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From the beginning this builder/remodeler had the end in mind. He wanted to build a well respected, highly successful business that would be saleable in the end and allow for an exit strategy. The problem was he wasn’t sure how to do it?

Show highlights include:

  • The strange way too much prosperity disguises fatal problems lurking in your business (4:31) 
  • Why getting input from your peers gives you an unfair advantage if you want to sell your construction company some day (9:15) 
  • How joining a mastermind helps you close more deals, charge more for projects, and achieve sustainable and predictable profits (especially if it seems like a waste of money) (10:15) 
  • Why pride can bankrupt your whole business (12:27) 
  • The weird “partnering with your clients” strategy that lets you charge more (and makes your clients happy that you did) (14:17) 
  • Why encouraging clients to find another builder helps you land more deals (even if it feels like you’re building your competitors’ businesses) (18:05) 
  • The “Ownership Growth” recruitment tactic that steals higher-paid contractors from huge corporations to work for you (27:22) 

To get the most out of this podcast, head over to https://buildernuggets.com and join our active community of like-minded builders and remodelers.

Read Full Transcript

That's a first time in my adult life that I really went on a vacation and didn't worry about work.

Welcome to builder nuggets hosted by Dwayne Johns and Dave young. Hey, our mission is simple, build freedom. We are a couple of entrepreneurs turned business coaches who have dedicated ourselves to helping our builder remodeler clients create the most rewarding businesses in the industry. My co-host Dwayne has been a successful builder and remodeler for over 30 years. He's seen the highs and the lows. From the beginning though, Dwayne has been on a quest to find a better way to run a contracting business. In 2016, he found that better way. That's how I met Dave, a lifelong entrepreneur and visionary who measures his success by the success of those around him. He reached out one day with a formula on how to transform my business and the rest is history. Since then, we've teamed up to help hundreds of contractors like you build better businesses and better lives. Now we've decided to open up our network and share our secrets so we can start moving the needle with you. It's collaboration over competition. Each week, we bring together industry peers and experts who share their stories so that we can all build freedom together.

(01:10): Yesterday caught the bug of building and remodeling beautiful homes at a very young age, prompting him to earn his bachelor's degree in building construction technology from Purdue university, after working for various contractors in both the residential and commercial sectors, he set out on his own in 2005

(01:26): Is early projects were smaller scale remodels and renovations all the while he held onto the vision of building custom homes and larger complex projects over time, his clients trusted him with consistently higher end larger projects. And for the last 10 years, Matt has had the fortunate blessing to be living his dream designing and building the types of projects that attracted him to the industry. As a young boy

(01:50): From the beginning, he's had the end in mind. I'm excited for him to share both his journey and his destination with us today. Welcome mat bow, founder of Matthew bow design build now all homes hunt country from beautiful Northern Virginia. Welcome mat. Thanks Dwayne. Thanks Dave. It's it's great to be on the podcast and I'm really looking forward to speaking with you guys.

(02:10): Yeah, man. Thanks for joining us. I know it's going to be fun, but I've got to start off with a shout out to a fellow long Islander in the land of big hair and coffee. Oh my God. So when did you move

(02:22): The Virginia? We moved down in 1988. I was in another industry for a short while and my wife was not from long island and did not fit well. And I realized having been away and moved back that there was other places you could live. And we went searching and we settled on Northern Virginia.

(02:42): Dwayne, you mentioned in the intro that you started your business with the end in mind. And that's an interesting take we've, we've interviewed a few expert guests who have been a rare group that have also felt like that. What did that look like in the beginning for you and how did you figure out how to do it? Did you

(02:59): Know how to do it? Yeah, no, I definitely didn't know how to do it. I just knew I needed to do it. And, and you know, I mean, I, I entered the business cause I love building. Right. And I love building homes. And so obviously from a really young age, just kind of all I wanted to do, which is why I think I'm so fortunate, but I also thought, listen, if you're going to build a business and put all this effort into it, you know, and have a 20 or 30 year run with it, it would be a shame to just turn the lights off and go home. Right. There was an opportunity to create something that could be sustained for a long period of time. And so I just, I knew I needed to, I wanted to do that, but I didn't know how to do that.

(03:37): I don't didn't have a real sort of keen business background. So that was the long journey. And I, and I survived a lot of bad decisions, which is where I learned the most. Yeah, just over the years, I just began to focus more and more and more on how do I make this business sustainable without me. And then that's kind of spin the overriding focus of that. Part of how I run the business is, is I need to create something that doesn't require me to be here. And that way my contribution could be one of culture and quality and ethics and integrity that the business could sustain itself. Cool. So tell us more about that journey. I'm sure I'm like a lot of, a lot of builders. I hung my shingle out and, and for several years I was working with all referral work in my circle of influence and that work came in and those projects were done well.

(04:30): And, and you know, but I didn't have a keen grasp on cashflow and profitability. You know, it was right up to the recession and work kept coming in, you know? And so I was focused on getting the work done and not so much on the business side of it. Right. Because the work just kept coming and then the tide went out as we all experienced, you know, and, and, you know, the proverbial, I realized I had no pants on, right. Like, like I just, there was cashflow issues. There was process issues. There was marketing issues. There was all those things that were hidden by the prosperity, leading up to the recession. And so it was sort of starting in 2008 that I, I really had to adopt a different mindset and I've never lost my passion for building the actual building part of it. Like I still love that, but I, I changed my focus to being a businessman, a person to learning business skills, to learning about financials and cashflow forecasting, and to start to hire people, to take some of the things I was doing in all of the day-to-day parts of the business, hiring people who are better at that than I was like, that's I think that was my first realization as I needed to find the people that were better at different aspects of the business than I was, they weren't my strengths.

(05:49): And until I let those go and put them in the hands of someone else, I was going to be continually shackled to them and not particularly well suited to them. Right. So that was the first part of it is when I just decided to define what I was good at and what I like to do, and then what I needed to shed and find people who were better and smarter than me at those aspects of the business and bring them into the company. And then as we started to create those layers, we had to have systems and processes that were repeatable and trackable and, and, and things we could all be held accountable to. So that there wasn't a communication breakdowns. And that was a really long journey on how to take all that knowledge from the first phone call, a client makes all the way through to production and there's, there was various handoffs, there was sales, and then there was estimating and then there was, you know, production and transferring all that legacy knowledge. That was a real challenge. But, you know, we just developed our own systems to do that. Started out with three ring binders, cut sheets, and then

(06:53): The figure it out as we go mentality, you know, is how a lot of people start, but it was good that you, you knew that you needed the systems in place. And in that you started looking for them, how did you start working with your team to figure some of this stuff out? Or was it still all on you?

(07:09): I'm a big believer in giving my team members a tremendous amount of authority. And then I give them the responsibility that goes with that. Right. I mostly give them responsibility. And then I know I have to give them authority to accomplish that. So every time there was a pain point, we had to pause and say, how did this happen? What do we need to add to our process to prevent that? Right. And, and it, it really, it happened, it was organic, right? Cause we always felt like we just didn't, we don't have the time to super focus on this. Right. So it happened, it took many years because we were so busy building and we always felt we didn't have the time to stop and work on our systems. And I think that, that ultimately I realized that was wrong and it extended the duration for us to, to grow into what we wanted to be as far as systems and processes.

(08:03): But until that time, it was really like, okay, we've experienced this pain point on the last three projects. What is the net? What's the process we have to add? Or what do we have to tweak to avoid that? And then you would have, so, so now you've made that one upgrade to your system. That's how it happened. You know, everybody I think has, has those moments in their business. And for you coming out of the downturn 2007, 2008, started to think about working on the business. And as you said, becoming more of a business owner than a contractor, and you were saying that a lot of it in the, in those days though, was kind of self-directed, you were just kind of taking the time to go out and figure it out and research it. And you weren't really collaborating in, in, at that point, you know, with any other peer groups or masterminds or anything like that, is that correct?

(08:51): That's true. Right. So I kind of had a general knowledge of what needed to happen from a business owner's perspective and business processes assistance. I had a mentor who was very entrepreneurial and I got a lot of exposure through, through him as well. But yeah, it was definitely, we were figuring it out on our own more or less we're in our silo, in our four walls, we were trying to figure out what worked best for us in 2016, I did join remodeler's advantage. And that was probably my first intro. That was my first introduction to peer group oversight and peer group input, getting the input from others in the business. Right. I thought that that was just really key. If you can establish some relationships with peers are willing to talk openly and honestly with you, right? Like that, that was the beginning of me not doing everything in a silo and would be bouncing it off of other professionals who could think about what we were doing and measure it against what they had maybe tried in the past, what worked, what didn't work, you know, why reinvent the wheel, if it's already failed for someone, maybe it works maybe, maybe not, but at least you have the opportunity to understand what didn't work.

(09:59): Right. Consider it rather than kind of just try and everything blind. What was the response of your team when you, when you joined remodeler's advantage and you were starting to bring these other resources into the group, They were probably reasonably, fairly detached from it. Only when I, you know, when I come back from my meetings, with my list of things you're going to work on and they just be like, oh God, I got gotta, you know, I mean, they were generally receptive to, in other words, we could see that as we implemented better processes, as we tried different things. And we started to see higher closing ratios, more satisfied clients get tighter schedules, started to move very quickly towards more sustainable profitability, measurable targetable, achievable, predictable profit margins. Like I'm surprised when we don't meet or exceed the profit margin that we sell a job at back in the day, I would be surprised if I got within four or 5% of it. Like, I'd be like, oh, that was a good one. You know? So that was the biggest change was by the pier, the accountability and the collaboration with other builders was it was a real catalyst for getting rid of even like my head trash about what is a proper amount to charge.

(11:19): And, and why is that justified? Right. And, and why is it important to make your profit? What does that mean for your staff? What does that mean for the resources you can provide clients? What does that mean for your stability in the community or your, or your ability as a, as a community business to get back to your community? Like those are all worthy reasons to say, yeah, I should be making a decent profit in this business. And then how are we going to do that? And the peer group interaction really helped me get there very, very quickly, you know, cause they help, they hold you accountable and they can call you on your BS. And you know, many of them have been there and moved and gotten past it. And so they're kind of encouraging you to come along and that was really helpful.

(12:02): The other thing that goes with that too, is don't forget your role in lifting up with others and being part of that support network for other people as well. But these groups like remodelers advantage or a builder 20 are an investment in your whole team. I mean, sometimes it's the owner, who's taking the lead on it, but you're really going and investing that time and energy to bring these resources back to your whole team so they can thrive and flourish too. And what a great, what a great setting to help get you to the next level,

(12:28): Your point, Dave, I think he had to realize also as a business owner, what my obligation was to my team to create a place where they could grow professionally and a place where they had opportunity for kind of an upward climb, if they, if they wanted that, you know, upward advancement. And quite honestly, you know, once I got past the pride part of my business, you know, being me and me and my business and my business is me. Like when I, when I got past that and started treating it like something that I had to steward, it clarified for me what my responsibility was to my staff to create a work environment where they could thrive and also to where they could elevate to a point that I'm not necessary anymore. Like that. You've gotta be really comfortable in yourself to do that right, to turn that authority over.

(13:17): But man, did they really did. They really blossomed when you, you have the right people and you give them that environment to work at, and they'll demonstrate more times than not that they're ready to step up and, and really take on more during that time, what was working in the business and what wasn't working in the business. When I started working, you know, in, in rod Mahler's vantage and the peer group environment, you know, we just, there was a couple of things that weren't working. Number one is just, we weren't tight enough on estimating. I was doing the estimating. It was the thing I was most fearful of giving over to someone else because if I made the error, that's one thing if someone else, you know, the reality was, that's the thing I should have given over first because I hired a, just a cracker Jack estimator who is so much better than me, and then doing it right in that.

(14:00): And that took us to more sustained and predictable profitability. You know, the other part of it was just what wasn't working as my preconceived notions of what we could be or who we could be or who our competitors were or how we needed to compete in the marketplace. Right. And of course, sadly home remodelers home builders on a small scale are often commoditized as if everybody should be charging the same price as if everybody offers the same service or the same level of professionalism. And to some degree, I didn't choose to compete on price, but I didn't have a really good understanding of how to actually convey value. Right. And that's, that was what was difficult. And, and I know in working with the peer groups, when, when they're looking at your business and they're helping you understand what's probably needs changing and what looks good, you start to, you start to look at your business a little bit differently.

(14:55): And I was able to start to identify, well, what's the value we bring. Like if we were not more expensive for the same service or for building the same spec, like we had different standards, facts, we'd provided a different level of service. And these were the things I had to, you know, I wasn't conveying very well. We were able to sort of evolve with and really sell who we weren't in value. And then let the, let the prospective client decide if they perceive the same value. If they did, we might be a good fit. If you don't perceive the value, then at least you know who we are and you can compare it to what someone else tells you, their experience or their process. Just like,

(15:34): Did that get you thinking about the value that the client brings to the table beyond just paying the bill, but when you're going through looking at your own value and the experience you're trying to deliver, and you look at the, you look at the client as they actually deliver an experience to you, as well as a partner on the bill that really shifts the thinking for a lot of people sometimes where it's like, you know what, if they don't see the value in me, it's going to be very hard for me to see the value in them as well. Did your clients change at all going through this process?

(16:06): Well, I think our clients have continued to evolve our messages, continue to evolve, to be one of, you know, a value proposition, a level of professionalism, the experience level of all of our staff, our processes, our systems, that's the value proposition we offer and clearly, and what I try to help. Some other builders who are trying to come up a few levels understand is when you start selling that your normal prospects, they're coming from a particular pool, and they're probably not going to value it, but one or two of them will and you're going to get those prospects. And now you've just moved into a new pool because it's likely that their circle of influence might have a similar value set. So that's how I think our clients evolve is that as we would, we definitely sort of transitioned out of one client pool who had a different value proposition in different maybe priorities when it came to quality construction and things like that. We, if we could grab two or three of them and they would have an experience with us now, they become advocates for us. And they connect us with a new circle of influence of people who probably similar value. And as we would continue to really promote that, that's how our client or the nature of our client changed was because, because we were starting to deal with clients who could see the value, and then they were connecting us with other people of similar value sets,

(17:27): Andrew Black calls that leveling up and, you know, just continuing you're working on how you deliver your value. You're continuing to just do everything a little bit better and you're attracting higher and higher. So yeah, it sounds like that's just methodical, leveling up. As you go, Want to level up, connect with us to share your stories, challenges, and successes.

(17:50): The building nuggets community is built on your experiences. It takes less than a minute to connect with us@buildingnuggets.com, Facebook or Instagram, One access to the resources that can take you and your team to the next level. One call could change everything,

(18:05): But we definitely also require that the client has to express that they want to work with us, but we have to want to work with them too. And I don't mean that in any way, condescending, but we've all had those relationships that were not based in trust or mutual respect. It was very transactional. There was, it was almost perceived like there was some servitude in there, you know, for whatever reason, if, if we do not feel that we are a good fit for them and that our staff will work well with them, we will encourage them to go find another builder just because there's so much money involved. There's so much emotion involved. There's the home involved, right? Like who wants to get involved in a, in a 12 to 15 month planning, design and build process if you're not compatible. Right. So, so when we think about clients bringing value, we look for clients who value the same things we do in construction, right?

(19:01): Like they're into the spec. They want to understand the specifications and why did we build the way they do? And let's talk about energy efficiency and how do you build in durability? Like, and they want to roll at the table. Like we work with a lot of clients, but I think a lot of builders we're thinking are very high maintenance because they want a lot of input. And we actually require that our process is for the clients to be actively involved. And we were pretty good at meeting those needs and expectations and it can get intense. I mean, I, I usually say that, you know, if I'm in a room with a client, I'm, I'm never the smartest guy or gal in the room, like they're just very high achieving, you know, intelligent folks. And so their input is they've got great input. A lot of the time,

(19:44): You know, as you started to go on that journey and leveling up, you know, you could see your system's changing. You could see your you're working on how you sell or how you create value or how you drive all that stuff. That's when the incremental changes to your pricing or your value, how you value yourself changes. And sometimes we talk to builders that they weren't charging for project management time. I mean, there was just a fixed cost line item there and they recognize, wow. If I want to create predictability, I need to have this in my business. My people are my most valuable asset and I need to build them, build them out. And that will make that resource predictable. You turn a project manager from a cost center, into a profit center very quickly by just measuring them differently, but then you need to invest in them differently. So I just wondered sort of what elements you might've seen in your journey as you, as you went through that, did your business model change, were there any key things in your thinking where you're like, wow, I was doing that wrong.

(20:40): I think a lot of builders are pleasers. I don't, I don't know a lot of builders who go out, you know, with a purpose of of disappointing their clients. Like we all want to build super happy clients. Hi, you know, I get a great deal of fulfillment building the home for someone. And, and, and what that resulted in is we would just give away, we would give away time. We would give away gray areas. We would give things away because we felt, what are they going to think? I don't want to, I don't want to, you know, don't bring up money again, as if, as if it was a bad world. I don't think I value. I don't think we valued what we brought to the table. Right. And so many builders give away so much stuff for free, starting with free estimates and free concept plans and things like that.

(21:26): Cause they think they need to, you know, someone and I don't remember who just sort of put this thought in my head and said, look, you're a professional. You have years of experience, you have experience and knowledge that your client doesn't have, and it will benefit them. And that has value. And so it's only fair to charge. Like don't give it away for free. And that was a big mindset change. And once we did that, listen, it always has to be a fair and reasonable cost if we're going to go to the client with it. Right. But I think I'm much more able now to, to do that rather than eat it. And I do it because it's the right thing to do. The client is going to derive the benefit. You know, I can have a company that's not making profit because it endangers all your other projects. You're not creating what I spoke about earlier, which is a great environment for your employees to thrive. And so that mindset that, that what we bring to the table has value and we should be paid for it, you know?

(22:21): And you and your team also get to that point of confidence when you realize how much value you're bringing. It's a lot easier to, to ask for the money charged for that time as any professional should. One of the things I think when I, when I look at that is, and you had talked about the commodity mindset and what you were doing as a, as a businessman. You know, there was a moment there, I guess it might've been in 2000, around 2019. And you said that as you started to focus more on getting Matt boat a bit, to be more of a business person than just a builder and remodeler, you also realize that it was, it was still all maps.

(22:55): Well, yeah, it was around 2 16, 20 16 that I had that mindset, but it was around 2019 and you and I talked even went back then and, you know, and I saw, I said, I felt like you know, we've got a successful business, you know, we've, we've been fortunate to have developed a good reputation and, and I love what I'm doing, but I feel like the moment I take my shoulder off the Boulder, it starts going back hill right back downhill. Like you just that constant pushing and involvement was something I felt I was never, you know, never going to get away from. So it's that, you know, jumping in, jumping in on, on the other side with the collaboration and all the like minds coming together who had similar experiences as business owners, right. I mean, successful. And, and, and as far as the public was concerned, really well-established companies, but most of us owners were like, my God, I can't get away.

(23:53): You know, a week, two weeks vacation, are you crazy? You know, or, you know, even a week. And I, and I, and I remember the first time I I went away for 10 days and I got maybe two or three calls and I probably may initiate it to have them back to the office because the staff had it. And that was really that's a first time in my adult life that I really went on a vacation and didn't worry about work and didn't have my laptop and other stuff with me, you know? And that's an, you know, as an owner, that's an incredible feeling now that's, to me, that's a business, that's a valuable asset because it's relatively, self-sustaining, you know,

(24:38): It's a good example of having built some freedom for yourself and for your team, right? Because you've given them the freedom of autonomy. Like they can work on the things that they're, they've been empowered to work on and feel good about the fact that they don't need supervision. They, they got this and that's how somebody demonstrates they're ready for additional responsibility and accountability is being undeniable with the task that they're giving and the achievements that they're having. And then that gives you confidence as to who could take more of a leadership role on a longer term basis, as you want to, as you want to exit the business more and more. So it's not just freedom for you as the owner. It's freedom for them to pursue what's next as well. So pretty, it's a pretty exciting time for you to get there and to be starting to experience it.

(25:25): I mean, we all have an exit plan. I don't really have an age for me when that is, you know, like I still, I love the business, but I am super excited about the next generation on my staff, taking the reins on everything from intake, call through sales, through planning and design and through construction and delivering the home. And my role gets to be one of creating an environment that they can thrive in sharing a little bit of the knowledge I've gained over all these years, being in the field, engaging with, you know, my guys or, or the trades, or even the client, you know, mentorship, you know, but I'm super excited about creating that environment where the next generation is going to that they've got a career path to the top. And

(26:11): Yeah, I remember that conversation that you and I had back in 2019, you know, and it was similar to mine. I mean, it's a similar journey just in the, you know, the struggles and things that you were looking for. You were exposing yourself to other stuff, immersing yourself with other builders, remodelers, peer groups, you know, and you happen, I think through that, because you were in that kind of a mindset, you know, you ended up landing on, on a business model now and a large peer group of other builders and remodelers that has allowed you to, as you said, you haven't exited yet. You haven't gotten there, but I think it's, it's, it is, it's that last chapter of this journey that you've been on. It's pretty cool. And a big part for you was you knew all the parts, you knew all the pieces, you knew the things that had to be there, but it was daunting to try to figure out how, how on earth am I going to put them all together? How am I going to get this stuff to work? And it's nice to see that you've gotten to that point where you've got this altogether. And I think that's where, and it's coming through in your voice, you know, now that you are, you're calling them your next generation, your team has got the tools it's got, the rails has got the process to, to help you close out that last chapter.

(27:15): Yeah. My, my exit will be on my terms and that's, that's cool and creating an opportunity. So, you know what I mean, we have a real hard time recruiting in our market because it's dominated by volume production builders, and they're bigger companies and they offer, they offer a career path. They offer a ladder, but a lot more rungs than coming into work with a small custom builder. Right. And so I can't tell you how many really qualified guys I've spoken with that would love to be building custom projects, but they can't get away from the golden handcuffs, build a building production homes. And they find it soulless work that is so unfulfilling except for the compensation package. So, so now to be, you know, associated with with a hundred plus offices running a really similar model, and that's where the synergy comes in the peer group collaboration.

(28:07): Now we're a hundred plus we're all running a similar model. Like it's, you know, it's like 120 labs, right. Running the same tasks and sharing results and fine tuning. And that's, that's a real supercharge. And we see what we, what we're able to do now is we think this could be a huge recruiting vantage for us to recruit qualified, you know, talent that we can't, we couldn't attract before because the differentials in, in compensation packages and to offer them this opportunity of growth all the way into ownership, right? That's that exists. We feel like that that's gonna, that's really going to help us recruit even better talent. And we, we, we're always recruiting. I want the independent, self-aware driven type, a dies who relish the, the authority and responsibility we give them. Right. And it's really almost like an ownership mindset. And that's how we hire, you know, I don't micromanage at all. And those are the kinds of employees that you can develop into new ownership positions. That's really kind of one, the most exciting things for me about this is creating opportunity for the next generation,

(29:14): Having this, you know, new injection of well it's really business minds and services and all sorts of energy into your business. Have you started to look at going into other new markets or creating or expanding what your business was, or is now and going into other markets to create that, to be the creator of opportunity for more project managers?

(29:36): Yeah, that, that's a key part of our business plan, right. Is to just begin to in our, in our market here, right. And open up in adjacent markets as we develop the staff to do that. And I think, I think this system in process just does that so well, it's one of the things that attracted me to it right, is that the culture is give people a career path to ownership. And rather than just build one big office, like create more offices, get a bigger, get more of a footprint, more of a presence, create more opportunity, you know, for your staff and have them specialize in the, in the market. They're in, I mean, let's face it. Like sometimes I'm getting requests, we've got a project now that's almost two hours away. It was hard to turn down. It's a gorgeous lake front home, and I'm like, I'm building a thing, but it's tough. You know? I mean, I know it's going to be tough, but you know, but by having the ability, having a culture and a, and sort of a model and a plan that increases your footprint that way, I think gives us an opportunity to access more markets, rather than just building one bigger office.

(30:38): You're on a model now that is extremely flexible and scalable. So as you said, you're attracting some of that talent. You put a few key, key people together and you see an opportunity in a market like that. You've got the stuff, you got, the systems, you've got the processes you can kind of rinse and repeat that that's really opens up some doors, especially as you're getting into the exit strategy chapter. Yeah. I can

(31:02): Only think now I've got to ask you, Matt, you kind of plug the pieces. Obviously still got a ways to go here on the journey, but now that you've got the ending, so to speak in, at least in, in mind and your sites, what is, what does it look like for you over the next couple of years? I mean, what do you see yourself doing in the,

(31:21): Yeah, I definitely see myself more in a mentor role, more in a business development role. And by that, I mean, just get the business name out there and get it associated, you know, with a great process and a great, great client experience and really focusing on how do I create that environment for what I call the next generation to thrive, to be better, right. To be better at it than I am. Now. I've got guys here they're, they're just outstanding builders and, and process driven. And, you know, they all have different talents. Like we actually here focus very much on understanding people's strengths. What are their key strengths? And how do we create a job description that plays to those strengths? There's a methodology called Clifton strengths with measures 34 of your tendencies. It tells you, and it ranks them in the order of like your top strength all the way down to your weakest.

(32:13): And the concept is not to work on your weak strengths. Right. Cause it's just not who you are naturally it's to understand your top five or 10, but what does that look like? And then work in those strengths. It's like, what is your superpower? Right. I always liken it to the, you know, fantastic for the, each had a superpower I'm really focused on that, on developing staff based on their strengths and where they want to go. That's kind of, that's exciting for me cause I know they're still going to put out the great houses and remodels that are important to me and they're still going to provide the good client experience. That's important to me. It just doesn't have to be me anymore. Builders can tend to be pretty prideful guys, which is why collaboration is difficult for many of them because they feel like they know it all.

(32:54): They've, I've done it this way forever. No need to change. You know, like the moment you're willing to admit that someone else might have a better idea and a moment you're willing to collaborate with other builders. And instead of trying to prove you're right, have them try to prove you're wrong and then ask yourself, am I wrong or do I have a good system or do I need to second guess just think about it again. It's that part of it, like lay down the pride, open yourself up to the possibility. The very real likelihood in my case that someone else is smarter or has figured out a better way to do it. Matt, it's been great having you on it. You know, it's a great story, passionate about what you do. It's been great. Hi, I'm glad to have the pleasure to collaborate with you going forward. Best of luck to everything that you're doing in the future. And thanks again for taking some time to spend with us today. I hope someone picks up a little, a little nugget from it, you know,

(33:46): Oh, there's lots of nuggets in here, man. Thanks for sharing all this. It's really cool. Like you mentioned earlier, earlier, you, you don't know when your exit is going to be, or even what it's going to look like. So the journey isn't done for you yet, but you started out delivering a product and then you saw in your path when you started to collaborate more, and then you started to deliver an experience to your clients along with a fantastic product. And then as you grew and collaborated some more, now your, your S your team is the one delivering that experience. And the more that you continue to do this, the more you are delivering the experience to your team, and that's where your role or your journey has changed the most is who you are providing the service and the experience too. It's just shifted. And you said, like talking about the mentorship and the leadership. So your focus is so much more on your people now, and your people feel that you are really injecting yourself into them. That's perfect timing to start figuring out how to exit when you got committed, passionate people that know you believe in them, you've given them the tools you've given the autonomy, giving them the freedom to go and execute with their stamp on it. That's a cool journey that you've just walked us through.

(34:59): Yeah, that's a pretty good synopsis. You know, I think, I mean, I'm still so fortunate. Like I, I still love the business. I'm sure. You know, for me, the freedom comes in in being able to be involved on my terms. You know, that's when I know I've really kind of reached the pinnacle is that I can be involved as much, or as little as I care to, you know, the option is mine. And, and and I'll just keep going back to that, creating that opportunity for the next generation to thrive and make a business. That's everything they wanted it to be. You know, that's a pretty cool opportunity. We're going to custom build for you, like specifically the year, but always thinking about the next three or four generations or more that's going to live in this home. We're building. And what's my responsibility to them. And I feel like the same way, like, like a legacy house, like, so I want to create a legacy business, a business that stays after me, and it has a culture of upward growth and bringing up the next generation, that'd be pretty cool.

(35:57): Your DNA in it. It's got your DNA in it, but it's not you, right? Yeah. That would be awesome. Great journey. Thanks for sharing it with us, I think is going to resonate with a lot of folks out there, because I think a lot of folks take similar paths in those, in those earlier days, trying to figure stuff out. Maybe you've said a few things there to help some folks figure it out. Yeah.

(36:17): The open-mindedness was, I think a really strong point in so many people look at something like remodeler's advantage or a layer, or even a builder 20 group. And they look at it say, well, if I invest in this, what's it going to do for me? And the most successful people that we've seen in any of those groups are the ones who flip it around and say, well, if I got in that thing and drove, what could I do with it? That's what we see in the most successful people is that willingness to, to spin something around and say, what could I do with it? And you're experiencing that right now. So for people, if there's anybody out there that wants to connect with you and hear more about your own, your experience and what you've learned, and maybe one-on-one or ask you some questions about how you got there, that didn't appear on the show. What's the best way for somebody to get ahold of you?

(37:08): My email is the best way. I don't know if you guys were able to put that in or, you know, even my cell phone, I'm happy to provide that. Well, we won't put your cell phone on the air. I always love to talk to other builders about questions. Cause I'm usually going to pick up more than I give, try to get. Yeah. And everybody out there listening can reach out website connect with Dave and I, we can put you in touch with me. Yeah, that's great. Thanks Matt. Thanks guys. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Hey, thanks for listening. Dwayne and I love hearing from you. Your stories are inspiring and your challenges can be overcome. Got a cool tip? Idea for a show? Problem that you haven't been able to solve or maybe just struggling to figure out what you need next and where to get it. We can help. Hit us up at BuilderNuggets.com and start building freedom.

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