May 8, 2024

Episode #142: Sam Elsts – My Guy Services

Sam Elsts, a native of Brownsburg, Indiana, pursued his higher education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where he earned a degree from the Kelley School of Business with a major in Marketing and minors in Anthropology and International Studies.

While still in college, Sam embarked on his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 18, founding My Guy Services. His venture into pressure washing and exterior cleaning began with a simple Google search for “summer time hustles,” quickly evolving into a thriving business that has now celebrated 12 years of success.

Throughout the past decade, Sam’s entrepreneurial spirit has led him to establish multiple ventures. Notably, he achieved remarkable success with Indy Roof Rangers, which reached seven-figure revenue within its first two years and was subsequently sold.

Currently, Sam dedicates his efforts to his latest enterprise, Luna Contracting, which specializes in concrete, asphalt, and sealcoating services. Concurrently, he remains actively involved in the marketing and high-level networking endeavors of My Guy Services, while his wife, Cinthia, oversees its day-to-day operations.

Beyond his business ventures, Sam and Cinthia are proprietors of Luna Brands, a cigar company. Sam’s entrepreneurial drive has been evident since childhood, when he launched his first business at the age of 8, selling ticket holders and earplugs at the race track.

With a wealth of experience and a passion for innovation, Sam continues to make significant contributions to the business landscape, embodying the essence of a serial entrepreneur.

In honor of the fellow business owners in your life that had an impact on you
becoming the person you are today, let’s celebrate them. Click this link to apply to be on our podcast to recognize those people: https://www.BeMADTogether.com

Transcript

Intro: You’re listening to the Self Made is a Myth, Make a Difference Together Show with your host Coach Tim Campsall, where we talk with successful business owners to hear the stories of their journeys in building their successful businesses. And more importantly, We recognize the folks who helped them excel because we know that achieving business success is not something we can do on our own.

Coach Tim Campsall: Hello everyone. This is Coach Tim Campsall and I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us today. Something unique about my guest is that him and his wife celebrated their sixth wedding renewal in Costa Rica. In his downtime, he enjoys traveling the world and Costa Rica is one of those locations because they bought a home there, which is awesome.

And he’s most proud of being someone who inspires others and makes a meaningful or has a meaningful impact in other people’s lives It’s my pleasure to welcome Sam to the show today. Hi, Sam.

Sam Elsts: Hey, how are you doing Tim? Thanks for having me

Coach Tim Campsall: I am awesome. Thanks for asking. Hey, let’s start with having you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit of your personal story, like where you were born and live and about your family and hobbies.

Sam Elsts: Yeah, so grew up in Brownsburg and always was a businessman had my first business at eight years old. I was selling ticket holders and earplugs at the racetrack. There were sources from China, like a dollar, 75, 20, selling for 5 for each to the races. So at an early age, I learned about the dollar. From Brownsburg, I went to the Kelly School of Business.

That’s when I started my business when I was 18 years old of My Guy Services. How that came about, I was a broke college kid like anyone can relate to. And I went to Google, I Googled summertime hustles and that’s when pressure washing kept popping up in all the blogs called my best friend, Ben at the time.

And I was like, Hey, I have an idea. This is how we’re going to make money. And that same day we went to buy the pressure washer, sold his mom’s minivan, bought a truck, and we were selling pressure washing services the next day. So that was 12 years ago. So still graduated, ran my business all through school, went full time in the business when I was a sophomore.

And I haven’t turned in a resume since.

Coach Tim Campsall: That’s fantastic. And how about personally about your about your family and hobbies?

Sam Elsts: Yeah, so I have a three year old daughter. My wife and I, we’ve been married since 2020. One of the cool things about being married in 2020 is when I get old and senile, I’m going to easily remember how long we’ve been married.

So it’s like 2072. It’s 52 years. It’s real simple math, right? One of the fun things with us we get married all over the world. We renew our vows everywhere we go, like Costa Rica was recent, we just did it in Paris, we’ve done it in Panama, we’ve done it in Mexico at Chichen Itza we got married by Elvis in Vegas we got married on the beach in Florida, I’m sure I’m forgetting one of them, but yeah, just love to travel, we just bought a house down in Costa Rica in August, so we go to, go there pretty frequently.

My daughter, she called it the Rika house farm there. We got a bunch of chickens. We got cats, we got monkeys, we got all the fruits. So that’s my time to relax. But other than that, it’s a family business here. So we’re all involved.

Coach Tim Campsall: Fantastic. Hey, Sam, tell us is there a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today?

Sam Elsts: Oh, yeah. So back to I was always a business guy. My friends always bring this up. So in third grade, I made sure to come in real dapper I came in with a suit and tie And what’s funny about it is I got this crooked smile, but with a crooked tie so like balance out the symmetry it’s a pretty legendary photo and my friends and family never let me forget.

Coach Tim Campsall: That’s awesome

Sam Elsts: They didn’t know I was doing it. I just showed up. So that’s just my style

Coach Tim Campsall: Nice. I love it. Hey, tell us, how did the business come about? You gave a little bit of detail in terms of starting your college gig, but at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business?

Sam Elsts: It was sink or swim at the end of the day. I was running the business from 18 to now I’m 31 now, but like how it started was just, a means of solving a problem of, I was broke. I owed some money to, them for credit cards. I owed debt and I didn’t know how I was going to pay for it. And at that, what was happening was like, how am I going to make this money?

And I was working at First Watch downtown. I was doing the weekends there. I was going to school Monday, Wednesday. And then I worked Thursday through Sunday at the restaurant. But that wasn’t enough. I was on my own at 17. And it wasn’t enough to do what I really wanted to do. Pay bills, live in downtown.

It’s expensive. So that’s when the business came into, the idea of let’s run this out. So when that happened, the first year we saved all of our money, paid off all the debt, saved our money, realized we had something. Then the next goal was to get a commercial contract that had residual cashflow.

By getting that, then we knew we could then pay the bills because we knew we had money coming in plus whatever we sold. So at that point, we just got so busy that the restaurant, I just couldn’t work it anymore. I was taking phone calls in the back. As I’m obviously selling all the clients out front too, but taking calls in the back and just got to the point to where it’s we’re going to struggle, but I’d rather do this struggle than have this other struggle.

That’s an unfair advantage that I had that I was willing just to jump in at an early age to, feast or famine mentality.

Coach Tim Campsall: That’s awesome. So tell us more about the company. What’s the name? What do you guys do? How do you help people?

Sam Elsts: Yeah, so My Guy Services, we’re an exterior cleaning company.

We extend the helping hand of the communities we call home. That’s our mission statement so we do exterior cleaning of like pressure washing for multi family commercial residential concrete sealing We do the gutter cleaning window cleaning, but now we also own another entity The beautiful thing about my guy services is it doesn’t tell you what I do So we added on Christmas lights.

We actually added on concrete, we added on asphalt, we added on seal coating, all these other services to the company to be a full ecosystem, full four season into like enterprise. That way my guys are here all year. That was a big hurdle for us at the beginning keeping quality talent. So we needed something we could do all year.

So in the winter time we do Christmas lights and snow plowing. So everybody’s working all year.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah. Fantastic. I love the way you’ve branched out to be able to, to your point, keep the good people on staff and have a full season opportunity for everyone.

Sam Elsts: Yeah, that’s the only way when it was recalled, hibernation,no, it’s not.

Coach Tim Campsall: Hey, Sam, share a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it. Maybe even when you weren’t sure that you could and the impact of that person had on you.

Sam Elsts: Yeah. So one of my old business coaches still talk to her pretty frequently, Elaine, and it was during this is at the height of covid.

We’re all rolling into covid and the getting off the phone was a difficult one to get over, I knew in the field I’m not the field guy. All right. I don’t have calluses

As always the guy that can make sales talk to people be friendly do the business side of things. But the big one was letting go of getting off the phones and then delegating that sign.

And then the resources of doing that was, able to do more. And then now with that being said, I’m able to do more in the same amount of time and then still add more people to the team as we grow. So that, that was the biggest push because everyone thinks that no one could do as good as you.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah.

Sam Elsts: But what I’ve learned is I need someone to be 80 percent of me. If they’re 80 percent of me, that’s still a five star review. So that mentality right there is what pushed me when she pushed on really hard to be able to get over that hurdle that no one’s gonna do as well as you No one’s gonna be able to talk to clients as well as you no one’s gonna be able to sell as well as you but They don’t own it.

They don’t own the company. They’re not gonna have the same passion necessarily They will in some perspective, but not the same So that was a big hurdle that we got over and that changed everything for us

Coach Tim Campsall: And there’s the opportunity cost as well. So you mentioned that 80 percent is still a five star, but there’s also the opportunity cost right of, if what could you be doing instead of Right.

That’s more value to the organization, versus staying in a role that you can train someone else to do and delegate.

Sam Elsts: Yeah. A hundred percent, because that led to the next hurdle was the next hurdle was the hiring side, right? The mentality of hiring the low level guys was the problem. No, I had another mentor and coach Bennett.

He said, flip the script, hire the operation manager first and have them hire everybody down. And that was another game changer that we incorporated that. It’s their team now. They created this team. They own the team. They run the team. It’s not me that hand chose everybody.

Coach Tim Campsall: And that’s another challenge that we can all have, right?

Of I don’t know if I can, afford that higher, at higher paid, management person versus the, yep. But then we all, and you just described it as well, right? When we do it, there’s usually this huge eye opening. Oh my goodness. I wish I had done that earlier because they’ve just taken so much off of my plate.

And they’re managing their team instead of me having to manage the team. And wow, I’ve just bought myself so much free time to work on other parts of the business.

Sam Elsts: Sure, or yeah, if I focus on marketing and sales, that’s it, like high level sales. That’s all I need to focus on.

Everything else is delegated. Fantastic.

Coach Tim Campsall: So what’s been your biggest learning as a business owner?

Sam Elsts: I never give up. There’s times everyone wants to be, pull their hair out, burn the building down, walk out the door and I’m fed up with this, my 600 problems drive me to drink.

It’s a figure of speech, obviously, but yeah, it’s that’s like the biggest hurdles that we’ve had to learn on that is being able to just never give up, that’s always going to get better if you just keep pushing at it. I think that lesson was really brought to light at our 10 year anniversary, where we finally broke the seven figure mark.

And at the same time we broke the seven figure mark with another company as well. It’s actually funny. It was on the vision board. It had 2 million on it and didn’t see how it would be because it’s never how you think it’s always better. And we did seven figures with my guy, 2022, 2021, and then seven figures with Indy roof Rangers same year.

So two companies, same year broke seven figures that we were running. And that’s when the doors really started to see a little more light of like, all right, you just got to put 10 years into it, like the cliche says.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah. Yeah. You offline, we talked to, you just mentioned the 600 problem.

Explain to everyone what you mean by that.

Sam Elsts: Yeah. 600 problem is something way before it happens. Someone that’s going to be a red flag. is what I call a 600 problem. Typically there’s a, there’s an indicator on the phone call or in the messaging system or demands that are happening in interactions with clients that we’ve built out a red flag system.

If this happens, know that this is what’s going to occur. Chances are and be ready for it. So our goal is to try to eliminate those as much as possible. While also then making sure that the employees now are responsible for the job. They own the job. That 600 problem is your problem.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yes, I love it.

Sam Elsts: Don’t bring it to me. I don’t want your 600 problem. I have my own problems I got to deal with.

Coach Tim Campsall: Love it. And that’s a good example of the, what the delegating that you were referencing earlier, right? Of, your value to the organization now. It is a lot higher than 600. So much better to have an employee own it and take care of it and manage it and keep it off of your plate.

Sam Elsts: Yeah. A hundred percent. I tell my team, I was like, I’ll handle the 10, 000, 20, 000, 50, 000 problem. I’m fine with that. Those are typically a lot easier to manage in the grand scheme of things. But the 600 problem is more of a, it’s a relationship thing that you have to get over with the client if there’s an issue.

And that’s where I want them to own it. Love it,

Coach Tim Campsall: Sam. We know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation. So tell us about one of your biggest challenges throughout the years and someone who came alongside you and helped you through that.

Sam Elsts: Yeah. Building a team was the biggest. So starting off with my own assistant, Mario, she was the one that took over the phones.

That was in 2020. That was a big assistance to me to be able to delegate more things to her. The next one was my operation manager, Gustavo. Hiring him. He’s also bilingual. So that allowed us to hire multiple people that from different ethnicities and everything like that, which opened up other doors.

And then the other one was hiring my wife to run the office. She was a big input on that. It’s a family business. So having her run, quit her job and come run this company with me is a massive value because no one’s going to care as much as her and I and then the other one was Garrett.

Garrett’s one of our concrete sealers and one of our leads as well. Another young rock star building a team of people that I can depend on. And then we’ll keep adding more. Like we just hired another guy, Austin, that I’ve been headhunting for years. He’s a new sales rep for us for our, my guy and Luna contracting side of things.

And then another operation guy, Grant, just constantly hiring rock stars that I’ve constantly been keeping up with and staying involved with over the years. Just letting them know that your time’s coming and when it comes, I’m going to give you an offer you can’t refuse.

Coach Tim Campsall: I love it. Yeah. Hey,

Sam Elsts: bring them to the, I call it the, my guy mob.

Coach Tim Campsall: I’m going to put you on the spot here a little bit and ask you to pick three people in your business owner journey who you’re most grateful for them being there to help with your overall growth. So who are the three people and how’d they help you?

Sam Elsts: Oh, Mary’s the first. Mary’s definitely the first.

She’s like the, the, my assistant that keeps, The glue together over the, what, four years we’ve been together now that, it’s, she has my brain inside of her. So she knows how I think. So it’s a quick message on Slack. Hey, I need this, and that. And I don’t have to worry about it getting done.

I have the report by the end of the day or right away, turn away, whatever we’re looking for. The other one would have been the operation manager of hiring Gustavo that, all right, here’s the plan. We sit down at our operation meeting. This is the plan for next week. I need you to handle this.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah.

Sam Elsts: And then the third would have been my wife where she’s running all the client communications where she’s dealing with all the clients coming in, all the clients going out any things that come into the office, she’s updating the team as well.

So those three pillars of the company is what’s allowed us to, grow and continuously, move forward. So those would be the three to answer your question.

Coach Tim Campsall: Fantastic. And I think I forgot to ask earlier, what’s your wife’s name? Cynthia. Awesome. So as you think about the next one to three years, Sam, what’s the, either the number one priority or the biggest challenge that you see in reaching your goals?

Sam Elsts: The biggest challenge is going to be the cash flow. Only because we have rapid growth going on with our contracting side, our concrete business side is just blowing up. We have a proprietary and exclusive deal with a new innovative solution for concrete, and we’re going to be rolling that out nationwide.

So it’s a real exciting time to do this because we’ve found a vehicle that saves the client money, but also makes us a whole lot of money. So in any situation like that in business, it’s a win that’s the gonna be the biggest challenge and where we see the growth going is just because it’s gonna need a lot of capital to get the ball rolling and also leveraging our credit terms with our vendors to make sure that, they’re obviously wanted for buying product.

We need them to grow with us necessarily as we grow, not necessarily that they’re small, but they need to allow us to grow into this role. For everybody to continue to win.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah. Cashflow can be a, one of those, interesting dilemmas of, I’ve, I know this isn’t the case with you. I talked to a number of business owners who don’t want to take on debt.

I don’t want to, don’t want to borrow money. They want to a hundred percent finance it internally. And I understand that because I did it myself, but now I kicked myself in the arse because bootstrapping is a terrible, terrible idea. From the standpoint of wanting to grow, right? Cause banks are going to give us money when we don’t need it.

They’re no, they’re not going to give us money when we do need it. So that’s correct. Getting the line of credit or getting the loan when we don’t need it is much better to then be able to draw on it when we do.

Sam Elsts: Oh yeah. No, the line of credit has been a savior for us. It just both of them were just increased.

So that, that helps us now, but back to your question of one to three years, it’s not going to be enough. So that’s where that comes in. But also that’s why we do the residential side of things because that’s our consistent cash flow The commercial is where we’re on all the things on terms make sense

Coach Tim Campsall: last question Sam Jim Rone. Awesome business guru One of his famous quotes is we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with though as you think about that What advice would you have for new business owners who are you know doing it on their own and think that they? Shouldn’t ask for help.

Sam Elsts: Yeah. So I tell my friends this all the time, every year, my goal is to make one new genuine friend.

That’s a level or multiple levels ahead of me. And it’s not that I’m always seeking that, but by saying that it actually happens. Every year I always want to add one new friend that I can actually call on any day, any time, like a genuine friend that’s in a position that I want to be in or at the same position.

So there’s conversations that has happened normally that could come off wrong to somebody that’s not, but that’s the type of people I like being around because at the same time, they’re killers too. And I like being around a bunch of killers. I move pretty comfortable that way. Because I’m, I like to think that way too.

My slogan is Pato a Pomo, which is silver or lead, either you’re with me or against me. I want to build an army and building a, building out the mob is, very important. So you can’t do it on your own, obviously. And seeking the mentorship is the big one too. You never know when you’re going to get that golden nugget.

Someone just can be talking, but you pick up one piece out of a 40 minute conversation that can change everything.

Coach Tim Campsall: I let you, you mentioned earlier, your vision board just now, you talked about, just speaking it into truth and it happens like manifesting and law of attraction is so important. is so real and powerful that, earlier you talked about the 2 million, right?

Vision board. And then, and it just happened now. It didn’t just happen, but right. You guys did the hard work, but right. You also said, things never turn out exactly the way that we think they’re going to, but we still, we still got to our goal for folks listening. If you’re not doing some type of.

You know manifesting law of attraction, vision board, Exercise highly encourage that you start because we literally attract, you know What we think and believe and those tools can be very powerful.

Sam Elsts: Yeah. No, and then what proved is that 30? 30 years old my goal was to retire Have a house in Nicaragua and own a cigar company.

What’s crazy is there’s never what you say it’s going to be. It’s always better. Didn’t think I was going to have a house in the, buy a house in Costa Rica, but we did, wasn’t looking for it. It happened. It just fell in our lap. Retirement at 30. I actually bought out my business partner.

He now runs the roofing company. I run all of my guy. That’s a rebirth. It’s not a retirement. It’s a rebirth. And then the third was the adding the cigar company, which we do, we have our own cigar company. It’s called Luna brands. And those three things I was speaking that for 10 plus years, people are saying you’re never going to retire at 30.

Yeah, I am. And, it’s not a retirement, it’s a rebirth. So those three things coming together, I actually made a video about it when it was all happening at the end of the year, last year. And it, it just, it’s so real that, that energy is, the universal language.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yes, absolutely. Yeah, I’ve been in a mindset program for the last three years and Every year I go back and I map out my revenue versus where my mindset was at, cause there’s some peaks and valleys, it’s not, I’m not always on, but there’s a hundred percent correlation between our revenue and where my mindset is.

And it’s just incredible to think about, where we should be focusing our energy is not where most people would advise. And it’s all about what we’re envisioning, what we’re attracting, what we’re thinking and believing. And, the law of attraction is so true and powerful. And the, and you mentioned energy, right?

The more energy we put into believing in those, that the vision board or the manifestation, I like the idea of the ripple effect of, you drop a pebble in the water, there’s tiny little dribbles or ripples you drop a rock in a, in the water, there’s larger ripples, and that’s the energy that we’re putting out, to attract the things that we want to attract.

Sam Elsts: Yeah. Like that I’ll change songs if I don’t like the energy that it’s given me in my headspace. Like my headspace is, I call it big Sam.

 So when I’m talking to myself, that’s big Sam. So I make sure that I control that energy. And I, I’ll create battles with myself to make sure that, I’m never going to quit.

Like when I’m tired, I don’t want to do something that goes back to the big Sam thought in the head of don’t be a little, man up. Yeah. And those conversations, those inner conversations can, can take us in different spots, right? They’re, oh, they’ll destroy it. Like we all have that, that, those thoughts the, I’m not good enough.

I’m not ready. I’m not whatever, the imposter syndrome, but to your point, it’s a mind battle of making sure we don’t let those thoughts win. And I’ll tell the team they’re not going to beat me. And they’re like, who’s they? They is them, everybody.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah. Yeah. And then back to the, the five people we surround ourselves with, people can all can talk negativity into us as well.

You mentioned it earlier. You’re never going to retire by your time. You’re 30 or you’re never going to achieve that. Or you’re crazy. Or yeah, it’s get out of my head. Stop. Yeah. Stop holding me back.

Sam Elsts: No, I was going to just prove them wrong. And then they can’t say anything.

Coach Tim Campsall: Hey, Sam, it sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people in your journey.

If they were all here on the show today, what would you want to say to them?

Sam Elsts: I just appreciate them. They’re all part of the family. We treat everybody like family. We win as a team, we lose as a team. Those are my guys and gals. I’ll keep being the leader that I am and, keep helping me do whatever I got to do because we’re going to make it happen, whatever it is.

I love it.

Coach Tim Campsall: Sam, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today. Thanks so much for being on the show.

Sam Elsts: Appreciate it. Thank you.

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