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Meet Milton Thomas of Crown Construction

Today we’d like to introduce you to Milton Thomas. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’ve always been a visionary. I’ve always seen the best that life has to offer, and I understood that it would take hard work to get there. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I guess that’s all I’ve ever really known. I understand business in a way that may seem complex to some, but I guess it’s just the way my mind works. 

My story is simple. I’ve always been a problem solver. The identification of a problem comes easy for just about everyone, but it’s the discovery and the execution of the solution that’s a bit trickier. I’ve always worked hard and taken every opportunity to learn. To, “sit at the feet of wisdom”, some might say. From a budding entrepreneur, who was focused on real estate and community building, taking the reins of responsibility with a family to feed, to a seasoned professional who firmly understands that one of the key elements missing in our small business community is the desire to ‘pass the baton’. My focus is on the tools and lessons that we can pass down generationally, to help create and maintain a strong Black economic eco-system. 

Success, on any level, is absolutely intentional and requires a dedication that often doesn’t show its rewards immediately. If I created a hashtag for it, it would be #patientperserverance. 

Some people shy away from hard work, trying to find the magical hack, others lean in. Like a muscle, business must be exercised, consistently massaged, and thoughtfully attacked. 

My greatest lesson AND my most powerful piece of advice are one in the same. Always bet on yourself! Have faith in your own strengths and abilities. Don’t listen to the noise and the outside chatter… stay focused. If you can envision it, it’s already yours. Moments of self-doubt will come, but you have to be mindful of where you place your energies. 

Crown Construction was founded on the principles of integrity, exemplary craftsmanship, affordability, and a dedication to the highest level of customer service. Our focus is and has always been that we provide a service to the community that stands as a source of pride for our employees and our customers. We pour every ounce of our integrity into our work. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would have to be totally transparent and say that the obstacles that I have faced as a small business owner are shared by many. Understanding that you can offer opportunities, but you can’t force people to take advantage of them is huge. 

There is a pervasive mindset of entitlement that I have witnessed and it does not lend itself well to building a strong foundational business. 

Everyone won’t see your vision and that’s ok. But building a strong team is imperative. Those can be the internal obstacles. Externally, I think that we all know and understand that all entities don’t work to the same level. Meaning that some of us must work harder, be more consistently diligent than others. Is it a fact that we must accept, or a narrative that we can change? 

My work speaks for itself, and I can honestly say that there isn’t a room or table at which I would feel uncomfortable. My ability to connect with people of different socio-economic, or cultural backgrounds it a trait for which I am truly grateful. It’s also the ledge upon which I stake many of my abilities. My ability to understand people, as well as concepts helps me to scope my business offerings in a way that causes unparalleled shifts and provides dynamic results. 

After 17 years in the field of real estate, acquisition, sales, and project management, I made a pivotal decision. Following the onset of the Pandemic, which was economically reminiscent of the collapse of the real estate industry in the early 2000s, I positioned my company to take a more scoped approach. 

Crown Construction is the brainchild of years of experience and exposure in the field of commercial and residential construction and development. My commitment to excellence has never wavered. 

Allow me to be blunt, I really don’t embrace the concept of obstacles, I prefer to see them as situational opportunities to overcome. 

We’ve been impressed with Crown Construction LLC, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Crown Construction LLC is a construction, rehabilitation, and design firm, located in Kansas City, Missouri. With a project completion list that includes both commercial and residential endeavors, Crown Construction is staffed by industry professionals with a combined total of 75 years’ experience in the field. Known for impeccable construction and stunning finishes, our team is dedicated to the principles of integrity and excellence in both our craftsmanship and our customer service. 

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Hahah… I guess in business, there are always surprises. I guess the most notable one for our business is that we aren’t just committed to excellence in craftsmanship and customer service, but without a directly tangible impact on the community, the success means nothing. 

I prefer to reference the people that work with Crown Construction as my partners, not my employees. They all share Crown Construction’s overarching commitment to the vision. Regularly, we engage with the community for the expressed desire to see ALL people thrive. Whether that means volunteer work, pro bono offers, or community-relevant events that we sponsor, that’s one part of the vision that we ALL must embrace. 

Crown Construction’s “Jump Start” program was launched in the Summer of 2021 with the specific purpose of providing opportunities of mentorship for those wanting to enter the field of construction, but do not have the resources or access to traditional training. 

The program is hugely successful and is one more way that we can see our impact daily. Using a garden analogy might be well served. Life is about planting metaphorical seeds. Whether it involves business or personal endeavors, being careful where you plant, being intentional about pruning, and being thoughtfully grateful when it’s Harvest time is key! 

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