Most people fear starting one business on their own, but Andrew Newman has started two, nearly simultaneously. More than that, he's had success all while having a family. In addition to home restoration and home construction, he left to help with hurricane victims in Houston.
You started out in a restoration and cleaning business. Why that business?
I enjoy helping and serving the Billings community whether it's an emergency or through one of the scheduled services my company offers. I also like to challenge my mind. The cleaning and restoration industry is very technical when you dig into the science.
One thing that many people note about you and your business is an incredible work ethic. Tell us about where that drive comes from?
There are two main contributing factors that helped shape me to have a strong work ethic. Growing up, I was a multi-sport athlete. Sports taught me how to push through any obstacle that stood in the way. My parents played a major role in my life. They showed me what opportunity looks like and what accomplishment feels like.
You expanded into home building. How did that change occur?
My grandfather had a wood shop in the basement of his retirement home. I always enjoyed the projects we did together. Later in life I grew a strong love for business. It only made sense to couple the two passions together and hopefully build something long lasting.
What are the challenges of running several businesses simultaneously?
A single business is overwhelming not to mention two start-up companies almost simultaneously. You simply can’t put too much time and effort into any business. There’s always more that can be done and more that you want to accomplish. Building a team and relinquishing control is the most difficult challenge I've struggled with, but the most rewarding task I’ve been faced with.
Several of the houses you’ve built have been new for Billings and, because of that, bold and risky. What made you want to attempt those?
We have one goal in mind when we design a new home: That’s simply to strike an emotion in people. Our homes are not designed for everybody to like them. We want the people that like them to really love them and for the people who dislike them, we are OK if they really hate them. At then end of the day, we hope to contribute along with many other phenomenal builders in helping make Billings a better community.
When a hurricane hit Houston, you left to help the clean-up. Why?
One of the scariest and hardest decisions I’ve ever made --not to mention it was not an ideal time to leave Billings for five weeks! My beautiful wife and I were due to have a baby as soon as I would return home from Houston. Newman Built also had a home to showcase in the 2017 Parade of Homes. We prayed a lot. I really felt God was pushing me to leave my comfort zone to grow personally and as a business owner. The financial risk itself was almost enough to put my wife into labor eight weeks early (ha,ha). We pulled together the financial piece as well as an eager team of eight technicians and off we went. We had an incredible journey full of unforgettable experiences. I learned that I have ability to help even when making a living to provide for my family. I learned that at any moment everything we work hard for can be swept away. We laughed with our clients and we cried with them. My younger brother brought his restoration company from Gillette, Wyoming and we got to spend some really charitable time together on our journey. Shortly after we got home, he passed away unexpectedly at age 31. Before I left Billings it wasn’t totally clear why I needed to make this trip. Now there are no questions about it.
What do you do to relax away from work?
We spend a lot of time at home entertaining friends and family. My family likes to spend time in different cities enjoying the great food and amenities each one has to offer. We need to do this more often.
What is your greatest success so far?
Showing my kids that anything is possible in life if you work hard, be persistent and never give up.
Where do you see your career 10 years from now?
To have a self-sufficient company by having the right team in place to run it like a well oiled machine. Relinquish control.
What advice would you give others your age in Billings now?
Focus on what you chose to do and put your whole heart into it. Our services and products are empty and meaningless without that. Listen to people when they share experiences, both good and bad. Learn from mistakes. Never miss an opportunity. Don’t be afraid of being told no. Find a way to get a yes!