Jun 5, 2018
If you own a business, it reflects you, whether you mean for it
to or not.
Every system, every product, every experience, has you embedded
in it. Any business owner that isn’t comfortable with that
should run for the hills. The “owning a business is like
having a child” metaphor may be over used but there is, of course,
some truth to it. The things we build reflect us.
But building a healthy profitable business evolves quickly
beyond the parenting metaphor. The thing about parenting is
we’re mostly doing it ourselves. Our tragic missteps and long
sought after successes are mostly hidden and only become exposed
years later as our kids grow up.
The parenting analogy works as a foundation but it isn’t the
Every business owner quickly moves from the parent figure and
takes on a role closer to an architect designing the framework by
which success will be built. But the architect hands over the
design and is done, that’s it. So maybe that’s wrong.
It’s more like the Orchestra conductor, masterfully melding all of
the pieces into one moving presentation. But the conductor is
handed the Symphony. The road map is already there.
Most of us never have that and probably wouldn’t follow it if we
The reality is that no analogy actually works quite right
because owning a business is way more complicated than anyone wants
to admit. We are the parents, and the architect, and the
conductor, We’ll probably spend time as the secretary, the banker,
the back hoe operator, and everything in between as well.
As we learn to navigate all of those hats little pieces of
ourselves become the fingerprint. Even as we train employees
or hire contractors, we build a story. Our brand ultimately
will be a reflection of our self. The best businesses look in
the mirror and, at least most of the time, they’re proud of what
Our guest today may not attract to a whole lot of
mirrors. He’s more comfortable in a world of flying sparks
and heavy sheets of metal. His love for building started as a
kid and grew through building low rider cars and motorcycles in the
DIY Punk scene. Josh Smith, own of Clutch Fabrication talks
growing up, why he loves metal, and how he's grow up as a business
We’re glad you joined us.
Here are some highlights:
Josh’s childhood like?
Josh grew up in the woods of Green county Indiana. His dad
built their rustic cabin and was constantly adding on or working on
it. His mom was an artist working in stained glass. So
Josh had a combination of creativity and building going on around
him a lot.
How did Clutch Fabrication start?
Josh was into working on cars and motorcycles already.
Then a chance meeting got him connected with a Blacksmith in
town. It just built from there. He worked for the
blacksmith, then for another metal shop, and he finally decided to
go out on his own.
What does he love about metal?
He just loves taking something that’s impossible to move and
being able to heat it and manipulate it. He sees the
combination of building and creativity in the medium and
appreciates being able to dabble in both.
Does Josh enjoy
the more artistic projects or ones with specific
Both have their pros and cons. Josh loves systems and
efficiency. That’s kind of weird because every project Clutch
does is different but he definitely enjoys the jobs where he can
build in efficiencies. But he loves the creative stuff
too. When he builds furniture there’s a lot more freedom and
he sees the process and the outcome in a more artistic way.
What made Josh such a good problem
Josh hasn’t been diagnosed, but he feels he’s probably
dyslexic. He’s been dealing with this since he was a kid and
would always be finding ways to work around his struggles with
reading. Having to constantly navigate the issue as a school
kid set him up to be able to find solutions quickly
What are some of the struggles Josh has experienced as
a business owner?
Really it’s been the pressure of his business growing.
Employee turn over, jobs stacked on top of each other, and tough
jobs environments have definitely made him sweat.
What are some of his favorite moments?
Josh loves to step back and just appreciate Clutch Fabrictaion
and were it is. He loves the people too. Connecting
with people is his favorite part.
What does Josh love about owning a business that he
didn’t think he would?
Really it’s the nerdy planning and organizing stuff.
Building a business plan, analyzing statistics, evolving the
employee benefits plan, and things like that. Josh loved the
metal work at first and still does but now he loves the higher
level elements of owning a business as well.
Where does Josh see Clutch Fabrication in 5
Really it’s about slow growth. He’s not out to make a
million dollars. He wants to continue doing good work and
growing a healthy business.
Special thanks to Josh Smith for taking the time to
share the Clutch
Fabrication story with us.
The show was hosted, produced & edited by Jeremy Goodrich.
The music is by Mark Vinten.
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