Combining Vision and Opportunity
OUTdrive Episode 138 with Gary McMullin
In the midst of an increasingly digital world, the demand for blue-collar jobs and industry workers is still prevalent, and maybe even amplified. But even in trades like welding, construction, and manufacturing, customer service and satisfaction drive future business and opportunities. Today’s story is proof that with a vision and customer-forward mentality, you can start, manage, and grow a nationally recognized business right here in rural America. In this episode, Gary McMullin joins the podcast to talk about his entrepreneurial journey in the welding and construction industry over the last 50 years.
Gary is the owner and president of W & M Welding located in Sedalia, Missouri. Established in 1978, W & M was initially a one-man walk-in welding shop but has since expanded into multiple divisions of the construction business. Gary was born and raised on a farm near Smithton, Missouri, and attended State Fair Community College and American Welding School before joining his uncle in business.
Tune in this week to hear what Gary has to say about business longevity, customer relations, and adapting to new marketing strategies.
- 1:30 – Gary talks about his background, his decision to go into welding, and why he eventually decided to return home and join his uncle’s business in Sedalia
- 3:45 – Gary and Cliff discuss the welding program at State Fair Community College and welding as a career choice
- 5:30 – Gary gives a brief history of W & M, from where it started to where it is now
- 7:30 – Gary shares what he thinks it takes to run a successful business today
- 9:00 – Gary offers a few key takeaways about dealing with customers
- 10:15 – Highlights of a few of the projects that stand out in Gary’s career
- 12:45 – What Gary would tell his younger self about starting a business
- 15:20 – Why Gary chose to keep his headquarters in Central Missouri despite doing business across the country
- 16:45 – Gary talks about growing up on a farm and why he continues to farm to this day
- 18:45 – Gary and Cliff chat about golf and what they love about the game
- 21:30 – How Gary markets W & M and how they live out their brand story
- 25:00 – Cliff and Gary chat about Gary’s enjoyment of hunting
- 27:45 – Gary’s closing thoughts about taking advantage of what you’re interested in and what you enjoy