Fresh off of the week in Florida I headed to the West Coast and San Francisco to do three days of training for EA. Two days on the income statement with a Mangement group and an executive sales team and a day of the more advanced balance sheet with a group of attendees from the income statement classes in past visits. It was nice to beat the heat in the Bay Area, the weather was great. The food is always great and the classes are always fun at EA. The lunches are good too. EA has one of the better corporate cafeterias.
EA is an interesting company. When I started working with them in 2008 they were sustaining large losses and slow growth. That continued for 4 years, the last three years I have watched the company slowly climb out of its hole. The company is now profitable with strong cash flow. There is still work to do on the margins in this business but they are on the right track.
After the last class one of the students came up to me and thanked me for the class. He said I have had a negative view of our financials because I heard that things had been bad for so long. It was nice to see how things have improved financially. I did not realize this last fiscal year was as strong as it was. It’s funny how the culture of losing money can really make employees look at things negatively. One benefit of training finance is these employees see the real numbers and not the rumor or innuendo. I have found that the real numbers are always better than the rumors and the unknown.
On this visit I was able to visit a college friend and a high school friend. Both own their own design businesses in San Francisco. It’s interesting to see how they run their businesses and grow them. I am always impressed with the Entrepeneurship spirit I see all over this country. Both of these friends have successful profitable firms that employ about 30 to 40 employees each. I love to see how a person can take their dreams and create businesses that add jobs to the economy and create value for themselves and their partners. That is what business is all about.