Today was the first time in the last 16 years that on August 16th I did not own AirTight Mechanical, Inc. It was a unique feeling, to be sure.
Months ago I had become accustomed to not being “The Owner”. Many people that sell their businesses seem to suffer mentally after doing so. For me, I was at peace with it. It was time and it was the right thing to do for us.
Rising early, after having had the last few days to reflect on the impending anniversary day, I sat and hacked out a note to some key people that had influenced the company over the years. Below is an excerpt from that communication.
August 16, 1999 - what a great, scary and “what’s next” kind of day that was.
That day, we began a mission to serve at a level many had not seen… Over the past 16 years we have created a culture that cares & delivers.
Day, night, family, work, etc… We set out to do something unique. 24x7/365, we would show up and help you, not only in this city, Charlotte, but within our industry.
You are receiving this because you made a huge difference in what we did and how we did it. You gave of yourself, you sacrificed family time, you were just in there with us.
Thank you seems like a lame word right now. Thank you for doing what you did, do and will do moving forward.
Congrats to you all.
In the same vein, congratulations to Denny Baumgart. Today marks his 16th anniversary with AirTight. For many years Denny has been willing to do “whatever it takes”. Thank you Dennis K. Baumgart. I'm glad you have been able to do what you do for so long and I'm looking forward to seeing your efforts of helping the young bucks bear fruit for many years.
I hope you will all take a few minutes to do few things.
Look at the picture of Denny day 1 & Connie and me from the same moment, Look at the picture of the customer service banner & last, spend a few minutes and listen to the words of the song attached within this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mIP7ySBXBg&sns=em link.
Think about what we have accomplished and how many things we have done together, done when you felt like the Lone Ranger. All of the systems installed, so many people touched, many people educated and being able to be there when some families needed help, a meal or just a hug.
All the best to each of you … you humble me.
In the book entitled, Life Advice by Jo Oz, @OzLifeAdvice, entry # 1278 says, “The best people I know have no idea how great they are. I think that’s their secret.” Having been surrounded with so many great people, I think Jo just may be on to something.
November 14, 2014 - that was the day the sale closed. That day is when I realized that it was time for a new page, a new chapter or perhaps even a new book.
Living and working within a company that was yours is unique. The drive to serve is ever-strong and the people that I serve with are still excellent people, it’s just a different flavor of happiness.
As you read above, I said Thank You to those who I had the pleasure of building a company with.
Now it's time to say Thank You to those we built a company for. Having had the pleasure of talking to and helping so many of you; our customers, friends, and extended family, many of whom we have had since the early days, I feel very indebted to each of you. Like Denny Baumgart who was mentioned above, who was with us from Day One, our first customer is still with us as well.
Thank You for allowing me to serve you, it is still my honor and privilege.
Until the next chapter is ready for inking, stay curious.