From VHS Rentals to Successful Entrepreneurship with Steve Cloward

Jul 31, 2023 | Assembling The Band, Gathering Fans, Learning from the Best, PodCast, Season 3

The Back-Story

Get ready for a rollercoaster ride as we walk you through the incredible journey of Steve Cloward, owner of Advanced Home Pros. From renting out VHS tapes at 17 to building successful businesses, Steve’s life is an inspiration. Despite grappling with Crohn’s disease, a fierce battle with opiates, and a stint in prison, Steve not only came out stronger but also found a renewed sense of self. His story promises lessons on resilience, gratitude, and the power of inner wisdom. Steve’s candid account of overcoming challenges, rebuilding his identity, and advice for those in a tough spot make this episode a must-listen. Join us for this enlightening conversation with Steve Cloward and grab some inspiration along the way.

Steve Cloward started Advanced Home Pros After the Real Estate crash in 2008 and 2009 when he decided it was time to look at other industries we could get involved in. With the frustration he had personally when calling his Television, internet, and other home service providers, he knew we could make a difference in this industry. He knew that finding home services and getting help with home services didn’t have to be this difficult after you had become a customer. Because he didn’t know the business, he knew how important it was to learn it by starting at the bottom and working his way up. He knew nothing about home services then, so he dived deep into learning about the industry. He knew that he wanted to make a change that made a difference in his life but also in the lives of others. He started down this path in 2010 and has helped over 10,000 customers with their TV, Internet, Home Security, and Solar services.

Show Notes

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In This Episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:25] The good note: Story of business success
[2:53] The bad note: Something that didn’t go as planned and what he learned from it
[9:05] How did the challenges turn into success?
[23:41] On the importance of relationships in a referral-based business
[24:21] What’s his strategy for finding the right people to work for him?
[27:25] How does he approach finding mentors and learning from others?
[32:29] How can someone go about finding a coach?
[35:33] What’s exciting in his business right now?
[40:22] Where to find Steve
[41:05] Outro


Read Transcript

Tim Melanson: [00:00:00] hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

I’m excited for today’s guest. It’s gonna be a good one. He’s the owner of Advanced Home Pros, and what he does is, helps people stop. He helps people to stop letting their past get in the way of their future through way of mindset and entrepreneurship. Super excited to be rocking out today with Steve Cloward.

Hey Steve, are you ready to rock?

Steve Cloward: I am, man. Appreciate you having me on. Beautiful. So we always start off here in a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we can be inspired by. Well, actually my very, very first, uh, business success was when I was 17 years old and my dad had a full service car wash, convenience store.

And, you know, I’d always had kind of that entrepreneur spirit, I guess. I used to drag my dad’s lawnmower around the neighborhood behind the three wheeler and mow, you know, neighbor’s lawns that I’d go and knock their doors and get jobs. But, Um, the car wash was located right next door to a large apartment complex, which was close to the college campus.

And [00:01:00] you know, this is back, some of the listeners may not remember this. This was back when there was v h s and, uh, you know, video, uh, machines that you play those on and to watch movies and, and so I can’t even remember how I got the idea, but I just thought. I should get some videos, a bunch of movies, and rent ’em out to all these students that are just right next door.

’cause there’s always coming in. And so I asked my dad if there it’d be cool with that, if he’d gimme some space and in the store and he did. And you know, but he wouldn’t help me financially. And it was gonna cost a couple of thousand bucks to get all the videos and I think it was for of the machines.

And so, but he did refer me to, to his banker contacts. First one I went to turned me down. They didn’t care who my dad was or the relationship they had with him. And uh, so I was kind of discouraged and, uh, but I told my dad, you know, was he gonna give up? It was okay if I go and talk to Roger the other bank and said, yeah, I’m sure he’ll help you out, you know, but he said that about the first bank.

And so I was kind of, [00:02:00] I was a little nervous and, uh, but I just, you know, I wanted to do it. And so I. Just pushed myself, even though I kind of knew the, the person at the first bank, you know, I didn’t know this other guy at all. Uh, and so I was a little bit more nervous and, uh, not quite sure of myself at that time.

And, but I went and talked to him and sure enough, gave me a $2,000 signature loan. And, and, uh, you know, It’s like two weeks later I had everything in the store and, and uh, that turned out to be something, it wasn’t a huge amount of money, but for my age it was a significant, you know, I was making about between 1200, 1500 a month just, you know, in profit on just renting out movies.

And, uh, so that was kind of my first big success. I mowing some lawns. Wow, that’s awesome.

Tim Melanson: So you got an early start on the whole

Steve Cloward: thing, right? Yeah. It gave, you just got the juices flowing and, you know, just knew that that’s always what I wanted to do was just work for myself. Okay. So now, you

Tim Melanson: know on the journey there’s some things that don’t go as planned, so there’s some bad notes

Steve Cloward: as well.[00:03:00]


Tim Melanson: Now, so can you share some stories with, with that as well? Uh, just to kind of normalize it, make sure that people understand that, you know, you can still get success even after you fail.

Steve Cloward: Right. Oh, absolutely. And I can tell you a great story about that. And just so you know, Tim, I’m, I’m an open book, so there’s no questions that are off the table.

I, uh, believe in just being fully transparent. It’s, it’s, uh, just noticed that, that being authentic and totally raw and real tends to make a bigger impact, um, because I know that that’s what I look for and, and that’s served me well when I was going through. Part of this story I’m gonna talk about. Um, so I got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 19 years old and had a small bowel resection.

Um, and that introduced me to opiates, narcotics, and I danced with the devil for 14 years after that. And, uh, Believe it or not, I [00:04:00] am married to the same woman today for 33 years now, this last June, uh, who went through all this that I’m about to tell you, and I was a very functioning addict. I. My businesses actually did very well.

Um, opiates affect me different than the average person, um, for whatever reason. And it kind of is more like, gives me energy obviously. It, it kind of is like alcohol to a lot of people. It kind of gives you that, you know, first obviously you’d call it maybe, Social lubricant or liquid courage, whatever you, you know, um, made me more outgoing I guess.

But that, that goes away, obviously. And so then you’re continuing to do stuff, continuing to take that stuff just to function and your tolerance builds and before you know it, you’re taking a lot. Um, and this was, I got sober in July of 2000, so, you know, This was back before it was more talked about and open and, you know, considered a disease and, and [00:05:00] whatnot.

It, you know, and so I felt a lot of guilt and shame and, and I didn’t know where to turn to get help when I got to the point a few times where I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Um, And I had an experience where I was driving to meet a buddy of the golf course, hit some balls, and as I turned to go down what’s called University Avenue at the mouth, Provo Canyon in Utah, I went numb from my neck down and I.

It was the weirdest thing. In fact, I talked to a guy on my podcast a couple weeks ago who had a near death experience because I’d never really thought into it much, because by the time I got to the golf course, I was a wreck. You know, I was scared shitless, I was bawling. I didn’t, you know, I was, I was ready to be done.

You know, I, it was time to figure this thing out. Um, but when I went numb, it was so strange because I, I remember just having this visual and I don’t know how to explain it other than just I had this picture of my car and [00:06:00] my dead body sitting in it, and, you know, I don’t know what that means. I don’t know if I left my body for, I don’t know.

But like I said, I never really thought deep into that until recently, but, So when we got there, I decided I was gonna go talk to my gastro ologist, just his son had worked for me, so I kind of had a, you know, friendship with him per se, rather than just a professional doctor patient relationship drove to his house and he had something going on.

So he was speaking to me through the speaker at the gate and. He said, uh, you know, I told him what happened and what was up and, and I’d never abused him. You know, it’s really interesting how as an addict you’ll do about anything for your drug when you need him. But I’d never abused him for prescriptions or anything, and I just respected him, I guess, too much.

I don’t know. But, um, he said, He called an internist buddy of his who, and this was, this would’ve been in 1996, and I’d never heard seven. I had never heard of Oxycontin at this time. You know, it was brand new [00:07:00] and the internist was outta town. He said he could see me in three days. So he told my doctor Dickinson, he said, why don’t you prescribe him eight Oxycontin?

And you know, I’ll see him a couple days when I get back. And as an addict, you know, here I am scared to death and ready to be done with it and figure it out. Even knowing that I had problems and had major pain at times. And when that happened, it’s like the light went back on, you know, over the next few days before I saw him thinking, well, I do need this stuff.

It’s okay. And, uh, so after seeing him, that’s what took place. And for the next three, three and a half years, I continued down that path until, you know, I finally just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. And I had a mentor in business, uh, that had gotten sober a year and a half earlier. And so I just went to him and figured out what I needed to do, and, and then I finally took care of it once and for all.

Wow. Wow. That’s, uh, [00:08:00] that’s a lot, man. It was, it’s not, I don’t wish that on anybody. No, no. I, I too much of it. So

Tim Melanson: what was the, what did you learn out of that, out of that whole

Steve Cloward: experience? Well, you know, through that experience that my other experience that ended up going to federal prison, one thing that I realized really quickly, particularly when I got to prison was, you know, we take for granted those that we love the most.

Not even necessarily on a conscious level. And the wreckage and the hurt and the breaking of trust is just, it’s brutal. And, you know, I’m one very, very grateful and blessed guy to have the life I have, have, like I said, my wife still and my family together. Yeah,

Tim Melanson: that’s, you’re definitely fortunate about that.

’cause I think a lot of people. Push the people around them away and, and they do go right.

Steve Cloward: Absolutely. And [00:09:00] there’s a lot of wreckage that takes place. Good.

Tim Melanson: So, so now, uh, you know, out of that experience, I mean, obviously it turned into some success eventually. How did, how did that, how did that start to turn?

How did

Steve Cloward: it start to turn to success? Yeah, let’s fast forward and I’ll give you little pieces so it makes a lot of sense to your audience. So for the next eight years, you know, I did stay sober. I had a very, uh, successful real estate appraisal firm. Um, I did real estate investing as well as importing. And in 2006, Or 2005 I got handed a gag order from a state investigator and this time I had, you know, I had eight appraisers, six in my one office, two in my Southern Utah office and I was doing a lot of other things, um, still overseeing the business but not actively appraising.

But we did a lot of review work of other appraisers. And so basically I gag order, said, you know, if you guys get any appraisals that we wanna see, you have to turn ’em over to us. [00:10:00] And that, which was fine. I didn’t think anything of it. And, um, a year later, that same investigator walked into my office and handed me a 19 count federal indictment for conspiracy to commit mortgage.

I was headed to St. George, Utah, which is three and a half hours away, where I had a large real estate project underway and I left to drive down there. And as I’m on my way down, I get a call from the N B C affiliate, uh, K S L, outta Salt Lake City and said, you know, this is so and so and just wanna get a statement about this situation.

And I said, well, I’ve got your number now. And the statement is, I’ll talk to you when the truth comes out. So by the time I, you know, get to St. George, I’m starting to understand that this must be a big deal. And so I made a couple calls. Anyway, I turned around after I got there for an hour, met my partner, turned around and drove back home.

I. The next day I met with my attorney who I really had a lot of respect for and felt like he was, you know, the real guy and not, you know, a lot of the things that give them kind of the bad reputations a lot of us think [00:11:00] about, but he wasn’t a criminal defense attorney and I. He should have never taken my case.

I learned later, but he just put his arm around me, said, I got you Steve. Anyway, not gonna go through all that. ’cause that’s a lot of bss. But I ended up going to federal prison on a 33 month sentence. Um, and it turned my world upside down. Obviously I lost everything. Um, and. I left when my oldest was a high school senior.

I’ve got five kids, four boys. Four boys and a little girl at the time. And, and, uh, now they don’t have anything, you know? And, you know, four years earlier I moved into the dream house that my wife wanted, that had the large yard that, you know, my kids’ friends, they all hung out there ’cause we had the space and the stuff to, to, you know, they wanted to be there.

Now I’m removed. She doesn’t have the income. You know, she was a nurse, she worked part-time, but um, and now my kids are all gone to other places, you know, ’cause it was literally a month after I went into prison that they had to move [00:12:00] out due to foreclosure, which I’d put off for almost two years. But, um, so yeah, it was tough.

But the, so what happened then is when I got out, you know, I couldn’t be an appraiser anymore. I knew that, uh, but I didn’t have a lot of concern. I. Until I got out and realized that, remember my dad when he retired, he was a dentist and he told me that, you know, a year or so after, he is like, man, this is so strange.

Like I don’t know who I am. Like, because he identified as Dr. Cloud, now he’s not Dr. Cloud. And that was, it didn’t make sense to me until I got home and, you know, ’cause I was very successful. I had a, you know, I was involved in the community bid and did things like that and, and now, I don’t know who I am, and it’s, it’s amazing how we tie our identity to our profession.

Yeah. Um, it’s a fact, it’s pretty pathetic really, when you really think about it. But it’s a fact. And I also forgot [00:13:00] how long and the effort it took me to get to the level of success that I had. And so I expected to be there overnight even though it didn’t happen that way. And so I was always looking for shortcuts.

And not realizing the biggest things that I was struggling with were confidence, you know? And so I literally wasted eight the next eight years trying to figure things out. Even though I had the experience, I really had the wisdom if I’d have sat down. And really, just to be honest with you, they’ve gotten quiet.

I think that’s one of the biggest things that we don’t realize, not only as human beings, but as business owners, entrepreneurs. Is we, it’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race and just the day-to-day and thinking about what has to be done that we, I think it’s becoming more mainstream and talked about consistently, you know, the last few years certainly, but whether you call it meditation, whatever you wanna call it, but just getting in a place where you’re still, where you’re allow your mind to be [00:14:00] quiet so that you can, you know, have whatever you know, if you wanna say God, speak to you.

The universe, all, it doesn’t matter, but whatever, where you can just have, you know, the ability for those things to come to you or to, you know, they’re probably, they’re, I believe they’re coming to us anyway, but we’re not, we’re never in a place, you know, unless we create that to receive them. And so I really realize that because of lack of confidence and all that, it really came down to my mindset, you know, the confidence and mindset that was, that held me back.

That kept me stuck. And once I. You know, realized that and that no one was coming to save me. ’cause there’s times that I thought, well, if I hire this manager to run, at the time I had a big call center, if, uh, I hire that person and you know, this will take care of it. And that’s just a lie that we tell ourselves and it’s up to us.

And so I really focused on my mind. And so really that’s probably the biggest lesson I learned going through both those [00:15:00] things, those situations. Um, Was how important it is to work on ourself. You know, the mindset’s obviously part of that, but there’s more to it. ’cause when I was in prison then I was so depressed the first few months it was, that was like I, the only situation that really I can say that I.

I’ve run up against that. I had very, very little control to control the outcome. And as an entrepreneur, business owner, that’s what we are really, we’re problem solvers, and this was a problem. I couldn’t solve it. So as, as I’m sitting there, I’m pretty depressed. Um, knowing my family’s struggling, even though I had good family support and whatnot, it was still very difficult for them.

Um, but I got a letter from a friend of my mother’s. Who I didn’t meet till five years after I got home, and that will be, you know, this September will be 13 years since I got back from prison. But the letter said, Steve, I do not know what it is. Like it almost choked me up to [00:16:00] say this. It made such an impact on me.

I don’t know what it’s like to be in there, and I’ll never try to act like I do. But if you can every single night, think of three things that day to be grateful for. I believe that’ll make a difference. I started that that night. That shifted everything because when we’re in gratitude and we’re out of self, it’s next to impossible to be depressed, to be sad, to be whatever.

I mean, that’s a game changer. So that’s how I not only start, you know, go to bed every night, but I start every morning the same way. Wow. Yeah.

Tim Melanson: And that is huge, huge advice for anybody who’s struggling really. Um, and even if you’re not struggling, actually it’s, it’s still great advice, right? Um, you know, ’cause, you know, once you start to attract good things, you know, you can always attract more good things,

Steve Cloward: right.

That is so true.

Tim Melanson: So, okay. So [00:17:00] now when you started to, to, to get on the path to building your business again, how, let’s talk a little bit about the marketing side of it and how you, you know, gathered these fans and how you get your business moving again. What, what did you do to,

Steve Cloward: to do that? That’s a good question.

You know, I hadn’t ever, you know, had to worry too much about that in my prior business. I mean, obviously you need customer no matter what business, but, um, you know, when I was running my dad’s car wash, You know, I wasn’t involved in that and frankly, it was just, it was in a location, people anyway, it just kind of evolved.

People see it. The way you build it is by taking care of, doing a good job, obviously. Um, but as I got into the telco industry, you know, tv, internet, home security services, and solar, um, When I first got in it, I as a, you know, working, ’cause this was a, about a year and a half after I got outta prison, I, you know, I was struggling and so I ran into a kid who I went to high school with at a baseball game.

My son was pitching against his son and [00:18:00] he came over ’cause he saw me and knew what I’d gone through. And anyway, he said, you ought to come, you know, work with me. I, we sell satellite and, you know, I’m broken. I, uh, have no confidence. I was working for a buddy at the time selling insurance, but you know, He was paying me a base salary, which I didn’t deserve.

Um, so the next day I went to him and said, you know, I really appreciate what you’ve done for me, but I’m not producing at the level that I need to be to, you know, this isn’t right and I have a different opportunity that, you know, yeah, I’ve gotta go work and make it happen. But I just think it’s best and frankly, that’s me doing what I should have done probably a month ago.

You know? So I went and did that and at the time it was crazy because like I’ve told you, my confidence was shot and uh, Long story short, worked there for three weeks. Guys that I, guy that was assistant manager there. I had my project in St. George, uh, just four years earlier, he had sold me [00:19:00] two brand new mega cab Dodge pickups.

Um, and now he is, you know, assistant manager over me. And another kid in there knew me and he knew of a different company doing the same thing and thought it’d be a better situation. So he introduced me to them and so I went there. And that actually was huge because he gave me the ability to kind of do my own thing and fed me all the leads that his teams had knocked doors the prior summer, but for whatever reason didn’t close them or maybe they didn’t qualify at the time.

So they obvious in that situation. There’s obviously door knocking, but um, I decided to open my own dealership for all these different providers and. The call center I had been at, they were buying just literally probably quarter cent leads. That was full on cold calls. They did a lot of business, but man, wow, that was horrible.

If you look back at it. So I actually, about seven years ago, learned, you know, Facebook ads through [00:20:00] Billie Jean, which I’m sure you know. That actually changed everything because I, I had typically between 28 and 32 guys on that call floor. As soon as I learned that game, then I was able to drop down. I think I usually had about six, eight guys.

Did as much, often more volume because. The lead was so much better because somebody that opted in saying, Hey, raising their hand, I’m interested in what you have. Yeah. So from a marketing standpoint, that was huge. There’s obviously a lot of things you can do organically. It’s slower process, but there’s a lot of things you can do there, which we, we do, do.

Um, and I. Tho that’s been the biggest thing, um, as far as generating leads from a marketing standpoint. But then, you know, like I told you early on, I think before we were recording even taking care of that customer, I think too often, especially salespeople, we, we don’t leverage the referral game as well as we could.

Oftentimes, I think it’s [00:21:00] even forgotten and. An opt-in lead, someone raising their hand, or even a lead from say, AdWords, where they’ve searched and they find you and call you. That’s better than the opt-in, in my opinion. But that lead I. That refers you that you can call a friend or family member or business associate is even that much better.

Yeah. And so I think that’s something that, you know, listeners ought to challenge themselves and ask themselves, am I really doing what I could from a referral standpoint with the customer base I have. The only way you can do that and be successful is if you take care of them. And that’s the one of the big things I told you I learned from my grandfather.

That’s, you know, that, that will never steer anybody wrong in, in business is. Serving the customer and always doing what’s best for them. As long as it’s not screwing you, obviously. But you know, if you’re just too often, and I have a bunch of sales teams and I still get frustrated often because [00:22:00] too many people are focused on next week’s commission.

I. If you serve that customer and do the right thing, next week’s commission will always take care of itself.

Marc Mawhinney: Hi, it’s Mark Ney from Natural Born Coaches, and I want to give two very big thumbs up to Tim Melanson and his Creative Crew agency. I have been using them for a long time and I am 100% happy.

They get the job done right. They’re fast and they let me focus on my business. I don’t have to worry about anything. So again, I want to give them two very big thumbs up. I have no problem recommending them. I don’t give testimonials for everyone because my name is attached to it, but I gladly do so for Tim and the Creative Crew Agency.

So use them. You won’t regret it. And good luck.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, and, and the, the thing about, so I mean, my business runs almost completely on referrals. And, uh, and, and I think that’s probably [00:23:00] because I had no rush when I was starting. I, I, you know, I sort of had some, some money saved up and so I was able to kind of like take my time because the thing about the referral game is that it takes a while.

Right. Yeah. I mean, number one, you have to do a great job with that client, and then, I mean, they’re not just gonna run out in the street and start telling people about you. It’s gonna come as it comes. Oh, you know, I got somebody who can help you with that. So you might get somebody a year later, or even two years later.

Yeah. From that referral. But that’s the thing, is that after they compound, like it’s, it’s compounded growth, right? Exactly. You serve five guys, 10 guys, 30 guys, 50 customers, and now all of a sudden you’ve got something moving, right? Yeah.

Steve Cloward: Yeah. Yeah. I think from a business owner standpoint, you’re dead on.

Um, I think it’s this independent like sales rep that really. Needs to focus more on referrals and the relationship they have with their prior customers that they sell. Too often a sale’s made [00:24:00] and it’s a one and done and you know, just go the extra mile if that’s simply setting up some automation and getting somebody’s birth date or something that you’re sending them just a, yeah, you know, a meme of a birthday in an email.

As simple as that. Something like that can really pay off, you know? Man, that’s

Tim Melanson: a good, that’s a good tip right there. Getting birth dates from all your, uh, uh, clients. So now you mentioned, uh, you know, your team a few times. I’d like to talk about the band and about, uh, delegating, subcontracting. What’s your strategy on finding good people and, um, and making sure that they’re doing good work for you?

Steve Cloward: You know what, I’ve adopted a kind of different. Strategy the last probably six years. Um, part of it’s because of what I went through. Part of it’s, uh, the experience in the industry. I’ve, you know, I’ve been in, um, and that is, I don’t take on anybody. I don’t do a typical interview. I get on a phone call. I mean, if they’re local and we can do a face-to-face, obviously that’s better.[00:25:00]

We don’t necessarily talk always strictly about the opportunity, the business or whatever. So I wanna have a conversation to, to learn who this person is and what makes them tick and, and try to really figure out their character because, you know, I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had flaws at times, certainly, and.

In the industry I’m in, and really any industry you wanna work with, people that are not like-minded, but also that have good character, number one, because oftentimes they’re gonna be representing you and your business, which is very important that you don’t have anyone screwing that up. Um, but there’s a lot of things that can go wrong, a lot of things, particularly to chime in.

The people are, like I say, so focused on getting that deal, you know, that. They’re willing to maybe push the line across the line to get one deal, which is so shortsighted. Um, so it’s not only the character, you know, but I, I just wanna feel what it feels like and I go off on my [00:26:00] gut. Um, and that’s, that’s honestly served me better than anything I’ve done in years past.

Well, but

Tim Melanson: yeah, I, I agree a

Steve Cloward: hundred percent. I don’t care about past qualifications or schooling or any of that. Um, just wanna know who they are, you know, because I really believe in, um, Creating relationships, not just business relationships. I mean, it’s not always about trading relationship outside of the business.

And when I say outside, it doesn’t mean doing stuff socially necessarily either. But I try to just build a culture that’s family. Like I don’t wanna have people around me or that I have to engage with if they’re bringing any negative energy or. It’s their life’s too short, number one, but it, I don’t think people understand how much of a negative effect that stuff has on you and your business if you are allowing that to seep in.

I agree. Yeah.

Tim Melanson: Uh, I mean, that’s the thing is this is your business. You get to choose, right? Yeah. [00:27:00] And so why choose people that are bringing more drama into your life, right? Nope. Now that doesn’t, you know, that that doesn’t mean that sometimes things aren’t gonna happen to some of the people, right. That you have on your team.

But like you say, if you’ve chosen people that have good character, then you know you can help ’em through their situations and then, you know, things are back on the up and up again. Right? Right.

Steve Cloward: So

Tim Melanson: now, uh, I wanna talk a little bit about mentorship and learning from the best and all that stuff. ’cause it sounds to me like you’ve gotten.

Some really good mentors over the years and I’m wondering, like, can you share with me number one, like, you know, was there any hesitation on, on, on finding mentors and do you hire coaches now? Uh, you know, what do you sort of do right now? I.

Steve Cloward: Yeah, that’s a great question. I believe, well, first off, um, you know, when I was younger I didn’t really think about that much.

I did watch my father who was always, you know, going to seminars and things, whether they were dental related or not. Um, so I always [00:28:00] watched Tim try to improve. I mean, I grew up with the Coveys. Most people might know Stephen Covey’s. You know, seven habits my, you know, they went to high school with and my dad was his dentist.

And so we sit at the table at dinners on sometimes my dad say, oh, who can rec decide habit number six, you know? So I was exposed to those kind of things, but never like a mentor. And then when the car wash business came about, I mentioned to you, my dad was absentee ownership and so I dropped outta college to go run it after catching the general manager stealing and.

Just by chance, um, we needed to redo the equipment. Um, what my dad was sold when he first started was a whole lot of money and it was pretty much crap. Um, and the representative of this equipment ended up being my mentor. He had built a large, uh, car wash. I mean large, had four garage doors exiting. You could drive 14 cars inside, um, in Salt Lake City.

And he built it for the actual owner who he’d worked for for many [00:29:00] years, but he spent a year going around the country learning and talking to, and then, uh, literally interviewing managers at car washes around the country and hiring one from Denver. And so he really understood the business and just to give people an idea.

And this is a great tip. Uh, regarding, you know, how to raise your, uh, lifetime value of a customer, or average dollar cost per customer. Um, you know, people used to come to the car wash and we would say, you know, welcome to tanks. What can I get you today? I. Well, once I connected with gentleman, his name’s Andy.

Um, he obviously taught us a lot of different things and the first thing we say is, welcome to tank’s, car wash. Um, can I get you a hand wax or a carpet cleaning with that super wash today? So we went through, and these are ballpark numbers. At the time we were say maybe seven bucks if that. ’cause this was back a long time, a lot cheaper, say a $7 average per car.

After we imple implemented those simple things [00:30:00] and teaching our ticket riders how to sell, basically, uh, we jumped up by five bucks a car. And there’s definitely not more than, you know, if it’s chemicals just through the carwash, you, you might have an extra 50 cents if that. Um, if it is a hand wax or.

Carpet deal, you might’ve increased it a buck 50, you know, but, so that was huge at the bottom line. So he became my mentor and it just, that example right there can show you the impact that had learning from somebody who already knows and is successful at what it is you’re trying to do. And not only changed things overnight, but it can get you, you know, from A to Z, a whole hell of a lot faster.

So that was huge. Um, and yeah, as far as coaches and stuff, I always have coaches. Um, if, if you read any books particularly, um, about Kobe Bryant in particular, I can’t think of the name of it right now. And Michael Jordan. Those are two of the greatest ever to touch a basketball. And the average person probably [00:31:00] has no idea how hard those dudes worked.

They just think they were just gifted. Sure they were talented, but they worked their asses off. You know, and so they had coaches, you know, and it’s, to me, it’s huge. And if we’re not always learning, you know, especially as we get older, and unfortunately I watch this, my father, if you’re, you know, you retire.

And even if there’s nothing wrong with retiring, but if you’re still not moving and learning, you’re dying. And I watched that happen. Yep. Yeah,

Tim Melanson: I’ve, I’ve, I’ve used that, uh, analogy like with sports teams so many times too, with coaches ’cause it is such a, a weird disconnect with the average public. They sort of think, you know, um, in their place right now, they’re thinking that they’re too good for a coach.

Steve Cloward: Yeah. Oh yeah. And then you look around way it just Michael

Tim Melanson: Jordan as a coach, like, is,

Steve Cloward: is he too good for a coach?

Tim Melanson: Like Yeah. You know, if, if Michael Jordan’s not too good for a [00:32:00] coach and, and you know, pretty much all of the business leaders in the world. Absolutely all have coaches or they say even US

Steve Cloward: presidents, you know, have coaches.

Yeah. Head coach, you know, a lot of turned old. Tony Robbins. You know, it’s yeah’s To me it’s a necessary, I mean, if you wanna improve and get better, you should have them. Yeah. It’s, it,

Tim Melanson: it is just, it’s, it’s bizarre. It’s bizarre that we think that we’re too good for a coach, but those guys aren’t. Yeah. Uh, you know, so, uh, I, I agree.

So now, how would you go about finding, let’s just say that, that you’re listening to this. You don’t have a coach, you thought you were too good for one. You, you decide, okay, you know what, maybe now’s the time. How would you go about finding

Steve Cloward: one? I. I would just look around and pay attention to people either that, you know, um, I’ll be very careful from a social media standpoint, but you can find people there and ask questions.

You know, find some. The key is find somebody that’s doing what you’re doing and very successful, not just saying they are. You have to vet it and make [00:33:00] sure, um, or. It’s something you’re interested in, that someone’s successful doing that and find that person. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. You don’t have to go to somebody and ask them to be your mentor right out of the gate.

You know, just go to ’em and be humble and be authentic and real, and say where you’re at. Because most human beings love helping other human beings. Yep. And you’ll be shocked at how many people will gladly give you a little bit of time and answer some questions to help you outta the gate. That doesn’t mean it’s gonna continue, and I would definitely recommend you don’t abuse that situation.

You know, you really respect it. Respect the time of the person, but, but yeah, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I was that guy. You know, my pride was a bitch, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get in the way sometimes still today, but at least I notice it, you know?

Tim Melanson: Right on. Yeah, I agree. And uh, I mean, when you start asking questions of somebody in those situations, They might push you away if [00:34:00] you’re abusing it, or they might just transfer you to a, oh, you know what I mean?

You’re asking a lot of questions, Hey, why don’t we, uh, set up a call or, you know, we, we can maybe make this a form of relationship. You know, that, that, that is sometimes how it

Steve Cloward: happens. Right. And that’s such a key point. That’s how it happens. Absolutely. But also when that happens and then there is a cost attached to it, we have to realize.

Pay attention to all the things that we’ve been willing to spend money on, but then we kind of pull back or hesitate on spending money on ourselves. That makes zero sense. You know, you are your best investment period. So don’t think that, you know, you shouldn’t be paying somebody, you know, just make sure it’s somebody that’s good, that’s worthy of that money and then go learn.

But, and, and a lot of people will put that off because of money. If you truly want what you claim to [00:35:00] want. Then you will truly do what it takes to come up with the money to get that coach, that mentor to help you get what you’re trying to get. Yeah. I’ve been

Tim Melanson: there for before too. And uh, and I mean, I mean, it’s one of those things where, uh, the more skin you have in the game, the more serious you’re gonna take it as well too.

So it’s like, it’s one of those things where, oh, I just scrape up this money just to pay for this coach to help me do this thing. I better do it right. Right. Yep. And it just makes work a little bit harder for it. Yeah. Yep. So Steve, it’s time for your guest solo. So tell me what’s exciting

Steve Cloward: in your business right now.

Oh man. It’s, uh, lot. Got a lot going on. We just, uh, well, I guess I’ve told you a little bit, you know, I got into that telco industry kind of by accident, by meeting that friend at the high school baseball game. And for so many years it was like I was. I, I wasn’t proud of being that guy, being, you know, it wasn’t something that I felt good, [00:36:00] not good about, but, you know, proud to say that’s what I do.

Um, but as I got further down the road, I realized that, man, if I’m gonna really do this at the level that is possible, I’ve gotta go all in. Which, you know, I did five or six years ago. And, you know, that’s obviously a huge key. But the reason I stuck with this is ’cause I hated. The way you’re treated by these big companies, you know, your internet providers, TV providers in particular, you know, you’re just a number.

There are, people are robotic and scripted. And so the thing that we did to separate ourselves and to stand out was I require everybody, you know, all sales reps that that works with a customer that gets new service and doesn’t matter what provider we represent, pretty much everybody and anybody. That they were the direct contact.

So if there was ever a question or an issue, we never just sent them to an 800 number of a corporation. We literally [00:37:00] did the digging and solving of the issue with them or for them as long as we were able. Um, and so that’s really what helped us build that business. But I still struggled a little bit. I mean, I was all in as far as effort and all that, but.

You know, I just really struggle with these companies. ’cause number one, they’re so massive, they’re almost monopolies. And so for the last five years I’ve been trying to find a solution that would still give the customer what they are looking for. Um, but, and they’d be taken care of. And they didn’t have to worry about this great price up front.

And then, you know, six months or a year later being frustrated ’cause they feel like it doubles and on and on, you know, those stories go forever. But, um, so, you know, like I mentioned, I had imported stuff back in oh 3, 4, 5, 6 in the, in those years. Um, and so I started looking for a streaming device that would.[00:38:00]

Give the consumer what they wanted. And you know, so I worked with several factories years ago, five years ago, but they were just very, they were too hard to navigate, even for me, or even my younger kid, you know, my boys that were in their teens and early twenties. And so I just wasn’t willing to sell something like that to the customer because they just, I knew they wouldn’t be happy.

And so I’ve still continued to keep my focus on finding that had several factories that, you know, knew. Me and continue to give me feedback on different technologies and things that they developed. And so recently found that one, we’ve, you know, we’ve been testing it ourselves for two months, and the key is it has to be simple and provide the customer with what they want.

And so we finally have a, a streaming and Android, you know, over the top IP TV box that only gives you about, I think it’s 1300 plus live channels. So pretty much every market’s. You know, main N B C A B C C B ss, Fox Villages, plus all your typical [00:39:00] cable channels, um, about 50,000 movie channels, and it’s just a one-time cost.

There’s no subscription even. So to me that is refreshing because I know how frustrated the consumers are. I’m a consumer and, you know, drives me nuts. And then if you have a question, it’s a pain in the butt to call in. Um, so often you’re calling in and you’re telling ’em why you’re calling. They spend several minutes, five, 10 sometimes, and just to tell you that they’re the wrong department transfer, you gotta start over.

You know, and that’s just no way to take care of people. And so I really, you know, just with all the feedback we have, I know this is something that really will benefit people. And, and, uh, we’ve even have, you know, the boxes 397 bucks, but there’s payment plans and so we try to just make it as easy as possible, but try to eliminate that hassle and headache for the customer.

So they’re ba

Tim Melanson: basically buying a receiver, and that receiver includes a subscription to everything, I guess,

Steve Cloward: pretty much. And the cool thing is, is all [00:40:00] you need is wifi, and you can take it with you anywhere you go. I mean, you can go on vacation and take it with you as long as you’ve got wifi, you know, you can run it.

And it, it’s not just us, it covers, you know, uh, a lot of Latino stuff. And Canadian channels. Um, I know everything, but China pretty much is, you know, you can get access to things, so it’s, yeah, it’s pretty slick. Right on. Okay, so how do we find out more then? Yeah, just go to V S E E Box, V C Box tv. That’s V S E B O X tv.

And if you mention, uh, the, the, your podcast, I’ll, let’s, I’ll, I’ll create a promo code today. Let’s just put in, uh, work at home and I’ll throw on a 10, 10% discount for any of your audience. Nice. Thank you so much. That’s awesome.

Tim Melanson: You bet. Great. So thank you so much for rocking out with me today,

Steve Cloward: Steve. This has been a lot of fun.

Hey, uh, my pleasure. I appreciate you having me. This has been great. [00:41:00] To the

Tim Melanson: listeners, make sure you subscribe right and comment We’ll see you next time on the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

Steve Cloward: Thanks for listening. To learn how you can become a work at home rockstar or become a better one, head on over to today.

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