EO Spotlight: Joshua Loeske
CEO, Quality Sitework Materials • Law • EO Member Since 2011
Some opportunities knock. Some, like the one that started Joshua Loeske on his path to success, announce themselves with a handshake.
“I met an older guy who started Quality Sitework and was looking for two things,” Loeske said. “One, he needed some help because the business was growing beyond his original idea, and two, he needed an exit strategy.”
Loeske was invited to work on a commission-only basis with the handshake agreement that he’d be able to buy the company in three to five years — and five years later, the agreement held.
“When I purchased my company of over $1,000,000 in revenue, I’d already been ‘running’ it for three years. It all seemed pretty easy,” Loeske said. “I worked in the business as a salesman, kept an eye on sales numbers and it practically ran itself.”
Things continued to go smoothly for Loeske and his company through the opening of QSM’s second location, in an area where there was an existing client base. Once again, Loeske could not believe his luck at how easily success came to him. He’d fallen into a routine that seemingly had him poised to continue his upward climb — but there were obstacles ahead.
“It was not until I decided to open a third location as part of our growth plan that I realized that I could no longer manage the entire staff on a one-on-one basis,” Loeske said. “I also quickly realized that my business, while growing despite being a ‘lifestyle business,’ really wasn’t set up for growth. My formal education in biology, the leadership skills I’d learned from sports and the lessons in business I’d picked up along the way didn’t really help me with this transition.”
What Loeske needed most was not just generic advice, but candor on how to apply that advice to his own business and experiences. To his surprise, he found what he was looking for — and perhaps even more — when he stepped into his first EO forum.
“My first forum meeting opened my eyes to the world of EO and the power of peer-to-peer learning,” Loeske said. “The most shocking thing I discovered upon walking in the room is that each of my forum mates was willing to share deeply with everyone in the group, without hesitation.”
Loeske said that he expected discussions of the business world, but certainly not anything as intimate as what he found. Discussions of family trials, health issues, personal obstacles and moments of defeat accompanied the equally-helpful explorations of the business world. While it came as a shock to Loeske that his forum mates were willing to be so open, he said nothing could have been more powerful in helping him to understand the importance of humanizing his day-to-day interactions.
“Here I am eight years later, and I can say that without a group like this to share these kind of details of my life, who knows where I’d be right now. This is living the value, Trust & Respect,” Loeske said. “Through experience sharing and peer-to-peer learning, my forum has helped me grow my strengths and has supported me in my weaknesses. My forum has been there to pick me up many times in my personal life, in my business life and in my family life.”
Since joining EO, Loeske has seen it all: he’s heard from world class speakers like Apollo 13 astronaut Gene Kranz, has traveled the world for global leadership conferences and has learned firsthand from business masters like Verne Harnish, author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. And through it all, Loeske said his deepest comfort is knowing that he always has a group of peers who are ready to listen, console and advise him.
“My forum is my keel that keeps me steady in rough waters,” Loeske said. “They provide support and insight, they share the joys and the pains in life, they pat me on the back when I accomplish my goals and kick me in the ass when I want to give up.”