Ep 12 – Risky Business: Rethinking the Landscape Industry’s Growth Paradigm

Home / Episode / Ep 12 – Risky Business: Rethinking the Landscape Industry’s Growth Paradigm

Have you ever wondered what it takes to transform your small landscape company into a multimillion-dollar empire? In this episode,Tommy sits down with Jason Cromley, the CEO of Hidden Creek Landscaping, as he reveals the unconventional strategies and mindset that propelled his business to success. From bouncing checks to building a state-of-the-art facility, Jason shares the key learnings, challenges, and milestones that paved the way for the company’s unprecedented growth. Whether you're an owner, executive, or manager, this episode will leave you inspired and armed with valuable insights on running and growing a successful landscape company.


Calculated risks can lead to significant growth.

Key Moments:

[04:19] Growth moments: new facilities & financial risks.

[10:49] Purchasing a company to create a new division.

[13:20] Successful investment, future potential, and rebranding..

[22:04] Becoming an effective CEO after hiring helpful consultants.

[25:34] Competitive interaction in landscape peer groups.

[26:26] Why I didn’t want to join a peer group, and how wrong I was.

[29:31] Accountability, friendships, growth… benefits of my ACE Peer Group.


  1. How can networking contribute to personal growth in the landscape industry?
  2. Ways to improve communication and customer experiences in landscaping projects.
  3. Strategies for successful forecasting and strategic planning.
  4. The role and importance of consultants in the landscape industry.
  5. Balancing multiple roles and responsibilities as a CEO.
  6. Tips for establishing strong relationships and accountability.
  7. Challenges and solutions for collaborative work between different divisions.
Episode Transcript
Tommy Cole: Tommy Cole with Roots of Success podcast We got an amazing guest he's got some great inside information about how he got started and how he run his business is Jason Cromley from Hidden Creek Landscape in Columbus, Ohio. How are you Jason? Jason Cromley: Couldn't be any better, man. Tommy Cole: Great, great. Well, we're excited to have you join us. so Hidden Creek landscape, man. You guys do amazing work, but tell me about the business. How'd you get started? What's the [00:01:00] breakdown of your company? How to Groow a $21 Million Business Jason Cromley: It's a fun story. So I'll give you a little bit of the history that hit some of the breakdowns with regards to how we look at each division. But the story starts in 1998. My best friend and I were at the Ohio State University. Studying landscape architecture. We both didn't see ourselves as desk people, so we decided to make the switch to landscape horticulture. Once we did that, we realized very quickly that it was more of a hands on approach. We met a bunch of other people and we decided to get a landscaping job in the summer of 97 for another landscaping company. Of course our paychecks were bouncing. We knew more than the owners did. I was like, this is crazy. So the next summer I was like, look, let's just start our own business. I mean, how hard could it be? I had a pickup truck. So we're still in college. We're bartending at night and we're doing landscaping projects between classes and on the weekends and sure enough, we both graduated [00:02:00] in 99 a year later and really just started to pick up a lot of steam and the fact that I was from Columbus, Ohio, I had a big network from the high school I went to, and I had just a ton of friends from our world of bartending. I'm, I'm a talker. You'll pick up on that when you tell me, Jason, that it's over. Stop talking. The interview is over. You'll pick up on that quick, but I was just having fun networking. So every year we just started to grow little by little and I guess I can't say little by little. We were grown at almost a 20 percent clip per year for our first 12 years and just started adding to it. And I kind of gravitated more towards the design build side at the time where my partner gravitated more towards the maintenance side of the business. So for this first few years, we didn't really take any of our money. We just put everything back into the company, buying mowers, buying trailers. We were bartending. That's honestly how we survived the first couple of years. Even myself getting married in 01, you know, I was making more as a [00:03:00] bartender than my wife was making as a nurse with a college degree. So, that was kind of the fun part about how we got it, and we really were doing whatever we could at the time. Any, any job, no, no job too small, no job too big, Starting with Why in Yuur Business Jason Cromley: and we really started to work on our network just a little bit more. And our referrals were coming in because the one thing that I can still say to this day is we knew our why. Why we started the business and when we really started it 25 years ago. And in our peer group, we just read, start with why Simon Sinek. So you might hear why a couple of times here, but the why, yeah. So why would, and I have it all written down.But it really boiled down to, I finally was good at something that I loved and I excelled at the same time. I didn't love college. I didn't love Econ classes, biology classes, but I loved plant walks. I love learning the names in Latin and in English, right? I loved learning how the design would work and where the [00:04:00] best plant doesn't always work if it's not in the best location. And I realized that every time we finished a project, we got hugs. You know, we were appreciated for what we gave them. We gave them a better life when they came home, we gave them appreciation for their investment that was no longer just a home. It was their sanctuary and the more that we were able to bring in good knowledge, great communication and a better relaxing experience for these homeowners, the more I realized, I mean, I could just keep doing this every day. And again, they always say, you never work a day in your life when you love your job. And I truly loved my job and I can sit here 25 years later. And on Sunday night. I'm all giddy because I'm like, I got to go to the work tomorrow, right? It's sunday. I'm going back to monday So we really kind of just kept growing i'd say when it comes to the the overall story If You Build It, They Will Come Jason Cromley: we had a couple of big moments in our growth, and the first big moment we really had was we did our facility, [00:05:00] our new headquarters here in Columbus, and I'll be happy to send you guys some pictures, show it to you. We post it all the time because it's really our our swan song. We were only a three and a half million dollar company when we decided to buy it. Eight acres and get a design done for at the time, you know a two and a half million dollar facility And we had zero money. Our bank said we're not giving you any more money So, you know we and you can't show this podcast to my wife or my partner's wife because we didn't really tell them We put our life insurance policies on the line. We had to borrow Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: We had to go get a line of credit just for the down payment. And we said, you know what, let's just do it. Let's take a gamble. But I didn't do it until I talked to a huge advocate in the industry. Someone who's very well known out of Chicago. And pitched him my idea about this corporate facility and said, what do you think? I want all these rich people to come see me. He's [00:06:00] like, I don't think it's gonna work. I don't think they're gonna come to you. I think it's crazy. Don't do it. And you know, that's all someone like me needs is tell me no. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: like, we're doing it. We did it. Tommy Cole: The more no's I get, the better I want to do it. Jason Cromley: Oh, the more wind it is for me, right? So, and the greater the risk, the greater the reward. So, we made a huge risk, build a facility that was unlike anybody else in our area and maybe even the Midwest at the time. And again, we were 3. 5 million dollars making a decision like this and the facility to this day we now have a total corporate sales of a little over 21 million dollars. And we haven't changed the facility at all. So we build it for growth. We build it for expansion. And I build it so that I could avoid kitchen tables. This is my big speech when people walk through the door. I was tired of meetings starting at six o'clock at night when both people were finally home and the dog was jumping on me. The kids were interrupting me. I was there till eight o'clock and to be honest, [00:07:00] it might have ended in divorce half the time I left because They weren't on the same page for our project. So I finally said, you know what? If they come to us, they've already had the conversation. They know this project is happening. No one's going to interrupt us. So we said, if you build it, they will come. Tommy Cole: They will come. So has that, so, go back to the facility, like, almost nobody has that in the industry, right? I mean, it's very, very few far between of to bring the clients to the facility. But what you're saying is that was a game changer, cause why? Cause you could, Showcase everything about you, the team, the product, the, the vision and buy into that. Jason Cromley: Absolutely. And it was kind of interesting when we were going through building the project. We went to the architect's building and they kind of called it their design center and it was their war room where they had all their samples out, huge table, pictures of the work. And I was in this room and I'm like, oh, my God, this is so much faster [00:08:00] than, you know, me going to 10 different buildings or driving over Columbus and then emailing me samples. So I took that same thought and I said, your room here. I want that. So the whole design is really based around what we call our design center. Which is where we have our pictures on our wall. Our sample material we use for paving, lighting samples decomposed granite samples, brick samples, synthetic turf samples. We have TVs on the wall for showing the clients what it's all about. And when clients come in. It's fast, it's efficient, and it's super informative for both us and for them. So, what we get is the buy in. So, it's a requirement at our company. They have to come to our facility for the presentation. So, the first meeting is at their house. We understand what they're about. We want to understand, you know, where the project is. Access to the yard. I'm looking at what kind of cars they drive. I'm asking what kind of vacation they go on. I'm trying to figure out who they are as a person. And then they come to our facility and they, they kind of know when they pull in [00:09:00] Tommy, that's the best part that this is not going to be cheap. No one who has a facility like this is wasting their money. So you get a lot of compliments right off the bat saying, you guys must really know what you're doing here. I'm like, we're, we're working on trying to figure it out to make it so it's a fun project for you. And it's funny, we mostly ask them where they want the third meeting to be and they say, oh no, we'll just come back to you. This is much easier. Tommy Cole: Yeah. not go back to my house. Yeah. Jason Cromley: Yeah, and that's it because at their house, they're distracted. They want to walk outside four times, look at all these different angles. I'm like, we're just, we're just wasting time here. So Tommy Cole: Love it. Jason Cromley: that facility is. Probably increased our close rate by I don't have a number quantitative to put to it, but it works. Tommy Cole: that's great. No, I've seen pictures. I think you hosted a peer group here recently. I see pictures, even more pictures and your social media posts. And it is something I have got to go see for myself because it's like in the middle of agricultural fields, kind of like [00:10:00] build it and they will come, right? It's kind of like the ballpark, right? Up north and, and in the middle of the cornfields. And it's fascinating. I'm sure you're bursting at the seams as we speak, right? And go, probably should have built even bigger, right? Jason Cromley: Always bigger Right, that's it's the American dream. We are pretty lucky when we bought the pool company We actually were able to acquire his four acres as well, too So what we have in Central Ohio, which is a booming, you know Area right now. We're on the west side of Columbus and he's on the east side of Columbus. So really, we've kind of got two locations now, which is great. So out of call it 150 employees. He's got about 25 and we have the other 125 at this location. Tommy Cole: yeah. Nice. Jason Cromley: Buying a Business in a Parallel Indusry Tommy Cole: That's great. So pool acquisition. that's been a hot topic recently, especially since the pandemic, right? Pool companies got busy and overwhelmed, overbooked. And here comes the landscape industry, [00:11:00] right? We know how to do everything so to speak what made you just jump into that? That's, that's not, you know, that's not a normal thing, but it's, it's actually been a hot, a hot topic as of the last few years. But explain going through that process and explain what, what it's done for your business. Jason Cromley: Yeah, it's actually one of my most, you know, proud moments beside the building. It was the purchase of the pool company and I did it pretty different than a lot of other landscaping companies and not to generalize anybody, but just people that I've talked to and the fact that the pool company I bought, he had become a friend of mine. He had become one of, honestly, our number one referrals. He would go in and do a pool and pool only and he was like you guys should call hidden creek They can help you with the patio. They can help with the landscaping So whenever he had a chance he'd bring us in and you know, i'm like, you know, what do you want as a referral? What can I do for you? He's like na na na nothing nothing someday i'm going to come to you for something Well, sure enough. He's like I I want you to buy [00:12:00] me Tommy Cole: Yeah. Yeah. I want it. Jason Cromley: I want out, but I don't want out what he really wanted was to just not be the owner anymore. I talked to some friends and they're like, you know, like you don't need him. Just do it on your own. Like you built projects bigger than this. You can, you can handle a pool and you know, of course you think about it, right? And most people are always like, you know what? I can do this. I don't need help. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: Pool a huge investment underground pipes and concrete, you know, different levels, chemicals. I'll be honest. You screw up a patio. You can pull that up and relay it pretty quickly. You screw up a pool. You're six months down the road, you're fixing leaks and, you know, you can get a bad name quick. So he and I, you know, decided to, to do the purchase. I was able to take PPP money and parlay that right into a long term investment. So instead of, you know, having nice cars and a boat and. Buying toys. I just took that into the next big investment. Tommy Cole: company? Jason Cromley: [00:13:00] Yeah, exactly And it's been almost it's been what we closed 12 31 of 2020 And at the time he was two years booked out on pools on his construction And he had probably 215 accounts in service and I like I like the fact that he had both but the biggest thing that he had that he still has to this day is He is known as the best pool builder in central Ohio. No one touches him. And if he were to walk out of here tomorrow and I said, just keep your phone on for five years, could keep us busy with referrals, probably 10 pools a year, every single year. And if he stops by and says hi to a homeowner, Jim's here, and that's it. It's instant trust. He's the guy that walks in and makes everything better. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: So, it's, it's been a great investment. He has still been on board for three years. There's still talk of him staying on for more. Because [00:14:00] he wants to see it be a success. We did, we are changing his name. So we've taken his name completely out and we've morphed our name from hidden Creek landscaping to just hidden Creek. Tommy Cole: Yep. Being More Than Just a Landscaper Jason Cromley: So of course, as you know, you say the word landscaping, you say to anybody, I do landscaping and they're like, Oh, you cut grass. That's so cool. I'm like Tommy Cole: You plant bushes. Jason Cromley: yeah, we pull weeds. I'm like, for the love of God. So Tommy Cole: I've got this random bush in my front yard. Tell me what it is. I don't like it. And you're like, Jason Cromley: yeah, yeah. Love going to those functions. When I say I do landscaping, it's exactly the question I got this tree. I'm like, okay. Tommy Cole: I don't know. Yeah. I'm thinking of that. I think about saying something else. Like I've always said, like, what should I say to cover my identity as a landscaper? So I don't get that call like. You know, I'm a, I'm a mechanic or something. They're like, okay, whew. Jason Cromley: yeah, Tommy Cole: say something different so you don't get the, uh, I'm Jason Cromley: in politics. That's probably what I should start saying. Cause no one, you know, Tommy Cole: that's a [00:15:00] good way to do that. Jason Cromley: I'm a political priest. Do you want to talk about anything? Cause the answer is no. Tommy Cole: That's good. That's good. Creating Culture with a New Business Tommy Cole: So explain real quick on this pool thing, you know, hidden Creek landscape and their culture, their business is kind of set to what it is, right? And then you and, and get this other business. Is it separate from the two, like being on each side of the town, or do you combine the two together for the team activities to make it all one? Explain that dynamic and what you're working with. Jason Cromley: Yeah, that was my first acquisition. I hope of potential many in the future. Can't wait to do it over again. I can tell you that much. Hindsight's definitely 2020. You know, when we first did it in 2020, right as COVID was hitting. We actually enrolled in something called EOS, which stands for the entrepreneurial operating system. We had hit our ceiling. We were [00:16:00] disorganized. We were all over the place. Turnover was bad. So we kind of reformulated who we were got our core values in place, got our core focus in place. One year strategy, three year strategy, using traction, tools, all these things. Well, right as we're implementing all this, we buy this pool company with a completely different culture. And so year one, to be honest, I didn't, I didn't really touch the pool company at all. I would go out once every two weeks. I'd visit with the The prior owner, we would talk business, I would meet with the staff, I'd show up with donuts once in a while, they didn't have to wear a uniform, they didn't have to come to our meetings, they could still smoke even though we had a no smoking policy. We'd really just tried to leave them alone and we retained a hundred percent of the employees. Tommy Cole: Okay. Jason Cromley: I also gave raises, more time off as well. Year two rolls around, we start to bring in the uniforms. We start to [00:17:00] invite them to our monthly company meetings. We start to bring them into our quarterly Meetings, which through EOS, you do a quarterly state of the company, if you will, and we started to give them more of the PTO and more of the benefits. They got raises again. And again, they got raises equivalent to what we were doing on the landscaping side. So it wasn't, they were just the whole, I hate to say it, our entire industry, the entire field industry has been underpaid for a long time. COVID really did a good job, in my opinion, of getting us right again. Now, as an owner, I'd love to sit here and say, what do you mean, get us right? It's costing me a ton of money. We, we all should have known we were on borrowed time and really our clients are paying for it. Tommy Cole: Right. Jason Cromley: It's not costing us any more It's costing us what it always was in terms of a percentage if we're doing it right. So year 3 that we're finally in, we have a full integration. They know our staff, we know their staff, they're fully uniformed over there. [00:18:00] They're adhering to 90 percent of our policies and procedures. There's, the problem we're still having is they still run as a division, like our construction runs as a division. And we're still working through some of these things is, we're both working on a dual project, and we're both ordering limestone caps. And we're calling different suppliers, and having to deliver to the same job. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: have their project managers, and we have our project managers, and they're not really working together yet. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: And I'd say the toughest part about that too, Tommy, was when he was booked out two years, we only had two of those projects. So, he was still doing pools for other landscapers, other builders, we weren't getting any work, I wasn't as bought into those projects because I'm like, this is crazy, I can't sell my own pools, we had to use a subcontractor to do a bunch of pools, and had a awful experience. Literally had to fire the guy midway through five or [00:19:00] six projects. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: have our now pool division come in and fix those projects. Tommy Cole: Wow. it's not easy transition. And I like the fact that you just sort of softly transition to that, right? you're going to figure out who everybody is, figure out their systems and processes, if there is any, understand the company and how they work, and then start to make the moves and changes with the anticipation of some fallout at some point. That's just that's natural. Jason Cromley: And I'd say the one hindsight I had on it, and I just shared this with my peer group, you know, while I let all those things work personality wise and what I would call the human resource side of things, I didn't grab ahold of the financials. And that's the thing I should have grabbed day one, completely taken over financials. And Because I was busy with my own problems and kind of let my team talk me into, well, look, we're too busy. We'll do that later. I dropped the ball and I should have forced the [00:20:00] accounting side into our world instantaneously and not take a no for an answer. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Like I've, I've said before here and coaching Finances are the blood test of your business, right? It's everything under the skin or under the hood. And you can tell a lot about a company And if that, if that choice was made up front maybe things would have been a lot different and even better. I, I totally understand. And, and that goes for the same for any, for the business you're in now the landscape business. And if you don't, if you don't know those you're behind, you're behind the eight ball, right? Jason Cromley: very quickly. So we lost time. We lost efficiencies. We haven't lost clients. We haven't lost staff. Our name is strong. We're selling projects, but we all know it's easy to look in the rear view mirror and say, man, we could have been sitting on a lot more money right now if I would have done a better job with us. So Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: first big acquisition, I'll be [00:21:00] more ready for the next one. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Good. Understand. The Evolution of Yoour Role as Owner Tommy Cole: So your role as owner has evolved quite a bit. And years have you been in business from bartending to Doing, you know, payroll at 12 o'clock at night to to what you're doing today, what's it like for you today, you know, managing that size of a company if anyone is, is, is, you know just getting started or sort of in the weeds of a small business, what to aspire to down the road or in order to develop their business to get to where they need to be like, well, what, what do you do now? Jason Cromley: Oh God, how long, how much longer do we have? You know, you're right from a small company, anyone in this industry and, and I'll say it, maybe it's true or it's not for us. It was, I never went into landscaping to own a 20 plus million dollar company. You know, my partner and I were like, man, if we do a million dollars, we're going to be rich. Right. Well, a million dollars, we didn't have [00:22:00] anything. So we just kind of kept going and the roles did definitely evolve over the years. I was a foreman project manager, operations manager. I did payroll myself. I did most of the books. And that was one of the things that did somewhat evolve is I got more into the business side of the company. So I was dealing with the invoicing, the accounting, the payroll, where my partner was running more of the operational side of things. So. As we kept growing, the business side really started to speak to me. I started to love the marketing side. I started liking to meet with my accountants. I started liking to talk about forecasting, the strategy. We started hiring consultants to come in. Even though we thought we knew everything, you know, a consultant came in and would just laugh almost the first hour. And so I really started to pick up on others in the industry, what consulting could do. And in really just the past few years is where I became the CEO in the last four years [00:23:00] because there was even confusion between myself and my partner. We had a mom dad factor. If one said no, I'm just going to go to the other one because he doesn't know what's going on. So we finally had to put it to where there was one person in charge. So it really was one voice. Who does try to set the rules and the standards? Currently to this day I sit in quite a few roles I sit in what's called the visionary role So i'm the person in charge of the brand the they say the face of the company It doesn't have to be a pretty face. It just has to be the one who understands the company the most Yes, just a face Tommy Cole: Yeah, Jason Cromley: Short face according to most everyone else in my peer group who makes fun of me Tommy Cole: we can tell on the pot on this show, so we're good. Right. Yeah. Jason Cromley: Trust me, there's no way I was doing this standing today. So I sit as a visionary. Then I also currently sit in the director of sales and marketing. And I'm trying to currently hire for that role because it does eat up quite a bit of time. Problem [00:24:00] is I love selling and I love marketing. So whoever I put in that role, they need to know that I'm going to try to tell them what to do for probably a year. So if they say you're micromanaging me, I'm going to say, no, we're calling it training Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: that's what I'm doing. Tommy Cole: Yeah and you're and the other owner does what? Jason Cromley: The other owner currently is a project manager on our design build side. So he runs that and he runs our safety quality efficiency. So he is, if, if he and I walk into a room. And they see me, I get that nod of, Hey, it's Hefe, respect. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: into the room and they're like, Hey, it's fun guy. And they're high fiving him. Right. I don't get the high fives. I get the nods like, okay. Tommy Cole: You're the nod guy. Well, I like, in all seriousness, I like the role. I've always coached to defining the role, right? And the whole mom and [00:25:00] dad effect is very common in multiple owner companies, right? It is, I don't need who to report to. I'm always like, he said this and he said that. Right. And it's confusing, but you have, if, when there's multiple owners involved, you have to say, no, Jason is this, and Bob is this at the end of the day. Right. And I bet there was some public confusion with you guys, like you had mentioned. It's just, you got to define those roles with, between both of you. Jason Cromley: he worked great with a high end client. So we kind of found his best skillset which is, It's very selective and, you know, he, you know, he and I had a big talk and that's kind of what we just came up with to be the best for the company. So, um, yeah, Tommy Cole: good. Jason Cromley: yeah, I really like I currently like where I am. I sit on the leadership team of only 3 right now. We're missing some roles, which in time director of sales and marketing would sit on that leadership [00:26:00] team and H. R. would sit on that team and finance would sit on that team. The Secret to Successffully Scaling Tommy Cole: You are in an interesting peer group that is particularly the larger companies of our, of all of our groups. There is no shy of competitiveness egos shame, anything else. Call your bluff. Because you said you're going to do this, what does peer groups mean to you? You know, maybe you were probably slightly skeptical about getting in and going, man, I don't know about this whole thing, but I'm willing to bet that you've enjoyed it And, and you get a lot out of it because what a better way to hold an owner accountable for doing what they said they were going to do. There's no one else that's going to do that besides the power of our peer group. Jason Cromley: Yeah, it's, I mean, it's a great story to be honest. And I, and I, [00:27:00] I'm really always proud to tell it. I was 100 percent against peer groups, didn't believe in them. What's the point type of thing. But then of course I was like, you know, you still can't help but look into it. Right. So I had a friend who came to see me. I did a, I hosted a big event with another consultant in our industry back in 2000. I think it was 19. I want to say maybe 18 and he came to visit and, you know, he and I just became instant friends and we kept going back and forth. He's like, you know, you really need to join this peer group. I'm in and I said, no, I'm too busy. I'm not doing it. He called me a month later. Did you sign up? I'm like. Okay. I'm not doing it. Like, just let it go. It's not going to happen. He, I think he called me the month later. He's like, Hey, I forgot to tell you, I signed you up for the peer group. I'll see you in February in in New Orleans. I'm like, you know what? I've never been in New Orleans. I'm, I'm going to go. I want to see what this is all about. And of course, [00:28:00] you know, it's kind of like grow, but you're in your own individual group. Tommy Cole: Smaller. Yep. Jason Cromley: Small. And so I was like, okay, well, well, this was pretty cool. And at the end of it, I'm like, You know what? It was, and honestly, I still believe to this day,I always felt like for what the charge is, it's a very strong investment. And so the first year I'm like, okay, I'll sign up for it. I'll see what it's all about. And it became instantaneously a return on investment for me because our group, like you said. Is exactly as you described it. Um, we all do it. What's that? Tommy Cole: need. Right, Jason? Jason Cromley: Well, yeah, so I'm a, if you guys use disc assessments, there's all these different, you know the gallop strengths and all that I'm what's considered a high D and a high I. So I'm inspirational, which means my D is I'm egocentric and my I means I'm an influencer, which means don't worry if you don't like my idea, give me 20 minutes and you're going [00:29:00] to like my Tommy Cole: Yeah, let me convince you why this is the best thing ever. Jason Cromley: Ever, right? That's why I'm probably still married 25 years. I keep convincing her, trust me, it still was going to get better. Tommy Cole: I'm in the same boat as you. I'm an influencer. Let's go. Give me five minutes of your time and I can sell you on that. I just convince my wife all the time that we're the greatest ever power couple and I'm awesome. And she's like, okay, whatever. Jason Cromley: Same at my house. And I'm a big extrovert and a lot of the group is. So even though not everyone in the group is a high D, high I, There's enough in the group that it's been really a great balance between all of it and it's been really fun And I've had some guys in there, you know when I make excuses or have reasons why I didn't hit it They kind of just look at you like seriously Making excuses like Jason. We don't have time for this. We're only here for two and a half days Be honest with yourself. And I've had quite a few guys call me out and made me better. I've [00:30:00] established strong relationship with these guys. Even, you know, you have your accountability calls once a month with your assigned person. I still reach out to a bunch and I still talk to people in other groups as well to that. I've made friends with So to give, you know, obviously you know, Marty Grunder, who, you know, was a big part of grow and obviously McFarlin Stanford with Jim and Jason, you know, and all you guys. I mean, I don't consider you guys acquaintances. It's really become a longstanding friendship and bond that, you know, has made me better and will continuously make me better. And yes, you're damn right. I want to beat the people in my group. And when we just Tommy Cole: Yeah, bro. Yeah. Jason Cromley: meeting and my numbers were the worst. No one says anything because the numbers don't need to be discussed. They're just there for you to know Tommy Cole: Yeah. Jason Cromley: Guess who did better than you this quarter? So Tommy Cole: So, watch out, Peer Group, because Jason's coming in full throttle in the fall, right? So, I... Jason Cromley: absolutely. I am doing my best. No Tommy Cole: Yeah. So [00:31:00] Jason, as we,wrap things up, I mean, there's a lot of good information here. What, what's, what's one thing of advice for anyone out there that's listening? We've got an array of audience, you know, anyone from small, medium, large, just getting started grumpy person in a pickup truck that's seen it all. What's something advice that you would share with us that you've just learned along the way? Jason Cromley: you know i'd say it's still our number one struggle today tommy and if I could fix it I would How you do things every day, you know, the military is the definition of this, right? They've been making their bed the same way for a hundred years. They've been, you know, cleaning their right, I mean, they do it. I've read the book, you know, I've read, God, Extreme Ownership. I've read every Patrick Lencioni book, I mean. I read the business books, which by the way, everybody should be reading books. I don't care if you don't like it. I hate reading and I have to read, I think six to seven books a year because I make myself [00:32:00] do it. So stop making excuses there. But the core processes are what really can help when somebody leaves and somebody new comes in and in a world of turnover, field staff, office staff, we've all seen it, growth, even not turnover, just growth alone. Someone needs to walk in and know what their job description truly is. they need to know what their processes are to follow because if they're, if you're letting the person who's been there for six months, teach them, you're in a lot of trouble and they're going to do it the way they used to do at their old company. And if you can't get back through that checklist, trust me, you're going to look back 2 years later and you're going to have 30 people doing it 30 different ways. So, holding people accountable to what that process is and what their job description is, is key. Tommy Cole: Yep. And accountability is a positive term, right? Not, not a negative term. And I think I've learned that along the way, right? For, for years I was like, oh man, that's such a, But it is a great word because people want accountability. [00:33:00] People want structure. People want, I think the landscape in general, we're just sort of loosey goosey about everything. We just assume you should be a manager, but define an account manager is what we don't do. Jason Cromley: Yeah. Tommy Cole: well, right, right. Jason Cromley: Totally. I mean, the accountability is the star on a helmet. It's not because you scored a touchdown. It's because you ran the play like you were supposed to, right? There was a disadvantage and you found a way around it to say, I'm gonna get to it. It's not a touchdown. It's you ran and did everything you were supposed to do for the team. Tommy Cole: Yeah. And everyone, everyone did their job. Yep. In order to score the touchdown. Well, Jason, it's been a pleasure, buddy. We've got to do this again, I've enjoyed the conversation. We might have to have another panel discussion at GROW next year. And do this all over again and see what we've learned in the past 12 months. But it's been a pleasure. I'm going to get up there at some point and check out the facility because I'm excited and I want to see it [00:34:00] in person. So thank you for your good inside information to what you've been through. Good luck and great success down the road. And we'll see you soon. Jason Cromley: Thanks so much. I appreciate it.