Those who listened to our second episode will be familiar with at least one of our guests today, as Ken Goodrich returns to To The Point, this time bringing along Michael E. Gerber, the small business genius himself! In addition to being a New York Times Bestselling author, Gerber is Inc, Magazine’s #1 Small Business Guru, author of 19 E-Myth books for a variety of industries, and in all estimates the most influential small business mind in history. These two incredible individuals combined to co-author The E-Myth HVAC Contractor: Why Most HVAC Companies Don’t Work and What To Do About It, a book we highly recommend for everyone in the trades.
Together, Goodrich and Gerber bring their decades of experience being masters of small business to one action-packed podcast we’re excited to share with you!
If there’s one thing Gerber wants to get straight, it’s to stop saying “tips and tricks”. There isn’t a shortcut to success; only hard work and a willingness to change and absorb the wisdom imparted by those who have already achieved success. The fact of the matter is, people who succeed in business don’t get there because of what they know, it’s due to their unwavering quest to know more and more. The real foundation for success isn’t built on a bunch of tips, as Goodrich can attest to. He used the original E-Myth to develop a system of innovation, quantification, and orchestration to fine-tune his businesses to guarantee that they would succeed.
Part of what has made Ken Goodrich so incredibly successful, according to Gerber, is his dedication to following his principles and processes to the letter. He works on his business continuously to the amazement of people who have known him over the years. They wonder how he can maintain a healthy appetite for success when he’s already achieved so much, but the secret is that Ken isn’t trying to be successful—he’s trying to get it right! He’s always monitoring, always trying to figure out how to improve and grow, and knows that the real secret isn’t working in your business, it’s working on your business.
There are many, many great stories shared by these two legends in this episode, but one of them really displays the importance of having an open mind. Ken talks about buying his first plumbing business in 2001, a shut-down company he fully intended to turn around using his tried and true system. Part of the agreement was that he would have the company vehicles delivered to him on a Saturday, and when they showed up to receive them, he was dressed in casual weekend attire—flip flops, shorts, etc. These giant trucks have a big green alligator on the side holding a plunger, and Ken had always wanted to drive one of those, so he did. While he was driving around, he passed a Porsche dealership, and decided to buy himself a new toy. After several minutes trying to back the truck in and park it, all of the salespeople had scattered. Here was a big ol’ plumbing truck with a guy in shorts and sandals, barely able to park his vehicle, walking into a very expensive lot. They all assumed this plumber couldn’t possibly be a real sale, and left him alone. In the middle of the empty showroom was a silver 9/11 turbo with a sticker price of $155,000, and after several minutes of admiring the beauty, no one came out to help him. On his way out of the building, a man ran after Ken. He was apologizing; saying it was his first day and they had him in the back training, and wanted to know if there was anything he could help him with. Ken told him right there “this isn’t your first day—it’s your lucky day”, and readied a check for the full amount.
The takeaway is that the rest of the salespeople relied only on their experience selling cars, instead of keeping an open mind. They couldn’t imagine a plumber buying a Porsche, and so they ran. You have to forget what you know, and become a blank piece of paper and have a beginner’s mindset to give yourself a chance at real success. Gerber and Goodrich see this recurring theme in their lives, because the majority of the people who read their book and listen to them speak turn right around and go back to doing what they’ve always done. Relying only on what you know is a surefire way to close the window to growth and opportunities.
So, you’ve read the book, listened to their advice—what’s next? If you want to be part of the very small percentage of people who find real success, Gerber and Goodrich implore you to act. Information doesn’t do us any good if we don’t put it into action; you have to internalize the wisdom and make implement it into your process. That’s exactly what Ken did after reading the original E-Myth (close to 40 times, it must be noted), and it’s directly correlated to his incredible lifetime of achievements in the small business world.
We thank Michael E. Gerber and Ken Goodrich for joining us on this incredible episode of To The Point, and with so many great stories and wisdom shared from their illustrious careers we’re confident you’ll find value in listening. You can find out more about Michael E. Gerber’s trade school for entrepreneurs, or search him by name on Amazon to find his library of best-selling books. The next in the E-Myth saga, focused on plumbing contractors, is set to be released this May.