MyLife with Tim Guenther

Date: March 17, 2014

Balancing work and family comes naturally to this small business owner.

NFIB Member: Tim Guenther

Business: Clickstop, Urbana, Iowa

Employees: 65 full time, 42 part time


How did you become a small business owner, and why?

I always thought I would own a business, but I had no idea what it would be. After a few years of full-time employment, I felt the need to get started on my own. I think I was drawn to the challenge and the unknown. I’m a problem solver, and owning a business presents continuous opportunities to solve problems and make an impact. I went in to business after the company I worked for began downsizing. I felt I had nothing to lose, so I went for it. I started as an independent sales representative selling building materials, and after I discovered that type of business model wasn’t for me, I began distributing products on my own. Soon after, I created my first brand and later began selling it online.

What do you love the most about running a small business?

I love having the ability to help an amazing group of people accomplish amazing things. Our mission statement is: “To create a business that’s sustainable, enjoyable and provides opportunity for those seeking it.” This is what drives me. I want to create and maintain an environment where teams can thrive and individuals benefit from the success of the team. I really enjoy being part of the team as well. I enjoy providing encouragement to individuals who are driven and willing to do whatever it takes to make a measurable impact. Running a business also provides numerous opportunities to be creative. I consider myself a builder. I never used to, but as I look back on things, this seems to be a reality. I really enjoy building on what we’ve already started.

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

Our family is extremely blessed. We’ve been able to travel, which has provided us the opportunity to spend quality family time together. For the past several years, it has been great to have very few worries regarding our personal finances. My wife and I spent many years on a tight budget, so we know what it takes. It can be exhausting. We feel extremely blessed to be in a good position financially.

Owning a business has also allowed us to build a team of individuals that we can look forward to spending time with at the office. We’ve hired talented, driven people with great character.  We’ve built friendships and grown as individuals and as a family from being around such an incredible group.

What is the best part of your day?

The best part of the day is getting started. I love to get things done and take care of business so that when it’s time to call it a day I can rest easy.

What do you read?

Last year one of our employees said that reading Reader’s Digest is one of her secrets to staying happy. I’ve been reading it ever since. I also enjoy reading about business-related topics of all kinds. I can’t seem to make it through a fiction book. It seems like a waste of time to me. I love to learn.

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

I’ve learned to forget fast about making a mistake, but I don’t forget what I learned from mistakes. Making a mistake is OK as long as you learn from it. I strive to keep mistakes at a minimum by being prepared and working to be a great communicator. If I’ve done those things, then I have no regrets.

What is your favorite thing to do off the clock? How about on the clock?

I’m always on the clock. Clickstop is part of our family. I most certainly spend a lot of time working, but every day I’m aware of the way I spend my time. I know when I need to spend time in other places, and I know when it’s time to work. On the clock, I enjoy working with the team. Specifically, I enjoy getting in the pit with the sales team and contributing to our marketing efforts.

How do you define success?

Success is doing your best and making a difference. It’s something you determine for yourself, and has nothing to do with what others think.

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