From the time I first understood what a business was, I wanted to run one. Engulfed by my blossoming creativity, I would conjure up new business ideas every weekend as a child. I wasn’t interested in sports like the other kids, I wanted to build something.
My dad was a carpenter, so naturally there were always wood scraps in the garage. One weekend I decided that I was going to sell wood sculptures in the front yard. In my mind I was creating magnificent robots, dinosaurs and other fantastic creatures, but in reality, my sculptures were a little … abstract. Okay, maybe a lot. That business didn’t fare so well, but like any serial entrepreneur, I learned from my mistakes and moved on to my next venture.
One weekend, it was the good old lemonade stand; the next I was selling elaborate pencil drawings. By then, my artistic skills had evolved enough to warrant a sale. When I got my first bike, I decided I wanted to deliver newspapers, but my dad finally put his foot down. He told me that I would have plenty of time to work in my life; I needed to slow down and enjoy my childhood. Of course, that made no sense to me at the time.
Even then, I loved the creative process of thinking up my next venture. Business is in my blood, in my DNA somewhere. It’s a part of my soul.
Fast forward to my years at the University of California Santa Barbara. As a young man studying computer science, I networked with people in the hopes of finding an avenue to my first startup. I had the great fortune to cross paths with two of the most intelligent, amazing people I’ve ever met: Eric Wernicke and William Skidmore.
Sixteen years ago, we set off together on a great adventure to build what is now PayJunction. We have put our blood, sweat and tears into this business, and it’s everything I dreamed it would be as a child: a truly grand adventure.
Together, we meticulously engineered every aspect of our product and service. We applied that same attention to detail to the culture of our company. Every hire matters. The social fabric that we have woven with the diverse and talented team we have built over the years is the foundation of our success.
Company Culture Results in PayJunction Glassdoor Best Workplaces Ranking
In December 2016, we were honored to be named among the 2017 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor, which has more than 540,000 business listings across the country. We ranked No. 29 in the small- to medium-size category.
The PayJunction Glassdoor award is special because it has nothing to do with our profits; it’s an Employees’ Choice award that highlights our ongoing commitment to our team, culture and Santa Barbara, Calif., lifestyle.
We have built a very successful business, but to me our greatest currency is the personal and professional growth of our team. When I think back over the last 16 years, these are the things that matter the most to me:
- The amazing culture we have built together
- The reputation we have garnered over the years
- The ethics we hold most dear, including a commitment to building a good business that truly helps people
- The respect we share, including our dedication to valuing long-term relationships over short-term profit
- The family, with whom we are truly building something that will outlast us
These are some of my greatest joys. True wealth can be measured in the friendships and culture we’ve built.
I wake up every day with the same excitement I had when I was a young boy selling wood sculptures in my yard. I love what we do. I am so proud and honored to work alongside all of our employees and I’m continually amazed by how we keep getting better together. I’m committed to the personal growth and continued success of every member of the PayJunction team. We will continue to strengthen this family as we grow.
I take pride in co-building a company that’s considered one of the best places to work in the United States, but each member of our team should feel that pride for doing their part to build our culture and sustain our values. Let’s keep weaving this amazing social fabric that is PayJunction.
Have you ever worked at a company where employees were put first? What was your favorite company like to work for? Let us know about your work experiences in the comments section below!