We were joined by WindowCraft owner and CEO Luke Morrow as we discussed the unique challenges of growing up in a family business. We talked about what it was like to grow up in the business, the journey of education and working for someone else, and the journey of buying and continuing to run the company. You’ll enjoy this authentic and genuine approach to business and the challenges of small business ownership. Go to windowcraft.biz to see how WindowCraft can help you with your windows.
Shout out to episode sponsor, R.D. Adair PLLC (https://adair.law).
Aaron Spatz 00:05
You’re listening to America’s entrepreneur, the podcast designed to educate, entertain, and inspire you in your personal professional journey. I’m your host, Aaron Spatz. And on the podcast, I interview entrepreneurs, industry experts, and other high achievers that detail their personal and professional journeys in business. My goal is to glean their experiences into actionable insights that you can apply to your own journey. If you’re new to the show, we’ve spoken with successful entrepreneurs, Grammy Award winning artists, best selling authors, chief executives, and other fascinating minds with unique experiences. We’ve covered topics such as how to achieve breakthrough and business, growing startups, effective leadership techniques, and much more. If you strive for continual self improvement, and enjoy fascinating and insightful conversation, if the subscribe button, you’ll love it here at America’s entrepreneur. We’re gonna get right into it. I’m excited to welcome to the show today. Luke Morrow Luke is with window craft. I’m going to let him do all the explaining. And we’re going to dive right into it. So Luke, first, thank you so much for for agreeing to be on the show.
Luke Morrow 01:15
Absolutely. Thanks for having me. For sure. So
Aaron Spatz 01:18
take us through one like my first question I’ve always been asking people is Where are you originally from? Are you region from DFW? If not where? Where are you originally from?
Luke Morrow 01:28
I’m originally from Dallas. Born in Dallas. When I was young, my family moved to North Carolina for eight years. And that was interesting. It was fun. It was different. But we moved back to Dallas. And you know, when I was about 10, maybe 9394. And was happy to be back home. It definitely cool. That’s moving home. It felt like it was home. So I always proud to be from Texas and happy to be back living in Texas. So yeah,
Aaron Spatz 01:59
that’s awesome. Yeah, no, no, it’s cool. It’s cool in, in North man, North Carolina is beautiful. It’s a great, it’s a great state. But it’s one of those things where you’re when you’re when you’re here, sort of tell everybody cuz I’m not a Texas native. But like, once you’ve been here for a few years, it’s pretty hard to leave like you just you don’t you don’t want to leave.
Luke Morrow 02:18
Yeah, yeah, you get a hard time when you go other places. I, I went to college in Mississippi. And I would say, Well, I’m from Dallas, and they’d say, you know, there’s a state associated with that. We don’t all know exactly where Dallas is. And so it’s just funny. It’s a mindset. It’s awesome.
Aaron Spatz 02:35
To be here. That’s awesome. Well to tell us the story of window crafts, which you explained explained to me like your, your role there explain to me to kind of like your journey. And I suspect there’s a bunch of other things have happened in between but you know, as you’re growing up, like when, what, what what is your business career, your business journey look like?
Luke Morrow 02:56
Oh, it’s a long story. Although it goes all the way back to, to North Carolina, really. So my dad manufactured vinyl windows, and he had a vinyl window plant. And it was a small little family business. And I would go out there and hang out with the guys and thought they were the coolest people in the world. And they were and sweep and see how big of a pile of dirt I could sweep up. And one of the product lines under that Morrow window brand was this brand called window craft. And it had a you know, I always felt as a kid a really cool little blue logo. And you know, that long term it didn’t work out. And we ended up moving back to Texas and my dad started a company and we were trying to figure out that that was a cool thing. You know, growing up, my dad always had us real involved. And we were always kind of a part of it. And the first company we started or he started was Red River window company. And we came up with that name together and the more time passed, we got the impression people felt like we were out of Oklahoma. And well that’s not really what we were going for. So I said that you remember that blue window crap logo that you used to put on the windows that Morrow window and yeah, so that was always really cool. What if he did that? And that was that was what we did. And he did and it was really cool. And so you can tell by the way I talk I always kind of felt like I was part of it. But that window craft logo, I thought it was really cool. I thought the name window craft inspired some sort of something a little more involved in special than just a window company. And so that’s where it came from. Grew up. If I’m playing baseball, if I wanted to play baseball and have a new glove and go to the tournament’s, I’d better be working. And he you know, I felt woke up and hey, I don’t feel like working the days You can play baseball in and that was, that was cool that taught me how to work and you don’t get to take days off. And if you want to do what you enjoy, you got to earn it. And so then I go to school I went to Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, I played baseball there a little division three school, and they had a five year MBA program and was fortunate to work with some really good professors and teachers out there and their business program. And the idea was always that I would come back and work with my father and family and, and then 2008 2009 hit. And there was really very little business, very little homes being built. And it was just clear that there wasn’t a business to for me to be there to justify making a paycheck. And I was introduced to another guy that had his small business and obviously, in college always studied entrepreneurship, it’s always been something that I wanted to pursue and and that gentleman gave me the opportunity to come in and learn a trade it was power generation, and hospitals, oil rigs, floating drill ships, all kinds of cool, cool stuff. And he wanted somebody to come in and groom and eventually buy his company. And I was fully on board with that. And some things happened in 2012, my mom passed, which she had heart trouble, and we were lucky to have her as long as we did. So that was a great thing. But I honestly thought my dad would work until he was 90 and never, never stopped. And he was tired. And he called in like 2013 or 14 and said, Hey, um, you know, you can come by it, or I’m just gonna close it. And so that was obviously very interesting. I felt like I was letting my current boss at the time down and to a certain extent I was but it was a chance to come back work with family work with guys that I had grown up working with and carry on the the window craft brand. And it was a bit of a no brainer. I felt very bad about leaving that that other company but him and I that that other gentlemen were still very good friends, and we play golf together. And some happy about that, you know, he was very good to me. But when the family calls and even if it really wasn’t what you expected, and it’s what you have to do. So I haven’t regretted it. It’s been, it’s been the right decision. And I’ve enjoyed working with the guys I grew up with and kind of the backbone of the company, the studs, you know that it’s fun working with those guys, because, man, they carry weight, and they inspire you to want to carry that way too. So we have a really good team and it’s a family business, it really is. There’s not a whole lot of people that can say that that’s not my job. That’s not what I do. Because you just have to do it, we just have to, if that’s what it takes, if it’s cleaning toilets, or if it’s cleaning up the warehouse, or if it’s doing a little bit of extra paperwork, just everybody pitches in. And that’s that’s what makes it fun.
Aaron Spatz 07:57
Wow, man, that’s, it’s an incredible story. And you’ve shared, there’s a lot of different points that I want to like, pick at and in, examine, because there’s one I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s not every day that you meet somebody who grew up in a family business that that, you know, literally from, from your childhood all the way up. I mean, this has literally been all you’ve known in terms of business. And so, of course, you had school, you had this other venture that you’re part of after the 2008 whole thing happened, right. So but yeah, what does that what does that been like, though? Growing up in a family business, the dynamics of working with your father, like, what? How is that?
Luke Morrow 08:40
It’s an up and down. You know? Obviously, when we were younger, we, we got along great, whatever you need me to do, although the trailer does, that was my job. And then, you know, he put me through school and put my brother through school and I came out and it was I was, you know, I thought I knew everything, thought he had this. He had an MBA and whatever that meant, you know, and I, he needed to listen to my input. And we both were just hire strong. He was younger, I was younger, and We butted heads a lot. And unfortunately, that was as much as anything a side effect of the crunch. And there wasn’t any business. If if him and I had been out making sales calls every day and don’t see each other morning to the end of the day. Then things would have been different but we were just basically in a room the phone wintering? No houses were being built. And and that’s how I remember it. I mean, we had months with the building report where there wasn’t a single permit book. And at that time, you know, my mother had been battling heart failure for a long time and they finally met a doctor that said you need to get out in the country. Your kids are going to college you need some animals. So they moved out to Gainesville and bought some land out there and had an office. And really what got after I left in 2008 2009 range, what what got that through that was was the business in Gainesville, and a lot of the replacement business and but as far as big, you know, fancy jobs there just weren’t a lot out there. So part of that moving out to Gainesville, I think really helped the company fight through, you know, according to my dad fight through that debt crunch, but we would fight and there was no business and it would just it was no fun. And so that was part of the reason I left that was part of the reason I told that other gentleman that I will go back to Window craft, that there’s no way and I thought my dad would work until then I think he would if my mother had passed, I think he still be working. So things change. And fortunately, my boss, it took him a little while to to understand that and but he’s totally, I think understands it now that that just things change. When I said that I meant it for sure. But I didn’t know what was more what life had in store, I guess. So. Now that we’re back now that we made an agreement, you know, we we pay for the company, we pay rent, he’s our landlord at two locations. And we have a it’s a, you know, very fair deal. My dad wanted the company to survive, he wanted it to make it he wasn’t trying to finance some fancy retirement. Obviously, he’s making some money on it. But it’s a very fair deal. And we get along fantastic. He has to back he has retired. But I call him once a week, twice a week. And man, what do I do? What do you think? Have you run into this to remember this customer? So it I really can’t imagine him going any better than it has. We’re back to being buddies, we’re back to being golf buddies. And thus despawn. That’s cool. That’s cool. I talked to him and I tell him things. And sometimes I can tell he, he wants to go off. He wants to tell me, but he knows that I just need somebody to listen. And I think that’s, you know, We’ve both grown since that 2006 Seven right out of college. And the biggest way I think he’s grown is is he just, he’s there he listens. It’s not. Every time I say something, I don’t, I don’t really, I’m not always looking for advice. He knows now when I’m looking for advice on when I’m just looking for somebody to talk to that understands what I’m going through. And I understand better now for sure what he was dealing with, when I was a kid and how stressed out he was and the nonsense that he might put up with from one day to the next and then trying to come home and be dad. And that’s that’s tough. And I see that now. Yeah.
Aaron Spatz 12:56
Wow. Well, thank you, thanks for sharing all that. It’s a it’s a it’s a captivating story. And very raw because it’s, that’s, that’s that’s the other side of it that a lot of people don’t see they don’t a lot of folks don’t understand that there. There’s an up and down there’s a there there can be a relationship dynamic that has effect and then you get there on top of that all the stress of of the recession, everything else that was going on at the time. And so I think it’s really really amazing how, how you like you guys get stayed in time. It’s family, man. I mean, like, that’s just the way it is. It’s like family, we’re gonna fight some times. At the end of the day, we still got each other’s back. And yeah, it was it was a little bit of time to write. So that’s, that’s incredible. In terms of how now, you know, there’s so much that you’re going through on a weekly, daily, monthly, you know, whatever basis and so it’s, it’s got to be really neat to one. See, you know, see the man that you grew up under being able to actually relax because you’ve probably only known him in like 100 mile an hour mode is has been the way he’s probably gone bulk of his life. So I mean that that’s gonna be cool to kind of see him chilling out a little bit, right.
Luke Morrow 14:09
Yeah, it’s funny you say that because his definition of retirement isn’t really chilling out. He, he is in it, but to your point, he’s relaxed. He is He is in his mind. He’s chilling out, but he’s up in Gainesville, up there. We’re just one of his tenants and he’s building these buildings and he’s a welding and he’s doing these kind of new little business ventures modular homes and he’s an entrepreneur through and through and yeah, there was a couple years ago it was 110 degrees for 30 days and he was out welding and on site that you see where the golf course is this you know, this retirement but it is for him and yeah, he got to stay engaged and have a purpose and and he’s got that and but it’s hard. It’s funny because he’s chilling out but not Not really.
Aaron Spatz 15:03
Not really. No, that’s great. Well, I mean, he’s, he’s, he’s got to stay busy. So for him, I think, you know, I think chilling out is one just not having to stress about the business. So it’s like, yeah, you take that you take that you take that pack off his back, and and now it’s like, well, I’m sitting over here, and well, I’m gonna go over here and do this. build that. So now,
Luke Morrow 15:23
the phone rings, he doesn’t have to answer it. Zero obligations. It’s all about what he wants to do. Yeah, like, tag
Aaron Spatz 15:31
your it, buddy. Go get it. How good a golfer are you, man.
Luke Morrow 15:37
Now as good as I, as I once was, I was never I got about Scratch, you know, I got about to scratch, I was never a plus handicap. And I can go out and shoot in the 70s. And now it’s like the high 70s. And if, you know when I was a sales rep and taking people out to play was part of the job and didn’t have a kid. And it was just assumed we were gonna play at least 36 holes on Saturday and Sunday, and I had my golfing group and use in there. And man, we would play hundreds of rounds a year, hundreds. And now it’s fitting, you know, and it’s hard. It’s, it’s fun, because you’re kind of just going out there to try to hit a couple cool shots. If you’re trying to put around together and fight and scratch and you know, you try. And that’s the thing about golf. It’s no matter how good you are. It’s frustrating game and we pay money to play it. But I still love the game. I just, I’m getting a little older physically, some of the things I used to be able to do, I can’t do anymore, but it’s it’s fun. And but, you know, I’m probably a five or six handicap now. That’s pretty good.
Aaron Spatz 16:52
That’s pretty good. Well, let’s, let’s go back to a topic that you just you just mentioned just a few minutes ago. So you talked about when when you were a sales rep. So was was that the it’s all good. Hey, this, this is 2021 Man is it’s all good. Too much technology. I mean, it’s all good. No. So the you talk about being a sales rep. Was that was that the first substantial role that you had within the business? And like just help tell me about what that was like for you as being a sales rep.
Luke Morrow 17:21
Well, that was working for that other gentleman’s Okay. Okay. And that was that was selling as a manufacturer’s rep. We were I was traveling around to Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, looking for power generation people Caterpillar Cummins, Stewart Stevenson, and there’s 1000s of them Louisiana, you know, going down to Houma and New Iberia, and calling on the oilfield companies there. And it was fun, it was interesting. It certainly learned a lot that they carried over. But as much as anything, it was something I didn’t know and something I had to teach myself was electrical power generation mechanical, we sold these huge mufflers, vibration isolators. So it, it taught me how to read drawings, how to communicate with people how to get into things I didn’t really know, but I had act like I did, and carrying it over to Windows now it’s something that I know inside and out and windows have evolved that it’s unbelievable. You think it’s like your 2020 10 and you think technology has come along and it’s the same with Windows, things that you would think weren’t that long ago it technology has improved a lot in capabilities and the cool systems that we can do so coupling that background that I have of knowing windows and writing with my dad and knowing what’s in those walls and working on the cruise with some of the really cool products that are coming out now there’s not a whole lot that you look at and you can’t figure out having that background and so that other job for sure taught me how to take time put together a project that that other job is I don’t want to insult the engineers but it was some the electrical mechanical engineering by fire and I think a lot of people have learned their trade that way and that carried over for me for what we’re doing now for the steel systems that were doing in some of the aluminum and wood even so it it taught me how to put together a thought out system.
Aaron Spatz 19:39
I gotcha so like for that that role as a sales rep Did you had you previously done sales like were you doing sales for for window craft previously or was this was this your first like sales role specifically?
Luke Morrow 19:51
It’s funny because I mean, I was doing a little sales but it was so slow when I got back I graduated in 2007 2008 started slow down 2009 was rough So I remember interviewing with Ken, my boss there. And I was all excited because I had just sold this $23,000 package, and I’m interviewing with them. And I’m like, you know, I kept going back to this $23,000 package I sold in hindsight, he must just like, Man, this guy has no idea because we get into selling generators that were 90 grand, and 120 grand. And this is just the generator portion, this isn’t the engine or all the other parts, this is just the portion of the system that created the electricity, it’s and so I had a little bit of sales experience going into that from, from working with window crap, but there weren’t a lot of leads. So I didn’t have much practice. And now you’re going into something a rep. I mean, nobody wants to talk to the rep unless they’re already friends. And so you’re new and you’re in the RIP field. And you’re, hey, I’m I’m calling to sell you this. Just know, I don’t have time for you. So you got to get used to hearing No, and you got to get used to hearing, call me next time you’re in town. It took a year, you know, it took a year before people really started taking me seriously. And it took a year to learn the products. And so it it taught me how to develop a product. I mean, that was that was what I was brought in to do is to develop territories and find new customers and maintain existing ones. And you hear you get used to hear no. And then you finally start hearing Yes. And then you go the next place. And yes, we’ll buy and so it was nice to see things snowball, and it’s definitely been the same way. With with window craft, we get a new product, and we’re trying to help promote it. And and then No, no, no. And then now finally, we’re getting the ball rolling. And so that helps you grow. Because yeah, you’re kind of trying to constantly work toward the next level up. And sometimes that takes working over here on your normal stuff, keeping hitting the singles and the doubles and developing this product over here. And this product line over here, that’s potentially a couple home runs a year. And that’s just part of growing. And that’s part of the fun for me, because you don’t want to do the same thing every single day. And yeah, windows and doors every day. But let’s get into cool stuff. Let’s work capable of it. We have the most experienced installers you’ll find and, and also, I’ve talked and communicated with them for my whole life. And I can have a five minute conversation with some of our senior guys that it will take me a day to have with a subcontract installer. And so we have a fantastic team and a background and able to get into those things that might be a little daunting if we didn’t have that background.
Aaron Spatz 22:38
Wow. Yeah, no, it’s just it’s a fascinating study guide. There’s a lot of folks out there that are listening Washington that have sales experience, or they’re getting into sales, or they’re, you know, that’s what they’re doing right now. And so I always like to kind of peel that back a little bit understand, like, man, what, what was one of the biggest lessons that you learn in sales? And when do you feel like what do you feel like are some of the biggest, biggest mistakes a lot of sales folks make? And then what do you think sets salespeople apart from the next guy?
Luke Morrow 23:10
Me, I believe you can’t be a salesman, you know, you. We are fortunate with window craft and the way that my dad said of the company and is more work than the alternative. The alternative is we have this one thing, we have this one window, and it’s the right window for you. And I’m here today to convince you that the one thing that I have is the right window for you. That sounds miserable. To me. That sounds like no fun. That sounds like to a certain extent, being dishonest. What makes sales easy to me if you will, because it’s not but easier, is the fact that we sell so many different things. And you can’t be everything to everyone. Yeah, but when when people really genuinely feel like I’m here acting as a consultant that I need to talk to you I need to identify what’s important to you. And here are three options. And I don’t care which option you go with. I want you to make an informed decision. People take a lot of I think they really noticed that. And it was funny. Just this week, I was meeting with a customer and we we agreed that the least expensive option was the right one and I joked with Pat our coworker, you know, fabulous salesman, but the customer No, I was joking. And she said well no, that’s why we’re here. That’s why you get referrals and she’s right and but sometimes you feel like you’re selling out of your own pocket a little bit. But it’s here, be cheesy, but it’s easier to go to sleep at night knowing that you you lay the facts out on the table and you help them make the most informed decision and hopefully they’re going to come back and that’s sales. That’s relationship building. That’s the being focused on the long term and not just today and as easy to say, because there’s a lot of business out there right now, there’s a lot of opportunity. But the biggest thing for me, to be a good salesman is to not be a salesman, just be a consultant. Answer, honestly, if you’re not the right fit for the job, tell them you know, but at the same time, you got to take care of your customers. So sometimes you may not be a good fit for the job. But this is a good customer, and you know how to figure it out, you know how to take care of them. And you don’t, you don’t really want to go talk to somebody else, or so. Right, you got to know when to stick your neck out, and when to say this isn’t a good fit for me. And people appreciate that they appreciate being taken care of, and they appreciate when you say, because you built that credibility you built that, hey, I’m gonna take care of you if I can. So when you say I can’t do it, they they listen, they they understand, and then you can help them find somebody else that can take care of it. Yeah, maybe not leading to a direct competitor.
Aaron Spatz 25:59
That’s always helpful. It’s always helpful. No, I mean, that’s, that’s how the foundations of trust are built, right? There’s because you’re being open, you’re being honest, you’re communicating what’s what’s in their best interest. And it doesn’t mean that you have to give product away or give your service away, it just means like, Hey, here’s your options, you know, options, one, two, and three. And any one of these would work. And, you know, but then fat, you know, they can factor in, you know, the economics of it, the features everything else that they’re considering. But you know, sometimes your cheaper option is better, sometimes, the more high end version is going to be the better selection. And but people appreciate that though, right? Like, they appreciate the fact that you’re being upfront, you’re not, you’re not trying to jam a triangle peg into a round hole, like you’re, you’re you’re being you’re being very, very forward about it. So what I want I want to do when we come back from break real quick, I would love to cover next kind of what have been some of the leadership challenges that you’ve had to overcome. As it relates to working family business, I think it’d be a fascinating topic to dive into. So we’ll be right back. But so this, this show is made possible by some of our amazing sponsors, and so just incredibly grateful for our amazing sponsor soaps. So I love to love to give a huge shout out to already a dare business attorneys. So Ryan and his team of business attorneys are there to help you. So whether it is a business formation, it’s a transaction, all all those fun and exciting things related to that all the way up to litigation, disputes, all the nasty things that we don’t like to think about, or talk about or involve ourselves with. That’s why he gave her a call. So I’d encourage you to reach out to him, him and his firm, fantastic people to help get you set up, they’ll take a look at kind of what you’ve got going on whatever your situation may be, and kind of be be a consultant to you, right? It’ll help you understand what your options are. And if there’s anything that they can do, to maybe help affect the outcome, so incredibly grateful for their sponsorship. So look, I want to jump right back in it. So you jumped right into the family business, you’ve been in the family business for a while, you you went to school, you went to work for this other company. And then your your dad basically calls and says, Hey, I’m either gonna shut this thing down, or you can buy it from me. And for you, it was like, man, I’ve that’s a that’s a no brainer. Like, I’m, I’m there. And so you buy the company from your father? What’s the leadership challenge then then for you in terms of? Because there’s got to be some employees that have been there for quite some time? Or like, has there been some churn with with the employees like so like, what does that what does that leadership process been like for you?
Luke Morrow 28:50
Hard it hard work it. Even when I was playing sports. I felt like he needed to lead by example. And that means being the first one there and the last one to leave and putting genuine work in. I mean, we don’t you’re not this isn’t false hustle. And I carry that into Window crafts. And so the first couple years, maybe 15 1617, I was doing driving trucks running trailers around. My wife went into labor and I had to get a trailer to a job site. The labor stalled out and I had to get this trailer to the job site and hustled back for the C section. And it’s that has slowed down. I don’t have to do as much of the the driving or moving trailers are the operations and now it’s more of trying to keep up with salesman. I have my own sales work that I need to do and I have to make sure sure that, that there have what they need to do a good job with selling there. And it’s one I talked about what my dad was dealing with, and not knowing when you’re a kid, it is literally, it waking up every day wrestling a gorilla, shaking hands with it. And let’s do it again tomorrow, and it hasn’t stopped. And it won’t, and I don’t expect it to and the more that we grow, and the more that we want to grow is just new challenges. So as far as leadership goes, I had the easiest time with the guys that I grew up working with the guys that had seen me work for, you know, the had seen my dad get on me, you know, we don’t work sitting down, we don’t, you don’t do this, you don’t do that, see what needs to be done next. And so I’m really, really lucky to have some of these really specifically the installers that are so good and so knowledgeable. They just have my back from day one. And I didn’t necessarily deserve that, you know. But they did it. And they’ve been that loyal and that committed to the company is the company. And as my dad, they’re not necessarily loyal to me, they’re loyal to the brand. And they know that I think that it took some time. And I think that they’re on board with the direction that I would like to see the company go going forward. And that’s not out of line with what my dad would have wanted. I’m not coming in here to put my own stamp on it. And from day one, that was never my intent, I really didn’t change a whole lot. And I think that the senior leader, the leaders are the installers. And I just, I just want to give them the tools that they need to move forward. So those are the guys that were there before. And then there were some salesman that had been hired. And one gentleman Pat came on right about the same time that I came back. And Steve has been here a while. And so the salesman really data to me very well, even though I didn’t grow up working with them, they were hired in that time that I was gone, they they really bought in to what we were doing. So that’s good. So then you’re kind of left with your administration side. And I think that’s where I’ve had the biggest challenge, okay, for sure. Because my mom did that. My mom did it up until 2012. And then another gentleman took that part over it was, I tell people a lot I’ve done every job in this company. Well, that’s not totally true. I’ve never sent out an invoice. I’ve never worked up a commission report myself. And that that gentleman did that. And he took it over from my mom. And to a certain extent it that was the one thing that worked like clockwork, but that I didn’t really understand. And as you as we how we were introduced really is, is that that person left the company to do this, I think change they just that person wouldn’t change is the best I can tell. I don’t understand totally why they left but okay, fine. So now it’s time to set up our own system. And the next several weeks, what I’ll be dealing with is setting up a new system. And it’s a good thing, it’s a good thing, because there’s a lot we weren’t doing a lot, we weren’t taking advantage of it from an automation standpoint, working with you things that, that you send me as far as esign and ePay. And there’s just so much manual labor that we were doing, that isn’t necessary, anymore, that there’s things that help with that. And so as we we move forward, it shouldn’t be an opportunity to improve, but in that person in that role kind of kept it their little world. But I was fine with that, because I didn’t have the time to dive into it. Sales. You know, you hear sales, cures all right up until there’s no jobs out there. So I’ve been just focusing for five years on let’s sell as much as we can and let’s just outsell our inefficiencies, not that the inefficiencies were glaring or terror. But look, we’ve got the work and let me just focus on getting this next job and it’ll it’ll cover that up. Well now we’re going to set up more of our system our identity, and that’s that’s exciting. So that’s a long answer to your leadership question. Oh, it’s cool. No,
Aaron Spatz 34:38
no, there’s there’s a lot I mean, there’s there’s a lot to it and it’s not I mean, I’m I’m gonna throw it out the question but there’s like there’s so much to it though. That’s the thing and so it’s like it’s not it’s it’s simply meant as a conversation starter, but it’s good though. It’s a It’s really good. The the leadership challenge I think is just really unique and it’s great that you already had that buy in And from a lot of the team, when you when you came back, because they’d seen you grow up in the business, they knew that they knew like what a solid guy you are, and how much how much you hustle and how much of a hard worker you are. And in the fact that you’re, you’re coming back and he bought this from your dad, like, they’re proud, they’re honest, they’re probably proud of you, honestly, they’re probably like, Man, this is awesome. Like, they’re cheering for you. They may not, they may not tell you to you to your face, but they’re more likely they’re cheering for your success. But then, you know, you’re, you’re learning a lot of these other things and the administrative side of stuff. And there’s, there’s a lot, there’s a lot that goes into it. So no, it’s a I like I think the biggest lesson that a lot people can take away from hearing you share your story is that the entrepreneurship journey, the business ownership journey is not the straight line of just smooth sailing, everything is easy. It’s very hard fought very, very contended for thing to do. And so there’s there’s always stuff that’s going on. And when you’re the owner, there’s a lot of things that like the buck stops with you, like there’s nobody else that you can turn and look to and say, What do I do? Or what like, how do we how do I handle this? Like you’re, you’re the guy who that ultimately is gonna fall fall back to so it’s, there’s a certain amount of pressure and stress that comes with that. So I want to pivot now to another topic. How do you relax man? Like, how do you take care of yourself? How are you? Like, what, what safeguards are you are you trying to put in place into your life? Right, if you’ve already put them in place to to help you kind of compartmentalize some of this to an extent. So you can get a little bit of a mental break every once in a while.
Luke Morrow 36:41
Man, I wish I had a good answer to that. Yeah,
Aaron Spatz 36:44
Luke Morrow 36:46
I don’t know that I do. It’s been, especially since COVID started, it’s been 30 hours a weekend, 14 hour days, it you know, I get a I get 3045 minutes, maybe an evening to play with my daughter and that that’s special. And usually it’s, you know, my wife there and we’re watching some Peppa Pig or some something on Disney and, and just, you know, kind of hanging out with my daughter, and then it’s golf when I can, but I just don’t have the time. And back when I was a sales rep and I would call on people, business owners and even project managers and say, Hey, man, let’s go play golf was that was my job to entertain and build relationships. And they said, I can’t I don’t, you know, I don’t have time. And I was always like, you know, how how do you not have time and you can find time? Well, now I really understand that more than ever, what how hard it is to find five, six hours on a weekend to go play, you know, and hopefully that changes and we’re going next week with my dad to Phoenix and and we’re gonna take some days off. So that’s, that’s the first days off I’ve taken in four or five years, you know, aside from a little golf scramble to get involved invited to or something like that, you know, it’s, it’s it’s not a whole lot of time for rest, but I knew that going in and that’s, that’s what I want. And you know, you worry about burning out, but you don’t have a choice, you know, yeah, you, you light you want to take time off, but you take that time off, and all you can think about is how much you have left to do when you get home. And that’s not a good thing, that’s a problem. But you got to keep up and you got to keep your customers happy. And so the idea of personal time and relaxing to me is is a goal. It’s it’s something that I’m working toward and trying to put a team together. But I’m competitive and and this is my my sports field now. And I worry I’m positive that the more help we get and the more I can get off of my plate the more I’m going to add to my own plate and so the the truth or the answer is somewhere in between if you’re if you’re not trying to innovate and get better than what are you doing, but you got you got to find a way to take personal time and relax and unwind and I’m working on a lot of it but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Aaron Spatz 39:32
Right well man and enjoy that time when your neuro when you’re away that’ll I’m sure that’ll feel weird. I feel really weird.
Luke Morrow 39:40
It will it raise the idea of turning your phone on silent or you know, hey, I’ll answer I’ll call him back this afternoon. That’s hard and people expect you to answer I mean it a lot of it. I just wish society would would calm down a little bit and you know, you remember when it was landlines and voicemails and faxes and If I don’t answer a text in five minutes, and then people are frustrated with me and they don’t, you know, it’s, it’s hard, it’s hard. And so you’re not gonna make everybody happy. But the more you grow, the more you can do your best to do that. That’s certainly the goal. But it’s a it’s a battle, this technology that is not helping with that. Mental health and time on it. It never stops. So you just you have to, you know, I’m talking out loud, but you have to make a concerted effort to do it. But even when you do, it’s still hard.
Aaron Spatz 40:37
Yeah, no, I could totally, totally relate to your pain. I totally get it. 100% maybe not to the extent that you’re experiencing because you’re like, you’re you’re hard charging guy, man, you’re you’re going 100 180 miles an hour non stop. No brakes. But the No, so let’s, let’s let’s change topics slightly here. So, oh,
Luke Morrow 40:59
you’ve got two irons in the fire, too. I know that. So for sure. For sure. Yeah, no, that out there.
Aaron Spatz 41:06
No, no, I you know, and I appreciate that. I appreciate you jabbing me back, man. Like, it’s nice, nice to get gets just get someone to get a little body blow in there, too. But the unknown? That’s good. Yeah, I definitely definitely got a lot going on. And it’s it’s a lot to juggle a lot to manage. And very similar to you, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Like, I love it. It’s exciting. It is a lot of hard work. There’s a lot of sacrifice involved in it. But I know, I know that it’s it’s it’s going to pay off. It’s already paying off. And and there’s a there’s a there’s a plan, right. Like just like what you’re doing with your business, you’ve got to you’ve got some some semblance of a plan that may not exactly. You may not get there the exact way you thought you’re going to get there. But you’re when when you have a vision of your future, and you have a vision of where you want to take things, it helps you because now everything you’re doing can support the direction that you’re heading. And so and I know that sounds like way simple and really, like oversimplified, but it really is. That’s, that’s the general idea.
Luke Morrow 42:07
So you have more kids than than I do. But I guess we have to make sure to thank our wives because without without what they do, I obviously there’s no way I can keep up with what I do keep up with so it’s not a it’s not a it’s not a one person effort for sure. It’s a team. It’s a team approach, and my wife has has bought into what I’m trying to do for the family and for the company. And that’s important.
Aaron Spatz 42:31
Yeah, I I’m convinced that it is literally impossible to do anything for both of us, I think for without that support from home, it would not be possible and and, you know, the wives don’t get enough, don’t get enough credit in terms of the the work that they’re doing to help make this happen. And I know everybody’s situation is different. So like some folks have have dual income households or, or things are flipped around. And she’s she’s doing the bulk of it. But like for us, it’s like that’s having that support and having that, that that just that, that anchor at home and helping support a lot of other things that’s going on, it really isn’t valuable. But we’d love to kind of love to kind of shift gears here kind of in the in in the homestretch of this which would be well, let’s talk a little bit more about Windows. Like I’m not trying to turn this into an infomercial, but I want people to like understand, like, give us a little bit of a behind the scenes or a little bit of like insider trading information as it relates to Windows because I think a lot of folks don’t understand it. Like what you said, you’re like, man, it’s 2021. And here we are, and there’s still things that are changing. And for folks like me, and there’s a lot of there’s a lot of people like me out there, like Dude, it’s I’ve got glass in my in my window opening like, how are these things different? So what are what are some of the biggest misconceptions? I think there’s probably a good place to start of, of windows and what are some things that people really should think about when it comes to like, when did they replace them and what should they be considering?
Luke Morrow 44:10
Okay. Might be the hardest question you asked. I should be the easiest. Well, people are motivated by so many different things when they come to us. And yeah, the classic pitch is energy efficiency, but so many people are not worried about the efficiency first and foremost, that’s something that we get into in the second or third layer. It’s what do I want to design wise? What do I want to change or do I want to make different Now sometimes the windows are just old and foggy and you know if you have basic Miller grade aluminum windows was with fiberglass. You can save money and just replace the glass in those windows, and they be fine. But the old aluminum frames themselves are old windows don’t operate. Well, they’re inefficient. So what are we going to do now? Well, we can look at doing like a vinyl window vinyls incredibly efficient. But for lack of a better word is boring, you’ve got a couple colors. And then you’ve got some the word that technology is improved. You’ve got some manufacturers that can do painted, baked on finishes on the outside or the inside even or skin, a laminate skin. And so there’s things that they’re doing with vinyl windows that make them look different than the classic vinyl window, but still at a very competitive price point. So you look at it, your mind doesn’t think oh, that’s a vinyl window. But it is and it’s a very vinyl so much better performing than the old basic aluminum that it’s a no brainer. And anymore. aluminum windows, basic aluminum windows are so expensive. There’s no reason to go that way. Just go to the vinyl. But the vinyl is got to beat your frame. Well, I don’t want to beefy frame. Well then let’s look at this upgraded aluminum what we call thermally broken frame where it doesn’t thermally bridge the outside temperature to the inside temperature in the same way. But does that meet code? Does that get the look that I want? I want black inside black outside windows? Well, it one of the first questions I always ask people is what colors do you want? Because if you want black outside black inside, that puts me right away into a couple brands alone and
Aaron Spatz 46:40
just get a can of spray paint man. Come on.
Luke Morrow 46:42
Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, you know, there’s always options like that. But yeah, and that’s why I don’t go in and really sell on Yeah, hey, this, here’s some this is a really efficient option, you know, that’s a benefit. But I put windows in the house I just moved out of and they helped very little my roof was the source of the the heat that really wasn’t the windows. And so as much as you you believe that the windows you’re selling are more efficient, and the windows are going to be quieter. I don’t want to go in and be that guy that says I’m going to cut your energy bills by a third because I’ve seen that that’s not always going to be the case. But I my windows were old and ugly. And I was unbelievably I put nice, obviously had I know somebody, I’d put pretty nice windows in the house. And they looked great, but my energy bill went down. Maybe 10%? Not what you know. So there’s always you always have to think, identify, what do I want? Do I want new windows? Because I want to change the look of the house? Or do I want new windows? Because I’m going to improve the efficiency? And where am I really the most efficient. Or the least efficient in my house currently, and maybe sometimes a radiant barrier there things that I don’t know much about the just some new spray and roof insulation is going to do just as much. So I say that I I don’t like to go in to people’s homes and spend their vacation money. It’s, you know, if they have a rotten wood window, obviously, it needs to be replaced rotten wood windows is going to lead to other kinds of damage that will be exorbitantly more expensive. So they have to take care of it. But I really don’t really enjoy that because they feel like you’re taking their vacation. I like I get really excited about the people that come in, they said this is what we want to do. This is our vision, this is what we want it to look like. Because that’s their enjoyment. That’s that’s they’re getting something out of it. So you know, selling from a maintenance point of view or any efficiency point of view, it’s a bit of a grind. And we really, fortunately, I guess don’t get into a lot of that. I kind of figured at some point we might talk about, you know, what do I need to look for? To determine that my Windows need to be replaced. And it’s a math equation. That’s a it’s a it has to do with your satisfaction out of these potential new windows, how much money you might actually save. If your windows are leaking air, you can feel it and they’re terrible in their old aluminum. And then yeah, you know that you’re going to put new windows in, you can do it cost effectively, they’re going to be much more efficient, they’re going to be a lot quieter, they’re going to have a better warranty than those original windows ever had. And they’re going to have new updated technology. And so certainly that has its place. Yeah, but as much as anything we’re working with people say areas like South Lake and Plano where those were, I don’t want to say starter homes by any means but they they are now have moved into a different level than they were when and they were built. And so people are wanting to take out their basic builder grade aluminum windows or vinyl windows even and put in something nicer, or wood window or something and build the value of that home and entire neighborhoods are doing the same thing and building their entire value. And that’s, that’s really enjoyable to be a part of. So it’s just different, depending on your situation and what you’re looking to achieve. And it’s hard to answer that question.
Aaron Spatz 50:28
But yeah, no, it’s a it’s a very, it’s a very open ended question. And I noticed, I tend to ask two or three questions inside of one. So there’s a there’s, there’s plenty, there’s plenty to consider. And so I appreciate appreciate you taking taking a stab at that. Because I think it’s important for people to kind of understand, like you’ve got, you’ve got options, and you’re like, you will gain some energy, there is some efficiencies to be gained, but they’re not maybe they’re not always as much shorter and not as much as you think. But I mean, again, that’s, people appreciate that. They appreciate being straightforward. And like it said, there’s a lot of different motivations behind why someone would do that. So but I mean, Luke is we’re kind of wrapping up here. I mean, what’s, what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you? How can they how can they follow you or learn learn more about you and what in in all you’re doing when to graph?
Luke Morrow 51:17
Well, we have two locations, we have a Dallas location. By lowfield airport, we have a Gainesville office, that’s kind of our headquarters. And we have a showroom. There too, right off i 35. We have a website, window craft.is window crafting.com will take you to the same place. We have social media, Facebook, Instagram. So we certainly like people to go on the social media, like a picture, let us know what you like. And we want to we want to help inspire and help you get ideas for what to what to do and what you might be able to do with the space. And in line with the last question. There’s times where you go tell people, we’re not a glass replacement company, but that’s your best bet. So give us a call reach out to us because we’re in it to to help you, you know, we don’t charge you to come out and take a look. Sometimes we can’t sometimes it’s just not something but you could text me photos, you can text our salesman photos, and we can help. Hey, yeah, let’s set up an appointment taking a look at that, or hey, you need to call this guy that guy can help. So check us out on on social media. And don’t ever hesitate to call and just say what do you think is the best solution here and we’ll give you our honest opinion, because we’re in it to help and to help the industry grow. And we’re not here to make one sale and be done.
Aaron Spatz 52:47
Well, that’s great. Well, I appreciate that. Appreciate you take some time to be with me this morning. This has been been a lot of signing.
Luke Morrow 52:53
Yeah, likewise. Thanks for having me.
Aaron Spatz 52:56
Absolutely. Thanks for listening to America’s entrepreneur. If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review or comment on your preferred social media platform. share it out with friends, family, coworkers, others in your network. And of course you can write me directly at Erin at Bold media.us That’s a Ron at Bold media.us