Today, I’ve had the opportunity to interview a professional that is truly self-made. Someone who started a company from nothing more than an idea, and has worked his ass off to turn this company into something that not only allows him to be better but also betters the lives of his employees and clients alike. Allen Hewitt is the Founder and Owner of North Western Synthetic Grass.
Please describe what you do as your profession.
I own North Western Property Maintenance Inc. We specialize in 3 areas; synthetic grass installation, synthetic grass distribution, and salting/plowing. As the owner, I motivate my team to drive our company goals and mission.
What made you want to get into business?
In short, it was a complete fluke. I was fired from my previous sales position. At that exact moment I told myself I would never work FOR someone again. With my only expense at that time being a mortgage. Ironically, I started off doing the very first thing I did to make money when I was 12. I took my parents lawn mower and started knocking on doors. When I started the business it was more about proving myself and surviving. Since the beginning, we have grown to a staff of 12 employees and millions of dollars in revenue, how things have changed.
What is your biggest motivator day to day? What keeps you going?
There are a few motivators that keep me hustling.
1) The knowledge that my efforts directly contribute to the betterment of my employee’s kids, wives, and significant others.
2) Competitiveness, I want our team to be the best. I want our reputation to be the best. At the end of the day, we do not want to compete, we want to dominate. Having these values forces massive action and they act as gigantic drivers for me.
3) Customers – Knowing that we can drastically change any clients yard for the better in less than 5 days ensures I am always in a hurry to help. This helps push me forward.
What would you say is the key to your success?
Four factors have contributed to my success:
1) Athletics – by treating my body like a Ferrari I can outwork and out hustle my competitors. My physical and mental health allows my vision/focus to stay clear. This is completed by being physically active.
2) Went all in –I came across the product (synthetic grass) while walking my dog one evening. I knew it would be a hit and got in my car and drove to Alberta to visit a supplier the next day. I then spent the company’s savings on attending a massive home show telling the world that we install synthetic grass. My ability to control fear and push through resistance guaranteed our inevitable success.
3) Humility in Success – I still pick up the phone at any given time of the day. I will still put on work boots and get to the shop floor. My skill set is not above a broom. In order to feel the heartbeat of the company, as leaders, we need to be on the shop floor, next to the accountant and in the face of as many customers as we can. My humility helps to ensure continued success.
4) Mentors/Good Family – By nothing more than luck I have surrounded myself with incredibly generous (with their time and advice) mentors. These are the type of people that have “been there done that” owning companies that are generating 20 million + in sales. To have access to their brains and advice is a huge advantage. I was also fortunate in having easy going parents (both teachers) and loving/supportive Sisters, Cousins, Aunts Uncles and Grandparents. I was never pushed to succeed but swayed politely to be humble and do the right thing.
What do you believe the future holds for you?
Business: The path of life will force you to go left or right. I am certain that I will be steered into another business venture completely different than the one I am in. I will acquire and or start more businesses and will see NWPM hit 10 million in sales within 5 years.
Finally, how do you define success? Is it a dollar amount, a certain lifestyle, something else?
That is an in-depth question, that I haven’t, but should put more thought into. As of today, I would define my life as being successful if I helped people achieve more.
To define the success of my business it would be to hit 10 million in sales.
Money and or purpose are required to be successful. I don’t care who you run into in life, no one will ever tell you (with a straight face) that they will not take a Rolex watch for free or turn down money offered to them with no strings attached. Money is important as with it you can do more good than without it. I’d rather be unhappy and rich than unhappy and poor.
However, in my opinion “next level” successful players in the world have a laser focus purpose (Mother Teresa, Terry Fox..). If you have a “worthy” purpose you can achieve success without possessions or money. And without doubt, achieve a greater lasting legacy.
In conclusion, the easy way to ensure a “successful” life in my eyes is to make money, be generous by striving to make others become a greater “them” and if you really want to have the holy grail of success find a purpose that helps people and hit a home run with it.
Though we all have different opinions of success, it’s clear that Mr.Hewitt here is motivated by what is inside him, and what he can for the people, and the world around him. People like this don’t build and scale businesses to make money, they do it to make a difference in the lives of others. Whether those people are employees or clients, I personally believe that Mr.Hewitt is making a difference.
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Until Next Time,