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How to Build a Healthy Team and Company Culture (Episode 100)

Tommy Mello is the owner and operator of A1 Garage Doors, the host of the Home Service Expert podcast, and owner, partner, or investor in 14 other businesses ranging from Christmas lights to real estate to mobile apps. He shares what he’s learned at Homeservicesexpert.com to help fellow business owners grow their businesses.

In 2007, Tommy became the sole owner and operator of a single Phoenix-based garage door service business, which came with $50,000 in debt. Today, A1Garage generates north of $50 million dollars in annual revenue, with over 360 employees in 17 states.

Tommy is a regular contributor to Inc., Entrepreneur, and other business publications on the topic of entrepreneurship and small business as well as a sought-after podcast, radio, and television guest. When not in the office or working on the businesses, you’ll find him on a plane headed to exotic destinations or chasing the little white ball around one of Arizona’s many golf courses.

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What you will learn

  • Why every business needs a “dream manager”
  • How to build a healthy team and company culture
  • Why systems and processes important
  • The top 4 types of software that you need for your business
  • Why you should give yourself the permission to read as an entrepreneur to keep growing

Transcript

Jeff Bullas

00:00:04 - 00:00:44

Hi everyone and welcome to the Jeff Bullas show. Today I have with me, Tommy Mello. Now, Tommy’s actually quite a young man compared to me really and he's about, he wants to actually have world domination. In other words, he wants to own the garage business, door business in America, which he seems to be well on his way to do that. He is the founder of A1 Garage Doors, a $50+ million home service business with over 360 employees in 17 states and we're going to find out where the inspiration comes to start a garage door business and what he's learned along the way and what the inspiration has for him.

So welcome to the show, Tommy. It's an absolute pleasure.

Tommy Mello

00:00:45 - 00:00:47

Me as well. Thank you for letting me on. Appreciate it, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:00:48 - 00:01:02

So tell me some Scottsdale, Arizona and so Tommy, what was your first sort of experience as an entrepreneur? Did it start before you started the garage door business?

Tommy Mello

00:01:03 - 00:02:15

Yeah, so I grew up in Detroit, Michigan about an hour outside of Detroit and my dad had a transmission shop. My mom became a real estate agent, so they were really self, self-made business people. So I learned a lot about it as a kid. So of course being in Michigan, you shovel snow and you mow lawns. You’ve got to make some money doing that. And then I turned 12 and I was able to get a job at a sports bar at $4.5 an hour, under the table, washing dishes. They paid me legally when I became 13, which is the legal age to work in Michigan at the time. So yeah, I did move to Arizona when I was 16, started a small landscape company that became pretty big, not in regards to the garage are pretty small but big for me. And I just always kind of hustled, knew I could make money but I never knew how to make money when I didn't work, I always could flip cars. I was flipping all kinds, buying and selling stuff. I was bartending. I was doing the landscaping and then I started the garage door business with a buddy of mine. It did okay but I bought him out in 2010, basically took on some debt from the business. And yeah, I mean I made every mistake in the book. That's my secret sauce is don't be afraid to fail.

Jeff Bullas

00:02:16 - 00:02:26

So that's true. You need to take some risk. You also need to mitigate risk as well, don't you? It's like you don't want to be betting everything all the time. Otherwise, it gets a little bit scary and it takes you out of comfort zone.

Tommy Mello

00:02:27 - 00:03:33

Well, you know, here's a philosophy, there's a book here that I want to read a little excerpt about that I read over the last week “Outsized returns often come from betting against conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is usually right. Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time. But you're still going to be wrong nine times out of ten.We all know that if you swing for the fences, you're going to strike out a lot, but you're also going to hit some home runs. The difference between baseball and business, however, is that baseball has a truncated outcome distribution.When you swing, no matter how well you connect with the ball, the most runs you can get is four.

In business, every once in a while, when you step up to the plate, you can score 1,000 runs. This long-tailed distribution of returns is why it's important to be bold. Big winners pay for so many experiments.” - Jeff Bezos. So that's Amazon. That's one of the second largest company in the world right now. Second Richest Man in the World. And I do think if you're going to be an entrepreneur and you want to be conservative, you'll always have a tiny business. You've got to be able to take educated chances.

Jeff Bullas

00:03:33 - 00:03:52

Yeah, I don't think I like that term educated chances. In other words, you're not just guessing. You're actually taking educate against chances. Now, what chose you to choose a garage door business? Where did that idea? Was that a chat with your mate over a drink at a bar? Where did that come from?

Tommy Mello

00:03:53 - 00:06:46

So, so my buddy, one day he calls me up and he’s actually, it was my roommate at the time and he says “Hey buddy, hey Tommy, do me a favor, I don't know if you'd be interested but would you be interested in painting garage doors? I'm answering phones. I'm a manager at a garage door company.” And I said, you know, how much does it pay? And he goes “Well I could probably get you about 100 bucks a garage door to paint them. It should be a fairly easy job. Only take a couple hours per door. And I said I'll give it a shot. So I hired a painter to teach me and never had painted with a sprayer. And he paid the guy the whole money all three or four times. And then I bought, went to Home Depot, bought a sprayer.

I kind of just systematically built the standard operating procedure. I could do $10 a day. So I was making 1000 bucks minus the paint, the tape and the paper and some of the other tools to clean the gun and filters. I was making about 80 bucks a door. So I can make 800 bucks in a day. I had some gas in there so probably 750. I was driving a G20 Infiniti. A 95 G20 Infiniti. So I just drove a car around, got it all fit in the trunk and just had it all calculated and I meet with these garage door guys in the business and they were telling me how much they were making and whatnot. And one day, my other roommate started working for him as a technician and he was making 90 grand in 2005.

So I said “Dude, I gotta see this business. Take me for a ride along.” So he showed me the margins and how it worked and I, you know, they wanted me to do a business. So we started up a business just me and my buddy, Gabe, and we really learned the hard way. I gotta tell you like I said it's every mistake in the book. We got in the yellow pages. Hence, a one garage door service but we didn't really know what we were doing when it came to Valpak taxes, tax planning. I was the marketing guy, the installer, the technician, the driver, the inventory management, the tax prepper, everything. And I realized I'm not really good at any of this.

So I read a lot of books one day, my CPA, for some reason, he had a liking for me. I was his 11th client because he got rid of his clients years ago and I got introduced to him because I like his energy. I think you're gonna be somebody. He goes, “I think you're gonna be my biggest client one day.” And he's got a couple of clients over 300 million. And he goes I don't know I just got a knack for this thing, but here's what I want to see. I want you to go home and read this book. He gave me “The E-Myth” and I wasn't a reader. I brought the book back two days later and I said, this is amazing. He goes, “Well, here's The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes. I call this the red bible, go read this. Next day, bring it back, what else?” He goes, here's The Richest Man in Babylon. We went on and on and I started reading and now I'm just, I'm a crazy reader and I'm obsessed with it and I'm obsessed with visiting companies that are bigger than me.

I'm obsessed with just learning and I'm a visionary. I'm not the integrator in the company, I might have a heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy visionary.

Jeff Bullas

00:06:47 - 00:06:53

That's, that's very interesting about your reading now. How many hours a day would you read? Tell me.

Tommy Mello

00:06:54 - 00:07:23

Well, you see that really depends because I'll read all day for a day and then I won't read for a week or I'll read on a plane. I can knock out a couple of books because I got 1100 books on Audible and every single book I've got another bookshelf over there, I got a bunch of bookshelves at home. So I tried and I got a few books 3-5 a month sometimes even more depending on the time of year and what's going on with the business and whatnot.

Jeff Bullas

00:07:24 - 00:07:31

So would you say that that education driven by book reading as being one of your secret source?

Tommy Mello

00:07:32 - 00:09:02

Yeah, the books are, the books that make my brain kind of think outside of the box and, and you know, I'm involved with different businesses so there's always something that I can correlate because it's not, I'm not locked down by just home service and garage doors. I've got some real estate stuff going on. I've got some different things going on with lead generation and websites and optimization. So I'm able to kind of have much larger spectrum, but I think one of the largest things that a couple of catalysts. When I got my integrator in 2014 who's really set me free to go ahead and be the, the guy I am. So I hired around my weaknesses and I got people that are better organized and more analytical, they could work, staff were better than me. I definitely don't try to excel on my weaknesses. I just hire people for them. I try to focus on my strengths and I'd say 2017, I got on service [inaudible]t, which is a CRM, that was a super, super good move. And then another big one was I have a mentor named Al Levy, The 7-Power Contractor and then the other one was, I started a podcast and I started interviewing geniuses and I could ask him anything I want about any subject that wants. So I get the number one seller of, you know, I had Michael Gerber on here for example. And you know, he was okay. I mean I like the guy but it wasn't the best stuff he put was in the book. But the one page marketing plan, I've had 1800, got junk. I've had a million companies, Ken Goodrich of Goettl and it opened up my eyes. So there's a lot of things that I think there there's a, there's a couple of handfuls of things that have brought us into the business we are today

Jeff Bullas

00:09:03 - 00:09:08

You mentioned one thing, so you mentioned the term Integrator that change your life. What do you mean by integrator?

Tommy Mello

00:09:10 - 00:10:50

Well, there's a great book called Rocket Fuel and what he explains, it’s Jonathan, no, it's Mark Winters and Gino Wickman, and he explains that Walt Disney would have never been anything without his brother, Roy. Roy knew what was in the bank account. Roy knew what was going on. He controlled all the construction, he made sure the channels were distributing the cartoons at the right time. He was more, see the visionary was Walt. He knew, he knew what he wanted to build, he could explain it, but he couldn't get it to the finish line.

He was, the integrators that run the operations, the visionary keeps the gas on, they see a bigger picture, they understand how things work and flow together. So, so I live on Mars and I look down at Earth as the company and when there's a volcano or a hurricane, I kind of look and see what's going on there from a distance and kind of make sure I'm delegating properly. But when you could really understand it, a real integrator is somebody that can keep up with the visionary and help them get their dreams and goals on the paper and, and hit the destination. And it's very rare. Some people could do both. But if you are both, you'll never be good at either one. That means you might need a bigger visionary. But my vision has to be able to fit everyone else's vision within it. Meaning if I've got a person next door over here, I've got, you know, five over 420 employees now, these guys all have a goal and a dream. So my vision is gonna be big enough that they can hit their dreams and on their homes and go on their vacations and have a good retirement and put their kids in their private school and be able to take care of their parents when they're older. So I've got a pretty freaking big vision.

Jeff Bullas

00:10:50 - 00:11:00

Yeah. I love the fact you mentioned that, you know, Walt Disney wouldn't have been the same without his brother. And that applied also to Microsoft, didn't it? And also to Apple.

Tommy Mello

00:11:01 - 00:13:14

They've all had their right hands and you know, there's a deal here where I'll say this though, sometimes the people that could take you here, can't take you to the next, you know, they're sharing guys, if they meet each other, they can go all the way to the top. But then again, you look at something like Apple, you look at something like Tesla, you look at something, you know, their new technology. I chose garage doors, which are really, I think it's kind of cool. It's 40% of your curb appeal. It's considered the smile of your home. You get 100% return on investment. It's the highest thing in Remodeling magazine that's not biased. So I like it. But the real deal is I know home service, like the back of my hand. Now I know KPIs, you know, standard operating procedures, they know how to write manuals, I know software. So I, and marketing and sales are my to go to. So, and now I'm getting into consolidation. So I think my favorite word in the world is arbitrage and I've mastered it. But ultimately, this is not the end for me, there will be things I go on to do that come a lot with AI technology and outside of the home service realm. This is getting me from point A to point B. It's my goal and this will set me into the rare, I think there's about 2500 people that are in the billionaire club and that that's not important to me to say I'm in the club. It's important to me to be able to do what I want to do in life, to be able to have that kind of influence and become that big of a giver. I should say, I want I want to take a lot of people along for the ride and I think they're taking me along for the ride too. I'm standing on, I always tell people I'm standing on the shoulders of giants, I've got the best crew anybody could ever want. They allow me to be me, they give me a lot of freedom and they deal with my corks because sometimes I'll invade and I'll jump back in and sometimes I gotta warn my own self to give, you know, just stay I'm I'm I'm always going 100 miles an hour and I got ADHD but it's controlled and focused but my brain doesn't shut off. I got a whiteboard in my room, I got one in my kitchen, I've got 25 files on here that I add to every single day with different ideas and then I update people on every single one of them and I delegate it all so a lot going on.

Jeff Bullas

00:13:15 - 00:13:49

So I want to talk about culture in a minute but I want to go back to what you mentioned when you started the garage door painting, you created basically a process, process in the system didn't you? In other words, you worked out how you could get, you know, the system you needed to do a process to actually get what 10 doors down a day, didn't you?

In other words, what I'm detecting also what you talked about with Integrators as well as others is actually the way to scale a business best is to do something really boring. That's called processing systems.

Tommy Mello

00:13:51 - 00:15:05

You know what processes and systems are boring. But when you're small in business you become an amazing firefighter and the employees, they really beat themselves on the chest and they love, they love fires because they're good at putting them out and it's constant. I asked one of my managers several years ago, I said, show me your day, show me your plan day and he says dude my day is not planned. He goes, I don't know what's gonna happen that day, but I make sure it all goes smooth at the end of the day. And I go, that's the messed up answers. Think about that. Your day is being stolen from you. When you have standard operating procedures manuals, when you really get things checklists dialed in.

When I met Al Levy, The 7-Power Contractor, he really got us dialed in and helped us learn these processes and I remember saying one day it's kind of boring. Everything's kind of running very good. And so I went out and I said, I'm just gonna have to 10 times the business size, so that's what I've done and, and not me, let me just say, like I said, I've got a million coworkers here that bust their humps and they're amazing. So this is not, I have a dream, but these guys literally are making it a reality, so I don't deserve, I'll take I'll take a few percent of the credit, but I really got to give it to them.

Jeff Bullas

00:15:05 - 00:15:20

Well, you're the conductor really, aren't you? The visionary that actually needs to conduct and make sure all the things fit together. So what I did notice choosing Al Levy, who’s a consultant, you spent six figures building manuals.

Tommy Mello

00:15:21 - 00:17:56

Yeah, I did. I spent a lot of money with him, probably, you know, I don't know if he's gonna listen to this, but probably paid a couple 100 grand and it's, it's, it's a fart in the wind compared to what I made with him. So, you know, I was probably one of his last clients that he actually took on and works full time with and actually sat in my office and we worked through it and a guy like me going over a tattoo policy, it's like, I don't really care and I love, you know, I'm like really, we're doing this and he's like Tommy, he's like, this is important, you'll really be happy. So I did it. It was excruciating. And I know what it's like and what I really I really really really try to find. I don't think I'm good at a lot of things. I really don't. And I know I'm not. And you put me in a room, I'll figure out a pivot table. I'll go ahead. I'll be a, I could do Excel. I could do, I could get into the account. I could probably learn a service type. But I don't because I can't stand it. I don't want it's not. I was going to be a dentist that took all the pre dental classes, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, you name it. I took organic chemistry. I took calculus and the classes weren't tough. But then when I went in there and turned with the dentist, he goes, number one. Because if I were you, you get a business degree. So I got a masters of business. But he goes, I don't see you being a dentist. And the deal is is who am I supposed to pretend, who am I fooling? Only myself and saying no I'm good at anything I do. And I don't know. Everybody wants to make themselves feel good. I'll tell you man I'm not very organized. She is who takes care of me. I'm not very good at time management. She is Bree, my assistant. There's about 100 things that I'm not good at. And I like hiring very good people and I like it on the org chart to figure out what those people look like. And I used to wherever he had on the org chart and then I said I hate this. So that's the first person I'd hire and I said I hate this one. So then I hired them and here's a little secret.

I'd rather have, let's just picture as paint paying the guy 60 grand to be a CFO, right. 60 grand, now pretend I'd rather hire a $400,000 on a person now I only want them. I only want them for four hours of the week. So I'm only paying $40,000 now for a $400,000 person. So this guy tells us exactly how to get set up. He tells us exactly what chart of accounts. He tells us exactly how to build a budget and he's got $400,000 worth of experience a year versus your $60,000 guy working 50 hours a week and getting you into a crap, getting you in the poop all the time. So I'd rather pay the 400K for 10% of the time and have them four hours a week to guide me than have a full time guy that doesn't know how to use any of the tools or technology out there.

Jeff Bullas

00:17:56 - 00:18:49

Yeah I think that's very wise. I think one of the best first hires I had was a great bookkeeper and I didn't have to worry about taxes and she says you got to pay this right here right now. I hated accounting. In fact, that was my first part of my degree. For one year, I did accounting. I hated it. So I hired, I've hired someone when I started the business, I hired to do something that just like you said you hated so and yeah, it makes my eyes bleed, makes my head spin because I'm not a detailed guy either, right. So the vision is really important and that leaves me with the next part, which I think is really important. Notice that you mentioned is that you are the visionary but you want to make sure that you're bringing the people along with you to help them realize their dreams and this is gets to the core of company culture, doesn't it?

Tommy Mello

00:18:51 - 00:22:38

Yeah. You know the culture, I used to hate that word back in the you know 2008, 2009, 2010 and I used to even 2011 and 2012 it was like I walk into work, there's people taking cigarette breaks, I'm busting my butt and I say no one cares like I care. And finally I realized why would they care? It's not their business. You see, I see all these people that are saying people are lazy, these millennials, they don't do crap around here blah blah blah blah blah. You haven't set them up for success. They don't know what winning looks like. They don't have any reporting that comes back to them. You know, the fact is that I see people that complain about culture because they're very, very bad leaders and they have no right to own a business and I'm finally telling people this, I don't care if you like me or not. If you find yourself, relationships are difficult, you can't keep employees happy. You, you wonder why everybody else around you is no good and you can't delegate, then you're a really crappy leader. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, I'm not doing good because if you know what, when I was in football, baseball, soccer, basketball, what I learned is a great coach could make me into an A player. A crappy coach, I would be horrible. I didn't work with the team. I don't know how to dribble right, I wasn't running through the right exercises, I wasn't practicing right. And you know what, I've seen the Tom Bradys of the world come out with the right coach and become, you know, 67 super bowls whereas I see other guys that, you know, all-star college, they go to the wrong coach in football and they don't get it. And really, there's another good book called The Coaching Effect. It talks about being a great mentor and coach and I like this. I don't want any managers, I only want coaches, I want people saying catch somebody doing something right. There's so many freaking crappy owners out there that whip people in the back and say you get it right up, you get time off, you get this, you're not good enough, You know what? Why don't you celebrate when you show up on time? Why don't you celebrate that you had a good day? Why don't you celebrate that you set a personal record?

You know, we call it performance improvement plans. I just call it an opportunity to make more money and help us all out and listen. If you want to hit your goals this year, let me help you. But I want to hear your real goals. What do you want? So I say Jeff, what do you want? Do you want to take your, you want to take your dad on a long term cruise for three weeks? Do you want to take your wife out for a 10-year anniversary? You want to put your kids here? What do you want to do? What do you want to give your future-self? Let's at least get you into with a really high credit score to get you under homeownership. So let's build a guide for you. So I'm hiring a dream manager right now and we're really, we're looking at every single person's dreams in their real life and helping them tell them what they need to do here because when you understand their real, when you peel back that onion, several layers and you know what they really, really want and you help them get there. They're gonna be loyal. Your tuition rates going to go to, the things that are going to matter are going to be crazy. They're gonna have a bigger why. Instead of giving somebody a bump at the end of the year, if they're marathon runners, get him a pair of $400 shoes, get him a pair of $400 shoes and watch what happens. Every time they put on those shoes every day to go jogging, they're gonna think about a great company.

People need enough money though. This is important. There's a guy named Daniel Pink and he said this, “People need enough money to pay their essential bills and, you know, pay for gas and pay for their kids' new clothes. But after that, after that fee, whatever it is, 60, 70 grand, money is not, it's not very important.” What is his acknowledgment? I help somebody get their credit score. I helped them understand homeownership. I help them get through a loan. That's my plan and you know what, I'll never be perfect at it. But I'll die trying to become very, very good and I don't believe I'll ever get it figured out, but every single day I'm gonna try harder to get it right.

Jeff Bullas

00:22:39 - 00:22:44

I love the fact that in the middle of hiring a dream manager. That is so cool.

Tommy Mello

00:22:44 - 00:22:53

Well if you read there's a book called The Dream Manager. So I just sent a gal off. I paid 10 grand to get her trained and what it says is, can I give you a little summary real quick?

Jeff Bullas

00:22:53 - 00:22:57

Yeah. Yeah absolutely. I love books, love summary. There's still it.

Tommy Mello

00:22:57 - 00:24:47

So so there's this guy and he's working for this janitorial service and he talks to the owner and he says you want me to become a better manager? I think we need to find out the root of our problem. Here he goes it was mostly hispanic workers and he said would you mind if I did a survey and find out why they leave? And he goes, what's a survey gonna you know blah blah blah blah blah. And he goes let me just do it. So he sends out a survey and the number one reason they were quitting is because they didn't have a way to get to work. What he did was he started a carpool and he made sure every worker could get to work and they said hold on we got something here. Attrition rate was getting better and better. So so people weren't falling off as much. So then he said okay what else could we do? Send out another survey and they said you know what mean to a lot to us, the majority of them said if we could learn English better, so they started English teaching classes. Well then then they got the kids involved and then they actually have surveys out and then they actually built this whole dream manager program because they said this is changing. Now all of a sudden the employees are recruiters, they're going out and getting customers and new people to work for us. We're getting five star reviews, we are not losing employees and everybody's happy and it's a great life and it really is. So it's a mix of the dream manager. It's a mix of gifts. It's a it's a mixture of giftology. It's a mix of making sure that people understand that you're acknowledging their weddings and birthdays and we're working on some software things. And then I think the five labeled the five languages of the workplace is good to, to understand. You might think acknowledging somebody bringing them up in front of the room is great, but that might destroy them. Really understanding on an individual level who they are and what gets them excited is a big piece of it as well.

Jeff Bullas

00:24:48 - 00:25:00

Yeah. So when did you, the importance of team culture and company culture become, when was that light bulb moment for you? When did you go ship? This is actually really important.

Tommy Mello

00:25:01 - 00:29:25

You know, there was a light bulb one day they came out and they told me we have this bad virus going around called Covid 19. And I said, oh great, what's this gonna do? And, me and Adam got together and we built an excel sheet of every employee. And I said, look if I gotta go run jobs we're not letting this company go down. I said we've got a, we've got a good thing going here for the better of the good. We need to figure out a way to this work. So I had to make announcements every day whether it was an email or a video or a text message to all the staff and I let them know where we were at this before the PPP, money and everything. And I had a lineup out this door right here and there was employees that came in here one by one and they said, listen I'm gonna come and pay in half for the minutes for the next six months. And somebody said I want to donate all my PTO, kind of makes me teary eyed right now thinking about it because people were calling me saying we'll do whatever it takes to make this work and we care about other employees that need time out with their families. And at that point I figured out, man these guys are what makes this thing tick so everything in my life needs to be around making them better and making sure not better but making their lives better and making sure they're hitting their goals.

So, you know what I wanted to do is figure out a way to give them back in more ways than one. So we get a group of 30 trainees here, we go at least 1-2 days a week. Out of their training, we send them over to the YMCA or they actually pack lunches for the homeless. We've done a, we've raised 25,000 bottles of water. We do shop with a cop for the kids that don't get christmas presents and these guys are all involved and you know, as good as we do, we can do way better. And it's something to where we've got a program called A1 Cares, but getting out of the community, giving a crap about people, making sure people have a thanksgiving dinne. Look like I said, it could be, it could be better. And I'm not saying that I'm the, you know, I'm not coming here, is the pope saying, you know, thou shalt give to everybody. But what I am saying is, I've got, I think we've done a good job. I think we can do way better. And then my goal is to continue to give right to the source and the first place you should look is in your backyard. If you've got a single mother driving here with bald tires on her car, figure out a way to get tires for, I don't think you need to give to charity before you can give your own people and I think that's a big mistake out there because people want to get the attention, but sometimes it's a lot better on set. You know, I've done some nice things for people and I'm not bragging but I don't need attention. It's it's very, very private what I've done because it's very, very personal and I don't need to go into it. But I think that sometimes doing something, you know, I'll send a person $1000 here and there and and I don't, I think it's important and I just, it's my personal money that I'm sending, its not the company's money because I don't need anybody. The company asked me about it because I do care and it's very hard to find people that care. But I know I've got a lot of people that they care and that's getting to that point. But everybody really does care if you can find out what they care about.

I don't think, you know, that the older generation said pay me more money every month and I'll be happy, I'll come to work and I'll hate it. Younger people, they say, I want to enjoy work, I want to be challenged, I want to know my input counts, I want to be educated more and I'll take a little bit less money, but I love coming and we're doing what I do. So they call it work life balance, I think that's a bunch of crap because work life balance and you know people say it was a good book by Dan Thurmon called Off Balance On Purpose and if you work a lot you're probably not praying every day if you're with your family all the time, you're probably not working enough if you're working and you're good with God and you're with your family, you're probably not working out enough and you're definitely not meditating enough so you're always off balance and you've got to understand their seasons in life and when to go get it because I'm making sure I'm set up. So 46, 56, 70-year old Tommy are taken care of if if something happens or you know if I, if I fall out of love with what I'm doing, which I don't think I will in the next two years, but because I love it, I love, I feel like I've been doing this for two weeks, that's what I feel like it.

Jeff Bullas

00:29:25 - 00:29:37

Well you're still in love with it, that's really cool. Now the thing, another thing you mentioned here is about personal growth and it sounds like you're not only interested in personal growth for you, you're interested in personal growth for employees.

Tommy Mello

00:29:38 - 00:30:06

Oh yeah, 100% you know, absolutely. In fact Bree is getting ready to go to a, it's called an executive assistant, it's I don't know, I think it's six grand, it's a fart in the wind really for and for the, you know, she asked for that boom done, People asked me to go to a course or a school or a training boom done, you want to go out of town and do something? I've got guys playing all over the country getting trained on certain things right now. I think it's awesome when they ask for it.

Jeff Bullas

00:30:07 - 00:30:36

Yeah, well it sounds like you're trying to help your whole team and company grow. So how do you do this when you got over 400 employees to keep, you know, to help everyone. I know you drew up a list at the beginning of covid by the sounds of every employee and then so how did you actually get in touch with every one of them to understand what their dreams were. Was that done via their managers? How do you scale this company culture to help other people realize their dreams? How do you scale this?

Tommy Mello

00:30:37 - 00:32:00

So number one, you've got to have a pretty robust HR Department and you've got to have a pretty robust software system to be able to handle surveys. Something is simple. A SurveyMonkey to find out, let me know what your 2022 goals are. Let me know, I'd like to know is home ownership in the future or is it currently I'd like to know. Do you feel like your credit score? Do you feel like you could get some lessons? We subscribe to Dave Ramsey for every employee. Dave Ramsey is a financial guidance counselor that tells people how to spend and save money. Personally, I don't believe in any one thing he says because I'm the 1% that was saving.

You know, me and my sister used to go to church and I wouldn't eat my candy all year. I'd have this big thing that we would get one thing of candy each Sunday. She ate hers as the minute she got it and there's a thing called Parkinson's law that says if it, if you have it you use it, whether it's space, you use it. If it's toothpaste, you're very kind with toothpaste till you run out of it and now you're like, I gotta make this last three days. Toilet paper same way. So I've been very fortunate and I believe in leverage. I believe I just, was it, I was just signing paperwork for another house, not taking a loan on it. I'm putting 20% down. I'm not gonna have to pay the PMI and I'm also getting renters in there to pay triple the mortgage. So you know, I'm used to using leverage but I don't recommend people using leverage like I do, not the average American because they will end up in debt.

Jeff Bullas

00:32:03 - 00:33:01

So the other thing I found curious is that you mentioned was basically your CRM was one of the most important things you did, in other words, software. And I think and I was reading a book the other day that mentioned the fact that software is basically very underestimated in terms of how it improves our lives. And for example why we use Trello as a collaboration tool within the company and that changed my life two years ago because it really just allowed us to collaborate and create much better processes and systems and communication. We've got a long way to go with that, but on the other thing, a lot of other things, but what I think we sometimes forget is the use of really good software. So the CRM software used and what are some of your favorite software that's helped you manage and grow the company that you think has made a huge impact?

Tommy Mello

00:33:03 - 00:37:37

Well, there's four major factors that you need to think about with software and these are just the basics but I'll go ahead and I'll explain them to you. So the main four are your payroll software which will also have HR involved. I recommend everything. They automatically send out all the new stuff with labor laws. You put them on the wall, you automatically, it handles your payroll, it tells you certain things about insurance, everything there's a feeding system in them. Number two is your CRM, your customer relationship management system. Get a very robust one with a really, really nice user interface that can handle pushing and pulling different things. It's called an API which is an application process interface than a web look. So it's got to have web looks. Number three is your VoIP system, voice over internet protocol. We use a dial pad that hooks directly up with my CRM. And number four is your financial, which is gonna be Quickbooks or if you're like us, we got too big, we use Intact. Those are your four cores.

Now of course I'm a data dork. So I love pulling in data so I can pull in people's credit score. I can pull in all kinds of data from the distribution models. So I know what's in stock. I'm pulling in Facebook links, Linkedin links, Instagram links, Zillow links of the home. I know how much you paid off on your house. I can tell you guys I've got the unfair advantage because I could do regression testing. I can tell if the house is worth this much and it's this, this this this this. And when you look at a bell curve and you understand confidence intervals and statistics. You can start to take assumptions over time with data and that's how the foundation of artificial intelligence began is taking enough probability. So you can start leaning things in your favor if this, if you humidity hits this and it's this degrees, this many air conditioning units are gonna break down and over time I know my payroll within 1% every week, which is, you know, I tell you this, it's, it's a lot of money each month. It's, it's not cheap. It's several hundreds of thousands of dollars a week. So when you know these things, the data is key, but don't get obsessed with the data until you've got an amazing recruiting and training program. Because here's the deal. I'll take my best guy and I'll send it to the worst job ever statistically and he'll freaking murder it. I'll send my worst guy to the best job and he'll fail. So don't let this, this AI or algorithm algorithms or whatever you wanna call it and data don't let that skew your mindset to think that you don't have to train people and role play and motivate because the human element will change everything. And then the Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple thought they were gonna come in the big four and they thought we're just going to uberize the whole industry. They think they can uberize anything. The problem is it's not just a mapping system with someone that owns a car because grandma could do that, a 21-year old could do that, you know, someone that's handicapped could do that. You need to have a lot of things go right in the home service space. You need to have a vehicle that's equipped, you're trained, drug test, background checks, there's liability, there's a CRM, there's people there, there's weather in the way, there's a million other factors. People say, oh yeah, I own 25 McDonald's. I'm like, that's easy because it's a closed system. You, you're under one small roof. All you gotta do is control, they call it the POS, point of sale systems. That's easy. I'm literally standing in a 10 ft area doing the same thing. So the reason why it's scalable in the home services, there's a lot of, a lot of different instances and things that come from the outer world. But I'll tell you this, if you can make it in home service and it's something like Rogers or chimney sweeping or, or you know, ATrack has been very successful since the early 90s, just like a check plumbing electrical. But you know, my philosophy is, I could, I could do anything after this. There's nothing, there's nothing that will surprise me. You put me in a restaurant chain. Oh my God, I'll have 500 locations within the first year because it's easy. I'm not gonna say that you got to bend over backwards. One of the things I say is treat people like mom, I will treat everybody like my mom and my mom needs help put taking out the christmas lights and I'm at the house, I'm gonna help her take the christmas lights off, I'll do whatever it takes because that's who we are, here's our core values. I got our mission and vision. You've got to know this stuff and you got to let it, you gotta let it bleed through the company and you've got to be open to new ideas.

Jeff Bullas

00:37:37 - 00:37:39

So what is your vision? Can you read that out?

Tommy Mello

00:37:40 - 00:41:06

The vision is to become the largest and most trusted garage door company in North America. So we were literally, so here's the secret sauce. You're gonna love this Jeff. I want to buy out 100 companies this year. People would say you're freaking on crack. That's crazy. It can't be done. And I love when they say that and I said, well what would have to happen, number one, I'd have to have a best practices, a buyer's club like Nextdoor. So I know the CEO of Nextstar. He's an amazing guy. He came and spoke at my event. Julian is his name, Julian Scadden. So I said, alright, so I went and I traveled across the United States, learned everything I could and I started it, starting this January, there was 70 companies at the first event.

I said, I need to make him walk, talk and act like me. I said, I needed to become profitable. They'd be, they've got to be able to pass what's called the quality of earnings. So here's what I said. I said, I'm creating this, this thing where they're a white belt. Then they turn it into a yellow belt, orange belt, green belt, blue belt, purple belt all the way up to black belt. Then they could get to become degrees. So I'm giving them an LMS. I'm teaching them what I use. So you get on the four same systems I'm on, you get your training center built like mine. You get audited financials, you get the recruiting like us, you get expense if I set up and you get your truck set up like us you get background checks and drug tests, you get your tools set up, you start the gamification systems that we're doing, we're gonna help you with the manuals. Once you get all these things you're a black belt then I'm gonna come to you and I'm gonna say listen, Jeff, you're doing 400 grand now. What I'd like to do is I'd like to partner with you. I would really like, I really like the part I really like the, I want to partner with you and I'm gonna make you filthy filthy rich and here's how I'm gonna do it right now I'm gonna give you three times EBITDA, earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization. So that's basically a fancy word for profit. So right now you're making 400K. I'm gonna give you three times which is 1.2 but I'm only gonna have 50.1% which is 600k. So you're gonna retain half the company. I'm gonna give you 600K. But my goal is to double you. So I'm gonna get you to 800k. And then I'm gonna buy another 30% at five times. So 800k times five is four million. Now, what I'm gonna do on that four million is I'm gonna give you 30% which is 1.2 million. And then I still leave you with 20% of that 20%. I'm gonna double you again to 1.6.

Now you're gonna love this 1.6 billion of profit times seven times EBITDA which is one 10 point or seven times is, what is that? 10.4. 10.4 million. I think somewhere from 10.2. 10.2 million times 20% is another 2.4 million. So I gave you 600,000 for half, 1.2 million for the 30%. And then I give you 2.4 for the last 20%. I made you a multi millionaire. And then I'm gonna give you the job of your dreams. I know you hate accounting. I know you hate taxes. I know you hate recruiting. I know you hate the damn issues you deal with. So let me deal with all that crap and pay you six figures. I'll give you a PTO. You'll drive the car you want on the company and I'll make you a million of the process. How does that sound?

Jeff Bullas

00:41:08 - 00:41:10

I think I'm gonna, I'm thinking to get right in right now.

Tommy Mello

00:41:11 - 00:41:16

You know what you're hired, Jeff, you're in.

Jeff Bullas

00:41:17 - 00:41:26

So basically your growth strategy is very much one of acquisition and then just basically putting in really robust systems that actually allow them to scale.

Tommy Mello

00:41:27 - 00:43:40

Yes and no. I mean I still do Greenfield, the hub and spoke model. I've been to Greenfield up to here. We bought out several companies, but it's mostly been Greenfield. Greenfield is when you grow organically. The other one is called consolidation or M&A and when you buy companies, you just have to have a really good line of credit. You got to be able to do things. At first I had to put, you know, insurance policies on myself and sign over my house and my buildings and anything I own to put it all on the line and that's what I mean. I bet on me, I'm not afraid to take those chances because I know the outcome unless something were too bad happen and that's why they take an insurance policy and they check your health because if you die, they want to pay off the loan since you are the company when it's smaller. A lot of times you'll do what's called Keyman Insurance as well where you're doing life insurance policy and your upper managers. But that's kind of where we're at now is getting ready to buy companies, but I just love it because if I buy a company for three times. Right now, at our EBITDA level, I'm worth 15 times, so that's called 12 times arbitrage, right? So buy a company for 300,000, you give them. There are $300,000 company. They're worth 900,000, But you're worth 15 times. You're worth 4.5 million 4.5 million minus $900,000, $3.6 million left over. And the best way to describe it, Jeff, is in the 1860s there was a thing called the Gold Rush in San Francisco and they made these clipper ship strategy, clipper ship, clipper ships that were fast. So they put them in New York and they get the shoes, bare essentials, you get your shoes, nail clippers, stuff for haircuts, razor blades, for shaving, shirts, jeans, shovels, rope, you know, back then it was kerosene and they'd ship these clipper ships, they can get to San Francisco in three days, they pay like 10 cents and they charge two bucks because the people had the money, they couldn't get it from anywhere else. So they could buy it from one piece, it's like me, I used to buy stuff on Craigslist and sell it in the Arizona Republic. So I just, you could tell I just, I absolutely for now, I just love this stuff.

Jeff Bullas

00:43:42 - 00:44:10

I can, I can hear it in your voice and your energy mate, it's very apparent. So just to wrap things up and aware of your time. So what would be the top two or three things that you would say to entrepreneurs who are either who wanted to grow their business and make the business work for them, not the business, make them work for the business. What were your top two or three tips?

Tommy Mello

00:44:10 - 00:49:47

Number one, you start without money, you're going to have to put sweat equity in. That means working nights, weekends, that means sacrifice. I think the biggest misconception is a lot of, lot of if you're like me, you start without anything. I never had anything. I literally, I didn't, I paid for my own college. No one gave me shit, excuse my french. But at the end of the day my mom and dad gave me willpower, they gave me love, they gave me affection, they gave me more than money could ever buy. But I would say this a lot of times when you don't have money, you bust your butt with your significant other and two years into it, you say we're finally making money, we deserve this, we deserve this vacation house, we deserve this this this. She finally got ahead. You're finally able to reinvest that money into the business and you say we deserve this crap, the snowmobile, the jet skis, the boats. That's the worst thing you could ever do early in a business when you don't have a ton of money is to not reinvest it, reinvest it and watch it duplicate every month. And so I'd say re-invest your money, turn off the freaking blinders. It's a shiny like this. We still haven't, I always have. It is, oh my God, that looks fun. I'm gonna flip houses, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that. If you could sit down and say this, it's so hard to do for entrepreneurs. It's almost impossible.

But the trick is you can say yes, but just not today. That's the trick because we say yes, we love saying yes, but just not today, now is not the right time. So until you completely exit the business yourself and you're no longer involved in the day to day. I said keep your head grounded because most of the businesses, they don't have the money to start. So you know, people ask me what, what does it take to get a big, big business started a good business and I say number one, you gotta pick the right name and the right brand. I didn't do well with A1 but I went too far down so pick the right name, the right brand, get the right wrapped trucks, the right website. The website looks like the rap truck, the yard sign, looks like the mailers, looks like the, the billboards, looks like the tv and radio. That's the first thing. Number two is you gotta go practice, you call every friend, every family, every neighbor and you say, listen, I'd like to come out to your house. Let me just tune up your door for 29 bucks. Give me, give me some experience here. And then I say this, would you do me a favor, Jeff, would you leave a review on Nextdoor, Yelp, Google and Facebook? Put a video up, put this in the ground and let your manager know when you're small, the David and Goliath, you could get reviews of the union. You've got more time for videos, you got, there's so much more things you can do when you're small and, and then I'd say look once, once your reputation is built, then you got to get these four main KPIs, your average ticket. You gotta get your face to face closing ratio, your call booking rate, which I promise you you're screwing up. Talk to my, my friend Susie at Callcap. And then the first thing you need to do is get your cost per acquisition and marketing is crazy. That's why I love it. So you, you master those four things, you'll kill it. And then the final thing I'll say because I can't shut up and I'm long winded and this is what I do. If you want to go somewhere, you get a journal, okay? You get a journal and you start writing down every question in the world that you have about the number one or number two company in the industry and you get out of your comfort zone and you fly to another state or another country, usually another state. You fly somewhere far away from home at least two hour flight and you've got this whole journal filled out and you make sure you get ahold of people there. Hopefully the CEO or the COO maybe the CMO. You talk to some of the directors and VPs depending if it's a home service company. Hope you might just want to talk to the general manager. I mean look these fancy titles. I don't get it.

So you got them and you're genuinely interested. You breathe the same error, You smile, you interview the people you say can I record this? Maybe yes, maybe no. You just shot down a million notes but it's different. The oxygen in there is made out of something else, You watch magic happen. And when you're there you figure out what you need to build the whole, the point of this is the blind leading the blind is mostly what's happening when you see success and you see systems and you get answers that seem so simple but why not do this every other month and go to different people that are in different industries that actually are just like yours because that way they're not afraid to give you everything. So when you're able to do this. So when you're a million dollar company, go see a $5 million company. When you're five, go see a 20. When you're 20, go see a 50. When you're 50, go see 120. When you're 120, go see a 600. Last three shots have been to our 600 million. We had our budget as of tomorrow will be 74 million plus the companies we bought will be about 90. But the deal is that next year's budget is 151 without any consolidation. So I think I could probably hit 400 done correctly. People say it's impossible. I like my odds of impossible. They've always been impossible for me when you're the guy that barely has a chance, you don't get to come from nothing. You see, I don't have anything to lose. That's why I'm not afraid to take a chance when you, you know, and I don't, like I moved into this really big house and I sold it because I'm like, there's too much stuff that could break. I don't wanna have to worry about all this crap. I'm like, I'm a simple guy. I mean, I just tried one truck. It's a titan. I wanna focus. There's just too many distractions when I got all these big fancy stuff. I don't need it all.

Jeff Bullas

00:49:48 - 00:49:50

So in essence, you're still keeping life simple.

Tommy Mello

00:49:51 - 00:50:33

I think you have to. I think one day the complicated life for me is traveling all over Europe and Australia and Asia, it's the complicated life is going, I'll use other people's stuff. I'll rent, I'll rent a nice yacht, I don't care. I'd love to be on some nice things to do, some nice things and experience the world. Maybe take a little hiatus in a few years, just six months, but at the end of the day, you cannot turn me off. You watch this guy retire, I'll fish a day a week and I'll go golfing a day a week and you know what, I'll enjoy a martini at the end of the night or a glass of wine, whatever it is, those are my peaceful days, but I can't turn this thing off.

Jeff Bullas

00:50:33 - 00:50:59

So I'd call you a big energizer bunny, I reckon that's what you really are. But I have one last question. I'm curious, you are incredibly driven and a lot of entrepreneurs are incredibly driven and it's almost like someone to turn on a light switch. Where do you think your drive comes from and motivation?

Tommy Mello

00:51:01 - 00:54:26

You know, I've taken a lot of personality profiles and everything, but I definitely, there's a point of recognition, A point of people tell me when I can't do something, I really, really, I won't say I enjoy it, but it's just a lot of people, there's a lot of, no people out there, they say no and the more people say that's impossible, dude. You know, I saw one of the guys spoke of my events, he's been doing [inaudible] for 42 years. He said, his name is Lyle and he's the president of the largest company in the, in the, in the world of [inaudiible] and he shows up and he goes, you know, something Tommy. He goes, I gotta tell you the first time you called me, I thought you were a fast talking young, you know, a guy that wanted the world. But you know, everybody calls me with these thoughts and he goes, then you called me again and I said, holy crap, this guy's spending some good money with me. And he goes, then you called me again and I said, oh my God, this guy is spending lots of millions with me. And then he started calling me and I started writing everything down and he goes, because you never did anything. You said everything you said you were going to do is come to fruition. And I said, listen, Lyle, I'm just getting started. This is only the beginning because I'm playing chess when everybody else is playing checkers.

Well, I see 10 years from now you guys are trying to see what's around the corner with Amazon and it's fine and I'm not saying I’m smarter than you. I'm just saying, I spend a lot more time thinking about it when you're golfing and you guys are bowling and you guys are having your bridge night, I'm thinking about garage doors and how to take over an industry and I'm not saying you're better, I'm better because whatever makes you happy, what makes me happy is I don't play a game, I don't intend to win and if I lose, I practice practice practice so I can compete. And the best way to compete with the best is very simple, play with the best. You want to find yourself making $10 million a year? Hang out with five guys who makes $10 million a year. You want to become a better dad? Hang out with five amazing dads. Take your five closest people in your life and a lot of them could be Steve Jobs if you read all of his books.

If you read Steve Jobs all day long, every day, you'll become more like Steve Jobs. Unfortunately, he passed away. But the point is readers are leaders. You can hang out with people. If you make your individual time to read you're actually hanging out with those that that person or those people in a crowd. So it's very, very simple, surround yourself and people say this all the time. But you know, here's Jeff, if you want to become the best physique you've ever had, I'm gonna, I'm gonna give you the best secret better than any diet. You eat healthy, low carbs, you stay away from caffeine and sugar, you exercise for an hour a day of cardio, you lift weights every other day for 45 minutes, you get enough sleep and you don't drink, you don't smoke cigarettes, you will have the best body you've ever seen. I tell that to a lot of people, guess what they're still fat. I'll tell you every secret you need to succeed in life. But most people are listening right now, they won't do it. I'll give you a good book to read. If you get a chance, it's $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi. It's one of my top three. I just read it and I'll tell you what, I just told you one of the best books, I do very well. But yet most people won't read it. They're gonna put it in their notes and they're gonna come find it six months later and say, oh yeah, I remember last year I visited. Most people won't do it because they don't have the drive. They don't have the discipline, They don't have the need or the want to do it. So I don't know what it is. But I'll tell you this and the most competitive S. O. B you'll ever meet and I hate to lose it when someone says I can't beat them, that's my number one goal in life is to wake up and figure out a way to win.

Jeff Bullas

00:54:28 - 00:54:37

So on the question of why, which you've covered a lot of things, is it because you've got a lot of why while you're doing this.

Tommy Mello

00:54:39 - 01:00:56

You know, I ran into Gary V for a couple hours a few months ago and I said, a lot of people ask me when is enough enough and he goes Tommy, I get that question every day and he goes, it's just getting easier. He goes, now I just want to see how far I can go because I'm enjoying it. And I said exactly, I tell my mom it's getting easier. I mean the world is becoming a smaller place, I don't know when it's so much fun and it's starting to, you know what's really fun for me is it's giving back. And I gotta tell you, I got a buddy of mine, his name is John Ruhlin. He wrote the book Giftology and I said, listen, I want to do something really special for my girlfriend. And earlier today she opened up this box and it was a guy playing, it was a little tv playing when the box opens and she he said, your your boyfriend must sure think you're special because he got this cup made for you and you know, she pulled up in the cup and he goes, let's go through this and there's a picture of it's a scribbled out picture and it's got everything, your favorite spot is the beach and then it goes, this is your dog and then it said this is your niece and your sister and this is you, your grandparents all putting your hands on you and literally I'm getting goose bumps and she starts bawling and you know what, it wasn't like. It was a couple $100 thing. It was, it was several $1000 and it's just a mug. But the memories and the deal is for me is I walked by the office earlier and she's got seven gals in there and they're all crying and it doesn't matter about money. I don't give two sh it's about the money. What I care about is the experience, money is a tool. But the fact that I'm able to do things like that, that I never was able to do when I was younger, to travel, to go bring people with me, take my mom on a trip. I got to send my dad on a trip. He almost died during Covid and I'll tell you this.

I said, Dad, I'm gonna send you with your girlfriend to Portland. I know that's where she's from. And all expenses. It didn't cost, you know, but a few grand or whatever. And I got back and I see it and both of them gave me the hardest hug they've ever given, tears came down their eyes. They said, we, we really loved that. And my dad, I think he showed me 780,000 pictures and he showed me waterfalls and everything and he goes, man. And I go, it just feels good. It feels good that my dad who almost passed away in his late 60s, got a time to experience something. You know that I was, I didn't look the employees that my coworkers, they helped me with the ability to do this and they deserve. Someone once told me, don't let anybody come to your house and see it a nice house. I'm like, yeah, that's BS, these guys have worked hard to do it. I don't think I don't hire people who are gonna steal from me. I don't hire people to say, oh, look at Tommy, look at Tommy. I don't care that they're all know that I'm in it to help them. And when you have that, don't do this. Don't let them know this. Do you know how many people know how much money we have right now in the bank? About 50. Do you know how much people know we hit the budget? Every single employee here. You know, I don't care. I don't like everybody's so secretive. I don't open my own mail. I don't look at my own email. I got people that do all this stuff. I shoot, I get cards. These cards came today. They're already opened. I haven't even looked at them yet, but everything's already opened. So, and and my mom just cried before and say, I don't know how you trust people, Tommy. And I go, here's the thing. I know I've been lied to, cheated and stepped on. But that's 100th of the time that people have done amazing for me.

So I'm not going to dwell on the negative. I'm not a half cup half full. I'm everything's full. Everything all the time. I give people the benefit of the doubt I'll keep getting lied to. But you know what? I'm never gonna be cold at the earth. I'm never gonna be a grich and think, man, I'm so unlucky. My mom and dad got, my dad cheated on my mom. I was six years old. I walked out there with my sister saw the note. They were bawling on the ground crying. My dad looked at me terrified. My mom got a divorce. My mom had to work three jobs. She was working at a restaurant serving tables. She was bartending one night and she was a realtor on high heels all day with open houses. She knocked on people's doors. A lot of my buddies used to laugh when my mom would knock on their door. She'd handle magnets and say, I want to be your realtor. And she said everything I touch turns to gold. Well, she worked your butt off. My dad was trying to save his business and fell apart. And my grandma had to come by three days a week. She'd helped cook for us and take care of us kids.

And my sister grew up kind of hating men. Um, you know, it was tough. I got a job pretty young because I didn't want to bother mom to try to have her by something to work harder than she was working. But I'll tell you this. It's a pretty sad story. But here's the good side.

My mom and dad, my dad came on every field trip and he was my soccer coach and my baseball coach. My mom showed up to every field trip too. They still gave us enough love and energy. My grandma was the best cook in the world. So I got the best food three days a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Me and my sister became best friends. I can tell you the story. The first way to save a victim. I'm a victim. Look at me for me, I'm so sorry I didn't make it. Or I could say, man, I had the best childhood and he could could have asked for. And it's telling your outlook. I'll tell you one more if you don't mind. I want to tell you one more thing. So one day there is this woman and she's this real nosy old lady, really bitter bitter lady and she looks outside and she goes that ladies out there again, look at her trying to hang up her clothes on the the clotheslines. She's like the clothes are always dirty and the old man goes, just shut up, mind your own business, why are you so negative? And she goes, but I don't understand why does she wash her clothes? She doesn't, she doesn't know what she's doing. They're always dirty. And every day, the old man would say just just mind your own business and the old lady. And finally one day she walks out there and he goes, she goes, you're not gonna believe this, the clothes aren't perfect, they're all perfectly clean. And he goes, yeah, you want to know why? She goes, why? He goes, because I washed the windows. So it's all on the outlook, right? The whole the point of that old story is you look out there and if you're looking through a different lens, sometimes you see things in a different light.

Jeff Bullas

01:00:57 - 01:01:36

It certainly comes down to attitude. Now, one of the things I loved about our conversation, Tommy, is dream manager and I think that you learn a lot along the way and still learning, you're curious, you're insatiable curiosity to learn and grow and you're giving back to your team. All 400 plus of them. You're giving back to other people and not shouting it from the rooftops. And I'm looking forward to hearing about in the future when we maybe catch up again as hearing about how the dream management, dream management is going for your team because I love that, it's really special.

Tommy Mello

01:01:37 - 01:05:13

I think so too. And I think it's weird when you give, sometimes you get 10 times more in return. There's there's this, there's this and and listen, you know, if you don't believe in the bible or whoever it's, it's, it's, it's really something from the bible but take it for what it's worth. So there's this, uh, I sent this to all my uncles and aunts the other day and it says “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of 60, 70, even 100 times as much as has been planted.” And that's Matthew 13:23. But the fact is what I realized is if you throw out the seeds and plant them and you give back, you receive it 10 times. I carry when I go and speak to the new groups that come in 30 plus people, I always carry a boomerang and I say, you know what, I throw this out there and I put it all out there, sometimes I give a lot, but it always comes back to me tenfold. For some reason, it always comes directly back and sometimes it doesn't come in the way of money, sometimes it comes in the way of things that money can't buy. So if you keep this metaphor and I also carry a tithing dish, you know you passed around a tithing so I tell all the guys when they walk in and say, hey guys any spare change fill it up for me. You know if you only got a few bucks that's fine and they start like looking down at each other and I'm like I'm just kidding. I said listen if the priest or the pastor are going to talk about money for the first 10 minutes, believe it or not, I'm gonna talk about door sales. I'm gonna talk about money too. And I know you guys didn't talk about money in school or college, that's all I'm going to talk about because guess what? You can't pay, you can't pay the bills with good looks or five star reviews, we pay it with sales and we're gonna talk a lot about sales.

So I just I gotta tell you, I just love this stuff. I I just can't explain it. And when I wrote the book of the Home Service Millionaire, I had Al Levy read it and he says Tommy just needs a lot of work. So I went back and I got 12, 12 other authors put stuff in it. I got Ara from from he's the CEO of ServiceTitan. I got Alan Roar who explains how to do the perfect way to how you should price and how to do the accounting in your business. Al Levy talks about manuals and so just by having those people Grant Cardone once said, he said, man when I hang out with millionaires, I became a millionaire, he goes, I've learned my mission vision core values, it was amazing. And he goes, but when I hung out with billionaires, I heard how to delegate and how to network delegation and networking and understanding and he goes, now it's pretty easy. I'm a billionaire and I took that and I like listen to it every day. I don't know if you can see this, but this is what I put and I got this all over the place, it's just some applications so try to listen to those kind of things to be around positive people. And you know if somebody starts, if somebody starts complaining to me, I walk away and I say I've got a manager for that, go to them. If you got good news, call me any day, you got the Gospel, bring it. But I'm not gonna be here to listen to your sorrows, call someone else, you need help at home. You're you're having problems. I'll talk to you about your your family if you're having a hard time but I don't want to hear all the crap at work and this could be better and this and that you can go to someone else for that stuff.

Jeff Bullas

01:05:13 - 01:05:34

Well what I loved about today's conversation which I enjoy every week is to meet some of the smartest entrepreneurs all around the world. I don't fly. I just can end up having an hour conversation. And I've really loved our conversation and hearing your wisdom and experience and sharing with my listeners and viewers. Thank you very much. Tom. It's been an absolute pleasure, mate.

Tommy Mello

01:05:34 - 01:05:36

Thank you very much appreciate being here.