Profile on: Paul Lewan, owner of Lewan & Associates.
Most people would define a man who owns a company that did $100 million in sales last year as a success. And Paul Lewan, founder of Denver-based Lewan & Associates, would agree with them. However, throughout his career in office technology sales, Paul hasn’t seen success as something to be pursued. Rather, he defines it as the by-product of doing other things right.
Although he has always had a head for business, Paul’s entrepreneurial ability didn’t really come to the fore until his first employer, Marchant Calculators, went under in 1972.
“I had a number of people working for me at the time, and five of them came to me and said, ‘Paul, if you’ll start your own company, we’ll go to work for you.’”
Who could refuse such an offer?
Paul made a deal to purchase some of Marchant’s remaining inventory. It was a risky venture, but Paul managed to sell off his entire stock. He even started selling other products from big names like Hewlett Packard, Sharp and Texas Instruments.
Things really picked up when Paul started renting office equipment, such as electronic typewriters, in addition to selling them. The rental business was profitable, but it served Paul’s company even better as a way to make contacts and generate sales for other products. Soon, Lewan & Associates was selling everything from calculators to copiers to computers. Today, they have 450 employees and 100,000 customers across the state of Colorado.
How’d he do that?
Paul attributes much of his success to the priority he and his employees have placed on relationships.
“Our approach to handling a customer is really a consultative-sell, where we go out, understand the requirements and really try to put the right solution in front of them, working with all of our vendors to find that right mix.”
But it’s Paul’s relationship with his employees that is perhaps most remarkable. Not only does he send a personal card to employees on the anniversary of each year with the company, he also phones them on their birthday! And that’s not all. While he encourages them to work hard, he also strives to ensure his people have plenty of time for family, friends, and, hopefully, faith.
That’s because for Paul, his faith in Christ is everything. Having become a Christian while in college, Paul has always relied on God to steer him down the right path in business and in life.
“I never asked God to make me successful. I’ve never felt that was something I was trying to do,” Paul says. “I just wanted to run a good company, a fair company. I wanted to show integrity to both my employees and my customers. I felt like if I did that, then success would follow.”
And follow it has.
Would you like to be more successful? Let Jesus show you what being successful really means. If you don’t know Jesus, we encourage you to pray the following prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person You want me to be. Amen.