IAM687- CEO Connects Labor Providers With Specialty Contractors

Podcast Interview with Paul Stuart

Paul Stuart – President / CEO of Stuart & Associates a Commercial Flooring Company located in Kansas. Paul is also the founder of Go Carrera a mobile and desktop platform that connects the best-skilled labor providers with the best specialty contractors across the nation. Go, Carrera is crafted with all sorts of cool, cutting-edge technology and cloud-based software architecture to modernize the process of connecting, evaluating, and growing our nation's skilled labour force.

  • CEO Hack: Two mentors, having nuggets and being in groups of like-minded business people
  • CEO Nugget: Be laser-focused on what you're good at
  • CEO Defined: Effective leadership, having people who look up to you and do what you do

Website: http://www.stuartandassociates.com/

FACEBOOK – @realgocarrera
LINKEDIN – linkedin.com/in/realpaulstuart

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[00:00:02.20] – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

[00:00:30.19] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today, Paul Stuart of Stuart and Associates, and Go Carerra. Paul, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:40.60] – Paul Stuart

Thanks for having me.

[00:00:41.89] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Paul so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Paul is the president and CEO of Stewart and Associates, a commercial floor and company located in Kansas. Paul is also the founder of GoCerara, a mobile and desktop platform that connects the best skilled labor providers with the best specialty contractors across the nation. GoCARRERA is crafted with all sorts of cool cutting-edge technology and cloud-based software architect architecture to modernize the process of connecting, evaluating, and growing our nation's skilled labour force. Paul, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

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[00:01:17.20] – Paul Stuart


[00:01:18.20] – Gresham Harkless

Alright. Let's make it happen. So I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit and, yes, kinda start from, what I call your CEO story and hear what led you to get started with the businesses.

[00:01:28.50] – Paul Stuart

Absolutely. So I got going, pretty much right out of high school. I started, laying carpet. And, I did that for several years. And the company I was working for at the time, was getting ready to get bought out for the third or fourth time. And, they had had financial issues, throughout the employment process or the time of my employment there. So, me and one of the guys got together one afternoon and said, sure, today we can do this. And so, somewhat naively, which is, you know, somewhat I believe what a lot of, you know, ground up entrepreneurs do just kinda jumped in with both feet. We took our tax return, bought a fax machine and put fifteen hundred bucks in the bank and, started a company at that time called Stewart and Gosling Contract Flooring. I bought my partner out.

We grew very fast and, just, by two thousand and three, he was ready to exit. So I bought him out and, we closed down Stewart and Gosling debt free and started Stewart and Associates commercial flooring in two thousand three. And, we have grown steadily since then. We're now the largest flooring contractor in Kansas. One of, I'd say a dozen companies that travel nationwide doing national account work for McDonald's and and Chang's. And, we do quick trips and all kinds of hotels and hospitals and stuff. So, you know, we found a lot of value early on in hard work. And then, I think one of my growth curves was finding value in people and finding the right people to put in the right spot, and that really is what spurred our growth and allowed us to build what I love, as our company, Stewart and Associates. Did that. I mean, we've been in business, like I said, since two thousand-three.

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And a couple of years ago, the way the construction industry works is a lot of the work, for example, we're a flooring contractor. We did the work, we got the work. And then a portion of our work, we will subcontract out the labor to skilled labor providers. That's a very I don't know how to say it. It's not very well, maintained. Yeah. That that that that, relationship has never really changed over the years, and I just mean nationwide. So the way that a foreign contractor, it's all paper and it's all, finding the guys and you don't know how good they are when you first meet someone. So we created Goquerra out of the thought of what if we could take an individual's experience and their skills and their training, all their certifications they've got, and somehow put a number to that or something that would tell flooring contractors, hey, this guy's a good tile installer, for example.

So we started working on an algorithm and we are now, that that was the birth of it. And so basically, an installer gets on our profile or gets on our platform, and uploads their profile. It's a free app on Google and iTunes or, the App Store. They upload their profile, and all their credentials, and then our algorithm spits out a hammer rating, a skill score. We call it a hammer rating. And that's an easy to understand, number for flooring contractors or in this case, right now, we're just building and flooring because I've been in it so long. And so we have kind of an insider industry expert to deal with, but we plan on, you know, our verticals are all skilled labor. But, yeah. So our goal was to add value to the installer, market for them, teach them how to be a good company for these other flooring companies. Because in essence, when you sell work to an independent installer, they are their own company.

They're not an employee. And so we wanted to give them the tools to give them the, you know, get them to the modern age, the digital age of being able to manage themselves. There's calendars. The work orders are fired through the app. They get paid through the app, all this. And so we we give them a card, a metal card that they can carry around in their wallet that has their hammer reading, on there. So it's kinda like their calling card as well when they go see new clients. So, we try to build value around the installer's life because really what we've realized and what I've realized over the years is, and I started as an installer, so, I kind of inherently knew this, but we can only grow to the extent that we can get the product on the floor. Right? Painters in a painting company can only grow by the magnitude that they're able to hire and retain, whether that's subcontractors or hourly employees, the people that actually do the work.

And so I had this calling in me to really improve those guys' life and, put together a really high quality do it in a way that that, really creates value on both sides for the company and for the installer. From a company standpoint, a guy could be out in the field, the project manager for a flooring company could be out in the field and need something done. He could fire a work order right from his phone and fire it to his network or the entire network. You could do work all over the nation, which is one of the things we do at McDonald's all over. So we may do a job in Wisconsin, and we can fire that work order to Wisconsin and every installer in the area that's on the app that has the hammer rating we're requiring gets the work order.

And they have a few decisions. They can accept it, they can decline it, or they can negotiate it. So it just makes all those kinds of ancillary, you know, activities much more seamless and keeps everybody in the know. So it's been it's been a really fun project. We just launched, and we've been working on it for several years. We've, sorry if I'm rambling, but I'm super passionate about that program, that whole project. But, we just recently started using some AI to learn and get our hammer rating even more accurate and better. So, yeah, that's kind of my, opening story there.

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[00:08:34.20] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. And I absolutely love it. I love the the way you've been able to obviously, have that experience that you have in the industry and then be able to see that there's an opportunity, there's a gap, and see, as you kinda touched on, those, kind of benefits, that you can have on the entire industry and the people within the industry as well too by understanding that, you know, you have the team that you have. You built that successful business. How can you potentially even create more of a scalable impact as well too, which you're able to do through the technology and the app and everything as well too. So I love the kinda, like, the evolutionary of that and all the different, you know, things you've been able to build and see in the industry and create that solution that is true any true entrepreneur and business owner would definitely do. So I appreciate that. So I want to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for yourself or your business. But what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:09:25.89] – Paul Stuart

From a personal standpoint, I would just say that I wasn't born with any, you know, both of my parents are hardworking. My dad was a painter, and my mom was a waitress. But hard work is the really cliche easy answer, but I wanna back that up with, unfortunately, my parents got divorced when I was young, and there was somewhat of a custody battle. And the quick story is my dad, who I was I ended up living with, my dad was not an attorney, he was a mayor and he couldn't afford an attorney. And so I remember staying with him and he would be up late nights and my dad is not a stupid guy, but he's he's certainly no genius.

And he would be reading these law books, like law books after law books in the wee hours of the morning. That like super impacted me that you can do anything. Like, he he was a painter and frankly, he beat the best, divorce attorney in our town in in Wichita, in a custody battle. I and that's a really personal story, but that is really what brought the the meat and potatoes to me as a young man. I was little. I was, eight or so. And I just remember that, like, it was yesterday that seeing my dad who had no law experience whatsoever, beating the best attorney just out of hard work.

[00:11:05.79] – Gresham Harkless

I wanted to, switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:11:16.00] – Paul Stuart

I use, two of my mentors. I'm I'm, in a group called RK Syndicate, and, that's with Ed, my lad, and Andy Frisella. And they so I have followed Andy for a while. I've been in that group for a couple of years, just a group of really good business guys. I think, like, eleven thousand applied, originally, Sixty-four of us ended up in the original group. And Andy has always had the daily task five. Right? Power list. I'm sorry. Scape me for a second. He called it the power list. Well, several years ago, I went through Chet Holmes International's business, mastery program and that had the d six. So I've been conditioned, through my own way of going to college, in having a list and then breaking that thing down to the five most important things, five or six most important things to do that day.

I've trained my guys on it. I bought I I buy the power list from Andy and I bought them online. I buy them in thirty, forty at a time and I give them to all my guys. And what's great about it as opposed to like a little notebook, and this is maybe the hack part of it, is the book is really nice. And so it doesn't have to be that particular book, but if people will buy a decent type, book, you don't tend to throw it away. And so I go back and get nuggets on stuff that I did months ago, off of my list. It's kind of unique and, then you just find these, little nuggets and you you also keep me on track.

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[00:13:07.60] – Gresham Harkless

Speaking of nuggets, I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. And if you were to hop into a time machine, what might you tell your younger business self?

[00:13:17.50] – Paul Stuart

I was always kind of naturally, persistent. My mom could probably tell you that. I was always naturally persistent, but, focus has always been an issue with me and thus the the previous questions were answered. Right? I would say that laser focus, if I could have gotten myself to be when I was younger, I a lot of the businesses I owned were not my vertical. They had nothing to do with anything. I just want oh, owning a gym. That sounds awesome. Let me go do that. Like, focus on what you're good at, stay in that lane until you can call yourself the best until you're on the mountain looking down and you're the guy.

[00:14:05.29] – Gresham Harkless

So, now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're all gonna have different, quote, unquote, CEOs on this show. So, Paul, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:14:15.60] – Paul Stuart

If I caveat back to your other question about what you'd said to younger Paul, I think that changes too. I always thought that being a boss was, you know, about money and cars or this kind of thing. And really being a CEO, I think, is effective leadership. Having people who look up to you and will, not do what you say, but do what you do.

[00:14:45.00] – Gresham Harkless

Paul, truly appreciate that, definition. Appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is bash you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you, download the app, and find out about all those things you and your team are working on.

[00:15:00.29] – Paul Stuart

Sure. Well, maybe in closing for for me is, like, don't let emotion run your life. Like, run run run at a goal, set goals. I mean, this is probably for younger entrepreneurs, you know, set some goals and run at those goals in a planned manner. I think that that always seems to, create the best results. As far as getting a hold of us, stewart associates dot com, it's s t u a r t. Go carrera dot com is, is our app platform, for our mobile app platform. And I'm on, at the real Paul Stewart on Instagram. I don't do Twitter too much. I'm on there. I I don't know my handle off off the cuff, but, yeah. So that's that's the main way to get ahold of us.

[00:15:56.20] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Thank you so much again, Paul. We will have the links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. But I appreciate that reminder as well too about, you know, being able to kind of pay understand that we have the emotions, but not hoping hopefully, not that they're leading you. So you're able to kinda make that kind of, strategic decisions and the correct decisions you wouldn't regret, you know, the next day or the next, year or whatever. So truly appreciate that again, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:22.60] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[fusebox transcript]


Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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