The brief excerpt below is from the book; 50 Interviews: Entrepreneurs Thriving in Uncertain Times. The award winning 300 page book includes exclusive interviews with over 50 successful entrepreneurs in a variety of industries.
Miles Grant founded his real estate development company, Genesis Homes,
located in Littleton, Colorado in 1998. The company finds land that other
builders have rejected, transforming it with new excavation technology to
make it usable for housing. Miles, along with his seven employees, is able
to connect home builders and home buyers throughout Colorado. The newest
company venture is providing affordable housing to active adults. In the
future, Miles sees his company focusing on senior single family homes built
green to provide zero utility costs. His prior experience was as the
President of Centex and Daly Homes.
Q: What was your initial startup cost and source?
A: My initial startup cost was $3 million from a syndication of partners,
angels, and private placement.
Q: How long until there was a positive cash flow?
A: Two years.
Q: The genesis of the idea?
A: I bought a piece of land overlooked by the big homebuilders. I took a new
technology of excavation to make the land usable for building. I basically
saw a unique opportunity and jumped on it.
Q: How do you attract and retain the best employees? What is the most
important attribute you look for? What are your thoughts on the
A: Look for people who accent your weaknesses. Systems are important to
maintain honesty. Have a solid mission statement. Yes on employee ownership,
and give them an opportunity to buy in. I offer to match my employee’s
investment. Think about what happens to the company if you die. Being listed
as a key man on your insurance policy will save your company, and your
employees deserve it.
Q: Can you recommend any training or resources? Do you recommend an MBA?
A: I learned most of what I know about this business while I was working for
a large corporation. I do recommend an MBA, however be sure you have a focus
first. I have what might be called a “working MBA”; experience in the
industry is key. Learn from other’s mistakes. I used to spend a lot of time
interviewing with other builders for a job, but what I was doing was
learning their secrets. I’ve taken their best practices, and built a system