Chris Ronzio (00:44):
Hey everyone. And welcome to Organize Chaos. I'm your host, Chris Ronzio. And as you heard in the intro today, we're chatting with Andrew Houston. Andrew. Thanks for being here.
Andrew Houston (01:58):
Hey man, it's my pleasure. I'm honored to be here on a topic that is near and dear to my heart, my friend.
Chris Ronzio (02:06):
All right, well, let's get into it. So first, before we get started, tell us a little bit about Profit for Contractors. I went to your website, watched the video, which was super cool by the way. And you've got a great story. So I'd love to hear just about how it started.
Andrew Houston (02:19):
Yeah, so coles notes version. I used to have my own contracting company, so I'm a tradey, industrial controls license electrician. So I used to have this contracting company we used to build, uh, robotics and, and things of that nature. Long story short is that the business was hell. I was in complete chaos, a little over a decade of, you know, wearing the tool belt, wearing the hat of the CEO, wearing the 18 other hats. And I realized that, you know, at, at the edge of, you know, risking my family and things of that nature, as far as having a good family life and balance, there was no balance. The business was running me and I decided to, systematize the business. I decided it hit me if I can build these automation lines, which are heavily systems driven, why not systemize my business?
You know, if I can do very complex, you know, construction and those types of applications, why couldn't I systemize my business? So I spent the next few years, systemized my business, got the business to run without me. Sold to my biggest competitor, who couldn't figure out how I was able to do double the amount of work compared to him with half the amount of crews. And, then the rest is history. I ended up helping a whole bunch of buddies, tradies hang with tradies, and I applied those principles to their business. Same thing happened. And you know, my buddies were like, it actually wasn't me. My buddies were like, Andrew, like, there's a big need for this. And hence I created Profit for Contractors. So that we could get contractors to not just be profitable, but get their profits to pay for their freedom and get them to become champion CEOs of their business and their life. So that's basically the coles notes version.
Chris Ronzio (04:05):
I love the idea of profits paying for your freedom. It's like a business that's built to support your life, which I think a lot of times people can lose sight of. So for you, when you were in that business, in the thick of it, you said your family was kind of on the line. Was there a turning point, was there one day that you were just like, I'm done. I need, if this thing's not automated, I'm out.
Andrew Houston (04:24):
Absolutely. I can do my best to tell the story. Condensed as possible without tearing up. Uh, I came home, it was one of those, uh, normal Fridays. Supposed to be home at five o'clock. It was shortly after seven, babysitter sitting on the couch, with my newborn son. My wife on the other couch with my daughter, two year old daughter. And I come in all dirty, exhausted, putting a smile on my face going, sorry, you know, sorry, I'm late for the thousandth time. I can see the look on my wife's face. It was a little bit different than just being pissed off. It was like, you know, she was like, I've had enough. I ran upstairs. Cuz again, we're already late for dinner, but I'm like, okay, maybe I can make it up.
Like, I've tried to in the past. Run upstairs, jump in the shower, it's a cold shower because again I'm rushed and I guess said cold shower hit me. And I asked myself this question, I said, there's gotta be a better way to do this? And I said, how the hell is it that I can build these automation lines? Like I was saying that are really complex that are really all about systematizing, you know, a production of some material or some product. And it's all systemized it's, you know, it's meant to run heavily without a bunch of humans or you know, at a minimal level. And it just hit me. I was like, wait a second. How is it that I'm able to do that, but I've never taken that approach to my business. So I broke it down, Chris, I broke it down right from, you know, the very first phone call that I would get from a prospect.
And I systemized it. I put in scripts, like I asked myself this question, you know, to remove this chaos, what would I have to do to put this to such a point, whereby somebody else could actually do this as good as me or better than me. And I did that for every step of the business, laid it out the whole business, like as if it was a production line as if I was building an automation line with a whole bunch of sticky notes on a big whiteboard. And I just went one sticky at a time, one by one by one by one. That was the moment. That was that moment. And it actually, the impact was dramatic. Within a couple of weeks already, my wife could see that I was actually making progress. So that was the moment, man. That was the breaking point. I was either probably gonna end up divorced and a lonely father, or I was going to fix the problem.
Chris Ronzio (07:05):
Well, thank you for sharing that. I don't know if you've ever seen the movie Liar Liar with Jim Carey where he's like, you know, just consistently lies. I always think when I hear these stories about his like kids' birthday party and he showed up after all the birthday is cleaned up and everything. And I think as entrepreneurs, so many of us have those stories where it just hits us. We're like, you can't be late again and again.
Andrew Houston (07:26):
It's true. We don't want, you know, here's the thing, Chris, right? None of us want it that way.
Chris Ronzio (07:33):
Andrew Houston (07:34):
None of us, like you look at your, your podcast, your Organized Chaos, like nobody wakes up in the morning goes, Hey man, how can I make my life more chaotic?
Chris Ronzio (07:43):
Yeah, yeah. No one wants the misery that comes with the chaos. They just want the opportunity. So they gotta systematize it. Right? So that's what we're gonna talk about. Jay, you just joined the show as well. Jay Carter is COO over at Profit for Contractors. If I'm correct, but I'd love to hear just where you guys intersected and how you came into this journey.
Jay Carter (08:04):
Yeah, absolutely. I have a business myself. We operate a fair size roofing business, um, kind of went through the journey of everything you guys just described. So, you know, all the way from being technician right up to being a, a true CEO. I was able to in fact, systemize my business and kind of move out of the operations role. And I had some time on my hands at that point, which we all inspired to be, is kind of the point of everything that we stand for here at Profit for Contractors. And, you know, got to live the real lifestyle of getting my profits to pay for freedom.
Andrew Houston (08:37):
Well, Jay was a client of Profit for Contractors.
Jay Carter (08:40):
Right? So, with the time that I was able to get back and the, you know, all the things I was able to do, um, that I never thought that I'd be able to do or believed in myself that I could do, suddenly it was in my hands. And, I had to fill my time with helping other people and helping them to systemize and do kind of the things that I've actually experienced firsthand. So, yeah, I've kind of found my passion with, coaching other contractors, how to do what I've done.
Chris Ronzio (09:07):
Great. Well, I'd love for you guys to break down this concept that you have of contractor versus champion CEO. And, you know, I think of it kind of as like the E Myth thing with the technicians and, you can't work on the business and in the business, but I'd love to hear your version of what does it mean to be a champion CEO?
Jay Carter (09:27):
You know, it's really, a lot of times I think contractors have this belief of what it is to own a construction business. We start off as the technicians and we think if we do work really hard and do a great job, we're gonna get somewhere. That that starts to fade. You know, it takes a while, but you can spend a lot of time believing that. Then you come to this point where you realize that your time and what you're spending your time on is getting you nowhere, right? So doing the work doesn't really get you the result. So then you start to hire people. You start to bring people in and you know, what most contractors end up finding out the hard way is that that's really hard. That's a whole different skillset.
Now not only are we responsible for getting the work done, but now we're responsible for employee staff. Now we've got all these other responsibilities that are foreign to us, you know, why? Because we were great technicians and what makes us great technicians makes us terrible at business? We don't, you know, the things that we, you know, value at first are seeing things get done. Well, we're not bookkeepers, we're not admin people. We're not, you know, we always had someone else do it. So, that's kind of the first couple years of business and I mean, it can go on for decades. Where you just don't know what you should be actually doing. And in that situation, you do what you know best, right? And a lot of times that keeps contractors trapped. That keeps them in a mindset that, you know, I just have to work harder.
I just have to do more. And the reality of it is, and this is where the mindset starts to shift. I mean, at least in my case, was I need to actually just, bring my mindset to a different place where I'm getting the results that I need out of my team and my people, and my organization and really kind of setting the targets for myself saying, you know, I'm here right now. Here's what I'm gonna do to take the next steps and move forward. Unfortunately that was unguided and there was no coaches at the time. And we make a lot of missteps. There's a lot of confusion around what you're supposed to do. So, once you do get on track, you know, that's how you start to make the steps forward. And, you start to realize what your role is more and more. And the champion CEO, truly the definition of it is somebody that's taken their business and their profit and used it as a vehicle to drive them to freedom. Right? And freedom is, however you describe it, however you want it. Maybe you don't wanna work in the business anymore. Maybe you want to hit 10, 15 million, whatever your end goal is, you've hit it. And you've used those profits as a vehicle. That's, that's what it is in essence.
Chris Ronzio (12:01):
Now I know a lot of contractors, if they're listening, they may be thinking that there's this kind of catch 22 using the profits to get to freedom. You know, how do you free up enough capacity or freedom for those first couple hires? Because especially if you're doing a lot of the work, you're the technician you're charging for your time basically. How do you pull yourself out of that and make the investment? Like, what is that mindset shift to do that? Or what's the first step?
Andrew Houston (12:28):
I just wanna say something on this point is that, and you know, I'd love to hear Jay your input. It's really about taking as much as possible, especially the first stage of getting off the tools. Okay. The reality is Chris, most of these guys are the Gretzky of their trade. They're incredibly good at what they do. And they do what they do, like 90.99% out of their heads. So the first phase is getting it outta their heads. Okay. The reality is, you know, if they're one man right now, you're listening in and you're just in a truck and you're all by yourself. If you're a contractor and you've got 20 guys working for you, a hundred guys working for you, at the end of the day, one of the core principles is you gotta get it out of your head and get it outta your head in a way that is structured and systemized.
So that other people can follow the instructions. They can follow the steps. Okay. And as soon as that happens, and guess what, Chris, the reality is, you're gonna have to take some time to do that. If you don't, then you're gonna be stuck. Okay? So you start off with some of the lower level tasks. You don't start off with trying to get the stuff outta your head that's the most complicated thing. Some of these guys, you know, the very first starting point, Chris is stop taking out the garbage. Stop cleaning the trucks, right? Stop, you know, cleaning the toilet. Sounds funny. But for those listening in, you're stuck going to the Staples. You're stuck going and getting the ink cartridges for the printer. You're, you're doing things that are such at such a low skill level. That that's the first place that you start.
It is also the easiest and least costly area to start. You know, one of the first people that we typically get our contractors to hire is an admin person. And they go, ah man, you mean like a full-time admin person. I never said full-time. Let's start off with 10 hours a week. Let's start off with 20. Then we go to 40. And it's just, it's these small steps of getting things outta your head, putting it into other people's hands and what you end up replacing that time with, instead of cleaning the toilet and cleaning the truck, is maybe now that that enables you to go to the next phase from just being the installer and technician to becoming a better salesperson. And then you go to the next stage and then you become a better foreman and you become a better project manager.
And these profits are paying for your freedom because instead of doing $15 an hour, $20 an hour task, all of a sudden you're doing tasks that are $50, a hundred, a thousand, $10,000 an hour tasks. And people are like, come on 10,000 bucks an hour. Yeah. Think about how much you guys charge for some of the jobs you do. It might take you an hour and a half to do a quote. You just landed a $50,000 job and you might make 10 grand on it. You're like, yeah. Now you've got an extra five hours, 10 hours to do something like that. And then it starts to happen. Your profits start to pay for your freedom. Right?
Chris Ronzio (15:41):
I love that breakdown. And so for everyone listening, I want to just zoom in on what Andrew said right there, that you've got all these different hourly wages bundled together that make up your time. All the different task responsibilities that you do in the company probably have different wages, probably have different salaries. And like you said, some things are $10 an hour tasks. Some things are $10,000 an hour tasks, which one should people be focused on? It seems pretty obvious. Right? I think it's hard though, for a lot of business owners to let go because in their minds, they think, oh, a free hour. If I have to pay someone to do this, I don't have to pay myself to do that thing. And that's a tough mindset thing. I remember I had a client that, was a print shop and they would print everything, big jobs, little jobs, business cards, things like that. And the owner of the company is driving around a truck to deliver a $50 business card orders. And it was, it's like this crazy experience to say, well, what else would I be doing? I'd be sitting at home. And what would you say to people who are thinking that like, oh, but it's free when I do it.
Jay Carter (16:46):
Andrew Houston (16:47):
Jay Carter (16:47):
This is a hundred percent it's, you know, if we really got to the base of that, and we talked about the mindset around why they're doing it, it's fear. It's fear that's driving those actions. It's fear, that's driving that behavior. And the fear is, that they don't really know how to hire those roles. And, and again, that makes people shrink or maybe they've tried it and it's failed, or they've, you know, they have all this resistance in this internal negative that puts them in that role. So they go back to what they're used to doing. They go back to what they know they're gonna get a result from. And that's really the first part of getting to this stage is being uncomfortable. It is extremely uncomfortable and it doesn't get easier as you go up and you have more risk and more, liabilities, but what does change is approach to it. Right?
And that's what we, that's kind of at our core of what we've mainly facilitated is that growth, putting you in a position where you take small enough bites that you're winning constantly, so that your confidence isn't destroyed. And you feel like you've got momentum and you feel like you can go into these things. So, you know, kind of to summarize all that, the best way to kind of approach it, that we found, is look every day at what can I do today to change my big mountain. Move my big mountain. What is a small thing that I can do? Maybe you're not ready for an admin in right now. Okay, great. But I'm gonna delegate this one thing. I'm gonna write the prescription of how to do this one thing. Don't think about all of it at once, because it never happened. Right?
Andrew Houston (18:23):
I think the other thing is really get clear on who your team is. Okay. So I'm gonna say something for all those listeners. Most businesses have something that they call a supplier. They supply them with something. And a lot of times they don't look at these people as being part of their team. So now we put on the hat and we go, they're part of your team. And you're like, what do you mean? Well, they're not on your payroll, but they're part of your team. Without them, you wouldn't succeed. Everybody's listening, going. Yeah. Okay. Get the point. So you can start off with small things. You can say to the supplier, I need you to deliver this material instead of you getting in the truck and doing it. So you didn't have to go hire anybody, but you started, but guess what?
To get them to go deliver it. You're gonna have to do some small instructions, which we can call a system. Hey, man, I need you to go to this place at this time, here it is written down or it's in some sort of form or format or things of that nature, where the next time, guess what, you do the same thing and the supplier delivers it again and again and again, and all of a sudden, again, more free time. So, you know, start off with small things, man. It's right in front of you.
Chris Ronzio (19:45):
I love that. I love the idea of thinking of your vendors and suppliers as the first people, you can start to delegate and take things off your back. Such a great suggestion. Now, a lot of, you know, time, when you're in trades, when you're a contractor, you can see a physical tangible result of something that you've produced in front of you. And when people start to think about systems and processes in a business, it's kind of this murky thing that like, how do I actually make progress? And so what do you suggest for people to actually concretely see the progress they're making?
Jay Carter (20:19):
We see this in our, again, start out with thinking of everything as a routine. All right. One of the simplest things that I can suggest is understanding what a process is first. A process is a repeatable set of instructions that can be followed. So maybe a simplest way I could put it is, you know, we all have calendars or access to a calendar, right? If we were to put a reoccurring task in there that said, we're gonna do this. So maybe it's a reminder to speak to your bookkeeper once a month, that's a process. That's now something you're gonna be reminded of. And you're gonna know that you have to do. Or how about time working on your business, a reminder, this is an incredible hack.
Jay Carter (21:06):
You know, I'm gonna remind myself that, you know, I've set aside these two hours of time where I'm gonna work on my business. It sends that reminder to you. And if you want to go one step further, I put in mind when I first started doing this is reminder of why, why am I doing all of this? And that was to spend more time with my family, right? So I would be reminded of that. And now this is why I'm gonna spend this next two hours focusing on my business. I'm not in it, you know, but on it. And you know, again, now I've got a process, I've got a system and I was really confident because I consistently was able to do that. And then I started to apply it to other things, you know, make it a little more complicated, make it a little bit more, I had six steps instead of three and all of a sudden I'm well, if I can do this for me, should I be not be doing this for my team? And now again, my confidence grows. I start seeing it's working for everybody else. So it's very contagious and it's very, it's something that your team and everyone around you will adapt to.
Andrew Houston (22:04):
It becomes you, right?
Jay Carter (22:06):
Absolutely. And you start to realize that your role is not to do the thing. All right. The thing is always gonna be there. The thing is, you already know how to do that. It's the key to it is encouraging and getting people around you as excited to do the thing as you do, right? And teaching them and passing it to them, and then they own it. And you know, now you've got your time back. It doesn't have to be complicated, but that's, you have to understand process first.
Andrew Houston (22:35):
Chris, can I add to that?
Chris Ronzio (22:37):
Yeah. Go ahead.
Andrew Houston (22:38):
So I think one of the things is for everybody listening in, you want to recognize that you need to turn the invisible into the visible. And what do I mean by that? Turning the invisible into the visible means that you have to have a heightened level of awareness. So when you go to delegate something and you're thinking to yourself, what am I gonna get out of this? Or you have already delegated something. It's really, really important that you define you know, what is the output of doing that thing? And Jay hit something big time on the head. If we don't take the time to take a step back and go, okay, it, this thing freed me up five hours. No, but is that it? It freed you up five hours. Yeah. That's it, it freed me up five hours.
No, it didn't just free up five hours. What did you do with the five hours? Well, I was able to be home on time for dinner. Perfect. You're on time home for dinner. Well, what's that mean? Oh. I was a better father. Yeah. Now we got something. Now we got something. Okay. What else did you do at that time? So if time is the output. What is the visible things that you did with that output? So if the output was profit. Yeah, I made more money. What'd you do with the money? Well, I was able to hire more people. I was able to give a raise to somebody, and now I'm able to keep my staff. I was able to actually go pay for my kids education, which we weren't able to do before, or go on a vacation. Right. Instead of putting it on the credit card. So turn, make sure everybody listening in, when you do these things, you want to create the crazy glue, so it's sticks. And to create the crazy glue so it sticks, you need to turn that invisible into the visible, you know, by some of the things that I just said. And that's when you're gonna really get mental momentum to keep on moving forward with these things.
Chris Ronzio (24:42):
Yeah. Those five hours are kind of invisible, but result that it had on your family is a visible. And I think it's such an important point that you make, because a lot of these things that we do in our businesses, unless you quantify the end result, the impact on your life it's having, you can't really see it as the ROI that it is on the investment that it is.
Andrew Houston (25:03):
It's true. It's true. And the other thing I wanted say to you guys is take that to the next level. And then, you know, I'll end it at this. Take that thing that you just made visible and multiply it. What do I mean by multiply it? Multiply that now invisible, that became visible and stretch it out. So if you've made extra profit. You made extra profit for that month or maybe that year. Well, how long are you gonna be in business for? Because when you put a system in place, the system is in the business for the life of the business. So if you said to yourself, you know, it made me an extra $15, $20,000 this year. How long you gonna be in business for? Oh my God. I plan to be in business for the next 10 years. You just put something in place that was $200,000, gave you more time with your family. Now you're gonna be able to be the coach on your kids hockey team or whatever. Right? Not just for, not for one game, but, you know, until they're like, you know, from 15 to 19 till they leave the house, like think big, right?
Chris Ronzio (26:11):
Yeah. Jay, I think you said this, but it's almost addictive when you start to put these processes in place, or as you say, processes, which I always feel envious of how Canadians say that. You sound so much smarter than me.
Jay Carter (26:22):
Well, I think it's, again, you know what I can, I can speak on behalf of contractors and literally I come from, you know, trade all the way up to being away from the business. You have these aha moments at one point or another, right? And we like the, again, the core of me is why I do this is my, why, why am my coach? Why am I here? Why am I doing this? Is to have other people have the same aha moments that I had along the way. And it's really, the mindset is okay, you are a technician. And there's a mental, um, there's a mental side to it. Like when you're a really great technician, like Andrew says that the Gretzky of your trade, your confidence is through the roof. You're unstoppable.
And then have this moment where you're like, I'm gonna start my business. And, you know, as we know in the E Myth, that's like a seizure, right. So, you know, they have this and then all of the reality hits them. And you know, what it does is it beats their confidence back down to the ground. And now they, you know, again, when they start to see process, you get the same, you know, what is it, this same kind of little high off of getting a process built as you do back when you're in the field. So this is how we get our clients to actually get it. And it leads them to these aha moments. Now I see it. Now I get it, because before it's all just a mystery. It's like, you know you're going somewhere. You know why. I want to take care of my family, you know all these things, but the how is not there.
The what or the, where, or like, it pulls all those things together. And it gives you finally some structure to start to take those steps, to start to appreciate, you know, some of the information that's out there, because you're so much information. We're definitely not in a time of lack of information or systems or tools, but it's now it makes sense to you what these things are saying, right? So as a tradesperson, I mean, you are used to seeing something, you can physically see what you did. In business. You can't see it. And you don't know what the results are gonna be till it's down the road. And that's very hard for the technician to get over.
Chris Ronzio (28:21):
You have to shift to being the Gretzky of the technician to the Gretzky of business.
Jay Carter (28:26):
Right. And just like, you went through an apprenticeship and at first you didn't know, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable. You have to be willing to take some losses. You have to be willing because I mean, that's the only way we actually learn, right? That's the only way we actually come forward and make progress. And it is an uncomfortable spot. And unfortunately, you know, that's where, why the fail rate is so high with contractors. I think it's like 93% is because they never ever get over that. Right. They never ever, like, they don't feel like they've succeeded unless they can physically see they've gotten something done. And then that goes all the way down the line. And I mean, we can get into all types of reasons why the market is the way it is. But, you know, again, if we started off teaching process and teaching ways that they can help themselves, they're gonna get a lot further and they're gonna have...
Andrew Houston (29:12):
Here's the reality, right? Bad habits, bad habit or a good habit. They both are teachable. Which one are you gonna teach? Right. You gonna teach the bad habit. You keep this mindset of like, it can only be me. I'm the best. Nobody can do it like me. Well then guess what? Yeah. That's what you get. That's what your program, and that's, by the way, what you're gonna tell anybody that's walking through the door, that's thinking about working for you and they're gonna be like, see you later, dude.
Chris Ronzio (29:40):
No one wants to work in that environment.
Andrew Houston (29:43):
Chris Ronzio (29:44):
Yeah. So, so let's turn the corner here and talk about, uh, not just Gretzky, but the rest of the team. I know you guys do a lot with hiring and training people and Andrew, I believe you also have a book called How to Steal Your Competitors Trades People Ethically.
Andrew Houston (29:58):
You got it. Yeah, totally.
Chris Ronzio (30:01):
Which is such a great title. So, let's talk about this. You know, people are changing jobs more than ever right now. It's a crazy, tough time to hire people. So do you think it's still possible to retain people for a long time in their career first of all?
Andrew Houston (30:14):
1000%, absolutely. Like 1000%. The reality is that let's just put this into perspective just really quickly and sort of the baseline of this book. Jay's got some great insights on this because you know, he's helped build a big part of our hiring system that we, it's basically done for our clients. They take it, they don't have to create it. They just apply it and they get the results. The principle is this, if you look at all the businesses that are out there and I don't care what type of business. But in this case, we're gonna use say contractors. Okay. The reality is that they've got one of the words in your podcast is what they live and die by. Most of them, you know, this 90% some percent of them that fail is chaos.
They're in chaos all the time. Well, if they're in chaos and they're the business owner, cuz they're not systemizing things, they don't know how to structure it. You know, they don't know, how to put policies in place. They don't know how to delegate properly. They don't even know how to hire people properly. And it just goes throughout the whole organization, every aspect up, down left, right. Okay. 360. It's chaos, but it's not just chaos for the business owner. It's chaos for who else? The whole team. The whole team. And nobody like we were talking about just before the, we hit the record button. Nobody, no human wakes up and wants to live in chaos. And so the reality is that when you have a business that is systemized, that is structured, it eliminates, you know, a huge percentage of the chaos and it actually puts into place something called control.
And so when somebody comes and they leave that environment of chaos, they come into an environment of control. People want to stay in that environment. And especially, especially Chris, the A players. A Players, the ones that want to get results, the ones that wanna be recognized for how good they are. Okay. Um, everybody wants to be in an environment of control and not chaos. So when you can provide that environment of control, people will stay with you, especially if you've got a pathway for them. If you've got, you know, some sort of future for them, in control. Hey, you're at this stage then, you know, once you learn this skillset and these policies and this process and things of that nature, you're gonna know that you're successful. We're gonna know that you're successful. Now the next step for you is this. All of a sudden, guess what people end up working for you, not just for a paycheck, they're working for you for a career. Go ahead, Jay.
Chris Ronzio (32:58):
I, I see you, Jay. Just wanna like dive in, go for it.
Jay Carter (33:01):
I mean to add on, absolutely. And you know, again, we, you know, we're totally connected on all these things, but you know, one thing, to speak specifically to the state we're in right now, especially in the contractor world, cuz I live this day in and day out with every contractor. There's this impression that we can't find good guys. We can't, you know, there's not enough skilled workers out there. The new millennials don't wanna work. There's all these limiting beliefs and stuff that's going on. And I'll just be straight up. I have not seen a bigger opportunity in the last decade to dominate a market. And here's two major factors that are playing into this. Okay. So number one is construction as a whole is 25 years is behind every other industry there is.
So let's talk about onboarding. Let's take the simplest of things. When you go to work at McDonald's or you go to work at, I mean a retail shopping center, like anything, they always onboard you, they train you, they give you expectations. They tell you what they want from you. Construction, nope. We're gonna trial by fire. Just get in there and do what you're gonna do. That's been going on for 25 years. So no wonder. Okay. So let's just think of it from, because you know, owners have the tendency to look at everything from the top down. Let's look at it from the bottom up. I'm new to the business. I'm new to the industry. I come into this, you know, this difficult, hard job. Nobody greets me. In fact, they're, it's like, okay, what do I do? Like it is very, and now you add the big shift here and this is the part that everyone should really pay attention to the last generation.
Let's say, call them the gen x'ers and the baby boomers. Okay. They believe that if you work hard, you're gonna get somewhere. That was their value system, the shut up and work. That's the way they were taught. Now millennials have grown up watching this happen and feel quite cheated by it. And you know, there's more information than ever. So their value system has changed and here's the key to this, right? We don't have less people on the planet than we did 30 years ago. We've never, we don't actually have a labor problem we have a social problem. And the social problem is that we're not understanding what this generation wants. A from us, from our end. Okay. And working with hundreds and hundreds of new staff members and having this problem come up over and over again. One thing that we know for sure.
Okay. Is that millennials? No, they don't. They're not gonna come in and just their head down and work for you for the next 40 years. That no longer exists, because why? But here's the other thing, present an opportunity. Give a pathway, give a direction. That's what they're looking. They're looking for structure. Money is actually fourth on the list. You know what? They value even more, time. All right. We figured this out before it was, you think it's money? Oh, I just gotta pay them more. That's not the answer. Okay. Well I'm just gonna, you know, I'm gonna do this and this, but nobody's really talking about what the original problem is. Do they see any future with you? No, that's the answer because the first day you brought 'em in, you know, from job ad to out in the field, you've done nothing to invest in them.
You've given them no hope that this is a, and now all they're looking at is this is a hard-ass job and I don't wanna do this. I'm gonna go sell crypto.
Andrew Houston (36:09):
You give them every reason not to be with you.
Jay Carter (36:09):
Yeah. Like there's no, there's nothing sexy about this. Right? So at the end of the day, contractors, and I think this is really the under lining kind of problem there was. I never got onboarded. It was shut up and go to work and you do it like this. And like, that's the way I learned. Now. It wasn't pleasant. It wasn't nice. It didn't give me hope. I had to find that myself, not a lot of people actually do that. Now, if we were to switch that around and let's say we properly onboarded someone, we trained them. We gave a pathway.
We told them their 90 day plans. We worked on their five year goals. We cared about them, right? Rather than caring the most about our clients. No, no. Let's reverse this. Let's take care of our people. Let's educate them. Let's make sure that we're supporting them and making them into great humans and getting them to the next place that they wanna be in their life. Even if it's not with us. Okay. Even if it's not with us, they've still come in and made impact in our business. And again, that keyword is impact. Millennials want impact. They wanna know that they're contributing to results. They want to be a part of a team. Now, you know, you look at the tech industry, you look at all the other places that have really blown up. What did they do that really helped them to take that next step? What is it? That's different than this construction thing. And I think you're gonna start to find out very early on that it started, you know, in the hiring process, it started through the onboarding. They got wicked at onboarding and giving people pathways and hope and everything else. So no wonder they've stolen all those for workers. So, you know, again, ethically,
Andrew Houston (37:42):
Ethically, ethically, right? People will leave. Yeah. People will leave their current employer. Guys. They are looking to leave their current employer if their environment is crap.
Jay Carter (37:54):
Right. And they all are even the best of ones.
Andrew Houston (37:57):
They all are. They don't know how to run a business.
Chris Ronzio (38:02):
I have, so our head of people here, who's amazing. She's her desk is right outside this window for me. And we got her, one of those huge, like magnets from Looney Tunes. Just as a reminder that it's our job to just be magnet for great people that we wanna bring them in. We wanna give them great experience says, cause Jay to your point, there's no shortage of people. There's, more people than there's ever been. There's more opportunity than there's ever been. But for the great companies that are putting intentional effort into their onboarding experience, into their employee, experience, growth paths, career trajectories, professional development, all that stuff, you are going to attract and keep people. So I think that's the message here. And you said it so eloquently.
Jay Carter (38:44):
And for contractors, nobody's doing it. Even the bigger contractors. They're half-assing it, like if you really own this man that's unstoppable, right? Like you're getting better perform outta your people. Your people are involved in your business. You can, as the owner, I know, I already know, you can have all the systems and processes you want. Okay. It doesn't mean a thing. What makes the difference is, you know, how your people treat your systems and how happy they are to be there. Right?
Chris Ronzio (39:10):
That's it. That's what it's all about. All right, guys, we'll wrap it up here, buts so many takeaways and great information in this. And I know you've got the book that we mentioned, for everyone listening, where else can they find you? Where they, where can they look into your coaching, your resources, everything you guys are doing.
Andrew Houston (39:27):
Absolutely. So we've got a Facebook group. It's a free group. It's called the Profitable Contractors Association. And it's specifically for contractors that wanna take themselves and their business to the next level. There's tons of free training in there. There's tons of done for them systems that they can take and apply that they don't have to pay for and get a taste of it. And then, you know, for those people that are interested in engagement, Profit for Contractors, they can just get into that group and they can ask for some help and we can see if there's a fit. You know, we got a whole process to see if it's a fit. It's okay if it's not a fit. It's great if it is a fit, just like, you know, how we apply to, you know, hiring our own employees and things of that nature. And that's probably the best way for them to get there. If they want to get the book, they can just go on Amazon. You know, it's a good taste, taste tester, right? Go on Amazon. Look up How to Steal Your Competitors Trades People Ethically. You can get it on Kindle and you're off to the races.
Chris Ronzio (40:28):
Amazing. All right. How to Steal Your Competitor's Trades People Ethically on Amazon. Profits for Contractors, check out their website, check out their Facebook group. These guys are awesome. They clearly know what they're doing and have built amazing businesses themselves and are now helping so many others systematize what they're doing to free up time and pour those profits into creating more time. Thank you guys. This was amazing. I appreciate you both being here.