In my spare time, I love looking through the various trade community social media groups and seeing contractors celebrate their wins. Especially the posts showing the dashboards with their first million-dollar month. This is a huge milestone and one worthy to celebrate. I recently read that in 2018, only 9% of small businesses made more than $1 million that year. So to do it in one month is a sign of doing things right.

As a young contractor, I was lucky enough to be mentored by some really successful folks in the industry. One in particular was Daniel Boyette from Benson’s Heat & Air. We would have weekly calls and review the KPIs for our businesses. At first, I was really embarrassed when other contractors were putting up massive numbers and mine … well, not so much. But Daniel showed this up-and-coming contractor what to do, how to measure the important metrics, and what they meant. I remember looking at Daniel’s numbers and seeing that he had almost hit $1 million in a single month. I was in awe! I couldn’t fathom doing what took me a whole year of work to do in just one month. I set a goal right then and there — that one day I was going to hit $1 million in a month too. I put it on our company’s vision board, right beside winning Contractor of the Year, securing 2,500 maintenance agreements, being the best place to work, and hitting $10 million in total revenue.

The years went on, and every day when we left the office, we made sure the business was a little bit better than how we found it. The law of process says that leadership develops daily, not in a day. The compounding results over time can be very fruitful. In 2016, I started seeing the items on our vision board become a reality. We were honored with the Contractor of the Year Award by the Service Nation Alliance, named one of the ACHR NEWS' Best Contractors to Work For, and we even hit our 2,500 maintenance agreements benchmark. We were able to learn and, more importantly, take action on the things we learned from others who were ahead of us in the journey. I became obsessed with personal growth, developing leaders, and a strong sense of teamwork. The consistent learning and improvement enabled our business to become repeatable. We started expanding our service area and developing leaders to manage these new markets. We also added more services so we could better serve our customers. Everyone was working in sync with a common mission! Our mission was to keep customers comfortable, save them money, and do it better than anyone else.

Then came May of 2018. Our team had been executing our plan almost flawlessly. By the 15th, we saw that we were pacing towards that coveted million-dollar month. Would this be it? Could we do it? After all, we were an independent shop in small-town America. We had kept our heads down, plugging away at completing demand service calls, maintenance jobs, and replacements. The last week of the month, I knew we were going to hit the goal. One million dollars in one month! It still seems insane to say that. The best part and almost fitting, I was going to be gone on a cruise with my family as we finished out this stellar month. An owner leaving for 10 days during the busy season is something only those with a great team behind them are able to do.

We ended up hitting our goal on the 25th of May. We still had a week left to add icing to the cake. That was the first of many million-dollar months.

I think back on the journey and all the great advice I learned from those mentors, the willingness of my team to trust me, and to take action on the things we learned. It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it.

The overall lesson is not about the number. For some that number is very small, and for others that number seems really big. In fact, I’ve seen a few contractors regularly hitting million-dollar days (mind blown, again). The lesson is more about what successful contractors do that enables them to hit goals like this. They set goals, communicate the vision and mission, learn from others who are ahead in the journey, develop their teams, and take consistent action. Celebrate the wins along the way with your team and enjoy this journey. Because no one accomplishes this without the help of others.

Teamwork truly does make the dream work!