That might have worked for you, but that would never work in my business
Bet you say those words in your head all the time when you hear someone crapping on about how they've got a 'lifestyle' business!
Truth is - I used to think exactly the same thing. In fact, thinking about the way the majority of plumbers run their businesses in today's world STILL keeps me awake at night! There's NO WAY you could ever call a Plumbing Business a 'Lifestyle' Business, right? Well certainly not in the way that 95% of them are run....
“That sounds great, but I could never do that in my business.”
There's those words again - the words that I constantly hear whenever other plumbers are keen to find out how I successfully turned my plumbing business into a 'lifestyle' business. They're adamant that it wouldn’t work for them, and give me a bunch of reasons to try and prove their point. After having this exact conversation with way too many plumbers to count, I’ve figured out that there are THREE main excuses plumbers tell themselves as to why they can’t change how they currently run their own business:
+ They think they don’t have enough time to implement everything.
+ They worry it's going to cost them an arm and a leg to put it all in place.
+ They think (actually they're shit scared) that they'll lose money if they change the way they quote and/or invoice.
The truth is, NONE of these reasons need to hold you back; and each can be overcome.
I’m the living, breathing proof.
23 years ago, I was working for a multi-truck plumber in Sydney who mainly did Real Estate and Strata jobs. I was earning the 'going-rate', which was not a lot, and I had a brainfart. I thought that I could be earning heaps more if I had my own business. Sure my boss at the time (who by the way happened to have fantastic plumbing skills, and taught me alot about problem solving on jobs), didn't have a life - well if you call being tied to the desk at his factory doing all the quotes a life, plus doing after hour call-outs, and being on the tools as well. I believed I could do better. All I could see were dollar signs and I wanted to chase them.
So I did. With $3000 to my name, an old ute, some basic plumbing tools and not one customer or job booked in, I went out on my own. Flash forward 5 years and I had subbies, employees, apprentices, a phone that was never turned off and would ring in the middle of the night, customers that included Real Estates, Strata Managers, Builders, Government Agencies and Domestics. Hmmm it was scarily looking like my previous Boss's business. But hey, I did what I set out to do - I became my own boss and made more money than what I was earning as an employee.
In fact my goal amount was smashed within the first 12 months.
Flash forward another 3 years and I was near breaking point with ZERO time for myself. I was working 15-16hr days, never seeing my kids, taking out my frustrations on my family, smoking nearly 2 packets of ciggies a day, gaining weight at a rate of knots, missing friends weddings because I was doing 'Call-Outs', and generally just falling apart. Some of my employees were ripping me off (materials, tools, extra hours added to timesheets), constantly asking for higher hourly rates, and some were unreliable. The stress of constantly chasing all the outstanding invoices was like a recurring nightmare - one that would wake me in the middle of the night in a sweat. And let's not talk about the amounts owed to the ATO.....
I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know what. All I knew was that I wanted to be able to control my own day and have more time for my family. I also knew that I couldn’t afford to put on a manager or someone else to run the business, there just wasn't THAT much money leftover.
So I did the unthinkable. I walked out of my business for 3 weeks.
I handed the phone over to one of the guys with the only instructions being "do your best", packed a bag and took off up the coast with my family. I had know idea if I'd even have a business when I got back, but I'd HAD ENOUGH.
Stepping out from under this tonne of bricks gave me some thinking time, and probably more importantly - Google time. I spent hours researching and trawling the internet looking for something, I didn't know what that was until I stumbled on it. That's when I found an article about Business Coaches. That was going to be my magic pill.
My business had survived the 3 weeks. The guy I'd left in charge was a mess by the time he threw the phone back at me. But, I found a business coach and started a 12 month program with him. Long story short - it was just the beginning of the journey that pulled me back out from my nightmare. Whilst not being the magic pill, it had certainly put me on the right path. Over the next 3-4 years, after trialling various strategies and slowly implementing systems.... my life started to turn around.
I suddenly had more freedom and flexibility in my work hours than I’d ever had before, which made a massive difference to both me and my family.
In the years that followed, after giving up cigarettes, losing 20kgs, growing the business from about $500k to around $2million, creating a plumbing business that virtually ran on Auto-Pilot, and winning 2 Business Awards - I ended up selling the business to one of my staff. You see, I'd worked out that my true mission and purpose wasn't running a plumbing business, but rather helping other plumbing business owners to NOT go through the same pain and frustration that I went through. I wanted others in this industry to have the life they deserved, and in a fraction of the time that it took me to achieve it.
So that’s how I got here.
And that’s how I know enough to tell you with absolute certainty that you CAN re-create your own plumbing business and build a strong steady income stream and manage to give yourself 'time-off' along the way, and yep even save your marriage!
My story shows that it can be done despite all those fears above – I had hardly any spare time, a very limited budget, next to none 'real' business experience - but I was still able to make it happen.
All you need are the right tools, techniques and strategies to help you make it happen
DO NOT TELL ME IT WON'T WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS - BECAUSE IT ABSOLUTELY WILL - YOU JUST HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO MAKE CHANGES, and some of them might not be pretty!!!!
You really CAN own a profitable, automatic-driven Plumbing Business and create the freedom-based lifestyle of your dreams, no matter where you’re at or how long you’ve been in the game.
You just need to bust through your fears and start making things happen.
I know you have your own story and I would love to hear it. So next step - RIGHT NOW, is to let me know what YOUR biggest problem is with your plumbing business - just pop it in the comments box below.
PS. Remember to check out our upcoming blueprint online workshop HERE, which is basically the blueprint I used to change my business and my life.
PPS. There's a new advanced in-depth blueprint on it's way called "Rules of The Game" and this is specifically for managing staff and office systems....stay tuned.
Thanks for reading, I hope you have a great weekend (and it's not filled with catching up on paperwork!!!)