people, business, talk, enjoying, coaches, landscaping, deal, landscape, big, day, fun, howard county, years, conversations, job, absolutely, area, mm, awesome, home
Damon Pistulka, Jody Lenes
Damon Pistulka 00:03
All right, everyone, welcome once again the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited for our guest today. Today I’ve got Joni Jody Lenise from us outdoor service, iOS outdoor services, man, I just can’t even talk. But I’m so excited to have you here.
Jody Lenes 00:23
I appreciate it.
Damon Pistulka 00:25
Awesome having you, man.
Jody Lenes 00:28
Excited to be here excited to be here. This is this is a lot of fun. Good, good.
Damon Pistulka 00:31
Well, you know, today we’re gonna talk about developing the leader inside of you. And this is this is fun. We were talking a little bit before we got on here, and I’m pulling up a couple notes here. And, and it’s like, man, it’s great to be able to talk to you like we do and, and understanding and just getting to know you better. But you have been in the green industry for quite a while in landscaping and other other parts of the industry. But let’s hear a little bit about your background in that because you started out as an entrepreneur pretty early.
Jody Lenes 01:06
Absolutely. It’s been a it’s been an interesting journey. So started, you know, like a lot of kids in the neighborhood cutting grass. And I was fortunate that I had a neighbor who was a rep for a large equipment supplier and got, you know, on some commercial mowers early on in my in my life and had some mentors that were able to help guide me a little bit and teach me how to estimate jobs.
But, you know, I was a neighborhood kid who kept growing a business and, you know, one lawn, turned to three lawns, turned to five lawns, turned to 85 lawns turned to 175 lawns. Oh, God now had my, my neighbor who’s older than me working for me, I had my other friend working for me. You know, it was it was great. Loved it, you know?
Damon Pistulka 01:48
So when did you when did you buy your first commercial mower? How old? Were you?
Jody Lenes 01:52
The first one I bought, I was 14. When I got to use I was 13. That’s awesome. That is that that’s kind of the deal. He’s like operating, I’m a big commercial mower for you. But you got to do my lawn, you know, as part of the deal here, and then you get it elsewhere. So I was like, alright, that’s cool. I can make that work. And well, yeah, that’s
Damon Pistulka 02:13
that’s a heck of a deal.
Jody Lenes 02:15
So, yeah, so it’s funny, you just kind of grass. Really getting into enjoying working outside and doing business and grew that became incorporated under starting understanding business structure and all the fun of paying taxes, which that was a shock. You know, it’s it’s kind of like what happened all the money I was making. But, you know, we we continue to grow, we got into doing some snow removal.
So with my first truck that I bought and had a pile on it, we were buying the Burger King, one of the homeowners apartments that we you know, the association that we were doing, you know, and I even remember the first semester I’m sitting there and one of my friends who was working with me, and we pulled into Burger King, and we’re replying to Burger King. I’m just like, we’re not making any progress yet. And I got all frustrated. And I went out shoveled the front parking lot where he plowed the rest of it.
Yeah, I just I had to go walk it off. You know, it was like a two inch storm, which now I look back on it. Okay, well, that was nothing but so grew that business out and had a local company in the area that was a big player in high end Residential Design Build landscape, and they were looking to grow into my market where I was. And through mutual connection, I got introduced to the owner.
And it gave me an opportunity to do more than what I was doing, which was cutting grass and trying to get into the landscape side of it that installs. Yeah. And so during the conversations made it work, I was able to sell my book of business that I built up and my equipment, and became a landscape design, design salesperson with the high end residential company. Nice. So through that, I was able to get a lot of experience and we were designing full outdoor entertainment areas, patios, retaining walls, pools, I mean, doing six figure projects on homes and just loving the industry loving.
I’ve always been in construction. I was I was the kid who, you know, someone came to work on the air conditioning unit. I followed them around with my tool belt on. I was I was that kid, I’m sure they all hated working there. But I asked every question, why are you doing that? Why are you doing that? Yeah. But just loved doing this. And so was doing the residential design build stuff falling that took a six year hiatus from the contracting side and was selling software to the landscape industry.
And it was a business management software. So for six years, I get to spend six years talking to some of the biggest, most successful companies in the in the country, all around the country. Wow. And getting into their operations and learning more about the business side of it. Realizing the mistakes I was making when I was young. Mm hmm. Realizing I can do what these guys doing. They’ve just been added for a long time, and just loving the business side of it and really started missing the contracting side and just decided it was time to get back into it. So August of 2015 started up us, and we’ve been on an upward trajectory since then.
Damon Pistulka 05:22
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So you’re in the Baltimore area, correct? That’s correct. Yeah. You’re to the west of Baltimore, a bit, I guess,
Jody Lenes 05:32
southwest of Baltimore, kind of between Baltimore DC, and kind of going west a little bit. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 05:39
So in an area like that, what is your service area? Really?
Jody Lenes 05:43
It can it can stretch. I mean, we’ve we’ve got a pretty tight geography. So there’s a we’re in a section called Howard County. Some people who understand development and such they might have heard of Columbia. It’s one of the first planned communities, Jim Rouse, who’s a big developer develop that area. So in Howard County, we’ve got is kind of our core business. And we’ll go out about a, I’ll call it about a 20 mile radius. Okay, I’m there. Right now, with some of our growth plans, will that’ll extend even further? Yeah. But that’s, you know, kind of a big core and it’s very dependent upon our services. It is we, our company is made up of kind of three entities, if you will.
It’s three parts of the business to main entity. So we have our landscape business, which is one entity, and we have our tree company, which is a separate entity. But under the landscape, we do commercial work, and the commercial work will do maintenance will do snow and ice management will do stormwater management, and we’ll do our tree work. Under our residential side of the business, we’ll do design build, and we’ll do plant bed, you know, landscaping maintenance. So we’ll do tree work as well.
Damon Pistulka 06:58
Yeah. Yeah. So
Jody Lenes 07:00
So yeah, that that area, that area, that service already kind of varies a little bit depend upon the services. But
Damon Pistulka 07:05
yeah, yeah. I’ve always, always thought about businesses like yours. The challenges of just getting around and traffic and things.
Jody Lenes 07:16
Especially come to the Baltimore Washington market. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 07:19
Yeah, I’m sure I’m sure it’s got to be it’s got to be some days, it’s got to be really frustrating. Because you’re like, ah, we were planning to be there an hour ago.
Jody Lenes 07:26
Absolutely. And four with four
Damon Pistulka 07:29
guys 3456 feet, or whatever, it adds up. Really,
Jody Lenes 07:33
it adds up real quick. So you start to learn, okay, we’re, we’re gonna pull the crews in, and we’re going to get at the shop at six o’clock, and we’re going to get on the road at 610. Yeah, we’re gonna get to the job site. And we’re going to leave the job site by like three o’clock. Yeah, we’re gonna try to work around it. Well, we do job South going towards that Washington beltway. When we got a budget, travel time, like crazy, because aside from the last two years, which doing jobs on there was half the time it normally takes cuz no, yeah. On the road. Aside from that, I mean, it’s, it can, it can add on another day or
Damon Pistulka 08:10
two to the job. Yeah. And then it like here in the in the Seattle area, our traffic is bad, not as bad as you have. But, you know, they do things like they, they changed one of our main thoroughfares to have a pay lane on it. And you know, and then nobody wanted to pay it. And then it just jammed the other lanes up first. And so the stuff that they do is just it’s just is asinine from a traffic control standpoint.
Jody Lenes 08:33
Oh, I think you know, I think the joke right here is the state sign for road signs is right under construction. Yeah. Yeah. There’s always construction somewhere.
Damon Pistulka 08:45
Yes. Yes. So when you when you look at the the landscaping business, and I know we’re going to talk about developing the leader inside of you and how you started doing that, but I do I do have to talk a little bit about landscape. I’m a landscaping nut. I love to see stuff. My landscaping stinks in the overall scheme of things. I don’t want my house either. Yeah. So I’m just gonna be put that right out there. I’m not good. But I do enjoy, you know, doing a project here and there. But do you have like a project that just stands out in your mind? You go, man, I did this a long time ago, but I still remember it.
Jody Lenes 09:22
Absolutely. There’s two that stand out for two different reasons. So there’s one and it’s on our website, even though I did it in the past company. It’s my work. So I put that on our website. But it was the first big installation I did. And it was done with Lenna swans and landscape. I probably should have never gotten this job, but I did. And yeah, I had people that were around me that could help me through it. And actually sidebar to that one of the funniest parts about it. So I had the client the homeowner was my client. Yeah. I didn’t know how to design what they were looking For, but through a mutual acquaintance, I had a local landscape architect who worked for another company.
Put the design together. Well, fast forward now 22 years later, and that’s the landscape architect who’s working with me. Here it is. Oh, man. That’s cool. So, you know, it’s funny how things kind of come full circle at times. But yeah, this job entailed it was a brand new home under construction. And we did a flagstone walkway on the front, you know, set in concrete, nice curved walkway stepped up to a landing. All the front landscaping with low voltage lighting, the backyard had a big slope coming off the driveway, we did a three tiered curved retaining wall with the steps down and walkway through it. Lighting the little bench seating area that went down to a patio under the deck.
I mean, it looked awesome. Yeah, it looked awesome. So the fact that I was able to get that job done, and is right at the front of the neighborhood, it was it was I loved, I mean, brand new neighborhood going in brand new house. And this was right at the front. So everyone saw going in. Well, so that was that was a lot of fun. And then the other project that really stands out was the first job I won an award for. And again, as new home here in Howard County, I was working for the residential design build firm in Silver Spring, and we did this beautiful brick home. And we did a nice new apron when you enter the driveway with brick columns at the front landscaping around it.
And then we have the nice big welcoming brick walkway with a seat wall around the little courtyard at the front door and all the landscaping and lighting and see that project come to life from a design that I put together. Because in this case, I did that design. So that come from a design that I did, to seeing it installed and being there for a lot of it. You know, I wasn’t the one laying the bricks myself, but I was managing the install. Mm hmm. So to see it come together and know why we did certain things a certain way to a year later we’re taking pictures of it and then submitting it for an award in it wins a brand award from the National Landscape Association.
Damon Pistulka 12:13
Oh my goodness.
Jody Lenes 12:14
So it was so much fun. I mean, I went to Orlando, Florida, and I got to go up on the stage and pick up my ward and see my project up on the screen. Oh wow. So it was you know, I look around the wall I got the I got the award right there on the wall. So it’s it’s a lot of fun. So those those are the two that really stand out and i i could probably name off about 20 of them that I love but those two have some special meanings.
Damon Pistulka 12:41
That’s incredible. That’s incredible because that like like you said the first award and seeing your design come to fruition really had to be something
Jody Lenes 12:51
it really did and it’s just you know it was neat to see it’s you know going to a national stage and seeing my project yeah up on that screen you know the little buddy ego on it but yeah it was a it was a nice one to go sit there and go yeah I did that
Damon Pistulka 13:10
it’s just cool because I mean it is it you know kind of not not I don’t know I’m not gonna use right we’re back kind of validates that that you you do know what you’re doing a little bit it even though if the V know you know what you’re doing you still kind of go well do I really but that helps
Jody Lenes 13:30
I question myself all the time. Even more now but we’ll get into that part of it I got myself a lot more now. But uh it wasn’t I think it was it was validation as well when I went to the national stage in to hear people that I respected in the industry after I come back from the stage and everything saying hey, I love that project I love what you did with this you know that okay it’s not just my eyes that it was but the judges and then you know these people that I respected in the industry just you know commenting on you know that they could see it.
Damon Pistulka 14:03
Oh, I bet I mean that’s so cool man. So cool. I’m glad I got asked about it because it’s it’s really it’s cool to hear about it’s cool to hear you tell about it because it’s it does show your passion for the the the green industry and care, an attention to detail and the other things that are really important especially when you’re going to do this long term and do at a high level because a lot of people could look at landscaping and go oh yeah, they’re just whacking down grass and doing that but man there is there is a ton of technical and details to it and the attention to detail is where you really separate yourself from Damon who just goes out and wax the yard down.
Lucky if he trims it and then to someone that really creates a beautiful space and keep it that way.
Jody Lenes 14:56
Yeah, it’s it’s it’s is a The challenge that we face in the industry as a whole, you know, we get a certain, you know, rap that’s out there because we use a certain labor force that people will start to generalize no have the stereotypes now well, you guys are just playing in the dirt and you’re digging up and you’re making a mess, and you’re doing all this. But what they’re not realizing is everything that goes into making this happen. And the effort that the these men and women in the field are doing every day to make these things happen.
And it’s not just doing it, but it’s doing it the right way. And, you know, it’s, there’s a lot that’s changing in the industry, excuse me, and I think that’s one of the biggest things is is the perception of how we are viewed. You know, we’re not just out there spraying chemicals. We’re not out there just chopping things down. We’re not out there. Just, you know, the guy cutting grass. And I don’t fall. That’s how I got started. I was the kid cutting grass in the neighborhood. So yeah, I say I say it in a friendly way. But there’s a difference between who I was when I was a 16 year old 13 year old kid cutting grass and where I am now. Yeah, so. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 16:06
So do you like snow removal?
Jody Lenes 16:12
I love it. I hate it.
Damon Pistulka 16:13
Yeah. Me because it’s one of those things because I always say, and a friend did like a hobby, you know, many, many years ago. And you know, you’re sitting there waiting around, you get your truck all ready to go and you’re waiting for it to snow.
Jody Lenes 16:27
Yeah, you’re hoping that it comes? Yeah. You know, it’s I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go.
Damon Pistulka 16:34
Jody Lenes 16:35
It’s it’s fun. I mean, I do enjoy it. It’s it’s one of those Love hates. I mean, it. It is landscaping, it rains. We don’t get to surf. We’ll do it tomorrow. No problem. Snow is one of those issues that it says those things that happened that we have to get it done. Yeah, we’re in a time crunch. Right now. It’s got to get done now. And if you don’t do it, well, you may lose that snow contract. But even worse, you may lose that landscape contract that goes along with it. Mm hmm.
So you can you know, there’s a lot of risk involved. And then the risk is even more because unfortunately, in the world we live in. Everyone wants to say they were walking down that shopping center and boom, they slipped and fell. Yeah. And hey, you’re the guy doing the snow. You’re the one that’s getting sued. Yeah. You know, that’s funny. It hasn’t snowed the last four days. And it’s been 85 degrees all day long. So would you slip on? But, you know, even if it gets dismissed, we start to deal with it.
So yeah, I hate I don’t say, Hey, that’s a strong word. And I take that back immediately. So I dislike some of the hoops that we have to jump through these days. Yeah, because of those kinds of things. Yeah, but I, I still love what we do on that. And I love the fact that, you know, we’re out there. Our teams are working hard through these weather events. When everyone else is getting up and starting to go do what they need to do. We’re going to go to sleep. Yeah, but I’m going to see gone. They’re able to go do that, because we just did our job. Yeah. Yeah, that’s going to the grocery store. Because we just cleared that parking
Damon Pistulka 18:09
lot. Yeah, exactly. Someone’s just rolling up and getting their groceries course they’re probably also
Jody Lenes 18:13
not happy. It’s not that I have to go to work because we play in the park line at their office. But yeah.
Damon Pistulka 18:18
Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. For sure, you know that the the thing that I never thought about until you said it is, is you’re doing the snow removal and the landscaping, if you don’t do a good job on the store removal, that could be a lot of money the next year,
Jody Lenes 18:32
it really can. And that’s, you know, that’s where I said, it’s, there’s the challenge to it, because you have to do it. Right. Yeah. And, you know, you have to there’s the risk of the liability. And there’s also the risk of those contracts if you mess up. I mean, that’s, that has a lot of it’ll snowball. I mean, yeah.
Damon Pistulka 18:53
That’s for sure. Cool. Well, you know, now we’re gonna get to talk a little bit about the topic that we have, you know, developing the leader inside of you. Now, this we were talking a little bit before we got on and we we know each other from other places, too, and, and so, you decided a while ago that you were going to work on yourself? And I will say, I’ll let you just plan in your own words, but what kind of what kind of what kind of drove you to this decision? And did you like say, I’m going to, you know, I’m going to go on a mission to improve my myself and what kind of what happened? What happened in what you decided to do?
Jody Lenes 19:34
Absolutely. Great question. So I was not necessarily looking at how to improve myself. You know, I I won’t sit here and say it. I felt like I had it all together. But I I don’t know that I even knew what I was what I didn’t know. Yeah. You know, business was gone along. Obviously, things have changed in the last few years of how business operates.
With supply chain issues and with, you know, labor issues and clients being home when they were never home before, so now we’re getting scrutinized about everything the crews are doing on the site. It’s like, you know, so yeah, you know, and I’ve never operated a business that, um, you know, run a business at the size that we’re at now, you know, when I had my business, and I’m cutting 25, lawns or, you know, 100, lawns or whatever, I was not even, you know, not even a 10th of where we are now.
Yeah. And so that brings about all its challenges. And it’s one of those things where I’ve always heard about business coaches, I’ve talked to consultants, I’ve known consultants, I’ve talked to them about, Hey, how can you help me with my business? And they all seem to always talk about, well, let’s talk about your processes. And let’s talk about you know, how you’re selling this type of work.
And let’s talk about your marketing and, you know, your employee handbook and all those kinds of things. So it was always like, Alright, great. Yeah, that’s, that’s cool. I mean, that’s important stuff. But I’ve never had anyone really talk to me about me. Yeah. And, you know, we had someone come into our company, and we were talking. Dane Isaacs was coming in, and it was like, Okay. The funny part is, we were bringing him in to talk about our tree side of our business, because he’s got experience in the tree world. And it was okay, how can we, you know, grow this.
But our conversation talked, I think we talked about trees for maybe the first hour or two. And then we start going in all these different tangents between my my business partner myself in pain. And later that day, we’re out to dinner. And then the next day, I’m taking him to the airport. And I said to him, Do you ever do coaching, you know, with like an individual, you know, I’ve always thought about this business coach thing. He goes, I love doing it. And it was, alright, cool. I’m thinking myself, let’s give it a shot. I mean, but I don’t have anything to lose.
And I felt a certain rapport with him. I haven’t felt with any consultant before any local business person that I talked to him, I’ve been involved in the local Chamber of Commerce for 20 years. So I know, a lot of very successful business people. I know a lot of, you know, great people in the business world. And I have conversations with them. But none of them none of them had a certain none of them had a conversation, this thing that I did. Very good. So it opened up a different avenue for me, and the stress of work, you know, being an owner, people come to you, and they dump their problems on me.
They want to complain about this client, they want to complain about this project. They want to complain about how we’re doing this within the company, they want to complain about this. And I’m sort of going okay, well, who do I complain to? And unfortunately, I was bringing it home. And I was complaining to my wife, which she was supporting in wanting to help. But I was really just wanting to get that off my chest. Yeah. So then I would get angry with her that she’d say, Well, have you tried this? I’m, like, really want to talk about this anymore?
You know, and I wasn’t becoming the husband that I needed. Yeah. And I have a 15 year old son, and I was taking that on him. And it wasn’t anything he did. But I’m yelling at him because he was being a 15 year old kid. Yeah, but I was just, I had all this stuff built up inside of them. So as I started working with he was like, Alright, I you know, I see what you’re trying to do. And I thought the process and everything else is just like, Okay, wait a second. Finally, one day, you know, I got away with my wife and my son just to kind of clear my head. We went away for a few days. He loves baseball, or football and baseball, and we took him to the Canton to the Football Hall of Fame.
Oh, and coming back from that, in having whatever epiphany clear mind is just like, I need to do this work. There’s a better way to do this. And I I have done things before. I don’t know if anyone’s ever heard of there’s called the landmark forum. And I did that 15 years ago. Maybe that maybe not quite that long. And it was great. But again, it was large group. It was set process. And it was it was it didn’t fit me. Yeah. So I got stuff out of it, but not enough. I was looking at how I could do something better for me. Because I knew if I was better. I could do more for my team. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 24:45
Yeah. That’s something. So I’m sitting here and gross to the conversation. It’s awesome. I love I love the conversation. And I didn’t realize I wasn’t looking at the chat we got we got Ronald’s here talking to us. Hello, Ronald. And then of course, Dana saying hello.
Jody Lenes 25:05
Oh, do we have to talk to him? No kidding. Hey, Zane,
Damon Pistulka 25:09
is asking if you’re allowed to go outside Howard County.
Jody Lenes 25:14
Oh, he’s got all kinds of inside jokes that he Yeah, he and I have a lot of fun with
Damon Pistulka 25:18
- Good. Good. We got Michelle here. Awesome. Oh, yeah. Texas. Yeah, like that. And then so yeah, there’s a lot of comments here, you have to come back and look at these. They’re all right. There’s some good ones in here. And I’m rolling through them to see they’re all appropriate. That’s good.
Jody Lenes 25:38
Give them a chance. So we can get we get it?
Damon Pistulka 25:43
The other way? That’s right, good. Well, that’s awesome. Because, you know, it’s, it’s I think, I think business people and entrepreneurs in general. At least I know, years ago, I’m a bit older. Nobody ever talked about coaches, and the need for helping, but you look at every professional athlete, they got a whole slew of coaches to help them all the way through. And now you look at the top performing people and just about anything, and they’ve got coaches, you know, and I don’t mean, just physical coaches, they’ve got mental coaches, because they’ve understood at that elite, elite, elite level, that the mental aspect is as important as the physical aspect.
Jody Lenes 26:34
It’s, luckily, it’s starting to get some traction. And, you know, it’s, whether it’s through the celebrities that have brought it about the sport stars that have brought it about, you know, the whole mental health awareness aspect. But I think a big part of this is more than just mental health. There’s absolutely that part of it, you know, there’s the mental health and how you can get yourself out of a funk, if you’re in a funk, and how to get yourself, you know, if you’re dealing with depression, and it’s real, I mean, I’ve dealt with depression, I’ve dealt with anxiety, you know, I look there, I’m not denying any of those pieces. But there’s another part of it.
And that’s what I’ve, I’ve really enjoyed is I almost said preventing those things, but it’s, it’s okay to have those things. Yeah. But it’s, it’s more than that it’s building a better me. Exactly. You know, and that’s what’s been a big part of the fun of this. And ever since I really bought into the process, and again, I’m sure somewhere in the comments, they don’t put it in there that I fought him on his process. You know, but when I finally, when I finally felt started, enjoying the process and begin becoming part of it, it really did become, Wow, there’s so much better, there’s so much more to life, you know, in it’s, it’s a different way of looking at life and enjoying it.
And I find myself now the problems that come about, I don’t get stressed about them. You know, it’s like, okay, I can deal with them. You know, and it’s, it’s not just having a coach, it’s having people around me. And, you know, it’s, you and I were talking before we could hang, we came on the air. And it’s amazing. The conversations, I’ve always loved networking, I was one, I could go into a room, and I could talk to whoever I loved. As I bring on the crowds, you know, this will be fun.
And I could talk and get to know him and build a build a relationship and build a friendship. And, you know, I, my wife hates it, we go out to dinner, and I’m like, Hold on, I’ll be back. I got to say hi to five or six people first, because yeah, I just know, a ball. And but now, the conversations I’m having with people are about life. And yeah, it’s amazing. That, you know, I’m finding people that are dealing with similar journeys and enjoying it. And those conversations get to a certain level, and I find the other people that they like, there’s something different about you.
And it’s like, What do you mean, you know, like, we just You seem lighter on your feet, or whatever, and say, I’m just enjoying life, and it kind of morphed into, I get to have that conversation. And it’s, it’s fun to be able to do that. And it’s fun to be you and I both kind of said the same thing. We’re talking to people that we may never have talked to in the past. Mm hmm. You know, and I find myself going to a networking event and it’s not about business, that either the business will come later. It’ll, it’ll happen naturally.
But I’m just going enjoying meeting people. And I’m enjoying actually talking about my experience and talking about my journey that I’m on. And, you know, it’s it’s fun, do it, you know, because I think before in the stigma still there for a lot of people, they’re afraid. And I think that’s why you know, to your point of the The coaches versus you know, people talk about it. So many people are afraid to admit these tickets. Oh, I need help because I’m in a bad spot. No, it’s not. It’s everyone needs help. Yeah, there’s no one i There’s no one no one out there that doesn’t help. Mm hmm. But who’s willing to ask for it? Yeah. Who’s willing to do it?
Damon Pistulka 30:26
Exactly. And I think I think that that’s a great point. Because I think a lot more of the extremely, extremely successful people that we know, have a lot of coaches around them that they’re interacting with on a daily basis, that keeps their mind their body. They’re the people that are around them. Right. And we just don’t see it.
Jody Lenes 30:54
Oh, yeah. Well, some of them may not be coaches by by trade. It might be their accountant. It might be. It might be their next door neighbor. Mm hmm. But it’s having that support system around you that says, I got your back. Yeah, I got your back. You know, you do what you need to do. I got your back. You know, and, you know, you talked about how these elite athletes, and they had their coaches, and the coaches build a team of people around them. And that team has a team of coaches. It’s not just one coach.
Yeah. So it spills into the business world, because it’s like, Okay, now that I see this about myself, and now that I see, you know, what I’m doing and how I’m getting through my day better, I can start to talk to my team members that way. Yeah. And by talking to my team members, I would now they’re starting to even say, okay, yeah, you are acting different. And I appreciate this.
This is fun, you know, in the conversations I’m having with my team members is fun. And we’re, we’re handling problems without it being we’re not dealing with a problem. We’re dealing with situations now. It’s like, Alright, how are we gonna work through this? Yeah. And so I’m watching them grow with it, as well. So it’s, you know, it? Hopefully, I’m starting to let them see, it’s okay. We don’t all have to know the answers. Because together we’ll find the answers.
Damon Pistulka 32:13
Yeah, that’s, that’s a great point. That’s a great point. Because when you get people to realize that we can all have input and come up with the best solution, not just my idea, your idea, then you really get something special.
Jody Lenes 32:26
I have, you know, the people we have working for us are definitely smarter than I am, you know, and we’ve done that for a reason. There’s people that have more skills in certain areas. And, you know, I start to see that part of my job as owner of the company is, I’ve got to be able to pull the right people in. To put the team together. Yeah, so I get to play, you know, it’s conceivable, I get to play puppet mass bring the bring the people together.
I’m putting the puzzle together. Mm hmm. You know, and these people are gonna be great at certain things, and they’re gonna be weaker, or other things. That’s okay. Because we have someone else who’s strong in that point, you know, and, together, they’re all better than I am trying to do it on my own. Yeah. And, you know, I’ve told them all, especially in the last few months, as I’ve been doing this, is this is this company is nothing without them. Mm hmm. You know, it’s a it’s a shirt with a logo on it. And a lot of bills. Yeah. That we’re not doing anything.
Damon Pistulka 33:28
That’s a good, it’s a shirt with a logo. I’m writing that down. Because that’s what is that?
Jody Lenes 33:34
Great. That second part? A lot of bills.
Damon Pistulka 33:37
Yeah, a lot of bills.
Jody Lenes 33:42
And that’s down to the guy hold the shovel digging the holes in the dirt. Yeah, exactly. It’s, it’s every one of them. It’s not getting done without him. It’s not going without him. And our clients aren’t gonna see anything happen. Without all of them. Yeah, I can sell, you know, anything they want. But unless I we have the team of people doing it. You know,
Damon Pistulka 34:02
it’s not gonna happen. It’s not gonna happen. Yeah. We got Ronald said he was happy that you’re being real. And then then reinforce You are the King of networking.
Jody Lenes 34:13
I try. He said, cuz I know you do a lot of people then he made the comment. I didn’t realize what you meant by a lot of people. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 34:21
Then Scott stopped by he said, Oh, my God. Yeah. So Scott’s here to awesome. This is great, because I see it in your eyes as you’re talking about it and hear it in your voice because it’s did this work? kind of lift a weight off of you in business? It did it did it kind of just give you a little bit rather than tense. Because were you one of the tense, you know, tense driven business owners, and it wasn’t able to go to come more like that. This is wrong, where she was more like the Buddha business owner. That’s like i Okay, if this is under control now?
Jody Lenes 35:07
Absolutely. You know, it’s called a revelation call it whatever someone wants to feel happy with. Yeah. The shoulders have relaxed. It’s, I’m enjoying doing the work again. Yeah. And I think that’s a big part of one of your early questions. What brought me on this, you know, to start making some of these changes. I started to not enjoy what I was doing. And I questioned myself with my doing the right thing. Should I get out of this? Should I go back to working for someone else? Should I, you know, what should I do?
Yeah. And I was doing it to myself. I was I was sabotaging myself, and I can see it now. And when I started to accept my faults, and accept where I was not doing things where it showed her, you know, that there were better ways to do things. Hmm. It was like, Okay, wait a second. I don’t have to be perfect. No one’s perfect. Not the world’s not perfect, but you know, the situations aren’t perfect. But I can get through it. You know, there’s, there’s nothing that’s gonna stop me, except for the day that I stopped breathing, which hopefully is a long time from now.
But yeah, yeah, I can. Worst case scenario, okay. Cool. You know, something happens business had to close. Okay, we move on, I go on to something different. Not gonna let it happen, though. Yeah. Because I see the path. I see how that all works. I know what I know what I’m willing to give up to make sure that that doesn’t happen. I know what I’m willing to do to make that happen. You know, and I think, absolutely, like you said, it’s just it was, there was that day of, okay, the shoulders could go down. I could walk into the office, and I could be happy. Yeah. And that just made for a whole new way of this business, being able to then just go from here.
Damon Pistulka 37:08
Yeah, that’s incredible. That’s incredible. I don’t even know. Really what to say. But that’s, that’s cool. Because when you think about that, you think about and I think about myself in younger years, right? The stress Oh, yeah. And, and, and, you know, if you if you want to know me, 15 years ago, you know, there were times I got angry. You know, I don’t necessarily go off on somebody, but I was off. I did that. in it. I think though, that what you’re telling me and is by the work that you’re doing and the things that it’s allowed you to understand about yourself? That probably happens a little bit less.
Jody Lenes 37:57
Oh, dramatically less? Yeah, it dramatically. And in the funny part is, now I see others around just in business, and it’s so stressed, there’s no need for that, you know, it’s like, oh, I just want to go give them a hug, you know, whatever. It’s just like, yeah, relax, we’re gonna get through it. It’s, you know, but it’s someone has to be ready to do that. Take that challenge. They no doubt challenge. It’s, it’s a it’s a new perspective. It’s a change of your mindset. And someone has to be willing to admit their faults. Mm hmm.
You know, and I’ve gotten to team members, and I said, I’m sorry. Like, for what would you do? Like, I wasn’t the leader you needed. And I’ve had two or three of my team members. They’re like, What do you mean, you’ve been great to work with? I said, Yeah, but I haven’t been the leader you need. Yeah. You know, and for me to go up and say that to them. They’re just like, oh, you know, it’s like, you put your faith in me. You came to work. Here he is. And you want to have a career here. I wasn’t doing everything I needed to do to give you that opportunity. Yeah, things are gonna go great for you, but they could be going even better. And we’re going to make sure that that happens
Damon Pistulka 39:16
now and see what we can do to do it.
Jody Lenes 39:18
Yeah. So yeah, it’s it’s fun. We start to see Yeah, from everyone.
Damon Pistulka 39:24
Yeah, cuz I think that that calm positive energy is something that when you can feel it in you, others begin to feel it in themselves. Yep. So have you seen so let’s just for for for frame of reference, about how long do you think it’s been since you really changed the way that you’re doing? Oh, you’re conducting yourself in business middle of August. Okay. Just
Jody Lenes 39:59
a few months. I can reference it because it’s when we went to the football phase when I came home. That’s that was the that was your time. That was the epiphany moment. That was, you know, I’ve been working on working on myself before that thing. Yeah, but that was when I stopped fighting.
Damon Pistulka 40:16
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So in that time, that’s not very long. I mean, it’s four months now. Yeah. How much of a difference do you see in the people that are working with you?
Jody Lenes 40:28
Dramatic? Yeah, dramatic. It’s, you know, I, I’ve got even people that maybe still aren’t even fully on my side. Whether they’re in our company or outside of the company, I have a whole different way of interacting with them. And it’s throwing them for a loop. Because if they were against me, it’s like, they don’t know how to be against me. Yeah, it’s because I’m bringing it on. I know. You’re not gonna scare me. Yeah, you know, I bring on the challenge. I mean, yeah, I still get scared about doing certain things, but I can work through it.
And, you know, I think the other big piece of that is, again, we talked about having that, that group around you. Yeah. And, you know, we’ve got some great things happening with a peer group that we’re building for landscape professionals, and helping them understand this kind of mindset and how it will improve their business. But, you know, I think that’s the important thing is it’s people have to realize they’re not alone. Yeah, they don’t have to handle this alone.
Damon Pistulka 41:34
100% 100% Because there’s people in this same exact situation that would benefit from the same exact work, maybe the industry in any industry. Exactly. Exactly. That’s, that’s so cool. That’s so cool, that you’re seeing the benefits and you’re able to deal with it. Definitely. Now, let’s, let’s take a look at one other piece in this because this is something that that a lot of people hate to hate to talk about is health and family. Absolutely. And, you know, it’s not, it’s not published, but the divorce rate in business owners is pretty damn high. And, and heart attack, your name, the other things are gonna happen.
Jody Lenes 42:26
I was heading towards all of those.
Damon Pistulka 42:28
So how has it helped you just in your in your life outside of business?
Jody Lenes 42:34
I was definitely. I was probably days away from any one of those that you met. Yeah. Surprised? My wife never left. I’d love every minute, because you did. Yeah. There you go. There’s surprised my son still talk to me. Thank God he does. And you know, yeah, he and I are closer. Even with my brother, you know, during the, during the scene, I would start walking, you know, during the pandemic, and it was just, we were walking one of the local parks, and, you know, I never would have done that in years past. Wow. You know, my health, you know, and yeah, I deal with certain health issues.
But even when I go for my checkups now the doctors like, yeah, you’re you’re doing well, with these, you know, your numbers are looking good. Good. I still got a lot of weight to lose, but it’s like, it’s on the right trajectory now. And, you know, in committing to this, I’m doing, I’m working out again, I haven’t done true workouts in 20 years. Yeah. And I’m working out three or four days a week now. And that’s awesome. It’s, you know, again, I can only if I don’t do it, I’m only letting myself down. And I can stop pointing the finger at every other excuse. Because if I don’t go work out, there’s only one person to blame. And that’s me. Yeah. And I’m lying to myself if I say anything different.
Damon Pistulka 43:54
Yeah. Well, that the stress relief alone, the stress reduction alone is is is adding adding years and quality of your life, that’s for sure. Quality today and in the long term.
Jody Lenes 44:07
Absolutely. And, and it’s been fun, because I mean, I have different ways of sharing my thoughts and releasing my thoughts. You know, I, again, not having read a lot of books in the past and I’m I’ve got three books I’m in the middle of right now. It’s like, you know, I haven’t read this much in my whole life. It’s because I have in the past six months.
And writing I mean, I I always joke with people I’ve done write good, it’s, you know, I but I love, you know, my platform right now to do to share some of that writing is using LinkedIn. And I get to write and tell stories and share thoughts that I have. And it’s amazing now I’ll go to a family function. And I have nieces and nephews coming up to me and sister in laws and such as like, oh my god, I loved reading this about this.
I’m like, You’re reading my stuff. They’re like, Oh, yeah, this is great. We love Um, you know, I can’t wait for your next one. It’s like, holy Wait, you know where this come from? Yeah. But it’s just, it’s one of the things you start to see. Again, it’s like, they’re seeing a difference in me. They’re like, Oh, yeah, we knew you were going to be successful. But this is, this is cool. This, you know, Hey, your family, they, you know, they’re reading my stuff. And they’re, they’re, they’re mentioning it at a family function. It’s like, wow, that’s even cool.
Damon Pistulka 45:25
That is very cool. That’s very cool. Well, let’s stop by Hello. Hi, Melissa. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. So I got one question, too. So so does your wife is she at the point where she believes
Jody Lenes 45:37
it? Yes. That’s awesome. Yes,
Damon Pistulka 45:41
that’s awesome. Because I know there’s there’s you know, cuz you ski like go, ah, is this long term? You know, is this, when’s it gonna flip? You know, she, she
Jody Lenes 45:51
made a comment the other day, I was sitting at the table, and I was working with my son on some homework or something. And, you know, I flat out shared with him. I’m like, Look, he was getting frustrated. And I’m like, Hey, buddy, don’t worry about it. You know? What, I’m asking you to redo this assignment. It’s not because I’m coming down on me. said, Look, you realize you and I was put very honest, I said, Look, do you see how I operate different? It takes work? Is it you? Did you ever see me? But it kind of hurt. But that’s it. Did you ever see me on the deck out there crying? Is it? Yeah. Because I didn’t know how to deal distress.
I get it. And I was trying to hide it from you. And I’m sorry that you saw it. But he did. He saw how bad it was. Yeah. And I just I kind of talked through with him. And so you know, he was upset that I was making them redo this assignment that he thought he’d done well, and I’m like, Yeah, you’re not talking about it. It’s like you never turn this over. You know, he got it. He she made a comment to me that you’re coaching your son. And I was like, Oh, wow. Now, to me, it’s just kind of second nature and how I’m talking to him, but she saw it, you could see that there’s a difference in how I’m interacting where I used to get frustrated with them.
And, you know, just yell at them and walk away or give them the frustrated. Look, you know, there’s shaking his head on his breath. Is Yeah, you know, yeah. So it’s so yeah, I think she I, I don’t want to put words in her mouth. But I would say that she, she does believe it. And she says it, you know? And she, she knows. I mean, there’s been plenty of times that she’s like, doesn’t bother you? And I’m like, No, not anymore. There’s no reason for that to bother me. I’ll deal with it. I don’t need to it doesn’t need to bother. I’ll do that on Monday. I don’t need to let it ruin my weekend.
Damon Pistulka 47:43
Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. That’s great. Is it? Well, because the the calm that it brings allows you to really enjoy life?
Jody Lenes 47:53
Well, you know, the is the old saying, we work to live. You know, I don’t I don’t want to be the workaholic. You know, I enjoy the fact that I get the freedoms to be able to go to my son’s games, when he plays in baseball, and I get to, you know, go to his events at school when I can, you know, before COVID. You know, we were supposed to go on a field trip. And I was going to be a chaperone. It was like, Yeah, you know, I don’t want to miss I missed a lot of that time. Because even when I was present, I wasn’t present. Yeah.
Because I was focused on other things. I didn’t know how to be present. And now I can be present. When I’m there. I’m there with him. When they’re with my wife, I’m there with my wife. I’m not letting the other things come in. So and that’s interesting, you know, in conversations like this, I used to be the one who Okay, well, I gotta check this, and I gotta check this, why? Why we’re talking? I’m going to be looking at this. And no, I, if I’m committing to someone, I’m going to be there. I’m going to be present for that. Yeah. So you’re absolutely right, in terms of I mean, it’s it’s not just professionally, it’s personally too. I mean, it’s had an impact that way.
Damon Pistulka 49:04
Awesome. Awesome. Well, Jody, this has been great. Oh, it’s as so I just, I appreciate you so much, to first of all, sharing this and being here today because it just it hope that the people listening to this Get inspired about the fact that that this is taking the time to develop ourselves, develop the leader in you, whatever you want to call it, better personal ways of living, dealing with whatever you’re dealing with.
It’s worth it. It’s worth it to do it. And it’s so cool to hear hear you talk about it, and then hear in business in life because it’s like it’s like anything when people you know, even when I used to refer to safety, safety, safety in business. It’s like you’re manufacturing or I was I was always saying, the people who hate go about safety and I said, Listen, if you hurt get hurt at work, you’re hurt at home. Absolutely. It’s gonna hurt you doing Oh, sit in the backyard drinking beer.
I don’t care what you’re gonna do, but you’re gonna hurt there too, you know, and your health now. It’s this in the way that you’re dealing with things is helping you in business and at home. And that’s what I love about it. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, good stuff. Well, thanks so much, everybody, for listening. We got a ton of great comments. Jody Lenise. iOS outdoor services outside of Baltimore. Thanks for being here today, my friend. I really appreciate it. And we’ll be back again next week on the faces of business. So come back and join us then. hang out for a minute Jody, and we’ll talk