Be humble by learning to listen to those around you will make you smarter and stronger.
Jay Parmeter is co-owner of Golden Eagle Log & Timber Homes, which provides high-end quality log and timber homes shipped from their Wisconsin facility. Founded in 1966 by Wally and Marlace Parmeter, Golden Eagle Log & Timber Homes has become a leader in the log & timber industry, providing custom homes to clients all over the United States. With over 5,000 homes sold since 1966, Golden Eagle Log & Timber Homes’ success comes from a dedicated group of people who are devoted to the time-honored tradition of quality workmanship. Jay is well-respected both within and outside the log home industry for his ingenuity in product development, commitment to employees, and success as an entrepreneur.
Where did the idea for manufacturing Golden Eagle Log & Timber Homes come from?
My dad loved the idea of living in a log home, so we researched manufacturers around the United States and studied their manufacturing/building practices and decided we could do a better job. During the construction of my dad’s log home, a lot of people took notice and wanted to know if we could build a log home for them. That’s how Golden Eagle Log & Timber Homes was founded.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts at 6:30am with a 30 to 45-minute workout. Then I have a healthy breakfast and spend around 30 minutes with my wife before I head off to the office. My work day is all about making decisions, creating Big Picture Ideas, and working with my staff to bring those ideas to fruition. I have a phenomenal staff of department managers who manage these projects and ideas so I can move on to Golden Eagle’s next project. Years ago, I needed to work 55 to 75 hours a week but the team in place allows me to leave work early to spend time with family.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As an entrepreneur, I love the log & timber home industry and what I do. Thinking outside of the box and sharing them with my team by seeking feedback and then refining.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The capabilities of a realistic conceptual drawing for a clients’ home. We love that we can offer our customers the opportunity to see what their home will look like before it’s built. This allows the client to see what their custom home will look like and make changes before they start building.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always view everything we do as if I was the customer, instead of the seller.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Sometimes the best advice is the advice you wish you could give to your younger self. Two thoughts come to mind. Follow your passions and interests, everything else will fall into place. Be humble by learning to listen to those around you will make you smarter and stronger.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Take some time off. Take a vacation, go hunting, fishing, etc. If you’re truly an entrepreneur you’re always thinking about business anyway. I come up with some of my best ideas sitting on the beach, driving, bike riding, or while sitting in church.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Hire people smarter than yourself. Fire pot stirrers ASAP. Ask co-workers their opinions on projects and ideas; then make your decision and go with it. You will be right 80% of the time and the other 20% stop doing them and fix it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
You must be promoting and advertising your business all the time. That’s my main passion. You need to spend “invest” 3% to 5% of your gross sales every year. That’s how you get your future sales.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest failure is hiring the wrong person and not helping them succeed elsewhere fast enough.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think someone should create a Buy in Bulk website where people would submit their orders and then have multiple companies bid on them.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $89.00 I spent was for a Dremel SawMax. It’s awesome. It saves me a ton of time in my shop and around the house.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
How do you use it? Alexa.com website stats, VidIQ, Intuit Quick Books, Builder CAD, Professional Estimating Digitizer. I also have an IT Department that created our own CRM website.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Drive by Daniel H. Pink. It helps you understand what motivates people.
What is your favorite quote?
“Create a Stop Doing List” by Jim Collins. Save time from doing things that are not that important in your business and personal life.
– Business owners need to sell their ideas and visions to their customers, employees, banks, and everyone they do business with.
– When a vendor walks into your business to sell you a product, turn it around and think what can this person do for me? Can I get co-op money from this vendor, leads on new employees, tips on how to do things better, info on what my competition is doing?
– KISS Method: Keep it Simple Stupid
Write your ads and website to a 7th grade level
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.