By Karen Craigo
Morgan Pryor just turned 26, but he’s already living his dream.
Things have happened quickly for the owner of Midwest Fabricating in Strafford, but he likes what he sees unfolding.
“A dream is whatever makes you happy or satisfied in life,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing.”
Pryor’s company involves fabricating and polishing, with a recent expansion into chrome accessories for the trucking industry. His actual shop has grown three times in size in a year.
Business is booming for this Marshfield man, and that’s no accident.
“We’ve diversified in probably five directions to provide more services for our community and industrial customers,” he said.
Midwest Fabricating has three kinds of customers, Pryor says. These include local customers, including agricultural customers, who require fabrication services, like welding, polishing and building; truck driver customers, who need polishing, interior detailing and chrome accessories; and industrial customers, like American Products.
“We take on small parts of their project and give it to their team to finish in the assembly line,” he said. “We jump in and give them a helping hand so they can be more productive and achieve more.”
On the other end of the spectrum, on a recent day in the shop, Pryor’s team of four employees could be seen building panels for a swine barn.
It wasn’t always like this. Pryor started his business in Marshfield, where his friend Rob Hartman helped him with shop space. Pryor was 24.
“I decided to start my own business after doing it on the side for a little bit,” said Pryor, who began his work at 20 with Holloway American of Springfield.
“I had a talent for it, and I wanted to provide the world with more than average to exceed my full potential,” he recalled.
He noted that he started with “no tools, no finance, no capital — nothing.” What he had was desire, coupled with a willingness to make sacrifices, he said. He also had ingenuity, having built is first welding table off of a concrete floor with carbon steel.
Pryor was willing to share his story because he has a message for millennials: They, too, can pursue and achieve their dreams.
“It gets talked about all the time, how young I am,” he said.
And he concedes that not a lot of young people are moving forward in the industrial realm with expansion and risk-taking, including the hiring of help and participation in the community. Sometimes this means putting in 18-hour days for the entire week, and during the interview for this story, he was on the tail end of 36 solid hours of work.
Despite his age, Pryor has developed a strong business ethos, and he is willing to share his advice. Here are some examples:
• Every day is a new chance to try to do even better than the day before. “In my opinion, to achieve your dreams, you have to be very dedicated; you have to be very disciplined; you have to always practice personal development to become better every morning that you wake up,” he said.
• It’s important to listen to the people you work with and serve. “The biggest factor is to listen to the feedback that you get from others and take that as personal development as well,” he said.
• Growth is a lifelong journey. “You always have to improve yourself and find areas you lack in. The biggest thing is you have to really hustle at what you are good at,” he said. He added, “At the same time, you have to bring up your weaknesses if you’re going to grow.”
• Sales ability is critical to success. “You have to be an excellent salesperson or you will not get anywhere,” he said. “If you can’t sell, you’re not going to be able to provide a service.”
• Failure is part of the journey. “There are going to be a lot of failures,” he said. “It’s very surprising, how many struggles and failures come your way. You have to stay dedicated.”
• Building a business takes time. “You have to put in the hours, put in the time,” he said. “Every day you do that, you become stronger and stronger.”
• Speed is of the essence. “In order to be able to compete with some of the companies out there in today’s world, you have to be faster than they are,” he said. “You have to expand fast and find the right team members to join on with you.”
• It’s important to believe in yourself. “It comes down to just having faith in your goals and your dreams,” he said.
• The people you surround yourself with matter. “The biggest thing is to surround yourself with good, successful people and learn from them.” He added, “You want to study the people who are good people and who are coming up on their own successes.”
• It’s important to give back, too. “In my study of successful people, they help others to be successful as well.”
• Check yourself before you wreck yourself, as the saying goes. “Ego will only get you so far,” he said. “Ego will get you every time. The marketplace will highly discourage you if your ego is too high.”
• And you have to have a vision. “I think about the big picture every morning and every night,” he said. “You have to trust yourself to have that faith and to hold on.”
Pryor is married to Amelia Pryor, and they have two children, Brayden, 6, and Jordan, 4.
Meet Morgan Pryor and Midwest Fabricating: The company will host a Big Rig Meet and Greet noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at 201 W. Evergreen St., Strafford.