Frank Stidman: Building a Successful Business and Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
About This Episode
Go With John as he chats with Frank Stidman – an entrepreneur from Washington D.C. and friend of the Go With John Show. As the owner of Evolution Broadband LLC, Frank does everything from home improvement, to setting up 5G towers. In this episode, hear about how he started his business and the roads that led to his success. John and Frank also share valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and discuss the importance of perseverance.
[00:00:00] In case you missed it, here is a clip from Episode three with Boomer Foster, president of Long and Foster Real Estate.
[00:00:09] Leadership is about doing not saying because, you know, you get a lot of vocal people who profess to be leaders and they’ll say one thing, but when you watch them perform, they’ll do something completely different. Right. And I think you’ve got to have a consistency. Like I want to lead by example. If I don’t want to ask somebody to do something that I’m not willing to do myself. So if we’re talking about, you know, managers or regional managers and you’re talking about, you know, making contacts and recruiting and building relationships, I don’t have legitimacy. If I’m sitting in the ivory tower and saying, you guys need to be doing this. If all I’m doing is sitting in the ivory tower and not out doing that myself. So leadership by example is something that I learned in football because I was very vocal when I first got to college. And and by the time, you know, at the end, it wasn’t about, you know, do as I do. It wasn’t about do as I say.
[00:01:06] Hey, I just wrapped up my conversation with Frank Stidman and he talked to us today about how he was able to persevere after experiencing serious financial setbacks in his early years. I hope you enjoy this episode.
[00:01:25] Frank Stidman, we think, is actually Steedman as in horses, so welcome.
[00:01:31] Thank you. Thanks for coming over today. You know, it’s funny you just mentioned that you think Ellis Island butchered it.
[00:01:36] So my dad tracked our ancestry back. And at one point our last name was spelled with an S e n and when our first folks came over through Ellis Island, they misspelled it and changed the C and to S own.
[00:01:54] And we were forever spelling Jorgensen with an and instead of an. And so it’s it’s not you’re not the only one that’s victim of the folks there at Ellis Island. But they had a lot of names to process, didn’t they. Yeah. And thick accents to work through different alphabets and things. And in your Danish, correct. Yeah, exactly.
[00:02:15] So you get the two little dots over some nose and I so my dad’s ancestry is Norwegian. So we didn’t we didn’t have the two, we didn’t have the two dots in Norway, but in Denmark we are Denmark.
[00:02:27] We actually have the O with a line through it which didn’t exist here.
[00:02:33] But you were born here. I was born either. I was born in Denmark. You were born in Denmark. I was born in the same exact hospital my mom was born in just at a different time. And your father was a GI? He was a Marine. Yeah. Yeah, he was a Marine. So you’re naturalized one way or another. Exactly. Where are you? Oh yeah. Yeah, I’m here. I’m legit.
[00:02:52] Yeah, absolutely. I’m making it and killing. Yeah.
[00:02:54] Well, doing all right. You try and you know one day at a time. Yeah. So tell us about you. So, so it’s you know, it’s always funny how people end up sitting down and chatting with me.
[00:03:06] But tell us a little bit about where you came from, where you grew up, and give us a little bit about your family history.
[00:03:12] So I’m a native of Washington, D.C., metropolitan Fairfax County, which is only noteworthy because so many people come and go from this area. That’s true. Relate. When I meet a native, it’s it’s kind of a special thing because that’s just not that common. That being said, I bought the house I moved into when I was three from my parents twenty years ago, so effectively been at the same address for forty years.
[00:03:36] That’s really unusual, very unusual for this area, but not unusual for the middle class neighborhood I live in. So probably inside of that time I’ve seen a dozen, maybe two dozen people I grew up with moved back. And that’s probably the future of the area for people that are emerging from college into the workforce, because we really can’t afford to live in Fairfax County unless our parents take care of us like that. Right.
[00:04:00] We’ve been priced out or heading west, but who knows where that’s going? Yeah. So the folks are moving back in with their parents.
[00:04:06] No, no. They’re buying their parents house. Oh, I guess so.
[00:04:08] In my case, at that time, my income level could not have supported buying that house. Right. It needed to be fixed up. My mother was sick. My parents financed it at zero percent until I could get the loan. And I’m hearing that story repeatedly throughout the night. Yeah. You know, wow, that’s cool. Yeah. Yeah. You’re lucky you had them there to do that for you. Yeah. So it’s you know, it’s different to be a native of the area because you’re a little more interested in it. I know quite a bit about the history that’s not necessarily discussed. We had, you know, a few nudist colonies in the county in the forties. We had some murders. You know, Georgetown Pike is full of history. Yeah. It’s you know, if you live here, you feel more connected. You want to learn those things and you kind of go after what’s not obvious or and what and so forth. Yeah, but my I did not do a traditional route. You and I, I think, marry each other, even though I do have a college degree. That was later in life. Yeah.
[00:04:58] I started a landscaping business in my late teens. Right. That turned into a wireless tower construction.
[00:05:05] And that’s crazy because I thought I was just scratching my head, you know, and it’s funny. One of the reasons you got here is we were just talking about, you know, what was your path to success and did you go to college? And, you know, so when you were young, you opted not to go to college. So. So how old were you when you started your landscape?
[00:05:20] I want to say nineteen. And I went bankrupt around twenty three. Well, that was a four year ride. Yeah, it was painful. But you learn from those things. Yeah.
[00:05:29] You know, even soundbytes you’ve given me, I, you know, when I have tough days, I remember that, you know, perseverance is everything. It is innate. They say that, you know, you can read a library full of books about business and how to succeed in this and that. But that is the number one factor, whether people succeed. So when you were having trouble, you told me that you got on the phone and made one hundred phone calls a day or something like that.
[00:05:53] I mean, that’s serious person. Well, yeah. So so let’s have a let’s talk about that for a second.
[00:05:57] So that was in two thousand and one after 9/11. I had a marketing company and the the it was right around 9/11 and the dotcom crash all happened at the same time.
[00:06:11] And I had a lot of customers who were in that dotcom space. They just all of a sudden evaporate, evaporated. So I literally came to work one day. And was missing about 50 or 60 percent of my core client base, they were just gone overnight over an overnight. Well, let’s say let’s say literally it happened over the course of about a 30 day period. I even had one customer place a huge order. And I was in their office building at in Tysons Corner. And ironically, it was a Danish company. They placed a huge order for embroidered shirts. We produced them and I was back 30 days later. They were gone. Every desk office, every every computer, the front door was locked. You could see through the glass doors. And, you know, that was the day.
[00:07:04] That was the moment I realized I was in in big trouble. Right. Because I had a huge tens of thousands of dollars that I had laid out that I wasn’t I was not only going to get my capital back, but I wasn’t going to get the profit. And that hurt. And and I did. I got I got to my desk and I started I just said I got to make 100 calls a day and I called and called and called.
[00:07:26] In fact, a lot of folks I call were landscaper’s because they were a huge consumer of shirts and jackets. And that was one of the things we did at our marketing company was produce that collateral.
[00:07:38] So but yeah, it was just pure tenacity. Oh, yeah. Got me through that. So tell me what happened. So you started at 19. That’s pretty. That’s pretty interesting. I’ve got another friend of mine who I’m going to be sitting down with next week, and he started his first company at 17 or 18. Did did very well. But so how did you end up in bankruptcy at 23?
[00:07:58] What was kind of the way you can grow too fast? Yeah, my father was an accountant and he had a lot of good nuggets. And he said growing fast can be just as much a fatality as growing too slowly or not managing other aspects of it. So we started landscaping for a guy who was developing cell towers. Right. And at the time, that was just amazing work. I mean, it was everything was cell towers and tech and everything like that.
[00:08:21] Yeah, he lost his ears and owed me probably 50 or 60 thousand dollars.
[00:08:30] And that trickled down to me. Right. And that I want to see I was probably 21, 22 at that point. I didn’t have that kind of capital. Right. The sheer misery of the whole thing. Right. And, you know, we’re really we were right at a point where we were not making money yet on the cell towers. We’re still figuring that business out. We had been doing the landscaping and they said, hey, I like what you’re doing. Why don’t you do the concrete work? Why don’t you do the chain link fence? And that turned into lightning protection and we were working our way through it. Right. Some of it was my own lack of experience. I was quoting him way too low. Right. Not that if he didn’t end up paying me, it would have mattered anyhow.
[00:09:09] You know, I would say that that was very painful for the first year and change after that. But you grow big and you grow wise from pain. Yeah, you do. Absolutely. And that was back when a bankruptcy was really a bankruptcy. Oh, yeah. Yeah, it was.
[00:09:24] You know, I mean, but it was it was I mean, it really impacted your life at that time in our history.
[00:09:30] You know, I was embarrassed by it and I was watching my friends graduate from college and really good careers and. Right. Get new cars. And here I am starting from the bottom. I ended up going to the cable company in Fairfax County. Yeah. Getting paid eleven dollars and five cents an hour, which was cable company was Cox Communications. Right. They had just been just bought media general.
[00:09:50] Yeah. So so you, so you so you basically went bankrupt and that whole cell tower thing was just sideline. Yeah. Got done. Gone and then, so then you go to Cox. So tell us about your career Cox and how that evolved.
[00:10:03] That was eighteen years, the first eight of it. I went from a guy that didn’t know the slightest thing about cable to and working inside people’s homes.
[00:10:15] And I knew that I wanted out of that badly for a multitude of reasons. Got the engineering manuals from the engineering department, became an engineer, worked my way up and then became a supervisor of that the engineering and maintenance department, and then got promoted to the construction department, which is really project management and an incredibly difficult position.
[00:10:35] So what point at what point in there did you decide to go to college in the middle of the Cox career?
[00:10:42] Yeah, in the middle of the Cox. Let me think about that, because I actually went to college for emergency medical services.
[00:10:47] I was a registered paramedic and a lot of it had to do with 9/11. Right. And kind of a feeling like I needed to contribute somehow. Yeah. I hadn’t done military service or any. I also kind of like you and your producer, don’t like the same thing every day.
[00:11:02] And I perceived fire and rescue to be very different, which was not the same thing every day. Yeah, well that’s what I thought about it really kind of was. Oh was it really you.
[00:11:10] It’s verifiers are very rare in this county. Yeah. And the patients, everybody kind of glorifies wanting to go after the bad motorcycle accident, the bad traumas and things. And those are interesting and train like crazy for him, but. To the jobless people with bellyaches, yeah, diabetic emergences, I feel faint, it’s not right, you know, it’s really a moving and carrying job. Yeah, yes, they have a burnout rate of over 90 percent. So I think I think God did me a favor on that one. I just didn’t get hired. So. So was it two years of college to get that or was that for a normal person who’s on their parents dole?
[00:11:42] For me, it’s about four years, maybe five. I’m not quite sure Cox had tuition assistance that I took advantage of.
[00:11:50] OK, so you’re working at Cox and you so you were doing basically night school after our school and your infant son.
[00:11:56] Yeah. And you had an infant son. Yes. So I liked to I was a glutton for punishment back then. I don’t think I could do that right now. Yeah, I don’t think I’d want to. Yeah. I think we all get to a point where we say we’ve had enough of that that kind of firehose through the eye of a needle.
[00:12:12] Yeah. Yeah. TV time is good. Yeah, yeah. I care what they say, but you know, I mean all those things have their reason.
[00:12:19] I think I liked the school a lot better and I liked the actual practice of it. I think that whole field needs serious attention and and to be revamped. Right. What would you be necessary in society.
[00:12:31] But what would you revamp? I mean, anything anything simple or is it just a big complex to separate them from the fire service?
[00:12:37] Yeah. You know, have the fire service available to help them where they need it. But there’s tremendous resentment among firefighters that EMS exists. I gotcha. And it kind of poisons the culture and holds them back. And a lot of the the fire chiefs are pure fire guys. Right. And who harbor those same sentiments and don’t really do what they need to push that forward. Additionally, there’s a lot of waste in it. You should not be calling 911 one for their remote control, but by law, all nine one one has to respond less that person die for some other reason than they saw. So we’ve got tremendous waste here. If you talk to people from places like Germany, that would never happen. Right?
[00:13:16] Well, you know, it’s interesting. It’s funny you bring that up. Yeah. The whole European culture is so different than the American culture. People over there, you’re kind of on your own. You know, if you slip and fall in a store, they that’s kind of your fault, right? They don’t. They say you should watch where you’re walking. You slip and fall here. And it’s the the store’s liability potentiate that way.
[00:13:35] Yeah, I know he’s a lawyer, so that’s exactly why this is such a sensible country in so many ways.
[00:13:41] But it’s really it’s it’s really it really all boils down to policies and courage.
[00:13:47] Yeah. Yeah. And who knows where that’s going. You know, we don’t we don’t know.
[00:13:51] I wish I was omnipotent and could tell you where anything was be right now. Yeah. This has got to be the weirdest time you’ve ever experienced isn’t it.
[00:13:59] Is for me. Yeah. I think, I think you know, I think that it’s it’s ah you talk about with the covid and.
[00:14:06] Yeah. Yeah. I mean even the fact that we’re kind of getting used to the restrictions with covid. Yeah. Like I barely even think about it anymore. That’s weird. Yeah. Right.
[00:14:14] Well I definitely, I definitely I Yeah. I hear you. It is, it’s becoming the new normal for sure.
[00:14:22] You know it’s coming the new normal for, for a lot of us. And I think that, you know, we, we, we’ve got this great studio downstairs.
[00:14:32] We talked about it earlier today and we can’t really use it because it’s much smaller and it’s got a lot of acoustic controls. But we’re too close together. You know, now we’re upstairs in a big open room, so and we’re sitting fifteen feet apart. And downstairs in the studio, we would have been three feet apart. So we got but this works, you know, from a from a podcasting perspective, it works fine, is awesome. But you’re you’re right. The whole the whole situation where we are we are getting used to it. Is is it is it is weird you know, but but I have a feeling this is just the way it’s going to be. I really feel like our society was go in this direction.
[00:15:13] Anyway, we were moving to more of an online culture. We were already doing a lot of shopping online.
[00:15:20] I’ve always worked an enormous amount of hours from home my whole entire life, because as an entrepreneur, you know, you go to the office and you work all day, you come home, work at night, you work weekends at home. So kind of transitioning to working, you know, 12 or 14 hours a day in the house was really easy for me. I prefer it, that’s for sure. Yeah. And but and I don’t see I don’t see us ever going back, not in my group of folks that I work, not my team. I don’t see us ever going back to what we had before at all. I think you’re either going to have to be able to function in the online world and you’re going to have to be disciplined enough to get your work done on your own or you’re not going to make it in our organization. It’s going to be that kind of of a thing. But it’s yeah, it’s definitely odd.
[00:16:08] Yeah. I’m what I’m hearing from managers, even from people I worked with in the cable company in the past, and they’re saying that productivity is actually up. You know, it’s really it’s great that it’s shedding a light on people who were I don’t totally understand it, but what they’re saying. To me is that people who were able to kind of fake it and make it in the office, yes, their way around are being exposed now.
[00:16:30] Yeah. And you’re either producing in a measurable way or you’re out. And they weren’t necessarily measuring correctly before. Yeah. Or you’re out. And I mean, I watched my wife, she she just got a new position. She works from home. She’s putting in 15 hours a day and doesn’t bat an eye on it. Yeah, she’s fine with that. Yeah.
[00:16:46] And I want to do right now wait till code’s gone and you can go back to the mall. Right. Who in their right mind complains about having to work. Yeah. We don’t have the right to do that, you know.
[00:16:56] Yeah, well, we had we had one individual who who didn’t wasn’t able to function. Right. We needed the management, like you said. And but everybody else on our team is really probably in the wrong career to be.
[00:17:08] Exactly. Well, so let’s go back to you, because I want to talk about you some more.
[00:17:11] So so we’ve got so so you’re At cox you do like your 18 years at Cox Sure and you get your college degree in there and then you start doing the EMS. Is that part time or did you.
[00:17:24] I volunteered and inturned. OK, and then once I take you now and I was I went through Fairfax County’s process multiple times, which is very rigorous.
[00:17:32] So I was actually what they call a top drawer candidate. I was fully qualified. It’s the equivalent of like a TS clearance. Yeah, you don’t get that. But that’s they put you through a polygraph, which is painful background check. Yeah. You know, you’ve got to be a good boy that entire time. No speeding tickets or anything. Right. Just didn’t get hired and not entirely clear why. I mean, there was a variety of they did did have a hiring freeze at one point and then they weren’t quite sure what they were going to do. But I look at it in hindsight as a blessing.
[00:18:01] Yeah, but yeah, it’s funny. It always works out. Everybody I chat with, they always whatever happens, happens for a reason. And it always seems to work out for the best in the long run.
[00:18:10] So what did you do after after COX That’s when I started this business, which is Evolution Broadband LLC.
[00:18:17] I decided I had enough of corporate life. Yeah. Eighteen years is plenty, probably too long, particularly if you’re in a meat grinder of a job like construction supervision.
[00:18:29] And my my business is a little strange because I didn’t want to go source capital from a loan.
[00:18:36] Right. So while I’m building the communications business, we do home improvement, landscaping, things that I’ve done in the past. That’s not necessarily the future of my business. Sure, it has allowed me to keep good employees and keep the lights on.
[00:18:50] Yeah, especially now with the whole covid thing. Because because when baskets bad. Yeah. Well you we were talking earlier, so your company was wiring. Tell us what you were doing before covid.
[00:19:02] So we wired home to entire hotels. Yeah. And the demand that’s occurring there is you’ll find this interesting, but hotels are realizing that even ahead of covid that they better have first rate Wi-Fi accommodations. Are there going to be destroyed on on their reviews? People were putting reviews on Hilton’s website saying things like we’d sleep in the hallway if the Wi-Fi is good.
[00:19:25] Yeah, they didn’t care how clean the bathroom was anymore. I’m sure that’s important. Right. It’s farther down their list of concerns. And you’ve got a young man right behind you. How critical is it to you? Yeah, it’s huge. I mean, I can’t stand it now that it’s work from home and this whole other travel and tourism thing. I know people who are taking their kids on the road for the next six months bought an RV. Yep. And everywhere they stop, that is the key metric. Not just that you have Wi-Fi, but how good that is. Yeah. So the hotels are taking it where they had Wi-Fi in the hallways or somewhere common. They’re putting them in each room with their own land wire. Wow. And that’s what we do. We do what’s called post. Why I have guys that work for me that can paint and drywall immediately after we get those lines, which is really important to hotels as well. Right. We can fill holes where there’s not coverage. Yeah. And then automation is the big thing, too. I think you’re going to start seeing even high end hotels that no longer have a front desk. You have an app on your phone, you know, the Hilton app, and you’ve already been checked in. And not only does that app check you in and check you out, but it opens your door when you walk in, all of your settings are done because remember who you are, right?
[00:20:40] You have a profile and you go to the frequent traveler. That probably means a lot.
[00:20:44] I mean, what temperature do you want? The AC? That’s exactly right.
[00:20:47] So on when you come in and yeah, even even the window shades were motorized and connect to that.
[00:20:53] Another one that was interesting to me is it knows what streaming apps and channels you like and that’s pretty loaded on your TV. Oh, very cool. You know, so they’re monetizing I’ve been iffy on the Internet of Things in the excessive automation because a lot of it was very cheesy at first. You know, I don’t really care if I have purple recessed lights or, you know, I mean, just some of the things just really didn’t resonate with me. And but I understand it from a commercialization sector.
[00:21:20] Yeah, I have I have mixed emotions about. All that automation, I love it, I’ve got a lot of automation in my home, I’ve got the MICU lift master garage doors and stuff, you know, but you need a different app for each.
[00:21:34] You know, my lights need one app. The garage doors need an app. The nest needs an app. You’ve got all these different apps, Sonos, the, you know, the entertainment system for the house. And, you know, you they all work a little differently, you know. So when somebody comes up with an app for apps, it’s called Alexa and Siri.
[00:21:55] But yeah, the truth of the matter is, like I even my last TV I bought specifically so that it would work with Alexa and it really doesn’t. I mean, I keep running. So until they they improve that.
[00:22:05] And I you know, I had another really smart fellow that wanted to start a home automation business and really focus on houses like this. But this person had worked in development and never dealt with customers directly.
[00:22:15] And so that’s a good a good idea.
[00:22:18] But, you know, when you know, this customer calls us up at eleven o’clock at night because they’ve got a window since they’re not working, how are you going to feel about that? Right. Because you know, somebody that hasn’t done don’t think you and I have dealt with customers for years and know. Yes. How fickle that could be. Yeah. And it turned out, you know, we were right to not get into that business because of the exact same thing. There’s just a lack of cohesive standards. Right.
[00:22:41] Well, so just to go back for a second, though, for the folks that are listening who may not realize why a Windows sensor at 11 o’clock not working may be an issue because if you try to turn on your alarm. Yeah. And you’re going to bed at 11 o’clock at night and you get the error code that says no family room window not closed and it is closed there, you’ve got a bad sensor. And if you’re not going to be the type of person who can deal with it in the morning, you’re calling the alarm contractor or the low voltage guy who put it in and say, I need you over here. Yeah. So so you and I get that you’re your other friend there.
[00:23:16] You schooled them, I’m sure. Yeah. He changed his mind when he heard that. I mean, most of us want to know that we’re off work at some point, even if we’re somewhat on call or whatever and.
[00:23:25] Right. And that, you know, being on call, that was something I did for 15 years at Cox. Yeah. And didn’t really miss that. Yeah. It is nice to crack a beer and not have to worry. You felt.
[00:23:34] Well, you know, it’s fun. It’s fun. You know, it’s fun to be on call, I think when you’re younger. When I owned my water damage company. Exactly. Oh, it was nothing more exciting sometimes. Not always. Right. But, you know, you get that two o’clock in the morning in the middle of the night, somebody’s got a flood in their house and you’re going to go save up.
[00:23:52] Right. And you get over there and you and you start getting them dried out. And, you know, I think there’s a lot more knowledge in the world now. And people can go online and understand what happens when there’s a flood in your house. But in the 90s, when there was a flood in your house, most people had never experienced it. They’ve never heard about it. They didn’t know what to do. And, you know, you would show up and just a little bit of education that you gave folks in the first ten minutes you were there, would calm them down and they would realize that you’re going to be able to.
[00:24:20] They still freak out. Yeah, they they didn’t manage condos, you know. Yeah, but but but when I was younger, it was fun. You know, now I tell my kids after eight o’clock at night, you know, be careful what kind of problems you bring to me. Yeah. You just change your observation age thing.
[00:24:36] We saw that the senior tech, we saw two things happen after the age of about forty and the hourly rate wage go above thirty bucks an hour. Yeah, people didn’t want overtime anymore. Yeah. Prior to that there were guys that could have worked one hundred hours a week and taken everybody’s on call but. Right. The kind of on call we dealt with at least on the engineering side was part of someone’s network is out at two a.m.. Right. And you, you know, the worst case scenario is it’s really icy outside and the telephone lines run behind people’s houses. Yeah. You got to knock on doors and jump a ladder. Yeah. And that’s like everybody’s nightmare. But it’s, you know, it had its fun moments, too. I mean, there’s an adrenaline rush when you hear somebody rock a shotgun round.
[00:25:16] Yeah. They don’t know you’re way too high or they don’t care. Right. There are conspiracy theorists that think you’re really from the government.
[00:25:24] I mean, there’s a variety of stories. Cable on the outside of it looks like it would be a really boring job.
[00:25:30] Yeah, and it’s fascinating because it was very interesting. I mean, I met so I met Colin Powell. I used to be his cable guy. Right? He used to go to his house regularly. Very, very nice to me. Yeah.
[00:25:40] Whereas EMS and fire, I thought would be very interesting. And I was I was just going to say that yeah, it’s funny like that it is that you think will be so boring.
[00:25:49] And then you ask people out in the field, for instance, I was asking a survey are different surveyors. I run into the field. It’s like, what’s the craziest thing you ever seen? I mean, I can’t even mention the stuff they told me about this area and what they’ve run into going through undeveloped areas and stuff like that. But you wouldn’t look at that job. Think it was interesting.
[00:26:09] Yeah, but it’s very interesting. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:26:11] If your mind is that kind of a mind that gets it, you know, that’s. Yeah. Gets excited about that kind of stuff for sure.
[00:26:17] You’re going to be pretty tough. Yeah. You know, to go trespassing. Yeah. Like the way that they have to and. And whatnot, but again, you know, it goes back to you and as a kid, look at that job and be inspired and say this would be amazing. And sometimes these things do turn out to be pretty cool.
[00:26:32] Yeah. And you don’t really know what it is until you do it. You know you don’t.
[00:26:41] Hi, Michael Schnitzer here, president of Stanley Martin Custom Homes, our buying process is completely transparent and is 100 percent focused on avoiding unpleasant surprises during the construction phase. To learn more about our processes, pricing and floor plans, please visit us at we build on your lot dotcom that we build on your lot dotcom.
[00:27:19] So let’s go let’s go back to let’s go back to your your your current company, which is tell me the name again, its Evolution Broadband LLC. OK, so you were cooking along pretty good. Yeah, we’re getting hotels and it looked at and then covid comes along. And how did covid impact you? So. So talk about that a little bit.
[00:27:41] Initially, it was kind of peaceful in a weird sort of way, we were able to blow through the hotels quicker because they didn’t have the customers and they for the hotels, the alarm bells hadn’t quite sounded. I want to say that was February ish. Yeah. Now, we were working on a hotel down in D.C. and March hit and DC shut things down. Right. And that was devastating for that hotel because the cherry blossoms. Oh, yeah. OK, so you look at retail stores and they talk about how they need to make their overhead during the Christmas season. A bad Christmas season can end the whole chain. Right. And then they make incremental money over the years for hotels in D.C. at certain events like cherry blossoms. Yeah. So that hurt them. They took the high side and said, well, you know, let’s go and get all this work done in the hotel because it won’t affect customers much. Then they had the riots you had to board up. And so he’s just really taken a beating down there. And I feel for him. But how it’s impacted me is the hotels are not investing. Right. And upgrading your data infrastructure, your door locks and all those things as a major investment for, you know, 150 room hotel minimum. You’re staring at fifty thousand dollars that come in and rewire and splice and test that minimum and just before all the other stuff is done in there.
[00:28:55] Right. So were you and I are chatting right now in September of twenty twenty. So what do you see going forward from here? Do you see any kind of a rebound happening or is it just are you, are you dead in the water or are you what are you sensing is going to happen.
[00:29:12] I am not. I’ve survived because I am small and agile. Yeah. And I was really upfront with my employees. I saw this having some effect and said, you need to make sure you’re talking to people. And, you know, on slow weeks you have other places to go. And you know, my painter whose work for you, he has other paint gigs.
[00:29:29] I mean, you know, you’ve made the point in the past there’s work out there. You just got to find it right. But we also the core product that we’re heading towards, which covid is likely to help and we’ve already started in the past couple of months, is construction of 5G wireless towers, what they call small cell. Right. So we taught ourselves in conjunction with another company how to do it. The other company has a prime contract. I’m I have an NDA. I’m not allowed to see my customers are sure which, you know, sucks. But there’s certain aspects of of that that’s really critical to these companies. But the future is 5G and beyond.
[00:30:04] Right. So are you going to be actually putting up towers alongside of this other company with this other company, or is it just going to be the other company sources and generally manages the work?
[00:30:13] Yeah, I execute the work. I got you. I got your ass up. I am a son of theirs. We may we may merge down the road or I’m not in a rush to do that. I’ve never heard you say it in the past. Partners suck and I agree with that. I’m very leery of that joint ventures. I don’t mind.
[00:30:28] Because, you know, partners partners are are if you’re I think all partnerships evolve over time and they always start out in alignment. Right. You always start a partnership out where everything is perfect and then you agree on everything. And then as time goes on, you start to grow in different directions. Right. So it’s it’s I would never I don’t I don’t think I would ever go into a true partnership again without some sort of an exit strategy. Sure. But, you know, at this point in my life, I like being in control of my own world, just like you do. Right.
[00:31:09] So, yeah. Yeah. And people mean well and but they change. And yeah. I mean, you know, I look at these partnerships just like any marriage. Yeah. And I was told, you know, I’ve been married for going on twenty one years now and I was told probably the best piece of advice I heard was that if you enter the marriage looking for 50/50, you’re going to fail. Yeah. If you enter the marriage saying I’m going to do 70 percent. Yeah. You know, you always look, you probably do well but I don’t know that in a business partnership that’s so great either. Right.
[00:31:36] Why should somebody get away with 30 percent exaggerated? It’s a whole different thing.
[00:31:40] But it’s still you know, I think you it’s normal for a human being to assign a higher value to their efforts.
[00:31:46] Yeah, but if you’re putting in 70 percent on your marriage, your spouse is probably thinking you’re only putting in thirty.
[00:31:52] So he told us that she should think 70 percent on our at my end and I think 70 percent on my end somehow. You know what I mean? I think they were right. You know, I think his point was stop measuring. Yeah. Zagari about your contribution and stop measuring those side business partnership that can get a little sticky if you think they’re dipping into the till.
[00:32:11] Absolutely. You know, and partnerships like big accounting firms and things like that. My father in law was a partner for Arthur Andersen and he worked hard and worked his ears off.
[00:32:20] But I would hardly say that that’s business in Russia. You have senior partners. I mean, right above you. You are a partner in name. You meet a lot of money, but you are not a partner the way and you and I talk about it. But in either case, 5G is definitely a future. Yeah, the cable companies are struggling badly with it. Yeah. And let’s be fair, there is no such thing as cable and telephone anymore. I call them cable, but. All of them are like your trash companies, they bring the same service essentially, and then they fight over the rates. Yeah, but they’ve struggled, particularly in cable, because they spent so much money in the early 2000s redoing the network. Right. And it’s just fiber optics. Yes. Well, that’s that’s the Fayose and stuff like that. But the actual companies that were just cable. Yeah. Really just improved upon the copper they have out there. Right. They ran fiber closer to you. FiOS is in your house. Right. Right. And you mean I’ve worked on fiber optics and copper for years and there’s just no equivalency here. So, you know, they’re at a turning point and we’re covid ties into this. As with all these people working from home, the bandwidth needs are shifting from the big businesses up to the homes. And so there’s demand for bandwidth coming out of people’s houses that historically was in high rise buildings. Right. So 5G is the equivalent on one small cell tower, which is a telephone pole that’s just a little higher than, you know, the one that it replaced. Right. Is the equivalent of three cable systems. Wow. It’s enormous.
[00:33:43] Wow. It’s three. And that’s what I mean. That’s that’s starting to hit the streets now. I’ve done three. Yeah.
[00:33:49] And then we’re because we’re newer, the POWs are going a little slower, but we think that November, December, it’s going to really kick off.
[00:33:55] So can you say where you’ve done the three? Leesburg. OK, I can’t say which street. No, sure. The truth is, I’m not sure why that’s confidential.
[00:34:03] Yeah, I don’t know why. Because you can drive around and see them. Yeah. The only other thing I can figure is that the conspiracy theorists are getting five pretty hard. Yeah. There’s I’ve looked all over these units and cannot find the coronaviruses and I haven’t gotten it yet.
[00:34:22] But we, you know, we do everything we work with.
[00:34:25] Where it’s new for me is we have to subcontract a company that is certified by Dominion to go above power lines. Right. So I go up and a bucket with him, bolt things on testing’s and stuff like that. And let me tell you about being within a couple feet of 38000 volt lines. Yeah, you feel different, do you.
[00:34:43] And everything that’s metal, even though it’s not touching, it develops a charge there, you know, and it’s just a little unsettling.
[00:34:51] I mean, I have a lot of respect for the power guys. That’s a different world right there. But it’s neat and it’s different. Yeah. You know, there’s something kind of thrilling about the whole thing and being able to drive down a road. And, you know, I built and tested that and. Yeah, and I’m energized by it. And I think that that’s an important point because that’s a big part of being successful in business. If you do not like what you’re doing on some level, I don’t care how much money you made.
[00:35:13] It’s you’re going to feel you have to. Yeah. Yeah. You got to love it. That’s that’s for sure. I would die in retail. Yeah. You do a retail job.
[00:35:19] No, I could not stay in one place like that. And and a you know, when you read books about consultants going in and fixing people, usually the things that are failing are the things they look at are almost always retail. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, her dream was to start a bakery and it turned into her prison. Yeah. So yeah. Which is the other point too I would make is, is it was pointed out to me years ago, you can either make a choice to own your business and make decisions around that or make other choices in the business owns you. Yeah. And had I done certain things I could have grown the business as it stands. I could have had twenty employees very easily. I have the but I’d have been miserable man practically in the face of this pandemic and knowing that I’m on the hook to find twenty employees work every day and you know what I mean. Yeah. Their business would have earned me. We’ve stayed small and agile. Yeah. That’s how I’m the reason.
[00:36:10] I can really appreciate that. And that’s, you know, and that’s kind of where I am in my life now as well.
[00:36:15] And you know, I’m at a point where, you know, I want to work with a small group of people and I want them to love coming to work every day.
[00:36:22] And I want to love coming to work with them, you know, and to you know, you start getting into those, you know, 20, 30, 40 employees. It’s a whole different level of stress every day.
[00:36:33] So it’s it’s awful. Yeah, it’s it’s pretty tough. And I don’t I don’t think I don’t think the folks out there on the consumer side and I haven’t done a lot of talking about that, but I don’t think that they really realize what business owners go through in a given day, you know, likely.
[00:36:52] Yeah. And it’s and, you know, at a certain level, they really shouldn’t care. Right. If a consumer calls a business and they’re not getting the service that the business is supposed to be selling, they have a right to complain and and talk to the owner.
[00:37:07] But, you know, it doesn’t it doesn’t have it doesn’t take much to overwhelm a small business owner. You know, you get a you get a you get a you get a one or two of your team members that are not performing right or making mistakes or maybe they’re having a bad day and they’re doing things wrong.
[00:37:27] And, you know, it just doesn’t take much for things to start coming out. Your trucks break down, parts don’t come in that you’re expecting you.
[00:37:35] There’s there’s there’s a hundred things that can go wrong every hour of every day. And it’s it’s tough, you know, it’s tough and I can appreciate where you’re coming from, wanting to stay small and nimble, I agree.
[00:37:50] And that’s before we even start talking about the government and taxes. Yeah, well, you know you know, it’s funny you say that when you own a business.
[00:37:56] So there’s really and I haven’t really thought this through in a long time, but I used to talk to my to my team members about it.
[00:38:02] But you’ve got to deal with your landlord, right? Wherever your space is, you’ve got to deal with your technology or computers and your communication. You’ve got to deal with your HRR, your human resources.
[00:38:12] You have the government taxes and all that. You have accounting. You’ve got to deal with your accountant.
[00:38:17] And when you’re a small shop, you’ve got you’ve got to deal with all those things. You’ve got to collect your money from your customers. You have accounts receivable. You’ve got to pay your bills. It’s I mean, it’s a lot of responsibility. You are every department.
[00:38:32] You are every department that’s you know, I’ll hear people’s dreams about wanting to go to business. And I support that. But I’ve heard it from some folks that exactly like you’re saying, they’ve got the grass is greener mentality about it. And I’ve always been told to and I really believe this is behind every successful business owner was at least three years of hard news, at least through it.
[00:38:53] You know, the joint venture that I’ve worked with, he started he left a large telecom company as a director and started this because he had the contacts in there and he’s had some rough stuff. And I said, hey, look, you know, I’m just going to tell you, you know, you can be down on your stuff or whatever. And I know you thought you were going to you were going to be profitable right out the gate first month. Everything like that is just not how the stars work. Yeah. You know, unless you got daddy and mommy money and things like that, that’s all. But if you started this in the raw, the universe wants you to pay your dues. Yeah. And be humble to a certain extent. There’s always going to be exceptions. But even even guys like Elon Musk, if you listen, I mean, he came close. Yeah, right. With SpaceX and everything. He was right on the edge of losing everything. Yeah. He he said he had some horrible years, regardless of what it might looked like in the public sector. Everybody pays their dues. Yeah. And you can you know, again, back to the point about perseverance.
[00:39:48] You either crumble in the face of that. Yeah. Or you stick it out, somehow get past it.
[00:39:52] And and you know what? Sticking it out is to me, always the right answer. And in fighting through it, if you’re if you’re going to fail, you got to fight your way through it. You should try to recover and then you can exit in a different way if you can. You know, if you know your situation, you didn’t have a choice, but you’re you know, you’re nineteen years old. I mean, it’s pretty amazing you were able to do that. And it actually. What was I thinking. Yeah but it, but it shaped who you are, you know, it’s, it’s a part of your DNA that and all those little experiences. You could never take them, you know, you’ll never take them away from you.
[00:40:24] So what do you say to the young folks out there who are thinking about and you and I talk about this all the time because we’re about the same age. I think I’m a little older than you are maybe by decade, right?
[00:40:35] Nothing these days. So but but, you know, started a business today with technology, like when you were nineteen and you started your landscaping company. What was the status of electronic communications? Did you have pagers yet at that time?
[00:40:48] Just gone from pagers to flip cell phones?
[00:40:52] OK, oh, that was a great time for me because I went from the I went from the bag phone to the the RadioShack 25000 back to the brick. Yeah. You remember the model number.
[00:41:03] I went for the back to the pager and the flip phone. Yeah. So you started out, you know, actually when I started my my first business ventures in the mid 80s, we didn’t even have I don’t even think we had the bag phone yet. I think it was invented.
[00:41:18] But I don’t think I had the resources to it was stupid, expensive, because I remember, you know, slobbering over RadioShack catalogs. Yeah. Cool toys. Yeah. You remember RadioShack? I don’t no idea what RadioShack.
[00:41:29] Yeah. There’s still there’s still RadioShack actually. Right off exit 42 in Woodstock, Virginia. Wow. There’s one.
[00:41:35] I think it’s obvious. I saw that it was pretty awful. Yeah. Yeah exactly. You did see that. Well and I think there’s one down in Madison near my parents house, so they know what they do and is still there. They’re dinosaurs. They were terrible and they are last year.
[00:41:47] They were not cool and fun, like when we were kids, robots and. Yeah, but they would have, you know, three or four pages dedicated to these amazing cell phones. Yeah. Like you were saying, were either, you know, hard wired into your car and you know, or, you know, this big or whatever. But I think that was because the first cell phone call was 1973. Yeah. And then it slowly. But I mean, you you spent a minimum of three or four thousand. Yeah. Money from back then. So, yeah. You know, it’s incredible what they’ve done this.
[00:42:14] It’s absolutely astonishing. You should think about a nineteen year old today who wants to start a landscaping business. He’s got a smartphone. Right. He’s got cookbook’s on his phone. Yep. Right.
[00:42:24] So he’s right there in the palm of its hand. Could do his invoices, his accounting and his marketing, his you know, so starting a business today is a whole different animal from a technology standpoint.
[00:42:38] Right. Because we had to do our own. Books, and we had to write checks and we had to mail the checks, all that.
[00:42:44] Yeah, you know, but I think, you know, the probably the fundamentals of of running a business and starting business are exactly the same. You can run ads on Facebook, on Instagram, on Google. You can do all the digital marketing you want. But when that phone call comes in, you’ve got to perform if you’re providing a service. Right. So it’s it’s kind of interesting, you know, for the youngsters today and I and I and I really hope that folks that are thinking about getting into business can get something out of our conversation because they’re there. It always seems so impossible, you know, to to start a business. You know, people look at, you know, the folks that want to be business owners, look at the business owners and they go, oh, my gosh, you know what? They’ve got it made. And they have no idea what you’re going through and they have no idea what you did to get there. And everybody tells me, man, it’s just so impossible. It’s not the same as it was before.
[00:43:37] And, you know, you you started your business at a time when it was a lot easier. True. I agree with you. It’s not it’s not true.
[00:43:43] It’s all the same stuff, you know, like what you’re hearing on the Go at John show.
[00:43:53] Please share it with your friends. They can sign up at Go with John Dotcom.
[00:44:07] But what lessons did you learn about customer service or about about, you know, communication with customers or problem solving? Are there any tidbits of knowledge that you have that you would share with folks?
[00:44:23] Yeah, I’d say, you know, I was thinking a few minutes ago, you’ll laugh or completely relate to this. I would say the one thing that taught me about that more than anything was years of waiting tables and bartending on the side. That is really incredibly formative work because you are not kidding. I mean, you know, there are people that come in for the sheer purpose of mistreating you. Yeah. And you’ve got to suck it up and, you know, bring them. And, you know, I remember one time as a younger guy I knew and waiting tables and we had a restaurant full of people in our entire kitchen. Staff walked out. Yeah. And so did our supervisor. Yeah.
[00:44:59] And I was the guy having to explain to all these, you know, and so you learn those things. And there’s great humility in that there’s time management.
[00:45:07] There’s so many things you can learn from that. But I will tell you this, and this is a controversial comment. You and I came up with the ah, always heard our whole life. The customer is always right. All right. I’ve seen companies go to the extreme on that, even in the cable company. And I might adjust that comment to say the right customer is always right. Yeah, yeah. Other ones, particularly these days with instant reviews and things like that, can ruin your company very quickly and make you miserable. Right. And so, you know, I would imagine you’re even at a stage where if you’re you’re grateful for a new customer, but you’re kind of evaluating them against behaviors you’ve seen in the past and the expectations. So you talk about how to communicate with them. Well, areas that I still need to improvement are setting correct expectations right from the beginning. Yeah, I like people. I assume the best, but you need to sit down and say this is what’s going to happen because there’s times where certain customers have something floating in their mind that is completely different than the reality of a particularly contracting.
[00:46:12] Yeah. Yeah. Well so, so in homebuilding, I mean we deal with that all the time. And and I’ll tell you what, it’s one of the really it’s one of the probably the one thing I love the most about recording is nobody can ever go back and say that I said something different than I didn’t say.
[00:46:28] And the the irony of it is that years and years and years ago, I used to have all my conversations with every single buyer, one on one. Right. And I would say the exact same thing to everybody here every day, all day long, because if somebody asked me a question, there was only one correct answer to the question, and I shouldn’t answer it with version one A to one person and version one B to another and version one, C to another. I would answer the question and it was maddening to me when people would come back to me and I would have a subsequent conversation with them two days later and they would ask me the very exact same question. I would give them the very exact same answer.
[00:47:11] And they would say, well, that’s not what you told me two days ago. And I would say, wait a second, I go. That’s the only answer I know to that question. Well, what do you think I told you two days ago? Well, when we spoke two days ago, you told me blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I would say, well, were you talking to some other builders on that same day? Yes, I made five or six phone calls, but I wrote down what you told me. And I said, well, it’s not exactly what what I said. Here’s what I said. And when I started recording it and putting it in video and put it in. Out there, nobody can say that I gave them correct, because because what I say on video and what I say on video is exactly the same thing. There’s only one answer. And I can hear you with managing expectations. It’s so hard to do because, you know, you don’t know what’s in somebody’s mind.
[00:47:59] And that’s the whole point behind our sales process, said Stanley Martin, is to get alignment with the buyer. It’s a huge process. It takes weeks, right, to get on the same page. Yeah. So that’s a really good that’s a really good point.
[00:48:15] And it’s even things like I’m partially colorblind but did not know it.
[00:48:20] Yeah. Kind of a problem if you have a painting business, right? Yeah, I have a painter.
[00:48:25] And so I’ve learned that that people will ask me my opinion on colors. Yeah, I’ll be very forthright. I said I’m the last guy on earth you want to ask. Right. You know, for subjective things like that, because subjective even though you’re giving your free opinion, if they don’t like it. Yeah, there are certain people the wrong customer, bear in mind.
[00:48:42] Yeah. That will say well you told us you know. Yeah. And they try to stick you with that. That’s rare. Yeah. It’s enough to make you crazy but yeah. You know again those things right there. But if I set the expectation out that that I’m, I’m applying the materials you picked. Yeah. It’s pretty hard. Yeah. You know, if you don’t like the way we applied them, then that’s a different conversation altogether because that’s my end of the deal. But boy, anything subjective you better have in writing. And then, you know, it can even be kind of delicate. If you have that disagreement, you go, well, let’s go to the recording. Right. And you’re essentially saying someone’s lying and. Yeah, this.
[00:49:15] Well, whatever. Yeah. When I say recording, I’m not recording conversations with customers. I’m saying I’m recording my answers.
[00:49:23] Or if you do, yeah. It’s really fair. If you do for the exact reason.
[00:49:26] I mean they talk about how bad human beings are as witnesses. Yeah, well that’s true. They talk, they say even police trained police officers are horrible witnesses. Just something in our minds that’s different.
[00:49:39] A twist what you hear, what you want to hear. So what are any other tidbits for the youngsters out there?
[00:49:45] Yeah, I think so.
[00:49:47] And I think you relate to this as well, is you need to go get hard jobs. You need to get cut in. And, you know, I understand the allure of the desk job with the Internet stuff or whatever, but you really need to do hard work and yeah, wait tables. And even if you’re doing it at night and do those other things is that’s very formative in humbling down the road.
[00:50:08] And it teaches you people skills. And it’s you know, I’m sitting in a very unique seat now that I didn’t even realize I was going to experience this podcast. And, you know, I’m starting to hear some common threads from people. You know, I sold cars when I was young. We we had a conversation with Jerry Berry yesterday. And Jerry talked about in his younger years work in the snack bar at a bowling alley and he sold cars. You’re talking about waiting tables and getting, you know, when you’re young. And and I think I don’t think I even realized it when I was selling cars, the value of that experience to me in my in my whole life. Absolutely. And I think any kind of a job that you can get, either selling cars or waiting tables or even doing hard labor, just getting out there and understanding what it is to work a 40 hour week and and putting the physical labor in, it definitely puts calluses on your character, you know, and it gives you that experience. You you know, you you have to interact with people as you go through life. And it’s you know, it’s very rare to interact with people at the level that I do. Or it’s very rare that your average Joe, I mean, would have a job where you’re interacting at the level of people with like a car salesperson would write or a customer service clerk at a at a retail store. But you’re going to have to interact with other humans as you go through life. And that experience you get is invaluable, you know?
[00:51:42] Oh, it’s even little things. You know, I was telling my son, I said, it’s great that you come and do jobs for me, but you’ll never get from Daddy what you will from somebody who’s not emotionally invested in you, but is going to push you. I can remember being a busboy, probably 16 years old. And for whatever reason, I was leaning against one of the weight stations doing nothing. I felt that all the work was done. Yeah, and this really nice lady I work with comes up and said, are you seriously just going to stand there doing nothing? Yeah. And that was like the moment that clicked with me that I need to be on the move. Right. You cannot be the guy. Yeah. That that fundamentally changed how I worked. I never wanted to be seen like that again. Yeah. My days went quicker. I was successful in other jobs because I was not the guy who was lean nothing, you know. Yeah. And and that’s not to say I’m the world’s greatest worker by any change. But I, I get concerned that if we really are going to work from home thing, which I think is overall good.
[00:52:40] Kids may miss out on some very good formative stuff like that, yeah, and you’ve got to you know, if you’re going to work from home, your work ethic better be really buttoned up. Yeah.
[00:52:50] You know, the pieces to things that that that are particularly germane to this area. So my son is 16.
[00:53:01] And in the past year, I overheard his friend group talking about how there’s a belief in his high school that if you’re not pulling six figures by the time you’re 25, you’re a loser. Yeah. Wow. Yeah.
[00:53:14] Let’s talk about mental health. Let’s talk about liking what you’re doing. Let’s talk about all these other things.
[00:53:20] So there is this strive to succeed, even if you’re miserable piece and you can do you know, the other piece of it, too, is that we’ve deliberately denigrated the traits. So in America, we’re looking at a half million shortage of technicians for HVAC alone in the next, I think five years.
[00:53:41] Mm hmm. There is nothing wrong with that field, right? No. You get great joy out of doing these physically difficult jobs. You can make great money.
[00:53:49] Well, they’re not. In fact, being an HVAC technician is not necessarily physically difficult. The service guy can be. It can be right. The guys that are doing the installation. Yeah, that’s that’s that’s definitely a hard day’s work for sure.
[00:54:02] But most of the HVAC technicians are coming in and working on a computer that’s inside the or that.
[00:54:08] Yeah, you work your way up to a technician, expert or whatever it is in there. But, you know, I mean, I was lucky to get with the cable company because what I discovered that my passion in life is troubleshooting and building. You know, there’s just nothing like going behind 10 other technicians that couldn’t fix something. And you’re the guy that fixes. Right. And so there’s real concern. You know, we do not have you know, you were pointing about if you wanted to start your own landscape business and you’re a young person, the problem is young people just aren’t doing that right.
[00:54:37] They’re they’ve got everything at their disposal to do so easily. Like for now. Well, we’re going to see what could change. It may be changing right now before our eyes might be my son’s been applying left and right and not getting jobs that would have been easily gotten before. Yeah, maybe he’s doing something. I don’t know. But yeah, he’s Savard. I don’t think that’s the case.
[00:54:54] But I mean, you know, in this area, fast food chains and Starbucks were always hiring. I mean, well, they still are evolving or they are. But he’s there’s been a bit of a wait list. There’s a higher percentage of kids out there working. And the other thing that happened to is the college kids coming back. Yes. Yeah. That’s changed America. So, you know where our Starbucks might take their chance on a 16 year old boy like my son? They don’t have to right now.
[00:55:18] Yeah, well, I’m also I’m hearing just that there’s a lot of folks that are taking a year off also.
[00:55:23] There’s that, too. It’s hard for I mean, that blows my mind that there’s so much cash out there to do that. But that is happening. Yeah. You know, probably early retirements.
[00:55:31] Well, no, I’m talking about the college kids, the kids that would normally go to school. They. I see. So then they’re flooding this market with. Yeah. Available and I don’t know. I don’t have any statistics. Right. I’m just. That’s right. I’m just hearing right through my conversations with folks that, well, resuming in session college was nothing more than window dressing.
[00:55:48] We all knew. Exactly. I knew they were going to pull those kids back. Yeah. Hapi there’s no if I was that age I’d be going to a 400 person party.
[00:55:55] Right. Invincible it. Stop it. There’s no way. Yeah. I mean I’m looking for girls. I don’t know Cogan’s not getting in the way of that. Right sir. But the colleges are in a tough spot. Right. So they got to, they got to get that tuition somehow. Yeah. They get the kids on campus for a couple of weeks and say sorry folks beyond our. Yeah. And they’re still able to charge that. Right. Not refunding dorms. They’re not really writing any of that stuff. Right. So, you know, the kids are coming back. I have zero doubt about that.
[00:56:20] And, you know, again, I you know, those jobs are going to be there to my son’s credit, when we went out and planted those trees, he was amazing. The customer there thought that was the best thing they’d seen good in a long time. You know, father and son working. And I’m coaching him. And, you know, he enjoyed swinging the pick ax. Yeah, but it’s fun. It’s good for you, man. It’s amazing. Those are good memories for me.
[00:56:40] When I was younger, I might have hated it at the time, but it’s you know, and we’re going to we’re going to do we’re going to do some more conversations down the road with your son. Yeah. And we’re going to talk about, you know, it’s funny how you ended up here today was we actually started talking about technology one day out of my driveway. And I was talking to you about how the cell phones have just, in my view, really destroyed the company culture they used to exist. I’d agree in my in my workplace is before we had mobile phones. And it’s really only been the last five years. How much access. Yeah. To, well, too much access. And the the folks that are coming into the workplace now, the younger folks have grown up with the phone attached to their hand and they can’t leave it in their car, they can’t get rid of it. And you and I were talking about some of the challenges you had with the phones and your son. And we definitely want to have that conversation another day. That’s a whole nother that’s a big ball of wax right there. Yeah, that that is. And I and I’m looking forward to having. Conversation, but if you say the word Facebook and from that generation, by the way, you date yourself, exactly what is that?
[00:57:48] Right. I’m not. Do they even look at Instagram anymore? I mean, what’s the current list? Tick tock, right? Yeah, well, no, you know what? I’ll tell you I’ll tell you another side story. Another another guy I’m going to sit down with.
[00:57:57] And I just did kind of a preshow phone interview with him the other day, Ed Shardul.
[00:58:02] He said that some guys, young kids, high school kids were going through his neighborhood door to door, knocking on doors, asking if they wanted their decks power wash because they were out of school, because they didn’t have anywhere to go. And and it was like three guys knocked on his door. He said, oh, yeah, sure, wash the deck. And at the end, he says, you guys did a really great job. You know, you should advertise on Facebook. And he said they all three looked at each other and they said to him, What’s Facebook? And he says, You can advertise on Facebook because if you just put an ad right here, everybody in the community will know where you are. They these guys, these high school guys didn’t even know what Facebook what’s gone for them?
[00:58:41] It’s guys. It’s like old people. They said, that’s great. He’s come and gone just like that. Crazy. It is crazy considering. I mean, actually, I give Facebook credit because they had a long run compared to MySpace. Yeah. The other one that’s interesting too is they don’t do email. Yeah. No they do not do email Instagram. They do Instagram. Yeah.
[00:58:58] It’s trashed their ability to write the have had to because they do so much shorthand. It started to creep into their literary skills. Yeah. Which has been a complaint of colleges for quite some time that people can’t write. Yeah. Yeah. So you know that’s the negative side of it. The positive side of it is if you develop writing skills you’ll now be in demand again because they need writers. I’ll tell you what, I go on some of these news websites and I can’t believe how bad the right. I know it’s horrible. I you know, Yahoo! News is probably the worst. They don’t edit things anymore. And that’s it’s going to come back around to an opportunity for people, you know, a good well moderated site. Yeah. But, you know, I know that’s taken a right turn right there, but it’s interesting times. Yeah.
[00:59:42] Well, we got a lot to talk about. I think I think we I mean, I think we can carry this conversation on. I’m only for sure. But so let’s do this. Let’s find a way to wrap it up real quick so he can have a wrap up. So so, you know, Frank, in closing, you know, first of all, thanks for coming in. I really enjoyed this conversation. I mean, it’s good. Yeah. And I think we’re going to continue this in other episodes down the road, but just just kind of wrapping up and tell us one last time what you’re so you do you’re doing some landscaping.
[01:00:08] Tell us what you’re doing, what kind of work you would like to get from our client base. And you tell us a little bit about your your cabling work, I guess, is kind of not something that our database may be looking at, but it’s tough to say he’s out of nowhere.
[01:00:23] Yeah, but we do we do data cabling and testing. Yeah. And we build wireless infrastructure. Right. And that’s why we still have a landscaping business which home improvement mostly.
[01:00:32] Actually I have a full time painter drywall. We renovate bathrooms quite a bit. Yeah. It’s a great painter by the way. Thank you. Yeah. It’s great to great for that. Very happy with him. Yeah. So you know we do that to fill the time and we like that as well. But there’s millions of companies out there that do that and not millions that build five. Exactly.
[01:00:51] So I’m happy to hear from anybody on how we do special projects and things like that. I’ve built about ten waterfalls. That’s a lot of fun, but that’s a niche product that, you know. Yeah, I specialize in making them look real natural and things like that. So, you know, I can always be hired to do that or fix what you’ve already got. It sounds good.
[01:01:09] Well, there’s a link on the website with your information on it. So we look forward to having you as a friend of the show. So thanks again for coming in, Frank.
[01:01:18] Thank you.
[01:01:24] Hey, I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of the Go with John Show. Please subscribe on the podcast platform of your choice and keep up with our latest episodes and what’s going on with the show at Go with John Dotcom. That’s go with John Dotcom.