More Leads Online Podcast Episode 016
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Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:00:00):
Hey everybody. This is Nathan Young, founder of More Leads Online today. I’m with Mark Jones, who is
a pool pro from I better get this right. New Orleans.
Mark Jones (00:00:10): Cool.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:00:12):
It sounds, I mean, I get, I get flack, right? New Orleans, new Orleans, new, uh, new Orleans is good. There you go. Okay. So mark, thank you so much for hanging out with me today. My first question is how did you get into pool cleaning?
Mark Jones (00:00:27):
Man? I got an, a pool cleaning, a very interesting way. It never, never happens. How you plan a, I bought a house with a pool cause my wife wanted a pool. So we were looking for houses only with pools and we found one and we bought it. We closed on it and I told my wife, I told her that I am young enough, smart enough, and fit enough to take care of the pool. I’ll figure it out. Don’t worry about it. I’ve got it. So it took me about a full year to learn the pool because when we bought the house, we bought it in the winter time and the pool was beautiful. It was blue and it and algae doesn’t grow in the cold. So for the first four or five months, I’m like, oh, this is going to be a breeze man. Like, you know, because the pool was never turned on, but it was blue.
Mark Jones (00:01:25):
But once the heat started to kick in, that’s when it was like, okay, you need to get, you got to figure this stuff out. So I didn’t even know how to turn and join on. And then my uncle came by and helped me out with that. But how I got into it was after I figured out my pool, uh, my neighbor across the street was like, Hey mark, um, who cleaned your pool? And I say, man, I cleaned my own pool. And he said, man, I’m not satisfied with my guy. How about this? I’m to pay you what I pay him. And I provide all the chemicals. You just come over here when you can and clean the pools. No worries. I know where you live you right across the street. It was not going to be like, you know, so, so, so that was my first account per se. And uh, after I got, uh, after I got fired from my corporate job, that’s where just took it serious and say, you know what, I’m gonna make this into a business. And that’s how I got into the pool industry.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:02:19):
So you told me we were doing the pre-show and you told me I have to dig into this right now. Normally I say marketing talk for a little bit later, but the way that you went about getting started was so fascinating to me. And you mentioned that it, it, some of the lessons sort of came from some of your previous jobs, but like, walk me through the process of you finding those initial customers, how you did that. I will, you told me. And I was like,
Mark Jones (00:02:48):
Okay. Yeah. All right. So I walked through the process. So, um, like you just said, my previous jobs gave me the, the knowledge to, to it, the way I attacked it. So I used to work at apple and I was at apple when Google maps came out in the satellite view came out. So when I told myself that I was going to go into
business for myself, the first thing I did it did, and it didn’t even, I didn’t even think twice about this. I was like, well, the only way I can tell who has a pool is I need to go on Google maps and go into change from the matte version to the satellite version. So I can see the backyards. And all I did was I zoomed out and I just saw pools all over the place, like all over the place, just in my subdivision alone, they was 38 pools.
Mark Jones (00:03:43):
And I did, and I did the math. I said, man, all I need is 12 to 15 pools to bring in what I was already making them a corporate job. And I’ll be working two to three days a week doing that. So my thing was, I know more people need help because my neighbor needs help. So I know that I can get 15 other customers. I mean, that’s, that’s simple. So all I did, I zoomed out and I just identified all the green pools that were on the satellite because I knew for sure that they needed my help, the blue pools, honestly, at the beginning, looking at the map, um, the blue pools, I was actually kind of intimidated by those because I didn’t have all the knowledge that I had now. So going into a backyard with this crystal clear pool, probably the homeowner knows a little bit more about the pool than I do.
Mark Jones (00:04:28):
And I didn’t want to look, you know, I didn’t want to look like, I didn’t know what I was talking about, but the people with green pools, I knew they had no clue. And I knew whatever I said was probably going to be more than what they knew. So that’s how I identify my target market. And I just made flyers on Microsoft word, passed them out to those exact homes. And within a matter of a week I was up to five accounts. It’s like that. I was like, and once I figured that out, I said, man, this about to be it. I told my wife, I said, man, he can’t be this easy. It seems like. I mean, that’s how I pretty much grew my business
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:05:11):
As a marketing guy, as someone who literally does marketing strategy with people sometimes every couple of days, right? Like, yeah, we’re running the work, but then, uh, we’ll do like a deeper dive into like a marketing strategy. Real one. I just had a conversation on Friday with a guy where we were breaking down, like long-term ROI versus short-term ROI. And like what the different tactics are, right? Like, oh, you need sales really fast and you want a short-term ROI, et cetera, et cetera. So we’re digging into all these tactics and actually brought you up. And I was like, you want to hear an example of a killer, good short term ROI. Like this dude nailed it. And I told him your story. And he was like, I don’t think I’ve ever considered doing something like that. Like that pointed lots of people will back up. Right. Uh, if you’re talking to me, like, I, I am intimidated about the idea of getting new customers. I loved what you said a minute ago, which is like 15 customers. That’s easy. I just love your Moxie. Right? Like not everybody has that. I don’t have that. That’s why I love talking to guys like you. So anyway, just the, the apps, the sheer genius of what you just did. You may not, you probably know it now, but the, even the first time I heard it, I was like, man, that is so good. It’s so good.
Mark Jones (00:06:34):
Hi and hindsight, looking back at it, I was just in grind mode, honestly, that, and I was like, you know what, I’m going to use the technology that’s available to me and use it to my advantage. And you know, instead of just blindly passing out flyers to houses, let’s really be strategic about this. And really like, okay, let’s go to the houses with pools and that’s step one. That’s how it started. And I only did that one summer after that, after that one summer, everything else was word of mouth.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:07:04):
Well, that was going to be my next question is, okay, so now what do you do with blue pools?
Mark Jones (00:07:10):
Right, right, right, right. So, uh, so, so what do you mean, what do you do with blue pools? Well, well,
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:07:14):
So what I mean is you told me, right? And I ha I experienced this exactly the same way that you just described. So it was a little bit of a relief to hear you say it. And you were like, look, I went after the customers with green pools because I knew that I could help. I was a little intimidated by those sparkly blue pools, because I wasn’t sure that I had value to bring yet. And I didn’t want to be perceived as sort of not knowing what was going on. So now you, I mean, clearly, right. You’re crushing it. And you I’ve, I’ve watched you clean pools right on, on your videos. And I’m like, this dude knows what he’s doing. Now you get to walk in to the sparkly blue pools. What’s your perspective on that now? Do you feel like, oh yeah,
Mark Jones (00:07:57):
I got this. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s honestly, there’s not one backyard that I can walk into and say, you know, this is too much for me or, or, you know, I can’t take this on. The focus was when I first started cleaning pools was to master water chemistry. I don’t know anything about repairs. I don’t know anything about motors. I don’t know anything about filters, but what I did know is if you can master water chemistry, then everything else will take care of itself. You can get away with a little more because, you know, at least, you know, how water chemistry works. So that was, that was the main focus to, to master that part. And then after that, that’s where, um, the repair knowledge came in. The plaster work came in and I just started to build off of the knowledge. So I didn’t go into it.
Mark Jones (00:08:49):
You know, honestly, I went into it with a game plan, but it was more of, Hey Mark, you just don’t fail forward and just continue to learn, continue to learn. And eventually you’ll get to the point where you want to be, but you have to put yourself in a vulnerable, a vulnerable position to be able to fail, to learn these pools because you’ll never learn if you don’t make a mistake here or there, because one thing about me and I, and I, and I learned this in the car business. Yeah. I’ll make one mistake, but I won’t duplicate that mistake again. So I just got better and better and better at selling cars. And within one year selling cars, I was the top salesman. I was one of the top salesman in the nation in one gear because my whole mindset was, it was perfection.
Mark Jones (00:09:36):
It was, I’m gonna ask these questions. I’m gonna get you where I need you to go. And it’s up to you to sign on a dotted line, but I’m gonna do everything that I can to get you there, to make it seem comfortable so you can buy the car. And I just applied that to the pool of business. So when I walk into a backyard and it’s crystal clear, it’s like, okay, now I can maintain this. This is easy because it’s already set up for me to succeed. So now I could just, you know, I could just go into it. So, um, but it was just learning as I go. And honestly, that’s putting myself in a position to fail because that’s the only way you’re going to grow in business. You have to make mistakes. You have to get feedback from people to tell you, Hey man, I didn’t know you could done it like this.
Mark Jones (00:10:21):
I like it like this. And you just take all that information and you just continue to build your business model until it gets to a point where it’s smooth. It’s automatic because it’s only so many mistakes or so many things that you have to check off until you really find your groove. And I knew that. So I knew at one point, I’m going to get to a point where I’m a master this day. And once I’ve made those little mistakes here, there, I came into the mastery part of it. And now it’s like, man, water, chemistry. I’m know what like this. And I have an app to help me. So I’m not, it’s not all in my head. I’m using the technology. That’s out there to help me with it. But it’s the process that I use, which was really where I got most of the success from.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:11:04):
That was, I mean, you dropped a whole bunch of nuggets in that, uh, something that I caught that I want to hone in on just for a second that you said, you said, I, when you walk in and you see this crystal clear pool, and now you go, oh, I can maintain this because now I’m set up for success. And to me that tells me something else, which is there’s more work to be done. There’s work to be done still it’s yes. It might look like it’s all taken care of, but if you don’t actively work on that thing, it’s going to go right back to gross. Right? So like it’s intimidating at first when you don’t know. But one of the things you’ve actually learned is a pristine pool actually needs work done still because otherwise it won’t stay that way.
Mark Jones (00:11:53):
It won’t it won’t. And the thing about water it’s natural state is that green pool is always fighting to get back to that. So what we’re doing is actually we’re going against the grain every single week that I come into your backyard, I’m going against the grain to keep your pool crystal clear, because it’s always fighting to get back to its natural state. Crazy. Right. That’s
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:12:18):
Fascinating. I don’t think anyone has ever told me that ever before.
Mark Jones (00:12:21):
Nope. Nope. It’s always fighting to get back to its natural state and the water naturally in whatever climate that you’re in while I’m in the south, it’s naturally going to go back to green because it’s it’s heat is it’s just trees everywhere. Phosphates are always coming into the water from trees, from rain, all that stuff. So what we’re doing is actually it’s science, honestly, every single week, I’m coming into your backyard and I’m doing a science project to keep like that for another week. And then I come back, you know? So it’s just continuing to do that. So yes, I go into a backyard. The pool might be crystal clear. So yeah, the pool is clear, but what about your filter? How your filter look, you know, let’s, let’s dig into that. You know, what was the last time you changed your saying, what about your car? So it’s more questions to be asked, um, because of a blue pool. I mean the crystal clear pool doesn’t mean much because it could turn in one week. That’s not properly treated. So yeah.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:13:20):
I tell people I’m a, I’m a systems guy. I’m a process guy. And I regularly install processes and systems for other people. When I start that work every single time I have a go-to couple of phrases and basically I go look, processes and systems are just agreements that we all have with each other. They’re just agreements. And if anybody disagrees right, they can immediately do whatever else. That’s all it is. We’re just coming in. We’re agreeing to all do what we’re saying. We’ll do. And I was like, there’s no
value in installing a system. If no one keeps it. That’s the value of a process or a system is sticking to it over time. And that’s exactly what you just said. Like it, yeah, it’s good now. And yeah, there can be a process in place, but nobody shows up to do the work of the process. It’ll it’ll turn in a weak man killer. Well, you mentioned this, which is you have a, you have a fairly tough climate, I think. And you actually, you moved from LA to where you are. That’s a pretty big climate shift, I think. So like what do you deal with in your particular area that you think is like, that makes your job extra hard?
Mark Jones (00:14:29):
It’s not just the heat, but it’s the humidity, which makes my job 10 times harder because it will be, let’s say 90, 90 degrees, but it will feel like it’s a hundred and five, one oh six. So that’s the feeling then you’re walking too, honestly opened up my door. You’re walking into a thick, thick cloud of heat. So, so if I’m talking about Nathan, I’m talking about at six in the morning, it’s that hot at 6:00 AM. The sun isn’t even now. So you know, when you open your door and you feel that heat, you’ve all been, it’s going to be a long day. It’s going to be a long day. Let me get my, let me get my big hat right there. Go ahead. Let me get my, let me get my liquids. Let me make sure I got my, you know, my ice ready and everything. Cause I have to stay hydrated.
Mark Jones (00:15:24):
You know, that’s when I had, I have so many, uh, you know, I stop at gas stations all the time, get my power raised, red bulls, my water, my ice, you know, I’m always hydrated. So that’s, that’s honestly the toughest part about being in new Orleans cleaning. The pools is, is, is the climate is it’s the heat, it’s the humidity. Um, I say this all the time, it gets hotter. I feel like it gets hotter every single summer. And it’s like, oh, when are you going to calm down, man? Like what are we going to get back to 80 degrees? And it stuck with me. I’m from LA. So 80, 85. And then at nighttime it gets cold. You know? So that’s the vibe, right? It’s not the vibe.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:16:07):
Oh my gosh. Yeah. Uh, I live in Minnesota right now and I suspect that this won’t change. I think we’re headed that direction. I, I, I’m pretty into the, uh, the idea of like net zero emissions and all of that conversation and doing what I can to actually invest in that. So I think it’s going to keep getting hotter and colder, but I hadn’t experienced that quite that way. And so we’ve been in Minnesota for about six months now and people keep being like, oh, this is the coldest it’s ever been. Oh, this is the hottest it’s ever been. And I’m like, I thought we were moving to, like, I thought we were moving to a more chill base. Like what happened? Nope. Uh, well I have to ask you about this. Let me pivot a little bit. So you’ve done all this awesome work. You’ve you’ve been at this for only a couple of years. And another thing that you just started recently is TikTok and you have an insane TikTok following. I mean you have one and a half million. I think more than that now one and a half million subscribers. You’ve only been there for like a year. How and why? I know I already asked you this before, but so everybody else knows, like how and why did you get started on TikTok?
Mark Jones (00:17:19):
Honestly, I give the credit to my, one of my best friends. Uh, Cameron man, he just texted me like, it was like 11, 11:00 PM. He texted me and he was like, bro, are you going to take time? And I’m like, yeah, I’m on TikTok, but I’m not on TikTok. Right. All he did was he sent me a video of someone cleaning a pool and that video had like 5 million views and I’m sitting back like so instantly, once he sent me that video, when I saw the views and I saw the comments and I saw the likes, I sent him back another video that I,
that I did months ago. That was like last night. I was like I said, bro, I been doing this. He’s like, man, just move your content from Instagram to take time and learn that platform. So my thing was if there’s pool of videos, getting that many views, if I marry that with my personality and my creativity, I’m pretty sure I’m going to succeed.
Mark Jones (00:18:23):
So that’s what I started to do. I just started to post it and everything I started to post was just me. Honestly, it was just me having fun, me doing, just pull stuff in some, some videos I’m just like playing basketball, you know? And I, and people are loving it, but I got my blue street pool March on. So you always know, and everything is always tied back to pool cleaning some type of way. At first it was like, you know, I get a posted video and I’ll get like a hundred views, you know, whatever, 900 views. So it started real slow because I’m thinking to myself, you know, I’m thinking that once I post on here, I’m instantly going to go viral, but it didn’t happen like that because I had to learn a little bit about the algorithm would take talk and how to post successfully through TikTok because you can’t post the same.
Mark Jones (00:19:11):
It’s not the same method as Instagram. So you have to learn the platform. So, you know, I follow, you know, other guys on near who actually taught the algorithm and it was like, Hey, just do this, do this, do that. So I just started honestly, just doing everything that will set me up for success for my videos. That’s all I started to do and everything I posted, I was like, okay, I got this checked off, got this checked off post. You know? And I just left it up to the people to decide what it was. And then one, one video, man. It was, it was, I just happened to be clean and green pool at a mansion. Um, and east side of new Orleans. But this time I actually gave the people, the remedy, how am I doing this? What am I using? What are the steps I gave it all away.
Mark Jones (00:19:58):
And I was like, you know what? I don’t even care. I’m going to give it all away because now we’re in a, we’re in an age of sharing, like the generation, the generation beneath us because I’m 32. So the generation, my kids, the generation under me, they’re in a sharing mindset. So I’m like, well, they got the posts on the social media stuff. So I’m not going to be that guy like, oh, nah, I ain’t know if that’s the cheat code. I’m going to just share all my information and let it be what it is, you know? Cause I had whatever, you know, so I just gave out the information in that video. I put my phone. So I posted it. I put my phone down for like five minutes, picked it back up 600,000 views. And I’m like, oh, oh my God. I’m like, babe, I’ll go viral.
Mark Jones (00:20:52):
And so, uh, so that one got up to like 50 million views. And I went from 5,000 followers to a hundred thousand followers overnight, just like that. And then from there I never looked back and then everything else went viral. All my old older videos went viral from that one. And I just, I never looked back from there. And then so now I have a, I have a following. I have fans. I have people that just love just love me because the whole idea behind my page is I’m a pool pro I’m to tell you all the secrets that is going to save you money and help you rule your pool. That’s that’s my whole there’s nothing deeper than that. I don’t, I’m not doing it for the industry. I’m doing it for the people because there’s pools out. Like for example, Minnesota there’s pools out there.
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Mark Jones (00:21:41):
But I bet there’s not a lot of pool companies out there. So, you know, I’m doing it for the people in places like Minnesota, North Dakota, all these other states that don’t have pool professionals out there to clean their pool, but they still have pools. So let me show you how to take care of it. If you do these easy steps, you’ll rule your pool. And I think that is what gave me all the success on social media. And then on top of that, the guy that’s doing it is like, okay, I like him to let me follow him. So that’s you. So that’s the where man? Yeah. It hasn’t even been, it’s going to make a year. I’ll be able to take time. It’ll make a year in August.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:22:19):
I mean just bonkers, but actually, so you’ve held tight on this thing that you’ve said multiple times now, which is like, really you kept failing forward. I mean, you, you took the shot. You said like you got on Tik TOK, you moved your content over there, which means you had already gone to Instagram to make some attempts there. Right? You started making new content, you moved some of your older content. You relearn to the platform, you were post and you weren’t just like learning, learning, learning, learning, post fail, give up. It was like, learn post. Okay. Learn post. Okay. Learn. But right. And you kept doing that cycle and then the consistency was required and the constantly getting better was required for you to have that moment. So people talk about like, what’s that, what’s that old quote. Like I find the more I practice the luckier, I am. I mean, that’s, that’s exactly that. So you’re so consistently you’re doing this cycle of like failing forward and it clearly it keeps working eventually.
Mark Jones (00:23:29):
Yeah. I mean, eventually you’re going to hit a ceiling where you can’t fail anymore. Right there. It’s like, okay, now people just got to respond type, deal. You know? So that’s with anything. That’s what you can, you can apply that to any method, no matter what it is, you keep trying, you can try. If you keep consistently getting better at something, you’re going to be successful, eventually it’s going to happen. So I just use that in all parts of my life, from pool cleaning to Instagram to take time, even my family life to be a better father. It’s like, okay, mark, maybe you shouldn’t, you know, maybe you shouldn’t have done that. Maybe. How about the next time you talk to your kids? Like this we’ll find success in that. So I apply that to all facets of my life because that’s the formula. It works. So why try to recreate the wheel? You know? Oh yeah.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:24:19):
Yeah. Well, it’s awesome. And something key that you said in there is because I have my own kids and I watched this happen. Sometimes you can’t just fail and try again. You have to fail forward. Right? So like fail, learn like ruminate on it and then adjust and try again.
Mark Jones (00:24:37):
There you go. Here you go. Uh, just that’s it. You make a small little changes here, right? But the changes
that you’re making your keyboard, you’re going up and you’re being better. So it’s a win,
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:24:46):
A couple of quotes that you said, and you repeated these too. But I just want to, because I thought they were so strong. Like I still haven’t written on my whiteboard. You said we’re in a generation of sharing and a lot of influencers are successful because they’re sharing their process. Right. I spoke with a fantastic kind of guru of the trades, I think. And his name is Al levy. And he wrote this book called the seven power contractor, which is like a bunch of processes for scaling your home service or contracting
company in his book. And we talked about this on the podcast. He talks about knowledge pigs. And that’s his term for them, not my term, his term, but I’ll use it. And he calls out exactly what you’re saying, which is people who are going, I can’t teach anyone else. What I know, because my value is knowing the stuff and what you’re saying. And what you’re saying is true. Not just about for you, but also for our generation is no, no, no, no, no. If you keep that for yourself, we won’t value you. Right.
Mark Jones (00:25:56):
Let’s take a pause right there. Right? They, we will not value if you’re hoarding information. And you’re the only one with that knowledge. We’re not going to tap in with, you know, because we don’t trust you at that point because you’ll post something and say, this is how you do it, which we know you’re not giving you’re skipping steps. You’re not giving us everything. So, I mean, I just got a direct message from another pool guy. And he was like, man, I love your content. But the only problem I have is you’re giving away too much information. You’re going to kill the industry. And I’m like, no, I’m not. I, I said, I’m not going to kill the industry. I said, if you’re a low level pool guy that just comes into the backyard, the top and lead, yay, you should be afraid. Right? If you’re, if you’re a professional, you do things at a high level and you treat your customers great.
Mark Jones (00:26:52):
You’re not going to lose any cause I’m not losing any business. I’m dang winning business from this. So, so don’t and I told him, I said, man, don’t have a scarcity mindset. When it comes to that, I’m not killing anybody’s industry. This is what the people, the reason I found the success of the people who have been begging for this. And the reason why, how I realized that, because I would go to a pool store, they’ll take in their sample of water. And the pool store employee will give them a list of things to do. They’re spinning 600, $700. And then they say, Hey, see, you see you next time. Right. They’re just looking so overwhelmed on like what to do. Even, even they, even when they have all these instructions, it just doesn’t make sense to them. And that’s where it was like, I was like, man, this is this.
Mark Jones (00:27:38):
It gotta be a better way than this man. Cause all these people have pools and most of these people are coming into the pool store or taking care of their own pool. So if they all just look so it’s just so like overwhelmed after they get all this stuff, don’t know all the it’s don’t know. So I’m like, you know what? I could change that. Let me go ahead and do that. And that’s where me giving out all, I call it, I’m giving out all the sauce and this is what it is like, this is how I keep my pool’s prestige. And you want to be like me do step a, B and C boom, just like that.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:28:12):
That’s awesome. One of the things that I constantly am reminded about when people like, when I talk to people like you who are so open about this stuff, because I’ve watched it, I’ve watched most of your videos, I think. And I’ve looked at that and I’ve cleaned pools, uh, in my life, right? Like not professionally. And, and now that I’ve actually watched them on professional cleanup wall, I’m like, oh, I was way off. So thankfully I didn’t get paid very much because I wasn’t worth very much. But the more that I’ve watched, the more I went, why in the world would I try to be good at what this guy is clearly excellent at? What it showcases to me is, you know your and I’m going to call you not that I’m going to take what I watched and go, oh cool. Now I can do it.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:29:04):
Like maybe if I have to, I can be like, I can get by until I can call mark. Right. But otherwise I’m just going to be like sweet. You’ve proven to me that you can, that you’re excellent at this. Why am I going to waste my time? Trying to be as good as you are already at it. I’m just going to have you do it. I want to ask another marketing question, but I want to play into this, which is you talk a lot about and you, I mean, consistently you’re very consistent in this, which is this sort of personal ownership. I mean, even that like cycle of failing forward, there’s so much personal ownership and being willing to recognize a mistake on your own to actually grow, to put in the time to learning. Like tell me more about just this, this concept for you and how you just tell me a little bit more. Yeah,
Mark Jones (00:29:52):
Yeah. It, it actually, it actually stemmed from, um, me being in corporate America since I’ve been 15. Right. I worked at foot action first for foot action. You know, I went to foot locker and then I went to, you know, I’ve always been in sales. So to apple, to the car business, to enterprise, like all this stuff, the ownership thing really kicked in for me. And when I was at the car dealership and you know, it didn’t go, something went wrong and with, with the money and I wasn’t getting paid all I should’ve got paid and I ended up like, man, I’m providing all this value to y’all and y’all want to pay me. So I quit that job. And that was like the first sour taste in my mouth. And I was like, man, I don’t like to give anybody else that much power over me providing for my family.
Mark Jones (00:30:45):
That that’s like the main thing like providing for my family. So that that’s where it started. And then when I got fired from enterprise, it was just like all this stuff I did for the company, you know, in my mind was, you know, I could have got written up for that, but y’all let me go. And it was just like, you know what? I’m never going to give anybody that power over me ever, ever again. And that’s where, when I had my mind made up, that’s where the ownership really took over. So I will listen to podcasts. I will listen to motivational speeches is all this stuff. Just constantly putting that information in my mind. Like you could do it, you have everything inside of you to get it done. You could do it. So after the enterprise thing didn’t work out, you know, I didn’t go straight to pools.
Mark Jones (00:31:35):
I was Ubering and lifted so I can make money. I was driving from two in the morning to 11:00 AM, five days a week. My, my main goal was I got them. If I could make $160 every single day, I can still maintain this type of living. So that’s, I just did the calculations with, okay, I’m making 20 to $25 an hour. These are the best time to drive because not traffic early in the morning, you know, I’m in a, I’m in a party type cities or people are always up going around. They need rides back here going to the airport. So I figured out the pattern for my Uber, Uber Lyft rides. And that was my first deal of being in control because nobody told me when I had to be at work, I was getting paid on my, I was getting paid on my own and off of my own hard work.
Mark Jones (00:32:21):
And that’s where it took over. And then when COVID hit, I had stopped driving, you know, cause I didn’t wanna put my family at risk. Right. And then that’s where the pool thing took off. I was like, you know what, let me, I’m already cleaning five pools, five, six pools. Let me just go ahead, take this thing serious. And then that’s when that, so what it, when it really made sense for me, when I, when I got official with the state, got my LOC, got everything, booked up, got my tax ID number and all that. And then when I made my logo partner with my guy, uh, I went to college with, and it took about a month to make this
logo. Cause I said, I want to make a, I don’t want to make just a company name, like grocery pools into some, some, you know, some, some corny swimming dye or something like that.
Mark Jones (00:33:06):
I’m like, no, I want something that I can wear every single day. Like if you see this hat, you don’t see any blue street pools on this, but you see this logo logo is pretty dope. It’s a B like and a P all in one. So, you know, it was just one of those things where it’s like, once I saw this, that’s when it got real. And once I put that shirt on, I was like, oh yeah, you’re owner now. And then, and then from there, I just, I just never looked back from there. So it was just honestly, you know, the, the ownership thing was, it, it was, it was, I just didn’t want to give anybody else the power take money away from my family. And I said, I gotta be in control of this. And I have all the, I have all the attributes to do that. So why not do it? Why not take a chance on yourself? And that’s when that’s when the, you know, it took about two to three years to get to where I’m at. Now, this didn’t happen overnight. I’ve been grinding, but that’s where it was just, uh, the mindset is I’m not going back to work for anybody else. That was the foundation. And I, I was committed to that and I just stayed consistent what I was doing, you know? So that’s where it all came from
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:34:11):
Or the guy now regularly. And I’m really going to get to work with them a lot more. Starting in July. I’m really excited about it. His name is Mondo Davidson and his like his whole identity starting like seven or eight years ago, he was like, I’m going to be the black tech guy in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And I should say also St. Paul. So maybe twin cities is right, but he did exactly. Right. So now he has a shirt that says the black tech guy and he wears it every single day. He’s got like 30 of them. And I’m just like that level of personal, just like, I own this. It’s who I am. This is what I’m about. And you just that same energy so much just now. And like, but people like me are really inspired by that. Wow. So just so you know, like, yeah, that’s awesome.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:35:03):
I love that. I mean, it’s one of my favorite things about him and just like hearing you say that again, just now, I’m just like, ah, that is a dude. That is a dude. You want to be around. That’s a dude you want to have out in front of you that you get to watch them do stuff because they so own who they are and what they’re about that like, you can really learn from them just watching them. And so now I have to turn this question to growth in hiring, right? Because on one hand you are so owning who you are. I love that you have this wag by the way. I think it’s awesome. And it looks cool too. So now you’ve talked about this transition from you’ve had these jobs, you had this moment of really taking ownership. You’ve grown in that over the last few years. This is who you are. And now you’re facing this conundrum of going, I do want to grow this thing. So now I technically would have to hire someone else. How will you teach them about this idea of ownership? Because there you’re technically hiring a person, right? So how will you take what you dealt with and try to change that or be different or teach the person that you’re hiring.
Mark Jones (00:36:19):
Once I start to hire, it was going to be a next season. I’ll have employees working for me next season. I’m going to be preaching freedom. So when I say preach and freedom is, Hey, you have, you know, let’s say seven pools a day, five days a week. It’s up to you when you want to start your route. As long as you’re done by the sun is down. I don’t care what time you start. It’s up to you. You can start at 6:00 AM. You
can start at 11:00 AM. But as long as you get these seven pools done, that’s all I’m concerned about. So my thing is going, I actually, uh, uh, have taken people, um, like had them help me in real time. I actually, in the winter time, I actually showed this guy who actually worked at the pool store. I said, man, I like your energy.
Mark Jones (00:37:08):
You already know water chemistry. Let me show you what we do on our end and I’ll pay. And I’ll pay you just of give you insight of what it is. And we knocked out 12 pools, five hours. Wow. And I paid him $10 a pool. You do the math. You’re five hours, $120. I’m putting $120 in your hand at the end of the day. So if you calculate that up, you divide one 20 by five. You’re making way more than what you’re making at your job right now. And that you’re not, you’re not putting in eight to 10 hours. So my thing is, I’m going to show them that, Hey, you can still have a work life balance and make possibly more money than what you’ve already made. And so that’s what I’m going to be. That’s going to be like my, my pitch. But at the same time, it’s going to be like, Hey, I’m actually teaching you a trade.
Mark Jones (00:38:08):
You know, there’s plenty of pools out here. And if you ever moved or whatever, you always know that you can always make money going back to this. So it’s a, win-win on both sides. And I want to teach them ownership because the thing about it is there’s so many pools out here that it’s it’s enough for everybody. And what separates me from most guys in. And cause there are guys and girls here who own their own companies in new Orleans is there’s not many, if any, that actually cleans ground pools. And I told myself once I started to hear that in the, like in the industry, like in new Orleans, like yeah, these people aren’t clean above ground pools and I’m just sitting back like, wow, great. Why not? It’s still a body of water, but it’s okay. Yeah. You may have to reach over to clean it, but you telling me it’s you don’t want to do it.
Mark Jones (00:39:04):
So my thing is, okay, y’all don’t want to take it. I’m doing in ground and above ground pools. And the results are going to be exactly the same right now, the person who, you know, may have bought the pool from Sam’s or from Walmart or whatever. I mean, I’m not talking about a blow-up pool, but I’m talking about a pool that has a motor and all this type of stuff. Okay. I can, I can take that on. I mean, I may have to upgrade your system for about $400 to get you where you need to be. But once I upgrade that filter system, you’re going to be good and you’re going to enjoy your pool. And you’re going to have memories in your backyard because of your pool. Your pool is not going to be a burden. You’re not going to hate your pool. So now with that type of mindset, I have in-ground and above-ground pool.
Mark Jones (00:39:49):
So when I say there’s pools out here for everybody, man, if you want it to like, if you want it to stop working for me today, it starts your own route to get your own freedom. You can take on a boat ramp was I’m not worried about it. You know? Cause one, one thing about me is if I’m not putting other people in position to succeed, what am I doing this for? You know, what am I doing? I found my success. Let me, let me give that to somebody else so they can duplicate it. And if you want it to stay working for me, that’s fine. And what I, and what I find out is if I’m giving away all that information and all that freedom, people are going to be loyal to me because of that, because I want to see you succeed personally.
Mark Jones (00:40:33):
And if you, because honestly, honestly, Nathan, everybody’s not an entrepreneur, so I’m not worried about somebody coming in and learning my process and starting theirs, because everybody’s not built like this. So, you know, I’m not really that concerned about you being competition to me because at the end of the day, I don’t see anybody as competition. You’re just doing your thing. I’m doing my thing. Well, we can all, we can all win over here. You know? So, so, so w when it comes down to employees and growth, I think that’s where that’s the direction I’m going to go in. Um, and it’s just going to be fun. Working for me is going to be fun. We’re going to have fun. We’re going to do it. And you’re going to make a lot of money while you’re doing it. So, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, everybody’s going to be happy. And that’s honestly, that’s where, that’s what I want. I just want to see other people succeed. Like I succeeded. And I, I got the blueprint to the, you know, to the pool, clear to the pools. And let’s just duplicate that unless it’s really over the whole city.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:41:32):
That’s awesome. Well, and I love what you’re saying too about like, Hey, we just, even in that sort of system of going, how are we going to manage it? We’re going to manage it at the very ground level. You have X jobs to do, get them done the end, right? Like, here’s your system, here’s your responsibilities. Get out there whenever you want. Right? Like, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna watch dog. I’m not going to micromanage
Mark Jones (00:41:56):
You because if I have to micromanage you, you’re not going to work for me. Right. Like my thing is, and I heard this in a pod podcast. I heard it, but it was, it was, it said, hire slow, fire fast. And that’s the thing. Like, if, if, if I see that, you know, you’re not on that same mindset, I’m not gonna keep you on a team. Like, okay, it’s been fun. I gave you an opportunity as I need. I need somebody who really wants this. And that’s rare. And that’s where we’re going to be the prestige. We’re going to be the premier pool company in the city in the next three years. Like anybody who thinks about pools or one is going to say, okay, blue street pool is first. And then if I can’t get to them, then what’s next. That’s, that’s the, that’s the whole goal.
Mark Jones (00:42:37):
Um, because like you said about earlier, you said about systems that are in place. I have a system that we’re not going to back yard. There’s seven to eight things that you need to do. You’re not going to guess about anything. It’s all on the app. You check it off. When you’re done, you take the picture, you calculate whatever you need to calculate, what your levels and add whatever you need to add. But you do not have to guess is you’re going to backyard, do the job. Boom. Next, next backyard. Do the job next. And you can honestly, Nathan I’m in a backyard literally from anywhere to five to 25 minutes and I’m done. Yep. And I’m done. Yes. Can I cram 20 pools? And one day I probably can, but will I? No, no, there’s too much. You know what I’m saying? I think a good, a good, a good number. It’s like a 10 to 12 and I’ll be good to go, man. So, but yeah, it’s a process thing and I believe in processes.
Learn the 6 things to do before hiring a marketing agency
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:43:33):
So I want to, I want to ask you, basically I call this a one, two, three, and this will be the, sort of the last set of stuff that we get into here. But 1, 2, 3 is going to be like a book partners and predictions. And let me set this up for just a little bit. So partners, you explained something to me just now that I, I I’m trying to say to people, right? Like regularly collaboration is more powerful than competition. Now. You can’t
always find it, but if you can is awesome. You mentioned earlier about like starting one way and then sort of branching into some of the other stuff that you do. But realistically there’s probably still a decent amount of work either before, right? Like you’re not installing the pool. And so a question that I want to ask you and we’ll get down there, but I want to tee this up by giving this concept, which is like I asked last week I asked Zach Ausherman as a painter.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:44:28):
I was like, who are the best partners? Right? Who are the other contracting companies that you should have on speed dial so that when that homeowner has a problem. Cause what you’re saying too is you’re providing homeowners, people who own their pools, you’re providing a value to them. You’re giving them the ability to have those memories. You’re not right. And so you want that person to be happy, not just with your service, but in general, you want to make sure they’re taken care of. Right. I’m going to ask that. But that’s what I mean by partners is like, who’s the other guy, whether that’s an installer or whether that’s a pool, another pool company who does something different than you do, or whether that’s like an electrician or whatever, who are those guys that you think that every pool company should have on speed dial when the homeowner has a problem and they’re super common. So I’m going to get back to that in just a second, but I wanted to tee that up mentally for you. So before that, I want to ask you, so I’m going to 1, 2, 3, 1 book that people should read to help them grow their businesses.
Mark Jones (00:45:37):
The, the author who wrote rich dad, poor dad, he has the Kawasaki, I think is his Guy Kawasaki. I think he has not the rich dad, poor dad book, but he has another book. His follow-up book to the, I got it. I haven’t read it in about two years, but this actually changed the way I thought about processes. Hold on, Rob. The residency cashflow quadrant. Yes. Cashflow quadrant. That book changed my life when it comes to the way I think about business because there’s four quadrants that you put yourself in you. One, you’re an employee, two you’re, uh, you’re, self-employed uh, three, you’re an entrepreneur and four, you’re an investor. So pretty much you’re, you’re moving yourself to different quadrants. So you start off as an employee working for money, right? And then you move yourself to self-employed, you’re still working for money, but you work for yourself. You have to move the only where you really make money and make the most out of your business is when you can remove yourself from the business and it’s on autopilot and you have to have a system in place to do that. Yep. So right now we’re, I’m moving, I’m moving from self-employed to full entrepreneur where I can leave my business for 90 days and come back and I still have a business because if I leave my business out for 90 days, I ain’t gonna have no business.
Mark Jones (00:47:09):
So right now I’m going from self-employed to entrepreneur. And then from entrepreneur, that’s where I can start investing in it and pretty much stop trading my time for money. That book taught me all about processes and systems and how important they, if you really want to enjoy your personal life, to be able to take a trip with your family and not worry about, you know, anything, you know? So that’s the book that I would, I would recommend cashflow quadrant. Fantastic. And it’s easy read too. I read it. I read it in like four days,
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:47:52): Two partners you’d recommend any pool guy have
Mark Jones (00:47:57):
The manager at their local pool store. That is one of the most important guys or girls to have a relationship with because their knowledge of pools is where if you don’t know the answer, nine times out of 10, they’re going to know the answer. And that’s, that’s honestly where I got the competence to start my business because I knew the manager at the pool store when I was just a guy that owned a pool and I was going to him for information. So I knew he had, I knew he had information. So I’m a manager at a pool store. And like, if you’re not really well versed in repairs and stuff like that, I would say, get a, get a strong relationship with somebody who knows how to install like new motors, um, you know, new salt systems, you know, uh, filters and things like that.
Mark Jones (00:48:53):
So you need, uh, a repair guy and you need, uh, the pool store manager. Those two have been, that’s honestly the key to my success when it, when it comes down to where, how I’ve grown. So, so much those two relationships that I’ve had is really got me to the point where I’m at today in the repair got honestly, um, I actually paid him a whole summer. I paid him to learn from the repair. So I wasn’t just asking for help. I said, man, look, I have these pools. Now I’m getting these problems with motors and say, I don’t know how to do any of this stuff. I want to pay you your full rate, whatever that is. You charged me that I’ll charge the customer that, but I’m learning in the process. So now I have repaired knowledge and I know how to do most repairs now because of that one summer that I invested in learning.
Mark Jones (00:49:45):
And I wasn’t even worried about the money. Cause I said, I’m gonna make way more just off of this summer learning this knowledge, but somebody has to teach me. So I had to provide value. Like I’m not going to waste your time. I want to just help. Let me put some money in your pocket at the same time, whatever your rate is, I don’t care. I’m going to pay it, but I’m gonna pay it with the learning aspect in it. So I’m, I’m telling you, I’m going to pay you, but I’m going to be at every one of these jobs looking over your shoulder to learn. So yeah, so those are the two people.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:50:13):
Awesome. And then three is three predictions. So one in each of these areas, one prediction on marketing and let’s stick, we’ll stick to, to Poole specifically. What’s one prediction for the rest of the year and maybe in the year 2022. Uh, if we can think that far forward at this point, time feels like compressed for me, for them for a little while, but what’s one prediction you’d make for next year that you would go marketing is going to look like this for us. You guys,
Mark Jones (00:50:44):
For me, I’ve been thinking about this for a few years now is I’m going to go, um, to billboards and buses. Hmm. You know, putting my company name rapided around a bus, wrapping it around a billboard. Uh, we’ll put it on a billboard going that route because new Orleans is so small. Honestly, new Orleans is one big circle is one, be honest is if you look at the freeways and the interstate is one big circle. So eventually somebody is going to pass that billboard. Somebody’s going to see that bus. They’re going to run into it. It’s not a huge market. So that’s where I’m going marketing wise. Um, by next summer, because I didn’t do it this year because I was like, I don’t want to put it up. And I can’t handle these phone calls. And, but I went viral. So now I’m still in the same position. I can’t handle all this stuff. You know what I’m saying? But once I get a team involved, um, it’d be, you know, the tagline, you know, I want to say, Hey, we do in
ground and above ground, but that’s going to be that that’s going to be the kicker right there because I know no other pool comes are doing above ground. So I know I’m might get calls from that phrase right there. So yeah. Billboards and buses is where I’m gonna go marketing wise, uh, next summer.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:51:55):
Fascinating. I love the idea that you’re viral and TikTok, and you’re thinking about billboards. I still tell people that they should consider, uh, we just got a piece of direct mail stuff in the mail like yesterday and I kept it. I was like, oh yeah, this is, uh, because it was actually useful. And so I don’t think any marketing thing is dead. It’s just about, uh, where you should be going and where your customer’s eyeballs are. Right. So I love it. Uh, another prediction on hiring. So for this year, and next year, I know you’re focused on hiring for next season. And the trades in home services have been talking about basically a hiring shortage for as long as I’ve been alive. But now it’s especially poignant, right? Like it’s, it’s constant, it’s everywhere and it’s not just in home services or contracting or trades. Now it’s everywhere. I have my own theories about that. But I want to hear from you, what’s our prediction about hiring for the rest of this year and for next season next, uh, for 2022 from
Mark Jones (00:52:58):
You, as far as hiring goes for, for me in particular, I don’t feel like it’s going to be a hard sale, hire somebody to work for me in my company. Um, just because of one that they don’t know this yet, but first is it’s the process that’s already in place. You don’t have to guess too, is the, the work environment that you’re going to be working in. You know, you’re going to be working for somebody, you know, not, not to toot my own horn, but everybody wants to work with somebody that everybody knows. And I say, I work from, I work for Blue Street pools. You know what a guy he’s all that, you know. So, um, the work environment is going to be fun because I came from the car business. I know how to get, I was a sales manager and I was 24.
Mark Jones (00:53:47):
Um, so I know how to get people round up and people ready and motivated and ready to go kill the day, you know, predictions for hiring. I don’t, I don’t feel like I’m gonna have a, a hard time with that because at the same time, and this is, this is something that, you know, is, is going to happen very soon is I’m going to be taking on, you know, seniors in high school, uh, guys that are fresh in college, I’m going to be doing internships. You’re going to work beside me. And I’m going to show you that, Hey, you could be doing this and you could be making way more money and learning at the same time. And you can be a business owner at the same time. So I’m taking younger guys under my wing to show them that, Hey, there’s another way that you can get it.
Mark Jones (00:54:34):
You know, you don’t have to do it this way. You can do it this way. So I think the aspect of, you know, me being one involved with the community, just make people want to be a part of what I built. And that’s where, and that’s the big sale. I don’t, it’s not going to be, you know, I don’t want to say, I don’t want anybody to say, Hey, I work for blue street pool going to, Hey, man, I work with them. You know, this is a, this is a, this is the thing that we’re all doing together for the greater good for, not just the pool is, but for people I want to I’m, I’m wanting to give people opportunities and give them another way of doing things and just show them, Hey, you can really do this the way you want to do it on your own time, but you gotta just be consistent.
Mark Jones (00:55:20):
That’s that’s the, that’s the, that’s the piece that’s going to separate you from. Everybody else is consistency. And you can do it your way. I do everything my way, even to the, even to my shorts, I go in the backyard and my, I got funky shorts. I wear a different pair of shorts every day, but that’s my style became a body. Not that, especially if I’m coming in your backyard and I’m doing what I’m doing, you’re not going to care what I wear, you know? And that’s where, and that’s where the whole idea came from. It was like, Hey, if I’m providing this high level of service, you don’t have to accept my shorts, my pink shorts. And I walked into your backyard. It is what it is. You know what I’m saying? If there’s a basketball goal in your backyard, I might shoot a shot before I go. Like, you know, that’s like, we’re having fun over here, but we’re not, you know, we’re not disrespectful what, we’re just having a great time, you know? And I want people to,
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:56:10):
That’s hilarious. I’ve actually, I’ve noticed, uh, there’s shorts in all of your Tik TOK videos, right? As I’ve been watching them, I was like, this dude knows what’s going on. Okay. And then finally, one prediction on just pool cleaning. Where do you think that pool cleaning will go? I suspect that it’s going to keep getting hotter and colder, but for, for the next year, for the rest of this year, for the next year, where do you suspect pool cleaning will be headed? Do you think there’ll be anything that changes? Do you think it’ll hold the same?
Mark Jones (00:56:38):
No, no, no. Um, automation is happening right now. Automation, where you can control everything from your phone. You know, they already have systems in place where, you know, there’s pool of vacuums that you can actually control from your phone. You don’t have to, you don’t have to wake up and turn that thing on. You can get on your phone is connected to wifi. You turn it on and starts to vacuum. You know, they have, uh, systems already in place where you can actually, you know, control your motor from your phone. So every it’s going, the technology is going to take over the, the, the pool industry. But there’s, it’s still going to be a need for guys and girls like me to come in your backyard and clean the pool. But it’s going to get to the point where the more technology that comes out when it comes to pool cleaning it, it’s going to eventually be where the homeowner has enough, enough things on automatic, where they can take care of their own pool.
Mark Jones (00:57:34):
And that’s where it’s going, because they already have chlorine feeders that will, if they notice that your flooring level was low, is going to spend some chlorine to your pool without knowledge. So your pool is always going to be balanced. So stuff like that is already happening, but when you need, you know, when you need the pool vacuum and all that stuff is still going to be around. So the service industry isn’t going anywhere, but adapting to the technology and talking about the technology to the customer and selling your customers. All the new technology is honestly where my company is going to go. I’m only going to be talking about the new stuff, because all this new stuff is going to make my job easier. I’ll be your, instead of being your backyard for 25 minutes, I’ll be in your backyard for five minutes and I’m out. You see what I’m saying? So automation is, was happening right now in the pool industry. So that’s where it’s going. And, you know, hopefully, um, you know, hopefully people adapt because I am, I’m definitely going to adapt. I’m about changing for the better, you know, I’m all about that. So we’re just going
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:58:35):
To end up working for you. Uh, that’s fine. You just stay out in front, dude. Just be the tip of the spear
we’ll follow behind.
Mark Jones (00:58:46): So.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:58:46):
Okay. Well, I thank you so much for your time today. I’m going to wrap it up, uh, because you’ve given me way more than I deserve as I shut it down here. I do want to plug, not that you need any more followers on Tik TOK, but I still want to give you a shout out. Where can people find Mark Jones and Blue Street pools?
Mark Jones (00:59:05):
All right. It is, uh, you can find Mark Jones and blue street pool. A couple of ways you can follow me on TikTok poolproMJ. That’s my name on TikTok. You can follow me on Instagram, pullpr0MJ on Instagram, but the pro has a zero instead of the actual, oh, because somebody took my name when I went viral and they took my name. So I had to change it. So I’ve been reporting that page, but they still up, but so it was still pool pro MJ, um, on social media. Um, and if you want to go to my website, Lucy pools.
Nathan Young, Home Service Leaders (00:59:43):
Fantastic. And for any, I mean, like, I know I already said this, but I have like watched most of the tic-tac stuff that mark has and it’s, it’s awesome. Like, uh, I showed the three minute long, like here’s how you take a green pool to blue. And like, I think we watched it like three times and showed like a dozen of our friends or whatever. Like, it really is fantastic content. So check out, mark, mark. Thank you so much for being a guest on home service leaders today has been freaking awesome to have you appreciate you, man. Awesome. And we’re out.
Owner Blue Street Pools
Blue Street Pools is a family owned pool care company based out of New Orleans. Their motto is “We treat your pool better!” and they work hard to live by that motto every day as one of New Orleans top pool care companies.