BETTER THAN ANY OFFICE SEPT. 2019
I ’ve never been able to sit still. If I have to sit in front of a computer and type something, after about 10 or 15 minutes, I get up and walk around or do something active for like an hour. I think that’s always been true about me. When I went to college, I did because everybody else was doing it. When I graduated, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just knew I didn’t want to sit in an office all day. Around that time, a friend connected me to a guy who had a plumbing business. I didn’t know anything about plumbing at the time, but I found I liked it. I loved being outside, I loved the smell of fresh-cut wood at the work site, and I loved the sense of accomplishment I felt working as a plumber. We would walk into a house that was a shell and walk out of a more complete house. My crew chief, Tom, was a great mentor during that time, and he showed me how to do my job in the most efficient way possible. Even though most of our work would be hidden behind walls, we installed it to perfection. Tom taught me to take pride in my work and that we were professionals. The Plumb Smart Story “I loved being outside, I loved the smell of fresh-cut wood at the work site, and I loved the sense of accomplishment I felt working as a plumber.” For a while, I made changes to my career in four-year increments like clockwork. After about four years working for that residential plumbing business and earning my master plumber’s license, I (wrongly) thought I must be the smartest person in the world, and I tried to run my own plumbing business. The only thing was I didn’t know anything about running any type of business. After trying for about four years, I just couldn’t do it anymore, and I went to work in the service department of a big company. I worked there for about four years as well, but trying to work for someone else after you’ve had your own business doesn’t usually work very well. At least, it didn’t for me. I left that company after about — you guessed it — four years and went to work for a friend of mine who had a small plumbing business
working on commercial buildings. I worked for him for four years before I decided to try running my own business again. That was when I started Plumb Smart. I started working out of the back of my truck and renting any expensive equipment that I needed. Now, I have two trucks that are fully equipped. I hope we grow more in the future, but I don’t need the business to get really big. I don’t need a fleet of 20 trucks or something like that. I feel like I’m kind of a weird business owner for that reason.
Most other business owners I know are super Type A, and
they’re always going at 100 miles per hour. I’m a pretty low-key guy. Like most
people, I want the freedom to take time off and do other things. My business is very important to me, but it’s not my whole life.
Running Plumb Smart has definitely made me realize what I love about what I do. I love being able to help people when they’re at their wits’ end with a plumbing issue. Maybe they’ve already had another plumber out for a look, and he wasn’t able to fix the problem, or maybe it’s a problem I can fix instead. I know my past experiences in residential and commercial new construction give me an edge over competitors because I don’t just know how to fix broken plumbing. I have a universal understanding of how a plumbing system is engineered and is supposed to work. So, when we encounter difficult plumbing problems, I often know immediately what’s wrong and how to correct it. No two days are the same at Plumb Smart, and every job has its own unique challenges. It’s been fantastic getting to serve the Atlanta area, and I look forward to continuing to help my community in the future.
–Pa u l Little
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