To the Point Home Services Podcast

The Home Services Podcast That Gives Back

Episode 216: 7 Things I Learned Growing My Business from a Pop-Up to $30 Million w/ Mark Paup

April 9, 2024

Episode 216: 7 Things I Learned Growing My Business from a Pop-Up to $30 Million w/ Mark Paup

Published: April 9, 2024


We’re excited to welcome Mark Paup, President and Owner of Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical to To The Point!

Based out of Grimes, Iowa, Mark and his wife Miranda have built Golden Rule into a 30MM powerhouse in a relatively small market. From getting out of new construction during the Great Recession to adding on trades, growing through acquisitions, and handling the recent dip in demand…Mark has seen it all! Today, he’s here to share his journey and what he’s learned with YOU.

“Diagnosed as an Entrepreneur”

Mark went to college in Mason City to play football, and after a year and half and having his first son, it was time to start making some money. He began working for UPS on a night shift, and found a plumbing gig as his day job. After 5 years and earning his plumbing license, his inner entrepreneur began to burn.

He found City Rule in 1999, a mom and pop plumbing company that was for sale. Alongside his wife and best friend, Mark built the business up, eventually adding on HVAC through an acquisition. He would go on to hire Al Levy to implement processes, and still uses Al’s manuals to this day. Mark would also hire Ellen Rohr to teach him the financial side of things.

By 2008, Mark knew it was time for a brand change. City Rule became Golden Rule, and he hasn’t looked back since!

In this episode, we talk to Mark about:
  • His humble beginnings as a young adult working as a plumber with a second job
  • His efforts to acquire a mom and pop shop, City Rule, to go into business for himself
  • Acquiring an HVAC company
  • Growing his team to 60 employees by 2005
  • The impact of hiring Ellen Rohr and Al Levi
  • Dealing with the Great Recession and making the brand switch to Golden Rule
  • Adding on electrical as a vertical
  • Still being a privately held business and creating opportunities for his team
  • Top Tech University
  • Golden Rule’s biggest strengths as a company and where they are today
  • And more!

Golden Rule continues to be a privately held business serving the Des Moines Metro Area with HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services. Today, the company sits around 30MM, and Mark shows no signs of slowing down on his march to 50MM and beyond.

No Days Off

Mark attributes the success of Golden Rule to having a process-driven culture. They still use living, breathing manuals and stay true to their processes. He’s committed to keeping his team on the same page, implementing 1:1 meetings with every employee, daily huddles, and monthly meetings to talk about where they are and where they’re headed. Mark doesn’t say it’s anything crazy they’re doing – just living 3 days at a time according to their Nexstar-guided principles and making the most out of every single day.

Want to get in touch with Mark? You can reach him at Golden Rule on LinkedIn. We’ll be back for our second episode with Mark next week, so stay tuned!

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