Roofers Coffee Shop - Where The Industry Meets!

Valuing Young People - Heidi and Vickie Show - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

November 12, 2019

See what RCS Partners Vickie and Heidi have to say about leveraging the young people in your company in the first episode of their Podcast.  

Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below.

Vickie: Hi there. This is Vickie Sharples with the Roofers Coffee Shop.

Heidi: And this is Heidi Ellsworth also with the Roofers Coffee Shop.

Vickie: We would like welcome you to the Heidi and Vickie Show.

HeidiWe are so excited to start this show because we have so much to talk about, and we talk a lot, but, really, it came about because we want to share our thoughts and how we look at things, which can be different, with all of you.

Vickie:  Heidi and I have such terrific conversations, that I sometimes wish that we recorded them. We are polar opposites in how we think, so much, but we are the same. We think exactly the same on the other side of the spectrum. We have two different ways we could be on the same side, we have two different ways to get there, and what we do the same as we have extreme passion for the industry.

Heidi: I feel the exact same way. We have this passion that we just love our business. We love the Coffee Shop, but we love it because of what it gives back to the roofing industry every day. And really Vickie, when you and I started working together full time, it really was like yin and yang. Just two ways of looking at the industry coming together in one big circle. And so we wanted to share this whole podcast. The Heidi and Vickie show is about sharing how we look at things a little bit different, but it always leads the same direction. I agree with you 100%.

Vickie: Yeah. So for today's episode you had written something, so this isn't really a yin and yang. But you had written something that I thought was so good, it was really important for me to share it, and discuss it with you so we could go deeper in why you wrote this. I was very impressed with it, and I thought it was so helpful, and I actually wanted to learn more from you. So instead of just having a conversation with you about it, I thought it would be really fun if we could go over it, and share with everybody our conversation on this. And what it was you did a roofing influence or topic called how do you use ... Oh, let me back up and say what the roofing influencer is, is that I like to ask the roofing industry, some people that we've picked that is really smart. I like to ask them a question and everybody answers it a different way. But we get the same results. It's just two different ways of looking at it. And also depending on the different, if we have a variety of different businesses, they have different responses that would be very helpful to people. That whatever we say will fit into some businesses and not others. So the topic was roofing influencer. How do you use or value the young people in your company? Are you educating them or are they helping educate you? And what you wrote here I thought was pretty profound stuff. So I want you to discuss it with me.

Heidi: Perfect. I am excited. This is one of my favorite topics, as you well know.

Vickie: Yes, yes. And so I'm going to go straight into it. You did a list of one, two, three, six, seven, eight ... You did 12 different statements here, and you numbered them. The number one is, look for the big picture in everything you do. Even the smallest tasks every day fit into the big picture. A trade show booth arriving on time in the right shape with all the necessary accessories shows the sales force and the customer that we're good at everything we do, and that our brand matters. Our company matters, and it shows in how we implement and make things happen. The smallest tasks can have the largest influence. So always think about how this will work for the big picture. So explain that to me a little more, please.

Heidi:  So Vickie, as you know, I have two kids, James and Megan, and one of the things that I learned early on as we were raising those two kids is too often with the younger generation, we just say do something, and we don't explain how it fits in to the bigger picture of life. Like the fact that kids are respectful fits into that bigger picture of how they are going to live their life going forward. And so I have seen the same thing with young people who are starting out their career. [inaudible 00:04:32] it makes no sense. Whereas if we take the time to explain that big picture of the company, on whether it's on the job site or traveling, I think if you think of it as your own business and your own brand, you're going to treat it with that kind of respect. And every job deserves that kind of respect. A lot of times, again, I think that gets forgotten. And it's not just the people, because they aren't taught that. And I've worked with many, many young people who over the years I've said, this is your business, you're going to show me, make it happen and ask questions as you go along. But how do you want to make this happen? And they just bloom. They really do great things from that.

Vickie: Well, yeah. I had a boss once that said that he didn't want to be my boss, he wanted to be the person ... His job was to provide me the tools to be the best person I can be. I mean, I just thought that was so empowering. You know, not to use a word that's used so often now, but it really is. You know, he's not there to second guess you or tell you what to do. He's there to give you the tools to be the best.

Heidi: Right, right. And then give you the opportunity to do it the way you want to, not have to do it exactly like they do. And that creates all kinds of new opportunities.

Vickie: Yeah. Your next one is, lead by serving. That is so nice.

Heidi: It is nice and this is probably one of the hardest ones, I think. It took me a long time. For all of us, it took a long time to learn that, that really true leaders are the ones who are coming back and working side by side, shoulder by shoulder, making things happen and showing by example, by example of what you can do. And I know having two young, well a 27 year old and a 20 year old, so millennials, our children appreciate, they want to be respected and they want to work with people who are going to work with them closely, and not just tell them what to do. And so coming back and being that person who not just says to do it, but shows how to do it and does it themselves, I think it's really very powerful for this next generation.

Vickie: Well, Zig Ziglar said, "To get what you want ..." Oh, did he put it? He said, "You'll get what you want helping others get what they want."

Heidi: Yes!

Vickie: Find out what their goals are, even if it's not working for you, eventually. You know, and help them get what they want. It just builds such a loyalty and you're really truly helping someone be a better person too, or a better employee or whatever they need.

Heidi: And that really comes back ... I mean, it's not just if you're working with someone in a business, manager or employee. It also just in the industry overall, the more you give back to other people, the more you're willing to share your thoughts and to help them. It comes back, and they see you as a leader because you're willing to give, and to give of your time, talent and thoughts without expecting things back. And that all comes around, just like Zig Ziglar said. It's really true. And it's a great part of sales, also.

Vickie:  Yeah. So number six, understand marketing, sales, communications and business.

Heidi: Really this is, I understand your job. This young lady I was talking to was in marketing and was interested in sales and business. And so, one of the things that you get out of college and you just think I'm done, but really whether you go to college or you don't go to college, it doesn't matter. You're never done learning.. You have to always, whether you're on a roof or you're in an office or you're on the road selling, you need to be honing your craft and reading and talking to other people, and do it in a way that works for you. Not everybody's going to want to read a book. Not everybody's going to want to watch a video as Vickie knows. With me, I like to talk to people. I like to mentor and really dig into people's minds. Everybody will do it a different way, but don't stop doing it, and that's what I shared with this young lady, that she needs to understand the business. Because how can you market it if you don't understand it?

Vickie SharplesWell, this isn't a marketing, this isn't a person. We're trying to apply this to any young people taking on a new career.

Heidi Ellsworth: Exactly.

Vickie SharplesHow can you re-word this sentence to apply to somebody that's actually on the roof?

Heidi EllsworthYou're right, and it's the exact same thing. As you're coming onto the roof, you need to take the time to ... Well, obviously, you and I are going to say, "Go onto Roofers Coffee shop and read the blogs and look at the videos and understand what's happening in the industry, but be a part of your associations, be a part of your trainings, read books on how to run a business." What is it about a roofing business and how is your job installing shingles or doing project management or estimating, how do you affect that business? Because you effect that business overall. Plus, you understand the roofing system. You understand everything that has to go into a quality product. All of that is really important.

Vickie SharplesYou didn't write this here, but you've written it before, and we talked about being a brand ambassador. So, if you really understand your company that goes back to all of this, taking ownership or whatever, you understand the company's goals, make that known. You can be a marketer when you have a business card. Somebody comes by and sees the truck and says, "Do you guys give estimates?" Or whatever. That's not really your job. You have a business card handy. You have things available to you that you can pass on to help the company in any role. I always like it when somebody, the truck driver, not just the truck driver, a very important job, but the truck driver would have information about his company available to give to me.

Heidi EllsworthExactly. And they shouldn't be scared to ask that. They should be asking people in the business, in the office, wherever it is, to give them information. They should be reading their own marketing materials, they should be reading their own sales brochures.

Vickie SharplesRight, because then they'll know. They'll understand. That's all part of all of these lessons. Everything you've said here in this first section is if somebody does this, they can't help but succeed. If somebody will take some of this to heart and try and implement it just in their own feelings about the position they have, the work they're doing, you can't help but succeed no matter what. It might be with a different job later, but it will make you a better all around person, especially because continuing learning things, continuing to learn things is so important.

Heidi EllsworthIt is.

Vickie Sharples[inaudible 00:19:04]. If you don't mind, I'm going to read your sentence out loud. "As I read this I realize that this is not only how I have traversed my career, this is what I have shared with many young professionals of my own children, and what have I learned from them?" So, Heidi, the first thing I learned was there's nothing more important than these facts.

Heidi EllsworthExactly. We all want to be respected. We will do a much better job. We will work harder. We'll work longer when we feel we're respected. The next generation that is coming up lives that. I can tell a real quick story. When our son was 11 he had his little sister who was 4 and they walked into a candy store. We were outside and all of a sudden James comes out and he was so mad. He says, "I won't buy anything in there because that store owner didn't respect Megan and myself being in there and they wouldn't let us buy candy. We can never go back there again, mom, ever. They didn't respect us. You respect us." I learned right then listening to him that this kid was going to have immense buying power in the future. If our generation didn't learn to respect this new and upcoming generation, and there are different ways of thinking at times, we were really going to miss out. I have seen that over and over since that day at the candy store. I have seen it with young people who buy from us, who have worked for me, who I've networked with in the industry, who I've seen on jobs, who are running roofing businesses. Respect is one of the top things of this generation. It's not just one, they're going to demand it, and if you don't give it to them, they're going to talk with the dollar.

Vickie Sharples: Right. Or goes somewhere else where we've lost a good talent. We've lost somebody who wanted to learn. We have to not wave someone off. "I'm the boss. I've been doing this for 35 years." We've got to really open our minds up. I think that's what the good part about this whole topic is.

Heidi Ellsworth: Well, yeah. Especially with the talent shortage. We're looking for labor. They have the upper hand. They have a lot of places, a lot of people looking for them to work for them.

Vickie Sharples: The whole industry actually needs respect because the roofing industry, they do things that we don't want to do and we're not qualified to do. Just have respect that somebody's willing to work and work hard and show up, that deserves respect. It doesn't matter if you know anything or not. The fact that you show up and you're willing to work, the only difference is being trained or untrained. You have those other good qualities. We have to respect people based on the fact that they're, I don't want to be so broad saying human beings, but that's half the battle. Everybody deserves respect. Just because I'm eating $100 dinner doesn't mean I'm any better, one peach better than the person serving me. I have always tried to have respect for everybody, really think about that.

Heidi Ellsworth: It's going to become even more important, I think. Culturally, we're shifting where before people thought they had privilege or entitlement. What I see in this next generation is they don't buy into that, they're going to expect respect. Like you said, the people who are showing up, who are there, who are working hard, who are learning, they're going to be a rare commodity, everyone's going to want them, so you better make sure you're treating them well.

Vickie Sharples: Right. You wrote, "Push yourself to keep up."

Heidi Ellsworth:  Mm-hmm (affirmative) I think you're amazing at this. You keep up with the newest technologies, all the fun gadgets, all the things online, how to do things, and for some people who have a natural ability to do that like you, I think it's a little bit easier. I think there's some of us that have to force ourselves to do that, and I'm probably one of those. One of my tricks that I have incorporated is if I have to buy something I buy the absolute newest model, the newest upgrade, something that I have to take the time to learn and that will hopefully stick around a couple of years because with 2.0, 3.0, obviously we're at iPhone 10, all these things. The next generation, the younger generation, they are so used to it that they just automatically adapt. The older generation, we didn't grow up with it, so I've learned from the younger generation that I have to kind of trick myself into keeping up with them because if you're not, they're going to whip right past you. They were born with phones in their hands, so whether you like it or not, that's how it is. I think our generation, we need to learn this technology and embrace it and push ourselves.

Vickie Sharples: There's a lot of older people that I know, I would almost say sometimes elderly people, that are online that communicate via text that can do the Facetime, that can do all that. I think the difference is interest. They're interested in learning it. That's something. I appreciate the compliment. I'm not that great. I just had to learn how to TerraPower copier because there wasn't anybody else around. I have interest in some things. Just like some people know all the baseball scores and all that stuff. It's just automatic they can tell you all that stuff, but they're not interested in anything else. We have to somehow, I don't know how to solve that problem, become a little more interested in it.

Heidi Ellsworth: I agree.

Vickie Sharples: There's a little bit of a rub there, but you still need to do it, but somehow make it fun. I'm still not going to sit down and play a video game, but I do want to be able to communicate with people very effectively, and that's what we need in our world. We don't need to play a video game, but we do need to be able to work software in the palm of our hand to take pictures or communicate with the office. We don't need to be afraid of it because they've made it as user friendly as possible. These things are so easy to do now. We were on a webinar the other day and they're showing how they, I don't know if I should mention our company, our advertiser, that Nearmap, that was so easy I just went, "I decided to give this a demo. That was actually it? That was so easy to use." Somebody has to take the first step and be interested in it to learn.

Heidi Ellsworth:  Exactly, because otherwise, you can get past that. It's just how it is.

Vickie Sharples: Number three, "Understand the new age of marketing and branding through the eyes of our youth."

Heidi Ellsworth: I think this one is really important. I have a great example of somebody who is doing an amazing job with this. He's one of our influencers, Charles [Antice 00:27:16]. Charles is doing something with his business, which is right there by you, Vicky, down in Orange County, where they are giving back to Alzheimers, to Ronald McDonald House, they're giving back to the community and they're doing it in a way that they really talk about it. Our generation, the older generation, it was always one of those things that you can give money but don't talk about it.

Vickie Sharples: [crosstalk 00:27:50] pat ourselves on the back, but it's so important.

Heidi Ellsworth: It is. For many reasons, one, to get other people to join you to also do those good things. My daughter in-law, she goes online, she's 28, she goes online and she looks to see is the company socially responsible. How do they make their products, what are they doing, are they a women owned business? She has a set criteria of social justice of who she wants to buy from. That is what Charles is doing with his roofing business by really looking at cause marketing, which I know we're going to be talking about with influencer topics more going forward.  This next generation is not just going to buy, they're going to buy for a reason. As marketers, or as business owners, roofing companies, you need to understand how they're going to buy. It's not just with social, it's also, they're going to want to buy online more. They're going to want to be online, they're going to want more information. They most likely will not have a husband and wife both at the house when you come to talk to them about the roof because they're both working and they can't do that and they would rather do it through a text. It's going to be different for a lot of different people, but we need to look at this next generation, what are their buying habits, what's important to them, and again, respect. If you don't have good customer service and you're not respecting your customers, they're not going to come back. From a marketing and a business sense, this is really going to change, it really is. We're already seeing it every day.

Vickie Sharples: That's what we're learning from them, is that we need to go about business differently.

Heidi Ellsworth: It's a good way. I like it. I think it's great. It's going to challenge business.

Vickie Sharples: [inaudible 00:29:50]. Even if somebody did it [inaudible 00:29:53] on the back, then we go, "Oh, they just wanted the publicity." The end result is that person got a new roof or that person got helped or whatever. There is no bad. There is no bad downside to any of this, but really, it is inspirational. If Charles can do it, then maybe we can too. What we are trying to do here is we help Charles promote it so that this Ronald McDonald House, he's so passionate about it, he wants us to give his phone number to anybody that's interested in doing it for themselves. He gets nothing out of that, but his whole purpose is he just wants to spread it. You can't deny the universe, it comes around to you. I know that's not very scientific.

Heidi Ellsworth: It's the truth. We've both experienced it and believe it.

Vickie Sharples: Yeah. Number four, "Work together to bring out the best in every generation."

Heidi Ellsworth: This one's probably one of my favorites. I've been on the road a lot traveling and meeting with a lot of contractors. What I love the most is when they talk about pairing an older employee on the roof with a younger, brand new employee on the roof. What they're doing is they have the young person with the iPad or with the phone or with the technology, whether that's a video or maybe it's certain types of equipment on the roof, because they naturally understand that and they like it, they like the technology. And then, you have your older, more experienced craft men or women who understand the roof, they understand that roofing system, they understand how to protect that building, how to keep it dry. You put the two of them together, the older employee's learning about technology from the younger employee and the younger employee is learning the craft, the skilled trade of roofing from the older employee. It is just such a smart, obvious combination that, believe it or not, a lot of people aren't doing. The roofing contractors that I talked to and are doing this are finding huge success, huge success with this. And they pair them in a truck. If they're in service they're both in the truck, they're working all day together, and all of a sudden now there isn't a generation gap because they've become friends and they're helping each other.

Vickie Sharples:  Yeah, they're co-workers, not the old man and the young kid.

Heidi Ellsworth: Right. So often we just say, "Kid, go over there and do that." They have to earn their right to get up on the roof. Some companies out there are really changing that philosophy and it's really working.

Vickie Sharples: I can see automatically the old man would assume that he's training the young kid. We need to make sure the old man knows he needs to learn something from that young kid back. I know I'm not trying to be derogatory by saying old man, young kid, but the older mentor, that kid's a mentor to him too.

Heidi Ellsworth: Right. Vickie, just think about you and I. We've had some young people. I'm thinking of my daughter in-law who helped with you and I with some business things. She doesn't do business, but she helped us because she helped us look at things in a different way, and we really listened to her. Those are the kinds of things that are happening that are kind of unexpected by just working together.

Vickie Sharples:  In that situation, we respected her, we didn't look at her as someone younger than us, or that we're the older wiser ones. We need to get rid of that older wiser thing.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, I agree.

Vickie Sharples: I have more experience in X. We treated her as an equal. She helped us. We listened. We asked questions, she answered them. It was a beautiful situation. If we could do that in our work more, then everybody communicates effectively. The next one you have, I'm not trying to rush you through, it's just that I didn't want this to be so long, but you and I are so interesting. You wrote, "Be disruptive." Please explain to me what you meant by that, be disruptive.

Heidi Ellsworth: What I see that the younger generation's looking for, they aren't looking for the same old, same old, so what I've learned that I need to look at things new and different. I tend to do this naturally, it's part of my personality. In business, as you're looking at things, don't think just because that's how you did it 20 years ago or 30 or 50 or 100 years ago, that, that's the way you should be doing it today. Businesses and employees need to be thinking disruptive as in, "Is there a better way to do it?" Vickie, you've done this. You've looked at processes and you disrupt the whole thing, you kind of tear it apart, and you bring it back and you streamline it into a better process. That is what businesses need to be continually doing right now because the world around us is moving so fast and is so disruptive that if we just cling to the old way of doing things, we're going to be left behind. I push myself all the time to look at things in a disruptive manner as in, "How do I disrupt the old way? Maybe it's good, I keep it, or maybe not. Maybe it needs to be turned totally upside down and we do it in a different direction."

Vickie Sharples: I can really see that applying itself to marketing. Do you think the roofing industry as far as its insulation practices, adopting technology, trying new products, do you think the roofing industry is behind?

Heidi Ellsworth: Yes. And I think the companies that are disruptive out there are going to be the companies that win. They're going to win business. Here's a perfect example, small example, but a perfect example, robotics. We have a labor shortage, robots are going to be on the roof 10 years maybe, maybe not. As you saw, Vickie, Suprema already has a machine that puts down mods that build up roofing, they do it and they have it. Suprema has it out there and they're doing it. Robotics are going to be on the roof. They are going to make it easier. The younger generation's going to be up there, they're going to be excited to run a robot, a lot more excited than torching down.

Vickie Sharples: I was thinking of a robot robot, but you mean robotics, automatic things. That's why I went, "No." [crosstalk 00:37:06].

Heidi Ellsworth: There's even machines now that lay bricks, and it looks like arms. It almost looks like a robot, but not quite, and it's changing that fast. The contractors that bring that kind of automation to the roof is going to be disruptive to the roof, but they're going to save on their labor costs, and they're going to be more productive, and they're going to get jobs done faster.

Vickie Sharples:  Yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth:  And it's going to be disruptive and it's going to be scary to employees because they're going to think, "The robots are going to take my job." But in all honesty, if they're working with this multi-generational learning and they're really looking at it in the big picture where this kind of all comes together, they're going to realize they can be a part of that because they're adopting it.

Vickie Sharples: They can be the robot boss. Somebody has to get it up on the roof and program what to do.

Heidi Ellsworth: Someone has to fill it full of material and someone has to make sure it's running right.

Vickie Sharples:  Yeah. There's nothing wrong with that. You get consistency. I can totally see that. I understand what you're talking about now.

Heidi Ellsworth:  It's kind of exciting.

Vickie Sharples:  Yeah, it will be exciting. The last thing you wrote, "Relationships are still the most important part of every generation."

Heidi Ellsworth: I'm a relationship person, you're a relationship person. Friends sell to friends. People want to work with people the like. Building relationships, just like we said, keeping up with the phone, but stepping away from the phone, really building relationships, networking through your associations, through your company, through the industry as a whole, through your local community, that's just not going to change, and everybody thinks it will, but it's not going to. The phone, I think the technology will adapt to building the relationship. It might be a little bit different than we're used to, but those relationships, it kind of goes back to everything we talked about: treating people with respect, understanding them, that is never going to change, and that culture that is created by relationships and by respect is what is going to attract the Millennials to those companies because culture or relationships is what drives a lot of this next generation also.

Vickie Sharples: Yeah. I have many different generations that I'm friends with. In my personal life I'm friends with the daughter, I go out to dinner with the daughter and son-in-law and the parents. I kind of have always been like that. It's just kind of a surprise to me because everybody's treated with respect, everybody's treated as equals, and occasionally someone will go, "[inaudible 00:40:14] Howard?" And I'll go, "Who the hell am I hanging around with? You don't know who [inaudible 00:40:19] Howard is?" But in work, yeah, then everybody can work together. It's just a great melting pot.

Heidi Ellsworth: I was going to say one last thing, because Tim and I as kids, they love you and Mick and they don't care how old you are. They think of you as their buddy. That's the way it needs to be in the workplace too.

Vickie Sharples: This is a little bit longer than what I thought it would be. For those of you, even though this is the very end of the podcast, you can see Heidi, what she wrote in this beautiful little article or opinion piece or editorial at our website,, and you can go under the roofing influencers, find her, or look to the topic that says, "How do you use or value young people?" Also, I am going to transcribe this, so when you look at the podcast, look it up, we will have the transcription underneath it if you wanted to read it, or she could listen to it on all the usual places: iTunes, Google Play, and eventually on IHeartRadio. Heidi, this is really fun.

Heidi Ellsworth: I know, I love it. This is so fun.

Vickie Sharples: I think you're so smart. I really want you to take this talk on the road.

Heidi Ellsworth: Only if you'll go with me.

Vickie Sharples: Oh, never.

Heidi Ellsworth: Okay, we'll figure it out.

Vickie Sharples:  I think you did a good thing. I think there's so many good points here. I just appreciate your insight. Thank you for doing this podcast with me today.

Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you for having the idea. I really appreciate it. This is fun. We're going to do more of this.

Vickie Sharples: We'll do more then.

Heidi Ellsworth: We're very happy to all the listeners out there in the coffee shop community who are a part of this.

Vickie Sharples: Have a great life.

Heidi Ellsworth: Okay. Good bye.

Vickie Sharples: Bye.


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