- Juliet was stressed out by planning and organizing Steve’s birthday dinner. Steve doesn’t recall being stressed at all – he does, however, remember the good wine.
- “If I were to crystalize what I consider to be my most important challenge, it was the ability to do what my parents did for me – to provide that unbelievable education in a way that I never knew if things were good or bad for them.”
- “Whether it’s more profitable or not is not always the issue. Sometimes doing the right thing is how we define success.”
- “One of the keys to the success of successful businesses is you must always be evolving and innovating, and you cannot stand still if you hope to still be in business in 5, 10, or 15 years from now.”
- “You better love what you’re doing, because you’re going to be doing it for a lot more hours than the typical person who gets up, goes to work, and comes home.”
- “Living and dying by what you do at your workplace is a very fulfilling way to live your life, providing you don’t measure your success by the success of what you’re trying to do.”
- “The biggest investment you’ll ever make in your life is in the people that you surround yourself with as the business becomes something that requires others.”
- “If you have nothing you’d do differently, you haven’t tried hard enough.”
- “The best lessons you ever learn are the ones where you lose money, because you’ll never forget it.”
- “Every single one of your employees is in your marketing department, whether they know it or not. They’re all marketing your company, and they all carry your reputation with everything they do every day.”
- “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle
Meet Jeff Paikin
Our guest is Jeff Paikin, President and Co-Founder of New Horizon Development Group. Jeff has been widely recognized for his commitment to his community and his philanthropic initiatives; earning him the title of Hamilton Citizen of the Year in 2013. He has also earned several awards from the Hamilton Halton Home Builders’ Association including the National Roof Topper Award, the President’s Award of Merit, and the Paul Wright Memorial Award.
Smart Man, Smarter Woman References
We talk about a lot in each episode; however, we don’t want you to miss a thing! Here are some key items were mentioned if you want to take a closer look.
Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography, by Richard Branson
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Steve Loates (00:00):
Hello everyone. And welcome to today’s podcast, Smart Man, Smarter Woman, a podcast for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. And thank you very much for joining us today. I am Steve Loates.
Juliet Aurora (00:15):
And I am Juliet Aurora.
Steve Loates (00:17):
And we are your co-hosts. But before I introduce our guest for today’s episode, let’s hear from my wonderful co-host that smarter woman, herself, Juliet. How are you doing today Juliet?
Juliet Aurora (00:33):
I am excellent. Thank you. I’m recovering a little bit from the stress of celebrating Steve’s birthday. It was Steve’s birthday last week. And so it becomes a very stressful time to make sure that everything gets covered, we have the right food, we have the right wine, but it’s all done now. Tomorrow is our dog’s birthday. It’s a lot easier to celebrate his birthday, so I’m looking forward to that. But otherwise I am excellent. Thank you.
Steve Loates (01:00):
Good. Yeah. And I’m pretty sure too, that our dog’s birthday tomorrow is a different number than mine was over the weekend if I recall, but that’s a topic for a whole other… And I got to say you did a great job because it was not stressful for me at all.
Juliet Aurora (01:18):
Steve Loates (01:18):
So I’m sorry to hear it was stressful for you, but we did have a great time. Now, today we’ve got a really great show for you. We’ve got a special guest with us, Jeff Paikin, and I don’t want to give too much away about Jeff, I’d rather get into it in our conversation. So without further ado, let’s bring our guests into the show, Jeff. Welcome Jeff, and thank you very much for joining us today.
Jeff Paikin (01:45):
Oh, it’s a pleasure. Thanks Steve. Thanks Juliet. My first comment is going to be a question to Juliet. What is the right wine for Steve’s birthday party?
Juliet Aurora (01:55):
He has a couple, but we are both Napa Red people, [crosstalk 00:02:01]
Jeff Paikin (02:00):
Then the three of us are going to get along just fine.
Juliet Aurora (02:03):
Perfect. This year for his birthday dinner, it was a 2016 Silver Oak Cab.
Jeff Paikin (02:09):
Very nice. She still likes you, Steve.
Steve Loates (02:13):
Absolutely. Absolutely, she does. And it was a wonderful choice, I must say. I’m really looking forward to our conversation today with Jeff. I mean entrepreneurs build businesses, that’s what we do, but not every entrepreneur has built their business by actually building buildings. And that is what our guests does. So before we get started and dive into the business, maybe Jeff, if you’d just tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do, who you help and we’ll go from there.
Jeff Paikin (02:50):
Wonderful, I’m a Hamilton born and raised native, spent my entire pre-university education at Hillfield Strathallan College on the Hamilton Mountain and was fortunate enough to live across the street. So unlike my children, I didn’t have to take the bus and I could stay late and use the gym and the playing field. So it was a great way to grow up in a great neighborhood. Went to Mount Allison University, where I studied commerce and finance, or as my father liked to say commerce and football, because that’s what got me out to New Brunswick. It was my ability to kick a football further than most people, which made for an even greater experience in university, team building and understanding relationships.
Jeff Paikin (03:33):
And after graduation went to work for my father’s reinforcing steel company that was on Fred Street in Hamilton, where we supplied detailed, fabricated as reinforcing steel to people like me now, to builders and developers and big buildings, things like First Canadian Place. And what was then the SkyDome now the Rogers center are things that company supplied out of downtown Hamilton. So it was a great opportunity for me to learn the construction business and to meet people in the development business as a salesperson who was responsible to call on them.
Jeff Paikin (04:15):
His company, he had a partner in it. The company was called Ennis Paikin Steel. And Mr. Ennis had a variety of steel-related business interests and took them all public in my second year at the company. And like a true entrepreneur that was to me, the signal that said it’s time to go because my initial dream of sort of being in the family business and taking it over became somebody who’s working for a company that’s public with an outside board of directors and a different set of variables to deal with.
Jeff Paikin (04:49):
So with my father’s backing, we sort of went our separate ways together. And I got into the home building business and the rest, as they say is history. It’s a little scary to think about how long ago it was, but at the end of the day, it’s been a great journey and it continues and continues, so.
Steve Loates (05:10):
Juliet Aurora (05:11):
I have a question, so a lot of our guests all enter into their entrepreneurial journey for different reasons. Do you think that part of the reason that you entered into this space is because your father was an entrepreneur? Do you think that was your influence? Because we have split in our guests, some people have no entrepreneurial influence in their life as they’re growing up in some do. So just interested to hear your take on that.
Jeff Paikin (05:42):
Well, it’s funny, I have one brother, he’s as we like to say, the famous one in the family, he’s Steve Paikin, who’s on TVOntario every night at 8:00, we’ll give him a plug. And he grew up at the same dinner table that I did, and his entrepreneurial interest and business interest is about as much as my future in broadcasting. So safe to say that I think more so even than my father, our family was filled with entrepreneurs right back to his father and his grandfather before him, the one that got off the boat in 1907 and landed in Hamilton. And it’s in the genes.
Jeff Paikin (06:30):
My mother’s father was also an entrepreneur. He and his brother owned and ran a umbrella manufacturing business in downtown Toronto in what’s now the heart of the cool office district. But back then was the manufacturing district. Funny enough on John Street in Toronto, our office until we moved to Burlington was on John Street in Hamilton. So it’s almost a full circle, but I think it was just never a thought for me that I would ever work for anyone else. It just I looked at my one grandfather who I knew who was alive. I heard the family stories about my grandfather, who was my father’s father, who started the steel business. He had two brothers, they were both entrepreneurs, that was the uneducated people that got off the boat and went to work and worked their way up. And they were the inspiration and it just seemed to me like that was the right way to go.
Steve Loates (07:29):
Juliet Aurora (07:30):
Excellent. And do you think… I don’t know whether you have kids or not.
Jeff Paikin (07:33):
I have three children, all daughters. They’re 20, 22 and 24, the 24 year old is a graduate of accounting and commerce also from Bishop’s University and has worked with us for two and a bit years now in the home building business. And we’re having a great time together.
Juliet Aurora (07:51):
And that’s another question I was going to ask, are your kids following your path and is it becoming a family business? So Steve’s been an entrepreneur longer than I have and none of our kids are interested in being part of our businesses. So I’m always interested to hear if as an entrepreneur, especially in where it’s familial, whether your kids are going to be involved as well?
Jeff Paikin (08:16):
Well, I can tell you the name of your show very much replicates the household I live in. My wife is-
Juliet Aurora (08:24):
Jeff Paikin (08:25):
Yeah, exactly. My wife has three post-secondary degrees, her most senior being a master’s of nursing from UCLA. We have three daughters and none of them have any interest at all in being in healthcare. Two of them are in commerce and one is in engineering. I’m not sure, our sort of first one came through graduated and we took the position that, “There’s a spot for you here if you want it, you can’t come here right away unless you plan to stay forever or plan to come and leave. So if you come here, work here, don’t like it, leave. That’s fine. But you can’t leave and then come back as if this is a play toy, when all of our employees are supporting their families by being integral part of what we’re trying to create here.”
Jeff Paikin (09:17):
So she took that advice and went and worked elsewhere for a year, was doing a maternity fill in, was offered a full-time job because she’s bright and capable. And my partner cornered her and said, “Okay, the thing we’re missing in our company is the right person in marketing. And I know it’s you, and it’s time you stop playing and get over here and get to work.” So it’s much better to come, not from the father. And it’s much better I think, for the longevity of all involved, if the idea comes bottom up instead of top down, that it’s time to come to work.
Jeff Paikin (09:58):
I’ve had the same conversation with the two younger daughters and the door will be open, but we’re also looking now, sort of as our company matures, and from an age perspective, its owners do also, we’re looking at what you do next to ensure the longevity of the company with, or without family members. So they’re all going to be beneficiaries of the hard work their fathers did and the sacrifices their families made for what we have today and what we’ve created to this point. And the next step will be can this be run by people other than people from within the family? And that’s a whole different challenge, but it’s a good exercise actually to try and make yourself redundant. It’s kind of fun.
Juliet Aurora (10:52):
Steve Loates (10:53):
Yeah. Perhaps you could share with us, over the years, I’m sure as with any entrepreneur there’s been ups and downs, could you share maybe one of the challenges that your business experienced, during your journey and what did you have to do to overcome it?
Jeff Paikin (11:18):
Oh, on a journey as long as this one, there’s so many ups and downs, I’ve mentioned earlier that as children, my brother and I were fortunate enough that our parents sacrificed and chose to send us to Hillfield Strathallan. So my wife did not go there, but grew up not far away. And when we had our first daughter, I kind of corralled all of them and went for a tour in the off season of the school with some of the folks that are there to sort of have my wife understand what it means to be part of that community. And we both agreed at that moment, that sort of whatever it took, that we would do, what we can do to replicate the experience I was fortunate enough to have to be there.
Jeff Paikin (12:04):
So markets being what they are and the world being up and down, and when you’re in the housing business, it’s sometimes a very long period between paychecks, if there are any at all. You get a piece of property and all the money goes out for a long, long, long, long time. And hopefully then you go to your sales cycle and it’s successful. And then hopefully you go to your build cycle. So from day one to the first dollar coming back can be two or three, sometimes four or five years. And in the interim your kid gets a year older and still has to go to school.
Jeff Paikin (12:46):
So I think if I were to sort of crystallize what I considered to be my most important challenge, it was the ability to do what my parents did for me, which is to provide that unbelievable education in a way that I never knew if things were good or bad for them. And so I never heard my dad say, “This is a horrible year, I can’t believe we have to pay tuition for these two kids, to go back to school again.” And my wife and I sort of joined forces and we’re fully committed. And there were years when we had to increase the line of credit on our house significantly to get all three tuitions paid and in early September or whatever, that was the managing of the non-existent cashflow I think, is probably the best way I can describe that challenge. But all three graduated, we paid every bill on time and it’s a source of pride for the two of us.
Juliet Aurora (13:48):
Definitely. Absolutely. Our daughter went through Hillfield as well.
Jeff Paikin (13:51):
Juliet Aurora (13:52):
So we understand it. And for those of you that in our audience who don’t know Hillfield, Hillfield Strathallan, is one of the best private schools in the area, located in Hamilton, Ontario side.
Jeff Paikin (14:03):
Okay Juliet, now I have to correct you on that because as a former chair of the board [crosstalk 00:14:09].
Juliet Aurora (14:09):
It is the best?
Jeff Paikin (14:11):
… it is among the foremost independent schools in all of Canada and it truly is [crosstalk 00:00:14:15].
Juliet Aurora (14:15):
Really? Okay. I did not know that. So cashflow definitely is certainly a challenge for most business owners. And I’m sure with the pandemic, it’s probably affected business owners in cashflow has become critical for so many businesses, we’ve seen it with our clients and I’m sure that you’ve seen it as well. I noticed that one of the things that you promote for your business is sustainability. I’m curious whether or not that is a recent addition into your messaging, a recent mandate in your building and whether or not that is something that you have found, green right now is the buzzword. Has that helped you, do you think, as you’ve grown your business and you’ve obtained your customers, do you think having that messaging in your business has helped you?
Jeff Paikin (15:13):
Well, first of all, I hope so because it’s important for us to not only, however we define it to be successful, but we pick that sustainability piece as one of our own self definitions of success, whether it’s more profitable or not is not always the issue, sometimes doing the right thing is how we define success. I hate to bring up our favorite school again, but there’s a husband and wife who were classmates at Hillfield Strathallan, much younger than me, but as in that community, everybody sort of knows everybody. They were looking to build a rural green home. And somehow they got pointed towards our firm. This was in the mid 2000s.
Jeff Paikin (16:05):
And so we work very closely with them and then built this incredibly greened out house in the Grimsby Mountain. There was a brand new category and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Annual Awards, for the green home of the year. And we applied, in the first year it was ever given out and we were fortunate enough to win for building that house.
Jeff Paikin (16:28):
So based on that feel good, we decided we would become more educated as to how in a non-house environment, we can make things better and greener. And we’ve got a number of buildings behind us now that are heat and cooled with geothermal energy. And we are doing solar panel opportunities on the rooftops of our condominiums, where the solar panel energy will be given back to the building, the dollars that generates in order to keep the condominium fees less comes directly out of our pocket. But again, it’s the right thing to do for the long-term sustainability of what we hope our industry will have available to it in the future.
Jeff Paikin (17:13):
So we’re strong believers in doing that right. My kids were young, they were telling me to buy more efficient hybrid type cars. Now I drive a Tesla to be a good guy because I want to do the right thing for their future. And I’m glad you saw and learned about that because it’s really important to my partner and me, that we do that right.
Steve Loates (17:36):
Now, that’s great. One of the keys, I think to the success of successful businesses is you must always be evolving and innovating and you cannot stand still if you hope to still be in business five, 10, 15 years from now. So I think that’s been one of the hallmarks of your businesses that you do continue to innovate and evolve. And as you said, do the right thing, but you’re doing the right thing, not just for today, but for the future and the future of your kids.
Jeff Paikin (18:18):
For sure. Our university football coach used to have a saying that said, “If you’re not going forward, you’re going backwards.” And that is a life lesson that can be translated into exactly what you were referring to. As a company, the minute you’re standing still, you’re going backwards. So I have a partner and he’s an incredibly hardworking and dedicated person. He’s the fellow who is in the mud on the sites all the time. And I’m the guy in the office doing that side of the business. And he is also an innovator and together we have always spend time thinking about what’s next and how are we better? And what could we have done on this one that could be better for the next one. As soon as you become the Roman Empire, you end up like the Roman Empire. And I think it’s a hallmark of long lasting businesses, especially family businesses that you have that kind of forward-thinking, forward-searching drive to make sure that you just never get comfortable because it’s not a good way to be when you’re in this position.
Steve Loates (19:30):
Juliet Aurora (19:31):
And that’s probably one of the most difficult messages to pass on to future generations too, that you want to carry on the business is that they can’t just stand still because of what you’ve built, that they do have to still move it forward. And we’ve seen it in situations where the next generation comes in and think, “Okay, well my mom has built this great business. My dad has built this great business. I just have to run it now, and don’t move it forward.” And so I agree that that is the innovation piece is so important for longevity.
Jeff Paikin (20:08):
Well, in the days when I was the chair of the board at Hillfield Strathallan, I used to talk to the head of school there and in other schools because there’s conferences through the national organization that all these schools belong to. And on an ongoing conversation, I always brought up the fact that somehow in our school environment, we have to learn to teach hunger. Because as you described, your children think that where they are is where you started and they don’t know how many hours you put in and how many nights you didn’t come home. How many days you left to go to your office before breakfast and never saw your kids so that you could create an environment that they think is normal. Now you got to hit reset with them and say, “Okay, it’s your turn. What’s going to make you get up before breakfast and get out the door in order to understand what it takes to be successful and to never take it for granted and to never take your eye off the ball.” So it’s a very good thought.
Steve Loates (21:14):
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:21:15].
Juliet Aurora (21:15):
That’s actually really funny. So we just were having a discussion with our daughter who is talking about buying her first car, she’s 20 and she now wants to buy her first car. We have said, we’re not buying her first car, she got to save up the money and she has to buy it. And so she is very much about the environment and she wants to buy a Tesla. And we said, “Okay, well, you know what? Tesla is a really expensive first car for you to save up for.” And she said, “Well, no, that’s the one I want.” And so we were talking about my first car and Steve’s first car versus our 50 year or $60,000 car, which is her first car that she wants.
Juliet Aurora (21:56):
So it does kind of put it all in perspective that you have to… We said to her, “That’s not the first, the car that we have sitting on our driveway now, it was after us working for 30 years. It wasn’t our first car. I wasn’t our dream car, it was the first one.” So I think that’s quite funny that you actually have that conversation with your kids as well.
Steve Loates (22:15):
That’s the joy of being a parent and an entrepreneur, right? All these interesting challenges in conversations. One question I would love to ask you, Jeff, is if someone came to you with little or no experience as an entrepreneur and said to you, “I’ve got this great idea. I want to start my own business.” What kind of advice would you give them as they are considering starting that entrepreneurial journey?
Jeff Paikin (22:48):
That’s a good question. The first is that you better love what you’re doing because you’re going to be doing it for a lot more hours than the typical person gets up and goes to work and comes home. I think the second would be the fact that you’re asking somebody already for advice is a really good start. Be prepared at every turn to tap on your best shoulders of advisers to ask.
Jeff Paikin (23:17):
And the living and dying by what you do at your workplace is a very fulfilling way to live your life, providing you don’t measure your success by the success of what you’re trying to do. It’s an old adage, but you really have to enjoy the journey. You really have to enjoy the process you’re going through, the process of… Being an entrepreneur is a very creative business exercise. It’s not plugging holes and sort of following someone else’s vision.
Jeff Paikin (23:57):
I also would advise them more than anything that the biggest investment they’ll ever make in their life is in the people that they surround themselves with as the business becomes something that requires others. And to take that responsibility seriously, both from a philosophical point of view, from a culture of what you’re trying to create, the type of person you want to spend your time with, these are important considerations, but also that if you can find an employee who has a little bit of that entrepreneurial spirit in them, and maybe just doesn’t have the decision-making process to be the one out in front of it all, you can typically get a lot more good results in a reasonable amount of time, because they’ll take more of an ownership position in what you’re all trying to accomplish than somebody who knows they’re coming at 8:59 and going home at 5:01.
Steve Loates (25:02):
Absolutely. That’s great advice, Jeff, great advice. And that brings us to the part of the show where it is the smart man, smarter woman version of James Lipton’s Q&A from Actors Studio. And this is where we ask a series of questions. We ask every guest the same question, and if you are ready, Jeff, we would like to ask you these questions.
Jeff Paikin (25:30):
I would love to hear him. I was a big James Lipton fan, miss his show, miss his input into our world. So let’s go.
Steve Loates (25:38):
Perfect. Okay. The first question, what one word best defines an entrepreneur?
Jeff Paikin (25:48):
Steve Loates (25:51):
What profession, other than your own would you like to attempt?
Jeff Paikin (25:58):
I would always wanted to have been the punter on an NFL team because that’s what I did in university. And I wasn’t good enough, but the guy who took my job in university spent 16 years in the CFL and it was just named the all-time greatest punter and Montreal’s history. And I would always have thought that would have been fun because it was something I was almost good enough at, much different career paths, but it would have been fun.
Steve Loates (26:23):
Absolutely. And who was that? The punter.
Jeff Paikin (26:25):
His name is Terry Baker.
Steve Loates (26:28):
Jeff Paikin (26:28):
We were classmates all the way through at Mount Allison. And one year I was better the next year he was better and I hate to make it this easy, but he was way more driven than I was to get good at that. He ended up being phenomenal at it, actually.
Steve Loates (26:46):
Excellent. What profession would you like never to attend?
Jeff Paikin (26:54):
Oh boy, that’s a good question. I guess that is routine. So if you wake up and your job is to do the same thing every day for the same process within the same lack of creativity, anything that that would be defined in that way. I also don’t think I’m capable even though I jokingly say my job is to sit at my desk, I don’t think I’m capable of sitting still for eight hours under any circumstances. So anything that forces you to do that would probably not be a good one. And then I guess being a politician just would not be something that would have any appeal to me because it’s a different series of challenges and I have great respect for what they have to go through and do. I just would never want to do it, so.
Steve Loates (27:49):
Absolutely. I agree with you on that one. What sound or noise do you love?
Jeff Paikin (27:58):
There’s something about being at the job site and hearing the big machines moving the earth when we’re digging foundations for what is ultimately underground parking garages or basements in homes. And it’s a combination of sensory perception. Usually you get some feel because of the weather or whatever it may be. You get some smell because of what’s coming out of that machine and you get some sound because of what the machine is doing. I got to be honest, I don’t love it for long periods of time because it’s usually relatively loud, but it smells like progress. It smells like sort of the finish line is closer insight than it’s ever been. And it’s a new beginning and yet we can see the finish line and that’s something special.
Steve Loates (28:46):
Awesome. What book would you recommend that every entrepreneur should read?
Jeff Paikin (28:57):
So my brothers has written seven books and I promise it’s none of those, even though one was about hockey, it was pretty entertaining. And there’s been a couple that I’ve had, I just recently for me, so about a year ago, I finished Richard Branson’s second book about, I think it’s called Finding Your Virginity or something along those lines. He is as much of a serial entrepreneur as exists on earth. And in reading that you get a sense of not only what it takes to be all in and successful where you are, you also get a sense of what it means to fail and not feel like a failure, but also to know that part of the responsibility in the world generally, and in successful entrepreneurs specifically, is to give something back to their community and the world at large.
Jeff Paikin (29:55):
And that book for me, really spelled out a whole lot of what it takes to be on that journey and then how you can ultimately define yourself, how you see fit to consider yourself successful. Not everybody who’s done half as well as him has given a 10th as much as he has back to the world. And it was just a very good eye-opener, I’m not sure that’s the sort of be-all-end-all answer, but it was a very good synopsis of what I think being a truly successful well-rounded entrepreneur is like, so it’s a good one.
Steve Loates (30:34):
Excellent. And I think we could all benefit from reading anything written by Richard Branson. So when your own entrepreneurial journey is completed, what do you hope your legacy is?
Jeff Paikin (30:50):
I hope first and foremost, that my children will say that I was a good father and that I was an involved father and that I did things the way they would be proud of somebody doing them at the end of the day. I think more so than anything, my number one job on earth is to be good at that. My joke is that I’ll be very happy guy when I die at my desk. And it’s not because I’m married to my work it’s because I think my work is fun. And if my daughter stays here and more of them come along, I don’t know why the journey would ever end. I’m sure I’ll be kicked aside, but I’ll still be somewhere on the bus going down the path.
Jeff Paikin (31:32):
But I think really at the end of the day, that you’ve done things for others that are meaningful, that you’ve set an example for your own children and God willing one day grandchildren that is meaningful and that you’ve done so in a way that you can hold your head up high and say, “There’s not a whole lot, I do differently.” But if you have nothing you’d do differently, you haven’t tried hard enough because you got to make some mistakes to know that the best lessons you ever learn are the ones where you lose money, because you’d never, ever, ever forget. That capital you turn 50 cents into 25 cents on the odd deal, you just never forget the mistakes you’ve made and that’s how you get stronger and grow wiser. So I hope that answered the call.
Steve Loates (32:23):
No, absolutely. That was great. Thank you. And if any of our listeners wanted to reach out and connect with you, Jeff, what is the best way for them to do that?
Jeff Paikin (32:35):
They can call me, our office number is pretty easy. (905) 777-0000. And they can reach me that way. That’s probably the easiest way, I do reply to emails to email@example.com [crosstalk 00:32:53].
Steve Loates (32:54):
Awesome. That is a great phone number, I don’t [inaudible 00:32:57], but that’s a good one. And now, before we finally close out the show, was there any final thoughts that you have Jeff that you would like to share with our audience of entrepreneurs?
Jeff Paikin (33:10):
I will say that one of the things… My degree is in marketing specifically from the Mount Allison Commerce Department. And I’m a very, very firm believer and it’s especially apparent in our business that every single one of your employees is in your marketing department, whether they know it or not. And we all have this visual that is enhanced by TV and movies of the typical construction worker.
Jeff Paikin (33:40):
And we train to the best of our ability, all of those people in our organization to understand that… It used to be the Tim Horton’s coffee cup that I would walk to a site and somebody would toss the coffee cup on the front lawn of a block of townhouses. And I would walk over and pick it up and hand it back to the fellow and say, “Would you do me a favor? Would you drive to my house and throw that on my front lawn?” And the guy would look at me strange. And I would say, “Well, somebody’s dream is to own the house that we get to get paid for building. And you’re disrespecting their dream by tossing your empty coffee cup, even though it’s not their front lawn yet, they’re going to drive by, they’re going to look at that. Now, think of what that message sends to your customer. You don’t care about them. You don’t care about your environment around you. You don’t care about the environment and you have no respect for the company that’s building the house. And so do me a favor, just walk it to the bin, we pay for the bin, throw the cup in the bin.”
Jeff Paikin (34:42):
The biggest message I try and get to all of these people is that they’re all marketing our company and they all carry our reputation with everything they do every day. And I can tell you, we have some of the brightest young people that are personable, very, very professional, and they spend their day on site all day, because that’s how they want to make their living. They’re outdoor people, they’re physical people, but not at the expense of doing things the way I would do it myself if I was there. And I’m really, really proud of the team we’ve put together because they live and breathe that mantra that we try and push through to them. So always be marketing, always be selling what you’re doing in every aspect of what you do. That would be my final wrap message if that’s what we’re supposed to be doing here.
Steve Loates (35:32):
Awesome. Awesome, great advice. And what about you Juliet? You have any final words before we close the episode?
Juliet Aurora (35:39):
No. Just lots of great advice all the way through, from your final wrap up, by talking about the marketing piece and some of the ideas that you talked about with the messaging that you give to your kids. I think as an entrepreneur, we forget that we’re also setting an example for our kids as they watch us and what the messaging is, as you’re building your business, be aware of that as well. So thank you very much though, for sharing this time with us and sharing your message.
Jeff Paikin (36:08):
My pleasure, thanks for having me.
Steve Loates (36:10):
That was great. And that brings us to this episode’s words of wisdom. And for this episode, I came across this quote and I thought this is perfect for our guest. And it’s for Milton Berle. And the quote is, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
Jeff Paikin (36:31):
Juliet Aurora (36:31):
Jeff Paikin (36:33):
Steve Loates (36:35):
And I thought that that fit well. So thank you very much Jeff, really appreciate your time and all of your insights. That was terrific. Thank you to my awesome cohost Juliet, but most importantly, thank you to you, our audience for tuning in and giving us a listen. We sincerely hope you found some value, if you did, we’d love it if you’d subscribe to the podcast, you can find us in all the normal places, iTunes, Spotify, Google, or you can go to the website, smartmensmarterwoman.com. So thank you very much. Until next time, take good care of yourself and those that you love. Bye for now.