From Rubbing Shoulders With The Elite To Building A Successful Restoration And Environmental Services Franchise, Lyle Nearby Shares His Journey

by | Aug 1, 2022 | Podcast

FM 9 | Environmental Services Franchise

What makes a business successful? Are your core values aligned with it? In this episode, Lyle Nearby shares his journey about leaping from working for one of the most recognized brands in luxury to mold remediation, water damage cleanup, and air duct cleaning when he opened his first AdvantaClean franchise. He talks us through a critical change in his business that has enabled him to scale it so it’s not dependent on him to operate successfully. He also walks us through how he has dovetailed his success as an entrepreneur into a new coaching venture, where he consults other entrepreneurs and helps them figure out how to scale their businesses. Tune in for in-depth insights on how you can create happy customers and help your company grow!

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From Rubbing Shoulders With The Elite To Building A Successful Restoration And Environmental Services Franchise With Lyle Nearby

Welcome to the show. I am very excited to have someone who I’ve known for almost as long as I’ve been in franchising join me. His name is Lyle Nearby. Lyle is a multi-unit franchise owner of AdvantaClean, which is a disaster restoration company/light environmental services. It does a lot of different things to help people live cleaner and healthier inside their houses and buildings. He’s also a seasoned entrepreneur. He has launched a new business where he’s coaching other small business owners and entrepreneurs through WinRate Consulting. Lyle, I’m happy to have you here.

Thanks. I’m happy to be here. 

We’ve reconnected both here in the Charlotte market. We’ve known each other for a long time. I have some memories that have faded for whatever reason. We’ve gone on and done other things but I still remember driving down to the SouthPark Mall, meeting you at the Tiffany store and sealing the deal for AdvantaClean.

That was years ago. At the time, I was the Store Director for the Tiffany store in SouthPark Mall looking to make a change. I spent about twenty years with Tiffany & Co. It was time for me to move on. I had enough of working for a public company and retail. I sought out a franchise and got connected through a franchise broker like yourself to AdvantaClean. You, at the time, were selling franchises exclusively for AdvantaClean.

You were one of the early franchisees in AdvantaClean in 2010. You were super early in when we were going.

There were a few before me but I was pretty early in the process. My number is 47. I don’t know if that’s an inflator or not. It sounds a little high to me.

It was still early days with AdvantaClean. We can probably talk about some of the pros and cons of getting in with an emerging franchise and some things to look for and think about at the time. You went from Tiffany, a luxurious, high-end and one of the most prestigious brands in the world to AdvantaClean. It’s the idea of the transition to motor mediation, water damage cleanup, air duct cleaning and some other stuff.

Twenty years of retail is a long time. The company is a public company. In 2010, if you remember coming out of the recession in 2008, a lot of investment firms and hedge funds started buying up a lot of stock. At that time, in a public company like Tiffany & Co., instead of answering to the customers and doing what’s right for the customers, the investors started making a lot of decisions, which I wasn’t a big fan of. There were some changes made in the management area of Tiffany & Co. It’s the typical working-for-corporate story in my mid-40s at the time.

I needed a change. I didn’t want to go work for anybody else. I sought out franchising. Lo and behold, I ended up looking at several different franchises. I wasn’t looking for light environmental services or disaster restoration. I was looking for a company that was more aligned with my core values and how I like to run business, which AdvantaClean landed on all four fronts. I couldn’t find a reason not to go with the AdvantaClean quite honestly.

It was the values that you connected with and the culture of the company.

I couldn’t find anybody within the organization to say anything bad about the organization itself. I met with you and Glenn Boone who is the Regional Franchise Developer. We went out and did the discovery day at the pretty impressive facility there in Huntersville at the time. I talked to several different franchisors.

It’s amazing sometimes when you call franchises. The franchisor gives you the names of people to call. I don’t know if they know what they’re going to say or have an idea of what they’re going to say but in calling other franchises, there’s a lot of negativity within some franchise organizations. It didn’t happen with AdvantaClean. Everybody I talked to had positive things to say from all over the country.

That’s great advice. For anybody who is reading and thinking about looking at a franchise’s validation, talking to franchisees of any brand is the single most important step that you can take to validate a lot of the assumptions you might have about the business or what you’re hearing from the rep about the franchise and the business, even validating maybe some of the thoughts that you have about the business. Sometimes, people can think about a business. When they start hearing it from the front lines, that might be a little different than what they think so that’s a huge thing

You read the FDD, which has a lot of legal jargon. Most franchisors will put a lot of information in the FDD. Some of it, you can interpret very differently than the reality like with gross profit versus net profit. There are a lot of legalities they have to follow but you still have to dig a little deeper. Asking questions to current franchise owners will help you do that.

It’s interesting what you said about the values and the culture because that was a big thing for AdvantaClean back in the day. That was something that we talked about, managed and work towards every single day. The people within the company, that’s our commonly shared beliefs and how we treat each other. When you’re investing in a franchise, the people are a huge component of it. There’s no doubt.

At the end of the day, it is your business. You're not answering to anybody at the franchise level because you own your own business. Click To Tweet

At the end of the day, it is your business. You’re not answering to anybody at the franchiser level. You own your business. You’ve got to align your core values with anybody you do business with. They can’t tell you what your core values are. You’ve got to come up with them yourself. If you subcontract or work with a different company that is uncomfortable, you don’t want to be involved with them. The same thing goes with the franchisor or franchisee relationship.

Let’s talk about your journey in entrepreneurship. You are twelve years in with AdvantaClean. You’ve got a new venture going, which is WinRate Consulting.

I’m a coach at WinRate Consulting. It’s owned by somebody else. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re almost as if you’re on an island yourself. Every decision you make can affect a lot of people. You’ve got employees, payroll to make, customers to take care of and vendors to pay. I was sitting there one day at my desk feeling like I was on this island. I was watching a video on LinkedIn about mentorship, its importance of it and coaching. It so happened I knew the guy, Mike Claudio, who owns WinRate Consulting. We had been in a BNI group together. He was in a different role selling construction.

He had started WinRate Consulting. As soon as I saw that video, it hit me at the time. It resonated with me. I called him and said, “We got to talk.” We went out to Viva Chicken in Charlotte and had lunch. Three years later, I’m still working with him and I’m a coach. At WinRate, we’ve got a program called The Champions Circle. It is about 50 leaders. We call some of the leaders captains there. They’re a key individual within their organization as part of the group.

I’m coaching all the captains. I’ve got 13 captains plus 1 full-time regular client that I deal with. I’ve got fourteen clients that I coach regularly. It’s all virtual. They’re all entrepreneurs all within the construction or home service realm. We start with core values. You can see how that resonates. A common theme for me is building on those core values and running your business through those core values.

Your focus with core values, can you talk a little bit about how you’ve used that focus to build your AdvantaClean business over the past couple of years and maybe some tips and things to think about for folks?

Our core values are pretty simple. It’s Customer service, Love what you do, Educate yourself and the customer, Appreciate each job and then Never compromise. If you look at that, it spells out CLEAN. We like to communicate. We communicate with our customers. That’s part of the customer service end of it. We communicate with each other.

The one or more important thing is to never compromise. We have certain standards. In our industry, like a lot of other industries, we’re asked by customers to do things outside the realm of our standards, whether it’s to put in an inferior product in a crawl space like a different vapor barrier or maybe they don’t want to do the mold remediation in the crawl space. They just want moisture control. We’ll fire our customers if they’re not going to do things the right way.

You know long-term that it’s not worth taking that 1 or 2 shortcuts because you know what the result is going to be. Somebody is going to come back upset.

We’re not willing to risk our reputation for one customer. Quite honestly, when you start making it about the core values versus the money, that’s when you start becoming successful.

Talk to us more about that.

You can’t just chase the dollar. If you’re chasing the dollar, you’re going to end up doing things you wouldn’t normally do. You’ll get desperate and take on any job. You don’t know how to do it. You’ll do an inferior job. Somehow, it will come back to bite you in the butt. We’ve done things like that where we know in our gut this customer doesn’t align with us and we’ve done the job anyway. We end up regretting it every single time. It’s always on a small job when we’re a little slower or we want to get work for the guys that we compromise our values. It always ends up biting us and costing us money rather than making us money.

Have you seen your focus on core values? How have you seen it impact your ability to recruit people that you can build your organization around and are going to stick with you for a long time? Is there a reservation?

It has. Most of my staff are pretty tenured. I still have Carlos working for me whom you know. He was the first temp I ever started with. He worked at a temp agency. I remember you and Chris Stefanco telling me, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get you Carlos,” when I started because you guys all knew who Carlos was. He had a falling out with the temp agency.

FM 9 | Environmental Services Franchise

Environmental Services Franchise: You’ve got to align your core values with anybody you do business with. They can’t tell you what your core values are. You’ve got to come up with them yourself.

As soon as that happened, Chris Stefanco called me and said, “Carlos is no longer with the temp agency. Give him a call.” I called him and he’s been working for me full-time for years. Most of my employees are tenured. I’ve got a couple that are younger guys that are learning the business and how to do what they need to do. I hired a new sales guy that had very little outside sales experience but that’s something we can train. His core values align with ours.

You took a risk on somebody to do sales, which is a pretty critical piece of the operation.

It was a calculated risk. We did a DISC assessment so we know he has the mentality of sales. He’s a high D and high I person. That means he’s very competitive with himself. He’s a type-A personality and very disciplined. That’s key for a salesperson. He’s mainly been inside sales but his core values align with who we are and what we’re about doing the right job for the right person at the right price.

You nailed it. It’s a calculated risk. There are ways to mitigate risk if you know how to put in tools, what you’re looking for and how to identify it. A lot of times, it can be in ways that the textbooks might tell you a little differently. I’m a big Moneyball guy. That’s one of the big things I took out of Moneyball, the book by Michael Lewis. There are different ways to do things if you know what you’re looking for. Are there things that you do within your organization to drive the values into a new employee or things that you do culturally to reinforce them?

Everything we do that we talk to our employees about is in our Monday morning staff meetings. When we explain or go over something, it always goes back to the core values.

Could you give us an example?

It can be something as simple as having an employee that finished a job. The homeowner wasn’t readily available to talk to them so they thought nothing of it. They got in the truck and came back. The job was done. That is not communicating proactively with our customers. We’re able to talk to them. We say, “In our core values, you have to communicate with the customers. If they’re not answering the doorbell, send them a text like, ‘We’re done. We’re going home. Thank you very much. Let us know if you need anything else.’ Tell myself or Corey, who’s my Director of Operations. Let him know so he can communicate it to the customer on your behalf. He’ll say, ‘We finished. We’re going home.’” It is small things like that that make a big difference.

It can even be appreciating each job. One of the things that we have in place is to check each other. It’s easy when you go through the day-to-day and do the same type of work every day to get complacent. If they go behind each other, check each other. When they’re done with an air duct cleaning, one person’s walking upstairs and one person’s walking downstairs to make sure that they’ve got all the tape off the vents or didn’t leave any tools behind to switch up and do it again. They check each other because it’s easy to become complacent and forget things or leave something covered that we’re going to have to go back and uncover for the customer anyway. It’s a matter of checking on each other.

It’s an amazing management style. It sounds like it enables you to help correct some behaviors that you want to be corrected but without calling them out and making it about the person. It’s about the company like, “As a team and as a company, this is what we do. It’s no big deal. Let’s talk about it. Learn from it. Don’t do it again.”

I imagine you also probably celebrate some successes in the same way too like, “Let’s call out Corey. He did an amazing job because he exemplified this value.” People want to feel part of something. A big part of the psychology of managing and building a good team and culture is less about the paycheck. It’s like, “We were off-budget a little bit on this job but let’s make it about the company.” It’s a very powerful management style.

We do celebrate the successes. We come across some pretty strange things sometimes like building special containment for mold remediations. I’m remembering this one time in particular that we had to build a tunnel for containment because the customer had this very special wallpaper. They did not want us putting anything on the wallpaper, whether it was tape. We had to build a containment, in which usually, the walls become part of the containment and interior. We could do that.

After we built this tunnel, we go to put our air scrubbers in and put them under negative pressure. It kept pulling the sides of the tunnel in. One of our least tenured techs may have Googled it or YouTube. He came up with this idea of how to do it and it worked well. That’s part of educating yourself. He didn’t just stand around and wait to be told what to do. He said, “Why don’t we try this?” We tried it. It worked. We were able to do the job and get proper clearances. The customer was very happy we didn’t touch the wallpaper.

Whenever you’re doing a mold remediation job, in which every job is pretty unique, the process is the same. The standard you follow to do a job is the same but how you go about implementing those standards to achieve the remediation goal is a little different for everyone. There is a lot of problem-solving in that business. If you can get your employees thinking for themselves and thinking through solving this stuff and not, “You didn’t tell me this was going to come up in our pre-job meeting that I’m going to sit around and burn an hour of labor,” you’ve done a great job. It sounds like you’re empowering your employees to ultimately take care of the customer. That helps the company grow and create happy customers.

It also creates happy employees. We have a lot of repeat customers. They love seeing the same people come back. They know it’s not a revolving door of employees.

You have to build on those core values and run your business through them. Click To Tweet

I would imagine that impacts your referral business pretty significantly too. You were telling me that you’ve done a good job of building AdvantaClean to a point where you’re majority a referral-based business, which speaks volumes for what you’ve built.

We’ve got to the point where pay-per-click ads are very popular in our business and most home service companies. We run no pay-per-click.

It’s not a bad way to get going in a home service business to get some activity coming through the door but you don’t want to live off that stuff long-term.

It takes a long time to develop. Seventy-five percent of our jobs came from referrals in 2021. We didn’t have to sink the money into pay-per-click or worry about SEO because those get expensive. We do some things to make sure we get the referrals. We send out a monthly newsletter on our own. We follow up on the phone with our customers and remind them that referrals are our best source of jobs.

You’ve done a good job. When we had coffee, you were talking about how you’ve gotten into some of the commercial contracts with some of the duct cleaning. I imagine it takes time to get into those as well because it’s a little bit more complicated of a job. It has some different requirements.

It’s a process. It’s more of a long play depending on the type of job. I use LinkedIn a lot for my commercial leads. I’m pretty active on LinkedIn and social media. The commercial jobs are a long play. We bid on one job via blueprints. The building wasn’t even built yet. It wasn’t until two years later that we found out we got the job. It was a significant almost six-figure job. It’s a little bit of a long play. All you have to do is ask to step up to the plate with your commercial jobs.

We have the local school system here. All I did was asked for a meeting. They liked us and said, “We’re going to include you in our bid meetings.” We don’t get every one of those jobs but we get a majority of them quite honestly. There are three franchise owners in Charlotte. We share this account and the jobs. We get a lot of work from them but it’s not guaranteed. We go to the bid meetings. Since we can put 10 or 12 techs in one school within a school system, we get the bigger schools.

You’ve done a great job of getting aligned with the other franchise owners in the area to be able to leverage your combined resources with opportunities like that. The customer doesn’t care. They just want to know that you have the resources, training and capability to get this job done the right way. It’s a huge strategic advantage.

We’ve shared marketing expenses and a lot between the three of us. From what I understand, it is pretty uncommon in the franchise world.

The biggest opportunity that a lot of people don’t go after as aggressively is to work together with franchisees, not just in the area but also by calling the top performers in the franchise system and saying, “Can I ask you some questions? I’m running into this in my business.” They’ve been down the path. Everybody’s built the same business. Typically, people are very happy to help other franchise owners but you got to ask for a meeting and help.

I’ve developed a good enough reputation within the franchise network here in AdvantaClean that I’m getting called at least a couple of times a week by different tenured franchise owners with something they know I had more expertise at than they do. They’re like, “How do you go about this and that?” I got a call from the number one franchisor in the system in 2021 from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He had a job that he wasn’t very familiar with. It was a commercial duct cleaning job. I’m like, “Why don’t you ask me how he bids it out and what to expect?” He does a lot of water work and mold work where we do a lot of molds and air duct cleaning.

Part of your growth within AdvantaClean has been an acquisition of another franchisee. That was part of how you started with one territory. You ended up acquiring another franchise.

I started with one Union County territory, which is a lot more than Union County. It’s Union County all the way out to Rockingham, North Carolina, which is about 100 miles. The owner of the Charlotte franchise, which had four territories, wanted out. There were 3 of us that bought 3 Charlotte territories. His fourth territory was bought by somebody else that’s out in the Lake Norman area. When we bought the Charlotte territories, we all agreed that we were going to work on them as one.

There’s this little or big ecosystem inside franchise systems where there’s an opportunity to expand or even exit a lot of times. The transactions, a lot of times, don’t make it to the main street. The brokers or third-party websites are a lot of internal transactions, which can be very opportunistic if you’re ready for them. What you pulled off was a pretty complicated deal with two other neighboring franchisees involved. You have 3 guys buying out 1 franchisee. It has worked very well from everything you’ve said over the years.

FM 9 | Environmental Services Franchise

Environmental Services Franchise: When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re aware that every decision you make can affect a lot of people. You’ve got employees, customers, vendors, and so much more.

It was in 2016.

You had to get creative on that one. That was a creative deal.

The franchisor helped us with determining whose territory had what value to it. It’s like buying any other business. You got to do your valuation, get your financing and determine what will work for you. It was a little easier for us because we were already in the business. We were just adding to our territories. We already had our location set up. We were able to double our revenue with the swipe of a pen and our expenses didn’t change a whole lot.

That’s very wise. Some franchise companies choose to be a little more involved in those types of internal transactions and some don’t. If you can have a good relationship with a franchisor and the franchisor chooses to help out and put in some resources to help figure something out, it can be a win-win. In your case, it was a win with five parties involved in that deal.

It paid off for everybody. Everybody was happy at the end of the day on that one.

Even the seller because the seller was ready to get out. He was ready to move on, do his thing and do another venture. That’s great. You’ve built a successful business. It sounds like you have a staff of people that run the majority of the business for you. You’re keeping your eye on stuff, working on some of the stuff that you enjoy. You’re also coaching fourteen people. I would imagine that takes up a good chunk of your time. You have a young family. They were very young when you started the business. They’ve since grown up. How do you manage everything with everything you have going on?

I’m pretty disciplined, quite honestly. I rely on my calendar and my task manager app, Asana, which I use religiously.

How does that app work? I’ve never heard of it.

It allows me to list the tasks that I have to get done in a day. For instance, recording this episode was in my task manager. When I’m done, I can check it off and it’s done. It keeps me on target. It’s not like a Google calendar where it puts a specific time to it. Everything from the reading I do to a gratitude journal I do to exercise is all in my task manager. I check it off when I’m done. Also, to my coaching calls.

I had to do a royalty report because it’s almost the 5th of the month and it’s due on the 5th of the month so that was in my task manager. It didn’t tell me I had to do it at a certain time but it says I have to get it done. It tells me what I need to get done throughout the day. It helps me prioritize and keeps me on track for getting it done. I haven’t run into this too much because I hate not having things checked off but if it’s not done by the time I’m ready to go to bed, I got to do it. You have to get that checked off.

You won’t have a good night’s sleep if you don’t

It’s a lot of discipline and planning. You can’t leave things to chance. Quite honestly, by doing it that way, by managing your time and becoming the best version of yourself, you find yourself having a lot more time in a day.

How so?

I get up early in the morning and probably do more by 9:00 AM than most people do in a day because I am disciplined at all these tasks. Once I’m done, I can go on to other things like looking at other opportunities.

As soon as you stop looking at the dollars and cents and start looking at the actual process, the dollars and cents will come more than you would even dream they would have. Click To Tweet

Coaching other entrepreneurs.

I’m also still a client of WinRate as well as a coach. Part of The Champions Circle, there was a gentleman who gave a presentation during one of our quarterly in-person meetings. He owns a roofing business in Florida. They do about $22 million or $25 million a year. He was talking about becoming a CEO and he equates it to the five boxes. You’ve got marketing, sales, production, operations and then HR finance.

As a CEO of a company, you don’t want sole ownership of any of those boxes. You’ll show up to the sales meetings, production meetings and operations meetings but you’re not in charge of any of those boxes. If you hire properly, all you got to do is show up, create your vision and let somebody else fulfill it. The book, Traction, has the visionary and the integrator. The CEO should be a visionary, then you hire an integrator to get it all done.

Do you use Traction in your coaching?

Yes. Quite honestly, that concept is what WinRate coaches are.

You’re the third person I’ve had on this show that Traction has come up as an important piece of how they run their business. Everybody takes bits and pieces of it.

I’ll be honest. AdvantaClean rolled that out years ago. At the time, I wasn’t a fan but WinRate dumbed it down for me with the way they rolled it out and how it can pertain to the home service or construction industry and took the highlights out of it. The core values are all part of Traction.  It has the Level 10 Meeting and all of that stuff of how you roll it out to your staff and how it can help develop you, not only as a business but as a person.

You’re setting quarterly goals for the company and taking it 90 days at a time. You’re like, “Let’s take it 90 days at a time. We’re going to keep moving in a direction.” If we get things done in the next 90 days, which feels like a pretty digestible thing to do, it goes back to identifying the right priorities at the right time. You know which ones to focus on first and which ones to say no to too. That’s a big part of growing the businesses.

Anybody I’ve hired in 2021 received a 30-60-90 day plan on their 1st day. I have a part-time marketing person who handles a lot of my social media and helps set up some different branding opportunities. She’s part-time and probably works 40 hours a month. She still had a 30-60-90 day plan. Corey, who was in sales, our Project Manager Estimator, got promoted to Director of Operations. Even though he’s been with me for several years, he still had a 30-60-90 day plan.

It’s a pretty simple idea but the execution of it is what separates the great from what maybe doesn’t work for your business so much. What was it that clicked for you? It sounded like when you wrote about it, you weren’t the biggest fan. Was there an a-ha moment where you were like, “I see how I can take these bits and pieces and use them to run my business?”

It’s because it was not rolled out all at once with WinRate. It was rolled out in little snippets. We were like, “We’ll start with the core values. You got that and understand that. Let’s look at your 1, 3 and 5-year plans. You got that. Let’s look at your vision and purpose. That’s perfect. We can do all that. Let’s look at how you hire. Here is a 30-60-90 day plan.” It’s also not cookie-cutter for every business. We sit and talk to everybody about how this pertains to not just their business as an industry but their individual business.

The entrepreneurs and small business owners that you’re coaching, do you help them implement the modified version of Traction at WinRate?


If anybody is reading this and they are a franchise owner or a prospective franchise owner who wants to learn about this Traction thing that comes up on about every show, get in touch with Lyle.

FM 9 | Environmental Services Franchise

Environmental Services Franchise: Small things can make a difference in your organization. Even appreciating one another could really make a big impact.

I’d love to help you out with it. It’s interesting and very individualized. There is no cookie-cutter. Honestly, there is no blueprint for success in anything you do but if you can help somebody or somebody can guide you through your version or journey to success, it will help.

You nailed it. There are different elements to it. Everybody has their favorite different favorite elements that they’re connected with and have had an impact on their life in some form or fashion. For me, it was Level 10 Meetings because I suck in meetings. I suck as a meeting participant. I get impatient and frustrated. I want to get it over with. It taught me how to be more patient because there’s a common goal and give people the opportunity.

It also has the framework to run a 90-minute meeting. We’re like, “We’ve got 90 minutes to get through this stuff. Hit the number. Let’s go through everything and make sure everything’s on track. Let’s then talk about the rocks in whatever he’s working on.” The core values seem like something that has resonated with you and how you run your business.

With the core values and the goals, it’s easy to say, “Next year, I’m going to do $1 million in revenue.” If you say, “Come January 1st, I’ll have $1 million,” it’s pretty intimidating. Being easy, let’s break it down to $250,000 a quarter. That’s $75,000-ish a month. How much is that a week? What are you going to do to achieve that every week? How many phone calls and leads do you have to make and get to make that goal?

You’re like, “Here’s our average transaction size so we know we need to get X amount of referred leads. Maybe we need to fill up the gas tank with some paid leads if things are off track.” You understand the levers of your business down to the 20% that ultimately drives 80% of the results. When you’re running a business, it takes a long time to get your head around what the true 80% that moves the needle in your business is and not get distracted with the other crap that doesn’t take 80% of the time and effort to get that incremental 20%. It doesn’t matter that much.

If you take your ultimate goal and reverse engineer it down to daily tasks, it’s not as intimidating. 

We’ve almost made it too simple. It doesn’t sound fun anymore but it is fun.

It’s fun when you see it work.

What you’ve been able to do with the core values was you got your team rallied around that so that they feel like they’re part of not Lyle’s company but their company in a way. It’s your company but they’re taking ownership of the pieces of the business that they can have an impact on. People want to have an impact, be a part of something and know that they’re part of a growing company that’s doing good things out there in the community and helping people connect those dots. It’s a no-duh type of thing but the execution of it is a little bit of the art. Having the meeting routines and the cadence that reinforces it is where takes over for itself.

As a business owner, it’s very easy to get sucked into the dollars and cents. I can tell you. As soon as you can stop looking at the dollars and cents and start looking at the actual process, the dollars and cents will come more than you would even dream they would have.

At that point, it’s almost like, “How much?” You’re like, “Let’s break through the one goal and then see what we can do but we’ve got to figure out how to do it. It’s not just going to happen. Let’s put together a plan.” One of the things too is that it helps you stay focused on the things that matter that we agreed to.

When you’re in the heat of the battle in a business, it’s so easy to get distracted. In the heat of the moment, you feel like something needs to be a priority but if you take a deep breath, maybe sleep on it for a night and lay it against your plan, you see, “This thing doesn’t fit into our plan. It is maybe something good down the road but it’s not something we need to worry about.”

In the competition, especially when you’re part of a franchise network, you always want to be at the top. You’re competitive by nature. In reality, all you got to do is compete with yourself and the person you were yesterday.

You’re dealing with entrepreneurs in WinRate who sound like they’re investing in themselves. These are folks that want to get better. They want some help getting their business to the next level. I imagine they probably already have successful businesses. They can afford to invest in themselves.

When you start working on yourself and become a more positive and grateful individual, it makes it easier to manage your day-to-day business. Click To Tweet

Some yes, some no.

Some of them are all over the place. With some of the more successful entrepreneurs and business owners you’re working with, do you see a common theme with some of the things that you’re working on with them to help them to grow?

Yes. Honestly, it’s more about working with them as people versus them as business owners. I find myself coaching them through being the best version of themselves so they can take that into the office and get out of their way.

It sounds like you’re a therapist.

In a way. We have almost a proven formula that if you are the best version of yourself when you go to work, you’ll be more successful. If you work on your personal brand, your business brand will follow.

I haven’t heard that before. You’re taking that individualized approach versus the Traction approach, which is more objective.

That’s what happened to me, honestly.

How so?

I was getting in my way always. I was throwing things at the wall to see what would stick. My personal core values are very similar to my business core values. At the root, they’re the same but when I started working on myself and becoming a more positive and grateful individual, it became easier to manage the day-to-day within the business. When I say work on myself, even from an education standpoint, I was never a reader. Probably why I didn’t like Traction when it was first rolled out to me is because I was told to read a book. I didn’t like reading. Now, I read every day.

Is it because you’re able to take something away from it and it fuels you in a way?

Yes. A lot of the books say the same thing. I read all these business books and self-help books. They say very similar things but differently with different research behind them. I always take another way from it.

What are some of the more impactful books that you’ve read?

There’s a book by Tomas Keenan who’s an Apex coach and an entrepreneur. He wrote Unf*ck Your Business, which is a great book. There is Winning by Tim Grover. Any of the Jocko Willink books are good. There is also Relentless by Tim Grover. Uncommon Leadership by Ben Newman is another good one. I’m reading Think Again, which is a great book.

It sounds like you crossed a mental chasm. One day, you were trying this stuff and it wasn’t working. Was it getting hooked up with your coach at WinRate and you said, “Let’s do this,” or have you been thinking about it for a while?

FM 9 | Environmental Services Franchise

Environmental Services Franchise: The franchise helped us with determining whose territory was what we had added value into. You got to do your own valuation and financing and determine what will work for you.

No. He was very new to coaching at the time. That video I saw on LinkedIn resonated with me. We went to lunch and talked. He said, “I can help your business. My goal would be for you to stop using pay-per-click.” I was not there yet. I had to go through the process to get to that point but by building our personal brand, our company brand via social media and processes within my individual company, there’s a lot that goes into it.

Working with Mike, the light bulb went off. I started reading a lot more and becoming a better version of myself. It’s like everything I talked about. It’s gratitude and self-education. That has come down the line in my business where I talk about these books. Corey and others are picking up these books and reading them. They’re becoming more grateful in life and doing well. We’ve all become more successful because of it.

You were ready, it sounds like. When you saw the video, it resonated with you. You were looking for some solution to the thing that you were trying to figure out.

In my previous career, I always had mentors. Whether it was a boss or a previous boss that I was still in contact with, they would mentor me in some way or form. I was looking for a mentor. I knew that’s what I was lacking with somebody to bounce things off of. That’s when I found Mike.

Did you have any hesitation about stroking the check to work with him?


You were like, “I’m in. Let’s have a meeting, give it a shot and see where it goes.” I’ve struggled with that a little bit, stroking the checks on these intangible services where you’re working on yourself or getting consulting. It’s not like you’re buying more leads, putting it behind marketing or hiring somebody else, which is a more tangible business of things. Fundamentally, until you help the thing that drives the ship to break through and figure out how to steer the ship to where you want it to go is a hard thing. When you’re ready, investing in yourself will pay back dividends more so than anything you can put that money behind.

I came to realize that more than anything else with my heart attack. To quickly go over that, I had a heart attack on April 10th, 2022. I had completed 75 Hard. I was in the middle of phase one of the Live Hard program. I was in the best shape of my life. I was eating great and had worked out. I had my protein shake, sat down to read a little bit and had a heart attack. I had to ride an ambulance. There was a 100% blockage in one artery. I had to get a stint put in and spent two days in the hospital.

Honestly, within five hours of having the stint put in and having the heart attack, I was writing a Facebook post of gratitude for having the heart attack. That mindset that I took would not have happened without the shift I had, the one of gratitude. It’s very easy when you have something like that go on in your life that you say, “Why is it me? I’m in the best shape of my life. Why on earth would I have a heart attack?” That never crossed my mind. I’m very thankful for the neighbor that came and called 911 for me. My son was home but he was upstairs on video games. I didn’t want him to see me like that.

I still am grateful for the ambulance drivers, firemen that came and the doctors and nurses that took care of me. I’m grateful for my wife who was three hours away that got home successfully with my daughter in the car. My oldest daughter who lives in downtown Charlotte came. She was able to see me before I went to get the stint put in. She made it to the hospital successfully. I still don’t know how she made it there so quickly. She refuses to tell me. I’m grateful for everything that transpired versus the woe is me. I was released from the hospital 48 hours later with no restrictions. They said, “Go back to what you were doing.”

I had been following your journey through 75 Hard. When you posted about your heart attack, I said, “That’s intense and shocking.” The thing that stood out to me was when I said, “Lyle has an inspiring perspective on what went down and happened to him.” You inspired me and made me realize it’s how you control your thoughts about certain things. It happened outside of your control. There was nothing you could’ve done to prevent that because it was genetic. Except for the one thing you could have gotten to which was to put yourself in good shape and take care of yourself.

I wouldn’t have controlled it. It controlled the outcome and recovery.

It also controlled your perspective on it too because you have spent the time working on yourself.

Years ago, I guarantee you I would have a different perspective on it. I was still in good shape. I still ate well but my mindset was different.

FM 9 | Environmental Services Franchise

Environmental Services Franchise: When you’re part of a franchise network, you always want to be at the top. You’re competitive by nature. But in reality, all you got to do is compete with yourself, the person you were yesterday.

The mindset shift didn’t happen overnight. It’s a process.

It’s very calculated and intentional. My word for 2022 has been intentional. Every goal that I’ve put out for 2022, I’ve been intentional about achieving. Part of that is completing 75 Hard. It created what we call at WinRate a Championship Day. It’s a routine that we go through every non-negotiable day. Some of it is physical exercise. Some of it is reading or doing a gratitude journal. Whatever your Championship Day is, it’s different for everybody but those are non-negotiable. You stick with it every time and every day.

It helps to have a group that you’re a part of that’s living their non-negotiables too.

Everybody in this group is winning. It’s not the winning as far as revenue or buying the Lamborghini or whatever you’re buying. It’s winning of surviving a heart attack or your employee buying their first car. That’s a win for you as an employer. Corey has been struggling with things for himself. He takes care of people. He takes care of his family and us at work. Winning for me is seeing him picking up his guitar, which he hasn’t done in many years and playing it. I’m encouraging him and coaching him through that process. It’s the little wins that you need to celebrate.

That’s profound. You’re living it. You had the breakthrough. Who knows what’s next? What’s the long-term plan for you in the business and everything?

I do have an exit plan for selling the franchise. I’ve set it up in such a way that somebody can come in, buy it and not miss a beat. When that happens, then I’ll probably coach a little bit more. I’ll probably take that money and invest it in maybe another business or opportunity. Ultimately, my goal is to open my beer garden at the beach and use that as retirement, not as revenue but as a place for me to go hang out and talk to people all day long. That’s the goal. It’s all on my vision board.

Thank you for joining and sharing your journey and story with us. There are so many elements to it that can benefit a lot of different people wherever they may be in their journey in entrepreneurship or even if they aren’t an entrepreneur. If folks want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to find you?

On Instagram, I’m @LyleNearby. On Facebook, I’m Lyle Nearby. There’s a Winning the Journey Facebook group that you can join. If you want to get in touch with AdvantaClean or need our services, you can call us at (704) 256-4869. I’d love to talk to you. You can instant message me on either Instagram or Facebook.

Get in touch with Lyle for a lot of different things that I’m sure he’d be happy to chat with you about. Thank you so much for joining. I enjoyed it.

Thank you. It was my pleasure. Let’s talk soon.

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About Lyle Nearby

FM 9 | Environmental Services FranchiseAdvantaClean of Monroe is an independently owned and operated business that provides essential indoor air quality services to residential and commercial customers. We offer professional services that include 24/7 emergency water removal and drying, mold inspection and removal, air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, industrial high dusting, and moisture control.

The First Step is a Conversation.

If you have that burning desire to build your own successful business so you can live a life you can only have working for yourself, let’s talk.

The First Step is a Conversation

The first step is a pretty simple one: We have a conversation.

After we speak, we’ll be able to figure out if there is a good fit to work together.