Mark Stoner’s fair share of failures has made him into the success that he is today. He went from running a one-man chimney sweeping business to turning it into a multi-million dollar business. Today, Mark Stoner owns and runs Ashbusters Chimney Service, the third largest chimney sweep operation in the U.S, and is the author of Blue Collar Gold: How To Build A Service Business From The Dirt Up. In this episode, we talked about hiring, leadership, company culture…

Show notes

  • Introducing Mark Stoner. [00:32]
  • How Mark got started in the chimney business. [01:05]
  • The turning point in Mark’s life that made him realize that he was running a job and not a business. [03:16]
  • Why it has become harder for service providers to find great people. [06:18]
  • Mark talks about the mistakes he made in recruiting, leading to hiring people who are not the right fit for his company. [08:05]
  • How Mark rebuilt his company focusing on an employee-centric culture. [09:08]
  • Mark shares how he shifted to a commission-based structure to reward performers. [09:34]
  • How referrals helped Mark hire great talent. [14:51]
  • The downside of using Craigslist and Indeed in finding people for your business. [15:35]
  • Why Mark’s company went from spending a few hundred dollars on job ads to making recruitment and hiring a big part of their budget. [15:47]
  • Why micromanaging reflects a lack of leadership. [22:30]
  • The important skill you need to scale your business. [26:37]
  • Mark talks about the one mistake business owners when delegating. [27:23]
  • What the Shepherd style of leadership is, and how it has helped Mark successfully manage his business. [28:22]
  • The business hack that Mark does when he goes on vacation. [31:13]
  • Mark’s take on paid vacations, and how it helps boost employee morale. [33:02]
  • Why building a company that runs without you is tantamount to building a legacy you can leave behind. [36:54]
  • The top four books on Mark’s list. [40:28]
  • Why holding people accountable can be the nicest thing you can do for other people. [45:09]
  • Why the Shit Sandwich approach doesn’t work, and what to do instead. [53:55]
  • The biggest indicator of a successful business vs a failing business. [57:41]
  • How service business owners who struggle with numbers can stay updated on the key metrics. [59:25]
  • Mark shares how every member of his family has had one-man businesses, and how their experiences have made him realize how this path is as disastrous as riding a unicycle. [1:03:52]
  • What value home service business owners can get from Mark’s Blue Collar University. [1:11:57]
  • Mark’s most important piece of advice to home service businesses. [1:15:02]

Resources And People Mentioned:

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