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When Your Business Faces Adversity - With Guest, Will Knecht [Podcast]

Episode 112: Michael and Kathryn interview Will Knecht, Chairman of Wendell August Forge, about the true story of his business's journey through hard times, including the Great Recession and a devastating fire. If you need some real-life advice and encouragement when it comes to facing a crisis in your business, then give this episode a listen.

Will Knecht


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover how Will and his company made it through the economic recession back in 2007, as well as a devastating fire a few years later.
  • Find out how your mindset can negatively impact your leadership.
  • Learn the 3 keys to overcoming adversity as you run your business.
“Don't lose heart- keep focused on your calling, your passion, and your bigger 'why'."
- Will Knecht

Take the Leadership Blindspot Quiz

 

References:

Will Knecht
Wendell August Forge
FulfilledTheBook.com

 

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Michael:
              Hello everybody, and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And we are excited to have, Will Knecht with us today as a guest. You're going to have a great time listening to the three of us banter. Talk about Will's story and really some neat things happening. Kathryn, introduce Will for us.


Kathryn:
               Introduce Will? This is Will. This is Will Knecht-


Will:
      Thank you. That's a great intro. Best intro I've ever had.


Kathryn:
               All right, let me be more formal than that.


Michael:
              And thank you for that. We'll be talking to you on the next episode.


Kathryn:
               So Will has been through some really major refining fires in life. He's a father of three, Gerald, 26; Cameron, 20; Claire, 16. He's a mentor, he's a business executive, keynote speaker who travels the country sharing how to turn adversity and defeat into opportunity and victory. So he's joining us today to share his story and leave you with hopefully some truth that's going to help you really push through and win through adversity. And I can't imagine a better time to have you on the show than during the season that we're in. Whereas we're in that-


Will:
      Absolutely.


Michael:
              So welcome to the show.


Will:
      Hey, great to be with you all.


Michael:
              That's really good. We've had a little opportunity to talk with Will before and just really... This is a great guy and we really love his heart and so we're excited you're here.


Michael:
              So give us some background first. Who is Will Knecht? Tell us about the company a little bit that you have and let's go from there.


Will:
      Absolutely yeah, and Kathryn, you hit the nail on the head. That's who I am. I'm a father, I'm a business guy, I love to speak and have been allowed the privilege of going through quite a bit of adversity professionally-


Kathryn:
               The privilege.


Will:
      Yeah, the privilege. Yeah absolutely. Looking back, you can see adversity as a privilege if you have the right mindset, as you walk through that adversity. And I love the passion and provision, calling, contribution, that you speak so passionately about because so many people want to distract us. So many life circumstance wants to take us off the path that has been designed for us to make that maximum contribution using our talents, our gifts, so that we might steward them for the best for others, right? But things come in and they try to interrupt that. Again, I've been privileged to have many interruptions and it's been interesting to see from a business standpoint, how we have meandered through those interruptions and even through COVID, this recent mess that we as Americans have lived through and continue to live through and the life changing moment that that has been since March of 2020.


Michael:
              Let me ask you a question.


Will:
      Yeah, go ahead.


Michael:
              So as the chairman of the board, right? So what's your role in the daily operations of the company and really quick for our listeners? Describe what the company does.


Will:
      Sure, yeah. Our company is Wendell August Forge and we are an almost 100 year old metal craft, are based north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Michael:
              I just think that's so interesting.


Will:
      Ninety-seven years. Isn't that cool?


Kathryn:
               That's so cool.


Michael:
              I was really... We were first going to get on the phone and everything together, I was really curious like, "What were you going to look like? And were you going to be odd and strange being the guy in a metal forge company, from Pennsylvania since we're from California...?"


Will:
      Yeah. Every bit of it was true. Strange, weird, different. Right? Absolutely. Yeah, so make gift ware. That's really where we play. We make gift ware in the consumer world, do a lot for Christmas, weddings, baby, special occasions. And then in the B2B space, we also do executive gifting and milestone gifts and then help fundraise and award program. So-


Michael:
              And how many people do you have on-


Will:
      We have about a hundred employees. So we're a small company, but it's really neat to... To say that we've almost been around making metal gifts for a hundred years is pretty cool.


Michael:
              Absolutely.


Will:
      As chairman, I'm an active chairman. I'm in meetings all the time and my major role is providing the strategy and direction but I'm in the fray every day. I'm a member of a number of our committees as a member, not the leader, and just contribute... Again, using the gifts that I've been given, attempt to contribute to our team in appropriate ways that move us forward and keep us growing.


Michael:
              Yeah. So with COVID right now, when this is heard, when people are listening to this for the first time. This is still fresh on everybody's mind. How did COVID affect you guys? Did you guys have to shut down?


Will:
      We sure did, yeah. We in Pennsylvania, we were shut down for about seven weeks. We were hit very, very hard. It was really a tough, tough event for us. We lost... We had bookings of about a million five that immediately went poof and we lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in our retail stores. Our website, we basically had to... I mean, it was still active but we could not fulfill anything. So our order pipeline went to about zero. So we were really from a top line standpoint, we were amazingly impacted by COVID. And I use that word amazing appropriately because based on what we've experienced as a company in the past, we didn't sit, curl up in the fetal position and say, "Woe is us. Now, what do we do? We're going out of business. We can't...." No. Literally, the day after the governor mentioned or made the proclamation that businesses were closed. [crosstalk 00:05:38].


Will:
      Yeah, exactly. That's a whole another discussion. But anyway, the day after, literally, our executive team began a series of daily meets where we focused on talking and tackling those issues, those strategy, ideas and concepts, and strategic directions that when we're going full board day to day, you don't have time to focus on. So again, our experiences in the past contributed positively to our ability to respond positively and position our company to go forward with great strength moving forward, even though the reality of the situation was awful.


Michael:
              Yeah. Oh, that's good.


Will:
      Look to turn it into something positive based on our experiences.


Michael:
              Okay. So Lynn, this begs the question for me of what's the genesis for you? The genesis story of when adversity started? Can you go back to the first major adversity that you started having a mind shift? So tell us about that.


Will:
      Yeah 2007/2008, when the economy tanked internationally and we were in the throes of opening a beautiful flagship store in Eastern Pennsylvania. We already had one in Western Pennsylvania, and we opened that providentially in May of 2008. There could not have been a worst time in American business history since the depression to spend millions of dollars in opening a flagship store, and that's where we found ourselves. So 2008 in May, we opened this flagship store, September Lehman Brothers goes out and the economy just falls off a cliff. And that was the first major, major impact to us. And what happened was, the day before Thanksgiving, we were with our advisors and they basically told us, looking at our balance sheet, that we were insolvent and it was time to sell our assets and close the business and move on to the next phase of life.


Michael:
              Okay, pause. I want to know, at this moment if you're thinking back to that, where are you emotionally at that moment?


Will:
      Dumbfounded. Here again, at that time, what? Our company had been around 85 years or so. It's just okay, this thing will be around forever, right? And that's how some of us in family business or some of us in small business think it will always be there. And so the moment our advisors to a person around the table said, "Hey, you guys are pretty much done. Wrap it up, move on to the next chapter of life." And we as a family, it was a somber Thanksgiving weekend. And we as a family, that weekend had some hard decisions to make. And really we look back to the commitment we had and the commitment we had been given by our employees for decades and said, "You know what? There is no way we are going to let these people down en masse and close this thing."


Will:
      And then we also... This might sound a little corny, but we also believe that we are stewards of a tradition of American craftsmanship and artistry and hand craftsmanship, which what we do in metal, that we could not let this die. And so we made the strategic decision that we were going to stay the course as long as we possibly could. January of '09, we have to lay off 40 people, a third of our workforce. But at the end of the day, we fought through 2009. At the end of 2009, again the economy still in the tank. December 31st or whenever we look around and we say, "Hey, we're still here."


Kathryn:
               We're still here. Not dead yet.


Will:
      Exactly. Kathryn is exactly right. We're not dead yet. We're still here. We're not... Our coffers are not full, we don't have a zillion dollars in the bank but we're still alive and for us, that was the goal of 2009. So that was the first major issue that happened 2007, eight and nine. And we got through 2009. Again, perseverance and incredible employees that I work with. My colleagues are amazing people, blessed beyond measure to work with them. And our customers stuck with us as much as possible as well.


Kathryn:
               Did you keep the flagship store? Did it end up having to close?


Will:
      We ended up having to close that. It was a tough decision but again in business and we all know this, and many of your listeners realize this when you're in a position of leadership, that entails making the tough calls and we have to make the tough calls and they're very difficult but looking at the organization as a whole, and all of the families that rely on it, that's at the end of the day, what you and I, as leaders are called to do sometimes.


Michael:
              Okay. So right now I'm thinking, we've got listeners in this whole COVID experience where tons of people are going to be in the same exact position you were in, where they're like, "Should we shut it down? Is that the wise thing to do? Do we fight? Do we move on?" A friend of ours came to us two weeks into this and he said, 95% of my revenue is gone because 95% of their revenues based on events. He's got 10 employees and he's like, "Okay, I don't know what we're going to do. Think we're going to be okay but I don't know what that looks like." So we've got folks here right now that are listening. And I just want to say to our listeners, if you're in a place where it's just really hard right now, and you're listening to this kind of pain, these are stories where... And that's one of the things we hope to continue to bring here, is we don't get a chance in the media to hear these kinds of stories that much anymore.


Michael:
              Nobody's talking about people who are fighting and looking at the giant and saying, "We're going to give it our best and make it through." And that idea of stewardship, we talk about disasters and we talk about the things that are just seem unreasonable. But this is real stuff and there's... This is a great time for you to be encouraged because it's these kind of testimonies about experiences that can bring you hope. And I want you to just... If you're listening today and listening to Will, I want you to settle in and just go, it is possible to have hope in this situation. Because Will's been through it. We've been through it. You can be in these places where it's really dark. Okay, so you guys go through this, you make it through 2009 and then what starts to happen?


Will:
      Little did we know and the crazy thing about this... And again, I love your four big words, but the passion and the calling... In adversity, it calls for passion and calling. It really does because little did we know the economic malaise of 08/09 was not the biggest challenge we would face. So let me roll the calendar a couple of months. Again, we're in early 2010 and it's March, March 4th, Thursday, and I'll never forget that day. We have the opportunity to pitch our largest opportunity, our largest order in our history for the Pittsburgh Penguins, a big six figure order to commemorate the closing of their iconic arena in Pittsburgh, the Civic Arena. Anybody who's been to Pittsburgh at any point would know this.


Will:
      And so for us so much was built into this because for us, if we would get this order, it was a confirmation that we made it. We will be okay. Long story short, that night we get a call. We got the order. Literally 18,000 tickets. We had to deliver in a little over four weeks for the Pittsburgh Penguins for their last game in this arena. This was a confirmation that we were making it. The next day we go back to our office and my grin is a mile wide. We do an all hands meeting and we announced guys, we got the order. And again, remember, we handcraft stuff.


Michael:
              I was just thinking that. That's a lot of handcrafting.


Kathryn:
               So you're creating basically 18,000 metal tickets.


Will:
      Metal tickets, absolutely. Yeah, commemorative tickets for this last game. And so I tell you what, I mean, high fives, cheering. Again, we had been through a battle together as colleagues and we had come through and here was the order. So March 5th, literally we get busy starting this order. March 6th, which is a Saturday morning, I'd go to the office and I go into the office and there's some deliveries to make. And I love interacting with our customers. And so I say, "You know, I'd love to go make these deliveries." So I go out and make these deliveries. And as I go out and I'm getting out of my car to make the first delivery, I get a call, "Hey, Will get back here." The Forge, which is our nickname, our company is Wendell August Forge. People in our area know us as the Forge. "The Forge is on fire, get back here."


Will:
      And I'm like, "Wow, that's kind of a big deal." But I walk in, I make my delivery. I'm heading back to my car and I get a call from another colleague, one of our craftsmen, one of our artisans and he's in tears, "Will get back here now, the Forge is burning to the ground."


Michael:
              Oh my...


Will:
      I'm about five miles out and I get three miles away from our company, and I look up in the sky and I see a huge plume of black smoke and I know it's serious. But Katheryn and Michael, I'll tell you, I had a... I wasn't anxious, I wasn't just overwhelmed with, "Ooooh", I had this peace about me that is only explainable by one thing and I'm driving and 21 volunteer fire divisions are on site already. Long story short, two days after receiving the largest order in our history, our entire factory, corporate headquarters in Western Pennsylvania, flagship store burns to the ground.


Will:
      Again, we had just been through 08/09, we get the biggest order, burns to the ground. And my colleagues, if you can imagine, are in tears, are weeping, "What are we going to do?" "How am I going to pay my mortgage?" "How am I going to feed my family?" "This is the only job I've ever known." Just anxiety and just turmoil all around as you can imagine. And we had one answer and we brought our colleagues together in a prayer circle and there's about 20 of us at that time onsite. And we said a very simple prayer, "Lord, we don't know what's happening. We trust that you do, show us what we're to do." And we break that prayer circle. And it's almost as if immediately the lights go back on, from despair and discouragement, immediately to action and focus.


Will:
      And so my colleagues begin to wrap themselves around our building and direct the firefighters to go in and get stuff. And it was absolutely miraculous but just a shade of the miraculous stuff that was yet to come. Too many stories I want to share in there. Obviously, the next day we have to meet with our insurance adjuster and the adjuster comes and tells me and pulls me aside. He's a guy I grew up with. He said, "Will I need you to know two things; one, 60% of small businesses who experienced a devastating event like your fire never make it."


Michael:
              Super encouraging moment.


Will:
      Yeah. I'm like, "Wow. Thanks so much Phil."


Kathryn:
               I'm in the 40. I'm going to the 40.


Will:
      And then the next one is, "And those who do, it usually takes six to nine months to get back into business." We didn't have that.


Kathryn:
               No.


Will:
      And I said, "Phil, I appreciate it but we can't." So that was the first, "Uuuuh. Okay, thanks so much." The second was fully expecting the Pittsburgh Penguins that ticket order that we had just gotten to call us and say, "Hey, thanks guys but no thanks. We need somebody else to deliver our gift for the last game." How about this? One of the finest franchises in professional sports, one of the most defining moments in their history, they call us the next day after the fire. And they ask us a very simple question, "Do you think you can deliver this order?" "Yes." Right? That's the entrepreneur's response. [crosstalk 00:17:59]


Kathryn:
               I don't know, how about yes?


Will:
      I wouldn't do that but absolutely we can. And they said, "We think so too. Tomorrow we are sending a courier to meet you on your site and we will have a check in hand for the entire amount of your order to give you some cashflow during this tough time."


Michael:
              No kidding.


Kathryn:
               That is so cool.


Michael:
              And they did. And so what happened over the next month was absolutely incredible. It was the subject of an article in the New York Times, USA Today, Fox News and AP did a story on us, "The little company that could." Remember six to nine months, if we get back into business. Our workshop was up in five days. Our offices were fully operational in two weeks and our flagship store was reopened in four weeks, all in rented space in our little community. And so to your friends, to those listeners right now in COVID that are going through difficult times, we are called to a greater purpose. It might look different today than it did yesterday. We might have to pivot. We might have to change direction but we can get through it. And the world needs leaders to step up with confidence, with strength, with encouragement, to lead through these moments.


Michael:
              Now I'd be lying to say if there were moments alone that I wasn't in tears and just, "Lord why?" But as a leader, with my folks that I work with, one of the jobs that I have is stewarding that leadership role. And that is passion, and that is calling, and that is confidence, and that is encouragement, and that is strategy, and that is pivot. And that is not being tied to any one way but looking at seeing what the results on the ground are delivering and pivoting to what the reality on the ground is. During COVID, during the protest that we're experiencing as a nation today, we need leaders who can encourage, who can draw together and who can pivot who we are as a nation and as businesses to get through because we can get through but the world is crying out for great leaders.


Michael:
              And when I say great, I'm not a great leader but I work with amazing people. And those are the people in their roles, stood up. I don't care if they were a craftsman, a retail salesperson, a customer service agent, one of our management team, we all lead in our sphere of influence. And to a person, Kathryn, to a person, Michael, my colleagues stood up and accepted the challenge and we made it through.


Kathryn:
               That's awesome.


Michael:
              And the crowd goes, wild.


Kathryn:
               And the tickets were delivered. I assume the tickets were delivered.


Will:
      Well, that's the amazing part of the story.


Michael:
              The rest of this has been amazing. Let's get to the amazing part. No, I mean, this is fantastic. Keep going. I'm having a ball.


Will:
      I believe it was April 7th, 2010. I was absolutely blessed to drive our company van down to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from our temporary quarters, about 45 minutes away and deliver 18,000 handcrafted tickets. My colleagues, our craftsman, our distribution team literally work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to get those done. Remember four weeks earlier, we burned to the ground.


Kathryn:
               That is amazing.


Will:
      And yet we deliver. Unbelievable. If that's not the American spirit...


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               That's so cool.


Will:
      We didn't wait around for somebody to come and help us. My colleagues just did it.


Kathryn:
               Wow.


Will:
      They made it happen. They adjusted, but we did it.


Michael:
              That's sweet. You must've been like a proud Papa.


Will:
      If anybody has ever been an extra in a movie or a TV show. You know you look around, you watch all the stars making it happen, right?


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Yeah.


Will:
      That's exactly the role I felt. I'm like the guy on the periphery, just watching my colleagues, watching our community rally around us. Watching our customers just raise their hands and vote with their support. And I was absolutely amazed. The providential God working through amazing people and an incredible community, did the absolute miraculous. And I'm here to say it still happens today. And it can happen to your business, if you're going through difficult times. It can happen in your marriage, if you're going through difficult times personally, these things can happen.


Michael:
              We totally agree. Hundred percent. Thousand percent.


Kathryn:
               That's a great story. I'm really glad that that's the first time we heard this story. That we didn't hear the whole story the first time because I'm just like, "Oooh, so much fun."


Michael:
              Yeah. I would have stepped out of the room because it would have been like the second time around, that would have been pretty boring. Absolutely. "Oh my God. I've heard this before." Wow.


Kathryn:
               Oh my goodness.


Michael:
              There are so many different places this interview could go, and I just kind of want to sit in the moment because one of the words we've been using around the office lately is resiliency. And we've been talking about it with the book, even though the word... I don't even know what the word shows up in the entire book but once we've published it and got it out, the theme of what it looks like to be resilient and how both there is a competence and character that you see in companies where I see it in your story. Where there was a definitely a business competence, there was a craftsman skill competence. You had a team that had been working together a long time, obviously generations. So the company had demonstrated its ability to handle all the core areas and elements of business. Those were fundamentals that you developed.


Michael:
              Clearly, you talk about the way everybody responded. There was a depth of character, of maturity, of growth and some divine Providence in the midst of that. That came together to say, okay, now you've got people who are like, these people are tall. People with long shadows, we call them. And when that happens and you bring that together, that makes organizations more resilient. I can't think of a better way of highlighting all those things into this story because that's where companies fall apart. That's where leaders fall apart. That's where marriages fall apart. When there is not that resilience of realizing, it's not just, we all feel good together and on a good day, we can have a kumbaya party, but they're in business. There's a measure of both. You've got to have the depth and the roots, like you were talking this weekend about oak trees and the depth and the strength of that.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. I preached on Sunday. And so my text was oaks of righteousness, right? It was interesting because I was thinking about... I was sharing this with a friend last night and one of the things that's so powerful about what mature trees do... Stable, mature, fully grown trees, is they absorb carbon dioxide and they give out oxygen. So they take out of the atmosphere what kills us and put back into the atmosphere what gives life. And I was like, can you think of a better description of a mature, faithful person than somebody who comes alongside you in leadership and whatever else and is life-giving and helps mitigate and take away the things that cause struggle and pain and death. I'm like, that is a great picture. I want to be an oak of righteousness.


Michael:
              Yeah. Well, and for companies that can be resilient in storms. Like you've been talking about Will, from 2008... 2008 was just a crummy couple of years for any of us that were in business.


Kathryn:
               And we talked about remembering your mom just saying... Because one of the things that being older gives is perspective, right? So the idea of I know when... Especially for young leaders, when you hit that first major adversity, it feels like no one's ever gone through this. No one's ever experienced what I'm experiencing and history and perspective and understanding that what we're going through, it's not the first time crisis has hit. It's not the first time... This isn't the first pandemic, right? I mean, there have been pandemics historically forever. So I remember Michael's mom saying, "If you can just survive, if you can just hang on through the recession, you're going to come out the other side stronger. And it's going to make all the difference in how you move forward in your company." And she's not a business woman. She's just a wise person who understands that when you survive adversity and you push through and you come out the other side, it changes your ability to lead, to continue to grow, to move forward.


Michael:
              Well, it's funny because you were telling your first story and the accountants and everybody like that. And we've got our own versions of that. We've told some of our listeners that but there was a moment where I was remembering a conversation with my mom because for us 2008 and 2009 were actually boom years for us. 2010 and 2011, it was like a tsunami. The tsunami went out to sea and we didn't see it and it slapped us late. And so we were in that 2010/2011, where it was really hard and there was moments where you're just going, "I don't know if we can make it." And we didn't have a hundred years behind us to even kind of go, "Well, we've got that much history behind us. We've got to go forward." We started in '02.


Michael:
              I remember that moment with my mom saying, "Now is not the time to grow and try and expand. Now is the time to buckle down and make it through the storm. If you can survive, you'll thrive after the storm." And I remember looking at her like, "I want to believe you because that sounds really smart but you and dad ran a business for a while and then dad had to close that business." And so you're like... I went away from that conversation doing that. And while you were talking earlier, I was thinking about those moments. Especially with mom where she was reminding us to just survive. Because you were saying in 2008 I think it was you were saying? You were just, "Can we just survive this thing or was it 2000 and-


Kathryn:
               Nine.


Will:
      '09. Can we make it? We have cash. Okay my goodness. We've got a dollar in the bank. We're okay.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Yeah. And sometimes survival is the best encouragement. Like you said-


Kathryn:
               We're not dead yet.


Michael:
              We're not dead yet. This is encouraging.


Kathryn:
               Just a flesh wound.


Michael:
              So there are two or three things, I'm realizing that... Probably there's a time down the future, we'll have another conversation. So I want to try and not cover everything today. Okay Will, so we've talked about all these different pieces. You've got the history of the great recession. You've got the burning to the ground. We've got the victory story of the tickets. What does that look like for you today? Moving forward now, we're in COVID but we're going to come out of COVID. What does that mean for you and how it has impacted the company at a high level now? Now that there is enough miles in the rear view mirror, past the fire, how does it impact the way you live your life right now and the things you focus on at this point in your arc?


Will:
      Absolutely. I think there are three key pieces I would say are... If I had to condense my learning as a leader, as a business guy, I could probably condense it into three things. And I love because it really rolls into your book so well, Fulfilled. In that first part where you start with the why, right? You start with the why and I will just encourage, and this is speaking to myself, as I am your listeners, that we will get through this. Whatever this is.


Will:
      It's COVID. It was 2008, the economic calamity of two... We got through it and there is another side to the rainbow that at some point we will get to. Do not lose heart, keep focused on your calling, on your passion and your bigger why. And so that's the first thing. Keep the bigger picture in mind. Don't get so micro that you get paralyzed. Start with the bigger why. Start with your why. Your passion, your calling, why you started doing whatever it is you do in business. Remember that. It might look different. Post trauma, post difficulty, but the core of it stays the same.


Will:
      The second thing I would say to your listeners that I have learned for what it's worth is the battlefield is the mind. This mind of ours can be our biggest gift but it can be the biggest drag on our ability to work through adversity. The attacks come and they come and they come, trying to take me off the path that I was called to. It happens in my mind, "Well, this can't happen. Well look, it will just happen to here. Oh, there's Oh my goodness." Whether it is you lose your biggest client, whether you're closed down by a fiat of the government, whether it be a fire, whether it be whatever. We have to take captive those negative thoughts in our minds. We can't sit and dwell on the negative.


Will:
      Now they could be real. Our circumstances are real, but they're not the truth. And if all we focus on is our circumstance, it is like a downward cycle, we're spinning downward. So I would challenge as I've learned, take control of the mind. And so what does that mean to take every thought captive? Here's what I've learned. Recognize a negative thought for what it is. Whether it be discouragement, defeat... I don't want to dwell on this. Don't sit and stew in it. Capture it, recognize it, get rid of it, get it out of your mind. And the only way you can get it out of your mind is the third step. By replacing it with something good or positive or encouraging. Whether it is a workout that you go do, or a run or you look to the scripture to get words of wisdom, or you go to that mentor of yours, who is the encourager who can help you see that bigger picture.


Will:
      Take those negative thoughts captive, get rid of them and replace them. And again, I'm not saying that the circumstances are not real but remember they're not truth and they're not eternal. And that would be the second thing that I've learned. And the third thing is real practical. Just do the next right thing. When you're in adversity, you're in a cloud, you can be just in the fog of war, as they say, and you can't see the whole picture. As the chairman of a company, I love seeing the strategic big picture. When you're in adversity, you are blinded to the whole picture. You can't see it all, but I know what I am called to do is just the next right thing. That's right in front of me right now. Our company, one of our mottos, 'Progress, not perfection.' Just take the next step. And you know what? You might take a half step back but if you take the step forward, you're still moving forward to the other side of that rainbow.


Will:
      So those would be the three things; recognize the adversity is not forever; take every thought captive, don't let the negativity reign in your mind; and then just do the next right thing.


Kathryn:
               That's good. I like it.


Michael:
              I like it.


Kathryn:
               I like it.


Michael:
              That's a bookend on that right there.


Kathryn:
               Right there.


Michael:
              Well, Will thank you. Thank you for taking the time today to spend with us and our listeners. Thanks for sharing your passion. I love the passion. I love the heart behind what you're doing and... What a great story? Thank you for sharing your story.


Kathryn:
               Great story. Super encouraging.


Will:
      Appreciate the privilege of being able to share it.


Michael:
              Absolutely. And we should have talked about this earlier, so I apologize, but I'm like, if people want to learn more about you, is there a place they can go? And we can put this link on our website later but can they learn more about you and your story?


Will:
      Sure. It's Will Knecht. And if you put... You have to spell it but willknecht.com is my website. And our company is wendellaugust.com. If you want to get a sense of what we do and the context of this company that could, the little company that could, wendellaugust.com.


Kathryn:
               And Will and Knecht is K-N-E-C-H-T.


Michael:
              And we'll have those links on our podcast webpage, habovillage.com on this episode. So you'll be able to find it there. And I would really encourage you all to find out more about Will. Look at what's going on and if you're into company gifts or anything else, these folks they do some great amazing work that I've seen online. And since we're new to Will, we haven't purchased anything yet, but right off the bat, I'm like, "Well, I like this ticket idea." I like this ticket... I know I'm not ready to buy 18,000 but I'm thinking there's some need. This is great. And we're going to do another episode on gifts and the power of gifts and everything else and what amazing things that can be. So we'll link back also to your company and stuff like that when we're talking about that in a future episode.


Will:
      Thank you so much.


Michael:
              Thank you so much Will for this. Thank you everybody for listening to us. Have a wonderful week and we're just going to end with, if you need any more information about that, you've also got Will's stuff and you've got our book, Fulfilled: Building A Passion And Provision Company With More Profit, Purpose and Legacy. You can find that at fulfilledthebook.com or a link on HaBO village to help encourage you and to help equip you more, because that's our goal here on this podcast. Join us next time, when we'll be talking about something interesting. I don't know what. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And this is the HaBO village podcast. Take care.