June 8, 2023

Episode #83: Jacob Bills – American Aqua Solutions

Jacob Bills has been in the water treatment industry for over 20 years. After a medical separation from the Marine Corps, Jacob started as an installation and service technician at a large water treatment company in Avon Indiana. From there he has worked for many others over the years. Jacob has worked for Aqua Systems, US Water Systems, Chem-Aqua, Absolute Water Technologies, and now his own business-American Aqua Solutions. Over the years, he has held many different positions and gained a lot of experience in the industry. Jacob has become a Certified Water Specialist II and a Certified Water Treatment Installer. He has also done everything from sales, service, tech support, customer service, deliveries, and more.

Jacob started AAS as a part time side project out of his garage about (6) years ago. As the company grew it was requiring more and more attention to continue the growth. In 2022, Jacob decided to quit all other jobs and focus on AAS fulltime. Since then, AAS has seen continuous growth. AAS is still a small business with 5 employees, but is making in impact with water treatment and the community. American Aqua Solutions is a full-service water treatment company in Indianapolis that specializes in residential and commercial water and air purification. They offer many different technologies suchas; water softeners, whole house filter systems, drinking water systems, and more. They also service most makes & models in the commercial and residential markets. American Aqua Solutions can help with system design, service, and new installations.

Jacob and this company prides themselves on providing excellent customer service and great prices on some of the best equipment in the industry. Their online reviews and testimonials prove this to be true. At American Aqua Solutions, they are not happy unless the customer is. It seems that there motto of; “premium, affordable, and sustainable wellness solutions you can trust. We treat you and your wellness right!” also rings true. Please keep AAS in mind for any of your water/air quality testing or water/air equipment solutions. Consultations and advice is totally FREE!!

Transcript

hello this is coach Tim Campsall and I’m your host for the self-made is a myth make a difference together show where we are talking with successful business owners to hear their stories of building their business and because we know that success in business is not something that we can do on our own we’re taking some time to recognize and acknowledge the folks who have helped us along the way I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us today my guest has a passion for water treatment and the global Water Crisis in his downtime he likes to spend time with his family in the outdoors as well as doing home projects and he’s most proud of his amazing family of females we’re going to have him explain that to us here in a minute as well as his business and the charitable impact that he is able to have through the contributions that his business is able to make it’s my pleasure to welcome Jacob to the show today hello Jacob hey Tim thanks for having me how are you sir I am fantastic thanks for asking hey let’s start with having you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit of your personal story like where you were born and live and about your families and hobbies sure absolutely so uh my name is Jacob bills born and raised and uh pretty much Indianapolis Indiana suburb of Indianapolis really and um lived here most of my life and I’m in my mid-30s at this point been a business owner for about six years now uh really dove into it full time probably a little over a year ago at this point um I have three wonderful daughters 16 5 and 3. a wonderful wife um so there is a lot of female females in my house a lot of emotions in the house um so that’s that’s all great and as far as kind of my background goes um I’ve been in the water treatment industry for approximately 20 years I’ve worked for a lot of big names in the area I’ve worked a lot of different positions wore a lot of hats had a lot of different titles and um yeah once again about a year ago well five six years ago started the business a year ago really decided it was time to take it more serious and go full time with it fantastic you mentioned that you enjoy spending time outdoors with the family what what things do you like to do yeah I love um being outside I’m going to parks hiking’s fun fishing I enjoy hunting camping haven’t had a lot of time to do much of that lately but those are some some good hobbies that I enjoy um I also like to get projects done with my hands updates in the house updating bathrooms updating kitchens um just just being active and getting after it those are those are some of my favorites awesome Jacob is there a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today well I don’t know about uh the family one to tell it but actually at Avon High School Well Middle School me and a buddy we got into fist fights and we were probably some of the last people in Avon to get the maple medicine and get a good paddling so not not too many folks can say they’ve been paddled in school but uh we definitely were and uh that wasn’t much fun either so uh yeah so we’re we’re showing our age because I I got the strap on the hands for uh swearing in I think in third grade so I totally can appreciate your story yeah things have definitely changed since those days uh there’d be lawsuits and uh files charged and everything else well the terrible thing about my story is um they called home to ask permission and my parents said yes voted mine so uh I either got it it was either getting uh paddling or getting um two Saturday schools so I just figured well I’ve had spankings before so just get it over with yeah so Jacob tell us how the business came about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business that is a great question so how the business came about yeah like I said I’ve I’ve been in the business doing a lot of different roles whether that be sales tech support customer service um installations regular service route driver whatever it may be so I did all that for three or four companies over the span of about 20 about 15 years 15 16 years and a lot of people around me kept saying you know why aren’t you doing this for yourself why aren’t you making your own future and Destiny instead of getting everybody else Rich yeah so I I really dragged my feet on it for a while and you know just thought oh I could never I could never be a business owner and I could never be an entrepreneur there’s just too much stress too much headache and then finally after a lot of uh a lot of thoughts and just seeing seeing what I was doing and knowing the industry and having the relationships built in the industry to make us a success it was just finally to give it a shot so like I said it started out part-time I was always working for somebody else and then um did that for about five years and then knew at that point if I wanted the business to continue to grow and be successful and if I wanted to build an Empire I would have to be all in at some point so that’s that’s kind of when we just said all right well that’s it’s now or never do or die so fantastic yeah it was a good thing I’m glad we made the move and uh I think there’s a lot of excitement to come tell us a little bit more about the company what’s the name what do you guys do and how do you help people absolutely absolutely so we’re American Aqua Solutions we are a locally owned family owned and operated Water and Air purification company we help residential markets we help commercial markets anything from water softening to whole house filtration to process water to drinking water to air quality water testing I mean we do pretty much anything that can be done with water and air purification sales service installation we are a five-star company we offer excellent prices with some of the best warranties in the business awesome we have over probably 300 five-star reviews at this point just by taking care of people and I’d say our big thing that really separates us is not only are you getting great equipment at a great price you’re also getting even better service to match so we’re not happy until the customer is happy and we really pride ourselves on customer service and taking care of that customer fantastic what’s your service area greater Indianapolis area so north south east west Avon Carmel Fishers and Greenwood um we all even go out to Hancock County greenfields um I usually say about 30 minutes you know 30 miles ish from Indianapolis okay wonderful um and uh in your introduction I mentioned that you have a passion for the global Water Crisis tell us a little bit more about that yeah so

basically I think water should be clean water should be available to everyone this world pays millions and millions of dollars for entertainment and for athletes and we still have people walking miles and miles every day to get terrible water basically and that that’s always struck me as problematic um so we we try to help with that we donate a portion of profits to Life water organization that’s a christian-owned organization that helps drill Wells and helps set up sanitation and some of these impoverished Nations so open that with American Aqua Solutions we can help with those resources raise awareness to folks as to what’s going on and really make a positive impact in the world through water I love it that is awesome um I’ve seen some of those documentaries on TV about those the the places that you’re speaking of and and the brown sludge that comes out of the ground that they’re drinking is just disgusting yeah imagine walking 10 miles right but here we are paying uh athletes what 10 million a year yeah I don’t know thank you for thank you for making a difference that’s awesome so Jacob share a story of where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think that you could and the impact that that person had on you yeah that’s that’s a great question I would say uh well it really sticks out of my mind there is a man by the name of Mark Timmons Mark Timmons owns a company called U.S Water Systems in Indy uh multi-million dollar organization and I worked for him for years um after I got after I left a uh another my previous company that I worked for as a service and install Tech I went to U.S water and I worked there for four or five years wearing all sorts of hats doing a lot of different stuff really learning the business learning the industry learning the Technologies and then after I left

I once I started to do my own thing part-time mark would have meetings with me and he would he would tell me you know you need to you need to go in all in on this you’re never gonna get this where you want it to be by having one leg in and one leg out and uh he he always believed in me um he always inspired me and pushed me to to go for it and be be better so to speak um so that’s coming from him somebody that already had that established business and already was in the industry for him to kind of put me under his wing and yeah show me the way and really push me that that was uh that meant a lot so I’d say that that’s probably one of the more memorable moments uh was when Mark was just saying hey you need to just quit being scared and do it it’s pretty much what he said yeah well what a great Testament because he was basically saying go out there and be my competition yes yes and no so um yeah they’ve been they started out doing a very similar system that we do as far as service and installations nowadays they’ve gotten so large they do a lot of e-commerce okay um so they’re they’re more International at this point yeah so they actually because of the relationship we’ve built we take care of a lot of their local service and installations as well so oh wonderful yeah great competition it’s yes we’re in the same industry but it’s more like we uh we work together on on projects so I love it we’re so good Jacob what’s your biggest learning as a business owner

I’m sure you could attest to this Tim but yeah just uh just making things happen you know you you got to figure out processes you got to figure out procedures sometimes you hit a brick wall and if you gotta regroup and say okay we we gotta try something else it’s just persistence determination um those are big lessons uh just not not letting the the world or the game or system beat you down because yeah right what I’ve told people is run a business is one of the most exciting things somebody can do in life and one of the most stressful as well so there’s a lot to keep in mind just as far as products as far as Service as far as inventory as far as payroll as far as procedures policies I mean there’s a lot to keep in mind and obviously starting out nobody has all that in order so it does take time to really get the business where it can run fairly freely without needing a lot of Maintenance or cuddling or things like that I like what you said about being persistent because there are a lot of things that come up right it can be a little bit of a roller coaster ride and um and some of those things that come up can feel insurmountable and right and there isn’t a solve and and you’re right we just have to stay in the game and and continue to to push forward and and be persistent and be consistent and and keep working to overcome those challenges to get to the other side sure and you’re you’re spot on there I mean at first I thought I’ll start this business and you know we’ll set up a Facebook page and The Whole World’s Gonna Be just calling knocking on my door begging begging for my products or service and uh no no it didn’t didn’t turn out that way so there was a lot a lot of hard work behind the scenes yeah to get people interested to get the phones ringing to you know just keep the business alive so that’s I think that’s something that people got to consider when they’re getting into doing their own businesses hey this this is an easy road but if you love what you’re doing and I think you’re making an impact I think it’s all worth it I I love that you know the it’s not as easy as you thought it would be because you know I’ve heard this phrase before right if it was easy to be a business owner then everyone would be doing it that’s true and everybody’s not doing there’s our sign

um we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so Jacob tell us about uh one of your biggest challenges that you had uh during the years and and maybe a fellow business owner that came alongside you and helped you to get through that yeah biggest challenge I would say was just really scaling it from uh part-time job out of the garage to a real business with employees and a building and everything like that um just just because of the the work that it takes I mean when you start as a as a side Hustler side project or whatever um you don’t see all the roadblocks that are coming and you don’t realize what it’s going to take to actually be profitable and you know grow so I I would say that’s that’s been a challenge that I didn’t really think about in the beginning but just as far as people that have helped that Mark he’s he’s been very helpful in the business World he’s able to help me with strategies um business coaches networking groups I’d say all of those are are helpful to have in mind as well just uh keep you in the right right path point you in the right direction maybe give you some ideas you haven’t thought of because yeah we only know what we only know right so it’s like it’s always good to have some other people in your corner that have been there that have done that that may be able to point you in the right direction and say well you’re doing it this way maybe you should try this and get these results so I I think that’s that’s pretty important to keep in mind awesome I’m gonna put you on the spot a little bit here uh if I ask you to pick three people in your business owner Journey that you’re most grateful for them being there to help with your growth who are those three people and how they help you um I would say those three people are oh that’s a great question so obviously my wife she’s she’s been a big supporter of mine um she’s believed in me from from the beginning so that that was that was what’s her name that’s Monica bills shout out to Monica she’s a uh badass firefighter in Avon very cool yeah but she’s always been a big big supporter she’s always believed in me that I was great to see my uh father-in-law he’s actually our general manager over here Steve some people call him Jose depending on the day but um he’s been a big big help as well big big supporter he’s always pushed me to to be better and really take the business more serious um I mean mom mom back in the day she’s growing up she would always tell me you can you can be whatever you want to be but it’s going to take a lot of effort and hard work um so that that was that was allowed me to dream and imagine and I’d say once again Mark Mark Timmons he’s uh just seeing him grow he started out of his his garage as well and like I said now they’re running a multi-million dollar business that just keeps growing and growing so him being on my side and saying hey if you need to do this including scared that that meant a lot as well yeah definitely having those people in your corner to push you and and support you that’s that’s a big deal I think for for any entrepreneur yeah because it can get lonely at the top right and and uh when we’re facing things that we haven’t faced before right when we’re an employee we always had our boss we could go to and talk it out loud when we are the boss

yeah that’s that’s spot on I mean when when you’re an employee you can you don’t have to worry about all the details that the owner worries about they can say okay it’s nine to five I’m clocking out yeah that’s the end of the day but it doesn’t work that way and the business owner so it is nice for that business owner when he can go home to have friends or family or colleagues that he can turn to to Really provide some inspiration provides some insight and just just keep the ball rolling Jacob as you think about the next three to five years what are some of the uh what like what are the biggest challenges you think um that you’re going to face into getting to your goals and and who are the types of people that you’re going to need to overcome those challenges that’s that’s a great question as well uh three to five years I’d like to have oh I think another probably two or three locations around Indiana um obviously with that we’re gonna have to have good Management in place to be able to keep those running properly and keep those profitable um but then once again having having the back up with those close business-minded friends and colleagues that’s that also is necessary for us to scale where we want to be um mob and also three to five years we’re gonna have a few mission trips of Our Own to really try to help out with that and Water Crisis so once again that’s that’s I think it’s just about having the right people in the right places Tim and without that I don’t see any small growth large growth scaling whatever it is I don’t see any of that happening if you don’t have good people in all the right places because no matter how much we think we’re Superman yeah we can’t do it all is what I’ve found so no we cannot so when you go on your mission trip are you going to try that sludge and so that you’re you know appreciating the world they live in

what I’ve heard that stuff do to people’s bodies that aren’t used to it is pretty much killed I mean I’m gonna stay away from the sludge hopefully by the time we’re done we got some good water flowing there you go right I gotta walk 10 miles to get the sludge last question here Jim Rohn uh amazing business Guru says that we become the five people or we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as you think about that quote what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it on their own and they’re they’re not building that Community or they’re not interacting with others and they feel like they’ve just gotta do it by themselves that’s that’s great [Music] um you can’t you can’t you’re never gonna grow you’re never gonna scale without the help um obviously in the beginning you’ve got to wear a lot of hats and do a lot of different tasks and jobs but once you’re profitable enough to hire somebody to take some of that off your plate it makes a world of difference so I I think that people just have to yeah just know that just dive in to hiring good people um not just hiring your buddy or your friend because whatever but actually have a good job description job title job duties in mind okay if I have this person they’re going to be able to help me with this this and this that’s going to take that off my plate then I can focus more on sales or growth or procedures and processes but yeah the right people in the right places is huge um people you can count on people that you can say hey we need to get this project done or hey we need to take care of this task and you don’t have to second guess it the Loyalty there that’s that’s a big deal as well um so I I think that that’s that’s a must I think you got to have those strong people that are accountable that are professional that can make things happen to a allow you to not have a heart attack by running a business yeah and B just just to keep things moving and slowly you know business gets a little bigger you can add another person and then a little while later you can add another person to do another set of tasks so it’s it’s very very important in my opinion to have those right people in the right places and know in the beginning what you need what kind of roles you need to fill to keep keep growth alive fantastic Jacob it sounds like you’ve had um some pretty incredible people in your life that you’ve been blessed with as part of your journey if they were all on the show here today what would you want to say to them all right tell them uh thank you thank you for the support thank you for the pressure at times um

yeah just I just thank them I’m eternally grateful without those people I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing so yeah I just I just come with that with a lot of gratitude for for them for their words for their encouragement wonderful well hey Jacob it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show hey thanks so much Tim great and thanks for having me to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim cancel be sure to help spread the movement by liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to bemadtogether.com all right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care