The Relationships We Form Are What Make Our Business Lives Rewarding
Three men in our industry whose friendship many of us cherished will be missed: Jim Miekle, Bill Smith, and Alan Carver.
During our lives, it’s really the relationships we form, family, personal and professional, that make the difference in the amount of enjoyment and success we are able to achieve. During the nearly 17 years that I’ve covered this industry, I have been fortunate, very fortunate, to know and become friends with more rebuilders and their suppliers than I ever thought would be possible.
All of us during our daily business endeavors realize how much we have come to value these relationships and the friends we’ve made; we know how much they help our businesses grow and profit, and we know how much they enrich our personal lives. And because we do, we know how important it is to keep working to develop these relationships and to make them stronger at every opportunity. Our existing friends have taught us well.
Just over the past several weeks, three men who many in our industry valued as close personal and professional confidants have died. Jim Miekle, president of Vulcan Automotive Equipment Ltd., Annacis Island Delta, BC, Canada; Bill Smith, CEO, Gopher Motor Rebuilding, Inc., Minneapolis, MN; and Alan Carver, Vice President of Engineering and Technical Services, S.B. International, Nashville, TN, were men who, over their careers in our industry, had developed and cultivated hundreds of personal and professional relationships.
Jim, a Canadian, Bill, an American and Alan, born in England, although of different ages, nationalities and personal interests all shared common traits that I and all of their friends had come to treasure. They were contributors who willingly shared their business knowledge and experiences with others. They were committed to our industry, not just because it had provided them with a good living, but because it had provided them with good friends.
Jim, Bill and Alan had all mastered a fine art that eludes many who work hard and are deemed successful businessmen in their chosen fields. They all knew how to enjoy the moment; they all had, in their own way, developed a formula that allowed them to make their business lives fun. And by doing so, they allowed many of us to be able to do the same.
I know that I will personally miss each of them. As they did with most everyone with whom they came in contact, they gave me honest answers to my questions, they showed concern and respect for the industry they worked in and the people with whom they worked and socialized. For me, they made our industry more than just enjoyable; they made me smile and they often made me laugh out loud.