Being a founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur“ we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tim Spiegelglass.
Tim is the fourth-generation owner of Spiegelglass Construction Company As a commercial general contractor, he works with chains and entrepreneurs on restaurant, retail, and specialized builds such as cannabis facilities, processing plants, event spaces, religious institutions, and more. Tim is an avid St. Louis Blues fan who was fortunate enough to be at Game 7 in Boston when his team clinched the Stanley Cup in 2019.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
Tim Spiegelglass: Sure, it took working for several bosses throughout my teens and twenties and learning what I did and didn’t like. Over time I was able to narrow down what I believed a successful business should look like. I had several jobs where I just looked around and said, wow this is not how I would do things. People weren’t treated well, there were lots of inefficiencies, customers were unhappy. On top of that, I kept saying to myself, why am I working my tail off and making someone else money? I just knew I had to work for myself and create a business where employees wanted to stay, clients kept returning, and partners were valued.
In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?
Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?
What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?
Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?
Tim Spiegelglass: A simple Google search will give you plenty of examples of companies that say one thing and do another. Stay true to your word, do the right thing and know your craft. You will organically build trust over time.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Tim Spiegelglass: I’ve seen businesses fail when they are passionate about their craft but don’t know how to run a business. If you have one skill but not the other, find partners or excellent consultants who can complement your strengths and help you grow your business.
Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Tim Spiegelglass: Every call I get from a repeat client is a win for me. We have several clients who we build for consistently, and every time they call us to award another project, we know we’ve done something right. We celebrate those wins, pat ourselves on the back for an approach that is working, and get to work so we keep getting those calls.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Tim Spiegelglass: Like many other businesses, the beginning of the pandemic held so many unknowns that we just weren’t sure what to think. In a new world where people couldn’t gather, would there be a need for commercial construction? Would anyone want to build a restaurant? A clothing store? A preschool? We simply didn’t know. It was a confusing period.
Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?
Tim Spiegelglass: We’ve been in business since 1904 — we’ve seen the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and many more economic downturns over the course of our business. It’s hard to do in the midst of difficulty, but if you study history it’s easy to see that things will turn again. It’s about positioning yourself for that next upswing.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.
We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Tim Spiegelglass: Resilience is all about bouncing back- not letting the bad days get you down to a point where you can’t get back up. Resilient people always, always get back up.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?
Tim Spiegelglass: I’m an ice hockey player and learned early on that there’s always someone better than you, a loss behind you, and an injury to heal. It never helps to wallow and playing sports is an area that teaches you to dust yourself off and get back up… over and over again. Business is no different. Learn from failures, get over them, and move on.
In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?
Tim Spiegelglass: Your attitude toward difficult situations is what will get you through it. Realistic but not blind positivity will change the course of your business. Better yet, prevent as many difficult situations as possible by strategizing and taking action accordingly.
Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.
Tim Spiegelglass: Try to walk into situations with solutions instead of focusing on the problem. Spend time addressing what can happen versus what did happen.
Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?
How can our readers further follow you online?
Tim Spiegelglass: Readers can learn commercial construction tips and find more information about us on our website:htpss://spiegeglass-gc.com
Or they can follow me or Spiegelglass Construction Company on Linkedin: spiegelglassconstructioncompany
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with
this. We wish you continued success and good health!