Episode 106: Finding Your Why And Leveling Your Leadership, With Joshua Gillow


About Joshua Gillow, in his own words:


“Hello. I am Joshua Gillow, founder of YES Express! I have operated my own outdoor living & landscaping design/build company for 24 years. I loved the work and the satisfaction my team and I brought to clients’ lives. But for many years, I struggled. Like practically all of us in this business, I jumped at every lead. Someone called, and I’d make an appointment for an in-person consultation. Getting them to sign up was hit or miss. Sometimes, I felt “in the zone” and did well on those in-person consults. Other times, I was off my game. Maybe there was traffic there, or I had too many things to think about. Some clients threw me off track, and the conversation just got lost. But that’s just the nature of the beast, right?”


Guess what? That’s EXACTLY WRONG.


What ALL successful business owners know (at least those with lives, time, and money freedom) is this secret: ONLY systems grant you the ability to successfully sell on your life’s worst day! You cannot rely on your emotion or whether the stars aligned during the conversation. You cannot guess what to say. That is a loser’s game. It’s the game ALL of us are playing. Stop. Winners have the tools, systems, and resources to lead a client conversation from when they contact you until they write the check. DELIVERING THAT SYSTEM IS WHAT YES EXPRESS IS ALL ABOUT.”


What You Will Learn:

  • What common growth problems do entrepreneurs Joshua works with typically run into, and how growing your leadership skills and mindset is the key to overcoming those challenges
  • Why Joshua believes sales is about communicating from your client’s perspective, and why he focuses his work exclusively on the outdoor living and landscaping industries
  • Why understanding “why” you want to grow beyond seven figures is crucial, and why adaptability and intuition are key traits that will help you move the needle
  • How the book “The Big Five For Life” by John Strelecky transformed Joshua’s mindset and outlook, and why having fulfillment in your life is vital
  • Why transparency, authenticity, and vulnerability can be a superpower that can unleash your potential as a leader
  • Why leveling up your leadership inspires loyalty and helps your team do their best work, and why it can create real, tangible returns on investment
  • Why does letting your team make big swings, even if they sometimes miss, crucial for giving them the space to solve problems and grow in their roles?
  • Why Joshua draws motivation and passion for what he does from making the world better for his sons, and why everyone’s core question is, “What’s in it for me?”
  • Why you shouldn’t accept every client that comes through the door, and why falling in love with your ideal clients rather than your offerings is crucial



The Outerspaces Podcast with Joshua Gillow: www.outerspacespodcast.com

Website: www.yes.express

Website: www.mymasterplan.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/joshua-gillow-04ba89a7/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/yes-express-sales/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/masterplan-outdoor-living

Facebook: www.facebook.com/YesExpressSales

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MasterPLANdesign

Twitter: @MasterPLAN_LLC


Additional Resources:

Elite Business Health Assessment: https://growwithelite.com/health

Email: info@GrowWithElite.com

Website: https://growwithelite.com/

Listen to the podcast here


When we have a guest on our show, we have another amazing person, an accomplished entrepreneur, and a great seven-figure business owner in our midst. His name is Joshua Gillow. He is the Founder of a company called Yes Express, which is dedicated to helping businesses that are typically in the outdoor living and landscaping arena figure out how to do design and sales processes better.

Joshua created his own business for many years, a business called MasterPLAN Outdoor Living, where he spent time designing and building out wonderful outdoor living spaces. They mastered some things that helped their own business grow around the design and sales processes. He spends a lot of his time helping other businesses in that space to figure out how to up their game and get more customers and repeat customers. Welcome to our show.

Thank you, Brett, for having me on. I’m excited to talk to you and hopefully share some nuggets with your readers.

Before we get into your actual scar tissue or all those great lessons you learned, tell us a little bit more about Yes. Express. I want to give the right amount of attention to what you do. My brief introduction could have been off the mark even a little bit. I want to make sure we get it right. Tell us what you’re doing with Yes Express. It’s only been around a couple of years. You’re helping businesses do some things you figured out with your own business that you learned after several years of running a successful business. Tell us about Yes Express, and I’ll pick your brain around lessons learned.

It all has to start with the beginning of the story. I grew up in a garden center at the age of five. My mother decided to start a garden center in rural Pennsylvania. In the beginning, it was great to help people figure out what plants were best for them. I said, “I’m going to try a little side hustle here.” I started collecting rocks in my little red wagon from the fields. I’d bring and sell them for $1. I’m like, “I can make some money doing this.” At five years old, I was like, “This would be a lot of fun.” I did that. I started potting up day lilies along the road and selling them for a couple of bucks more. That’s how it started. It was part of my wiring. I thought I could bring value to the table and help people solve problems.

Fast forward a few years later, when I was in high school, we started a family company where we did landscape design and built it. We did a lot of patios and simpler outdoor living spaces when we first started. We did anything to keep the tires under the truck and running right and simple in the beginning. My true passion was to design. I went to school for Architectural Mechanical Drafting. I said, “I’m not going to be doing these little projects all the time. I want to do bigger things. I want to do projects that impact people’s lives.” That was my driving force.

We did that for several years as a family company. Several years ago, I started MasterPLAN to get more focus because instead of being design-build, I wanted to be design-managed. I wanted to be able to bring in the best people in my area and bring them in for the specialties needed to build these spaces. They’re truly unique, and they hold up to the test of time. That was my driver in trying to impact people’s lives. That’s how I did it there.

After all those years, I started thinking, “How can I help others?” I have conversations with people in our industries at different events. They all seem to struggle with a similar group of problems at growth. You talk about this being a podcast for people getting into the seven figures. I struggled to get there myself. In the first company, we struggled, and we never did hit the million mark. I’m like, “There’s no way that this is impossible. I see it happening all the time. I have the skillset to build things. I don’t have the mindset to take me there.”

I realized that it was something with me that needed to change. That’s when I started reading a lot more books, going to seminars, and getting coaches and mentors to realize where my weak spots were. From that, I was able to launch MasterPLAN and Yes Express and said, “Let’s share some of this stuff with the industry. Let’s see if we can help people get to seven figures a lot faster. We cruised right past that quickly once it changed mindset.”

It’s something I never even knew I could or couldn’t do before. Once I did, I was like, “If I can do it, anybody can do it.” It’s a matter of realizing that once you hit certain hurdles, like that million-dollar mark, you need to put systems and processes involved. You can’t be the guy doing everything on the ground anymore. You need to start working on your business, not in your business. That was a commonality. I kept thinking, “I’m the only one that can do this if, you know. If I’m going to grow, I’m going to have to multiply myself.” That’s not possible. You can’t clone yourself.

With that being the case, let’s start figuring out how we can give people the opportunity to come into the business and grow in their truth and what they love to do and start taking someone that pressure off yourself. You can start growing your business. The main thing is getting on the inside and getting it much more efficient.

Let's start figuring out how to give people the opportunity to come into the business, to grow in their truth and what they love to do, and start taking someone up. Pressure off yourself so you can start growing your business. Click To Tweet

I started Yes Express to help that out. We’ve been blessed and privileged to work with outdoor living professionals around the country. Find their niche, get in there, and figure out how to communicate. At the end of the day, sales aren’t anything more than learning how to communicate from your client’s perspective. It is understanding what they’re going after, what they truly value, and not being the one that runs their mouth but the one that listens first. That’s huge.

That’s what we’re doing. We’re teaching people how to design and the step-by-step process. They can go out there. It’s great to communicate, but design is a visual communication tool. Let’s do both. That’s what we’ve done. I’ve partnered with an awesome guy out in Chicago, Dwayne Drawn. We’ve had a lot of fun teaching people around the country how to do this. It’s been such a blessing.

It sounds to me like I didn’t pigeonhole you too much by saying, “Yes Express is dedicated to helping those outdoor landscapes design and build space.” It’s not other industries.

We’re focused on that because we know it best. Dwayne’s been in the industry for many years, so have I. This system works in any industry. It’s not about that, but we want to make sure we can bring the maximum value. With our experience in it, we can do that. It’s not to say we won’t eventually branch out, but now, we’re focused on that.

I want to clarify that because I could see that what you’re doing applies to other industries, but now, that’s who you’re serving. Let’s talk about your own lessons as you grew past that million-dollar mark. Some of our people reading this may not be at $1 million yet, but our intent is for this to be the place where once they hit a million, they start hitting that ceiling because they’re working too much in the business and not on the business. What are some of the things you have to do to grow past that $1 million mark? I don’t want to go from zero to a million with you, although you know that space well. I want to go from 1 to 10. In that range, the growth lessons. What’s the one word?


Talk more about why. I love that one word. What does that mean for you? How do our readers take advantage of that one word?

If your main objective in growing past $1 million is money, you’re always going to be a slave to the machine. If your true why is to impact and change people’s lives, create teams that you can change their family’s direction in life. Here at MasterPLAN, we have an amazing team of dedicated professionals. They come into the business. It’s not about them making money. It’s about them coming in and living their best life through the work they do and serving people who love to serve.

My bigger why with that business is to impact people’s lives on the residential level. People come in and have a space designed and built for that family. They can live their best life out there, share the best memories, entertain with friends, and have a space that even their kids, when they grow up, they’re like, “I love being in that backyard. It was so much fun. I have many memories, birthday parties and graduation ceremonies.” That’s what it is. It’s an extension of the home for us. It’s a space where people create memories. We want to make sure we’re doing it in a way that the memory-making is as much as possible by making it as comfortable as possible for the entire family.

That’s the major focus. As far as the inner business side, how do you drive a team to achieve awesome goals? How do you drive them past that $1 million mark? I define my why first. I didn’t know why the hell it made a difference. When the days get ugly and long, everything’s going wrong, you’re getting phone call after phone call, you’ve got to pay your bills, and all this crap happens in life, what’s going to keep pulling you forward? What’s going to help you through all that?

What helps you through is having a deep-seated why. Why is this important to me? Is it about making money because you can go work for anybody and make money? Are you trying to impact the world? Are you trying to leave it a better place than when you started? Define that as far down as you can go because that’s where you’re going to hold onto when you need something to support you when things aren’t going right.

Let’s face it. In business, we hopped on a dune buggy, and we’re going wide open at it. It’s not like there’s a track in front of us on a train where you can sit back and say, “It’s coming up here in five minutes. We’re going to get off at this exit. The next one is ten minutes away.” Why it doesn’t happen? Any successful business owner knows that. It’s like riding a dune buggy and not on a time train.

You’ve got to be able to adapt, get in there, and be able to solve problems on the fly by using intuition, not by going in there, researching things for 25 hours, and wasting all that time that you could be working on your business even more. You’re out there trying to make the perfect decision instead of making a decision.

Making a decision is going to get you to move forward. If it’s wrong, you’re going to know it quickly. If you made the right decision, good. It’s done. If you sit there and analyze, you’ll drive yourself nuts. I’m saying this passionately because that used to be me. I used to think the more I analyzed it, the better chance I wouldn’t mess up. The problem was it wasn’t the case. I wasted a hell of a lot of time on something that I could have made a decision that fast and moved on.

If you made the right decision, good. But if you sit there and analyze and you'll drive yourself nuts. Click To Tweet

When you have a team looking to you for leadership, you need to be able to make those decisions and be comfortable with doing that. If you can’t, you need to get those skills by working out. If you want to build muscle, you have to keep doing this. You have to put yourself in a position and possible decisions to be made. Make them daily and preach that you eat that stuff for breakfast.

My readers are smiling because even though you and I haven’t met before this call, the fact that you started with why is what I would share with them and what they read from me all the time. Thank you for giving your version of that. It was incredible. I loved it. It was passion-filled. You probably like some of Simon Sinek’s stuff because that’s where he starts Start With Why.

I’ll butcher this, but I think you’ll appreciate it. I came across one of his quotes I like. It was like, “When people invest their money, they expect a return. When they’re emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” There’s a lot of power in that distinction. You nailed it when you talked about why. I envisioned that little boy named Joshua, a five-year-old with his wagon and those rocks. You are like, “I could make some money. I’m making money.”

That’s not who showed up now. Even though that was cute, who showed up with somebody who had a lot of fire, passion, and meaning in why he shows up every day, and you built a team around that? That makes all the difference. You and I both know that, but I appreciate you sharing that in your way with our audience. Thank you.

The question is, you’re a passionate leader. Who cares? Why should your team care? You can be as passionate as you want, and you can do all you want in this world, but how are you going to get a team to follow you? How are you going to get people to jump on board and dedicate their most precious asset, their time?

If we’re lucky, we get 28,000 days in America. That’s about 78 years. If they’re going to be spending any of that time with you, the goal is longer. If they even spend several years with you, do the math. How many days they’re spending with you? Why you? People all the time in classes are like, “How do we build a team? How do I get people to come to my side? Do I have to pay them more? Do I need better benefits?” I’m like, “No, not all of that. That’s part of it, but it’s not the bigger picture.” You need to make sure that the people you’re going to hire are on the same mission you are. If they’re out for bucks, they can work at McDonald’s. It’s that simple. They’re paying $15 an hour now.

You need to ensure that the people you will hire are on the same mission as you are. Click To Tweet

The point is that if you want to create a team around you, you need to have a big why that they’re excited about. You need to give them goals that almost make them scared. I know some of my goals are big. They scare the hell out of me at times. That’s what gets me excited and gets me up in the morning. You are setting those goals and showing them the path.

One of the big things, and this was a key I took away, and what helped me launch, was figuring out what motivates them and getting a sense of what they want to achieve in life. Most employers don’t think about that. What they think about is, “How can I get the most from this human being for the least amount of money and headaches?” That’s what we’re taught to think. The problem is people aren’t motivated by that stuff. They’re motivated by being part of something and being on a mission. They’re motivated by contribution, believe it or not.

What we do as a team is we read a book. I read a book years ago. It changed my life. It was called The Big Five for Life. It’s a simple book, but what it does is it helps you understand what you want your life as a museum to look like. If you walked into a museum and there were pictures all over the wall of your life, what would it look like? What would those pictures say about you? What would you want on that wall? If you had a choice in what all the different art looks like, what would it be? You start thinking, “You mean I have the potential, opportunity, obligation, or whatever you want to call it, to create my own life? I can do that myself, not directly, but I can at least start it within my own head.”

EEP 106 | Leveling Up Your Leadership

Being transparent, authentic, and vulnerable is a superpower that most men try to get away from because they still live in the ego side of the brain.

If that’s what you want as a business owner, to live life on your terms and to be passionate and fulfilled, you don’t think your employees want that, too. Do you think they want you to see you show up in the brand new car and have the big house? They’re slaves to you. That’s BS. Nobody wants that. What they want to know is that they also have a future. They can achieve amazing goals. Your business becomes the vehicle to get them there.

We have to understand what their goals are. That’s why it’s The Big Five For Life. What are the five things you must achieve in your life to consider yourself fulfilled and successful, whatever it might be? Everybody has a different list. What do you want to be able to do? What are you buying if that’s what it is? What are you able to contribute? Who are you giving money to charity? What are you spending your time on? What are you doing?

We have our lists out. It’s public knowledge. If I’m looking for a gift, I’d be like, “This person likes this.” It’s an easy thing to use. When I’m thinking, “How do we help grow the team if everybody in that group says they want to go hiking?” The goal would be to have others who like that be part of the group because that’s the culture of the business. It doesn’t have to be that. It is an example. If you see things they like, you’re like, “I know how to help them get more of that.”

How fulfilling is that for you as a leader, Joshua? How fulfilling is it when people start to look at you as somebody who created an opportunity well beyond a paycheck? Anybody can provide a paycheck, but are you invested enough in their future, who they are, and what they care about, and you’re providing paths and opportunities to those things they want? What does that mean for you as a leader and employer?

Several years ago, I was not as clear as I am now. I attended an event called UPW with Tony Robbins. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, but the event changed my life. I went there thinking that I needed more significance and different things in my life. I thought I needed more of what I didn’t need. What he taught me is that all I need in life is to have more connection, love, growth, and progress. That’s what it’s all about. Those are the sides that we need to be on.

I’ve been training for American Ninja Warrior for several years. I have been blessed in a lot of ways, traveling around the country, competing, and doing all that good stuff. The point is that all of that stuff didn’t mean crap to me because I didn’t have the fulfillment. The significance that came from is cool. Everybody was like, “Why did you do that? That’s great.” The problem is that it wasn’t filling my soul. It was filling my head. My ego was happy, but my soul and heart were not.

I realized that through his teachings. Fulfillment was what I was missing. No matter how much money I’d make, how many projects I would do, or how many accolades or reviews I would get, they all felt good for a moment. The next day popped up, and you forgot about those things. It’s like, “What’s next?” As an entrepreneur, that’s always wired within us, but are we happy with the taste of what we got done chewing?

Are we willing to remember that, enjoy it, and see it as a cookie in a cookie jar versus something that happened? Having the opportunity to be fulfilled and feeling the fulfillment of day-to-day life was a gigantic jump for me. To be able to empower that upon a team and have them grow and blossom within that environment, there’s nothing else that lights me up more.

Thank you for being open enough to share some of that. A lot of times, we get to the level of sharing some concepts here, like starting with why and investing in our people in ways that matter to them. I love to break that down even further with a real-life example. If you have one of your favorite examples of this mattered to this team member, here’s what we did, and here’s how it amped up their loyalty to us, gratitude, or contribution because they saw how much we truly cared about them and their success, it would be fun to bring that to life a little bit with the story.

I got a fresh story story. The paint’s still wet on this one. Since we did that, and we realized the team loves the outdoors and hiking, for the first time in many years, I thought about this before but never pulled the trigger on it. I said, “How fun would it be if we had a team retreat? We go somewhere, do stuff, and get to know each other as humans, not as employee-boss but as humans. We’re all human at the end of the day. We don’t need all these levels of crap and hierarchy. That doesn’t matter. People are loyal to humans. Humans are loyal to humans. Let’s do something like that again.”

I go back to the big five list. I’m like, “They all like nature. That’s perfect. We, being in Pennsylvania. None of them have been to the West Coast. They love mountain hiking. Why not go to Colorado?” I sat down as a team. I’m like, “Why don’t we do this? Let’s take five days. We’re going to fly out. All expenses are covered. Let’s go and have fun. We’re going to climb a fourteener.” We started talking about it. It wasn’t what I wanted at that point. I said, “What would you want to do out there?” Becky was like, “I’d love to climb a fourteener. That’s something on my bucket list.” I’m like, “Done. Next? Do you guys like rock climbing? That’s awesome. Let’s do some rock climbing in the Garden of the Gods. Let’s go, let’s do this.” Have fun with it.

Everybody threw in what they were looking to do and what they would love to do. Since the culture is similar that way, they’re like, “This is freaking amazing. What are we going to do with the business?” It’s easy for me to walk away. I vacation 10 to 12 weeks of the year. The business is always running when I’m not here. It grows when I’m gone. That’s the amazing part. The point is I’m going to shut the entire operation down. It’s scary when we’re booked out as far as we are right now. I’m like, “I don’t care because none of this works if everybody is not feeling fulfilled, successful, and appreciated. Why not do something like this? It’d be a lot of fun.”

We had the time of our lives. We had fun and learned about each other as humans, how that’s going to impact our team and make us tighter, and we have a lot of inside jokes now. We were playing DJ in the car. We went out and enjoyed a club. That’s the stuff that people do and not have to have that stupid old-fashioned BS hierarchy of, “I’m the boss. I can’t put my hair down.”

The largest superpower anybody could have, especially men reading this, and I know you’re going to cringe when you hear this, but I honestly believe that being transparent, authentic, and vulnerable is a superpower that most men try to get away from because they still live in the egotistical side of the brain. They are like, “I need to preserve my image to people. I’m masculine.”

EEP 106 | Leveling Up Your Leadership

Leveling Up Your Leadership: Being transparent, authentic, and vulnerable is a superpower that most men try to get away from because they still live in the ego side of the brain.


When you give that stuff up, start getting into the side of your head where you act what matters, and get focused on contribution and giving from the soul, not from the pocketbook or taking time and doing that, you talk about building culture and loyalty in a group that will stand on a ship and fight a battle until they die, that’s how you do it.

My family and I have lived for several years in Colorado Springs. We love Garden of the Gods. I’m glad you had the chance to see it. Thanks for giving us an example that I could relate to. Which fourteener? Did you do Pikes Peak there? Did you do something else?

We drove up Pikes Peak. We got the donut on top, like they told us to do with the Sprite. It was snowing up there. We went to Breckenridge and did a quandary. We started at 5:00 AM with headlamps. We ascended that thing and back down in five and a half hours. We were the first to do it. I ran, and I’m a physical guy.

They’re trying to keep up with you.

The interesting part is we’re all from the East Coast. We’re at 800 feet above sea level here. That’s no BS when you get to 10,000 to 12,000 feet. You have a false summit and a summit that goes almost straight up solid rock at 14,000 feet. That’s no joke. I didn’t know how to prepare for it. I’m like, “I’m going to go into it. I’m going to give it everything I got and make it.” That’s the end of it. There’s no backing off of this.

We did it. We didn’t race up the hill. Toward the end, it was 10 to 20 steps and a five-second break. With those little segments, we all made it to the top. We celebrated on top as a team. It was an incredible experience. It’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I enjoyed that. I’m like, “This is going to be a yearly thing now because I’m enjoying this.”

This all sounds well and good when you’ve built the team, and you’re successful. We can do some of this. Some of our readers are thinking about the price tag. You blew out all expenses. That’s a big investment. Is it worth it? It’s not the motivator for you to do it. Having invested that money, what do you think will yield for you as a business owner and team? What does it do for you over the next several months or even the next five years?

The upside on that investment, if you want to call it that, I keep it on the business side.

It flips the whole thing upside down. They are thinking this way.

I’ll go down this road with you. It costs $10,000 to do it. You take everybody out and do that. Imagine a team where everybody’s rowing even more consistently in the same direction. They understand each other without words. Here’s one track. You, as a business owner, are trying to get away on vacation like that. Many struggle with never going away on vacation. It has been a thing from the beginning that vacations are mandatory for my students and myself. That’s what it is. That’s where you recharge your batteries.

You don’t have to stop physically and mentally working when you’re on vacation. If you want to do email and stuff, that’s your thing. You don’t have to completely disconnect. It’s up to you what level you go to. When I’m traveling, I’m still working. I love what I do. It’s not work. This is my life. This is what I choose to do. If I didn’t have that, that would be part of my identity taken away. I don’t see a separation of church and state in that case.

When it comes down to what is the net result or ROI of that investment, the team gets stronger. When they get stronger, they get more efficient. The more efficient they are, the more money they can make you. It’s that simple of you want to get down to it. That’s not the driver, but that’s the nuts and bolts of it. This is one that most don’t think about. It’s the appreciation side. They appreciate it. They work their ass off.

My team is an incredible human being. They work their ass off every single day. With the jobs that they’re doing now, they do it five times better than I ever did. That was tough for me to swallow at first because I thought I was the only one who could do this stuff. Somebody else comes in and cleans my clock in two weeks. I’m like, “I’ve been doing this for several years. Hands down. You’re awesome.” Why would I want to get in their way?

When it comes down to it, it’s the loyalty and appreciation. It’s all that stuff that comes with it. Those are not directly tangible to a profit and loss statement. It feels freaking good to be able to do it and give back because they give so much of their life. For 28,000 days, they choose where that goes. They’ve chosen you. You better make sure they feel appreciated.

Hiking or taking a vacation might not be your thing. We also do a lot of charity work because part of our mission is to be able to give back. We set aside so much of our money a year to go and say, “You each get to pick your own charities.” We have a few rules to it. We like to keep it local. We want to make sure as much of the money is going to the local person as possible.

Whatever’s on your heart, I don’t care what it is. It doesn’t matter to me. We invest in charity and schools. One of the team members does a lot of stuff that helps homeless people, people in need, and people on the spectrum or something like healthcare. The other one is more about the outdoor space, like preserving nature and bike trails. I don’t care. It’s not my money. In my opinion, it’s theirs. This is the way they can impact the world through the work they’re doing every single day.

Giving them the opportunity to pick that and having that as an open piece has created an environment that helps them become better versions of themselves. It also helps the world and everybody in it. At the end of the day, everybody enjoys that piece where we set the people down. They come to our office, we sit down, and we present them with their stuff. I love the tears of joy and happiness that come from these different organizations that are struggling from day to day. These are all nonprofits, and to be able to do that lights us up.

That’s what we do. It doesn’t have to be that for you. Find something that lights your socks up and get in it. Get out there and don’t worry about what it costs. Think about the impact you’re going to have because the money is always secondary. It doesn’t matter. He always said the first million is the toughest. That’s true because, after that, I stopped worrying about money. I started worrying about the impact, and it started exploding.

Look all the way back to the one word, the why, at the beginning. You’re injecting meaning into all of these things. When I don’t have a great guest like you, once a month, I do a solo cast, where I’m sharing something on this show. I did one on this whole Great Resignation thing. All these people are leaving their jobs. There are millions of people who are jobless because they want to be jobless. They’re not happy with what they are doing. They’re looking for something else.

We were, for our members, trying to help them curb some of the attrition they were experiencing. I came back to this thing you’re talking about. Ten thousand dollars for however many people, let’s say there were five people on that trip, a $2,000 per person investment to have them feel connected to you on a deeper level saves you so much money from a turnover standpoint alone. You’re thinking dollars and cents. The loyalty you created is priceless.

There are a lot of business owners suffering because they weren’t able to hang onto their people. I’m sure they weren’t making this type of investment you’re talking about. If you can’t help but think about it in terms of dollars and cents, at least think about the dollars and cents you’re saving by retaining these great people when you treat them well, the way that Joshua is describing. It is cool stuff.

It’s important because think about it. If every one of your employees went home every night and told their husband, wife, or partner how awesome it is to work in a space, how many challenges they had that day, and how they worked together as a team to solve them. As humans, we want to have problems to solve. I tell people, “If problems emerge, keep sending them my way because I want to become a master problem solver. I want to be part of a team that’s master problem solvers, not trying to avoid it.”

Most companies, people, and business owners try to avoid problems in every way possible because they hate them and make them uncomfortable. They were like, “What if I can’t figure it out? What if they tripped me up? What if it cost me money?” I’m like, “Bring me your worst, biggest, and nastiest problems. Let’s fix them because when we get good at doing that, it is like going to the gym and lifting those heavy weights. When you can lift those heavy weights, those light ones don’t mean anything. They bounce right off you.”

You wonder why your team can’t solve problems, and you’re always stuck doing it. It’s because you never lift heavy enough weights. You don’t give them enough to work on. You think, “I got to coddle them. I don’t want to make a bad decision. I might lose money.” Lose some money. Let them learn. When they do learn, you don’t have to be there to do it all the time. You’re going to have to break some eggs to make a cake. That’s what it is. You cannot get around it.

EEP 106 | Leveling Up Your Leadership

Leveling Up Your Leadership: Let people learn because when they do learn, you don’t have to be there to do it all the time. You will have to break some eggs to make a cake. That’s just what it is. You cannot get around it.


I live my life simply. It’s ready, fire, aim. It’s that simple. If you wait to constantly keep aiming that gun, keep aiming that direction of that business, you’re not going to get there because you’re going to go into analysis paralysis. You’re never going to pull the trigger on it. Once you pull a trigger, you are now obligated to figure it out. That’s where the problem-solving side of things comes in. If you’re willing to live in that arena, ready, fire, and aim. Life is full of beautiful things because you’re not stuck in the stupid drudgery of all the details. If you get into it, know your why first, and everything else figures its way out. You’ll become a master problem solver, and nothing will stop you.

I don’t want to put words into your mouth, Joshua, but I feel comfortable that I’m about to enter into a safe space here by saying this. It sounds to me by your own description of your progress, where you were bouncing up against that $1 million mark. You had an experience where there was personal growth. It changed your perspective. How you dealt with your team, how you built the team, and how you built the company changed. This is a roundabout way for me to say. Would you agree with the idea that your business can only go so far as the collective capability of the team will take it? Do you agree with that?


Tell me more.

I believe that the success of the business is the mindset of the leader. It is that simple. If you are the leader, it’s a mindset thing. It’s not a skillset thing. Anybody can learn how to do whatever you do. It’s the mindset, the why side of things, and the thinking, “Do I want to invest my life in doing this? Is it worth it? What is my bigger goal? Is it to make money to retire? Is that the focus? Is it to impact the world?”

For me, it’s to leave the world a better place than I started, leave an impact on it in a positive way, and help as many human beings as I possibly can in these 28,000 hopefully-plus days of my existence, and to do that in a way that is that fulfills me. I have two sons, 11 and 14. To look in their eyes and think that one day they’re going to be doing this in their own way, that’s great to have that hope and goal that they’ll do this as well, get out there, help people, and not be selfish, want to collect their check and do their own shit, but try to impact the world in a positive way. They’re not going to do that if they don’t have a role model to look up to. As a father, it is my absolute privilege to be that for them.

My goal for them, on top of all this, is by the age of 20 to 25, that leapfrog my ass and show me things I’ve never seen before. I want to make sure to set a platform and a standard high for them. The basics they would have to do or decide to do would already be eons of forward for most people because they have such a high standard to start with, not tons of force.

I’m not a competitive guy where I’m screaming, “You all do this and do that.” I’m not a drill sergeant. That’s not it. Find your passion because when you’re lit up with passion, nothing will stop you. Work day and night, your hands to the bone because you can’t get enough of it. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for them to figure out what that passion is. I can help guide them in a direction. They’re going to work for every penny they ever get. It’s that simple.

Find your passion because when you're lit with passion, nothing will stop you from working day and night, your hands to the bone because you can't get enough of it. Click To Tweet

I’m not here as a bank. I don’t give them crap. I didn’t get crap. I worked most of my life as a kid in the garden center for free. I never got paid a thing. As a family business, that’s what you did. You worked. We did that for seven days a week for several years. Yes, we did go on some vacations. My father was fantastic. We’d go on trips to put the camper in the back of the truck. We’d head out West from Pennsylvania. My father would drive sixteen hours. They’d drive another huge chunk of time to get out to Colorado, Wyoming, and California. We traveled a lot as kids, all in the US. He would take three weeks off and shut the whole world down to spend time with us. That was amazing. I remember those trips vividly.

To help others do that is a big thing for me because that’s wired into me. We’re figuring out what we’re going to do with our time and what’s important to us. These are the big whys of life. It’s a matter of thinking, and I’m going to roll this back into your question now. Is it a matter of the leader? It’s back to that mindset thing.

Mindset for the leader, first and foremost. I shouldn’t lead this way, but what I was reaching for was your company can’t grow unless you grow. A leader has to grow for the company to grow. By extension, the team has to grow for the company to grow. You can try to do that growth by hiring people out from the outside, or you can develop the people you have or a combination. There has to be growth in the collective people in order for the company to go forward. I’m with you. It starts with the mindset of the leader, but it can’t be the mindset of the leader. We got to do all of that.

As a business owner, if you are changing your mindset, you’re like, “I listen to this podcast. It changed my life. I want to go out and figure out how I can do this for my business to take me to the next level. I’m stuck at a plateau. It’s the same thing. I’m bored with my job. What am I going to do here?” Think about how you get everybody rowing in the same direction. You go out to some seminars, get all jazzed up, come back, and be like, “Great.” He went away again. He comes back all jacked up. He wants me to do more work for the same money. What is it?

The number one thing that every human has in their mind, 24 hours a day, is one question they always have. They’re always thinking, “What’s in it for me?” I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat, Protestant, or Jewish. Every human being has that as their core question. Most won’t admit it, but like, “What we’re going to go out to eat tonight?” “I’m thinking Mexican.” “I don’t want Mexican. I think I’d rather have a nice burger. Let’s go to a tavern.”

Think about that interaction right there. Both people were thinking, “What’s in it for me? I’m hungry for this food.” We do it every single day. Car is the same thing. I like a red car because I get more attention. They won’t admit that, but the point is, what’s in it for me? Every human is asking that. Your clients are asking that question all the time. You’re advertising and marketing better be answering that in the fewest amount of words possible because if they got to burn calories to get that information or figure out what’s in it for them, you’re screwed.

The point is you need to have a conversation with those people. On the client side, you figure that out quickly but also go back to the employees. What’s in it for them? You go and get all jazzed up. That’s great. You come back to the office, and next thing you know, they’re like, “I got more work to do.” What’s in it for them? You need to start from there, your why. You are finding the right people and team. You go to start thinking, “How can I make this about us, not about me.”

In our business, when people get hired, they have an opportunity. Each year, we have a $2,000 stipend. We put in for them to do personal growth. It’s not just, “Whatever I say, it’s got to be done.” I’m like, “You got this. You can do whatever you feel is going to help you grow.” We build humans here. We are not about a business cranking out cash. We’re trying to build the most amazing humans there are. This is the platform in which we do it.

We build humans. Here we are not about a business just cranking out cash. Click To Tweet

That’s the bigger picture of it all, but that’s what gets me lit up in the morning. “People ask me, “Why did you get up and run like you do in the morning and do your meditation and gratitude? You have the two-hour thing you do every single morning. You take a cold shower, get up, and tear the day apart. Why? I was like, “I’m here to serve. I can’t do that if I’m half awake.” I don’t drink coffee. I don’t do caffeine, none of that stuff. I’m naturally jacked on life because I understand its processes now.

I feel like I could keep asking you questions for hours and hours. I better respect your 28,000 days to give you the rest of this one, but how would people learn more about you personally or Yes Express? If people want to connect with you, where do they do that?

You can go online. You can take a look at our outdoor living design management company, MasterPLAN. It’s MyMasterPlan.com. You can take a look there and see the projects if you’re interested in that thing. We also have Yes Express. It’s Yes.Express. That’s our consulting platform. That’s where we help people get through a lot of the barriers and institute the mandatory vacation side of things. We teach them how to run their business in a way they can do that and not have to sit and be all stressed out about it, and how to find the right fit for the client side of things.

I’m not going to get heavy into this. We’re wrapping up here. Most business owners are trying to grow. They want to take on every single customer whether they like them or not. I hate to tell you, but we have some people come through the door who are not quite. The team does that for us. The team knows how to vet these people to our system.

If we go out to a site, we’re 90% plus sure we’re going to do business with them, not because they have money, but because we like them. We want to do business with them. We’re going to be able to impact their life, and they’re not going to be a pain in the ass. I don’t care what industry you’re in. When you’re out chasing money, the next thing you know, you’re chasing money and stressed out because this client’s not happy. This didn’t turn out the way they wanted because you’re only focused on the dollar.

We focus on the client experience. We want the client experience to be the best experience they’ve ever had in any service-related business that’s come to their house and done any work. We want it to be the best and be the level at which they compare every other. We do that by constantly keeping our thumb on the pulse of clients. What’s changing? What do they need? What do they want? What do they dislike? What do they like? What cars do they buy? What do they vacation? Get a sense of that ideal client.

There’s another one for you, Brett. Most businesses fall in love with their product and service. They have the best widget and solution to this. They fall in love with it. They can’t help but sit there and googly-eyed at all the cool stuff that they built. Who cares? If your client doesn’t buy it, not pertaining, and doesn’t help them lead a better life, what does it matter?

If you can fall in love with your ideal client, your product and service don’t matter because business is only marketing and innovation. You’re going to be constantly innovating and telling the world about it, but you need to understand your clients first and get the hell away from loving your materialistic side of it. Start getting into the side that matters. That’s the person on the other side of that buying decision.

EEP 106 | Leveling Up Your Leadership

Leveling Up Your Leadership: Your product or service doesn’t matter if you can fall in love with your ideal clients because business is only marketing and innovation. You need to understand your clients first and get away from loving your materialistic side of it.


In Yes Express, we teach people how to do that, how to get more yeses with less stress, and be able to say no. We teach people how to say no. It’s a huge thing where most people get scared. They were like, “I can’t tell them no.” They called me. There are 7 billion to 8 billion people on this planet. They called me, and I’m going to tell them, “No, I’m not going to come out. What are they going to say? What are they going to write that review? How am I going to handle it?”

It’s not how it works. People don’t want their time wasted. If you tell them no and give them a direction, they love you. We get reviews all the time. We get extra leads from people by saying, “Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.” It’s that simple. We teach you how to do that. That’s where you can find me.

We also have a podcast. I’d love to have you on. It’s called the Outerspaces Podcast. It’s on all the different platforms. Take a look at it, or you can go to OuterspacesPodcast.com, and you can connect there. Brett, it has been such a pleasure to come on and talk to you about this. Any other questions before I wrap up?

No, you’ve been a fantastic guest. I could sit and jam with you for a long time. That’s the type of lesson we love to be sharing with our audience. You do it. It’s natural to you. You’ve clearly done the work on yourself to have those mindsets and to see the fruits of changing your ways and working on the business. It’s been a lot of fun. Thanks again, Joshua.

I appreciate it, Brett. Keep crushing it.

For everybody reading, please share this episode. I want as many people as possible to read Joshua’s insights. Please review, share, and like us. We can help as many seven-figure business owners as possible with the business growth lessons that will enable them to keep going.

Brett, can I say one more thing before we wrap up?


I mentioned earlier about setting big goals for the company. We’ve done that with all of our different companies and with Yes Express in the next several months. We set it for a five-year goal. We can impact, influence, and empower a million contractors around the world through the spoken word and courses. It doesn’t matter. It’s either written, spoken, or taught word. That’s the goal.

Whether you do any business with us or not, I don’t care. What I care about is that you’re getting the information that you’re able to make your life more enjoyable. Have your husband or wife admire you more as opposed to seeing you stressed all the time. It does not have to be worrying about having to make a decision whether you’re going to go to your daughter’s softball game or you’re going to have to go to that damn client that’s not going to buy anything, and you’re going to waste the next hour of your life. You never have to make those damn decisions again. You can have the actual respect for yourself that you can say, “I need to be a family person first. The business is something that happens.” It’s not the other way around.

It’s like climbing that fourteener.

The bigger, the better. If it makes you shake, it’s good. If it doesn’t go, double it.

Thanks, everybody, for reading. We’ll catch you on the next episode. Bye for now.


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