October 13, 2023

Episode #98: Renee Lucas – LCS Heating & Cooling

Renee Lucas is co-owner of LCS Heating and Cooling in Indianapolis, IN. She and her husband, Travis, started LCS in 2005. After years of hard work and long hours with little to show for it, they decided to start over in 2016. Renee invested in business training, leadership training, and best practice member groups, as well as personal counseling, to develop a new plan for personal and professional success. Today, Renee and Travis enjoy their business and are excited to lead and grow their team.

LCS Heating and Cooling provides residential and light commercial services to Indianapolis and surrounding areas. They do things “The LCS Way” which results in long relationships with homeowners and lasting comfort solutions for their homes.

In honor of the fellow business owners in your life that had an impact on youbecoming the person you are today, let’s celebrate them. Click this link to apply to be on our podcast to recognize those people: https://www.BeMADTogether.com

Transcript

hello this is coach Tim campel and I’m your host for the self-made as a myth make a difference together show where

we’re talking with successful business owners to hear their stories of the journey to building their business and

because we know that achieving success in business is not something that we can do on our own we’re taking time to

recognize those who have helped us to excel today I am excited to have a

fellow business owner from Indiana with us my guest plays piano and check this

out was am music music therapists prior to joining the family business in her

downtime she enjoys taking the dogs to a state park and she is most proud of very

recently being presented with the women Woman of the Year award at the service World Expo it is my pleasure to welcome

Renee to the show today hello Renee hi it’s so great to be here thanks for having me on well first of all before I

have you uh tell us a little bit about yourself I just have to hear about the woman of the year award what’s that all

about oh my goodness I tell you what so um every year there is a woman who is

recognized for Paving the way in the industry and um leading others and and

Innovation and and attitude and and things that’s done um in our industry which is heating and air conditioning

and um I was actually pres I was completely surprised I didn’t know that I actually didn’t even know the award

was being presented at at this time at the conference and um the I was I was

recognized and and awarded that award for 2023 well congratulations that is

cool and offline I I had asked Renee if there was a you know did you do you know

that you’re on the you know the pre-qualifying list and like she just said there she didn’t even know it was being awarded so what an incredible

surprise that is so awesome yeah it was really um oh my gosh it was really

humbling I shared there because I I then had to speak um which I wasn’t prepared for at all but I shared um you know back

in 2017 when we started attending some conferences and started doing some networking with other contractors you

know some of these awards for contractor of the year and woman of the year and everything that would go on I thought to myself wow that would be really cool one

day and uh one day came last week and it was it was oh it was very cool again

congratulations that is so awesome thank you let’s uh let’s jump in and have you tell uh the audience a little bit about

yourself so um introduce yourself tell us um where you born where you live

about your family your hobbies yes yes well as Tim said my name is Renee Lucas

um I am a Hooser I was actually well let me back up I was actually born in Ohio but um I have been a hoer since I was

about two years old and so I don’t know any different um actually grew up in Southern Indiana in Seymour and um went

to you know high school and everything there and then when I graduated um moved up to Fort Wayne and went to to IPFW for

my music therapy degree that you mentioned before um and then after that moved down to Indianapolis and we have

actually been in Indianapolis since 2002 so this is definitely where we call home

um we love the city and uh have a lot of great um family and friends and and

network here so um started out as a music therapist I actually worked um some of you will remember Wishard

Hospital it’s now Eskenazi but uh when it was Wisher I was a Wisher employee um working on an alzheimer’s unit um doing

music therapy with some of the residents there and um it was a very it was wonderful it was very fulfilling um I

worked under the Medicaid waiver for a little bit with children with disabilities and worked in school systems and then um in that time Travis

and I actually started LCS Heating and Cooling our our Heating and Cooling business and I did um a little bit with

that part-time on my lunch hour in the evening sort of thing and then um a few years about 2007 or so um decided to

come on fulltime with our business business and so and then that’s that’s been me since then so fantastic well um

tell us about your family I know you’ve got a couple of fur babies right yes we do so Travis and I have been married for

23 years congratulations um yes thank you oh wait a second 22 years telling I

messed that up we’ve been married for 22 years um and we do we have a couple for

babies Timmy and Sophie they’re little Chihuahua Jack Russell mixes and um they go everywhere with us we were actually

counting and they have visited I think the last time we counted it was 17 states with us and so really cool we

take them with us as much as we can um we actually they were rescued when they were a year and a half old and um they

they have the life now Renee is there a funny story that

your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today oh man I tell you what I

think it’s a funny story that they actually know it was through my work but we had so imagine a four-story building

and um it’s you know a couple of the stories one I mentioned it’s people with Alzheimer’s disease um that live there

and a couple of the other floors were just long-term care facilities um and the four floor was an acute rehab well

we brought llamas in one day and so I I guided with the owner and trainer one of

the llamas um went on an elevator with the Llama um llama pooped everywhere and

like little palads went everywhere so we had to clean that up and so it’s one of those stories that we still tell it’s

like you wouldn’t believe it like I can’t even make this up right but it happened and we took llamas throughout

the entire building and it was just it was so much fun everybody had a

great time but it was a lot of work I was sweating sweating by the time we got

done so that’s my like hard to believe that this actually happened story now is

is that something that you were able to repeat or did that get to a oneand done that was a one and done that was

definitely a oneand done something we didn’t realize because the floors were like a lolium and the llamas cannot

easily Walk On Floors like that so we had to move these massive rugs and keep putting like one in front of the other

so then the llamas would go from rug to rug that’s why we were sweating so badly it’s because the rugs were heavy and

we’re trying to move them I mean and I mean mind you I’m like what 22 years old at this time and so it was um it was a

sight to be seen I will say well let’s talk a little bit about the business how did it how did it come

about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business yeah so you know I think like

so many small business owners um we just we didn’t know what we were doing we were young and dumb and that’s what made

us decide to start a business um you know my husband Travis

He um HVAC is his trade that’s what he went to ivtech for um he got out of

school and didn’t know really what he wanted to do he started in landscaping um delivered Furniture a little bit um

he actually got a job in a factory and lasted for three days um he is just somebody who needs the outdoors and um

he just he couldn’t do it so um you know when he was working in the industry um

actually when we were in Fort Wayne so he had about six years under his belt um when we had decided to think about

starting our own business and um we are very we always have been very hard workers um we’re very driven naturally

and so that’s really what got us through those early years because truthfully neither one of us had any sort of

business formal business training no business background um you know he went to a two-year College I went to a

four-year college but neither one of us had any sort of accounting business classes or anything so um we for 10

years actually 11 years we ran our business um through grit long hours a

lot of Tears um you know just providing really good service and we we grew that way and

we had we attracted people to work with us in our business that way but we really weren’t running a successful

business um and we didn’t realize it for a long time it took us to get to a point where we were just we were we were

miserable to be honest with you that we we kind of pulled back and took a hard look and said what are we doing we’re

literally driving ourselves into the ground and we have nothing to show for it um so that’s you know it’s it starts

with that you know probably I I think I can do it better or I think I can

provide better service or yeah you know I Want To Be My Own Boss sort of thing and I think you have this vision of like

I’m G to set my own hours I’m GNA do this but they don’t tell you that like the number of hours we worked like doubled what we were doing yeah you’re

gonna set your own hours it’s called 247 right it absolutely is you live and breathe that business and so um you know

I think the thing that we didn’t know at that time too is you know even with your friends and your family and things like that you go out to dinner and when

you’re starting a business and you’re in a service business like ours you know somebody calls at 7 o’clock at night because their furnace isn’t working

we’re taking that call so we’re excusing ourselves from dinner and you know some people understand that and some people don’t and so it’s you know it can really

create a hardship with um relationships on your in your personal life and everything as well as you’re kind of

working through those early years so there’s definitely a a a mindset shift from being an employee to being a

business owner that can take multiple years to to work through right yeah it

really can and I’ll tell you um you know like so many small business owners we started out of our home and something

that I didn’t recognize at that time but it was a really hard for me to separate work and home I would find myself like I

would walk by the spare bedroom that that we turned into an office and I would go in and I’d sit down at the

computer and then I’d lose two hours because I’d be in there on a Saturday you know and and it’s one of those like that was really hard for us to um

balance work and and a personal life outside of that like it’s always on your mind it it kind of becomes part of your

marriage when you’re working with your spouse and you know you have to be really um diligent and aware to make

sure that that doesn’t become all of your relationships so tell us a little bit more about the company what’s the

name what do you guys do how do you help people yeah so LCS Heating and Cooling I’m here in Indianapolis Indiana people

ask us all the time what is LCS how did you get LCS well our last name is Lucas and so we basically pluck the bowels out

shorten it together buil kind of our little logo around it and we created our

um our tagline is lasting Comfort Solutions so LCS lasting Comfort Solutions um you know our goal we

provide Heating and Cooling um services for people’s home so you know preventative maintenance repair

installation we of course do all of those things and we do those things very well but we’re really looking at lasting

comfort you know and so everybody deserves to be comfortable in their home so what does that mean as far as hot and cold spots in your home humidity issues

that you might have quality of air in your home and so there’s a lot of different facets um even when you’re

talking about attic insulation we want to keep the Heat and the the the air conditioning that’s being produced in

your home and not going out your roof so you know there’s all sorts of things to the whole home that we look at to really

provide those solutions for homeowners wonderful well for everyone listening make sure to check out LCS you’ll see

the link um in the description in the comments below go visit them on LinkedIn tell them that you watch their interview

and that uh that you enjoy the Llama

story Renee share a story of where someone pushed you or inspired you that

you could do it and and even though maybe you didn’t think that you could and the impact that that person had on

you I the very first person that I ever consider um a mentor to myself is

actually a competitor of ours um here in Indianapolis and so you know mind you

when when we started our business um Travis was 29 and I was 25 and so at

about 26 years old or so I started going to networking groups and I went to one

of our local chapters of of an HVAC Alliance and so there’s a lot of comp competing companies in there right and

there’s there’s a lot of really good hbac companies here in Indianapolis and at that time I was a I was intimidated

by it um you know we were we were newer um we weren’t well known we weren’t

established like these other companies and so I walked in by myself to this class and um her name is Candy and she

was an owner of action air um they’re located in Fishers and they have retired that’s why I say was um but she waved me

over and she said hey you’re new come on over and so I sat down with her and you know she made me feel so comfortable and

she had told me she was like oh her and her husband had started their business 20 years prior literally just the same

way Travis and I had so we really connected and she invited me to their shop and we go to the shop and I got a

tour of their shop and she talked to me about you know hey here’s you know if you want to do a little bit of marketing

here’s who we use for this here’s who we use for this my gosh I mean that really opened my mind and changed my mindset

about working together with who you might consider like your competitor right they’re not the enemy they’re not

the enemy at all and um how you guys how we can build and and have relationships

and bounce ideas off of each other and from that very first meeting and that that tour that I took when she invited

me to our shop we met for breakfast or lunch or something usually about once a quarter and just kind of talked and

sometimes you know there’s hardships as a business owner for sure and sometimes you feel like you’re on a lone Island

dealing with this stuff by yourself and to have somebody that I could trust and I could go to and that she trusted me um

it meant the world to me and it really inspired us to stay focused and to

continue on through those hard times to see like hey they did it and they started the same way we did we can do it

too yes I love her spirit of abundance and paying it forward we like to call

that coopetition instead of competition I like that you know she said to me she was like there’s enough work for

everybody I was like man that’s really and you think of you know even think of a market like ours Indianapolis is huge

right all of this I mean there’s there truly is there’s enough work for everybody and so there’s no reason to be

and we take that same approach now I mean there’s several owners of several different companies that we know and and

we’re we’re friendly with and you know all of the things and it’s it’s good it’s good to have those relationships

absolutely I love what you say about there’s enough for everybody I mean right that’s that true abundance

mentality of when we get stuck in our own way and have that scarcity idea

that’s when the business starts slowing down because we get worried that there’s not enough but you’re right there’s

there are thousands and thousands of opportunities out there that haven’t even been tapped yet right that’s so

true yes yes so Renee what’s the um biggest learning that um you’ve had as a

business owner over the years oh oh my gosh there’s so many there are so many

things that we’ve learned you know I think um one of the biggest things for me is really when I really developed an

understanding of business training and Leadership training and what that means not only for ourselves personally but

what it really means for our entire team and so you know I mentioned back in 20

it was really 2015 2016 um Travis and I we were not in a good place um not not

from a marriage standpoint but from a business standpoint um at that time we

you know on the outside it looked like it was great right but on the and like we were

working so many hours um we had a team I I I I can’t even use the word

team we had a group of people working with us that um you know some days their

quality was there some days they just didn’t care um there was a lot of Gossip there was a lot of we had a couple

people who who really challenged me I think they had a hard time you know we’re in a what is generally considered

a male dominated industry and to have a woman that um was very involved in some of the day-to-day there were some people

that had an issue with that and so we really um we really had some challenges and we were getting to kind of our Rock

Bottom wi end in that time period And so Travis and I made the decision like we had a heart-to- heart one day and said

we’re either going to make a change or we’re done like we’re not we’re not doing this anymore um we decided to make

a change and the first step in that was some true business training and and some

leadership training really how to how to be a leader in your business how to be a manager how to get people on board with

wanting to give it their best shot every single day um how to build a company culture where people want to be there

every day they don’t dread going to work every day yes um you know and the one thing that we were looking at too is

like how to be a profitable company um you know people a lot of times they think that profit is a bad thing um but

you want companies that you work with you want them to be profitable because you want them to be here 10 years from now you know right and um you know at

that time we didn’t have any cash flow issues but we were operating at a 0 to 2% net profit um in our industry the

average net profit is 2 to 4% and a lot of people um my husband was just talking to somebody and they guessed our net

profit is and not just us but in the hbac industry to be 45% I literally like i i w i well I I

can’t even imagine what that would be like right um but even you know shooting for that 10% or 15% and when you look at

that like you know in our industry for example like we don’t want a technician showing up at somebody’s house in you

know an old beat up oil leaking van that gets oil all over their driveway right

well a new van right now is $75,000 and so you know you’ve got to have some profit there to have you know that

quality that you want to provide people right and at that time we didn’t and so um you know the business training helped

us understand business and then the leadership training helped us understand

people and so that’s the that’s probably one of the biggest lessons I learned is that that has to come first yeah I I

love that because one of the things that you guys aren’t alone right most small business owners don’t have a you know

how to be a business owner training right the school system teaches us how to be employees right and then we become

an owner and it’s like oh my goodness there’s thousands of things that we don’t know how to do so one of the the

phrases that we use is that business owners need to be re-educated so it sounds like you guys went through a

re-education which is fantastic we did I’ll tell you what’s crazy too so we there was a kind of a best practices

group that we joined in February of 2017 and they had a a business boot camp

and it was in we had missed we missed the first one which it was probably I don’t know March or April after that we missed that one the next one was in July

well in Heating and Cooling like we don’t go anywhere in June and July because it’s crazy busy right and I told

Travis I said we need to go to this business boot camp he like I can’t like we can’t I can’t leave in July and he

was right I went by myself and so it was down in Texas I was like I’m not sure how we’re going to pay to get me down

there and to stay in a hotel for three nights but we’ll figure it out sort of thing and that business boot camp that

was the first real business training that I had where I was um you know with

other contractors and and so there was a networking piece to it too first experience I ever had in that and I had

to do it alone and it was scary and it was a little intimidating but but still it’s you know you have to be committed

to to your vision and what you want and when you’re at rock bottom you’re gonna

do it I can tell you that um but that’s one of the it’s it’s one of the big best investments we ever made that’s awesome

hey tell us um about one of your biggest challenges over the years because we we all know

and you just mentioned that you know business success doesn’t happen in isolation so what’s a challenge you

faced and maybe a fellow business owner who came alongside you and helped you through it yeah so um the very first

conference we ever went to um that was actually in 2016 okay so we had joined

an organization it’s called um AA air conditioning contractors of America and

they are they’re a wonderful organization I had actually never heard of them I had a financial adviser in my BNI networking group tell me that I

needed to join AA I was like I don’t even know what that is so we joined them again it was kind of the same same thing

as this first business class is like I told was like we’re going to this conference it was in Charlotte North Carolina he was like we are not going to

this conference number one we can’t afford it number two we can’t be away from the business because he was running calls he was doing all quotes he was

installing he was doing everything and so I was like No we’re going so we get there and the the first night we were

there so it’s the night before the conference starts we get a call from one of our two lead installers and he quits

and he went to um he went to work for a contractor who we

did a lot of work with and so we felt like like I could still lean forward and

you could pull the knife out of my back like that’s how right yeah and so we had a lot of challenges like that we had a

lot of challenges with turnover we had um I’ll never forget we had another um

employee once who missed every other Monday like every other Monday he called in and we he was an installer he did

great work but he every other Monday he called in so finally we said like if you can’t be here you can’t be here sort of

thing right and his comment back to me was you can’t afford to get M rid of me I’m your best installer and so it’s that challenge of

like he’s right like we what are we G to do if we don’t have him but on the other sense we can’t just have people just

showing up whenever they want to when we got job scheduled right so those the people aspect of it had been a huge

challenge for us in the that first 11 12 years um it’s not anymore which is

amazing but going back to the the conference that we were at and who helped us along

with that so fast forward that’s that night were really upset right really really upset um this contractor that we

had worked with we had been out to dinner with him and his wife so we also considered them friends and so we truly felt betrayed yeah and so the next day

we go to our sessions at the conference and I happened to go to the session on company culture and I’m not proud of

this okay so let me just there’s fine print I’m not but I sit in the session I’m in the

front row Travis is in a different session and I raise my hand at the end of it and I was like I actually used a a

bad word so I’m not going to repeat that here but I was like I call Bull on all of this like I we’ve tried this we we

get donnuts at breakfast and we do this and we do that and I still like I just had somebody quit last night because as soon as we and I just I just word

vomited not my finest moments okay however don’t regret it because no I did

later apologize to the presenter he was awesome he handled it completely well he answered like he he was a superstar yeah

I had so many people come up to me afterwards and say we’ve been there we totally get it have dinner with us

tonight hey look for us you know at this event tonight I want to talk to you I had somebody give me the book emth I had

somebody give me the book traction and they said read this this is going to help you and then Travis had people go

up to him and he was like hey I think your wife’s having a meltdown in there uh she’s like having a nervous breakdown

but he was like then people went up to Travis and started talking to him and literally like you could just

feel I remember I remember that moment thinking oh my gosh these people know how we feel because we get a ton of

support from our families and from our friends but they don’t truly understand because they been through it and so that

it was our first time where we’d ever been with people that had literally been through the exact same things that we

had and we felt so much support and so much love um that’s when that was

probably the moment that I realized we need this in our lives all the time yes

that’s fantastic is isn’t it interesting that you know the the phrase that misery likes Comfort right is so true that when

we surround ourselves with other business owners who get it right who have been through the trenches and right

and have the highs and lows it’s it’s just comforting because yeah someone else can say yeah I’ve been there too

and I’ve gotten through it so so will you it’s like oh my goodness finally somebody gets me you know somebody I’d

had a number of people say to me before I was like man we’re just I feel like we’re going through hard times and they’re like oh it’s growing pains and I

told Travis I was like if I hear Growing Pains one more time I’m gonna lose it right because I don’t know I don’t have

anybody that can help me figure out these growing P you know it’s really it’s really hard

when you when you have people that’ll comfort you with Words which is wonderful but then when you have people

that can really help you like navigate the steps to make your way through it yes it’s a different ball Game yes

pertubation is a term that we use for that it’s it’s that uncomfortable you know stressful

overwhelming feeling of of when we’re growing right it’s we’re outside of our comfort zone we we hate it but if we if

we hang in there right we hit the next breakthrough right the next growth spurt in with ourselves as well as the

business and so the goal goal should be that it’s how quickly can we get to that next uncomfortable moment because that’s

the continued growth and development so congratulations on finding that Community that’s awesome thank you thank

you Renee if I put you on the spot here and ask you to pick three people that um

who’ve been part of your business Journey uh that have helped you the most and that you’re most grateful for in

terms of them their contribution to your business growth who are those three people and how they help

you oh my goodness okay so you know I think I’m going to start um very close

to home in our office um right now so Gretchen um in our office so many many

many many of our um clients know Gretchen they’ve talked to her um they’ve seen her over the years and all

this good stuff but she um she is now our finance manager so she started with us um almost 10 years ago believe it or

not and so she was she’s the only person that went through every every part of

our transition and so and she also knew like the old Renee and Travis versus the new Rene

Andis um and we’re you know we are night and day different people but she H she is a piece of me she’s a piece

of me and so she’s that person she and I are so opposite um we’re I’m big on dis

profiles and so if you would look at our disc profiles like my D is a 99 and my S

is very very low it’s like a two or something her s is a 99 and her is like

a two right so Gretchen is that person in my life that um sometimes it takes a

lot for somebody to kind of get my attention on like hey I need you to like slow down yeah and listen and hear me

right so if Gretchen says to me like if she says to me Renee you’re not hearing

me then I know that it’s time to like put my stuff down and sit down and like

talk to me what’s going on you what I mean and so she’s she’s stability she’s

um she’s growth she’s been through a lot of changes and a lot of growth um with us and even like when we started the

business and we were working on like Office Depot invoices and you know Excel spreadsheets and then we transition to a

software I mean that that sort of thing like in a business is a lot of work yeah um she is

so dedicated and she’s she has the initiative and she has the drive and she loves people she loves people and so the

way that she cares about people that are on our team and our clients and everybody like she is she’s my number

one she’s my number one um also in our company I will say Mark and Travis who

we have another Travis who um they have also been with us for a very very long

time and Dylan on our install side so those three have um they came on with us

either during that transition or very shortly after and all three of them are approaching they’re at that like eight

nine years with us as well and so they also have seen Travis and I and they’ve called us out sometimes too on I

remember Mark like Mark has a he has a disc profile very similar to mine and so he there’s been times where he’d be like

man I don’t feel like you handled that very well and so and I appreciate that because I need that in my life to have

somebody who will hold me accountable in those ways and so I would say collectively like they’re they’re

they’re one for me another one I would say and so when we think about people so going back to

that organization AA that I mentioned we have what we call a mixed group in there and in that mixed group um are other

contractors and so and they’re in other states and so you know I can list the names Dan and Tony and Kip and Terry

like I can list all the names right but really collectively that small group like that’s my number two and then my

number three I guess I could say no particular order so um but we have another we have another group in another

organization of contractors too who it’s a very small group and so those are our go-to people like when we have something

to celebrate they’re they’re the first people that know about it when we have a really hard challenge they’re the first

people that know about it because we reach out to them and it could be by Travis actually sent a message this

morning so we did a um like eggs and chizo and bacon and everything for

breakfast this morning because our team won a national customer service award and we were so excited and we were

celebrating them and so Travis was there at 6: a.m. this morning and at 6:00 a.m my text went off and it was to our mix

group and said like hey grillin out this morning and like boom boom boom boom boom all the responses that moment right didn’t

matter that it was 6 am and technically 5: am in Texas in Tennessee um but you

know those groups of people to have your people that can mentor you and that can call you out when you need to be called

out and hold you accountable when you when you need to be held accountable you know hey Renee you told me you know in

January that one of your goals this year was you know X where are you with that yeah and then oh I actually forgot about

that that I mentioned right and so that it’s those people that keep us on track

keep us moving forward um they cry with us they celebrate with us all of the things and it’s it’s just it’s

invaluable to have those people in our lives fantastic hey as you think about the next three to five years um what are

the biggest challenges that you see that you’re going to face in reaching your goals and who are the types of people

you’re going to need to overcome those challenges okay yeah so I would say you

know in our industry so I’m going to be very industry specific right now um it’s

easy to use the weather as an excuse right so oh well we didn’t you know business-wise we didn’t have a very good

summer because it was mild okay and so we did have a very mild summer but we refused to use that as an excuse right

and so no matter how mild the summer is it still gets really humid in people’s homes right or no matter how mild the

summer is if people don’t change their filters your Ducks get really dirty and

your your furnace system gets really dirty and all these things happen right and so you know one of our biggest

challenges I think is keeping those services in front of people and so the

type of people that we need I tell people when we interview people all the time it’s like we’re not looking for seat fillers right and so um you quite

honestly I had a a resume that came through yesterday and one of the questions how many jobs have you had in the last five years the answer was 10 oh

I can already tell you you’re not going to be a good fit with our team right we’re looking for people who want to grow with the company who want to be a

team player we have five core values that we live by and we want people to be you know in with that we want to have

relationships when we go we’re going to have our we’re having our annual bowling tournament in November with our company and so we want that fun you know rivalry

that we have between install and service that day and whatever and so you know we want people who you know we’re not we’re

not going in your house to sell you something that you don’t need or or to you know I don’t know that you see all

the time on the news where they’ll set up like a a hidden cam and they’ll show like is that technician being like you

know real or not and so there’s no lot there’s none of that stuff and so but what do we need you know what do we need

to make your home more comfortable what do we need to make your home more efficient what do we need to save money on utility bills what do we need so that

the babies room isn’t 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house sort of thing and so really looking for people who

like to you know offer those things and talk to people about those things and

provide education and things like that and so you know I would say as you know the economy has definitely shifted you

know in the past year even over the past few years before that and so really learning to navigate that not use

economy as an excuse or weather as an excuse and you know all businesses are feeling a little bit different right

now as far as the amount of work that you have and things like that compared to Prior years and so that I think is

going to be one of our biggest challenges going forward is how do we not make excuses for that and we continue to to grow and improve

wonderful um I love the the the whole mentality of you know employees for life

or at least for a long time versus you know just the in and out because it makes a huge difference in terms of you

know building that culture as you already mentioned earlier and right having people that love coming to work

and and it’s part of their life as opposed to just working for a paycheck so congratulations on that significant

change over the last few years yeah thank you thank you it’s made oh my gosh

in in everybody’s happiness you know what I mean it’s really made a difference we don’t have you know the

the difficult thing about our industry is we’re not centered in in a building or a location like we have people all

across the city all day right and so if we have one person that calls in there

are five calls for that day what are we going to do with them right so that means that either somebody that’s without cooling or without heating is

either going to be inconvenienced more or other people are going to be working later to try to take these other calls

right and so when you do have attendance problems or reliability problems or things like that it really really

affects a lot of other people and so you know our team understands that and appreciate that now that’s not to say

that you know life happens right very much like you know life happens family

first we do want to work life balance we want all of these things we don’t want anybody to work the number of hours that Travis and I work in this

years um and so there there is that give and take with that and how can we help people meet their goals and you know one

of um we set bucket list goals and we set personal goals and professional goals and you know one of the bucket

list goals for for somebody on our team is to go to Dubai they want to visit Dubai I was like oh my God that’s so

cool what did that take well you’re going to need at least two weeks right you can’t fly all the way across the world and only spend you know four days

there and so you know how long you going to need and how are we going to budget for that and how are you going to get there and what’s that look like with

family life and that’s what it excites us that’s cool to see other people meet those goals too last question um Jim ran

said that we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with so um as you think about that quote what

advice would you have for business owners who feel like they should be doing it on their

own you can’t do it on your own number one so let’s just just stop it if that is the mentality you have stop it you

can’t do it on your own um you know I I I truly believe in that 110% I think

that is so true um we were talk I was talking to our team this morning I was like does anybody know anybody that always has a dark cloud above their head

you know what I mean like everybody knows that person you need to find new friends or you need to separate yourself

from that you need need to whatever and so you know you really look at it as in like being with people who have shared

values shared ethics um people who are driven or and who celebrate success

right Success is Not a Bad Thing and success is different to everybody so success to one person maybe sending

their kids to college success to another person may be traveling somewhere success to another person may be able to

support their parents at a certain age I mean it’s different for everybody and so you know finding people who don’t have

judgment if you meet a goal or finding people who can celebrate those things

that’s what helps take you to the next level and seeing people that’s why I was like I want to be the dumbest person in the room right because I want to be

learning from all of these people I don’t you know I don’t want to be in a room do I want to help other people I

absolutely do but I want to learn as well and I can’t if if you know if I

know everything right if I know everything and I have if I have that mentality I can’t and so I think as

business owners we have to be open-minded that it doesn’t matter that we’ve been in the business for 20 years or 30 years or 40 years or whatever it’s

been it doesn’t matter if we’ve seen our parents in it things are always changing there’s always New Perspectives on

things and we have to be open to those and some we may agree with some we may not agree with some may work in our business some we don’t think they will

but there’s been a number of times where you know somebody’s had an idea and Travis might initially be like oh

that’ll never work we think about it we’re like that’s not a I actually okay so a friend of mine this is just

yesterday was saying so I was saying that um our office so the people in our

office they don’t have they don’t get a lot of like Technical Training right so they don’t have the Technical Training

that our technicians do for example and so she was like why don’t you do like a lunch and learn sometime and I was like

my first thought was oh that’ll never work because our technicians are always out it’s hard to get everybody back at

the same time for lunch right but then I started thinking about that and I was like how cool would that be if we had a

lunch and learn maybe once a month and it was one technician who came in and taught something kind of on that side

and that was from like that was my best friend who she is not in the industry she’s in like a completely different

industry you know and but I think it’s that reminder that like you have to have an open mind right you have to have an

open mind and when you surround yourself with people who have ideas and and who share and collaborate and all of that

stuff you’re only going to grow and you’re only going to get better yeah I love it we uh we introduce a term isn’t

that interesting so instead of saying I know or that won’t work it’s like isn’t that interesting I like that that that

forces you to think about it yes it keeps your your mind open to the possibilities versus if we shoot it down

right away our subconscious you know pushes it out of our of our mind and we don’t get to Noodle on it but if we keep

that open mind you know while we’re sleeping our subconscious is still thinking about the possibilities of how

might that work well and then you do see it work for like another company and you know we hear you hear all the time I

know we hear it in our industry and I know I’m sure you hear this all the time too well that would never work in my

business no it will it’s just that or it could right it could yes but it really

it comes down to you know most of the the challenges that we had you know it really started with Travis and myself

right we we we weren’t the business owners that we needed to be we weren’t the leaders that we needed to be we

didn’t have the skill sets that we needed to be we didn’t have the open mind that we needed to have and those are things that we’ve learned

and you know it’s not been an overnight change I’ll tell you that there you know there’s some times where you know

something happen and I’m you know I feel myself because I’m I’m quick sometimes that’s your D right y yeah

that’s my D that’s my D and so I have to purposely like step back and say okay like give it a minute give it a minute

and it could be something good good or bad right it’s not just bad things it’s it can be good too it’s like just give

it a minute so yeah you mentioned the story um earlier about halfy slow down

because for a d like you there’s there might be a thousand steps but to you it’s one right and it’s obvious like you

just right and to the rest of the team it’s like okay there’s a thousand steps that need to happen in here and I don’t

even know how to do step one right right right and that’s I think that’s the thing of being a good leader too is not

and this is why dis became so important to me it’s not only understanding myself and how I operate and how I communicate

but it’s really understanding other people and so BEC I’ll go back to Gretchen for a minute because she is so opposite of me

right if I would go in with a a serious conversation or a big change or something like that she might cry yeah

and then I’d be like what’s wrong why are you crying like WR what happened here she like you know what I mean and it’s just a lot for her to process and

so I know that yeah and I know that it’s just like she knows about me like she could come to me with something that she

feels like is Uber sensitive and kind of emotional and I’m naturally I’m you have

no emotion so it I’m a little detached I’ll say that yes my heart you can knock on it I think and so you know she knows

that like saying like oh my gosh this happened it’s probably not going to get through to me right away but so she knows what to say and she’s learned my

style to know what gets my attention that’s fantastic yeah so I think it’s being open to accept that and and learn

some things about yourself and other people too Renee it sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people who have helped you along your journey

if they were all here on the show today what would you want to say to them oh my gosh I would just say thank

you I just I cannot even put into words I say so many times the the changes that have happened

in our business in our lives in the last five or six years it has changed our lives um you know our kind of rock

bottom that I talked about I was starting to have people say to me Travis is going to die early like people would

say that and it almost to like blaming me for the long hour that he was working I mean the bags under his eyes you could

put groceries in they were so big and he just he was just R he he was run down um

and it it showed it showed on him physically and people were starting to say and then I started thinking like oh

my gosh like okay and this is this is my like this is my knth on my heart right I was like oh my gosh if he dies and

leaves me with all of this mess by myself like I G be so mad at him forever no but you know in in all

truthfulness you know that was one of those moments where it was like oh my what are we doing we’re working ourselves into the ground into the grave

literally I mean people are are are telling me he’s going to die early and so that was a that was a major stopping

point for us on like okay this either we make a change or we’re done yeah and when I say like to everybody who has

supported us and been along our sides our team our fellow contractor everybody

um I can only say thank you and you’ll truly have no idea how much this has changed our lives it’s changed our

mindsets it’s changed just everything um for the positive so I can only say thank

you that is awesome thank you for sharing Renee it’s been a pleasure uh speaking with you today thanks so much

for being on the show yeah thank you so much for having me I I appreciate it to everyone who tuned in thanks for

listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim csil be sure to help us spread the movement by

liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join us go to badt together.com all right folks that’s

a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take

care