Speaker 1: (00:00)
That’s on the recording and we’re in. Awesome. Thanks for having me, Sam.
Speaker 2: (00:06)
Okay. . Hi, this is Sam Taggart with can’t knock this and I’m here with Christian Ludwig with active pest control. He was the one of the top first year managers last year in 2015 and then this last year his region finished with over 14,500 accounts and just in three years he’s been able to build that.
So he’s one of the youngest, he’s only 23 and he’s been able to build one of the fastest growing regions in the pest control industry. I, I, I believe so. Welcome to the show. Glad to have you man. Um, so tell us a little bit about how you kind of got into this, how you got,
Speaker 1: (00:45)
Yeah, so it started in high school. I was in the marketing club. I was just fascinated with it. My parents are psychologists. I kinda thought that way anyways, but I love business and I had my dad who traveled was in business. I really looked up to him, my uncles in sales. I really looked up to him. So in college I was at a career fair, had an opportunity to do business to business advertising sales. It was a coupon book that was distributed to all the students and needed to be filled with advertising. So my uncle, my dad, my family encouraged me to go for it. Spent the whole summer cold calling, going business to business, was completely obsessed with sales. Read all the books.
Speaker 2: (01:23)
Well your parents were in psychology. It’s like, yeah, they’re just like, Hm. I, I’ve been ingrained with this since a young age. And funny enough
Speaker 1: (01:29)
they’ve given me almost just as many tips on sales without knowing any sales just because they’re psychologists. Yeah. So I ranked number two out of 600 interns that summer and it was such a really cool feeling. Not knowing that I did well, but because I was finally really good at something cause my whole life I was trying to get good at guitar and skateboarding and tennis and football and I was never the best. But then like I want, I want to get emotional right now because just knowing that you found your calling is, was really special. So I did that was going to go into corporate sales to do business to business and I worked for Paychex and an internship in town, their payroll processing firm. And I was working with them in the spring and they were going to have me during the summer, my whole senior year. And they’re going to have me work afterwards. But I got a call two days before the end of school from my manager saying there’s a new zone manager, a new budget. So they had to cut me off for the summer and taking back on for the fall. And I was like, Oh man, all my eggs are in one basket. So I chose to do pest control as a fallback, just cause I want to get out there and be face to face with people
Speaker 2: (02:39)
who being in North Carolina, who connected you to active? Like how did the, where was that connected? LinkedIn. LinkedIn. So you were a recruit from LinkedIn, right? And now you’ve become a kind of sewer of LinkedIn too, right? Like you, you, you, you use it and
Speaker 1: (02:56)
yeah, that way too. Yeah. Cool. And it’s all about providing value to people, which we can get into later. We’ll get into a minute. So kind of go through some of the highlights. You, you know, your first year of 2015, you were one of the top pound for pound rookies to ever existed active. And since then it’s been broken. But um, and then, you know, you’ve kinda had a Slingshot career so far. Tell us kind of the journey. Yeah. So I remember my first time selling pest control. I shadowed Thomas Wood, who’s a complete legend and I loved the man to death. He started off as a service pro and then column mills, I don’t, don’t quote me, but like he went from like 200 to three 50 to 500 to 700 accounts. And now the company has a Thomas Wood award for the most improved rep. So I go to shadow him, sells the first door, like the dude’s a legend sells the first door.
Speaker 1: (03:51)
They invite me inside. Uh, we do the deal at the dinner table and it completely, completely threw off my idea that I had a door to door sales. You know, I thought like doors would be getting slammed in my face all the time. But then that happened and I was like, man, I got this and I totally fumbled on my pitch at the next door. And I was like, man, I want you to go sell. I think I can do this. And I sold two accounts at night and then I sold eight accounts the next day. And then the next second day, eight accounts. And then the next week I sold, I had four back to back double digit days. 10 1113 and then 10 your first full week. Really? You haven’t, have you finished with that? We, um, I don’t remember a lot though. Probably in 12 weeks you did 396 accounts.
Speaker 1: (04:38)
That’s insane. I can’t even like fathom that. I mean, I did 403 alarms. I don’t, I don’t know how the comparison is really. But like you gotta be thrown in to do it that fast, like right. 10 spots, 12 spots. I’ve never been more dialed in in my life. Yeah. That’s awesome. So what do you, why do you think, you know, obviously you’re a success in this whole internship thing, you had this power to win kind of mentality and I’m sure that kind of played in. Um, what do you kind of attribute some of your fast track success to? Just just a hunger to learn is really the number one thing. When people come to me like, Hey, how can I get better at sales recruiting management, I just tell them to download audible and start paying for audio books. Like I’ve, I’ve listened or read over 40 books and I get a lot of knowledge from that.
Speaker 1: (05:28)
YouTube videos, mentors, I like to say big people stand on the shoulder of giants and that’s all if I’ve ever done anything good or big, it’s because I’ve learned from bigger people. So who, who do you feel like within the industry and outside the industry have been some of your bigger influences on you? Yeah, outside the industry, my parents have been huge influences. Um, also my uncle who he’s been in medical device sales his entire life. He’s told me some of the best I’ve ever taken with me and applied and all my managers throughout every single internship or job I’ve been in have been phenomenal. Like I’m so humbled to learn from all these people at such a young age. Who do you look up to most in the pest control space and the pest control space? That’s so tough. There’s just so many. I honestly look up to my friend Damon the most, right? And he’s one of your business partner kind of thing. We basically were partners and the pest control industry and he’s, he’s really the real reason why we’ve grown as a network so quickly. He’s just an incredible leader, an incredible, um, recruiter. Cool, incredible salesman. I’m excited to meet him. Is he coming to the door to Orrcon? Yeah, he’s going to come. He’s Kevin dragging him along. We’re going to go ski and I want him to do this. Get them on a podcast. That’s cool. So
Speaker 2: (06:49)
let’s kind of dive into, you know, this last year you guys finished number two in the cup, you know, almost won the cup, you know, last year. You know, did well, I don’t like the, almost lost that for accounts technical, you know. You know what’s funny though is I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yeah. Cause he makes me hung. You mentioned you really hungry. Next year you’re going to be like coming with Venice. The thing was like if you win,
Speaker 1: (07:13)
it’s like all right, I did all the coolest things, you know, you can ever do and, but nothing to reach for anymore. It’s the climate’s the best.
Speaker 2: (07:21)
No, 100%. It’s like yeah, I made it. No, I felt the same way. I’m like, yeah, I finished top now. Yeah. So I would recommend finishing second. Right? Like for the private, for the hunger games. Like how much more money will you make next year in the next year just to go fricking prove that you can do it. Yeah. Um, okay, so let’s dive into how do you go in three years from zero to 14,500 accounts. And cause I think that’s where, you know, being so young and in North Carolina where we’re not in the Mecca, you know, people are like, Oh, I can only recruit return missionaries. I’m sure most of your people are returned missionaries. Right.
Speaker 1: (07:59)
Okay. That’s, that’s the really funny thing because after I was a really good sales rep, so they wanted me to come back and I was like, well shoot, make as much money as I did in three months before I go into corporate sales. Why not? And they were like, well, you can hop on a team and make a really tiny override or you can make this much override if you’re recruited team. So I was like, why not try? Right. So I gave it a shot and I was really fortunate enough to partner with Damon and me and him started doing recruiting meetings out of like our base, a dorm room, like out of our apartment having people every single Friday. And then we took that and we moved into the center for entrepreneurship and innovation that our school had. And then literally the next year we had an office and North Carolina. That’s so cool. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (08:44)
So let’s go through kind of how, what were some of the tactics you use to kind of get this traction momentum and put your name out there for
Speaker 1: (08:53)
yeah, I don’t, I don’t know what it is but me and him just have like a sickening worth work ethic. And I think it’s a mix of work ethic and creativity and taking action that will make you become a good recruiter. I think same kind of the same and door to door. Cause if you come across as the same sales rep they’ve seen the past 20 times and you’re not creative, you’re not going to capture their attention, but you need to work really hard and you need to execute.
Speaker 2: (09:21)
Cool. So one of the things that you, let’s just talk college base, cause a lot of your guys probably came from the college, right? Yes.
Speaker 1: (09:28)
So yeah, I had people high up in my company that completely doubted that I’d be able to recruit anyone, let alone a team. And they like told me that to my face, not to like demean or anything, but probably to make me hungry. But they said no one’s ever recruited anybody outside of
Speaker 2: (09:47)
the bubble of Utah and Idaho. Yeah, no, it was funny because I was talking to, who was it? Maybe James Graves? Um, a while back and he was like, it’s crazy to see this year, how many recruits are coming out of Utah versus in Utah. He’s like, we want to kind of keep these people asleep.
Speaker 1: (10:04)
What I mean, like he has a team up in Northeast, I think. And then there’s a group, your group in North Carolina that’s like way good. So that’s cool. So the Northeast is part of us. That’s part of your good. Okay. Um, unless he’s got a really, really, really secret. No. Okay. So that’s the same.
Speaker 2: (10:20)
That’s awesome. So now James Graves is a mysterious man. He’s a beast. He’s a beast. So what, uh, so how’d you do it? So you know, everybody’s like, nah, you can’t get people outside the box.
Speaker 1: (10:33)
They were literally like they were planning for us to fail basically, but they were supporting us. But they were so skeptical about it. Yeah. Cause new to them. They’re like Idaho or Utah dad and then we were lucky enough to have like some of the corporate people fly out and interview all our guys and that was kind of the point. They were like, all right, you know, I guess my dad’s here. Yeah. But I don’t think they’re expecting us to put on over 5,000 accounts or have a team go the funnel
Speaker 2: (10:57)
or, so the, the, the reason people probably say that is because they think, you know, the, the perception of door to door outside of Utah is also different. So how do you overcome this? Hey, we’re going to go knock on doors and they’re like, Oh, I’m going to get a real job. I’m studying to be an engineer. Like how do you kinda overcome that perception?
Speaker 1: (11:18)
I’m super lucky to have ended up with active because they have a national brand and they’ve, they’ve won a lot of great awards and been on talk shows and it would be really hard to get someone involved with a small company that, that wasn’t big and have the footprint or had many awards won. So you because leveraged some of the awards, cause I’m sure most of them cause they’ll never heard of some price controls. The legitimacy is the number one thing we constantly battle with. And people call me stupid for it, but I at least a hundred thousand dollar car. I bought a boat, we got, we got an office we had to pay for the first like me and him put all of our money into this thing just to make it legit. And that’s the only reason why we were able to recruit a lot. Cause it’s not really competitive outside of the bubble.
Speaker 1: (12:04)
But you really struggle with legitimacy. And we’ve had people go and try to move somewhere or recruit out the different markets and they can’t do it because they don’t, it’s that first year is tougher than anything. Tough for them recruiting out here cause you got to dig your teeth in and get those first few people. But then after that, once it’s legit, once you have people telling their stories who were successful, then it just really grows super fast because they’re all sitting there like, dude, I just made way more money and then knocked doors. And they’re very grateful for it because yeah, they’re not proud. This entitled like giving me some sign on bonus or whatever. You know what I mean? Like exactly. Dude, that’s a nice, so let me ask you this. So you go into the campus, you get your office phase, you get your momentum going.
Speaker 1: (12:49)
What were some of the things, like how do you approach it? Like how do you get creative to kind of capture people’s attention? Yeah, so creativity is like my favorite thing. I feel like if I’m not moving forward, creative creatively, it’s really hard to constantly work hard. Do you kind of feel the same way? Oh yeah. You need something to mix it up. Exactly. Yeah. So I love to leverage technology. That’s just like my thing. I know where you’re talking about Bitcoin earlier and I was talking to you about all these crowdfunding technology sites. That’s kinda my, my groove. So a big tool for us was an app called point drive Arestin piece cause LinkedIn acquired it and like totally demolished it and no one has access to it anymore. Really unfortunate story. But it’s basically like a PowerPoint presentation that you can just text a recruit a link to and they click on it and then they see, not like necessarily an active brand and presentation, but like our story at that university or at the other universities we’re at.
Speaker 1: (13:46)
And then I get an email whenever I see that person click on it. So I want to follow them up with, okay so you know who’s interested, who’s not. And it’s that thing where you know you do that first cold contact and it’s just kind of this strange like who’s this dude talking about me and going door to door. I’m never in Texas guy back. So you would send him some LinkedIn or just text it to literally text them a link of like a presentation. And how would you get their number? How, you know, just by cold contact, Hey, what’s up man? What’s your number? I’ll send you something and text them the link and try to try to get an appointment with them on the spot. But if not, text them after you’ve texted the link just so they get more of an understanding about us.
Speaker 1: (14:25)
It kind of warms them up and then you know who’s actually like curious and then you kinda try to set up something. Yeah. And I like to look at recruitment, not as this, like just get people in and do the meeting and sign them. I like to look at it as like, like their customers and I’m taking them through a customer experience and you’ve got to think of how their path looks and how their experience looks from the very beginning. You put yourself in their as if I never knew about this and someone approached me about it, yeah, how would I want it to go? Because I’ve been approached by like the weird like Amway dudes who totally like books. Do you want to sell this and sell your soul? To the devil and you got to get a thousand people. So I thought to myself, how do I be like the opposite of that guy? Yeah. You know, to where they make the decision. Cause I think the number one thing in recruiting is if you tell them what’s going to benefit them, they won’t listen to it. But if they say it, it’s true. So I try to bring them through an experience and really get to know them and find their hot button. But then I want them to tell me why the opportunity is going to benefit that hob them. That’s cool. So
Speaker 2: (15:31)
you know you were talking to me about this like little card thing too. So you give them value. So one of your principles is like you need to add value first. It’s kind of the jab, jab, jab, right hook. So perfect. How do you, what are some of your jabs that you’ve found have been effective to add value to them first to kind of help create that experience or you’re talking about,
Speaker 1: (15:54)
right. So this is just one example. A little business card I made. It just says free $20 grocery gift card basically. So whenever I’m out tapping shoulders on campus, it’s not just some weird conversation with a stranger and they’re never going to text me back. So I’ve never heard about the opportunity. They are going to come into the office to get their $20 gift card and they text me to set up that time and I’ll give it to them regardless. But it’s an opportunity for them to check it out and for me to talk to him.
Speaker 2: (16:22)
Yeah. It’s like almost like a lead. It’s like I’m willing to invest 20 bucks in one out of four ride close and then one out of those four come out for the summer. So maybe it’s like per recruit, it cost me 200 bucks in gift cards.
Speaker 1: (16:36)
Yeah. And I never, I never think about ROI. I know the best investment is the team. So you know, I have a boat that many people go out on all the time. Um, so creating experiences. Yeah. And during the summer we’ll talk about leadership, but every weekend just about, I try to have like a really Epic experience from I guess.
Speaker 2: (16:55)
Cool. So what are some of the things you’ve done, let’s kind of transition to that. So running a team of 30, 40 guys or however many you, you gotta do something right to get them to do the production that you’ve done. So what are some of the things you’ve kind of done to kind of create that whole customer experience after you sign them and bring them out? Like, I mean, these guys, it’s like might be their first time away from home or they’re like, who is this scam company?
Speaker 1: (17:21)
Ship me out. Then who knows where. Yeah. And we have drop-off like you would not believe. Um, but everyone who comes out really has a positive experience. Even the guys who go home, they, you know, they realize their faults and say it’s a great learning experience. Or even the guy who made $6,500 on my team and was the worst performer and he like gave me a hug and like opened up that this was the best thing he’s ever done this past summer. So everyone’s super grateful for it. Um, but as a leader it’s,
Speaker 2: (17:50)
it was a huge challenge my first year. It was the most humbling experience of my life. I have never had so much of a shock. And it’s funny you say that cause it’s like you did 5,100 accounts or how many your first year managing, which most people can’t say they do that in a year or doing pest control. Like companies can’t even say that. Yeah. Um, but you know, you still got your teeth kicked in, it sounds like, you know, numbers wise from the outside it looks like it. Yeah, it looks great. That’s, that’s so funny in business is like any achievement or any, any business that’s doing well, you look at it and you’re like, well look at what they’ve done, but they don’t. No one sees the blood, sweat and tears. Yeah. You know, or the the bottom side of the iceberg basically.
Speaker 2: (18:32)
So let’s kinda, let’s kinda dive in. What were some of the main pain points or lessons you learned your first year that you’re like, Holy cow, hardest and most, you know, challenging thing in your life. What, what were some of those things? I basically learned that not everyone is me. It’s a good point. Yeah. So my first year selling, you know, I’d be up at like crack of Dawn, get the workout in, like drink like a kale smoothie. Everyone made fun of me for that. Yeah. They’re like eating their fricking tacos and you’re over there drinking. Yeah. You’re just doing things totally different. I’d be OCD to get on the doors like super early. Um, my whole first year I ran door to door. So before the scooter and segway days, did you get a scooter? No. Status segue. Yeah. Inspiring dude. Yeah. But I literally, there was not a moment I was walking door to door for a summer.
Speaker 2: (19:23)
I just literally ran through the grass. Well, that’s kind of how I was before I got a scooter. Did I ask you in 2012 and no one, I mean this is, I think I like pioneered that is cause like 2012 I get a fricking lightening McQueen scooter and everybody’s like, Holy crap, can you do like the three 60 audio? Not like full jump three 60 land. But I can do it like a little thing, but I’d buy from you if I saw that. Oh, yesterday I was at Nike and I did the like my route approach. If you do something fly, like as she come in you’re doing something fly. Yeah. So yeah, keep going. You’re running door to door. People are probably like when I launched my launch was like 10 minutes in my car and I pee in bottles in my car and I’d knocked Hill like way later than everyone else.
Speaker 2: (20:11)
So how do you find a gem like you? You know what I mean? It’s kinda like your manager, whoever recruited you is probably like, who is this guy? You know you threw in frickin 10 spots your second week. No. So that’s crazy. So you didn’t, you realized not every opera, not everybody operates like that. Yeah. And how did you realize that? I think I was kind of forcing people to try to operate like that and then I get frustrated if they’d done it. Um, and I, I read, I started reading some material on leadership and by no means was I a great my first
Speaker 1: (20:47)
year, but what I learned is that I was trying to really focus on the bottom guys doing super well, but it ended up to where I was calling them out too much and I was just giving them too much negative feedback and they say you should give someone positive feedback three times, but in individual circumstances before you give one negative feedback and that you should do one every single time towards not this. And then you’re so great at this, this, but you know, just separate. But give them three before. That’s something I learned after that I was never doing so did the bottom guys really started to not like me and then they were, they were kind of
Speaker 2: (21:27)
I think straight up. Yeah. I was going to say they create like a mutiny. Yeah. And then
Speaker 1: (21:32)
that and then I kind of realized what happened and I try to, you know, repair the situation, but I ended up not signing some of those guys back on and my retention wasn’t great for signing guys back on. So I learned some incredibly important lessons about leadership, especially that with the bottom third you kind of want to let them do their own thing. But if it gets too extreme, you know, have conversations or if the worst comes, let someone go who’s really being that lobster, trying to drag people down, but to focus on the middle third of people, the middle third of performers who could take it to the next level and are actually motivated to do so, won’t have their feelings hurt by it and let the top people do their thing. Put all your folks as a manager on the middle. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (22:15)
No cause it’s crazy. It’s like I always said it’s easy to get a hundred account rep to 200 it’s harder to get a 50 account rep
Speaker 1: (22:25)
to a hundred
Speaker 2: (22:27)
we’re getting to X. But I would rather take the a hundred to 200 yeah. Or whatever the number metrics are. But it’s, it’s so funny cause we naturally have this empathy blood in us and we sit there and we feel bad, right. Because they have the best soft stories. What makes a good news story? What makes a good, you know, American idol? Well, when my dad died and I had this lump sum and they tell you this sad story, you’re like, Oh my goodness, and we just buy into it. Yeah. Well the problem is, as leaders, we buy into these like my foot hurts and my tummy and my mom, she’s calling me and you’re like, it’s okay. And you’re like, Oh my God. But on the flip side of the coin, so many managers
Speaker 1: (23:07)
spend time shadowing the top reps. But like when I go out and shadow my top reps, they’re like, good job is a good door. And they’re like, I know. I know. It was good. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (23:16)
It’s like I got to know it’s important to give like so much praise recognition and put them on the pedestal. But other than that, it’s like get out of their way. Let them grow, let them spread their wings.
Speaker 1: (23:28)
I think a huge thing was not giving the low performers praise or recognition when they had a good day.
Speaker 2: (23:35)
Yeah. Because they never felt hope in a sense. Cause you’re thinking, dude, this isn’t that hard. Yeah. I guarantee you that goes through every first year or second management is, it’s like I’m, I, I still do it. It’s like, guys, this isn’t rocket science thrown in 10 20 a day. Right. You can’t do one. Yeah. Yeah, you could. But that, that’s kind of, I didn’t tell them those things directly, but that’s kind of the leader I was in the beginning and I looking back at it, right.
Speaker 1: (24:05)
Learning the things I have about, you know, giving people three good recognitions before, some constructive criticism. I never did that for the little guys. It was always just constructive criticism, constructive criticism
Speaker 2: (24:17)
or I a not anonymously, like call out. There’s a rep that did this yesterday, you know, a notch anonymously in the meeting. I wasn’t calling them out directly, but still they make him feel good. Yeah. So then they kind of almost resented you as a leader and then they’re like, I’m not working for that guy again. He’s a fricking Dick.
Speaker 1: (24:34)
Right. So, but the other end of that is I ran a really tight ship and we had a high performing team. So what I learned to do my next year, we were fortunate enough to even go to the final four of the cup my first year and what I learned the next year as to how to run a tight ship. But how to give praise to everyone, how to have open conversations, all the things you know, leaders learn eventually.
Speaker 2: (25:01)
So let me ask you this, if you had to put it in a nutshell, in giving people listening to this, running their first year, cause there’s so many people that are just finishing the summer right now that are going to be like, I’m going to manage, I’m going to run a team. I want to be like Christian. You know what I mean? Whatever. What advice, I guess. Yeah, directly. What advice would you give them right now? And you’re like, never do this or don’t do this or do this. Yeah. Give people
Speaker 1: (25:27)
three instances of positive feedback before you really confront them. And like you told me and like I’ve heard from a lot of other people asked to have an open conversation
Speaker 2: (25:38)
like asked for permission. Yeah. Kind of explain what you about to me. Cause like when you’re going to go direct, like you have to be able to have the big boy conversations and it’s, I think so many people will avoid that. I totally avoided that my first year and I do this stupid thing where I like I’d indirectly call them out in the meeting and then everyone would know who that was. Instead of having like an open conversation and I pull you aside and it’s like, Hey look man, like I’m not going to expose you. I’m going to, I get it. Something’s going on. Do you have, do I have your permission to speak openly with you and give you some good feedback? And I think with your blind spot, yeah. And I think if you do that well enough, you’ll improve the culture on your team.
Speaker 2: (26:18)
100%. Yeah. Because the culture is simply like, he’s here to keep me accountable. The cultures are accumulation of every single person’s attitude. 100%. Yeah. So let’s kind of move on. So those two guys really hate you. That’s not helping them culture. It’s not, it’s not. So you lost pretty much everybody, but two guys, four guys, four guys along with my brother. So that doesn’t, yeah. So we’ll call it two and a half, three and a half. I made him do it. You better come. So then this last year, you know, you’re the, you know, the next year you learned and you retained, you’re retaining basically all but two. So it’s completely flipped. What are some of the things that you’ve done this year to really retain and you know, obviously you’re like, man, I learned the lesson. So like let’s go opposite perspective. And one of the things you were talking about earlier was just casting a better longterm vision because so many people in this job, I think, um, basically treat this as like, Oh, it’s a summer internship one time and then keep going back to school. You’re recruiting a lot of college kids, probably your age around, you know, young talent and I’m sure a lot of the people they just were like, Oh that was a cool experience the first year. And then they kind of just moved on to do whatever they were doing. Right. Where I think you said, you were saying you kind of had a shift this year to where you’ve been able to cast a better longterm vision and what are some of the things you’ve done to do that and yeah, tell me about that.
Speaker 1: (27:39)
So there’s kind of a space out there where there’s all these reps and Cutco or um, they sell books door to door or they do advertising like I did. So I’ve been fortunate enough to get some of those reps from other companies as well as just get some fresh college students who have never sold before. A lot of the people that work for other companies, you know, they did a year with this company, a year with this company and then now they’re with me and then they kind of want to go on to like corporate sales the next year. So what I learned to do after my first year, besides being a better leader, was to tell them, Hey, the career’s right here. You know?
Speaker 2: (28:20)
Yeah. Getting them to see, it’s like this is a real job. Like this is like, think about it. If you could go make 80 a hundred thousand dollars and this, you don’t need to do corporate sales where you’re going to hate your life like I did at Paychex.
Speaker 1: (28:35)
Yeah. So yeah. And I enjoyed corporate, but it was, I couldn’t like express myself and be creative and I couldn’t go talk to people. It was like just at a desk cold calling over and over and over again. So I try to not necessarily like hype up active and talk about recruiting like that gets mentioned. But I want them to bring that up. I want them to ask me, like I said, if I tell them they’re going to tune it out, but if they inquire they’re more interested. Um, what was I saying?
Speaker 2: (29:08)
No, so it’s just basically you want, you, you’re trying to have them see the longer term vision and stick versus like just want to move on.
Speaker 1: (29:16)
Right. So I paint, I paint a picture of a career and I paint a picture of freedom. Yeah. Because all these people who are wanting to go work for, you know, fortune 500 sales companies, which I’d be more than happy to give them a recommendation. I have to two different people who have chosen that route and I’m happy they did. And they said the direct reason was because they went with us. I’ve had two people go to Bloomberg international for crew on sales and one lady Sabrina summers who’s on my team, totally kicked butt and like beat half the people on my team. Yeah. She was awesome. She went to Bloomberg and she called me on the phone and she’s like, Hey, I just want to thank you, you know, proud me on the team, the CEO of Bloomberg, whenever he stopped through, he pointed at me out of like 20 other interns and said that’s the bug lady. And he’s super impressed that she did that. Okay. Stop cause it just, yeah, we got to remember where you’re at. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (30:17)
Turns out no worries. No worries. Yeah, sure. Hey folks. Well so far. Awesome. You’re doing great.
Speaker 1: (31:40)
Yeah. So the, the CEO of Bloomberg points her out as the bug lady and was super impressed with that out of all these interns, and he’s the CEO of Bloomberg. So it’s really is this very incredible resume opportunity for a lot of people. We’re looking to go into corporate sales, but the challenge for me is to keep them here. So I really have to paint a vision, not only of the income you’re able to earn and kind of the entrepreneurship aspect, but also the freedom. Having eight to nine months off to do whatever you want while you kind of make your own schedule is really a special opportunity. But it’s really hard to get that in people’s heads cause there’s so many people, they’re kind of like morphed by their parents to thank, you know, benefits, pensions, which don’t exist anymore. Get that nine to five job, get the big company name.
Speaker 1: (32:27)
They kind of have that in their head, but more and more because pensions, social security don’t exist. 401k matching isn’t as good a lot of young people, millennials are getting into entrepreneurship or they’re not staying at companies very long. So I encourage people to just just try it out for a year. You’re going to make the same amount of money or more anyway, but just try out the entrepreneurship thing before you do the nine to five the rest of your life. Yeah. No, that’s a good, that’s a really good approach. So the last little bit, I want to dive into kind of the physical aspects, which
Speaker 2: (33:02)
obviously your sexy beast. Anybody listening to this? There’s a single lady out there. I’m just playing. No. But like you have, you have a, you know, this passion and imagining what you call James Graves and he’s, he’s ripped. Um, no, but like you talked about a little earlier, you know, drinking kale juice or whatever. And I’m not a kale guy yet, but I mean obviously it’s something you’ve studied and practice on a daily. So kinda dive into like why that’s important.
Speaker 1: (33:28)
Yeah. My first year, my pulse, he made fun of me because I literally blend kale and yogurt and I would drink it during the meeting and they tasted it and think it was disgusting. But it gave me so much energy and I literally worked out okay
Speaker 2: (33:40)
every single morning. And how do you do that in pass? Cause don’t you guys have your meeting at like 9:00 AM? Yeah, the hours are
Speaker 1: (33:46)
pretty intense. Um, even Damon, one of my recruits, his top dog did 500 accounts, like totally smashed it. I did my first year in the same time and he’s one of the rookie record breakers. He’s such a humble, low key dude, but he wakes up super early, has an intense workout, you know, he’s, he’s drinking the vegetable juice, he’s drinking the Kangen water, and I think if you can be in control of your body, you can just get control of that in the morning. You’re in control of your mind the rest of the day because I needed to get all five, nine, 150 pounds under control before I can be in control of my mind. And I find days I don’t work out or when I slip up with my eating, I’m not in control of my thoughts. But if you have that good a workout, if you’re getting the correct macro nutrients and you’re getting lots of vitamins and minerals from real vegetables, it’s really weird. What I’ve noticed, you’re in control of your thoughts and everything’s positive and it’s, I don’t think it’s just the beta endorphins. It’s like a mindset of I’m in control,
Speaker 2: (34:52)
I sensing, I’m winning. I, I could eat this hamburger. I chose to eat the salad. Right, right.
Speaker 1: (34:57)
Therefore I’m better. Yeah. And it shocks me how many people don’t invest more in their health and fitness because it, it transforms who you are as a person and the energy you have to put in your job. Yeah. Cause how much energy does it require to go be a top leader, a top performer? A lot. And here’s the thing, like when I work out, I’m just so pumped up after that workout, I just can’t sit around, you know, I literally want to work until the day is done. And that’s just me. I’m not someone who just wakes up and, um, you know, the incredible business guy who just performed. I wake up like everyone else, I don’t want to get up. But once I get that work at it, I get that good meal and I really do feel totally in control that I can just dominate my day. And I think a lot of people, they could have that
Speaker 2: (35:46)
they’re good. And I, and I think, I think some people put their physical fitness on pause in the summer and I’m like, that’s when you need to double down. Because what happens is they’re like,
Speaker 1: (35:57)
but I’m so just worn out cause I’m like going hard and,
Speaker 2: (36:01)
and I knock. That’s my workout. And
Speaker 1: (36:04)
have you heard of Devin Adams? So he was one of all terrorists, all time top reps. and then he went on to law school. He had to pay for it. He earned enough money. He would run seven to 15 miles every morning before knocking doors where he would run door to door. He’s someone who takes it to the extreme. But if that guy’s gone that hard, the least you could do is get in the gym 30 minute work. Yeah. Dude, that makes me feel so small. It’s like, right. No, but that’s a thing. It’s like it’s how many people in your office would wake up? No one dude. All years I’ve done this. I was the only person who is consistently working out in the morning. That’s crazy. Yeah. And so shocks me, but then it’s like, okay. So it’s like you want to be the best, you’ve got to do the things the best do. And you,
Speaker 2: (36:52)
I heard about this Devin Adams guy and you’re probably like, okay, if he could do that, I could do this. Right? Yeah. And, and it just, and it just shows consistency and I think it’s like such a vital piece. Now let’s dive into this summer. You had an interesting thing happened down under, so it was kind of like thrown for a loop. And I want to kind of like talk on this.
Speaker 1: (37:14)
This is so mysterious right now that you . Yeah. So what’d you, what’d you have, what was this? I know some people were like this thing, what happened? So I have candida, I have like a condition where my body produces way more use than I’m use to produce. And it’s like I don’t even eat that much sugar. Like I don’t get any processed sugar drink Coke. It’s just something I developed I guess. And weirdly enough, I think I developed it by going so hard my first summer. Really? Yeah. Just you sweat your balls off, literally sweat your balls. I think it changed something in my, I think I was so exhausted and kept pushing myself so hard. That changed something in me because after my first summer I got a, basically it’s called jockish or a yeast infection down there and I had it until December and it was terrible.
Speaker 1: (38:04)
Terrible. I tried everything. I could visited like seven different doctors. All the remedies are supposed to get rid of it like really quickly. It didn’t happen for me cause this is like a permanent issue in my body where it just produces too much yeast. So finally I literally had to wait for it to get cold outside before ever went away. And I would literally wobble when I walked. It was that painful or to have my roommate driving into class and I’ve never been more miserable than those like four months after the summer in my life. I was like, I’ve never, I’m such a happy guy but I’ve never been so depressed cause I live and breathe off of activity and working out and like doing it. Like, I couldn’t do that or I’d go work out and it would just, I’d be in excruciating pain. I have to get a ride back from the gym.
Speaker 1: (38:48)
And then so, so this came back up this last summer. So you’re sitting there having great summer by the way. Teams doing well, I was doing the best I’ve ever done before. I was like on pace to get like 500 and about 12 to 14 weeks you get gnarly eval, swells. So I go to, I go to kind of shadow and train some of the Damon’s teams and Kansas city and Pittsburgh. And I think it was the travel just sitting down the sweat. And the really stupid mistake I made is I brought a towel that I used over and over again and Kevin, my suitcase. Okay. So that’s what kind of triggered it. And then when I got back it was just totally inflamed and it crushed me. Not because I wanted to achieve my personal sales goals, but because I could not legitimately go out and knock every day.
Speaker 1: (39:40)
Cause that’s, if you’re in the heat and humidity, it just spreads. So it really crushed me because I had to be the guy who was staying in the department. Yeah. And as a leader you’re sitting there like making fun of those dudes and you’re like, come on, pull your panties up and now you’re the one that’s like dead red. Yeah. So how did you deal with that mentally and like what were some of the challenges in your, like how did you kind of say, okay, how do I see the giftedness? Yeah. So there was a gift in it. Um, after all kind of get to explain that, I still went out and knocked on cup days and thank the Lord for the segways cause I just wanted to been able to not no matter how much determination I had or no ma, no matter how much I wanted to win, the segway really saved me cause I was just like a few steps up the stairs that I had to had to bear.
Speaker 1: (40:30)
But most of my days were literally spent on my couch with like a blow dryer pointed there. I put the AC cranked on really, really high, like putting all sorts of tea tree oil and stuff on it. It’s really a miserable, miserable thing. So it really wrecked me emotionally. This, this me getting to my sales goal, it wasn’t a big deal and I just thought well I’m not out there selling at a top pace anymore cause I’m a huge believer in leading by example. I think you’ll have your best experience reps follow you if you’re selling at this level then you’ll have the four best rookies following them at that level and then everyone else will be lifted. It’s super important to me. So I just had a real talk with my leaders and they’re like, I’m going to go as hard as I can. And I’ve had some really incredible experience reps who sell at a high level.
Speaker 1: (41:18)
So they kind of took over that position and I just started really texting all my guys and connecting with them and asking them, you know, how does the summer really gone rather than in passing and really figuring out what we can do to take it to the next level or if there are any loose ends I needed to tie up with them. I’d make like hamburgers or meals that they could come back to at night. I was doing anything that I could that wasn’t selling and leading by example to help them. And they were, they actually started doing slightly better and they, their happiness actually improved. I saw that in them and they are a lot more gracious to me and they, they almost encourage me to stay and like not go out for the cup. And I really felt a lot of appreciation from them for like everything I had done and they even invited people like, cause some people didn’t believe me. Like this one dude was like, cause I got on him for being lazy. Right. And then he didn’t believe me. So I literally invited him and be like, come look at my balls. And he’s like, all right, I’m good. I feel like if you don’t play the, I will whip them out. Yeah. Um, so
Speaker 2: (42:30)
here’s, here’s the principle though that’s super interesting is there’s different levels of leaders and there’s a book, there’s an article that I can, I’ll, I’ll share it with the link and it’s on the harvest business harvest business magazine or whatever. And it talks about there’s pace setting leaders and then there’s um, like your type of leader where it’s more like you don’t like pay setting is like a lower tier leader actually then a higher leader that’s actually showing empathy and true authenticity and true like care and serving at the highest level. And you actually had to, you were forced to shift from, I have to be the pace center to actually get to be a true leader. And, and the higher level of leadership that you stepped into, you saw was actually more effective. Even though naturally in our brains we feel like I just need to be, go, go, go.
Speaker 2: (43:19)
But it’s actually what’s happening is the reps now see that you’re invested in them versus just vested in yourself. But it really is vested in them, right? We pay set for them but they don’t sometimes see that. They’re like, Oh you don’t get it. So, so think of like how, how that helped you in retention because and, and the gift that, Oh is kind of towards the end of the summer and now like the true value that those people got seeing you on a more intimate level. Because when you’re trying to be top rep and you’re trying to crush it, the biggest problem is we run into is we forget about everything we are. So tunnel vision, but we got 30 something guys.
Speaker 1: (43:58)
It’s, it’s that OCD like whatever it takes mindset and it’s funny cause you’re conditioned to put that towards sales in this environment. And then you go to lead and you want to do the same thing. But I was literally forced to put that OCD and to put that work ethic and to the people on my team, like actually care about them. So now I’m not saying I didn’t do that before, but literally my whole focus was that. So it was a completely different shift and I was forced to do that all out to actually experience what, like to be as a leader.
Speaker 2: (44:32)
And so now going into next year, let’s say you don’t have this problem and
Speaker 1: (44:37)
I probably, I will,
Speaker 2: (44:39)
but let’s just say, let’s just hypothetically say that was fixed.
Speaker 1: (44:43)
How would you lead your team differently? Yeah, I’ve always debated am I my uncle who’s been a great mentor to me, he, he’s so funny. He like, we never have like long conversations, like big mentor conversations or sit down. He, he always just tells them to me in passing, like super randomly. Like I’ll just walk past me and tell me this, not mine. Yeah. And it’s, it’s so cool. It’s so cool how he does that. But one of them is, he basically told me that extra 5% of effort can ruin you. You can ruin your marriage, it can ruin you as a leader, can even ruin you as a performer. And I’ve always debated with that. Cause my first year I was that hundred percent off the 95%. But what I was always battling with, I was like, well what if I didn’t knock till nine 45?
Speaker 1: (45:30)
What if I came home and create an actual lesson for tomorrow’s meeting? Or what if I, um, took a real lunch and like pecs, everyone on my team, I always had those thoughts in my head. Like, how would that and Cruz crease my team’s wellbeing and their performance, but I never did it just because of that tick, you know, like got to be the best sales and this is what I’m doing. Like you’re just on that mission. But I was forced to just do that all in and it transformed my team. I don’t think we would’ve made it to the finals of the cup if I didn’t really get to know where everyone was at that time before going into the tournament. Yeah,
Speaker 2: (46:07)
no, that’s huge. So let’s kind of wrap up on that. Um,
Speaker 1: (46:11)
one last thing. I want to see it. No, I’m just kidding. I’ll show you my teacher. Okay, good. My girlfriend, she kills me. I, because all tea tree was coming bottles and like I literally have to like apply it and blow dry it. So I ordered some like spritzer bottles offline and I’m like, I just haven’t been at this. Like I want to like sell it on Amazon and like spray or, yeah, cause yeah, cause I’m sure some other people are in the market and they’re, they just want to like the quick spray rather than that. Yeah. Cause it gets on your hands and just even when you wash it. Uh, so,
Speaker 2: (46:48)
um, let’s, let’s just finish with like one thing, like if you were, you know, you have a big audience listening to this and if you were to give one piece of advice to whether it’s a first year rep that let’s, let’s go, like this first year rep that’s wanting to manage and he’s scared out of his mind. You know, you didn’t know what you didn’t know. You know, I’m a TA, I was really good rookie. I’m gonna go run a team. It’s like, hold on. What advice would you give them? And let’s kind of wrap up with that.
Speaker 1: (47:17)
I’m just going to keep it, keep it simple. I’m going to keep it super simple. Put them first. Put them first. Cool. Simple. So many people don’t.
Speaker 2: (47:25)
They don’t. It’s literally, and what happens, you lose all credibility with your guys. They feel like
Speaker 1: (47:30)
he’s just in it for him. He’s just did it for him. Yeah. And that piece of advice goes a long way. One thing I do want to touch on is I kinda want to talk about the, the geo Zillow thing, but I also, I want to talk about that. I want to talk about modest PS. I want to talk about my, uh, the opposite of what I do to balance that out. So I like to run a tight ship and that’s part of why, you know, some people didn’t like me. My first year may not be like me my second year. It’s always going to happen. And it’s part of the reason why we’ve had high performance teams cause they’re, they work all the hours. I train them really hard, I always encouraging them to study the manual. And I lead by example. Um, one thing I did this year is I had the thought, what if I just track all my reps on a GPS?
Speaker 1: (48:15)
And I know it just seems like this Nazi kind of thing to do. But I talked to my parents about it and I was like, I don’t want this to be a thing that I forced them to do. And my mom and dad were like, well you should make it a positive reinforcement to where they have an option to do it and you positively reinforce them if they do do it. So I got the app situated and it’s an app that tracks people’s location. What geo? Zillow, geo, Zillow. And there’s literally a timestamp every five minutes. So it’s not like, Oh, you sheets is another one. Just there’s Evers listening to them. There’s a few of them. But what’s going on? Yeah, there’s a lot. So there’s a timestamp every five minutes. So it’s not like you just know they went the area, you know, like if you’re actually out of their car going to houses.
Speaker 1: (48:57)
So what I did is anyone who wanted to be a part of it, and I look back through the week after Saturday and I see that they worked all the hours and were knocking, I’d enter them into a lottery where I draw four names and have $1,000 lottery each week. And I’d literally shower two 50 on four random people who did it. And then people that aren’t participating are sitting there going, right, I want to be part of that. Yeah, dude, that brilliant because they’re sitting there going on, I don’t want them to know I’m not working. You also don’t want then I told you earn $50. I told them it’s cool. Like I’m like, this is a really hard job and not everyone can do everything. So cool. Yeah. And, and thank the Lord for my parents. Tell me about the positive on forums and kind of consulted like micromanage.
Speaker 1: (49:46)
You didn’t have worked out, where are you at, where are you at, where are you at, why aren’t you an area? And that’s kind of who I was my first year. Yeah. Um, but the antithesis of that is not only did I invest money and and to making sure people are working the hours, I invested money into really awesome experiences on the weekend. So yeah, they’re going to work super hard and the rewards for that, but there we’re going to play really hard on the weekend. So, um, for instance, I bought an Airbnb for $2,000. That was Atlanta’s largest penthouse. So I invited everyone to the penthouse and we just, we enjoyed a night there and like two nights in the, in the city just hanging out or um, ML two different times I bought them concert tickets. Yeah. Cause the summer also got to be fun. Yeah. It can’t just be so Nazi.
Speaker 1: (50:29)
And I think that was putting an antithesis on it and investing money into their experience. The team was so tight, they were so tight because of that. And I think it’s the reason why we were able to sustain really good performance all the way until the end because they were truly enjoying the experience and it wasn’t like dragging on them like it does at the end of the purchase. Yeah. Yeah. Because they were really genuinely having a blast, like times of their life every single weekend. That’s so cool. Yeah. So invest in your team, both positive reinforcement and fun. Cool. I love that little bonus. PS. Okay, well I appreciate you being on like this is so fun to gym. Um, and anybody out there that’s in pest control.
I mean, let’s follow your journey for the next few years. This will be fun to watch, you know, 14,000 to 20,000 or whatever your goal is out. Yeah, that’d be cool. Journey. I just want to say thanks for doing this podcast. I’ve learned a lot from you and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from every single person who’s been on these and I think it’s a really great cause to help each other out. So effectively I think it’s really transformed. It’s going to transform some people’s crew. So I really appreciate you doing it. Thanks, man. Okay dude, we did it.