EP: 009 – The Art of Empowerment: The Key to Productivity and Success

Home / Episode / EP: 009 – The Art of Empowerment: The Key to Productivity and Success

Are you looking to create a thriving landscape company that not only delivers exceptional results but also fosters a vibrant and supportive culture? In this episode of "Roots of Success," we have a heartfelt conversation with Danielle Padilla & Michaela Rivas from The Padilla Group. They share their journey from starting in a humble garage to establishing a successful company that feels like family. Explore the challenges of delegating tasks, empowering employees, and finding the balance between maintaining control and promoting growth. Join us as we dive into the secrets behind building a landscape company with a corporate feel and a family-like atmosphere.


Empower others to take ownership and succeed

Key Moments:

[00:04] How to stay focused on impactful landscape projects

[05:12] The recession leads to appreciation for maintenance and recurring revenue

[10:25] Fear of judgment and overcoming perfectionism

[14:50] Taking action on a long overdue projects

[23:02] Embracing new opportunities and finding joy in taking risks

[27:30] How challenges in Sales and Operations uncovered the need for additional production help

[32:45] the importance of collaboration and feedback in ACE Peer Groups

[36:20] How to use May to maximize earnings

[42:10] The significance of empowerment and a familial work environment.


    1. How to succeed in the landscape construction industry
    2. How to overcome perfectionism and self-doubt in work
    3. How to delegate tasks and empower employees
    4. How to build a successful family-oriented culture
    5. Balancing sales and operations in landscape management
    6. Enhancing time management skills for landscape business owners
    7. Navigating the challenges of letting go and delegating control
Episode Transcript
Tommy Cole: Hey there. Welcome to Roots of Success podcast. I'm Tommy Cole, your host with McFarland Stanford. I've got an awesome dynamic duo out all the way from California. I'm super pumped. McKayla and Danielle from the Padilla Group and Northern California. And it's good to have you on. How are you? Danielle: Very good. How about you? Hey, Tommy. Tommy Cole: We're great. I just wanna start off real quick and lay the ground rule real quick. I'm in my home [00:01:00] studio. It's awesome. I love it. You can see my beautiful background in my family, but we have no ac so if you see real close, my hair's blowing in the wind because I've got fans underneath that are blowing. But I will tell you, I'm not stopping, I'm still doing this because I'm determined and we're not rescheduling because you just have to deal with the the speed bumps along the way. Right? Danielle: That's right. That's right. Yes. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Introduction Tommy Cole: So here we're, so ladies, introduce yourself and figure what is Padilla Group and help us out understand what you guys do up there in California. Danielle: Padilla Group actually originated in the eighties when my dad started. Well, Padilla Landscape. Originated in the eighties when my dad started the business and he started out of the garage, then eventually, you know, built it up to a storage unit and then evolved to a warehouse. Fast forward to 2013, they decided to [00:02:00] retire and we, my brother and I at that time, decided to start our own company. But we didn't wanna just be landscape maintenance. We wanted janitorial parking lot sweeping and landscape maintenance. So that's kind of where it was built from there. And following that , I worked with my brother for a couple of years and then he decided to leave he wanted to do high-end residential construction and we were just a strictly maintenance company following that. After he left Michaela and I did it for a couple, or excuse me, I did it by myself for a little bit, and then Michaela jumped in, in, in what year? Michaela: 2019, I came back. So in the midst of Danielle: it I, in Michaela: 2008 I joined Padilla Landscape as an admin and then became an account manager. In 2014, I started to get an itch right around when her and her brother took over the business. I started getting itch. I was always communicating to Danielle, like, do I wanna go back to school? I don't know what it was. So I did take it hiatus, is what I like to call it. Danielle. It was a little, yeah. Danielle used to [00:03:00] call it my sabbatical or something like that. Yes, that's exactly what I called it. Yeah. Yeah. So yes, time off. Yes. I took five years out of the industry. I went into recruiting and tech sales. So in in San Francisco I started to realize I wanted to start a family. Danielle had every like one and a half years she would text me, message me message, yeah. Or email me and Yeah. Yes. Are you ready to Danielle: come back? What was that? Yeah. And Michaela: in 2019 something happened and in me, and I was like, I can't do this grind anymore. I wanna start a family and I messaged her and it, the stars kind of aligned. Yep. I came back as a contractor in regards to how to do certain things that Danielle had always had the vision for, but never had the time to implement. Yeah. So, and then as the, that year started to wrap up right after Covid hit, we started to talk about more about, 'cause before it was, the conversation was. [00:04:00] Working for me. Right. And now, and then at, in 2020 it was Danielle: let's have work together. Michaela: Working, yeah, yeah. Working with her and together as a, as partners. So, Danielle & Michaela: yeah. Danielle: Mm-hmm. So here we are and still grinding, you know, doing the landscape maintenance, building that up the janitorial and the parking lot sweeping. So Tommy Cole: So your brother was like, I like construction and maintenance is boring, right? Transistion in Ownership Danielle: Yeah. Like he, he didn't, yeah, he just was like, SIS, I love you, but I'm out. And I'm like, okay. So I did it for a while, but it's hard, you know, being that transition from going from the background. 'cause he was always the face of the company, him and my dad. And then when my dad retired, my brother decided he didn't want it. I had to transition to become the face of the company. And that was, I was a difficult change, you know, especially I think naturally I'm an introvert and then once I'm comfortable I can be an extrovert. But that was definitely something I had Tommy Cole: about, so the transition from your dad, right? It probably, he probably ran things differently, like [00:05:00] a lot differently. And then you had to like grab a hold of it somehow and turn it around, but yet, put your own stamp on that. What, how was that transition like? Danielle: Well that was so my parents did a lot of paper stuff and when we, my brother and I took over, or when we established P g I. We basically did the same thing. We took those same processes and then just applied it with our company. It wasn't really until he left that I, I was forced to make a decision and bring technology into the company, and that was something that I really wanted to do. But when you're running something by yourself, it's hard to implement and try to try to do things. Yeah, so it was great. Like Mikayla mentioned, our. Stars aligned and she was available. So she helped us implement while I worked in, she worked on, and then fast forward a couple years later, now we're both like, you know, in the peer groups and it's really [00:06:00] freeing up time to allow me to work on the business as well instead of, you know, in it, still working in it. Baby steps here, baby steps. But yeah, definitely on my way out. Shared Leadership Roles Tommy Cole: I love it. I love it. So two people running the business, that's always a little bit gray, right? And here, here we go. You know, as as I work with clients all over the country most of us are all single owners, right? But then you also have this sort of dual, or sometimes there's three owners, maybe even four, but like, explain that sort of transition of like two people at the helm, but then trying to figure things out. And I know things have, you, you guy, you're, you're trying everything right and see what works and. What doesn't work, but that's been a bit of a learning curve, right? Not to say that you've done everything right, but that's, you know, who handles what. Tell, talk about that. Danielle: So I think it's really comes really easy to [00:07:00] both of us, because we've known each other since we were, I was, I was 18 or you're 18. So one of us was 18. Michaela: We won't say who, but we know who's older. Okay. Tommy Cole: Well, a Danielle: But yeah, but we've known each other for so long, right. So we're really, I don't really feel like there's that ever that battle with us. Or like, who does what? It's more of what needs to get done, right. Who's stronger at it, and then let's just do it. We, we really haven't come across something, you know, knocking on some wind here, but we really haven't come across. That battle, you know, that maybe other owners do. And usually if one of us feels very passionately about one thing, we will give it time and you know, we'll, we'll come back to the table and, and talk about it later. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Yeah. Michaela: I, I do also think that our, the vision is similar in regards to how we wanna grow. Mm-hmm. We don't need to be the biggest company. We don't need to have 80 employees. We can, we can scale up without, [00:08:00] or. We can scale upwards in regards to numbers and stuff without growing the team so much and, and just building quality versus quantity, right? Yeah. So I think having that alignment there is a Danielle: really, yeah, it was really key. Tommy Cole: Yeah. So explain McKayla, what, what is your role within P G I. Michaela: So I run sales and I also do operations. We. I was listening to, I think your, your episode with Jack Justice and you've mentioned something about a lot of companies as small as us or as big as us, whichever, however you wanna see it. There is probably one or two if that. A sales team. There's not a sales team. There's one or two people. Danielle can run, do so much, and sometimes Joe Padilla will take off his retired hat and come in and help us to give us his knowledge. But in regards to pushing sales, there's no one really to do that. And, and other than myself now, right now, Danielle's trying to get into it too. But there's also a lot of [00:09:00] production help that we need too. So it's kind of wearing multiple hats on that. And then bringing in like the HR side and what I learned in recruiting and HR when I was in tech. So bringing that so that we can create processes and, and procedures and SOPs so that we can take, we can elevate ourselves and bring our the company to the next Tommy Cole: yeah, Michaela: We can't think small mom and pop anymore. We kind of have to be a little bit bigger, right? Tommy Cole: Think big or go home. I love it, Danielle: The goal is to maintain the family feel, but run it with the corporate structure, right? Tommy Cole: Yeah, Danielle, so explain your role. Michaela: Okay. Danielle: So I pretty much run the financials of the business. Mm-hmm. That's my main thing. However, I dabble in a lot of things I shouldn't dabble into. One of my current hurdles is learning to delegate, you know time management, learning to delegate. That's huge for me right now. I think with the peer groups, going back to that That's really helped [00:10:00] me. It's forced me really to make time to work on the business and step away, forcing me to delegate certain things. And we just attended a workshop just last week and we had talked about, you know, Basically allowing somebody else delegating the work, allowing somebody else to do the work. Maybe they don't know it a hundred percent, maybe they know it 80%. Mm-hmm. But it's freeing up time for you. And who knows, maybe they can do it better than you can. And that was a huge takeaway for me because I'm a control freak. You know, I live a chaotic life as it is, and so, Being able to control things is like my thing now. Fast, you know, putting it into my business owner role. I gotta learn to delegate to get more things done. If, if I wanna grow the business or if we wanna grow the business, we definitely have to learn to delegate me more so than her. She's better at delegating. Tommy Cole: Love it. And you touched a sensitive subject, right? I think every single person, especially business owners, can attest to that. I am typically a control freak. I get it. 'cause I'm [00:11:00] somewhat of a perfectionist. I want it done right and you're gonna screw it up. So the best way to move forward is me to do it and move on. So different raising kids. It's if I just do it for them, you know, and pick up their room, life's great. But I can't deal with, I can't do that any longer. I think kids are, are a great lesson in life for you to pay attention to, especially in your business, right? I cannot do everything for everyone. I'll challenge you real quick, Danielle real quick so we can, we can handle this delegate. I don't like the word it's. Danielle: Oh, I think we talked about this. Empower vs. Delegate Tommy Cole: What, what word is better for that? Do you remember? Okay. Not de Danielle: I know we've had this conversation before. Tommy Cole: Empower. Michaela: Oh, that's right. Power. Yes. Yes. Tommy Cole: so, so let's just put a stamp on it on today's date that everything that comes outta your mouth is empower, because that's like encouraging someone in [00:12:00] Empower to own something and run with it. Delegates got. A leg, a little bit of a negative connotation, even though I, I've used it a lot in the past, but empowering someone just sounds like, man, I can run through a brick wall for you guys. I'm, let's do it. Right. But, but back to our original story is, is is absolutely like empowering people in your team to take ownership in certain things. And then work with them weekly, monthly, and yearly to hit specific goals. Yeah, I, I couldn't agree more. It's, it's a, it's a, you know, as most of us would attest to it, you know, all owners are such control freaks over everything. It's hard to let go. And I believe in the peer groups, you, you ladies have learned a lot. Like, I'm gonna be gone for a few days. But like things have to keep going. Right. What's one thing that either one of you has sort of like empowered someone to move forward With a task or a certain part of the business? Danielle: I think our, our [00:13:00] field supervisors, we've really, yeah, we have two field supervisors that are amazing. And they. They used to ask a lot of questions, more permission. Can we do this? Can we do, I'm like, I don't know. Can we, you know, you guys gotta turning that, that question to us back to a question to them has really empowered them to start making the decisions out in the field. Instead of calling us and asking, what do you want me to do? They're doing it on their own. So I think that's been huge. We've really. Seen a lot of growth in them as managers probably in the last maybe year to two years. And I, I think that's, that's huge. Michaela: Yeah. I also think explaining like the bigger picture and be having them involved too in why we make certain business decisions. One of our newer admins, she mentioned how she likes to learn is not just the how to do it and when to do it, but Danielle: why do we do it. Mm-hmm. ' Michaela: cause when we're training someone, we're not training them the why, you know? Yeah. And it's like, [00:14:00] but why aren't we? Yeah. So it was, that was really something that I took from her is that it explained the why so that visually she can see. Okay, that makes sense. Yeah. Danielle: You know, so, Tommy Cole: Yeah. And there's a lot of people that are visionary. They need to know what the big effect of this task or this responsibility is. And we work with people all the time that have that, even within the McFarland Stanford team. Yeah. Like me personally, I like to work on big significant projects, but if it's hole punching paper, I'm like, I'm out. I don't care about, I could care less about that. So those little, these smaller tasks are frustrating for me. I want big things like where we are today, right? I want something big and significant and that's got big meetings. So otherwise I'm, I'm lost. I get it. So we, we touched base on this real quick, but maintenance. Why Maintenance? Tommy Cole: So I'm a construction guy. I, that's what I love to do. I love to build big, gnarly, nasty, crazy, insane [00:15:00] projects that no one's whether to tackle. And I did that for a number of years, but when the oh 8 0 9 recession hit. I had a complete totally different outlook on maintenance, and I thought that was actually one of the most, that's why we survived, was because of maintenance and enhancements. And so now, you know, since then I've got a love for maintenance. What, like times 10 and the reoccurring revenue. Like explain to your audience like how powerful that is and why you've chosen that path. Danielle: So we were founded with maintenance originally. My dad started the maintenance side of it. I think the reason I love maintenance so much is I love the customer service. I love being that service provider for my clients that they're looking for. I wanna make their lives easier. So, you know, we don't just look at just the landscape, we look at the asset as a whole. Mm-hmm. I think that's what makes us different from every other landscaper. [00:16:00] So that's like, I guess that's like my true passion for it is really the customer service side of the maintenance. I love the beautification part. Don't get me wrong. I love being out there, but I think it really comes down to customer service and making other people's lives easier is what, why I do the maintenance side of it. What about you? Michaela: No, I, I mean, I, I definitely agree. I think it's our, our strong suit. Obviously parking lot sweeping and port having a day porter or janitorial business is the same thing too. It's, it's maintenance, you know? Mm-hmm. Having that continued relationship with the client to build that trust and that partnership to beautify their to contain and beautify and maintain their, their assets. I definitely think that is somewhere where we excel at the enhancement work or, and construction work is great. 'cause that dollar, when we get that check, it's great, but Oh yeah. Big numbers. Danielle: Yeah. It keeps the lights, maintenance keeps the lights on, right? Michaela: Yeah. So and we've been, we know what we do well. And I think that's where we're shining. So, Danielle: and similar to your [00:17:00] situation, what you described in oh 8, 0 9, my parents' company had a huge construction division. Right. We were up to 102 employees. So I know what it's like to be as little as 13 employees all the way up to 102. I, I understand the difference. But same thing happened, you know, construction was massive and oh 8, 0 9 hit and we just completely shrunk. And it, and it was maintenance really that kept us afloat. It really is. And. You can't, you can't downplay them Without them, I don't think we'd be where we are today. So we're super appreciative of our maintenance Tommy Cole: yeah. It's great. You know, the reoccurring revenue, right? It's always coming in you know Nothing's more satisfying to me than just the continuation of taking care of facilities and properties like, you know, to see the transformation when you take over something through the months and years of your, your hard work and the upkeep of it, just the value just increases tenfold, right? Longevity of Team Members Tommy Cole: So plus it's just rinse and repeat all the [00:18:00] time, over and over, and the consistency. Is great for, for business. What sets apart p g I from sort of like maybe your competitors or people in your area? Michaela: I, I'm gonna jump in because this is where, and I know she's passionate about this too, is we have longevity, we are very, very blessed to have a lot of our employees be with us for so long. We have multiple two employees. 20 years. Yeah. Yeah. One employee 30 years, one employee, two employees 20 years, and another one coming up on 20 years next year. So, or yeah, this year coming up, so, I think that, and the, even, even our employees that are, have only been with us for a year I feel like the, we show them that it's a family type of business. Yeah. With that corporate feel, you know, we we do our best to create a culture that is about family. I know people these days are rotting or Our downplaying on, we're a family company. But it's [00:19:00] like, I love that, but that's what this business was founded on. Yeah. You know, Joe Padilla and Rita Padilla, they, they found the business as a family and that's, we don't wanna take away from that. And yeah, we tru I, when we went to to grow and we visited summit. Yes. Summit, those guys when they said, not only are we we have, you know, we have three, five employees. Not only are we affecting 35 employees' lives, we've got all of their families as well. And that's definitely something we think about every Danielle: decision. Yeah. We think about not just the employee, but who it impacts down that line. Right. Yeah. It's, it's huge for us. Mm-hmm. You know, and for our employees to feel that it's, it's important for Tommy Cole: longevity and is a big deal, especially in the last few years where other industries are competing with our employees. How, Yeah. how do you keep those people around for such a long time? It's, it's so incredibly hard when sometimes. The grass is greener on our side, and I [00:20:00] know one specific example where someone left and potentially is coming back, but like, how do you keep those people together? It's so incredibly hard. Danielle: So I think for us it is always keeping that open door with them. Whenever somebody leaves, I, I always tell my guys or girls, you know, if there's an opportunity knocking at the door, I want them to make the best decision for themselves, best decision for their families. At the end of the day, that's what I care about. I care about. How well they do as a person. And I think when you look at the employee as a person before you look at at them as an employee, I think that sets the difference right there. And that's huge because I mean, I will tell every employee that exactly that, go do what's best for you guys and if it doesn't work out, you're always welcome home. And that's what I say. And for that particular employee. Well, also, Michaela: like I'm a prime example of that too, right? I was here 2008, 2014 and 2 20 19. I messaged her when I was in the [00:21:00] figuring out kind of mode and here we are. Yeah. You know, who knew that that was gonna happen? But yeah, that particular employee, we got great news, Tommy, he's coming back. He's coming back next week. So, Tommy Cole: Yes. Yeah. So explain to our audience kind of what happened. Very high level, but high. What happened? Danielle: Go ahead. Michaela: You can tell he's a irrigation tech and we know those are skilled employees and Yes. And he's was he's 30 years, yeah. Yeah. 30 years with us. So, or 20 years. Excuse me. 20 years. Yeah. He had an opportunity that came up in May, the beginning of our peak season, and he said I'm gonna make x, y, Z dollar amount, which is a lot. But they were a union type of company, a company that ran union jobs. They also had a maintenance side. So when they were working maintenance, they would, they would get paid their regular wage, excuse me. Mm-hmm. And then the union jobs would be union. But for whatever reason we kept in contact with him. He sometimes would work Saturday jobs for us when we were getting so busy. [00:22:00] And I think it was just the con, constant contact with him and saying, how are you? And I did see him one day, he came in the office and I gave him a hug and. I don't know if it was what it is and what the reason was. And like I mentioned to you Tommy in our call was that I don't think I wanna ask, I just wanna, I want him to be happy here. Yeah. So I wanna nurture that here. Yeah. So, so yeah. We got the good news on Friday of last week. Yeah. Tommy Cole: That's amazing. I, you know, I remember us talking over the last few months of how difficult it was, but if you remember our conversation, we were like, this is what's best for him and his family. And you know what you have to understand that as an owner and know that you're there for 'em. You understand? You gotta take the high road and You know what, is there work in the future? Yeah. You always have a home here and that's how you leave it with the people and and that you guys did it. You know, you always have a home and you know what? You can't discount the person just wanting [00:23:00] to try other things. Right. I mean, where we've all been. Right. Even McKayla's, just like, I'm out, I'm back. Michaela: I. Tommy Cole: Speaking of Daniella, she's always communicating with you like, Hey, how's it going? It's not, Hey, you coming back? Hey, are you coming back? Hey, are you coming? You know, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Like people are just people and humans are humans, and you gotta understand that side. Yeah, is non landscape, right? That's the, the people side. Danielle: The people business. Yes, yes. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Danielle: Yeah. Peer Groups Tommy Cole: That's our number one asset the people. Well, the Congratulations. That's great. I'm, I'm super happy for, for you two. So explain to me, you've been in a peer group for not even a year, right? Right. Mm-hmm. Explain that sort of like commitment, like, [00:24:00] hey, let's do this. We met you, both of you What in OC November. And he jumped right in. You know, you, you're a little new and fresh, but it's gotta be great so far. How, how was that decision to jump into it? so I think Danielle: initially, It was, let's go see. Well, we've gone to grow, right? So we've gone, this is our second, second, third. It was Danielle & Michaela: our Michaela: third year. This year. Danielle: Yeah. Okay. So three years we've gone to grow. And we were like, okay, peer groups. Peer groups. In the beginning we're like, we're not ready for that. We're not ready for that. And then it was this year that we finally were just like, okay, we're. I think we might be ready for that. I, yeah, I also think Michaela: like commitment issues in regards to that for a while. Like, I'm not gonna throw anyone under the bus, but commitment issues over here. One of those like, are you sure that you wanna, we like, I know, I think we're ready, but. Are you sure that this is the commitment you wanna take on? You know, because it's, it's not, it's a big, it's a big deal. It's a big investment, but it, that's what, it's an investment in our business and and where we wanna take the Danielle: business. [00:25:00] So, yeah. Yeah. So I think having that conversation, her and I, then we talk to peers that we meet at Grow. Right. And I think that was like something for us. We just came back, you know, we're big on faith, so we prayed about it and we decided, you know what? We're ready. Let's do it. So, Here we are in August. Yeah. And we, we joined in, in November. We've gone to a couple different field trips, right? Mm-hmm. And I think between those and the monthly sessions, it's. I mean, it's invaluable. It really is. Being able to go to a other, another company and seeing what they're doing, to have to see those similarities between your company and their company and, and on the outside looking in, I think you get a different perspective. It makes you wanna come home and say, I'm doing that. I need to fix that, or they're doing it this much better. We can do that too. We need to fix that. I think there's a lot of like light bulbs that go off when you do that. Along with our monthly meetings, I think [00:26:00] they're huge. They, they, they hold us accountable to ourselves, you know, and I think that's, that's Tommy Cole: yeah. It's. Michaela: I also think I, I like the, the collaboration. Yeah, for sure. It's not just about the, the, the meetings we have, but we every, all the peer groups have chats and ours is pretty bustling. I I think, I don't know if it's for sure, but I think it's pretty bustling. Me and might, yeah. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Michaela: So and we, we have very honest people in our peer group. I'm not gonna call anyone out because they know who they are. But we also really, with that honesty, is that honesty that no one's gonna tell you. Yeah, some people might tell you, but some people might and they may beat around the bush. But it's, it's good feedback whether it's It's gonna be hard to hear or not. Yeah. But there's also really great constructive criticism as well too. Yeah. So and sometimes it's, it's like that was freaking amazing and not criticism. Right. So there's a lot of empowering and also and bouncing ideas off of each other. Yeah. And we have, yeah, we [00:27:00] have a lot of fun. That, that Tommy Cole: No, they're great. It's just it's good to see that everyone else is going through struggles, right? You feel, are we the only company that is screwing everything up or has it, you know, you're like, wait a second, everyone's. Got the same junk, right? We all have it. And so, and some people do really good things and something people need to work on a lot of things. And then they just put everyone together and you're like but that's great to meet and mingle and talk about things, but then when you're not meeting, we're talking about things that we're working on, right? So there's this, that, that accountability piece. And at the end of the day, whatever you put in is what you get out, right? So if you're not gonna. That is so true. Danielle: Yes. Tommy Cole: So, Danielle: You know a lot of times when, you know, before we joined the peer group, McKayla and I would meet and we'd attend the big conferences, and then we'd come back and we'd have our monthly meetings to go over everything. What's nice with the peer group [00:28:00] is you're doing the same thing, but you're being held accountable to somebody other than just yourself. You know? And that's good because you have that person that calls you out. Or if you forget about something, like today, me using the word delegate you have someone to remind you to use. To do other things or, you know, conversations that you had in the past, which is great. So it, it's really, it is really a blessing and it's a great investment for anybody. Mm-hmm. Who is thinking about doing it. It's a great investment for them to Women in Landscaping Tommy Cole: Well, good. I'm glad you guys jumped in. It's been a, it's been a thrill for so far. We're so early in In our careers that we've got a, got a lot of work to do, but a lot of fun to be had. So one of the questions I wanna ask is women in the industry. I love it. And this is my second recording with, with women and I love it. And I think it's awesome. They bring such a better dynamic than most men. And I so encourage it. How do you, [00:29:00] how do you feel like in the industry, I mean, Danielle, you've been in it mostly like most of your life. Like Yeah, does it feel? I Danielle: I think in the beginning when, and we kind of touched on this before in the beginning, I'm wondering like, what the hell am I doing here? You know, Tommy Cole: are anyone? Danielle: I'm. Yeah. Yeah. It's like what am I, what's going on? And and why, why are you here? Is, is, but I would always think that people are thinking when they're looking at me. What's that? The imposter syndrome. Yeah. The impost, yeah. Thing. Michaela: Yeah. Danielle: Mm-hmm. And so that was one thing. And then also being as young as I was when I did enter in as you know, one of the main leaders of the company. I think that was another thing that like, was a little nerve wracking for me. But today if you ask me how I feel I feel fine. Like, I feel like one of the, one of the team members, you know, I, I definitely feel part of the group or the industry and so go ahead. Bringing Michaela: something to the [00:30:00] table. It's, everybody has something to bring to the table. You. Feel like you do or not? You, you probably do. Yeah. So we all have to learn from within each other, from, from other people. I was, we were at that seminar last week and somebody had said some something like, we're, we may be competition, but that's not how we think of it. Mm-hmm. We really see, like, we go to these landscape association chapters meetings here and we're, we collaborate, it's the same thing as a peer, similar to a peer group, but we don't. Yeah, we may be bidding similar jobs, but in the end we're like, we have to learn from each other and root for each other. Yeah. So I think the females in the industry, I think they're doing a great job, like supporting each other. I really see that. That's fantastic. Danielle: Yeah. Yeah. There's not, so there's competitiveness, right. But it's not to that degree, you know? Right, right. Yeah. So I Tommy Cole: You know what's Danielle: different from. Tommy Cole: your peer group has got a lot of women and they're dynamic. They, they will kick the crap out [00:31:00] of the men in those conversations and getting stuff done. I mean, I've seen it, it is like, the calls are just like, I mean, the, the, the claws are out. They're like, we are doing this, and we said we were gonna do. Oh boy, this is, this is greatness. I love it. It, it, it, it just adds a lot of greatness to the industry. And I encourage you know, if, if you're in college or you're in high school this is a career like, and it's a great career. It's customer service, it's beautification of our industry. You're doing really amazing things. And so I once again encourage all the women to choose us as a career as both of you did, right? Danielle: Yeah, I definitely think that it's easily overlooked, right? Especially by, by females. And I think where you need to capture their attention is, you know, middle school and high school, just to a little bit, you [00:32:00] know, it doesn't have to be a lot, but at least just peak their interest. But I definitely think that as a female, this is an overlooked industry and it shouldn't be. It really should. It really should be something to consider. Word of Advice Tommy Cole: I agree. So, words of advice, anyone that's out there, what, what words of advice that business owners, you could pass along and go, man. This would be great. What you got? Danielle: I think listening is my best piece of advice. It really is listening and that applies to your employees. That implies to your customers. Not be so quick to respond and react and listen to make sure that you're capturing everything that needs to be heard. Tommy Cole: I love that. I love that. I used to be thinking of the things to say while you were saying it earlier in my career, right. [00:33:00] And then I would just say stuff and say stuff, and I felt like that was powerful. Now I love to just more listen to things, right? Because one of my subcontractors long time ago, back in the other days of project management he's unfortunately passed away with cancer, but his name was Verne Larman, and he did a, he had a grading, small grading contractor in the Dallas Fort Worth area. That was the one of the best subcontractors I've ever had in my life, ever. And he would, we'll be on a job site and I'm like, Vern, you know, we're doing this and we're screwing up here this, and like, what are we gonna think we're doing here? We gotta get the dirt outta here and we gotta get hauled off and we gotta grade this and we gotta, and he is like, I'm like, Vern, you're not saying anything. You're frustrating me. Like, say something. And he's like, Tommy, I can't, you're just talking too much. Like, I'm listening to your frustration and understanding. When you stop, then I'll speak and I'm like, well say something, and [00:34:00] you're like getting frustrated. But he was so good at just listening and understanding where the, where we were coming from, maybe where the client's from. And he would come up with a solution and I'm like, Vern, you're so just patient and understand to listen. I, I second that. Great. On the fly. Thanks. Do you have anything? Michaela: Yeah. Just not being afraid to put yourself out there. I think that's you. Yeah. Yeah. Not, I will tell you. I'm, I just have a quick story. Before I came back, Danielle would go to these conferences and just eat or go to the conference, learn what she learns, and then eat dinner in a room. Danielle: Don't forget my glass of wine Michaela: and her glass of wine in the room. Have lunch in a room like. By yourself. And it was like totally introvert, Danielle: right? And we would, Michaela: we being that we've known each other since we were young we were all, we, we've always maintained our friendship, right? So we would, I would check in with her and [00:35:00] she'd be like, oh, I'm in Seattle at this conference and I'm in my room. And I'm like, you're not. What do you doing? Tommy Cole: You know? So, Michaela: Yeah, I've told her to Danielle: step out of her, her box. Yes. She, she pushes me out of my comfort zone, which is one thing I think we do really well with each other is she constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone and, and it makes me grow, you know? 'cause obviously when you're uncomfortable, you're growing. And I think that's, that's huge for our relationship. It works Tommy Cole: Yeah. Michaela: And I Tommy Cole: Totally Yeah, she does the both compliment each other very well outta your comfort zone. I'll tell you, this right here is out of my comfort zone. Yeah. You do Michaela: so well, Tommy Cole: but here's the thing. I enjoy just having some, just conversations with people. And so I think it's something that I kind of wanted to do and, but yet what, what scares me is what others think. Right? And then when I'm going, I don't care. I don't care what others think. Like I'm, this is what we should do. Let's go do it. [00:36:00] And then the perfectionism kicks in and it's the quality gonna be good. Are anyone gonna listen? Or all these things of negatives just enter my head. I'm like, wait a second. Should we or should we not? Like we were gonna pull the trigger, like do this six months ago and never did because we're just too busy. Right? We didn't. And then now we're like, we've got to do it. And we just. You know, thanks to the, you know, the specific team members on McFarland team were like, well just go, let's, like, just go. And you know, people will like it. Some people will not like it, and you just keep going and going and you gotta put yourself out there, right, McKayla? And so I, Yeah. I did it and Daniella's doing it and just, you know loving life. So it's great. You know, I, this has been such an awesome pleasure to have you both on. We could probably sit here and talk for for another, for another hour of stories and things. And I'm just proud of your success and [00:37:00] jumping out our comfort zone and working on your business. You know, Danielle, you know, you've been through a lot in the, you know, some personal things going on and. You know, I remember you were like, man, I don't want to make that trip to that peer group meeting. And you did. And one of yeah. that just you didn't want to do and you did it, and it was, it was a great thing. And Danielle: Yeah. That was the first time in the hot seat too. Oh God. I was like, lemme just have my coffee real Tommy Cole: Yeah. It wasn't the morning. Danielle: It was the mor Well, I drink coffee all day long, so you might have got confused. It Tommy Cole: Anyways. Yeah, you and you did very well. We, we learned a. Yeah. Another out of your comfort zone. So Michaela: Oh yeah. Danielle: Yeah. I hate being center of attention. And he threw me right in the middle and I Tommy Cole: where are you sitting next to me. I think you Yes, are you ready? Danielle: You're like, you're going, Danielle, if you didn't volunteer, I was gonna send you there. Michaela: Don't pick me. Don't pick Danielle: me. Tommy Cole: Coffee. Get Danielle: But it was [00:38:00] Yeah, Tommy Cole: that's good. It's been a pleasure. Thank you for joining us. And so maybe we'll make it a tradition every year and talk about some more cool things. Danielle: Sure. Yeah, we'd love to. We'd love to. Tommy Cole: Thank you very much. And we'll see you next time. John: Ready to take the next step? Download our free Profitability Scorecard to quickly create your own baseline financial assessment and uncover the fastest ways to improve your business. Just go to McFarlinStanford.com/scorecard to get yours today To learn more about McFarlin Stanford our best in class peer groups and other services go to our website at McFarlinStanford.com And don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. See you next time on the Roots of Success.