Accustomed to working 70 hours a week or more, Jim Mellon (front) is finally starting to find some time for himself. It's an unlikely development, considering that in 1998 he nearly doubled the volume of his insurance restoration company by acquiring a competitor. But the purchase added five remote offices, forcing Mellon to delegate more and more authority. Although there's been some turmoil and turnover as a result of the expansion, one by one, the remote offices are coming up to Mellon's high standards of profitability. And sales volume in 2001 grew by an impressive 30%.

Mellon credits his success to his employees, some of whom have been with him since he started. "Though I worked hard and put a lot of hours in, I couldn't have been successful without them," says Mellon. "They always handle things as if they owned the company."