Crowning Connections

Next Level with Thomas Slack

February 09, 2022 Thomas Slack Season 2 Episode 6
Crowning Connections
Next Level with Thomas Slack
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Filmed live at the Myrtle Beach Fall Home Show, Thomas Slack of Sheds and More met with Rob Clemons to discuss his person journey to success and growth in leadership. Enjoy the stories of community impact and a good gentlemans bet between brothers. Rob walked away from this interview knowing that he'd never challenge Thomas to a brawl. Haha. Listen In!

Rob Clemons
So this is Rob Clemons with Crowning Connections, Monarch Roofing. I'm here today with Thomas Slack from Sheds and More. 

Thomas Slack  
Well, so my main bread and butter company is Sheds, Windows and More. 

Rob Clemons  
Nice. 

Thomas Slack    
So it's manufacture of all the parts and components for portable buildings. So and pretty much anytime you see a shed on the side of the road on a sales lot. Most of those windows, hinges, and hardware all come from me. 

Rob Clemons   
Wow. 

Thomas Slack
Then from there we have obviously we have another company we have called Home Design Extras. Where we manufacture everything to make your home beautiful. So you make your everybody's roof look beautiful. Well, I make everything below the roof beautiful. So from columns, shutters, pediments, front entry doors, flower boxes, anything to help accessorize and beautify your home.

Rob Clemons  
Why don't more people do flower boxes? Man, these things look awesome when they're done properly on the house.

Thomas Slack  
Oh, absolutely. You know, a flower box is actually a unique thing. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and kind of different dimensions. The one thing that we do since we mail everything and make everything in house, I can customize it to look like anything you want. The other day, I just did a flower box and we just we cut out a bunch of palm trees on it. So we have this beautiful in that PVC flower box with some beautiful corbels. And along it there's five palm trees just shrink across it.

Rob Clemons  
Thats some craft craftsmanship at it's finest. What's your favorite flower then I mean, you got to have a favorite flower?

Thomas Slack
Ah, actually my favorite flower is going to be the Titanic rose.

Rob Clemons 
No way already. So you actually have one this is amazing. What's the Titanic rose? Like

Thomas Slack  
Titanic Rose is going to the net. Basically think about a high pedal cat rose. Okay. Um, it is basically the size of a softball. Wow. And it's so much multilane she's looking this up right now.

Rob Clemons    
Yeah, I mean, we literally have Danielle googling Titanic roses. 

Denielle Van Dyke    
Lot of pictures of roses from the Titanic.

Thomas Slack 
So I used to actually work for flower shop years ago.

Rob Clemons    
Okay, I walked right into this then. I thought you're like, "Dude, I don't know anything about flowers." Now you're about to school me? 

Thomas Slack  
Well, no. So I mean, growing up in the quick story growing up and I learned some really basics. Yeah, I learned how to cook for my mother and grandmother. I learned all about jewelry from my mother and grandmother. And then my grandfather taught me everything to do about flowers. 

Rob Clemons    
Nice. 

Thomas Slack   
So growing that growing up, I pretty much was trained to be the best man for a woman ever.

Rob Clemons  
Yeah. Oh 100%. He's a flower expert. He loves the Titanic movie, apparently. Oh, wait. I mean, I still to this day. I'm like, "Man, why did she throw it over the boat at then? What was she doing there? I mean, some moral games he's playing all the sudden you know throw the jewel emotion. I don't know.

Thomas Slack    
Just give me a GPS location for that. I got you.

Rob Clemons    
Yeah, yeah.

Thomas Slack   
I got you. I'll go diving.

Rob Clemons   
That's right. Folks. Were complained about the Titanic movie. 28 years later or whatever it's been. Great. 

Thomas Slack   
People are like, he could have fit on the door. He could. 

Denielle Van Dyke 
He could have. 

Thomas Slack   
You could have saved Jack, Rose.

Rob Clemons  
And she was like, prying him off like he's a piece of garbage man.

Thomas Slack  
Tell me how you really feel?

Denielle Van Dyke  
Rude. 

Thomas Slack  
She got her mic.

Rob Clemons
Yeah, nice. Nice. So you guys. I actually had the pleasure of meeting your mom at last homeowners association meeting. And she does man she takes jewelry. Seriously, man. I brought some jewelry stuff. And she got a series on me for a minute. Like this is no joke. This is a serious game man. But like the thing is with the the jewelry, one of my favorite customers ever. And when I was building custom homes, I designed the whole room around her jewelry making shops and she had like a little outlet on the floor. And she like these little special lights and magnifying glasses and stuff so she could make these intricate little jewelry pieces of slay. That's awesome. Go figure. Yeah, that's kind of cool. Yeah, I thought so. So what do you think about Venus flytraps

Thomas Slack 
Venus fly traps. They're interesting. And they're a great part of the plant. Yeah.

Rob Clemons   
They're the best. I mean, I can't. Can you name another predator plant right off the bat?

Thomas Slack  
There's some there's something called prana something. 

Rob Clemons  
Prana something Okay, gotcha. 

Thomas Slack  
But now venus flytrap is probably the most common known predator plant out there. Yeah that I know of.

Rob Clemons  
Oh, for sure. I killed mine years ago. Okay, so I'm going down here like impossible to kill. Yeah. Well, you see, apparently they are but then you feed them too much because I was just like, you know, the minute they open back up I'm like, "Ah roly poly time." And by the way, I'll sacrifice a roly polies like I was trying to preach to the Roly Poly gods or something. I'm like, sacrificing and they just did venus flytrap but then after a while they'll die. And I looked it up later, I found out you can't overfeed those things. 

Thomas Slack  
Yeah, it's uh, that's interesting. I never die. And they're gonna die from overfeeding.

Rob Clemons   
I mean, yeah. So you, you're welcome. I know, like, that's about as far as my plant expertise go. Well, you and your brother James, you guys are funny, guys. Man. We're always at the Home Builders Association meetings having a laugh? How do you guys work together? I mean, have you guys always worked together? Or is it...

Thomas Slack  
No, actually, James joined us about six years ago. Actually, not even about five, six years ago, pretty much we moved the company down from Pennsylvania. And at that point, I was starting to run with everything and came to a point well, I can't do this alone. And we started growing so much year over year, it was kind of getting out of hand. So he has a background in litigation and process serving. So it's like, alright, well, I need someone to run logistics. Come over here, run my shipping department, run my logistics, deal with that, all the shipping partners. And let's go. That's kind of what he's common taking really hold of. And then as I started all these other companies and businesses, he's just right there trying to stay and stay in pace with me.

Rob Clemons
Man, that's cool. 

Thomas Slack
And that it's a little hard for him, and that sometimes he looks at me, and goes, "what the hell are you doing?" And it's like, Dude, I was told to go, I'm going 1000 miles this way, you're gonna keep up. And he does, he does a pretty good job for not having the background that I have. And he works so damn hard. And I'm actually proud of them. Yeah. I laxly him and I have had an interesting relationship. When I left Houston in 2001, with my parents, he stayed behind. So that from a time when I was just entering Middle School, until he moved in that, in turn, moved up in Pennsylvania in like 2009, and then moved out of Pennsylvania a few years later, we've ever really had a lot of time together. So now that he's with us, he's working with us, he's joining in these businesses, as a partner, we have more time to bond and actually catch up with a lot of time we missed.

Rob Clemons  
do that. So cool. Man, I was about to ask you to. There's a lot of there's always challenges in a family business, you know, just as far as like the dynamics of it and stuff go, but it's really cool that this has been like a bonding mechanism for you guys to. That kind of...

Thomas Slack  
Oh, absolutely. And that's the thing is that I have a very simple rule. And that when it comes to the business. When you walk in that door, I don't give a crap who you are, yeah, mother, father, brother, wife, and that everybody knows when I walk in that building, I don't care who you are, you can be my friend, you no longer my friend, you want an employee, or somebody that is going to help achieve goals, that a company that the company needs to achieve. And that I am a tool. You are a tool. We all are gears in a machine that work together.

Rob Clemons  
The message over at the company there, "you're all tools."

Thomas Slack 
Tools, and tools are used to get the job done.

Rob Clemons  
That is true. This is true. 

Thomas Slack  
Though without it, you don't have the proper tool, and you don't have the proper piece in place. How are you going to make a well functioning machine?

Rob Clemons   
That's a it's a very powerful analogy. And I think that, you know, we talked about a lot of times, like with our salespeople, we want them to have tools in their bag. And sometimes that tool might be knowledge, sometimes that tool might be reading people. And we talked about having the right tool with you for what you need for that person. Some people were really detail oriented. Some people really don't care about details, it's about the connection. So kinda similar way, you have to have the right tools for the job you're trying to do.

Thomas Slack   
Correct. And that's saying that's the one thing I tell everybody. Everybody says, "Hey, and that well, why do you call people tools?" Well, the exactly like you said, you got to make sure you have the right tool for the job. If I have the wrong person in a particular job. That's going to hurt me in the end. Yeah. So I gotta make sure I have that right person. 

Rob Clemons
Absolutely. 

Thomas Slack
But Well, Rob, let me ask you this. You run your own company, what's the what's that? What's the last thing you think about before you go to bed?

Rob Clemons  
Well, you know, honestly, the last thing I think about for I go to bed is my employees, to be honest with you. And the thing that I'll wake up in the middle of the night thinking about is my employees. It's not really about the the challenges with the job, or it's not about, you know, the specific customer references. It's about the fact that I want to make sure that every day when they come in in the morning that they know they have a secure job, that they believe in what we're doing. They know we have a plan that is 100%. And it's probably if I said I have one thing that I take the most responsibility in it is that.

Thomas Slack  
Oh, absolutely. And that's in that kind of the way I think about life as well. Last thing I think about is did I make the right decisions today for my employees? Did I do that make the right decisions, it's going to put food on their table, feed their families, take care of them and bring them in the next day.

Rob Clemons    
Yeah, that's that's killer, man. How much older are you than your brother?

Thomas Slack   
I'm not, I'm the youngest. 

Rob Clemons  
Okay, Well I was because you were the an agent. As assumed you're older because you were you were there first and he's kind of tried to keep up with you. So give me your ages. Like

Thomas Slack  
James is turning 40 November. 

Rob Clemons  
Okay. 

Thomas Slack    
I just turned 32 in August.

Rob Clemons    
Wow. So So did he used to pick on you when you were younger like as you're growing up or was he like the supportive older brother?

Thomas Slack  
He didn't really well when I was younger you picked on me. But then now it's kind of like I'm the one that picks on him. 

Rob Clemons
But yeah, interesting. 

Thomas Slack
I'm the I'm the one that's an inch taller. I'm the one that's a little bit better shape. I'm not one that can take them down anytime I need to 25 years of combat experience teaches me that.

Rob Clemons  
Yeah, no, that's pretty awesome. I was telling Danielle the other day my sister is five years older than me. And she was always like, like she used to well on me man. Like she's having a hard day she's just well in all males like I finally hit like 13 and I just got like finally her size I was like "Now this seems to be happening anymore. It's a new day here." But it's kind of cool that you know you ultimately you grow up and sort of respect each other a little bit more but at the end of the day you guys still have to be like doing stuff like pranking each other at work occasionally.

Thomas Slack  
Oh it happens. I mean we have a buck wall. 

Rob Clemons  
Yeah 

Thomas Slack  
Where there's an ad dollar bills up and down the wall where we do gentleman bets. Bet your dollar that and that this will happen and that's like deal let's go and it's like hey man, I gotta sign I got a signing date this dollar now. And he's so proud of me? He's got a wall and he's goes "Hey Rob." He's got all his that those dollar bills taped? 

Rob Clemons 
Just give me one of the best bets that you guys have had they just saw a funny or something weird.

Thomas Slack  
Ah man. I don't know. That's a good one. I don't know there's any I could say on a podcast.

Rob Clemons  
Oh, Okay, gotcha. Well, you know what we'l,l we'll talk about off the air. 

Thomas Slack  
Most of them are just really like dumb stuff. For instance, we had a new contractor guy that we were hiring and that to kind of help us build in that some of the buildings and stuff and the kind of sketchy is crap and I'm like, "You know what, he can't comeing." James likes "gentlemen bet." I'm like alright, and this fool walk then that drives up in this most beaten down broken down truck. Smoking putter and as it's come in the parking lot like nothing even legal to drive?

Rob Clemons
Probably not. 

Thomas Slack
What the crap and he's like, "I win, he made it!" I'm like, "Alright, you're right. He made it." His truck wouldn't start so he couldn't leave to do any jobs. He showed up. That's why I lost my mic. But now he doesn't have transportation get out of here.

Rob Clemons  
Yeah. What do you do? Wait, yeah, it's problem, man. So you have to have a company bicycle at all times. Man, you may summarize bike.

Thomas Slack  
At that point. We're just gonna do tandem bikes.

Rob Clemons  
Yeah, that's right. That's right. Yeah, that's, that's good leadership. By the way. I love it. What do you guys do for fun at the company? Like as far as employee morale? How do you keep that up?

Thomas Slack   
So what we do is every at least once a quarter we take everybody out. Normally and that because I'm, I'm not gonna lie. I know. We do a lot of business with FedEx. Yeah, or FedEx is the largest customer in Orange County. So I get a lot it and that benefits from FedEx and rewards points for spending a lot of money with them. So we get a lot of Dave and Busters cards. So we'll take everybody out that David and Busters, feed them and everybody gets to drink limit. And then from there, it's like, Alright, go play games. Bring your family's bring your kids. Let's have great time. The other day, we went axe throwing. It's like "alright, guys. It's one o'clock. Everyone. Let's go." "Like where are we going?" "We're going to ax throwing."

Rob Clemons    
Had you ever done this before?

Thomas Slack    
Ax Throwing?

Rob Clemons    
Yeah. 

Unknown Speaker   
Yeah. 

Rob Clemons    
Okay. Okay. Gotcha. So yeah, absolutely. Oh, man.

Thomas Slack    
I just got to run fairs all the time. 

Rob Clemons    
Okay, okay. Gotcha. i We had an interesting I want to hear more about this. But I wanted to give a quick segue so our new construction department at my company and this is a big initiative for us to we want to have you know, some team building events and things where people can can kind of just have some camaraderie with each other. So they went to do Axe Throwing and these guys man, there were more clangs his those axes could not get in the wood. It was funny because you're watching these guys just get so frustrated that it seems like it'd be the easiest thing in the world that they came out your ax to stick some of them now some of these guys were like, oh, yeah, I've been throwing axes for years or something.

Thomas Slack    
But a lot of it is people think it's about power. It's all finesse. 

Rob Clemons   
Right. Okay, technique. 

Thomas Slack 
It's all technique. It's, I mean, pretty much just let the axe just kind of fall out of your hand. And it goes. 

Rob Clemons  
Yeah, nice. 

Thomas Slack    
And that's kind of thing. But I mean, one of the things that would come around that we're doing next year, this upcoming year, as long as COVID doesn't shut everybody down again. We're gonna hopefully do our play house building competition. Okay, what we're gonna do that I'm gonna invite you to and I love to see good you come your company guys do it. 

Ron Clemons
Yes.

Thomas Slack
What we're going to do is we're going to start with only five play houses this year. What we're going to do is pretty much here's a finite few designs, pick a design, pick your accessories. Here are your plans, you and your guys have to cut and assemble these play houses to these plans, and when they're done. And now what we're going to do is auction them all off for charity. And all proceeds are going to go to two different organizations. And that one is a full autism and that organization here, based out of South Side the elements based out of Conway, where they're building an at homes and communities around people with special needs. 

Rob Clemons  
We're familiar with this actually. And that's a very good cause. We actually did a little donation for them last year. I really respect that. Is there any particular reason autism, it's a great cause. 

Thomas Slack
It's going to be, it's going to be a revolving different different causes. Autism is the one we're picking first. Because I know that I have a lot of friends and families that I deal with, and that over the years that have had a lot of struggles, with kids with special needs. And so for years, and that in martial arts, I ran and developed a program solely around kids with autism. Because a lot of them who get involved in martial arts get involved in different activities, never given a chance to really dive into those activities, because they're different. They have either a mental or physical disability, either their nonverbal, so they are not, aren't able to really communicate what's wrong, whatever they're doing, or they just have the attention deficit problem. And if you're not trained on how to deal with that, especially in the martial art world, it kind of made it hard for them to whenever they want, engage, you want to be part of it. So I got a, I was honored and had the chance to work with 27 kids, and evolve a huge program around it. Anyone from the ages of three to 16. So I'd use those in that 27 kids kind of like an experiment. And I learned a lot about early childhood development, learned a lot about the different associate associate issues that come with it, and got with some psychiatrist, friends of mine, and we developed a martial art program around it. And they kind of segwayed in they segwayed into the school I was teaching out at the time, and it grew. We took those 27 kids now. And right now the program holds I think somewhere around 120 kids, and that are in central Pennsylvania. I mean, it's phenomenal.

Rob Clemons    
And that's, that's so amazing. And and it's incredible, because I believe that we don't hear enough about this kind of stuff, right? And that's why I wanted to do this Crowning Connection stuff. Because, you know, I think human beings in general, have good, altruistic, you know, feelings. You know, we want to do the right thing. We want to help people. And sometimes you don't even know what the next person is doing. And this is something I had not heard before. I think it's amazing, man, I really applaud you guys for it. For the kids, they come out of it. You know, what, what do you think the connection with the karate is? Is it does it come down to the discipline part of it? I mean, what do you find is the best connection there.

Thomas Slack  
So a lot of the best connection with at least from the martial art standpoint is hyperfocus activity. Yeah, so a lot of kids with autism has the same issues that kid with ADHD have, and that they typically are hyper vigilant, vigilant or hyper focus on something. So it gives them something to lock into and focus on that they'd necessarily wouldn't have the chance to focus on, right? So it's kind of where and that as a kid growing up, and that Ritalin was out, but you have then Concerta, Adderall. And none of that stuff existed when I was a kid. So martial arts was my saving grace. So that's kind of what I was able to hyper focus on. And that's kind of where I started seeing these kids having that same issue. They needed some hyper focus on but they needed somebody to understand what they were going through and struggling with. So I could empathize with them about it. I didn't have autism. And then I had ADHD as a child, and that hyperactivity, but I was able to relate what I was going through with kind of what they're doing. So I go, okay, they need something to focus on. So they get that hyperfocus they get that self discipline, and that so they can now start to systematically go through what they're doing. And they can translate that discipline throughout different parts of their lives and start controlling their own themselves in different ways.

Rob Clemons  
It's killer man, that's killer. What what belt? Are you in karate?

Thomas Slack   
Depends in in karate, on that I have a third degree black bone Ed Parker's Kempo karate.

Rob Clemons    
Man. 

Thomas Slack  
When it comes to other martial arts systems, I have different ranks and different martial arts systems. As I say, I've trained for 25 years, over 25 years. I have trained in about 30 different systems. And pretty much right now the one system I locked in and focused on and pretty much only teach now is Filipino Martial Arts.

Rob Clemons   
Okay. All right, gotcha. Why and why, why that particular one?

Thomas Slack 
So Filipino martial arts I trainer and teach a system called counterpoint tactical system are known as CTS. It's a weapon space oriented martial art, the martial art and the way the Filipinos train is they train attributes and concepts. So you're taking an attribute, you're taking a concept and you're working that concept into basic movements. And into muscle memory. So at the end of the day, you don't have to memorize you have to step back doing right in reblock drag your right foot up to a snack, kick them into the chop Yeah, doing a basic 123 technique like you do in karate, taekwondo, Akito, apkido and all this other different systems. And that it is a "this guy comes in this angle I use a simple and that tap pass, basic block and maneuver" and just let my body do the talking and do the movement and read and feel what my opponent is given me. So it's all based on reaction. It's all in that reaction to counter reaction.

Rob Clemons 
Yeah, that's, that's totally cool. It's like, one thing I have realized today in this podcast is I'm never gonna mess with this guy. You know, if I ever have a problem with you, I'm just gonna resolve it like a gentleman. I'm gonna shake your hand and say, I was wrong. You were right. 

Thomas Slack   
That's not what I want. That's not anything what? I am actually the biggest and that passive, this there is.

Rob Clemons  
Well, in reality, I believe that's one of the first trainings that a lot of the martial arts teaches and it's about, you know, taking the the passive route first. I mean, you're not gonna strictly conflict, right?

Thomas Slack   
I tell everybody, everyone's like, "Oh, how do you know you're going to win a fight?" And I go, absolutely. There's only one way than that to win a fight. Run faster scared than they can, man. 

Rob Clemons   
Right? Right. Right. I gotcha. 

Thomas Slack   
It's true. Because at the end of the day, if I have to get into a physical altercation, I'm going to hit you really hard. And I'm not going to care on my target is. If it's throat, if it's groin, I don't care. I'm going to disable you.

Rob Clemons
Don't go for the groin man. You gotta go there. 

Thomas Slack   
Dude, at the end of the day, you got three people on you. The first thing you're going to do, I'm going to I'm going to disable somebody. All right? I have to do if I have to sit there and snap someone in the groin, and then all their buddies like "Dude, what the crap?' I'm sprinting, I'm gone.

Rob Clemons  
Yeah, he punches buddy in the groin. By the time he's completely right.

Thomas Slack   
Take them all out. Throw him around the groin. It's gonna say bye.

Rob Clemons  
See your day one of karate train. It's like "Alright, first thing we're gonna learn groin punch." Day one, baby.

Thomas Slack  
Day one day one. Isn't that how do you how do you stop an altercation? 

Rob Clemons  
Okay, yeah, got you. 

Thomas Slack   
And that day one's always how do you stop an altercation?

Rob Clemons  
Does he usually start like this like "Bros, bros? Come on? Relax." Is that one of those things?

Thomas Slack 
No, normally it's day one of altercation. He's just been out. Just walk away.

Rob Clemons  
Okay, gotcha. Well, that's always fair. You're like Jesus would have said, you know, turn the other cheek kind of thing.

Thomas Slack  
I mean, the only time you turn the other cheek is when you want to hit them on the other side. 

Rob Clemons
Okay, gotcha. All right. Perfect. Words of wisdom with Thomas Slack folks. You're hearing it all here first? Do you have anything that in life right now inspires you particularly or anything that's gotten you to where you are?

Thomas Slack
Honestly, the probably I pull my most inspiration from is actually my family. Again, I've been blessed to have an that two parents that have supported me in everything I do everything I wanted to do. My parents, let me travel the country. Train with the best instructors around the country and around the world. So anything I inspired to do, I had a support system. 

Rob Clemons   
That's awesome. 

Thomas Slack 
From there, I kind of got involved in that learning technology, learning different stuff, and started really rounding my background. And that gave me a really good spot to kind of land where I'm at now. Where anything I want to learn anything, I want to know I have the capability, I have the knowledge, I have the support system to go learn to bring more knowledge into my business, into my life, into my family.

Rob Clemons
And then to pass that down to all the employees underneath you. I mean, you have the ability to train people and teach them things to help them grow to that next level. 

Thomas Slack  
Absolutely. I mean, like right now in South Carolina, I didn't realize this statistic was until on that I had to talk to the Board of Education. South Carolina is actually one of the biggest dropout states in the country. 

Rob Clemons   
Wow. 

Thomas Slack  
And I hate to say it half of mine mon most most of my employees actually, none of them graduated high school. So right now we're not doing a benefit to all of our employees. We're saying, "hey, get your GED. We'll pay for it." Does nothing for me, does not a damn thing for me to happen for them to have a GED or high school diploma. But what it does it prove to them and prove to their kids and their families that they can stay with something. And then they have a commitment. So a lot of them that are doing it. I'm giving them anywhere depending on and that what they're where they are. We're doing anything from 50 cents to $1 raise. 

Rob Clemons   
Cool, man. 

Thomas Slack   
How long they've been with us. Yeah, again, does mean no benefit. But it helps them it gives them something to work towards because then once they got that GED, I can then send like, and that one of our guys wants to be learned how to be a contractor. So it's like, well, you want to learn contracting. You got to get your GED first.

Rob Clemons  
Absolutely, man. It's one of the greatest gifts you can give. You know, because I think a lot of times some contractors, some people might have said, "Oh, well good. You know, they don't have a GED, they're gonna stay with me forever. Probably." You're actually trying to give them a goal so that you get to another level. That's, that's really cool, man.

Thomas Slack  
Well, let me just like I know you're kinda like the same guy. The thing is, is my concept is as a business owner, and with my employees, I want to make you a better person. And that than you were the day you walked into my place. It's kind of the vibe you've given me over the internet over the last year and a half. I've known you.

Rob Clemons  
I do. I mean, I believe this and, you know, Danielle's heard me say it, everybody's heard me say it. I really, at Monarch, and anywhere I go, I just want to have better people. I want people who you know, learn a little bit more, a little bit more compassion, a little bit more about themselves. Because if you have better people, they'll always be better employees. It's not about Employer. It never was. It's about being the best person. Everything else will come along with it.

Thomas Slack  
And I love every time I hear you say that. 

Rob Clemons
Cool.

Thomas Slack
Because that's such a powerful message. 

Rob Clemons  
Yeah, na, I really appreciate that. And we have a lot of like minded things. One other thing that I thought was really cool as we went through this is that I look at the caliber a person that I've been talking to today, that's in the contracting business, man. We don't have enough people in the contracting industry in the building industry. Because, you know, some people feel like, oh, you know, I don't want to go into building. I don't want to go into contracting or any of this. But I look at it a guy like you with your education level, with your knowledge level, you know, a guy like Jason Repack who was on with us. You know, these are people who, you know, could be doing anything man. You could be working at Procter and Gamble, or is a fortune 500 company, and you chose contracting because you realize it was a good career for you. So I definitely think that's a cool thing. What would you pick for your last meal?

Thomas Slack
My last meal? Man. It would either be spicy basil fried rice, or drunken noodle from Fusion Fire.

Rob Clemons 
Man, super specific. That is awesome. I didn't know what you're gonna say. Most people would have gone with the cliche lobster or something like that. 

Thomas Slack  
My friends own a restaurant called Fusion Fire up in Pennsylvania. And they actually just came down for a full week. And I probably had the best in that food the entire week. They're like, "Oh, well, we're coming down. We'll cook for you guys." I'm like, "Heck yeah." So I had been that really hitting that they all their fish they get is from JFC, Japanese food company. So it's all higher greater fish. So the sushi that that they made and that the, that basil rice, the Thai dishes, they made the difference and that caliber of Asian dishes is just phenomenal.

Rob Clemons  
That says pretty cool stuff. Man. I love that. What would you tell somebody? If you could go back to yourself? Go back to 18 year old you? What advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?

Thomas Slack
Man, that's hard. I can tell I tell myself does the same thing I've done every time in life. And that makes sure to keep jumping. I have a very simple philosophy. I was taught young as a kid, I learned it from a 97 year old guy. And that he told me when I was really young, he goes "if there's an opportunity in front end, if you have 50% chance or less falling on your face, jump." 

Rob Clemons
Yeah, nice. 

Thomas Slack
It's like 50% chance or less, you're out of your mind. You're telling me a flip a coin flip. I'm gonna fall on my face. I should jump. And the guy told me yes. And I took his advice at 10. And from that moment on, anytime an opportunity prevailed itself in front of me. And I only give myself seconds. If not milliseconds to think, am I going to fall flat on my face? No? Jump.

Rob Clemons  
Nice. I love this philosophy. Man. I love this philosophy. Because here's the thing, you know, and the way I look at it is a lot of people, you know, whatever age you are, it could be any it could be 60. You could be 20. You'll look back and go man, I wish I would have done this 10 years ago. I wish I would have done this when I was 18. Or I wish I would have done this, whatever. And it's like yeah, but you can do that thing right now. Yeah, you have to see where your path is going. So in and that's a good way to get there. Jump Man, just jump. I did. 

Thomas Slack  
It's the best best thing in the world.

Rob Clemons   
It's like that song,"I hope you dance." 

Thomas Slack   
Can we clip that and put it on loop please? 

Rob Clemons   
I think we just found our new music right? Yeah, that was I promised I was gonna sing on this. And now I've done it. Hey, 

Thomas Slack   
I thought you were going to go to Criss Cross Jump. 

Rob Clemons   
Oh, well, no, definitely. But you know, that's, that's like, that would have been so good. There's a whole nine yards.

Thomas Slack   
Backwards jeans and everything. 

Rob Clemons 
Oh, the whole, the whole nine yards. It's gonna happen. 

Thomas Slack
If he wears backward jeans, I want photos. 

Rob Clemons
Well, I'm more of a Tupac guy. Alright, so like, you know, a lot of poetry going on. We will you know when you go deep into that one. Hey, I wanted to ask you one last thing. If there was something that you wanted your customers to know about yourself or your company, just something they might not know, what what would that be?

Thomas Slack 
If you can't find something, let me know. I'll find it for you. 

Rob Clemons  
Nice and easy, man. I love it. If you can't find something, he'll find it for you. He's the find it man. I dig it. Thomas Slack. I appreciate you being on with me today. It's been a lot of fun. We'll have to do it again.

Thomas Slack    
I want one of those hats. 

Rob Clemons  
I'll see what I can do. I see what I can do, man. I make you a deal. Yeah. Hey, Ed Piotrowski, earlier, he was hitting up, hit me up from one of these. Specifically this one. I was like, "Alright, I'll see what I can do for ya." And I get Thomas one too. We can do it. Alright brother. I appreciate you being on. This has been Rob Clemons with Crowning Connections and Monarch Roofing.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

The Beautiful Extras
Last thought & First Thought: Employees
Company Culture
Inspiration
Raising the Caliber of Contractor
Popcorn Questions: Last Meal, Advice to Younger Self