MyLife with Jeff Pardini

Date: May 15, 2014

This small business owner is a member of NFIB’s Leadership Council.

NFIB Member: Jeff Pardini

Business: Hills Flat Lumber, Grass Valley, Calif.

Employees: 140

What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?

I had an older client come into our store once and tell me a story I had never heard before. My grandfather had set up a deal with him years ago, when this man had no money and no credit and wanted to build a house. My grandfather told him he would loan him the money to build it, as long as he bought all of the building materials from his store. When my grandfather went to visit the man’s home, he noticed that this man also had no furniture. My grandfather gave him $5,000 for furniture and said to pay him back when he could. And he did. That’s just the way this community was.

What does owning a small business allow you to do that most folks do not get to enjoy?

It builds a sense of pride in the community and helps us become part of a productive society. As an independent business owner, you are part of the engine that is providing instead of the engine that is taking. 

What is your biggest challenge right now, and how are you dealing with it?

The biggest challenge in business right now is state and federal regulations, which can be one attack after another. To deal with it, you affiliate yourself with organizations like NFIB. When we all unite together, we can change policy and make a difference. Divided we will all fail.

What has been your biggest mistake professionally, and how did you learn from it?

There have been times where I have trusted people on credit that I shouldn’t have. But I still don’t want to lose my faith in humanity. Developing friendships and trust is the best thing. Sometimes it’s a winner, sometimes it’s a loser, but I don’t think I will ever stop going out on a limb.

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