About Larry Shoemaker…I joined a small retained search firm in Atlanta more than 20 years ago, following a successful career in sales, marketing, M&A and general management. My employers included fortune 100 companies, privately held organizations and family owned businesses across multiple industries to include banking, soft drink, food/beverage, pet products and wine. Some were domestic; others international. My broad industry background resulted in a lot of contacts, so the search industry seemed to be a natural fit for the second half of my career. With all those industry connections, how could I help but succeed?
After about six months I began to understand that succeeding in this business was not about who you knew, but about who knew you. It was a matter of timing. If an organization did not think about you, and contact you when they had a need, you missed out on a search opportunity. Suddenly it became not a matter of how good could I be, but could I make it through the startup time while I was establishing my credibility. Thanks to a patient wife, an understanding family, and a friendly banker who provided a second mortgage, we survived those early days, and have built a meaningful business in this dynamic industry.
Five years later I decided to start my own firm, Shoemaker & Associates. If I were going to be spending all my efforts developing relationships with people who would rely on me to help them recruit their key executives, why not do it “for myself?” There is definitely a difference between the large top name search firms and a firm like mine. The large firms usually attract searches from the largest organizations, and approach it like the business that it is. On the other hand, as a “boutique” firm we typically deal with both large and small firms, but those that fit us best are those that appreciate the personal relationships and our commitment. With my name on the door, I cannot afford to fail! That is my motivation.
I cherish the early struggles, and the education it gave me, as well as relationships that I developed along the way. Twenty years later I am thankful to be a part of this exciting and challenging industry. I am determined to give back to others far more than I have received and my blog is one way I hope to share things I have learned along the way.
Contact me any time at:
Shoemaker & Associates
1862 Independence Square, Suite A
Atlanta, Georgia 30338