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In this episode we talk with friend and colleague Brandon Bryant with Red Tree Builders in Asheville, North Carolina. Not only is he a past guest, he is one of the first to sport the Builder Nuggets flip flops that we started giving away during the show. We discuss why events like the International Builders Show are so valuable, mental health, and a few other topics.

Show highlights include:

  • How the NHB’s new “DEI Initiative” will fill the labor gaps in the construction industry (3:32) 
  • The “Everybody’s Struggling” secret for improving the mental health for yourself and your team (9:37) 
  • The counterintuitive way giving your team members more half days off makes them more productive and profitable (11:09) 
  • How spending 30 minutes in the sun every day makes burnout impossible (12:23) 
  • Why forcing your teammates to ignore calls and texts after hours will keep them around longer than offering them more money will (14:00) 

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

Read Full Transcript

When you lay out the uncertainties, all of a sudden it turns out to be this massive invitation to teamwork.

Welcome to builder nuggets, hosted by Duane Johns and Dave young. Hey, our mission is simple. Build freedom, where a couple of entrepreneurs turn business coaches who have dedicated ourselves to helping our builder remodel. Our clients create the most rewarding businesses in the industry. My co-host Duane 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. And 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.

(01:06): Welcome to a special edition of the builder nuggets podcast recorded live from the show floor of the 2022 international builder show in Orlando, Florida. We released a few of these booth interviews earlier this season and have a few more to share. In this episode, I talked with friend and colleague Brandon Bryant with red tree builders in Asheville, North Carolina. Not only is he a past guest, he's one of the first to support the builder nuggets flip Flos that we started giving away during the show. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Brandon. All right. Well, here we are. This is getting towards the end of IBS, 2022. This is the third day. Where are we at here? It's like one 30, almost two in the afternoon. So yeah, it's one, you know, usually Brandon on the third day of IBS, it gets pretty quiet. It's still buzzing around here. No, I know we got a lot of people here. I this is the second time I've been on the floor. I've only had a couple hours, so this is seems busier and I'll always see Thursday.

(01:54): So I've got with me Brandon Bryant from Redtree builders. Good friend, also a, a fellow Carolinian. Mm-Hmm we had you on the podcast, I guess that was last season. What else are you down here for? Yeah, so, you know, all things, just learning that networking that missed that virtual IBS was not a great networking thing, but so I'm a delegate for the national home builders and then also a the president elect for the North Carolina home builders been coming to IBS for 12 years, I think, but now in these kind of new roles, so IBS looks a little different for me. Right. But enjoy it. So get here and do meetings Saturday, Sunday, couple more on Monday. just got out of the delegate leadership meeting with NHB. That was a good four hours, so good stuff, but we're, what's really cool behind the scenes, which a lot of people don't see it obvious is these meetings are happening. We're making policy making decisions. I just served on the as a chair for healthier homes, healthier communities, and served as a green sustainability chair at NHB here as well. And it's kind of cool to, to see the things we're putting together and how it affects the organization association and the members. Right. And you know, these meetings are happening. There's all sorts of meetings happening at IBS, but it's just kind of cool to see that and, and be involved and actually seeing some younger faces as part of those meetings is really

(03:18): Good. That's good to see you. That's something we definitely need is to get some of the younger folks, not only into the industry, but participating at that level to where they're getting involved with some of the industry groups helping to drive where education goes, where policy goes. So what have you seen from the NHB level as far as obviously they're excited to have this back and, and seeing such good turnout, but what are some of, some of the new things you see, maybe whether they're initiatives or programs from NHB that you think are gonna be you know, kind of popular over the next 12 months? The the couple things I'm seeing from NHB strategically trying to wrap their is diversity inclusion. There's a new initiative, DEI diversity equity inclusion, the membership back home, the people building our homes is very diverse and it's very diverse and we need more workforce. And everybody has says labor shortage is an issue. Skilled trades is an issue, but the people building our homes are typically not the people attending these meetings. And so they're really doing, trying to initiate, being more welcome and more, but let people feel comfortable

(04:22): Feel like it's an environment where they can, they're being welcomed. Judy Janelle. Great. You know, I know, you know, Judy, well, I saw her, maybe it was Tuesday here. We had Judy and Christie from 84 lumber on yeah. We were recorded with them and I know that's passionate for them and something at their core. So I just seen Judy and almost shared tears with, there was some of the things that I was inspired to see the NH be doing. And then, you know, change is hard because at times this is an industry that's slow and I'm all about innovation and that's why we've kind of done our business on. And there's so much innovation here, but our industry's still slow. And so it's a, and so trying to change the way people have mindsets, you know, share a personal story. One of our, my building coordinators been with me since you've been an intern is of that community and just talking to her today and just being mindful of the things that are happening, but was talking some more with her yesterday. And she was down here with one of our other team members and it just opened the eyes to my other team member of the things that would be said that she could hear the looks that she was getting and really how uncomfortable that even it made. Yeah. and just like, you know, how just have to deal with things that a lot of, I don't even understand. I don't even know that it's even happening or do I understand or why it's even happening, but, but Judy nail wonderful human being yeah.

(05:42): Love her. She is. And that's great that NIH B is behind an initiative like that. And a again, it's, you know, the world's changing around us. We all know that, but as builders, remodelers vendors, everybody in this industry, you know, the, the labor struggle is going to be something that all of us have to battle. And we, you know, we should be welcoming everyone into this industry. And, and I think that it actually is starting to change. It's been slow, but I think it's, it's, it's gonna get to the point where probably very little tolerance for it, so, right. You know, I think that it's great to see stuff like that. So what else, what else do they have cooking? Yeah. So in, just got out of the leadership council and one of the things, even IBS, everybody's saying, we wasn't sure what to expect from it. What was the goals? What was the budget? What could we account for over 70,000 people have attended? We've got over 120 is 120, no 1,200 vendors. So the budget was set and the expectations were set even below that. So I think chairman Rick ju said it well fell north Carolinian, former chairman of the NHB. He said, I think the people that wasn't here, when they see what happened, the energy that was here, everybody back to normal of just getting back to seeing what happens in our industry. He's like, it'll be bigger and better even in Vegas next year. And so I look forward to that. I love Orlando, but I will tell you getting in Vegas so we can get around better. And I could eat actually a hot meal. I've done nothing but eat food that just was on small little plates while I'm standing up. Hopefully not getting it on my

(07:13): Shirt. Well, you've had a lot going on between your you know, NHB sessions and then coming down on the show floor. But it, it is, it's been, there's been a good buzz around here. It's exciting to see it. I'm looking forward to Vegas as well next year have a few additional NEH B roles myself. So I'll be probably sitting at a few more meetings next year. I'm forward to seeing you yeah. Than I had to this year. But it's cool to be on this. Like you can kind of walk by and you start seeing, and everything's getting set up. And most of this gets set up in a day or two in the, the, the people that have worked to put this together. But it's like really quiet before the storm of everything on those days prior. So you'll enjoy that. It, yeah, it really is. And it it's, it's neat to see this come together. And, but my wife helped helped us come in here. I think it was either Sunday or Monday. You know, we kind of set up ours, a small booth set up pretty quick. And you know, we're still kind of quiet in here. And you know, she comes back two days later and she's like, what happened happened? Where did all this stuff comes from? We go out all this stuff, you

(08:05): Got a room full of builders, you know, rebuttals of builders, get out remodelers, electricians, plumbers. We're gonna figure it out, All it together. We can run. Apparently get a bus in here too. There you go. Wanna 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 us@builderongoods.com, Facebook or Instagram, Want access to the resources that can take you and your team to the next level. One call could change everything. So one of something else I wanted to touch on while I had you here for a moment, I know it's something near and dear to you, but it's and, and it's near and dear to me as well. I don't think any of us probably spend enough time on it, or even, I don't know, maybe acknowledge or, or, or support those around us as much as we could, but you know, mental health. So, I mean, what, where, where, where do you see that going? What do you think we have to do as individuals, especially as business owners? How do we need to be, you know, one, we need to be more aware of it, but two, we need to help support. So what's your, I think what's your perspective on this.

(09:08): I and I enjoy this topic and try to, it's uncomfortable to talk about, I find myself sometimes thinking I've got my stuff together and who do I go talk to as another business leader? Who, who do I feel comfortable sharing this with? And so NBS got an initiative and we're kind of partnered with the state HBA and I've been asked kind of. And so our company's mindfully built artfully crafted and the mindfully built was the, not for mental health, but as we've kind of undone that a little bit more, and I had a speaking session on just kitchens, but I was on there the panel just to talk about wellness in the kitchen. And then all of a sudden we started just really, after that meeting started talking about mental health. And what was interesting is once you open up to somebody and give them a little window, how comfortable other people are, they just, we're all struggling at some point in their life. And so, and this has been a, this has been a trying couple of years for

(10:01): Everybody. Yeah. We're all talking about our physical health and like, you know, I can, I can handle that and we can talk about that. But really when it comes to the spiritual, the mental health, we don't have those conversations definitely as men or even construction industry as a whole. But I was at a event last night and I just randomly had a conversation with a lady that I've known for a little bit and just talking about, Hey, I got invited to Denver to call about mental health. She's in Denver. I was like, maybe we can get dinner. And she went, you're kidding me. You're, you're talking. And she's like, Brandon, she's like, as a female in construction, I don't think that we can't handle one more thing. We ha we're having to take care of the home. We've got the kids, maybe we've got Asian parents and she started just listening.

(10:41): My wife is there and she looks at me. That's exactly how I feel, Brandon. I just don't think I can handle one more thing. And like, I think that weight of the world, the pandemic's added onto it, but then we have the opioid crisis. We have all sorts of things, kind of going on. One thing I did recently at a team meeting, we just kind of open up about what I did. So I think that's one of the things as a leader that you got to do is create that self safe space. I just started sharing about for me. I was like, I want you guys to feel comfortable. If you need to call me and say, Brandon, I need a half a day off. Like it just, I ain't got it today. These things are going on. I don't need to know all the details if, if you're comfortable share it with me, if not, you know, it's but it okay to not be okay, you know?

(11:23): And I shared with them what I do, you know, I go for a run. I was like, sometimes you guys don't even know I'm at two o'clock in the day. I'm going for a run because I'm gonna be better for it. I'm gonna be better for you guys and better for the company which we're doing. You know, I went for a run, you know, these meetings I was talking about before we got here, I think it was a Sunday. I lost what track today was ran across the guy I'm sitting there at 10 30, trying to check up on emails, filling all the pressure of the meetings, trying to figure out the schedule. And he's like, well, have you went running Brennan? And that's my, that's my jam. That's what I do to, to clarity. And he went, cuz there's several of us that kind of get together.

(12:00): When we meet and run, he went, I went running at lunch and I looked at him. I was like, I could go running right now. I could go running. It hadn't even hit on me. And it set the better presidents. I had a speaking engagement at one 30 yesterday. And I could just see, you know, you have a couple parties, but like there's a lot here too, to try to be handling. And for my mental health, I still hadn't ran anymore, but I hadn't seen the sun for my days. Living in Portland, I realized how much important sun is for me. And then I went out before I on that speaking engagement went outside and spent 30 minutes just soaking up the sun, soaking upsome rays made such a difference. And I know these and these are small things, you know, mental, Health's a bigger thing to that, but I know my triggers, but just creating that culture of it's okay. Got to share that. And you know, when I did that, I got some positive feedback from my team of just things that they were going through, probably not the platform to share those, but they opened up to me within 24 hours and I was like, wow, like as leaders, we have more of an impact on people. Now. I think that's what I, when I came on you guys podcast earlier in the year, I talked about having an impact on people's lives for health and wellness and building homes. But I didn't even, I've never thought about, we can have impact on our trades who know like, you know, your electrician may be going through that, all the stresses they have, I'm sure they got 20 contractors down to show. They do.

(13:25): And that's going off. You're telling to show up. They do. And going on, I think it was Scott BB yesterday. He and I were talking a little bit and I feel fortunate because I've, I've, I've had my moments in my career. You know, I've done this for, I guess it's close to 30 years now. There's moments where I had had enough as burnout figured I just want out. And you know, and I had some mentors tell me that, you know, you have to be able to detach from the business to a certain degree. It's tough because we all take this personal, we're passionate about what we're doing, but I have, I, I have figured out how to do that. And I, you know, obviously still have the struggles on the, on the mental side with things. But what I've realized is that as we bring on other folks on our team and especially some of these younger folks and you get 'em in here, this is a testing environment. I mean, it is stressful, especially now with as much as going on, if you might have some project managers on your team and they're trying to coordinate with homeowners and trades and vendors, and stuff's not available and people won't call 'em back. And I mean, that that's stressful and they take it home with 'em and they probably don't talk about that. Yeah. You know, and, and the really good people are, they're not gonna be nine to five ERs, you know, they're taking it with them into the, on the weekends. They're probably taking calls too late. They're taking stuff on, you know yeah. They're clients or texting them on and

(14:37): They shouldn't be doing that. And as, as leaders, as owners, we have to support them and, and talk about and, and help them, you know, collectively like, even with things that we do here on the podcast, you know, if, if there's people out there that maybe are experts in this field, you know, take some time, invest in that, get your team in front of somebody that will talk 'em through how to manage some of that stuff, because it'll, it'll drive the stress level through the roof. And, and that leads to some serious mental problems. Yeah. The burnout's a serious thing. Yeah. And even coming here at IBS, I didn't, I didn't really thought about, but when you were talking, we're all too busy to leave our company. Yeah. It's a cop out or maybe it's true. But even to come here, it recharged me. I feel like I've always enjoyed building. I love being innovative. I love the impact that we made. And it's been challenging. You got supply issues. You keep telling the client bad news. Every time you pick up the phone, just building just, hadn't been as fun in the last little bit. Right. I needed to come back down here to just see smiling faces, to share my struggles with my fellow builders, but to feel recharged and right. And that really, even that little bit of getaway was a good recharge of my mental.

(15:41): Absolutely. This, this is, this has been great for me as well. Like I said to me, seeing the excitement on the floor has been great because it hasn't been necessarily exciting. There's been a lot to do. We've all been busy right. But not necessarily excited about it. And it was good to, to see this and, and think of all the stuff that's going on. I mean, there's great. There's great new products out there. There's there's education programs out there. There's, there's so many resources for people to, to learn and to continue to grow. I think that's what excites me about it. And I think is the definitely a positive for it. So yeah. Let's, let's hope we can keep this trend going and take it in the next year. So what else, anything else as we're winding down here, what else are you excited about? I am excited about that spike concert tonight, but my man, you know, buddy Hughes from the state of North Carolina just got elected elected as third vice chair of NHB. And so look forward to his leadership, but excited for what he's doing and looking forward to serving North Carolina in the role we largest association in the Federation. So, you know, if I can use that chance to just hit that up in your podcast.

(16:44): No, no. North Carolina is definitely that's. It is certainly is certainly strong at EHB knows that I think the members know that it's very important for the industry as builders, remodelers, as we, you know, continue to wanna want to grow our businesses and, and help the industry we need to rally behind and support NHB as much as we can. That's for sure. So, and we could totally, any of your listeners, not that whatever the age getting involved in NHB has transformed my business. Yeah. You know, you got your local, I was a local president now on the state, but then being a delegate for the NHP, the people I've met, the contacts I've had, you know, it's a give back thing, but you know, anything that's really truly giving back, you don't go into what you're gonna get out of it, but the people I've met and the, the ability to get some resources and sounding boards has been Fantastic. Well, it's that collaboration that, you know, we talk about all the

(17:34): Time, maybe in there. So you know, I think that anybody be encouraged to get involved in your locals. But on the national level, there's a lot of big things that happen. What, you know, the things you wanna see at IBS, the things you wanna see in education on a national level. And then we're about to come in a midterm election. And we all know that that's important to too, to have pro housing people. I'll tell you what I hit every topic that you would wanna talk about. I relatively , you know, well, yeah, I I don't know what else, but hopefully we'll have trace Atkins, have a great time partying tonight and kind of feel, I hadn't seen a live concert in a hot minute. I don't know. The last time I went to a concert, it, it should be exciting. And it's good to wrap it up. Thank you for taking some time with us, man, as always a pleasure coming down here and we're gonna get you for whatever form or fashion, whether we're actually doing a booth or we're doing any kind of speaking engagement, but we're gonna make sure we do it again next year. And we'll probably have you fill a slot on the podcast coming up soon as well. So yeah, always a pleasure, man. You guys are doing cool stuff. All right, man. Thanks.

Hey, thanks for listening, Duane 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@buildernuggets.com and start building freedom.

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