Pictured: Jeremy Zimmerman and his son Gavin at the dockspiders game we attended on Friday.

Team, I was reading a book by Matt Kelly titled “Resisting Happiness”  and I stumbled on something he suggested maybe we can all try…and just try it for ONE DAY.

Or make it your daily ritual, but I think we can at least all try it for one day.

What is it we should try?   To work for one day…  for a specific cause, or person… even beyond Supplying happiness.

To summarize that part of  his book, I’ll use his example:

If someone says, “Hey the local playground could really use two trees planted and we will give you $500 an hour to plant them.”  You say sure, but you are very busy.  That Saturday you show up late, do crappy work, trees at an angle, not buried well, you don’t even believe they will live when you leave the playground, in fact you KNOW they won’t live… you planted them so badly, but you get $1000 as payment… OR

That same persons asks you, asks your fee, and you say for the kids you will donate your time.  It takes you all morning that Saturday and then you nuture them for the next year…and you KNOW they are growing great roots, a real source of pride for you right?

In which case are you HAPPIER?

The latter one is universally chosen, therefore proving the human condition does not work ONLY for the $$$$.

We work for the JOY OF IT.  THE LABOR OF IT.


So one day this week, WORK FOR GOD.  Or work for that person you know who is in an old age home that can no longer work.  Or work for your kids.  Or work for that loved one that passed away and can’t work any more.  It’s an act of prayer.  Work can be prayer.   Put those initials on a post it note, or clipboard, or hand tool, someway that ALL DAY you are not working for you… you are working for them.  Every detail, every focus, every smile given is for them.  I imagine you will go home that night feeling AWESOME… I also bet your work that day will be pretty awesome too as well as your feelings at work that day…

I haven’t decided who that person or mission for that day will be.  I’m gonna think about it, but I am pretty excited to choose.

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.






What a gem by Chelsea Watzig as she just COMPLETED the book challenge.  Very proud of the Drexel team member she is becoming!




My initial thoughts when reading this book was the similarities between Starbucks and Drexel. From the concept of leaders to having principles, processes and procedures in place; I never knew Starbucks even had such a business model.


Within the 5 key concepts that make up their business model, “Make It Your Own” was the one that stood out to me most containing the “5 Ways of Being”. With the Starbucks foundation based upon Be Welcoming, Be Genuine, Be Considerate, Be Knowledgeable and Be Involved; it made me think of our Core Values and the meaning we give them within our culture.


“Everything the company does is intended to give the customer a positive, perhaps uplifting, experience while purchasing a quality beverage or food item”. Whether it’s a food and beverage item or building materials, it’s not WHAT you are selling, but the EXPERIENCE you are giving to all customers.



This book speaks completely to Drexel. From having a vision in place to always delivering ‘Plus One’, Drexel is always working on improvements and analyzing areas for growth. Our consistency of how we do things, knowing what our clients want and always on a mission to Supply Happiness is what creates our “Raving Fans”.


It was interesting how Charlie went to different types of businesses to learn their ways and took home at least one secret of how that particular business was successful. From the food industry to the building industry, it’s all about the customers experience and what your company does to stand out from your competition.



The quote that stuck out to me was “It’s not hard to teach anyone the proper way to set a beautiful table. What’s impossible to teach is how to CARE deeply about setting the table beautifully”. This is so true when thinking about it. You really can teach anyone anything, but if they don’t have a passion for what they are doing or why they are doing it, you can’t change that. Relating to Drexel, not only do we hire 10’s, but we have a Team of people who love what they do and live by our core values. Hiring the right people, having high levels of communication and all sharing the same mission, anyone can become excellent at what they do job specific.


Once you have the right people working for your business, the number one factor of success will happen on its own; great hospitality. As the book states, “Success is based on meaningful human interaction to retain its soul”. When you have excellent service and amazing hospitality when a customer comes into your business, the price seems to be overlooked. Similar to Raving Fans, in order for you to create Raving Fans you must create a great experience for all customers as well as employees. As long as you always focus on taking care of people (employees, community, friends, suppliers, investors) long-term success will come naturally.



By far my favorite out of all ten books! I see why it is the last one. I read this in four days and could not put it down. It really made me analyze my life and think about the things that I unintentionally focus on or do that is giving me no benefit for my future.


The concept of stop preparing and start planning along with burning the unrealistic goals you might be setting for yourself, really stuck with me. Everyone is always so worried about preparing for their future, when that is actually impossibe. You waste all of this time planning for what hasn’t come, when you could be focusing on tomorrow and improving whats in front of you by setting realistic goals for yourself. You never know what the day will bring and what life will throw at you when you wake up, but as long as you focus on the things that matter and are willing to change and grow with any circumstance, that is as prepared as you can be.


“Believe that everything that happens to you is in your best interest and an opportunity to learn and grow”. When you believe this along with treating people very well and always having a great attitude, no matter what happens to you, negative or positive, you will come out better than before.


“If you want to achieve your greatest potential, you must surround yourself with people who love you deeply, believe in you, encourage you, BUT who are also willing to challenge you to become the best you are capable of being”. Life is all about the connections you have and relationships you have built. You should always set out to enhance relationships as much as possible; showing genuine sincere appreciation, smiling more, listening to others & being the best you can be in every situation- you will live a successful full-filled life.




THESE BOOKS WERE FANTASTIC JOEL- thank you for giving our Team the opportunity to do this book challenge! It’s been a great weekend hobby- to read!


Cait- we can chat about my reviews on Monday.



The Last Supper is THE most famous meal ever.  Breaking bread often builds a bond, a unity, a friendship.  As the saying goes, “Everybody has got to eat!”

Here is an inspiring TGIM from probably our most social team member Kari Wik:




As I travel to the other stores, one of my goals is to meet more of the team and learn more names.  A fun way to get to know the team is over lunch. If you have never done this before, YOU SHOULD! Everyone likes eating good food and enjoying good company.


Thank you to everyone I have been lucky enough to have lunch with so far! I have enjoyed the laughs and the stories that were shared.  Some of the conversations were more serious and others were about process improvements.   All were time well spent. Sometimes taking a break and sharing some bread is just what your day or week needs.



Fun Facts I learned during my lunches:

  • We work HARD.
  • Our yard radios reach local establishments at lunchtime
  • Lots of us pack lunches
  • Many of our team members are trying to eat healthier
  • We have active families!
  • Some of us are getting married and having beautiful babies
  • We are proud of our fellow team members
  • We take great pride in our work!
  • And Frank Gitter won’t go to lunch no matter how many times I ask him. 😉



(But you already knew that, you work here.)






(I got to have lunch with these guys! From left to right, Will Cotter, Kari Wik, Hayden Serwe)



Processes, procedures, work time off, core values, mission, parking spots, Christmas parties, team break rooms, downtown area, team members, team blue…



Some key motivational and thinking points from Megan Rinzel as part of her book club challenge.  Thank you Megan for always being awesome.

As a team member recently told me about Megan:

“She is dedicated to the team. I see her work and the core values are rolling with her everyday. She thinks of teammates and cares about others. She is always willing to step up to new tasks. Manages her time well and is a grinder. She is in everyday early and stays till she pushes thru the 4th quarter. We are very lucky to have Megan and she makes the quality of my life better. She reminds and helps me to stay focused and positive when things get a little tough (maybe the teacher in her). Joel I could carry on and on but she definitely is a top percenter in team and core values!”


How can we treat our customers as they absolutely certainly deserve?


These days, rotten service is expected. Having a satisfied customer is pretty much the standard.  Good, not great.  That’s not the way it should be.  If you’re business is built upon giving your clients an “OK” experience than it’s doomed to fail. And unfortunately it’s a pattern among businesses.  As long as the service and abuse isn’t worse than they expected, then they’ll be back for more.  Because it’s No worse than the competition.  Bologna I say I can think of numerous times going out to eat or any store where I wasn’t as treated as well as I would have wanted to be, but then later shrugging it off like, oh well,  That’s just how it is now a days.  It shouldn’t be like that. Lowering our standards as consumers, enables business to get away with mediocre service. We should demand the best.


All good customer service stems from healthy and efficient systems.  Organized processes helps keep everyone on the same page.  Here at Drexel, it’s installed on day one how important it is to make your customer’s feel like they are the only ones that matter.  From procedures such as answering the phone on the first call, to offering water, to delivering materials when asked for it.  Everything we do revolves around the supplying happiness (or great customer service) to our clients.


Create a vision for your service – and that vision needs to be centered on the customer.  Know what you can and cannot do to exceed your customer’s expectations. Once you know what your vision is, you have to find out who your customers are and fine out what they want.  Find out what they want by asking them sincere questions.  Most customers do not have complete visions, but they do have a focus.  Help them by narrowing down what that focus is, discovering what means the most to them, and agreeing to make it happen.


When a client says ‘fine’ it is not a good thing It means trouble.  Silence is also not a good thing.  If you’re not getting a response it probably means that they are ignoring you for a reason. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and find out where the problem lies.


Deliver!  Don’t make promises that you cannot keep. Be consistent in all that you do to make a satisfied customer become a raving fan.

Treat your customers right – not because you have to, but because you want to.  The paying consumer is what keeps us all in business.  Don’t treat them as just another number, but value them as a person and give them the best service you possibly can.  When they choose to buy with us, they are trusting that they made the best decision for them and they are willing to put their hard-earned money into our business.   You can thank them for that by treating them with care, diligence, and appreciation.   Try to make your customers become raving fans, and remember a raving fan is most likely going to be a returning fan.



– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.



Fall 7, Rise 8


When you wear the blue, and bleed the blue blood… you take on the responsibility of competing.  Competing is NOT winning or losing!

It’s earliest definition in Latin, says nothing about winning or losing.  It’s simply to “contend or strive for something.”

It’s the effort to do your best to win and pushing your teammates to give their best also.  It’s continually improving.  It’s competing for the love of it.

And when you are on the Drexel family… you never, ever, ever give up.


fall 1.


fall 2.


fall 3.


fall 4.


fall 5.


fall 6.


fall 7.


“FALL 7, RISE 8.”



– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.



Thank God it’s Monday.


There is a thing called “The Madonna of the Future” about an artist who devotes her life to a single painting.   When she died her friends and family couldn’t wait to see the painting… When they entered her art room where she spent her whole life,  it is discovered that her canvas is still blank.  She never finished because she never started…  In the act of making it perfect… she NEVER STARTED.

This blog today isn’t perfect.  But it is done.  It is posted.  It does exist.



These are one line quotes from a book I recently read “Wild Goose Chase” by Mark Batterson.  I hope you personally connect with one or several of these and use as motivation this week and your life is changed because of it.  Yep.  I have high goals.  Change.  The.  World.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.


Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. 

Fear is often disguised as laziness.  They are not laziness, they are just scared to start.

Don’t take the easy way out.

God didn’t make you to point out life’s problems.

Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.

Stop repeating the past; create the future.

Create margins- balance- take time for just you.

Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.

(Yes Beth, I thought of you!)


Don’t try to be who you are not.  Be yourself.

If nothing else, Drexel believes in you.  We hired you and we only hire rock stars.

Don’t make a living.  Make a reputation.  Make a life.


Quit making excuses.

Here’s the example and real life story.  I hope this person reads this.  When you see it in writing it’s almost comical.   It’s really sad and tragic though.  I hope they read this, realize I am talking to them and change!

I heard last week a salesman wants and needs:

Although that sales person had record sales and margins… they needed or they just wouldn’t be happy or successful (did I mention they already had record sales and margin going for them.)

  1. I need someone to help sell new accounts.  (Ideally Joel or Doug, because they are the best.)
  2. I need someone to do my administrative work.
  3. I need someone to train the team I work with.  They are busy and or not experienced enough.
  4. I need someone to do my estimates.
  5. I need someone to help at the job site on my larger jobs.
  6. I need someone to take on smaller jobs so I could focus on the larger ones.   These small jobs bog me down.
  7. I need Joel to fix this.  I told Joel all the problems and he has done nothing to fix it.

I PROMISE YOU THIS PERSON SAID ALL THIS AND WAS 100% SINCERE!   I also promise you this person is not the first one in the parking lot and is also not the last one to leave.  This person knows deep down what has to be done, yet will they do it…?  It really is one of the most frustrating and tough parts of my job, I have no idea how to help them.  I want to help.  All I could think of is writing this down and hoping they will say, it’s about me, I have to change after they seeing it in writing.     Team, when you come to me with these type of requests, I am not going to do anything.    I can’t fix you!  You have to fix you!

Quit playing defense.


And quit putting 8 foot ceilings on what God can do.




You want or need more?:

Here’s a 15 minute video on GRIT by Jon Gordon.


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.


The Stress of the Holidays

A lot of us get pretty stressed out around the holidays.  This is one couple’s story…

A young couple in their early 20s had a pretty difficult 9 months prior to the holidays.  It’s been a whirlwind to say the least.  You see the couple were unwed yet pregnant.  And now on top of all of that, they had to travel about 68 miles via a donkey to a town Mary had never been.

That’s where things get a little dicey. You see Joe was a carpenter and had promised to finish two jobs by the end of the week.  A new kitchen for a neighbor and a new window for an older client.  So he had been working late, and well, this didn’t leave a lot of extra time for their journey.

Now Mary, you see, was REALLY pregnant.  The girl could give birth at any moment and was not looking forward to the trip on the donkey.  In fact, this whole pregnancy thing has her pretty confused.  She even visited her older cousin Betty, and while Betty assured here things would work out, Mary wasn’t so so sure.

Joe got home late after finishing both jobs and they were on their way.  Being a young and busy couple they had forgotten to make reservations anywhere, but Joe assured Mary that it wouldn’t be a problem.

But what was a problem… was Mary.  She was so uncomfortable they had to stop often to take a break, go to the bathroom or stop and get some food or drink.  The chaffing on the donkey sure didn’t help.

By the time they arrived the town was packed.  You see it was census season,  the busiest time of the year in town.  No vacancy, not today or tomorrow…. Mary was in tears and Joe was frustrated as all hell.  Joe finally begged a guy to let them stay.  The  guy said sure, but you have to stay in my barn.  Mary couldn’t take it anymore and said fine, as she held back the tears.  Joe never felt so embarrassed.  You see, he had been told, and had a feeling, Mary was going to have a very special child very soon.  If they could just make it past tonight, they surely could find a room tomorrow

And just as Joe was starting to feel better and more at ease as he settled in for the night, being assured tomorrow would be a better day, Mary turned to him with a scared yet determined face, “Joe I think it’s time…”

And as they say… the rest is history.

So no matter how stressed your Christmas Eve is… Mary and Joseph have been through it… let them help you through yours.

Merry Christmas.


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of other’s happpiness.  I hope this little post did just that.