How I got To A Million Dollar Pressure Washing And Christmas Lighting BusinessSep 30, 2020
Here Is the Podcast Version
Hey guys, I'm Jason Geiman host of the King of pressure wash podcast. I'm a self employed entrepreneur. I grew my pressure washing business to a million dollar business in under five years. And now I'm here helping hundreds of pressure washer start grow, be successful in their pressure washing business so that they can be the King of pressure washing and their area too. Today's show is going to be an awesome show on the King of pressure wash pot. [inaudible] I'm going to tell my story. I'm going to tell my story, how pressure washing changed my life and how it helped me do what I do now and how it has, um, if it wasn't for pressure washing, I couldn't do the things that I'm doing right now. Um, so, and I'm going to tell you the background of how, by me starting a pressure washing business, my wife was able to quit her job as a full time working at Toyota headquarters. And so, um, so I'm going to tell you kind of why I started, how I started it and where, you know, what you can do by starting your own business. So I was just, uh, I actually was homeschooled as a kid. I grew up, um, I was homeschooled through from third grade on, I finished second grade at public school and I was actually homeschooled from second to 12th grade. And I guess I turned out all right, but you know, that's for whatever here or there I was homeschooled. I actually got a full ride to go to, um, Northwestern university, which is an auto diesel. Um, it's a, it's a trade school, um, auto diesel mechanic school. And so I got a full ride there. I got my associates degree in, um, auto and diesel mechanics. And so, um, it is great. I agree. We actually homeschool my kids now. Um, just the circumstance that's happened and we homeschool now. And so that's kind of part of this story that I'm going to give you. So, um, so we went, um, I was homeschooled. I started after I got out of college, I started to do work on heavy equipment. I worked on the big graters and the scrapers and the be, um, all the big scrapers, the six 27, six 31, six 37 B's um, Caterpillar. And so when I did that, I worked for different companies. I jumped around a bunch. I went from, um, I worked at, at therefore period. I've worked, I worked at like four jobs in a period of two years. Every place I was only at six months there, but every time I went to a new job, I'm either made more money, got a better schedule. Um, so the whole nine yards, so I've worked on cranes. I've been in Florida, working on cranes. I traveled all over the country for six months working on cranes. I absolutely hated it. Absolutely hated that job. That was one of the jobs I did not like, but I did learn a lot of things at that job for six months. I learned safety is pretty big when you're putting together, um, 170 foot, what was the one crane we put together, it had 170 foot boom going off this way with 130 foot, um, coming off the back to, to do that. So this is why I wanted to jump on here, My story a little bit, cause not everybody knows my story. So then I started Do I work for a company that from the crane company, I was traveling too much and I didn't like traveling. So I went to a company called Vogel pool, fire equipment, and then we worked on firetrucks. I never worked on a firetruck in my life. And so then I started working on firetrucks with me working on fire trucks that led me to me becoming a full time firefighter. And so only you can reach the top of the crane and talking about that. We was a, I'm going to jump off subject here. Cause it's kind of a funny story. I just had my class with Cleveland, with mr. Dan there. And um, we had one guy, there was another guy named Daniel he's from Kansas. And when he comes up to me and he shakes my hand at the very beginning of class, he's like giant Jason, not Jason dying, Jason. And so it had me laughing pretty good at the very beginning. So I was working on fire trucks. That's how I became a fireman. And um, and so we went from there. And so when I was farming, I had pressure washed a lot back in the day, I'm working on heavy equipment. I pressure washed a bunch. They're working on cranes, that pressure washed a bunch of air. Um, and I didn't do it the right way. It was hot water. And then we did use some chemicals to try to get stuff cleaned, but man, you would come out of there and you would just be completely black, full of grease in your ears. You dig it in out of your ears. And it was just nasty, absolutely nasty. And I would've thought there's no way I'm going to start a pressure washing business. This is disgusting. I mean, you would have grease in your hair and in, under your, just everywhere and you would try to put on a rain coat just to keep the grease off of you. And so, and so that is still kind of the day. I know we got some fleet washers and stuff like that that still get that nasty greasy stuff going on there. And so, you know, you know, you would just be grease everywhere. You couldn't get it out of your hair. You would have to wash it twice just to get the grease out of your hair. And I'm like, there's no way I would ever pressure wash again. So I was at the firehouse and as a, um, as like a truck Chuck in a truck. Exactly. Um, so we were at the firehouse and you know how firemen are my wife? I met at this time. This was about the time I met my wife. Um, she worked at Toyota. She was a, um, assistant for one of the Wayne guys that Toyota. Um, he was very high up and she was his assistant and she had worked there. Um, she worked there for 10 years and so I was a, um, so when the guy came at the firehouse, he's like, man, did you see all those dirty houses back here? I to buy me a pressure washer and I, well go pressure wash them. And I thought that's stupid. That knows that, like I know all about pressure washing. That don't sound like fun, but I was at the firehouse. I'm bored again. I don't know nothing about marketing. I know nothing about, um, business. I know nothing about sales cause they don't teach you any of that, this stuff in college, other than the school of hard knocks on that kind of, they never teach you nothing about any of that kind of stuff. And so, um, so I didn't know nothing about marketing. I didn't know nothing about business, nothing zip zero. I was not around business people. I'm the closest person that I was around. That was a businessman, was the place that I worked as, uh, as the, um, at Vogel pool fire equipment. Um, my boss at that time was the business owner, but I didn't understand how business works. I didn't understand how it works. I just see that he's making all this big money and he's gotta be making bucket loads, the money I'm only making $25 an hour. He's gotta be, I can boot Lu because of money. You know, he's charging in 85, a hundred dollars an hour and I'm only costing 25. He's got to be making lots of money, you know, that's cause you don't know no different people in, not in business, don't know no different period. And so I'm waiting and um, I'm, I'm there. And uh, I'm like, why not? Let's figure out what we can do here. So I get on my computer and I get typing away and I start learning from things called forums. Yes. I understand that. Some of you all are not old enough to know what forums are, but forum is something kind of like a face nowadays Facebook group, the mentality really hasn't changed a lot, except there was nothing out there very much. There was everybody was tight-lipped everybody was cause you know, if you asked a dumb question, you got 20 dumb answers, guarantee it. And then you got rid of Q and there was people on there that just love to give hell. Right? I don't like that. I never liked it back then. And I don't like it now, you know, if you have a question ask because if there's no such thing as a dumb question, there is a such thing of you didn't get the information and you go screw something up because you were afraid to ask that question. I went and I started learning. I started learning everything I could. This was in. Um, so I became a fireman full time fireman at Georgetown fire department in 2007, January of 2007. Now at the time I made, I was making $10 an hour, not making any money at all, zero hardly at all. Um, I did start a fire truck repair company. Um, I got all my ASE certifications. I have all my EBT certifications so I could work on firetruck. And so that is what I do. And so I worked on fire trucks and um, and so that is how I did it. So I did learn a little bit about business and, and that about businesses a little bit just because you know, what I did find out is marketing. And when I was running my, um, my firetruck, um, my firetruck business marketing was tough. Marketing was hard. I did, you know, I found a few jobs that I would work and I would go knock on doors a little bit and get in. And then they would get me into another firehouse and all that kind of stuff. Um, but you know, marketing is hard. Marketing is hard, whether you're doing this business, whether you're doing, you know, pressure, washing Christmas lights, landscaping, anything business, if you don't do marketing, you're probably not going to be very good at the end of the day. So I started learning. That was one thing about the forums was, is there was some great, um, they did have some PE some get togethers, stuff like that. Um, but yeah, I had learned for about six months to a year just reading and reading. And that's another thing. So when I was learning, uh, when I, when I did, when I went through college, um, I struggled for, so like I said, I was homeschooled. I went through college, I struggled a little bit in the first two semesters. After that I got A's and everybody cheated off of me and I didn't care. I'm like here, as long as you don't get me caught, I don't care what, what you do. Um, and I got A's all the way out. Yeah. And other than that, and even then, I know I read very little, cause whenever I would read the books, that's what happened. My first two semesters is I would read the books and then I would get like, C's I quit reading the books and just listening and I would get A's. And so why not just, why do I need to read a book at that point? If that, so at this point I hate reading. I don't like reading at all. Um, I still don't like reading a lesson, something about marketing or pressure washing or Christmas light. Other than that, I don't want not. You might as well just throw it away. Cause I can't, I can read a page and I couldn't tell you a thing on it. And lastly, it's about pressure, Christmas lights or marketing. I read a lot about marketing. And so when I started learning about pressure washing, again, I didn't like reading. Right. But I read everything I could. I read the form. There was, um, there were several different forms. There was, um, the grime was one, there was, um, PWR, a had a forum. Um, shoot. What was, um, Bob at pressure tech had a forum and these forums are still out there and these forums do work. You know, these forums, they do have a lot of good information. I was reading everything I could, I could read and read reading. I hate reading. Remember I hate reading. So I learned, you know, in the pressure washing side, it was pretty easy for me because it's mechanical and I know how to, I'm a mechanic by trade. I worked on firetrucks. I rebuilt pumps on firetrucks. I've taken out transmission on firetrucks, big cat Dean. I've worked on [inaudible] nines, tooken out motors on them, tooken out. Um, the final drives, I've done a lot of this stuff. And so I knew the mechanics behind pressure washing. That's why I know the mechanics behind how things work and everything. And so that is why I know a lot of that stuff is, is because I'm a mechanic by trade. So I started reading everything and in 2011, um, I was like, there was a training that was down in Alabama. And so I'm like, I'm going to go, why I'm going to go? I'm going to see if I can, you know, I'm going to see if I can rub shoulders with people. And what I have learned since then is when you go to trainings, when you go different places to learn different things, you know, it's not always just about the training that you're going to learn. You know, it's about relationships. It's about rubbing shoulders with people. It's about getting around smart people, because if we stick around dumb people all day, there's a pretty good chance that we're not going to get very smart. We could be the smartest person in the room and we're probably not going to get any smarter for a random bunch of dumb people for around a bunch of smart people. And we're the dumbest person in the room. There's only one way to go and that's up. And so we really want to make sure that we get around smart people get around likeminded people because when we get around like minded people, it's just one way you can only go up at that point. You can have encouragement, you can have all this stuff. So this is where I met Michael Chrysler before the first time I met Kurt Kimpton for the first time here, January Kefler, um, let's see, who are some other guys I met that, um, they had, um, and that's where I met. They had for the first time. And at this time I wasn't even in business yet. I was just getting ready to get started. What was this class that I learned a lot of that, was it a lot about the, the pressure washing and that side of thing? Or was it about the marketing stuff that whole weekend was about the marketing stuff. Very little bit of pressure washing now, what did I did? What did I learn? There was, um, the stuff about, um, you know, at night that's when I could ask questions about how the chemicals work, you know, what's sh I knew what sh was, cause I've done read it all, but until you do the process, you're kind of like how the heck is spraying bleach on a house I'm gonna clean something there. Ain't no way that's going to work until you see the process in your life. That's pretty cool. I like that. That is cool right there. You know, that is what we can do to be able to grow our business. That is how we're like, you know what, that's true. That does work. And it goes back to like, I teach, I didn't like high school, very much. I was homeschooled. So I did go to vocational school, my junior and senior year. That's how I got my full ride to Northwestern. Um, I was, um, number one in the state for the Ford trip away, um, contest. And we went to Washington DC and we placed ninth. And then we took a nap. I took another test and I did the best on that test for joint getting into, um, Northeast, um, uh, Lima, Ohio up there. And that's how I was able to get my full ride to college. And so I had to pay for housing, but the 18, $19,000 for the college was all paid for. And it was, and that was the other thing. So it was a three year program and I ended up finishing it in a year and a half. I did double classes all the way through. So I would be in school for 10 hours, um, five hours in the morning, five hours in the afternoon. And that was my schooling, um, through college. So I went down there with an open mind and I'd tried to soak up everything. I could, everything, you know, I would get around people, you know, I was getting around smart people, trying to figure out, you know, how to do marketing, how to build my own website. Um, back then it was a little bit tougher to build a website than it is now. You had to know some code or figuring out how to get past it. And so I've figured all this stuff out, trying to figure out what works best and, you know, um, I'm at the time again, I was just a poor old fireman. I was making $10 an hour, 10, probably $10 and probably 10 50 an hour. So it wasn't like I was making good money. I mean, that was 2011. So I wasn't making really good money. Heck I was a fire full time fireman just last month, I was only making 12 or 11, no, 1271 wasn't even. I was there for 11 years. Um, no, 13 years. And I only made a, um, 12 one an hour. So it's not like how it was making a lot of money at the firehouse. Um, so, um, that, when I did that, um, I went to go ahead and I'm like, you know what, we're going to go down here and I'm going to soak up everything I can. I'm going to learn as much as I can. I'm going to, uh, I'm going to get new ideas that I can do so that way I can make my business successful. That was my goal. You know, my goal was, is so that I could have a business that I could, um, support, not really support my family on, but I wanted a business that I could have money to go on vacation, have money to do things, have money set up so I could get some financial freedom. Cause at the time I was newly married, I was, um, my wife and I both worked. We had a kid and it's like, we were never home. We never seen each other and we never got to do anything together cause we didn't have money to do it. So my goal was is to do this so that I could have financial freedom to be able to go out there and do that. I went down there and I learned a lot. I did it. I, um, I met some great people, some people that I could get phone calls to, Hey, what can, what do I need to do to fix this? I remember calling Michael, um, Chrysler several times. He's um, pretty he's he lives about an hour away from me. I'm not in his, um, I'm not in his service time. So I was like, um, so I would call him and you know, I'd ask him questions and how was I able to get his phone number? Cause I was at his, this training. Then he gave me his phone number, if you need any help, let me know. And so that is the great thing about training. So from there I went and that was in, um, that was right around this time. That was in September of 2011 and I hadn't built my rig or nothing yet. So I was, I was wheeling and dealing and stuff and getting some stuff done. And so what I did is my pressure washer. Um, I didn't have no equipment, zero equipment, none. So what I did is, um, a friend up the road said, man, this woman's selling this tractor or she's selling this trailer and she's selling two mowers with it. Do you want it? It's $400. I'm like, sure. Why not? So I bought the trailer, the trailer that you see on one of my first rigs, my trailer, my prep, these two mowers. So I took these two mowers. One was completely junk and one was half junk. Um, the one that was completely junk, I just took the parts off that one, made this one run and I traded that for one, four gallon, a minute pressure washer. So I had $400 in my rig. At this point, I have a pressure washer and I have a trailer. Uh, the next thing I do is, is I did buy some stuff on my trailer to make it look good. I bought some new lighting and that kind of stuff. So just little stuff I bought hose reels. And then I found another deal of it was a five or a four gallon, a minute, hot water Londa pressure washer for thousand bucks. I was like, I was dumb and didn't know no better. I bought it. Well, the hot water didn't work. It was a, the coil had frozen. So I had a thousand dollars into that. So, um, I called Russ, said, I need, how much is a coil? He's like 450 bucks. Yeah. Shipped to you, send it on my way. So now I have $1,500 in my pressure washer on my hot water. I have a $400 pressure washer, trailer cause I wheeled and dealed. And that's how I got my cyst startup. And I went down there to breasts and I bought some, um, reels and stuff to make it easy. So I ended up having about a little over $2,000 about a month later, um, there was a guy getting out of business and I drove all the way down to Elizabeth Kentucky with Elizabeth town. There's about four or five hours and he was selling a soft wash shit. It was the tank, it was the, um, the 12 volt and some hose. It wasn't much special, but I had less than $2,500 in this frig. Well, very first year in 2012, I ended up going $35,000 in pressure washing. So I was like, shoot, this is good. Money is good. Right. So it loud now did I make 25,000 or 35,000? No, but um, I had a lot of expenses and insurance and all the other great things that go along with running a business that I did not know that I was going to need to have this money to running a business buying chemicals. And you know, at the time I was having to buy by the jug and all that great stuff. Um, and so that is what I did. And so we went out from there and I started my pressure washing business. I did 35,000, my first year, um, 2014 came along. So that was 2012, 2013. I think I was right around a hundred thousand. It was like 125. Um, and then I got up into the 152 50, and then I'm like, I want to start having employees. Well, what do you need to do? And with having employees, you need them to work year round or otherwise it's hard. You're trying to find an employee to start on, you know, in March and they're getting laid off in October and then most of them don't want to hang around on unemployment and then he'd get up, go get another job. And now you gotta do that. So 2006, that's when I started doing Christmas because, um, I went to the huge convention August of 2014 and mr. Latimer said, yeah, that, um, he had, um, about this was with street and that he had, um, this was when street better was, this was SIM Jim before it turned to Tim, Jen, it was called street bitter. And so I went and he's had something about Christmas lights and I was like, Hmm, let's see about Christmas lights. So I started learning about Christmas lights. So I added Christmas lights to my business in 2014. Why did I do that? Because I'm trying to get them. My guys, we work year round over and over, you know, I want them to work year round. So then that way I could keep my business going. So 2015, 2016, um, 2015 rolls around. And my wife's job decided to move to Michigan. And I didn't want to move to Michigan who wants to move to Michigan. Yeah. Um, it's cold up there and I don't like cold weather and it is very, I don't know, it's just, I don't want to move to Michigan. So at this time I was making enough it's money that my wife, I could quit her full time job at Toyota Toyota Toyota too. So then that way she could stay home with our youngest daughter that was born in that year. Um, Jillian, which is now, um, six, it was actually 2014 when this happened. Cause she was born in may of 2014. And so then she quit her job. And that was another reason why that I wanted to do, uh, that's another reason a why I want it to work year round with employees. So that way she could stay home. And so she stays home with my kids. She homeschools our kids. We have two daughters and that is how we started doing it. Yeah. So 2017 rolls around and I hit the $1 million range. It wasn't quite a million. It was like $987,000, $980,987,000. It's close enough to a million for me to count it as a million. So in 2018 I decided my sell my business. And then in 2019, um, I worked with the company then I sold to, um, during their marketing and all that great stuff. And in 2019, yeah, hit, it hit like 1,000,002, I believe it was. And so that was, was in 2019. And that is when I quit that job and became a full time teaching you guys how to become a better, um, to be able to do what you want to do, be able to get financial freedom, be able to get time freedom. Because at the end of the day, this is what we say, and this is what we want. We want to be able to have time with our family. We want to be able to go on vacations. We want to be able to do things. And that's the thing when I ran my business, you know, I know some of these guys are like grind to the end. You just gotta and do everything. No, you don't have to do that. I've worked very few weekends and I worked very few nights. Um, when I had employees, I never worked a weekend and I never worked night. Um, you never, I never went out. You didn't see Jason out on the job on Sunday. Look at this job. I do. I do a lot of money. I got four trucks, but I'm out here working on this job. No, that's why I got employees. That's why I trust employees. Now. Is it easy to find employees that you trust? No, that's a hard thing. Um, it's not an easy thing. So, um, that takes time and that does do, you know, you can get sure business dare to get to that, but it takes time and time is not always on your side. And so, you know, you got to learn how to do this stuff and you gotta be able to go out there and get this done and teach employees, you know, exactly. It's called working smarter, not harder. And I know I talked about this book last week, but I actually read this book this week and it's called the pumpkin planner. And I would highly recommend you to read it because it's talking about working smarter, not harder, I'm doing the things that you want to do and not the things that you don't want to do. Um, you know, because in business, what I learned is wear a lot of hats and if you're not good at a hat, give that hat to somebody else. Um, you know, do we need to maybe make sure that hat is worn, right? Yes. But sometimes we got to give stuff for way, you know? Um, you know, for instance, you know, people don't might be like, I don't need a CPA. Why do I need to pay a thousand dollars CPA? Well, that thousand dollars CPA that if you have a good CPA will, can save you 10, 20, $50,000. That's why you need a good CPA. Um, so that is exactly why you have to do that changed my life for sure. But I'm starting feeling burned out. Did you ever experience this? If so, how did you handle this and stay motivated? Well, I did feel burned out and that is why I liked pressure washing because at the end of the season, you're like, this is stupid. I'm done. I'm burned out. I'm tired of dealing with this. And then you start Christmas lights and it's all fun and joy. And that, by the end of that scene, you're like, I'm done, I'm tired. I'm burned out. This sucks then comes around, pressure washing. And you're like, I'm ready to start pressure washing again. Um, it is a roller coaster, like no other, I agree. 100%. It can be hard sometimes. It's not always easy. Um, as Greg, Greg Townsend up there puts life is a roller coaster as a business owner. And he absolutely loves it. He's put, it sounds like yes, sometimes we're going to be down. Sometimes we're going to be up and yes, it sucks, but it can, it's like anything. Heck the firehouse sucks. Sometimes you just push through and, and on the buggy and go again and go again and you get wore out and you're tired and you don't want to do it no more. You just get back on and do it again. So it's just like any jail beat, you know, it's, it's making it where it isn't so bad of making it, your lifestyle, figuring out what to do to help you get over those clothes, help you. You know, again, this is a great reason why we need to, um, when we hit our goals, we need to celebrate goals. Rather it's a small goal. Maybe it's a thousand dollars a day. That's a goal that we hit go celebrate it. Maybe it's a $10,000 a week. That's a whole goal that we hit. Go celebrate it, go get a big dinner, go do something to celebrate that goal that helps with burnout. Does burnout come? Absolutely does. You know, burn outcome burnout comes from me. Burnout comes from me doing this. I get tired. Sometimes it's talking about pressure washing, but on the other end, just like I know you. And just like, I know a lot more people. Um, it's what feeds my family. It's what, um, what, um, it keeps me going, you know, and what really keeps me going. It's not about the money. You know, what really keeps me going is seeing you all being successful. That is what keeps me going because when, when I get bombed and when I get down, I go, you read my [email protected] slash review. If you've, if I've helped you out in any way, go there and give me a review. I would appreciate it very much. Again, this is what I do. I go there and I read, Hey, this person I've really helped him. This person, I have changed their life by this. And that is what keeps me going. And so you gotta find that thing. You know, I know as a fireman, a lot of people like to use alcohol in the law, and that is how they drown their tears and fears and all the other crap that they're trying to do. And so that is what happens. And that is why we got to do what we do. We gotta do to make that happen. And yes, bad thing happened. People cancel on us people, um, crap on us, but we gotta remember that you got to go out there and just keep pushing. Everything happens for a reason, everything, um, you know, everything happens for a reason at the end of the, I do believe that 100%, that everything happens for a reason. And so, you know, maybe that job got canceled. Maybe that maybe that wasn't, maybe that might've been the biggest pain in the butt, but customer out there, period. All right, guys, that is all the time we have for today's show on today's King of pressure wash podcast. I know you find it as exciting as I did. If you appreciate the work we do here at King of pressure wash, be sure to subscribe. So you don't miss an episode and give this episode a share on your favorite social media network. And if you're looking to start and grow your own pressure, washing business, help support your family and give you financial freedom and time freedom. Be sure to sign up at pressure wash, help community. So you can become the King of pressure washing and your area.