In this episode of Main Street Business Insights, host Matt Wagner sat down with the CEO of Keith McDonald Plumbing in Milledgeville, Ga., Lindsay Goodson McDonald.
In their conversation, Lindsay discusses her path to small business ownership. Lindsay began her work in plumbing in 2009. After losing her job in Athens, Ga. during the national recession, she moved back home to Milledgeville to help her father with the family business. At the time, Lindsay said, “I totally hated it. Hate’s not even enough of a word.” It wasn’t until several years later when her father wanted to begin scaling the service side of the business into new locations that Lindsay became more interested, and eventually passionate, about the work.
Around five years ago, Keith began planning for retirement and was slowly scaling back, allowing Lindsay to take on more of a leadership role. Unfortunately, the gradual succession plan was cut short when, in 2021, Keith tragically passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing Lindsay to decide whether to sell the business or take over as CEO. She made the decision to stay on, recognizing that she would need to make significant changes and scale back in certain areas in order to maintain the company without her father. Even with these changes, Lindsay says, the company has begun to grow and scale in new areas, largely due to her adaptation to innovative new technologies.
In the episode, Lindsay talks through the challenges and lessons learned from being a woman leading a company in a male-dominated industry, the importance of adapting to new technologies, overcoming imposter syndrome, and her passion for community development work.