Green Week: Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Viridian Reclaimed Wood Team

How do you create a mission-based business that’s also revenue-driven? Joe Mitchoff and Pierce Henley, founders of Viridian Reclaimed Wood, came to Pregame HQ for Green Week to tell their story of building a business that’s successful on multiple levels.

The Viridian story was born in 2004 down at the shipyard, with a lot of grit and a couple of friends’ idea to rescue some really amazing wood from winding up in a landfill. Wood from far-off ports arrives daily as shipping pallets and crates, but it’s extremely difficult to recycle. Through years of trial and error, they pioneered a method for up-cycling this wood into products with lasting value.

Viridian has expanded to new sources with the same goals of post-industrial reclamation and conservation. They are committed to finding the best use for every stick of wood they reclaim to reduce demand for new lumber.

Locally owned and operated in Portland, Oregon, at Viridian, sustainability is not merely an ideal to work toward; conserving our natural resources is the very foundation from which they we grew. Their work has been internationally recognized to help preserve the world’s remaining forests and combat climate change.

“We love where we live, and we want to ensure the highest quality of life for generations,” says co-founder Joe Mitchoff. “It’s why we do what we do.”

Here are some of Joe and Pierce’s best tips for growing a business from two people and an idea to a team of 20 with national distribution:

Live your values.
Identify your company values, then make sure they are reflected in everything you do.

Have a strategic planning process.
Whether it’s your current support group, a one-on-one coach, or the Pregame approach, the important thing is to have a written plan and feedback from experienced entrepreneurs.

Allow your process to evolve.
As your products, business focus, and market conditions change, allow your internal processes to be agile enough to grow with your business.

Create your future org chart.
Identify exactly what you want the business to look like three years from now and chart out each role on your future team. Then, work backward to fill in each role over time. This gives clarity to the business’s needs and areas of responsibility for each new hire.

Keep your team sharp.
It’s not enough to identify your own values and goals; you must communicate them to the team in a way that motivates them to take ownership. Follow up with periodic goal planning sessions where each person is aware of their areas of responsibility.

Cut with compassion.
If a B-player is holding your team back, don’t be afraid to let them go. It’s difficult, but ultimately your business will be better, your remaining team improve, and your former teammate will find a better match.

Follow your curiosity.
Even if you’re already in a specific job or industry, follow the things that spark your curiosity. A limitless capacity for learning and interacting in an area may lead to your ideal business.

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