“Things have changed” is an understatement. But looking back is always a good reason to give thanks and then press ahead. Allow me a moment to thank all of you who have been part of my life and the wonderful team of people who have worked with me over the last 28 years.
On November 23, 1987, Lisa (my wife) and I prepared to leave the ranks of the employed, leave behind a steady (but meager) paycheck, and venture into the unknown world of entrepreneurship. We purchased our first ServiceMaster license the day we brought our second son, Jonathan, home from the hospital. Two men we had barely met, but eventually grow to love, John Holland and Dave Cowles, gave us a new ink pen and we signed our contract; the adventure began.
Change? Much has changed since 1987. Today’s business climate is overtly hostile, margins are constantly squeezed, overheads are oppressive, and stable companies merge, change, and sometimes venture in significantly different directions than their historical roots and moral foundations. But change has always been there, yet perhaps the rate of change continues to intensify. We will always be faced with change…but the alternative of never changing anything is not usually better.
Constants? I’ve heard the expression, “You can’t out run your fork”, meaning that losing weight involves both discipline & a healthy diet. In the same way, pressing ahead in life & business means discipline and implementing the designs of business that lead to success, core elements of that design include consistent implementation, innovation, and proactivity.
You are the best predictor of your future success. It’s been wisely said that success is where hard work and prayer intersect. God is the One Who grants true success….the things that really matter…but He also gives us our ability to follow the designs which make a healthy business…and a successful life.
ServiceMaster’s historic Corporate Objectives summarize it well. A strong balance is summed up in the following: 1) To Honor God In All We Do, 2) To Help People Develop, 3) To Pursue Excellence, and 4) To Grow Profitably. Learning to embrace & master these principles, execute them consistently, stay focused on profitability, remain diligent at effective sales, and always keep the perspective that business (and life) is to honor God, these core disciplines will help us follow the designs of success & master change.
Thankfulness: On Thanksgiving 2015, I want to especially thank all of my former staff members, ServiceMaster franchise friends (franchisees, staff, Home Office staff, etc.) and wish each of you God’s blessing. I’m also very thankful for family, especially my faithful wife who survived all those years of 24 hour on call while raising a young family (including being called out for fires & water losses and leaving her alone on Thanksgiving family meals). And mostly, I hope we will all stop to thank the Master Designer (God), receive & give thanks for the gift of forgiveness of sin and salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and that you will follow the designs He has for your life and work. It’s been an exciting last 28 years…here’s to the years to come! When our faith is firmly placed in Christ’s payment for our sin, His resurrection makes the future always bright…and for that, we give thanks.
Jerry E. Winkley
Business By Design…making sales work