The founder of CMC (Construction Market Consultants Inc.) talks guitars, why the morning is the best time to get things done and why he wished he would learn more about how to fix things around the house from his dad.
What is the most cherished item in your office?
My personally autographed picture of my favorite Supreme Court Justice.
What is your favorite time to get things done?
I don’t sleep much, about four and a half hours a night, so between 4:30 and 7:00 a.m. when all is quiet.
What is the soundtrack that plays in the background of your office?
I love music and have created over 60 playlists on my Spotify account, but am usually listening to guitar-oriented jazz—Larry Carlton, Phil Keaggy, Sonny Lallerstedt, Ron Thompson, etc.
Name the band you cannot take off your playlist.
The Avett Brothers and more recently, though not a band, Heather Maloney. She has really captured my attention the past few years.
What does a typical work day look like?
I start early, around 5 a.m., with scalding hot coffee, go through emails and then make sure I have my schedule nailed down for the day/week. I do a lot of web sessions and training with our clients so I am preparing for the next call, and then making sure I document and follow up on the take away tasks afterward. Lunch outside if the weather is nice and then more of the same until it is all done.
What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on a job site?
Well, the craziest thing started on a job site, but did not finish until later. I was doing a business development engagement with a national contractor and sold a rather larger multi-state, multi-location job. I flew to one site to record a video for training purposes due to the tight schedule.
While the project was getting underway, the retailer (client) had a person on location to observe. Since I was not really involved in the project beyond recording, I got to spend a fair amount of time talking with this person who was curious about any potential opportunities with my client. I took his contact information and promised I would pass it along to the right person.
A few weeks later, I get a call from the “right person,” who told me they were interested in my new contact. That is, until they ran a background check. Not only did the person have a record, he was, at the time, an escapee.
What are you binge watching right now?
Going through “Detectorists” for the fourth time.
What is the coolest thing you have done since the pandemic hit?
Released a new CRM for the middle market construction industry, general contractors, subs, design firms and building product companies, in a joint venture with Zoho Corp.
What has this experience taught you?
Well, I been “quarantining” since 2001 in one sense, so working from home is not new. But I would have to say I have been reminded of how resilient our country is. Much like after 9/11 when air travel definitely took on a whole new dynamic, we, as a country, did not let that stop us from continuing to churn the wheels of commerce. The same with the pandemic. We found ways to move classes online, sell differently, execute differently, network differently. I believe things could have been worse, but we continue to press forward, count our blessings and still get things done.
If you knew what was going to happen, what would you have done differently?
I would have listened more to my father when he tried to show me how to fix things around the house.
Best advice you ever received?
In chasing any goal, there are one of two types of pain, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
Biggest influence in your life?
Apart from my parents, it would be the newly retired Reverend James McIlrath. He was my youth pastor growing up and the big brother I never had. My younger brother says the same thing.
What trait do you most admire?
Honesty. I cannot stand liars.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I wish I would have taken formal music lessons. I have been playing guitar for decades, but would love to really know what I am doing. That, or I started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
What is the first thing you are going to do when you are able to get back to some sense of normalcy?
Go hear live music and watch the Georgia Bulldogs in a sold out Sanford Stadium. Go Dawgs!