Blasted into Business

Sometimes you have to be careful about what you ask for.

It was a cold November morning in 1977 and I was working for the City of Lansing on their street patch crew. Our job that day was burning high spots off the asphalt pavement. To do this, we used a hand-held burner attached to a kerosene tank strapped to the rear-end of a dump truck.

Our Core Values

T. L. Hart, Inc. has gone through a process of boiling down who we are and what we believe. I’m convinced that what we believe is who we are—or, at least aspire to be. We have concluded that four values describe our company as we envision it:  love, service, excellence, and teamwork.

A Rude but Welcomed Awakening

I’ll not forget an experience I had late Spring 1990. We were in our 6th year as a company, having enjoyed five straight years of rapid growth and profitability. I had added personnel and our firm was working all over the state of Michigan. However, it was May and we had lost a considerable amount of money the first four months of the year.

Why Core Values are Important

Everyone has principles by which they live. For the business owner it might be financial freedom; for the school teacher, impacting the lives of the next generation; for the Christian, faith. Whether they are aware of it or not, all have values that shape their attitudes and direct their actions.

Why Legal Marijuana is a Bad Idea

Last November, Lansing, Michigan voters approved a measure prohibiting the city from regulating the "use, possession or transfer of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, on private property, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years.”

A similar move is currently underway in MSU’s hometown of East Lansing.

Lessons Learned from Near Bankruptcy

Most times its the things you learn when you’re down that stick.

Having begun in business in 1985, I built a larger, viable commercial painting company that grew from nothing to 60 employees and $3 million in sales. We had systems, procedures, a good grasp on the market, and even bought land and constructed a 10,000sf office/warehouse.

A Lesson from Booker T. Washington

One person you will seldom read about in history books is Booker T. Washington.

Unlike many contemporary black leaders, Booker T. taught a lesson that many would do well to heed today, that regardless of skin color or social environment, it is man’s relationship to God that determines the outcome of his life.

The Call to Entrepreneurship

Sometimes you have to be careful about what you ask for.

It was a cold November morning in 1977, and I was working for the City of Lansing on their street patch crew.  Our job that day was burning high spots off the asphalt pavement. To do this, we used a hand-held burner attached to a kerosene tank, which was strapped to the rear-end of a dump truck.

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

     Common parlance says one thing that characterizes a good CEO is that he or she always has the right answer. Yet research indicates this is not always so. "Leading from good to great," author Jim Collins says, "means having the humility to grasp the fact that you do not yet understand enough to have the answers.