James Pitcher's design/build company grew in size, scope, and revenue. But midway through 2007 he decided that the business — which had begun doing installed sales for a large retailer and held 3,000 square feet of office and warehouse space — had become too big and he began cutting back. “My role had changed to just sales, collecting money, and putting out fires. I was looking for something different,” Pitcher says.

By the end of last summer Pitcher was working with just one employee and focusing on niches he'd established over the years — residential remodeling with wine-tasting rooms, commercial wineries, and rehabilitating distressed properties.

The systems he'd put in place for Castle Rock Construction's earlier incarnation have served the company well as it begins to rely more heavily on trade partners. And Pitcher says he's enjoying himself more after so many years behind a desk. Maybe he could have done this from the beginning, he says, “but I learned so much and gained something from each employee I worked with.”

- Stacey Freed