This is another post about how to be successful in business. I recently had the opportunity to meet with Matt Lamoreux, who happens to own a Prime Source Mortgage company and an All State Insurance Agency. I’ve known Matt for almost 2 years and he is an amazing man.
For a brief background, Matt has owned 3 businesses. His third business was Zia Sporting Goods, which he and his father started. He ran it for over 20 years before selling it.
We had a meeting scheduled for lunch. Matt called me an hour before and I had this sinking feeling he was going to cancel. Sure enough, he was caught up in a big meeting and had to postpone our meeting. Thankfully I had the rest of the afternoon open on my schedule. Matt urged me not to go out of my way to reschedule, but I said “Matt, I really respect you as a business owner and this is important to me. I am more than willing to rework my schedule to meet with you.” A couple hours later we were meeting at a local Starbucks.
For starters, Matt bought me coffee. I was the one asking him to lunch and for the meeting. If anything I should be buying him coffee. He politely refused and bought me coffee instead. I think this really points out Matt’s generous character, and a key reason why people enjoy working with him.
We started by identifying why I was asking for the meeting. I explained to him about how I started the Christian business listing, biz4him.com, back in 2007, and that a goal of mine was to learn from what I considered successful Christian business owners their story, and how they got to where they are today.
I informed Matt of my requirements: that the person is at least 50, that they have been in business for at least 5 years, that they have 10 or more employees (Matt has 8), and that they appear, for all intents, like successful people. We all know looks can be deceiving, but it’s rude to ask for a person’s tax return to verify income levels, so I gotta judge by something.
Matt smiled, and admitted that he was over 50, but he wasn’t sure about anything else. A sign of his humility.
Matt listed various things that have contributed to his success, though he wasn’t sure if he would define it as success. He said that everything he has done has been hard. And that he just hasn’t given up. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about the need for perseverance. As a business consultant I’ve seen many business owners who seem to quit 10 feet from the finish line.
Matt focused a lot on integrity, truthfulness, willingness to admit wrong and to correct it, and of course, perseverance. If you notice, all of these things are character traits. When I asked about his education, Matt comes across as an intelligent and educated person, he said he only had a High School diploma. He didn’t go to college, and doesn’t regret it.
We went on to talk about faith and how it has impacted his business. Matt is Catholic. He was raised Protestant, but married a Catholic lady, and not wanting to appear hypocritical to his children he opted to support the Catholic church and raise his children in it. It shows a lot that he doesn’t want to be a hypocrite and makes major changes in his life to live that out.
Matt knew I am a Protestant, so he was careful on how he approached the subject. I paused the conversation and informed him that I don’t share the animosity that some Protestants have with the Catholic church. I won’t go into it here, but a simple cursory glance of history should tell you that the Catholic church has done a lot of things right. We went on for a lengthy conversation about faith and it’s impact on every area of our lives. I very much enjoyed it. Matt spoke well informed, but didn’t use a ton of big words or talk over my head.
When you think of some people being successful you might think of them as being very talented, or super intelligent. Matt came across like an average guy. But what is so very memorable about our meeting, and still stuck in my mind, is his focus on character. I’m sure that I surprised him with some of my questions, because his answers weren’t always concise or well organized the way someone who has practiced a response time and time again has. But every answer he gave came back to character. Have a good work ethic. Study what you’re doing. Be truthful. Always be truthful. And when you do wrong, make it right. And above all, don’t give up. It will be hard, just don’t give up.
I highly encourage anyone who hasn’t spoken with Matt or used his services (AllState or PrimeSource Mortgage) to contact him. He has the highest moral character and it shows through in every area of his life.