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My Story: Harry T. Jones

Updated: May 28

Living satisfied with less than your divine potential can be costly AND painful! I would know... My life's story involves learning from all the times when I suffered because I was satisfied and didn't fully realize that I was stuck!

Losing a million on two investments should have been a wake-up call. It was painful. Once more, I was stuck and didn't know it.

Losing our largest customer, TWICE, was riveting. We had settled for less, not living up to our potential. But, once again, being forced to build away from them, we assessed our best opportunities and managed to get new customers. Every time that happened, we got more powerful, AND we got our old customers back!

My friends say that impatience and intolerance for mediocrity is a problem for me. Sitting still and feeling unproductive is a problem; doing something is a must!

Loving land and dirt is a passion. Working with soil, trees, and forestry is just fun; it takes a combination of art, science, and math. Managing land, hunting wild birds on it, and bird dogs, that is called living! Through the years, buying neglected land, cleaning it up, reforesting it, building its recreational value, and selling it has been fun. I have probably done it fifty times!

Adding numbers in our head is a family trait; my son is even better at it than me. Bringing out a calculator can make people feel comfortable, but the number is often already in my head!

Selling my business in 1997 should have set the stage for my next adventure. But, having my priorities upside down, it resulted in a total loss of identity. I went into a funk, my sister committed suicide, and I lost my connection with God. I had to pray to be able to pray! You see, when you drain the bathtub, you find out who is naked. Yep, It was me! And I was miserable! Another business venture resulted in a good sale for us but within a year, they went belly-up and all the jobs went out of state. Once again, all the time so many people had invested was wasted.

The next time I sold my business, I did it differently! We gave more energy to screening the potential buyers. It was important that the new owner keep the company and the jobs we had created in the county and continue to positively impact the community. Honoring the people who had helped us build the business by ensuring they could keep their jobs was a high value. I may have sold for half the money I could have gotten, but in the end, I had been a part of a story where everyone profited, the positive impact in the community was maintained, and the business is thriving today.

Struggle has been a constant in my life. But it was those struggles that exposed my upside-down priorities. Each battle catapulted me into a rendering process that forced me to decide what was really important. Reassessing my priorities helped me develop a new life, new relationships, new businesses, and new fuel for more adventures.

It was wrong priorities that caused the demise of my marriage. Thinking that things were "good enough" nearly destroyed me. At that point, it was easy to believe that my life was over. But accepting responsibility for my role in its failure, I recovered and grew from it.

Today, the passion for giving away what I have learned drives me! Helping other business leaders who don't realize their real potential is my mission. Sometimes they don't believe in themselves, sometimes, they don't have the right networks, and sometimes, they lack capital. Empowering these emerging leaders to take the leap into God's dream for them sets my heart on fire!

Multiplying our businesses up to twenty times their original size has been my legacy for over forty years. Their profitability was sometimes bigger than that!

Success can be shallow. Significance is everything.

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