Member Spotlight on Michael Hackley

Member Spotlight on MICHAEL HACKLEY
Interview conducted by Winnie Hart, Communications Director

Please tell us briefly about your company. sells more than a million items on about 100 different websites - from BBQ grills and outdoor furniture to poster prints. We have been around a total of 10 years and  7 on the the Internet. My wife and I started the company only selling grills and it has exploded since then.

So why did you join EO and how long have you been a member?
I joined to help with growing pains. I needed some guidance on how to help grow my business and manage growth.

How did you come up with an original idea for your business?
I had a store front called "The Grill Store and More." Local business got tough and I happened to be in the right place at the right time when a friend that had an e-commerce site talked me into it.

What do you like best about your business?
There are new challenges and ideas that are presented on a daily basis.

How much money did you have to invest to start your business?
I spent about $50,000 over a 12 month period.

What are your current annual revenues and number of employees?
We had $13.5 million in 2007 and we're on track for $18 - 20 million in 2008. We have 30 employees.

What is your proudest accomplishment to date in your business?
Being listed by "INC" Magazine as being one of the fastest growing companies in America in 2007 and 2008.
When did you first realize you were going to be an entrepreneur?
When I was about 10 years old I started a lawn business and haven't looked back. I've owned and sold several businesses since then.
What is your greatest accomplishment in your entire life?
I have 4 of them - my kids and my wife.

What are your biggest personal strengths?
I am envisionary.
What about your biggest weakness?
Trusting people.

Why do you think you have been successful?
Nothing but pure drive.

What is something that most people don't know about you?
That I'm just a big push over.
What is something you hope will be written about you in your obituary?
That I was an honorable, hard-working man.

On a lighter note, what do you do for fun these days?
I'm a big boater and I love to hunt.

Got anything big coming up on the horizon for you personally or with business that you want to share?
I just bought another 8000 sq. ft. building to expand our service and product lines.

Who has the biggest influence on your life?
Sean McMeel. He was a former boss of mine who has given me the ability to manage and create great employees.

If you could spend an entire day with one person who would it be?
My wife, simple but true.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
No matter what the obstacles are, keep climbing and you will make it to the top.

How long has your company been in operation?
Since 1998.

What lead you to EO?
The persistence of Kevin Langley.

How has your initial experience been?
Awesome! EO has helped me accomplish many things a lot faster which otherwise would have cost me a whole lot more time and money.
Company Profile and we have been in business since 1998 and on the internet since 2001. Our web site sells over 2 million products across the US. Our  revenues to 9 million dollars revenue in 2006. We employ 17 employees in Baton Rouge.

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