Welcome to another exciting episode of Palm Harbor Local! In today’s conversation, we have the privilege of sitting down with Drake Mailhot. Join us as we delve into the rich tapestry of community, faith, and entrepreneurship, exploring the journey of a business owner who seeks guidance not only from family and mentors but also from a higher power.
Listen to the podcast episode here!
So Drake Mailhot. Welcome back for, another episode of Palm Harbor Local. I’m excited to chat with you again man, thanks for being here.
Thank you for having me, Donnie. How long has it been maybe two or three?
I should have. I should have. I should have looked at this before. It’s probably been. Let’s see, I just had something I didn’t want earlier this week. And he was back on for again. And it had been a year since he was on. So it’s probably at least been a year because you were one of the earlier you might have been two years.
Absolutely, it might have been wow, I thought I knew a lot then. So I know, this is a lot of people coming here from business, but I don’t want to jump into business. And so I’m first I want to talk about, maybe no big thing for me. And it’s a scary time right now, a lot of people are scared.
And I’ve seen this, I’ve seen people post on Facebook. I don’t have work to look at and stuff like that. But now I’ve been learning a lot of faith. I mean, developing a little bit better relationship with God.
And, that’s really been working for me that I don’t have to stress about things, I don’t have to stress about where my business is going to come from.
Because the economy’s bad. Honestly, it’s been so good to me that I didn’t know the economy’s bad. And that’s a blessing.
And I don’t say that to brag, but I say that to say, I lead on faith and say that I panicky because if I focus on the panic, I can’t get done what I need to get done.
And then second, oh, sorry, I didn’t say that. That’s a really good point to touch on. So whatever you focus on expands, right? And so if you focus on the negative, the news and the headlines and all that kind of stuff, that’s going to be your reality.
So, you lean into your faith, or you lean into whatever it is that you want to lean into, to keep you in that, that positive mindset, that right frame of mind.
That is, that’s gonna that’s what helps get you through these these tough times. Right? Because that’s life. All that’s always going to be.
And fear– fear is a conspiracy theory. But my buddy one time drew this small circle and said, This is your control, and then drew a bigger circle around it says Concern. And I was, that makes perfect sense. Also to think of myself, I played sports growing up, because I’m an athlete.
And as the fourth quarter I need to perform, I control the marketing, if I’ve slacked off on my marketing, or if I haven’t done 10 acts of marketing, then it’s going to fumble, three months down the road. That’s what I’ve seen. So we’ve been blessed. We’ve been two weeks or a week at least booked out on estimates. So that’s been really killer, so leaning on my faith a lot more. Also, family, I’ve been trying to pour into my family and be present more of my family time.
Oh, no, why it’s a rumor, because that’s what it is, when you’re a business owner, you have to work 24/7 That to me that’s, sometimes becomes a reality. But it doesn’t have to be the reality 24/7, right? That’s a sprint, right?
A short period of time. you may have to put in extra time for a season or, a couple of weeks, whatever it is, but that’s not year after year after year, you’re gonna burn you’re gonna burn yourself out.
There are people that has been 12 years in business still doing the same thing. I don’t want to be this bigger company. I have found, the less I do, the more money we make. If you put me in the middle of the process or that, because me directly it’s going to slow everything down.
So I’ve learned my teammates are better at what they do in the ticker when they hit customers. So, just trying to mean being present with my family when it’s time to be present. I’ve been getting off a little bit at three, which is early for me, instead of seven, and going to pick up my kids.
I dropped the kids off in the morning so that you So the fate of the family, that’s been a huge blessing. And the me. Third, so I’m third place, Scotland Elmi talked about he’s, I’m seventh place I’m currently winning.
And then Southern Landscape Solutions. So what do you think? Adopting those those changes, right? Or leaning more into your faith leaning more into your family? How did that change for you? Was it someone that inspired you? Or just a shift in your mindset? How did all that play out?
So Southern Landscape Solutions has been in business for I’ve been a business owner for 12 years now. And I was getting a little burned out. And I was, as a business owner, we think we should have done these goals yesterday when I didn’t see these goals get into him soon enough.
Because I was putting all my heart and effort into names, wow, she’s going by my kids are getting older, my family’s getting older, my wife’s getting, we’re not spending the quality time and, life has drifted by. And a big thing is Southern Landscape Solutions is not my identity. That’s not who I am sole, it’s a big part of me, but it’s not who I was. And I learned by hiring better teammates, getting out of my position, and freeing up my time, I can give my family that time. And it was more fulfillment and I guess, and so forget the money forget all that we’re chasing.
If you’re chasing a house, if you’re chasing this or that, or, ego even so, forget all that. There’s no fulfillment in it. God, my family, when I chase those two things, everything goes together. My life is so easy now. I was just sitting here last week, they are sorry, a couple of days ago. I was, we’re not booked out. We’re not booked out next week, I’m getting a little scared. There are not any big jobs. And I said I stress myself out for about a day that I finally said, Lord, take this off my plate. I don’t, I don’t need to bear this burden. I don’t know why I didn’t say this sooner.
But I said those things. And look, I called a call my schedule or Lindsay. And I’m, Lindsay, I got a customer that’s coming over. We don’t have a lot for next week. Can we please just make sure we get this one scheduled? She said, Well, I got a bunch of phone calls and people are scheduled next week.
So I was Lord, thank you so much. I stress for no reason there for a second set of just asking for help. And every time I’ve asked for help with business, he’s taken it away. , if I’m if my heart’s in the right place, and I’m asking God for help to go down his path, man’s business has become easier and I don’t think business owners are really talking about that much.
I think it’s difficult, for business owners to ask for help, is whatever that is for you. But, we think we’re supposed to have it all figured out. You’re the owner, of course, you’re the you’re the leader, right? you should have all the answers, but that is, as far from the truth, right?I’m still just right. I mean, it’s embarrassing. We feel it’s embarrassing to act like we don’t know what we’re doing. And again, I’ve been in business for 11 years, I think, 12 years. I still don’t know what I’m doing out here.
I think that’s the best part about it. That’s one thing I’ve learned, since getting into real estate since starting the podcast, even more, so that nobody knows, , the most successful people are still figuring it out one step at a time, right?
They’ve figured some things out along the way that they’ve put in the work and time and all that stuff. But they’re still learning new things. Right. And then you transition to a new business or new industry. And then you’re learning you’re starting over.
Yes, you’re right. Again, the identity if you need to go start a new company. Southern not me, and people may know me for Southern but again, that’s, that’s fourth place a MacBook. And just, not knowing and stuff that, again, just lean on God’s really just fast-tracked all this, but let me go back to new teammates.
So I used to do the marketing, the designing the sales, the answering phone in the scheduling. Now I have that’s a four-person job. And we’re pumping out work faster. So I got a salesman who collected all this money, we just had a $250,000 month we’ve never had that.
So that’s projections of over $2 million. We’re chasing a $3 million company now, which in landscaping, which is very hard to do. But trusting my teammates and releasing stuff that I still try to hold on to, that’s been a little bit difficult.
Tell me more about that. Because that’s a hard piece for a lot of business owners. I was talking to somebody, who might have been some other real estate agents, they’re, looking to grow their team, and they’re talking about, different parts of their business and whatever.
And there, I just, I can’t let go of that, I’m me if you want to grow— you have to write, because of that passion. The passion comes into it. But if you’re in business as well, making money it’s not about so that’s why I’ve held on to the design piece. I like the design piece, it lets me feel like a kid.
Because I get to dream up these backyards and make them crazy, I just did. I looked up, and I just did a crooked, there was artificial turf, with stepping stones and in the middle of them with, artificial turf running, breaking each individual I did our rectangle square design, it looks super sick. It’s so close to being sold. James is gonna sell it.
I’m just waiting, but I’m excited about the marketing, but, I hang on to that, but I know down the road, I’m gonna have to release it. And it’s gonna be hard. It’s a breakup.
God, even sales and scheduling, started when I hired Beth, our office manager, Lindsey is sales support. James is in sales. And now we’re looking to add a new operations manager. He has yet to accept the job, but I’m excited if he does.
And those pieces of the puzzle those individuals are such professionals at what they do. I’m excited. But again, it’s still hard to give this stuff up.. So it’s just been a little bit of adapting. I know, the more I give up, the more money we make, because that’s the motto I’m in kind of go on buys less I do.
What’s your mindset around that?
I have to give this up. Is it just is it that, if I want to grow? I need to, I need to release this?
Well, okay, there are other things. So looking forward to the future, now I have a salesperson. And now we’re going to be looking at building a sales team leads of the release. Now I’ve studied SEO, I can, you can go hire an SEO company, but, how do you do what SEO company is good? , you’re gonna learn some pieces?
Yes. So I said, I’m gonna go deep dive into it. I’ve been pretty good at marketing my videos and getting some hits. I’ve slowed down on videos lately because I’ve been focused on sales. But I’m gonna get back into the videos, have a bunch of videos going out. But I want to make sure my SEO is with Google’s air because I feel that’s where the real money is to be made
And so I just want to learn a new skill. And that’s what new teammates have had to fill my time with new things to learn to look at in the future. So that’s kind of how I’ve adjusted to giving up.
Something else to be excited about. Look forward to that. So that reminds me of when I listened to Alex for Mozi. And none of you, absorb any of his content. But one of them is he talks about growing his business, he hires different agencies, so an SEO agency, to, come into his company and implement their strategies.
He learns from them learns what they’re doing, learns what works in his business, and then fires them and then makes it better. Right? So then you’re just using them as that piece— I’m gonna learn from the experts, and then I’ll implement it and make it better for myself
I mean, so that’s why I don’t want to lose sight of the little kid in me That’s very important for business because you got all these people that say, this is how it should be done. But there’s a better way to do it.
And being a young Kinder dreamer, you still hang on to the wonder, Okay, well, what if I do it this way? What if I take what they learn and do a little spin-off? That’s how I really think the magic is made. And that’s how, trendsetters are, , cutting the new path is cool, though. That’s a great idea, though. That God does that.
So let’s go back to, the beginnings of Something Landscape Solutions, what did you guys do then?
What are you doing now? And so speaking of dreaming, did you ever dream that this is it? Was this your dream? What it is today? Or is it bigger? Is this the path that you thought you’d be taking when you started Southern Lands?
I was excited. I said 12 years ago, I think I was what would that be? 19 So I was 19. When I started this business, Oh, baby. , I was making $100 a week, and I’d take one trip back to Georgia.
My whole paycheck was spent because gas was it was a miracle gas got paid for with $100 But anyway, I don’t we were cutting grass in we moved we have an $800 Dodge. Now our tractors, that. Detractors are 53 $1,000 We have now so that’s just crazy to think of.
So you started mowing lawns?
Yes. Step one, we had an apartment complex, we had 60 of them out, okay, cash flow was terrible when I got in because we’d always be, but we weren’t professionals at business. So, SOPs, and nothing was there, I was doing all the work. Me and my brother, my dad, were doing all the work together.
And I don’t know, I don’t think I knew what direction I wanted to go. Because my mindset was that whatever I’m doing now, there’s something meant for me bigger than this. And so I just had this big plan of, just chasing a dream that I couldn’t even see.
And so, I just went after, and then one day, so we’re cutting grass. I’m on the truck. I’m just turning 21 And, I’m at a party and stuff. I was everything, but I grew a business. And then one day clicked. I heard I think I sent a letter. last podcast, I was going over the Skyway to hear Les Brown speak and he changed my life forever.
And then I just went after it and started figuring out networking and fell into networking. I met individuals, I met a guy who owns BNI tamp named Spencer Reynolds. He shook my hand across the table and invited me to another networking thing, and I got to merge with him. I learned a lot from him. I met Scott Fidel, I met Brad Machine about Michael Carly, and I met all these individuals.
And so I took exactly what the guy did with the SEO agencies, I took all these puzzle pieces and started putting them together. And it made everything my own. And so I knew one day that there’s no market for cutting grass. And also my ego, I was just a grass cutter. I didn’t know there was more to it than this. So we kind of became a construction company with building out backyards. And that’s where the dreaming got to come in. And so now, going back to God, me and my salesman get to witness all these projects.
So we bring up God a lot. I’m working on getting stones with Jeremiah 29:11 on them to put them into each one of my projects because God knows he has a plan for us. Same thing with sales and marketing. So big fate said a fear. But, I still don’t know where I’m going.
And I just feel there are bigger things in the plan for me and my team. And so I’m excited to take it to the next level, whatever that is. I still don’t know what I want. I don’t want to be the biggest landscaping company.
Just because that’s ego. I just want to be the most efficient and the best at whatever I do. So now we started professionals a landscape. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. So that’s a group that had a networking group. Yes. So we started professional landscape. It’s designed to help.
Not just landscapers we have companies of all different types, cool, but it’s helped to run a business so we don’t have to fail so much. We pass referrals, we work on public speaking. We’re talking next Thursday at Widow Fletcher’s in New Port Richey, we’re talking about identity and that sorry, we’re talking about the identity of our businesses doesn’t have to become us.
There is a life outside of this. And I want to preach to younger business owners, older business owners, just to let them know, there’s more important stuff to work out here. We’re not working to live. And so, we should just keep taking these different paths. I just came from PASCO Kids first. Professionals landscape, he’s doing a project out there. So kids that are physically and sexually abused, can talk about their problems outside of the building in a safe place of comfort. We’re putting a water feature there.
We’re putting plants in there put in Sunsail shades in there, we’re putting a walking path, they’ll have a little rock garden, where would they graduate from there?
When do they go through the counseling? They could put a rock out there and paint it, it’s just becoming so much more landscaping. That’s why it would be stupid of me to say, this is what this is what I’m chasing? Because I don’t know what that is. I’m a big faith, man. So, God’s got a bigger plan for me and I’m just on the highway.
I think it’s really important too because I think myself, I kind of feel that sometimes, you need to have a plan, right? You need to say, this is what I want to accomplish this year. Right? And there’s, there’s some truth to some of that, you need to, you need to have some direction but that it’s, I don’t know what it’s going to be in three to five years now. And I think that’s most people we don’t unless you’ve been there before and have built a business to, this level.
They’ve done it six times, right?
You don’t you don’t know. Right? So you’re just, okay, this is cool. That or this sounds cool, right? Are there my values, right? Here’s my culture. Here’s what I want to, be about. out and then, what aligns with that as things come into your into your path.
I feel I used to want a purple Lamborghini but now, I want a purple Lambo or camo Lambo, I don’t know. But the older I get, the more I feel God just places this money in my hands and, it’s a big responsibility to have a lot of money.
And you can either, piss it away or you can do big things with it, you can change your world. And so I feel God’s conditioned me to do something great. I don’t know what that is. And maybe I’m doing it now. But I believe that I’ll make more money down the road.
And what I do with that money is a big test of my character. It’s not for another car, it’s to eat better food, so to buy more clothes because that stuff will not give you fulfillment, but, we have a big opportunity. The older I get that I see that there are so many people that are, left in the dust and need help. And so I believe that’s our opportunity to help them.
There’s a scene in X-Men when he’s Wolverines take it. I think it’s a Professor Xavier. And they’re driving down the highway, and there’s some horses loose, and they’re, about to run out on the highway. And then Wolverines, somebody should help them,? And he’s, Well, that’s somebody’s us and I feel I have an opportunity for that to be me. So why not?
And we’re teaming up with a lot of people that are also helping, so you just need somebody to band together and just go change the world.
I think it was I heard something. I don’t if as Gary Vee, or somebody said something about, the idea of a leader is, you’re building this company. And then as you’re growing, you’re bringing people along with you, right? You’re not leaving people in the dust and just, I’m making as much money as I possibly can. No, you’re lifting everybody else around you, yes, to bring them along to you. So they can chase their dreams.
Southern Landscape Solutions. I was looking at it the other day. And if you go back and look at the brand, from what we had it to now look at the brand. And the logo and I were this company is again chasing $3 million, but it’s not for the money. It’s not for me to buy or go on more vacations. Now we’re feeding these families as Southern grows, , we’re a team of, 20 people. And now we’re getting other companies to help us out so we do paver driveways. If we need a rip out, I have Sure Shot property enhancement, come and help me with the rip out because they got some bigger machines, they’ll throw that up and make me more efficient. But now we’re starting to help companies that may be slow, be busy.
And so this is just a network and it’s just so much more than a landscape company. That’s why I get super excited about the growth of it because we’re changing. We’re trying to the community is changing. There are people being fed and so it’s a really cool thing to watch and evolve.
How did you start? Because you started with a you that started with a professional
Okay, so mental breakdowns losing money in my own company. I said I wonder how many other landscapers are going through this? How many other businesses are going through this? So why can’t we just band together and work on problems together?
And so I turned around six people were at the first meeting. It was 2020. I think, our COVID, was when COVID 2096 people at the BT fast forward, we had 90 People at the meeting. So we got 90 people I’m looking around, I’m, and so then we had to make it a little tighter and make it where you have to put an application in you have to apply but just the sense of, there are people out here hurty in business, why can’t we all just come together and help each other?
It doesn’t have to be competition. It’s been a blessing is cool. To see it. , do we cry in there? We talk about real issues. Some people in there believe in me more than I believe in myself. And sometimes we all need that. , so it’s, I call it church for landscapers. But again, I keep saying landscapers, there are so many other occupations in there.
You started with just landscapers or that profession, right?
Yes, it was a group of my friends that I do with a business Now there’s, there’s paver companies. There are artificial turf companies. There, I do that too. But a lot of us do the same. A lot of us do the same services. But there’s also travel planning and cruise planning. , Missy Hoskins is in there. I got a guy who cleans windows.
Business is all the same. He has customers come in, and customers leave, and then the service is what you offer is a different button. Every business is the same. ,. I love that. So it’s been going really well. So let’s talk about your landscape design, what do you what do you love about that piece of it? So did you and when you started, did you have you always done your landscape designs? Or did you have somebody who did it before to help my mom?
Used to do? Drawings. So she’s an artist, hey, and she did landscape design before we even started this company with my dad at his first company. So she used to draw them up. And I have pictures of her drawings that were beautiful.
But then I was okay, I’ll see these people doing about computer and I got a really bad one, a really bad rendering software. And, then I got a better computer, I got a better one. And I got a better computer and I got a better one. And so now we’re doing all digital 3D renderings.
It looks super real, high-end, super good quality graphics. But my mom didn’t before. And I didn’t really know my plants when I was selling them. I kind of learned them along the way. But now I’ve been designing. I know. I’m the back of my head. I don’t know any of these plates you got in here looking for failure.
That’s the only real one that we have string of pearls. , maybe that’s a burrito or mangrove.
I have no idea what that is. I went to the store. And I was, hey, I need something. There’s no light in this place. Except the fluorescent light bulbs. What’s going to survive? And she’s this one.
That’s cool, right? That’s cool. I water it once a month.
That’s nice. Either that or the state plants. They survived, okay. But, I’ve been designing. And that’s really fun. I’m trying to get it where water features shoot water over a walkway and stuff that I just tried to come up with crazy stuff.
If I dream it, it can happen. And I’m chasing some of the big names out there.
Do your clients, do they come to you and say, here’s what we’re thinking? And then you just kind of, make it a reality? Or are they are you just, here’s a blank canvas, this is what we want to do something in this portion of our yard. What do you get?
They, most of them have ideas of what they want. And they talked about, I just need a little bit of information of what do you want to use this area for? There are different styles. So you have to be diverse.
You can’t just throw the same play and see at every single design process. Let’s listen to this landscape architect talk. And he said, You got to listen to the property in the land, and the project and there’s a time and place for every plant. That’s why I every plant. I used to not every plant. But there’s a time and place for every single plant, even the ones I don’t prefer.
So I always tell my customer, hey, I’m gonna run over here to left field, if you have to real be real beard, but I’m going to show you everything based off what you hear and my ideas and your ideas to see this vision come to the end. And I might try to make it a little crazy out there.
So always push it a little bit. And some customers bite some don’t. That’s okay. , there. I’m trying to make signature pieces. So there’s a guy named Brian Hughes. Ryan Hughes designs, he has a couple of designs pools are just outdoor living altogether, but his stuff is beautiful.
We love outdoor space. I mean, growing up here in Florida, you’re always outdoors, I love the outside. It really really changed the space we did. When we bought our first home. I think it was Wilcox Nursery, we went there and they had an in-house design or something.
And so they came out and did a landscape design. And we implemented pieces of it and stuff, but the main piece was the little paver patio that we had back there. And we’ve kind of added stuff, from that and have changed over the years.
But when you have that outdoor space, it changes your home, right because it’s a separate living area that if you especially if you have kids they can go out there and play and enjoy it. It just makes the home that much more special to me there.
So I mean, I don’t think when I first got into landscaping that I’d ever be in love with it I am now but Just the simpleness of that was designing a, they have this green mat Jade rock that is mat Jade rock and it’s handpicked. They find these pieces of the mountains, they take them, they break them down and they tumble them to get them flatter and smoother, or they polish them. But I set this matte jade green rock, actually, the pitchers go out today.
And then I had when you’re walking up to this walkway before you get to the pool, there’s one bottle parm that’s kind of cascading over. And one of the palm fronds is cascading over the walkway that’s kind of just it’s just setting up for when you get to the main piece.
But there’s just, there’s I call them hype, hype walkway, so you’ll hype up this walkway and you’ll have this cool design before you get to the main piece. There are just so many little things in these designs and function ways that you can create these grand places that are, beautiful outdoor spaces.
But again, this is so much more than landscape, you got to think these people would be having weddings here in their backyards where they spend this much money, they’re gonna have their kids there for memories, families over, this is a place for them to be romantic with each other and couples and it’s just so much more landscaping.
So you if you think outside those boxes, feel, their uterus create some beautiful and again, that’s why I don’t know what the path that we’re on where we’ll end up because, but I’m gonna take this, I want to be designing all around the world.
That’s one of my dreams. Oh, I’d love to go around the world. I’d have to learn the different plants, but it’s, that’s easy. , I just want to go, and change the world and how landscaping is viewed.
It’s an exciting ride again.
Is there anybody that’s doing that right now? And it’s doing, or they have, their territories in the United States, we design. I’m not sure I’m competing with what’s that thing on Facebook, it’s the hub shrub hub or something like that.
They do a design for $110 It’s, it’s crazy because it’s just, it’s just a it’s just a big company producing designs, but I’ve seen their renderings and their spaces are not matching up with either the land or the budget of the homeowner so it’s not realistic so I think that’s the only people that do that.
But I’d to actually travel with people that are really investing, make a whole trip out of it. , travel the world bring my family to my team. That’s a long-term goal. I don’t know how to get there, but we will.
I don’t know how I’m gonna get there. But we’re going slowly but surely. ,
So what do you do? We were just talking about before we started recording, golfing, and that sort of stuff. What else do you do?
So I love to golf. I drove by three golf courses on the way here and I’m just, I was playing amazing before got hurt so amazing for me, but I love to fish how to fish at a while. I to take my family and go to different things. So, there’s in Oldsmar, there’s horsepower for kids.
Have you ever been over there?
No horsepower for kids at Oldsmar. you’d cut down and they have all these animals camels, and kangaroos, you can pet the kangaroo they have a Hebrew I think that’s what a horse is zebras. I don’t know what that Azores.
Either one. , either. Whatever you call them. They have a tray that goes around, you can ride so we go to stuff that, or the elephants out of Sarasota. I never heard of that. And I will say it’s our massive dude.
I got so scared, he swung his head. We’re all dead, but you get to stand and listen to they’ll tell you facts about the elephants.
And they have, a couple of different times, which I didn’t know, or elephants from Asia, compared to Africa are totally different. Just taking the family doing new things and letting them see and watching them, grow and see these new experiences. That’s what I really to do.
That’s cool. It reminds me we went to Zoo Tampa for the first time with our girls and my oldest, wanted to see a book leading up to it. , we have the books and they have all the different animals and stuff and she’s, I want to go see the giraffes, I want to. I think it was giraffes, the draft, or zebra. Either one. They didn’t meet Zootampa.
So we get there and we’re, we’re in the little section where the drafts or is I think it was drafts anyway, and they didn’t have them there right but it was so cool too, they did the for the first time to because they’re just seeing these animals in the book. And they have no idea and they’re how big they are.
Right? So they see an elephant for the first time.
I used to live a lifestyle that was not fulfilling, I call it getting lost in the sauce. And again, I don’t think business owners talk. They don’t talk about the money of their projects enough and how much stuff costs online and stuff with their marketing, I love to talk about money.
And then also, they don’t, they don’t talk about, just experience stuff for the first time and fulfillment and how they failed in the past what I mean by I used to party, and there was no fulfillment there.
I used to try to buy things to get fulfillment, I don’t think we talk about how we made mistakes in our life change, because as soon as we can address those issues, that red space, the back of our heads of how we used to be, I think that’s how you get to that next level of success with God, your family, and business.
Do you think that you have to experience those? Those things partying, to then understand, Oh, this isn’t for me, or can you? I think it’s a little bit of both, right? Can you learn from other people? Right?
For sure. You can watch them, I think there’s a little bit more clarity when you experience yourself and go through it because, that feeling, Okay, I’ve done that, been there, done that?
I went to a bar, it’s been a while. And I was sitting there trying to recreate those same feelings I had of sitting there. And it’s just depressing. Looking around this menu. It’s been three or four years now, five years. But it was just depressing to be in there, the dim lighting and stuff, all the lost souls, I feel nothing wrong with drinking a party.
But we all know, the people that are still in the bars that used to be in the bars when we were there 10 years ago. And so, and they’re unhappy, or they’re going through struggles, and it’s, life doesn’t have to be that and so when you see that, or, trying to take the body of buy things for the fulfillment when secretly we’re not fulfilled. I just, I think once you go through all that, and you realize, I think self-awareness is the biggest superpower.
I think that people have, I think people just get lost with self-awareness. In today’s world, it’s so easy to do it. You go to the mall, and you look at the stuff on the walls, and, it’s, wow, this bunch of crap. , I’m gonna want to buy this stuff for ya. I hadn’t bought tennis shoes in a long time. And I’ve been wanting to buy a new pair, but I’ve been so, patient.
It’s funny how I didn’t have money. And I’d spend it back in the day. But now I have a little bit of money. I don’t spend it. But, man, there’s just so much more to life. And it’s hard sometimes to navigate what that is in today’s world.
And you need that, self-awareness is that’s, that’s a superpower. Right? If you have that. If you’ve refined that, I don’t know if it’s I don’t know that if it if everybody has self-awareness, or if it’s a muscle that you exercise and it grows. I think
So I’m a C student, the C students are out here killing it nowadays, but, I’m a C student, and, to almost have a pink coming future $3 million company is amazing. To me, that’s a blessing because I don’t have a business degree. I’ve never done it before.
I’m out here just shooting from the hip. We do. Let me back up. I’ve had great business coaches, that have helped me along the way. But again, to even hire them and know to hire them was, it’s a shot in the dark.
But and your ego too. You’re putting your ego aside saying, I need help.
My business coaches, I may be so sharp. I mean, they have Scottdale and adept Blankenship. They have both built southern landscape solutions to implement us and our team, right with them has built other landscape solutions. But I do believe it’s muscle self-awareness because it started when I got in trouble for jerky.
And I realized my and my dad’s communication was never strong emotionally. And so I was just chasing fulfillment to communicate emotionally because communication was lacking in my life.
I realized that was a big issue and it transferred to my wife and transferred it to my kids. So those are some things I had to work on. Did they want you to work on that and get better than you realize another thing wrong that you can fix?
And so to self-help, self-awareness, slowly over time, continually working on it, chase in southern landscape solutions professionals landscape and for years now. You have to do a lot of work to get to that level and it’s a faith a set of fear.
And if you want your business to grow the person has to grow right, the leader has to grow to that level.
Yes. I found that with a recruited by sales guy. All business owners would say they’re the best sales. , they Oh, I sell the best. I sell the best. I got a good salesman here. I realized how wrong I was. , he is just crushing it.
I’ve learned I’m not good at closing customers. I’m good at closing teammates on why to join this tree that I have. And if you have a dream, come join me. We put our dreams together. I don’t know where we’ll end up.
But we’re gonna do something better. Our culture in our operations too, is, that we’re getting compliments on leadership skills from our guys. How happy they are. And honestly, it’s a pleasure to be around everybody.
My business. , that’s always been a game changer in landscaping
That people will people, then then it’s, I can’t wait to go to work. Right. Or it’s any work. Right? It’s just, just what we do. Yes. What we’re doing tonight, right?
There’s so much. And you’re with those people? 24/7. So, but, it was well enjoying it.
It’s been a fun year. The podcast is growing. So I’m excited. And it’s cool to have, to get back on for the second and third times and just get an update.
I’ve met so many, ya know, great people in our community, kind of your professional of landscaping, networking group, it’s through the podcasts that have been able to do so much. So it’s, it’s cool. And I’m excited to see where it’s gonna go from here.
So you’ve had a lot of great people on your watch your episodes, I listen to it on the podcast and also the equipment has changed a little bit since I was last year.
I don’t think we probably didn’t have a video. No, no., it was quite exciting. Not the video you’re pretty face. And I think, I’ve been getting new equipment for our videographer, but my wife does my videography.
So we’re working on getting the wheels actually just started our videos with a little slow to get out. But trying to push it. It’s hard getting them out on all social media. There are so many avenues, right? There are so many. There are so many big projects. I feel it’s such a task to get there, get the video, and then have it set up as you want it. Ya know, the angle the shots, the lighting? ,
That’s hard. There’s a book I’m reading. It’s called the 12-week, year 12-week year. But it’s about, focusing on it’s about doing, the idea is you, you focus on one or two things to do in 12 weeks. So instead of focusing on, here’s my goals for 12 months, there’s not a lot of urgency with that 12-month goal. Because there’s so much time, so 12 weeks, a shorter period of time, you can’t do as much in 12 weeks as you can in 12 months.
But, every 12 weeks, you’re focusing on one or two things, and you just accomplish more when you do that, I think right? So that you, what you said about, there’s so much to do, kind of reminded me that it’s that, you got to hone in on what just, I mean, it’s hard for I mean, it’s hard for business owners hard for me to say.
Okay, I’m just gonna focus on these two pieces, or these two things that are going to help my business in the long run, long run. And everything else. I’ll wait till later on. Right, because you want to try to do it all.
As quickly as possible. I think it’s better to get it done faster than people that get ready to get ready to get ready for a perfect play. It is. Yes. And it just does not I feel those people that might be some of it used to be me. You’ll never get anything done.
No, I got some names I could mention, but, I just shoot from the hip. And I’ve learned I can perfect it along the way. , some of those things you can’t do my business coach would get on to me about that. She set up a plan for us to be here. In in business world for Southern Landscape Solutions if we implemented each step I really saw the growth by doing that.
Now that was I’m glad she did that. You can’t shoot from the hip from that, right? Or just marketing brilliance or video. People are, I’m gonna get a video out why not today?
Right. And that’s, you got it. Did you get a camera in your in your pocket? Do it. You’re automatically doing more than the other. Satellite landscaping, landscapers. I see a couple of them starting to do more videos. But earlier in the early ages by just getting it out there first. You are separating yourself from the pack. Those videos start and you see a lot of companies I’ll do a video.
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