John Pogas - Free to Be My Own Boss
The once booming steel industry is gone, but the old mill towns like Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, are seeing quite a renaissance, after decades of decline. A new, vibrant economy, proximity to universities and colleges, more entertainment options, as well as beautiful parks and recreation centers are bringing in new residents every day. In fact, according to The Morning Call, more than a million people will make the Lehigh Valley home by 2040. These are just a few of the reasons why Pogas wanted to bring Monster Tree Service, the nation’s first and fastest growing tree service franchise, here.
We recently caught up with him on a job site in Bethlehem to talk about why he chose Monster Tree Service for his second career.
MTS: How did you find out about Monster Tree Service?
John Pogas: I happened to see a newspaper article about Josh Skolnick and his idea of franchising a first of its kind professional tree service. I’ve had a deep interest in arboriculture since I was in high school, but I’d never heard of anything like this.
I was curious, so I picked up the phone and called Josh. He shared with me his vision, the Monster Tree Service business plan, and I did my own extensive due diligence. Plus, I tend to go with my “gut instinct” a lot. My gut was telling me Monster Tree Service was a winner, and a way out of the stifling corporate world I was in at the time.
MTS: What were you doing?
JP: I was a marketing executive with a global insurance company, building e-commerce systems, world-wide. If I wasn’t in another meeting, I was on a plane going somewhere. It had gotten pretty monotonous. I was looking for a fresh challenge, and Monster Tree Service offered me that.
MTS: What was the attraction to MTS?
JP: In my former job, I was oftentimes at the mercy of consultants and bean counters who had a knack for stifling creativity. Even minor decisions required copious forms and approvals.
With Monster Tree Service, no two days are alike, plus I’m outside, away from my desk a lot. I love that! I get to interact with customers, help find solutions for them, and get to work with my crews in the field. My schedule is my own. Plus, I get to play with “big toys”. You must have a “Tonka Truck Mentality’ in this business, and I do!
Another attraction is I really like Monster Tree Service’s philosophy when it comes to saving trees. We do everything we can to preserve them, by properly maintaining them. We cut ONLY as a last resort, and that’s usually in cases where the tree is dead, diseased, or poses a hazard.
MTS: Speaking of hazards, you had a pretty interesting project not too long ago, right?
JP: Oh, for sure. We got a call from a town two and half hours away. A huge tree fell on a home, collapsing part of it, and was a danger to a couple of other homes. The local guys wouldn’t touch it. We don’t usually take jobs that far away, but we decided to take this one.
We rolled up with our trucks, gear, and a 90- ton crane. After thoroughly assessing the situation, then working carefully, we were able to remove the tree without any issues in just one day. That job gave us a lot of satisfaction, plus the local tv news came out to do a story on us!
MTS: Great story! Now, has the business been successful?
JP: My first year, 2014, I had total revenues of $600K. In 2017, I’m on track to bring in $1.5 million, and by next year, $2 million in revenues. In 5 years, I want to be retired, on a beach in Florida, and I believe that’s well within reach.
Yes, I’ve been successful, but owning an MTS franchise is not a license to print money. You have to be willing to make that “time/money” investment, work hard, stick with it, and follow the Monster Tree System. If you do, it will pay off. I’m proof of that!
MTS: Tell me about the first moment you realized you were your own boss and how satisfying that was to you.
JP: Easy. One of my first jobs was at a campground not far from here. It was crisp fall day, and I’m walking near a stream. As I’m surveying the property, I look down, and there’s a gorgeous 14- inch Rainbow Trout just swimming along. At that moment, I realized I would have been sitting in a conference room, bored, listening to some consultant tell me how I needed to do my job better. Instead, I was outside on a gorgeous day, enjoying nature, while getting to run my own business. There’s nothing better than that!
You, too, could be creating a healthier, more beautiful environment, with greater potential for personal growth and success as a Monster Tree Service franchise business owner, like John.
To find out more about the country’s first and fastest growing, professional tree service company, please go to www.monstertreefranchising.com for more details.