Larry Jack enjoyed a rewarding thirty-two year career with CMI Corporation and later Terex Roadbuilding. During that time he worked hard, played by the rules and assisted distributors in selling more than 75 concrete and asphalt paving models.
I was fortunate to work closely with Larry, during my time as Vice President of Marketing with Stafford, in promoting asphalt paving equipment and material transfer vehicles across three states. After getting to know Larry, I quickly figured out that it was quite possible for him to have forgotten more about the industry than many others would possibly know. Larry always knew his stuff!
And then one day his time at Terex Roadbuilding ended.
There is nothing really remarkable about this scenario in today’s economy. Many companies have opted to make the sacrifice of letting quality people go in order to cut costs and stay afloat.
A few days ago I was checking my Facebook account and noticed that Larry created a Fan Page for Larry Jack Ironworks. Larry states on the info page that he created his company to “meet the needs of clients for specialty iron works items that are not readily accessible in the market place.” The many iron design specialties, including chairs, tables, guitar stands and plant stands that he creates are very unique and appealing!
During this Labor Day weekend I find myself reflecting about some of the same things I have thought about for the past few years – the nature of workplaces today, the increase in employee dissatisfaction in Corporate America, and the quest for many who are “working hard to find work.”
Larry’s venture symbolizes for me the many talented people who have lost a job, gotten up off the deck and followed their passion to create a new venture – people who may have been stunned by events for a short time, but have gotten back into the game.
Having created my own company, FlexMarketing Solutions, I know that creating and building a business is no easy task – there seems to be little downtime and much at stake, in the beginning.
But as the adage goes, once we begin doing something we love, it seems as if we’re not working. I also know this to be true.
So, as I take some downtime this weekend, I will reflect on some of the same things I think of each Labor Day weekend (along with Summer coming to a close, MLB pennant races heating up and the start of NFL and NCAA Football).
I’ll also take a moment to raise a glass of lemonade, in salute to Larry Jack’s venture and all of the other ventures created out of a desire to follow a passion to create something of value.