Godwin Company: A Journey of Entrepreneurial Triumph and Principles

Categories: EntrepreneurInterview

Entrepreneurship is a journey of passion, determination, and resilience, often requiring individuals to overcome various challenges and obstacles. One remarkable example of such an entrepreneurial journey is that of Larry Godwin, the owner of Godwin Company, Inc. Larry's story is a testament to the transformative power of hard work, dedication, and the pursuit of one's dreams.

Background and Early Career

Larry Godwin's journey into the business world began in the heart of Arkansas, where he spent his formative years working on his family farm.

Despite leaving school after the fourth grade, Larry's commitment to learning and growing never wavered. At the age of 18, he moved to Indianapolis and embarked on a career with a fan company. His journey took a pivotal turn when he secured an apprenticeship position at a tool and die company, specializing in forklift repairs. This experience laid the foundation for his expertise in the field.

Following his time with the tool and die company, Larry joined Westinghouse, where he engaged in rebuilding electrical equipment, machine work, and forklift maintenance.

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Subsequently, he worked for Kidney-Wood, a tow motor distributor, where he swiftly climbed the ranks from a road technician to the esteemed position of Service Manager. A decade in this role allowed Larry to accumulate savings, and in 1969, fueled by a vision and determination, he invested $4,000.00 to establish his own business.

The Birth and Growth of Godwin Company, Inc.

Godwin Company, Inc. commenced operations in 1969 at 2222 East 10th Street, specializing in servicing industrial sweepers, scrubbers for hospitals and factories, and forklift trucks.

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Larry's astute business acumen and unwavering work ethic became evident as he navigated through different locations—846 North Hamilton in 1971 and the final move to 1175 West 16th Street in 1974. Today, this location serves as the hub for the sales and service of forklifts and golf cars.

Remarkably, what started with a modest net worth of $4,000.00 has burgeoned into a multi-million dollar enterprise. Larry Godwin's foresight was clear—he understood that to achieve significant success, he needed to break free from the constraints of working for someone else. His confidence in his abilities, coupled with a passion for excellence, became the driving force behind his business mantra.

Despite his limited formal education, Larry's self-confidence was palpable. "I'm the best forklift mechanic in the country," he would proclaim to potential customers. This bold assertion, backed by his exceptional skills, not only won him business but also earned him the respect of those in the industry. Larry's basic accounting knowledge ensured that every department's actions were meticulously accounted for in the books, laying the groundwork for the company's financial stability.

Within the first five years, Godwin Company, Inc. experienced the crucial phase of establishing a solid cash flow. Larry, recognizing the need for expansion, secured a $100,000.00 loan from the bank. This loan, strategically invested to facilitate growth, was promptly paid off. A valuable lesson Larry imparted was the importance of balanced growth, cautioning against rapid expansion that might jeopardize financial obligations. The initial years were challenging, and it took approximately a decade for the business to achieve a smoother trajectory.

Key Principles for Entrepreneurial Success

Larry Godwin's success is not merely attributed to financial strategies; rather, it rests on a foundation of principles that define his entrepreneurial philosophy. During the interview, he emphasized the importance of diversifying one's portfolio to mitigate risks associated with poor choices. Larry advocated for a thorough understanding of a chosen field, coupled with a realistic assessment of its income potential to raise the necessary capital.

His insights extended beyond financial matters; he underscored the paramount importance of honesty, loyalty, and integrity in business dealings. Larry stressed the need for swift and appropriate resolution of customer complaints, recognizing the significance of maintaining a positive reputation. Additionally, he emphasized the critical notion that the money generated by the business should remain within the business, cautioning against personal withdrawals that could undermine profitability.


In conclusion, Larry Godwin's entrepreneurial journey from a fourth-grade education to the owner of a thriving business is a testament to the transformative power of determination and passion. His story exemplifies the significance of learning from experience, observing others, and embracing opportunities for growth. Larry's principles of honesty, integrity, and loyalty underscore the essence of ethical entrepreneurship, serving as a guide for aspiring business owners.

As I reflect on the insights gained from the interview with Larry Godwin, I am inspired by his unwavering commitment to excellence and his ability to turn challenges into opportunities. Working for a company built on passion, honesty, and integrity is a source of pride, and Larry Godwin's legacy serves as a beacon for anyone aspiring to embark on the entrepreneurial journey.

Updated: Jan 02, 2024
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Godwin Company: A Journey of Entrepreneurial Triumph and Principles. (2016, Dec 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/entrepreneur-interview-essay

Godwin Company: A Journey of Entrepreneurial Triumph and Principles essay
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