Clearwater Plumbers July 2018

Straight from the

July/August 2018

PIPES

BAM! The Secret to Overnight Success Is It a Secret?

and me into finding careers that suited us with a future that would not be outsourced and would not require a big student loan. He knew we liked the satisfaction of seeing a completed, well- done job. Unfortunately, Dad didn’t tell me that I was going to go to the “school of hard knocks” for those 20 years. I buckled down and worked my tail off in those years. It’s finally looking like, “Oh, this guy got lucky.” But it has everything to do with my secret to success.

return from a job all sweaty, sunburnt, and exhausted, and he’d sit there playing against a computer, half asleep, smelling like a fresh bar of Dove soap.

One of my first real paid gigs with home-building started with my dad, Jerry. We rebuilt a house for one of his first customers, originally built in 1970. Dad was an aerospace engineer, a master plumber, a builder, and a chess champion. He built this house for a fellow engineer, but it ended up burning down 37 years later due to a paint rag fire in the garage. The homeowner called my dad out of the blue and asked him to rebuild the house on a larger scale. Dad asked me to help. As we finished the rough framing on this large two-story house, the project reached a point where we needed to work on the plumbing. It needed to be done, so I jumped right into it and started toiling away, changing gears from carpenter to apprentice plumber. I started liking the flame from the plumbing torch more than swinging a framing hammer. plumbing business in 1997, and we called it Clearwater Plumbing. I remember my brother and I would come home to the office. We’d been doing the work, chasing down jobs, and getting diplomatically furious with nonpaying builders. Dad — he’d be sitting in front of the computer playing solitaire in the cool comfort of our sparsely furnished home. We’d With dad and my brother Greg, we started working together in the

My secrets to an overnight success?

20-plus years of persistence — never stop learning, take action, and have fun.

HOME SWEET HOME. Jeff and Greg Longspaugh, summer 1997

Many people think Clearwater Plumbers is an overnight success, but we had to work at it. I lived at the shop with my brother while we fixed it up. I even talked my wife into living in the office temporarily, years before it was an office. I’d probably still be there if it wasn’t for her influence. The building we worked from was probably only two miles from where I went to high school. A lot of my friends would come by, see the building, and I knew they’d think, “What happened to Jeff?” It took me 20 years, but I figured it out. Dad wasn’t trying to live off my work — he was steering my brother

Same home sweet home, but it’s now the office for field support and answering your phone calls.

-Jeff Longspaugh

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