I just had a "procedure" done on my leg Friday (August 30) that's going to keep me from coming to Comfortech. I couldn't be more bummed because these are the most informative, fun-filled, character-driven events that a contractor could attend. This is where I get to hang with the best folks in our business and pretend to like all these bozos while slyly pickin' their brains for all the free information they'll give me because we all have egos the size of dino eggs. Well, we do or we wouldn't be in business for ourselves!

Yeah, I'm kiddin' around a bit because I really like all these friends I've made over the years (that I wouldn't have made otherwise), but the kidding's "on the square" because there's truth in them-there words. I've learned more by attending these kinds of soirées than by all the "formal" education I've had, and the men and women I've met and learned from deserve more than a little credit for my success. If you're on the fence about attending this Comfortech, git off and go. And if you're a woman thinking this is all male-driven malarkey, then you'd be in for a BIG surprise if you go. Just to meet the high-octane women who attend, Vicki LaPlant bein' just one who springs to mind, is well worth your efforts to get there.

Dang! Philadelphia! Never been there and I hate missing the opportunity. I almost always like to make these parties a mini-vacation, and if my wife didn't have M.S., she would have joined me. Bec is one of those women who was totally surprised at the character and intelligence of the folks who came to events like Comfortech. We've come a long way in overcoming the stereotype of 'ol Johnny-Buttcrack.

I also wanted to attend to talk about selling my little company and why we all should not only plan for our exit in the future, but be prepared NOW — each and every day — because no one knows just what may happen tomorrow. We were more-or-less forced to sell because of Bec's M.S., and, if we had not had the systems and practices in place that are so well taught by the Service Round Table — especially the Service Nation Alliance Plumbing component of the SRT — then we'd have basically had to simply close our doors. Instead, we were ready, we had done our homework, and the sale was successful despite our not having a choice in its timing. By the way, Bec deserves all the credit for the success of the sale. Despite her personal challenges, she was magnificent in dealing with the buyers, and the dignity and respect she earned was almost overwhelming for me to see.  

The most important aspect of the sale for me was our employees. Rather than look for new jobs, they could continue without a break, even have better benefits for themselves and their families. Selling was difficult, but for my wife's health it was necessary … and because of our association with the likes of the SRT, we came out smelling like roses instead of … well, you can use your own imaginations to fill in what we would have smelled like if we hadn't been ready (grin).

My apologies for the length of this post. It's early Saturday morning, I'm doin' some pain pills, and I've gotten even more wordy than I usually do. But just once more — if you're on the fence about attending Comfortech, then git off 'n go.

Master plumber Ed O'Connell, who shares his experience and wisdom exclusively for subscribers to CONTRACTOR’s E-Newsletter, is the Founder Emeritus, O'Connell Plumbing, Rooter, Heating & Air Inc. He is a business, health and welfare coach in Fairfax, Calif., and he can be reached at ed.oconnell@outlook.com.

To see Bob Mader's invitiation to Comfortech, click here.