Open Letter from Speed Painting Reflecting on Their Time as Enterprise Center Clients
Written by Chrystene & Dustin Speed, Co-owners of Speed Painting and 2016 Graduate of the WT Enterprise Center
There has been a lot of evolution within our organization as well as within the Enterprise Center over the years and it is hard to believe that this collaboration began more than 11 years ago. Our company has had a somewhat “unique” history with the Enterprise Center, from how we came to be grant recipients in 2007 to becoming clients in incubation again in 2011. But that is the wonderful thing about being a client – EVERYONE is unique and treated as such.
When Dustin and I attended the Grant Prize Ceremony in the Spring of 2011 to honor the latest recipients, we hoped to inquire as to the possibility of being welcomed back as a company very much in need of guidance. At that time, our marriage being less than a year old and the uniting of a painting contractor and a Girl-Boy Scout in the not-for-profit world we knew needed a lot of help to flesh out what it meant to run a tool manufacturing company! We were SO naive that we didn’t know HOW MUCH help we needed. But we were about to find out, and the WT Enterprise Center welcomed us back with wide open arms. We have spent the last 5 years being coached by a true TEAM of professionals.
One of things we have admired the most is that none of you ever told us what we needed to do – you simply guided us and let us discover the importance of each and every area of need for our company. When we needed assistance and direction there was a gentle nudge or suggestion. So many people get caught up in, “but that’s how we have always done it!” We love that your philosophy is to discourage that mindset. Our coaching with Jeff and Matty kept our eyes open to possibilities and the belief that anything was possible. Along the way, you also helped us discover and create the roles that we wanted to have within our business – building on our strengths and weaknesses. This has taken us a long time to achieve, but feels as if a stride has been hit and it is equitable, balanced and most importantly makes each of us very happy. It is truly beautiful!!! We both are excited about our work and working it together.
We believe to the core the most valuable information to date that we have derived from our time in Incubation is the discovery of where this business and our goals should intersect – there is a precious balance of personal, professional and financial issues. This has taken a very long time for us to narrow down – lots of discussions, thought and time. We know now that we are choosing to “Work to Live” – and fundamentally changing the direction of this business from “Living to Work”. We have a good business – a great tool – and there is room for growth. This feels like a really great position to be in. The inspiration and foundations that have been built by our time here have given us a deep understanding of our needs and the tools available to us in financial, marketing, sales, social media and countless other realms. Through this inspiration and growth, we have built the right team of experts to assist us in our business and it has been exceptionally inspiring to feel the support of “our team”.
In all reality – we both are a both a bit nervous to leave our “nest” but we know we are ready to take this leap. It is time and we are leaving prepared and with grateful hearts. Just so you know – we just might be your biggest fans! We never miss an opportunity to brag about what this organization does for businesses. We believe that we have momentum – we don’t know what the future holds – no one does, but we are optimistic and driven to play it out. To do better, to grow, to stay true to our hearts and to be mindful of how we go forward – with kindness and respect for those who have and do have a presence in our lives and our business.
It is very important to us that this is not a good-bye as we leave the nest. We feel very connected to this program and the people who have helped us. We extend our sincerest thanks to each and every one of you. We feel like you guys are our friends and family. There really aren’t enough ways to say thanks for the many gifts and kindnesses that you have given to us. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough. Know that we will be back. We would be happy to help if ever called upon – and most definitely will be back for advice and guidance. The Enterprise Center is a pillar in our world – and a foundation to our business. I guess we aren’t really leaving – we are just taking the next step.