If you're an entrepreneur who has anxiety about money, you're not alone. And in this video, I'm going to share something that helped me get through it, that made me think of money like firewood. Plus, I'm going to share a real story of a guy that I met named Caveman Bob, who had a firewood business.
What's up, everyone? My name is Jack Jostes, and if you're new here, welcome to The Landscapers Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing podcast. This show is all about helping lawn and landscape contractors increase your lifestyle, increase your profit, and part of that is dealing with the stress that comes along with that around money. And at this time I've been in business for 12 years and I definitely still have stress about money and I still wake up sometimes, freaked out about it, but nowhere near as much as I used to. So in this video, I wanted to share some things that I learned that helped me ultimately manage my money better and more importantly, manage my anxiety around money, which everyone has, right? There's nothing wrong with it, and you'd be kind of weird if you didn't have some sometimes, right?
So right now I'm at a campfire. I was just scouting for turkey today. I'm at Turkey Camp in Colorado, at about 8,000 feet. Didn't see or hear any gobblers today, but I did see this incredible set of quartz just bursting out of the ground. There was rose quartz and this white and clear quartz, and there was just this thing that was just emerging out of the ground. And I saw a red fox at my camp when I got back, so overall pretty good day. But over the last 12 years, especially in the first five to eight years, there were a lot of times where our cashflow was negative and people were paid late, and I was freaked out, and we had a bunch of debt, and I used to wake up in the middle of the night, freaked out about it, and I'd check my bank account on my phone.
The Books That Helped Solve The Company's Money Problems
And one night I eventually Googled, at two in the morning, how to run a profitable web design company. And I read a book from the CEO of FreshBooks about value-based pricing, and I started changing my pricing, and that started helping. And then I eventually read the book Profit First, and hired a Profit First CPA, and we now do that bookkeeping methodology and that helped us, and we still use that. It majorly helped us manage our money better. So part of it was there actually was money problems. There were pricing problems, cashflow problems, accounts receivable problems, accounts payable problems. I didn't really understand because I thought it was someone else's job. Oh, I'm hiring my bookkeeper and CPA. But I really, once I finally learned how to do it, that helped a lot, but it was a conversation a few years ago, even after we had worked through a lot of those problems.
Money Is Like Firewood
And I was talking with my business coach, Wayne Herring, and my wife, Kara, and Kara's talking about how, yeah, Jack gets anxiety about money sometimes, or gets upset about it. And Wayne shared with me something that he learned from another coach, Michael Neill, I actually haven't met him, but I did read his article before this, and it was essentially thinking about money like hammers.
And then the way I learned it from Wayne was money is like firewood, and hammers don't grow on trees. Firewood doesn't grow on trees. But I don't know, the reason that the firewood thing made a lot of sense for me was because I've been making fires my whole life. I was in the Boy Scouts, starting around the time that I was maybe five or six, and I've been camping, I hunt, and I make fires all the time.
I know how to make a fire. Pretty much anytime, I can make a fire, and I really enjoy making fire. And firewood, in particular, I know where to get it. I could go hike off into the woods and find a fallen tree. You can even go to Whole Foods and firewood now, you can just get it. And growing up, I learned to make fires in a particular way, which was you'd gather the little stuff, you'd gather your medium stuff, you'd gather your big stuff, but you'd always start building a small fire and lighting one little twig on fire. And I'm getting smoke in my eye right now. And then use that to light another one on fire. And then once that gets going, you light a few of them and you get this little fire going and then it becomes a medium fire, and then it becomes a large fire, and then you start putting the big logs on.
But I can always get firewood. I can always figure out how to get firewood. And once I started thinking about money that way, a lot of the anxiety honestly went away because I know how to make money. I know where to get money. I could go scrounge up some quarters in my center console. I've got some quarters in there, and some nickels, and dimes, and whatever. I know how to make sales. I could pick up the phone and call a customer. I could call an existing customer who hasn't paid me yet. If I needed to, I could ask somebody, I could borrow money from the bank, I could use a credit card, whatever. The credit card thing definitely created some stress, but you get the idea.
And so I wanted to share that with you because right now it's spring time, 2021, and I think this is kind of a timeless message about money, and anxiety, and everything, it's something that entrepreneurs always deal with. But this last year was hard, with COVID, and the shut downs, and depending on what kind of business you're in, you're essential, you're not essential. What? I mean, it was stressful, and some businesses did really well. Some businesses didn't. Some people didn't. And it's important to learn some of these skills to cope through it, because I really think that at some point you're going to deal with it, whether your business is doing really well now. You may have a rough patch in the future, or whatever. So hopefully that was helpful to you.
2005 Cavefest and Caveman Bob
And the thing that I wanted to share with you about Caveman Bob. So when I was in college, I played in a band. Now this is just kind of a random campfire story, so if you're good on the money, anxiety, firewood thing, you can just stop watching this, because this is just kind of a silly story. But when I was in college, I played in a band called the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and some of the music we played was Grateful Dead. And somehow we got in contact with this festival down in Southern Illinois called Cavefest, and it was in a limestone cave, and the guy who ran the festival was Caveman Bob.
And somehow I got in touch with Caveman Bob, and when you'd call him, he'd answer his phone, "Firewood." And I was like, "Oh, I think I have the wrong number. I'm trying to call Caveman Bob." He's like, "Oh no, we've got firewood, and I'm also doing Cavefest," and anyways, he was quite the character. He wore a tie dye shirt. He kind of looked like Santa Claus and he had a huge beard, this huge white beard and this thick white hair. And he was real sunburned and these bright blue eyes. And when we got down there, he was driving a golf cart, and he drove us on down and we had this minivan. We borrowed Mike Cantella's mom's minivan, it was a Honda Odyssey, I think. And it was packed full of stuff, amplifiers. And we camped there. We had tents, we had coolers, you name it. And we drove down and there was this super steep ramp to get down to the stage, which was underneath this limestone outcove, and it rained. It was so rainy.
And I don't know, we played a Grateful Dead set and we had two drums. We had two drum sets. It was so cool. It was really fun.
Anyways, so that's my story. There's a real man named Caveman Bob. I lost touch with Caveman Bob, so if you're watching this and you know, send this to Caveman Bob. He was a good dude. Bob, thank you for hiring me to play at Cavefest, and rock on with the firewood.
So hopefully this was helpful to you. It's going to be fine. You know how to build a fire. And if you don't know how to build a fire and you're listening to this or watching this, you know how to do something. So think about it. The original example was hammers, firewood, you've got this.
It's going to be fine. You know how to build a fire.
Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of The Landscapers Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing podcast. This show is all about helping lawn and landscapers increase your profit and attract more of the right customers. So check out landscapersguide.com/podcast to see a transcript, links to other episodes, and things that you can't miss. Thanks so much for sharing your time with me today. I look forward to talking with you next week.