Morgan Miller Plumbing-Jeff Morgan-Grandview Missouri-February 26, 2021-E2

Kameron:    00:00:00    In today’s episode of the blue color brain trust podcast. We welcome Jeff Morgan. He’s the owner of Morgan Miller plumbing in Grandview, Missouri. Welcome everybody to the blue color brain trust podcast. I am very pleased to introduce, today’s guest, Jeff Morgan of Morgan Miller plumbing in Grandview, Missouri. We were just talking about how cold it is out there, Jeff, what’s it like out there in Grandview view right now?


Jeff:    00:00:31    Yeah, well, today’s much better than it was just a week ago. I think the difference in temperature is somewhere about 70 or 80 degrees difference. 


Kameron:    00:00:41    Are you getting a lot of folks out there with plumbing related issues due to the weather?


Jeff:    00:00:49    It’s really hard to make a living this time of year because of that reason everybody’s in disaster mode. Guys are tired once they get wet, which is going to be their first call. It’s really hard to work the rest of the day, but they plunge on!


Kameron:    00:01:11    Tell our guests a little bit more about Morgan Miller funding. 


Jeff:    00:01:16    We’re in our 25th year, we started in 1997. I was 35 years old. And I thought if I didn’t start my own company pretty soon, I’ll be too old to ever do it. That’s kind of how the company started. 


Kameron:    00:01:32    Wow. How did you wind up in this line work? 


Jeff:    00:01:37    I’m a son of the son of a son of a plumber. You know, the song?


Kameron:    00:01:44    I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it before, but I’m going to have to listen to it now. 


Jeff:    00:01:48    Oh. Um, my grandfather was a plumber. I never met him. He was gone before I was born. My father was a plumber before world war two and they came back for Jeffery islands and you get selling plumbing, equipment and plumbing parts. And so I pretty much knew I was going to be a plumber pop on it to be, and I applied myself exactly to the point where I

didn’t have much choice. Um, and then, so in 17, the first Monday after high school, I’m digging a ditch and I can remember thinking right then how mad I was, because I didn’t give myself any choices. But then I also remember how to turn it out was to decide that I was just going to be good at what I’ve done or what I’m doing. And I happened to be better than anybody’s ever been. And once I got that mindset going, everything came pretty easy. Wow. 


Kameron:    00:02:43    Third generation plumber, but a family legacy. You have any kids? Are they working in the family business too? 


Jeff:    00:02:50    No, they’re not. Um, we have two grown children and they’re often to different fields. I tried, 


Kameron:    00:03:00    You’ve been in business for a long time now and I’ve looked over, you know, your company and your website and things like that. It looks like you’re really good at marketing yourself. And you’re you, you also got a big heart too. That’s one of the things that I noticed about you, you do try to give you, try to give back to the community. I’ve seen your work with habitat for humanity, some other things that you’ve done. So I really, really want to compliment you on that. That’s good of you to go ahead and give back to the community, like the way that you are. 


Jeff:    00:03:29    Well, thank you, Cameron. That’s important. It’s the community that allows us to stay in business, right? So that’s the first place that we try to give back anyway, we can, it just makes being in business worth it. I’m sure there’s a lot of other entrepreneurs out there that feel the same exact way 


Kameron:    00:03:48    There are, you know, through my outreach and all the people that I’ve talked to about this show. I have really noticed that we have good people here in this country and there’s a lot of people giving back and you know, I would hope that other businesses would follow suit and learn from your example. 


Jeff:    00:04:05    Thank you. Well, it’s actually, it’s, it’s honestly, one of the final pieces of running a successful business is being able to give it all back. If you go to a seminar schools classes, that’ll be an integral part of running a business. 


Kameron:    00:04:24    Absolutely. I agree with that a hundred percent. Is there anything that’s happened over the years? I mean, you’ve seen a lot been in business for a long time. Is there anything that’s happened over the years that changed the way you’ve done business? What have you Learned?


Jeff:    00:04:38    Oh boy material. It’s gotten a lot easier to work with tools that have never been safer. It’s really never been safer to be in the trades business as it is right now. But as far as us personally, I’d have to say that the year that we said to the yellow pages, which was well over a decade ago and said hello to Facebook. 


Kameron:    00:05:05    Yeah. Yeah. Things have definitely changed. 


Jeff:    00:05:09    It changed a lot, man, because of our willingness to accept that as a way to get older people it’s led us to worlds that we would’ve never imagined, including three visits to Facebook headquarters to talk about small business. That is an honor. 


Kameron:    00:05:28    Wow. That’s incredible. You visited the Facebook headquarters. 


Jeff:    00:05:32    It’s pretty cool. You know, Sheryl Sandberg, she’s the COO of Facebook. She’s a wonderful woman. She wouldn’t know me from Adam of course, but she came into the first meeting we ever had there. And everybody was just all Google-y about her. And I walked up to her and asked to shake her hand as she shook my hand. I said, thank you. I’ve never touched a billionaire. And then, you know, it was bought in by I’d say another minute and a half later, we’re all taking selfies. Like everybody else, man. 


Kameron:    00:06:07    Yeah. I was interviewing a, a roofer in San Diego and you know, he was talking about how things have changed in that area too. And how, you know, they used to advertise in the newspaper. That’s all, it’s all, everything’s all digital now. 


Jeff:    00:06:20    And you got to keep an open mind about it because if you get stuck in, this is the way we do it, man. You’re going to die. Things are changing so fast. And then, then you’ve got COVID. And just earlier this week, my marketing partner and I decided that we were going to have a new rule. We’re already doing lots of different things. And we were just a year ago, what’s COVID tat olden it’s years behind us. We’re still going to use it as an excuse, not to do certain things. We can’t wait to get there. 


Kameron:    00:06:51    You’ve trained a lot of people in your career. What advice would you give someone who was looking to get into your line of work.


Jeff:    00:06:59    As an apprentice, just walking in, not knowing anything and clubbing. It’s not about the plumber and the jokes that come along with being a plumber. It’s about safe water, clean water, safe sanitation. And if you can keep that in your mind that you provided clean water, safe sanitation for the world, uh, you’ll have a sense of pride about the industry that, uh, a lot of people wouldn’t be able to understand. I think it’s important because without clean water and safe sanitation, you and I can’t even do this. So it’s important. 


Kameron:    00:07:41    It’s definitely an essential service and something that we couldn’t live without. It’s very important. And probably a lot of people take it for granted and don’t even think about, they can just turn a knob and fresh water comes out of their faucet. A lot of people in a lot of parts of the world don’t have that privilege.


Jeff:    00:08:02    Here at Morgan Miller plumbing. You’ve seen some of that firsthand too. Um, we do charity work for several organizations that trail the continent, the world within Haiti, Kenya. 


Kameron:    00:08:16    And I believe that organization is similar to doctors without borders, but it is plumbers without borders. Is that correct? 


Jeff:    00:08:21    Yeah. I’m a board member of plumbers without borders. It’s a dream come true. Really? I sit my retired five years ago and that’s when I started my international career. You want to call it that? That’s just what I’m doing. Um, and part of that was following along with plumbers, without borders from Facebook. And then when I retired getting really caught with them. And so it’s been a great partnership. Wow. That’s really cool. Thank you. I’m in love with it.


Kameron:    00:08:56    Common myths in your industry that you’d like to dispel? That’s a question that I’ve asked a lot of people and I’m always surprised at the answer. 


Jeff:    00:09:03    Yeah. Somebody can be to be nasty and we do residential service is our

expertise is all kinds of plumbing that you could get involved in. It doesn’t have to just be residential service. Um, and it can be asking, but I think maybe what I miss is that, uh, —  how lucrative it can be a man or a woman not going to college, what a good living and a substantial amount of paid to take onto their family can do that and do it. 


Kameron:    00:09:34    I think there’s a lot of people that don’t, don’t realize that. And maybe a lack of emphasis on train schools to kids when they’re in they’re in high school, that that’s a legitimate route that someone can take to earn a good living and take care of their family. What do you think about that?


Jeff:    00:09:52    I could talk to you all week long about that Kameron. I mean, we just, we did a

seminar Monday with four different classes at a trade school. Um, here close to our city. Uh, we do it all spring and summer long or fall on when school opens back up, we started a scholarship program at a local junior college here in town through the plumbing trade school there. And then also work with us. We’ve committed to a five-year project there where we’re going to hire the princess every year for the next five years. I thought that’s pretty good because during the Prentice number one fifth year, he’ll be ready or she’ll be ready for a license and we’ll have to more behind them. So Barack worked real well. So I’m, we’re really bullish on bringing the kids in the one of the high schools and talking to them, even in the middle schools, just to give him some ideas, Hey, you know what, like me, I wasn’t going to go to college. I knew that early on and that’s okay. You don’t have to feel or be, be little because that’s not the route you’re going to go. There’s other routes and it’s not just plumbing. It’s any of the trades. We’re getting ready to rebuild this country. So we’re in hot demand right now. And there’s never been a better time to be in the trades. 

Kameron:    00:11:12    Perfect. Fantastic. I think that’s an important message to get out there to people, for sure. It’s the truth. And back to the customer perspective here, what, what advice could you give customers on, on how they could pick a good plumber for their needs? 


Jeff:    00:11:29    I was picking one. That’s not conditioned. And I would pick one, that’s been around a minute or two, and that it’s fairly expensive. We pay by salary or by the hour here and always have, I was in a commission world for awhile and it just didn’t seem to fit my heart. Um, and I, what I mean, I’ve been around for a minute, like us, it could be a new company to a guy guys just starting out. Gosh, I know that several people that have worked here running successful businesses now, but you want somebody that’s going to be there. Something’s wrong. It’s something that happens. And that’s what I’m in about fairly expensive because of the company or a person charging the right amount. I got to stay in business. They were working for the right customers. That respect what they’re doing is going to stay in business and for a

plumber I’m not ever going to pretend I’m as important as a doctor, even though we do provide the water that they use. It is nice. Isn’t it to be able to call on somebody you’d know that it’s going to be there and you can trust us. And we’re going to take advantage of you or your family member. And that’s what it’s about for me. Yeah. 


Kameron:    00:12:43    Let’s talk about something that I know is very important in all the trades and that’s safety. What do you do during the day that you make sure you’re going to come home safe to your family? And what do you teach your folks that work for you about that? 


Jeff:    00:12:56    And safety starts when you get up in the morning, we actually had our insurance auditor that comes by to make sure our shop is safe. Ask if you could come in and take pictures, et cetera, et cetera, that our shop was so clean, straight and tiny. And so, yeah, it was really cool day. So it starts right there. I think I’ll tell you a real simple safety measure that we use here that everybody’s trying to explain to me about. It’s a safety issue because of glare, but we don’t allow anything on the dashboard.


Kameron:    00:13:27    On the service vehicles?


Jeff:    00:13:29    Zero tolerance on that issue. For many reasons, my mainly a safety, nobody ever asked me about the safety part because it is also sales when I’m pulling or we’re pulling up into a job site, you know, people watch it, they’re looking at the window. I did that. And if you pull up the band smoky and loud, all kinds of last week, trash on the passport no —

— w, you know, you gotta watch out. At least that’s how you feel. And there’s no reason to have that rejection right off the bat with, and by not having it by having a clean dashboard, you’ve accomplished that goal, but really it’s about the glare, right? I mean, you can’t see. And so when you say get home at night, that’s one of the things that I insist on.


Kameron:    00:14:18    Now we’ve all had to deal with a crisis in the country, the pandemic COVID-19, how has that affected your business and what are some things that you’ve done? And some things that you’ve had to change because of that. And what advice could you give people about? 


Jeff:    00:14:34    That’s an excellent question, Cameron. It was St. Patrick’s day for us last year when the company split up and most of the people that worked in the office went home. When we figured out how to do it all from home, basically of the safety precautions were taken into effect immediately and they still are. It’s difficult to stay safe. We’ve been real lucky where it’s been all around us, but none of our associates have been hit with it. 


Kameron:    00:15:07    Fortunately. Yeah. 


Jeff:    00:15:09    Yeah. We’ve been really lucky. I would say, take what we’ve learned with these calls that we’re doing today. My goodness, I can get so much more done, take what you’ve learned and removed from your business and leave them there and leave them remote. I’ve learned, we’ve learned so much in the last 12 blocks on how to be more efficient, how to figure out new ways of doing things. And most of them have been pretty successful. 


Kameron:    00:15:38    Are there any questions that you wished I would have asked you that I didn’t ask you? 


Jeff:    00:15:42    Yeah. How about am I happy that I chose this school? 


Kameron:    00:15:45    Are you happy that you chose your career? You feel back, you could go back in time, and..


Jeff:    00:15:51    And be the sportscaster that I wanted to be? Had I done that I would have of never met you. 


Kameron:    00:16:01    Oh, that’s very nice. That’s very nice of you and very true. Very true.



Jeff:    00:16:06    So I’m really happy that I’ve been able to help a lot of people in the community in the last forty years. 


Kameron:    00:16:15    You know, if you’re speaking to the audience now, you know, why should people pick you? Why, why should people pick you? I mean, there’s a million folks in your business. Obviously there’s a lot of different levels of service that they’re going to get, but why should folks pick you to come over and help them out when they need it? 


Jeff:    00:16:32    A portion of every dollar that you pay us, it’s going to go to someone else. 


Kameron:    00:16:38    And like I said, in the very beginning, you’ve got a big heart. I like the way you do business. I like the way you give back. And if I lived a little closer to you, I had something I needed to help with. I, I’ll definitely call you. Yeah. 


Jeff:    00:16:55    That doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean we can’t help you because virtual plumbing is tough. Is that right? Oh, exciting. We can walk you right through any service calls it’s about using this platform. 


Kameron:    00:17:12    What a great idea. So you could have somebody who’s not so handy who needs to rebuild their toilet or something like that. And you could just walk them right through the whole thing. 


Jeff:    00:17:25    We’re set for a set price and even, even find that material for them and get an order for them and have it ready for them to go pick up at plumbers rate. 


Kameron:    00:17:34    That’s a great idea. I have never heard of that before, but I mean, it makes total sense, especially, you know, during what we’re going through right now, where somebody might be reluctant to have someone else come in their house?


Jeff:    00:17:50    That’s right. Another reason why it’s becoming something at the forefront. I think we’ll be keeping in touch. And when I get this developed a little further, you’ll be one of the first 20 to know.



Kameron:    00:17:59    I would love to, I would love to, uh, follow up on that. And, and maybe,

maybe, maybe we could do another show where you talk about just talk about that.


Jeff:    00:18:08    That’d be fantastic. Maybe we can and do a practice test with you. 


Kameron:    00:18:12    Wonderful. I, I totally do that. You know, I’d love to get down there and do some plumbing while you  –tell me how to do it. That’d be fun. 


Jeff:    00:18:20    Okay. You gotta deal. I mean that.


Kameron:    00:18:24    Okay, Jeff, how can people contact you? How can you help? 


Jeff:    00:18:30    Metropolitan area looks up our plumbing company, Morgan Miller plumbing, how we’re all over the place we’re on every platform you can think of. 


Kameron:    00:18:42    Jeff. I really appreciate you coming on the show today. Uh, it was really great to meet you. And, uh, I look forward to talking with you again in the future. 


Jeff:    00:18:53    Great work. 


Kameron:    00:18:53    Thank you. Bye-bye you too.



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