Steven Davis, once a self-proclaimed “trouble child,” changed his ways and eventually opened up Facilities Maintenance Management — a turnkey maintenance and construction company. However, the road to his success started out rocky. His first business took a hit with the 2008 recession and, unfortunately, never bounced back. He closed the business and eventually paid the bank and his vendors back after nearly a decade. In 2010, with a stroke of luck, Steven discovered $50k worth of credit in his account, cashed it, and opened up Facilities Maintenance Management. In his first year, he brought in $1 million in revenue, and just five years later, he would bring in $48 million. Since then, Steven and his company have expanded to the continental U.S., doing work in Kansas, Texas, Florida, and the Carolinas with many more opportunities and plans for the future. In this week’s episode, Steven talks about a trick his grandfather taught him, how he discovered $50k in his account, and how 50% of a whole lot is better than 100% of nothing.
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Hey everybody, Welcome to the Patty G show. I’m your host, Patty G. Today we are here with Steven Davis of FMM. We’re going to talk instruction, the Golden Triangle, not the Illuminati, the Golden Triangle of workflow. We’re going to talk buying businesses investing in businesses and ultimately serving the customer in the best possible way. Before we get to that one, to give a big wonderful shout out and thank you to the amazing folks that bring you this show each. And every week we have Gov’t Taco, Falaya Real Estate, Currency Bank – The bank for business owners – Lake Men’s Health Center, Horizon Financial Group, Mercedes Benz of Baton Rouge and this week. We’ve got a St. Paddy’s Day-themed outfit. Brought to you by McLavy Ltd.
Without further Ado, Stephen, welcome to the show. Thanks, glad to be here Stephen Armonk, which would you prefer?
You know, honestly, some people don’t even know my real name.
Okay, so monk God is good, it’s good. So monk who are you, man? And what the heck do you do?
Yeah man. Look Steven Davis I’m a born and raised in Baton Rouge I’ve been living in Durham Springs. I’m going to transplant the Livingston Parish for the past 25 years. Basically, my business is located there. Now we’re we’re in the facilities maintenance and construction business. We’ve got about 140 employees about Vehicles on the road from flout Florida, all the way to East Texas. And, and we got a great team and a great team of people. I’m also Partners in a flooring company called anytime flooring and very successful company with my partner. Tony Thibodeau there. He runs that business and I’m partners with him. And so, a lot of construction, a lot of floors, a lot of Maintenance, a lot, everything to do with fixing buildings, repairing and renovating them.
I love that how
Did you get into this? What was free? Athenaeum. Pre anytime? For who is who is? So it was a monk at the time or Stephen. So say, at the time. Yeah. Steven boy. I worked at my family calls. Me Stevie, too. Which is Devi. Oh yeah. Three names, um. So yeah. Started in college. My family is entrepreneurs. My Dad was as a mechanic growing up. I worked in a mechanic shop with him for a long time. My mom did. The books worked the front desk. Um. You know, challenging living back back. Then you know, mechanics didn’t wear rubber gloves. You know, they weren’t all clean and proper. And the shops were all beautiful. In fact, at one point we had a a shop pig like a little pig that lived in the shop area, especially. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And we had a dog shop dog because out on Florida Blvd where the shop was the the dog had gotten hit by car.
So he ended up having his leg cut off and my parents are big. Animal people as mine, they couldn’t bear to see that getting put down so that he was a three-legged dog. And his name was stew. All the guys in the need him. Stew for short for stupid because he got hit by a car and so and so it was an adventure it at the, at the shop forever. And I really learned a lot. Just, you know, working with your hands and, and, and, you know, learning how to to do things that weren’t these days. Very computer-related everything. Back then, was not computers. It was, you know, carburetors and spray some carburetor cleaner there to get the car started. Right? You know, spark plugs, you know the big engines, you know, all the excitement allowed glass packs and all that. So I had a lot of fun doing that growing up until I got old enough to realize that it wasn’t as much fun and it was punishment. When I was bad at school. I had to my dad, took me out of school actually for a week one time.
Maybe work at the shop for free cleaning, the floors, the grease seals, what you do? Yeah man I got I went back to school the next week and tried not to get in trouble. You know what you do to get in trouble? Here is it? That’s, it’s classified. I was bad girl. That was I was bad. And in fact, when I was time for me to go to high school, my mom was like, look, we’re going to get you in Catholic High. My grades weren’t that great. And you know, my family has a legacy of the kind of high-end Uncle. Skip Phillips was a managing partner teleporter the law firm for a long time and esteem. Catholic I’ll um, well I was pretty much a 180 from him that way and so. So, you know, she’s like, look, you’re gonna go interview and take the test and do all that stuff and so I did and she’s like, basically, look, you see the Catholic I or LTI, which was the, the kind of the prison school for young men.
And so the day they sent out the letters. I got to my house and it looked like a hungry dog on the back of a meat truck had opened up that letter all my aunts, Ma. Oh. Everybody was so worried about see that they had already got to the house and rip the open letter to see if I got Internet, you got home and there was like, like a core part. Yeah. Yeah. In your house. Yeah. Who is here? Yes. You thought somebody like was trying to to to steal my mail and find some kind of classified document. Yeah. Or they’re they’re gonna have an intervention. Yes. Alright. Stevie brought the whole family together. Yes. Yes. And so fortunately, I did get in and I did not want to go to Catholic. I wanted to go to Belair. That’s where I grew up living in that area. And um, but fortunately I did get in. And that was a big life change, mon. But for me, you know, meeting people who you know, quite frankly, weren’t like me. You know, I grew up working in a shop. We don’t have a lot of money.
And, you know, I met people with wealth and just started, you know, realizing that there was another side of the life, if you can kind of do things the right way and build relationships with right people. So that was big and then from there man I went to LSU little bank and work in the bank for The Wiles of teller at Hancock Whitney. And then from there I became a waiter at di Angelo’s Pizza. He’s was around Baton Rouge forever and my good friend Ray Mitchell hired me as a waiter, he was the GM. And I didn’t know him at the time, but that will come full circle. He hired me. I started waiting tables. I was killing it.
I loved it interacting with people and, you know, just just just run and gun in the whole time.
I got really good at that and became a another manager there alongside Ray, and then eventually was promoted to the franchise trainer.
So if you bought a franchise when the D’Angelo is a franchise and you trained with me and one other person, and one of the people that I actually trained was Bob, Brunei of Brunei is Cajun restaurant, he’s since closed it. But and Bob was a was going into the business because he had already sort of retired. Well Donnie gyro friend of mine and Bobby Waters. Wanted to open a DI Angelo’s really really bad and didn’t Springs. Well Lewis the guy who owned the deal was like look I’m not your real estate construction guys. I’m not selling you a franchise unless you have a restaurant guy. Why, well, they were friends with Bob and they said, Bob come on out of retirement and we need a restaurant guy. So, the whole time I’m training Bob, he’s just just he’s like, man, I do not want to do this. I’m just trying to get it open, but Bob, and I built a strong relationship and after they were open for a few months I called Baba said, Bob, would you want to get out? Because I really, you know, I want to I want to be an entrepreneur like I don’t want to keep it somewhere and Bobs like yes.
And that’s that’s how can I pay you to take my shit. Yeah. I mean, they. They they basically were like he’s like some sweat equity man come on. And so I did. And ironically, enough, Ray, um, Mitchell, who had hired me came with me as a partner as well. And so we ended up with a d Angelos and Denham springs. We acquired the one in Perryville, and we also opened one in Brulee. And then we sold those back to Lewis because he stopped franchise and started getting the restaurants back corporate owned. And so, um, got out of that. And um, and Bobby waters my business partner at the time him and Donnie were like, man, what are you gonna do. Louis wanted to hire me back. And I had enough restaurants. I was getting older and I said, man, I can work with you, Bob and would do construction. I don’t know anything about construction.
He is why I pay you x amount of years and I know what you’re going to do, but you work hard and let’s do it.
See you just like, well, construction of thin air. He was already in the business, by the guy said, Bobby was in the biz.
Yeah, he was in business and he’s like, just come work me on to what you’re going to do. But I know you’ll work hard. I like you’ve seen what you’ve done here, and so it’s comfy.
We’ll figure it out. Figure it out.
And and we sure figure it out right into the gutter.
But, uh, wait, what happened, man? We had a construction company. We got rolling in 2008 happened.
Okay, economic crisis and so we didn’t get paid from a lot of people. We owed a lot of vendors. A lot of money and people owed us a lot of money but nobody could pay anybody.
And so that’s a crazy thing about construction at not a people. I don’t know if people realize is the timeliness of receivables tribe and how long they’re going to be aging. That’s right I mean that’s for a variety of businesses to deal with larger corporations or large organizations. They now will give you 30 and will give you 60 will give you 90 days. That’s right. And it’s forever waiting and it’s almost impossible to get something like that started.
When you have such long aging. That’s right. No it is.
And it’s even scarier in the construction business because we were building stuff for people and they were getting their funding from the banks. Well, one thing’s dried up the bank’s quit, giving them their drawers because everything got out of whack, the loan to values are out of whack.
Everything was out of whack. They were going to be to sell them because interview, because interest rates were everything was shut down. Yeah, nobody could buy houses, nobody could say, but just nothing was happening. So the banquet given them their money and they quit paying us.
What we had we were always ahead, right? We’d always We were ready for the 3. Way ahead of schedule. Yeah, I like so, we’re ready for the third draw. We’ve done the third draw worth of work.
We’re ready for the payment will 2008 hits and you’re the guy with no chair you know because the banks not paying them and they’re not paying you.
So it was very very stressful and so we ended up closing that because I was this close to bankruptcy and 2008 2009.
It was scary. I remember my grandfather went through the 80s.
And ah. And I remember I was just didn’t know what to do. So I called him and he came office and, um, and say, Gramps, I said, what. You know, I don’t want want to do. You know. I was almost in tears. You know, he sits on the couch and he looks at me because Stevie and he called me lucky as fourth name. Sorry. Oh yeah. He said, lucky, we’d say so. Somebody. He’s like, look, um, because we’re gonna we’re gonna do this. When I went through the eighties. Um. I’ll give you my three. My three rules number one. If somebody calls, you answer the phone, whether the news is good or not. Answer the phone number two. If you tell them, you’re gonna pay him something, pay him. Just don’t tell him. Don’t lie. Pay him. And the third one. He said he goes, if you absolutely have to pay somebody and you don’t have the money.
Mail my check, don’t sign it, it’ll buy you an extra week and it kind of made me laugh. You know, we’re sitting there, we had a little shocking that kind of got me out of my out of my funk a little bit and but I’m very proud to say, man, we work through, you know, I went Me and Bobby split the people that we had money to and and and we, you know, went and conquered those those vendors and some of them, we conquered together. You know, someone were big and we didn’t hide from anybody went and met with them. So look, I’ll you, you know, 200 Grand Me and Bobby on this piece of property, that’s we 02:00 on it. Worth 400 will give you it for what we owe. And you know, a lot of these people are like, man, everybody’s hiding from us. You guys are coming to us trying to find solutions to get a spade, and right? And as fate would have it. Paid all the banks, paid all the vendors, you know, we did everything that we needed to do to get, get it right. It, look, it, took seven to ten years. I’ll never forget, I wrote the last check to one of these companies in the guy was like, man, what?
Will you even do it now? And I told him about FM you know, he’s and so now we do maintenance work for him constantly, you know that because they trust us, right? They trust me because of the what we went through. So seven years. Yeah, it took a long time and yeah, it was it was tough. I mean some of these people I would pay $100 a month if I could and I do I’m like eight thousand dollars and then I pay my thousand. If I got a thousand it was just it was tough times but but that’s what happened was born out of facilities. Maintenance management is what f m stands for and in 2009, I was like, man, what am I going to do? And I said, you know, I want to open a company. That’s a little more recession-proof economy, proof If you will. So I said, maintenance if, if we’re sitting here talking and your electricity goes out or if this building the toilets aren’t working, or if they see is broken, it doesn’t matter what the economy is like, you going to fix it, right? So I said, I want to do that because I knew a lot of people in construction who were great with a lot of different things, but they didn’t have jobs anymore. And so, I said, I’m going to do that. So 2010 came along and I was looking for some money cause I was broke and I see, you know what?
I started searching through my little list of debts that I had. And I had one fifty thousand dollars on credit. That has zero balance. It was unsecured line. I forgot about that because back back before they were given outlines credit. Yeah. Secure like no big deal. It was very loose banking system. And thus a man, some banker. I knew if I went in there he knew what was going on. I knew he would like d like that’s not supposed be open. So I was not supposed to be like, we should have closed that. But we did. So it’s it’s a paperwork while you’re here. That the contracts drawn. I need you to sign close. Least month. Just sign the piece of paper closing. So because he says, um, he goes, go to a different branch, a new where my banker was right. He was at the branch downtown.
so I went to the branch on Highland Road of the snake because nobody knew me and I went and I hit the line of credit and I got a cashier’s check because it was I have my deal was The very next day the banker calls me he’s like mock.
I was like, hey man. What’s up guys?
Name is Maurice and we call him Mo Money, mum on, but they never came. But then you became then you became no money, no money.
So he says he says, Mark. He goes, I see you hit that line of credit. Yeah, he goes what? We forgot that was out there. But what do you do with the money open? A new company maintenance company? It’s like, well, are you going to pay us back? I said, I got a year to figure that out.
I don’t know what you’re you know a little under you.
Girls like it. He’s like, come on.
I’m like I had five thousand dollars left my name and that 50,000 55,000 dollars. That’s here in his letter. Yeah. 55 grand open up the company hired. A couple of people hired, a really great Tech hired, a girl named Shelley. Who’s still with me to this day? First person ever hired,
We didn’t know what the hell we were doing and as fate would have it. We all just worked hard, kept hire great people. And and then FM, you know, became what it is today. You pay off the line of credit. Oh, yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely. They closed it immediately. Are they not all right. It’s over done. Yep. Thanks for shopping? Yeah, we appreciate your business ish. I mean, how did they, how do you miss that? Yeah, I don’t know. It was definitely, I think because there was so much bad stuff going on, it was Zero balance line. Like I said, we weren’t caring it was and it was just open like it was a line of credit. I kind of went, he got a thousand dollars off of it, right? And it still would have alerted them but I’m like going big. If I’m going in, its did you almost feel like you’re a rock? Like was it a little bit of like a robbing a bank feeling kind of. I like it was two things. It was like I’m robbing the bank but I’m also, I can survive for a little longer. Yeah, I know like 50,000 dollar. Got somebody, get your feet off the ground. Exactly God. And we got it off the ground and man, we are goal. The first year, I think was 400 Grand won’t do 400 Grand in Revenue. I think we didn’t deliver the first year. I think we did like
It just took off. And so we’ve had an revenue increase. You know, every year that we’ve been in business since then and um, twenty, twenty three. I think we have around forty eight million in revenue total for FM. So that’s incredible. Yeah. Which on? Machinima. We do the business report stuff with, and we do the unites all going to be public knowledge. And The Inc, The Inc. Five thousand which we’ve been on for like eight years straight. I think the fastest growing companies in America. It’s incredible. It is. It’s been great. And and it’s funny because we ah, people like me how you do it. I’m like to move out. I’ve got a great team people and any business owner who’s successful knows that you know that the end of the day there’s only so much one person can do right. You know some. So in your first hire came pretty quickly.
Here’s what it sounds like you got, you know, you stole from the bank and then you immediately hired somebody immediately, the irony is, she came, she owned a house that I was like, you know, was going to do with and I and so I had to get a renter. And so her husband moved here to work for Servpro, they came from Mississippi and she didn’t have a job. And so, my real estate agent, who leased the house said, hey, I have this lady who needs a job and I’m like bring her head and her name’s Shelly and Shelly Jones and her. And so we was just a full, it was a full circle of an economy. Yep. You would pay her. She paid her rent and his foot. I’ll Circle. Thank you. And you know, I didn’t have to lose that house and have to get back to the bank. There you go. There you go, sold. It made some money on it eventually. So in those, in those early days,
Going through. I mean, at that point you had had some experience both being and restaurant construction where you actually going out on the jobs and like being Hands-On, or what was your initial role with fmm? Yeah, man. So my initial role was really Business Development and finding good quality people. So Brian Weaver was one of the one of the first. He was the first tech we hired and Shelley was the first office personally hired. And so so I got started with those two. People Shelley ended up, I didn’t know what she was going to be but she ended up being great man and she still is, you know she’s worked her way up. In our company, like I said, she’s the first person we hired still with us today, which is amazing. And so Brian was a high-caliber guy who had his own tools don’t truck. So I went out immediately started in to rustle up business to talk to people just I mean it was, you know, seven days a week like whatever it took I had to go get business, you know. I had to drive Revenue so that was my main goal, quite frankly, and I worked on cars and did a lot of that kind of stuff. So I could be handy. But that wasn’t my highest and best use. I knew that if I was on a truck
But trying to learn these trades like these guys knew him and get all my tools. There was only so much we could do without somebody going out and building the relationships and building the business. And so that was my main focus. And unfortunately, like I said, I was able to get, you know, Brian onboard initially. And then Shelly. And then it is sort of you hire great people. And then they know great people. And it got to the point where we you know, we we had a really good staff, F. And um, and we were able to actually perform, you know, main something work in the first year, which was which was awesome. And so my Dad has an industrial plumbing company. So I’m familiar with get into plants and how tricky that is. Did you have a sector where you knew you were going to have an ease of entry and start work or were you just kind of call on anybody? Everybody you know. Like where like? Where do you look for that first customer? That’s that’s a great question. So so so when you’re out there and you’re and you’re, you know, just trying to harvest some crops. Right. You’re out there. Just plant seeds. And and since they grow meat and people, um, you know.
One of the first big clients we had was, was MMO medical management options. And and I met a lady named Chris Nichols miscreant. She recently passed away and her son, Rob Miller ended up. He was running all their hospitals and stuff. And so it just through those relationships. She said, man, we have our own maintenance people on staff, but they don’t really do a great job. So that was really the first in that I had. But outside of that, you know, we would go do a little bit of work for, you know, mangos volleyball, we go fix something at a restaurant, you know, a small restaurant, we were doing small-time stuff just to get. Out there. But but MMO was our first big entry into having, you know, a good client that had multiple locations, that allowed us to go higher and had a monthly recurring contract, but it didn’t come because we were so specialized in the that they did mental health hospitals, it didn’t come because we were so specialized mental health, it came because
Miss Chris and Rob and I had to establish a good trusting relationship and they knew that I would do whatever it took to try to make sure things are done, right? And and they gave me a chance in believed in me. So it was, you know, it was just business development, building relationships, and going that route and and hiring great people to perform the work. That was important.
Yeah. You got to deliver on what you’re going to say. You’re trying to forget her and that was a big thing II.
Tend to people say, hey, over promise and under deliver? No, I want to over promise and over deliver and the only way to do that in our industry is to have great people. And unfortunately I had chili I had Brian. And other technicians that we had brought on board, you know, under him, that he would train and work with and manage. And so that’s how I kind of took off.
I love it so that the 50,000 was a good Gateway, but were you ever worried that you weren’t gonna be able to pay it back?
You know, um, there’s been a few times. Where? In in the history of the company or early on like that. Because it was an interestingly line of credit. The the money was interesting. Yeah. Interesting. That’s right. Yes. It was minimal. You know. So I’d just pay an interest of mine. So I wasn’t worried about that because I knew when it came up it was it was unsecured. They just had my my personal guarantee. Which at the time? Yeah. Five thousand dollars to your name. You know. Exactly what are they going to do like? Okay. I mean, come take my pants. I wouldn’t like, you know, mature. What you gonna do? I don’t have nothing. And so the bank worked with me because I sold the business actually generating some revenue and was paying in a timely manner. So I wasn’t worried necessarily about paying that back. But as the business grew. Oh um, I grew it. Really, really quickly. And that was scary because I didn’t have the the capital behind me to do that. And um, you can grow yourself out of business cashflow sample and write a casual standpoint and also from a work.
Order versus Manpower standpoint for y’all. Exactly. You have the hospital putting in 100 work orders. Within a given month or whatever? I don’t know. The numbers are, but if they put in an absurd amount of work orders and you don’t have to staff. Exactly. When did you ever get to that point? Where you were understaffed, what we did? We got to a point where we had a lot of work coming in, but fortunately at the time, see that, the, the economic situation was such that we were able to go get people pretty quick because back, then it’s, it was the composer opposite of what we have going on. Now. It’s hard to find good people. Right. Everybody is looking up, you looking for people, right? And I saw a sign at a fast food restaurant somewhere. I was at over the weekend at said, we are now hiring just like everyone else. That’s what it said on there. Billboard. Yes. There’s, you know, they didn’t even try to hide it. Yeah, it’s like now hiring great employees just like everyone else and so, but back then the economy was trying to recover because I opened in 2010 and that was kind of the beginning of the recovery. So for the first 23 years, there was always people out there that we’re looking for good jobs that were in that industry.
Um, and so, it really wasn’t that big of a struggle. We just knew, hey, we got the revenue coming in. Hey, Brian or hey Robby Ray. Whoever was working for us who do you know? And they would bring in some guys would interview them and look back then. I mean we didn’t have HR we didn’t drug test fit into anything like it was like just oh cool. Your you can you got tools, you know, how to do stuff. Let’s go.
You got you got tools driver’s license. All right. Yeah, you look good? You’re you’re sober today. Greg could come to work tomorrow. Thank you and keep being sober. Yes.
And so that was the beginning. Any of it, it was. And so that wasn’t a challenge back. Then, it was more the cash flow in the managing account because because like, MMO was a big company back then and they, you know, look their cash flow. Same as ours, they’re waiting on Medicare payments and all that stuff will their, you know, their cash flows. Like I said, it was tough, just bigger numbers, you know, it. So we wait on them and they would pay us and eventually I was able to get a line of credit against my receivables. And once you get that kind of stuff in place, that’s what really allows you to have some growth. But I just couldn’t stop, man. I
Couldn’t stop. My weight grew so fast. I mean, it was crazy. So I was. Cash has always been our issue of the past few years. Or you know, it’s finally caught up. I mean, we’ve we’ve the the cashflows caught up with the business because we’ve changed a lot of our. Ah. Strategies and procedures collections deposits. We get down jobs. We do things that nature and also we expanded into doing, you know, construct can work, which wasn’t in the initial plan. But we do quite a bit of that now as well. Well. Yeah. I mean initially to repairs and maintenance. That’s not as of much of a big upfront Bill right now. If you’re going in and you’re changing out a handful of light bulbs, that’s all you got going. And like, initially for construction, you’re buying all the lumber or the materials. You have a big material, Bill. Exact that hits you right in the beginning before even start. Whereas the maintenance. It sounds like it’s almost a lot lower product costs. And now it’s just the actual labor costs. Just work. Yeah. Quite sort of like, you know, if you if you go in. Um.
If you go to Taco Bell to get something to eat, you know, it’s a you know, you can get 10 bucks, you can get a great meal. Well it’s different from Ruth Chris. You know what I mean? And and so, so Bruce Chris, you know you’re going to pay 150, 200 bucks person. Well, the Taco Bell, you have to do a lot more Revenue to get some good margins to make that good money. You’re still the, I love those Industries because they get paid instantly right now. They don’t have to wait like we did. But when you start doing the bigger stuff you know your bills for filet mignons are a lot bigger than 4 you know. Tortillas Yeah you know and so as we started doing construction, it helped with our ability to grow because the the would get payments they’d be nice as payments but also it challenged us from a cash flow perspective all the way up the ladder until we were able to get big enough to demand, you know, the deposits and to demand certain payment terms. You know we have old collections department now. Back then I was the collections and I hated I would have I’m not a controversial guy. I’d be like, oh, come on please. Yeah. That’s
We got an office manager at the firm and herd moving on the collections was the best thing because can’t, it’s just, you know, your strengths and your weaknesses. That’s my weakness. Yeah, can’t call somebody to. Hey, so listen on opposite.
There’s this bill, we don’t have to talk about it. It’s just, just, just pay it when you can when you, when you can, when you probably today. It’s not. I’m saying great. If it would be, I’m on my way to your office. Could I go in 5 minutes, right? Otherwise I’m gonna pay my employees. Yeah, it’s say that but but you know, I don’t know pretty stressful, you know, right?
Yeah, I’d look, I totally get that. Yeah, and were you even at the time you went into construction side, you expand it into that, um, was the maintenance doing so much so that you had a lil bit more Comfort. I mean, because if I’m going into the field in which I lost because I ultimately in 08 you had closed under construction as this. I mean you’re gonna be returning to the battlefield where you lost, right? What was that? Like man that’s that’s that’s actually great question. So we went into that
With a different perspective. So what what we did when my previous company had to be close? We were doing a lot of spec building for other people and some for ourselves. So we would go build commercial buildings from the ground up houses from the ground up. What we were doing in F M. M we would do renovations. Commercial build-outs. We weren’t taking the the risk of the ground-up construction having to manage that. Um. You know, and and and put together hard biz and compete forbids. A lot of it was direct hire negotiated work, and we could self perform some of it. You see, I’m saying because we had maintenance techs. So if our techs, you know if we were busy in the field. But we had some slow days. We can have our techs go out there and do the sheet rock. Hang in and, you know, do some of the framing things that nature right. And so we didn’t jump back into the same construction as we had before we got into the more renovations remodels stuff like that. And that still rings true. Today I’m not. I’m not going to compete. You’re not going to see FM on a bid list.
Bidding against, you know, Lemoine and Womack. And Arkell fact, those guys are clients of ours, you know, we do some work for them as a sub just to help them with punch list from time to time but but we don’t go bid that big competitive bid work. We have clients all around the nation we actually have gotten into some pretty massive apartment renovation work. And so it’s it’s got. That’s huge. It’s huge. So we go in and it’s a very low risk. Yeah. You know, we’re doing floors. Paint cabinets appliances like Fixtures. Plumbing, fixtures? No. Real construction per se and then will renovate the exteriors as well, if they need it. But we go in with our Super Subs and they just travel with us around the nation and it’s become a big thing. Our facility services has expanded likes it from Florida to East Texas. Basically the South the gulf coast region but the project stuff has we’ve gotten kind of a niche and we’re working for some pretty big National and international firms renovating their complexes. You know, we just we just started one and see how it
This week. So how do you crop when was the point in time where you cross state lines? So that was probably about two years ago. We one of our clients.
We were working with here at a big apartment complex on Southern campus. They, they’re out of New York, we built a great relationship with them and click the orange and doing work on state.
Maybe that’s a big risk, big risk and so you know our team got together, we talked through it so then we can manage it. And so We went, we went and took a ten dollar job on in Tallahassee, Florida and Florida, State’s campus. Big exterior interior renovation. You know, we started just doing a great job communicating well, again, great people, right, right. Like that, I would deal with the higher-ups every now and then but my team was dealing with their team. Great people guys had kind of been growing from within that have been with us for six, seven eight, nine years. That were learning the processes and understand how to treat the customers right way and do the right thing.
Started the next thing, you know, they’re like, oh, we got one in Kansas. You know the K state’s Canberra, Kansas campus. Alright. And ah, like, all right. Now we’re doing one from College Station. So now it’s it’s now working in Ohio with Em, North Carolina, South Carolina. And and now we have three or four other clients similar to them because we started marketing that specific. Um trade. I’ll call it. You know, track. I’m around an apartment innovations and clubhouse renovations. And we start to go into the big apartment National Apartment Association, um, conferences and and setting up booths. Invest in a lot of money there. And it’s really paid off. That’s where we got about ten million working on Las Vegas about pickups, Moreno, that someone in Colorado, um, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama. Oh it’s it’s it’s starting to realise is like trickling around the nation. Yeah. It really is. So when you y’all went from.
Contractor level to now be in a sub 4, main Contracting organization, or what’s the relationship? So, on the jobs Nationwide where the where the prime we’ve got, we do everything but we have a plumbing department and electrical department that that we do SUB work for other contractors here in town. So we’ve, you know, we’ve done more. Like, for example, we have some big Plumbing projects going all the way back construction. You know, we do our flooring company which is a separate LLC, but the flooring company does a lot of work for Le Moyne for Womack for Block companies like that. So, we, we have to be very Be careful because sometimes if they don’t know me or I’m Tony my partner well enough sometimes they like wait a minute FM’s of general contractor. Do we want to do business with them, or with any time? Are they a competitor or not competitor? Right? I imagine we get like located at something. It was tough for a little while, but until people realize that we’re doing work, that that’s just not what they do. You know, they build ground up stuff. They do competitive bid.
And we’re not in their market and and it didn’t take a long time for them to realize that. Because when they would go to the pre-bid meetings, everybody gets a copy the pre-bid list. And you see every GC that’s on there, you’re not going to see FM on, they’re just not what we do, you know? And so that, that really has kind of dust has settled all that. So, it’s worked out well. So, we’re still doing work for a lot of the bigger GCS, but as a sub others, flooring Plumbing or electrical.
So, for the, for the renovation space, your, the, you would be the GC. Wrecked working directly with the customer, but if somebody’s Going for a ground up and they’re going to work with a GC who think would work with things.
Like, so somebody called me said, hey man, we want you to build a ground-up apartment complex and, you know, wherever Mississippi or whatever. Yeah, I mean, it’s not what we do. So what we would do is reach out to one of our partners and like, hey would you be interested in
You know, in the end, the GC on this Binet, we can be kind of your partner, and y’all can take the lead because we don’t. We don’t do that. You know. So I’m like, what’s the the get it for the people listening? What’s the technical difference between those between being the GC virtues being the sub? Yeah. So yeah. So being a general contractor, you’re responsible for everything. You own job. So for example, in Seattle. Where? The GC. So the the client talks to us. We’re responsible for the entire scope of the project. Right. Doesn’t matter who we hired to do the work. Whether we’re doing with our own people or subs, they don’t care. They have one neck to choke. Okay. Whereas being a subcontractor under a GC, that GC is responsible for everything. And we’re just part of the fifty subs are having any. They have underneath that GC were just part of that team. But at the end of the day we have no direct contact with the owner unless the GC requests us to to to be there for a meeting.
They deal with everything and we work under them as a subcontractor. So you basically have a general contractor relationship, which FM has on multiple projects specifically the renovations in rehabs Nationwide. And then we also participate as a subcontractor which we work under GCS on jobs. So that’s, that’s the difference between those two relationships. Gosh, I guess, I mean, make sense? If somebody’s doing a rehab or refurbish if probably already got the funding like on lock they do. And so when they’re when these big apartment companies likes, the ones we deal with. None of them are small. They’re massive companies. Going back to my old days of being broken, not having cash flow, you know, we demand a pretty significant, you know, 30 percent upfront deposit before we will swing one hammer which is a big change from where I used to do it. I used to want to get so much revenue, right? You know then like all right, you know, we’ll get started. I know you’re going to pay me.
And I got me in trouble. Yeah, yeah. And so, so with these new contractors, we have these early these new clients, we had these relationships where were like, look, you know, we’re ready to get started. We’d here’s our deposit and it ranges anywhere from 20 to 40 percent. I mean, we, you know, I don’t know if it’s an existing customer, I’m sure versus a new customers actually. Yeah, some of these new customers come out, right? Look, this is going to be our deposit amount, you know, most of the time though. They, you know, we have the, we have the institutional knowledge, we have The Branding, we have the they were Known entity now, right? That they can look at us and see in the market. What we’ve done, call other people. Oh yeah, we’ve worked with them. They’re good. And so they know, look, we’re not if you want to work with us, that’s great. But we can’t we’re not going to expose our self right out of the gate to financial destruction because you say, you’re good for it.
And was that like a almost a founding principle when you win open? Fmm was to not repeat that mistake.
Um it was until I realised that I was small and nothing Burger. And I pretty much had to go get business. And that was not going to be the good. So it was like, yeah, I’m not going to get that position again. Well yeah, yeah. Customers are like, who are you? I like giving you a deposit. You’re gonna disappear. No problems. I won’t. We have only a fifty thousand dollars. I only owe an unsecured, if any, that’s not a lot of what could go wrong. So that’s that’s how it all kind of got rolling. But then, as we got bigger just like anything any other business, you know, you start getting bigger and you’re able to to leverage your your abilities. And so that’s what we did. And it was ah, it’s it’s it’s good now. Because the customers understand. Look these guys are legit. They’re going to do a good job, you know. And and some of it too. We have the bond jobs now as well. You know, that’s a whole another.
Of level that, you know, people don’t a lot of people in construction, don’t have to do but so what is that? So there’s bonding companies basically what they do is it’s almost like a bank, it’s not a bank loan but the bonding company comes in and says so for example I have a 10 min dollar job.
We gotta get a 10 million dollar Bond. Well the bonding company says okay we’re going to put the bond up and what that means is if we don’t pay our subcontractors like if we get paid from the client if we don’t pay our subcontractors and we leave the job and something goes wrong, the bonding company will step in and clear up the liens and pay the bills and make sure Sure everything’s fine for the customer. So it’s a protection for the customer that we provide, will not all companies.
Can get bonding, you have to have a good balance sheet. I know, you know about balance sheet. Yep. You gotta have a strong balance sheet.
Well, you know, I don’t have the songs balance you for quite some time and so became a real important deal for us to get our balance sheet, strong enough to to get the bonding. So, we did. And now that’s allowed us to go and compete in markets that
Smaller companies can FM 5 years ago. Can’t go get a 10 million dollar Bond, right? And so now we’re starting to grow and now you’re getting to these markets where you’re financially strong enough, to be able to produce the bond, you know, produce the work produced, the subcontractors and demand the deposit. And it’s funny how it works.
When you’re small, you want to do a good job in, you’re going to go kill it, give me the deposit. Now, you’re, you’re too small, which is what you want.
So, you just start and we’ll get to you. And you’re like, okay, you know, you take that risk. And as you start turning that corner there, like these guys rule Jit. They’re going to do a great job, they have pricing their prices in line, they have the management their owners, their owner communicates, he knows what’s going on, his team knows what’s going on. They can bomb the job clearly their balance sheets good enough to get money for ten million dollars. Got it deposit, we got a million three wire last week for Seattle, you know, when did you reach that level?
When Ms Dares to say about twelve months ago. Ah. I’m not gonna see your last. Even look. But hey, that’s if anybody’s taking anything for the first part of the show is that you’re open, you’re honest and you’re gonna come forward with whatever you can Sherman. So and and and being the twelve months ago, like, that’s just that plays right into who you are as as as a leader are who you are as managers. Look. We’re not gonna be as you anyway, right? And so okay. So twelve months ago was the turning point. Yeah. Pretty much. I mean, we we had to figure out how to get bonding. And I mean, I had to go to my Bonnie agent and she her name’s Fiona. And she’s Bronson bonding. And she’s like, wow, we get this done. I’m like, well, let’s figure it out. You know, when we grinded through it and we got it done, you want you get the first. Don’t they trust you a little bit? And and that was a small one. It’s three, four main, you know. And and five million, seven million, you know, and and it just you. But you gotta make sure you keep that balance sheet grown because you can only fake it till you make it for so long well. And especially with something like that. So yeah. Or from the cashflow side of things.
What people may not realize whenever they get into the business, depending on how they arrange it when they get time to taxes, right? So, if you’re working off an accrual basis and you have all these outstanding Arc, right? You’ve already recognize that Revenue. That’s right. And that folds over into the end of the year, no matter how much cash you got the revenue, you reported, you got to pay taxes on. That’s right. Whether you got the cash or not and so some businesses, especially construction companies, absolutely will have to get loans from a bank to pay their tax.
Best we call that Phantom income. Yeah, Phantom income. It’s just it. You’re paying, you’re paying taxes on income. That’s not in your pocket. It’s not in your bank account.
So how did y’all get through that initially?
Well, fortunately I also do a lot of real estate investing outside of Bethlehem. So you know my my CPA chip Chesney and he’s been a friend and my CPA for 20 years now and he helps me navigate those Waters. Now, I mean I’ll never forget it must have been four years ago, five years ago.
I went mad with him. He’s like he’s like Alright monkeys like he’s your tax bill. Fifty thousand dollars. I was like what? I don’t have fifty thousand dollars, like they’ll let you pay overtime. They charge. Ooh, I like a over time. You know, I mean I’ve never forget that my first tax bill. He’s like he looked me because monkey starting to get real what I’m like. I’m not sure I want to be real mad. It’s a different type of conversation. Is when people go from, I got a great, refund got a great run and they’re like wait and he starts seeing a shrink over time. And then it goes the other way Anderson and I whoa hang on. Hang on. Why are we going the other way? That’s right. It’s totally different and I’ve had customers that have been with them long enough for clients have been with long enough to see that cycle. Sure. And now they’re all the other end and I all right man what can I do to get this tax bill lower, right? How can I get this bill lowered and like at the end of The Daily?
You gotta spend the money. Well there’s two things going on that I learned. Right you. You gotta spend the money but another thing, but you know some. Ah. And look, fortunately, I’ve had a lot of people helping me. I mean, yeah, a lot of people helped me a lot. A lot of wealthy people. Mt Rouge. Who? Just now came up the same way I did. Um or were already wealthy. And they’re just good people in and coach mean and and helped me learn things that you when you come from, you know, a place of not a ton of wealth. You don’t understand some of these methods. And so they helped me a lot. But also, you know, tax planning. You gonna have to pay it. So you know, one of my buddies like man and you start paying quarterly taxes. I’m like, what crazy now this year. I’m ugly pig world. You know, it’s just one of those things. Where? Once you get punched in the face with a huge tax Bill, you no six digits. It say, ah, it’s very unpleasant. It’s it’s a game changer because you think your running so tight.
Whenever your work, managing your cash flow, it’s right. And you never see a six-digit number sitting in your account for the most part. Join. Oh, as you pay it in for your tax bill because you’re trying to constantly grow in that growth phase is so hard especially when you’re profitable and you’ve got massive, a are right. It’s so hard to then grow because every March 15th from a company standpoint. If it’s a company offside, your personal retiring. You’re like, oh snap. That’s right, I’ve got a bill to pay but I’m waiting on cash to come in but every dollar I get I’m investing it back into the company but sometimes it’s not deductible. And so then you just get back up to a wall. And yeah, I had to have that conversation in a wife a couple years ago. My hey, hey baby. How did you shows kill you?
It is what it is.
But in those early days, you may not think you’re crushing it because you’re just constantly behind on those bills if you don’t manage your cash right? Well, that’s right. And so getting to the point where the deposits are in play mean. Now it’s, ya know you walk in and say, okay, we can do this 30% down and we’ll start tomorrow. It’s right, we literally got, I got a text earlier from one of only guys and I came in. We got this client. He’s great client the client. Stevie J. Stevie J, just needs us in Arlington, you know, I’m like when I said, how much, it’s like two and a half million.
All right, when you need to start, AP yesterday. All right. So the deposit but in tax account.
No, but it’s been good man. So we’ve had a lot of success there and and you know, we’re continuing to grow as expect this year to be another good year. Another, another growth year, every year has been
You know, it’s it’s challenging that I tell any entrepreneurs. And one of the things I’m trying to do now is work with other entrepreneurs, young guys who want to learn because so many people helped me. I have a duty obligation responsibility to help other people, you know. And that’s that’s the way I look at it. So I have. I have, um, you know, guys, I work with now whether they work at my company or from partners like my mom IPMA, my friend, Tony Tebow, who runs anytime flooring have been partners on him for I guess eight years now we bought into the company and ah. And he’s you know, he’s sent me a screenshot the other day, which was pretty cool. It was his notes from the first month that we became partners in. Ah. Antonio flooring. About tray like he was almost hands and knees, you know, install. And you know, he knows, you know, he knows the business from the ground up.
And so, our goals first year was four hundred thousand dollars, man.
Like, 4,000, he sent me a screenshot of the note says, monks meeting, you know, whatever the day was eight years ago, goal number one, how are we going to get to 400,000 Revenue? You know, which was really cool because we did 13 million last year in Revenue. You know, we’ve been partners for eight years, so we’ve had that much, that much growth. And so this exciting because because Tony I’ve worked together, and I’ve been toward him and we become friends and it’s been, it’s very fulfilling to do that to be able to, pay it forward, right? Because I had people like Donnie, jayram, Bobby Waters and parvati’s North May Street Mission. Remember? Estate guys. Like, you know, a lot of those guys have been mentors to me and and like, why are you doing that? Why wouldn’t you do this? Or hey, have you ever thought about this? You know, and they bring the opportunities and I would do work for them. They would give me the opportunity to work for them and it’s been, it’s been really good. And so, you know, a big part of the Fulfillment here is to be able to pay that forward to other entrepreneurs because there’s so much that they don’t know.
You know what I mean? Like, the stuff we’re talking about right now. It’s Greek to most guys who were starting a business, right? You know, Phantom income. What does that I’m like?
Oh, that’s scary. Here’s a scary dude. Well it’s not the scary dude. The scary dude is the person behind the mass a little three-letter. 3-3 digit organization that comes behind the mask and read with a little handout, you know. Hey where’s where’s papa, share, it’s like Beetlejuice don’t say I mean that’s it. So within FM, you’ve got a couple different divisions of what y’all do. But with any time Florence a separate LLC, it is let’s walk through that, how the deal, how that deal got set up, and then ultimately what led to that structure, as opposed to your normal just spread out within one organization.
Yeah. So so Tony Tony and start anytime he had another partner at the time and that that guy was a builder and he really want to kind of move on and do the building thing and FM was young. I guess at the time we were four year old company, 500 company and we used any time to do flooring at our projects
And I’d met with Tony. You know on the job, because at the time, I was very active in the field. And so Tony was like, you know, man, you know, partners thing about it now. I was gonna. Do we end up coming up with a deal to get him out for a small amount of money? We paid him a note over, you know, two years or something. So we got his partner out. We didn’t know. And um, and two reasons. Why did that deal one was because they already serviced us as a vendor? So if we had a good vendor who knew that we could go to to use on our projects as we grew, that company also could grow? You know what I mean? And ah. And in two, I like Tony. You know, we got along good. We both have learned a lot and grown a lot since then. But he was a good Dude. And um, and he worked hard like I do a lot of people underestimate that man. How do I get my man? Yeah. Seven days. A week, twenty, four hours a day. And that’s what it takes. You just gotta roll, you know. Yeah. And ah. And he he had that mindset as well and was willing to put in the effort and time. So we started going and ah. And and he’s like, man, am I going to be under F. Meme said, you know what. Let’s keep this as a separate tax ID. It’s a separate business.
Let it stand on its own because I didn’t want I didn’t want him to get wrapped under the FM umbrella and then we’re FM, you know, maintenance construction, and Floors. Like that’s kind of weird. Let’s leave it here and Tony wanted to be you know, he wanted to be keep his 50% and he wanted to be his own entrepreneur which I totally respected. So so so that was a decision that was made to keep it that way. And what was cool about that is that FM Brew FM owns the 50% of any time. So as fmm grew, we were able to provide benefits to the smaller anytime and the form of Oh, one k–, really good. Health insurance for its employees. So so as a smaller company, even though we owned and controlled the company from a 50% standpoint, we were able to give them. Let them participate in all the benefits, right? Right. Enterprise Leasing for the vehicles. For example, you know, no personal guarantee is Corporate can see, on the left, Mom has 100 trucks. Well, hey this is our sister company. They need vehicles.
Normally you can’t do that for a company needs five trucks but they were able to fall under our account. So there was a lot of benefits that came from us us doing that with Tony. But most importantly, I think Tony wanted to stand on his own to some degree and have his own brand and his own recognition. And I think that was the right decision from that standpoint because now he’s CEO of that company. He runs it efficiently, the customers love him, you know we do a lot of work for Le Moyne. Like I said The more will make block that you know archaeology season. We did all of them but Tony’s We built a great reputation, trusting relationship with a lot of the key people because just like it up in. We want to do the right thing. You know, we, we if something’s messed up like it’s easy to point fingers and you know, pitch a fit of a Hearts him or this or that we want to work with to figure out a solution. And if we mess it up, guess what we’re going to do, we’re going to me, we ate. I think we had something that we messed up last year. Thirty five thousand dollar mess up. Yeah, it’s us. We did it.
Yeah. We’ll take care. You know, I mean, and that’s the mindset, right. If we mess it up, we’re gonna fix it. We’re not gonna hide from it. We’re not gonna run from it. We’re gonna hit it head on and do the right thing. And that has built some very strong relationships. Yeah. And it’s powerful as an entrepreneur to know if you’re trying to take your company the next level for any time situation where they’re trying to figure out a way to grow and not be under F M M, because then it’s just like you said, then it’s just another service that FM improvise, but being able to stand alone and service customers outside of F M M and continue to grow. A lot of owners are kind of hesitant to give up any equity. That’s right. You’re like, no, no, it’s mine. I’ll just continue to work for you. And we’ll do this in that. But what it’s allowed are all those benefits. You just described exactly, and you have to, as an owner really evaluate. Where do you want to go?
In the company. What direction you want to take? That’s right. 50% of a whole lot is better than 100% of nothing. That’s right. You know, that’s right. No, 100%. And I agree with that, and it’s hard for so, and, you know, got abused Tony as an example, it’s hard for a guy who’s been working on his hands and knees. Installing, floors working grown as business. It’s hard for them to take a step back and go not giving up 50% of this. Yeah, but but, but 50% enough is nothing. Yeah, yeah, I mean, 100 another not, it’s just, it’s one of those things where we were able to, it took a lot of trust. You know, we met until he was like All right, man, you know, let’s do it. He’s, I believe in you and I trust you. And that could have went bad for him, but but, but in businessman, you got it. You got to be willing to take some rest and I was an entrepreneur. We have a higher risk tolerance, right? Where
Open to more risk than most people are. Totally agree. You’re normal people who are within a nine-to-five or typical W2 job. They are very hesitant to sit down across the table from somebody. Where they’re saying, I’m gonna take 50 50 or even worse we’re going to deal. I want 60 you get 40 right and then being like I don’t know I don’t have control I don’t have this I don’t have that they’re much more hesitant we’re not tripping or they’re going to look at a whole bunch of different circumstances and realize no this is a deal that has to happen if I want to push. Forward with what the boy that I’ve got. That’s right. And so I have to be okay with that. That’s right. Because at the end of the day, I’m still able to do it. I want stand on my own and push this business forward. So long is actually consult with somebody in the paperwork side of things, the legal side of things and make sure that I’m protected. Yeah. And
Entrepreneurs at the end of the day sometimes have to just accept for a lesser share of the company for the greater purpose of what they can build. That’s right. No. You’re one hundred percent middleman and it’s and it’s and it’s the big challenge areas for the guy because see they. They don’t. They don’t really have that when somebody like Tony starts his company and he’s and he’s grown and work. And it’s hard for you because all your family members. Anybody who’s who has a J. O B. And they’re just they’re just doing the the normal, Day-to-day grind. They don’t. Why would you give up fifty percent? They just no one, no one sees or understands the the metrics of what you just said of. Hey. You know. Okay. Tony. Our goal was four hundred thousand the first year. You know, I mean, we did thirteen. We we. I mean, we did thirteen million dollars a lot of floors. Right was a whole lot. Oh. Years ago, we wanted to do four hundred grand. And so.
People don’t understand that they get so caught up its human greed like oh this is my business and I’m so proud of my business, but I will say this, I think the reason that that is challenging for people sometimes is that if you get somebody who is malicious or who has ill intent, then you know it really can tarnish and their stories like that out there hundreds of hundreds of them. People that just strong-armed to just malicious intent. Don’t do what they say they’re going to do. So there is risk involved in that and I respect that and a lot of it depends on where the where the person was to go Tony wanted one. To have a life that no one in his family had ever had before, you know, they when he wanted to live a bill, to make a certain amount of money and and be able to do things in his life that it no one in his family before him were able to do. And, you know, he felt like this was a good opportunity for him and he trusted me right, right. And that was a big thing. And I take that seriously, not everybody. Does you know, somebody puts their trust in you and says look I believe in you, man.
I’m excited about doing this and I believe in you do. That’s that’s that’s all huge.
That’s huge and the entrepreneurs that want to keep everything within 100 percent, they may have that 400,000 goal. It may hit 40 44, 40 in the first year, the super excited and then only push for 600 the next year’s, right. But if you have a partner and they come in and they’re going to push you, you’re going to push each other. So at 400 turning, whatever it turned in the first year several million in like, oh my gosh. Now it’s, it’s Leaps and Bounds from where we can go because you get to that. A point where as a single as a sole proprietor you may hit a cap. Yeah. Where you’re comfortable with going and so if you’re stuck in that Comfort Range, he could have stopped at like 4 million. You’re like nope this is I’m I can’t yeah. Do I can’t see myself managing more than this even with a great team as the only owner, there’s too much at stake to get beyond that, but if when you bring in another person or the party,
And they you then sit across the table, and you’re both like, well, if your Max effort for my Max efforts for now, this company get the eight and then we can continue to grow exactly exactly. And and I think what’s really important for entrepreneurs understand. Is that for me? There’s two things you can have a business and you and you can grow a business. Right. And if you have a business, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. What? You just said if that guy gets to six hundred thousand dollars a year and he can live the life he wants to live, right. He can. He can. And I tell people success. Yeah. He can be successful if you like. What a successful. Well the average Joe’s. I’ve met successful is being rich, but man that define rich. Try to find rich, right. And so so for me, when I do with Mar-apr owners, I work with and and and and did Tony recently and have done for myself recently. You gotta put together a life plan. Like what? What do you want out of life? Right. You know, how much income do you want to make? What? What do you want for your spirituality? You’re you’re giving right your charitable giving. What do you want for your kids? How much time do you spend with them? How much travel do you want to take? What kinda relationship you want with your wife?
There’s there’s all these things that you want to have success in, whereas the average American gets so caught up in seeing these videos. These guys have all this money. So do those dudes. Their students are successful in the financial side of things. And there’s a lot of people that have financial success who were failures and every other aspect of their life. And if you don’t find that balance, right? You’ll be miserable. You look back, you’re 75, 80 years old, you’ll be rich. And be like, I’m, I was not successful as it turns out I was a failure. So having a business to get to live the life you want to live is great and Growing a business to live a life. You want to live as great. They’re two separate things and there’s nothing wrong with either, one of them but I always encourage entrepreneurs, to to learn. Where do you want to be like, Tony? We had that meeting recent. Tony has given me what he wants to make a year, he’s giving me what he wants to do here with these kids and trips. He wants to take he’s given me a lot of objectives personally charitable giving things he wants to do. And so that’s really good. We went through that process and it’s taken about six months.
Now that he has that, just like I have it for myself personally. I know where FM needs to be for me to be successful and I and Tony knows where any time needs to be. So then you can take that because those things have to run parallel, right? You can’t you can’t have them Crossing because it’s a crash, you know, you’re going to have destruction in your life. You’re gonna have a terrible terrible crash if they’re not in sync. And so that’s been a really important lesson for me that I’ve been able to pass on to other entrepreneurs. I work with you got, you got to have that balance in life because when I was coming up, you know, people are like, man. Well He’s going to be, you know, he can be 102 and he can be that guy, right? And I was like, damn right? I can you know he’s going to he’s going to far exceed everybody in my damn. Right. I am. And I look man I started looking around and spent a lot of time with a bunch of very wealthy people and
It just wasn’t me man. Like I love the money and the jets and all the things they had. And could I have all that? Absolutely. But what would I sacrifice that sacrifice? Really? Who? I am right. Which is my family? My friends, you know, going on and taking a boat out teaching my son how to drive a boat. Coach and fourth grade basketball, which I just got to doing. Yeah. Debilitating. I’ll say it. But but yet fun one, you know. And so do all these things that’s worth more to me than saying that I’m worth one hundred million dollars two hundred million dollars and and and sacrificing that portion of my life to achieve a level of financial success. That’s not that cannot. You can’t buy that. No you can’t. People say money can buy happiness until they get it. And they realised what it comes with shrimp. And then you recognize everything you left along the way. And you have to do exactly what you said. Find that self-awareness of what you actually want out of life. Define your success and don’t tie to a certain dollar figure figure out what activities what experiences that you want to define as if I’m successful if I’m home every night for dinner.
That’s successful for some people. That’s right. I’m not working on the weekends that’s successful. That’s right. Not 0. If I’ve got a jet three houses, whatever else it is, right? Because half the time on social media, they’re renting that stuff exactly. They’re building is false reality and hyping everybody up to then want to follow them and then they get to that level. But it’s, it’s a false reality and you’re not seeing everything behind the scenes. No don’t. But for that, that, that family person who says, I want a family, I want to go to stay home with my kids, I want to be able to work remote even and just Couple hours a week and make enough money to pay our bills that successful sure don’t have to be worth. All these numbers stripe, it’s succession. Never be tied to a dollar figure. It should be tied. What do you want to get out of your life? Whether it’s experiences or time because time is the only asset nobody’s getting any more of. That’s right. You don’t know much about either. Exactly.
So it’s like I said, I’ve come full circle and that deal. It’s it was, you know, for me, for a long time, it was it was the crazy wealthy and manages, you know, if you really look back, the perspective on that changed and it changed my goals, you know. Now, I mean, look, my people say, what are your goals financial goals per year to make them like those numbers are probably, like people like, wow, that’s crazy, but it’s nothing compared to what it used to be because that’s what’s going to bring balance into my life. You know what I mean? For what I Want. And that’s why I try to tell people do.
There’s nothing like I told Tony, dude, dont have to be 50 million a year at any time. What what is going to make Tony’s life? Great man. You’ve worked your ass off. What? And he and we put that down on paper and we now we know what the number is for any time to do for Tony to get where he wants to get in for us to be successful.
That’s success. The fact that a guy has come from nothing work on his hands, and he’s doing floors.
And built this unbelievably great flooring company and it. And it’s going to be perfect for his successful life. Right as a whole right, you know that. And that’s what it’s about. And so it’s been fun in any in FGM is interesting, because it’s going to get to a point from, you know, I’m gonna eventually not be the CEO and just be the managing partner and bringing other people that they can. They can grow if they wanna grow it to the next level and achieve levels assessing themselves. I’m gonna help them do it. But I know where I need to be. And that’s you know what I mean. And at that level of some awareness, that’s so important to get. And the sooner you get it, the better and happier your life is gonna be totally agreement. I’m I’ve got a commitment on certain amount of trips, things I want to do. I’m super pumped man like me, like I’m going camping with my son on Saturday for Cub Scouts. Like it’s just. Yeah. And stuff like that. Is that success right for me? That’s success. Right. And and and if I’m wanting to be one hundred two hundred million, it just you can’t do that. Kinda stuff. You gotta be around and Essex. Seven days a week. Minimum.
And, and I did that for a long time, but I’m I’m pleased with the direction of where we’re at so far and just like, so we got a lot of great people that have helped us get here and I hope that they can continue their success as well. You know, as the company continues to grow. Absolutely. So as we kind of start to wrap up the show, monk we have for questions, we’d like to ask everybody, sweet. So the first one is what is something you did as a kid. You wish you could still do today. Man, I wish that every day. When I got home, I could go shoot hoops in the park, and I grew up by Bel Air. So, it was an interesting group of people, but it was fun, man. Is, that was a big, big thing for me. I love basketball. Wasn’t that great? I’m not tall clearly and and look it was, but I’d go play with a different in that neighborhood. We had a great mix of people nationalities, you know, I mean, you know, and we would just play basketball man and we Loved it every day when I got home.
And now unfortunately, if I said I wanted to do that, my knees would be like, hey bro, you’re not doing that, you can do it, you can do it one day. Yeah, it’s coach in fourth grade basketball. I played with them for a couple days and I immediately went to the doctor and he’s like, bro, your I just chill out with the basketball, right? It’s Fourth Graders. Their bones are still flimsy, man. Like we stretch and they’re like, are we done stretching? I’m like, no, I’m not done, wait. You’re sitting there is, are you coach, are we stretching for you or eyes? They’re not smart enough to know that yet, but it was 100% for me and my other coach Simon, Fair Simon. And I coached with Ashley Fair, his his wife, the three was coached and we me and Simon 100 said we’re coaching. We’re stretching for for ourselves. I get that. So what are what are three lessons? You’ve learned along your way.
So I would say that, ah, one thing is to get where you want to get with success. Um. You absolutely have to do ten times more than you think you’re gonna do. And I’m a big fan of the textual grant cardone. I’m I’m a I’m a big fan of that. Um. And didn’t learn it long time ago, actually, after the fact start to listen to him. Like that’s how I got where I got it. Even know what’s next. It was. But that is how I went from where I was to where I am today was doing ten times more than anybody else is willing to do. And and just just really doesn’t it? So not super important than one number two. I would say, um, treat people well treat people with kindness. Treatment respect, um, do the right thing for your peace apple. Not only employees. But you know the people at your friends, your family. It’s hard. Ah. It’s hard to to spend time and focus on that and oftentimes entrepreneurs as you grow business. You know, you get so caught up in it that you lose sight of of of other people’s needs from you.
As a friend, as a spouse, as a as a son, you know what I mean? As a sibling. And so, I would say treat people, right? And the third thing I would say is is, is, you know, and I think, I think I hit on this earlier is if you have to pay somebody and you don’t have the money, don’t sign the check, it’ll buy you next week.
I just had to throw that one here man. It’s so creative and my grandfather is such a funny, dude.
The stress never got to him and I guess that’s probably the point number three, is that look, there’s a lot of stress, and my grandfather always had a way of making it funny. And he, and the reality is, he would do that, right? And, and it, if in the 80s, he would really do that. But you can’t get, you can’t let the, you can’t let the stress, Eat You Alive, right? Because then you start having negative self-talk.
And so, so, look, man, like I tell my basketball, team are two rules and I’m getting off a little bit on here, but, yeah, but the two rules we had and a rat. We’re number one, have fun every day, we’re going to have fun. And the second rule was, we’re going to get better every day. Every practice ever gonna get those two rules. So at the end of the season, I brought a full circle with them. Look guys, we had fun. Oh yeah, coach, we got better, man. We were way better than a year and we’re beginning. I said this isn’t just basketball. Take those two lessons and live your life that way. That’s pretty deep for a fourth grader. It was, I was a little bit teary-eyed and I was telling them and I think some of them really got it. And the other two coaches were like, damn, that’s pretty pretty cool. And then I think they enjoy because we did some of that during the year because we’re doing. Alright guys. Great seasoning coach, are you going to coach us again next year? I’m like, I don’t know.
No man, you gotta go back coach and I was like never So good, you know, is like awesome.
So hopefully you know hope I’m able to do that. Again. That’s awesome man. So what is something you love about Baton Rouge?
Man. Ah. I think you probably get a answer a lot. I love. I love LSU football and Sarah Gayton and and and and going out there and have fun. I’m I’m able because you’re able to bring people from other places out of stay where there’s customers you know. Last year we brought a client from Texas to Alabama game. Okay. Jim and his wife. And so they came to our sweet. Right. And they’re not LSU fans. And the guy had some other employees up in the suite with us for that game. You know. Nobody knew. I don’t think anybody. Everybody was like, oh, she’s gonna win. You know, like please good game. So the guys leave him in. I’m like a name who he is or who he works for. Because when he was just like he’s like me and him and his wife, he’s like me.
Thank you. If y’all ever looking for people in Texas, please call me because I want to be around people like y’all seriously. It’s like this was so much fun and you got some good people now we do a lot of work for him so I don’t know that. I’m going to go that route the company works for but but up but yeah that’s that’s always a special thing for me about Baton Rouge bringing people to tailgate. They just people who don’t get to do that often they’re amazed at oh yeah. At the fun that people are how nice everybody is and then when the environment in the stadium with a big game, but I’ve had I had to guess come Whenever from LA and we were talking about, you know, things to do in Baton Rouge and we brought up the topic of football LSU football and tailgating and they’re like oh we never been tailgating before.
Might you got to go and they said well, we don’t know anybody. Nobody ever invite us. It doesn’t matter. I said, just go out there.
And you can bring an ice chest if you want and just walk up the people’s tailgates, I look friendly sure, which is going to be 95% of them. That’s what five percent of the college kids on the parade grounds, don’t go there. That’s it. Walk around that. And you can find as many people as you want there. Some tailgates. They say, yeah, 20 bucks. You, do whatever you want, or somewhere just like nah, come on in, it’s all good. You can go and find people and make friends. That’s LSU’s culture. That’s the tailgating culture. They looked at me, like, that’s crazy. That’s crazy. It is so towards unheard of do like that, really, I might have really They happen humans are really that friendly. Yeah. Mike where Ella’s shoe gear and everybody’s friends. That’s right and that’s just at the root of it.
That’s what it is. That’s right. And what I love too is it in us we will have people from other teams and even our tailgate you know whether we go to this it and that I love that that used to be kind of bitter you know people do all kinds of crazy but it’s really softened up a lot that everybody understands him and we’re here to have fun and yeah in route on a bunch of
Teenagers. Yeah. Playing a game? Right. And so I love that that’s a lot of fun. I love bringing people especially with never been. Oh yeah. So what the final question? What can I do to help you? Oh man. That is not too good at repairs and maintenance of don’t ask me for that. I do know one thing. I’m good at so you might be to help me with some some financial planning on the only counting side. Say look, I’ll tell you, um, help help spread the word of of what I just talked about with other entrepreneurs. You know, specifically the part about, um, paying it forward. Because if you’re an entrepreneur who has a successful business and you have a big team of people people helped you like you had whether it was employees that you hired. There were just way better than you thought. Who are going to help you and give you feedback that you needed to hear whether it’s mentors? You worked with who gave you feedback. That was difficult to hear and for them to give. Um.
Whether it’s the guy who wrote the check at one point, I remember almost out of business and wrote a tune of 50 thousand dollar. Check on a Sunday evening kept me in business, paid him back three days later, you know, gave me a hug said, a prayer and said, I believe in you. You know, all those things that have happened to help our business get where it’s gotten, you know, those are things now that that I have a duty obligation responsibility to pay forward to other people that deserve it and that really wanted. And so I would say when you do meet other entrepreneurs and you do interviews and you do talk to other entrepreneurs, like me that you Make sure they don’t forget how important it is to keep that Trend going into pay it forward as as it relates to helping others. You bet, man, I doubt that I will do my best. Awesome. So, thank you for coming on the show, man, I really appreciate. Appreciate you having me, man. I’m glad we’re able to Pivot around the fourth grade coaching and make this thing happen, man. Yeah, that’s not as successful as my business. I’ll say it, but just being there, being there and helping a man, that’s a success story. It was that was no doubt a success story, absolutely, man with thank you so much. Thanks Mom, uncle.
It and thank you everybody else. Whether you’re watching the show or you’re listening to us, I know that the guests are appreciative of your time and taking the effort and day out of your agenda to listen to them and listen to their story. So thank you all so much. If you know anybody else that make a great guest have reach out to us on the show whether through the website or our social media. And just let us know, we’re always open to having great entrepreneurs on the show and thank you also to the amazing sponsors and make the show possible each and every week here a little bit more about them right now.
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