Duane Johns & Dave Young – Collaborating to Elevate Your Industry (288)

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Duane Johns and Dave Young are entrepreneurs who want to inspire change in the home-building and remodeling industry. Through their “The Builder Nuggets Podcast,” coaching program, and special events, Duane and Dave are creating a community of builders and remodelers who want to collaborate and grow together. This duo is shifting the siloed, beat-the-competition mindset they say has dominated the industry for several decades.

Duane Johns and Dave Young are both recognized business coaches in the industry. Johns is based in Charlotte, North Carolina; Young in Ontario, Canada. Having helped grow hundreds of custom construction companies together, the pair launched the podcast in 2021.

The Builder Nuggets Platform

Dave Young and Duane Johns didn’t simply launch a podcast, but through Builder Nuggets they’ve created a platform to elevate leaders in the custom home-building and remodeling space. Such an industry hasn’t gone through significant changes in the last few hundred years, but a big change is coming through massive collaboration.

Johns’ and Young’s platform is creating a community they believe will turn the tide on an industry that is aging out. A lack of succession planning, combined with a younger workforce that no longer considers a career in building attractive, is something these leaders feel can be overcome.

Duane Johns has been dedicated to elevating professionalism in the construction industry for over 25 years. He believes the key ingredients to success are continual learning, strategic planning, collaboration with like minded peers and the elimination of egos. While Dave Young is an innovator who loves to challenge the traditional way of thinking. Having previously been involved with launching new technologies for Construction and Real Estate professionals, until he turned his focus to the Custom Contracting community in 2013.

Through the Builder Nuggets Platform, Dave and Duane are bringing together forward-thinking leaders, providing them with systems, processes, training, and an amazing culture to elevate their teams.

And now here are Dave Young and Duane Johns.

Full transcript below

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Podcast with Duane Johns & Dave Young. Collaborating to Elevate Your Industry.


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Dave Young, Duane Johns, Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:05

Hey, everybody, welcome back to the How’d It Happen Podcast. I am so happy to have you here today. And I’m excited to have a returning guest and a new one. I’ve got my returning guest, Dave Young, Episode 280. So check that out – Episode 280 dropped on June 7th. And I’ve got his partner, Dwayne Johns, on the show. And these two are the founders of something called Builder Nuggets — it’s a podcast and a movement. And let me tell you a little bit about the two of them before we get started. So you’ll be as excited as I am. For this, because we’re going to have a fantastic conversation here. So Dwayne Johns and Dave Young are both entrepreneurs who want to inspire change in the home building and remodeling industry. And before you say, Well, I’m not in either one of those industries. So why should I care? What they’re building is a collaborative community that I think it has applications across a wide range of industries. So whatever you’re doing, I think this is going to apply through their builder nuggets, podcast, coaching program, and special events. The co-hosts are creating a community of builders and remodelers who want to collaborate and grow together, this duo is shifting the siloed beat the competition mindset, they say has dominated the industry for several decades. Dwayne and Dave’s platform is creating a community that they believe will turn the tide on an industry that is aging out. Does that sound familiar? How many how many industries are aging out a lack of succession planning, combined with a with a younger workforce that no longer considers a career in building attractive is something we these leaders feel can be overcome. So Dwayne and Dave, we’re gonna start with Dwayne, and we are going to ask this question. As far as Builder Nuggets goes, How did it happen?

Duane Johns  02:09

Well, I think to some degree, it happened. Well, I guess we’re in our, about a year and a half into this now. You know, we were in the middle of the pandemic, and there was a lot of this zoom stuff and virtual meetings. And, you know, Dave and I, as business partners, we’re still trying to plug along, you know, do the day-to-day stuff. But as we were doing this, we’re like, you know, this, these discoveries, we’re making these connections and relationships we’re building. Let’s expand on this, you know, we’re finding some common threads in our industry struggles and successes that builders remodelers are, are having, as well as other folks in the trades, you know, and realize that there was a void, there was a lot of things out there, there’s a lot of podcasts and shows out there that might talk maybe a little more nuts and bolts around. You know, the latest and greatest in building science and technologies and the actual sticks and bricks and parts and pieces that go into a home. But there wasn’t a lot of talk around the business itself, you know, and we’re passionate about helping and we work with a lot of builders and remodelers around building better businesses, you know, more rewarding businesses. And what we find is that one of the key secrets to that is is collaboration. You know, if you go outside of our industry, you go to other industries, anywhere where you’ve seen really successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople, one of the, I think one of the cornerstones to that the similarities you’re gonna find is those people are there immersing themselves in very collaborative environments. And that’s what we were trying to build, let’s come up with a platform where we can get people to share their successes and struggles. Assemble the parts and pieces, so to speak, in an open platform where people just get on and tell their stories. So we’ve been having fun with it. And yeah, I guess we’re up to about, as I said, maybe 60 or 70 episodes now, so.

Mike Malatesta  03:58

Okay, so let me dig in a little bit to collaborate this term collaboration that you used, because I want to make sure that from a definition standpoint, people understand how you guys are thinking about collaboration first, and then second, why there was this sort of void of collaboration.

Duane Johns  04:22

You know, one of the things that as a builder remodeler myself, I, this industry is full of very passionate people, a lot of them are self-taught to a certain degree and that you know, you you’ve gone into the business, you’ve learned a trade you’ve, you’ve become a business owner. Not a lot of real instruction, or I would say paved paths to follow. So there is a lot of putting parts and pieces together. But you’re also you’re tangibly building stuff, craftsmen, beautiful homes. And there’s a bit of ego that comes with that. I mean, I think you get to that point where you say, Man I’ve built all this, and some of that starts to flow over to where you start thinking that, wow, if I’ve done that, in order for me to grow that, or continue to grow this, I have to continue to touch everything, I have to be a part of everything really hard to let go of some of the things that go on in the day to day. And I think we hold things really close to the best, you know, and the industry itself has also done that, I think, and it tends to get commoditized, you know, for bidding for projects and lowest prices, trying to win contracts. And, you know, that kind of mentality, I think throws a guard up to where people, they’re not really willing to share a lot, you know, hey, I’m not gonna, to some degree in some of your maybe builder organizations and groups like that. But for the most part as a whole, the industry holds stuff pretty, pretty close to the vest.

Mike Malatesta  05:47

And so how have you, I guess, how have you been able to pry that vest? Open a bit?

Duane Johns  05:58

I think, you know, as with anything, there are there are always the exceptions. And there is there are folks out there that have successful businesses, and they’ve, and they’ve done it through sharing, they’ve collaborated together. It’s just that is not really that’s not the norm, you know, and that’s not what you see across the industry. So by finding those folks and getting them to share their experiences and stories with us, and that’s builders, remodelers, trades, people, other business coaches, we’ve had folks outside the industry, as I said earlier, you know, I think that like, you know, the one common thread you find there is that is that growth mindset, you know, so you get folks like that to start sharing. And the listeners really engage, because you’re starting to hear things that, you know, you say, Wow, I can relate to that story. That’s where that’s where I was, you know, I Yes, I’ve been through that myself. And you also realize that anyone that has achieved any level of success, has not done it without their fair share of failures along the way, but they’re being vulnerable enough to come out and say that and share it. And it’s when the ego gets gets put aside, you know, you just can’t You can’t get in a room with people like that you can’t even have proper conversations, if the ego is going to be the driver. So,

Mike Malatesta  07:14

and one of the reasons that I wanted to have this conversation today was when I when I had Dave on the podcast, and we were sort of going through his experience, I, I couldn’t help but think to myself, all the times in my, in my industry, in the waste management industry, where I, I reflectively, see opportunities where collaboration would have led to a bigger outcome for us and some people that we consider to be competitors. But instead, we just did the minimum we could together the stuff we had to do together, like we had to use them because they had the license for something we didn’t. But outside of that we were, you know, we were very, very tight, you know, close to the vest. And I kept thinking about that, as Dave was walking through. Like, there’s so many businesses or industries that I think, do that, right. There’s, there’s, for all kinds of reasons, but I think one of the biggest reasons is fear, right? Like, if I give you my secret sauce, what I think is my secret sauce, which probably isn’t, but if I give you that, then I’m going to lose something and you’re going to win something, you know, instead of Yeah, if I share this, maybe we can both. Maybe we can both win, we can both end up end up better along.

Duane Johns  08:34

Yeah, we talked about a lot, you know, the scarcity mindset. I mean, that’s something that’s talked about across lots of different coaches, and you’ll hear that and over and over again. But Dave, and I also at times will bring up the perceived competition is kind of what we call it, you know, I think that’s what happens to business owners is you have this perceived competition, you limit yourself to thinking that, you know, there’s only so many widgets, when in reality, most of the I mean, we’re going to capitalism drives this country, that’s, you know, there’s going to continue to be a new and improved version of just about everything all the time. That’s what drives it. And I think the opportunity in generally speaking, I think the opportunities are always much, much larger and deeper than anybody thinks they are. You know, and that, but they immediately have to think that there’s only so much of this, that scarcity mindset again, yeah, I guess I can’t, I don’t want to, you know, get this, let this out of the bag, because my competition might get a part of that. And, you know, take sales away from me when and I think it’s completely the opposite. If you elevate yourselves, what the way I look at it, and I think it’s, it goes across all industries, you’ve always got those folks that are going to elevate themselves to the level of professionalism and demand, you know, whether it’s higher rates, higher pay, or just providing better value to the to the client, to the end user. And then there’s the other folks that just, you know, maybe hack their way through it. There. There’s plenty of opportunity for those folks that are trying to elevate their game.

Mike Malatesta  10:04

Yeah. And there’s Yeah, like you said, there’s a whole subset, maybe even larger than a subset of people who, you know, don’t. They’re not enlightened to the point where they get that it’s not it’s not a scarcity. It’s not a you win, I lose sort of thing. It’s not the world is there’s only you know, this pie, that’s all there is, you know, instead of the, how can we create more pies together? It’s like, No, you’re not taking my pie? You know, that kind of thing. Dave, this, how did you first of all, how did you and Dwayne get together? And in in this, he said, You came up with this thing, perceived competition. And I’d really like to dig into your thoughts on what that actually means.

Dave Young  10:47

Yeah, those are two different. Two different stories. They’re definitely. So I probably shared a little bit on our last episode that, you know, I wasn’t a builder, I came from a real estate background, entrepreneurial background, interested in real estate technology, but just loved growing different businesses, and doing something fun and new. And that would be a shift. And we talked about the shift, because that’s what you are, I’m a shift. I’m

Mike Malatesta  11:14

a shifter Yeah, you’re on my hat. Yeah.

Dave Young  11:17

And it’s interesting. So you can have, you know, the shifts that you can have in your in your business, or they can be sort of mindset shifts, those are oftentimes the best one. But also, like a full on industry, shift, culture, shift, everything like that, what intrigued me, initially, because I wasn’t a builder, was, you know, what a layer is doing. So for our background, Dwayne and I are now both regional partners with the layer homes, you know, we do that we oversee, Dwayne and I collaborate or our business partners in North Carolina. But I’m also active in in a couple of other areas as well. So I had joined a layer, after a conversation with Blair McDaniel, the CEO, where he just shared with me this, you know, I agreed to a half an hour call, and I learned about his vision for how he could take all these fractured businesses. And what if everybody got together and instead of all of us paying for all of our own services, and and doing all of our own accounting, and doing all of our own marketing and, and putting all this stuff into place? Because when you looked at it, that’s what’s happening. Now, there’s hundreds of 1000s of builders all doing it, as Dwayne said, their own way. And back then there was less adoption of software and systems and processes at the time. So I heard this young guy’s idea of how he was going to bring everybody together, and what could the top builders achieve if they had leveraged services, and instantly, I just fell in love with the idea. And the next step for me it scared, it scared me, I, you know, I had to become a builder in order to use this and prove that I could do it if I wanted to go out and meet other builders and develop this thing. But ultimately, that’s what I did. So we started to develop a community within a layer of these builders that just happened to use a franchise model in order to be able to have access to all the these higher level of things. So it’s basically like, putting your business on steroids and having access to the best accounting minds, the best marketing minds, you know, all those sorts of things, so that you don’t have to focus on that anymore. And as that grew, I had the opportunity to move into the US. I called up, I had researched Dwayne, and from what I could read about him, it looked like this was a person, a businessperson who was trying to find a better way. He was a guy who was featuring his team on his website, he had like, the most reviews of any of any business, in the field in Charlotte, and it’s like, okay, I want to talk to this guy. So I sent him an email. And we just started to have conversations to say, Hey, this is what I’m doing. And I’m looking for somebody to partner with me to, to bring this to North Carolina and the the conversations just started from there. So we can dig into that piece of the story too. But fast forward over the subsequent, you know, seven, seven or eight years, Dwayne and I in collaborating with this growing layer community recognized Wow, there’s a need for this, you know, outside of a layer like a layer is not going to be right for everybody. Most builders don’t even know what it is or haven’t taken the time to understand it. But there is really an opportunity for us to take what we’ve learned inside a layer and then go and share it with the with the rest of the community through builder nuggets, which is completely outside of a layer. It’s its own entity and everything like that. And what we realized was that there is a There’s a cross section of the industry out there that is looking for this stuff. So we had identified as Dwayne said, opportunity to bring like business nuggets. And in fact, we’ve had you at the top of your show, you talked about No, this, this is valuable for any business, we’ve had many people tell us, you should have called the show business nuggets instead of builder nuggets, you know, you’ve limited yourself, because this really applies to any business. But every week, we get the opportunity to interview other thought leaders, people who are pushing the needle, and we’re getting to bring in so much more. You know, initially, we thought we would share the nuggets, but more nuggets are flowing into us. And I think that’s really the secret of when you when you shed that perceived competition to say, if I share what I know, I’m going to get so much more back in return. And it’s probably going to be from similarly minded people who are looking to achieve and to grow and to share and are on the on the same page as you. So you know, I was really fortunate to meet Dwayne at a time, you know, like picking a business partner, when you nailed that. It’s, it’s amazing. And he was on this quest to find a better way to do stuff. So that’s all we’ve been doing is trying to find a better way. And we realize you need to find the people who are already doing it and get them in the room and amazing stuff happens.

Mike Malatesta  16:20

So it sounds like builder nuggets is sort of a strategic byproduct of your experience in with a layer like you sort of which is still ongoing, you still have that as I understand it. And then this sort of came out of it. So you could serve a broader network of people you could have, you could help people in a way that you couldn’t, you know, help them say inside of a layer that is that accurate?

Duane Johns  16:49

Yeah, I mean, for me, I’ve always I’ve always been an advocate for professionalism in the industry. You know, I’ve always been challenging my peers, this goes back 20 years ago, he’s telling guys, this is back when guys weren’t even putting, you know, I knew home builders remodelers that didn’t even at websites, I’m like, Guys, take photos of your projects, put some really put some spend some money on photography, and watch what that does for your business. Yeah, the conversation was always around, elevating your game, positioning yourself as a professional. So that that’s how you’re perceived by the, you know, by the community that wait a minute, you can create more value and obviously make more money charge more, all those sorts of things. Because it’s other than otherwise, it’s a race to the bottom. You know, so for me what what it was was, it was a, I had always been trying to assemble parts and you know, had had a very successful business, but it’s an industry that moves. Just slow, I mean, painfully slow, you know, it doesn’t want to change much. So I was I said, you know, what, if you could assemble the parts and the pieces for all of that stuff that the vast majority of builders and remodelers just don’t want to do on a day to day basis, a lot of that behind the scenes, you know, business systems process stuff. If you’ve clicked get that, get that solid and out of the way, boy, look at the bandwidth that opens up for you to focus on actually building your business, you know, and, Mike, you and I have talked about it, we talked about that, that mindset shift. And I know it’s across other industries, though of, for me, it was a matter of stop thinking of myself as a as a builder or a contractor and really start thinking of myself as a business owner. And that really is what started to lead us through that was when you’re having the conversations with all these folks and seeing when you could put get these solutions in people’s hands to where they could start to open up bandwidth and really focus on the things they wanted to in their business. The businesses thrived, you know, and that just opened up and created more opportunity for everybody around them. So, you know, that led to us thinking about, you know, the roles of business owners as leaders and then elevating folks around us. And that’s what the platform became the builder nuggets was Wait, let’s, you know, let’s get out. And let’s share this, we don’t have to tell any, any of the folks that are listening, we don’t have to tell them how to build anything. They’re all very good at that. But the commonality was, it was a struggle around building a really rewarding business, you know, one that wasn’t stressing them out or, you know, stressing their teammates out or hamstringing them around growth. So as I said that, that that was the thing that motivated us. And as you would say it it was kind of a byproduct of, of, of finding solutions for a lot of these things that were consuming tons of time. Previously.

Mike Malatesta  19:35

Yeah. So okay, and I just want to ask this question before I get more into builder nuggets. So this alair model that you that Dave, you talked about initially with Blair and coming in and talking to you and you guys have said, you know, get rid of it helps get rid of all the stuff that you don’t want to do and focus on building but the thing I want to understand from a franchise model is a lot of people have an idea of what a franchise is like, you know, there’s a fast food franchise and there’s uh, there’s all these different franchises that people would recognize. But when it comes to custom home builders, for example, or anybody doing any custom work of any kind for theirs, I don’t know that people have this sort of idea of so like, how do I, how do I join? How do I join a franchise and get all the benefits of that, but I also keep my business and it’s mine and stuff. It’s I think it’s kind of unique, but also, I think it’s very eye opening. So I want I’d like one of you to explain that to us.

Dave Young  20:32

Well, it’s a, it’s Dwayne and I are both grinning hair a little bit while you’re while you’re bringing up because it’s something that we experience every day, because it’s a, there’s almost a stigma to, to the franchise, the F word and I think it’s because people think there’s, there’s a chance that something is being taken away from them. And that provides a barrier to a lot of people, there’s a perception that there’s a freedom taking away or that there’s a status alignment that is being missed, or, or something like that. And it’s really interesting, because when you look at some of the the best brands in the world, you know, their franchises, you know, some of the top best hotels in the world franchises. Now, Mercedes Benz, it’s a dealer network, it’s literally works the exact same way as a franchise. So some of the top brands in the world, have you used this model? And I think people have just associated it with people who need help, right? Or who are starting a business, not many businesses convert to a franchise, right? So it’s a little bit differently.

Mike Malatesta  21:44

Right. Right. Right. I think a lot of people this stigma thing you talk about a lot of people think, well, steel franchises are for people who can’t start their own business recycle. I’ve already

Dave Young  21:53

got a successful business, right? Yeah. Why would I Yes, is the mindset. And so it becomes really interesting, because I call a layer the on franchise, it was became a franchise by accident, it was the only way it was the only legal method that the original guys doing, it could use so that they could share services and collaborate and build the infrastructure and still be able to protect what they were what they were doing with the right licenses and scale and grow it. And how it differs, I would say, you know, the reason I call it the on franchise is that a lot of you know, many, many franchises, you have to you know, buy the pizza dough, and you have to follow, you know, you have to order all the uniforms from them, or you know, all the every single possible input has to flow through them.

Mike Malatesta  22:48

Yeah, comes like, you can look at it like a handcuffs sort of like it.

Duane Johns  22:53

Right. Yeah, as a builder. I don’t have to buy my two by fours and nails through a layer.

Mike Malatesta  22:57

Yeah. So that’s why I think it’s important to understand this, right?

Dave Young  23:00

Yeah. So now, so now you’ve got a community of builders who came in already with a successful business. And they’re keeping the things that they were already doing well before and the relationships that they have the things that they’re good at, they have the same clients, they can keep their same market partners, trade partners, window, supplier, everything. So all that the essence of your business, all the relationship, your relationships, your team, your staff and everything, it’s still you. What you are leveraging is all the a couple of things that are generally missing, the back office coordination and the linking together of all the services, all the things that you’re trying to figure out the know you need to put in your business, instead of having to figure that out, bolt them all together. And we joke around it’s like trying to raise frogs in a wheelbarrow. The second you get like your CRM in place, or, you know, your let’s say your policy and procedure manuals in place all the things that you need. These are things that you know, Mike from seeing what goes into a valuable business. The second you get them all bolted together and working is the second they become obsolete. So now you need resources to continue to maintain all that and business owners, construction contractors. This is not their specialty of maintaining systems, updating documentation. And Blair and the original founding business partners went in recognize all this it’s like, we need to get somebody else to do all the stuff that we’re not good at. That takes time constantly. And so that’s what they built and people just plug into the the mothership and the right builders plug into that and they have all that taken off. They’re taken off their plate, they can go and focus on making new investments in their team grow growing, you know, we’re seeing increased increases across the board and just about every single day category and, you know, there’s a layer of accountability in there as well. left to our own devices, I call it the spinach factor left to our own devices, we will often go back to our own ways. But when you’re part of, you know, a bit of a bigger mission, that’s striving to be the most rewarding construction company to work for, and to be the most rewarding experience delivered to clients, you know, you and you value that you don’t want to let your peers down. So for some people, that’s a pressure that they don’t want to have. For other people. It’s like, wow, that accountability being part of a being part of something a little bit bigger, where I still get to have a stamp, like my local business as Dwayne he’s he still has, you know, the same. A lot of the same relationships, the same feeling same reputation within there. Only it’s grown. Yeah. And of course, I

Duane Johns  25:56

mean, I had my hesitations. I mean, I had

Dave Young  25:58

been, you had pages of them. Yeah.

Duane Johns  26:01

Why franchise? That doesn’t sound right. And how can you franchise custom building remodeling, you know, and, but as I started to dig deeper and realize that, and I think this, again, this goes across, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, but one common thread that I do see in this industry is the owners are always up against the bandwidth issue. You know, it’s always I don’t have enough time, that says probably the most common response, we get to anything propose any opportunity, solution, new thing to put into somebody’s business and the immediate, it’s almost like a reflex response is going to be I don’t have time, I don’t have time for that. So if time is your biggest issue, you know, you have to say, Okay, well, what are the things that I could change to where I could get some time back? Yeah, and that’s the way we look at it is all of these things that are, again, we’re not telling you, we don’t come out as a franchise and tell people what to build, where to build, what colors to build, there’s, there’s certain things that are going to make each and every office and team custom, that’s the custom experience you provide to the client. But let’s be honest, behind the scenes, there are the fundamental business practices, you know, to operate a successful business that can happen across all industries, not just home building or remodeling, it can happen in in waste management, you know, it can happen in the medical field, those things really can be consolidated. You know, let’s, let’s focus on something that’s proven rock solid, it works. And just stop worrying about it, get it off your plate, and the amount of that that’s a huge, you know, it’s very rewarding, Once that’s removed from your plate, and it’s just, it’s a solution, you know, you no longer have to pour time and energy into thinking about it, maintaining it. So that really was the way I look at it. And I think that’s the huge thing that maybe a lot of people don’t quite see is that it’s that, you know, it’s freeing up some time and resources. How about

Mike Malatesta  27:55

how about the identity thing doing what they like, is, you know, that’s, that’s something you, that’s hard to give up.

Duane Johns  28:05

It’s hard to give up. But you’re still this is a very personal industry in business, you know, you still have direct relationships with your clients with your trades, people still know you who for who you are. And to me, some of it kind of goes back to the ego thing. I guess it all depends on what you want, at the end of the day, okay, I know a lot of people and I’ve this too, I’ve seen this happen outside of the the construction industry, I’ve seen folks that get to that point where they almost wish it wasn’t their name on the building, so to speak, because when it got time to either sell or grow or start, you know, maybe branching off into into different opportunities. To some degree, they can be hamstrung by that. You know, especially if you’re building teams and people want to aspire to be a part pay, maybe I could be a future owner or equity partner or man, you know, the kind of the glass ceiling so to speak. When it’s, you know, when it’s Ed’s custom building company, that has to be a limiting factor. Yeah.

Mike Malatesta  29:07

Fantastic point. Because what’s the worst thing that can happen to a business owner right you, to me, like the worst thing that can happen to a business owner is you get the you get to the end of the road where you don’t want to do this anymore. You can’t do this anymore. And you what I call wind it down, you wind it down, so expires with you with you expire, which that’s not the reason you’re in a business, right? You’re in a business, so that when you’re gone, it continues. That’s the value you’re building. You’re not building value by building a home. I mean, you’re building value for your client by building a home but you’re not building and you’re making money. That’s how you make money, but it’s not building value in a business. If you’re if you’re, if you’re sort of thing at the end as well. It’s just when I stopped doing this, it just goes away. So that’s a great That’s, that’s a really great point you made? Yeah,

Dave Young  30:02

yeah, there’s no, there’s no asset there, right. So when you have this structured business, and all that infrastructure is in place, and anybody else that’s qualified can take it over easily and support it. And it’s known that so much confidence for a buyer, so much confidence for your internal team, that it just opens up so many options for you. And one of the interesting things that we found when people do have this in their, in their business, that it also becomes an acquisition machine. So you can then you know, you’re building it, it’s ironic, because you’re building it so that it’s more valuable for a sale. But a really interesting thing happens is that business also becomes one that can go into another market, and just plug the right team into it with some subtle tweaks, to then on tweaks to like best practices. And it’s funny when Dwayne was talking about, you know, business practices behind the scenes, it’s like, none of them are secrets. None of them are secrets. It’s just the fact that somebody has managed to put them all together and have them operate efficiently and have this flywheel that allows you to scale that’s really the the beauty of it and the limiting factor that people get into. But yeah, it’s it’s an it’s an interesting dynamic, that when you’ve built a really healthy, valuable business, it’s also one that can just go and start acquiring and you’ve seen that yourself in the other industries you’ve been in, like, where where that starts to

Duane Johns  31:35

add, Mike, I mean, I think you would agree, you look across industries. There’s not many business owners, that, you know, if they’re so invested in the business, and so ingrained in the day to day, there comes a point in time, when they’ve just, they don’t want to be that anymore. They don’t want everything to be on their shoulders, you know, because that’s, that’s really, that’s not a healthy business. You know, so getting it to the point where it’s not just you, the business owner, you know, you’ve developed a team of people that you can count on every day, you know, and then clients can count on the outside world perceives this as a, as a brand as a team versus, as I said, you know, as a custom building company, where, where’s it, it’s great, doesn’t want to do this anymore.

Mike Malatesta  32:22

Right? Right, right, or, or, This just popped into my head back, because I see this at so many businesses that I have acquired, so you’ve got the ownership group, or whatever, they’re doing their thing, and then you’ve got that one person inside the office, and everything depends on that one person, right? Like is, your biggest fear is not getting the next job, your biggest fear is that person leaving because you’re like, holy crap, holy cow, if that person leaves, I’m completely screwed, right. And so there’s that too, right? There’s that like, I don’t have to worry about that one person who holds my whole business together, leaving, right. It’s the same

Dave Young  33:01

with relationships, too, right. So if you have that charismatic owner, who’s got three project managers that are doing the builds, and have have the all the relationships with the trades, and all that sort of thing in that and that person leaves, then there’s a who’s going to buy it, if they don’t have the relationships, because what’s going to stop the project managers from going in and starting it all up. So, you know, there’s strategies around all that sort of thing to where it’s like, you transfer the look relationships to your team, instead of owning the relationships. So then,

Duane Johns  33:35

I liken it to Mike, it’s, you know, as I said earlier, this, this industry moves painfully slow, it just doesn’t like to adopt new things. But look at look at the medical field, look at all the professional doctors out there. Every one of them nowadays is part of a network, almost like a franchise types behind the scenes, they have a, you know, medical or healthcare group that’s managing their systems, processes, client, you know, management, invoicing, all of that stuff is done for him because they don’t, they don’t want to, they don’t want to do it. They don’t want to spend their time doing that stuff. You know, their, their passion is to help people make people better, you know, so they found a solution for all that other stuff. Like I said, it’s just the thing that has not been adopted in the industry. And I think there’s other industries as well, that eventually these things are going to happen. You know, yeah, the industry is gonna be forced to move. And things like this are gonna start to

Dave Young  34:35

become, it’s undeniable when you start to see there, see the results. It just makes so much business sense. And we’ll get back to the branding thing and you know, what you’re giving up in a second but every other industry, it’s, it’s worked and it becomes undeniable that these are just the things where you can achieve more if you are plugged into this stuff. If you’re the right builder, it’s like you now have access to a new level of resources that runs and a business model that runs better without you. So it’s just a matter of time, it’s been proven over and over again, and in so many other industries. So it’s one of those things that you’re going to have people who look at it. And with the scarcity versus abundance mindset, where they look at it, and they’re like, Well, I’m not, I’m not willing to give that up. And we have these conversations all the time. Where there’s a, there’s a fear of giving something up in there and thinking about, what would this business model and this goes for anything that you’re investigating? What would this What would this do for me, is not the right question to ask yourself, the right question to ask yourself is what could I achieve with this? And when you start to spin that around, and come and sit well, okay, if I was in, if I was in the driver’s seat of this type of business model, what would I be able to do? What would change? And then if there’s things that you’re uncomfortable about, you work with whoever it is, that’s, you know, an expert at that particular thing, or other others who have gone through it? And you ask them, How did you how did you deal with this, and probably the key was one of the key ones you touched on is the identity. First of all, the perception that they’re giving up control of something, there’s very little control that’s being given up in in many of these types of models. But

Duane Johns  36:21

in many ways, I would, I would argue that you actually end up gaining more control of your will you

Dave Young  36:25

gain more control, yeah, and you gain more visibility into your into your business too. Which is really, really interesting. But if we’re going back to this fear of loss of identity, I think about the real estate community. And I mean, in the 80s, you really saw this go, you saw the mom and pops almost gone, or, and getting swallowed up by the big brands, and people, you know, brokers realizing, hey, I need to get a tap into the power of this brand. Because people move across country to country, there’s a referral business here, and I don’t have to and that’s now happening. You know, the referral network that grows with inside a collaborative group like this isn’t is incredible as well. touch on that another time, maybe. But if you’re, if your realtor, Mike said, Hey, I just wanted to let you know, I just moved from Sotheby’s to Christie’s or to a different company, would you say, Oh, I’m never using it again? Or would you? Would you think any lesser or more of them depends on how they describe the roller? What differences chances are, they’re going to be, you know, you’re going to be excited for them, and want to know why they made a switch, which gives you the opportunity to tell the story of why their service is going to be better and what they’ve learned and new things that they’re committed to. And we find the same thing with builders, they’re really worried that their clients or their architects are going to say, oh, you know, did you guys, did you guys sell? Or, you know, what is this? Because it’s new, right? And so we, we call it

Mike Malatesta  38:03

what is it? What does it mean for me? Like, yeah, the architect or they, you know, be like, Well, what is that? Am I gonna get cut out? What does that mean for me?

Dave Young  38:11

Exactly. And it’s all about how you tell the story, because it’s like, the first thing. I mean, I remember, Dwayne, the first thing he said, when he, when he sat down and met with somebody was, hey, it’s still us, we’re doing the same thing. But here’s what I’ve learned. And here’s why I’ve committed to this. And here’s the opportunity it creates for my team. So it’s just a matter of how you tell your story. And, you know, I’m not I’m not that familiar with other transition models. But in, in our, in the model that we’ve coached on through air, we don’t just bring somebody in today and switch over the brand, we have a transition period, where we’re elevating their brand first, and giving them months and months and case, in some cases, years, to tell the story and to transition the relationships and to make sure everything’s okay. So, you know, we’ve, you know, we used to do that we used to just turn it off and on the next day, you know, you’re, you’re Alair homes, you know, Brandon, Manitoba, and, and that’s it. And for some companies, they love the idea of that a fresh start, they were thinking about rebranding anyway. And then for others, if, you know, we have multigenerational like third generation builders, they’re like, we can’t just throw that out. No, you don’t you elevate it first. And once the proof is there, and the comfort is there, then you can start to transition. We have different strategies around that that we that we go through when we’re having a consultation with somebody who wants to learn more about it,

Mike Malatesta  39:42

elevate it first. So you said something a while ago that I should have asked right right away because I’m not sure I got it. But the spinach factor day what is the spinach factor? Yeah,

Dave Young  39:52

well left to our own devices. I mean, we won’t always eat our spinach but if everybody else is eating their spinach and somebody says you have features finish, you will get stronger. And that that mindset, that collaborative peer support of 100 other business owners and 400, other project managers, all running the same thing, you know, sharing their stories, and, you know, eating their Spanish and sharing best

Duane Johns  40:25

practices challenging each other. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a built-in mastermind, which is really cool in his industry.

Dave Young  40:31

And the level of focus, you get to have in a scenario like this, and you’re all working on the same platform, you’re all dealing with the same thing. So there’s two things that happen. One, there’s so much learning and sharing that’s going on, and then the innovation starts. So it’s very hard to innovate, when you’re trying to put stuff together and just figure out how to use something. But when you have experts collaborating on and having focus groups around it, working on different parts of the business 24/7 around the clock, there’s different things going on and improvements being made. And your business is automatically benefiting from that while you sleep. It’s, it’s pretty amazing.

Duane Johns  41:13

So and it’s also it’s client centric, you know, across the board, that’s what all of us put, first and foremost, this is all to make a better experience for the client, it’s going to provide the client a better product at the end, it’s going to be, you know, remove risk for all parties involved, and all the Spanish factors that we’re taking the time to do all of the things that I think every builder knows, you should do. But either because of time resources, whatever it it can be difficult to do. But that ultimately, that’s what we’re focused on, how do we provide the best possible client experience, which is just going to simply relate into a better experience for, for you, the owner, your team, and ultimately, that’s just going to, you know, make your business thrive.

Mike Malatesta  41:56

So got it. So let’s, let’s, let’s dig in a little bit with the time we have left into this sort of built in mastermind of, of builder nuggets. So you’ve got the podcast, we talked a little bit about the podcast, but I’m more interested. But to me, like the podcast is part of the community building is that I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I’m assuming that’s correct.

Dave Young  42:17

Yeah, so the podcast, you know, it’s interesting, the podcast was originally, you know, what we were going to do builder nuggets was a podcast. And now, as we’ve, through the experience that we’ve had in the things that we’ve learned, we’ve had so many interactions with other business coaches and thought leaders, and we’re like, Well, what do we do next? So now we’re, you know, the, there can be any number of programs where we go from here with this, and we have business coaches reaching out to us to say, hey, like, how do I get how do I get more involved, and we see that there, that part of the industry has fractured as well, there’s opportunity to bring industry leaders together and create this community. So what went from being something designed for the builders, we also found that it’s also a great platform for for the thought leaders and other business coaches. So you know, we’re, we’re in the midst right now of looking at, you know, what else can we get this group to provide our audience? What else can we collaborate on? Could we collaborate on an amazing event? What would that look like if we had eight or 10 of the best speakers in the industry together, you know, working on things and from outside the industry as well bringing in new ideas on some of the things that we’ve seen work. So it’s an opportunity for experts to share stories, but it’s also an opportunity for somebody who wants to work on their game, to get into the room with the right thinkers, and people who are doing it people who have made those mistakes so that they can learn and grow and make new investments in their in their team, because, as Dwayne touched on earlier, it’s one thing to focus on your clients, if you want to have if you want to deliver an amazing client experience, focus on building the best team make the right investments in your team, what does that look like? Why did they want to come and work for you? Is it because you build the coolest houses? Or is it an amazing place to work where you’re valued, and you’re, you’re having these unbelievable experiences, that’s the that’s the altruistic version of it. That’s what you’re trying to shoot for. Very hard to create that in a chaotic state of juggling everything yourself hard to make good investments and other people when you don’t even have the time to make the right investments in yourself and your company. Because you’re holding everything together. So yeah.

Duane Johns  44:38

And it’s been exciting for us the you know, the interest behind it, the energy behind both the both the guests we’ve had and the listeners is, you know, for every for every story or every struggle that you hear, there’s somebody that’s figured that out, and they’re willing to share it’s a connection. It’s a connection through every you know, almost a Every episode that we’ve had, has been just that it’s somebody, maybe they had the struggle, and then they figured it out, or someone’s on there that’s highly successful. And we’ve had someone you know, reach out to us say, Man, that’s exactly that sounds like that episode was talking right to me. It’s you know, it’s real world stuff. It’s stuff that’s going on. But I think that’s the thing is that we’re, it’s not all just rainbows and unicorns, we’re not out there with you do that, you know, do XYZ and your business is going to be the best out there. And you know, there’s a lot of stuff that goes sideways. And you’ve got to talk about it. And you’ve got to, you know, reach out, because there’s people that have this, don’t mire yourself, in spending the next six months to a year trying to figure out what you did wrong, or how to fix it, there’s a good chance somebody’s already done that. That’s powerful.

Dave Young  45:45

And don’t feel, don’t feel like you’re unnecessarily a failure, but don’t feel like it’s a sign of weakness to not know something, it’s an absolute strength to know that, hey, there’s a there’s a gap in my Gantt game, and I need to go fill it. And where do I find? Where do I find that? Do I need to do it myself? Is it something I need to learn about? Is it something we should get somebody else to do? Ask around, because if you it may be spilling the beans a little bit, because we’re going to be talking about certainty versus uncertainty with Shannon Waller in an upcoming episode. But I think this goes back to what Elaine has talked about before, where the industry, you know, there’s the level of, there’s an element of bravado, and nobody wants to show weakness, everything is always fine. And when you get a bunch of builders in a room, where it’s almost in presentation state, there, they may share a little bit of their issues or collaborate on that, but very rarely do they have the confidence to really open the kimono and say, All right, these are the areas that I’m struggling, these are the things that I that I want to do better, these are the things that are not okay. And when you’re certain of everything, nobody can be a hero to you, you don’t, you’ve already got it, nobody can help you, when you’re uncertain about certain things, and you have the confidence to be able to say, these are the things I don’t know about, or these are the these are the challenges that I think I could do better on you watch how people will get behind that and collaborate with you. Because those people are in the room, they will say they’ll come tap you on the shoulder after a seminar or an event and say, hey, you know what I was exactly where you are, here’s a couple of ideas, the years, here’s things that worked for me. And but if you don’t have the confidence to stand up and say what you don’t know, Dwayne, and I just, again, talked about something called the dumbest guy in the room, you want to be the guy in the room, if you’re in a room where everybody knows more than you what an amazing room to be in your growth potential is huge. But if you sit there and pretend that you, you know, nobody knows that you don’t know anything, that nobody can help you, you’re just sitting there absorbing whatever you can get. But if you can find ways to have other people who have already solved something, or can help you avoid something, want to be a part of your, you know, supporting you and giving them a chance people like to be heroes, give them a chance to be a hero.

Duane Johns  48:21

And the competition thing is it’s huge. Because it’s such a barrier, you know, there’s such a concern around competition. And well, I finally want to share this with somebody that’s outside of my market. And, and, you know, my challenge to that. And I think, Mike, you can relate to this, you know, that the struggles that all of us are going to have in the service industries with Labor and Workforce over the next decade, or just could almost be unsurmountable if we don’t really collaborate together and do something about it. Because if we’re, if we’re, if we let the guard down a little bit, and share with each other, we’re all we’re doing is making the industry way better. We’re making it more attractive, you know, we’re making it something that other people will find attractive and be interested in entering. Because if we don’t do that, we’re gonna have even bigger problems. You know, it’s not going to be a matter of competition, we just simply won’t be able to get the work done. Right. So yeah, people won’t be able to, you know, get houses, they won’t be able to get out. Right. Yeah.

Dave Young  49:20

Yeah. It’s interesting, too, because I think sometimes when people hear collaboration and sharing stuff and like this, they, they may get uncomfortable because they feel like you’re, you’re sharing everything. You don’t have to share absolutely everything all the time. But there are certain things where it’s really really worth it. Oh, yeah. With Dwayne talked about, like growing, inspiring the next generation, like, let’s say you decide, hey, I really want to, I really want to start a, an apprenticeship program with the local high school so that I can hire an apprentice every year and that’s like it. Will you do that? Or do you get five welders together and put some structure around it or a bigger group together and some other trades and say, Well, why don’t we go all go at this together? And yes, your competitors, but you’re aligned in this mission, you may not want to, you know, if you’ve got the best drywall guy in the world, and you don’t want to share him, you’re not going to go and say, well just use my drywall guy. No, that’s fine. There are some certain resources that you may not necessarily want to share or don’t have to. But the notion of collaborating and working together on some of the bigger picture problems start there. If you’re if you find your mindset is struggling around that, and there are tons of groups that collaborate at different levels, I think it starts with the Home Builders Association at the sort of highest level and then you start to as you drill down, you get more specialized like Nari that Dwayne’s involved in, you get business groups like Vistage, for example, our coaching programs like Strategic Coach, but within the industry, you know, things like remodelers advantage, that may be the right environment for you to go check out and surround yourself with other people, they’re still using different business models and everything you’ll learn from it, or getting into a builder 20 group, they’re not going to go as deep as a layer will. But it’s a great place to start and to get involved and to start seeing what collaboration really looks like. And knowing that you don’t like you don’t have to do it all by yourself. It’s lonely and a lot of a lot of stuff that is already solved. If you just talk to the right people, it’s already done. And

Mike Malatesta  51:34

when I think about it, it’s like two things. One, proof builds proof. So if you choose to collaborate, and you have a good experience, either by getting or by giving, it’s proof, it’s validation, right? And then you’re willing to sort of do it again, take the next step. But, you know, as long as you have that, and you also have a, you know, this could bite be being, you know, taking this chance could bite me. And if it bites me, what’s the worst thing that that happened as a result, right? And if you can approach it with both of those sort of things in your mind, it feels like, why not?

Dave Young  52:13

Exactly. And that was my take, like I originally said no to this because I heard construction franchise, I’m like, I’m out. And because I didn’t even want to be in the industry. But you had it was a half an hour phone call that turned out to be two hours and 45 minutes where I took the time to learn. And I thought, Okay, that’s interesting. And it’s we run into this all the time, there’s some piece of joining a group, whether it’s like, like we said, Strategic Coach, or a layer or something else, where people will see one element that they think, No, I couldn’t do that, or I don’t like the idea of that. So they dismiss they throw the baby out with the bathwater, they dismiss the whole idea and what you’re talking about, they feel like, if they’re going to learn about it, that they’re making, they’re making some sort of commitment, bigger commitment than they really are to go and learn about some of these things to like, find out about remodelers advantage or to find out about a layer or to find out about what a builder 20 Like, those are an hour to two hours of your time to determine well, what’s the next step? Should I dig deeper? Is there something here? What are the things instead of making the judgments around it? Because it’s a franchise or I don’t like how they present, you know, roundtables or something, you know, something like that. I totally encourage everybody you know, if you’re a builder, cool, learn about all those things. Like why wouldn’t you? Yeah, so anyways, so Dwayne

Mike Malatesta  53:44

how to who should be connecting with you and builder nuggets and how do they reach you? What do you want them to do?

Duane Johns  53:54

Yeah, I think the easiest way to find us is builder website, you can find out all about us, but you can listen to all the episodes right there. We’re also on the socials Facebook Instagram builder nuggets. You know, I think the thought leaders that is a good way to put it as Dave said, because that’s that rounds it out as I mean, you’ve got a lot of very successful custom remodelers, custom home builders, project managers, business owners, trades people, architects design people attached to the to the construction industry. You know, that’s yes, that’s the primary audience but I think business in general, you know, if you think you’ve got a message that that business owners that are struggling or even having successes, I mean, these are the things we want to share both, you know, we’re looking for both of those. This is the platform for it. I think, as you found Mike you know, as you do these podcasts, you start connecting with some thought leaders in various sectors, they like to talk. That’s and that’s a good thing, you know, And so that’s really it, you know, look us up. We’re, we take questions all the time, you know, any kind of a compelling story, we want to share it, because we just feel that all of those things are just going to help people. People have a lot of whether it’s windshield time or exercise, or that’s the, I think the real great thing about these podcasts, and those people can consume it when they want to. And as much or as little as you want. So yeah, thanks, sir. Thanks for having us on here. And we’d love to collaborate with anybody that that would like to do. So

Dave Young  55:30

the, I was just going to add a little bit to that, Dwayne, you know, the other audience or audiences that we’re, we think that this is really valuable for anybody who is going to do something with it. Anybody who can take the nuggets, put some, even if it’s small, and put it into your business, that’s a win for us. And that we know that they’re happening all the time, sometimes we get calls to say, Hey, I did this. And this was a result I got, and we love hearing that. But really, anybody who wants to grow, like, tune in like, this is all for all for you so that you, you can build freedom into your business, you can create opportunity for other people within your business, you can create a more rewarding business. But you don’t have to figure it all out on like, episode one, too many people are looking for the magic bullet like if, if as long as you’re willing to take action and do the things it’s worth tuning in, if you’re not, if you’re not going to do anything with it, then then don’t worry about it, like listen to something that is valuable to you. And that you can that you can get something from that inspires you to take action or to connect with the people you’re getting to meet. And it’s

Duane Johns  56:45

not always just strictly business. I mean, it’s really about elevating the industry, you know, because we’ve had folks that have been on talking about workforce development, bringing young kids into construction, women in construction, minorities, mental health, mental health. Yeah, you know, anything that’s going to elevate the industry is that’s just that’s a message that needs to be broadcast. What? Yeah,

Mike Malatesta  57:10

thank you, thank you so much for coming on here today. I I’m really happy with this conversation, I learned a lot, it’s got me thinking it actually has me reflecting back to a time when I did have this idea that I was going to franchise the industrial waste industry. And I started drawing out concepts for it. And then I never did it, I just built my own business, but I never really put it together into a franchise model. But now you’ve got me thinking because in in, in that business, there’s been a lot of, of acquisitions, and sort of accelerating. So that’s an option. But for people who don’t want that option, but want to give up some of the things they hate doing so they can focus on the things that they are, they are good at, there are really no options for them, there really no option, there’s no option, you the only option is to give it all up. Or to roll over, you know a portion of your equity say when you sell it, but that’s not going to give you freedom. It’s gonna give you something different than that in most cases. So it’s got me really thinking so I’m, I’m so happy that we had this conversation. I love the work you’re doing builder nuggets, podcast builder, Connect with Dave, Dave Young and Dwayne John’s, like I did. They’ve been really great resources. I have a ton of fun talking to both of them and learning. You know, learning about what they’re doing and how they’re impacting not just their industry but all of us like they did today. So thanks guys so much for being on the show.

Dave Young  58:52

Yeah, we love the opportunity to get to collaborate with you and learn from you right back. So this is what it’s all about.

Duane Johns  59:00

Yeah. Thanks, Mike. Appreciate, appreciate having us on and keep doing what you’re doing.

Mike Malatesta  59:06

I will thanks

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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