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Another week for a bottle of Topo Chico and to wrap up the posts of the week, the comment of the week, and have some insight from Wayne Winton about "Should you hire help?" Here we go.
POST OF THE WEEK
It's supposed to be one post, but let's have a couple. This was sent in by Gordon. It contains some of his lock boss winnings he received, a WedgeCo key extractor kit, and a lock boss van life hat. That's pretty cool. Have you had yours?
Tomas sent this. This was the order that he had placed and received. Thank you so much for sending that in. It's cool to see. Everything made it safely in one piece, which is always a plus.
Another lock boss giveaway winner. This is from Adrian. He won the Metal case Schlage pinning kit. Very cool. Good stuff.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Bstrickler has a great point. First of all, I'm glad you like the LockVoy pinning kit. But you're right. The pins are .093 diameter which makes them hard to grab. It's tough to hold onto those little guys there. So, I'm with you. I wonder if we should cover a padlock pinning tweezers. Let me know!
SHOULD YOU HIRE HELP?
PJ: Wayne, how's it going? How are you today?
Wayne: Doing well.
PJ: Hey, thanks for joining us. And you know, I think it'd be fun after doing the video talking about employees, team members, that it'd be fun to get to bring you on and kind of rehash out. Kind of like the main takeaways that we got, and try to hone in on 'Should you hire help?' Like, where's that point kind of come from. So if we can just start with maybe your main takeaway from our call together?
Wayne: You know, my main takeaway from the, from the zoom session that we had was really how identical and how alike you and I both feel when it comes to hiring people, and what your expectations are and what you plan on doing for them, and how you plan on treating your team members as opposed to just hiring another employee. I think you understand that you know your employees are your foundation. Without them, you're trying to do all the work. You're going to go into overwhelm. You and I have both been there, you know, as business owners, and it's not a fun place to be. Business ownership can be great, and it should be fun. You should be living your dreams. But, you need to do that in a way where you can start allocating things, and you can enjoy your freedom a little bit. You know, there's no point in making, being an owner and having extra, you know, cash to spend or making a little bit larger income. Suppose you're constantly chasing your tail and putting out fires. That's no fun at all. So that was the main takeaway. It was just how onboard we are with how you should treat people. They're teammates; they're not employees. They're not people to be looked down upon. They're people to help and lift up and just, you know, that person-to-person connection is really what I got most out of it.
PJ: Absolutely, yeah, I would agree with that. I think the principles behind the matter, even what business you're in. All the principles that everyone has to battle are the same, right? Whether you're hiring your first team member or your - however many, right? We all have the same battles, and I think it's something that's probably not talked about enough about the struggles that come with it, right? I think we live in this weird phase of the internet where there's so many of these, like, this bro-culture about just go after it and grow big and, you know, put everything else aside. And I find that pretty awkward, honestly. So I think it's, it's good to talk about.
Wayne: Absolutely. Absolutely, there's, and I'm one of those people you mentioned having this available on the podcast or just available to listen to. If I could give one piece of advice that's brought me a tremendous amount of success, is listening to audiobooks. Listening to podcasts, you know, you guys are out there. You're going to be in the van; you're traveling back and forth. You're going to be in the van for hours and hours and then. That's the perfect time to put on an hour and 42-minute conversation and pick up all those little pieces. That way, you're taking your net time or, you know, the time where you're not doing anything else. You're just driving, and instead of listening to the same song for the 5,000th time, put some knowledge in your head. And that's going to get you a little bit further ahead. That's what I've been doing for the past four years now. And it's dramatically changed everything about how I look at business, life, etc., etc., is getting these books in. And like you said, there's a lot of people that say, 'Go for it and jump all in.' Cool. Well, that's like saying there's a treasure map with no map to the treasure. You know, there's no roadmap. There's no plan. There's no drone footage. You can't see the whole thing. You have to be able to see all the little steps along the way. And I think that hour and 42-minute conversation really dove in and dug its heels in and explained to people exactly the kinds of challenges you're going to face and how to overcome them.
PJ: Sure, absolutely. So, Wayne, if we were to start on the like when it came to, you know, should you hire help? Like, so you started your business. You started to get more and more work. And, like you have, you know, a few different team members now. Like, when it came to the first team member. What went into that decision as to 'Should I do this?'
Wayne: Boy, it was just kind of, 'Hey, how is every other business built?' Is Jeff Bezos in the back of the warehouse putting stuff in boxes? No. He has people doing that, right? So the more you start reading into books, the more you begin reading about delegating and that the owner probably needs to be doing the top 5% of things that only they can do. And that's what I want to focus on. My main priority is getting more work secured and working on education and platforms for other locksmiths to learn. That's my passion; that's where I want to go. But locksmithing pays the bills. It keeps the heat on; it keeps the food on the table. So I was just rolling with the punches, not going in blind. And of course, in the first one, I hired a buddy. That didn't work out very well. Then, I hired another lady, she was really good, but family matters took her to another location. And then we've just hit, you know, we've hit or miss. We've got a couple of good ones, a couple of duds. Either they're good and leave, they start a competing business, or something just happens. So I think the biggest thing that people need to realize is that when it comes to hiring people, you're probably going to go through 10 employees before you find a good one that sticks and stays. At least that's my experience. So just keep going. Keep going and keep working and learn from every single experience. What worked and what didn't work, and then apply that to the next person.
PJ: Sure. Yeah, you know, I mean, I think the - Wayne, I agree with you there. The other part of that equation boils down to like, 'What do you want out of your business?' Right? Like, it always starts the same. I need to make money to support myself or my family - my loved ones, whatever it might be. And that's kind of where it starts. But after a while, as you go through that grind a little bit. It's like, 'What type of business do you want to build?' Now, many, many people are watching this, or who will be listening to it that are like, 'Hey, I like by just, you know, I'm a single operator, I like it. And I don't want to have any team members.' And I think that's okay. Right? Like, no one ever said that you have to start a business and grow it as humanly as large as possible to make your ego as happy as possible. Right? And I think, for those of you who are watching or listening, you know, knowing that and feeling like 'It's okay just to have the type of business that you want to have.' It is definitely important. So I want to throw that out there before we get into some of the other stuff because I think it's important that it's okay.
Wayne: It is. Truly.
PJ: You know, my most significant - Like, when I first started CLK, I did not - I had no intentions of ever being here today, like as it sets. I mean, I was at; first, I was like, 'Hey, I need to make some money.' I need to make some money, and it's more my family, or my future family, I should say. Right. But so I think that's important. I think the other aspect, I think, that should get put into thinking through this process is Quality of life.
PJ: Because it's really easy, especially in the locksmithing type business where you can be doing jobs. Shoot 24 hours a day, almost, if you want to. And, if you want to, right? And you can find yourself in a spot where you are miserable.
PJ: Have you ever found yourself in a spot like that?
Wayne: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, even as a couple of months ago. You know, finally, get an employee trained. Boom. Something happens, and they quit. I got to fire him; something comes up. And now, you know, my heart just sinks in because now I know that I have to do all of the calls to keep everything going in. And to really kind of answer your question about why I'm hiring employees. It was because I needed somebody. I've got a huge customer base, we do quality work, and we have an outstanding reputation in the valley. But I need somebody to take care of that day-to-day work. You know, the monotonous rekeys, the master key systems, just the general locksmithing aspect of it. And then I can focus more on, you know, the other things like I told you - the training and the programs. But even more than that, like the big safe moves and the big safe opens. Those I still find interesting. Those I still find, you know, fun, if you will. Whereas, you know, Oh my goodness. Another Kwikset rekey, are you kidding me?' Like, I'm just kind of burnt out on that. And just, you know, just going through life and seeing 'Hey, you know, your one, your one medical issue away, or one accident or something completely out of your control from being broke. Yeah, there's some money in the bank for savings for a rainy day, but that's not going to last if you snap your leg or blow your back out. And if I do that, then the whole show comes down, you know. How am I supposed to train somebody if I'm already injured? So if we can get that ball rolling, and I can get employees going, and I can get employees that can train employees, and I can sprinkle a little bit of that excellent stuff on top, then, hey, that's where I want to be. I want to be in the situation, I want to have a business that doesn't require me in it.
Wayne: Something that's also sellable. Because when you get it to the point where you're not required to be in there, you have something tangible that you can sell.
PJ: Sure, absolutely.
Wayne: So that's what -
PJ: - Okay, yeah. So I want to kind of back up, and I'm going to ask you a question here and answer it how, you know, how you want here. But, you know, when it comes to being busy and deciding, it's like, Okay, I don't want to just have one. I don't want it to just be me. Maybe it's for the reasons you mentioned or for other reasons. But they're like; you know what, I want to add a van. Right, I want to make this a two-person operation.
PJ: One of the hardest oath hurdles to overcome besides being busy and battling the overwhelm, which we talk about quite a bit in the call. So definitely want, you know, to watch that if you're interested in learning more about that. Watch the call there. But is where do you come up with the money to commit to that, right? You have another van you have to come up with. You have to get all the tools in it; you have to do all that kind of stuff.
On top of that, you now have to, you know, pay him every two weeks, right? And maybe you haven't set up a payroll system yet. And maybe you're just paying yourself, as a sole proprietor, and you know, you're only going to run into tax, you know, a payroll service. You have all these expenses come in. And well, it's intimidating. It can be really intimidating to adventure down that road. So I'm curious about your thoughts when you decided to get to that spot. How did you think through that?
Wayne: So the first thing that I wanted to do was - I'm a real big believer in 'Two is one, and one is none.' It's an old military term, which means that if you have one of something, you have not as soon as it breaks. So if you have two of them, when something breaks, you suddenly have one, and you can rely on that. So I had my main van. And then I set up a little Subaru car, I mean, I literally bought this thing for a couple 100 bucks. I put some real basic punches and stuff in there. You get like a Rytan that'll do Kwikset and Schlage. You can do some fundamental stuff. You know, a basic pinning kit, just some basic stuff to go out there and do some of that. I set the whole thing up for right around 1000 bucks, quite literally. And it was just my personal backup in case it got into a wreck. The main truck got into a wreck or needed something done to it. As soon as you run into an older vehicle, you run into, 'Hey, your trucks gonna be down for a day.' 'Hey, your trucks gonna be down for a day equip equates to $1,000 mechanic bill and not making income when I'm usually making 1200 bucks a day.' That's all part of it, right? So I built the backup vehicle first. I built that along the way for me first. And then I just have I use reserved pond accounts. I've got my main bank account, and then I've got a backup savings account. I've got another backup saving to account for that. And I have an account that completely separates the bank overflow goes into. And basically, money trickles into those reserved pond accounts. And when there's five grand in the final account, that's what I allocate and take towards tools, building a new truck or payroll expenses, or things like that. That's how I saved up. That extra work in that overwhelm is the time to start putting that extra money away so that you can bring somebody along so that you're not overwhelmed for too long. That was my personal experience with it.
PJ: Okay, good stuff. Yeah, thanks for sharing.
Wayne: How about you?
PJ: Yeah, I mean, I just got to, you know, for those of you who haven't watched the call, you know, I pretty much got myself in a state of overwhelming for quite a long time. And it's almost like, you know when you're in a - when you're doing in a dysfunctional relationship or something like that, it just becomes normal after a while. And you don't know any different, so I, unfortunately, spent years in overwhelm. Trying to do as much as humanly possible. My circumstances changed a little for me - got kind of weird on me a little bit because my wife became sick when she was pregnant with my first child and - with our first child, I should say. And she couldn't work, and so while starting the business and getting it going, I had to at the same time make it work on one income on like a day's notice. So I found myself in that situation. And then I just started building up, and I had a revenue number. I'm like, I need to get to this revenue number with this margin. And when I get there, I will have enough buffer to hire someone. And so I am - I'm like, my life's already miserable as it is right now. So at this point, I would rather just punch through to that number and keep that gross margin there. And I know when I get there, I should be, you know, I have a good enough buffer to bring someone on. Unfortunately, you know, the supply business is very inventory capital intensive. So, you know, that was like the biggest pullback-drawback for me doing that. But yeah, I just set the goals. As soon as I was already there, I just worked like a dog to get to those numbers.
Wayne: Yeah. And that's the inspiration for the guys out there who hope that they have those ambitions. Hey, if you are overwhelmed and working like a dog, that's part of it. That's step one. You're on first base, okay? You know, that's when you're ready to step up to the plate. And that's when you can start putting some of that money away. You can start, you know, making those plans. But if you don't plan, then if you fail to make a plan, you plan to fail. That's all there is to it. You got to have a plan in place, and you got to know where you're going. And just like you said, you know, a lot of these books that I was reading, most of the population ends up dead or dead broke at 60. That's it. That's I mean, look around you. Look at the old locksmiths out of the game. Look at most of the people around you that you associate yourself with. Most people end up dead or dead broke at 60. And I just told myself, I'm not going to be one of those people. I'm going to have an empire built around me to where I'm going to have multiple revenue streams coming in. If one shuts down, I got plenty of others right behind them. And that's, that's where I want to be.
PJ: Absolutely. Yeah, I think that's a good - that's a good closing statement. That, honestly, you know, I try to look at things in the simplest form possible because it helps me eliminate emotion that's clouding my judgment, per se. And what it boils down to for me - for those of you who are in business for yourself is to sincerely think about what matters. And for me is what - something that really struck me was that you know, I have a five-year-old. I have a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old. And if I were to go sit down with my five-year-old, she's at that age where she's obsessed with me, which is awesome, right? Like, hanging out with dad and doing her show. And if I were to sit her down and say, 'Hey, you're not going to see me very often because I'm going to go make as much money as I possibly can.' She's not going to understand that.
PJ: Right? She's not going to understand. I mean, it's the same reason why when we get our kids presents, half the time, they play with the box more than they do with the present, right? And so, for me, something that became very clear is that I have to like growth, and all of that stuff is fun. And I mean, who doesn't like to make money? Right? All of that stuff is fun. But all of that stuff is not the real purpose of why I'm here right now; why I'm here with you. And for me, that is because I have a family, and I want to hopefully build a business that allows us to have some fun. But to also really cherish the moments that we can together—and maybe golfing a few times.
Wayne: Yeah, that's exactly where we want to be. I'm willing to put in the hard work. But I just came to a point and realized, you know, I just kept hitting the ceiling. That was like 350 grand for just barely touching 400,000 a year by myself. And there was no - there's no way that's me running seven days a week working every weekend call. Doing everything I could to grab every dollar, I was like, Dude, you're 35. You can do it now. In five years, you are not going to do it, Sunshine. My body was already telling me that ain't going to happen. It is not going to happen. So that's, that's all there was to it. So I've got to bring people in. And there are good people in the world who want to help you make your dreams come true if you can help theirs come true. There are. And that's what it's all about. It's almost like I'm doing it for my immediate family. And I'm also doing it for my family, which is my team. I want to see them succeed.
PJ: Yeah. And you know, an interesting point to - that I don't think I talked about very much on the call is that here, you know, with a lot of stuff we do here at CLK, I put it up to whatever team we're doing it with. I put a lot of stuff up to a vote. And there are many times they will outvote me. Sometimes I wonder if it's in spite, right. But, you know, we put a lot of stuff up to vote. No, of course. Do I have the final say always? Well, absolutely. But -
Wayne: - They work harder for you when they feel they have a say.
PJ: Well, yeah. Well, I mean, Yes. They definitely have way more buy-in, right. But the bigger part is that it's like, Listen, all of us will spend more time in this in this building right here. We're going to spend more time together than with our families many times, right. Like, I mean, my youngest kid goes to bed at eight o'clock. So best case, I see her a couple of hours before bed, you know, throughout the week, right? And so if we're going to be here together, and we're going to try to accomplish something, and do something to make our work matter. Well, my goal is, 'I want you to feel that you are moving along in life with this business.'
PJ: And because of that, I will let them outvote me, and we'll do what they want. So and you know, and they, they, they love it.
Wayne: I'm sure they do. I'm sure they do. And like I said, the more involved they feel when it's not a dictatorship or a democracy, the more they will be willing to do for you. You know, when they see, I bet, if you take - if you take your employees or your team, and there's a piece of trash or something on the floor, they probably take that extra minute to pick it up and put it in the trash can and make everything look nice and go that extra mile. At the same time, you know somebody is working at Lowe's or some other job where there's no interaction. They don't feel valued. They don't have a vote; they don't have a say. They just clock in; clock out. That piece of trash just sits there. The cart sits there, and they don't care. They don't care. And that's what you're bringing out. That's what you're bringing out. So that's awesome. Awesome.
PJ: Absolutely. Yeah, we do it. And I mean, even today, I put a few things up. We're making many website changes, and I put a couple of things up for a vote in our internal chat. And just today, they practically out - they did outvote me. That's like, okay. You know, I'm at the pitch. I've got to pitch harder next time. You know.
Wayne: You're going to have to take - you have to read a sales book.
PJ: I know.
Wayne: As a matter of fact, one great book, I'll throw this out there. One of the great books that I listened to was 'Never split the difference.' I can't remember the author's name, but he's the best FBI negotiator in history. And it was an amazing book and just some of the psychology behind it. It works great for business and sales and everything. And I learned a tremendous amount. Never split the difference. I'll think of his name here briefly, but it was an amazing book. Something to think about. But -
PJ: - Good stuff. Wayne, if someone wants to get a hold of you, what's the best way for them to do that?
Wayne: I'm all over social media. You can privately message me on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, or anywhere else. You can email me @TriCountylocksmithservice@gmail.com. And you can also fill out an application at Wayneslockshop.com.
PJ: Sounds great. Well, Wayne, thanks again, and we'll talk soon.
Wayne: All righty. If there are any other questions, I'm happy to answer them. Thanks for watching. And yeah, I think you got such a good thing going here. I'm happy to see this lock boss thing working out for you. And hello to everybody else out there, and we'll talk to you later. Thank you.
Check out the full video on our YouTube Channel. Thanks for your time, and we'll see you next time!