One thing I'm smart enough to do is to learn from other people and share that with other people,
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.
(01:08): Our guest today is vice-president of dream maker, kitchen and bath, the division of Anderson more builders in Winston, Salem, North Carolina. He was president of the North Carolina home builders association in 2012. And as a member of the builders mutual insurance company, board of directors, as president of the home builders association of Winston Salem, he was instrumental in creating and implementing a mandatory continuing education requirement for all builder members. In 2005, he was given the builder of the year award from his local home builders association. His company has been selected as one of the big 50 remodeling companies, as well as national remodeler of the month, regional contractor of the year, North Carolina remodeler of the year, and has been listed in the top 500 contractors in America multiple times. Now, if I'm fumbling through that, it's because it's a mouthful. That's a whole bunch of awards, but he's also earned a civil engineering degree from NC state university and a master's in business administration from the university of Pittsburgh. It's my pleasure to welcome friend and colleague Eric Anderson's today's show. So welcome, Eric.
(02:12): Thank you very much. I appreciate it. And all that means is I think I'm rather old. I don't know if it sounds like a lot of stuff is just cause I've been around for a while. That's all. Yeah. W w we call it experience, you know, you get to, you get, you lose enough hair. It turns to the right color. We just prefer to call it experience and go, go from there. Well aged like a fine wine or a good bourbon. So I've had the pleasure of getting to know you over the last 15 years, maybe even more than that. And I think most of it has been through HBA and some educational events. You certainly have taught me a thing or two in some of the sessions that you've held. So from engineer to educator, or how did that happen?
(02:49): Yeah, engineering doesn't teach a whole lot of stuff other than math. And that was one of the reasons I went back to get my MBA, but I think it, it really stemmed a lot from this, my family life. My dad was a he was also an engineer. He was a nuclear mechanical engineer. He's a bit smarter than I was. But one thing I noticed with him growing up was as smart as that man was, he always was learning and he'd read books, he'd go to community colleges and he'd take classes there, he'd go to other universities and take classes. And, you know, I've always looked at that and admire that. And I was thinking, like I said, as smart as he was, you know, who's to say, I can't learn more or share things and other people can learn things as well.
(03:35): So looking at dad and seeing how much he had, had worked on, on just bettering himself, I just want to take the opportunity to do it for me, but also wanted to share that with other people. And so I I've always enjoyed learning, but I've also enjoyed sharing these things and sharing with people that it's not smart enough to figure this all out myself, but I always tell people in a lot of the class I teach is one thing I'm smart enough to do is to learn from other people and share that with other people combining that thought process of growing up and seeing dad doing all those things. And also that I think what we all do, whether it's renovation or new construction, we get the chance to change people's lives, which you get a chance to enhance, you know, the experience people have.
(04:16): And, you know, we take things for granted sometimes, but you know, we're building homes for people and it's such a cool industry is such a fun thing to do. And there's another story. My dad, I can get to that one later, but if there's a way to, to make our industry even, and even better for, you know, our customers or end-users, I just always thought that'd be a good thing to do is I use that term, a rising tide raises all ships. So, you know, if we can all learn from each other or if I can share the experiences I've had and make somebody else's business their family, the community better, then I'd like to do that. So long answer to the question or Dwayne, but that's what I try to do.
(04:52): Well, well, that's certainly a a collaboration and education mindset. How did you get started getting involved in a collaborative way with others in the industry? Did it, did it start with joining the home builders association or were you finding yourself doing something different to explore that mindset and to, and to look at ways that you could start contributing
(05:11): The good thing collection Dave? Cause I've only answered that a few times, but in North Carolina, one of the advantages, I guess, if you want to call it that of joining the home builders association is getting insurance through builders, mutual insurance company. And years ago, when we started this company, a friend of mine from college, Tracy and I started this company, we wanted to have builders mutual insurance. And they said, well, you gotta join home builders. So we just, all right, we just joined the home builders here in Winston Salem. Then, you know, once you're a member that I was like, well, they got these meetings. I'll just go to these meetings and I don't know what they'll do, but I started going to those meetings. And I just remember one of the first meetings I went to there was a gentleman, Jonathan Lee, who was the president at the time we were going through the buffet line and Jonathan was across from me and he's like, Hey Eric, how you doing?
(05:56): And I was like, man, Jonathan Lee is the president, this whole organization. He even, he knew who I was and I was like, this is pretty cool group. So anyway, you know, just getting started from that, I, I just started going to these meetings and I was like, these guys are kind of nice and, and you know, the, not guys, ladies, ladies as well, but they're all kind of nice. And I look back on it now, he didn't realize it at the time, but they're all in this organization to help improve the industry as well, to help improve each other. You know, and ultimately have a good end product for clients. And I think all that just kinda fit into play. I didn't realize it, as I said at the time, just subconsciously, I was probably recognizing that, Hey, this is kind of fitting into what I like to do. And so it just started going to these meetings a little bit more often, and then they had something for remodelers. I was like, well, Hey, that's cool. Cause we do that. So we got involved in the remodelers council locally. And once again, you just meet a bunch of people that were there to help your business get better.
(06:55): It all started with mandatory insurance and a buffet. That's a great place to start because a lot of people look at a membership in an organization like this is what am I going to get from it? The most open-minded builders get in there. And they quickly feel something when they're around other builders and realize, well, what can I put into it? And really that's how these associations grow. Especially when, when you get ones that, that have dedicated people that like yourself that are, that are going there and want to contribute instead of just, just take, so what I mean, you, you, must've seen all different sorts of mindsets and people pass through these organization. What do you see when somebody comes in and commits and decides they want to contribute? There must be a direct correlation between that mindset and their level of success outside of the organization.
(07:46): Yeah. It's a good question to that. What you see sometimes is you'll see new members come in and, and even though you tell them that they, they think, all right, I'm going to get in there. I'm going to be a member of the home builders. And maybe it's a, I don't know somebody in insurance, you know, and, and it could be a new construct. I mean, it could be a builder member as well, but they think, okay, Susan going to join is going to change my business dramatically. And that's the problem when it doesn't, they're like, well, the heck with this, I'm, you know, I'll stay a member. I just don't get involved because, you know, they have a negative attitude and they think, oh, it's, you know, it's not everything it's cracked up to be that people always say, it's going to be good for you.
(08:19): And it isn't there. Wasn't, it's, it's like the tortoise and the Hare, you know, the, you gotta take it slow and you're not gonna, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. And as a new builder member or a remodeler, that's, that's getting into the association and maybe you've been in business for two months or 20 years. And, you know, you decided to join and think, oh, it's going to change my business. Well, it takes some times. And, and it takes some time to do that. You have to go into it with an open mind and realize that, you know, you're just not going to get all this stuff dumped on your plate. That's going to change your business model. You've got to go out and look for it. And, and that's, I think what I credit more Tracy, the, my business partner for doing that than I do myself, because he, I mentioned earlier about this remodeler 20 group.
(09:07): And, you know, he was the one that got us involved in that. One of the most beneficial things I think we can all do in our business is get with our peers, whatever format or whatever way you want to do it. But that's what the Ramallah 20 club does is you, you get with peers and you learn from them, but you gotta be active. You gotta go out and pursue these things. It's not just going to fall down, like I said, in your plate or on your lap. And, and that's what some people expect. So you have to be a little bit proactive. You have to be willing to accept that it's not going to happen overnight. And you know, I look back on Kali. I don't know. I guess it's been, well, it's been more than 2020, almost 23 years, I guess we've been in the association and I'm glad we stuck with it as, as long as we did and or have, and taken it kind of slow and steady.
(09:51): And it's been that involvement with the association really has changed my life in a positive way, because of all the relationships we've made, the friendships, we've had the opportunities to learn about, you know, how to run a business from somebody that's at the time we were in business for, I don't know, five or six, seven years, and these guys have been running for 25 years. So we had the opportunity to look at how they created the wheel. We didn't need to recreate the wheel. We found out how they did it. And we instituted those positive things in what we were doing. Yeah.
(10:24): Yeah. The key word there is relationship. And Dwayne probably has this going through his head, James Poconos words of it's a relationship, not a transaction. And then combine that with, if you think about it from not from the standpoint of what am I going to get out of it, but who am I going to get out of it? The other resources that are in there that are not, I mean, I think people often confuse the associations as this structured thing, when really it's a big pool of resources and people that you can meet and drop on. If you go in there with an open mind, like you suggested they're looking for like-minded people. And then as you learn things, be open to contributing as well. I mean, that's probably the right approach to take and just reframe your expectations that I'm going to get to meet a whole bunch of builders and expertise.
(11:12): All of these groups, whether it's a builder group, Mary builder, 20, or model or 20, it's certainly a you're going to get out of it, what you put into it. And they're also, they're going to be shaped by the members. Yeah. They're going to be shaped by the people that take the time to volunteer and help build and grow these organizations. I mean, Eric, you and I have talked about it many years. I've been involved with organizations probably as long as you have. And you know, if you take the time and get in there and volunteer and serve on the board, I mean, it's a volunteer position. It doesn't pay well, but that's not the point. You know, the point is that the more time you're putting in, as you said, you're helping together with your peers shape what you want that organization to do for your local community and, and, you know, builders in the industry. So definitely got to look at it as putting your time in for the long haul. No doubt.
(11:55): W what do I need? You mentioned doesn't pay well, and you're right. Your involvement on a board of directors at a, at a local or state or national home builders association. Yeah. You don't get paid at all for that, but you know, the, the value you get out of being involved for us as an example, I hit around when, when we started this company, my wife, like I got all kinds of stories. I won't bore you with all of them, got to tell a few of them, but, you know, my wife always gets kicked out of this one. When we got started, I had this mindset of a commercial construction company. And that's where I got out of what I was doing when I first got out of college at NC state. And, and, you know, you you've competitively bid projects and you're trying to be low, low cost provider. And if it's a municipality, the only thing that matters is the lowest price. And I had that mental thought process as we started our company. And I just was trying to be the low that's figured. That's what you do in construction, your low cost provider. You know, so for the first, I don't know, four or five years, we're just trying to figure out how to make any money on this in this business. And, you know, been in graduate school and engineering, and I'm making $12,000 a year and living in an unheated trailer, Man, the math
(13:03): Doesn't work. It doesn't. And I, I still remember this very clearly. I'm sitting in this little closet that we call an office that we rented. It was probably an eight by eight room. And I'm just, I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm just wondering, why did I quit all this stuff? I'm not making any money. And I got 30 more years of this. This is ridiculous. So to the point of, you know, the pay, you know, once you get involved in, and I started seeing these other companies and seeing what they did and seeing that you can make a living, you've got to understand what your markup and your margins need to be and, and how to sell these things and how to have those, those relationships with your potential clients. And so I was on the board and I didn't get paid for doing stuff for the Winston Salem home builders or the state home builders. But I got paid whatever 20 times over by learning what these other companies and these other people did that I never would have learned from if I hadn't been involved with this organization. So exactly. It's an Investor point. It's
(14:00): Your, your point of not getting paid for doing this stuff is yes. You don't get it that way, but you definitely get paid another way. If you go out and you look for it and you dig for it, right. And you cheat in your trailer, I still didn't do heat. I got moved out of it. I moved out of the trailer. I'm moving.
(14:15): Oh, you upgraded to get that. Yeah. So you got in, you got involved with the organization, started to reap some benefits, obviously from learning from your peers, but what got you involved with starting to say, Hey, you know what, I might want to maybe want to go out and start doing some, some teaching start sharing this. I mean, what, what, what was that point?
(14:33): Yeah. I took a lot of certification classes through the NHB where you could get certified graduate builder, graduate master builder, certified aging in place specialist and certified graduate, moderate, I believe is what they all were. And so Tracy and I take a lot of courses through the NHB. And I don't know, I just remember all those instructors. I was like, man, this would be cool to do this sometime. I'm a big person on goals. If you, if you have these goals and you write them down, then again, subconsciously I think you think about them a lot and you don't realize it, but I just always thought it'd be so cool to be a teacher, to help other people in the industry and share your knowledge. And that was always in the back of my mind, but there was always a little bit of a stumbling block.
(15:12): I was like, I don't know how you can do it for an HP. That's a big organization. But as I got involved with the state HBA, I started hearing about this NCBI North Carolina builders Institute. And, and I was like, well, that would be kind of cool to, maybe I can do that as a stepping stone to teach in some NHB classes. And I took a couple of the courses with an NCBI instructors and, and then I started getting involved in the state and I just shared with them that I, you know, if there's anything I can do to help teach some classes I'd like to, and, and they kind of took me up on that offer. And then I had to develop some classes. So I started working on developing classes. And again, it's just one thing leads to another. It's funny when you make these goals, you just kind of, I start recognizing opportunities that were out there that I could start teaching the classes.
(15:58): So I just you know, a big again, being proactive, being involved in the industry or the association and looking for things that you like to do. When, when I found out they were available, I just, I was proactive. I just asked him if I could teach some classes. And a lot of times just somebody that has the, the willingness and the energy is, is a benefit in itself. And so I started teaching some classes. I was always, as I said, when you asked the first question, I was a big proponent of, of education in our industry realizing that we can all learn to do things better and it would make ourselves our companies and our industry better. And so I did get that mandatory, continued education going in Winston, Salem, home builders, but I always wanted it to go at the state level.
(16:40): And that was a process to go through that. But that was kind of my intent too, was if I'm going to preach, you know, we should have continued education. I should probably teach some too. So there's kind of a combination of a few things that got me involved in that. And and then just kind of creating some classes they wanted to remodelers. They wanted some classes for remodelers to take. So we created some of those as well. And then we would teach them a couple of times a year. We certainly teach them much more now that we have the mandatory continuing education from the GC board, but it's been a fun ride. And, and I'll tell you something else that teaching does is it allows you to be current on whatever the topic is. So I find myself when I'm doing a time management class, for example, I'm like, dag-gone, I'm teaching this and I'm not doing it. So I need to practice what I preach. And it keeps you on your toes a lot of times too,
(17:26): Hold you to a higher standard. When you're the one sharing the information and people are looking at you as a leader, do you draw parallels between, you know, your progression with the industry and the advancement of your business and the mindset of the people on your team? Like there must be some direct parallels to what, what you saw happening or your own growth within the, within the industry itself and your own leadership abilities, the impact that you're having on your team, the motivation of your team, of your, for your, for your own business. Can you, can you walk us through what that's meant for everyone on your team?
(18:03): I think one of the things that we trace and I recognized a long time ago was implementing systems. And you guys are all about that as well. People run systems and systems run companies. My involvement in the HBA has kind of forced us to systematize things. I remember when I was talking with Tracy about doing some of the state level involvement, he said, well, that's fine. He said, I don't mind that he said, but I don't want to be your system. Meaning he doesn't want to take up all the things I'm not going to be doing. And and it was a good point, but what I've realized that it's done over the years, and I've been thinking about this a lot in the last few months is that it's kind of forced me to sit here and say, okay, if I, if I'm going to do something that I enjoy, which may be is, is teaching or be involved with, with builders mutual on their board of directors, or there's another organization called job site safety Institute that I'm involved with.
(18:57): And, and that's just you know, both of those are focused on safety for our employees in our industry. You know, if I'm going to have the opportunity to, to, to spend my time doing those things well, there's some things I'm not gonna be able to continue doing at work and using designs as an example, I'm not, I don't do much design work. I really don't do a whole lot of estimating work either, but it's because we have designers in place. We put the systems together, they do all the designs, they meet the clients, they get all the prices and they just give it to me. And, you know, 30 minutes later, I got a price that I can, after 30 minutes will be working. I can put a price together, but doing a lot of these things is forced us to systematize things, but it's, it's given me the opportunity to do fun things outside of just our work. And so that's probably the biggest value I've seen out of it is that it really made us get these things systematized. And it's so cool that, you know, somebody can come in here and meet with our designers and they can talk to them for a month. I don't even know what's going on, but I don't need to they're here. And that's what a system is.
(19:56): We hear often people say that they, they don't have the time to implement this stuff, or it's, you know, it's the, the market's too crazy right now, but you've just perfectly described that by investing a little bit of time upfront, you get so much more time and freedom back while your business has grown and having that freedom while your business is still growing is amazing. So
(20:17): We're talking our language, that's our mission behind the podcast here is how we all can build freedom through our businesses. And it's in different forms and fashions for everybody. But at the end of the day, it's usually means that it's giving you more time to do just, just what you said, the ability to focus on the things that you want to. And you're passionate, you know, do you definitely passionate about obviously about education and continuous learning, want to level up connect with us to share your stories, ideas, challenges, and successes. The builder nuggets community is built on your experiences. It takes less than a minute to connect with email@example.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 I can think back to. I think it was during the the great recession when, you know, there wasn't much else going on, but why not?
(21:07): We got together as a group of builders and remodelers, and did, did a series there for a while to where we were just, Hey, we're going to overcome this. We're going to find ways we're going to get out there. And we're going to find some more business and we're going to close deals. There's always opportunities to learn. And I you know, I look to you a lot and, and it it's, it's there. When, when you sit through a class with Eric, you can feel that he's passionate about it. There's always the opportunity to learn more. So kudos to you for doing it. And I also want to get back to, you know, your builder, remodeler, businessman got involved with HBH has got the level where you were doing some, some teaching president of your, your local board even got to be a state president, North Carolina, HBA. You still doing some stuff on the national level, I believe correct. Yup. Yup. Yeah. A while ago, when we were talking about some ideas for the episode, you know, one of the things that you brought to me was that there's times where people might look at you a little bit different because you were president of the HBA, or you were president of a certain chapter and, you know, your point was, wait a minute. I'm just regular guy, regular, regular builder remodeler guy that wearing that title at the moment
(22:10): As does the president of the North Carolina home builders, you, you were suggested to go travel around the state and go to the different HPAs there's well, when I was doing it, it was 67 HPAs. I don't know how many there are now. There's probably 60. Some of them kind of merged together, but it was great because I had the opportunity to travel around the state and meet people from all over the place. And sometimes I could sense when I walked into the meetings that they would just kind of look at me a little bit different. And, and I think what, what the, the, the thought was was, well, you know, this is Eric Anderson, what they, they don't know who I was. I just, you know, here's this guy that's coming into the president of state HBA, and he doesn't understand what we're dealing with. He doesn't understand the problems that we're having in our business.
(22:51): He probably has some real big company that just runs in his dad, left it to them or something silly like that. I don't know, but that's the impression that I felt a lot of people had in and I'll admit it, that I kind of had the same thing. When I was looking at these, these state presidents, I was like, well, they don't know what's going on, but I wanted to share with people. I was like, man, I don't have a very big company. You know, we had, I don't know, eight or 10 people working for us. It's not like I got gotta, you know, we're doing a hundred million dollars worth of work. I'm scraping for every dollar we can get just like everybody else is. And Dwayne, you mentioned about the great recession. I don't ever want to go through that again. I mean, I, I just remember waking up in the middle of the night, I'd go to bed at night thinking, just try to sleep all night.
(23:34): Cause I knew if I woke up at two o'clock in the morning, that terrible feeling in my stomach would keep me awake the rest of the night. And, and because I didn't know if we're going to make payroll, I didn't know if we'd be in business. I just wanted people to realize that man, I been through what you're going through. I lived in that little trailer for four and a half years or five years and didn't have any heat on. And you know, I've been out there slinging a hammer and, and we started from the ground up. So I think it's important in a leadership role for, for anybody to be able to, to make that connection with, with other people and let them know that, Hey man, I'm here with you. Don't don't put me on a pedestal and think, I don't know what's going on.
(24:12): I mean, I'm not saying I know everything, but I'm probably a lot more like a lot of other people in our industry than, than they may have given me credit for initially. I think once we started talking, they could, they could grasp that. And, and again, I think that's important. I, I think that it's probably part of our society that would put people up on pedestals. And I think that's what people do a lot of times. And at the builder's mutual offices, there's 400 employees there. I always try to make a point after every board meeting. I just go, there's not as many people in the office for the last year, obviously because of COVID. But I just like to walk around and meet people and let them know who I am. And I want them to see that these board members, aren't people living in big fancy homes either. I'm just man, I'm just Eric Anderson from Surry county and we appreciate everything you've done at builders mutual. And if there's anything I can do to help let me know,
(25:02): Be a human. I mean, we, here, we talk about this a lot. We deal in a business that's just loaded with relationships. You can't get anything done. Hundreds of people go into even getting a project done. And over the course of your business, it's, you know, incrementally more. And it's amazing how many times, if you just do fall to being a regular person,
(25:22): Power of the collaboration, whether you're in a small community, a large community, whether it's for your local HPAs or other industry groups take full advantage of it. I mean, I think anybody out there that's listening could get involved and, you know, become a board member, become president. Not that you have to, but I, I guess the point is that it's, this is a platform for us in the industry. The collaboration part is, is tremendously powerful. And the relationships you build back to your point, you might not get paid well, but it's such an investment. You know, it's going to pay off longterm for your business, for your team.
(25:54): One of the topics Eric, that you touched on was the remodeler 20 groups, because what we've just talked about is the bigger level of collaboration that starts almost with, you know, in an association, it's almost like congregation first, you know, you get everybody together and it's very hard to say, Hey, we're going to collaborate in these big groups, but it becomes somewhat of a, of a funnel. You know, if you can get fewer people in the room, working on the same thing, the connections become tighter, the value can be more concentrated. The big groups tend to lend themselves well to, Hey, what's a theme that we can work on. And over time through your relationships, you kind of funnel down to some smaller groups, mid-level collaborators, and then you get to your true one-to-one mentors. So you mentioned the remodeler 20 or the builder 20 mindset where, Hey, we're going to take these principles that we've heard about through the whole herd. And we're going to take, you know, what, we're going to take it to a smaller group. What kind of value have you seen come from that?
(27:01): The remodeler 20 groups were in our cases about 15 of us that were very similar in size and, and you can, it doesn't have, this is through the NHB. It's just one more, the there's two things that were huge benefits to me. This is one of them. The, the, to me, to our company, I should say, it's not just me. And it was instrumental in changing what our company did and how we operated. It made me realize what margins needed to be in our industry. The biggest thing I got out of that was that you can actually make a decent living and I'm not talking about multi multimillion dollars, but it was a lot different than me living in that trailer, trying to figure out why I quit my job to do this. And then I would meet and see these guys. And like, you know, they got a house, they got the, the family, the kids going to college, it's just a normal life.
(27:46): I was like as possible. And so, you know, just seeing that you can do that and that there are people that have kind of set the model out there for you. That was, that was extremely valuable. And it just everything that was back in 2002, that was, you know, that, that to me was the start of everything moving in a more positive direction for all of us in our company. I mean, for myself and for tracing our families and our employees. But that, that was by far the biggest value of, of the peers. I didn't get down and I don't necessarily have an individual mentor, but I still am involved in those peer groups. And you can get those peer type of groups. It doesn't have to be through NHB, there's outside organizations, there's companies like yourselves that, you know, and that's where you can get this, this value.
(28:35): But and I've even been involved in peer groups that were not in our same industry, that was valuable as well. Just because it it's surprising how many industries have the same problems. You know, we all have a sales problem. For example, it doesn't matter if you're selling widgets or remodeling projects, we still have a sales problem and, and hashing out and seeing how somebody else in another industry solves a problem can apply to us as well. And that's, that's also what we saw with these other groups that we were part of as well.
(29:06): It seems like, well, you've had the opportunity through your experience and the situations in which you've put yourself to have a network of mentors or people you can call, whether it's about an issue or a challenge or an opportunity or purely for the relationship itself. So the more you get involved, the more likely you are to have people that can provide value to you and give you the opportunity to provide value right back. And you have a universe of mentors around you to draw from. So it doesn't have to be drilling it down to two, one. It's just the power of the relationship. It's one is more, not necessarily that it's, it's the only one.
(29:46): That's a good point because you're exactly right. I do, I will call people. I've got a friend of mine in Seattle, I'll call him and talk to him, you know, every month or two. And I got it just all over the place and they were all parts of this, these peer groups. And you're exactly right. I've never looked at it that way, but I do have mentors that maybe not as an individual one, but when I've got a question about, you know, what are you doing for your design agreements? How do you, how do you handle that presentation? And, you know, I'll call Steve down in Texas and talk to him or call Wayne out in Washington or Jeff in Indiana. And it's just because I've gotten to know these people over the years. And just back to Dwayne's point, it's just another value that I think we get out of being involved in this association when I've got questions that are high-level questions about business management. I got people I can talk to now, and I would not have that if 20 years ago, I didn't sign up for builders mutual insurance at, at the HBA Insurance. And it
(30:38): Buffet, man, that's it. And I'll trickle down, trickle down the one thing to be able to have that universe of people to, to call. But how does it feel when regular guy, Eric regular builder gets a call from somebody else and you get the opportunity to contribute to them and you're, you are a mentor to them on that topic or in the moment, or, you know, just sometimes it's probably just to listen equally fulfilling, if not more so sometimes, right.
(31:04): I don't do this stuff to pat me on the back and, you know, get a big head over all these things. I really truly do it to help people. And so everybody's a little bit different. I mean, I think you need to individually look at yourself and say, is this something that truly adds meaning to your life? And for me it does. And so when I, you know, there, there was, I did a retirement class probably two years ago, maybe even three. And about three months ago, one of the attendees called me and said, you know, what, ever since I went to that class, I've been thinking about this stuff. And I've personally, sometimes I think that, you know, when I do a class, it's just in one ear and out the other, but for two and a half years, she was thinking about that stuff.
(31:42): I said in this class. And she said, I'm worried about where I'm going to be in the future. And so anyway, long story short, you know, I had her send me some paperwork and I looked over all this stuff and we set up a phone call for about two hours. And, you know, I just kind of walked her through the process of, you know, what do you have? Where are you gonna go? How much do you need? Here's how you can do it. And she was just so relieved when we got finished with that. It was just a ton of pressure for, I don't know if we should, she'd been under pressure for two and a half years or not, but it was comforting for her to have solved this issue she had. And then I, I was at a state meeting and I saw her her boyfriend and excuse me, I was talking to him and I didn't even mention anything about this.
(32:23): Cause I wasn't sure what the relationship was if they talked about this, but he told me, he said, man, she was so he said for a week after that, she was so appreciative of, of, you know, helping her with that and that. So selfishly to answer your question, Dave, selfishly, that that really made me feel good, but it was because I had an opportunity to help somebody else. So, you know, those are the success stories that you hear about and that just pop in randomly, you know, every couple months I'll get a phone call or, you know, had had a local HBA, Winston HBA member call me a couple of weeks ago. And just, you know, just asking me about, you know, he he'd been in business for 15 years and he still hadn't made any money. He said, what am I doing wrong? So we, we talked about it and you know, hopefully we can help him. And that's even here in Winston-Salem, it's, you know, a competitor of mine, but I don't care. I, you know, if I can make his life better, why not do it?
(33:12): Well, that, that's a great mindset right there. Dwayne and I talk about that a lot, you know, collaboration over competition. If you both have the same mission, there's plenty of work out there and you can go. And like you said earlier, the rising tide floats all ships, think of what you can accomplish. If you, if you collaborate with somebody right in your own market, there may be things to share and you don't really need to be threatened by each other. If you have the right mindset about it and you're, and you're confident in your abilities and everything like that and, and working on it. So that's amazing to see as this
(33:43): Industry continues to tighten up the market, tightens up our access to resources, we're probably going to be forced to collaborate and share a little more, you know, I mean, we're going to, we're going to get to a point where it's a big, big problem when it comes to where are we getting these trades from? Why aren't people entering the industry? You know, we're going to have to work together a lot more and even on, especially on the local levels to try to fix some of these problems. So I think it will, I think it will begin to happen. Maybe even from some applied pressure
(34:11): Market conditions may be right where we need to work together. And sometimes, you know, it's a different, it's a different enemy that you're going after or a bigger challenge that you're happy that you have to team up to tackle together because nobody can do it on their own. So it requires more collaboration. Maybe some other of those more traditional walls will fall down, which is what I think you're saying. But Eric, I wanted to ask you about, you know, when we're talking about collaboration at the different levels, there's seems to be lots of collaboration with, at the business owner level. What sort of things have you been seeing at the project manager level for opportunities for them to get involved and for other team members to participate in this? Because we know that there are groups where project managers don't get insight into what's happening with the business.
(34:57): There's not a lot of transparency there. There's still like the employee, employer relationship versus maybe team member and some sentiment around that. But more and more, you know, our project managers are the lifeblood of our businesses. They're the ones who are, you know, having a lot of the interaction with the trades and the clients and the most valued piece of all of this probably. And it's, it's been a while coming for them to have the opportunity to collaborate and grow. How does, how does a good owner create opportunity for a project manager and how do you, how does that intersect with what home builders associations are doing and the organizations that you're involved with are doing, and you bring up
(35:33): Good point that it is interesting. All this stuff we're talking about was all from the business owner's perspective and where a lot of the interaction with the client and, you know, we, I could do a great job selling the project, but if that project manager screws up in the last week of the project, doesn't matter what happened in the other three months beforehand. It's that last week that that's going to be the problem. And there isn't enough emphasis on that important aspect of our industry. So I don't see much involvement in, in that we have tried to, like, for example, with my, I mentioned about the designers that kind of take care of a lot of the design stuff, but I've asked them to get involved with different opportunities. And, and again, this is I guess I'm pushing this association again. I've, I've asked them to go judge different praise of homes around the state.
(36:20): Cause I want them to go meet other designers. I want them to talk to other people in the industry and sometimes they're owners and sometimes they're not owners of the companies. I've asked them to get involved with the different events that you can have at the local HBA, the, you know, the remodeler's council meetings and, and just different organisms or different divisions within those organizations. You know, so those are kind of my, my project managers, not the ones out in the field. I understand the difference between the two, but I'm trying to get them involved. The project managers challenge. There's just not a lot of opportunities. And, and I've, I've thought about this in the past. I think it's really neat. You asked this question is what could we meaning our association, the state HBA put together to provide a program to benefit the project managers because they are an integral part of what we do. But here I am, as a business owner, doing all this training and meeting all these people in the, where the boots hit the ground. I'm not doing much with that. And there's just not a lot of opportunity out there. So answer the question is I, I think we need to create some programs and some opportunities for them. And I don't know what that looks like yet.
(37:22): It would be interesting if we could get maybe some of these other groups to start to target them, you know, to say, Hey, we have things specific for some of these other team members, project managers, that sort of thing. So
(37:32): Yeah, I think that's the value of, of people like ourselves, just sitting here talking about this, But it, it, it's bringing up a a big issue and it's clearly a challenge in our industry. So, you know, maybe other people listening to can think about these things, what do we do to it's a good place to put our time and energy into? I really do think, I think it's an excellent point. And again, that's why I like to do these things. When Dwayne asked, I was like, yeah, this could be awesome. Cause I knew, I didn't know what, but there's going to be something good coming out of it.
(38:02): We guarantee some nuggets. We're just not sure what they're going to be. We like to ask this of everybody what's on your radar. What excites you right now? What's going on? In, in your business, maybe even on the HBA side, what, what are you excited about?
(38:17): This is just personal. I'm just excited about the opportunities I see for our designers to this, I guess piggybacks a little bit on what we were just talking about with the development of the project managers. I'm just excited to see the growth of our, our designers. I just, I enjoy seeing things coming together internally within the company and, and the progress that they're making from both a personal and a professional level. And so just selfish, selfishly. I'm excited about that. I think it's a great opportunity for all of us in our industry to we've all got everybody talked to is backlogged with work which is a great problem to have, but take the opportunities to figure out how to make your business even better. And I think a lot of people could do that argument all the time. So I don't have enough money or whatever we got, you got money, you just don't have time find the dog on time to do this. And I hope that we can all take this unusually positive circumstances that we're in right now and, and turn it into a, a bigger benefit for us. Not just a, we got a lot of work and then when it's done, it's done,
(39:17): That's the freedom. And we neglected to ask you this, you know, closer to the beginning when we should have, because this has been all business, but what do you like doing for fun?
(39:26): I know that that sounds like typical as an old man would say, man, I love reading books. I, I grew up not reading books. My dad read books all the time and, and he'd always tell me, you need to read books. And that, you know, after 40 years I was like, yeah, maybe I'll start doing that. So I heard a saying a long time ago and it's so true. You're gonna be the same person now, as you will be in five years, except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read and, and it's it's, it's really true. So I enjoy doing that. I just enjoy doing anything outside. I, I like to hike or canoe or kayak or whatever. I'm going to go down to the Okefenokee swamp. And in December with my wife and son, I don't know how I conjured them into doing this, but we're going to go float around with the alligators for a week and, you know, just, you know, go from one island to the next. And I just loved doing stuff outside, anything like that. Skiing, downhill skiing, cross country, skiing, exercising, anything like that's fun stuff.
(40:17): All right. Well that sounds good. I'm glad we got that in and off the top of your head. So you don't have too much time to think about it. Three books that people should consider checking out
(40:26): The Louis Zamperini story. Unbroken, I believe is it problem? I can't remember all the titles cause I read them on my Kindle and I see the title one time and that's it. The other one is thinking grow rich by Napoleon hill. I'm trying to think of a good one. I've read recent. I'm actually reading a good one right now. It's just the titles. Very simple 1776. That's kind of the start of the, our country, right, right before the revolutionary war. Well right at the start of the revolutionary war. So it's, it's fascinating to hear about the, the, the lifestyles of the founders of our country and the challenges that George Washington, for example, faced in starting an army. We just think that he had an army there and they won. I mean, it was fascinating to hear all those things. So there's a wide range of ones there how's that as a good, a feel, good story about somebody being successful. And then there's one about business development,
(41:15): The best way. You know, if people want to reach out to you or learn more about you or connect, what's the best way to, to get 'em. He just think, cause nobody ever remembers phone numbers, emails, just Google Eric Anderson, Winston Salem, and you'll find one way or the other you'll get our company, your or phone numbers or emails one way or the website, whatever it is. But probably the easiest thing nobody's ever going to remember an email when I give it to them. Anyway, Eric E R I K. And that's the key thing, because if you put another letter in, it won't work as K at to do the easy one. Anderson moore.com, a N D R S O N M O R e.com. Eric,
(41:48): Thanks again for your time. And thanks for everything that you do in the industry. I've enjoyed learning from you on some of your classes over the year. So, you know, keep doing what you're doing, Thanks for your time today. Well, thank you. And I think this is awesome. What you guys do, cause you're pretty much doing the same thing. You're doing your best you can to, to help people in our industry. And I think that's a big pat in y'all's back too. So I, I appreciate knowing you guys and, and I also appreciate having the opportunity to participate today. That's it? That's a wrap. Thank you.
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.