Joseph Grohe left receives a 2500 donation from the Service Roundtable for the Joesph Grohe Foundation wwwjosephgrohfoundationorg from Matt Michel middle and David Heimer The foundation is a nonprofit organization with the sole purpose of helpingmember of the HVAC and plumbing contrating industries who have suffered life altering experiences

International HVAC/Plumbing Contractor Roundtable Focuses on Overcoming Adversity

Feb. 21, 2013
The International Roundtable, a division of the Service Roundtable gathered in Fort Worth, TX, February 11-14 to network and share ideas on how to succeed despite the odds being stacked against them. From a bad economy to personal injury and loss, there are ways to pck yourself up andmove on. Overcoming Adversity was the theme and the inspiration for this event.

More than 130 HVAC and plumbing/hydronics contractors descended upon the Hilton Fort Worth in mid-February to get their batteries recharged, their networking fired up, and to learn how to overcome adversity in today's crazy economy. The event was very interactive, with speakers sharing experiences, group discussions on specific adversarial issues that they overcame, as well as a keynote by former Dallas Cowboy great Chad Hennings.

Attendees were exposed to a number of speakers who overcame catastrophe in their life and in their business including:

  • Joe Grohe, whose life as a contracting business owner changed forever after a tragic accident
  • Ed O'Connell who went from a scholarship college basketball player to a homeless person living on the streets of San Francisco to successful plumbing contracor
  • Steve Saunders who built a business, lost it, built it again, and nearly lost it again to become Contracting magazine's 2003 Residential Contractor of the Year and more.
  • Larry Taylor and Gene Burch shared how they built additional profit opportunities through green contracting. Taylor, whose company was Contracting's 2004 Residential Contractor of the Year, focused on performance contracting, while Burch lead a discussion with plumbing contractors on "Green Plumbing."
  • Todd Liles focused on how to live a life worth living and how to turn learning into earning. Overcoming the curves that learning can through you is his specialty.
  • John and Vicki LaPlant discussed how to deal with the greatest adversities contractors can face -- those that stem from family. Recognizing and dealing with family conflict in a contracting business can be one of the hardest things for contractors to do. The LaPlants provided a serious of scenarios commonly found in business and how to work through them successfully.
  • Jim Hinshaw and Lorri Allen tackled the issue of what to do when the media comes knocking on your door. How to be interviewed when something goes wrong or a sting is being set up -- something that can destroy your business or set you up as the expert.
Keynote Speaker Chad Hennings is flanked by The Service Roundtable's Matt Michel (left) and David Heimer (right)

Here are five  similarities among these people and their stories:

  1. Remember your key goals. Each one of them understood their endgame, created "bite-sized" steps toward achieving the goal, and beciame more motivated as they accomplished each "step."
  2. Seek assistance from others. Whether it's through trade associations, boards of advisors, or online using an entity like The Service Roundtable, staying connected with people in similar situations as you is very important. Not only for comiserating with people who've already gone through similar experiences, but learning from their lessons, through their guidance, and support.
  3. Stay positive. Business isn't personal. It's business. Don't take bad news, bad luck, or bad decisions on your own part or those with who you work or do business personally. If you do, you can definately develop a bad attitude and that is detrimental to your organization and can prevent you from overcoming adversity. Understand that there is always a solution. Stay positive. You can and will win.
  4. Retain your composure. Don’t panic. Remain calm and remember that each day brings new opportunities.
  5. Don't give up. Try, try, and try again. Don’t let obstacles stop you. If you run into a wall, find a way to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

The even was MC'd by Bob Mader, editorial director of Contractor magazine with his counterpart on Contracting, Mike Weil, moderating both a panel discussion on what to expect in 2013 as well as the Service Roundtable's Idea Storm.

If you aren't a member of The Service Roundtable and would like to hear what member companies have to say about its value, check out their testimonials page.

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events.