Construction Millionaire Secrets: Dominic Rubino’s Insights for Contractors

How can entrepreneurs navigate the challenges and opportunities of starting, scaling, and selling multiple businesses across different industries?

 

In this episode, Dominic Rubino, a seasoned entrepreneur and business coach, shares his remarkable journey of building and exiting several successful ventures. From an online pharmacy that reached $120 million in sales to growing a business coaching franchise from 6 to 237 units, Dominic’s experiences offer valuable insights for aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.

 

Dominic delves into the strategies he employed to scale his online pharmacy, highlighting the importance of focusing on recurring revenue, listening to customers, and leveraging data to drive decision-making. He also discusses the power of asking for referrals and how it helped him expand his business into new markets.

 

Dominic also opens up about the challenges of transitioning between industries and the identity shifts that entrepreneurs often face. He shares a pivotal moment when he realized the importance of balancing business success with family priorities, leading him to sell his stake in the coaching franchise.

 

Throughout the conversation, Dominic underscores the value of mentorship and continuous improvement. He discusses the growing importance of business coaching for high achievers and shares how his own mentors have shaped his success.

 

Mentors that Inspired Dominic:

  • Marty Park, a fellow business coach who provided valuable perspective and advice that led to a $12 million lift in Dominic’s pharmacy business
  • Martin Hunter, a friend and former special forces member who helped Dominic navigate complex situations and simplify problem-solving

 

Don’t miss this engaging episode filled with practical advice and personal anecdotes from an entrepreneur who has successfully navigated the challenges and opportunities of building and selling multiple businesses.

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Transcript

Intro:  Welcome to another edition of Inspired Stories where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes how they’ve overcome adversity and explore current challenges they’re facing. 

 

Anthony: Welcome to another edition of the Inspired Stories podcast where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes and be inspired by how they’ve overcome adversity. My name is Anthony Codispoti and today’s guest is Dominic Rubino. Dom has started, built and sold a number of companies. He built an online pharmacy up to $120 million in sales before he sold it. And he helped build the Focal Point Business Coaching franchise from six franchises to 237. Today he spends his time showing contractors how to work smarter, not just harder. He pulls from his decades of experiences to help contracting businesses level up. He hosts two of his own podcasts called Profit Tool Belt and Cabinet Maker Profit System. He’s written a new book called Construction Millionaire Secrets where he references numerous case studies and examples of similar businesses in construction and cabinetry. 

 

He’s been featured in Forbes and he’s done his own TEDx talk. Before we get into all that good stuff, today’s episode is brought to you by my company, Add Back Benefits Agency, where we offer very specific and unique employee benefits that are both great for your team and fiscally optimized for your bottom line. One recent client was able to add over $900 per employee per year to their bottom line by implementing one of our proprietary programs. Results vary for each company and some organizations may not be eligible. 

 

To find out if your company qualifies, contact us today at addbackbenefitsagency.com. Now, back to our guest today, the founder of multiple businesses, Dom. I appreciate you making the time to share your story today. 

 

Dominic: Yeah, Anthony, thank you. That was a really nice intro. It’s like my mom wrote it. 

 

Anthony: I called her beforehand. 

 

Dominic: She’s calling my mom now. Yeah. What can you tell me about this guy? So you’ve got quite a varied background, Dom. And I want to hear about a couple of your previous ventures. 

 

But first, let’s set the stage for kind of present day. In simple terms, tell me what it is that you’re doing now. What do you specialize in these days? Well, I’ve been a business coach for a very long time and I love it. And what I do is myself and my team, we work with contractors who want to get to the next level. And, you know, that everybody talks about getting to the next level. 

 

But one of the challenges is if you think about it as a curve, you can’t see over that next hill. So we show people the clarity, the tools to use to get there. Really, it’s all about creating simple systems in your business to get yourself where you want to get. 

 

Anthony: And you do this through one-on-one coaching. Is this the group coaching system? How does this work? 

 

Dominic: Yeah, well, so I’ve got two podcasts, as you mentioned. So there’s a lot of free education there for people. But then if they do want to work with us, there’s group coaching and then there’s one-on-one. And we use a model that you might be familiar with as well, which is the EOS framework from the book, Traction by Geno Wickman. It’s a good foundation. And from there, we add on additional layers, depending on the trade, depending on the person. You know, there’s different things going on if it’s a family business, different things if you’re a solo business, slightly different things if you’re in cabinetry and slightly different things if you’re an HVAC. So we use different tools for different trades. 

 

Anthony: Okay, let’s come back to that because you’ve got an interesting backstory that I want to hear at least about a couple of these businesses that you’ve been involved with before. 

 

The first one is the online pharmacy. You started, you built up to $120 million in sales and then sold. Tell me about this. What were you doing right that allowed you to grow so fast? 

 

Dominic: Not doing everything wrong, but just at a great speed. So you know, this was a long time ago, right? So the company’s called CanadaFarmacy.com. It has been sold a couple of times, so I’m no longer affiliated with it. But my cousin and I had both been transferred out into the Prairie region. And we got bored. We’re in towns about an hour away, but we’d meet up all the time. So we started going to garage sales and flea markets. And we were buying used calculators and Colecovision games and selling them on eBay. Remember the first days of eBay? Yeah. 

 

Anthony: And I remember Colecovision too. A little handheld. 

 

Dominic: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. Actually, the Colecovision head-to-head football, you know, it was a brown unit, had little red lights and you’d do-do-do-do-do-do. Oh, okay. Okay. 

 

Anthony: Now I remember that one. 

 

Dominic: Yeah. So those LED toys really became a collector’s item as well as LED calculators, which, you know, I don’t even care about LED calculators. I just care that somebody else cared and would pay for them. So we’d buy them at a garage sale or a flea market for a buck and then we’d sell them for 40 on eBay because collectors were snapping them up. But the problem with all of that was we were selling junk. 

 

And junk is hard to store, hard to inventory, very difficult to find consistency. And just about the same time, I’d left working for Sprint. I was a corporate sales for Sprint. I was actually a regional sales manager for them. And so I got trained in business coaching there. And then I just wanted to start having a side business. So I started selling stuff on eBay and it just kept growing and growing and growing. 

 

But I knew I had to reinvent it. So at some point we actually turned it into an online bookseller because we’d also sell used books. We sold used every day. 

 

Anthony: Still through eBay or are we now selling on your own? Well, eBay and then we sort of slid over to Amazon because Amazon was a new platform as well. So eBay and Amazon. 

 

And then the weirdest thing happened. We were selling skin whitening cream because people would buy it. There’s certain things available that people want online. And you can do that by searching keywords even back then as slow as the internet was. We’re running around with floppy disks. 

 

The big floppy disks, not even the small ones. This was a long time ago. And that business sort of started to take off. 

 

Anyways, over time, we continued to just focus on what did our ideal client want? And we found that people that bought skin whitening cream bought more skin whitening cream. People that bought Claritin, Allegra or Zyrtec, which are over the counter from Canada, but prescription in the States, boom, we were selling tons of it. So I became a mail order pharmacy. 

 

Anthony: Interesting. And the transition into each of these new products, the skin whitening cream or the over the counter meds that were over the counter in Canada, but prescription in the States. This all came about by just doing keyword research. What is it that people are looking for? What do they want? 

 

Dominic: Yeah, keyword research, but also looking at the demographics. I’ve always been really big on one key element. And you have a financial background. I want recurring revenue. Hands down. I would rather have a lawn mowing company than somebody that just does something where you show up once and leave and never come back and do it again. Now, there’s lots of businesses that when done, don’t come back again like a kitchen cabinet maker. Now, I’ve got an entire podcast just for people to do cabinetry and millwork, but there’s different opportunities in that market. But my own favorite is recurring revenue. That’s why insurance companies get so big. 

 

Anthony: So what is it that you did to grow this from skin whitening cream and Allegra into a $120 million annual business? 

 

Dominic: You know what? We really focused on listening to the customers. And we started to view the prescription as a pre-purchase order for three additional orders because when you get a prescription, you can have a refill. And so really, I just looked at the data a lot and then we took action on the data. 

 

Are you a fan of funny data? Absolutely. Okay. Because this is going to sound a little wacky. You know, we’re running the business. I had a call center of 120 people. 

 

Okay. So they’re taking inbound calls off the website. And my cousin is my business partner in that company. And he comes in one day, he goes, Hey, Dom, you want to go for lunch? And I’m like, yeah, do I want to go? 

 

We’re out of here. But in my hands, I had a bundle of papers and they were the top buyers of our top products, just a normal list that any of us would do. So anyways, I drop it on the desk out. 

 

We go for lunch. I come back and I look down at the desk and two particular lists had fallen across each other. One was the buyers who had spent the most, most often on pet medications. So that’s one list. 

 

The next one was buyers who had bought the most contraceptives. So we found, Was there an overlap? Oh, there was. Yeah. There was a correlation of the data. 

 

This is where it gets funny because you’re going to say, Dom, how the heck did you script that for all your 120 call center agents? But if you bought birth control meds, you were far more likely to also buy pet meds. And if you bought pet meds, we had to get you by in birth control meds, right? Because our focus was find, if somebody has high blood pressure, they just have high blood pressure. And so they’re going to buy high blood pressure medications the rest of their life. If somebody wants Viagra, for example, that’s a lifestyle thing. They’re going to buy it once, try it and get it somewhere else. That wasn’t a good customer for us, even though that was the hottest product on the market for some pretty obvious reasons. So we focused on maintenance medications, well, pet meds and birth control and high blood pressure, all of those things. 

 

Anthony: Recurring revenue. Recurring revenue. So that’s what we focused on very heavily. And so we’d actually script into your, you’re like, okay, Rubino, tell me how somebody calls for pet meds and you get them to buy contraceptives. 

 

Dominic: Well, no matter what order we’re taking, we would say, oh, I’m sorry, I missed you there. Was that a dog barking in the background? And they go, no, it’s my cat. 

 

And our agents did not have call timers. They were encouraged to build relationships on the phone all the time. And so they just get into this, oh, you have a cat, I have a cat. 

 

Or they’d say, no, it’s my dog or it’s my neighbor’s parrot, whatever, it doesn’t matter. But we get into this conversation where we can start to talk about the scope of products that we had. And so our upsells and our increase of transactions was really high. 

 

Anthony: And so that’s smart. I love how you’re doing the upsell in a creative way that feels very natural. Natural, right? Just nice. Yeah, did I hear a dog? Yeah. But how did you get them into the funnel in the first place? You guys must have been running a lot of ads. 

 

Dominic: Well, yeah, back in the old days, this is a lot easier than it is today. But for instance, I said we had a lot of books for sale. So we carried a whole bunch of books, for instance, on pets that we ran on Amazon. We carried a whole bunch of books on different categories on Amazon. And then we had ways there to convert people back to us. 

 

So top of funnel back in those days was kind of easy and kind of hard. We, of course, used paid Google AdWords. It was called overture. I don’t know if anybody remembers overture. We were spending like $250,000 a month on overture. And the sales rep called us one day. He’s all proud. 

 

Coming by with a Christmas gift. And we’re like, wow, this should be good. We spent like a quarter million dollars a month with this guy. And he came and he gave us a wooden gumball machine. You’ve got to be kidding me. Like, not that I didn’t expect a gift, but I would have been happier with no gift than this thing that they bought at a church garage. Like, what are you doing? Anyways, if anybody remembers overture, they’re old. 

 

Anthony: I do. Do you? Yeah. Oh, gosh. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I was back in the internet space back in, I started in 97. So yeah. Yeah. A lot of you talking about the floppy disk. 

 

Dominic: And yeah, I could relate to a lot of things. Gumball, did you get the gumball machine? 

 

Anthony: No, I did not get the gumball machine. We were not at that same spending threshold, you worse. We just got the gumball. Yeah. So, okay. So you built this up $120 million in sales. And at some point you decide, okay, that’s enough. I’m out. What was that decision process like? 

 

Dominic: That decision was difficult because it was a family business. It was my cousin and another guy that he knew from somewhere else. And at the time I was also business coaching, by the way. So underneath all of this was I became a business coach in the year 2000. And I actually got trained out in Australia. And then I was doing really well as a business coach, which the only measurement for doing well as a business coach is, are your clients getting results? At least that’s what matters to me. So keep in mind, I’m running the pharmacy and I’m a business coach at the same time. 

 

And so I’m speaking on stages and I’m doing trainings in New Zealand and Australia and the States and Canada, wherever they were running training. But myself and the other partner, the third guy, we don’t get along at all. And so I just thought, you know what? I know how to turn around businesses. I became a business coach because I sucked at business. And I was starting to learn the systems for turning things around. And I said, I don’t need to be here. I don’t need that in my life. So I pulled the pin. 

 

Anthony: And so did you just exit and sell to your partners? Or did you guys sell the whole business? No, I sold to my partners. Relatively smooth transition once you made the decision. 

 

Dominic: You know, you’re Italian like me. Things got spicy for a little bit and then it’s fine now. It’s fine now. 

 

Anthony: Good. So you were a business coach at the same time. Is was this the focal point? Is that how you learned to become a business coach? 

 

Dominic: So it’s funny you say that. So when I learned to become a business coach, it was actually out of an Australian based franchise called Action Coach, which is led by a guy named Brad Sugar’s. I learned a lot there. I’m glad I was there, although I’m very different as a coach today than I was back in, you know, the year 2000. But I started to know other players in the industry because I was a trainer. I was on stage and so sometimes I’d be on stage at an event and I met Brian Tracy. So eventually another person I knew became partners with Brian because Brian was starting to launch a franchise. And when my franchise lapsed at Action Coach, this other guy and I were talking and I became his partner. So me, him and Brian Tracy became partners in the focal point franchise. And I took what I knew in training coaches, supporting coaches, getting client results. And I attached that to focal point and I trained the coaches there to do the same. 

 

Anthony: So it’s interesting. I heard you say that you became a business coach because you felt like you weren’t very good at business. Oh, it was horrible. And so you went into that thinking, well, if I can get to a point where I can teach somebody else how to be good at business, that means I will have understood it well enough that I should be a better businessman myself. That’s right. Yeah. 

 

Dominic: I mean, I did the same thing everybody else does. I just started reading books and taking courses and listening to cassettes. I don’t know if anybody remembers that. And I just, I really got into that learning part. But you know, my first company ever was a Christmas light installation company. It’s called the Yohoho Light Co. 

 

Anthony: Yohoho Light Co. And was this like a college venture? 

 

Dominic: It was a great 12. So just even before I went to college, I just did it on Christmas break between the end of high school exams and the start of the next, well, obviously Christmas. 

 

So I just, I had, you know, I’m in the Pacific Northwest. So you got to imagine a kid with no trades training on a ladder in the rain, cedar shake roofs with a staple gun. There’s no reason I’m alive right now. It’s just random. 

 

Anthony: So you’ve had this entrepreneurial bug for a long time since you were a kid. Yeah. And the first place that it came out was the Christmas tree light installation company. Christmas lights. And was, were you, were you good at that? Was it successful? 

 

Dominic: You know what? I’m pretty good at selling. I just, I have ice water in my veins. I’ll cold call anybody, knock on any door, phone anybody. And that’s what I did. I just knocked on doors back then. And then I got a deal and I just asked for a referral. And so I got the next referral. But actually what changed for me there was, you know, you can only go so far with that. 

 

I remember trying to go get insurance from, and a local insurance broker, and you’ve repeated back to me the business, kind of like I just did. He goes, okay, so you’re an untrained kid. You got no license, no ticket. You’re on a ladder on cedar roofs in the rain with a staple gun and electrical wires. I’m like, yeah, because nobody’s going to insure you. But it was the first time anybody told me the facts of my business. I was just out there, you know, climbing ladder. So anyways, I became a student painter, you know, the college pro franchises that you do in college. Well, I was with something called AAA student painters, just a different flavor of the same thing. And so I learned about business systems there. That’s the first place I started to learn systemizing businesses. And I really got hooked on that. 

 

Anthony: So born natural salesman, ice in your veins, cold call anybody. But what I heard you say that was key is that you learned to ask for referrals. Right, yeah. I think that’s an important lesson that not a lot of people in business get comfortable with. We want to talk about how you kind of hit upon that at a young age. 

 

Dominic: I just talk, man. 

 

Intro:  A lot of it was just moxie in the beginning, yeah. And then you learn, oh, that’s called asking for referrals. I should do that more. You know, the very, believe it or not, the very first house I knocked on 

 

Dominic: was, and like it was after dinner, it was a neighborhood I could walk to from my house, but a richer neighborhood than where I live. I couldn’t afford anything. So I was printing on eight and a half by 11 sheets of paper and I cut them in four. So they were these tiny little slips, right? 

 

Fishing. So I knock on this guy’s door and he comes to the door and I’m like, hi, install Christmas lights, you know, pimples all over my face. And he just, he walks outside right away and close the door behind him. 

 

He’s like, are you kidding me? This was the first house I knocked on. And I’m like, no, I do lights. He goes, what’s it going to cost to do my house? 

 

I had no idea. I go, ah, $200. He goes, he goes done. 

 

My kids are inside right now asking if I’m going to put up lights. Well, this guy had a ginseng farm. Do you remember the big swing and ginseng in the 80s? Everybody was starting ginseng farms. Well, he had that and he also had a fasteners company like sold screws and bolts and nuts and washers. 

 

Just crazy busy all the time. So I, I, I did his house and he goes, hey, can you do my mom’s house too? I’m like, yeah, just anybody else in your family need Christmas lights? And so I probably got three deals off that deal and then everybody there. I just, just asked, you know. 

 

Anthony: So before you knew it was called a referral, you were just, you were just talking and trying to help. 

 

Dominic: It just came up. I’m just trying to help trying to be friendly and yeah. 

 

Anthony: So you learned systems for the first time from painting business. And what kind of systems like paperwork, like how to like stay on top of like give a quote and follow up or stuff. 

 

Dominic: I didn’t even know Anthony. Like I didn’t know there was a process for selling. I didn’t know what pre qualifying was. I didn’t know how to price. I didn’t know how to set up a, you know, painting is lightly construction, but I didn’t know how to set up a construction site for efficiency. And I learned all those things there. You know, I actually, you want to hear a painful story? 

 

Yes. So my sales manager, who by the way, on his own has now gone on to be a very successful software guy in the stock market industry. His name is Marcus new. I got to give him a high five, even though I hated him for many years. So he was, he was my sales manager at AAA student painters. And he goes, Dom, I’m going to come out with you one day and we’re going to, we’re going to see one of your sales calls because I was busy. I’m always a very high activity guy, lots of prospecting, lots of appointments, but I wasn’t closing. 

 

So we’re meeting with this architect and his wife and a beautiful home near the university district, which is very fruit fruit, lots of money. So we go in there and they’re like, okay, we’re going to think about it. I’m like, great, you know, I’m here whenever you’re ready. So we walk out and Marcus, my sales manager is with me. We’re on the front step, but the door is still open. 

 

The couple is still standing there. And Marcus goes, are you an effing professional visitor? Those people need their house painted and you didn’t ask enough of a question. Because you’re wasting my time. Don’t call me again until you go get kicked out of three houses. And then he just stormed off in his Porsche. And I’m standing there on the front porch. These people are at the door. They’re like a foot and a half away and heard him tear me a new one. And you know what, Anthony? I went and got kicked out of three houses that week. 

 

Anthony: Just because you were, when you say getting kicked out, it’s because you were so persistent. 

 

Dominic: Closed hard enough to get kicked out. Yeah. Closed hard enough to get kicked out. 

 

Anthony: And what did that do for your sales trajectory? 

 

Dominic: Now I’m fine. I’ll ask you, Anthony, you know, do you want to start finding a way to work together? If you say no, you know, I mean, obviously now I’m a little more mature of your fully qualified at that point, but I’m going to ask, I’m probably going to ask you 50 times before you hear the question. Because there’s soft closes and hard closes. There’s a sumptive closes. 

 

Like, you know, if this makes a lot of sense, what’s the timeline look like on your side for getting that solution? That’s still a closing question. That’s still a closing question. 

 

There should be lots of those. If I care enough about you, my customer, and I’m curious about why this would be a solution, you should probably have about one or two closes a minute. There should be a sumptive conversations the whole way through. 

 

Anthony: Well, this is, these are some gold nuggets here. Thanks, man. What are some other examples of those that you can give? 

 

Dominic: You know, some of them are the standard ones, right? If you could fix this, what would it look like? Or, you know, Anthony, this is interesting. Obviously, you’ve thought about it for a lot. I wonder if you ever had a chance to talk to your competition or see what they’re doing. And you’ll say, yes, no, et cetera. 

 

I’ll say, well, what are they doing different that makes you even pay attention to them? And then you’ll tell me the answer. I’ll say, well, if we could find a way to do that, is that going to get you where you want to get next? 

 

And again, it’s not manipulative. I really care about my clients. If they want a goal, we will get you there. I just got to find out what you really want. And so just that’s the conversation. It’s just really deeply trying to understand there why I’m not trying to sell something. I’m trying to help somebody. 

 

Anthony: I know you’ve got a lot of free content on your site and your podcast. If there was a white paper with those, what did you call them? Presumptive sales closes. 

 

Dominic: I think that would be a soft closes. Yeah, I think that would be a good one. Yeah, I should put them in there. 

 

Anthony: So, OK, so let’s move on to business coaching. You learned from an Australian franchise how to become a business coach. What were some of the key lessons that you hold from there that you were able to apply into your businesses? You know what? 

 

Dominic: I could probably boil it down to one word, mindset. Or here, I’ll give you a funny one because Brian Tracy, who I became partners with later, has a bunch of great sayings. In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king. Right? 

 

So that mindset of success. I don’t have an inventory. As a business coach, there’s nothing really on my shelf. 

 

I mean, those books are a great example. But I have an inventory of my mind. So I don’t need to be smart, but I do need to be wise. And wisdom means asking great questions, listening as carefully as I can with deep curiosity, and then drawing on the tools that I think will work in the simplest way I can. That’s, to me, that’s what business coaching is. It’s about wisdom. It’s almost like having a really good board of directors, but it’s just me as part of the board of directors and the owner, you, Anthony. Just going to ask great questions, and then I’m going to hold you accountable to the answer. 

 

Anthony: Is this also where you first learned about EOS and how to implement what Gino Wickman writes about? 

 

Dominic: EOS didn’t exist back then because I’m old, right? But the first one I did read, and which, and by the way, I’m pretty sure the Nexus or the origin story of Traction, which is Gino Wickman’s book where you find EOS and the VTO, and more acronyms if you care to find them, is Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Vern Harnish, which is that book there called Scaling Up. Can you see that behind me? Yep. Have you ever read Scaling Up? I have not. Excellent book, but it took me, the first time I read it, I thought I was a dummy. 

 

I didn’t understand it at all. I remember scheduling time with myself to just go get on the treadmill at the local community center just to read the thing. Because I thought, well, if I change my environment and do something active while I’m trying to read it, the book will finally sink in. But it took me two tries to read it. I did not get it at all. What was so complex about it? 

 

The language was complex. Now, by the way, Vern Harnish is a genius. I know him. He’s a great guy. I hold him in very high regard. He started entrepreneurs organization. He’s a guy who’s had an impact on the world most of us won’t know. 

 

Really positive. But the book was hard to read. And so if it’s hard to read, how am I going to teach it to somebody else? You know, like a great simple book with powerful messaging is the E-Meth Revisited by Michael Gerber, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, anything by Patrick Lencioni, because they’re fable based. 

 

Lencioni is a really fable based or story based. But I found I’m not familiar with Patrick. You’re not. You’re not familiar with Patrick. 

 

Okay. Patrick, he’s one of our people, Anthony. Italian. Italian guy. We’re supposed to know each other, right? 

 

We all met at some baptism a couple of years ago. But those are all really easy to consume books. Vern Harnish’s brilliant book, Hard to Consume. And then a couple of years later, Gino Wickman comes out with a different but sort of it achieves the same goal from a much simpler place. And it’s a book called Traction, the Systems EOS. 

 

Anthony: The entrepreneur. It’s kind of a playbook for what to do. 

 

Dominic: Yeah. It’s a method for communicating what you want as an owner into your business. And you hear that from owners. At least I hear it from owners all the time. I don’t know how to get everything out of my head and onto paper. And that’s the system we use for that. Yeah. 

 

Anthony: Okay. So in the Australian business coaching franchise that you talked about, that’s where you first learned mindset. That was boiled down to one word, you learned mindset. And then at some point along the way, you meet Brian Tracy and you become kind of ingrained in his world. Talk to me more about what that was. Where did you come in first as a student? Where did you come in as a partner? 

 

Dominic: How did that evolve? Oh, yeah. Well, I had sold the, you know, I’m not at liberty to say the numbers, but I just sold $120 million business. So I was looking for new businesses to invest in. You were doing pretty well. 

 

I was okay. And then, like I said, somebody I knew bought the rights from Brian for the global master franchise to take that business where it needed to go. And so I became partners in that business. And so I became the global master franchise or long title. It just meant that I had the right from Brian Tracy International to resell that concept at a country level, or you might call it a state, you know, master franchise or level or franchisee. And so I became a franchisor and trained and supported business coaches through that. 

 

Anthony: And so what was it that you were doing that took you from six franchises to 237? And at what time period was it? Oh, about 13 years. 

 

Dominic: About 13 years. About 13 years. You know what? It’s a great point. So the challenges we had was when we thought too small. My partner and I always had challenges about thinking too small. And what I learned from EOS is when you’re, by the way, I don’t think most franchises get over 30 units, 30 franchise locations. And so how did we get to over 200? Well, you don’t get to, you don’t get past 30 by aiming for 30. You get it to 30 by aiming for 50. And then when you want to get to the next 100, you aim for 200. 

 

And that’s what EOS, that’s how I use EOS. I use it as a tool that says, if we want to accomplish this in the next 10 years, that sounds reasonable or a little fuzzy. You know, we have a couple of functional things we got to fix. But if we’re going to do that, what do we need to do in the next three years? You know, you sit back and you ponder, you’re like, okay, well, we could do those things. 

 

And then you stop again, you go, okay, well, if we’re going to do those things in the next three years as a business, and let’s use franchise units as an example, if we’re going to get to 50 franchisees in the next three years, then what do we need to do this year? So you do that exercise. You’re like, oh, that doesn’t sound hard. And then you do it one more time. 

 

And you say, well, if we need to do that this year, what do we need to do this quarter? And then you just say, okay, what do I need to do today? And then from there, it is absolutely brutal prioritizing. But being brutal with myself, I have to be harder on myself and the world will be. 

 

So be brutal about it. Be very specific about the prioritization. Number one priority has to come first. And so if you’ve ever read Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog, he’s like, pretty straightforward. If you have to eat a frog, eat it first thing in the morning. 

 

If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugly one first, but do the both first thing in the morning. And so just deal with the problems you got to deal with, like upfront right now. 

 

Anthony: Right. So what’s interesting about what you’re saying there is you are applying the same sort of lessons that you want to teach to your clients about using the traction system to what’s the big goal, the three-year goal. Okay, great. Now, what do we need to do this year for that? And what do we need to do this quarter? Then what do we need to do this week? And what do I need to do today? And so what was, what did that three-year plan look like? And what were you doing? Give me sort of a typical day in the process of that 13-year journey to get to that, adding over 230 franchises. 

 

Dominic: Selling franchises is the top of the funnel. We have to find the right people and everybody that we got there top notch people. They usually were coming out of executive positions at companies and wanted to be a consultant or a coach on their own. 

 

So they would come to us for that and then we would show them how to build their own business coaching company in whatever town they happen to live in. Let’s say they’re in, just choose the middle of the country, Nebraska. If they’re in Nebraska, actually have a great, really nice guy out there named Jim. 

 

He’s a great example of that. Well, what’s Jim going to do in Nebraska to make a name for himself, to build clientele, to get clients and to get value for them? So that was where I came in. My partner took care of selling franchises. I took care of supporting the franchisees in their success and in their growth. 

 

Anthony: And so what was maybe the biggest lever that you pulled to fill that funnel? What was the thing that was working to bring in those leads? 

 

Dominic: To bring in the leads for selling. We used franchise brokers for that. A lot of times franchise brokers referrals from one franchisee was doing well and had a friend who used to be an executive with them at the Hilton chain or something. And so their friend would go, hey, I like what you’re doing. We’ll go talk to these guys. 

 

Anthony: And so key to your success was the relationship with franchise brokers. 

 

Dominic: Franchise brokers for sure. 

 

Anthony: And okay, so here you are. You built this business up over the course of 13 years. And I don’t know, was it all sunshine and rainbows? 

 

Dominic: Like, no, it was why didn’t you write off and rain and mudslides a lot of the time, to be honest. Why? 

 

Anthony: What was the trouble? It sounds like you guys were having a lot of success. 

 

Dominic: Yeah, I think for me, the frustration was when a franchisee would say to me, but Dom, you don’t understand Chicago. You don’t understand Seattle or Vancouver or Winnipeg. It’s different here. People don’t want to buy business coaching. And I would say to them, do you remember how I started? Inside my story or sub stories like we all have, but I started and shut down my business coaching operations in multiple cities, multiple times, because I had other companies up and running. And so I found it very frustrating when somebody said to me, well, you don’t really understand how marketing for coaching works. You’re just sitting at your desk and just shake my head and I go, what are you talking? You joined us because you wanted to follow a proven system. I’m showing you the system and now you want to debate the system. Yeah, I don’t, as you can tell, I don’t have a lot of patience for that. I’d smile a lot, but I can only help you so much. But the people who applied the system got fantastic results and great results for their clients as well. 

 

Anthony: And so when somebody engages with a franchise consultant, were you talking to people who were considering your opportunity versus like an Arby’s? 

 

Dominic: Exactly. So for people that don’t know, a franchise consultant is a lot like a real estate agent. You know, when you’re a senior executive and let’s just choose a company without choosing a company, let’s say somebody’s left Boeing as an example. They’ve retired or they, you know, sometimes your next move at a big company is you’ve got to move. And like from San Francisco, we’re moving you to Green Bay if you want this position. 

 

And they’re like, well, I got two kids in college and one finishing high school and we’re kind of sat here and you want me to move from San Fran to Green Bay? I don’t think so. First, it’s not my team. 

 

And second, no. And so they have to, they start to look for options, right? These are well-healed people who are very smart, who’ve done very well. And so they would go to a local franchise broker and say, what are my options? And so they’d say, well, tell me about yourself. You know, they interview them and they say, well, here are your options. If you want to be intellectual property, go towards these sort of franchises. If you want local locations, go towards these, you know, maybe barbershops or restaurants or tax prep. Got it. 

 

Anthony: Okay. So here you are 13 years in and what was behind the decision to sell? The simplest of things, Anthony. 

 

Dominic: So we got a phone call from four franchisees and they said, hey, we want a meeting between me and my partner. When you’re a franchisor and you get a call from four top franchisees and they want it, you see what your face did is what our face did. That’s no es bueno. That is not good. You don’t generally want to hear that. But they said something really nice and you got to remember the StarTech phone, you know, the little triangle one. 

 

This is a while ago, right? So we’re sitting around the StarTech phone and they’re like, hey, we want to buy into you guys. We like where you’re going. We like the direction. 

 

You know, we see some upside here, but we want to play a bigger part. And so my partner puts it on mute and we’re like, oh my God, somebody wants to buy the company. But we weren’t ready to sell. So a lot of people out there listening want to sell their business one day, but I have to go in. Can I go into business coach mode for a sec? 

 

Absolutely. You might want to sell, but if you’re not viable, good luck. You have to, I have to be viable before somebody will buy me. And so I put that challenge to anybody listening. Are you viable? 

 

Really? And so we had some things that we were still working on. You know, we had our EOS plan. We felt like we had a lot of things to work on. 

 

What do we need to be viable? So we said, no, thank you. Anyways, I go home for dinner that night. And the way we’re eating dinner, I’m sitting here, my wife is just exactly to my right and my son is sitting next to her. And my wife goes as you often do at the dinner table. Hey, honey, what happened at work today? I’m like, well, the craziest thing. Some franchisees asked if they could buy into the business and be our partners. 

 

Oh, wow, that’s great. Are you going to sell now? We’re not ready to sell. And so I launched into a speech I’d given Anthony 52 times that year and 500 times over my life to my poor sweet wife. He said, you know, what I’m going to do is I got to go down to where was this? I got to go to San Diego next week. What I’m going to do is I’m going to leave on Sunday night so I can be there for Monday morning, but I’ll I’ll go as late as I can so I can hang out with the kids then because I’m so clever, I’ll come home Thursday night. 

 

And I’ll be here for Friday. And she’s just like, okay, that’s what you do. But what I saw was right next to her was my son. And he didn’t say anything, except he shrunk in his skin. 

 

He just dropped his shoulders and dropped his head. And I thought what I thought I can’t say on a podcast, but it was all directed at me. And so I walked in the next day and I said, I’m selling. I don’t need this. 

 

Anthony: My family that quickly you made that decision. How old was your son? 

 

Dominic: Seven, six or seven. It took two years to unwind that particular conversation. And I’m still not at liberty to talk about much of it because I’m still being paid out on that exit. But my values are nobody’s going to write on Tombstone world’s greatest master franchise or no, I’m here to be a dad. I’m here to be a good husband. I made promises to my wife. She’s awesome. She’s so understanding and I’m not and I was just blowing it by traveling all the time. Like a dummy. I was a regular at Terminal two at the Phoenix Airport. You got a vehicle. That’s bad. Got a plaque for that. Right. 

 

Anthony: So your seven year old son breaks your heart just with his body language and completely reset your mind like this. I need to take a different approach here. What how soon were you able to tell him the news? And what was his reaction? Did he understand? Did he understand even what 

 

Dominic: I don’t know that he does today? This is great. I’ve never been asked that question. But I thank you for asking it. Maybe I’ll I don’t know if I’ll ever know. 

 

I mean, he knows because I you know, I just reinvented myself. Because of business coaching, public speaking goes hand in hand with being a leading business coach. And I know that sounds egotistical, but I’m a really good business coach. I was only born in this world to do one thing. 

 

And that is be a business coach. I’m the happiest, most fulfilled guy you’ve ever met. I love this. And so I can be a speaker. I can be a pretty good speaker. 

 

But I’m never going to be the greatest speaker in the world because I won’t prepare. I just get up there and I wing it. Because I’m used to being reactive to this kind of conversation. 

 

I’m trained for that. And so I thought, okay, with all of the things in place, why would I go be a public speaker and fly to Chicago and then Dubai and then over here to Calgary? What am I doing? Just recreating the same hamster wheel for myself. And that’s when totally by random podcast came across my desk, like random, random, random. 

 

Anthony: How did that come across your your pot? Your your desk? 

 

Dominic: You know, I do lots of speaking. And so I got asked to speak at an industry I’m very familiar with, which is cabinetry and architectural millwork. And for people that don’t know the words architectural millwork, when you walk into a hotel lobby, and you look at the ceiling, and it’s made with beautiful, swirling wood. And the desk is fantastic. And that’s not a cabinet maker that makes that. 

 

It is the superhero of cabinetry. Those guys are called architectural mill workers. So I was speaking at one of their conferences locally. 

 

And they had this technology, they said, Well, Dom, some people can’t make it. Can we video this? And record you for audio? I’m like, Yeah. And then because I’m Anthony, thank you. Because I’m myself, I said, Can I have the video too? And they’re like, Yeah. And I thought, Well, how am I going to use this? 

 

And that just overlaid with I don’t want to travel to speak. And I thought, Well, I’ll just make it a podcast and see how that goes. And here we are, between the two shows, I’m close to 500 episodes now. How many years ago was that? Seven or eight. 

 

I don’t know. Sometimes I don’t do the math. I don’t do the math at the gym either. Somebody goes, How much did you just do there? I don’t know. It just work. Just like, Yeah, exactly. 

 

Anthony: So, okay, so you make the decision, you’re going to sell the sell your part of the coaching franchise. And then how long was it before you found this new thing that you were going to do? 

 

Dominic: You know, there are exercises that we do for reinvention of very powerful business leaders, because we do it all the time as business coaches. So I mean, looking back, Anthony, 10 minutes, but it probably took me two months, three months. 

 

Anthony: But still pretty quick. I mean, I’ve gone through life transitions like that myself. And two to three, it’s hard. Yeah, it’s really hard. frustrating. There’s there’s sort of a there’s a loss of identity loss of self like, Okay, I was this guy over here. Now, now, now I’m in this in between space. I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know where I fit into this. 

 

Dominic: I think a lot of people that have sorry to cut you off. Now, it’s funny, you and I have just met. That is exactly the mindset that I’ve gone through. And it’s exactly the mindset I’ve seen with so many clients who have sold their company. Or or resist selling their company because their identity is, but I’m Bob’s roofing, I’m Bob. But I’m Bob’s HVAC. But this is Bob’s cabinets. If I’m not here, the company can’t continue. And this is where I have to say Bob, really? 

 

Are you kidding me? Bob, we have systems in place, there’s you have people in place, you can step away. But our identity is wrapped up in it. Yeah, you’re absolutely right. 

 

Anthony: Yeah, and for somebody who isn’t that way, you know, some for people who aren’t wired like that, they don’t understand, like, how disorienting that is, right? I was, you know, I started my first company and I was in the internet space back in the middle of the late 90s. I was the internet guy. Like, that’s how my family knew me. That’s how my friends knew me. And then, okay, there was an opportunity to exit that and go into something completely different. 

 

And it was like, Well, wait a minute, what? Who are you? I thought I was this guy. Now, now I don’t see how I fit into this space. It’s, it’s, yeah, disorienting is the best word I can think of. 

 

Dominic: What did your family say when you said, Well, I used to be the internet guy, which they didn’t understand back then anyway. Right? 

 

Anthony: That’s true. Right. Right. I told people I was building web pages that they they heard wet. What Why are you making pages wet? And I’m like, No, no, it’s like on a computer. Oh, you’re in computers. Just leave it there. 

 

Dominic: Right? All right. Yeah. Yeah. You know, and then in the reinvention of yourself, when you started, what was your second reinvention then you got rid of the web pages company and what was your second? 

 

Anthony: Completely different. I went into the bead business. We were selling costume jewelry components. 

 

Dominic: Yep. You are me, by the way, you and I. Yeah. In the same city, we might not have gotten along actually. So you went into the did you do? No, I didn’t do that. But you did the bead business. So still consumer. Oh, yeah. Right. 

 

Anthony: Very different. I mean, I was running a service based business before where we were building web based software or just static web pages for people. And then, you know, there was this opportunity to partner up actually with my cousin who’d been in the space and add some organization, add some web tech right on top of what was already a very successful business, but was very, you know, kind of shoot from the hip, not super organized. And so that transition was probably one of the easier ones that I did, because it was quick, like I knew what I was going into next, where there’s a gap, I think is where and I’m curious to hear because you’ve had this experience multiple times, if you’ve seen it be the same for you where there’s a gap in between this thing and the next thing, that’s where it gets to be a little bit more dicey. Yeah. 

 

Dominic: It does. But you know, coaching is my if I have a trade, my trade is business coach. So I can pick that up relatively quickly, because I’m always generally coaching businesses. You know, there’s and so when I’m really busy, I’m just helping some friends and I might not even be charging for it. But when things get slow or I get bored, I just pick up a coaching client, they just sort of happen when I’m not formally marketing. And then when I’m formally marketing, that just happens faster. 

 

Anthony: And so the cabinetry space sort of presented itself to you because you were making a presentation there, you just been asked to come and give one of your speeches. And you thought, oh, there’s something here. This is an interesting space. 

 

Dominic: Yeah, well, the the the distribution model is interesting. So my first two clients in business coaching back in 2000, one of them made pool tables, obviously out of wood. And the other one made caskets and coffins. So I’m just going to show you how to do that. 

 

So those are my first two clients in business coaching ever. So you know, if you ever shake my hand, you’ll see I’ve got pretty soft hands and that’s a dead giveaway that I’m not working in the cabinetry or roofing. Right? That’s the dead giveaway. But I’ve been, I’ve been showing people how to reinvent their business as they fly it for 24 years now. 

 

And just happens to be in the trade spaces. You know, Anthony, I’m Italian, you’re Italian around my kitchen table till all the baptisms and confirmations I went to. The first job I had was with my uncle as a framer. It’s just our normal family conversation to talk construction. My brother in law is an excavation contractor. It’s just us. It’s just normal for me. 

 

Anthony: And so as you were transitioning out of selling your previous business, you’re like, maybe I’ll 

 

Dominic: pick a niche and pick a niche that makes me happy. Yeah. 

 

Anthony: Yeah. And so that’s how you settled into this. And so you’ve got a couple of different sites. Tell me what the difference is. We’ve got we’ve got Cab that maker profit systems.com and we’ve got profit tool belt.com. And what’s the difference? Why would somebody go to one versus the other? 

 

Dominic: Well, really, depending on your trade. So cabinet maker profit system came out first because that was the first podcast where I specialized in cabinetry, architectural mill work and people that make closets, which by the way is another under underappreciated market. There’s tons of them the closet tons of work in the closet business. But what I realized there is based on feedback, I was getting emails and calls from builders and GCs who are listening to that show. And the reason people listen to my show is because both of my shows are about the business of business. Because remember, I’m a business coach. 

 

It really this is going to sound weird, but it doesn’t matter to me if you’re a dentist. If you’re an architect and engineer, it doesn’t matter to me if you’re a chemical engineer, can I coach your business? Yes, all day long. It does. 

 

I just does not matter. Because a business has to provide service to its clients, it has to take care of its employees, we have systems for that. I chose to focus on cabinetry. 

 

But then I would get business questions from GCs and other trades more and more. They were listening to the show. And I realized I’m not really serving them. So I started the profit tool belt podcast. At this point in time, both of these shows are like, I don’t know. 

 

If I if I get it wrong, it’s by accident seven and eight years old or not eight and nine years old, long time. But profit tool belt is for anybody in the contracting trades, whether it’s residential, commercial, civil or institutional. And it’s the business of the contracting business. 

 

Anthony: And what would people hear listening to your podcast? Who are the types of folks that you’re interviewing and what kind of content are you covering? 

 

Dominic: To be honest, I interview people like you. I’m so glad I met you today, right? We’re talking about wealth creation. We’re talking about time management team, how to estimate properly. You know, one of one of the more popular things that you know, because I give free downloads to add value to people. There’s this thing called the I want a raise script and system. And you have to see it in real life to understand it. But it happened to me when I was running one of my companies is I’m walking across the floor, and bunch of guys are having lunch and they’re sitting on pallets and boxes and stuff like that. And the new kid turns around, he goes, Hey, Dom, you feeling generous today? And I’m like, Hey, Jeremy, what’s up? He goes, How about that raise? And he was the new kid, and he wasn’t even doing that great. 

 

Well, suddenly, everybody turns around like, you know, when a dog hears a funny noise and the ghost, huh? My whole crew turned around, they were like, Yeah, Rubino, you feeling generous? And so I didn’t have a system in place for how to deal with when somebody just asks or demands for a raise. And by the way, I can’t remember exactly, but I lost two employees because of that one dumb, dumb comment. Because it opened up the floor to that. And so now we have a system. So I share those systems all the time. 

 

Anthony: So what is that system now for when somebody asked for a raise? 

 

Dominic: In advance, you have a simple system. And the simple system is here’s the expectations for working in this company, not for your job. The expectations for working in the company attitude, time management, contribution team. And it’s, it’s a download. So it goes through the eight or nine different categories. 

 

But what’s interesting, it doesn’t matter which technical job you’re doing, whether you’re a roofer or you’re an HVAC or you’re doing cabinetry, it’s all about what makes you part of the team. And then they get to self score themselves. And then they give that to me. And we only deal with the variance if they scored themselves a five out of five on something. And I think they’re one out of five. Now we have something to talk about. Everything else that we agree on, we just agree. Right. But there’s a system in place for that. And then there’s some other systems too, that dovetail. 

 

Anthony: How often does that evaluation take place? 

 

Dominic: Depending on your company, you want to do it every year or every six months. But you have to set that pace because there are expectations from humans that if I get a review, there should be a raise. And that’s not necessarily the case. So we also have to build that into the culture of our company. That you know, when our raises warranted. And, and you just have to set the expectations your company for what works for you for when that is or isn’t going to happen. 

 

Anthony: So it sounds like that guy, the that loudmouth guy who Jeremy like, darn Jeremy, he put you on the spot, but it helped to flush out, you know, a little gap in what your systems were. And so you, you recognize that you patched it up. 

 

Dominic: So those are the things people listen for. You know, we, we generally, generally business owners have questions or frustrations or bottlenecks in the areas of time, time management, team, which we just talked about, like your people, money, and all the flavors of money, you know, including estimating and profitability, exit strategy, growth strategy, wealth strategies, and then also marketing and sales. And to a certain extent, all, well, not to a certain extent, all of those are a spider web. 

 

It’s everything touches something else. And so when you are working with a business coach, they should be able to walk you through your own path for recreating your web the way you want it. 

 

Anthony: Let’s talk about your book for a little bit. We got construction millionaire secrets, which I see is on Amazon. For four and a half star rating, that’s awesome. But you can also get it, I think, just for free plus shipping on your site, right? That’d be a better place for people to pick. 

 

Dominic: Oh, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. You know, Amazon sells it that way. But most people that find out about it, most people that find me find me through the podcast, and they do the free plus shipping thing, because it I guess there’s a little closer connection with me than through, you know, Jeff Bezos. 

 

Anthony: Well, and I think if you get it through your site, there’s a couple of new chapters. Yeah, are those in the the one on Amazon? 

 

Dominic: Yeah, no, so the new chapters are coming. Right. So the new chapters are new. It hasn’t been put on Amazon yet. And the new chapters are time management and estimating. And, you know, there’s 20 construction millionaire secrets. And I learned these by listening, by being a business coach, but in construction trailers on oil rigs, like in boardrooms on lots of Zoom calls, and not just where I live all over the world, New Zealand, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, in the States, down in the South, in the North, East West, and then in Canada. And what’s interesting is we all think we’re the only ones doing bold remediation or slabjacking or roofing or HVAC. No, they’re doing the same thing in Brazil, and they have the same challenges, they just have those challenges in Portuguese. 

 

But we tend to think in our own city, we’re the only ones with that problem. But you start to see consistencies and the consistencies quite often come back to attitude, the attitude of the business owner. 

 

Anthony: And so in your book, are you talking more about the attitude and the mindset kinds of things? Or are you talking more about the specificity of like the hands on issue that they’re having with the particular trade? 

 

Dominic: No, more, more the mindset of the owner. For instance, one of the secrets is construction millionaires train everybody the same. So if you’re it doesn’t matter if you’re running a company that builds high rises, or single family homes, and it doesn’t matter if that’s in the Southern United States or Northern British Columbia, Canada, they train everybody the same. So the CFO comes into the company, they get training on what’s our values, what’s our vision, what’s our goals? How do we do what we do? 

 

What makes us unique? Oh, and by the way, here’s the stuff you need to know about being the CFO. But they bring in somebody who’s a laborer. And they say, Here’s our values, here’s our vision, here’s our mission, here’s what we do. Here’s how we serve our clients. And by the way, here’s the expectations on the job site. So they train everybody the same, they don’t act like the CFO doesn’t need training. And they don’t act like the laborer doesn’t need training. We need to tell people what our expectation is for the company, because how how we do things is what makes us different. 

 

Anthony: That’s great. Don, let me ask you something else kind of shifts in gears. I’m curious, maybe an assumption or belief that you held in life that later proved to be incorrect. Maybe what you learned from that process, you think of a good example there? 

 

Dominic: Oh my gosh, probably situationally. Come at that. Maybe ask me a different way. Is there a something I maybe something? 

 

Anthony: Yes, something you used to believe as fact something that was sort of a guiding principle for you or maybe a misconception that you had and then through years of experience and wisdom, you’re looking back, you’re like, Well, I see that a lot differently now. 

 

Dominic: You know, the first thing that comes to mind, I don’t know if this if you asked me this 10 times and 10 different interviews that might come out with a different answer. But the first thing that came to my mind is my relationship with numbers. Because I’m not naturally and I’m not a numbers focused guy. I love operations, but it’s the data in the numbers I used to I used to ignore it a lot. And what I found is that measuring my key numbers and looking at them on a regular basis was increasingly important. 

 

And my trick, you want to know my inside trick for that is I’ll set in a meeting with somebody else in my company specifically to review the numbers, not so much that they need to, but I need to and when we start talking about the numbers, the actions just float to the top. I like that. 

 

Anthony: What is a fun fact some people might not know about you. Nothing you don’t get to talk about very often just because it doesn’t come up. I love fishing and hunting. 

 

Dominic: So a couple, it’s all I really love both of those things. But a couple of years ago, I came up with this idea with my buddies and I said, Hey, guys, every year, one of us is going to choose a different place to go fishing somewhere in the world. And then the rest of us are going to go there. So last year, we went to Molokai for bonefish fly fish for bonefish. 

 

I think this year, my buddy, it’s his turn. And so we are going to other Louisiana or South Texas for redfish. In previous years, we’ve gone for salmon and other things. So it’s that you know, I just I love being in the outdoors. I crave being in the forest. I pick mushrooms. I hunt I fish, you know, I know how to start a fire like nine ways. You’d never know it. But yeah. 

 

Anthony: What’s the best way to start a fire? A match. All right, what’s the fifth best way? 

 

Dominic: It’s cool on TV. It’s where you’ve got a bow drill and you’re trying to get your foot on the thing, you’ve carved the notch and which wood is it that takes forever? Oh my gosh, I don’t know how we evolved. But you know, but it’s also fun to do those things. You know, when you’re in the forest and I love teaching my son, I love having him out there. Him, my dad and myself, it’s excellent time for us. My son just got his first elk last year, which is a big deal. 

 

Yeah. And where do you live? You’re in Vancouver, Canada. So we were hunting in northern British Columbia. And that was probably the hardest hunt I’ve ever done just from like an admin standpoint. It’s hard because you have to get access to agricultural land from farmers that didn’t know me. Okay. 

 

Anthony: Yeah. Because elk isn’t available in traditional. 

 

Dominic: Oh, it is. Yeah, it is. But there’s a special draw there for youth. And so my son was 14 at the time. And so the the thing that helped me unlock the key to getting access to big farms was Crown Royal. Oh, whiskey. Yeah, you know what? 

 

It’s so funny, Anthony. It’s asking for referrals. So I went up with a fly in to northern British Columbia, and then we rented a truck. And it’s the same truck they used to work the oil patch, right? 

 

That that that just kind of white Ford F 150 all lifted up and stuff. I only had one name. And we were booked there for 10 days to try and get my son and elk. We went to the liquor store, I bought some Crown Royal, a bunch of cards at the dollar store and wrapping paper, we went to the first guy that I had the name for. And I said, Hey, how are you? He goes, I don’t have any elk here. 

 

They don’t come down till it’s later. And I said, Well, no problem. Let’s just stop by. And so anyways, I hand him the bag and he right away, these are cowboys, right? Ranchers and cowboys puts his hand inside. He goes, You know, I don’t have any elk, but you should meet my cousin. And I’m like, I should meet your cousin. So I go to his cousin’s ranch. 

 

Same thing Crown Royal. He’s like, you know, there’s a buddy of mine from down at the feedlot, she probably visit him. I’m like, I should. And so about nine bottles of Crown Royal 

 

Anthony: later, you just 

 

Dominic: kept leveling up with, with just keep asking just keep asking my son, oh, we my son gave the handwritten card in the dollar store, you know, gift bag with the fluff, you know, with that paper sticking out of it, and he would hand them the bag and they’re like, Oh, thanks, son, you didn’t have to do that. 

 

They pick it up and Tevi the cradle later put their hand there like, you know, you should talk to my aunt. She’s single now. She’s got a cabin way over yonder. You’re like, we should go talk to your aunt. Yeah. 

 

Anthony: You know, my friend, John Ruhlin wrote the book called giftology. He’s sort of the master gift giver. And one of the things that he talks about is, you know, so many times, people give, you know, Chatsky’s like this that have, you know, their company name on it. He’s like, find something of true value that person and personalized for that person. 

 

You know, so he does a lot of things that are like inscribed with that person’s name, or you know, something that’s memorable to that person. I think he would get a real kick out of your leveling up with whiskey story there. You might have to put that on a future book. But how about some mentors or books that have been particularly helpful in shaping your trajectory? 

 

Dominic: Oh, this is gonna, you know what? The older I get, the more I realize my dad’s my mentor. You got to imagine a guy that came with nothing. Really nothing. And doesn’t even speak the language here well, because he just completely subsumed himself into work. 

 

He only has one hobby. That’s us. And, and you know, not to take away from my mom, same thing. But that’s definitely a mentor for me, you know, do the right thing. 

 

If you got your word is it give your word, keep your word. And then, you know, obviously, I’ve gotten to work with Brian Tracy. But I’ve gotten to work with, you know, he’s a famous name. But what about people that aren’t famous, you know, like, I hang up my buddies inspire me. You know, they really do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t hang out with them. Let’s call out a couple. 

 

Yeah, sure. So we’ve got a bunch of guys named Marty, for some reason, we’ve got Marty Park, who’s the first guy I met in business coaching. He’s a great coach in Calgary. One phone call with him added 12 million to that pharmacy business. 

 

Anthony: Oh, we got to hear about that. Yeah. 

 

Dominic: Well, I was calling him and moaning and beefing about something that had happened in the economy. And he goes, Well, why are you just selling to the States? You know, I’m summarizing a big phone call with a lot of mockery aimed at me, right? That’s how it goes with Marty. And, and what do you mean? He goes, Well, you’re only selling to the state. 

 

So are there any other countries you could sell to? And I was like, Anglind, I guess, because we’ll go check it out. And so we did. And that was a 12 million dollar lift just by expanding into the British market. 

 

Well, that’s not a genius move, but the perspective of somebody who cared enough to say, Why are you limiting yourself? You know, then I’ve got Martin Hunter. So another Marty, Martin Hunter is a great friend of mine. He actually wrote the forward to the book. He is a guy that can’t talk about big chunks of his past because he was special forces. So he’s got that, that mindset of being able to assess very complex situations and simplify them. And he walked me through a situation we just had here a couple of weeks ago, where we got socially engineer hacked. 

 

So we didn’t get hacked in your traditional sense, we got socially engineered, hacked. And not that he talked me off the ledge, but we were having a strategic conversation about what to do tactically. I’ll just say that. And he was like, Okay, let me repeat back what I heard. Boom, boom, boom, boom. Boom. Yep. These are the facts. 

 

Yep. If you present it like this, this is going to be the outcome. I was like, Yeah, he goes, these, you know, this is your, what’s the worst possible outcome? Boom, boom, boom. What’s the best possible outcome? Anything. You just feel good after conversation like that. The actions are very easy to take when it’s laid out like that. 

 

Anthony: You know, that situation that you worked through, are there lessons that you can share? And I don’t know how much you want to say about what happened, but maybe some guidance to others to not fall into a similar trap? 

 

Dominic: Yeah, you know, I didn’t, I feel like I didn’t do my due diligence enough on this subcontractor. And I don’t want to name names because I would just give them credence and they don’t deserve it. But I thought I had everything in place. And I didn’t. 

 

They came in through an admin password on a website and they actually emailed my entire database and said Dom’s a scoundrel. They didn’t use those words. They said, Hey, be aware. And you know, actually, the nice thing that came from that was people and some of them I’d never spoken to before because, you know, obviously, lots of people listen to your show and listen to my you never hear from them. But I got people reaching out going, I just got a weird email. Doesn’t sound like you at all. 

 

And then the people that I do know personally or I work with they’re like, Dom, did you know this email came out? You should probably check into it. It was very genuine. And I’m very protective of my audience, very protective. And I don’t know, I think that came through. So that was kind of nice. But yeah, I still have to deal with a little bit of a little bit of poop. 

 

Anthony: Yeah, right. Dom, I just have one more question for you before I ask it though. I want to do two things real quick. First, if you’re listening and you like this content and who wouldn’t, this was a great interview, please hit the subscribe, like or share button on your favorite podcast out. The second thing I want to do is that there are lots of websites and your book and you’ve got the two podcasts. What’s the best sort of call to action to get people to connect with you? What’s what’s the single best way that people should connect with you? Well, they’re just gonna choose. 

 

Dominic: Yeah, you know, we’re all professional seers who so definitely connect with me on LinkedIn. Let’s just start there. We’re all pros. I know LinkedIn has really gotten a lot of static noise around it in the last couple years. But then if you have any interest at all in the business of business improvement, listen to I would say listen to the profit tool belt one podcast, just just because that’s more generally applicable than the cabinetry one, but they’re both they’re both about the business of contracting. And then, as you mentioned, I did a TED talk, which was had nothing to do with the construction trades. My daughter was being cyber bullied within like days of getting her first cell phone at a Catholic school, like the place you’d think it wouldn’t happen. So that was what my TED talk was about. So if that helps anybody else who’s dealing with cyber bullying or issues with online interactions, that might help people just look it up Dominic Rubino, Ted, Ted talk, and my name will come up. 

 

Anthony: What’s sort of the gold nugget takeaway from that? Because I my kids are young enough where they don’t quite have cell phones yet, but it’s coming very soon. And I hear about this from friends, you know, with kids that are in that age bracket, and they’re like, it’s the kind of thing that we didn’t deal with, you know, as we were kids growing up, what, what, what kind of advice can you get? 

 

Dominic: I mean, so many little pieces of advice, but I’ll tell you the end story of the whole TED talk is we did a vision board with the kids and they’re kids, right? So their version of what a vision board in itself is pretty funny. 

 

But having understanding that there’s something bigger or greater is important, and doing the right thing is important. And, and that’s what my wife and I did. My wife is a genius in this whole interaction. 

 

And I talk about a little bit in the TED talk. But I would say that and then just just open communication with the kids. I mean, if I see my kids walk by in the hallway, and we’ve been together all day, I’m gonna still give my hug and a kiss. 

 

Those are my kids. I mean, that’s nothing better in my life than to be surrounded by family. And for people who don’t have that in their lives or didn’t grow up with that, my heart goes out to you. But now is the time to start in your family. Great message. Thank you for that. 

 

Anthony: Okay, last question for you down. I’m curious in what you’re doing now in this coaching business industry, like, where do you see things evolving in the next five years? What do you think the changes are coming? 

 

Dominic: You know, I see the world through my lens. So people will have other, other views on this. I’ve seen the economy go up and down. And business coaching has remained strong throughout up and down economies. The thing that changes is the question from the business owners, right? 

 

The questions change during a down economy, but they’re still asked. And if you think about the Knights of the Roundtable, the reason that the King and I know the Knights of the Roundtable is a made up story, but the reason they’re there is they’re advisors to the King. Every strong leader has advisors. They don’t have to listen to everything. They have to listen to everything they say that they don’t have to act. And so strong leaders always seek wise counsel, always, you simply cannot do it on your own. You can’t see your own blind spots. So that being said, I think that the gap that we’re seeing now in people that are like really doing really well in business and building multi generational wealth, you know, they’ve gone from renting their space to buying their building. 

 

And then they bought their building and they bought the neighbors building and then they’ve got this contract, those guys are getting business coached. There’s the people who are saying, Well, I don’t need your help. I don’t need anybody’s help. Did this all myself. I agree. 

 

You did do it all yourself. And at a certain point, you know, Tiger Woods has a coach, Tom Brady has coaches multiple, you know, these guys have multiple coaches, not because they’re not great, because they want to be greater. And so, you know, look at those analogies and say, Well, what can I learn in business about that and apply it? 

 

Anthony: And so do you think the the space of business coaching is going to become even more prevalent amongst high earners? 

 

Dominic: Yeah, absolutely. It already is. So most of the high earners or high achievers have business coaches, whether they tell you about it or not. So we actually hold confidentiality very high here. 

 

We don’t talk about client names unless we have specific allowance to do so. But most people don’t know they have a business coach. And in the background, they are just lining up Lego block after Lego block and building and building and nobody, you know, everybody look at them like, I don’t know how he got that contract. Why does he always get the best employees? Well, that guy’s got it all figured out wonder what happened there? 

 

Maybe dad’s money? No, they’re just sticking to their knitting and every you know, imagine if you made 52 small changes in your business a year, one a week. After the first year, you might not notice it. But after the second year, that’s 100 and some odd changes like wow. Things get exponential. Big stuff, big stuff from small changes. 

 

Anthony: Dom, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate you sharing your story. I’m gonna have you on my show. I can’t wait. I look forward to it. Folks, that’s a wrap on another episode of the inspired stories podcast. Thanks for learning with us today.