In life, there is ALWAYS a way, there is ALWAYS a solution to any problem, you just must be completely relentless to find it and NEVER, EVER give up.
How do I know? I have had that mindset from the time that I was very young. I learned early on to see a problem and find a solution. NO MATTER WHAT. And honestly, I call it a God-given epiphany. There was never an option to not try harder or give up. As the youngest of 4 children growing up in rural Missouri, I could always find a way in any situation, the word ‘no’ was not an answer I would accept and the word ‘no’ to this day is not in my vocabulary. Trust me there is always a solution, a way, even when it seems impossible. You may have to think outside the box, consider different possibilities, pray without ceasing and try things you hadn’t thought of, but if you try hard enough, I promise you will find a way.
This ability and strong belief to problem solve in any given situation, that God blessed me with, grew into the entrepreneurial spirit I have to this day and has fueled me and helped chart my path through life. I always kid that I want the word ‘resourceful’ on my tombstone, and I mean that quite literally. I believe in taking the bull by the horns, leaving no rock left unturned and giving more effort and thought to a problem than most. When I see a need, or a problem, I do everything in my power to provide for that need and to solve the problem. That simple. I also kid that I am from the school of hard knocks, yet it is very true, I am a natural problem solver, an efficiency nut and never shy away from a challenge. I tend to see things from all angles and every single moving part that goes with it. This helps me strategize and come up with a way/a solution and again not accepting no at any given point.
So, what drives me to never give up? My faith in God and the nudges He gives me and encouragement He sends me in all different forms. If you watch for them, the reminders (signs) from God are there to cheer you on as you go. I pray every morning to be right-sized and want to genuinely leave the world a better place than I found it. I have always felt as though I have a guardian angel, and I wholeheartedly believe that. I know things I shouldn’t and have found solutions to things that seemed insurmountable, but with God all things are possible, and I sincerely take that to heart.
God created in me a passion and a deep seeded commitment to myself, my family and the people that count on me each and every day. Believe it or not, I get up every morning at 2:30 a.m., sometimes even earlier. It’s critical for me to start my day extremely early to be as productive as possible. I do so to honor my commitment to God, myself, my family and those depending on me, and to model what I have instilled throughout my companies – to work harder than anybody else.
Back in 1995, there was a huge problem I identified and knew I had to solve. At that time, I had 5 various retail sales centers located in Mid-Missouri. We were selling hundreds of manufactured and modular homes each year and providing housing for many all over Missouri. The problem was with the delivery of the homes that I was purchasing from different manufacturers then selling to consumers. I watched the homes I had purchased from the manufacturers come in damaged and later than their proposed delivery dates which was causing a myriad of problems. The homes were brand new and couldn’t be sold to a consumer damaged or later than expected without causing a domino effect of issues and very unhappy customers and missing project deadlines for construction and issues all over for contractors, dealers, consumers, manufacturers and more.
I prayed about it and as I did more and more, it came to me. I thought to myself, if I could have control of what condition the homes arrived in and when they came in, I could solve so many problems, saving both time and money and avoid the headaches that the delays and damaged homes were causing. I knew if it was happening to me at my retail sales centers, it had to be happening to other dealers. The dealers/retailers are in fact the customer since they buy the homes from the manufacturer to sell, and it was imperative that they received the goods/products they had purchased timely and undamaged, their satisfaction was key. Being on time and undamaged across the board would prove to be a lifesaver for so many. And, as I experienced firsthand the need for good, reliable transportation for the homes was evident.
It was a problem with several moving parts that I just had to solve. Then came my God-given epiphany. I knew if I could do it myself, I could get the homes in on time and without damage to them. So, I started my own trucking company by becoming my own form of shipping and stressed, ‘hassle-free transportation.’ This was the inception of A&G Commercial Trucking now named GKD Management, LP dba A&G Commercial Trucking, Inc., along with several other subsidiaries. We transport from manufacturer (wholesaler) to dealer (retailer) and are the liaison between the two. I found a way to solve the problem for the late and damaged homes, which not only helped with my retail sales centers, but with so many others.
Now with almost 10 terminal locations, and at any given moment approx. 250+ trucks on the road, we travel almost 20,000,000 miles annually and service manufacturers and dealers all over the Midwest, Eastern and Southern states.
Since the trucking company’s inception almost 30 years ago, I have continued to see needs (problems needing solutions) throughout the community and worked to solve them. I turn to God every moment to help guide me. I had a similar experience about 5 years after the trucking company started in 2000. I was approached to purchase a mortgage brokerage for over $250,000. After the sellers of the mortgage brokerage left, I thought, I bet I could just start my own, and we did. We researched and educated ourselves on what we needed to do and as they say, the rest is history. Not only did we create a mortgage brokerage, but we now are a full-service wholesale mortgage lender and help those refinancing or purchasing a home all over the US.
A phrase I often tell my people, ‘take the high road, work harder than anybody else and stick together.’ No one can outwork us. I have just repeated this over and over in my business life. See a need/problem, find a solution (remember to think outside the box and be as resourceful as possible, leaving no rock left unturned) and always find a way and believe with all your heart that everything works to the good of those who love Him (God) and are called according to His purpose. I have carried that into my business and family life as an avid problem solver that has helped not only myself, but so many.
My faith has been my anchor through it all, and I always give God the glory for every single problem He has helped me solve and still does daily. Countless mornings as I reflect on the day ahead, during my quiet time alone with God, I think back about where I came from and how I never took no for an answer and practice that analogy to this day and encourage you to do the same. There is always a way, now go find it, the solution is just around the corner!