Things are just bigger in Texas!
We have bigger burgers, bigger hats, bigger cows, and maybe even bigger people.
We look naturally to the BIGGER thinking somehow it’s better.
For many of us we want to accomplish BIG things in life.
We toil and strive to come out on top – to be distinguished and noticed in our field of expertise.
Why throw a tiny pebble into the pond when a large boulder will make a much larger
ripple effect? Have you ever tried to pick up one of those boulders? Or tried
to launch it? Your ability to do so would depend on how many smaller, “lesser” boulders
you’ve practiced on previously. The untrained would probably throw their back trying!
The same applies to our business. At Southwest Metal Systems and Ameristall
Horse Barns, we believe in the “small things”. The accumulation of multiple
“small things” can add up to more than that large boulder ever dreamed of. It
may take longer and not appear as important, but after time elapses, the proof
is in the pudding. Let me demonstrate some ways in which our company pays
attention to the details so they don’t come back to bite us later.
One very important detail our owner, Adam Steck, watches closely is
FINANCES. Chalk it up to cash flow difficulties in his personal past, or just wise
business practice, but Adam’s philosophy is “If the money is not there, we
do not spend it.” Almost 2 years ago, Adam made a drastic decision to cut all
credit cards, abandon further lines of credit and completely abolish any further
vehicle monthly payments. On top of that, he calculated what it would take to
operate completely debt free. Initially, this put a huge (did I say huge, I meant
GIGANTIC) strain on the cash flow of Southwest. As a result, however, he got
an honest look at the status of the business. There were no more places to
hide or figures to ignore. The truth can hurt. But it always brings about freedom.
The ripple effect of “cash only spending” has trickled down to how inventory is
accounted for and processed. These figures MATTER. The process MATTERS.
It may seem insignificant to mark a box of screws picked up or enter the daily
trim orders, but failure to do so can cause a cramp in the system that affects everyone.
In general, daily consistency in all the paperwork is expected and
allows things to flow more smoothly...which translates into more business, happy
team members (and owner!), and satisfied customers. That sounds a lot like the
mission statement of Southwest: Honor God; Build Dreams; Spread Joy.
If you are familiar with the writing of the Old Testament, you will know one of
the important historical events was the desolation of the Jewish Temple in 586
B.C. by the Babylonians. Years later and prompted by God, many people yearned
to leave where they had been scattered and return to Judah, in order to begin the slow,
difficult process of rebuilding the temple. The books Ezra and Nehemiah speak
specifically to this account plus many others which reference it. Some people
willingly worked on this remodel job, while others grumbled and believe it or not,
others were enemies from the start--they constantly tried to prevent the temple
ever being finished. All of this chaos led to many people feeling like this work was silly–
maybe even ridiculous. I’m sure you would’ve heard people say, “Why are we
working on this stupid temple? It will never be finished! We shall all die here.
I could be doing such bigger, more important things than working on this door
frame!” They did not see the significance in the “small” task. Others, thankfully,
did and believed this was God’s work. The message Zechariah proclaimed was
“Who dares despise the day of small things...” (Zechariah 4:10)
Those small things MATTER. You matter. Wherever you are, whatever you’re
doing, you matter to God--who put breath in your lungs and the people
around you. To be good at the big, we believe, is to be diligent and faithful in
the small first. That temple was rebuilt one wall at a time, one stone at a time
and finally completed in 516 B.C. Our horse barns are built one panel and screw at a time,
with the same dedication to complete the job with precise execution of the details.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better – it just has many more “small things” accumulated within!