Unleash the Power of Success with 7 Power Contractor Al Levi: An Insider Interview!
As a successful business owner and mentor, Al Levi has been helping contractors reach their full potential for over 30 years. Through his company, 7 Power Contractor, Al provides training, coaching, and mentorship to help contractors grow their businesses and achieve success. In this insider interview, we had the chance to sit down with Al and learn about his journey, his secrets to success, and his tips for contractors who want to take their businesses to the next level.
An Introduction to Al Levi and 7 Power Contractor
Al Levi has been in the home heating business for over 30 years and has owned several successful companies in the past. He is the founder of 7 Power Contractor, a company that provides training, coaching, and mentorship to contractors to help them grow their businesses and achieve success. Al has been recognized as a top salesperson and has won multiple awards for his work in the industry. One of Al's biggest successes was Tommy Melo at A1 Garage.
The Importance of Planning and Personal Development
Al Levi, founder of 7 Power Contractor, believes that success is not just about what you do, but who you become. He emphasizes the importance of personal development, investing time, energy, and money into one's business and personal growth, and learning from failures. Al also stresses the importance of being an active listener, following up on leads, and understanding one's why in sales. He provides tips for improving presentation skills and leadership abilities, such as time blocking and self-reflection through video recordings.
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[00:00:00] Corey Berrier: Welcome to the Successful Life Podcast. I'm your host, Corey Barrier, and I am here with my man Al Levy. What's up
[00:00:07] Al Levi: Al? Hey, I'm here. And you didn't even ask and you pronounced my name right, Corey, that's pretty impressive. I appreciate
[00:00:13] Corey Berrier: that. I did go through your entire book. I don't know how many times you said your name in the book, but I have gone through your book a couple of times, which by the way, fantastic job.
[00:00:21] Corey Berrier: It really has helped me understand more about the internal things that are going on in these trade companies that I would otherwise not
[00:00:31] Al Levi: have. Not. Yeah, I had a front row seat for a lot of years, , and coming from a family business, I was third generation family, business, especially contracting. By the time you're eight, you're doing something.
[00:00:45] Al Levi: You're emptying waist cans, cleaning the toilets, riding along with somebody to help or whatever you need to do. And my dad, that was the way we got to see our dad is a common story in the. Multi-generational contracting businesses. If you wanted to see your parents, you get in the truck and go with them , because they're at work every minute.
[00:01:06] Al Levi: Look, I think that probably gave you
[00:01:08] Corey Berrier: a heck of an
[00:01:09] Al Levi: education, right? Oh I was very lucky. It was very stressful. So there's never been a reason why I didn't pick my tagline when I went off to form this business. My tagline has always been less stress, more success. And the reason I always share that is I was making a ton of money
[00:01:27] Al Levi: It was a pretty good life, except the stress was killing me. Killing me. And what way? I knew. Yeah. I, one of the more physical ways, I was 246 pounds. Today I'm 190 and I was eating my stress. That'd be a minor way to say it all addictions find the root right. And working crazy hours do we, were not a small company.
[00:01:53] Al Levi: We were 17 million, 70 people. , but me and my brother Richie, who was really the outside guy, my brother Marty was the inside guy and all these things. And me and Richie would be the last two techs standing at the end of the night in 25 techs and at 2:00 AM we would have the most ridiculous but most important conversations in our office at that time.
[00:02:14] Al Levi: Or frankly, cuz we lived in New York a diner cause we hadn't eaten all day. That's
[00:02:19] Corey Berrier: hilarious. That's wild. So you re you know, and that, that really brings me to just one of the most fascinating things about you is that you planned out the three years and we'll get to that, or I'd actually like for you to talk about that.
[00:02:33] Corey Berrier: I'd just thought that was really
[00:02:35] Corey Berrier: Most people don't plan anything out for three years. That was just really thoughtful of you. So I'd love for you to share
[00:02:42] Al Levi: Yeah, a little bit about that. People know that I'm a systems guy, you know all about planning and I am, but I was not born this way.
[00:02:51] Al Levi: I was a mess. And people look, no go. Yes, I was a mess. So like most people talk about your weakness can become your strength. I was in high school and my mom, my stepmom who basically raised me cuz my mom passed away when I was very young. And she had been a high school teacher and she looked at me and she goes, you cannot go away to college like this cuz I had no study habits.
[00:03:14] Al Levi: I would try to do something and get frustrated and I would just quit. And she said you have to change your habits. And that really began the beginning of this path, of beginning to get ahead of it instead of run over by it. And then I had a lot of great mentors in my life that said if I didn't start doing this about looking up, I was gonna end up in a dead end that I don't want to be in.
[00:03:38] Al Levi: But we all do that as owners cuz there's just so much chaos moment to moment and you, it just overwhelms you. [00:03:46] So you got your blinders on. and there's times to wear the blinders and there's times to take 'em off. But if you don't take those blinders off periodically, you're gonna do just what I was.
[00:03:55] Al Levi: You're just gonna keep on walking until you go off the cliff . And so you need to pull up and learn how to plan ahead. So I had gotten really good at it and I knew the time had come. I was thinking to myself that I believe firmly in these systems and that I wanted to go off and help the industry. And I knew I could work with any contractor beyond the plumbing, heating, cooling, electric that we were in at that point and make a difference in their lives and their customer's lives and their company life.
[00:04:24] Al Levi: Cuz I don't believe I'd just come to help the owner. I help all three. I hope their customers have a better experience. The company go and grow. And then yes, for them to have their life back, which was my goal for myself originally. I wanted my life back, Corey. I wanted my life back.
[00:04:41] Corey Berrier: It's really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day the going to the job hu hustling, going from one job to the next and not paying attention to the little things.
[00:04:53] Corey Berrier: And I just got finished talking to Ishmael just a couple hours ago. Very similar story. He was a total mess until, I don't remember who he said came in. I can't remember now who he said came in
[00:05:04] Al Levi: and helped him. I think it, was it Tom from Service Titan? I know he is, had a lot of great people, but yeah, Tom, one of his kid guys.
[00:05:12] Corey Berrier: Yeah. And Ken Haynes, I believes another one. Yeah. So let me ask you something, I just wanna go back for a second. Do you remember what mentor really got that to sink in when you said that you were a mess and you had, somebody said you had to straighten up now that there was a series of people, but what, which one do
[00:05:30] Al Levi: you Yeah.
[00:05:30] Al Levi: Do you know? Yeah, no, I would say, first of all, the biggest mentor in my life was my dad. I was, Very lucky to have an Arian enlightened dad who was really good about coaching. Myself and my two older brothers, we used to be in business meetings with him and he, his rules of the game was you can sit in the back and listen.
[00:05:54] Al Levi: You can make any notes you want, but don't interrupt. I hate to say it was like Godfather, but I guess it was . And so we're in the back of that as we go, and at the end he would be patiently answered what questions you have, what do you wanna know? Because we were serial entrepreneurs. We were in a lot of things besides the home heating business.
[00:06:11] Al Levi: We were rating heat manufacturer. We owned a chain of liquor stores, we had dairy stores, we had multi-state real estate. But my father was very clear, our focus is on the golden goose. So what was the golden goose? It's the business, but we were concentrated only in fuel oil for very many years. So fuel oil heating, for those who don't know, because typically in the northeast, think of propane.
[00:06:36] Al Levi: where you have trucks deliver, they burn it they use it, service it. That was our model. But I could see that things were beginning to change and that if we didn't change with it, our business, our lives, we'd be changing and handing it over to the fourth generation, which is my nephew now, who's full-time with my middle brother who's still there.
[00:06:56] Al Levi: That would not have been able to happen in my opinion. And really the catalyst, Corey was one day I just looked up, remember I talked about taking off your blinders? And I just looked ahead and I said, if we don't get into the trades that our own customers who love us, want us to do, they're gonna have to go outside of us and find someone else.
[00:07:18] Al Levi: And then we will be locked out of our own customer's basement and we're not having that. So we had to really master some things and that's where the system journey takes place. That's really fascinating
[00:07:31] Corey Berrier: [00:07:32] insight. that you had because, how, what age were you at this time? You were young,
[00:07:36] Al Levi: right? I was like to say, there's a series of things, right?
[00:07:43] Al Levi: I would say when I arrived officially about 20, I guess I was 22 years old, by the time I hit 25, I had learned a lot of lessons. One of the lessons that I always remember, and that's what I said, my dad was so great, I'm in the office, it's probably six o'clock at night. We're in New York City Union shop, and then there's a guy at the door who has to be at least 50 years old and he wants to come in and meet with me.
[00:08:08] Al Levi: And what does he want to talk about? Not the work. He wants to talk about his personal life and how are things affecting at home and it's just like a confessional and he is asking for advice growing up in a dysfunctional family in one way or another, and the passing judgment, sometimes we're very lucky.
[00:08:25] Al Levi: But the reality is one of the great reasons. people came to work with us and stayed for as long as it was, is because we were a supportive family environment that they didn't grow up with, that they sorely missed and wanted to be a part of. So that was an enlightening thing. Also, at 25 , my brother Richie and I are at some seminar go and the guy on the stage is talking about, and this is decades ago, and the guy on the stage is going, the average age of the tech is gonna be 50.
[00:08:58] Al Levi: When you're a 25 year old and you're thinking about 50 year olds being out in the field, running calls and thinking, oh my . So my brother and I got busy building a very rude crude training center so we could train them up so we'd be able to break this mold a little bit and get some younger staffing.
[00:09:17] Al Levi: But we learned a lot of lessons and the way we typically learn lessons in this field is we fall into a big hole and then the best of us crawl out of it. and the very best of us, Corey, don't go back into the same hole right away because most people, the inclination is you're out. You go, oh, that hurt, and boom, you're back in the same hole again.
[00:09:39] Al Levi: There's plenty of holes ahead and I was lucky enough to again, have great mentors, but myself as well that I'm not going back in this hole. I'm gonna fix this so that we can move forward. Yeah, a hundred percent. A hundred percent. You look,
[00:09:55] Corey Berrier: it's lessons. We've learned lessons in life. I don't think about things as mistakes.
[00:09:59] Corey Berrier: I haven't always thought this way, but I do look at these things as lessons, and my God, I've learned some pretty hard ones, but
[00:10:06] Al Levi: they're the
[00:10:06] Corey Berrier: most memorable, the ones that hurt the most. The most, right? When you lost the most money or you lost whatever, fill in the blank. Those are the times that you remember or the times that you had to work your ass off to get out of that hole, and those times,
[00:10:22] Al Levi: I think I totally agree.
[00:10:24] Al Levi: Yeah. Yeah, I totally agree. I didn't appreciate it. Let's be clear. At the time, I didn't want a life lesson. I didn't want a business lesson. When I talk about investing, there were times we invested and we made a lot of money, and that's really nice. There were times we invested, tried something new and we broke even.
[00:10:44] Al Levi: Still good. There were times we invested or did something new and we lost our shirt, , and but I will tell you, we learned our most invaluable lessons when that would occur. It didn't stop us from doing things again. It just awakened us to how to do it better. What did we miss? What could we have done better?
[00:11:04] Al Levi: And just do that same diagnostic. Most of us, I don't know that we do that. We're so busy with the next hole that we're gonna fall into. So that was thing. When you asked about the three years, I was [00:11:18] 45 at the time. I had already been in the business. 23 years full-time, that doesn't count All the times that when I was in school where I was driving trucks and learning the tra all these things doesn't count any of it.
[00:11:32] Al Levi: So I've been in full-time and I realize now that I had this stability, we had the, everything I talk about in the seven powers in place, and we had this ability to take young willing apprentices with no skills, to willing techs with great skills, and then even further on to the best fir field supervisors you could ever have.
[00:11:52] Al Levi: We had that skill and that skill freed us up. And then we could do what I'll talk about in a minute, which is how could we have added these other traits. So if that's something you want me to talk about, I'm happy to dive in. I definitely do. Because I think I want you
[00:12:10] Corey Berrier: from a couple of perspectives.
[00:12:12] Corey Berrier: I'd like for you to talk about that from the perspective of obviously your own and then also
[00:12:17] Al Levi: of what.
[00:12:19] Corey Berrier: Could have gone sideways if you hadn't have put some of these things in place before you decided to make that move. If that's I can't remember exactly how it went, but I think that
[00:12:28] Al Levi: is correct. Yeah, no, the, these things were in place, but I knew that I needed, as I was leaving, even though we were a big company, my name was in a lot of boxes and so my job was to hire really good people that I trusted to put my brothers and my dad in good shape when I left.
[00:12:48] Al Levi: And that's, and I needed some train training time to them. I actually taught the people who had attended my class, who had now risen to the top levels of our company how to do my training. Cause I had done it for 20 years. They came in and took took the reins from me. One year I was doing it, they were in the back doing the same thing I had done as a kid.
[00:13:06] Al Levi: Taking notes. The next year was like, we were debriefing it and then they were up in the front and I was grading them. And then I let them do the class to see the results and. They were doing great, but I needed to find people in to take the place that could work these systems and continue the process forward.
[00:13:23] Al Levi: I've been gone 20 years and they haven't lost a beat. things are different. How far? Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. But you know what? They're still pretty darn impressive. How hard was it? You had a plan,
[00:13:42] Corey Berrier: so you keep thinking about this. If it were me, I probably wouldn't, I wouldn't have had that good of a plan.
[00:13:48] Corey Berrier: But what could have happened,
[00:13:49] Al Levi: if you like, if whoever who,
[00:13:51] Corey Berrier: if a business owner listened to this and maybe he's sitting at $5 million and I can't remember how much you guys were at, but let's just say
[00:13:58] Al Levi: this, in 2023, about 17 million back then, which was big back then. Nowadays numbers are staggering. Yeah, for sure.
[00:14:07] Al Levi: And
[00:14:07] Corey Berrier: But if you're, let's say you are at 5 million and you hearing this and you think I need to add. Another service because I have what formula would you
[00:14:18] Al Levi: use or did you use to map that out? So we got really good at what we were good at, which was the fuel oil business, which is what we did is we created the operating manuals for that business alum.
[00:14:31] Al Levi: And we hired in my friend, who's an industry writer, Dan Hollahan, to help write it and run all these meetings, which is why it cost us in today's money about $150,000. And it was a fraction of what I have today. But that was so big in taking control and building the foundation of the, what we needed to take care of.
[00:14:51] Al Levi: I had already worked through other things like how to plan and execute before I I always tell the story is I was coming off the road, working during the day and I needed a project done and I. Desk. The desk [00:15:04] asked for help. Corey, nobody could help you cuz they were too busy. So I just blew a gasket.
[00:15:09] Al Levi: I said, grab everything you have. This is a paper moment. Come into the office conference room. I said, put it on the desk. So this giant mound of paper is there. And we started to sift through it. And what we found out is two people were working on a project and neither one knew that the other one was working on, or they were working on the, what they felt was absolute my number one priority.
[00:15:31] Al Levi: And I wasn't even clear that it was for me, let alone a priority. So we worked through this pile and that's where that birth of the master project, top 30, top five got two. And then making the top five come alive. Because you're gonna have a crazy week. I don't care what size you are, that 5 million or whatever you mean to tell me that everything just runs great.
[00:15:53] Al Levi: You can sit on a beach in Hawaii for a month and you come back, everything's perfect. If you can stop listening, you mastered it. Yeah, but I doubt it because it wasn't that way for me. So the point of this is we began to put the systems that scale up. I've only worked with two types of companies, really, family, business, or really good partners that work together.
[00:16:17] Al Levi: They're well liked by people. They scale up and they hit the top of the roof, which means that they can't clone themselves. There are no more hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a month. They just run out of time. So they need the same system or foundation, if you will, which I call the seven blocks.
[00:16:35] Al Levi: And that's really what they have to do to put a platform under their company as it exists today, and then springboard forward. And the other ones are great companies like Tommy who could already generate great calls when I showed up he was 15 million and not making any money, but he knew how to make the phone ring the bad news.
[00:16:56] Al Levi: It's one thing to make the phone ring, but if you can't handle it, all you're doing is just ticking off more new customers and you're just blowing everything out of the way and you're unprofitable and you're just digging a deeper hole. So they too need the same seven systems so that they take control of the company they've already built and then are able to 10 times with no problem, which Tommy is a great example of doing exactly that and a lot of money at the same time.
[00:17:25] Al Levi: That's two things, not just great sales, nothing behind it. It's phenomenal and
[00:17:31] Corey Berrier: it fascinating because you know you're a hundred percent if you have systems and processes in place is a repeatable and as you mentioned, Tommy's a great example. He's, it's just written and repeat
[00:17:43] Al Levi: at this point.
[00:17:44] Al Levi: Yeah, no, he's always innovating. So let's, cuz I know rightfully Tommy has a ton of people that follow him as they should in my opinion. He's one of the rarest people in that, with all this growth, Tommy has not changed that much as a person. I think that's really and it's, everybody go I cannot is available.
[00:18:07] Al Levi: That's just the way it is. There's a million things to do, but his heart is still phenomenal and he still cares about people. Corey, when I left my job at 48, I didn't need to work. So people ask why are you doing this for the last 20 years? I believe firmly that if you've been given a gift, you are obligated to give back.
[00:18:27] Al Levi: Now I got paid for that and it was good, but I gotta tell you, the money wasn't just for me. The money was for you. Cuz if you don't put much time, energy, and money in, my dad had a great life, . He said sometimes what you get for free isn't worth what you paid. He's right. And it's very true. You have to have skin in the game.
[00:18:49] Al Levi: And so this [00:18:50] investing of your time, energy, and money. Now money is important, but it's not the most scarce asset. Even time you can leverage. It's really about where are you gonna spend, what I came to call my emotional dollars. So in my wallet, I woke up this morning with only so many emotional dollars.
[00:19:08] Al Levi: How when I get to my office is the best way to spend it. I'll give the example that I always recall . So we were in this awful building that we had been in. It was urban renewal, wiped out our customer base. We had already moved to go service where they had moved to, but we were in this still terrible place and people were, how bad was it?
[00:19:28] Al Levi: I go we used to have to drive two miles to get to a restaurant and we're in New York City. . No, it was awful. They were stripping cars in our yard. We had boarded up every window, door and gate because they broke through it. and we even made the gates breakaway so that we wouldn't have to put 'em back on.
[00:19:45] Al Levi: Finally, the final straw about how bad it was, they drove a truck through the side of the cinder block building and I just said to my family, we're out. We gotta go. That's why I became who's office design? Who's they? Who they, as far as told my brothers no. Talking about the criminal element that was alive and well in New York City in 1990 was this just random criminal Act nineties was very bad in New York City.
[00:20:17] Al Levi: Wow. People who have gone to New York City mid nineties to 2015, that's not the New York City that I grew up in. It was what I envisioned the Wild West. When I would look at that kind of stuff. Yeah. It was crazy. Really. It's really different now too. Have you been back recently? I haven't been back.
[00:20:40] Al Levi: My, my family that still lives there tells me about the homeless problems and, but that's really, frankly, every city, it's a shame. I don't know too many cities where, because we're in these groups, we talk where it's not much of a problem. But even here where I'm out in Scottsdale it's just the nature there's, that's there's a big problem.
[00:20:59] Al Levi: And that's something that's really shocking to me living here in America is that, but an addicted society. And I don't exclude myself from that. Gambling, drugs, alcohol, there's a whole lot of ways we can go dark, isn't there? There really is.
[00:21:23] Corey Berrier: Yeah. And I have an answer. I have actually, I, and I can't base this on the a hundred percent facts, but whoever was telling this story, they knew what they were talking about.
[00:21:32] Corey Berrier: They were qualified, but this is what they said was happening with the homeless. To be, I'm really shocked this conversation went this way, but , the, you would be shocked, and I don't remember the percentage of the money that supposedly goes to the homeless foundations or the whatever
[00:21:50] Al Levi: homeless for, from the government.
[00:21:54] Corey Berrier: Really majority of that money is paid out to people that are on the board, like of the committees and so they say it, it's pretty staggering
[00:22:06] Al Levi: from what I understand. I don't know all of it, but yeah, it's unfortunately a bit of trickle down and just cause it's a nonprofit doesn't mean people aren't getting paid, but we're not gonna solve that problem.
[00:22:18] Al Levi: So I'm gonna redirect back to . Yeah. Our problem today for sure. Which is, yeah. And if you have an addiction, and I don't know who doesn't we are tough in the contracting trade. Frankly, I don't know how you can make it. It takes a certain [00:22:36] level of thick skin, but unless you reach out for help, it's really a tough thing to do.
[00:22:41] Al Levi: And we all need help. I didn't lose weight on my own. I didn't get to the problem for my addiction until I finally faced the fact that I was eating my stress. And what I was doing to myself. And obviously people with alcohol and drug, there's no shortage to addictions, gambling. There's a bunch of these things.
[00:22:59] Al Levi: But back to you as contractors, if we allow our business to run us, instead of us run our business, we open ourselves up to these issues, in my opinion, in a much bigger way. But if we learn to take control of ourselves and of our business in a structured. that allows us to break free and to get our life back, which was my goal.
[00:23:27] Al Levi: So the to story that Tommy always tells is, cuz I told him at the beginning, I had two young daughters and I told my wife, I'm gonna be home less. Which you can imagine went over really well. , I wasn't, yes, I wasn't home that often as it was, but I told her the reason was is because I was gonna focus on being able to take young willing apprentices with no skills, to willing texts with great skills.
[00:23:53] Al Levi: And that's two years from now, we're gonna be on vacation and they're not gonna be bothering my phone all day long cuz that's what happened. Anytime I was quote unquote off, off, they'd be calling me all the time. All the time. And just multiply. People think, oh, the bigger my company gets, it'll all be fixed.
[00:24:12] Al Levi: I'm here to say no it will not. It's just more gasoline to a fire if that's what you're thinking is gonna fix your company. So I did all the things, which is we wrote the manuals, then we built the training center, which was our mistake the first time, based on what was in the table of contents in the manuals, building the right hands-on training center.
[00:24:36] Al Levi: And then we learned how to become better trainers and we created training curriculum. So as I mentioned before, I could train those who I had trained to run the classes. I wasn't the only one. My whole mindset began to think is if one person can do it, it's a hobby. If all of us can do it, then it's something we do, dude, a hundred percent.
[00:25:00] Al Levi: And it
[00:25:00] Corey Berrier: just, it was the best thing that you could have done. It's just like an integrator, right? A lot of people. A lot of people in the right. It's the same thing. And I admire that clear
[00:25:13] Al Levi: focus. You speaking to Gino Wickman, just so we're clear, is that Gino Wickman's Rocket Fuel? Yes. You got it.
[00:25:20] Al Levi: Tell me, maybe me read the book. I didn't even know those two terms existed because there was nobody to my right or left. I had to be both. But I did come to understand that not everybody is both. And then if you can find this marriage between the visionary, the one who could what I used to say Corey years ago is I could see in partnerships many times, there's a person who can see a mile down the road as to where they want the company to be.
[00:25:44] Al Levi: And then there's an integrator who's really good about knocking out a block at a time. But the problem is the visionary's looking this way and the integrator's walking this way. My goal was to put them together in a united fashion and then a systematic approach to get to the where we wanted to be in that vision.
[00:26:05] Al Levi: Yes, it, I
[00:26:08] Corey Berrier: think that first of all, you're a unicorn. You're right. It is interesting because I don't know, I don't know too many people that are both, but I know they're out there for sure. I am for. I am certainly the visionary. [00:26:22] I can see like this project that, that I talked to you about, like I can see, I can sit and I can map out exactly where these things are gonna go in my brain.
[00:26:33] Corey Berrier: Now, for me to be able to tell you all that stuff, it's gonna be maybe a little bit jumbled, but visually I understand exactly how we're gonna get there. And so fortunately I have the person that's gonna understand the things I don't want to understand. It's important to understand, it's important to know that about yourself.
[00:26:54] Corey Berrier: And
[00:26:54] Al Levi: so anyhow, I totally agree with that. And the idea that I don't learn anything, it's a ridiculous session. I'm still learning today. And the day I stopped learning, my dad and my aunt, who was brilliant, they said, the day you stop learning, you're done. And I don't mean in a good way, . That's
[00:27:15] Corey Berrier: right.
[00:27:16] Corey Berrier: That's right. Because you gotta keep the sharp.
[00:27:19] Al Levi: And that's what happens.
[00:27:20] Corey Berrier: People retire and they do, they go do the thing they thought they were supposed to do, which is sit around, do nothing. And that's a quick way to
[00:27:31] Al Levi: the grave. I actually got a front row seat to what you're speaking to because at my shop, cuz we were a union shop, we, they really had a great pension, which was another reason they stayed in.
[00:27:42] Al Levi: And then they thought to themselves I love fishing. I'll go fishing every day. No. I love golf. I'll do that every day. No, the ones who lasted the most are people that either had had a charity or they wanted to work for their religious institution. They had somewhere to go and a calling for whatever they were gonna do, or even, they just worked a couple of days with us because it was great that they were around, they were actually inspirational to all the younger staff.
[00:28:09] Al Levi: We had one guy, his name is Louie. He he was a incredible fabricator welder. , my brother Richie and I used to meet him out to fix our trucks. Cause we had the big tanker trucks and he'd be working outdoors. And so we find out that he's closing up and he and his partner are splitting and he's gonna close the door.
[00:28:29] Al Levi: And Richie and I go talk to him out in the cold in Brooklyn and he said, Lou, we'd love you to come to work. And he just starts to laugh because I'm 68. So I said you know what? Come work a year or two. Let's just see how it goes. The end of this story is he was 90 and still productive every day that he worked at our company every day.
[00:28:53] Al Levi: And anybody else who felt like slacking, they they just took, he was just such a positive everything that radiated him, including his skillset. Finally, we just said, you know what, Lou? You can't go on these ladders anymore, . We're just not gonna let that happen. . Yeah. I think that is a good,
[00:29:18] Corey Berrier: that's
[00:29:18] Al Levi: a
[00:29:18] Corey Berrier: killer story, and it's a great inspirational story for anybody listening, because
[00:29:23] Al Levi: look, and even if you're
[00:29:25] Corey Berrier: not 90 years old, if you're 20 years old and you're sitting around and you're not out, and you're not out walking or moving around or getting some sort of exercise, look, it's gonna be a hard life.
[00:29:35] Corey Berrier: I'm just gonna tell you right now. Look, I was a fat kid. I've been I've been sober for 13 and a half years. I've done a few bad shit in my life. I've had to go through a few things. But look, the other side of it, I promise you, is better. It sucks getting there, but it's just like starting a business.
[00:29:52] Corey Berrier: That part's not really that fun after the newness wears off, which wears off real quick. Yeah. It's all exciting. I don't have to work for that boss anymore, my own boss. Then pretty soon, when you're your own boss we all make the mistake. , I'm gonna buy a white [00:30:08] truck. I'm gonna sell a $5 cheaper than he does.
[00:30:11] Al Levi: I'm gonna work outta my house. I'm gonna make a ton of money. Some people do, but most don't. Nine outta 10 will fail because if you're not set up to be in business and you don't even know what it is, because you were fed a fish over and over again, you never learned how to fish in a business sense, why you were a great tech.
[00:30:30] Al Levi: And so there's so many lessons to be learned now. There's great books, there's great blogs, there's great Facebook groups. But this gets to the other point, Corey, that I always speak to, and I speak to it actually in the book as well, which is if you pluck stuff from all over and think it's all gonna fit together, here's what I promise you.
[00:30:50] Al Levi: No, it will not. It will not. You're either on your way to building a Frankenstein or what I used to call a junk car, which is a Ford chassis, Hyundai engine, Toyota seats. It doesn't work. And so having an integrated approach, or at least. A platform, which is what I stress to people these seven blocks or whatever you buy into, is that structure.
[00:31:11] Al Levi: Then you can begin to sift all the great information because as great as the internet is, as great as Facebook is and great as all these things, and I firmly believe they are, you're still at the same problem. Are you speaking or listening to a genius or an idiot . And so that's the problem. You have to be your own filter and your own metric and you have to have a system that allows you to sift through that.
[00:31:37] Al Levi: I agree. A
[00:31:38] Corey Berrier: hundred percent agree. And I
[00:31:39] Al Levi: often wonder, and I'm sure you've probably wondered the
[00:31:43] Corey Berrier: same, and people ask a
[00:31:45] Al Levi: question, let's just general question
[00:31:46] Corey Berrier: whatever it is, and you hear a litany of answers and I'm like, you don't know the context of the question. You don't. You gotta ask this guy more questions before you start firing off.
[00:31:57] Corey Berrier: You need to go hire a marketing company. Like you don't know the guy's situation. And as cliche as it may be. Like it always depends and you gotta ask that question first. ,
[00:32:09] Al Levi: no, that's the when I first started this business, I went to to my friends and I said, tell me what you don't like about consultants.
[00:32:17] Al Levi: Let's just say it was a long and passionate list, . And what they said is they never go away. They're always doing or selling something. And then they don't have anything that works without them. They're always the one that have to make it work. And if they're not there, then they really haven't done anything for you.
[00:32:37] Al Levi: And then there's just this whole mix of things that I, so my goal was to bring these systems in that work because I've taught you how to work 'em. And when I'm gone, I don't need to be the one that's coming back to make it all work. And so I continue my relationship with so many of my clients at this point.
[00:32:58] Al Levi: it's all free. . I don't my goal wasn't to become their consultant for life, but many have stayed. They liked the arrangement and we, I'm so proud of so much of the success that they have done and they're really grateful go to me and you know about how much that I helped them. But I will tell you, I pretty much have the same information, which means that I know how to teach you how to use a shovel, how to dig a hole.
[00:33:27] Al Levi: I will even demonstrate it. But then you have to pick up the shovel and then you have to dig a hole and you have to keep on digging the holes and then you have to make bigger holes. So really the credit is for them, for being willing to get on my hip and learn the lessons and move forward so that they can be self-sufficient and create this whole platform within their own company, no matter where they want to go, no matter what they want to do.[00:33:54]
[00:33:54] Al Levi: The best piece of advice
[00:33:55] Corey Berrier: you could've
[00:33:56] Al Levi: given on here really because. If somebody just
[00:34:00] Corey Berrier: hears that and actually does what you just said, then it'll change their whole
[00:34:04] Al Levi: life. My hope is change their whole life. My hope is, I know, like I said, going back to the beginning, mentors changed my life. And I never forget that , if not for my mentors, this old body would be in a basement turning wrenches late in the night.
[00:34:19] Al Levi: And that's not a pretty sight . And yeah it, I, so many of 'em, but obviously my dad was always a great business coach and to his credit, my brothers and I would come up with ideas to modernize the business, move into different areas. He just wanted us to talk it through with him so he understood.
[00:34:37] Al Levi: But he's basically said, I brought you here not to just listen to what I have to say to go ahead and move this business ahead. And he let us make mistakes. But he would say in the meeting what his thoughts were. It wasn't like after it all fell apart, he would come out of the woods and.
[00:34:55] Al Levi: Smack us around . And that's very discouraging. If you're in a family business together, one of the best things I could advise to you is to get together. And if you can't do it on your own, get yourself a moderator or somebody that can be arbitrary to this thing so that you can work as a family group.
[00:35:13] Al Levi: So as I was leaving my business, I know this is a long way back to the three year story, but it's alright. When I was leaving my business, here's what I was firm about. Now money's money. But these are, and I told this to my brothers, I said, you are always gonna be my brothers and I love you to death and you are the uncles to my daughters.
[00:35:38] Al Levi: And that will always be. So the three of us have to figure out how to make this work because we're gonna be at Thanksgiving dinner together and we're gonna enjoy the fact that we do. And I can tell you 20 years on. , we are closer than we have ever been. Now people go, that's cuz you're not there. Oh my friends, you do not know enough because these kinds of things just end up being an atomic bomb and people will never talk to one another again.
[00:36:05] Al Levi: How many stories do you know like that? Tons ago. So many. We worked on the personal part of it as well as the business part of it to make sure, and again, I wasn't gonna leave him, but I, it was also selfish . And I told my brothers selfishly, I wanna make sure all these systems are in place and I'm gonna make sure the right people are here so that I'm not coming back
[00:36:28] Al Levi: Cause I'm gonna be working on my business and you're gonna be in a good place from here on out. And you know what, 20 years down the road, they are
[00:36:36] Corey Berrier: tremendous. It's a personal relationships, you keeping that personal relationship with them. Without a doubt set you up and look, that can be with anybody. It doesn't have just have to be with family members.
[00:36:48] Corey Berrier: But while we're on family members, it's usually a pretty interesting dynamic with family members. It's really an interesting dynamic because usually the I can't say usually, sometimes it's not the person you think you should be talking to. Sometimes it's somebody you don't even realize in the background that just, that can
[00:37:09] Al Levi: mess things up for you.
[00:37:11] Al Levi: Yes. My father was really good about keeping our spouses out of the business. He told us very early and he goes and then we had bi cells and because we didn't wanna be part, we love our sister-in-laws, but we didn't wanna be partners with them and they didn't wanna be in the business.
[00:37:27] Al Levi: And if the kids wanted to come in, we had to already put plans into how to do it the right way. So I've worked with a lot of clients to help them introduce their kids into the business the right way. versus the destructive ways that can happen [00:37:40] there. The interesting part to me though, is I've worked with a lot of partners that were as close as brothers could ever be because they had this stream together.
[00:37:52] Al Levi: They started in the truck together, they went off and built this business and but, so even if you're not blood related, you act like you're blood related. You hang together, you do stuff together. The, I just did a quick video on one of those things about you can only have one set of hands on the steering wheel.
[00:38:12] Al Levi: You can all be in the car, you can all participate, but one person needs to do it. So there's a great company I worked up in Rochester, and she had the control of the car. That didn't mean everybody else sat in the car like you're a kid where you shut up and don't say anything. They participated, but ultimately one person is in charge of steering the car.
[00:38:34] Al Levi: So in that relationship, you guys need to decide how to make that work because if everybody's grabbing for the steering wheel, I'm gonna tell you it's bad. Actually, it reminds me of a story, , is that when we were young, we were in our twenties, by the time I, I arrived in and my brothers and I spent more time doing this, banging heads, and we were micromanaging each other and critiquing each other.
[00:38:57] Al Levi: You follow how that goes? Oh, and my father was very not like he was much quieter and he grew up on a farm, which I always laugh cause the farm was in New York City. That's how long ago it was. Anyway, so he says to us boys, I was thinking that if we all get on the same side of the car and push, we're gonna go a lot further and a lot faster.
[00:39:18] Al Levi: And he walks out of the room and myself and Richie and Marty look at each other, and then we go, oh, we have to stop banging heads. So that was the informal, okay, you know what Marty, you do this, Richie, you do this Al you do this. And then I was. It was already better because of this illustration conversation, tiebreaker, you call it whatever you like.
[00:39:42] Al Levi: Now I have to tell you, Corey, there's a lot of businesses I worked with that ultimately we paid family members to stay home cuz they were so destructive. I absolutely believe that. Yes. And probably paid
[00:39:56] Corey Berrier: them a handsome salary to stay home and it was probably well,
[00:40:00] Al Levi: Worth it if need be. Yeah. I do believe that a really well constructed buy sell is critical.
[00:40:08] Al Levi: And unfortunately my family life came up with my dad and my uncle. My uncle passed away. They had a buy sell but it wasn't kept up often enough. It wasn't objective enough and it didn't really hold up. But working with Ellen Rohr, who was my Coco consultant, we did work on a lot and we also worked in Zoom drain franchise with the great Jim Carti is that we are big believers in the five D's.
[00:40:31] Al Levi: For a well-written buy sell, which means it addresses disaster . So the area gets wiped off the face of the earth, like Hurricane Sandy almost did to our company. Who's putting money in, who's not? And then, or how far do we dig a hole? Divorce, now you have a divorce that affects things. But if you and I don't wanna work together, and if I have to spend one more minute in this office with you, I'm gonna kill myself.
[00:40:57] Al Levi: Sorry for being dramatic. But the reality is we need a divorce from one another. We gotta go off and do our own thing. Debt, death, divorce, disability. Disability is the one that I missed here. Disability is, heaven forbid you get hurt in a way that you can't perform. It's bad on you, it's bad on your family, but it also leaves us in lurch in the business.
[00:41:17] Al Levi: So we have to be able to address these things. So five Ds it's something that I always talk about. You need to do it, and then it has to be [00:41:26] reviewed at least once a year and signed off on. or it's really not gonna be that parachute that all of you need. That's right.
[00:41:33] Corey Berrier: It's not something you wanna sweep under
[00:41:34] Al Levi: the rug.
[00:41:35] Al Levi: What's interesting though,
[00:41:37] Corey Berrier: the divorce part, I think that's where I don't think, I believe that when most partners get together, they think just like I have thought in the past, this is never gonna end. It's never gonna end. This
[00:41:50] Al Levi: is the end of the day. This is it. This is my last day, honey. I love you.
[00:41:54] Al Levi: We'll always be together.
[00:41:59] Al Levi: I to be half kidding. I am married 45 years and people, young people always ask, how did you do that? I go, it's pretty easy. I married a woman who's as stubborn as me. We both thought each other would quit and here we still are
[00:42:16] Al Levi: But it's hilarious. But it is it's really core values is, I know it's overs said, but my wife have, I have always had core values that are aligned. We're very different people. And I don't believe that too. If you're both big talkers, there's not enough space . And if nobody's a social, then that's gonna be a problem.
[00:42:36] Al Levi: But whatever it is more open dialogue, which by the way, I can tell you this is actually backwards. The better I became at my own company as a leader and a trainer and all the other things, I actually became a better father and a better husband because I stopped talking all the time and I started to listen to them answer my questions without me preparing my defense or correcting them.
[00:43:08] Al Levi: And it really deepened that relationship, but I didn't learn it that way. I learned it by working with young staff.
[00:43:16] Corey Berrier: Another huge takeaway, active listening, and the exact same thing happened to me. This has not been, this has just been recently,
[00:43:25] Al Levi: just tell you a quick story. I
[00:43:27] Corey Berrier: was, I've been sobered a little over 13 years and I went to AA for six mo six years and decided, I'm just summing this up for you.
[00:43:36] Corey Berrier: My ego got too big and I decided I didn't need to go back. So I didn't. And
[00:43:41] Al Levi: I, long story
[00:43:43] Corey Berrier: short, I was having a conversation with a guy, I think it was back in October maybe, and he'd been in recovery about the same amount of time. And I was explaining to him my reason, which was, I didn't wanna say I am an alcoholic, cuz if you say I am the words that fall after that.
[00:43:57] Corey Berrier: It was really silly. It's not silly but it was a weird, it was silly reason for me to, it was just an excuse to be honest. And so what I realized in that conversation with this gentleman is he said he said, Corey, I've had some of those same feelings. He said, but maybe it's not about you.
[00:44:16] Corey Berrier: And I'm like, that
[00:44:18] Al Levi: is, he's so good. Yeah. That is
[00:44:21] Corey Berrier: so good. His, he said Corey, he said, you have a lot of influence, he said, and you're literally pissing it away by not having these conversations. He's right. So I went back to AA the next day and like my life has significantly gotten better because I'm back on, I'm back in the groove.
[00:44:42] Corey Berrier: If
[00:44:43] Al Levi: that makes any sense. It makes total sense. And that's what I was saying is part of the problem. What makes us great as contractors is we're independent, we're hard thinking, we're hardworking, we're all of this. So when it comes to our personal lives, like I said, food is an addiction. Alcohol, drugs, you name it.
[00:45:02] Al Levi: Gambling, all of it is an addiction. Why is the addiction is really more of the problem. It's not the activity you chose to satiate [00:45:12] that. It's the why and what are the triggers. Cuz we all have triggers I always laugh because I think about how bad was my, my eating problem I used to route my day so that I would end at my favorite Italian deli so I could get a meatball sub.
[00:45:31] Al Levi: If I could work the right stops in the right direction, , that's when you know you have a problem. The second way I knew I had a problem is I was in a restaurant in New York City and I'm six two, and the guy looks at me at the the MAITRE dean and goes, so what football team do you play for
[00:45:53] Al Levi: You know what? These bumps in the road as we see him or these obstacles that we do, Ellen has a great line that she shared with me, whether, depending on your own beliefs Great beyond, but Ellen said to me, she knows sometimes the Lord uses a feather to get your attention, but if you're not listening, he will use a brick
[00:46:18] Al Levi: Yeah, a hundred percent .
[00:46:21] Corey Berrier: But here's the thing about that, I've, that is one of the hardest things that I, not hardest things, but that's one of the lessons recently is that is really just ties right into us. The reason I didn't go back is I really, my relationship with God or whatever you believe, but my higher power, whatever it is, I really didn't realize that I have a, I didn't realize how much I had gotten away from that.
[00:46:46] Corey Berrier: And so that's really the part in, in, not to go into grave detail, but there's some events that happened with my daughter and that's what, it took all those things for me to realize
[00:47:00] Al Levi: I look,
[00:47:01] Corey Berrier: she's 13 I, there's nothing I can do about what she's gonna do. and it's taken me quite a long time to realize that.
[00:47:10] Corey Berrier: But once I realized that my life has been significantly better because I don't stress about stupid stuff. I had zero control
[00:47:16] Al Levi: over. Zero control. Yeah. And this is such a great topic and a pretty good way to for us to come back to is pretty much every client that I worked with was a control freak. How do I know Cuz I am one.
[00:47:30] Al Levi: Yep. . Pretty much they're a perfectionist. How do I know? Cause I was one, here's the thing, when I was in Weight Watchers and I was there more times than I'd like to count, had a really good teacher and she said, look around this room. Everyone in this room is a perfectionist and I'm looking at all of us that are heavy and I'm going, how is this perfect?
[00:47:53] Al Levi: She goes, you are attached to perfectionism. So when you eat a candy bar, , all of a sudden perfection's gone and now you're just gonna stuff your face to make up for all the sins that you did, , and then you'll start again. The famous thing was always like Monday, I'll start my diet again on Monday, as if you could control that.
[00:48:15] Al Levi: And all of us have our different things, but my point for you guys here is that you've got to let go of perfectionism. And until I did and I learned a very good phrase for myself, at the end of the day, I said to myself, good enough for today. I'll make it better tomorrow because I had to be able to leave it or otherwise I was always building my perfect dream car that never got on the highway, and any car on the highway is gonna beat my dream car in my garage.
[00:48:45] Al Levi: That's right. Yeah,
[00:48:47] Corey Berrier: a hundred percent. Lots of times you just have to put one foot in front of the next And that is a great point. I think, and I work from home lord have mercy. It's, I'm not [00:48:58] saying that it's necessarily worse, but maybe because I'm, I like, it's not like I have a cutoff. It's not like I could step out one door into another physically in my office.
[00:49:09] Corey Berrier: But we're in the same building or the same house.
[00:49:14] Al Levi: So it is sometimes really hard to differ, differentiate. I can't say that word. Forget it. Differentiate. I won't even, yeah. Cause I'm a, I'm such a wordsmith. Oh hey, you . I have, I'm such a wordsmith. I have two editors, my wife and Helen, who edited my book for me.
[00:49:32] Al Levi: Yeah. That's how good I am.
[00:49:34] Corey Berrier: Yeah. No chance. I edited. Yeah. I certainly had somebody do my
[00:49:37] Al Levi: I'm dyslexic. I'm dyslexic. And Are you really? Yeah. Yeah. All of us. A lot of contractors, a lot of contractors are dyslexic. A lot of them have a D H D,
[00:49:49] Corey Berrier: which is why I actually love working with them. So not really.
[00:49:53] Corey Berrier: I'm look al, I'm dead serious. Think about this. I cuss a lot,
[00:49:58] Al Levi: tamp it down here, but I still cus lot. I came in New York and I cussed a lot. And then when I got trained to be what I did, they said, you can't curse anymore. So I had to come up with words that are close to it. Cover your anatomy a hundred percent.
[00:50:13] Al Levi: But you gotta be able to read the
[00:50:14] Corey Berrier: room too. Yes. And I know that you know when you're in the presence of somebody that you can have that maybe a little bit trashier conversation. Maybe not trashy is the right word, but a little bit more spicy. Colorful. A little more
[00:50:26] Al Levi: colorful. Colorful. Let's go with colorful.
[00:50:28] Al Levi: Yeah. Yes.
[00:50:29] Corey Berrier: Spicy was a terrible rebound on that. That wasn't God. Yeah. Colorful conversation. And it's, and I've not always been able to read the room sometimes sometimes that for sure have not read the room.
[00:50:45] Al Levi: Kari, you and I both love sales. and I was great at sales and the only reason I got good at all this other stuff is cuz my team blew it up.
[00:50:52] Al Levi: So I had to come back and do all this other stuff. But I really was awful at sales. People laugh cuz they've seen me on stage and how, and I've taught so many people how to be good at sales. It is a very learnable skill if you can do it in a systematic way. And of course I have a systematic way that I taught people how to do sales, but I did everything wrong.
[00:51:11] Al Levi: I stared at my feet, I was shy, I muttered, never made eye contact. Just everything you could do wrong until I finally learned how to do everything right. But it's one step in front of the other isn't. I'm awful at sales and tomorrow I'll be the best salesperson ever in the world. But that's how we jump.
[00:51:31] Al Levi: It's this great vision. Getting back to the vision. If you say to yourself, I'm gonna become better at sales, I'm gonna serve my customers better, cuz that's the essence of sales. You can be that tomorrow. Tomorrow, not six months from there, not six years from now. You can be that tomorrow will you take one step in that direction and keep it?
[00:51:57] Al Levi: Cuz if you do, you're moving ahead. Even the expression, which I used to hate, two step forward, one step back, is progress. Depending on how much time you have, learn how to take two steps forward and stop going backwards.
[00:52:12] Corey Berrier: Here's another thing, you don't have to have some slick thing to say to the customers.
[00:52:17] Corey Berrier: You don't have to try to, you don't have to do any of that. In fact, it's the worst thing you can do because they already expect
[00:52:26] Al Levi: that. I aside for laughing because as soon as you said that, Kari, I went to my dad. Cause remember I mentioned I was bad at sales and I wanted to get better and my dad was great and he was Anything about what you would expect?
[00:52:37] Al Levi: He was quiet and when he would sit in a call, cause I would go with him as he was talking like this loud, [00:52:44] people would begin to lean in. And they just saw, he had a huge smile on his face and he would ask questions and he would make notes. But everyone who sat with across from him knew that he was there for them.
[00:52:55] Al Levi: That was the, if I can only tell you in eight seconds what you should do. So anyway, I said to him, dad, do you have a great closing line so I could be better at sales? And my dad looks at me and he starts to laugh and I go, what's so funny? He goes, Al, you need a great closing line. You've really been bad up to this point.
[00:53:12] Al Levi: That's the truth. That's so true. True. It's true. It really
[00:53:17] Corey Berrier: is.
[00:53:18] Al Levi: No. All I was gonna say is I got to the point where you mentioned about I was so passionate that people would stu interrupt me as I was making my sales presentation go, you know what, Al sounds great. Let's, how soon can we get started? You know what, I'll get to that in a minute.
[00:53:35] Al Levi: Let me finish this point. ,
[00:53:38] Corey Berrier: I've been
[00:53:39] Al Levi: begging you to take their
[00:53:40] Corey Berrier: money. Begging me to take their money right now is so funny. . That is so funny. That was a great, that was a
[00:53:47] Al Levi: great active listening. Oh, dude, it is one of the
[00:53:51] Corey Berrier: most important things. Look, there's two things that anybody listened to this call. If they were to do better today or tomorrow, let's say today, there's two things that you could do better today.
[00:54:02] Corey Berrier: Just learn how to be a good, active listener, which just takes practice and follow up on your damn leads.
[00:54:10] Al Levi: Yes. When I would get into a sales slump, my dad always said to me, make one more call. Stop by one more customer. But the analogy that I locked into my head is, you swing in a pics X at an iceberg, and you're not getting anywhere, and you're entitled to feel like you want to quit.
[00:54:31] Al Levi: But you also have to remember one more swing might break this whole thing open. And that's what I was willing to do. And so many more talented people than me just got up against that iceberg and go I'm done. And I just, I never thought of myself as super talented, but I knew what my super talent is.
[00:54:52] Al Levi: I'll still be going when you quit. Yeah. It's not a common trait with
[00:55:00] Corey Berrier: people coming up either, I'll be honest. It's just not,
[00:55:03] Al Levi: I have a mixed feeling on that because I trained so many millennials all around the country and when they know their why, because they're not gonna just do stuff. But if you spend the time early on with them about why you do what you do and how it helps people and how they can get the future they want, they are not just good, they are phenomenally good.
[00:55:28] Al Levi: Listen to me all, everyone I'm talking to here now, I haven't worked as much with the next Gen Ys and generic, but that is happening war and I haven't found a break. It's pretty much the same thing. You better be really good about your why. once
[00:55:44] Corey Berrier: again, a thousand percent. And look, that will work
[00:55:48] Al Levi: in any generation.
[00:55:50] Al Levi: Doesn't matter who I absolutely agree. Absolutely agree. Yeah. Yeah, a hundred percent it will. Absolutely. Yep. But it takes
[00:55:57] Corey Berrier: patience, it takes good questions. It takes you wanting to spend some time with that individual to learn about that person. Not so you could sit and talk to him. Oh 1
[00:56:08] Al Levi: 0 1. So what makes you think customers is the only place that applies.
[00:56:15] Al Levi: It applies to the people at your shop, it applies to your kids, it applies to your significant other shut off the microphones, what I was told and open up the receivers. Yeah. [00:56:30]
[00:56:30] Corey Berrier: So many people get that wrong. And it's fascinating whenever somebody answers a question or answers me with something that I is totally irrelevant.
[00:56:41] Corey Berrier: I just didn't think that, sometimes people don't even know, right? They don't even know that they're answering you in this irrelevant way lots of times because of that, right? This is biggest mind control device on the planet.
[00:56:54] Al Levi: I make them turn their phone upside down or put it in a drawer because I didn't always, I always knew this was a distraction, but there was a great survey out about that.
[00:57:05] Al Levi: If your phone lights up and you don't even look at it cuz it's turned upside down, the next 20 minutes are gone. Fact. So you've got to set, what I teach in my time management class was you've gotta set a time to tell people I'm gonna check at eight o'clock, nine o'clock, 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock. If you needed that done faster, you're gonna have to figure out something else or do something on the middle.
[00:57:27] Al Levi: But that's the only way you're gonna take, and I call it time blocking. You have to time block. Absolutely. And you're,
[00:57:34] Corey Berrier: and that statistic is absolutely correct. Imagine just that super ding, right? Just that ding the ding and
[00:57:45] Al Levi: I mine on, have mine on hybrid. Yeah. It doesn't lights upside down if I'm staring at it, which I have to put into a different thing.
[00:57:55] Al Levi: Yeah. I keep mine on. I have to, I think
[00:58:00] Corey Berrier: statistic alone probably just seared it into my brain when I heard it several years ago. It's helped my, it's helped my focus
[00:58:06] Al Levi: tremendously doing that. It's done the same thing with me as I keep the stuff closed, but I have a reminder that just pops up and says, time to check, phone, email, text, or whatever.
[00:58:16] Al Levi: And, but I'm not, you guys get pounded from every way, but as a company owner, the more you get people who that report to you or to your managers to know what they need to do, you will start to get your life back and they will feel more empowered. And that yes, is org charts, manuals. Staffing power, all the things that I still do and do online these days, it applies to you.
[00:58:41] Al Levi: So whoever you decide to go and find it or buy it from or make it yourself, it's the best work you will ever do. You know it. People like to know.
[00:58:53] Corey Berrier: If you're the boss and I'm working for you, I want to know you got a freaking plan. If you're in charge of my checkbook, you're in charge of my check. Yeah. Really? I got chose to get in your car. So why and where are we going? Yes. One thing
[00:59:10] Corey Berrier: I wanna point out before we wrap this up, you said something really hit home that I hope
[00:59:15] Al Levi: If you can be that big brother, right?
[00:59:18] Corey Berrier: I don't mean big brother. Go out and get drunk. Not that big brother , the big brother that, like we just said, with the active listing and just taking an interest in them, something completely outside of work.
[00:59:31] Corey Berrier: It'll change the game for you. It'll change the game.
[00:59:35] Al Levi: I it's, people don't care what you do until you've shown that you care. And so for me it was learning a balance. We are not born managers, especially if like I was a technician working in the field, what qualifications was that for me to be a manager?
[00:59:52] Al Levi: And when you appoint your best tech to all of a sudden be this field supervisor that I talk about, how did they become a boss or, they watched horrible bosses and they decide they're just gonna be an s o B to everybody, or they're gonna be everybody's buddy and it's not either one. So there needs to be some training skills, but you need to work on your own leadership skills.
[01:00:13] Al Levi: I went to a lot of great training years [01:00:16] and years ago and it's, I read some of the best books out there and then I learned and did my own self debrief and how I could get better and better on it. And I measure measure the results cuz that's the only way you do. Yes. One
[01:00:30] Corey Berrier: of the things that I have people do that, that want to get better on video and camera or Zoom, whatever, is I have them just do videos to themselves.
[01:00:39] Corey Berrier: 30 days, have 'em do 30 days worth videos, five takes a day, 20, 25 seconds, you don't have, do anything with it. Massive change happens
[01:00:48] Al Levi: Because you can see yourself and until you and that I'm gonna try and be respectful of the time here. Yes. So when we finally decided to, we had the manuals, we were building the training center, gonna take this training in.
[01:01:00] Al Levi: My great friend Dan Hollahan says to me, who was a phenomenal speaker, as well as knowing his subject to monster. I was very fortunate to have this great person be my influence. He goes, Al, the only way you're gonna become a better trainer is you have to videotape yourself. So I was videotaping my class Gori.
[01:01:18] Al Levi: I turned to write something on a whiteboard, and I wrote for 15 minutes and never looked back. And the only reason they didn't throw anything at me is because I signed their check. But because I watched the video and I saw what I was doing and what my face looked like, I didn't even need somebody. I just began to self-correct every time I would run their thing.
[01:01:41] Al Levi: That's what made a difference. A hundred percent. Yeah. Al, this has been tremendous conversation, appreci. It's been a lot of ation. I really always appreciate the this perspective. And you know what guys? I know we bounced all over the world here, but it was all good information because your business is not separate from you.
[01:02:02] Al Levi: Matter of fact, 10 golden rules for your business need to be aligned with your 10 personal goals. A hundred percent. Al, where can they find you? You can find me at what you see here, the seven power contractor, so the seven number seven power contractor.com. I offer a free 30 if you guys go to connect with Al on thatPage@sevenpowercontractor.com.
[01:02:25] Al Levi: You're a contractor. Let me know you want to have a free 30. I'm happy to do it. It's my give back to the industry and I will put that link in
[01:02:31] Corey Berrier: the show note so you don't even have to
[01:02:32] Al Levi: go looking for it. There you go. Thank you my friend. Thanks. My pleasure. Bye now.