Ep 013 – Marty Grunder’s Growth Playbook: Winning Strategies to Propel Your Landscaping Business

Home / Episode / Ep 013 – Marty Grunder’s Growth Playbook: Winning Strategies to Propel Your Landscaping Business

Join us in this eye-opening episode of Roots of Success as Tommy interviews Marty Grunder, the brilliant mind behind Grunder Landscaping Company and The Grow Group. Marty candidly shares his personal journey, highlighting the pivotal moments that led him to shed his ego and embrace new growth strategies. Discover how Marty's commitment to continuous learning and calculated risk-taking propelled his landscape company to unprecedented heights…. And ultimately led to the creation of ACE Peer Groups. Get ready to be inspired and learn how you can take your own company to new levels of success.


Want to Grow? Know when to say ‘NO’.

Key Moments:

[05:01] Marty emphasizes relevance, incremental growth, and hustling.

[09:09] How landscape peer groups help personal growth.

[11:37] Making bold moves for business growth.

[15:09] Business development and  networking for success.

[18:49] Taking things slow, stop  neglecting important tasks.

[23:37] Amazing experiences with landscape business owners

[26:42] Former pros offer relevant advice and experience.

[32:00] Self-reflection is key to personal and professional growth.

[33:30] The REAL magic of ACE peer group.


    1. How do you grow a successful landscape business?
    2. What are the benefits of joining an owner’s peer group in the green industry?
    3. Name some strategies for achieving financial growth and benchmarking?
    4. How to overcome challenges and break through business plateaus?
    5. How to network effectively in the green industry.
    6. How to achieve work-life balance while growing a successful landscaping business.
    7. What’s the impact of mindset and personal development on business growth?
Episode Transcript
Marty Grunder Tommy Cole: Tommy here with McFarlin Stanford we've got another great episode of Roots of Success podcast, and I've got a special guest for all of you out there listening. His name is Marty Grunder and we're super excited to finally nail down his busy schedule traveling the world as a business owner and coach with the Grow Group. So let me do a little small introduction. In case you've been living under a rock these last many years. He's the founder and [00:01:00] CEO of The Grow Group. Also owner of Grunder Landscaping Company in Dayton, Ohio. One of the most successful operations of its kind in the Midwest. The great thing about Marty is he is an active, full time landscape professional. So it makes him super uniquely positioned to deliver real world guidance to the Grow Group clients that are either in private coaching or in peer groups, etc. He's got more than 50 local and national design awards. A two time winner of the Better Business Bureau's Eclipse Integrity Award. Has himself named as Entrepreneur of the Year by both Ernst Young and U. S. Small Business Administration. Also he's an author, The nine super simple steps to entrepreneurial success. And most importantly, he's coached tens of hundreds of landscape professionals across the U. S. and Canada.Welcome Marty [00:02:00] Grunder. Marty Grunder: Tommy, thanks for having me. That's a very nice introduction. I appreciate it. Tommy Cole: You're very welcome. Very welcome. We're super excited and we want to learn so much from Marty. He's got so much experience of lots of failures, lots of trials and errors. And I love the fact that he's got Grunder Landscape to sort of be knee deep and have a lot of things that happened over the course of. a year in a landscape company. The Start of A Multi-Million Dollar Landscape Company Marty Grunder: So let's dive right into it. Most importantly, we want to know about Grunder Landscape in Dayton, Ohio, and how it got started,Probably very similar to all the other landscape professionals that are listening that own their own businesses I grew up on a, what you would maybe call a gentleman's farm. It was just a little piece of property. We had a couple of horses, a little orchard that we grew our own fruit. We had a big garden. I had a go kart that my brother and I would terrorize each other [00:03:00] with. Shared a bedroom with my younger brother and sister. Our grandmother lived with us. Started the business to make money to go to college because. While my parents were both college graduates, they weren't very good with their money, and if we were going to go to college, we were going to have to take a loan or pay for it ourselves, and my folks ended up getting divorced when I was 21, Tommy, and without getting into the whole story, they both were wonderful to me, but most of their arguments were over money, and I'm not going to mislead everyone listening By saying, you know, I use that as my defining moment that I was bound and determined to be successful and make money. It wasn't like that. I just didn't want to have debt. The thought of debt scared the heck out of me. I thought this business would enable me to pay for school and to not take on debt. And I was right. The thing I'm most proud of is that I paid for my entire, entire college education with this company that I still [00:04:00] am a part of today. So, Tommy Cole: Very good. Marty Grunder: you know, there's probably a lot of people watching this nodding their head, like I did the same thing. I just started mowing grass. I didn't realize you could make this much money. I kept working and here we are today. Tommy Cole: I love that fact. You know, you have humble beginnings. I think a lot of us can attribute to that, you know, myself as well. I remember, I remember I had a newspaper route as a kid and my dad has a side job of throwing newspapers. And I'm telling you, I did not do newspapers during the school week because I had school, but Saturday morning, Sunday morning, I'd get up at 3am and go throw newspapers for like three hours in the morning. How many people are working at three or 4am? When they're 13, 14, 15 years old, I eventually got my license and I had my own route and I was driving at, you know, 4 in the morning throwing newspapers. Now some of you on this podcast have no idea what that is, but once upon a time we used to get a newspaper in our driveway and everyone would read it. Marty Grunder: Right. [00:05:00] That was a big deal. Tommy Cole: That was a big deal. So humble beginnings is what makes us to what we are today. That's great. How to Scale to a Million and Beyond Tommy Cole: So you got the business called Grunder Landscaping how did it get to 1 million? I feel like a lot of people are like, you know, you're in the trenches, right? You're you're with the guy you're on a crew. You're trying to figure things out We have people starting to join with us at that million dollar mark that's hard and to get to three to five but tell us some things that That really sets you apart that you really had to figure out in a small business. Marty Grunder: Yeah. You know, Tommy is, as you explained, you know, being a coach, I have a lot of relevance to every step of the journey. We're going to do 12 million this year at, at Grunder landscape. And our plan is to be a 30 million a year company by 2030. And we'll get there. You can, you can mark that down, but each step is, is incremental growth. And what got us to a million was nothing short of all out hustle. When a landscape professional is [00:06:00] working on his or her business to get it to a million, you're pretty much saying yes to everything and in the process of saying yes, you're making mistakes, you're learning, you know, I always tell people, look, today I'm going to be with you 45 minutes on this virtual learning event because if I were to talk to you about my successes that's 45 minutes. If we're going to talk about my failures, we're going to have like a seven year long course. You, you, you name a mistake. I've made it when you're running a smaller business and you're making mistakes, you can kind of recover, you know, all your people's names, you know, all your customers names, you're probably doing the bookkeeping, you're doing the selling, you're doing payroll, you're doing HR, you're doing all that, and you just kind of will it over the line to hit a million, but what we found Tommy, and I've shared this with you in the past, What gets owners of a landscaping business to a million is saying yes. What gets them beyond a million is saying no. Your span of control weakens the larger you are, and you [00:07:00] can't be involved in everything. You can't scale that. You can't do that. So you have to say no to things that don't fit your wheelhouse, that don't fit your value proposition, that you're not good at. You have to turn away from things. And the larger you get and you make the jump from one to three to five to 10, it's all about being able to scale. It's about being able to replicate things. It's about being able to hire a salesperson. There's no way the systems I used when I was, you know, at a million would work today. I mean, they were pieces of paper, they were spreadsheets, they were cans and strings. Okay. They were, we're talking basic rudimentary blood and guts in the trenches, kind of to get things over. As you go, your profits become greater. They should, you're able to afford, you, you maybe can have someone like McFarlin Stanford or the grow group, help you grow your business. You can go paperless like we are today with tablets and things like that. And, and it's [00:08:00] almost like you have to spend money to make money, but you know, like always tell people, look, if you don't have any money, you can't spend it. So the business to get to a million was a lot of bootstrapping, a lot of hustle. And just a lot of hard work. I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between what you do at three and what you do at 10, you just do more of it. And in each step, the owner has to be able to get, to get out of the way more. They've got to let their baby be handled by someone else. And I think that's trouble. I think the other thing I should say is that it's okay. If you don't want to grow, you know, if you have a two and a half million dollar business and it's throwing down 20%. And you're happy because, you know, it, it, it feeds your lifestyle. You like your job. There's nothing wrong with that, Tommy. you know, not, not everybody wants to go to 30 million like I do. I understand that. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Tommy Cole: Right. Love it. Love it. It's not about the top line growing. It's about the development of [00:09:00] everybody. You know, how do we better your team and how do you develop better operations? You know, accountability. It's Not Just The Revenue Marty Grunder: you and I both know, you, you and I, we're not going to say names, but you and I both know a company doing 25 million a year. That's not making any money. And you and I both know a 3 million a year company. That's netting 20%. So one has 25 million worth of headaches, not making anything. The other one gross is 3 million and nets $600,000 about that's, that's pretty impressive. So, you know, we go to things like elevate, we go to grow. We, we have a beer, we have a drink. We talk about our top line. But we don't talk about our bottom line and I understand why you don't. I don't, I don't want to talk about my bottom line with strangers. That's power of the peer groups that we partner with your fine company on and getting people in situations where it's a confidential setting that you can talk about that stuff. But you know, like we're both agreed, it's fine if you don't want to, I don't think it's fine if you don't want [00:10:00] to grow because to me grow means you're always getting better, I think it's fine if you're not interested in having a 10 million a year company. I will never begrudge anybody for having a highly functioning two, three, four, 5 million a year company good for them. Tommy Cole: I 100 percent agree. That means you're doing a lot of right things at a 3 million net 20%. You, going to come learn from you, you know which is great. So you hit on a, on a subject and I know this Grunder landscape was at 5 million for however long, right? And boy, we've talked about this numerous times. And if you ever go to see Grunder in Dayton, and if you haven't been. You have to go see their operation. He will explain it to you of where they've been. But, Marty, there's this 5 million mark that you guys were at forever. What happened? Why It's Easy to Get Stuck Marty Grunder: You know, Tommy, we were at the four to 5 million level for more than 10 years. Okay. [00:11:00] And it's kind of like Jim Collins book, good to great. If you've ever read it, which it's about a 20 year old book, but it's a fantastic book and the premise that Collins make is makes is that good is the enemy of great. That because you're good, because you're happy, because you're doing good things, you don't pursue greatness out of fear, out of whatever. And I, that's what happened to me. I just, I had a whole bunch of really nice people here. Every year they'd perform, every year we'd do 5 million, every year, you know, our accountant would say, man, you did it again. You hit 5 million, you got a really healthy bottom line. Marty, you know, when, when you turn 60, you're going to be in a great place financially. And oh my goodness, you have this other company completely separate from Grunder and it's thriving and it's growing and it's doing really well. I mean, congratulations, Marty. Way to go. I mean, don't just keep doing what you're doing. Don't screw it up. And I just, I don't, to say I got complacent maybe [00:12:00] isn't the right word because I was working really hard, but I was spending more of my energy growing the Grow Group. You know, I don't know if you know this or not, Tommy, but I used to speak 40 to 70 times a year and I was working for all kinds of companies. I mean, you name a franchise, I probably did a keynote for them. Tommy Cole: yeah, Marty Grunder: dates. I did stuff for four national city mortgage all over the country speaking. And I was like a hired gun for that. And when we got into these peer groups, it almost to be completely blunt with all of your listeners. I started to get really frustrated with myself that seemingly people that had less structure in place than I did, we're doing 10 million. They were doing really, really well. And here I am gallivanting all over the country talking about my wonderful 5 million a year business, which is fine. It's nice. Okay. But, you know, anyone that knows they could do more with their life, but they're not doing [00:13:00] it that, I mean, that can result in depression and all kinds of other things. And I knew I had so much more potential. So we had to make some bold moves. some people separated themselves from the organization because they didn't like the new vision and the growth and the pushing that we were doing. Some people we had to let go. There was some hard things to do. Tommy Cole: yeah Marty Grunder: The best thing that's ever happened to my business career, aside from meeting my wife, is the hiring of Seth Flum over 11 years ago. started out in sales, we moved him into a general manager role, promoted him to COO, and back in May he was named president. And in the last three years, Tommy, we've tripled the size of the business with no end in sight. It's just a completely different operation. We still do great work. We still do a lot of the things that we did back in the mid 2000, you know, 2005 to 2015. We're doing a lot more of it and I don't know that a lot of people that have been [00:14:00] in business as long as I have been would say at 55, they're having as much fun as they've ever had, but I really truly am. We're making a difference. We are creating opportunities for our team to grow and succeed. That is part of the statement in our mission statement, and it's just a blast. You know, I was gripping the club too hard, Tommy. I was seeking out perfection when I was never going to get it and always saying, well, tomorrow we'll do that. Well, that's not healthy. You got to go for it. Tommy Cole: 100%, love it. You know, and, and you talk about this quite often is Marty getting out of his own way, right? being the bottleneck. That's true for a lot of business owners, way more majority. What, what do you mean by gripping the club too tight? Like give me an example or two that for our audience that says, yeah, I got to get from one to five and a five to 10 or something. I mean, I was on a site visit last week and the owner's doing invoicing still. And I'm like, Oh, Marty Grunder: Yeah. Tommy Cole: yeah. Like, and so that's an example, but [00:15:00] relate to that. The Most Important thing a CEO Can Do Marty Grunder: The easiest way I could explain it, Tommy, was that I only have one account now that I manage. And it's one of our largest accounts, but I'm very close with the founder of the business. It's a commercial account. We do a lot of work for their executives personally. And I want one account to stay in sales. One of our new salespeople helps me with it. But other than that, all of my other accounts have been given to someone else. And I had one enormous account, like a dream account, like the kind that you could work your whole life and not have an account like this. And I realized that what I do best, Tommy, is business development and nobody here at Grunder and maybe nobody in Dayton, Ohio networks better than I do. I know that sounds cocky, but I'm really good at that. I love people. I love working with people. I love meeting people. I love pleasing people. So what was holding us [00:16:00] back was I'd say, we can't send anybody over there. I mean, one wrong move and they might screw that up and we'll get fired. Tommy Cole: agree. Marty Grunder: And so consequently, you know, I was listening to they were interviewing one of the Cincinnati Bengals the other night, and he said he was, they asked him what else he was good at besides football. And he said, juggling. And the interviewer said, well, how many balls can you juggle? And he said, well, I can do three. Can't do any more than that. Well, Tommy, I was trying to juggle like seven balls. Okay. Yeah, and then, so, meetings would get postponed, critical thinking time would get postponed. I knew, better than anyone, one of the best things the CEO of an organization can do is to spend time, or even get caught, daydreaming, looking out the window, thinking about where they might be able to go with the organization. I never had time to do that. I hardly had time to eat lunch. Tommy Cole: Yep. Marty Grunder: You think you're working so hard, but you're not really getting any better. [00:17:00] And the sales side was a huge bottleneck. And just a an overall reluctance to give people the ball and let them run with it in part because I didn't think they wanted found out was they wanted so domineering marty, the you for it. So yeah, and I mean, succinctly said t in a microcosm is what wa everything. I had my hand Yeah. And I started handing of Tommy Cole: Yeah. It's such a great example. owners are unwilling to let go because Of failure or I've done this, but when you're juggling seven balls, you're just sitting there going, well, one seventh good here, one seventh good here, one seventh good here. oftentimes we find business owners doing that where you got to look at yourself and go, what is something I can pass off and coach that person along the way? Whether it be a weekly one on one and help them transition to, you know, I'm [00:18:00] getting rid of five accounts to Bob, right? How do I coach him to be successful for those five accounts? Let's meet once a week and discuss that that's just one small thing to pass off, right? How To Successfully Take Tasks Off Your Plate Marty Grunder: grunder. I'm g over with brad. He's help We've grown a lot and I need him to help me with your account to make sure we stay on top of things. You can, you can call me whenever you want. He's just going to be helping me. Okay, Marty. That sounds great. Then I take, I go over there with Brad. Then I suggest Brad to go do a walkthrough and just make sure she's okay. Have Brad email the quote. Pretty soon she realizes, I don't think I'm going to call Marty. I think I'm call Brad because I've been talking to him. I'm driving down the road. I got my card. I got five calls. Hey, Ms. McGillicuddy, it's Marty Grunder. Hey, Marty. Hey, how I'm doing great. How are you? Good. Hey, first of all, Brad is awesome. Thank you. I really enjoy him. [00:19:00] I don't even have to say anything. It's been handed off. So, you know, those are the little things that I would do. And, you know, to your to our comment about juggling when you're trying to juggle seven things, you're going like this. And so what you try to do is you end up saying, well, I can't juggle seven things. I can juggle three. I can juggle three balls. Actually, I could only do two. Yeah. And this is the pace. It isn't stressful. So I'm going to take the other five balls and I'm just going to sit them on the table and nothing gets done. The HR plan, the strategic plan, the CapEx budget, the marketing plan, the social media plan, and I'm going to move sales and operations. And that's all I'm going to do. And I'm going to do that every day, but consequently other things never get done. And that's kind of what was going on here. It just wasn't getting done. There was no growth in other critical issues of a company trying to grow. There was no way we were going to grow. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Yeah such a such a good thing and I think everyone That's listening can relate to that one [00:20:00] extreme or the other. McFarlin Stanford & the Grow Group Marty Grunder: So switching gears We have this thing called the McFarlin Stanford and Grow group strategic partnership, And we work together on all the peer groups and we help build the grow event in February. We do summit at the end of the year in November. Tommy Cole: But let's talk about the relationship there. I think we get a lot of questions throughout the year and go, man, I thought you were a Grow Grouper. I thought you were a McFarlin. Like, let's start talking into that a little bit. Marty Grunder: So we met Jim and Jason at Grow in 2016 that we had in Dallas, Texas at land sculptures. Gene and Chris's wonderful company down there, we saw them presenting. They had a station because Gene and Chris said, hey, Jim and Jason are our coaches. Could they please have a station? And so they had a station. It was out back. It was next to a belching kerosene heater. when we do grow, I go on the tour myself, which a lot of people are amazed, but I go there with my phone and I take [00:21:00] notes because I'm there to learn too. Okay. So I go to their station. I'm listening to him like they're, they're really good. They're, they're really smart. Like I agree with what they're talking about. Like that's their philosophy aligns with ours. And when we were done, you know, Vince and I were, we had more business Tommy than we knew what to do with. We were doing a really good job. People love the peer groups that we started. They loved coming to our events, but it was just Vince and I. And yeah. You know, I wasn't interested in growing the grow group and hiring people. And I think you have to be, to be the best consultant and coach in the green industry. I think you have to come out of the green industry, and that's what impressed me with McFarlin Stanford, that it was a lot of former landscapers, and so we were able to combine what we do really, really well, you know, the organization, the peer group, the whole process and procedure [00:22:00] and all the protocols we put in place that you guys now follow and it was very easy for us to find our lane with you folks and pick up some momentum and grow and help more landscaping companies. You know, Tommy, I wouldn't have been able to do this 25 years ago. I had too big of an ego. I wanted my name on everything now at age in my fifties. Tommy, I just want to win. people. I want to help th because when you help the guess what? They look at maybe a secret methodolog important part. You know, we're not practicing drip only give you enough and everything McFarl We want you to be able to go on your own, master a lesson, and we'll teach you how to do something else. So, by partnering with you folks, we were able to get a lot bigger microphone. We were able to help a lot more people and make a [00:23:00] greater impact. And it's worked, I think, better than we even thought it would. As you know, we now have over 140 companies in our peer groups. Representing over 1. 2 billion of combined revenue with all those peer groups. Nobody's impacting more companies in the country than we are. And that's what's important. It's not important that the Grow Group name be on everything. What's important is that we're winning. We're doing well. We work really well with you folks and it's just been a lot of fun. Tommy Tommy Cole: yeah. I 100 percent agree. You know, it's been great. You know, we bounce off ideas. We hold each other accountable. We put on good group meetings, very structured meetings. And we have a lot of fun doing it. you know, I do miss a little bit of project management and building cool things. now my satisfaction is. helping people grow at the end of the day. Like, you know, and, and when someone gives me a call, all of a sudden it says, man, it worked, or II'm [00:24:00] finally doing a one on one meeting after two years of youpounding it in my head and it's working. And I'm like, Oh, that's where we get our satisfaction. Right. Learning in the Italian Countyside Marty Grunder: Tommy. It's as you know, we just got back from Italy. We took our legacy peer group over there. 10 landscape professionals with their spouses. Amazing. And the 1 night we were sitting on the patio and I was talking to Jim at this estate. I said, Jim, I said, I never would have imagined when I started these peer groups over 20 years ago that we would be on the side of a mountain in Italy with fellow landscape pros working on our businesses getting better. You know, Tommy, if we wouldn't have hooked up with McFarlin Stanford. We would still be having our meetings at a Hampton Inn in Topeka, Kansas. And we'd be eating dinner at the Olive Garden, not a fine Italian restaurant in Florence, Italy. Okay. Jim and Jason and yourself and Chris and the rest of the McFarlin Stanford team Vince together, we've been able to utilize our strengths. And, [00:25:00] and I think we have an incredible offering now I really relate to what you're talking about about impacting people and helping them grow. It's extremely rewarding. Tommy Cole: Extremely rewarding. And that's, that's my excitement every single day. You know, it was really funny, I started coaching a couple of division leaders at a landscape company in the northeast, and we started our first coaching call last month. And, and he runs his own division, p and l, team ops and all that. And we get towards the end of the call. It's the very first call we've had, and he goes, Tommy is are you the guy that has the, the podcast thing that's going on? Like that I hear talking, I go, yeah. He goes, Oh my gosh, that's the guy. Whoa, this is going to be awesome. He was just so excited to talk to someone that has the and that right there just sort of like got goosebumps on my arm that he was that thrilled to have a coaching call. And that, that right there makes your day. And. Marty Grunder: Amen. Tommy Cole: [00:26:00] You'd be able to go to Italy I know we finally pulled you out of your Dayton Ohio routine and finally got you there. And that experience is just a life changing experience as my wife would say when she saw a Taylor Swift concert. But anyways it's life changing. It's, it's an absolutely great opportunity that we're actually going to be able to take. You know, the idea is to take every Ace peer group member Marty Grunder: Oh, well, you know, I know a lot of, I know a lot of aces listen to your show, Tommy. When you have that opportunity, you have got to go. I was, I was sure it was a good show, but what Jim and what Jim has put together with that with you folks, it's incredible. You've got to go and Tommy Cole: Yeah, Marty Grunder: an amazing experience. What's a Peer Group? Tommy Cole: 100%. So let's talk about peer groups real quick. And that's probably a question on some people's minds we are specifically ACE peer groups and ACE stands for accountability creates excellence. We're not your [00:27:00] average peer group. Okay. we are the best in what we do explain. What ACE peer groups means to you differentiated between normal peer groups? Marty Grunder: Well, there's a lot of peer groups and you know, Tommy, I can't really speak too much to what the other peer groups do. I know what ours do, and I think this is where we have a leg up. The fact that all of us running the peer groups are former landscape pros, the fact that I still serve as CEO of a major landscaping company that is experiencing things on a daily basis, it makes us very relatable, and it makes us very relevant. So ours are full of relevant advice. And things that we have experienced, the best business people are business people. Tommy that understand ROI return on investment and if we could show you how to get the 2, 000, 000 in a quarter of the time, it would take you to do it on your own, [00:28:00] avoiding the mistakes that we made in terms of time and money. Thank you. What is that worth? So the structure that we have with our peer groups that focus on confidentiality and experience share the hallmarks of our group, the fact that we put you with people that we think you're going to get along with from non competing regions. The fact that we have a first class meeting that builds the accountability partners and the calls that go on with the facilitators in between. I mean, we're not talking about something like we get to Kansas City for a peer group meeting and we're figuring it out when we get there. We are talking about a highly systematized and organized group. And then finally, Tommy, the, the financial benchmarking. That we do the power of 140 companies, financial statements getting benchmarked. As you know, we show five major measurements on each financial report If I would have gotten in a peer group, like what we have right now, if there would have been [00:29:00] something like this, when I was 22 years old, there is no telling where I would be. Because I want to win and I want to be around other driven people that have a mindset of growth. And I want to come back every three months to my next meeting and I want to talk about the improvements that I made. There's just countless benefits to being part of a peer group. Last thing I'll say, Tommy, as you know, running a company can be very, very lonely. know you can't complain to your team who holds your accountable, your spouse, maybe your banker. Wouldn't it be nice to have somebody kind of gently nudging you towards success, questioning what you're doing? You know, being mature enough to be in a group and have somebody offer up some constructive criticism on what you're doing. It's just a beautiful thing. I mean, I can tell you just getting back from Italy, there's a sense ofbrotherly love, sisterly love amongst all the members in our groups that is really, really powerful. And to know you have somebody you can call when you have [00:30:00] an issue, or maybe it's someone you can call to talk about a new milestone that you hit. You know, the fact that my company made enough money last year that I just bought a new travel trailer for my family. You can't come into your team and tell them you did that. You don't do stuff like that. I am so excited about what we've done. And I'm so excited about what we're gonna do for other owners and leaders of landscaping companies It to your point that you made 10 minutes ago It's it's a very enriching job to be coaching people now They gotta do the work Tommy Cole: Yeah. Marty Grunder: kind of turning their head in the right direction say look go this way Go over there. It's just wonderful. Tommy. Tommy Cole: Yeah, it's great You know and to hit off that, you know, it's it's a board of advisors, right? How about you just pick up the phone and call your accountability partner or someone in your group and go, man, this is what I dealt with today. They completely understand 100%, right? That's the [00:31:00] power of being and no one else holds the owner accountable, right? Like you mentioned, it's just but 11 other companies can sit there and go. Marty, you said you were going to do this. What's taking you so long, buddy? You've been in here for six months. What's going on? Right? Marty Grunder: Amen Tommy Cole: That's that's the that's the part I love. So as we come to a close here Marty there's there's some probably some lessons learned along the way and grow in a landscape company from from zero to five and five to twelve, Marty Grunder: Well, I can tell you that the single most determining factor in the entrepreneurs that I've worked with, the ones that have done really, really well as drive, it's not what college you graduated from. what your grade point average was what your mom and dad did for a living. It's it's the fire that burns and we see it. We see it in the ones that we work with that come back and you tell them to put [00:32:00] together a capex schedule and they come back and they've done a capex schedule. They dig in, they really dig in and they get it operating. They do the work. They're driven, they're motivated. And, and so it's mindset when, when I hear somebody blaming their team saying terrible things like they're surrounded by idiots, which by the way, if you think you're surrounded by idiots at your place of work, then you're an idiot because you hired them. So it's, it's mindset. It, it, it's, it's that mindset. Tommy Cole: Yeah. A hundred percent agree. You know, you also gotta look at yourself in the mirror all the time, right. And when things fail, you always got to look at yourself as the owner going, what could I have done better when someone company? When, when you get fired from a job site it's, it's not pointing the finger at that person or that client. You know, we used to have a rule in our landscape companies that you can never talk bad about clients. You just can't Marty Grunder: Right. Tommy Cole: you just can't you they're they're [00:33:00] there for a reason and usually the high the clients that Demand a little more or they call a little more or text more than you think is the ones you learn the most from Because it makes you a better person Everything is a mirror image of me you know, the wins and losses as a football coach, it comes down to the head coach at the end of the day. Right. And they've got to make the team better to move forward. Marty Grunder: you just, you said it one way, I say it another way, what am I doing or not doing that's getting me the results I don't want? What am I doing? It's not, you know, well look what they did, they sabotaged this, they did this, they did that. You know, you're never going to find success, Tommy, if you're looking for someone to blame. Tommy Cole: Very, very true. I love it. Well, we gotta throw in something that's coming up less than two months away. we're going to Banff, Canada, getting up there to see one of the most beautiful places probably on earth. We're holding this thing called Discovery. Why should someone attend a [00:34:00] Discovery event? Marty Grunder: Well, Tommy, what we realized a few years ago was we got to put people through a real meeting. And then once they see what we're doing, they're like, Now I get the magic of the peer group. So we have about three days, almost, half fun, half education. It's a blast, Tommy. Again, kudos to Jim for the locations that he's come up with and all these things we've done. We've been amazing places. Tons of fun. My wife loves going. Okay. And you can imagine probably like your wife, it's not that much fun for them to go because they don't know anybody and you and I know everybody, but they've gone to this thing and they're, they're like, well, I'm going to get to go, right? That's how much fun it is. But the meeting, the ACE discovery meeting you get to go and you get to see what a real meeting is like. You get to partake in the Ace Summit, so you're around all our other aces, and you're going to get a ton of education out of it, even if you don't decide to join. I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to go. Missing out on this trip would be a big mistake.[00:35:00] Tommy Cole: Oh, it's just, I'm super excited. Every year is always a great year. Tons of great content, tons of things, but most importantly, you know, having a drink with anyone and everyone around the ACE program and their significant others, it's the trip of a year So get signed up and go on the McFarlin Stanford website. There's a link, there's a link also in the Grow Group website. But definitely get signed up and we'll see you there, Marty. It's been a pleasure having you on the show. Tons of good information, a lot of good insight to pass along to our audience. Can't thank you enough. Maybe we have to do this every year as a, as a learning experience would be great, right? Marty Grunder: Tommy, I'm happy to come on with you. I appreciate everyone listening and hopefully in a small way we helped them grow. Tommy Cole: 100%. Thank you very much, Marty. We'll see you soon.