PROOF THAT NICE GUYS DO INDEED, FINISH FIRST.
There are things you know. There are things you think you know. And there are things you don’t even know that you don’t know. It’s the things you don’t know that limit your success. Once I started learning these business principles that I just didn’t know…. That’s when my business really started flourishing.
Q: What led you to the trades?
My grandfather started an electrical business in 1961 and I grew up next to the office. But I never imagined working in the trades. My passion was numbers, so I studied to become an accountant. At age 21, my father who had taken over for my grandfather, invited me to join the family business. With my knowledge in accounting, I thought I could help grow and scale the business, so I accepted his invitation. Within a few months, the growth we began to experience was too much for my father, so he turned the business over to me. I was still 21, at the time.
Q: What were the early days like?
The early days were filled with both highs and lows. The business was financially successful, and I was making great money, but my employees were all $9/hour guys. The work was mostly new construction, so after a big job I usually had to make layoffs. That always took a toll on me emotionally. I could never figure out how to keep my guys busy year-round and provide more income. I wanted them to be able to build a long-term future, but I struggled with the challenge and couldn’t find the answers that I needed.
Q: How did you overcome the challenge?
Surprisingly, the competition helped. A new competitor expanded into my market with lots of flashy trucks and deep pockets. I decided to research their business and found out they were being mentored inside of a success group. To keep a long story short, that discovery led me on a knowledge seeking journey. Very quickly, I realized there were businesses much larger and more successful than mine focused on residential service. Around the same time, I came across a quote by Ben Franklin, “empty your purse into your mind and your mind will fill your purse with coins.” This struck a chord with me. I went and found a mentor who had already achieved what I was looking to accomplish and started building a residential service business. There’s no doubt in my mind that this created a massive turning point for me and my business.
Q: What was the most important lesson you learned from the mentor?
There are things you know. There are things you think you know. And there are things you don’t even know that you don’t know. It’s the things you don’t know that limit your success. Once I started learning these business principles that I just didn’t know…. That’s when my business really started flourishing. I learned not to keep what I learn to myself… how important it is to share my knowledge with my team. I remember gathering my guys five days a week to huddle around a little TV and watch VHS training tapes that I picked up. I learned to never stop learning. As I applied lessons, our company culture turned into one that values training and high-performance. Then, we really started to take off.
Q: What are you most proud of?
We have 300 plus employees and maintain one of the highest employee retention rates in the entire industry. But I’m most proud to say that most of my managers were promoted from within and we haven’t lost a manager in over 10 years.
Q: Do you have any regrets?
Of course, who doesn’t? My main regret is that I operated so many years without knowing. If I had gained this knowledge sooner, my business would probably be double the size it currently is.
Q: What does Contractor Strong mean to you?
Contractor strong means seeing others around me succeed. It means having the highest paid employees in our profession, and offering them secure, long-term career opportunities. It means providing for my family and having the financial freedom to do what I want, when I want. It’s a philosophy for success.
Are you ready to maximize your personal and business success and make your business Contractor Strong ? Take the first step to a better future. Schedule your personal Maximum Yield Strategic Mentoring Session today.
What is a Maximum Yield Strategic Mentoring Session? Watch the video here.