The GoodProfitGroup Story
What's in a name?
The GoodProfitGroup name has come from a life of learning and teaching. Obviously the Good Profit part of the name comes from Charles Koch's book of the same name, as I am under the opinion that the Good Profit book is one of the best business books ever written, and contains the absolute best framework for business success I have ever come across.
Lots of business books cover parts and pieces of the business end of business, but Good Profit is a holistic approach that covers all areas of business, and not only clearly illustrates a clear framework for "Good Profit", but does so with integrity, courage and respect.
As far as the Group part of the name goes, I'm almost ashamed that in all my years of consulting, coaching and mentoring cabinetmakers, it never occurred to me to do something like a peer advisory group that held members accountable to one another. In hind sight, this looks like the missing piece of the puzzle to radically improve a any tradesman's business and business skills.
Throughout the years, I tried all sorts of various methodologies to communicate, teach, coach and mentor cabinetmakers, all in an attempt to help cabinetmakers be better cabinetmakers. To help cabinetmakers make more money now and in the future.
- Way back in 1998, I was one of 5 cabinetmakers who volunteered to setup and serve on the board of directors of the Cabinet Makers Association.
- In 2000, I did my first True32 Training Workshop with Sam Paul and his partner Susan, and have done dozens more since that time.
- Also in 2000, Mark Poole and I developed a True32 Online Forum to provide cabinetmakers a safe place to talk about Full Access/Frameless cabinetry (now a Facebook Group).
- Since around 2004, True32 Corporation has sponsored and hosted dozens of day long to week long learning events.
- Throughout my cabinetmaking career, I have provided cabinetmakers access to my time for remote and onsite consulting.
All those various venues to help, teach, consult, coach and mentor, and the Peer Group and Mastermind formats have managed to elude me. Even being casually exposed to C12 Group in 2015 did not flip the switch for me.
Peer Advisory Group Structure Revealed
After Cabinotch was sold in January of 2020, I needed to find my next adventure, and as God would have it, I stumbled across C12 Group again, and for a minute or two, I thought that might be my next adventure. I went as far as contacting their corporate offices, talking with one of their recruiters, lunch with a local Chair that was also a friend, attended one of the day long peer advisory meetings, and had a fairly long meeting with the local Managing Chair.
When I started to research C12 Group to see if I might want to join their mission, I discovered that there are dozens upon dozens of these organizations (some with a faith element, some not), and was seduced by both the format and the framework. I went on to meet with the recruiters of several other Peer Advisor Group companies, and began to pray, seeking God's blessing or a closed door.
In the end, the splinter in my mind kept coming back to the fact that if I pursued this path, I would most likely not be working with Cabinetmakers anymore, and even the best case scenario would only allow me to work with 3 cabinetmakers (one in each group). In reality, it would probably be zero as it would be local (so no competitors allowed at the table), the minimum company revenue to qualify is $1 million, the minimum employee count to qualify is 5, and the minimum monthly membership dues are $750, going as high as $1,050 if sales are over $8 million.
Answered Prayer-Game on
Then one morning while I was on my face in prayer (my daily attempt to be quiet, still and listening to God), it occurred to me that I should start my own Peer Advisory Group. This would allow me to make the rules, and these rules would not block most cabinetmakers from being a member with both revenue and minimum employee restrictions, and open the idea up to any of the Trades.
That's when the real adventure began. Ideas kept pouring into my mind. Issues we have all dealt with for years seemed solvable inside this framework of weekly and/or monthly meetings with time to think, brainstorm, collaborate and test theories. Not long after I started making notes about what this group might be named (there were about 20 candidates), and how the structure might play out, it also occurred to me that we just might be able to kill two proverbial birds with one proverbial stone.
Two Birds - One Stone
Anytime you spend time with a group of tradesmen, one problem you hear almost every time is getting and keeping good employees, followed by the concern of where these new tradesmen are going to come from. The other unspoken issue is what happens to a brilliant cabinetmaker who can no longer machine, assemble, finish, hardware, deliver and install cabinetry, or any other tradesman that can ply their trade anymore? Or maybe the tradesman's health is good, but his desire to manage a team has waned over the years. Or, maybe he has lost his tolerance for risk. Whatever the reason, he is ready to transition out of the trade in which he has made his living, and in most cases we lose the wisdom contained in that extraordinary mind.
If we take a step back, we also see many tradesmen who never had the opportunity to learn the business side of their trade. In all my years of working with cabinetmakers, the absolute most common path that a cabinetmaker travels is that he worked in the shop of another cabinetmaker, and then for one or several of a myriad of reasons, decided to strike out on his own, the majority of the time with little or no knowledge of marketing, sales, accounting, estimating, design and engineering. All the things that happen in the front office, and the same can be said for the vast majority of the other trades as well.
I think that we can kill these two birds with the single stone of a Peer Advisory Board and/or Mastermind Group by first developing these groups where tradesmen can help tradesmen become better tradesmen, then creating a landing zone for those ready to transition into a less physically and mentally challenging role. In my opinion, the lack of discipline destroys more businesses than any other reason, and the absolute best remedy for a lack of discipline is accountability, and accountability by and with a group of tradesmen that do what you do each and every day has to be the best solution available to this issue (you can fool your husband or wife, but not another tradesman). So this takes care of the first bird, tradesmen helping tradesmen out of the wasteland of mediocrity, building the skills they lack in each other. The ultimate outcome being businesses that can be sold for a premium price when that time comes.
BUT, it also gives these self-same cabinetmakers some options on how that transition from full time cabinetmaker might work. Some might choose to transition slowly by being a part-time cabinetmaker and part-time GoodProfitGroup associate chair. They could build their first associate chair board or group while still participating as a member of their original peer advisory board, then when the time comes to transition out of cabinetmaking altogether, they could begin building their next board or group, and ultimately build three boards and/or groups, possibly making more money in semi-retirement than while they were making cabinets.
Others might want a clean cut, going straight from cabinet manufacturing to being an associate chair and building their own groups. Either way, their cabinetmaking wisdom will not be wasted, and the new generation of cabinetmakers will have access to that wisdom rather than having to learn everything the hardest way possible, which will allow them to achieve higher levels of success, and at a much quicker pace than the typical path of trial and error produces.