Featuring Kelly Schols
Intro: Welcome to Profiles In Prosperity with your host David Heimer.
David Heimer: Hi this is David Heimer. Kelly Schols, is the president of a really great company, CPI plumbing in Mount Vernon, Washington. I have tremendous admiration for Kelly, not just because he built a great company, but because he is faced with tremendous adversity in his life, both personally and professionally, and he’s always found a way to overcome the adversity. That’s kind of an understatement because he didn’t just overcome the adversity. He overcame it and then he thrived. And he brought a lot of other people along with him to share in the success because he’s such an interesting guy and his information is so good and so compelling. Our discussion ended up longer than we like for one podcast so we split it into two podcasts. In the first, I talk with Kelly about how I got into the business, his current business and some of the unique training he does with his team. In the second episode, we talked about the value of self-development CPIs, charity programs, the impact of those. And we hear about Kelly’s commandments and those are Kelly’s rules for his life and business. It’s great information. I’m tremendously grateful to Kelly for taking the time to do this. Here is the second of the two podcasts.
Kelly Schols: Another thing that really differentiates us David from anybody else in our area is the charity work that we do. We started a charity club a couple of years ago and we give back a percentage of everything we make to local charities. And what we do is each month we figure out how much we make and we put the money aside. Half of that money goes to our employee of the month to donate to a charity of their choice. The other half stays in an account, so when people are calling me, asking me for this or that, we’re writing checks weekly for different local charities. Last year, just in green cash we donated over $32,000 into local charities, not including we did two or three bathrooms for churches. There’s what’s called a friendship house where people can go to get dinner and food and a meal and a bed at night. We’d done a kitchen remodel for them. The boys and girls club, we’ve done remodels for it. Just a lot of different organizations in town, we’ll go and do the work for free for them, as well as giving back the money to the local charities.
David Heimer: The employees must love it. If you’re employee of the month, you get to designate that some amount of money goes to whatever charity that you’re involved in right?
Kelly Schols: Yep. And then we take full advantage of that. When the employee chooses the charity, we don’t just send the charity a check. Either somebody from the organization comes in and gets it. Or one of our employees goes to the organization and gives it to them. And when we do, we take that to get a photo op and then we’ll do a press release on it and make sure that people know what we’re doing in the community. I’ve seen grown men come in here – about a year and a half ago one of our employees chose – it’s a military thing I can’t remember what they call it. But the guy came in and we gave him a $1,700 check and he literally was crying and bawling his eyes out.
David Heimer: Is there a story about you supporting a school band?
Kelly Schols: Yeah. One of the local high schools, one of our employees actually went to the school and was in the band. And when he got the employee of the month, he chose that school’s band as his charity. So when we called up the band director and said, “Hey, we have a donation here we’d like to make to your band.” And it was about $1,600. Same thing, he started crying. The band was actually going to have to – they couldn’t get uniforms. They didn’t know what they were going to do. And it happened to be the amount of money that we donated was what they were looking for. So they asked the representative from our company that donated it to come up, and during the middle of a high school football game, went out in the middle of the football field and we donated it there and got a big hurrah.
David Heimer: I bet, that’s incredible.
Kelly Schols: Yeah. And then I’ve done some other things myself. I did a local fundraiser a couple of years ago. My wife passed away. It’ll be five years ago in September from a heart issue. So I had some friends asked me to go do a hike one day and they wanted to do what was called seven lakes in seven hours. And I was like alright, let’s do it. Well, as people started hearing us talk about it, the local hospital was getting ready to remodel the cardiac rehabilitation center. And they asked if we would do the hike to kick off the fundraiser for the cardiac rehabilitation center. And we said, sure, well, amongst all that people started saying, well, is it in honor of Heather, my late wife? And we’re, no we’re just going to do the hike. And they’re like, come on and do it, knowing to her. So finally I talked to my daughters and said, okay, yeah, we’ll do it in her honor.
Well, then the head of the hospital foundation came and asked if I would be interested in naming the cardiac rehabilitation center in her name. And again, I, at first, didn’t want to, but after talking to my daughters and the friends that were doing the hike with me and helping support it, we decided, yeah, let’s go ahead and do it. So I committed to raising a hundred thousand dollars in naming the rehab center after her. Two and a half years later, we raised $140,000 and were able to name the cardiac rehabilitation center after my late wife.
David Heimer: What a wonderful tribute, that’s terrific.
Kelly Schols: The neat thing about it was, even though it wasn’t part of CPI, because it was something that I did separately, everything kind of ran through CPI, everybody associated it with CPI because of what we do and what CPI does in the community and how involved I am with donations and charity in the community. So it really got a lot of press for CPI to do that, even though it wasn’t directly related to CPI.
David Heimer: Just a nice side benefit out of it right?
Kelly Schols: Yep. For years, people would tell you, if you’re going to donate, if you’re going to do that, you got to do it out of the goodness of your heart and you don’t tell anybody and this and that. Well, I did that for years and it seemed to always bite me. So I don’t do that anymore. I make sure people know what we’re doing, make sure that people know that we’re involved in the community. We give back to the community, we’re part of this community. This community has been good to me and I want to be good back to it.
David Heimer: Yeah. I think the other side of that is you’re setting an example for other people don’t you think?
Kelly Schols: Because, a lot of people don’t give back and won’t help out, but it’s become contagious with our employees. The stuff that our employees do and it’s part of who we are. It’s part of the culture that we’ve built here at CPI. Just one of the things that happened recently, there was a shooting in one of the towns here and it was within a block of where one of our employees lived and actually it’s two of our employees. We have a father and a step son and they both work for us and they were in the driveway and they heard this shooting. Here’s the type of employees we have, they took off running towards the shooting. And when they got there, they scared the guy away that was doing the shooting. They saved at least five lives.
David Heimer: Wow.
Kelly Schols: And it was all over the news and everything. I mean, the involvement that they have, the care that everybody has for this community, that works for us is absolutely amazing.
David Heimer: You built a really good company and a really good culture. It’s evident from your success and from the stories about the people in your company and what you guys have done for the community. It really is a great tribute to you.
Kelly Schols: Thank you. Everybody’s been great to me. They’ve supported me in everything I’ve done and the hard times I’ve been through. So it’s time to give back and help everybody else out.
David Heimer: Good for you. When we have talked before in front of audiences, we’ve asked you to go for rules for the business, we called them Kelly’s commandments. Would you be able to go over those with us today?
Kelly Schols: Sure. My number one thing is the more people you help, get what they want, the more you’ll get in return. I live personally and professionally by that. Always surround yourself with people. Remember, you’re only as good as the people around you. And I truly believe that here at CPI, absolutely amazing. I go to conferences all over the country and people talk about our company and hear about what we do and how good we are, but it’s really kind of cool because I’m not at the company that much, I’m usually gone on the road. So, the people I have around me are absolutely incredible. I’m always looking to improve personally and professionally, and we bleed that into this company. Make sure that you’re always helping people improve that way, always live beneath your means. Same thing that Dave Ramsey says, and we talk about it a lot here, is live like nobody else. So later in life, you can live like nobody else.
David Heimer: Exactly.
Kelly Schols: And show people, respect and accept what you wish to receive. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
David Heimer: Alright. Good stuff. I’ve got one follow-up question. You said it a couple of times and I think it’s really interesting. When you hear people, when they talk about going through bad times, they talk about, I worked harder, I stayed up late. I don’t want to minimize what they’re saying, but it’s sort of the same stuff. You always say something that’s really different and you said it a little bit ago. That was, I look into myself and I look to do self-development. I have to improve myself to get myself or to get us through this. And I’m curious if you look back at the things that you did, the self-development that you did, pick out a couple of the things that you did that come to the top of your mind that you think really made a big difference, then I’m going to go and read those or do them myself.
Kelly Schols: Well, a couple of things. When I met Kenny through the Service Roundtable, I read his book, I’ve developed his book. Another thing is him and his life coach put together called unleash your greatest life. It’s a CD Workshop series, CD Workbooks, and it’s 21-day series. In the first seven days is relationship with yourself. And what you do is you listen to the CD and then you sit down with this workbook and you go through and you answer questions and you basically are digging deep into yourself. The second seven days is relationships with others. And the same thing in the last seven days is relationship with finance. The 21 day series took me three months to get through it.
David Heimer: That’s the way I do those things.
Kelly Schols: At the same time I was going to counseling. I’m not someone that’s afraid to look at themselves and admit, I have faults and to work on those faults. And I think that’s a big thing people are afraid to do. People are afraid to look at themselves and admit they have faults and to work on them and to acknowledge it. And I’ll tell you, if you can do that and realize your faults, you become a better person, you become a better father, you become a better leader, a better role model, everything and it’s continually doing that. Zig Ziglar’s got a quote, “motivation is like showering. It doesn’t work unless you do it daily.” It’s the same thing with self-improvement and motivation. It doesn’t work unless you do it daily. And it takes work and it takes humbling. A lot of humbling. And even like finance, I read a lot of books on finances. I’ve always been very good with my money, but I want to be better. So I’m always reading different books and different things.
David Heimer: So Kenny Chapman series the 21 days CD, is there anything else you’d recommend particularly or anything that helped you particularly?
Kelly Schols: Well, the first personal development I ever did was a Brian Tracy series and it was called Universal Laws of Success and Achievement. And this tells you how long ago that was, it was on cassette tape. And I listened to that every day for probably a year. And I don’t listen to so much Brian Tracy anymore. I will, occasionally there’s just any sort of personal development or self-help, you can get. I have a business coach, I have counselors. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m not afraid to use them. And you think about it, The top athletes in the world all have coaches. The top actors in the world all have coaches. I’ll guarantee that 99% of all top business owners in the world have coaches or consultants, but don’t be afraid to reach out to people, whoever it is. And I’ll tell you, I met some great people through Service Roundtable. It’s probably one of the best things that ever happened to me when I joined there and started going to the conferences to meet Kenny, to meet Joe. Kenny’s been up here and worked with the guys we’ve had Joe’s CDs and online stuff here. Just anything you can do, coaching, consulting, counseling, don’t be afraid to do it.
David Heimer: Alright, my friend, I appreciate this. This is full of gems. This has been great. I really do appreciate it. Thank you so much for doing this with me. And also by the way, thank you for recently joining us as an advisory board mentor. Thank you for doing that as well. I’ve already started to hear great things about that. I know you’re going to be a huge hit and those guys that work with you are going to get a lot out of it. Thanks for that as well. Bye-bye.
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