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How A Growth Mindset Was The Key To Taking A Family Business Global, with Mike Wandler

When Mike Wandler was 14 years old, he talked his dad into letting him work at his company, L&H Industrial Inc., which manufactures and repairs the biggest machines on earth. By the time Mike was 18, he became the machine shop supervisor, and later on, he become vice president of the company. In 1998, Mike and his brothers bought the company from their father, becoming second-generation owners. Listen in as Mike shares the wisdom that’s led him to running a now global, million-dollar company.

Here's some of what you'll learn in this episode:

  • Why Mike prefers that his company remain privately held.
  • The mindset that Mike had to overcome after taking over the company.
  • Why Mike considers himself a terrible student.
  • Why even the company’s customers have to be aligned with the company’s culture.
  • How The Strategic Coach® Program saved Mike from being a workaholic.
  • What allows Mike and his team members to get more done by working less.

Show Notes:

A lot of entrepreneurs have an indifferent relationship with the educational system because they want to create their own school of success.

You need to own your own company if you don’t like other people telling you what to do.

For entrepreneurs, being a terrible student doesn’t mean you won’t be successful.

Going global means you aren’t living or dying by a local economy.

The challenge in getting various people on the same page is that each person has certain things they’re focused on.

Even in family businesses, the family members are a small percentage of the people in the business.

If you surround yourself with a leadership team with the right mindset, it filters down to the rest of the organization.

With the right people, and a clear vision of what you want to do, opportunities build on themselves.

The entrepreneurial spirit is wanting to grow and diversify, and taking the risks to do that.

You don’t need to know how to do something if you know how to find someone who can do it.

Money is necessary, but it isn’t an entrepreneur’s main motivation.


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Episode Transcript:
Dan Sullivan: Hi, this is Dan Sullivan and I'd like to welcome you to the Multiplier Mindset Podcast. My Free Zone Success Story today is a marvelous person by the name of Mike Wandler and Mike lives Gillette, Wyoming, and to my recollection I think this is our first story from Wyoming. You meet him and he's kind of a person you can imagine that these are the kind of people who moved the frontier in America from the East Coast to the West Coast. The 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, early 1900s. This is the type of person, and he's from an entrepreneurial family and so it's a business that he took over from his father. I can say that Mike is like a lot of our entrepreneurs, they had a very indifferent relationship with the educational system. Because entrepreneurs want to create their own school, their own school of success. Mike's done that and took over a $7 million company and it's now a $100 million company.
But the part that Mike didn't really talk about is what he's doing now, and he will probably in a very short period of time be one of the world's leading manufacturers of all the components and all the parts of what are called SMRs. These are small modular nuclear plants that are going to supply an entirely unexpected massive amount of very cheap, very, very reliable, very abundant energy. Starting almost entirely in the United States and probably Canada and if you can picture it's probably a nuclear plant, if you have a 2000 square foot or 3000 square foot house, this nuclear plant is about that big. What you can imagine, I was just talking to Mike, I just saw him at our annual summit for our Free Zone Program in Palm Beach, and I said, "You can imagine the new chip factory that's going in north of Phoenix, and this is TSMC and this is probably the top chip making company in the world for the very, very highest level of electronic equipment in the world and they've just built a factory that at the start has 20,000 workers."
Chip factories just use up an immense amount of electricity and the existing grid is not going to be sufficient in the future. If you build a factory like that, the first thing that goes in is the small nuclear reactor and from that day forward there's no electricity taken by the new factory off the grid and Mike is pioneering this. None of this happens without the manufacturing. So I told him, I said, "You already have the Free Zone. This is going to be a total Free Zone." So going from $100 million to a billion is probably going to be an easy step for you because I think probably your marketing days are over probably. You're just going to have to be highly selective about who comes knocking on your door because everybody's going to be knocking on your door.