Thursday, December 29, 2016

Business relationships

I had a long phone conversation this morning with an old friend who owns a plumbing supply company. We talked a bit about the past, especially about how Detroit isn't as bad as its reputation and about how it seems to be rebuilding well enough. His business and mine are both in the city, though he has me trumped. He is the fourth generation owner of his; I'm only the third generation of mine. But we're both glad we stuck with Detroit.

Jeff's grandfather began their business 97 years ago. It was at the same location until last year, when he moved into a better building less than a mile away from the original. We're in our second place too, but we've been where we're at since 1960. But what struck me the most this morning was that we've developed a long business relationship. We've done business back and forth since 1945.

It got me thinking about the number of other long term relationships we've been in. There are plumbers I sell to where we're each the third generation: grandfathers dealt with grandfathers, fathers with father, and sons, sons. I find myself impressed with that thought. To be around helping each other over 60 or 70 years through new generations is I think something to be celebrated.

Long terms with people; long term with Detroit. I'm rather proud of that achievement.

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