Contractor’s Guide to Success Start It, Build It, Grow It with Randy Brothers, the CEO of CJ and Elite Roofing as well as head coach of The Roofing Academy.
He’s a third-generation contractor and business owner with over 15 years of contracting experience.
- His company has grown 10 times in 6 years, or 10X,
- A 30% growth rate over the past 5 years, even when the local roofing market softened during that time frame.
- Elite Roofing now provides for the families of over 40 people that are employed in his firm
A natural born entrepreneur. Even as a little kid, I did various entrepreneurial endeavors from, you know, buying popsicles and Blow Pops in bulk, selling them to my friends on the school bus, to landscaping, doing lawn mowing, to a window cleaning company I started in college.
I mowed lawns to buy my first PlayStation. And then all the friends came over and played my PlayStation for two years. And then I ended up hiring them and having them help me mow lawns
I worked three jobs in college. I worked full-time and went to school full-time. I actually started…early on, as soon as I kinda knew I wanted to do business, I correlated, you know, my kinda natural ability to build things, and, you know, third generation contractor. I grew up kinda watching my grandpa and my dad, everything they wanted to fix or do around the house, they did it themselves. They built it themselves.
I basically went in blindly to this construction company and sat there for three hours with no experience, just trying to convince this owner of this company to hire me. And I basically offered my services for free just because I wanted to learn how to build a house.
I started my company right out of my basement, in the house that I had purchased from my previous boss, set up a little office down there, and used the garage for all the tools, and we just started doing basement finish.
Three months after I graduated college. I just went all in. I just went in and never really looked back.
You had this success, you had a house, you’re a young guy just out of college, and marketing and remodeling basements. Bob: And then, things started to unwind. Take us to, basically, that process, when it started to unwind.
I bought a boat. I had a house at age 23. I had two trucks at the time. And I was living on cloud nine.
I was all about myself and, you know, chasing girls, and doing whatever I can to just live it up and live the dream. But all the while, I wasn’t able to, one, pay attention to the market, which was gradually starting to turn and things were starting to change in overall construction, and real estate, and mortgage markets.
The whole bottom fell out and I was kinda caught holding the bag. I had a couple projects I had already started and working on, and I just was scrounging just to get through those. I was able to make it through there, but ultimately, I ended up losing everything.
This was a really, really low point in my life. And through a lot of kind of soul-searching and self-evaluation, kinda dawned on me that the most important things in life weren’t myself.
You know, I kinda got right with the Lord, so to speak, if you will, and realized that, you know, faith and family trump everything. You know, so once I got to a place where I mentally was able to, “You know what? Like, it’s not about me. It’s about the other people in my life: faith, family and other people.”
So this hailstorm came, hit Denver. I was in Austin, Texas and my friend had called me, out of the blue, and was saying, “Hey, man. I remember you saying something about being in insurance and, you know, as an insurance adjuster. You still doing that?”
I was like, “Yeah, but I’m just in between assignments right now.” So he was like, “Hey, man. I can get you a job selling roofs.” And I had already kinda dabbled in it a little bit in Texas, kinda in between, just to kinda see what that market was all about. And so, next thing I know, I literally packed up and moved from Austin to Denver with a borrowed credit card and a hundred dollars to my name.
Packed up everything I owned into my truck and just drove. Went to Denver, hadn’t even gotten the job, hadn’t even known that I was even gonna…what I was gonna do. I get to Colorado, I meet with this owner of this other company, and started selling roofs.
So that was a point where I just, you know, put my foot against the wall and pushed off. And I went and knocked doors religiously until I figured out how to sell roofs, and I ended up doing very well with it. So I sold a bunch of roofs and I basically used what money I was making from there to, one, get myself back going, get a new place, and get my truck taken care of. And through all that was when I ended up, hey, I had kind of an idea, but that was when I was like, “Okay, it’s either now or never if I’m gonna just wipe the slate clean.”
Listen to the podcast to hear the rest of the story, it is worth your time.
CJ Roofing- http://www.cjroofing.com/
The Roofing Academy- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9mQQFWrJoA8u-NM7AGdj2Q/videos