On this week’s Bucket Talk, we talk with plumber George DeJesus, who calls in from Morris County, New Jersey. He learned how to be a plumber at an early age, taking a plumbing job in midtown Manhattan fixing up five-star hotels. After some time on the job, he realized that there was an opportunity to grow outside of the confines of contracting, so he decided it was time to be his own boss. From there, he got his own gear, started doing his own marketing and built a company that lets him do work on his terms.
Eric Girouard 0:00
This is Bucket Talk, a weekly podcast where people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trade and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat. We discuss what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way and roll up their sleeves every single day.
Jeremy Perkins 0:28
This is Jeremy and Eric here with bucket talk powered by BRUNT. This episode we have George DeJesus, also known as George The Plumber on Instagram before we jump in air, what's up?
Eric Girouard 0:41
All right, all right, things are starting to get a little more exciting over here BRUNT. Now that we've been testing the traveling a little bit over the past few weeks, with the team going to some NASCAR events, and everyone seemed to come back happy and healthy, we're gonna hit the road a lot more start going a lot more trade shows more even looking into professional bull riding, potentially doing some more events there. And so, so yeah, so we're going to be on the road. We're starting to plan some stuff, a lot of exciting stuff. So we can share some we can't. But for any listeners out there that have some interesting, unique ideas, whether it's a trade show or an event or a sponsorship for something really unique and cool. That kind of fits in with what we do here. Brian, we're all yours. So shoot us a note. Jeremy, what about you?
Jeremy Perkins 1:24
Well, as a previous guests, and as future guests will will attest to the labor shortage is real. And I'm going to be feeling I have my two employees that helped us set up the barn and they've been with us for a year. They're moving on to bigger and better things. And now it is time to start the hiring process. So it'll be interesting to find a local person that has a question background and, and really wanting to take the reins in a job that's really hands on and hard to do. And they're like I said they're few and far between. But I guess I joined the masses when it comes to trying to find the right person for the right job.
Eric Girouard 2:02
All right, well, best of luck to you there and let's jump in. Alright.
Jeremy Perkins 2:09
We're here with George DeJesus. George goes by the Instagram handle George The Plumber. George, welcome.
George DeJesus 2:16
Thank you for having me on.
Jeremy Perkins 2:17
Awesome. Awesome. We're glad to have you. Yeah.
George DeJesus 2:21
I like the late night ones.
Jeremy Perkins 2:25
It's also good when we aligned on the same time zones, it's always difficult to to hit the Cali guys and stuff.
George DeJesus 2:32
Yeah. Anything but that
Jeremy Perkins 2:36
Yeah, it's tricky. George, give us a little bit of background about yourself. How did you get into the plumbing industry like go as far back as
Eric Girouard 2:43
as far back as you're comfortable with
George DeJesus 2:46
it. I've always told the story so many times. If you guys watch my video from plumbing stories, that same thing, it basically started when my dad was a general contractor and he basically use take us to work with us because that was just a way for daycare to kind of watch us during our day instead of having someone watch us he took us to work, which kind of got us into most of us, my brothers a carpenter I'm a plumber I chose the plumbing trade, because he did a little of everything. I just happened to enjoy more of just putting stuff together. And honestly, I think I was more playing with the torch at the time. Young kid burning stuff, you know, and that really realizing what actually I would want to do in my life. You know, I'm in high school, you know, I had no really direction. I mean, I enjoy working my hands. I wasn't really good with anything that was uh, book related. I still suck at that. I can't read anything and just just forget what I read. Yeah, yeah, but if it has something I could do with my hands one time I got it, you know, for real quick. I kind of left me going to I'm gonna have to do trade jobs something on my hands and actually it was computer repairs is one of them and, and plumbing was another one. The two I was actually going towards. One of the guys we did a lot of work for, he had a lot of properties. And he told me that, you know, computers will be outsourced. But working as a plumber with your hands, you will never not have a job. And I love saying that because to this day. It's true. I mean, it's going on 28 years. I bounce a lot jobs and.. I mean, I think honestly, I was like every three years I had a job. So every 3 years I switched jobs. But I never left not having a job in place. You know, basically I just see who's, who's hiring now. I had a job. I will leave that job next day starting a job without even a time off. I have never clicked on unemployment. I wouldn't even know how to start. Yeah, I honestly I'm going to be 47 years old. I've never done that. I wouldn't even know how to start that. And I don't think I'll ever have to look because I work in the trades. You know, this is my second time start my company. I actually had a company I started in '04 right. I first got my plumbing license in '04. And I grew too big too fast. And then when the economy crashed, I kind of went with it. I basically lost everything I lost, got divorced, lost my house, lost everything. Went and got a job, still did some plumbing. I start working for Habitat for Humanity for a couple years. Plumbing as well, as a site supervisor never did it before, never really built a house before. So they gave me 1000 square foot house that was basically partially done and says, have at it. Wow, if it wasn't for YouTube and learning how to cut rafters, I was literally watching YouTube videos and learning the math watching YouTube videos, to go to the site next day, do orientation and teach a bunch of volunteers how to do it. I just learned and built a house. But again, like I said before, if I could do it and watch it and do it once on my hands, I learned it. And that's what exactly what it was.
Jeremy Perkins 5:33
But so you're a project manager from start to finish, or
George DeJesus 5:37
that was so the first house they put me on Yeah, the (???) was done. And the floor was done. So there's no walls up yet. Yeah, the set of plans. And I took from that point on and then I basically finished the house from their
Jeremy Perkins 5:48
whole trial by fire there. Oh, my God. Yeah,
George DeJesus 5:51
basically, yes, they dropped me off at a site. And it gave me a set of plans. And I, you know, just kind of, you know, I did carpentry school, I thought the GC works. So I had it, but it was just the part where I had to teach it and also do it, which made it tougher, you know, I worked for Habitat for about two and a half years or three years. And an opportunity came up to work in Midtown, my hand is a plumber. So I took that, you know, that was a that was some journey. I don't think I'm gonna talk about that too much. So what
Jeremy Perkins 6:21
So so actually, that's actually a good point. So Midtown Manhattan, I mean, that's pretty elite. Correct. And so you're dealing with some pretty interesting and even older houses, correct.
George DeJesus 6:31
now houses the company I worked for only worked in high end hotels.
Jeremy Perkins 6:35
George DeJesus 6:35
Like the four seasons, you know, the New York Palace, that's really all they worked in hotels only. And they're only in Midtown, they wouldn't leave Midtown, holy cow, wow, they got me in there as a service guy in the beginning. So I was just doing work in a little restaurants, you know, you know, like, you know, just fixing some little calls in the restaurants that were really not an issue. And then I happen to see an opportunity where, um, I don't know if it was good thing to do, but bad thing, but I'm kind of like guys that where I kind of don't know where to stop, you know, I keep pushing. Now, I realized they had me bidding jobs. So I literally came to work one day, not in work clothes and a button down shirt and black pants and change my role. Which is, which was bad because I went from working on my hands to basically overseeing and bidding jobs. You know, I mean, I bet job at the Javits, you know, I've had some interesting jobs that were I was really, you know, it was different than I had to manage and get materials and oversee the jobs, make sure the jobs went correctly. The bad part about that is that at the end, I was making less than I'm making here, you know, so that's what kind of why I left there. I was basically leave my house at 540 to get home eight o'clock every single night. You know, and it's like, you know,
Jeremy Perkins 7:49
I don't know, I was gonna say, that seems to be like a, a high level takeaway, too, is the fact that I do see that a lot of guys have moved from their bodies or tired or they're, they're just kind of done with the monotony. And then they branch out to a management role or supervisory role. And realize they were, they're making, you know, a third, if not half of what they were making. And they're kind of losing it as the day goes on, you know, and they just want to get back in the trades and do it. So it's always good to get on the neighbor's lawn, and then realize that your lawn ain't so bad. Yeah, exactly.
Unknown Speaker 8:23
Well, you know, what they say about New York City, if you can work in New York City, as a plumber, you can work anywhere in the world that is so true, I believe, the stuff we work there and the stuff that we did, and the buildings we worked in, we just did it. Sometimes I didn't physically have to do them. But I had to find the crew, I had to find the people to do it. I had to get the materials, I had to make that. And what I took away from that is that I'm not afraid doing the jobs. Now. If I go to a job, and I know I can sell it and bid it and make money on it. I'll find people to do it. And I'm not afraid of that. Or I've gotten to work and I got that experience. The biggest job that really opened me up there is when I'm the Lexington hotel had a fire. And they wanted some plumbing work done. Because the building shut down. They had to find a building. So Friday, I looked at the job. Friday afternoon, I was going to Long Island City to get materials, enough materials for every possible thing to go wrong. To cover every base is. And I had a crew in a job site from Friday night to think Sunday night straight. And I had all the materials for that job. No matter what went wrong. I had everything covered. I think that was really where that changed for me, you know, where I decided I could do this job that could do that job and I could do it good. You know, and I still to this day, um, even my boiler installs, I make a list I look at the job and I might want to get a lot more material than I necessarily need but I don't have to leave the job to get the job done. I get the jobs done by two o'clock sometimes one o'clock because I don't have to leave. Everything is there you know it's being efficient.
Jeremy Perkins 9:58
There. That's an amazing point as well for a lot of people, I mean, I come from the automotive industry and and I never really understood how some of these senior guys ended up putting it together. Like I knew all the bits and pieces, but it was really kind of bringing it all together. And then one day you I don't even remember what it was, but one of these days, I had this aha moment and everything really clicked and then I was able to take it to the next level and
George DeJesus 10:22
stand there. Yeah, you know, so you see in your head, you're like, Ah, I need that that that that you just you just drawing in your head what's going on in front of you and just make a material list from what you're you're staring at
Jeremy Perkins 10:32
right and then and then instantly you're on you're on a whole nother level now you've just elevated your game now it's like I can do this I can do this by myself I can do this in any situation. It's a great feeling.
George DeJesus 10:44
I think I was there two and a half three years
Jeremy Perkins 10:48
so what some of the craziest things I mean, working in basements of hotels you had to I mean do you guys deal with rat problems me
George DeJesus 10:54
You know my favorite part working in New York City was is getting to the roof of the buildings and climbing the towers and getting on top of the building and looking down and taking pictures all my guys my guys do have a friend it's my favorite building ever been on was the London. The London hotel doesn't tear it's straight. So when you get to the top of the buildings 54 storeys you can learn to walk to the edge and look straight down. Straight down where a lot of other things tear out so you don't see that this one you see straight down and a building sways. You feel the wind on a windy day is the top you feel it move. Yeah, the London and believe it or not, actually has what it was built, I think is like two three storeys and top that was designed for a bell tower. For a bell. They never put a bell, but the Void is there. It's pretty cool.
Jeremy Perkins 11:43
Oh, wow. So you can see some of the places that people don't get to see. Oh, no,
George DeJesus 11:48
no, no, definitely. And it was great. I just I just walk in and walk to the building say hi to security walk upstairs. It was pretty cool. I mean, good to see some people think I saw Joe Montana. I've seen the guys back to the Joker's I mean, you just walk around on the streets. You've seen them but you know the food too. Oh my god hot dogs. Dogs cart the better food. Yeah, coffee there. I used to get into the city about six 630 And I drove and drove and drove every single day Hey, company vehicle. I used to drive a race. I actually never took a subway. I still have no ticket to Subway. So I drove I had a car, you know? So I'm having a car to city working for a company. Sometimes you pay the meter. And you go back outside and your car's not there. They just towed it away. You got to figure, then you gotta play the game of Where's your car?
Eric Girouard 12:46
Jeremy Perkins 12:47
I used to. I used to work I'd seriously I honestly got right out of the military. I worked in a small garage in Boston. And it didn't have enough parking for our customers vehicles. So we used to put it in one hour parking and we used to forget all the time and our customers car was towed away. Like we had the rundown impound pay to get it out and bring it back to the shop. It was Oh dude I know the city field tickets are a thing you just get the fam and
George DeJesus 13:13
that's part of it. Part of doing business there I suppose. Yeah. Yeah. And then actually, I believe it or not, when I left the city I actually went back to the company I started in 94 I actually went back to him he was looking for an installer for boilers and I wanted a different pace and I figured yeah what the hell and back to that mindset where I can always visually see stuff and make everything more efficient. He had I think two or three guys doing oil gas conversion sometimes two or three days. I took it to a palletizers where I still do a few obviously my installs on a piece of plywood yep, I still do them that way working at places where I got them perfected. We got down to me and a guy in a day and a half. Yeah, just because prefab and get everything done and just seeing it and just doing it and not thinking about it. But it's rough. I mean, it was a hustle. It was a hustle that we did it most like non stop we will come home burn done. Didn't want to see they want to do anything.
Jeremy Perkins 14:08
Now is one of the tips is working with the same manufacturer. Same boiler setup.
George DeJesus 14:14
Oh my god. Yes. Yeah, yes. Like that. You see, I put the elbows and kinetics. For starters, um, most of us put in what are what supported Well, in our area that's supported well in our area.
Jeremy Perkins 14:26
Yeah, I thought we have vice Weissman. I don't even remember. Yeah, so we have that up in our area. So yeah, you're
George DeJesus 14:32
right. You have great support. So yes, you know, so it all comes to support because it's everything's gonna break who's gonna help you my breaks. These boards are New Jersey, New Jersey based company. I've done some Avon that where I do them when I'm done. Oh, five Borla and I'm usually done by one o'clock. Nice, you know, floor to ceiling repipe. You know, and because I don't think about it, it's just really the same thing over and over and over again, it does repetition makes it faster, you know, just get better at it. You know, not just try to find a way to do faster, but you know what? Okay, do make it faster, like non bending can make it faster. You know, so
Jeremy Perkins 15:04
Well, I mean, it goes down to the Diags, too. I mean, you're the first one, you actually have to diagnose it, you know what's going wrong? What switches, you know, not working. What's what's on your board. Now it's like, Alright, I know what this model the circuit board goes all the time. Exactly. Your calls have gone from, you know, a two to three hour diag to like 15 minutes,
George DeJesus 15:22
walking. Well, you know, he let me walk with this. I know. Exactly.
Jeremy Perkins 15:26
Exactly, exactly. You know, and that's, and that's awesome. I mean, that's a great feeling to to really be on top of the game and be able to do that.
George DeJesus 15:36
No, it's fun. I mean, that's my two things I love doing. I love doing Drain Cleaning. I love doing boilers believe and I'm, I do plumbing I love I don't mind roughing houses. Yeah, just pay. It doesn't pay doesn't make enough money. And it takes too long to get paid from jobs. It's not what I just was that I just, you have to work for contract, and you're getting paid stages. Yeah. And I'm the kind of person where I need to be, I need satisfaction. Now. Man, if I have to wait, you know, 90 days get paid? Because you didn't put that tile up yet? Yeah, that's not for me. Like I do boiler I'm done. I get paid today. I'm gone. Done. You don't see I don't see a customer again,
Jeremy Perkins 16:10
there's too much variance there is the fact that like, there's too many possibilities of going wrong. And then, you know, you got to stick to your bid. And then you know, you're
George DeJesus 16:20
that too that's a whole nother thing. There's always change colors. But when you're doing a new construction, usually it's a This percentage is when the jobs get done no less times the contractor, you know, they run out of money. They wait for that last paycheck to call you to put the toilet in. And now you don't get paid your last percentage job was to put toilet in now you're chasing money for a toilet. And that's happens all the time. You know, or they will pay the network when you start. When they start next year. They pay the full balance and they still chasing my Yeah, I don't play that game. Yeah, I don't have patience for that. I don't mind no work. I just usually is what always happens. If you have a good contract or something always happens where you're chasing money. So I really just work with homeowners. I don't even do commercial work. I don't do restaurants. Because I'm chasing money with those people. So yeah, you know, homeowners understand why and get there. Here's the price and walk up door with a check or credit card. No question asked. Yeah, no. That's awesome. More point, you know?
Eric Girouard 17:11
Jeremy Perkins 17:13
So how'd you get to, to the stage where you're at? You're just on your own doing your own thing, your own truck, and just really
Eric Girouard 17:21
freedom to the extreme?
George DeJesus 17:23
Freedom? Yeah. Yeah. So we went to watch show two years ago, before COVID. All my friends are there, we're all hanging out. And we're talking. They know, my sales or they know what I produce. They know how much I work at the job. They just kept telling me, you know, says, Look, you're wasted talent work for a company. You should be working for yourself. And I'm like, I don't want to do that. I already failed one time. I don't want to do it again. I'm afraid I don't want to do it. You know, and, and I just fought myself and I came back. The companies I was working, it was a 612 hour days, it was a shift, eight to eight motor Saturday. I want to stop working Saturdays, the Saturday situation kind of bumped to heads with the owner. And when we start bumping heads, basically, he went out of my pocket, because I was commission based. So I was 100%. commission based, no hourly, nothing. So if I didn't produce anything, or bring any money in, I got nothing. I couldn't work the 12 hour day and made 12 bucks no all day, not for me. So yeah, so um, that's what started happening. I made to the point where I'm like, if I make $1,200 a week, yeah, I should be on my own. My wife basically knows that I was getting to a point where I'm getting that three year itch kind of thing. So you're on your own. on your own. You said that I went online and LegalZoom and registered a company a minute a minute i Everything's my company that was like seven days I got everything I needed. I start slowly marketing. Not I was marketing, getting calls when they would send me home and tell me that we work from eight to eight and you're done at three o'clock. You had to sit in truck and uniform, wait for the call. Second Call to go out you're not gonna pay for you're gonna have to sit there and wait. So I started on company. Three o'clock when he went home, I switched trucks and did my stuff. He would call me. I was not available. That's it. And then I was making more. At one night service calls out making my week paid work for him. I patiently waited and then I tried to wait as long as possible. But then we started really bumping heads towards what I just said, to quit. I was done. I walked away, but I walked in him metabolising left. That's it. And that was in August of 2020 Yeah. 2020 Yeah, yeah.
Eric Girouard 19:36
When you decided to start testing the waters in your own. How did you do your early marketing like you know going from someone else doing all your marketing Tom said you've got to do it and get customers and get people to actually want to give you money to do the job, let alone meet them. How'd you even start?
George DeJesus 19:53
I started using a software that was that that did some some little marketing for me that kind of got me out there and made my phone ring And I'd visited from there, I didn't need many calls that point I really needed one a day to day to basically pay what I was paying was cool, because where we are, our rates are different. So it doesn't take much to make what I was making there in a week to make in one night, you know, doing cycles.
Jeremy Perkins 20:17
So it wasn't like it wasn't like social media or actually an ad. Yeah, no.
George DeJesus 20:21
Nope. Social media believe or not like my Instagram page. Yeah, I don't get to work. I get no work i that. I don't know. I don't care about that time it was for you know, so I don't want people to tell me you use it for them. Like, that's not what I want for my personal page is not my business page. It's not meant for me to get work out of it's not why I built it. It's not why I did it. I did it to really post why I enjoy doing everyday because I work on myself to share what I do. Yeah, you know, yeah, when I left in August, and went on my own, I have a pickup truck with a cap on it hated every minute. Oh, my God. And but I was doing five, six calls a day. You know, I was looking for trucks since May. But in October that one red truck I have now. Yeah. hard to come by that particular body. That Hackney aluminum body that's designed for plumbers on a cab over impossible to find it. Really, I found it three hours away, went and picked up Saturday morning drove home and how replacing that particular body is for plumbers who know what that body is and has never ever worked out that body. They want that body it just suppose that it's really designed perfectly for a plumber. It's has ever been everything's adjustable. It stores to water heaters, you know, when I had that? I mean, now I'm doing like, oh my god this week alone? I don't know. I think the Twinsen calls a speaker ready. Tomorrow.
Jeremy Perkins 21:40
So is that is that our show now? So so the idea was to get away from Saturdays. And I was at that juncture, too. I mean, there was a point where, you know, I needed the money. And you know, Saturdays was just that extra boost. And yeah, and then as I kind of rose the ladder, and then I started having family, I was like I really need the Saturdays back same deal. My, that my my employer was it wasn't as harsh but it was like, well, we got stuff to do. And I'm like, Yeah, but we're at the point where now we need the new guy to come in and do do the Saturdays like I did my time. You know what I mean?
George DeJesus 22:14
So what started happening to me what really noticed it is that I realized my my kids and my wife watched all the movies at the theater. And even though they didn't win, because they just really I wasn't even part of family more. They weren't even asked me they know I was working. Don't Yeah, he's working. That's where it really started where I realized I needed I need to be time. But you know, when you work 612 minute Saturday, you know you can't do you can't go to the bank. You can't get a haircut. You can't do anything. No. Yeah. Yeah, you know, so that made it hard. It has Well, you had to kind of manage your schedule there a day that you had no time, but you finished one call, boom, another call to have the time to actually take that break. My favorite
Jeremy Perkins 22:52
was working on contractor trucks. Like that's exactly what I did his job and they were 20,000 miles over their oil change. The ball joints are falling out of the truck. And we're like, Hey, can you come in a little earlier for I got no time. I have I have absolutely no time. I'm gonna drive this thing until it gets towed in. And like I have to get forced. But yeah, five days.
George DeJesus 23:13
Yeah, no, it's um, it's crazy. I still keeping up I don't even know. I really wasn't the point where I was like, I need to hire another guy. And and I put the halt I put a stop on that. I'm holding off on that right now. Just because I don't know what's gonna go on. I'm going to see a comedy wise if it's something where I could actually do not worry about it. You know, right now I'm okay. But if I put another body on it, you know, that's gonna take care of everything and it's gonna suck me dry to the point where I'm not on my happy. Okay. You know,
Jeremy Perkins 23:41
now, I talked to a few other plumbers. And they said that, you know, at least in the West Coast, they said that there was a shortage of hands. And it was difficult to, to even hire an underperformer and, you know, just on the fact that even the little amount that they did was still held, and the fact that if they let them go, there was going to be nobody to back it up. Are you seeing that yourself? Or?
George DeJesus 24:02
We've been seeing that for years. Yeah. And that's been an issue for years, you know, the ones who aren't working right now that are looking for jobs as a reason why they're looking for they're looking for jobs. And really, and it's really, it's a shame we send you some nice stuff to hire the people. The ones who are really good at ones that work and you got to steal and and there is no there's no out there. There's really very, very few kids that are going to trade. Yeah. Oh my god, I'm hoping it's gonna change. I just, it's just we don't know if it's gonna be fast enough. You know, I'm 47 What do I have? 50 more years. I actually what? 30 more years I've done for years. You know, I'm done. I'm done. Don't seem to be really falling. Well, yeah. You know,
Jeremy Perkins 24:40
to put your mind at ease a little bit. We just came back from a trade school today, man. The plumbing class was packed. So yeah. And we met with a landscaping class. We went with a question the equestrian class we met with a lot of people and and I think that they're, you know, through and it's the public on social media, it's the power of putting the right people in place to give the message that it is a lucrative way to earn a living. To some degree, there is a lot of flexibility, especially if you get into business ownership. And I know that there are businesses out there that they're like, I was supposed to be in business for myself and work less and now I'm working more. But besides the point is, it seems like there has been an upswell a grassroots effort to bring the trades back. And it's people like yourself that kind of bring that light, you know, bring this this sexiness back to plumbing. I mean, I don't know how many plumbing manifolds I've looked at, I'm like, wow, that's it's almost art, if you don't, yeah. Wow, it same with electricians with the conduit. I mean, it's just unbelievable. And I think showing that to the younger generation is really speaking volumes. I mean, a lot of guys are like, I want to do that. And so sitting behind a desk, you know what I mean?
George DeJesus 25:51
It's nice that we're starting to see the manufacturers take that helps you as well, like, have you seen American plumbing stories, right? Yeah. Oh, yeah. You know, that's Pfister faucets, right? Yep. Yep. They realize if there's no plumbers, they can't sell faucets. Simple that. Right? They're trying to change it and make it so people can actually want to join the trades, you know, and I think I'm rigid stepping up as well. I'm, I actually want to help and step up and help that because they realize that there's no trade people, they're not gonna sell the product. Yeah, you know, and you're going back to social media, I do get law young kids that messaged me every single day, I respond. Everybody had this problem. I can't, I can't let my screen see read up. I have to answer everybody. It kills me if I read that, and I ignore it. But no, I respond to everybody. And I try to help as much as I can, when if I can help them or send the right direction help them. You know, and I do like posting, I think posting has helped people, I think, to see that our trade isn't as bad. I mean, some things I do post are bad, but they're still fun. You know. So I think hopefully, you'll actually see that the trades are fun, you know, whether they choose to do trades or not. They see that's actually I mean, there is money to be to trade and it's still you know, you'll make a great living out of it by fun.
Jeremy Perkins 26:55
Yeah, it was a shame and it doesn't sound like it was your family. And it seems like you're very fortunate. And it sounds like you'll probably pass that sentiment down to your family. But, you know, my father was admittedly said, like, I wish I didn't push you away from the trades. You know, granted, I found my way to the trades. But I felt like I was lucky in that journey. versus you know, a lot of our parents said, you know, I want you to go to college, I want you to be better than what I am and come full circle. They're like, Man, I wish. I really wish I didn't tell my kid not to be a roofer or really wished I didn't tell my kid to be electrician.
George DeJesus 27:29
I was a customer's house this week. So we have a dispatch fee come out, which is $9. Right? She had a broken spot on her tub. So I placed the spout, fix it give me a bill. And the first thing she says we'll have that much for that little bit. That's all you were there for. And she's like, I went to college. Don't make that. You know, it makes me I put a smile. But it's it's there. My smile. Is there my every single time someone says that. Yeah, I
Jeremy Perkins 27:59
mean, literally, they have a hard time, you know, saying is you're really not paying for the part you're paying for the experience. Oh, yeah. Yep. And the fact that I did it in an hour versus 15 hours means that I have the experience. And unfortunately, you have to pay for the experience.
George DeJesus 28:14
That's why I'm a strong believer in flat rate. Guys who charge hourly shortchange themselves by no changes change the conversation there. But ya know, guys who charge hourly, really, really shortchange yourself. Because if you're really good at a job, and you're really fast at a job, the only making making out is the customer, not you. Right, right. Right. Well, you're good at it. Because you really go you do and you make it look easy. You should be making more money, not the homeowner. Yeah. Yeah, but they can get some guy who's horrible at it that takes 10 hours you do in an accident you do in an hour, because you're good at it. It doesn't make a difference. Still, same price. No, they
Jeremy Perkins 28:45
screw it up. And they eventually end up calling you and then they'll get mad about the price. Yep. Oh, yeah. Because they paid three times to have a fixed Yeah. With the kids. Are they looking to take over dads to dethrone dad?
George DeJesus 28:57
I mean, my daughter's 12 My son's 10. Occasionally my son calls me on Saturdays lately with lacrosse and football and everything. It's been a little tougher, but usually they call me and I'm hoping they at least, if anything, pick up from it, at least learn how to work with their hands, you know, at least have a skill something or have something. Yeah, you know, and that's ultimately I mean, it'd be nice but you know, you never know you know.
Jeremy Perkins 29:22
All right. Well, yeah. All this work aside, it's amazing. You know, what you do where you've come from and, and where you are now and it seems like you're going to continue to empower the trades which is amazing. We need more people like you, but all work aside, I mean, what do you do on your off time? Do now go to the movies or what's your
George DeJesus 29:41
well, when when there were movies to watch? We love going get popcorn movies. You know, now I'm just enjoying like taking my Sunday practices. I'm enjoying that. You know, I really don't have any hobbies. Um, to be honest, I I come home some nights and just Watch TV and Wi Fi TV, I just edit videos, you know, and just post them,
Jeremy Perkins 30:04
you know, back out to the garage and reorganize all your stuff
George DeJesus 30:07
or to do video. So that's cool. Someone asked me to do something, I'll do a video just to stir the pot. So
Jeremy Perkins 30:16
funny because I did see somebody the other day I forget who it was. But he said, you know, most people have a hobby, I go home and I'll take tomorrow's job. So I'll take a valve out of a box and, and you know, I'll put it together because I know I'm going to use it the next day instead of assembling it on the job. So he goes off course I really enjoy prepping for the next day. And I'm like, Well, I like kicking my feet up.
George DeJesus 30:39
Although I kick my feet up to Tuesday later at night, if I come home and it's daylight outside. Yeah, usually go clean my truck out, I'll do something. You know, that's usually in the mornings, they might check out but it depends on I try to prevent them as I can as well, because it makes my day easier. Yeah, I appreciate the call volume I have any day I need to be in and out. I can't spend an extra hour in that job. So I don't have it. You know. So
Jeremy Perkins 31:02
how many times you do realize you open up a box and missing pieces. And that's the only part that and you're like nowadays nowadays all the time. Yeah. So it's better to it's better to, to get ready for the day, the night before. And then you're like, Alright, I got to go to the plumbing supply store and pick up this valve again. Because it's you know, missing the pieces. Yeah. Or
George DeJesus 31:20
it's banged up or debt that you can use it. We'll talk about next. I mean, let's see my truck. Damn, I get eventually.
Eric Girouard 31:30
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So tell us about that. Tell us about. Tell us about your brand choice in trucks and what you like what you don't like and what you're looking to do. Yeah,
George DeJesus 31:40
I basically replaced big red with orange truck. Okay, that's gonna be a big pumpkin journey. It is basically the same truck, same box 2022. It is going to be a bigger door, decipher the jetter. And same cab over Is it because believe it or not, my truck full size is still small and a full size transit,
Jeremy Perkins 32:02
because they have the best turning radius to this. It's like, and not only that you can parallel park. Because you could see right down the front of the truck.
George DeJesus 32:12
Oh, yeah, you could parallel park, you could make a U turn you get back at the driveways, you're gonna really want that. It really is. It's big. But it's it's not hard to drive. It's actually easy to drive to the car and and honestly exit that truck for an hour drive from job for an hour and not really pay attention. It's like I'm there.
Jeremy Perkins 32:27
Okay. We actually had a hard time repairing these users up here because we just didn't have a really good distributor. So it was, yeah, as much as I did like the overall idea of them. It was like we had long downtimes for some of these guys that had them.
George DeJesus 32:41
Yeah, that's why I didn't buy diesel for gas. Okay, all right. The gas more is the Chevy motor. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So that's it makes it a little easier. Except it's still not easy right now, but it's it is what it is. I can't wait. I'm working on getting it wrapped. Once it comes in. It's gonna go from my house to getting wrapped. Then fully stocked a truck and get it ready for for a day.
Jeremy Perkins 33:03
You don't get it? What do you do with the other one? It sounds like it kept its value so you probably sell it more for you got it?
George DeJesus 33:08
Yeah, I'm so I'm gonna sell it has a motor issues. I'm gonna be honest about myself. Someone who has issues with it. I'll delete it motor. I would I would fix it. Keep it but um, stop afterwards. Just just mechanic can get one. Yeah. So just let it go. I'm just driving. So hopefully it lasts until my new truck comes.
Jeremy Perkins 33:25
George DeJesus 33:26
It's been everyday against trucking. Like you know, but it's been good. It's really been good at Tetra calm. It's going a year and a half. It basically made me a lot of money in a year and a half. I can't complain. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You know, so no pluses. I mean, everybody sees a red truck to pneumonia, which is nice. I get I get asked all the time. People waved me all time. You know, so
Jeremy Perkins 33:51
nice. Good. Nice. Nice. It was unbelievably awesome to get to know you watch a lot of your stuff. And it sounds like you're on the up and up and and in 15 years, you'll be retired handing the keys over to one of your kids.
Unknown Speaker 34:05
Back there saying Dad?
Eric Girouard 34:08
Dad, give me the company now.
Unknown Speaker 34:12
They'll go ahead. Nothing's about money has it?
Eric Girouard 34:16
Same Same thing. company money is all the same.
Jeremy Perkins 34:19
Yep, yep, it is. But this is this is the time of the show. We usually take it for you to you know, plug anything or talk about any of your handles that you have where people can wait. Yeah,
Eric Girouard 34:29
if people want to follow you and get to learn, you know, obviously we know you from the Instagram world. But where should people pay most attention to you if they want to really learn from you?
George DeJesus 34:38
I do have tick tock. That's more. I don't take that page that seriously.
Jeremy Perkins 34:42
Yeah, yeah, I do all the dances.
George DeJesus 34:44
Dance I just posted I remember. I leave it I have more followers and six likes to do it. Mr. Graham. Wow. Yeah, almost double double the amount. Wow. Um, I think I'm like 70,000 there. And I really, I don't really put effort I guess I should put effort My main focus right now, to be honest, is I am looking to hire a parents who is in our plumbing that has a video background that knows how to edit, edit videos and recording their day in. And actually, my main focus I want to do next is I want to change my videos to explain my process of why I do it. Because right now I don't have time I do video and post it. And I don't really explain why I did it and why I chose that product and why I chose a tool, I just do it and post it. If someone's recorded me, I could just turn and say, This is why I'm doing this way and go back to work. You know, and then you can edit it, you know, so that's my next step is I want to work I want to really work on YouTube. Get my YouTube page. Hey, when you
Eric Girouard 35:38
when you find him, can you introduce him to Jeremy and I please?
George DeJesus 35:42
Yeah, I was away like I was away in Miami. And talking to Roger Wakefield. Oh, yeah. And that's what gave me the idea. Awesome. He hired me he has what 500,000 subscribers on YouTube? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean, and I'm like that's I still love doing what I like doing but I love posting videos if I can get them better and easier. And I mean, I don't mind editing on my posting but it's just someone has to be there recording so I can actually realize get the angle of where I'm doing to actually so I can actually say why I'm doing it. You know, and I don't have that. You know, it'd be my next step.
Jeremy Perkins 36:19
So you're still in the in the Midtown area Correct. Nom
George DeJesus 36:22
Jeremy Perkins 36:23
Jersey. You're all wearing jersey?
George DeJesus 36:25
Oh yeah, I'm like 20 minutes from Pennsylvania
Jeremy Perkins 36:27
so if anybody listening is in the Jersey area that has this background hit George up and yeah, shoot him your resume on the
Eric Girouard 36:35
grammar tic tock
George DeJesus 36:36
yeah yeah towards the plumber or show up at his house if you want like what like My name is so hard to find right George the plumber
is actually a second to the plumber on Instagram too. Yeah, I think he's at George underscore the underscore plumber
Eric Girouard 36:53
oops that's tricky you guys getting any battles yet? Are you guys rally on
George DeJesus 36:57
I just I just said I'm stickers last week. There you go. Nice. Nice No, no, no, there's no battles to be honest. Massage me really has done for us to which we don't really say a lot. I brought a lot of trades together. Yeah, we battle and battle. I mean, we still have the little me more electricians but yeah you know, it's not the same one used to be anymore. Now everybody understands and we all learn from each other. You know, that one thing they posted might actually help us one day?
Jeremy Perkins 37:24
Well, it's it's interesting too, because you know, now it's giving you the ability to go national. So connecting with people who have different processes, different technology and you're like hey wait, this is what they're doing on the West Coast and I got definitely use this in my area. We were watching Ross with the liners and all that stuff coming about and it seems like you know now instead of digging trenches and replacing the cast iron with PVC and all that stuff, people are doing lining and it's cheaper and efficient and it's less intrusive and well
George DeJesus 37:57
it's not cheaper it's just less intrusive less intrusive Yeah, that's gonna be hopefully when by this month this year purchase this yoga
Jeremy Perkins 38:06
so yeah no no and just just being able to pass those tricks and those trades on is pretty cool and seeing you guys go to these different conferences and meeting Oh yes.
George DeJesus 38:15
And we see this stuff because I watched it I'm like I know that I did not exist I'm buying it and doing it I try you know and they say well you know if I didn't see I would never bought I never thought I was to be doing the old way always Yeah, yeah. I mean I changed my boilers do I do it because I'm doing a bond and Erik Silva have been posting their prefabs like I'm preserving Yeah. And I you know, then I watched mechanical use magnetic separation becomes a magnetic separator and then I learned from basically what other guys do and I just go from there you know? Yeah.
Eric Girouard 38:47
Yeah, it's awesome. This is incredible George now wow. Yeah, no, no, no, that's long for us. Well, this is great. Now we are you know, we obviously we've been big big fans you sincerely Dave since our mutual rush Joe and quality were in drain told us about you and
George DeJesus 39:05
those boots are eight months and is still working.
Eric Girouard 39:08
Dude, by the way there you go. Eight months is he it's funny. Everyone expects them last lifetime eight months is the average in the US for all work.
George DeJesus 39:15
Oh my gods if I'm happy let's say a pair of boots six seven months I'm happy
Eric Girouard 39:19
yeah, I was gonna say it's time we're gonna have to get you into something new get a yarn.
George DeJesus 39:23
Yeah, it doesn't my favorite boots. I've actually had those low top as well. Nice nice. All right, actually actually bought my dad a pair of high tops. We were both wearing them today. I thought I should take a picture covered in crawlspace dust. I'm like we should think we just think
Jeremy Perkins 39:39
Awesome. Awesome. This was amazing. It was great to get to know you and
George DeJesus 39:42
thank you. This is fun. Sweet sweet. Thank you.
George DeJesus began his career as a plumber in New York City, leading crews in high rises in downtown Manhattan. He realized that a job as the leader of a plumbing crew was his calling after working some jobs in NYC where he was able to learn and thrive on the job in a really short time.
“My dad was a general contractor and he used to take us to work with [him] because that was just a way for daycare to kind of watch us during our day instead of having someone watch us he took us to work…I'm a plumber, I chose the plumbing trade, because…I just happened to enjoy more of just putting stuff together.”
Working in hotels and in other parts of New York City, he was able to not only see some crazy vistas at the top of high-rises, but he learned skills and work ethic that helped him grow into the plumber that he is today — and the skills that equipped him for a steady career. After some time working with volatile contractors, though, he realized that he was leaving a lot of work, and money, on the table. He was ready to work for himself, in spite of the challenges that lay ahead.
“[My friends] kept telling me, you know, you should be working for yourself. I don't want to do that. I already failed one time. I don't want to do it again. I'm afraid, I don't want to do it. You know, and, and I just fought myself and I came back…I made it to the point where I'm like, yeah, I should be on my own.”
George made that vision a reality — he’s now his own boss, no restrictions, nobody to report to. He has taken on his own clients and does his own marketing, meaning he can work when he wants to. Not only is he crushing it in his day job, but he’s also gained a huge following on social media, reaching over 38,000 followers on Instagram by posting videos of the work he’s doing. Check out George on Instagram @georgetheplumber.