283 Transcript

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[Music] foreign
om Nation how many times have you gone in for a dip slide to finish up what you
needed to do at a customer’s location and the agar has fallen off of the slide
or maybe there’s premature growth and you haven’t even taken the slide out of
the box I know you are as tired of this as I am and that’s where fluid
maintenance Solutions has come in and created the perfect solution the TTC
mlat plate count the plate count does everything that a dip slide will without
the issues that I just mentioned these are plate count dishes and they stack
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company they stack perfectly giving you probably a times 10 real estate addition
to your current incubator and just 42 hours you will have the results you need
to complete your service report and bring your customer to the next level of
your service to find out more go to scalinguph2o.com forward slash plate
count [Music] welcome to scaling up h2o.podcast where
we scale up on knowledge so we don’t scale up our systems I’m Trace Blackmore I am a thankful Trace Blackmore Happy
Thanksgiving everybody super thankful for being the host of the scaling up H2O
podcast and I know that we get listened to all over the world but I have to say
my favorite holiday is American Thanksgiving it is by far my favorite
holiday because you get to eat and eating is important to me but I love to
cook in preparing food for others that are going to come over and enjoy it that’s just one of my favorite things to
do and turkey turkey’s just amazing and you don’t eat it unless it is a holiday
I know there’s different thanksgivings all over the globe I’m not familiar with any of those so the only one I can speak
to is the one we celebrate here in the United States as we put some of our social media media out I’d love to hear
what some of your Traditions are for that and Nation I am definitely thankful
for someone giving me advice over five years ago saying that I should do a
podcast I’m thankful for all of the people that put their time and effort
into all the YouTube videos that I watched over five years ago to figure
out what I needed to do to start a podcast and I’m thankful for all of you
that listen to the scaling up H2O podcast each and every week or every day
if we are celebrating industrial water week that means so much to me so thank
you for all of that now today is Friday we always release our episodes on Friday
and I want to let you know something that I’ve been doing for the past few
years and it’s called giving Friday and I learned of giving Friday from one of
my mentors Aaron Walker of iron sharpens iron and he’s been on the podcast a
couple of times but most recently in the beginning of this year episode 248 big a
is what we call it and big a came on the show and he talked about him taking some
time off for himself he took a sabbatical and he told us all about that
sabbatical and even today when you talk to Big A he talks about how much Clarity
he received during taking time off so he could just work on himself and he
recommends that everybody do that now I’m here to confess to you I have not
done that yet it is definitely on my list to do but I don’t have the time
scheduled I promise I will do it someday but it’s not going to be today it’s not going to be tomorrow but something I do
every year because big a taught it to me me is giving Friday and we always go to
Waffle House on Friday after Thanksgiving and we make sure our waiter
or waitress is well compensated in their tip that’s part of the way that we give
and we also pay for the table behind us that’s bitten Us in the you know where
before one time it was just a cup of coffee and that was pretty cool another time it was some people that had a
secret to go order that we did not realize what they were having but we just have the thing that we always pay
for the table behind us and they got food for a bunch of their friends on us
we also go and do some community service on that day and that’s just a day that
my family takes to reflect on all the great things that we have and what can
we do to help someone else have a better day that day so I don’t know if it
inspires you as much as it inspired me when I learned that big a does that
every single Friday and he does that with his grandchildren if it does inspire you I promise it will make you
feel better and it’ll make you think about all the things that you are truly
fortunate four and a lot of times we focus on the negative things definitely if we’re news Watchers that’s all that
they focus on it’s really easy to go into that downward spiral so all day
today this Friday we’re just thinking about the positive stuff and we’re trying to give something back a small
something just to some random strangers to hopefully create a little bit of joy
in other people’s lives something that might create some joy in your lives is making sure you know some
things that are coming up in the water treatment industry so the International Water Association the iwa is having
their biofilms conference in Thailand and that’s going to be December 6th
through 8th so to find out more about that you can go to our webpage at
scalinguph2o.com go over to our events section we’ve got all of that information for you also speaking of the
iwa they’re having their eighth International Water Association meeting
taking place in South Africa January 15th through 18th if you want more
information on that we will have all of that on our web page and even an easy
way for you to click over and register for the conference before we get to our
guest and I know you’re going to love this interview today let’s hear what James wants us to think about
[Music] welcome to thinking on water with James
the segment where we don’t give you the answers we give you the topics and questions for you to think about drop by
drop now let’s get to it in this week’s episode we’re thinking about the mass balance around a
closed-loop system what are all the possible ways water may enter and leave a closed-loop system
how would you know if a closed loop was losing water could a water meter Miss small water
losses is there more than one makeup water source is the recirculating pump leaking
are there process leaks or even water losses due to repairs is water being lost through the pressure
relief valve or surge tank how much water is lost through side stream filtration or pot feeder
equipment take this week to think about the mass balance around your closed loop system and it impacts this knowledge may have
be sure to follow hashtag tow 22 and hashtag scalingup H2O share your
thoughts on each week’s thinking on water I’m James McDonald and I look forward to learning more from you James
as always we are thankful for you and all you do to help us get a little bit
better each and every week by thinking on water with you Nation I am really
excited for this interview so here it is
My Lab Partners today are Bruce ketrick senior and Bruce ketrick Jr of Guardian
CSC welcome gentlemen hello thank you sir so we’ve got two Bruce’s on the show
and whenever we have uh more than one guest it’s always very exciting so I
would love to talk today to the scaling up Nation about your company all things
Guardian what’s happened in the past how you guys came to work together and then what’s going on right now as you guys
figure out the future but before we do would you all mind introducing
yourselves to the scaling up Nation Bruce Junior why don’t we start with you
sure so Bruce Jr Bruce ketrick Jr president of current president of
Guardian CSC I’ve been in this industry now 20 years which is uh feels like
yesterday still and as we’ll learn through this interview I’m still just the five-year-old in my dad’s mind but
past president of the awt and uh excited for today awesome Bruce senior
I think he’s actually 10 years old but moving on from there Bruce country senior the guardian CSC I’ve been in the
industry 49 years I’ve been with a number of companies both Tech formulation and sales and my past
president of the awt and uh pass rebound board winner and I’m happy to be here
we’ve got three past presidents of the awt how about that well with that Bruce
senior why don’t we start with you you decided that you wanted to start your own firm tell us a little bit about that
and maybe some interesting stories along with that well I’m not sure if I should expose
everything inside of the skirts but basically I was one of the youngest operations manager of the national
company in water treat in my early 30s and they were sold and when they were sold the new company thought that my
services were no longer required so I was facing the opportunity working for somebody or starting my own company
and had a distributor in York Pennsylvania that wanted to start a water treatment
company so foolishly or not we started a company with two people no money and one
account in 1988 and since then uh my son has been able to get us a few more
accounts so we’re doing much better well let’s talk about that Bruce Jr I
know when I was growing up I never looked at what my dad did as a real job I’m curious was it the same with you
absolutely so 88 I was 13 years old when
they started the business so we got to do a lot of work for free which was also
known as you know rent to live in the house I learned Carpentry By building out the
office I learned how to sweep floors and clean drums and do all those things at
nights and weekends to help out the business and I swore up and down that I
would absolutely never work in this industry it was the last thing that I was ever going to do so by the time I
was 17-ish 18 I’d escaped the house went to school worked at the beaches in the
summer had really nothing to do with the business and then took a job out of
school in medical sales and and pharmaceutical sales and moved down
towards New Orleans so I had no plans to ever work in water treatment nor I not
only salt water treatment as you know I gotta clean stuff and and you know move stuff and heavy stuff and pot and you
know all those things I did do some deliveries over like Christmas breaks in colleges in college I did some
installations we got a really big corporate account when I was in college and came back and helped the guys to do
installations because the company at that point was about six or seven people total at that at that time and then my
story is I met my wife at jazz fest in New Orleans she lived in Philadelphia
and I was trying to get a transfer to Wilmington to the headquarters of the
pharmaceutical place and after waiting around a year got impatient and uh you
know had a conversation with my dad at Thanksgiving and said he said you know hey where do you see yourself five years
with them and what did you do with us for five years and um I said I’ll think about it and
then came home for Christmas and said you know what I think I’m going to do this but the conversation we had was
well first off it was a pay cut right the start I was moving into an area we didn’t have any business at all
and I said to him I said you know how about two years no harm no foul you know if it
if this works out great but in the first two years if at some point I’m just like this this just isn’t for me
um you know we’re okay we can walk away you know I’ll hug you and we’ll all be okay so that was our deal
and um moved out to Philadelphia was driving back to service accounts closer
to the York area and learning how to do water treatment learning and making mistakes along the way for sure and then
built built out the rest of that business so um it’s been a really fun ride for sure but that’s how I got in I
did not plan on getting in and there is a moment there is a moment about it six months into working and I know exactly
where I was driving I could picture it in my mind and I called him and I said man this is really easy
and he said what do you mean this is easy and I said all you have to do I was used to a Cutthroat industry so he’s
like all you have to do is like tell people you’re going to do something and then actually do it and they’re
extremely like this unbelievable gratitude that you you’ve like fulfilled
your commitment to them I said this is great that people love me and he’s like yes you know it’s it’s really not that
hard so obviously the technology and learning all that is you know is a long road and I’m still learning we’re also
learning on that part part of it but keeping up with customers and doing the right thing every day that always came easy and that part of it I definitely
got hooked on that well let me ask about that two-year anniversary conversation so after two
years you both got together what was that conversation well actually you want the conversation
before the two years about the two years which was we used to get together and hunt and I used to look at him and say
if you’re not in by the time I’m 57 don’t bother because I’ve either got to give it to my kids give it to my
employees or sell it outright and I want a few years to get it ready and if you’re not interested that’s fine and I
came home one day after he had this conversation by the way with his mother who definitely rules a roost and she
said I have good news and greatness I said what’s a good news she said I got a plane ticket for you to fly down to
Mississippi and help BJ load all of his stuff up because he’s moving back I said
oh and the great news is going to work for us all right so I like the great news but the good news is not so
interesting to me right now she says well just think you can get the mail Bond I said I coached him in sports
for 15 years I I don’t need to spend two days in a truck with him and being the
dominant person I am I spent two days in a truck with so we got back and my wife
his mother in her naivete thought wow he’s moving into the house he was in our
house for about 24 hours he was in Philadelphia right after that so from my
standpoint I’m I think he came back for an opportunity but I really he came back for a beautiful blonde that he’s been
married to for quite a few years now with three fantastic children so I’m gonna give her credit for him coming
here not me as far as at the end of the two years was concerned what we basically said was if you’re happy doing
what you’re doing do it if you want to move on you do it I know that our sales manager asked me a couple of times when
are you gonna make BJ come inside and I said I’m not he has to make that decision if he decides to come inside
and run the place great if he decides he wants to do something else that’s his choice and it was shortly after that
that he said he’s building a house in York and that kind of put the writing on
the wall and went from there yeah so Trace that’s been 10 years out in the field and then uh when my son was
born I was using my parents for help for babysitting
and uh I thought well you know this is a good time why don’t I move closer to the house
and again most of my life decisions have been around now my wife not my kids but
they’ve all been you know the business has benefited myself personally and also the business itself I think has
benefited along the way with those decisions but but that was the you know kind of the key factor to come back
inside and start really diving into how the business runs rather than being you
know in essence what I was doing was just setting up whole territories hiring a person to handle them going to the
next town setting up a whole territory hiring somebody to handle them going to the next town so the joke I have with
our current sales manager who’s been with my dad all but two years of the business you know he used to run my
dad’s business and then there was three other areas that you know grown but I
know about so art the town I live in now which is York is as far west that I have
ever really gone in our in our business everything to the West Scott Stewart handles and uh I joked the fact that I
can drive with my eyes closed and know every Road between here and the Atlantic Ocean because I handled all that stuff
myself and to go west one town to go to dinner I have to use my GPS so I know nothing about really where I
sit even customers in our local town here that I’ve been now in for 10 over 10 years I still don’t know all the
customers nor have I’ve been inside all the customers it’s a it’s an interesting Dynamic that we that we have a handle
really everything outside of the periphery and just try to keep keep growing BJ when you started working with the
company was it always in the back of your mind that you wanted to take over or was that something you had to decide
to do uh when we obviously there was the two-year no harm no foul but I think about a year in
that was that was the goal you know there was there was a direction that I was leading myself previous to Guardian
and then once I got into Guardian my mind is a business sales mind his
mind is a technology mind and chemistry mind so I could see it as a business and I
could see where I could be or my family which wasn’t even there at that point my family could be in the future and uh
it’s been a good run been a good partnership for sure Bruce you made the comment that at 57
you had to have a plan how did you come up with that number well usually when you prepare your
company to do something with it it takes three to four years and then if you decide to do whatever
you decide to do and it doesn’t work out you’ve lost one or two years so I was looking at 65 back it up three years in
case something failed and give me another three years to prepare it and uh 57 to 59 was the kind of the point where
it gave me the ability to transition to something but by the same token even if
it didn’t work I had enough time to transition in another Direction and my first priority was I wanted to pass this
on to family I didn’t build the company to build a company I built the company because I
needed to supply an income to support my family and it kind of just kind of grew
on itself uh BJ’s much better at that type of sales and planning than I am we
kind of had that conversation a few years back well maybe a number of years back now and he was a little taken back
when I said it but he is he’s much better at this so I kind of came to that number hoping
that I wouldn’t be like so many people they turned 65 and say okay now I’ve got to do something with my business well if
it takes three or four years to do something now they’re 70 and what if nothing happens
the boat I think a lot of people are in right now is they don’t know how to start that conversation they know they
need to do something somebody knows they need to help that somebody do something but they don’t know how to initiate that
dialogue how did you all start that conversation I have been ruthlessly talking to him in
uncomfortable ways since the day we started working together by the way yeah ruthless is a good term
I have very much more and continue to be risk tolerant than many people that I
know and especially than my father I have gotten him extremely
uncomfortable in many conversations but their conversations that all need to happen and we’ve always benefited from
in the end or learned something and didn’t do that in yet one or the other but uh we stumbled here and there but in
our our relationship’s been one where we respect each other and and I am extremely extremely lucky that that he
respects me in the way that he does I think without that and I see that in some of the other businesses uh in the
awt where I know the families the ability that for him to put his ego aside and respect that we can be peers
even though he still can see me as a 10 year old that I think is the the magic that that we’ve had together
I tend to agree with that I mean the hardest thing for you to do and I think
that a lot of people identity are facing this is to step back because when you
want to transition to occur you have to allow someone to step in and take that role and when it’s your baby because you
started it it’s extremely difficult and to swallow your ego at times is extremely difficult and it it’s it’s
something that a lot of people aren’t willing to do but if you’re not going to do that how do you allow the Next
Generation to earn that position how do you allow them to become the
focal point our company meetings BJ runs the meetings he’s in charge I’ll sit to
the side or whatever if they need me for something that’s fine and I still do what I do
somebody has to be the guy that runs the show you can’t have three people running
the show because no one knows where to look uh and that’s the hardest part for the
first generation and for the second generation not to have that ability to respect makes it almost impossible for
them to be able to do their job when you both decided that this was what you wanted to do this was the plan for
the future did you bring somebody else in was a third party involved or did you
guys just come up with a plan and follow the plan so what we did was we and I don’t know
that I would recommend this to everyone but there were a lot of gonna buys right
from the family so when we do this this is how I think it’s going to be and for
me personally I was kind of getting fed up with the one day conversations
so I reached out to a local which we we lean on them in our area they’re called
mantec it’s a manufacturing association that is funded by the state so they have
all kinds of small business trainings and everything support and and they said well we have this group and they’ll come
in and they can help with the conversation so what that was was it was someone that came in and we spent
was it two weeks Dad I think it was two weeks about that yeah every single day
we committed we blocked our calendars off to from eight o’clock to one and we
spent every single day and we have a nice beautiful building now our building then was much smaller and we had a
little conference room and five of us my sister my mom my my dad and this
gentleman would in essence go through these intense therapy sessions where there was no hiding so we got a lot of
stuff off the table or onto the table I should say we got really honest with each other we all stayed together and
hugged it out at the very end but it was intense for a lot of those moments and I think it’s that it’s willing to walk
into that pain if there’s multiple people involved and actually have real conversations is the
most difficult thing to do uh then the way that I tell the story is we all by
the end of it we’re ready to have this guy not involved in our lives anymore so one way that I’ve always learned to
build a team is to have a common enemy so we built a pretty good team and and
that came with some action items so I then put together a whole list of things
that we all agreed we were we wanted to get to the next step and that was getting lawyers involved I
was getting some things set up that was getting estate planning done properly that was all these things and we all got
together and said okay if you agree that we are going to go and do these things now then we don’t have to go through
this hell anymore and everyone said all right get them out of here so I’m not saying that this was
the right process for everyone but there needs to be a Tipping Point I think where a real serious conversations
happen not the ancillary you know over the top generalities of yeah one day
this is going to happen and when you have this this will happen well that’s great but how does that work so someone
needs to bring everyone to the table to actually have real conversation that can
be a trusted lawyer that could be a trusted business partner that could be a neighbor friend that you you know you
trust that knows what they’re doing but somebody has to help get past that first step and and I guess the biggest part
would be for me it was the the Line in the Sand that just said we’re gonna do this and that that’s where we ended up
sometimes when you’re successful you forget about your frailties but they
didn’t it was how how can I put it humbling in many ways uh it was humbling for all four of us actually but if you
don’t get down to the the Baseline you can’t build it up again and then we had
a plan and with the plan we went to lawyers we set up trust we set up transfers we set up all the things that
you know I sit here now and I hear about all these retirement speeches that you want to go find out how to properly
retire and all they say is the same thing we’ve already done so we were very fortunate in that that
we had an individual that was willing to become a common entity so by the end of the day we all wanted to kill him but
also realized he was telling us the truth and you got to start with the truth when you both came up with a plan for
the transition was it the right plan was it a plan that needed to have adjustments along the way how did you
execute the plan oh definitely was not the right plan it wasn’t we didn’t know what we knew we
knew what we wanted to get to so we wanted to get to a way to transition ownership
my piece of the puzzle was I’m tired of building something so big that I can’t afford it
this isn’t making any sense to me why am I doing this I’m gonna I can go start somewhere else like I’m this I’m getting
too big and if I do these next two deals that I had set up then it’s too big and I can’t afford it so why why would I do
these things to make to hurt myself in the essence of to keep pumping evaluation of the company up and then
it’d be difficult to transition so it was the sooner the better for me we had
when I say we had bulleted outline we had four or five bulleted outlines of things that were going to happen and
they were very high level The Next Step was really calling a lawyer and saying
hey this is what we want to do who do we need to talk with what people do you have who do you recommend and
then from there we just started down a path it took about another year and a half of Designing paperwork we are really
great water Traders we are not estate planners so you know same thing we tell
our customers you know you don’t need to worry about this I’ll tell you when what you need to know and you don’t need to
be an expert in my field and I certainly don’t plan to be an expert in theirs so it’s just it’s just reaching out and a
lawyer a lawyer group you know that we have we have used over over the years for many things but if you can trust in
one of those people just to sit down they can at least they’ll steer you on the path and give you all the options
it has been adjusted many times along the way because life changes business
change you’ve seen the environment in business the last two years have changed dramatically and you have to adjust for
that uh and we have unfortunately the base plan has stayed the same the
transition stayed the same but we’ve had to adjust all around the periphery because life happens
and again fortunately we’re able to do that with as little pain as little bleeding
as possible but you know nothing happens without some disagreement we agree on a number
of things we disagree on a number of things as BJ said before my level of
risk take versus his is much different I respect his and I think he’s made the
right decision every time it’s not necessarily the one I would make a little more cautious
so yes he has me on the edge of my seat many times but to date I have to give
him credit that he’s been right every time and there were certain decisions we had to make because we were looking at
expanding the business if we’re transitioning and expanding why should we wait after the expansion for
the transition it just costs my kids more pain so we decided to do that early on so
that they had a major portion of what the next step of growth was and that also gives them ownership and it also
gives them the reason to get involved in it so sometimes you’ve got to stop looking at
what can I get out of the whole pie and realize the reason you have the pie is
to share it with your family so how can I share the pie and still be comfortable and I don’t need the whole file I’m
never going to use it anyway so uh it has changed along the way but the base plan is pretty much stuck the same
it sounds like when you all disagree you both disagree agreeably how did you come
to that overall the years BJ was a captain of
every team he’s a very strong-willed individual I had the privilege of coaching him and trying to have
discussions on what I thought he should do even when he disagreed with me so we
had many years of being able to develop the relationship where he could stand there in front of me and go nope not
gonna do it and me not go crazy and realize all right let’s see if we can work this out so uh it’s fortunate that
we had a long history from the time he was like 10 years old to be able to kind
of develop that it’s not something that happens overnight and it’s not always pleasant but it is it’s real life you
have to give and take and you have to respect the other person that they have
the right to their opinion So my answer is I just do whatever the hell I want and then I tell them just as
much as he needs to know he would have a heart attack on most of
what’s going to happen this is why I love respect how would you
describe each of your roles as we speak today uh BJ’s running the place and and I’m a
ghost yeah I’m historian I’m basically here because I know the
history I know the products I know the formulation that the young guys we have are very talented but they have no
history so when they hit a wall I’m here to say Let Me Explain where that brick really goes and to help with the
transition I get involved with sales when they ask me but basically I’m a
historian a little tech support I like to say but really his story yep absolutely he’s the guy we lean on
when we all go what the heck is that you know which happens every you know one time a year everybody gets in a
situation and you go wow we haven’t seen that one yet and then uh we get him back involved but we got some really great
systems set up here we’ve got transition to knowledge a lot more automation it’s not all living inside of his head
but there still comes up those things like why do we do it like that or where do we get that one thing from we haven’t
used in five years then he’s definitely there to help us when we need him bju touched on something that I think is
the biggest issue during this whole process which is things are locked up inside somebody’s head what’s some
advice to start getting those things out so I had a business Mantra that started
more than 10 years ago and that business Mantra because you’ve got to remember a small business we came in we were eight
people now we’re almost we’re 70 people right so when I started with them it was we were eight
my mom was in the business also so both of them had knowledge of you know she ran the office I had a mantra that said
any business critical function could not be done by a Kettering and I had set up
uh probably at that point it was about a five to seven year strategy of how we were going to grow
and where we were going to put some resources that weren’t just sell the hell out of everything you guys figure
out how to keep up with me right that’s how the business was run before but I had a little more respect for what was
going on internally and the fact that I didn’t need my mom didn’t need to be doing all of the things she was doing
you know wearing a hundred different hats and being you know pretty good at
all of them but not an expert in any and then you know the same with myself the same with my sister the same with my dad
so that required us having a real technical director that required us having HR that required us to have a
controller that required us to have a lot of people that we didn’t have at the time so the technical director was
really the one that would take what my dad does off his plate so in the interview process even I used the
analogy to them that their entire job their only job was to take everything in
his head and put it systematically somewhere that we could use it and make an automated so a God Bless the people
that have worked with him over the years because I’ve heard many of these stories multiple times and a simple answer as
you know is not a simple answer in that office you’re going from you know you
get the whole story hey hey a little respect here a little respect he is the historians so they’re uh they’re you
know you’re gonna get a full picture so some the person that actually has been working out has a lot of patience and is
really good at then taking that information and and putting it in place in a way that we all can can use it and
it’s not just locked up in his brain when I say that we have what we need
functionally to run a business which is probably 20 of what’s stuck in that thing so we’re still picking at it but
uh It’s a Grind you’ve got to set up a plan and then you’ve got to have somebody that’s going to interface with
whoever that one that one person as you’re trying to take those those jobs tasks off of and hopefully either they
have the experience they can take it quickly or in his case when it’s you know the technology and the history
it’s a coffee clutch a lot of times you gotta you gotta you know hang out for an hour and and get your answer and then go
back and figure out what you’re gonna do and where you’re going to put that so we can use it in the future Bruce anything you want to add to that
well that is the problem unfortunately but one of the things that I looked at
just the other day is are different Tech files which are all mumbled and jumbled and everything else
and how to how do I transfer that so that’s usable for people in the field and the people you have here and it’s a
kind of monumental deaths not just what’s in my head but what I have is information and that’s one of the things
we’re trying to do and the other thing I started doing is I call them Tech tips and what I do is I take a subject glycol
on the live date pbtc and write a tech tip about it what it is good bad how to
use it where to put it and then I send it out to the sales force uh right now I’ve sent out 25 and I have 40 of them
written and there’s probably going to be over 100 what I’ve done but at least that’s a library they’ll have and I
probably will never dump everything inside of my brain because I don’t even know what they need half the time if you both could go back to when you
first started planning with all the knowledge that you’ve gained over the past years what advice would you give
yourselves I honestly wouldn’t change a thing I agree with BJ I don’t know if I could
change anything because what I did over those years is what made
me who I am and if I did something different I don’t know if I’d be who I am so I I try to
give him a big hug and say it’s gonna work that’s what he does a lot by the way
which is his way of not explaining to me the details he just goes don’t worry
about it Dad it’s gonna work then I go home and I tell Pat well BJ said it’s gonna work and she says how and I go I
don’t know and she goes you men are like that women would know how I said no he’s not going to tell me anyway
for those listening today that know they need to start these conversations what advice would you have for them
be honest yeah so the advice I would have because I there is a you know what I see in our
industry is the 70s where and in early 80s for an amazing time for training and
knowledge transfer and really was the prime of beginning of this industry and
then a lot of those gentlemen and ladies moved out of those big corporations that had really great training programs and
are really smart people and started their own businesses and they’re all in the category of my dad are not older
right so they’re in it they’re in the moment there’s a lot of people still around that are in the moment and haven’t decided what they’re going to do
I would say find someone that’s already made a transition that you knew through
other pieces of business and take them to dinner I would say don’t be afraid to
take the phone call from someone that you may not trust today or ever in the
future that says hey I’m interested in buying your business and you say well I would never sell to
that guy you know my dad you know that’s gotten him uncomfortable over the years I take every meeting I want to learn how
do I know how will I learn how to do this if I don’t at least listen to strategies other people have had and
then steal as much of that stuff and use it for myself right so don’t be afraid to take those meetings or make those
meetings it’s just a dinner and you’re going to learn you know something along the way but that would be my advice is
is don’t be afraid to be a little bit open and uh to just start asking
questions and take take the time I guess is a better way to put it take the time to actually focus on that rather than if
the account down the road is going to get serviced today we’ve gotten to a point in our business that we’re you know like I said we’ve
had some great growth so we’ve gone from eight people to 70 people and you know we’re a much bigger bigger machine for
sure and one of the reasons we’ve done that is because I noticed very early on
that I wanted the same lifestyle my parents and work themselves to and I knew that
was going to take work to get myself there but I also knew that I had three families to feed so we needed to grow
the business big enough I needed to you know be part of like the strategy of growing it big enough that we all could
benefit from that and I do see in the awt world where there are uh individuals
that have businesses that are you know very successful and are you know them and two
other people them and four other people and uh the return on that investment
to themselves is you know in some parts better than what we can do at this very large state
with a lot more problems so bigger isn’t always better bigger is
what it is once you get to the size that we’re at now everything is exponential
so it used to be you know it was a whole family conversation to hire one person now I hire three people a month and
sometimes they don’t even know who they are right and it’s just part of that exponential growth so those are the kind
of things that come along with that you know if you can run a very successful business and keep it to you
know you and your your spouse or your partner and you know one or two people and and be happy doing that that’s a
great lifestyle business that’s a great lifestyle business so there’s benefits in both for sure
well Bruce Patrick senior Bruce ketrick Jr I want to thank you both for coming on scaling up H2O for sharing so much
with the scaling up Nation I know we helped a lot of people today and thank you for that thank you Chris thanks
Chris how about that Nation to Bruce’s Bruce
ketrick Jr Bruce ketrick senior they are both incredible people I will tell you
that I am better having known them both and their family has been so incredibly
generous to me Bruce senior of course answering so many of my questions and
really being a mentor of mine as I’ve grown up in the water treatment industry and then BJ Bruce Jr just such a great
friend we are exactly the same age and he is a member of the rising tide
Mastermind he’s just a great guy and we share so much together so fortunate to
call both of them friends so thank you again for coming on the scaling up H2O
podcast and sharing so much about what you all did so successfully I have no
doubt that there are people listening today that they are going to take action
based on your words today and Nation if that is you make a commitment that
you’re going to take the next step and a lot of times we don’t take that next step because that is such a giant hard
step for us to take the first step is always the hardest and it’s also the
first Domino that if we push over it’ll start a chain reaction so we can get to
the end that we all have in mind it sounded like after they had their
conversations they talked to a legal party and that got them started so maybe that’s the next step for you maybe the
next step is having the conversation with the person you need to have the conversation with maybe it’s just
setting a lunch date what is the next step that you need to do and if it’s too
big what is a piece of that next step that you can easily push over that you
can get into a chain of effects so you can get done what you want to get done
it all starts with that first step but you gotta have that first step first even though it’s hard
Nation I’m always looking for things to talk about on this podcast today is not
going to be any different I am looking for your ideas your topics your guess
what do you want to hear on the scaling up H2O podcast go to scalinguph2o.com go
over to our show ideas page and let us know exactly what that is and Nation if
you do not mind a big favor that you can do for all of us here at the scaling up
H2O staff is to leave a review on your favorite podcast player that
dramatically helps our ratings and we are always looking for the next member
of the scaling up nation and the only way we do that is for people to find us
or for you to tell people that there is a water treatment podcast most people
had no idea that there was an industrial water treatment podcast until somebody like you told them so I guess that’s two
things I’m asking for after you write your review if you can also continue your conversations with your fellow
water treaters letting them know that we do have a podcast just for us that helps
us reach a larger audience that larger audience allows us to make sure that
we’re talking about the right things and the right thing for this podcast is to create a movement that makes the
industrial water treatment industry better one podcast at a time one water
treater at a time so together we can definitely make sure that we are on that
road Nation I will have a brand new episode for you next Friday in the meantime have a great week folks
[Music] Nation The Mastermind is wildly
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