Let me tell you a little story about a man named Mick Foley. You might have heard of him.

He’s a New York Times bestselling author several times over, a standup comedian, but gained his fame as a professional wrestler.

Known for taking risks (like allowing himself to be thrown 20 feet off the top of a cage through a table), Foley was never your prototypical pro wrestler. He wasn’t the muscle-bound meat head, nor was he the pretty boy. Yet, somehow, he was able to overcome his lack of athleticism, muscles, and good looks to become one of the most beloved wrestlers ever.

You know how he did it? Certainly the risk-taking helped, but he did it through hard work.

What Foley did in professional wrestling is a tale that easily can be applied to the HVAC industry, and here’s why.

In this day and age, we all know good service technicians are at a premium. Yet, and this is the case in any profession, we are quick to judge a candidate for what they are on the surface. Having had some experience hiring people before, you definitely judge people on their appearance before anything else. Looking back, I’m sure I missed out on a few really good people simply because I was put off by their appearance.

As Foley showed us, not everyone has to be traditional, or in the mold of what we think a great employee looks like. Great workers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

In Foley’s case, people took a chance on him and he responded. In addition to talking a bit too much about professional wrestling, I come from a sports background. What team administrators always want is someone who is “coachable.” What exactly that means is up to you, but at the end of the day, it means that person is responsive to learning and won’t take an attitude to being helped. That’s why it’s so much more important to find coachable candidates for your job rather than someone who “looks the part.” As they say, functional strength is a whole heck of a lot more valuable than a bunch of large but useless muscles.

Another factor Foley had going for him is he always, no matter what, worked hard. Yeah, he was a little chubby, yeah, he might’ve been a little slow as the miles added up, but he always tried to make his next performance his best.

That’s what you want in a service tech. Someone who, although they might not look the part, more than acts it.