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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Talk Through Problems

Pete Gregory and his brother keep smiling because they keep talking even when it's hard.

Key Question:


Author Susan Scott says, "the conversation is the relationship." This means if there is no conversation there is no relationship.

Q: Do you think talking through problems is easier with a sibling that it is with a non-family member employee?

A: Probably. Pete and John say they talk through things. This gives us a clue however that they probably talk through problems with employees. People are either talkers or they aren't. We found John especially verbal and it is good that the organization has one owner who is quick to talk! As part of on-going training, strong small companies teach communication and conflict resolution skills. Employees should be taught how to deal with conflicts as they arise to prevent bad feelings that always lead to poor productivity and sometimes to good people quitting.

Think about it

Does your company need conflict resolution training? Do you think this is only needed in a female dominated situation? What can you do to improve your own communication skills?

Clip from: Feasel of DeLand, Florida and the Rebirth of Downtown

DeLand, Florida: Just northeast of Orlando, this town personifies the statement, "Big business homogenizes. Small business diversifies."

On the Main Street of this town they celebrate the rich variety of one-of-a kind shops owned by locals.  Just on the outskirts of town looms the big-box retailers.  How does a family-owned hardware store on Main Street survive? How can they compete?  

We do not have any simple answers. We do know that small businesses must develop a many-sided customer relation that competes in value against the volume discounters.

When we taped this episode of the show, Feasel Paint & Glass  was being slammed by by nearby discounters, both Home Depot and Lowe. And, we are sorry to report that this downtown store closed on December 9, 2008 (more).

We were fighting for the small businesses.  We still do.  Up until the store's closure, we had encouraged people to drop in on Feasel's on Main Street and buy something.  We talked with the new owner, Mike Woosley.  He's a very nice person.  He was optimistic and we all wanted to encourage their esprit de corps for their role in the continued Main Street revitalization.

This town, cited by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a "Great American Main Street" award winner, the people of Feasel Paint & Glass are helping to paint that picture.

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Feasel Paint and Glass

John Gregory,

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Talk Through Problems

HATTIE: I want to ask you if you've ever have had a time when you wanted to punch him out or you wanted to punch him out?

JOHN: Are you kidding?

PETE: Why would we?

JOHN: Are you kidding?

PETE: Never, never.

JOHN: Never. And we've never even told a lie, either. There are times you would not want to be around in the past.

HATTIE: Well, who's the one who does the yelling? And who's the one who does the leaving?

JOHN: I think we both yell a lot and we both leave a lot.

PETE: That's a good one. You got us on that one. I want to tell you, if it wasn't for that, the air would probably not have got cleared on a lot of issues and we may not be standing here today. And it takes a little bit of everything to run a business, and it takes a little bit of that.

Unidentified Man #7: Here she goes.

Unidentified Man #8: Here, Chip. Stay close.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Oh, that's Gypsy, Pete's very best friend. She's wherever he is, and that includes work. We've seen this before. Don't work where you can't take your dog.

(Voiceover) Are there reasons a small-business owner would want to move to De Land?

MAUREEN: (Voiceover) Henry Deland's vision for De Land was that it be a cultural and educational mecca.

And I think we've really become that, and that's important for a lot of people. It's definitely a drawing card for people to own a business here, and also to live. It's a high quality of life when you have a university like Stetson University here and the commitment to culture. We have, I guess, seven or eight little museums here. So we have a real good variety, and it's a wonderful quality of life, but it's also a very good environment for small business.

HATTIE: Our viewers have given us so many ideas, we want to start sharing them with you.

(Voiceover) One viewer writes: `Did you know that, by law, the federal government must spend 23 percent of approximately $200 billion with small businesses?' If you produce a product or offer a service the government could purchase, go to and choose business opportunities. From this page research the possibilities. Learn how the government buys, read about the Federal Acquisition Regulations and how the government defines small business. Under "Marketing Your Business" you can even register your company.

Come visit De Land, or move your business here.

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