Ep 025 – The McCarthy Method: Using Empowerment & Efficiency to Scale Your Landscape Business

Home / Episode / Ep 025 – The McCarthy Method: Using Empowerment & Efficiency to Scale Your Landscape Business

Have you ever wondered what it takes to turn your passion for landscaping into a thriving enterprise? Find out on this enlightening episode of "Roots of Success," as we chat with the power couple behind RJ Lawn and Landscape, Ryan and Annette McCarthy. Discover their journey from overworked entrepreneurs to industry leaders, focusing on client-centric practices, workflow unity, and strategic planning. Host Tommy Cole brings to light the vital role of understanding how to delegate, evolve, and harmonize company dynamics, ensuring that each root planted leads to sustainable success


Winning with Empowerment & Efficiency

Key Moments:

[05:33] Recognize the need for assistance, quality, detail, and proactiveness.
[11:24] Focused on questioning, refining, and pivoting strategy.
[16:08] Simplify process and support, not hinder progress.
[22:26] "Image matters, attracts mature and professional candidates."
[27:43] Educating support staff on job complexities is vital.
[35:12] Unwillingness to delegate, led to overwhelming workload.
[37:07] Delegate at 80% or 90%, not perfection.


  1. What are the best strategies for effective delegation in a landscape business?
  2. What is collaborative decision-making and how does it work?
  3. How do you prioritize essential landscape tasks without getting lost in details?
  4. How do you maintain a professional image in your landscape business?
  5. Can you use job costing and process improvement to grow a small business?
Episode Transcript
Ryan and Annette McCarthy [00:00:00] The Roots of Success podcast is for the landscape professional who's looking to up their game. We're not talking lawns or grass here. We're talking about people, process, and profits. The things deep within the business that need focus to scale a successful company from hiring the right people and managing your team to improving your operations and mastering your finances. We've got a brain trust of experts to help you nurture the roots of a successful business and grow to the next level. This is The Roots of Success. ​ Tommy Cole: Welcome to another episode of Roots of Success Podcast. I'm your host, Tommy, and we've got another awesome episode. Got the husband and wife duo, Ryan and Annette McCarthy from RJ Lawn and Landscape out of Des Moines, Iowa. I'm so excited for this power couple to join us today. How are you doing? Ryan McCarthy: Doing well. How are you? Annette McCarthy: We're good. Tommy Cole: Good, good.[00:01:00] So let's just jump right into it. RJ Lawn and Landscape beautiful place. I was there a month ago and what, what an amazing journey so far this has been but really and truly, we want to know how did RJ get started way back in the day before you guys had a big facility and nice trucks and an entire awesome team. Start of RJ Lawn and Landscape Tommy Cole: Built by you two. What, what were the early days like? Ryan McCarthy: Well, my, my brother and I started it 25 years ago out of a three car garage. So pretty, pretty humble beginnings. We had previously worked for a property management company that kind of looked after some of their vendors and did in house work for them and I was into college and knowing that a general business degree in the late nineties wasn't the direction I wanted to go is, you [00:02:00] know, working in the insurance industry in Des Moines, most likely. And so we struck out and started RJ. Started out basically with friends from high school and beating the streets, hanging posters, all the things that you know, we didn't have social media back then. So, you know, literally paper flyers that you'd hand out or canvas neighborhoods with and, really focused on, you know, that 10 to 15 percent growth every year compounded over 25 years and went from two of us to, to, we're right at about a hundred and a team members now. So it's been a little bit of an adventure about 10 years in we added the design and install side of things. So previous to that, we were. maintenance. So mowing applications, mulch, and, you know, just light plant enhancements. But we added on the install side of things and just continued to grow. And, gosh, it's been 10 years ago. We bought my [00:03:00] brother out and that had started in the field, left, Had a career for a pretty good sized GC here in town for like seven or eight years, and then came back to us and started organizing the office side of things for us. And that was really the steroids. That, that was one thing that really took off for us. So Tommy Cole: yeah, this is going to go really well. So, so my question to Ryan was how are you and your brother running this business? It's kind of like flying by the seat of your pants. I can envision this, correct? Kind of like, you know, two brothers running around, probably mowing grass, doing shrubs, anything and everything to kind of run. Yeah. Right. Just to make ends meet. Is that correct? Ryan McCarthy: we hadSome really good successes and we were growing it. But yeah, I mean, especially towards the end, not always agreeing with the direction that the company was [00:04:00] going. But I would go out and work in the field for 10 or 12 hours a day and then at night come back and work, do the office duties. So I would do all that accounting and billing and knew that I was not doing an effective job. We, we had hired on some part time individuals over. A course of three or four years. And, honestly, we had the access to a peer group or had I known that, that could have opened my eyes a little quicker. I think we would have turned things around a lot faster and, maybe things would even be different than what they are today. I'm sure that we would be farther ahead because, that would have helped us with a lot of mistakes that we made, a lot of setbacks that we had. But yeah, I was totally by the seat of her pants. And I don't know, I think when the net came back, we'd just crested a million and, she could see the potential of like, huh, you know, these two idiots actually are keeping this together, you know, Tommy Cole: Yeah. Ryan McCarthy: you know, we should, we should look at this [00:05:00] and, and where she worked, she had some really good job costing experience and, all those things were things that I knew needed to happen. just didn't have the capacity to do it. Tommy Cole: Yeah. So here comes Annette. Oh my gosh, going, boy, these two knuckleheads here are out, you know, running around like crazy. And Annette coming from the general construction background, where I've had many years of experience in that as my, myself, that's a pretty detailed process. There's a lot of pre construction meetings, a lot of detailed estimating, a lot of detailed financials and stuff. And so you're coming in to this picture going, Oh my gosh, Ryan and his brother are probably producing a pretty good product, right? But they're just running around like crazy. Like how do we come in and sort of close the gap to make this business become successful and maybe even a career? So what was your take as you're coming [00:06:00] into the business? Annette McCarthy: Well, they already knew they weren't doing it to the level that they needed to, which I think is super important, like to know that you need some assistance. And really it was just figuring out how to take the quality of the work they were doing in the field and translate that on the opposite side of things. So be detailed, be proactive. You know, try to predict things that you see coming down the line. Thank you. You know, being on time with everything and, you know, just having that level of quality for your clients on the office side of things that you do with the actual, you know, there's a lot about like turf and landscape and, you know, just making sure everything was perfect. They just needed that other side to kind of run with it. And then definitely the, the job costing side of things, I think that's really where it started to come into play of a phrase I like to use all the time, which is. Fact versus feel. So it feels like something makes you, I know, it feels like something's making you [00:07:00] a lot of money, you know, like your gut is X and sometimes your gut is absolutely right. I'm always amazed actually. There'll be times where I, you know, ticky tacky, little figure everything out to the nth degree and Ryan will just like throw off the cuff when he thinks something is, and yeah, it's annoying when he's right. But you know, that's something that you get, you know, with experience and a lot of people can do, but as you grow, you know, you can't expect everybody to do that with you. It's just not possible. So trying to take that side of it and really dial it in so that you could look at actual facts. Not, you know, I feel like this job is going well and making money, but actually see it on the business end of things. Tommy Cole: Yeah. That's the, that's the part I love. I mean, not everyone is a Ryan at the end of the day and you know, that's, that's a lot of experience in years. Of having a lot of mistakes that Ryan and his brother could do, right. But, and they've learned and learned and learned, and they've trued to the, to the game of landscape, [00:08:00] but not everyone's a Ryan. And so like, how do you build templates and processes at the end of the day to grow? And it's, and so you hit on the thing that was like the top of my notes was the fact versus feel, becausea lot of landscape owners. It's about gut and it's like, well, I, you know, I was just on a call earlier today. It's like, how long is your backlog? And we're like, well, it's about six weeks, we think. And I'm like, so how long is the backlog? Do you like, where is it? Show me. And there was no fact of, of saying it was six weeks. It was just kind of like a gut. I'm like, you really need to know. So fact versus feel is like the number one thing that when you guys host a grow in. How did Job Costing change the company? Annette McCarthy: It just jumped out because a lot of that is based on just a gut feeling and where things are. How did that help RJ Lawn and Landscape? You had to get in job costing, which is something that is so unbelievable. That [00:09:00] it's an absolute must. How did that change the company? Definitely just with the process side of things. So when I first came in, they were using QuickBooks, which is, you know, a lot of people love it. For me, I didn't like the idea that you had to export data to Excel and, you know, manipulate it and figure out what you needed to do and put it back in. Whether that's my limitation of knowing the software or not. over time we found something different that would do a lot more of the industry specific things that we, we wanted to do and see we spend a lot of time kind of going through the different ones and, and picking, you know, our pony we use asset. I, I like it just because it's all encompassing. I don't, we don't use a lot of things outside of the main software. To me, that's where data corruption happens is, you know, if you're importing and exporting, you have the ability to make mistakes. Not that mistakes don't happen within, you know, our software too, but for us, it's, it's really key to have it all in one spot where everybody can see the same info.[00:10:00] There's nothing to hide at that point. You know, being able to see what were the materials that were ordered? What did the crew say they stuck in the ground? What were the hours on the job? What did we budget on the job? Being able to see all of that and really look at it and dial in, which ultimately, the goal is to look at the process and figure out if something's not working right whether that's in a small scale with one particular job or looking on a grander scale and saying, okay, you know, in our turf department, when it comes to mowing, you know, what are our patterns, what are we producing, you know, what commonalities exist between these properties that we do really well and these that we aren't doing so well at and trying to identify those. At the end of the day, we're not as much focused on, is there a person at fault there, but what in our process is not letting us to be, as successful as we should be. And then, not focusing as much on what went wrong, but how to make it go right and repeat the things that are right. So that's really where we go [00:11:00] to, to figure out like templates and what are our production rates? What do we know we need for our team to be successful all the way around, which is, the people in the field sales, being able to do a proposal pretty quickly, and they, like you said, they're not all Ryan's, so they can't know possibly everything he knows. You know, there has to be a way that we've gathered this data and put it in a usable format so that they can pop things out that work for the whole team. How to experience share with your team Tommy Cole: absolutely. Absolutely. so Ryan, so now you have this software asset and you're building a team, that sort of thing. And how does, Ryan take the stuff out of his head and experience share all the way to the team to make it duplicatable, like that's. no easy task as an owner. So what have you learned throughout the years of going, I can't be everywhere at all times. Ryan McCarthy: Yeah, there's, and that would probably tell you a lot of arguments because [00:12:00] I like to do about 80, Annette McCarthy: lots of Questions. Ryan McCarthy: 80 percent of the details. And then I think I've given 110 percent of the details. So yeah, it was kind of just starting with the base and. And building from there of like how I would do it. And then, Annette has a good way about her to come back and like fill in the holes that others are going to get lost in, And so we just kept honing it and honing it. And then once we were able to launch, it really started becoming, looking at the data and like seeing what we're missing. And as we saw, like. a discrepancy or an area that we, we aren't doing well. And we really look inwards rather than outwards of like, what have we done here? Like what decisions have we made that took us this route? And then, then we try to pivot from it. And once we pivot, we want to make sure that we Create that task ongoing that can't go back to the way it [00:13:00] was before. Tommy Cole: Yeah. You hit the nail on the head because there's a lot of companies that really struggle on changing the way they've done their business for years to get this operating platform going, like it'd be software or whatever it is. Ryan and Annette have to hold the entire team accountable to clock in correctly, to put in the data that needs, you know, they say garbage in garbage out right at the end of the day, but like, we all have a lot of team members that maybe not are good at that technology or good at putting the stuff in or good at estimating, but at the end of the day, this is what runs our company. And we have to be disciplined enough every day to take that approach because listen, most landscapers start with a mower and they start mowing grass. Developing. They're not grabbing the software, the asset, the first day, right? No one goes out and goes, I want this software and now I'm going to build a landscape company, right? It's the very first, so how have you. [00:14:00] You know, empowered your team to say, this is what we're doing. It's QuickBooks and it's asset and like, we're going, so you got to get trained. You got to get on board because the train is moving forward. Ryan McCarthy: Well, you know, I mean, ultimately, most likely that was kind of the demise of our partner, of my original partnership, because we were doing everything on paper previous to that. I always say my first Corvette was underneath the seats of the trucks. just some lost billing. Like we used to find stuff all the time and in our field staff certainly would see me lose my mind over it. And, and especially in my younger years, I didn't control my temper as well. And so they knew that it was an issue but we've been very fortunate and over all the years that, I think we hire high functioning people. I think they recognize that there was a problem just as much as we did. And so once we picked a direction and said, Hey, this is the why. And this is where we're [00:15:00] going to go. And if you help us create it, we'll create something together. If you want to dig in on it, that's not an option. Because yeah, as you said, the trains leave them. Tommy Cole: yeah, Ryan McCarthy: And it's not making any stops. but we certainly have people that have their struggles, especially with technology, but overall, I think people embraced it. And it was exciting to them that we were, that we were going into that technology. Tommy Cole: yeah. So, so what's your take on this? Annette McCarthy: I was going to say, I think a big part of it is also making sure that all of your processes make sense for the whole team, like it can't just make sense for one portion of the team. Got a hundred and some people. That's great if, you know, if it's these two are super happy about it, or I've got, three salespeople that think it's amazing, but if there's 97 other people who are like, this doesn't make sense to what I do, I can't do my job and do what you're asking me to do again, that doesn't make sense for the [00:16:00] whole team. So, we really made, wanted to make sure one, that the app is easy to use and that it's understandable. I love to track things. I love data. I love having it at my fingertips when the turf manager comes in and is like, how can we, track this better? Because I feel like we have this set of data, I just don't know what to do with it. I love those conversations, but I also don't want to make it so that they spend all their time trying to figure out how to track what they're doing and not do what they need to do. Because tracking little points of data in our system does not necessarily pay the bills. Our customers pay our bills, right? Like we have to take care of that client. So we can't make the process so complicated that they can't focus on, the actual product that they're putting out there. So it's got to be something that supports them, not pulls them back. So I think the reason that works so well with what we chose and, how we go forward with it when we make a tweak here or there is that we don't just have one or two [00:17:00] people who decide what's going to be best for everyone else. If something's not working or if we're thinking about changing something, we'll go, go and pull those people a little bit like, Hey, what if I asked you to do X, like how would that impact your day? Or if I was able to give you this piece of information, like, would it make your job better, easier? Can you give a better service to the client? What do you need to know to do those things? So making sure that we understand like how the whole team works as like 360 degrees, not just one direction. That's really what makes it usable and makes everybody get on board with it. Tommy Cole: Yeah. You're not measuring every blade of grass. I mean, we can get caught in the weeds trying to capture every everything. And that's what we did building our company. We wanted to track everything. but you got to figure out which buckets that you're going to track. And typically, it's the labor materials type things and it's. Those are some of the bigger buckets, but you can't, you can't track every single blade of grass that goes through. You'll spin your wheels forever. I [00:18:00] get it. So talk to Annette McCarthy: I also can't change it every two weeks, right? Like if you're constantly changing that process, like that, that just doesn't work. You don't have, you know, a pattern to even look after if every time you, you know, go to an ACE meeting or a new conference, you come back and you're like, okay, wipe out what I said before, like we're starting over. So we really try to like study that boat and, just introduce little things over time that, that work for everyone. Tommy Cole: don't jerk the wheel as they would say, right? Coming back for a peer group meeting, you can come in and just blow all over the place. And they're like, whoa, I thought we talked about this. You guys probably did that early on in your peer group meetings for sure. And we've all learned that valuable lesson. Maintaining Good Teams Tommy Cole: RJ has got some really good people that I met when you guys hosted Grow. What does it take to get good team members these days? What does it take? Like, is it, is there some magic sauce? Is there [00:19:00] a always hiring? Is it always recruiting? Is it the law of attraction that you'll be able to recruit better for your team? Annette McCarthy: me, tell me what your experience has been like. think it's all the above. Unfortunately, that's not a like easy answer. I do think, we made a real concentrated effort at some point to say, yeah, we can grow really, really fast and let just anybody on, on the bus on the team and, let's just go out and do it and, grow at some huge rate. instead we said, this is the type of company we want to be. We want to be a destination employer. a place where people like to come and work. you don't have to be best friends with the people that you work with, but you do have to respect them. And, for us, that's, not just Ryan and I, but our managers, our crew leads, it's everybody holding the line. So not like you, you know, there's that phrase that you get what you allow. So if you allow people to just. Dilly dally show up a few [00:20:00] minutes late for work every day or, so and so didn't do what I asked him to, but you know, it's okay. They're, they're a nice guy. Like, it's great to be a nice guy or have some, superpower skill that you're the only person that knows how to do X, but just knowing how to do something doesn't necessarily make you a good fit on the team. Like you've got to have all these other parts that, people want to work with you because. You are willing to give back to them, what you need. And that really, I think that's what you're calling like the laws of attraction, right? That when you have a good team, they attract other good team members or somebody comes in and they can see where that line is. And if they don't that they can that expectation, meet that bar, there's not going to be comfortable Tommy Cole: true, true. I love, I hold the line. I love that. Like and that to me is inspiring because. Why go work for an organization where it's sort of this lax y daisy? [00:21:00] Like I can, show up. Okay, cool. No big deal. And I've actually worked for a company like that. Where it was more about how close are you with the owners? That's all it was. And that was just like, it's just not a good feeling. I could have been there forever. I could have been there forever, but there was no structure, no organization, no, no accountability, like what you're held responsible to do. You, like you said, you get what you allow. I love that. And when you have a, like a, example of a morning huddle and you, everyone gets in a circle and all of a sudden two people show up late, three days in a row and you're like, Annette McCarthy: do that at RJ. Tommy Cole: know, it just doesn't happen, right? it just doesn't because it's just not allowed here. but once you, once you put in the work and once you get into the bubble of what RJ is known for, then it's really hard to break up, right? Because that synergy is so strong. That I, I love that. I love that. Anything to add, Ryan? Ryan McCarthy: Yeah. I mean, it was just like she said, [00:22:00] to me, it was getting a few big hires early on. I was lucky that, a couple of my buddies from high school were getting into the golf course industry. So they attracted other turf people and they would come help part time and on weekends. And, it allowed me to network and, know the angles that you could talk to people about, not wanting to work early hours on a golf course and some of those things. But once you get a couple of those guys around, you start having a like minded team that wants to win together and, that starts it off and,just over time, you know, nothing's overnight, but that eventually attracts. Others, but you're having clean trucks, clean equipment, having honestly, I'm a little bit of a freak of name brand uniforms, just because you have a fancy shirt doesn't mean that you're going to get like every great candidate that walks in the door. But [00:23:00] overall that image and appearance, and that's the RJ way. you're going to be dressed a little nicer. You're going to hold the doors for people. You're going to act and conduct yourself in a different way, attracts people that are more mature and more willing to, that that's what they're looking for Tommy Cole: yeah, Ryan McCarthy: rather than a summer job where they can, you know, not be polite to people. Tommy Cole: yeah, Ryan McCarthy: Come in looking tattered and all those things like, very early on. Now that's always been a really important thing to us as our parents and how we conduct ourselves. I think that's over time paid off and still resonates today. Tommy Cole: yeah. A hundred percent. It sets the tone at the end of the day. And when you walk in and everyone is dressed to the, to a particular uniform, no one is really going to push that envelope. And if they do, it's just not going to work out at RJ. So it, the tone has been [00:24:00] set. And I love that. How have your roles evolved with the growth at RJ's Tommy Cole: Ryan, what is your role now has evolved in all the years of RJ? What, what is your day to day role like now? And, and then I'm going to ask you the same thing because this is great. if I'm, if I'm a mid level manager, I got this, I got this mom and dad thing, why I could ask mom or dad said this type deal, but like you've had to evolve in your roles throughout the years. Right? And so I get a lot of companies that may be smaller than you guys and go, man, like, how do you figure out who does what at the end of the day? And so I want to get Ryan's take, and I want Annette's take on this, because this is a very question that a lot of people are wondering. Ryan McCarthy: Well, I think previously, most everybody came to me, I process payroll, I was the one that called back most of the clients that there is client issues. So everybody kind of kind of looked to me and came to me. And the more I went once and that [00:25:00] came back for her second tenure and the longer she was here, I was able to hand off a lot of those responsibilities, knowing that. Yeah. It's not scalable what the way I was doing it now, in some regards, I feel like I've taken the bottleneck. That was me and handed it to Annette. And now she's the bottleneck. And so that is something that we definitely are challenged with. But you know, I still interact with, with everybody. Top, top to bottom just try to be the face of the company, you know, understanding that that is a bigger role than what I would have normally or, or historically, looked at as a role. I do one on one meetings with our managers. I still have, key client meetings. Yeah. throughout the week. So there's a little bit of everything from the just general team morale to one on ones [00:26:00] to client meetings. There's even sometimes I'd stop in on a crew and I'll just spend sometimes ideally, maybe only 30 minutes, but sometimes I get sucked in a little bit. No. I'll be on that job site for a couple of hours and just kind of help them work through a couple of things. And in my mind, I'm helping, the managers out at the same time that they're not having to run over. if I can still be that voice to try to teach people, like what my vision would have been of like how to correctly do this or how to correctly build this, still important to me to have that voice in the company. Tommy Cole: love it. Yeah. Sharing the vision at the end of the day, helping people where they need help, having the one on one meetings with your key direct reports. I mean, Ooh, I don't know if Ryan signed up for that years ago. You just was, this is a little bit out of your comfort zone a little bit. but it's, very [00:27:00] necessary, Ryan, cause he's actually the face of the company. And so people want just a little sliver of the owner, right? They want a little bit of time with him or her. So there's a voice to be heard and they can pick your brain a little bit, or, you know, what they want. They're struggling with or something to help them out. I, I, that is, that's great. Annette, how about your role in the business? Annette McCarthy: So I would say, I mean, obviously my, title is the COO, that implies a certain amount of responsibility in and of itself, but the most important thing I do is connect the different pieces among our company and make sure that the parts that they're doing are all like intersecting the way they should. Sometimes that's just providing some explanation that, it would be great if I could take every office person and have them, go do somebody's job in the field for a day. And, and I do this to some extent, like I actually make sure all of our office people learn how [00:28:00] to run a wheel loader when it snows. I'll have them clear the snow here in our employee parking lot when our employees are getting rest. So they come back, they don't have to walk through a bunch of snow just to get in and start their day. Okay. But I think that when you take that time to get them to understand what it is that the people they are supporting do it gives them a better insight to how their interactions with them can help or hinder their day. something like you're, if you're running a wheel loader, it sounds like really easy, like, Oh, big deal. You're just driving around and you could, I can just keep calling you and asking you questions. once I get a, like an admin, for example, to run that wheel loader run. And, start looking for all the fine points like, oh, there's a car in the corner and I got to feather up at the curb and, I can't slam this box pusher because it's a sectional they start to understand that there are so many more things going on than just driving straight down the road that, you know, constant interruptions are not, that, that is a hindrance to [00:29:00] them, not, not always a help. So just getting them to understand, okay, you need to hold all your questions and say, hey, when you get a chance. you're going to take a break or you're filling up with fuel. Can you call me? I've got several questions. So that's one example for like in the snow removal side of things it's a little bit harder to do that with all the summer services we do. So a lot of times it's just trying to get people to understand what somebody else's barrier is so that they understand how their piece of the puzzle interacts with the others. Because sometimes there are easy tweaks that will make somebody else's, role easier or less easy. And it's not a big tweak for the role that you're doing. So whether admins understanding the kind of pushback that a salesperson might get from a client or sales understanding, like, Hey, when you leave off the, you know, when you leave out the client notes and the crew gets there, they feel like idiots. Tommy Cole: yeah, Annette McCarthy: didn't know that Mrs. Smith wanted X, and. They're not idiots. They just didn't know what they didn't know. So trying to get all of those parts working together and, everything flowing in the [00:30:00] same direction. Tommy Cole: yeah, love it. Love it. You know, you put yourself in their shoes, vice versa. At the end of the day, the field needs to understand what the support team does. Support team needs to understand what the field team does, or here's the big one. Maintenance versus install, right? There's always that little, like, sort of barrier between the two, but like, how come they can't cohesively work together and go, man. You know, on the install side, they're, they're, they've got budgets, they've got timelines, they've got weather, they're trying to put stuff in the ground quickly, right? And then how do you translate it to a maintenance property? But the maintenance property, you got to have a client for endless of time, right? And so how do they work together? And, you are finding the best way for them to communicate, like put yourself in everyone else's shoes. To better understand. I love the idea of the snowing snowplow with the with the support team, that's, that's great. It, it's no easy task, right? To run a machine or Or [00:31:00] plow sidewalks at the end of the day. But Annette McCarthy: yeah, Tommy Cole: found love for the, for the field staff when they put that team together to build. Good. Annette McCarthy: yeah. And I think they have a little bit of fun along the way. I mean, where else could they get that opportunity? I mean, luckily, we have a nice wide open employee parking lot with not a lot of things to hit. So that makes it a little bit easier to do that. Yeah. Yeah, no, it, it tends to be that, just a, a nice way to kind of get everybody rolling in the same direction. And at the end of the day, everybody wants the same thing. We all just want to be successful. So understanding that when we're all doing the parts we need to do and supporting the others, that's going to be a success all the way around. Along the way you're sprinkling numbers and budget hours and, making sure that people understand, it's just as important to cut the grass at four inches high as it is to make sure we're close to that budget on man hours. like they've got to understand all the sides of it, not that you just are hammering at them every second of every [00:32:00] day, but continually making it so that the managers and the crews have that information so that they can understand. What success looks like for their role. Fututre of RJ Ryan McCarthy: Yeah. I love it. what's the future of RJ look like? It's a great question. You know, really what we've committed to with our, with our team is just, is that continued growth of 10 to 15 percent a year, outside of possibly looking at some acquisitions that would accelerate that a little bit.most of our people like things very predictable. So we're not looking to double. In one year and really upset the apple cart, you know, really what we want to focus in on is profitability. Then as that growth continues to happen, I would say in our three year plan will likely be a satellite. It'll be filling out [00:33:00] our current location and, starting the wheels on, our first satellite location. Tommy Cole: Good. Nice. Annette? Annette McCarthy: I'm on board for that. So Tommy Cole: Ditto. Huh? Ditto. Love it. Love it. Annette McCarthy: just going to, I'm just going to keep all the wheels on the bus while, Tommy Cole: Yeah, Annette McCarthy: he's driving that Tommy Cole: yeah, Annette McCarthy: road. So Tommy Cole: so one last one. This has been great. What are your weak point that you are imrpoving on? Tommy Cole: what's one nugget you can leave our audience that says, I failed at this miserably, but man, over the years, this has been a huge asset for our business, our growth, our people, our team, anything, words of wisdom to leave behind with our audience. Ryan McCarthy: for me, I think for for us, soft skills has not been our, our focal point. We're very process driven, get the work done.and I think that goes from me on down [00:34:00] and that's how we've hired our people and everything. And I feel like that's been a major downfall that we have not been open to. More of the networking opportunities, more of the, just purely training on that soft, soft skill. And so, that's one of the focal points that we're going to have in the upcoming years is like. How do we bring our younger, younger members, our up and comers to start developing that before we need them and, and understand how to develop relationships and especially with the younger generations that doesn't come as inherently as maybe what it once would have, just because of, a different period of time. Right. And But you, I wish I would have been more open to that on a personal level, as well as a professional level of like how to grow, as a leader and as a business [00:35:00] owner at a faster pace. Tommy Cole: that's such a good one. I'm just like you, right? I'm just like, let's just get it done. Like, get it done efficient and post the results and let's get after it. I'm very very just straightforward with it. And I've got to work personally on my soft skills. I think it comes. Being patient with my two young kids. I think that's where I'm trying to earn my stripes a little bit. Annette, what about you? Annette McCarthy: I would say probably the thing I have learned the most and I'm still working on the most because I'm terrible at it is just delegating more. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Annette McCarthy: I'm not, I'm not afraid to give things away and to teach people how to do things and let them do it. I would say it is hard though, when you, can foresee maybe an error and you think, Oh, it'll just be easier if I just do it myself. I still have a tendency to do that and take too much on. So, like biggest mistake we made in the last year was [00:36:00] thinking that I wanted to take the controller role on I was only going to do it for about six months and kind of look at how we might want to revamp the role before we filled it. And that was a terrible idea. Cause in the meantime we did so many other things this year and acquisition came along and it was like, it was go time to do that. It was actually the right fit. So that just added two layers on my plate. So the idea of doing a fractional CFO, which we just currently put in place, I think the struggle for me is not doing something that I don't think is going to be like the perfect long term fit. You gotta let that go sometimes and, go with a fit that is good for now and helps take stuff off your plate. So you don't overwhelm yourself because then you're not giving the best to your team because, you just don't have the time to do Everything you want to do, so Tommy Cole: that is so good. Annette McCarthy: I got to keep working on that. Tommy Cole: But that is, but that is so true for everybody. Right. I mean, [00:37:00] we think it's just like, I can't let go because this is the easy way to do it. I'll just handle it. I'll handle it. I'll handle it. And then the day that is. That's not what works, right? That's not where Elon Musk has got to this day and age. And, and it's sometimes you got to let it go and they're going to fail and they're going to pick themselves back up and learn from it at the end of the day. And, you know, no, one's as good as, you know, as the owner doing it a hundred percent, but if we can take people 90%, we're happy like at the end of the day. Right? I, that's Annette McCarthy: Yeah. Tommy Cole: ongoing one for me as well. Yeah. for Annette McCarthy: The first time I heard that phrase of you should have some, if someone else can do it 80 percent as well as you, you should have them do it for you. My first gut reaction was that's a B. I've never gotten a beat like who wants to get a B. I like. No, I want a players out like 90%. So I'm trying to like tweak it a little bit and say, you know, if they could do it 90 [00:38:00] percent as well, or, you know, yeah, 89, 90 you know, let it go, let them do it, move it on down the road. Them doing it faster is going to be better than you, know, taking forever to do it because you want it to be done at 110%. Tommy Cole: constantly grabbing the will for them right at the end of the day. I love it. Annette McCarthy: I'm terrible at it. So calling kettle black here. Tommy Cole: Love it. Love it. Great stuff, Ryan and Annette. There's so many key takeaways, but Job costing was a game changer for for you guys, you know the fat versus feel I feel like we killed this job No, you didn't kill this job because here are the facts. I love that hire highly coachable people Love it. Okay, I will not it's not about the horticulture experience It's not about all that. It's about, can you be coachable and learn as a team and move forward? I love that. Hold the line. [00:39:00] This is, this is the RJ way at the end of the day. Nothing else. Good stuff. Soft skills are the new thing, Ryan. So good. Good point there. I'm trying to work on that and be a little bit more empathetic, at times instead of just black and white. And the, the, another great one Annette was delegate much more delegation and empowering your team to, to take on more stuff by both of you. Thank you so much for, for joining in on it. I know we got a few takeaways from here for everybody. So thanks again. And we'll be in touch soon. Ryan McCarthy: Thanks, Tommy. Annette McCarthy: Thanks, Tommy. Ryan McCarthy: 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 [00:40:00] McFarlinStanford.com And don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. See you next time on the Roots of Success.