Jim Lindenberg, United States, Whitewater discussed on How'd It Happen Podcast


Everybody welcome back to the show as you heard in the introduction. I am very very pleased. Pleased to have Jim Lindenberg on the show today. I so it's very interesting. Jim is a person that I've only met once before at an event at Cardinal Stritch where it was it was an event for the TV. Show that that Jim has been on The project kitchen it's called. I believe that's the name and It was so it was great for me. I got introduced to Jim and I didn't know him but he's the guy that I have and maybe you have you. You heard a ton about over the years and always been like what is that who you know who is that guy. And when am I ever GonNa have the chance to meet him and my friend DOCO is inskeep. Brought his name up just before I met him so I was like. Wow this is really I dunno divine intervention or whatever but So I reached out estrogen agenda if he'd consider being on the show and We had you know we had we had. We had a A little bit of challenge putting schedules together. But I'm so glad that you've finally agreed to be on the show and I'm very pleased to have you so. Welcome thank you very much. I'm glad to be here too. Yeah I started everyone on my shows the same way and that's with a a simple question. Jim How did happen for you. Well it's a long story How did it happen for me but I was actually working. At a wiring cable company locally here and really enjoyed it learned a lot and the founders of the company were great guys and really took me under their wing and taught me a lot about the wire and cable industry. Unfortunately after about thirteen years I was overlooked look for promotion and it really crushed me. I had built myself up. Took a lot of education We did everything I could to make my resume. Great to possibly be in top management vice president and hopefully president someday of this company The company decided to go outside and bring someone in and hired someone from the outside after houser. Thirteen years so I was younger at the time. I wasn't going to be negative employees and I thought you know I need to look and see what else is out out there A lot of my fellow employees and my vendors and customers you know had brought up about have you ever thought about uh-huh may not be your own business and I didn't think that because of the fact that I had no money and it's hard to open up a business when you have no money money but there was a vendor. That for years was after me to open up my own electrical wire and cable distributorship. Yep and I always said no no. I'm not interested but when I got overlooked for this promotion I thought maybe I should talk to them and they were out of Ohio and they had a lot of money and there was two guys and they each put up a quarter of a million dollars to start the company any and the company that started off for me it was called World Class Wire and cable side with two employees. It was very scary the first year as most people know who start businesses. You're worried about how do you pay the bill or about cash flow In those days there was a fax machine. You just prayed that in order would come over to facts and you were hoping it wasn't going to be a bill so that first year to you know it was tough it was tough but Trying to make a long story. Short had good employees and a good team and and we worked hard but we had fun too and the company grew every year and Turned out to be a very successful business and in the business that you were in where you got overlooked. How did you get started in that business? In what roles did you did you Play while you were there. While originally I went to school and Dan got my college degree from Whitewater and Started off in accounting so I had a little bit of a financial background but then I finished with management so I I knew a little bit about a lot of things in business Took a job as a buyer at laddish and cutting and and unfortunately after one year I was laid off but they hired me to be in purchasing and they did a great job training they had me work in each department. It and I learned an awful lot about business. Just one year Atlantis. And then from there I went to a company called sales recruiters and they placed me with this other wire company and I started off in purchasing there and after a year. They said we think you're a salesperson and my father was always a salesperson so I thought yeah I'll give that a try so they put me on inside sales and outside sales. AOL's and then I moved to Greenville South Carolina and opened up a branch furthest company and I traveled all the United States selling wire all the United States. It's and that gave me experience to be pretty good at wire and cable distribution and First of all just to give people 'cause I I don't know if everybody knows what wire and cable I mean people generically. What wiring cable is but what what exactly where he's reselling sure Good question Electrical wire and cable electronic wire and cable anything that has electricity running through it. I'm selling it and I'm selling it to manufacturers. That are making a product companies such as gener- AC Allen Bradley and g medical and Harley Davidson When you think about it electrical wire and cable can pretty much gone to any product? Look around any room and there's wire connected to yeah just here with our podcast all kinds of wire and so when you when you get passed over. What did what was the conversation? Like between the owners and you how did they. How did they explain that to you? Well at the time They felt that I was a little young and that I needed more experience and and I thought after work in thirteen years that I was pretty well qualified and like I say I went and got a lot of experience and education education to round myself off and give myself a good background so I thought I was ready And for whatever reason you know they. It wasn't my time and I was involved with athletics a lot in high school and college and I coach a lot of youth sports. So so I wasn't going to be a negative person and I asked many times you know. Can I get this promotion. How do I get this promotion and I could just sense that the time wasn't there and You don't maybe I should move on so my path to get promotions to possibly be a vice. President was a little quicker than their path. And I wasn't going to wait okay and you From an education standpoint. I noticed that Oh you got your master your MBA from cardinal stritch. was that part of the part of the action steps. You were taking to position yourself for that next role or yes Yeah I did a lot of things. You know Wisconsin Bell Telemarketing Class. Ms Oh Lee Electricity in. Oh just whatever you could do whether it was networking joining all the different chamber of Commerce's The coaching you know volunteering church things you do just to get more of a background and be more well rounded individual okay and and these two fellows that helped back you when you started. You said that they'd been talking to you for a while. Where does it just because they liked you was? Were they having an issue with the company and they thought you could you know. Give them another opportunity. I'm curious if they're you know what because it's it's a big big too large amount of support for someone that they were working with at a company if they were happy with especially if there were happy with the company. Yeah you would like to think that somehow you stood out right as a successful salesperson and and at that time national sales manager I I am out and about. I'm traveling already United States. I'm calling on a lot of the top customers. I'm meeting with the top vendors You're out and about so it was it's kind of easy to be noticed I believe that having a huge network is helps you be very successful in life life and business and by being out and about meeting all kinds of people and going to a lot of events I built up a pretty strong network and I still do to a stain. Continue that and let let me back up for just a little bit before I go forward when you were a kid Or maybe a teenager or maybe even when you were in college what what. What were you thinking that Your Life Path was going to be? The reason I ask is because I I didn't know what my life path was going to be. I ended up in an industry and with a company that completely foreign to me as a kid I never would have thought of it and you mentioned in your dad was in sales so I just thought well you know. Find out what you were thinking what you were thinking them. Yeah Well my big goal was I wanted wanted to play for the Green Bay packers but I was too slow and not big enough for that so that was going to happen but You know I have pretty simple goals get married. have of kids and be able to pay your rent And just live and survive so I never had gigantic dreams besides being a green bay packer acker Never thought I'd be a successful business person My parents were very hard workers and they introduced me to good core values throughout my life and they were hard workers so I kinda followed in their path and You know worked as many jobs as I could through high school and college and even after College And just try to make money so that you can pay your bills. What are some of the things that you did when you were a kid for work? I worked at McDonalds which was a great background. I started my own painting company. Funny me and a couple of friends. We'd go around pain apartments and houses I collected Money for nonprofits. It's you know every year. Yeah I cut grass at high schools Every year you have kind of a different job to work your way through you know high school and College College I tended bar. I bounced A little bit of everything however you can make a buck and when you went to Whitewater you you played football all there right. So that's like the top of that's one of the top division three programs in the country. It is now. Yeah so that's that's pretty spectacular right. That I don't know did that feel good or was that was that a goal of a new here goal was to be packer so was did you go to boil water for for football or did you knowing that you wanted to say study accounting I really went for the education in that they were a strong business school so I wasn't exactly sure you know what I wanted to end up in B but I was pretty good. Math and financials So I thought all start off as an accountant and as I got into I switched general management but I just knew they were great business school. And that's why I chose Whitewater Okay and so let me move back it to where you decided to leave so you had asked you about what the discussion was about. You being passed over How did you they had? Did you end it with the company. How what was that? Conversation like Well it was very very hard for me because after working there thirteen eighteen years. I thought I would stay there my whole life and I wanted to stay there. The whole life But like I said at times. Maybe you know people See it differently and so it was very very hard so I resigned and you know gave them my two week notice and At the time I was thinking of starting my consulting company which I did and small business consulting Lindy enterprises and it still exists to this day and I thought that's what I was going to do and.

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