What I’ve Learned: Joey Wilson

Here we learn of often-wobbly three-legged stools, the enthusiasm of youth and how rewarding it is to have a child you’ve raised write you a check every week.

FL: Who has been a major influence on your life and career?

JW: I think of things all the time that my father, Joe Wilson, told me regarding business and personal life. One thing he said is that the business is just a three-legged stool with labor, sales and capital as the legs. He would say, ‘Let me tell you, one of those legs is always short and it’s up to you to run around and keep that stool from tipping over.’

Joey Wilson

Joey Wilson

FL: What have you learned from those older or younger than you?

JW: I’ve learned from my children to keep up that enthusiasm and openness to new ideas. Older people have a lot of experience, but they are often not quite as open to something new or different such as technology.

FL: How has your lifestyle changed over the years?

JW: Definitely I’ve lived better than I grew up. Our standard of living is much higher. We still visit with our neighbors, but we do more of it by text and cellphone rather than chatting at the store in the evening. These things have changed the way we do things, but not necessarily the way we are.

FL: What have you learned about trying to predict the future?

JW: I don’t really think there is anything new under the sun. When you think some big watershed event has occurred, you often come to realize later that things haven’t really changed that much. Sure, we have nicer equipment that makes us incredibly productive. But I still sell what I sell because of relationships. I thought the worldwide web was going to cause people to bid on everything online. Turns out people still do business with people.

FL: What is something you’d like to learn to do but never have?

JW: I would like to play the piano and I’ve tried as an adult but failed. I couldn’t get it rolling.

FL: Can somebody start in this business today the way you did?

JW: Yes, sure. I had a father to start in business with and that really made a difference. He didn’t set me up in business by any means, but I had a world of experience to work off of. My 22-year-old son, Griff, runs a timber-cutting business and I haul his logs. So each week Griff writes me a check and it is cool to have a child you raised from birth write you a check every week as part of a successful business.

<< See Wilson’s full story, “He’s The Hub”