Michuda Construction has built some of Chicago’s most iconic projects in health care, commercial, industrial, education, and mixed-use. A five-generation family business, brothers Mark and Josef Michuda take pride in not only defying those odds, but redefining what it means to build projects – and legacies – that stand the test of time.
Mark had to stare down his biggest obstacle when recently, senior pastor board members at a conference asked him an unsuspectingly loaded question: How’s life going?
He had ‘too many balls in the air’ – and just couldn’t keep track of them anymore.
Mark is involved in his church. He’s the co-chair of the board. He’s involved with another board at suburban hospital. He’s involved with a homeowner’s association. He’s on countless advisory boards.
But that wasn’t enough.
He’s in the process of getting involved with an equity position in a medical device company. He has a product line of disinfectant solutions for buildings.
He’s – in a word – busy.
The pastor’s response? “I have a virtual assistant that’s changed my life.”
“That’s when Yassi came on the scene – and became probably the biggest game-changer for me.”
In the throes of a very innovative time in their business, Mark has learned to lean on Yassi to increase his capacity to be effective in the things he should be doing.
Initially, he invested a lot of his efforts in getting her trained to assume responsibility for all things that he does, as well as all the people with whom he interacts to become an extension of him.
“[And] as we’ve grown together, I am starting to delegate more and more and more,” Mark shares.
Mark calls his family’s construction company their ‘golden goose,’ allowing him to focus on innovations and opportunities that the construction company has afforded them.
He had already expanded their business from construction to development – buying land and developing something they could own.
It took shape in the form of a senior living facility. And another business as a health management group – but he admits that he never would’ve had the bandwidth to think about those projects if he weren’t able to lean on Yassi to handle everything else.
“I’m able to do that because Yassi has become more proficient,” Mark says. “Little by little, I’m saying, ‘You got this, you got that, run interference for me on this.’ I don’t have time for these things. ‘Gather information. I’m looking at this business opportunity. I need to know this, this, this and this. Pull that information together for me so I can see it and review it.’”
As their relationship and trust have grown, Yassi can provide counsel for Mark, too.
“Perfect example: She says, ‘Why don’t we come up with a system where we can pass this off and maybe you only get involved with the bigger, more technical things that you’re good at.”
But Yassi’s help isn’t strictly business.
“[She] also invests time personally,” Marks explains. “We’re both Christian and there are times we’ll pray together. It’s just like, ‘How are you doing today?’”
“I got some bad news – my uncle was dying. I’m struggling. [Yassi] says, ‘Well, let’s pray over that.’ That’s where it starts to go in a different direction; the relationship is not just business.”
She also helps Mark respect boundaries for himself.
“I have to be careful because I am, by nature, very entrepreneurial. So she is challenging me now – questioning me, ‘How’s that going to work with your time allocation? Do you realize where you’re going with this? I see that you were up at 5 this morning. I see that you were sending out things at 10 at night. Is this healthy?’”
“And I would have never had the bandwidth to innovate unless I got rid of some other things that didn’t make sense,” Mark shares. “I love this. I love my new life. I really love, love, love my new life.”