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Founders Craft: Episode #2 w/ Lester Woerner

Episode 2 – In this episode, Mike Gonzalez interviews the CEO of Woerner Holdings, Lester Woerner who shares a powerful principle that saved his business from folding during the market crash of 2008.

Scaling a business from zero to the nations largest producer of commercial Sod.

Lester Woerner is one of 8 children, grew up on a family farm in Alabama. At the age of 13 he always wanted a trail-bike, but chose to invest his hard earned cash he earned over the summer into a vacant property. That decision would later make him a very successful business man. He purchased the land for $1,350 and later sold it for $6,500. This was the first of many transactions where he learned that set a discipline that would help him succeed and win in the accumulation of wealth and business. Today, Lester is simply managing a decision he made at the age of 13.

By 2004 his business grew to 150 employees with operations in Colorado and Florida. At the time they supplied the largest home builders in Colorado and Florida. “We saw huge demand in 2004-2006.” said Woerner.  They had record production at all facilities. In 2007 the home building industry fell into trouble due to lack of demand and the housing crash. Production came to a halt in 2007-2008.  “We had massive inventories on thousands of acres of land. Our business was at ground zero of the housing debacle” Woerner said.

Deferred Gratification is a life time discipline.

The principles apply no matter how successful you become. In business there is a series of setbacks and successes. There are factors that we do not have control over. We always need to preserve wealth for setbacks so that we can continue to move forward. Business is never a straight line of success. Any business will go through times of trouble. Business is a series of losses and successes.

Lester recommends that we implement these two practices to ride turbulent markets.

  • Reduce costs, unnecessary expenditures and indulgences
  • Set aside reserves for a rainy day and build margin for savings into your pricing.

We would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below on what you do to navigate tough times in your business or send us an email at podcast[at] Also, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Google Play.