A Message from Owner and CEO, Shane Sloan, to the employees of Access Systems on April 6,2020.
Today is my 15th anniversary as the owner of Access Systems. During this milestone, many of us are dealing with one of the most significant events of our lifetime. When we are faced with such adversity in life, it often helps us prioritize what is important and what is not. It has helped me realize how important Access is to not only me, but to many of you as well. It is not more important than our health, safety, family, or faith, but it is extremely important.
Last week I sent out communication on our business. The response that I received from many of you was humbling. I received some of the most caring, loving and encouraging messages that I have ever received in my life. I received some of the most significant messages from employees that I do not know well personally. I read several to my family. I am not embarrassed to admit that many of them caused me to get extremely emotional. It reminded me of how important every decision that I and our leadership team make is for the livelihood of our employees and families. It also reminded me of how we are all in this together and always have been.
15 years ago today, I risked all of my families’ resources to purchase Access Systems. My wife worked as a pharmacist back then, my twins were 5 years old, and my “baby Jace” who is 12 today and does not love when I call him that 😊, was not born yet. We had 5 employees providing computer support to about 25 business clients. We were located on the square in Adel, Iowa. I must admit how naïve I was back then. My accountant and friend, who helped me through the transaction, was upset with me because he thought I overpaid to buy the business. I did not realize back then that 50% of business fail in the first 5 years and 70% of business fail in 10 years. I am not sure at 50 years old I would take the same risk. Actually, I probably would, considering this year I jumped off a bridge in New Zealand with only a bungee cord attached to me😊.
I definitely could not have taken the risk without the full support of my wife, Susie. She not only encouraged me to take the risk but had more confidence in me than I had in myself. We also lived off her income for the first two years of the business and never saw each other because of our work schedules. It was a huge change for us and she never once complained or second guessed any of our decisions. She truly is an amazing wife, mother and best friend, that is the silent driver behind anything that I have accomplished.
The risk may have seemed large, but in looking back on things, we were not only destined to survive but thrive. My entire motivation in taking the risk was to create an organization where people can come to work, thrive, plant their roots, and retire. Frankly, that is what I wanted for myself and family as well. I had first-hand experience how large companies make decisions that create lack of trust and no stability. I vowed that we would be different and through 15 years we have pulled it off. The messages I received last week was validation from all levels and tenures in our organization.
I am forever thankful to the employees and leaders of our Access. We have some of the best people on the planet working for our company. Personally, many of the people I care about the most in this world work at Access. This will always be personal for me and I will never take lightly the decisions I need to make. You may not always agree with the decisions, but the motivation is and has always been for the safety, trust, and stability of our employees and your families.
Thank you for providing me some of the best times in the past 15 years. The great news is that our best days are still very much in front of us. As long as we remember what got us here.