Having grown up in a family manufacturing business which he grew from $8 to $18MM in 10 years as CEO, Michael Erath has spent his entire career in the trenches of the entrepreneurial world. He also co-founded a Hardwood Timber Trading Company in 1999 which grew from start-up to a $27MM business in 2007. Since 2003 he has been an active member of several business peer groups – YPO, where he spent 9 years in Forum as a member of the Southern 7 Chapter; EO, where he continues his Forum experience as a member of the Arizona Chapter to this day; and Vistage, where he was a member of a Trusted Advisors Group in Columbus, Ohio.
Following the housing market collapse and financial crisis of 2008, Michael made the difficult decision to liquidate his family business, which was closely tied to the housing industry. He was able to manage the process without seeking bankruptcy protection, over a very challenging and educational 2-year period. Today, he looks back on the lessons learned during that struggle with gratitude, knowing he never could have received such knowledge and wisdom in a classroom.
In 2010, Michael leveraged everything he had and started a new manufacturing business, which he continues to own to this day. In early 2014, an EO colleague introduced Michael to the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) by way of the book TRACTION. In EOS, for the first time in his 20-year career, Michael found a simplified, holistic system that created a perfect framework with which to operate his business.
Since implementing EOS in his own business, Michael and his Leadership Team were able to substantially increase Gross Profit, more than double Net Income, and earn a spot on the 2015 Inc 5000.
In addition to the financial gains since Michael started the EOS journey in his own business, the way his personal life has been transformed is even more meaningful. He now has a strong and unified Leadership Team who manages the day-to-day operations of the business, which has freed him from the overwhelming control the business had been having over his life. With that newfound freedom, Michael has been able to pursue his greatest passion, which is to work with fellow entrepreneurs to help them strengthen their businesses by implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System, and strengthen their Forums as a ForumSherpa Certified Facilitator. With nearly 15 years of YPO and EO experience as an insider, Michael is very well equipped to bring a unique and powerful experience to help Forums and Corporate Teams go deeper and grow stronger.