Richard Brewer, a veteran skilled tradesmen shares his tips on Success.

Richard Brewer, a veteran skilled tradesmen shares his tips on Success.

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Welcome, guys, thank you for joining us today for the skilled trade rescue Podcast. Today I have the opportunity to interview Richard Brewer. And he’s got a unique story. I think Richard does not work in HVAC. He’s not a contractor. But he decided to go to trade school. And he’s actually made a lot of progress through his career. And now he’s a business owner. And I think he’s got a unique story. And the bottom line here, guys, is in America, we pretty much compared to the rest of the world. If you’re, if you’re born here, you pretty much won the lottery, when it comes to opportunity in America still is, believe it or not, even though we have our challenges the land of opportunity. So I think you’re gonna find Richard story. Very intriguing, and very interesting. And I hope the reason why we’re doing this series on skilled trades is to give you some insight into the real opportunities that are out there if you take the time to look for him. So, Richard, welcome to the show today. Thanks for joining us, where you’re located at to tell us where you’re located first,

Martin, well, we’re located about halfway in between Austin and San Antonio, in South Central Texas, in a small town called Seguin, okay, if you’ve ever heard, have you ever watched the Alamo? Once again, was the guy they sent for help? Okay, that’s, that’s what it sounds named after.

Yeah. If you live down in Texas for quite a while.

Oh, yes. I was born and raised here. Okay. 56 years.

Yeah, I spent a little time in Texas, down near the Gulf. And I remember, I was doing a job outdoors down there. And I was astounded at the size of the mosquitoes are pretty good sized ones down. Yeah. He says they don’t bite out here. They just pick you up and carry you back to the den. So they can eat you. Pretty much. Yeah. Anyway. So Richard, Tell us. Tell us your bio. So kind of we talked offline a little bit about, you know, your, your, your work history, your career history. And I think it’s very interesting. And let’s, why don’t you share with our audience out there?

Sure. Well, I when I graduated high school, I wanted to be a welder. Like I was mentioned before, and that because of the place that I worked, I think it just didn’t work out. It didn’t seem appealing to me after I got out into the field. And so I went to a technical school and became a computer technician. And, unfortunately, the time period that I was in school, pretty much everything that we learned after the first quarter of school was obsolete before we graduated. And that was rather frustrating. And so I went out and did odd things. I bartended for a while, did some other things. And I decided that I wanted to pursue being a technician. And there was a gentleman that owned a satellite company in this area, and I went to work for him. And that lasted about nine months. And he skipped town. Oh, and lots of people money. Yeah. And so I thought, well, I can do a better job than he did. I thought so I started my own business. Took me about seven or eight months, I think to go full time. I worked at night and started my business during the day. And I had nothing but my truck and my tools that I had since I was in high school. And I started my business and I basically just went around and literally knocking on doors. I used my contacts with district distribution companies back then I got some contract work to do installation work for other companies, and it just grew from there. And I have literally changed my product line focus. Gotta be at least five times in 30 plus years because the technology changes. And you just gotta roll with it when you’re in the electronics business. So I did and nowadays, I am doing mostly Wi Fi, wireless internet systems and surveillance camera systems.

Wow. So So back in the day you were doing you said satellite installs?

Yes. That was a large dishes, those things.

Okay, so it wasn’t for like residential TV type stuff. This was more commercial type stuff.

Well, we did both. Okay, we we did it we designed and built cable TV systems for universities, hotels, you know, places that had their own private cable systems. And then we did a lot of residential as well. It was mostly residential in the beginning of course, right? Yeah. Yeah. And then I think in to a C Probably 1999 I was wanting to make a change anyway. And I got connected with a large company that was building an ISP, in this area. And they wanted to go, it was mostly wireless. And I started actually building their infrastructure. Did their tower

for many years, Internet Service Provider ISP? I’m sorry. ISP meant internet service provider? Well,

yes, I’m sorry. Yeah. Internet service provider, a wireless Internet service provider. Okay. And their, their grid was enormous. It took me I think for the first three years, I actually just built infrastructure, I did their tower work for them for for quite a while and then started doing installs, started training their guys and so on, so forth, and worked out really well. I did that for probably almost 15 years for that one company. It was as a contractor

in you’re still just by yourself one truck?

Well, yes, I had I had employees at that time. Yeah. Okay. And I had employees before then in the late 90s, I had a couple of employees. And when I stopped doing the tower work is when I had to hire more people because I started doing installation work for them and right that went on for a long time. And I don’t do contract work for that same company anymore, even though I am still involved with them. But mostly what like I said, mostly what we do now is just me, I have one truck and I have a one employee. And we’re then he’s just part time. And we do surveillance camera work. And we do wireless internet work. And we do still do a little bit audiovisual. Yeah, but not as much as we used to.

So let me get this straight. So you, you went to trade school, and you wanted to initially learn welding? Is that what you went to your trade school for?

Actually, no, I went to a computer, electronics, school, electronics. Okay. Yeah, that’s what I wanted to do. And but you know, oddly enough, my welding classes that I had in high school, I took years of welding in high school, right, that welding classes serve has served me better in my electronics business. But my degree did. No, I’m not a I’m not a big proponent of higher education, mostly, because of that, I think you can learn more in the field, and get paid to learn more in the field than you can in a school. And some most of the time anyway, I don’t know about all the time, but from in my case, I don’t use anything I learned in school. I really don’t. And if I could, if I could offer, one piece of advice to anybody that’s wanting to get into the trades, maybe start their own business, is you probably already know what to do technically speaking. And it’s always good to keep up on that and train and and you know, and learn new things. But learn people skills. Because the people are what make the business not the not the products.

Hey, guys, quick announcement, if you have not stopped into our website, at skill trade, please do that on the homepage. Here, you will see that we have the Join the movement email list. If you haven’t signed up, please consider doing that we have some amazing guests lined up for the podcast, I’m going to be getting the stories out of successful technicians and business owners in skilled trades. These are not just HVAC people there’s going to people be from across the skilled trade spectrum. And my hope is that I’m going to be able to draw out of these people the things that have worked in their careers amazingly well. And the things that if they had a chance to talk to their younger self, what they would tell them not to do. So I want to share all that stuff with you. And if you sign up, you’re going to be the first to know when we dropped those new podcast episodes. Also coming soon we have the BDS T workshop. It’s a five day automated email workshop. However, you’re going to give content to us through that workshop. You’re gonna get one on one feedback from our instructors, instructors, and we’re looking to better your career. I’ve been teaching the BST process for many, many years, about two decades one on one, and I’m going to be trying to do that to the masses through this workshop. It’s totally free. All you got to do sign up and as soon as you do that, you’ll get alerts on your email as soon as these new podcasts come in, as well as the BSD workshop. So if you check it out, I will put a link to the website on the show notes for this episode today. So check it out.

You can learn to deal with people and learn to love people and and become friends with them before you before you try and sell people things that will serve you better than I have not advertised my business and 20 years But other than just my keeping in contact with my customers that already have, that’s the only kind of advertising that I do. And it’s all because I learned how to build relationships with my customers. And I think that’s the most important thing.

So you Okay, so you’re doing the the satellite stuff, install work, and you’re. So it sounds to me like for most of your career, you’ve been self employed, right? Well, yes, sir.

32 years? I wouldn’t have it any other way?

Do you come from a line of entrepreneur, people like that he’s your is your family business owners or

what? What are your six different businesses? Okay, he was all at the same time. And all of them were successful, except for one that kind of broke even after five years. But he was an insurance business real estate business. He owned a autoparts story on the Montgomery Ward store. He had a property management company, he owned a bunch of greenhouses. My dad did a lot of stuff. Yeah, you know, he and he was good at it, and all of it, right. I didn’t want that I wanted one business, that I could focus on and build it the way I wanted to build it. You know?

Did you get any guidance from your dad? And when you were going through your pains of being a business owner? Did you rely on your dad at all or where I did? Oh, you did? Okay. Okay.

I very much did. I knew I knew my dad was really smart when it came to those things. And I presented him my business plan. And my dad looked at me and he said, I can’t help you. And I said, What do you mean, you can’t help me you’re, you know, you own all these businesses. He said, I don’t know anything about what you want to do. But he said, I can tell you this. He said, build up your service work so that it’s paying your bills, because your sales are gonna go up and down with the economy. Right. And I am very glad I listened to him.

Yeah. So yeah, that’s, that’s good. So what are some of the career successes that you’ve had? In other words, maybe some some stories out there that might inspire others, you know, maybe to be a small business owner like yourself?

Well, I would say that, in the beginning, my business was, it was it was hit and miss, because I jumped into the satellite industry at a really bad time. The early 90s was a horrible time to be in the satellite business. And I didn’t know it, you know, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know any better I do now, but Right. You know, what I would say to people is whatever industry you’re in, find a mentor. Find a mentor that can that can help you along that can guide you through, you know, difficult waters in the industry that you’re in. It’s so very helpful. Because I had I got lucky I found a mentor. And to be honest, I don’t even remember how I found her. It was a lady that owned a satellite company in Knoxville, Tennessee. And I must have talked to her at least twice a week for a couple years on the phone. I never met her in person. But she helped me out a tremendous amount. And that coupled with the fact that I I recognized early on in my business that I needed to get better at the people skills or what they call soft skills, right. And so I set out, I did every training program I could find or that I could afford to get good at those things. And it it certainly paid off. I if I can tell you one quick little story I had. I had a company a large company that was doing basically the same thing I was doing in the area. I tried to work with them. I tried to do things with them. But because I knew I couldn’t really compete head to head with them. And so I tried to work with them. And and that’s that’s another thing. Don’t be afraid of honest competition. An honest competitor won’t do anything but make the pie bigger for everybody else. Right. And you don’t have to worry about them. And I so I did. I tried to work with them. Well, one day they called me because they had none of their technicians wanted to go to this particular gentleman’s house, because he was kind of mean. And I say kind of that’s an understatement. Okay, he was very mean. And I made it a point I said, Well, if I can befriend this guy, if I can get on his good side, this company is going to recognize my worth. Right? And they’re going to want to do more work with me. So I did and I’m telling you, you you I don’t know about it, but to say this I shouldn’t but I don’t think anybody has ever met anybody meaner than this man was cussing at me before I even got both feet on the ground. And by the time I left this man’s house, he was Holding my truck down with vegetables from his garden, and me and his wife were exchanging pie recipes. Wow. And by the time I got back to the company to get my check, which was considerable. The lady when I walked in the door, the lady said, Oh, my gosh, what did you do? And I said, What do you mean? He said, That man has never complimented a soul in his life. And he called and told us, don’t you ever send anybody to my house, but him? That’s a great story. And it’s a great story. But the best part about that whole thing is two months later, they handed me their entire database of service customers, which was 600 people and said, Here, we want you to take care of them. Final. Wow. I mean, that was a huge boon for my business.

Yeah, no, I think, I think life in business life, if you pay attention, there’s there’s these moments, these inflection moments where you have an opportunity. And like what you said, you know, what you just said, you know, you, you recognize what it was, it was an opportunity to serve as a client that your competitor, your big competitor, just didn’t want to deal with because of the friction. And you went in there, lean forward and put it about yourself to try and take care of this guy. And, and that’s an inflection moment, and it turned into a huge opportunity for it. Hey, guys, I have an exciting announcement, we just recently made some updates to our three most popular online courses at process, tiller., if you’re a technician, that’s looking to improve your skills a little bit, maybe get some specialized training, to be of more value to your customers and your employer. Or if you are an employer or a contractor that is looking to augment your existing in house training with online training that can be accessible from any device, this is a really great opportunity. Just go to process chiller,, just scroll down on the homepage, and you will see the course area. If you go into the course page, you will see that we have currently for limited time, we have a promo code of chiller Pro, that will save you 25% on any one of these courses. So hope you check it out. And I’m looking forward to seeing you in class.

Did it very much did. Yeah. And I mean, I can’t tell you how much business I got from that database over the years. But it was a lot. Yeah, I never added it up really. But it was a lot. And that also that same company as the company that started the ISP. And they contacted me to do that work for them because of what I had done for them previously.

Right. Right. So so it was what are some of the big challenges you had to overcome as a as a business owner? Richard, what? What are some of the things that you had to release? So you said soft skills? That was something that you had to invest in yourself? What What other challenges have you had as a business owner that you want to share?

I think that the the hardest part for me was advertising. In the very beginning, I had no idea what to do. And I didn’t have a whole lot of money. And well, I didn’t have any money for that matter in the very beginning. And so I tried everything that I could, for the first probably 234 years. And that’s where a mentor can really come in handy. Someone that’s in the business already. And that can that can because I used to actually contact my local competitors, believe it or not on the phone and ask them what they were doing and advertising that was working. Of course, most of the time, they just hung up on me. But I kept at it and I kept trying and eventually I found what worked best for me and believe it or not, it doesn’t even exist anymore phonebook, phonebook, wow, phone books worked best for me. So I was in like, eventually I wound up being in like 14 or 15 different phone books. Right. And that and door hangers. Okay, that was my best thing and I would go door to door Yeah, I would knock on people’s doors. I wasn’t afraid to do that because I had a sales job doing that years ago. Yeah. And and I think that would but that was the hardest thing was figuring out the marketing figuring out the advertising and and just you know, finding what works and sticking with it. Because I tried it all the only thing I never tried was TV because it was just out of my price range. Yeah, it was too but I did radio I did newspaper I did. You know everything you can think of and and that I think that was hard. That and also in my industry electronics is keeping up with the new technology.

Oh for sure.

That’s a hard thing to do. And I mentioned that is to say I’m in any industry nowadays?

How about the accounting side, you know, the knowing your numbers and stuff.

I’m a numbers person. So that really was never hard for me. But I would say to anybody out there because my dad had that problem is find a find a good accountant. They’re not that expensive. You don’t have to hire him on staff or anything like that. You can just use them as you need them. And, you know, and that’s what I did. And I got lucky, I found a really good one. But I, I’ve always been really good with numbers. So that part wasn’t really that hard. The hardest, I think the hardest parts for me, like I said, was people skills. Because to be honest, I was horrible at it. And was the advertising those were the hard things.

Yeah. Yeah, you know, talking about mentors, I remember, when I was a contractor, I, you know, I tell everybody, I never went to Harvard Business School, but I know for sure I paid the tuition by some of the stupid. I digress. Anyway, I got myself into trouble with a customer. Because I just didn’t do things quite the way I should have. And this is when I first started in HVAC. And I actually paid to go see a lawyer because this guy was, you know, gonna come after me. And we got through it. That all worked its way out. There’s no problem. But my I remember this lawyer that I was paying way more money than I could afford to, you know, I asked him, I said, How do I get how did I get in this situation? And how do I prevent myself from doing it? And he says, Well, I’d suggest you get into some kind of a trade association, because what you’re going through is not it’s not something unique, you know, it’s just bakes. Anyway, long story short. There’s an organization called ACA air conditioning contractors in America, and I joined it. And they had this little program, it was called the, the, what was it called? mixed group, mi X. And it stands for management information exchange mix groups. Anyway, I joined one. And what was cool about it was we had, I don’t know, six or 10 contractors from different, we weren’t competitors. We were from all over the United States. And the only commitment is, you had to go to the two meetings a year in person, so you had to pay for travel and that kind of stuff. But what was really cool about it was I developed relationships with owners of other owners of companies, this some were way bigger than me, and some were smaller. And I had the ability to pick up the phone and ask accounting questions, or, you know, hey, this situation came up. What do you think? And you know, these guys, it was so powerful, so powerful, I was able to, you know, really see around corners in a way I’d never done before by having that resource.

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I can imagine that would be very, very helpful.

Yeah. Yeah. So um, what? What do you see going on right now, Richard, with with skilled trades in general? Like, like, what’s your? You know, right. Now, there’s sort of a I mentioned earlier inflection point. I think, this is my personal opinion. I don’t know if you agree with it or not. But I think that, you know, one of the positive things, there is such a thing that came out of this pandemic, is that parents are paying attention more so now than they did before about, you know, options out there for their kids, you know, colleges is not the only option. Sure. What are you seeing, you know, is there? Is there more interest in skilled trades now than there used to be? Is it about the same? You know, what do you see in?

Well, it’s unfortunate that the area that I live in, they used to have an incredible vocational department at the high school. I mean, we had electrical trades, metal trades, AG, we had auto mechanics, we had cars, I mean, we had it all. And now they don’t have any of it. And that’s, I think that’s bad. But I also think that there is a lot more interest in the trades. And I don’t know if it’s because of that because they took it out, or what it is, but I did put a panel of business owners together a couple of years ago and went and talked to one of the private schools here in this area that my kids went to, and talk to those graduating the juniors and seniors and talk to them and showed them none of none of the people on the panel, with the exception of myself had a degree at all. And they were very successful people in this area. One of them was a real estate agent, one of them owned a large equipment rental company. We had a gentleman that was in there was a contractor that did a lot of work for, like the big telecom companies or telco companies, and all of them very successful, and they talk to the kids about it. And just to give them an option, you know, I’m not telling people that they shouldn’t go to college. But a trade is something that, as opposed to going for years and paying, you know, 100 grand, or whatever it would be to go to a college, you can get into a trade and get paid to learn, and spend that three or four years learning and start a business. And, you know, you won’t have that debt that you would have had, you know, to going to a big college or something. And I think people are really starting to wake up to that fact. I know that a lot of the a lot of the young people as well, the gentleman that is working with me right now, I, I had talked to him quite a bit about doing some different things, when he first started with me, and now he’s going to welding school. And so I really think that it has opened people’s minds up to the possibilities. I know that it’s always been that way for me, because, you know, I have friends that got right out of high school started their businesses, and they’re retired already. And they’ve sold them for, you know, millions of dollars, right. And it’s, you know, it’s incredible what you can achieve. My dad used to always tell me, when you start a business, there’s only one thing you can’t do. He said, You mess up, you can mess up everything, you can mess up your taxes, you can mess up your advertising, you can mess up your customer relationship, you can mess up everything, but the only thing you cannot do is quit. Yeah. Because at that point, all your effort is wasted. Right? You know, I would just tell people, you know, go out and try some of the trades. You know, if you’re right out of high school, when you don’t want to go to college, go to work for somebody, see how you like it, if you don’t like it, you know, change it and go, you know, try something else. I mean, I’ve done tons of different jobs. And that was one of the ways that I figured out what I wanted to do. And is just trying things, you know, but you know, a lot of people get run out of high school, and they have never really worked. And they gonna go through four years of highest college and they still don’t know what they want to do. Well, it’s because they never tried anything.

Well, the other thing too, that I think it’s really missed, Richard is the you, you go get out of high school, you go to a four year college, you have what two years of general education, AAA stuff. A lot of times you can get that part of it done pretty inexpensively. You can go to community college, and you know, that part of it’s not super expensive. But when you get when you get a degree Bachelor’s in something, you know, you’re going to be doing two years, you have to declare a major, I believe. And once you declare that major, then the it goes up quite a bit, you know, what would it cost you? And what’s what’s amazing about that, you know, the college experience is that, you know, cost of living. Forget about this year, this year is kind of crazy. But, you know, cost of living has been you know, three to 234 percent if you take a you know, decade and average it out. But the cost of college education is, you know, you look at those two graphs. It’s crazy how fast it’s gone up. And, you know, if you get into a trade right out of high school, you’re making money, you can say, you know, I don’t like welding, I’m gonna go and be an electrician. So your work, work, work, work work, you got money coming in, you’re not building up any debt. And then you say, I don’t like being electrician, I want to be a plumber. So you switch from job to job. And while you’re while you’re the satellite dish installer or Wi Fi, whatever it is, and you’re getting paid along the way you’re not building up any debt compared to you’re doing that two years of college the final two years when you’re trying to get your bachelor you’re strapped with you know, 25 $30,000 in debt. You kind of feel stuck, right? You know, you got to you got to you got to pick a lane where you’re using that college education or you’re sitting there going what happened

right that’s for sure.

Yeah. We cool so let me ask you this in general I you know, I try to ask this to all my guests. So you get somebody out of school in you know, you’re in your trade. Let’s say you you know your your business owner. You get somebody who’s intelligent, maybe has had a little tech school and electronics under those understand a little bit. What would you start a guy out at or person guy or girl you know, at an entry level in your in your business? What would you typically start them out at?

Well, the one I would start are people doing is mostly the is the problem with Wi Fi wireless internet systems? You don’t there’s, thank goodness, there’s not any licensing required, but with alarms and surveillance systems there, yes. Right. So the first thing that I have to do is get somebody licensed, okay. And, you know, get them through that that’s an online training deal. And it’s not difficult to do, but it costs a little bit of money, and you have to do it. And I would get them licensed, I would start them out pulling cable. And I would start them out with some of the most important things with our installation type work is how to put on connectors, how to build how to build jumpers, how to how to program radios, and things like that we can do in the office, we don’t necessarily have to be on a job site to do so I can train them in those things. And, and then, we also do a lot of tower work. With, with our Wi Fi towers, we install towers for people, you know, 6070 foot towers, and teaching people how to climb is is very important, that’s also a job skill that they can use in other areas. Right, there’s, you know, if they wanted to go to work for like, say, an electrical Co Op, or something like that, you know, they pretty much all of those companies like that have towers, and they need work done on them all the time. So there’s a lot of things that I can teach people early on, when they first start with me, that they can use in other fields, they can use in other in other trades. And, and that’s always a good thing. But I think that once they get to a certain point, usually with me, it takes a good year, before I’m comfortable leaving somebody on a job site by themselves. But I have been very lucky. And I have gotten some really great guys that have worked for me over the years. And guys that I have not, you know, had any problems with or had, you know, had to, you know, had to take them off of a job or something like that. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been very blessed in that area. But I think just starting guys out slowly teaching them the basics is the most is the important part. And teaching them the things that like for us, when we do a surveillance camera job, the most important thing about that job is how you put connectors on cable, right? And so you kind of want to hammer those things. And now with HVAC, I wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to what the most important things would be there. Because that’s not my field. But But I think that, you know, if you cover the basics with people, and and don’t just hand it to him and say do it, show him how to do it. And I think that because that was one of the problems that I have with my dad, my dad would just throw something at me and go here go do it. Something that I’ve never done before. And that was his way of teaching. Right? And that’s, you know, when you’re on a job site, that’s not exactly a good thing to do. Certainly,

do you? Do you pay for all that training, like the licensing and all that kind of stuff? Is that is that? Yes, sir? Yes, sir. We do. Okay,

now we wait for all that, and we pay for the ongoing training. And even if the, like we have had occasionally a guy that would get we’d haven’t trained and he he’d start working somewhere else. Probably not in the same field or industry but working somewhere else. And he you know, a lot of times they would call and say hey, do you want me to maintain my license? I have this? And I’d say yeah, maintain it. Because, you know, if you can come and help me part time, sometime where you can. And it’s not that expensive to do. And it’s always nice to have backups, you know, in an industry where, you know, people come and go, you know, on a regular basis. I imagine that’s probably with any business. Yeah. You know, young guys, they want to try different things or whatever. And I think that’s fine. But as a business owner, you just have to be prepared that that’s something that you need to do. What

What kind of a wage range from, you know, just getting started all the way up to you know, somebody that you’re going to hire to for that they know that it’s going to be autonomous, you can point them in a direction given the job scope, and he or she goes out and does it what what’s the range of wage ways that you know, your market not maybe not necessarily your company, but your market would pay somebody like that?

Well, my, my understanding with the with the market right now, is most of my friends that have businesses that are technical in nature, are starting guys out at close to $20 an hour. And that’s just like, basic Labor’s right 20 bucks an hour and what I do is I try and match, you know, the other trades that are out there electricians, plumbers, things like that I try and match their wages with my guys, when I first started out. Now there are ways in my business that I have set up for my guys to make money in multiple different ways. In other words, if they are willing to climb, then I pay him climbing fees. You know, if they’re willing to sell, then of course, we pay him sales commissions, you know, it’s not just, you’re gonna come to work for me and be a laborer, you have all these other options if you want to do them. And, and that’s worked out really well for you know, for my guys, I usually when you know, when we keep somebody, our guys usually stick around 234 years, and a lot of times wind up starting their own business, which I think is wonderful. You know, I don’t I don’t have a problem with that at all. And I will, you know, I will never stand in the way of an employee that’s trying to better themselves, right? You know, you always want them to either grow with your company, or if they can’t grow with your company, you will still want them to do well. And you want to send them out there with all the information and skills and tools that they need to do well. And I think that’s really important way to look at, you know, your employees,

is it possible with all the income streams for a technician working in your business, or business like yours to make six figures income?

It Well, I would say yes, but probably not with my company, as big as some other companies,

but I framed it that way. Yeah, yes,

I would say definitely, if the business is set up that way, unfortunately, I don’t know of very many that are now as far as like a HVAC and the some of the other different trades. I know that some of them do that. Yeah. But I can’t say in the electronics business, or the electronics industry, that there’s a whole lot of that. Right. I know that I do it because, you know, it’s, it helps to, you know, it helps people to stay. You know, if they’re making good money, why are they going to leave? Yeah. And so I think it’s important. But I would say that if you if you got in on the ground floor with a big electronics company, and they didn’t have those things available, and that’s something that you wanted, you know, maybe talk to the management, or talk to the owners and see if they can implement a program like that. Because it’s certainly worth it. I mean, it’s always been worth it for me, right. And, you know, I can’t I the technician, in my opinion, and this is just a, this might be a little off subject. But the technician in any industry, whether it’s plumbing, electrical, electronics, whatever, is in a better position to grow that company than anybody else. Because they’re face to face with a customer on a daily basis. Yeah. And if they build relationships, and they have a system of getting referrals built in and are trained to do that, then they can, they can a lot of times do more than some of the salespeople can do.

Yeah, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been talking about this for a couple of weeks now. I’m not sure if you know what my background is, but I’ve been in refrigeration for 35 years and I sold my companies I had a I had a manufacturing company in a in a chiller sales company. I sold all of it back in 2020. And I took a couple years off and didn’t do much. So I was getting a little bored. And I had this Headhunter call me in 2021 and offered me a opportunity to interview with a big electronics company. I’ll remain nameless, but big company, fortune 500 company and I said never want to do it. So another year goes by and I’m you know, getting really bored now. And so they they came after me again. And anyway so in February I started as a mechanical facilities tack for this big company. They’re, you know, 15 minutes from where I live here in in Oregon. Anyway Um, I can’t believe the opportunity there if they needed somebody where they could augment because they had a bunch of sabbaticals going on and, and it’s a heck of a job. I mean, I shoot if I had this job, when I may, I don’t know, I probably would still would have been a business owner. But this is a real it’s a really good gig.

That’s awesome. Yeah. So

anyway, so where are you right now? Are you? Are you? Are you getting ready to retire? You’re What are you doing?

Oh, no, gosh, no, I got to stay busy. I wouldn’t. Even if I could retire. I’m only 56. So even if I couldn’t retire, I probably wouldn’t. But I enjoy what I do. I can’t say that. It’s always, you know, it’s always a bed of roses. But I love what I do. And I love the people more than anything. Yeah, and that’s, you know, my, my best part of the day is when I get to sit down at the end of the job, and sit down and talk with my customer, and just shoot the breeze. You know, yeah, I’m gonna write him up an invoice or do whatever. But, you know, I have, I have so many customers that I’ve known for so long. And it’s like, you go in and you sit down. And it’s, it’s not even the work relationship anymore. You know, we’re friends. And that’s the best part of my day is when I just get to sit down and talk with people. And I think that you can achieve that in any industry. Right? You know, you can you can build relationships in any industry, and you should build relationships in any industry. And I just, I can’t see my unless, unless I just have a I don’t know, I just couldn’t see myself retiring, to be honest with you. And it’s not about the money. You know, it’s about the job. It’s about staying busy. It’s about having something to look forward to. Yeah, you know, and the changes that happen in the industry. I mean, gosh, I have to keep up. Right? I mean, I have to do readings I have to do. I have a I have a lot of relationships that I’ve built with other people that are in similar industries that help keep me updated on things. And it’s in the electronics business. It’s hard. Yeah, it’s hard to keep up. You know, I mean, if you ever get to go to the CES show in Vegas, that thing’s got like seven convention centers that they fill. Yeah, it’s big. It’s the Consumer Electronics Show. Yeah, everything that’s electronic. And you just it blows your mind. Yeah, it really does.

So yeah, that’s, that’s kind of my, when I sold my business I out of, I don’t miss the grind to it, you know, the daily grind to it. I don’t miss the accounting, I don’t miss the sales goals, and, you know, all that kind of stuff. I probably if I had to sum it up, it was a people. You know, I had some contractors that, you know, bought my gear a lot. And I miss those guys. They’re just a lot of characters, you know, you just get characters that are just larger than life. And, you know, we I still kept in touch with a lot of them. But over time, you know, you just don’t don’t have you just kind of fade away after a while, you know, and that’s probably what boredom came from. I wanted to develop relationships.

Yeah. Yeah, I can understand that.

Well, hey, Richard, it’s been going on an hour now. I think we can probably keep talking, talking for a while. Hey, would you mind providing a good email to our audience? And hey, guys, don’t blow up Richard’s email. Don’t these don’t sell them any any timeshares. I’m asking him to put it out there. For questions like if you’re thinking about maybe, you know, starting a business or there’s something about you know, Richard story that intrigues you and so, but I don’t want to get any complaints for Richard that his emails get in. So what’s a good email for you, Richard?

Well, the best one that they could use would be the word consulting. Okay, just SEO en su l t. ing at GE GV. See? That’s Gary Victor echo. Okay. Well, I have a I have a training business that I do as well.

So yeah, awesome. Well, you know if if anybody’s out there that that can connect connect with Richard story, and maybe he can help you out. Send him a quick email and if he’s got time, we’ll get back with you. Sure. Yeah, I’d

love to. That’d be great.

Awesome. Any any more parting words you’d liked words of wisdom. I know there’s been a lot in here but any parting words before we turn off the recording?

Well, I, at the moment I can’t think of any but I am a Toastmaster. So I probably I can probably think of something I’m sure but no, I would just say if you’re interested in the trades, just go for it. It’s not, you know, just pick one. And you know, find, find a company that you can learn with and that you can grow with and, and just give it all you got.

So that is it. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I very much look forward to continuing to connect with you. Please don’t hesitate to send me messages on LinkedIn. I’m on there all the time. Or you can reach out to me on my email. I’m at M King at process Tiller And until next week, when I give you the next installment I wish you a great week, and I will connect up with you again soon. Take care.

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