We had the good fortune of connecting with James Lepak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, what’s your definition for success?
The journey to success is a unique experience for each person and varies across different areas of your life from business to personal. Some people define success as money in the bank. Some as a balance between work and play. Or success can be measured by how we view our family life or career advancements. Regardless of how you define it, a sense of success is critical to one’s well-being.
For me, defining success as an entrepreneur, there have been no shortcuts and it has evolved over the past 33 years based on the goals I was working to achieve.
Overall, I view business success as something larger than myself and the company. Success is running a profitable firm that conducts business with honesty and integrity, makes meaningful contributions to the communities it serves and nurtures high-quality, balanced lives for our employees. My success is built around my staff, partners, and clients. The James David Custom Homes company will only be successful if I have the right team with me, and to make sure that happens, I ensure that my staff is happy. My ultimate success is making sure I can pay my staff as much as I can and making sure they love getting out of bed every morning and coming to work because they really enjoy what they do.
Furthermore, as a business owner, I believe I have an obligation to think outside my own doors. I think about the potential impacts we can have on those around us as well as future generations. That’s why I’m involved with philanthropic efforts, such as The Illumination Foundation. Recently, we came together in partnership with other philanthropists and local companies who share our values to fund a new shelter and support those experiencing homelessness in the Orange County community.
Defining personal success can be challenging. Pressure from family or society sometimes clouds my vision of what I need for a sense of personal fulfillment. The definition here has also shifted over time as I grow and change. What was once important to me when I was younger doesn’t hold the same value to me now.
My trick for personal success is balance.
I feel most successful when I allocate appropriate time for both my personal and professional lives. Luckily my friends and family recognize that I’m equally hardworking and dedicated to both the staff and customers of my business as I am to them. I practice balance each day in striving for personal success. If you picture your life as a wheel on a car, and each segment is a part of a balanced life, if it’s not balanced then your car will not drive right and wobble all over the place.
The truth is, everyone has a different definition of success, and in order to achieve, you first need to understand exactly what success means for you.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
James David Custom Homes specializes in building custom homes and luxury estates in Southern California and Idaho. Not your typical general contractor, the team is made of master builders who carefully balance the development and the design of your new custom home. The highest standards are set for custom homebuilding excellence and satisfied customer experiences. James David Custom Homes’ professionalism begins with a strong commitment to providing a custom experience throughout the entire process.
I have worked in this industry for over 33 years and continue to optimize and modernize in order to serve clients above and beyond expectations. For example, a few years ago we started using the Buildertrend APP. Buildertrend is the #1 Software for home builders, contractors & remodelers. It includes project management tools, estimating software, scheduling & CRM all in one app.
The road hasn’t always been easy, but like the old saying goes, “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” When I was younger I didn’t understand how to achieve success. I thought it was a matter of force, or luck, or some unforeseen circumstance that somehow, through random selection…made certain people successful and others not. As it turns out, I am here today because I learned along the way that if I consistently work hard, am dedicated, disciplined, and have grit then I can achieve.
I take pride in the company I’ve built, the legacy we’re creating, and the long-lasting homes that families can enjoy for generations.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
With a world full of fascinating destinations, choosing my favorite spot can present a challenge. On one hand, I grew up in Southern California and there are many favorite spots that will always feel like home. On the other hand, Coeur d’Alene in northwest Idaho is my new favorite home – with the breathtaking forests and lakes it’s a brilliant place for balance and peace. That being said, to answer this question…I would have to select Rome and the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
When visiting Rome and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, there are so many beautiful historical buildings, monuments, restaurants, and beaches. In this hypothetical situation, my best friend and I would have an amazing adventure in these beautiful places.
My family and friends encourage me to become the greatest version of myself. I believe this can happen anywhere in the world and I’m grateful to have carefully built a life filled with so much love, joy, and happiness.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost I would like to thank and dedicate all my success to my wife. My success isn’t sheer luck, brilliance or dedication alone… it is all my loving wife Hilary’s support and endless love. I am very fortunate to have her in my life.
Hilary is always encouraging and makes me a better person. This has led to great success in my friendships, with family members, and helped in the success and growth of James David Custom Homes. We are on this journey together and it’s her support that has gotten me where I am today.
Furthermore, I want to give a big thank you to the entire staff at James David Custom Homes. Whether in the workplace or after hours your comradery, dedication, perseverance, and understanding are the building blocks that have kept us together all these years. Team building is both an art and a science and I’m proud of the company culture, values, and goals we all share together!