Create Your Own Path

Create Your Own Path

Part 2. Building a Legacy that Lasts: Mike Willhite, Willhite Grading and Excavation


Mike Willhite is a well-connected man. As owner of Santa Barbara county’s Willhite Grading & Excavation, Mike’s network extends beyond California and the United States. With thousands of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers, he is globally connected to up-and-coming operators, like-minded contractors and small business owners.

“I like to teach,” says Willhite enthusiastically. “I like to turn ‘guys’ into professional operators and give them a trade they can make a living on.”

After owning his business more than six years, Mike is determined to instill confidence and know-how into the next generation of builders. He is helping them avoid the mistakes and pitfalls he made in the beginning of his career. He says it all starts with choosing the right partner. His relationship with Cat® Dealer Quinn Cat continues to play a critical role in his business’ success, and his advocacy for skilled labor.

“To anyone who is ambitious, I encourage them to get out there and do it on their own,” says Mike. “Create your own path in life.”

“To anyone who is ambitious, I encourage them to get out there and do it on their own. Create your own path in life.”

MX Track Builders’ John Steiner is taking Mike’s advice. He reached out to Willhite via social media looking for tips on excavation. After a series of conversations, Mike offered John the opportunity to join his team.

“It’s been great learning the excavation and grading side of this industry,” says Steiner. “Mike is an excellent mentor to me and I’m learning a lot.”

As we continue our series on Mike and his legacy, watch as he constructs not only the community around him, but the careers of others as well.


Cat customer Mike Willhite has developed a worldwide following through social media. Through his influence and knowledge, he is teaching the next generation of operators and business owners how to create and maintain a rewarding career.

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