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Mastering the Art of Home Trade Businesses with Al Levi on the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast #53

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00:00:00 Al Levi
And this is for now, 20 years of doing this second career, but starting on my own business, if you can really handle the daytoday, 80%, the 20% of the throat, no. And where this idea is, well, it’s all digital. I’ll just put it in there to look it up. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. They’re supposed to know their manuals by art, because you go over constantly. You keep it in the culture, you explain it, they read it aloud, which is a lot of steps to this. And there’s more than just words on a digital device or paper.

00:00:30 Al Levi
And today of course is much more digital just thought that while I’m just making as big as I want and then they can go search it, no that’s not how it works. And so that’s really knowing and owning your box on the your chart. And then in our case our company was what differentiated us way back in the 90s and they’re on forward was that we decided we’re going to offer a career not a job and that became why we were the employer of choice. Welcome.

00:00:55 Matthew Kuehlhorn
To The Kooler Lifestyle Podcast.

00:00:57 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn, and I’m excited to have you join me as I interview community members and business leaders from the communities in which I live, work and serve through my business, Kooler Garage Doors. We’re going to bring you highlights on characters in our communities.

00:01:12 Al Levi

00:01:13 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Because community matters. And I want to know more about who is behind our business and leadership in order to understand and support the community fabric that our relationships make up. And collectively, we can build stronger communities that support our lifestyles, our youth and our health. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matthew Kuehlhorn today.

00:01:41 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I have the opportunity of sitting down with a mentor, a coach, a friend. Al Levi, the owner of Seven power contractor Al. Thanks for joining today.

00:01:50 Al Levi
Thanks for having me and appreciate it.

00:01:52 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, I’m really excited for our conversation. I know we’re going to go in a lot of different zones and this will be a little different than some of our other contract or you know, conversations where where you are the coach, mentor and you know.

00:02:06 Matthew Kuehlhorn
We get to flip rolls a little bit, I get to lead some of our conversation and I guess just to begin, where are you beaming in from?

00:02:14 Al Levi
I am actually in the lovely place called Scottsdale, AZ and it’s so nice right now because we’re not 150 degrees.

00:02:22 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, it sounds lovely. That’s wonderful. And where did you grow up?

00:02:26 Al Levi
I grew up. I’m sure the accent is gone, but in a place called New York City.

00:02:31 Matthew Kuehlhorn

00:02:34 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And you have been in the trades. Your your family is in the.

00:02:38 Al Levi
Trades. That’s how I like to say, yeah, if my family was in fuel oil heating, which is for those who are not familiar, that’s like propane heating. And so that was our business. We started 1936 out of my grandfather’s gas station. My brothers and I, my two older brothers, we were the third generation and I’m happy to say gone 20 years and they’re still kicking it. And my nephew is now there, 4th generation with my middle brother.

00:03:03 Al Levi
That’s awesome.

00:03:05 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Right on. So was it always known you were just going to go right into the family business?

00:03:11 Al Levi
Yeah. And also, you know, we did spread out at the plumbing, gas, heating, air conditioning, electric. So I just wanted to make sure I fit that in because that’s what I eventually decided to own the whole basement because if we didn’t, we would have been locked out of our own customers basement. So yeah, you know what, by the time you know, if you want to, in my case, you wanted to see my dad.

00:03:33 Al Levi
He would wake us up in the middle of the night and we would go run service calls with him, even though there were people on and we were a residential, commercial and industrial. So I was lucky to have a very wide perspective on all of this type of stuff and this was literally a 24/7 365. I used to sleep with the phone next to my head and really not sleep mat, which is why I talked about my tagline for this business of our contractor from the beginning was less stress, more success.

00:04:03 Al Levi
Cuz we were making a ton of money, but it was very much a killing process and that’s not a good goal.

00:04:09 Matthew Kuehlhorn
What was what was the turning point you start implementing some of the stuff that you now teach in coach out?

00:04:15 Al Levi
Yeah you know our thing was the mandate for my dad. He his partner with my uncle who passed away unfortunately too early and then you know his mantra if you will not somebody words was hurry up go to work.

00:04:31 Al Levi
Get very busy and the money will follow. And most times it did, but not necessarily. And it was eventually, you know, I joined the forerunner of Next Star, which was C2000. Back in the 90s, I met the great Ellen Rohr, who’s a very great friend, was a coconsultant and actually worked in the franchise business with the We opened Up Zoo Dre franchise, which I was a member of. And I successfully sold my share to my partners so that they could get even bigger once they got me out of the way.

00:05:02 Al Levi
Everybody. I was not shocked. Just so you’re clear, I don’t, you know, there was a case of so many things that happened was we were in New York City union shop and so they were dictating. You know, the longer we stayed your company, the more money we get paid. And I was, you know, coming as a green pack if you all at my own company. I asked the guy one day.

00:05:25 Al Levi
Who have been there 25 years ago? What’s the difference between the Keiko and a Bella gossett circulator, which is how the water pumps back there and he goes, beat me, kid, one is green, one’s red. And I was horrified at that thought that I as a green guy was already knowing what I know. So what we realized pretty quickly is that there was no way to do our company thing. There were a lot of these seminal moments for that and ultimately for me what I wanted to do.

00:05:52 Al Levi
Was because of my experience and exposure in Next Door. This whole concept was one of the great books from a changer in my life was Michael Gerber’s Emus, which is pretty funny because it was a monster book in the 90s. And then it kind of was in the background. And now with guys like Ken Goodrich and the rest of it, it’s back there in the background because it’s it never gets old. The idea about having a systematic business and the biggest thing I took away from that bad is if I’m always working in the business and never on it, nothing is going to change.

00:06:22 Al Levi
So for the first time in my life, I knew why things weren’t working the way they need to and I knew what I needed to do, which was be create the structure, the org charts and the manuals and the training and things of that nature or this was never going to change. So now I knew the what and I got really nothing in the way I have, but I’m really good at how. And so you know, we took our time, we wrote the manuals, did the other stuff, and I couldn’t write it myself. I tried forever.

00:06:50 Al Levi
And it always came out like a law book article one dash 6.35 and it wasn’t worth in those days the paper and nobody uses on paper the mouth, it’s all digital. But so tonality of things, that nature, which is why we spent $150,000 in today’s money to write with basically a fraction of what like you have at this point. It was, but it was so valuable that we paid it off within two years. If people go, how could that happen?

00:07:18 Al Levi
Well, first of all, we weren’t a small company. We were 17 million in sales. But the big thing was, is we always had way more calls than we could do with the tech, which is great. But we were blowing the opportunities left to right. CS R’s couldn’t book right, couldn’t build sales momentum and dispatchers couldn’t maximize schedule. Tech’s got to the job with the blindfolders on, didn’t know what to do. And if they did all that right, they never closed the call out right with the dispatcher. And that’s where all the mistakes really began. So sitting in groups.

00:07:47 Al Levi
And writing it with my friend who was a great industry writer. He was masterful at this and, you know, getting us to use objective language versus subjective or read my mind, which is always poison. That’s, you know, well, use your common sense, Matt, as if your common sense would be my common sense. But my brother Richie would say that, you know, in reading some time ago, well, just use your common sense. And finally I went ballistic, the guy up his nose to the others ago.

00:08:13 Al Levi
Common sense whose common sense? Your common sense like they could all read your mind. It was pretty hostile. But ultimately we came down to you know, making the best we could as far as objective that was really, that was really where the train got rolled. The next part of this journey along the way, which is kind of going simultaneously is we would go to training, we would hire away and frankly, I hate to use any other term than this but we used to steal your text because.

00:08:43 Al Levi
You know, we didn’t want to develop our own, didn’t even know that that was possible. So we would pirate away guys. And when they would finally show up and Richie and I would be these techs standing in the basement, you know, in our back, in our office, actually at 2:00 o’clock in the morning. And we would go Matt. Matt was the guy that we overpaid and now blew our old pay system on him. He’s already mediocre. And now all of a sudden we’re in the situation of what do we do. So finally we just came to do the arrangement.

00:09:12 Al Levi
But we just realized, you know what? We’re going to take young, willing apprentices with no skills and get them up the ladder or the org chart to become willing text with great skills. And that is what really took it to the next level.

00:09:26 Al Levi
Thank you everybody. This is Luke from Kooler Garage Doors. Just want to take a quick second to talk about our sponsor, Sommar Garage Door Openers. We believe Sommars are the best in the business when it comes to garage door openers. We always recommend them for residential installs because of the many features they have such as Wi-Fi connectivity and safety features like a fixed chain that runs along a secure rail for a quiet and safe operation.

00:09:54 Al Levi
Click the link to find out more about Sommar Garage Door Openers.

00:10:07 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah. So what we’re talking about just to bring listeners up to speed because you know we’ve got listeners that are in the trades or in another business or community members in general. But your seven power contractor brings it in manuals which is part of an SLP system in process. And what I’ve heard you say and I think this is applicable is.

00:10:28 Matthew Kuehlhorn
It allows employees to come in and not have to guess what the owners thinking on any given day, and then in some ways it helps the owner get out of the way.

00:10:36 Al Levi
Micromanaging, we’re really great at macromanaging. And also, you know, my line was always the same that on any given day there were either too many levies or not enough. And you know, because good luck, employee trying to figure out which Levi you’re supposed to make happy today when we never had an org chart. Everybody just, you know.

00:10:57 Al Levi
What happens is everybody just fills the void and jumps it or doesn’t jump in and both are bad scenarios. So the scenario I always used is if you need it. In our case, if we needed a crane to put a air conditioning unit up on a roof before it was defined, we either had no cranes or two cranes. Both are bad because the job was not defined as who was doing in this. I don’t care what trade you’re in. You know what I just said? I thought you were going to order that. No, I thought that was your job.

00:11:27 Al Levi
So there’s no definition of it, and that org chart really is where you start to take control of things. But I call like the bingo board for running a company without all the fancy titles, and then it’s about putting the manuals that cover those boxes. And it’s only 80% of what goes on, but that 80% is the most critical stuff they need to know.

00:11:47 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, no, this is, this is great Alan. This is going to fall in our Better Business kind of category for the for the podcast.

00:11:55 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And it’s applicable for any business. Don’t don’t turn this off if you’re in the restaurant business or hospitality, right. This is all applicable because we’re talking about structure to be able to guide human behavior. And I want to dive into that 80% you mentioned because one of my struggles before you and I met and this is to be sure, an ongoing journey like I’m ongoing.

00:12:21 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Implementing manuals and structuring SOP’s but there is a certain level.

00:12:25 Al Levi

00:12:26 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I was blocked because I got into overwhelmed. I didn’t want it and it’s like, OK, how detailed do I get? And if we go to 100%, there’s no way to cover all the 100%. But what you’re saying is kind of using the 2080 rule, if we cover 80%, the other 20% is still going to happen. So I’m going to bubble up, but it’s going to be.

00:12:49 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Manageable because we’re not dealing with all the other fires because we’ve got 80% covered. Is that kind of the game?

00:12:55 Al Levi
Yeah, it is. I will tell you this is for now 20 years of doing this second career, but starting on my own business, if you can really handle the daytoday, 80%, the 20% don’t throw no. And where this idea is, well, it’s all digital. I’ll just put it in there to look it up. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.

00:13:14 Al Levi
They’re supposed to know their manuals by art because you go over constantly. You keep it in the culture, you explain it, they read it aloud. There’s a lot of steps to this and there’s more than just words on a digital device or paper. And today, of course, it’s much more digital. Just thought that while I’m just making as big as I want and then they can go search it, no, that’s not how it works. And so that’s really knowing and owning your box on the your chart. And then in our case, our company was.

00:13:42 Al Levi
What differentiated us way back in the 90s and they were on forward, was that we decided we’re going to offer a career, not a job, and that became why we were the employer of choice. Now that also meant taking the manuals and leveraging them in the right right training center, hands on training center, building the curriculum, which is the bridge between your manuals and your training center and then us becoming better trainers because we always relied on outside trainers. But the problem with trainers that come in two flavors.

00:14:12 Al Levi
One is they’re somebody who really knows their subject. They’re experts. Problem is, they’re so boring you will be asleep. And so unless you know how to learn in your sleep, not very old. And then there are those who are very dynamic, charismatic, funny features, but heaven forbid you ask them any question with any depth and pretty soon you know they don’t know what they’re talking about. So we as owners and management.

00:14:41 Al Levi
We need to take on this training so that we can help build them our way, not just built in the industry way. And then we get the control more and that takes us building our training skills so that that’s all the that’s how you get this pipeline going. In my case, I used to train 5 willing apprentices through a whole process in what I call now signature staffing system, which builds on the manuals because ultimately, yeah, we want to take control of the company. I get been there, done that.

00:15:10 Al Levi
But ultimately, we ought to go and grow. And how do you do that? How do you get all these great texts? Here’s the great news. The majority of my my clients through the years, during this tech shortage we just went through, they had plenty of texts. Not just enough for now, but they were growing during coke growing texts. Also, I wanted to get to the don’t dial out thing. I’ve worked with a commercial photographer.

00:15:39 Al Levi
So if you think that this doesn’t apply to you, commercial photographer, a condo builder, kitchen, cabinetry, garage door manufacturer. I mean commercial roofing, All of the things that I was never in. It is still the same thing. Those 7 powers. Planning, operations, staffing, sales, sales, coaching, marketing, finance. Those are the seven things or your foundation for any, any type of.

00:16:07 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, absolutely. Why do you think that your clients are not necessarily experiencing a labor shortage?

00:16:14 Al Levi
I think it’s because they bought into this idea of finding lightning in a bottle over and over again, which is a willing tech who has great skills, really difficult and if they came to your shop for extra money, they’re going to go to somebody else for extra money. So we used to call years ago, we called them dollar hoppers. Is they hop to your shop and then hop on?

00:16:37 Al Levi
So just building them from scratch and giving them careers, going up the org chart is what has changed that dynamic. And you know in my case, I have guys, they’re actually retired now the ones that I have trained. But you know they came for us 20-30 years and we’re effective as they move through every position in the company that they had earned, nothing is given you are.

00:17:01 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I mean, it’s a testament to the human spirit wanting to be a part of something.

00:17:06 Matthew Kuehlhorn
That’s bigger. And you know, I think a lot of people want to come into something. Maybe there’s an intimidation factor if they don’t already have a skill set. But what we’re talking about is breaking that down. So we find good hearted humans that align with a culture and then we train them up and we have the system in place to be able to guide their behaviors and give them that incentive to grow.

00:17:31 Al Levi
It’s exhausting to rewire people constantly.

00:17:36 Al Levi
I’m just going to tell you also, I, you know, one day I walked in, asked about 7:00. Well, I walked into my office and I had had an awful night’s sleep. It was filled with nightmares. And what was the nightmare about? I walked into my We were in a very small office. About what? The size you see here. My dad was a firm believer that we don’t make any money with you sitting here, go out and do something. So when we sat in this office, you know, I came in and told them I woke up in a cold sweat.

00:18:04 Al Levi
I feel like a hostage at my own company. How do you guys feel to go we we feel the same way what are you going to do about it And that was what started that journey about putting you know and it all starts with the org charts the manuals and then that goes next level to staffing which is this next process of how do you take a willing apprentice those skills to a willing tech with great skills And then no matter how big you grow your company we call the help them spoke but.

00:18:32 Al Levi
The way that we did it, which is a is getting field supervisors into position. Now they don’t ride around all day, but they help manage their team. Otherwise, no matter how great your service manager install manager is, they become a choke point of the company. They can’t manage 25 texts no matter how good those texts are. And the other problem is if you don’t train them in your house, then you have to train them at somebody else’s house and that on the job training which.

00:19:01 Al Levi
We never like to say out loud, but years ago, that’s how we train people. Is very inconsistent, incomplete and really close to useless, but better than.

00:19:11 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, yeah, I get that. What would you say to a business owner whether they’re in in home service trades or or elsewhere that might be feeling some of the the chaoticness and have a desire to get things anchored down like where?

00:19:31 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Do we start?

00:19:32 Al Levi
Yeah. So when I did 1 to 1 consulting and people paid me a lot of money for that 60 years to do, you know, a couple years of work. And I’m happy to say nobody asked for a brief, but the reality is plan and Ellen had a great line plan or be planned for. That’s how your life goes. So what I mean that is planning power is all the great ideas that you have in your head because you’re in every Facebook group.

00:20:01 Al Levi
Industry group, that is. You go to webinars, seminars, you know in person, you have friends in the network. There’s no shortage of great ideas. It’s just a shortage of ideas implemented. So you put it at the top of the funnel in that big hopper in the master project list and then you let them work their way down the list. So they work their way down with a filter, which is it either fixes the biggest problem or challenge for greatest chance to grow and be profitable.

00:20:28 Al Levi
So you get down to your top 30 and that’s what you’d want to do in one year. And then you take those same filters, fix the biggest problem or challenge the greatest chance to grow and be profitable. And you get down to your top five, five because that’s all you could effectively work on. And when you get down to your top five, here’s the deal. I don’t care how crazy your week was, Mr. or his owner, I don’t care. But you said these five things.

00:20:58 Al Levi
It will fix your biggest problem or challenge and give you the greatest chance to grow and be profitable. So what else are you doing that’s more important than that? So a portion of your week needs to be dedicated to work on that. And what that does is get you what the goal of plenty power is, working on the right thing in the right way at the right time. Otherwise, it’s everybody yelling at you, which is where that source of confusion comes in.

00:21:24 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yes, that’s a challenge.

00:21:27 Al Levi
Yes, it is.

00:21:29 Al Levi
So every next great idea you have, guess where it goes, Matt. Top of the funnel has to work its way down that funnel to earn its attention. When it hits that top five, then we get to.

00:21:44 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Work, Yeah, we’ve had this conversation. I’ve heard you say that before, but just hearing it again, I mean part of it’s having the repetition in the reminder to utilize that tool, but it’s it is.

00:21:57 Matthew Kuehlhorn
It is a challenge, you know, as a business owner to prioritize and make decisions, right? Because I think for me, and I would imagine this could play in other people’s minds. As I make a decision, I focus here, but I’m also giving up something at the same time and.

00:22:16 Al Levi
How do I know when speaking to control? I mean, let’s face it, most of us who have risen to owners, we were really once a great tech.

00:22:25 Al Levi
What made us a great tech is our attention to detail and perfection. So what sabotages us as owners is our demanding perfection and never settling for anything less than perfection. I’m not saying to just mail it in, not even close. But one of the great phrases I taught myself to say at the end of the day, good enough for today, I’ll make it better in the future. I’m getting this out of the world.

00:22:51 Al Levi
Because whatever great ideas that I have or things that I’m working on that never see the light of day are worthless, worthless. How to get it out into the world. And so that’s really your incentive and you’re only going to grow so big if you have to do everything. Let’s face it, you know, I did pretty much every job I ran for truck parts. I did. I worked in the field as, you know, protect. I was a big ticket salesperson that was pretty good because in a part time job.

00:23:19 Al Levi
1990s, I was selling $1,000,000 a year. Now, yes, I did have the power of being owner, but this is my point. You know, could I clone myself? Well, if you guys out there listening can clone yourself, stop listening to anything in this podcast. Congratulations. Yeah, we couldn’t do it back then, even when there was a sheep. That was, you know, first time we even heard of the concept of cloning. It’s not going to happen. And so I’m not saying you, you.

00:23:47 Al Levi
The better you take a clean slate and train them your way and you can’t train them your way until you define what is your way. That’s my point. So that’s why we’re there’s only two types of companies that ever work with that. Either they’re really small, good companies sometimes, sure, family members or, you know, partners that grow up as friends and partners. But what they run into is there’s only so many hours in the day, days in a week, weeks in a month. They run out of time. They can’t clone themselves.

00:24:15 Al Levi
And so they need those systems. So seven pulling blocks we talked about. And then they need to put these systems, the org charts, the manuals and then they need to get on this staffing business, which is leveraging them to start making people their own way. Guess what? The biggest, best companies that I came to, you know, already figured out how to make the phone ring off the hook. The bad news for them, Matt, is every time the phone rang, it was gasoline to a fire because they couldn’t handle it.

00:24:43 Al Levi
So what do they need? They needed seven same 7 building blocks. They needed the same org charts and same manual. And they needed to get the staffing train moved.

00:24:53 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yes, yes. Oh man. I’ve got a couple different questions bubbling up. Do you think, Well, for a listener that might be catching wind of this and be like, all right, this is, this is sound a good idea? I also recognize that.

00:25:12 Matthew Kuehlhorn
You know, maybe these manuals play into culture, but there’s also a piece of culture that may play into the manuals, right? And then and then there’s branding, There’s marketing as a as a business like I guess my question to you is, is where would you put the manuals and and this organization in priority with branding, with marketing, with anything else that you know an owner might be able to play with I.

00:25:39 Al Levi
I already have one stock.

00:25:41 Al Levi
Analogy for this whole thing and that that is, you know, the motivational speaker Anthony Anthony had his last name. Guy’s really tall.

00:25:52 Matthew Kuehlhorn

00:25:53 Al Levi
Robins, thank you, Anthony Robins. And so he creates a program for 30 days that’s designed to change the rest of your life for success. And what he finds out is that people are not willing to invest 30 days to change the rest of their life. So he has to get it down to seven days to change the rest of your life.

00:26:10 Al Levi
So I come up with the seven powers, which has dynamically changed my life and work with people. But I find out that they don’t want to do all of the seven things because one of the things you just mentioned is marking and stuff. I go okay, I want you to know all 7, but I’m going to make a shortcut to use two things. More calls, more text. That is what you need to do for the rest of your life. Not one or the other. Both. So what I mean by more calls is like a bathtub full of calls.

00:26:40 Al Levi
Right amount of calls from the right customer, right time. And then be careful is the drain is open on your bathtub. If you’re CSR stink, the drain is open. So that is your goal. And your goal is actually to overflow the top because if you make more calls than you can usually do in a day, you get charged the price you need to. You get to decide where you’re going and what you’re charging, the work that you will do and won’t do, and it also forces you to grow up in a good way.

00:27:11 Al Levi
And more text is not just warm body. In the case of service techs, they’re great communicators, which leads to great sales. They’re neat and clean. Their trucks need and clean. The job sites need and clean. They have to get the review from the customer. They close the call out with the dispatch and technically they were here today because my garage door was crashed, which means the door is either up, there is down or it’s halfway. Both are bad. All three of those are bad. And so tomorrow I don’t want to push the button.

00:27:39 Al Levi
And I find out I’m back in the same situation. So that’s the technical aspect of it. Installers still under the more tech category, they don’t do sales, but what they do is communicate with a customer and make sure that what they’re doing customer understands there need clean, trucks need clean, the job site need clean. I’m not going to flatten your tires and let Parker screws all over the tribe way and then I make sure that it’s work Commission and you understand how to use my queue because if I don’t.

00:28:08 Al Levi
Then the service department has to come back and that’s what we call a callback and that’s a drain. So those are really the two things you focus on and you’re still using the same metrics of master project top 30, top five to address those issues.

00:28:24 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I love that Okay. So for the business owners listening, you know we’ve got somebody that’s interested in in implementing, we’re ready to go. We’ve got the option of.

00:28:33 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Of buying AL’s manuals and implementing. I can write them myself and and implement. You and I had a great conversation prior to recording. We could go to the Chat, GB, Tai, have that thing spit out manuals. I can see nuances to all of them, but at the end of the day we’ve got to anchor them and bring them down to reality for our culture.

00:29:00 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And exactly what we’ve got going on, which means owner has to make some decisions. So can you speak to some of the implementation? I mean maybe all three are viable. I think there’s some disk. I think I think there’s some disconnect with an A I kind of spitting it. I think it’s very difficult. You’re right it out.

00:29:20 Al Levi
But I I give us some share. First of all I I love technology. I don’t like. I love technology and I believe firmly in automation. And that was.

00:29:29 Al Levi
Ruined into me by my dad because he back then was ahead of his time and always would spend up for good technology. But technology has to have a purpose and a design to handle. And this thought that it’s just automatic and I could speak into my microphone and tell you what I want. It’s kind of like bringing my executive secretary and go yeah, give me some manuals and you’re going to go out and how is that going to fit your culture And how do we even know it’s true that that’s really the issue of it? It’s an assistant.

00:29:58 Al Levi
Kind of like years ago somebody was promoting that you don’t even need manuals anymore, you just need a bunch of videos. I am a strong believer in videos, but it’s the dessert, It’s not the main course. The manuals and the org chart is the structure of the backbone to which all other additional training can be done. Like short loom videos, which are great short loom videos. There. There are a lot of things that you can do. You can even do as you’re out on the job and go, hey, I’m on the job, this door is crashed.

00:30:28 Al Levi
Watch what I’m going to do. Those are good additional things. They’re not a substitute or well written manuals and that’s really how can I get one guy, 10 guy, 100 guys in the case of 1000 guys to pretty much do it the Kooler Doors way or whatever trade you’re in that way. So this concept of a I versus AL is in my opinion it’s not one or the other, but if I had to choose, it’s because yes, you might sound like I’m prejudice. Mine is contested.

00:30:57 Al Levi
Not time tested like ancient. It’s time tested right now, right this minute. That’s called. That’s the difference between the two. So we only back to what we wanted to make sure I cover here.

00:31:09 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I guess the implementation, because you’re right, you’re you’ve got the time tested piece and there’s still nuances for any company to implement and in my experience, you know is reading through line by line with my entire team and then every week.

00:31:26 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Pulling out pieces to review and read.

00:31:29 Al Levi
Yes, that’s how you keep it in the culture because you mentioned culture before. So this isn’t something we’re shoving down their throats. This is our opportunity. So it actually starts at the beginning with the org. Thoughts is why would I care about your org shot, Matt if I work for your company? Here’s the four reasons, where am I today, whether I like it or not? Where can I go tomorrow with you if you are really promising your career?

00:31:56 Al Levi
Voodoo really is my boss because when I walk around this place, everyone yells at me and the last one is if it’s not in my manuals and not in my training, who can I go to for help and Bill cannot yell at me. And then with that, the manuals that apply to each of these boxes are covering the 80%. So I’m training you up right now so that when you go out in the field, what I’m hoping to do is catch you doing that and make a big deal about it.

00:32:24 Al Levi
That’s really the goal of it. Now how do you keep it in traction is by having a weekly meetings after it’s been fully rolled out. They stand up and they read one to two pages aloud. And this is the chance they get to put their fingerprints on versus hijack. So that if they have a better check, cheaper, faster way, and we all agree, then we’re going to edit this to reflect that they’re not set in stone, but they’re not being rewritten each and every time they’re being tweaked.

00:32:54 Al Levi
As you go along, which is what keeps it in the culture, that’s really where the buy in and the buy in actually starts. Further back is in the editing process. The biggest mistakes, and I walked this through with all the videos and also the workbook that’s in the program is there’s we know the tone of what you’re saying, because if you’re going to turn this into adult manual in your own attempt to fight it, don’t do this. Don’t do this, don’t do this, don’t do this for any of you listening.

00:33:23 Al Levi
That have kids, please tell me how effective it is When you tell your kids don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t. It’s really worthless and so that’s really more. We want to keep it in a do mat and the tonality of it because it’s read aloud is that it sounds like my Big Brother or big sister is coaching, not yelling at you. And how do I know you’re yelling? Because the font is 45 or it’s in bold or worse yet, underlined in red.

00:33:54 Al Levi
If that worked, I would suggest you make all of your manuals, 548 all red and all underlined. It doesn’t work. It’s as effective as the sign in your office that says over the sink your mom doesn’t live here. Clean your own dishes, Well, that’s working really well.

00:34:14 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, that’s good. How many listeners get in touch with you? Learn more.

00:34:19 Al Levi
Yeah. So I hope for a free 30 minutes. Anyone. Any contractor.

00:34:23 Al Levi
And all you need to do is go to and just, you know, e-mail me and I’m happy to set that up. Send you the steps. Or you can go to my website There’s a lot of information there. I’ve been writing blogs for a few thousand years, so there’s plenty of information. It’s really searchable, it’s really concise. Or blog videos. There’s a lot of information right there.

00:34:50 Al Levi
And it does have my products, the operating manuals and the staffing system that then builds on it. Those are good things to kind of look at no matter which way you decide to go. And they’re right there, there’s on the bottom, it says connect with Al. You’re welcome to just go there and say type me a message and we will get to a call or resume meeting for 30 minutes. And it’s not a sales call, it’s my give back to the industry.

00:35:16 Matthew Kuehlhorn
It’s an amazing value. So anybody listening, I would encourage you to take L up on that. Like I’ve said, I, you know, we’ve engaged, I’ve hired you to come into my little company and really help me structure it and it’s added massive value. And I think this is important for anybody running a company because ultimately that extends into the community like a wellrun company is going to have an impact in community and that’s certainly one thing that that drives me.

00:35:43 Matthew Kuehlhorn
But it does structure it for the employee, makes the lifestyle different, better, more consistent. So I appreciate your work. And again, if you’re not a contractor, I’d still encourage you to check out AL’s components because it is around this structure. In the book, mention of E Myth is a good one, right? Because the organization is exactly it. It needs to be organized.

00:36:10 Matthew Kuehlhorn
So at any rate, Li really, you know, appreciate what you bring in. It’s definitely on a master level. You’ve been in the game long enough and taking this bull of knocks great to.

00:36:20 Al Levi
Say so. Thank you, Matt.

00:36:23 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Well, it’s true. Like I go and and I search for people that really know their stuff and and play it at a mastery level and you’re one of those folks.

00:36:31 Al Levi
Thank you.

00:36:34 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Absolutely. What to close out our conversation today, What are you excited for?

00:36:39 Al Levi
You know, I’m excited that the industry and all industries tend to be waking up these days when, you know, I started so many years ago, you know, we just went to a house, We barely spoke to a customer. You just, you know, we really wanted them to stop talking so we could get down to work and then somebody would send them a bill. They would be looking back. And hindsight is always perfect, right? We left them in the dark. Today, customers are educated.

00:37:07 Al Levi
You cannot do this old sales method of sell on the least amount of information. Your job, your job. I don’t care what you do is you are there to protect me, the customer, from doing something stupid. I am still the customer. Your job is to make a great recommendations to do your background, your research and be fully trained so that you can help me arrive at a good decision. That’s your goal. I actually teach people is it’s.

00:37:36 Al Levi
The customer has to win first so the company can win second so the employees can win third and 4th. The owner does.

00:37:44 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yes, love that. Well said. Thanks. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for listening to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. We count on your subscriptions, your likes, your shares and I encourage you to do that. Now if you’re watching on YouTube, go ahead and subscribe lower right hand button.

00:38:04 Matthew Kuehlhorn
If you’re on audio, download this, share it, and we look forward to having you on the next one.