June 16, 2021

Episode 18: A Plumbers path in finding respect for the work, Gage Salazar

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In this conversation Jesse and Rene get to know Gage's path from a non-profit faith based career to building a life as a Journeyman plumber. Gage tells us how he found a way to merge the leadership skills he's been blessed with earning a healthy living as a Journeyman plumber. Gauge brings the inspiration of his faith and support of his amazing wife to this platica.

SHOUT OUT to Rebecca Salazar!

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Episode 18: A Plumbers path in finding Respect for the work, Gauge Salazar

Gauge "Guest":[00:00:00] Yes. It's hard work. Yes. You're going to sweat  your face off and your balls off. Yes. It's part of it. It's really elements. Yes. But in four years, you're going to make as much, if not more than somebody who spent four years getting a degree,



 What's going on L and M family. Super glad to have you back. If you've ever wrestled with trying to make a living. With your passion. Or felt like your skills were underutilized and overlooked. This show is for you. Renee. And I are having a conversation with Mr. Gage Salazar. 

Local San Antonio boy, journeyman plumber. Who's bounced in and out of plumbing. And now feels like he has landed in the right spot. 


 I know some of y'all are new and some of y'all are repeat offenders  And we're happy to have everybody jumping in and helping us out and changing the image of careers in the trades. 

And we'd love to know how these episodes are impacting you. What do they make you think? What do they make you feel?  When you get a chance. Share this episode with a friend, somebody that you think it would resonate with


And I hope you noticed that all of our episodes have been commercial free. We intend to keep it that way and you can contribute to that. By hitting us up on patreon.com/learnings and missteps. And signing up for the composite crew level journeymen level builder level. We even have a lifetime learner level. 

Check it And here 


Gauge "Guest":[00:02:38] 


Coming into the service side was interesting. A friend of mine,


He was saying that there, they were hiring at this company. This was about a month or two before I even decided to switch. I was like, no, I'm comfortable. I'm good. Where I'm at. You know I was a foreman at a job in Seguin doing, it was more mechanical piping stuff that I was focusing on, but still, you know, I kind of moved up a little bit and in my profession kind of more leadership, which is what I like, I like more of the leadership stuff.

The more I thought about it, you know, like I said about starting my own company potentially, you know, I was like, you know what, let me just reach out and kind of see what this looks like. Let me talk to him and talk to the owner, see what they have.

 To offer for me, it really wasn't about the pay was more about the experience. So I talked to them, you know, I was gonna take a $2 pay cut, but like I said, it was about the experience,  it seemed like a really  cool opportunity for me.

I left there feeling good. The next day I called him and I was like let's go ahead and do it. So that following Monday I talk to my, to the owner of the company. Like I said, it's a small company and He was real nice about it.

He goes, man, I understand, Nope, no hard feelings, I know you're, you're growing and we can't spite you for wanting to grow, you know, and do your think so I gave my one week notice I took that Friday off. I was like, you know, what's my last, my last full week.

And we just take a day off. So I spent time with the wife and we were just driving around and we get a phone call from Jeremiah and he's just, you know, he's like actually texted me. He goes, Hey, can you call me? I was like, sure. So I called him. And the first thing I say, I was like, don't tell me I'm fired yet.

I was just joking. He goes, well, honestly, I was like, oh no, what happened? So what happened was he had been thinking about leaving it. Wasn't what he expected to. So he had talked to the owner about it and the owner got just really emotional about to get real personal. And he's like, well, you know what, if you aren't, if you quit, I'm not going to hire your friend straight up.

And so he was talking to the owner. He was like, well, how long do you need for me to stay for him to be acclimated for you to feel he's comfortable. He goes, no, no, no, you don't understand if you leave whenever you leave, he's gone too.

So yes. So straight up. Yeah. So Jeremiah was upset. He goes, man, I'll stay, you know? and I was like, dude, that's not, that's not fair for you and your family for you to stay. You're not happy. So don't worry about it. So you know, we're like, dude, God's in control, whatever it's going to be fine.

 Me and Rebecca, my wife, we hang up the phone and we just Kind of start  laughing. It was like, you know, we didn't know what else to do. You know, it's just one of those. We felt like it was just kind of,a god thing like, all right, well something's up. So I was like, you know what, it's not a big deal. I'm going to take a week off.

It was, it was around Easter weekend. So I was like, let me just take a week off, enjoy Easter with the family, help my wife out, whatever she needs at work and just that's it. So in that time, that week off.  I didn't tell anybody that I didn't have a job. I didn't want to call it.


Jesse "Host":[00:05:11] psych, 

Gauge "Guest":[00:05:12] I didn't want to do that. I was like, you know what, it's going to be fine. We'll figure this out. Well, the front desk lady at the office I worked for, I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but so she was like, you know what, Hey, my husband's worked for another company, Adam Burney, and they're hiring I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want the company to think that I was kind of like poaching on, on former employees.  So I told my wife about it. I was like, so we sat on it. You know, I was like, you know, I'm not rushing the middle of the week.

We go off, let me just kind of see what happens. So Sat on it finally called the guy, her husband at the company, and went in four for an interview. I actually actually let me do a ride along with one of the service guys for a day, just to kind of see what I would like, see if I liked it, you know, so it was interesting.

It's new something to do every day and new customers, new. I love meeting people, talking to people. And I liked it. You know, I was definitely going to make more money hourly, but also with the installation commissions that come with that, just all these little nuances of doing service stuff, never thought was out there and I'm in a month and a half in, I really enjoy it.

It's like I said, it's fun. Everyone's real nice.  Been really interesting kind of just how it played out. And I said, if I would've been with the other company, I wouldn't have to deal with an owner who's emotional. Right. I can't catch him in a bad day, you know, like what's going to happen with that.

But I'm at a company now where the pays way better. The environment's way better though. The owners, the management. Super nice. Everyone's really good at trying to, you know, build you as a person. You know, me coming into this, even though I have my journeymen license, you know, this man cut service and construction and two door to two different worlds, 

Jesse "Host":[00:06:42] way different.

Oh yeah. 

Gauge "Guest":[00:06:44] I'm asking these apprentices a year, a year and a half in and like, Hey, how do you do

it? It's humbling but it's like, you know what, I'm willing to look dumb and feel dumb and feel inadequate if I'm able to learn. You know what I mean? So that's kind of how I'm taking this stride and I'm just going with the flow. But anyways, that's kind of my, my journey in a nutshell, from construction to service it's been, it's been fun.

Jesse "Host":[00:07:04] I'm very happy for you that you're an amazing human being. So I'm very happy to hear that. It's working out and you know, you have the spirit of discernment to know to be in a storm and say, babe, let's just chill. Yeah, there's another plan.

A lot of people don't have that. And I feel like you've always had, I mean, as long as I've known you, way, way, way back in the day, 

Gauge "Guest":[00:07:24] I'll tell you, well,  it definitely helps to have a wife who is also very good at discernment too.  It's good to be on the same team,  the same goals, my just mindset, beautiful. Okay. So this is going to be, this is going to be awesome. What questions do you have? 


Well, I want to learn about your podcast for a little bit. I mean, I don't, I don't know much about it. I, Hey, I didn't get a chance  to do my homework. Oh, okay. This will be kind of like a you know, like a blind date kind of together. 

Jesse "Host":[00:07:51] I liked it. Good, good. So you haven't listened to the podcast and that's that's, that's probably okay.

Because that means you don't get to merits for not leaving a review or liking the podcast, 

Gauge "Guest":[00:08:02] but I will, I'll start listening to it. That's 

Jesse "Host":[00:08:04] awesome. Awesome. So, so the podcast started, I mean, you know, I'm a plumber by trade. I used to be able to speak at schools, to students, to teachers every now and then to parents about careers in the industry.

Well, in the Rona hit no more school stuff. Yeah. So that coupled with my job, because I travel a bunch, like the amount of contact I was having with, our youth about the careers in the industry went way, way down.  I was getting frustrated by that. And really all I was doing was complaining.

I really didn't do anything about it. Mari who's an amazing human being sent me a message. She said, Jess, you gotta check out this Danny Trejo biography, 

 Like I trust her unconditionally, so, okay, cool. Bullets. I just uploaded it, checked it out. And I was like, oh my God, it was a great story. But what really, like fricking landed, like hit me right. Between the eyes was the, one of the, I guess the interviewer asked them, does it bother you that you're not the, the main man?

Or the leading man. And he's like, no, they pay me. Okay. Like, I've done over  200 movies and they all pay the same. So I get my money and with the money they pay me, I get to go talk to people about recovery and talk to people about having a weight out of addiction.

And I mean, the show's great.  It's, it's a fantastic documentary, but it was that response. That frame of mind that I said, oh, hell like, duh. Yeah, the acting was not his passion or his goal. It was a means to his passion. Got it. And right after that, I said, okay, I ain't got no excuses. I've got to find a way.

And I had been interviewed on a podcast by, by my buddy. Mr. Gates, And it, it, it was fun. Well, hell if I can't go out, like we're, we're in court, like how else can I connect with people? So was she podcast? Yeah. So I called Adam up. I said, bro, like, let's hook up. Like, cause I, I want to learn, like I need to do this.

I have to do this now. 


And that's how it happened then was like, boom, boom, boom. After that it just did it, it was, I think the day I watched that biography to the day we actually launched was like too months oh wow. Boom. We were up 

Gauge "Guest":[00:10:34] and running. Wow. That's cool.  

Jesse "Host":[00:10:36] The first you first month or so was, was a reality check because I, you know, I was expecting a million downloads.

Sure. It was slow. It's been slow, but it's been steady and, and people have been saying that they're getting a lot out of it and then some of the conversations impact them personally. Like I can't stop doing it now.

Gauge "Guest":[00:10:57] So what's,  your main, overarching  goal as far as what you're trying to like communicate through the, through the podcast. 

Jesse "Host":[00:11:03] The purpose of the podcast is to change the image of careers in the trades. I love it. Love 

Gauge "Guest":[00:11:09] it, love it. 

Jesse "Host":[00:11:10] I mean, you know, you've lived, it, I've lived it.

We know how amazing and fulfilling and rewarding it can be. And we also know how many people out there kind of say like, oh 

Gauge "Guest":[00:11:22] yeah. Okay.  Most of my adult vacation has been in churches or religious nonprofits. Since I was right out of high school, I worked at a couple of churches, worked in Lubbock or here in San Antonio, traveled with the ministry, a church team church program team.

We went out to other churches and did stuff. Was a youth pastor here in San Antonio for, a few years. And in between that, you know, there was a small gap in my adult career where I did the trade I did plumbing that one of the programs, one of the ministry nonprofits I worked with it was kind of like, you know, if you're familiar with missionaries where it's like, you'd have to collect that the, you know, you have to get with people and say, Hey, would you mind funding me?

Would you mind sponsoring me to do outreach in your community? That was 2008 when the recession hit. So not really many people were giving at the time. , people with that had,  some money in their pockets things like that. People were kind of just, Hey, things are kind of tight.

So I, I remember one of my paychecks was $13 because it was just hard to get people to give and, it was very difficult. And at that time I was dating my current wife now Rebecca, and, you know, that's kind of how this happened with, with me meeting you. She was working at a school, was connected with your brother who knew who you were.

Right. So it's like, kind of just, it was just kind of a weird situation. I remember she told me she was asking you if you guys were hired. And at the time,  the company you work for, they were hiring. And it was funny because all I've known is nonprofit work, working in offices professional settings.

So I don't know if he knew this or not, but I went to the interview in a suit. No, I didn't know that apprentice. I went to an interview in a suit and it was interesting because I don't think that they knew what I was applying for. I'm like, yeah, I'm here to meet with so-and-so for an interview.

And maybe they thought I was  trying to work for an office position. I don't know, but I went to a plumbing and now I know it's like, they don't care. They're just going jeans and boots. And if that's. As long as you look professional enough to work in an outdoor setting, you're good to go. But yeah, I went to an interview as a, to become a plumber apprentice in a suit gray suit.

The ceiling got married and it was hilarious I quickly started to learn that I, I liked  and I guess I learned working with my hands,  I've always kinda like taking things apart when I was a kid and putting things back together, but never really like connected the two until I got into the trade I didn't get into the trade till I was 27, 28.

So I was, I was late, but I think what helped me coming into the trade that late was be more mature than most of the other, apprentices at the time, 18, 19 years old coming straight out of high school, not willing to put in the work or their work ethic. Wasn't as strong as mine, not bragging on myself, but it's, it's part of that maturity.

Right? And so the for men and yourself, you know, y'all, y'all really pulled me towards you guys and wanted me to work on your teams because I guess you all saw the maturity. Y'all saw my work ethic and saw my professionalism . So I was there for about two, three years, maybe three years.

You know, I was able to go back into what I thought was what I wanted to do working with another church. I did that for about five years and she was so in that time, A year before I left the church I met Jerry Chavez again. He went to the church I was at and he's like, Hey, yeah, it's just out of the blue.

I was, I saw him after church and I was like, Hey, what's going on, man? He goes, Hey, I'm working with this new company. If you ever need, a job, I know you like working here. If you need a job, just, you know, come, come hit me up. Give me a call. Cool, man, I just like,  I like working here.

What am I, you know, so,  a myriad of events happen where I needed to look for work. And so call them up. It was just kind of weird how it's like, Hey, you need a job. Let me know. And then I was like, eh, whatever. , it's going to be fine, but I needed a job, after all.

And I called him up and I was able to get back in the trade and  working in the trade kind of, it really helped me gain more respect for, for that type of work. Not that I didn't respect him at first,  it just, wasn't something that I thought that I could see myself doing, but now that I'm back in it  it's been about three years since I got back in at two, two years or so.

My just my, my mind has shifted. Not that I, like I said, not that I disrespected the trade, but I didn't have as much respect for the, for what it was providing to the community yeah, makes sense. 

Jesse "Host":[00:15:26] Absolutely. 

Gauge "Guest":[00:15:27] And so I I'm coming into this with like fresher eyes, deeper respect for what we do as, as tradesmen, what we do as journeymen or master.

But we'll just, just in general for the trade, how we provide the services for this company. For these, it's not about making money anymore. For me necessarily, the money's great. Right. We like having a steady paycheck, but it's like what we do to serve people. I like when I get to finish your job at someone's house, or, I mean, before that, even the construction side, looking at my work and like, man, that's really cool.

 I told my son this too. What will we do is a lot of, sometimes the pipe is exposed and people can see your work. People are going to be able to look up and say the man who did that.

That's a representation of who you are as a person. I feel. Cause that that's your signature, right? That's when you leave in your market. So if it looks like crap, or you don't take,  as much time and respect or you don't take as much time to look at the, the, the details.

I like details in a sense. But, but that's what you're leaving behind. You know what I mean? Oh, it's going to be behind the wall. It doesn't matter. Like I'm looking at it right now.  The foreman's even look at it. The, the project manager might come out and look at it. The, the, the inspector's going to come out and look at it.

You know what I mean? So I'm, I'm trying to teach that to my son too. It's like, man, that's, that's your signature. Whenever you do a job, like what you leave behind  that's a people get to think that you are as a person, 

so, you know, I, I do look at a lot of younger guys and I'm like, man, like, even, even some kids at my church, I'm like, you know, I think he might, he might not be a great plumber, but he might be a good at a trade. I'm kinda like, I'm excited about what you want me to do, because I'm like, man, like I want to get young people excited about the trade.

Yes. It's hard work. Yes. You're going to sweat  your face off and your balls off. Yes. It's part of it. It's really elements. Yes. But in four years, you're going to make as much, if not more than somebody who spent four years getting a degree, not that that's wrong, but it's not for everybody. Right.

Right. But my brother used to say, this he's a motivational speaker. He used to say college isn't for everybody, but education is educating yourself. So like, I maybe didn't go to college, but I learned a lot from just. Mistakes and experiences and being part of a workplace where I had to learn, you know, the harder way, but even in the trade, you know, you're learning on the job.

You're learning from other people you're learning from possibly going to classes to get, you're learning, that's an education you can take with you. And after four years, if you choose to get your license, you're going to make a lot of money doing it, you know? But at the same time, as I grew, it was a service that I was able to provide and in a customer, you know, them looking at the work and then turning the handle, it works, my flushes, you know, I have hot water again, you know, it's small things, but it's, it's, it's an impact you're making them then because you're making them get back to their normal life.

Right. You're making them feel like, okay, I can breathe again.  Customer is like, oh, I can finally  take a hot shower. You know, they were taking a cold shower from the freeze steel because they didn't have hot water. I don't go home and like, yes, giving myself a birthday party every day because I gave someone hot water.

But it's like this feeling that you get, like I was able to provide for them a service. And they feel, they feel back to normal. And so I liked that because I think about the same thing too. It's like, how can we bring. The education of what trades can provide, not just for the individual to make money, but it's like a bigger, like you said, the overarching, a bigger idea of like what you provide to the community.

It might not be plumbing. Like you can be an electrician, you can be a frame, whatever that is, but there's something bigger than you can do for yourself. And for me, it, it was a longer journey.  I don't know if I want to start my own company one day, but I do know that I liked plumbing.

I never thought I'd say that because I, I pushed, my wife could tell you, I pushed back on the idea of being a plumber.  Maybe, maybe I thought I was above it a little bit, because I did professional work for most of my life. I was like I could do the work.

I knew I could do plumbing, maybe you saw it too.  It wasn't something I saw myself doing longterm.  It was kind of a a detour. It's a job, it's a job. But yeah. But now I, I could see it as a career. I could see it as something that I could do.

Long-term we try to give as much as we can with, with our finances to other organizations. And so the more money that I'm able to make  it means that we were able to give more, , you know what I mean?

We're able to give to, friends who need it or, the other nonprofit agencies that need money, things  that we see that people sometimes will go to restaurants and we'll leave a larger tip for a waitress. It's just things that we were able to do more with our money, we see it as a bigger picture thing.

It's not just money for ourselves and what we can do for ourselves, but it's like, man, what can we do for other people? And the trade has allowed us to do that. If she chooses to be a stay-at-home mom, which is what I wanted to give her for a while, just to be here, to stay at home and be with the kids more.

And, and I think for the respect for the trade has helped me get there. Now it's not just a job anymore. It's respecting the trade and respecting would you provide for customers because if you respect the trade and you show that you can do a good job, your managers will see that you're, you're foreman we'll see that people in higher positions will see that and they can trust you to do bigger and better things.

 All that to say, that's kind of my story but I have come for a greater respect for the trade and I want other younger people to be excited about potentially what that can mean for them,  and then work yourself up  into a more professional setting.

That's what kind of, where I see myself. Like I respect these guys, that bust butt and they're 65 years old and they're,  I respect those guys, but I don't see myself in that position necessarily. I know that they're there they're necessary for the job, but, but I, I see myself as somebody who's encouraging those people in the field or encouraging those people that, that do the hands-on stuff.

I see myself as more of that leadership role. want to respect those guys that, that do the hard work. And I, I know I work hard, this isn't a cocky or an arrogant statement. I don't feel it's coming from that place. But I do see myself in a, more of a leadership in a more of a different position than just in the field for the rest of my life.

I could, if I could do it. Yeah. I could do it. But, but I know that I have more to offer than just working with my hands. You know what I mean? I know 

Jesse "Host":[00:21:04] exactly what you mean. you covered a bunch of important topics. So I got chills. When you said you developed a respect for the work or for the trade, because, and that ties into the idea of like, it's not for everybody.

 You mentioned your brother said college isn't for everybody, but education is a career in the trades isn't for everybody. But hard work is there's those commonalities that  transcend the situation. So you talked a little bit about culture and environment. You talked about, you can use these words, but the way it landed in my head was vulnerability and learning.

You and I, we got to meet in the commercial space. I'm a commercial plumber, and I, and it's been awhile since I've done any kind of plumbing, right. Full disclosure. But if I go on a commercial site, I can go to town, Jamie, some plans, and I can get that mechanical room roughed in for you. If you send me on a service call, don't give me anything more than a shovel, bro, because I don't know what the hell I'm doing in service now in order for me to learn rapidly, and I think this is what, what I'm taking from you, but what you said is you got to ask the apprentice, hey dude, how do I remove this cartridge? Yeah. Hey dude, what do you do with these stupid Delta faucets?

 There is vulnerability in that. What do you think? 

Gauge "Guest":[00:22:26] Yeah. Yeah. You you've just because you knowit all doesnt mean you know it all, at all  just because you've got to the position that you're at doesn't mean that you just stop learning.

You know what I mean? Leaders are always learning. If you want to grow, you've gotta be vulnerable. Ask the questions  and I know they always say there's no dumb questions. And really, there's not a dumb question, but you may feel dumb asking the question, but that's okay.

Because after the question, you get an answer in your gonna learn from that,  I'd rather ask the question. Then assume and make a bigger mistake. I, we used to laugh about this with my wife, cause we go to HEB, the grocery store and I would ask this customer service, Hey, where do I find this?

So they can direct me straight to where I need to go, where she's like, why don't you just look around for it? Would I time? I just want to go and get it right. Of course it's different now, but we used to, I mean, I laughed about like, why would I waste my time looking for when I could just ask the person who knows exactly where it's at to get me to work, I guess in the same sense, you know, it's like, yes, he, I may have the quote unquote experience.

I might have my license, but he has more experience than I did this in this specific area. And so,  you've got to be vulnerable if you want to grow and it's being humble, kendrick Lamar said it best be humble, sit down

so it's like being humble and knowing that, you can always learn from somebody who, who may not have the title that you have, but definitely has the more experience. And so every day there's always something to learn from. I call him this guy, like probably more than he wants me to, but,  I said, I don't want him, I don't want to make a bigger problem than what's already there.

 I don't want to have something blow up on me,  if I can just start how to take it apart correctly, just talking to somebody who has more experience than I did learn about septic tanks and septic systems and pumps and stuff that I don't, I live in the city area, you know, we don't have any of that stuff, so I don't know how that works, but this guy does.

And so, I can ask him. And so, yeah, you have to be humble. You have to be vulnerable let your pride kinda kind of come down a little bit, if you want to grow in the trade, if you want to grow  in any aspect of your career. 

Jesse "Host":[00:24:24] There's courage. I mean, from my perspective, displaying the vulnerability to say, Hey, where do I find this? How do I do this is a courageous action. Yeah. Because we've been conditioned to, to always have to know the answer, always have to say the right thing or, or just don't be wrong.

Don't be weak, be strong. What do you think is, 

Gauge "Guest":[00:24:47] and while I was thinking about it, I wonder, I don't know if that's a cultural thing or if that's just kind of like a cultural meaning, like based on your ethnicity or if it's just more of a machismo, like overarching this is just a guy thing.

No, I got it. I'll figure it out. You're right. But I'm, I'm always looking at, at the instruction how to put a bookshelf together because I don't know. I don't want to guess and have like eight bolts left over. Like, I don't know. We'll see if it stays together. I don't know. But I, I do think it's maybe a cultural thing, maybe an overarching cultural thing.

Just as a man, you know, you feel like you have to know everything.  I do feel like there's room for.  Breaking that culture  especially as you get older, I guess maybe it's just more, as I'm getting older, I'm just learning, you know, I don't know what all as much as I think I do, my wife will tell you that.

I don't know. She's been telling you that she's been telling you, I just need to listen to that, which I don't do very much. But that's okay. You know, I think as, as men especially for me having a son,  I want to teach him that it's okay. If you don't know what all to ask the right questions, ask the right people that have the right answers that you're looking for.

Because then the tough that's how you grow, that's how you learn, . 

Jesse "Host":[00:25:50] Well,  speaking of having to be humble, we got our co-host Renee caterpillar Duron  Renee, this is gage. I don't know if you remember him. I think you've met. Y'all met back when you were in middle school, Renee. 

Gauge "Guest":[00:26:05] I don't remember. I don't remember. I, I was working with with the afterschool program at, Tafolla, 

it was in 

Jesse "Host":[00:26:13] GEAR UP. And that's how I met Rebecca. And that's how we connected with you. And I'm sure there was some time where we all share, we cross paths a little bit, but yeah, that was before he had that dirt on his face. 

Rene "Co-host":[00:26:25] Yeah. I don't know if you remember me. I used to have like a big giant afroand like lots of baby fat, 

Gauge "Guest":[00:26:31] maybe.

Okay. Okay. There 

Jesse "Host":[00:26:33] you go. Yeah. 

Gauge "Guest":[00:26:35] Yeah. I mean, there weren't many, many Afros at Tafolla, so I'm sure I remember that. Sure. Well, good. Well, nice to meet you again. 

Rene "Co-host":[00:26:44] Hey, well, I got a, I got like a comment or slash question about what you guys were just talking about. So going back to this, like pressure to know it all as a man I see that a lot,  you always hear the banter in the break room about the guy that, you know, did you hear who applied for super, oh, he don't know anything.

Like he's not going to get it or, or he'll probably get it because he's a suck ass or something, but he doesn't know what he's doing.  So like, how do we tackle breaking that? 

Gauge "Guest":[00:27:17] Hmm, that's a good question. 

Rene "Co-host":[00:27:18] Cause, I mean, it's just simply not true. I mean, even nobody knows everything. 

Gauge "Guest":[00:27:23] So, I'm thinking about guys that I've seen in the field on the construction side that have been afraid to get their license because they don't want the responsibility. They're, you know, at the time when I was 27, 28, these guys were 40 plus years old.

And the conversation that was hearing is I don't want to get my license because I don't want to run a job. Or they, they don't feel like they're capable of doing it, or they just don't want the responsibility for it. I feel like  not, everybody's built for leadership. Everybody can be a leader, but that doesn't mean that they're, that they desire it. I do think that and I, I see that because there's jobs, maybe Jesse can account to this there's guys where just because they have their license, they're like, okay, let's get you on a job.

Let's have you run a job and they don't know what they're doing. They don't know how to communicate. They don't know how to just do little administrative stuff. They're not great at communication. Not everybody's built for that. Not that you have to be a certain personality  there's introverts that are great at leadership there's extroverts that are great at leadership, but it's just not, everybody's built to, to be in that role, in that position.

And I think about those guys that are, oh, he's just a mamon or whatever, you know, whatever they say. I mean, I, I, I see that I've seen guys that are, that they, they do a lot of this to get in the position that they're in. But what I found is that sooner or later that catches up to them, oh yeah, sooner or later you can do this.

But at some point you've got to perform at some point, this has to stop and your hands got to get to work. You got to prove, what you say that you're able to provide. So I'm very cautious that what I say I'm able to do, and I want to, I want my work to speak for me.

So those guys that are like, oh, you know, he's just a, you know, a kiss ass or whatever. He'sa mamon.  I think sometimes we can get jealous of guys that are willing to take that step of building themselves to be better,  I guess it's that bully syndrome where you're going through something and so you take it out on somebody else, you know what I mean?  Maybe that person is feeling that they're not capable of doing something or they're like, man, I wish I was able to step out.

Like he was to ask for the position, but I'm not there yet, or I don't think I can do it. And so they'd rather make them feel less than, or they might talk crap behind their back because they don't want to admit  their own self-doubt, 

There could be a couple of things why that happens and takes place.   Not everybody is as confident in being in those roles . so people that feel like that  I think there's a place of jealousy or place for jealousy and a place for talking crap about somebody, because they're jealous that they're willing to take that step.

Jesse "Host":[00:29:45] May I give my opinion, 

Rene "Co-host":[00:29:46] I mean, you're going to do it anyway. 

Jesse "Host":[00:29:48] It's a big problem. And I think gage, you talked about It being a cultural thing, a machismo thing, an industry thing, like yes. All of the above. It's all of those things. Yeah. And it's so it's so pervasive that in my head, the way to change it is, is one pair of boots at a time. 

I've got to display the behavior that I'm seeking. Yeah. And so the people I spend time with, those are the people that have the most influence over. Sure. And when I asked those people APRO, how would you do this? I have this idea. What do you think? Yes. I've never done this before. Who should we call when we start  displaying

that behavior we normalized. Yes. And then it can expand outwards from that. Yes. But it's scary. It's it doesn't feel good. Like, I'm going to tell you straight up. When I, when we were gage, we were talking about the, how we started the podcast. What I wanted to do was just fricking do it. Don't ask anybody.

 Why are you going to ask? Don't be scared. All right. What kind of man are you? That was what was in my head. Shit. You know, how much time and money I could end up spending,  and then like everybody knows, I really don't like asking for help. Like I S I suck at it so much so that I prefer to learn the hard way.


I've seen it.  The point of that comment is I did ask for help, but there was enormous amounts of help that I didn't go access. So on one hand, I'm learning, like I'm just a baby in terms of building that skill and that comfort with going and asking for help. But the more I do it, people tell me like, dude,  you always ask for help.

 I like the way you, you go and use your resources. Yeah. And I'm like, really? Okay. That helps me. Yeah. Because  I feel less than because I'm needing to ask for help and that the reality is come home and people have already lived through it. 

Gauge "Guest":[00:31:50] Exactly. I think  when you're in a leadership position,  there's times when I feel like  I'm here and my guys are here.

 You feel like you don't have a team anymore because you're over here, but you do have a team there. The guys are working underneath you . So at the job that I was at leading , I would draw, draw out  my isometric for, Hey, this is how we're going to run this pipe.

But  like you, what do y'all think? Because you guys are the ones that I always tell them, you guys are the ones installing it. This is what I'm drawing out. Take this with you, go up there. If it's going to work, then let's run with it. If it's not going to work, just tell me and just fix this.

Cause we're going to work together because I'm down here and you guys are 35 feet in the air putting up six inch chill, water pipe down here. It looks different from what it looks like up there. I mean, that's how it works, right? That's what we always get mad at the foreman or the project manager. Hey, this is how it's going to go.

But you you're never in the field, dude. You're always, you're behind your computer in an office. How are you going to tell me how to do the job out here? Oh man. I mean, you know how that works? Like this guy's an idiot. He doesn't know what he's doing, but it's because they're, they're not willing to put themselves in a, I mean, I'm not saying they're like, it's just a general thing, but it's like, you've gotta be able to trust your guys to do the work.

Yes. It may not be the way that you planned it out. It may not be the way that you saw it in your head, but it's still getting the job done going from a to B. It still looks nice. And these guys, like I said, they're the ones installing. They're the ones that are up there doing the work. They can see it different differently than you can.

You're using their experience. Like you said, you're using their, their knowledge and their their know how also, because you get to trust them. You can't do the work all by yourself,  

Jesse "Host":[00:33:16] you mentioned early in the conversation gauge how we were working together, way back. In my head, I remember us being at Cole's call center over off of Westover Hills. And how a lot of us were, were pulling on you, like, Hey, giving you attention.

And it's because you had a presence, I mean, you still do you spoke professionally. You were really like very mature, relatively speaking. And what I mean by that is I'm a big screw up. Right. And then you were like, like you said, you came into an interview in a suit for an apprentice, just roll, like, hell yeah, that's baller.

Now what I want to say this for you and also for the L and M family out there, what was apparent was that you had a hunger. And what I mean by hunger is my dad is this is something my dad  planted in my head. Right. He would talk about, and a lot, you probably heard it may, maybe you've even said it.

A lot of us like to complain about the next generation. They don't want to get their hands in everything. I bet money every generation before us said the same thing, I guarantee you, 

Gauge "Guest":[00:34:22] like come up 

Jesse "Host":[00:34:24] and by the way, we are raising the generation we're complaining about. So shut your mouth. It's not there. It's not all their fault.

Yeah. Anyhow, when you came into work for TD  what you just told me is you were working a job before that you got a $13 check. So you know what it is to be hungry, you know, what tight budget means. Yeah. And because you know that you have an appreciation for the work and the job and the earning potential in front of you, 

what do you think about?  

Gauge "Guest":[00:34:59] It definitely does put a fire under your butt.  My wife tells me all the time that, Hey, we're proud of you for the work that you do, for the money that you bring into the home. It, and it does make me just make sure I have my focus on, right.

You know what I mean, by the right glasses on, because it's easy to, you know, I work with guys that do side jobs all the time.  I'm like, man, like, and I had the potential to do this job, which is going to pay pretty well, a side job. But I just didn't have the time to do it.

Because I would rather be home. Yes. I would, rather, for me, that's more important than, than the dollar bill, because it wasn't, what's what, what good is it to have all this money for your family, but never being there for your family to, to enjoy it with.

And so it helped me to work hard. Yes. I think that's what the point you're getting at. It helped me to work hard, helped me to appreciate the work. Those do help me to appreciate the paycheck that I was getting. But it also kept me focused on it's not just about making the money.

Yes. For me personally, it was about being able to make the money, to put us in a position where I don't have to work.  Side jobs all the time. So, so especially now I'm able to, I'm making more money. And this job, I was like, I want, I don't have the time to, it's going to be a lot of extra time away from home and like, you know what, it's not worth it.

And what's funny is my wife got, she follows this thing on Facebook. And it just, it was just after I told her, I was like, I'm going to call the guy and say, I can't do it. It's, you know, it's I just not able to do it. She, she saw this like posts and it was just kind of what we're talking about.

Like having perspective and putting,  what's important, not focusing just on the dollar you're making, but your family is more important than that because you can lose your family at any moment and at the time you have with them, but, not having definitely helps you to put some things in perspective.

And it did help me to be more professional at work.  Around that time,  the recession was happening and there was a lot of guys not working. So I did appreciate the fact that  I had a job. Because I knew that there was guys , you see them downtown right there, but they're waiting for work, you drive by in the car, they think that you're looking for work and they're like, Hey, 

so I did appreciate that. And it was humbling to know, man, I, I got to work hard because I want to keep this job because there's, there's a lot of people that aren't working,  that did help me to focus and be professional as best I could. I could at the jobs that I was working on, because not that I was afraid, but I know that at any time things can happen.

You can lose a job. I mean, it's just part of life,  I mean last year with the Rona, right. A lot of people lost their jobs.  So it's, it's just appreciating what you have and holding it as as dear to you as possible and making sure that you, you give people the reason to hold on to you, you give, give your company a reason to say you know what, we're going to go with the next guy, because we think this guy is worth holding onto.

Jesse "Host":[00:37:36] Oh man. I worked with James Dole pipe fitter. I was his helper for a little while and he would always tell me, and I didn't understand it at the time, but what you just said, stirred that memory. He would always say, Jess, you don't earn your job on the last day. Like, what the hell are you talking about?

Is he puts what you said, you earn your job, your position, your role in the company. Every single day. And what that was referring to is, is in the tight times, right? When business is down or their stuff's happening, all of a sudden, everybody wants to show out, everybody's bringing their a game. Everybody's showing up on time.

Everybody's volunteering for overtime. It's too late, right? Because everybody else, the, the gay drinks and the James and the EDS and the Ricks and all those P and the Renee's or an am, we'll give you some credit. Right. They'd been showing out. They showed up every day and they contributed every day. They learned every day.

And for those other people that have been dogging it, you trying to show up the last week, too late, 

Gauge "Guest":[00:38:43] buddy. You're done. It's too late. 


Rene "Co-host":[00:38:46] You mentioned that the the generations, 

they don't want to get their hands dirty. Right. And that every generation has been saying that about their upcoming generation. Right? Sure.  Have you seen that? It's kind of like at an all time low now, because let me give you an example. Like, I just had a conversation with an a form in the other day, and he was saying that he took a demotion to get into the job that I'm working in now.

Because there's no experience left anymore in the entry-level jobs, the ones in the holes and like the operators that they've either promoted or quit because there's just, no, there's no help. And he had to take over because he was like the he's the foreman. Right. And  he had to pick up the slack, but there's so much slack to be picked up now because there's no experience anymore because everybody just leaves when it gets hard.

Yeah. Do you think it's worse now than ever, or is it the same? 

Gauge "Guest":[00:39:45] Well, I don't know if it's worse than ever.  I guess it might be worse in the sense,  I feel like there's a lot more ways to make easy money. You know, a lot of people want to do YouTube videos.

I'm going to be the next YouTube star. I want to be the next, Instagram's going to be the next snap tick top. And I feel like they, they think that that's the, not the only way, but there's, there's easier ways to try and make money out there. And not that they're not willing to work hard for it. They're not willing to work hard  in the ways that matter.

Like a trade or. You know, going to college.  I used to listen to podcasts a lot more how I built this, it's by guy Roz. , he interviews businesses that have made it like Tom shoes, this popcorn company called popcorn. How did y'all start and how did you, and a lot of it is we just worked.

He asked him the question, he asks him all the time. It was like, is it work ethic? You worked hard. Or do you think you made it because of luck and all the time, they always say it was because of my hard work. I was willing to sacrifice whatever I could to make this happen. There was parts where things just took place.

And by happenstance things worked out, they met the right person. Those are, but they, they wouldn't have been able to meet the right person to be in the right position that they weren't able to work hard on the front end to get to where they needed to be. And I think, I think it boils down to hard work.

I think a lot of people they're not willing to, to, to put in the hard work because they think that they're gonna, they, they want to make $60,000 right off their first job. You have no work experience. dude like, where are you going to make $60,000 from like, how do we know you're 60,000 you're worth 60 down.

 They have this, this false reality. And I think a lot of it is because they have these, there's a lot more opportunities to make easy money nowadays. And I think that's the only way to be rich. That's the only way to make money and be in a, in a comfortable position. And like I said, I don't know if it's got worse.

I just think there's more opportunities to make it easier for them to think that they don't have to work as hard. They don't have to get sweaty. They don't have to build calluses on their hands. They don't have to get burned by solder. They don't have to, you know have a pipe burst in their face. , so my son where he's 10 we want him to learn plumbing.

He had had to be a licensed plumber, but we want him to learn a trade because that's going to come in handy when he's in college, but potentially,  and he wants to make some extra cash for himself. Hey, I can, I can fix your toilet. Hey, I can fix this and this and that. But you have to be willing to put in the work and, and we want him to understand, and even our daughter to understand like things don't come easy all the time, you got to work to get where you want to be.

And eventually the right opportunity will show up for you. That's my answer to that. I don't know if it's worse, but I do think there's there's opportunities for people to think that it's easier for them to make money nowadays. So I 

Rene "Co-host":[00:42:19] feel like there's like this trending mindset too,  for example people that I've worked with, they got the job and, you know, they have this, like you said, like this May false reality of how you can be making money, doing less somewhere else.

And they say that this work is too hard and we're not getting paid enough and they are adding these responsibilities on us. And we need more money if you want us to, if you want us to do that. Yeah.  Do you think there's any accuracy on it? Like should, should people be getting paid more? Like, for example, if a job evolved, right.

And let's say you were doing everything on paper, but now you have to use a laptop, log everything on Microsoft word or whatever, and turn it in for your daily report.Should This person be getting paid more because their work has changed. 

Gauge "Guest":[00:43:08] I think you have to prove yourself first  so the former position that I was in recently about a year or so ago I didn't ask for a rase

I just went from being an installer to a foreman because for me, I, I couldn't ask for something that they didn't know that I was good. I was worth the dollar amount for and this was a year and a half in the making. My goal was to wait for the end of the job before I asked for anything, because I wanted them to know what I can produce before I asked for what I thought it was worth.

 I don't think that it's fair just because you're doing quote unquote more responsibilities. That right off the bat, you can ask for it for more money. I think sometimes companies want to see what you're willing to do, what you're willing to produce. Like, if we're even willing to do the job, if you're even willing to go out of your way and say, you know what I'm willing to learn, or I'm willing to take a risk.

 Not that they're always testing you, but I do think  they want to see, okay. She is worth this much. Let's see how she reacts to having more responsibilities. Let's see how he reacts to giving him a little bit more of, of a, of a different kind of role.

Hey, can you take on this little task? , I think that eventually the raise will come.  I do think if you work hard, the pay will come. I do think also if you, as an individual, believe that you're worth that dollar amount then you're willing to put your pride aside for just a moment to, to, to work in this quote, unquote new role at advancing technologies, wherever that is to, to just see if you're willing to do the work.

. I do think that you've got to prove yourself a lot of the times first, before you can ask for a dollar amount. And I do think that, like you said, oh, I'm doing it. I feel like I pads make things a lot easier sometimes than having to sit down and write. I hated having to write my daily reports having to do this, the iPads just make it a lot more functional.

But you gotta prove yourself, man. I mean, that's just for me what it was to you prove yourself first and then be willing to ask for a bigger paycheck

Rene "Co-host":[00:45:05] what would you say to like a disgruntled employee? Like if you're a foreman and I asked these questions because I hear them and I'm, you know, I'm getting groomed to be come a form of form though.

So  I got to prepare myself to answer these questions wisely. Like people are, it's trending big time in my company. Like the younger generation, the entry-level employees that just got the job or, or maybe there are one, two years in They're asking these tough questions, like, Hey, they're asking us to do more than what they did last year, but they don't want to give 

Gauge "Guest":[00:45:39] us money.

 They have to understand it's a business businesses are about making money 

 I worked in an organization where they downsize,  they told the people, Hey, we're letting go X amount of people. This is what we're asking everybody to take on. In the new role. You can do this, if not, no hard feelings, but if you choose to leave, you can leave and it's okay.

It's okay. But if, if you're willing to get behind the mission, if you're willing to get behind the purpose, if you're willing to get behind why the company exists and you're willing to like, you know what I'm willing to take on more because I love this company. I love what they do and what they provide for me and my family.

What, how they treat their, treat, their employees. I'm willing to do more and stay at the same rate that I am. Then I think that's admirable too. But a company is a company and they're, they want to make as much money as they can to, because guess what? If they don't make money, you're not making money.

If they're not making money, you don't have a job. And for me, it's not as black and white. But, but I do think that there's a lot of that element. There was a kid who came in, I say a kid. He was like, he's probably like 1920. He was a pipe fitter. And he was he's brand new to the company. I don't know what he said to the company to, to, to get into this new pipe for the roll.

 He obviously did not know anything about what he was talking about. We asked him, Hey, have you ever done underground piping before his response was like, in a cave, we're like, meaning cave underground.

You're talking about. So he, he obviously didn't know what he was talking about. So we didn't have any welding for him to do with the job I was at. But he was just brand new. He was about a week and a half, two weeks in. And I said, Hey, man, I need your help to move this pipe from one section to the other, you know, our forklift is now.

I just need you to help me move this stuff. And two inch PVC, bro, you know how light that is 10 footers, 24 to do, like he was taking one at a time from one side to the other. I'm like, bro. I said, come on, man, let's do this. And I'm there taking three or four sticks. He's still with them. I said, look, let's put this down.

I said, look, man, do you want to be here? What are you talking about? I said, I'm carrying three or four, six to two inch pipe, bro. You're there with one at a time. I can tell him your face that you don't want to be here.  He goes, well, I just, they told me it was going to be like this and here I am.

I'm just, I'm just helping you guys up. You know, I'm just like, yeah, that's working. Work. I said easy, bro. It's just a super easy, this is, let me tell you, this is super easy. Do you want to be here? Yes or no. If you want to be here and then you got to work, we're a team. This is where we're a team. I said, I need you as much as I need the other guy.

And right now, because we don't have any welding. I need you to do this job. If you don't want to be here, just leave. It's okay. No hard feelings, bro. But if you're going to be here, I need you to work. And I told them just flat out because I could see, he was frustrated. I asked him to do work. He rolled his eyes or he like, you know, whatever, just mosey around like your, the, the donkey on getting the food, just taking his time.

And so I just, I get frustrated because these other guys I'm, I'm the foreman, you know, not that I'm above it all, but it's like, I have other things to be worried about then having to help you carry, you know, two inch pipe from one place, one job to the other side, just cause we got to get out of the way.

I need to trust you to do the job. And so I just had a real conversation with the guy. This is, this is where we're at in the company. This is what we're asking you to do, if you don't want to do it. That's okay. That's okay. No, one's going to blast you out on Instagram but if you're going to be here, you got to be willing to work. And so I would say, tell your employees, as a business, they, they, they want to get as much out of the employee as they can without having to spend more.

And that's just where it's at. Eventually there'll be able to provide more for their customers, for their employees, more of a pay raise if they can. But if you liked the company enough, you're willing to sacrifice a little bit. You know, if, if I liked the company I was at and, and it was a small company, but I was willing to put off whole take taking a raise because I wanted to see if I was capable of doing the work.

I wanted them to see that I had the value  I wanted it to see, you know, what he is worth this much, because we saw the whole year and a half where he was able to produce what the guys talked about him, what the GC had no complaints about the guy, you know, what he is worth it.

So I went to your guys, you know what I understand, you're frustrated, but let's, you know, I'm frustrated too, this is where the company's at right now.  Because he's, he's not in the position that you're in 

he doesn't have the buy-in with the upper management as you do. I would say you speak for the guy, you know, say, Hey look, you know, let's give it a month. This is what I did. I, there was a guy that I worked with and he would drive from Houston every week. That's where he lives in Houston. He'd come to work every week, stay here Monday through Friday.

Sometimes he would go home in the middle of the week to be with his family and come back, he'd drive three hours that Wednesday night drive back three hours, Thursday morning, just cause wanting to be with his family. And I saw that for a month. And, and without him knowing I went to the, to the upper management, I talked on his behalf because I, there was more buy-in on my words than it would be from his words, you know, he's just stressed that employee 

he's annoyed employee. He's a frustrated employee. When you're a frustrated. Sometimes you say things that you really don't mean are you really coming from a it doesn't always come from a bad place, but it can be from a frustrating place. But as the PR, as his leader, as his foreman, or as has his supervisor, you can talk about those frustrations with him.

And then you have the opportunity to communicate those frustrations, to whoever your management is and say, Hey, you know this guy, man, he worked hard for me every day. These are the things I see him improving all. These are the things that I know he can do and perform. What can you do for him? You know what I mean?

So it's different coming from you than it. Wouldn't be coming from your employee, from your, the guy working underneath you. So, but at the end of the day, it's a businessman 

Jesse "Host":[00:50:56] You hook and taking care of the guy that was driving back and forth from Houston, I mean, that's a form of servant leadership.

Sure. And you also touched on people getting frustrated. So when do people get frustrated? And this isn't just a construction situation, this is like any situation people get frustrated when they feel stuck, they get frustrated when they don't know what direction they're headed. They get frustrated when they don't feel appreciated.

Yeah. None of those things have anything to do with money. And usually when people are frustrated about their income, it's because they got a spending problem, their issue, it's their issue, an employment issue. Now, do we want to make more money? Absolutely. So you gotta make that happen, but when you're leading a team or in have responsibility for a crew, if you're not displaying appreciation, you're contributing to them being frustrated.

Sure. If you're not setting direction and explaining the purpose behind the work. You're contributing to the frustration. Yes. And as a result, they feel stuck 

Gauge "Guest":[00:52:05] that's the biggest issue I've heard. It's just communication, communication, communication, communication.

I'm hearing one thing from the office people, and then it being non not produced out in the field, you know, like I said, that's why I left the company I've worked with before is because they kept saying, oh, well, we're going to go here. We're gonna move here. We're gonna move south. We're gonna move south.

And I never saw them moving on that. Or the other side of it  one of the companies I worked for before we had a home Depot card that we can use to go buy just things that we needed on the field gloves, whatever it was. I go to home Depot one day and my card's not working.

Oh shit. And I have like a few hundred dollars worth of stuff. I'm like, what the heck? I'm an old guard. Like, what did I do? So I called the office. Oh yeah. We forgot where we're we're we're not giving you guys a home Depot cards anymore. We're just going to have one for the office and you got it. I'm there.

And I called the other foremen hey, did this? He goes, yeah, I was there yesterday. And the same thing happened. I was like, did they tell you? He goes, no, nobody told us anything. It's frustrating. You're frustrated again, because there was no communication. Even in the guys that I work with now and the service side, there's just lack of communication. A lot of the times, we're just kind of like, like you said, we're stuck. I don't know what to do. What's next?

What do we do? I don't know. Nobody's said anything. So yeah, I totally agree with that. Yeah. 

Jesse "Host":[00:53:10] They don't give you the resources to, to execute and achieve success and then come and bitch at you because you're behind that. You don't get to do both 

Gauge "Guest":[00:53:20] of those things. Yes, exactly. I hate to not get to do both of those things aside.

My first few weeks were frustrating. And so there was a merger that happened. So they were working through a bunch of kinks already and they told me that early on, Hey, we're working through a lot of issues. Just be patient. That's cool. I get that. But one thing I told them, I was like, I hate feeling stupid in front of a customer, whatever you can do to help like make that not possible.

That would be super good. And there was times where I would go to a job and they'd be like, this guy came out already two weeks ago to talk to me about this. We're talking about the same thing you're supposed to be here to do the job. I didn't know that. I'm so sorry. I apologize for the inconvenience.

We'll get somebody out here as soon as you can. And there was just missing medication somewhere within the office that they didn't, when they sent me back on the job, I didn't know what was happening. You know, I'm brand new the company. Here's an iPad. Figure it out in a sense. There was some teaching, but really it's like, here you go.

And so I hate feeling dumb in front of a customer if I can avoid it. But yeah, communication is huge. We've got to go. 

Jesse "Host":[00:54:14] So there's a few other things.  I don't want to say that it's all the company or the leader's responsibility. Right. Because everybody has to own, you remember Jim Jones gauge?

Yeah. I loved it. The famous saying, like, I'll take it to the grave with me. Everybody's got to take a bite out of that shit sandwich. Right. So the employer, the leader, the person of responsibility, they got to own their part. Sure. And so does the damn employee. And so there's this dynamic that, that I've been able to see over and over and over and over again, you get a scrub, meaning somebody that's new doesn't know anything.

And they think they're fricking rookie of the year. And it's like, bro, you're a scrub. Like, so, and it's okay to be a scrub. Yeah. Right. We've all been there, but they think their rookie of the year, they want a parade. They want a parade for what I showed up on time all year. I, I never called in like bro terms of employment

did you wipe your ass too way to go? You know, the scrub evolves and becomes rookie of the year and he thinks, or she thinks she's hall of fame all of a sudden, because you had a good year. All right. Like do that again. Don't get me wrong. Like I'm not judging. I was that guy there.

Right. I showed up on the job and I did. I made a good decision or made a good recommendation. They'll very first time something valuable came out of my mouth. Well, God damn it. Where's my freaking C-suite credit card. 

Gauge "Guest":[00:55:44] Where's my company truck. Where's my 

Jesse "Host":[00:55:46] company. You have these ego problems and you, you said it right.

You've got to, you gotta prove yourself. You gotta be reliable. You gotta be able to reproduce the consistent level of quality, the consistent level of service over and over and over again, you gotta be able to do that reliably. And you're going to get recognized. You don't get right. You're not going to get a raise because you fricking opened up a word document or you replied to an email for the first time.

Yeah. Thank you for doing that. Yeah. And we're going to continue to develop that capability. Yeah. But you're not going to have a parade because you just did it this first time. So there's this year thing of I deserve because I showed up like negative, the fricking connex and the Bobcat and the backhoe.

They're present too. Are we going to keep them a raise? You don't get ribbons for perfect attendance anymore. Yeah. You get paid to produce. Yeah. And if you ain't putting out, shut up and put out or go find another job, like that'd be, I love the way you said gauge, like, you know what, bro, if you don't want to work here, that's okay.

Like this is the job. This is the work I have for you. And if, if you don't want to do it, you have a choice and the choice is to go do something else.  I want to add some clarity because I'm feeling a little judged here are hating on influencers and, and social social media.

I want to let you know daddy, 

Gauge "Guest":[00:57:26] I'm sorry. I should. I should've said the exception is this podcast

Jesse "Host":[00:57:29] and that's half joking, but half true. You don't just go start a podcast and open up an Instagram account and a YouTube account and boom, you blow up. You got to put the damn time in. You 

Gauge "Guest":[00:57:42] said it when you started the pockets, you're like, I'm going to have 10 million view early on. 

That's what, that's our mindset like, oh, I'm going to be this thing off the bat. It's hard work. I mean, you, you, I mean, I don't know how to run a podcast, but you told me you took it back from start to finish two months of asking the questions, getting the equipment. Okay. What's our dialogue. What's, what's our focus.

How are we going to run our, our talks? You know, there's a lot of thought that goes into it. A lot of whiteboard conversations, a lot of like, well, let's think about this or what if this is going to work? How's you know, and so there's a lot of work and I applaud you guys for taking this on because there's, and there's a lot of other people out there that are doing the same thing similar you are.

Right. So what's going to make you guys stand out from everybody else. You know what I mean? So you gotta find your niche and there's a lot of that 

Jesse "Host":[00:58:24] man, for sure. Sure. So now the point that the difference is like, there's a, there's an amount of sacrifice that we have like this, rather, I should say it this way.

The commonality between the trades and the virtual world is, is that hard work is required. You've got to sacrifice some things to, to, to grow and to contribute to the degree that you want to contribute at sure. So that's a consistent thing. The difference is the environment 

working out there in the field installing things there's a lower level of comfort, right? I mean, you mentioned it earlier, gauge. It is when it's cold out there, bro. It's cold yeah. Like the warmest place you'll find is a port-a-potty and that's not very pleasant and when it's hot, oh man.

It's high. It's hot. Like you're going to sweat and not like a little bit, you're going to be soaked salts then do you still get salt stains in your jeans? Yeah. Right. Like that's, that's the work, that's the word? So the comfort level is very low and now as it relates to, because, you know, I'm  and I've been able to do research on every generation, every generation, the comfort level in which we live has gone up.

Sure. But if you think back, like we're just super simple refrigerators, we take that for granted air condition. Like that is an expectation anywhere you go in our country. Yeah. If you don't have a refrigerator and you don't have a C like what the hell is going on? Sure. And we're maybe a generation or two away from people that did not have a refrigerator and absolutely air condition was like a big, you only got that when you went on vacation, you didn't have that at home.

Yeah. But forward to now we have these amenities that have become commonplace and an elevated our need for comfort, which I think has absolutely contributed to maybe I don't want to do a job in that industry and then exist. So taking the bite out of the shit sandwich, you know, adults complain about kids, always playing on social media and they're on their phone.

And it's like, well, you know what? I don't know any kid, I don't know any  nine-year-old, that's got a job that can buy that to make the money, to buy the damn phone, to pay for the service, like stop complaining. Yeah, 

Gauge "Guest":[01:01:03] yeah, yeah. Yeah. We're we're part of the problem. 

Jesse "Host":[01:01:06] Own your part. Oh yeah. My rant is over

okay. Good. So gauge you gave us the beautiful background on you came into the trade. We got to work together, you broke my heart and you left and you came and I'm really happy, man. I was like cruising, Facebook. And I saw, I saw Rebecca posted about your journeymen license. I was like, oh my God. Like, I didn't even realize you were back in the trade.

And I was very happy that you were back. Like I said, man, cause you had it. Like you got skills. Clearly you've been a foreman. Now you're running a service truck.  Your EEQ your appreciation and respect for people absolutely is going to make you successful as a service plumber. And those are the skills that people don't talk about.

You think you just got to know how to plumb, like, no, you also got to learn how to listen and respectful and people skills. The people skills, man, you gotta have that too. So you've come again. Like I say, you, I'm very pleased that you're back in the industry you found meaning in the work which I've always known that it's there.

And I think your message is going to help a lot of people see a different way. See it through a different line.  What I'm curious about is what were your earliest career aspirations. 

Gauge "Guest":[01:02:24] Well, I mean, going back to my story is, you know, I, I really thought that I would be working in a religious nonprofit for the, for the rest of my life.

I love working with teenagers. It's a passion of mine and Rebecca's too, like, we just love, that generation we're talking about. There there's potential there and it's harnessing that and navigating that and showing them that it's not just about what you do, but it's about how you do it.

You know, there's a higher purpose and stuff like that. So we, we love that opportunity to do that if we can. So that's what I thought I was going to do. But then going back to what you talked about earlier  Danny Trejo. What he did acting and getting the paycheck, allowed him to do the thing that he really wanted to do. Rebecca and I, we have these outlandish goals that are very big, but it's like, when we feel like this is, you know, this could potentially be a means to be able to do what we want to do, you know?

Our aspirations are just to serve where we can, Rebecca loves to give, and she's probably the most giving person that I know. And she won't, she won't ever really ask for anything in return and anything that we can do. If we have the money to do it, she wants to give, or even a four time, she wants to be able to go out there and serve.

That's just your heart, you know? And sometimes it's hard to catch up. Sometimes it's hard to, you know, I'm like, I just want to sit down. I want to relax, but, you know, it's, it's something that she just has this, this desire to go out and serve and stuff. And so I want to be a part of that. We want to do that together.

So my, I think my aspirations were, were small compared to what I see now that we can contribute to our community. And I wanted to just be about myself. I wanted to do this thing I wanted to, but it's like, no, like this is what we can do together. And, and the plumbing and the job opportunity and being able to make a little bit more money allows us to do have a bigger picture in what we can do to provide to our community.

And so I never saw plumbing as an aspiration. I never saw the trade as an aspiration that I saw when I was younger and I never did. I just, it was something I never thought about. But, but now that I know I'm, I'm okay at it, you know, it's like, okay, I can see myself doing it. I never, I tell my guys all the time, the guys I work with, I'm not a great plumber.

I'm, I'm not, I, I can do it, but there's guys that they see it and they just know how to do it. They're quicker at it. It takes me a little bit longer, but I know, I'm better on the leadership side. That's more my strength. I'm better at building a team working together 

but like you said, but what do y'all think? Like, what are you, where do you see? That's more my strength. I'm, I'm a good plumber. But I'm definitely not the best. And I'm okay saying that because I'm not. But, but I do know that my aspirations are to be in a position. We're where I can be of a leadership role in the trade that I love.

I love doing plumbing. I never thought that I'd say that, but I really enjoy it. But, but I know it's a means for me to be able to do something bigger on the other side of that. So yeah. 

Jesse "Host":[01:05:07] Same here. I mean, I briefly describe what my role is. I mean, I'm a podcaster now, right? I'm an amazing big brother.

Gauge "Guest":[01:05:18] Very humble, 

Jesse "Host":[01:05:19] very humble, very humble. I travel the country, advise people on helping make their day suck less. Sure. All of that is a result of me having been a plumber, choosing a career in the trades, helped me discover the gifts and talents that I've been blessed with and helped me develop them to contribute at a greater level.

Gauge "Guest":[01:05:42] I think it's also being true to yourself. I'm not purposely trying to, but I don't want to be the typical plumber that they see every day. The guy that just comes in pants hanging off his butt, you know, like I, not that I'm coming in with like a nice shirt.

It's, I mean, I have to wear a uniform, but it's easy to be somebody you're not, especially in the field. Yes, because you're trying to build camaraderie with the guys. And I saw that in myself, like I would act a different way when I was in the field and I'd act a different way when I was having to be in the office with the foremen

and with the general managers I wanted to be, I wanted to be the myself would, regardless of where I was at, you know, I was at a, I was out of town this weekend. At a graduation in Vermont. And we, you know, we had a chance to hang out with some of the other parents. You know, I was just there as a friend, we're supporting our friends, her daughter graduated.

And I met this guy who, who was in the banking industry, very wealthy guy. And I'm just there being myself. And I'm talking about, I do. And my wife is there looking at me. She tells me, she goes, I love that. You're yourself, wherever you go, because that's a big part of it. People can tell when you're being fake, but people also want you to just, they also want you to be genuine.

You know, I'm not trying to be someone I'm not wherever I go, if I'm in the field, I'm going to be the same way. I'm going to speak to you the same way that I would. You know, if I'm talking to a bunch of guys that,  have less experience than I do, or have less of an edge quote, unquote education than I do, but it doesn't mean that we're bigger or better than anybody.

Like I want to be who I am, where I'm at. And I think, I think Jessie for you, you being who you were, no matter where you were at, I think allow for the opportunities to present themselves because you weren't afraid to be that person. Like you're able to be a podcast. You're able to talk to people. And I think if, if we're afraid to be ourselves.

Everywhere we go. Like we're never going to be able to be the person that we were created to be, you know? And so I think, yeah, I think you being genuine allowed you to be able to work your way up and allow you to do the things that you're able to do, talking to people isn't easy, you know, it's, it's not, if that's something you're good at, then just be good at it.

And just do the thing that your, that your strength. There's a book called strength finders. It tells you stop focusing on trying to strengthen your weakness, strengthen the strengths,  you were supposed to build a team to help you with those weaknesses.

You know what I mean?  We spend so much time trying to strengthen our weaknesses, but their weaknesses for a reason, because we can't be good at everything, but it's finding the, the ladies  and the other people on your team to 

help you in those weaknesses,  and I think that that's something that I, I tried to do when I was a foreman. It's like, these guys are better than at it than I am and how can I utilize their strengths? Where it makes us all look good because I can't do it all. You know? And my strengths are the administrative side.

My strengths are getting the guys, getting the materials they needed and getting them to be successful. But on the installer side, I might be slower than this guy. I can still do the work, but this guy, he just sees it. He knows what he's got to do and just run with it. Okay. Here's what you're not. So I set them up for success.

 Jesse, I know that that's something you try to do too, is try to develop these people that you go in. And the, the, the guys in the field and the guys in the office, how can we work as a team with our strengths and utilize people  to help,  with our weaknesses?

Jesse "Host":[01:08:39] Well said. So looking into the future, gauged it. And I, I would imagine that your, your answer's probably going to be pretty damn profound. , what fingerprint do you want to leave on the world?

Gauge "Guest":[01:08:51] Fingerprint on the world. That's a big one. It was funny. I bet you, I'm going to try to think about that question ever since you kind of, kind of gave me a little hint that some of the questions. Yeah.

I think for me, maybe a couple of things, but I definitely want to be viewed that as a, as a good a husband and father, for me, that's a big one. There was when I used to talk to teenagers, there was a, a death that happened many years ago. And I, I remember watching this on a news report and it was a guy who, who passed away I think, he got hit by a car on his motorcycle 

and the only thing that they talked about the person was he loved his motorcycle. He loved his motorcycle. He loved his motorcycle and that's cool, but the way I took it, it was like, I don't want to be remembered just for my motorcycle. I don't want to be remembered because 

oh, Ben gage loved wearing shoes or he loved wearing hats and I'm not downplaying his death, his death a lot, but, but I don't want to be remembered for something that was materialistic.  I guess the question is my fingerprint  I want to be a good father and a good husband. Somebody that, that, that was a hard worker that was willing to take risks in his trade and in, in, in, in his passions, in his desires and his goals in life somebody that was willing to step out in faith somebody who,  loved God, that's a big part of  my story is  being a Christ follower, being a believer, I'm not perfect, you know?

But somebody who's just, who's, who's not willing to make mistakes too. You know what I mean? And, and this, you know, not like dumb mistakes, but when not willing to, and as far as learning, you know, what I'm going to be able to, to do that. Man, Jesse, that's a big question, man. I think there's a lot there.

But I, I just think I want to be remembered more for how I gave then what I was able to receive. I think that's a big part of probably my, my journey is or part of what I want to feel my story is or what I was able to contribute and give rather than what I was able to take from the world around me.

So yeah, hell 

Jesse "Host":[01:10:53] I knew it was going to be good.

. All right. So  Renee came up with this idea of creating  a backstage. Segment of this podcast that would be exclusive content for people. So here's the question, you know, the title of this podcast is learnings and missteps, which kind of confuses people like what the title is, is what the hell is the podcast about.

Right. And the reason I chose that that title is because I got to the point in life that I am through a bunch of missteps that I learned from. And as we're talking through P everybody's story, they are talking about their learnings and their missteps and how we got to where they're at right now.

And so all in that theme for the backstage pass, what Misstep in your entire life provided you with the greatest learning? 









Jesse "Host":[01:12:23] Well, gage I am pleased that we were able to connect and it was very short notice. So thank you for making 

Gauge "Guest":[01:12:29] the time. Good man hour and a half goes by fast. I cried. I was like nine 

Jesse "Host":[01:12:34] 30.

You know, I had the privilege of working with the way back in the day. It was clear that you had tons of gifts and, and you've gone, you know, you've taken different routes. You've worked for a couple years. You went back out into the nonprofit world. Faith-based nonprofit work came back into the trade and, and what's pleasing and motivating to me is that you found a way to connect.

What's your gift? Well, one of your gifts are right. It's developing capabilities, developing leaders come assembling teams to execute and deliver and also adding and providing value to people. And you're doing that. Through the plumbing trade. Yeah. And it can be done in a way to do that in the trade.

And that is something that like this, your story I hope is going to connect and impact other people.  I really appreciate seeing your career growth and, and, and your life. I mean, you know, I haven't been there the whole time, but thank you.

We met a long, long time ago, man. And now you're it for me. It's like, when you, I swear when you left, I cried a little bit. Oh.

And now hear about all the amazing things that you're doing back in the industry. It's like yes, because yeah, because yes. Yeah. I'm very happy that you're there. And you, you, you talked about it that you may not be the best installer or the best assembler, but you do have some skills that are going to provide value in the industry.

And I'm looking forward to see how that impacts your career trajectory. And more importantly, your career in the trades is a means to your passion. And so what is it that you're going like the impact that you're going to have in the world and the people that you're touching out there. All of that is what I want to see.

Right. Yeah. That's what, and maybe if I don't have the opportunity to see it, I want to celebrate it. Yeah. I want to celebrate you and so appreciate you sharing your story and appreciate the vulnerability man, for real, like that was real talk appreciate. I don't know if you know this but Renee, I mean, you know, he's my baby brother, but every interview that we've had so far, Renee walks away with a least a decade of knowledge and experience more than he had when he showed up and me too.

But I'm kind of these highlights hard for me to, to receive all that experience. But Renee, I mean, we have conversations. You're like, dude, I learned a lot from these talks like I learned so much, so he doesn't have to go and do it the hard way the way I do things. And so I appreciate you for gifting him with your experience and your perspective.


Gauge "Guest":[01:15:28] Thank you. I appreciate it, man. If I need anything else from me, please, don't hesitate. I'll support you guys listening. Yes. Then 

Jesse "Host":[01:15:37] what we need is for you to listen hit 

Gauge "Guest":[01:15:41] the like 

Jesse "Host":[01:15:42] and 

Gauge "Guest":[01:15:42] a little bit. Yeah, there you go. 

Jesse "Host":[01:15:44] There you go. All right, bro. You take it 

Gauge "Guest":[01:15:46] easy, man. I got to, man. God bless you guys.  


All right. I feel like we just dropped another banger episode with our boy gage and it's time for the shout out to the learnings and misstep fan. Thank him. So first I want to shout out to the people across the globe. We just launched our new website and I get to see how many people are logging in and from where, and they ain't all from Texas baby.

We also got a super cool review from agile F E agile F. He says, this is a genuine show that honestly shares.  What it means to work in the trades in north America. I have mad respect for this show philosophy and the inspiration. It gives each episode. So like you're giving us way too much credit, man, but we'll take it.

We appreciate it. And thank you for listening to the show. And for the rest of the L and M family out there, leave us a review, let us know what we're doing. Right what we can do to improve and  how we're making your day better. Be cool. And we'll talk at you next time.