the years. So over the last 20 years, let me pause for a second, Scott, because there's some things that you said that I just wanna unpack them a little bit because II don't want people, you know, people listening. I wanna make sure that they caught this number one when 2,007 and 8 came into play.



00:29:12.520 --> 00:29:36.689

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You guys were obviously in a financial position that you had been storing up, and you had some dry powder. So even though there's a recession coming. You know you took advantage of some opportunities that were available, and II tell people both, you know I'm a wealth advisor and a business coach. I do both. And it's this weird skill set that comes together really nicely for us.



00:29:36.690 --> 00:29:52.099

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: But, like my favorite time is 2,020, you know March, of 2,020. I help people make a boatload of money, because, you know, we did a really good job of buying some things and taking dry powder the cash that was available on the sidelines



00:29:52.130 --> 00:30:16.369

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and and utilizing it. And you're talking about exactly the same thing. Warren Buffett says you know you make money when others are fearful, and and you know you get get greedy when others are fearful and get fearful when others are greedy. Right. That's the the Warren Buffett philosophy. And that's what you're talking about. But I think it's really important to understand that you had to be ready.



00:30:16.640 --> 00:30:29.040

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You had to be looking. And it's that growth mindset that you had. And it's that you know that looking for those right opportunities and then having the ability to be able to cash in on those abilities when you're doing it.



00:30:29.300 --> 00:30:30.460

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Nicely done.



00:30:30.520 --> 00:30:35.269

Scott White: Thank you. I think the piece that you're missing is you have to step out on faith.



00:30:35.390 --> 00:30:38.459

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and you're making a huge investment.



00:30:38.600 --> 00:30:52.899

Scott White: You know there's risk there's risk attached to it. But there's also reward. And so, if you're willing to take the risk and step out on faith and realize that you can do it. Then that then that's that's the big part of it for me. Okay, I.



00:30:52.980 --> 00:31:21.769

Scott White: So and then you were, gonna talk about some of the lessons learned through the years. Oh, yeah. So you know, there's only a few things that you can really shut you down, you know, like one of them is is our, you know, is a safety stuff, you know, with Osha and walking into our industry. And we've met those guys a few times and and you know, so we had to work really hard on safety. And you know your banker, your banker is a super important relationship, and if you don't know your banker personally, know your banker?



00:31:21.770 --> 00:31:43.839

Scott White: You know that can get you in big trouble, and Eric and I got in trouble. In 2,016 I had fallen, and from a ladder and broke my back, and I was out of work for about 6 months and made some decisions. You know. We didn't have quite have things, maybe in order for the bank, and we didn't. We were with a very large bank at the time, and that large bank treated us like a number.



00:31:43.910 --> 00:31:52.150

Scott White: and forevermore. We will always go with a small local bank, and it was a small local bank that actually helped us out of the situation that we were in.



00:31:52.240 --> 00:31:58.950

Scott White: And I think you know, every business is going to go through these these types of bumps in the road.



00:31:59.000 --> 00:32:04.239

Scott White: you know we've been. We've been in situations where we thought we were going to get sued



00:32:04.390 --> 00:32:16.720

Scott White: by a very large company, and they were going to force us out of business. You just kind of take these things one step at a time, and you know, realise that you just put one foot in front of the other, and you drudge through it, and



00:32:16.750 --> 00:32:19.299

Scott White: and as long as you just keep working.



00:32:19.360 --> 00:32:31.879

Scott White: You know there's a perfect storm that can take anybody out, but as long as you just keep working hard and keep moving forward. I think that's the lesson. Learned that, and that now today, of course, you know, I'm I'm very confident in our future.



00:32:32.100 --> 00:32:43.470

Scott White: We've been through a lot of lot of this type of stuff. and you know we've been through the recessions in 2,016. We had a very, very difficult recession here in Denver because the oil industry fell out



00:32:43.560 --> 00:32:59.780

Scott White: and nobody really predicted it, and regardless of what industries were in. Somehow we're all they're all tied to oil. and at least in this part of the country, and you know and then you have to tighten the belt, and you and you have to make those decisions to



00:32:59.870 --> 00:33:06.590

Scott White: to save the company rather than the individuals, and and as it's tough, it's a tough



00:33:06.910 --> 00:33:10.450

Scott White: road. Eric pretty much went down that road



00:33:10.490 --> 00:33:30.850

Scott White: when I was out and having to make those decisions. Interestingly, a lot of those people are back with us again. But yeah. But anyway, so that those are some of the lessons learned that. You really can make it, you know, even when the going gets really tough, you you you can still trudge through, and I think it helps to know. Well, my business is 107 years old. We're gonna make it.



00:33:31.000 --> 00:33:33.709

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah. Nope, I appreciate it.



00:33:34.230 --> 00:33:43.479

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Eric, what are some of the from your perspective? What are some of the tough parts about being part of a family business?



00:33:45.420 --> 00:33:47.369

Eric White: Well,



00:33:48.810 --> 00:33:52.280

Eric White: I think one of the what are the hardest



00:33:52.320 --> 00:34:01.519

Eric White: things is to try to avoid talking shop during all family activities, and



00:34:01.730 --> 00:34:03.350

Eric White: you know, and so



00:34:04.190 --> 00:34:09.489

Eric White: the ability to to leave it and check it at the door is



00:34:09.630 --> 00:34:11.170

Eric White: is instrumental.



00:34:11.710 --> 00:34:14.870

Eric White:  Scott and I both



00:34:15.080 --> 00:34:19.029

Eric White: put in our buy cell that our wives could not work in the business.



00:34:19.440 --> 00:34:26.370

Eric White: So that was by design. They have their own careers, and they work hard, too, and



00:34:26.540 --> 00:34:31.009

Eric White: but we just don't. We've avoided some of those kinds of confrontations



00:34:31.230 --> 00:34:38.100

Eric White: that have happened earlier on in our our company slides by. My dad's brother joined the business, and



00:34:38.489 --> 00:34:43.869

Eric White: you know it. Just it didn't work out. There was a lot of argument. There was a lot of



00:34:44.320 --> 00:34:47.490

Eric White: of things. And people ask Scott and I how we.



00:34:47.920 --> 00:34:58.180

Eric White: how we can work together as a 50 50 relationship. Most people can't believe that can be done. But we're always looking out for each other's family first. So



00:34:58.760 --> 00:35:01.700

Eric White:  you know, I think



00:35:02.340 --> 00:35:05.160

Eric White: I think that that that helps a lot.



00:35:05.460 --> 00:35:07.820

Eric White: I think that



00:35:09.810 --> 00:35:14.330

Eric White: the ability to understand the others involved in the business



00:35:15.710 --> 00:35:24.640

Eric White: really helps really helps out Scott. And I really understand. My mom passed on a few years back. But we understand my dad



00:35:24.790 --> 00:35:30.940

Eric White: at 81, and and he's still involved. And so we still really make him feel



00:35:31.340 --> 00:35:33.179

Eric White: piece of it when we're at.



00:35:33.400 --> 00:35:47.870

Eric White: Say, a function is one of our with his birthday party, or something or one of our functions outside of the company. and even inside the company he's invited to come to the the Christmas parties and stuff like that.



00:35:49.390 --> 00:35:52.210

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: That's awesome. No, I appreciate that.



00:35:52.800 --> 00:36:05.340

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  What are some of the what are some of the other? Let's say, let me think about. I had it on the tip of my tongue for Scott, from your from your position. What are some of the best parts



00:36:05.640 --> 00:36:07.979

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: about being part of a family business?



00:36:10.340 --> 00:36:17.829

Scott White: First of all, I think the very best part of being part of a family business is the fact that you have an opportunity



00:36:17.870 --> 00:36:29.759

Scott White: to create your own destiny. and you know all of us have gone out and worked for demand, so to speak, and got the golden handcuffs and and but who gets that opportunity



00:36:29.870 --> 00:36:41.129

Scott White: to to say, Hey, maybe I could be a millionaire. Someday, maybe we don't become a millionaire, but we have the opportunity to to to do that. And and so I think



00:36:41.430 --> 00:36:46.829

Scott White: having the family business is is is is much easier road



00:36:46.960 --> 00:36:55.970

Scott White: to that type of success than having to start from scratch. Yeah, because you know, the the guys that had to start from scratch



00:36:56.000 --> 00:36:57.830

Scott White: have to get past



00:36:58.140 --> 00:37:11.409

Scott White: being a owner operator of whatever it is they do. And you know, it reminds me of a seminar I went to. There was a guy that wrote a book, Michael Gerber, and it was the myth. It was the email.



00:37:11.480 --> 00:37:23.259

Scott White: the emith right. I read that book, and I thought, Wow, this is awesome. I had just bought the business, and he was coming to Denver to give a seminar. So I went to see his seminar, and he asked, who in this room has



00:37:23.300 --> 00:37:29.210

Scott White: more than one employee, or has less than one employee and three-fourths of the people raised their hand.



00:37:29.370 --> 00:37:38.179

Scott White: and he said, Well, who in here has, you know, 2 or 5, or whatever it was. By time he got to ken I. There were very few of us



00:37:38.260 --> 00:37:42.330

Scott White: in that room that had that many employees. And you know it's just like.



00:37:42.440 --> 00:37:46.340

Scott White: you know, joining a family business is difficult



00:37:46.730 --> 00:37:57.379

Scott White: because of all the challenges. But it's it's a great opportunity for the person who wants to own their own business because of the the somebody else has come and paved the road before.



00:37:57.960 --> 00:38:00.670

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah. And to and to your point.



00:38:00.790 --> 00:38:13.349

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I just again, I like taking what people say and just making sure that we make it plain, as you know, clears glass, you know. When you're building and working in a family business.



00:38:13.350 --> 00:38:35.540

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: your salary may be less than what you might make on the outside might be the same might be more. But it's but all that time you're building value because you own the business and you're building value for yourself and your families rather than building value for stockholders, you know, on a fortune 500 company.



00:38:35.620 --> 00:38:41.399

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  so II think it is very important that people realize that you know.



00:38:42.200 --> 00:38:53.539

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: when you have that opportunity, the value of building the value of that business at the real estate that you own, and all the equipment that you own. Yes, there's risks to it. But



00:38:54.250 --> 00:39:13.009

Scott White: is it more risk or less risk than working for a publicly traded company that you don't have any control over your future at some levels. Well, that's true. And I, you know, if I give an example of all of my buddies that I worked at Caterpillar with back in the eighties or early nineties, and



00:39:13.160 --> 00:39:24.880

Scott White: you know they are all retired. They all got pushed out. They are all like, you know, I'm 57, and most of those guys might be 60 or 61 62, but every one of them have been given a package, and they had to leave.



00:39:24.900 --> 00:39:28.970

Scott White: And so and so who's really got security?



00:39:29.140 --> 00:39:34.390

Scott White: Is it somebody working for a large corporation, or is it somebody who is working for themselves, I mean.



00:39:34.460 --> 00:39:40.720

Scott White: and you brought up real estate. Real estate has been a huge part of our



00:39:40.850 --> 00:39:58.049

Scott White: wealth building through the businesses, and you know. I mean, my folks are able to retire because they own the real estate that the business occupied and the business is able to pay the rent. We'd be paying it to a landlord one way or another. But this way they get a retirement income.



00:39:58.130 --> 00:40:04.470

Scott White: and we still have to pay the rent. and and then likewise the 2 other



00:40:04.500 --> 00:40:16.590

Scott White: properties that Eric and I have bought. We bought the the real estate along with the business, and that's why one of the reasons we bought that business, and so that we can build, build real estate wealth



00:40:16.690 --> 00:40:26.099

Scott White: as well as the equity in the business, and the hope is for us someday to to be able to to have multiple income streams when we retire.



00:40:27.370 --> 00:40:28.359

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I love it.



00:40:29.150 --> 00:40:34.770

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Talk to me. You talked to Eric. You mentioned the Bisell agreement between the 2 of you.



00:40:34.920 --> 00:40:46.209

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: How often do you guys? And we're talking about wealth building? So buy cell agreements, I think, are that you know that that safety valve underneath the safety net underneath that wealth building?



00:40:46.420 --> 00:40:50.329

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: How often do you guys review your buy, sell agreement?



00:40:51.280 --> 00:40:59.520

Eric White: Well, we've been really happy with our original buy-cell agreement. It was a basic Mexican showdown. I guess they call it where



00:40:59.610 --> 00:41:02.979

Eric White: you know, one of us can leave at any time.



00:41:03.040 --> 00:41:06.450

Eric White: if we want to, and then the other one has the opportunity



00:41:06.600 --> 00:41:11.060

Eric White: to buy em out. If if that was ever going to be the case.



00:41:11.290 --> 00:41:16.890

Eric White: We've recently revisited that just based on the value of our assets that we've



00:41:17.090 --> 00:41:22.939

Eric White: acquired. And then, realizing. you know, we've we've secured our



00:41:23.200 --> 00:41:37.920

Eric White: our assets because our the even of our company is rather small. We keep it that way and pay low taxes. And it's a lifestyle business, really. But because of that, you know, we've never had a lot of value



00:41:38.050 --> 00:41:47.559

Eric White: in the business itself. But but with the other assets growing, we realized that if there unfortunately was a surviving spouse.



00:41:47.770 --> 00:41:52.860

Eric White: That we would want her to be able to be taken care of.



00:41:53.130 --> 00:41:57.309

Eric White: There may not be enough life insurance money in order to do that.



00:41:57.370 --> 00:42:01.140

Eric White: And so we're restructuring the bison right now to



00:42:01.210 --> 00:42:10.000

Eric White: move up to a specific amount of insurance money and then an agreement of payments after that to the surviving families, so that so that we can



00:42:10.100 --> 00:42:13.100

Eric White: ensure the survival of the of the entity



00:42:13.440 --> 00:42:23.230

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I love that that's, you know. So it's music to my ears that you guys are doing that. Because, remember, I said, I wear both hats as the wealth advisor and the business coach.



00:42:23.240 --> 00:42:44.149

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: so you know, II could spend a whole show talking about growth, strategy. And where are we going? What are what are we doing with it? But at the at the same at the same time talking about things like the Buy sell agreement just really pertinent and important to make sure that you know. God forbid! You know, we never know when our time is, you know, up



00:42:44.170 --> 00:42:49.910

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: the you know the buy-cell agreement is there, and it's fine tuned to take care of families.



00:42:50.100 --> 00:42:52.149

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I'm good for you guys. Appreciate that.



00:42:52.900 --> 00:42:59.530

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  When you start looking at the next 1218 months.



00:42:59.820 --> 00:43:03.570

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: what would you say? Are your top 3 priorities over the next



00:43:03.940 --> 00:43:07.129

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: 12 to 18 months. From the business perspective.



00:43:07.450 --> 00:43:13.560

Scott White: the the highest priority today continues to be to attract and retain good talent.



00:43:14.060 --> 00:43:21.689

Scott White: Everyone is saying this, but particularly in skilled trades, we lost 2 generations of workers.



00:43:21.720 --> 00:43:31.919

Scott White: And so now, you have very old guys. And you have very young guys. And the very young guys all think they're worth what the old guys are, because they can look everything up on the Internet and tell you the answer right now



00:43:32.070 --> 00:43:33.580

Scott White: and



00:43:33.620 --> 00:43:40.680

Scott White: And so it's been very difficult for us. And so over the next 12 to 18 months, we're going to continue to figure out ways to



00:43:40.750 --> 00:43:49.680

Scott White: to provide training to our current workforce. to provide the best work environment possible and the highest salary that the company can afford.



00:43:49.730 --> 00:43:54.439

Scott White: and also to hire some good top talent.



00:43:54.610 --> 00:43:58.179

Scott White: and we put a lot of effort into it already. We



00:43:58.290 --> 00:44:06.410

Scott White: if you visit our website you'll see an interview done with our current employees explaining why you might want to become a machinist



00:44:06.630 --> 00:44:13.159

Scott White: and and so that's that's our highest priority is is is our people.



00:44:13.510 --> 00:44:18.719

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I love it. And it's you know. II tell every business owner I meet.



00:44:19.610 --> 00:44:23.920

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I asked the question, what business do you think you're in?



00:44:25.320 --> 00:44:38.000

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And because it's it's always, you know, it's machines, it's it's aggregate, it's it's construction. And I'm like, no, you are not. If you don't realize that you're in the people business first.



00:44:38.340 --> 00:44:49.890

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: it doesn't matter what you. That's what you do is construction. But we're all in the people business, because if we don't serve those people, whether they be customers or suppliers or the people that work for us.



00:44:49.910 --> 00:44:51.360

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: We're in trouble. Right?



00:44:51.640 --> 00:44:52.400

Scott White: Umhm.



00:44:52.530 --> 00:44:53.300

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah.



00:44:53.730 --> 00:44:59.859

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  What? When? If if Eric, I'll go to you



00:44:59.890 --> 00:45:02.379

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: if 30'clock in the morning



00:45:02.580 --> 00:45:07.659

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: comes and you wake up, and something about work is on your mind. What are you thinking about?



00:45:09.480 --> 00:45:13.110

Eric White:  Well, I



00:45:13.490 --> 00:45:15.890

Eric White: you know I've done so much



00:45:17.270 --> 00:45:26.290

Eric White:  soul searching. I usually don't dream about work. I dream about my trip to Key West



00:45:27.220 --> 00:45:36.210

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: love Key West love Key West. As a matter of fact, I didn't give you guys I want to let people know. I, my wife and I were just in Denver 2 weeks ago.



00:45:36.240 --> 00:45:50.839

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: For a conference, and we ended up getting to go to El Dorado Canyon, and we went to the top of Mount Evans. We did a white water rafting trip, and we went to the Red Rocks



00:45:50.920 --> 00:46:01.120

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: for a concert, and I can't to say enough good things. What you said about Denver didn't doesn't even do it justice. It's just an amazing place like



00:46:01.280 --> 00:46:05.140

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: to the point where it is definitely on our hit list of



00:46:05.310 --> 00:46:09.489

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: it places to visit more often, but maybe that



00:46:09.670 --> 00:46:12.089

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: it's a beautiful place to live.



00:46:12.260 --> 00:46:18.119

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I was. I was blown away. I've been there many, many times, but I've never been able to take the time



00:46:18.360 --> 00:46:27.599

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: to be there, and so I just wanted to give a nod to Denver, and you know the Rocky Mountain region. It's it's gorgeous! There.



00:46:28.160 --> 00:46:30.840

Scott White: We're we're very lucky, very lucky.



00:46:31.330 --> 00:46:41.710

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So, Eric, good for you. If you're you're thinking about your trips and your and the personal stuff. I think that that's wonderful, that what that means to me. What that says is that the 2 of you



00:46:41.740 --> 00:46:52.489

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: complement each other enough, and you've built enough. A good enough team around yourselves that you're not constantly thinking about work, and it's not something that you wake up at 3 in the morning thinking about



00:46:52.620 --> 00:46:54.370

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: hands off to. Yes.



00:46:54.560 --> 00:47:05.420

Eric White: so harder time turning it off. Yeah, just let me clarify just a little bit that that. We're Scott and I are. Personalities



00:47:05.810 --> 00:47:13.150

Eric White: are are totally different. So we do complement each other very well. Are you aware of



00:47:13.250 --> 00:47:21.560

Eric White: a lot of different hats? And he wears other hats over the years? He's been very instrumental at working with the



00:47:21.690 --> 00:47:28.520

Eric White: the business end of things. and particularly when it comes to Hr



00:47:28.700 --> 00:47:39.960

Eric White: finance and legal stuff and and he actually has been work worked the company books for many years. Only now have I gotten involved with that.



00:47:40.190 --> 00:47:46.530

Eric White: I were the the head of the marketing. And then I'm building our websites and



00:47:46.680 --> 00:47:52.989

Eric White: working on customer relations. More. I used to do a lot more of that



00:47:53.050 --> 00:48:06.009

Eric White: still. Get into some of the estimation just because I enjoy it. But you know, if you're gonna be a war reward all the time. you wouldn't want to be in a business like ours, because



00:48:06.470 --> 00:48:22.740

Eric White: if we just either have faith that we're gonna just we know we've we've been through a lot and won't get through anything. So I don't. I don't lose sleep, and I think Scott might lose little more than he. Scott, go ahead. You're gonna say, what were you? Gonna say?



00:48:23.010 --> 00:48:25.789

Scott White: No, I mean that you know this. It's it's a



00:48:26.650 --> 00:48:36.439

Scott White: it's tough to own a business at times, and you just got to remind yourself that the stories you tell yourself in your head are not the stories that are real



00:48:36.550 --> 00:48:49.880

Scott White: and and so if you wake up at 30'clock in the morning with your head spinning, the first question is, did I just invent that? Or is that you know, or or is this actually happened? And and so that's how I control it.



00:48:50.260 --> 00:48:58.739

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: That's great. I just finished reading a book this year called Sapiens. and it's the A brief history of Homo Sapiens.



00:48:58.800 --> 00:49:09.330

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and I'm like, I can't believe I'm reading this, but as I kept reading it, I kept going through it. I'm like, this is just fascinating. You know. I'm more interested to learn today than I definitely was when I was in high school.



00:49:09.470 --> 00:49:20.289

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: But the the the reason why I bring it up is it said that the difference between Homo sapiens and every other creature out there is our amazing ability.



00:49:20.590 --> 00:49:22.040

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: create fiction.



00:49:22.140 --> 00:49:31.259

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and and to our detriment sometimes to your point, Scott, you know, it's we got to be careful. Don't always believe what you you know everything you think



00:49:31.730 --> 00:49:35.550

Scott White: that's right.



00:49:36.190 --> 00:49:49.419

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Alright. So we've got your priorities as people and attracting and retaining and developing good people. You know. Oh, you 2, what are some of the ways that you



00:49:49.870 --> 00:49:58.729

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: interact with other business owners? And and how do you know it. My gut says if I'm not mistaken, are you guys, are you vistage members?



00:49:59.440 --> 00:50:08.840

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yes, yeah. And did we? I think that's how we got connected. So I mean, what is the what is vistage like for you as business owners? What does that bring to your table



00:50:09.820 --> 00:50:21.619

Scott White: vistage? I joined Vistage first, and you know it really. It really causes you to mature as a business owner



00:50:21.750 --> 00:50:23.850

Scott White: and to realize that



00:50:24.070 --> 00:50:38.049

Scott White: everybody's business is really the same. There's so many issues that become very similar. No matter if you're in a manufacturing business or a service sector, business or construction company, you know you all have the same issues with.



00:50:38.290 --> 00:50:42.099

Scott White: you know, finding and attracting people, and selling the work and



00:50:42.170 --> 00:50:49.149

Scott White: performing the work, and then getting paid for the work. And and you got a whole group of peers



00:50:49.310 --> 00:51:12.710

Scott White: to to really to really drive that home and to help when those really tough decisions come. I've been a member of thisage for 15 years. And II feel that that, it's been extremely important, not just to my personal growth, but to the growth of our organization and to overall leadership of the organization



00:51:12.880 --> 00:51:14.349

Scott White: and



00:51:14.920 --> 00:51:17.529

Scott White: Eric joined Vistage



00:51:17.550 --> 00:51:22.719

Scott White: a couple 2 or 3 years after I did but a visible change in Eric.



00:51:22.770 --> 00:51:33.530

Scott White: Once he joined Vistage, and he joined a different group than mine. And we're, you know, we're a small company, but we we invest in 2 of us. Well, actually, there's 4 of us that are in vistage now in our organization.



00:51:33.550 --> 00:51:46.599

Scott White: And because we have 2 guys in the key band groups because we believe so much in it. But there was a visible change in Eric after joining that group where he stopped thinking like an employee, and he started thinking like a business owner.



00:51:46.760 --> 00:52:00.620

Scott White: and that's a crazy way to say it for the business owner. But you know, at some point, when does your when does your mind turn to strategic decisions. And how do you make that happen? And so groups like Vista are extremely important and have been very



00:52:00.710 --> 00:52:02.540

Scott White: valuable for us.



00:52:03.020 --> 00:52:07.420

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: right, and it doesn't necessarily have to be vistage. It's just that's how we met.



00:52:07.500 --> 00:52:15.509

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: But I know that there's the entrepreneurs organization and Ypo. And you know there's plenty of other.



00:52:15.600 --> 00:52:24.979

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know, CEO Roundtables. I'll call them groups. But it's that what you said 2 things that really, I think are important is you grow



00:52:24.990 --> 00:52:26.100

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: as



00:52:26.130 --> 00:52:51.520

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: a CEO. You grow as a business owner because you're surrounded by all these other people, and I'll tell you in my group there's, you know, people that are, you know, making a million dollars a year. And then there's a guy that's making up in 10 years immigrated from and from a nut from Europe and from the Ukraine came over from the Ukraine 10 years ago. He's running 100 million dollars business within 10 years, and he says I'm not growing fast enough.



00:52:51.530 --> 00:52:59.009

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And and so, so, but by putting yourself and surrounding yourself with some different people with some different attitudes, I've always found to be helpful.



00:52:59.300 --> 00:53:00.520

Scott White: I agree.



00:53:00.690 --> 00:53:07.030

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Eric, what has been your favorite part of being a part of the you know the CEO roundtable group



00:53:09.080 --> 00:53:10.620




00:53:10.750 --> 00:53:15.100

Eric White: there's just so many lessons to learn, and I think to say



00:53:15.360 --> 00:53:30.420

Eric White: they're they're not all positive. I've been in there, I guess, what 13 years now, and I have washed so many new members come and go, and



00:53:31.070 --> 00:53:39.409

Eric White: we've had a guy we've had. So I'll give you for instances a guy that was in charge of a hundred 90 million dollars



00:53:39.520 --> 00:53:42.160

Eric White: drilling company.



00:53:42.250 --> 00:53:46.430

Eric White: and he was a division president in the United States.



00:53:46.450 --> 00:53:50.960

Eric White: and of a Canadian company drilling oil wells.



00:53:51.360 --> 00:53:55.970

Eric White:  and you know we watched this guy



00:53:56.360 --> 00:54:01.049

Eric White: whose morals were with his people. But then the company turned



00:54:01.260 --> 00:54:18.679

Eric White: on him. They got somebody killed, and he wanted to to treat it one way or another, and at the end of the day. but it is is his employment. So he goes out on his own, and and and he stays with us and he tries to start his own Oil Rig Company for a while.



00:54:19.070 --> 00:54:27.959

Eric White: You watch guys like that. You watch guys, I got a guy that came in, and he was in the logging business in Colorado, and he cut carries the land for the



00:54:28.120 --> 00:54:34.560

Eric White: for a service, but he never he failed. He was a younger man. He failed to calculate the price of



00:54:34.920 --> 00:54:36.420

Eric White: what it was going to cost



00:54:36.630 --> 00:54:44.380

Eric White: for whatever situation or whatever gas, and and he was in these huge contracts a 10 million dollars



00:54:44.480 --> 00:54:50.140

Eric White: worth of contacts from the government business, and he couldn't fulfill the context cause he literally



00:54:50.200 --> 00:54:51.870

Eric White: good. Not a Ford



00:54:52.230 --> 00:55:00.219

Eric White: to do what he had committed to doing. So he watched him go bankrupt and and that's not



00:55:00.450 --> 00:55:09.119

Eric White: That's not fun to watch. But you, you see these people in the paths that you take. See? Another guy who took a



00:55:09.340 --> 00:55:13.059

Eric White: little tiny 3 million Dollar Electric Electrical



00:55:13.090 --> 00:55:14.830

Eric White: Contacting Company



00:55:14.920 --> 00:55:20.360

Eric White: and turn it into a hundred 50 million dollars company. Who does all the solar



00:55:20.610 --> 00:55:28.139

Eric White:  yeah, all the solar installation for the government all the way across the country. It's just just nuts what



00:55:28.190 --> 00:55:32.790

Eric White: what you see in that place, and then be able to ask anybody any question



00:55:32.970 --> 00:55:36.289

Eric White: I can't see enough good about about



00:55:36.670 --> 00:55:42.239

Eric White: this is, even when I don't have questions. You see, somebody who might appear to have a really



00:55:42.360 --> 00:55:46.699

Eric White:  you know. Not a very interesting question.



00:55:46.730 --> 00:55:50.449

Eric White: But then, all of a sudden, the discussion brings out such a lesson. It's



00:55:50.660 --> 00:55:52.570

Eric White: it's great. Yeah.



00:55:52.870 --> 00:55:57.219

Eric White: One more story. a person in my group. Now we have a couple



00:55:57.610 --> 00:56:18.129

Eric White: who and they got into the imp industry. They're producing this Cbd oil, which I guess is wildly popular. They have the only recipe process that gives a 0 Ph. C value in this stuff. And they're right now, right in the middle of writing the new laws for Congress with the Congressman.



00:56:18.170 --> 00:56:24.670

Eric White: And I mean they're running this business here in Colorado, and they're in the middle of politics.



00:56:25.250 --> 00:56:36.500

Eric White: Anyway, I guess we shouldn't spend so much more time on that. I would. I do want to put in my 2 cents about. There are other industries, particularly the associations



00:56:36.680 --> 00:56:41.020

Eric White: for the listeners that are out there, whatever their Industry Association is



00:56:41.120 --> 00:56:47.950

Eric White: Scott and I have been been involved with the national tooling and machining organization



00:56:48.150 --> 00:57:00.310

Eric White: through our local chapter and sat on committees. I know, Scott. I think it's still on the Committee for Workforce Development with with those guys, and then their their national



00:57:00.500 --> 00:57:08.220

Eric White: conferences and stuff that they hold to be able to talk to other people in our same industry. Yeah.



00:57:08.310 --> 00:57:18.730

Eric White: understanding that. Yeah, we might compete over one or 2 things here or there. But we have a lot better opportunity to learn and to complement each other.



00:57:19.480 --> 00:57:28.040

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: No, I really appreciate you mentioning that, Eric. it's so important that you're involved in your associations in your industry.



00:57:28.520 --> 00:57:41.370

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I want to wrap up here, be, you know, cognizant of your time. But let's parting parting wisdom. If you're you're standing in front of an audience of you know, 50 family businesses.



00:57:41.510 --> 00:57:46.259

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: What? What are your parting words to the the family businesses in front of you?



00:57:48.900 --> 00:57:52.699

Scott White: Mine mine would be. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.



00:57:53.200 --> 00:57:56.899

Scott White: Lot of business owners tie everything up that they've got in their business.



00:57:56.920 --> 00:58:04.900

Scott White: and I personally think it's important to be looking at other investment opportunities all the time. Real estate's a good one.



00:58:05.150 --> 00:58:09.739

Scott White: Don't forget your especially when you're young



00:58:09.950 --> 00:58:21.069

Scott White: and yeah, and and realize that you're in this, not just to survive today, but for the rest of your life. And so, you know, be constantly, you know.



00:58:21.280 --> 00:58:33.530

Scott White: Talk to Michael. Michael. Is your wealth advisor, and and ask him for some advice, because business owners often get tied up in doing only only the business, and I think that's



00:58:33.570 --> 00:58:34.759

Scott White: that's a mistake.



00:58:35.770 --> 00:58:37.640

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Love it, Eric.



00:58:38.900 --> 00:58:42.800

Eric White: Well, I think the most important thing with it is to



00:58:43.280 --> 00:58:50.470

Eric White: realize that you have a unique opportunity that others before you may not have



00:58:50.690 --> 00:59:01.329

Eric White: to cherish it. Embellish it and plan on enjoying it for for a very long time. If you're



00:59:01.440 --> 00:59:06.509

Eric White: ideas are gonna be to try to throw something, and then



00:59:06.660 --> 00:59:19.310

Eric White: and then milk the cow is to say so that your books look good so you could sell the business, and but then you're treating yourself, and also your employees and their their their futures



00:59:19.360 --> 00:59:25.870

Eric White: and their sons and daughters teachers. We have multi-generation of family employees that have followed us.



00:59:26.080 --> 00:59:30.129

Eric White: I think the survival of a family business



00:59:30.380 --> 00:59:35.070

Eric White: is should be taken extremely seriously.



00:59:35.280 --> 00:59:38.170

Eric White:  and and not



00:59:39.420 --> 00:59:47.580

Eric White: not be thought of as a vehicle that was passed down so that it can be so.



00:59:47.910 --> 00:59:53.609

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah, now, I love what you just said. That's, I think, about that as



00:59:53.690 --> 01:00:08.420

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: we. It's our turn time to be good stewards of what was done before us, and I'm a second generation, you know. My many of our clients have been with the family for 30 or 40 years longer than I've been in business.



01:00:08.500 --> 01:00:14.529

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and and that's a Testament to what my father taught me. And I'm just.



01:00:14.680 --> 01:00:28.760

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know, like you the 2 of you I've diversified, and I've added some different things. I'm not a big fan of all the government regulations that we might have. So I found. You know. I like to work in some other areas that are just a little different, like coaching.



01:00:28.880 --> 01:00:58.070

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: But III can't say thank you enough to the 2 of you. We've got a great history of Denver machine. We have a great history, and of how proud you the both of you are of what your family did. You're both obviously great stewards of, you know the the work that was done before you, and so many other really thoughtful nuggets that I hope that people there's, you know, take away from from this episode. I really appreciate both of you.



01:00:58.540 --> 01:01:12.859

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Thank you for joining us, everybody. My name is Michael Columbus, with family wealth and legacy, and Rochester, New York, and you've been listening to the family business show. We are excited to have you tune in to our next episode. Have a great day, everybody



01:01:15.120 --> 01:01:15.880

go ahead.

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Michael Palumbos is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Family Wealth & Legacy, LLC is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. and its representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a legal or tax advisor regarding any legal or tax information as it relates to your personal circumstances.