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#79: Bi State Home Improvement Corp.

Create competition, drive to be the best--that's what this company is all about.

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Company: Bi State Home Improvement Corp., remodeling/home improvement services

Founders: Michael Lamb, 35, Ken Lamb, 38, Kirk Amerine, 35, and Gary Maulden, 26

Began: December 2000 2001 Sales: $1.4 million

Why did you start this business?

Michael Lamb: To offer better service than what I've seen in the industry from other companies--to do things the right way. Also, because I promised my brother [I would] (he quit a government job and moved across the country for this).

What business philosophy do you live by?

Lamb: Always do what's right, all the time. Live up to, and by your principles. Never compromise. And always strive to be your best. 'Success in life isn't measured by who or what you are, rather by who and what you are compared to and what you could have become.'

Who is your business role model?

Lamb: Bob Knight, head coach for Texas Tech's college basketball program. College basketball is big business, that is, ticket sales, TV contracts, merchandise sales, etc. The media has created Bobby Knight as an icon in college basketball. Love him or hate him, he is always the same. He is intensely passionate about the game, his players, their success and winning.

I've been told many times that my attitude and demeanor are very similar to Coach Knight's. I'm intense, passionate about my business and drive my people to be their best. Perfection is not an option; it's a requirement. Sometimes, I can be a bit of an ass, but it's because I care. I also always have to remember to be the hardest worker here. If you want the most from your people, they have to see that you're willing to give the most. First one here, last to leave--willing to do any job that they do and strive to be better at it than them. Create competition, drive to be the best--that's what I've found business is all about.

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