Every day we hear about large corporations who continue to expand their presence into different products and markets. They typically leverage one successful transformation to achieve the next. One historical example with which I am personally familiar is how in the 1950’s Whirlpool Corporation went from being a successful Midwestern company manufacturing washers and dryers to become a full line U.S. appliance manufacturer and marketer by the end of that decade. Today they are the world’s largest manufacturer of major home appliances.

Closer to home…I was 10 years old when we lived in the suburbs of Chicago. My father was growing tired of this life and wanted to expand his horizons. He had dreams of buying a little farm in Southwest Michigan, growing a few grapes, and making a little wine for himself.

In 1966 we bought our first farm. Within two years my father had started planting grapes and making his own wine. He achieved his goal and found his purpose.

In 1969 a neighboring farm became available for purchase. It had an established you -pick fruit business, and several more acres of mature vineyards and orchards. After about six weeks of debating the decision, we purchased the second farm on May 10, 1969. (Tomorrow marks our 50th anniversary!)

My father’s vision and purpose expanded. Now he wanted to grow grapes not just for himself, but for others who were interested in making their own wine. Coincidentally in the early 1970s home winemaking grew to become a significant American hobby. In 1974, dad successfully achieved his second goal and purpose. Not only was he raising high-quality vinifera for home winemakers, he had established what was likely Michigan’s largest home winemakers’ shop and was developing strong relationships with home winemakers across Chicagoland and the Midwest.

Regardless if you are a major, multi-national corporation, or an organization of one, this all boils down to an important message for all leaders. Do not become complacent by achieving your first goal. Think about and search for other opportunities to continually transform your business.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,

Steve.

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