All in All It’s Just Another Bend in the Road

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Hello Friends,

As many of you have heard, the board of directors at my company has decided to close our office in Omaha.  Despite making substantial improvements in service and personnel, the mending of some past relationships and a 60% cut in office losses in the past year without resorting to layoffs, the Board threw in the tower on the office.  As a business owner I can't blame them.  If one of the offices I was responsible for had lost money in each of the previous 10 years, I would have lost patience too.  I appreciate the opportunity that these folks in Omaha gave me and I harbor no ill will to them.

I, again, am put into a position that I must practice what I preach–to validate what I believe the most–that success comes to you the more you help others.  I will attempt to use this forum to discuss what I am doing on a daily basis as I conduct my search.  I hope it impresses upon my readers how important it is to believe in yourself and in your actions.  It's also there to motivate me to keep moving.  I have learned through personal experience that it is in idleness that self-doubt and despair lie.  I intend to not be a victim of it again.

This is the 3rd time I have been a victim of a layoff.  The first 2 times, I only had to worry about myself.  This case is all together different.  As manager of an office that is closing, I feel an obligation to the members of my team-about half of which I brought on in the first place. 

In the past several days, I have worked hard to find "lifeboats" for the great people who made up my staff.  Several of them have already had interviews with my former competitors.  I would consider it an accomplishment if my employees have all found opportunities elsewhere by the close of business of my last day–tomorrow.

To assist the members of my team, I crafted the following email: (Note contact information was removed)

Hello _____

It is with deep regret that I must inform you that the Board of Directors of GSI has decided to close the doors to our Omaha location.  Though in the past year we had made significant headway in improving profitability, mending relationships, improving service and bringing on good personnel, in the face of slowly diminishing backlog, the Board decided to no longer invest in our operation.  We appreciate the 30+ years we had in Omaha.

Going forward, I ask you to please utilize your network to find a home for our quality people.  I wholeheartedly endorse every one of them.  Some of them may be provided an opportunity at another GSI office so you might want to speak with them quickly.  They are:

                Doug Carey                  Construction Services Manager               

                Jeffrey Seymour, P.E.  Environmental Engineer

                 Chuck Keppard          Senior Engineering Technician                   

                Paul Frederick             Senior Engineering Technician                   

                Amy Jorgensen           Office Administrator                                     

                Jimmy Ball                   Environmental Technician                           


As for me, most of you know that I came to Omaha from Chicago less than a year and a half ago.  Although my personal network here is small, my wife and I are determined to make it work here.  If any of you are interested in speaking with me or know of opportunity for a sales minded engineer who loves managing teams and improving businesses, I hope you will keep me in mind.  You can find me via LinkedIn or contact me via email or on my cell phone. 

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and thank you for your friendship.


Best regards,


Nick Wolff


This is an example of how I am trying to help others.  If I can find a home for my staff, I think it would go a long way to having them remembering me well.  What if all of our companies took such steps to help out their former partners?  I am confident that this will come back to me.  It may be next week or 10 years from now, but the reward will come.  The universe loves balance.  The more positive notions you put out, the more positivity returns to you.

Tomorrow I intend to discuss how 16 months of relationship building locally is translating into opportunities before my eyes.  Behold the magic of being a good person!

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Who Are You Working For: Group Question

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After the most recent blog post, I think it is a good question to ask you folks.  What are activities we spend time working on someone else’s behalf?  I will ask you to answer that question.  There are probably activities we do every day that we should avoid doing because they enrich others while leaving us tired and less well off.

Please take some time to discuss an activity from your life or the life of others you’ve observed that qualifies as work and doesn’t enrich you either financially, physically, emotionally or spiritually.  Keep these definitions in mind as you work this activity.

·         Work is defined as anything you do that you find unpleasant

·         The activity does not enrich you financially, physically, emotionally or spiritually.  (For example, I personally find exercising unpleasant, but it does physically and emotionally enrich me when I do it, so this would not qualify.)

·         Describe who, if anyone, is being enriched.

·         Provide some potential work-arounds or solutions to avoid doing this unrewarding work.

I whole-heartedly believe in free trade.  Free trade is built upon a fair exchange of value for value.  But when you exchange your value (either the value of your time or your efforts) for lesser value or worse–negative value, you are allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.  It is made all the worse by the fact that we unwittingly spend too much of our time doing this work and not realizing we are doing it or doing it because our society considers it part of life.  I reject that notion!  I encourage you to work differently.

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