We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Starting a business is tough. There’s really no easy way to get started so I decided going all in was the best thing I could do. Countless sleepless nights, extremely long hours, sacrificed weekends and more. Initially there was no balance. I spent every day pushing myself to get my business to grow so that one day I could look back and see a “legacy” I was leaving for my family. What I didn’t see was all of the relationships I had were falling apart, just like I was mentally and physically. One day turned into 1 week. 1 week turned into 1 month. 1 month turned into 1 year and so on. I was burnt out. I missed out on watching my kids grow up. I missed out on birthday parties and holidays. There was no balance. I was all in on the business.
Once you realize how much you’ve lost when you have zero balance in life, things begin to change. Balance is Mandatory for success. You can continue to drive forward but without balance, how much are you actually succeeding? How many broken relationships, emotional devastation, or break downs will it take before balance is achieved. It took me a long time to bring balance into my life and career. What’s crazy is, once I started to balance my personal and professional life, I started to become more success in both areas. My business started booming and my relationships mended and grew stronger. I wasn’t working crazy hours any more and yet everything improved significantly.
It’s so easy to get lost along the way with no balance, but once you’re able to establish a strong and balanced routine, your successes will flourish.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business was designed around the idea of building a top of the line shop while providing a one of a kind client experience. I do not believe in transactional business and wanted to focus on experiences and relationships to build our business into something you couldn’t get anywhere else. Our client retention is extremely high because of this. Our clients become family not just another number. This has allowed us to offer only top of the line services, using only top of the line products and a very unique experience. To me this was a perfect combo. Getting everything in place was not an overnight success though. It took years to get it to where it’s at. Building relationships and gaining trust takes time. There were plenty of low points where I questioned if this was the right thing to do. It took longer to build the business this way instead of looking for quick transactions to increase cash flow and rapidly increase revenue. I knew what I wanted and I had to hold tight and not rush success. Everything had to be sustainable. I always wanted more and more but had to have faith this was going to be a much stronger long term success and it paid off.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Antonio has two major staples – The Alamo and The Riverwalk. These are must go-to’s when visiting. The rich history behind the Alamo never gets old no matter how many times you go. The Riverwalk is littered with amazing restaurants and bars which also have rich history within the city. Outside of downtown, Hill Country is just a short drive away and has some of the most breathtaking views and scenery Texas has to offer. The endless rivers, small lakes and gorgeous rolling hills bring a whole new level of peace and tranquility to life while still being an area for recreational activities and family fun. While the city is fun, there’s nothing like exploring small towns and going for a drive that’s simply majestic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If it wasn’t for family, friends who I consider family, and my kids I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Life and business is a roller coaster. If there isn’t support in the dips it’s easy to fall apart and not push through to get back to the highs. The biggest impact to me has been my daughter. If it wasn’t for her, I would have stopped pushing through a long time ago. She’s eager to come to the shop and help and truthfully it’s been one of the biggest motivators to build her a lasting legacy she can be apart of. My passion has become her passion and it pushes me harder each and every day. I don’t want my family to every worry about anything and hold that weight on my shoulders daily. Seeing her smile when I come home or how happy she gets when she comes to the shop washes all weight away and lets me know I’m doing something right.