We had the good fortune of connecting with Dean Nielsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dean, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I started my Home Inspection company 6 years ago, I took every job and every call I could. Every job and phone call I took was an opportunity to grow my business and get my name out there. I don’t pay for marketing, so it was extremely important to use each job to market my business with my efficiency and thoroughness. I have a wife and three daughters who I love spending time with, so this was an extremely trying and busy time in my life. At that time, the work life balance was making the most of every opportunity I had with my family. My family is always my number one priority. Investing countless hours into growing my business meant making a lot of sacrifices in different areas of my life. Fortunately, my company is family owned and it’s run by my wife and I; we work as a team and about 25% of my work is done at home, writing reports. Being present in my home is what I strive for and thankfully I had the ability to do so to some degree. As my business began to thrive and grow, my focus began to shift from how many jobs I can book to how many jobs I can fit into my schedule. Becoming more efficient on the job and more thorough and organized, meant I had less reporting work to do at home and more time to spend with my family. I began to feel comfortable turning down jobs so that I can be more present in the lives of my children. When my daughters started soccer, I was able to coach their teams, which meant I had to be available to attend every game and every practice. I’ve turned down many jobs for soccer games. I’ve had multiple clients appreciate me putting my family first, and I’ve gotten calls back because of it. During my busy months, I have a strict policy of not scheduling work on the weekends. If my weekdays are busy, I leave weekends open to spend with my family. Time is an investment. I believe in investing my time into where I want to see growth. The growth of my family’s bond and unity, as well as the growth of my company, are two things that are worth that investment.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started this Home Inspection business as a side job. It was a way to make more money on my own. Over time, it became my main source of income, and eventually became my sole source of income, and now is my career. Getting my company where it is today took time, patience, and a lot of hard work. Some of the biggest challenges I faced along the way were with scheduling. Before I was totally self employed, I worked other jobs. I had to work long hours and make a lot of sacrifices in order to do this. Overcoming the scheduling challenge still happens on a day by day basis. Each day is a challenge to fit jobs into my schedule, while still being available for my family. Each day, I set my priorities and I move forward. What sets me apart from others is that I am continually educating myself. Not only in terms of homes, and systems, but in terms of people. Most of my clients are meeting me for the first time at the inspection, and I meet all kinds of different personalities. Developing communication skills and setting my clients at ease is of utmost importance. My clients need to be able to trust me during a particularly stressful time for them (purchasing a home). Using specialized equipment and tools is also what sets me apart. It shows the clients that they are getting a thorough inspection and confidence that they know exactly what they’re buying. Every job I’ve ever had in my life has made me a better Home Inspector. A big lesson I have learned along the way is to be grateful. I’ve worked as a cashier, I’ve worked in an office, I’ve worked out in the field, and each job I’ve had has given me experience and knowledge that I use every single day. Be grateful.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The beach is hands down my favorite spot. Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan Beach have some of the most beautiful weather and places to eat and have a good time. Sitting on the sand all day and eating at one of the many restaurants these cities have to offer, is my favorite way to spend a day. Going for a bike ride or a skate on the strand that runs from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica is also a favorite. And I would never let anyone leave LA without seeing a Kings or Lakers game at the Staples Center.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout is dedicated to the book of Titus in The Bible. It is an instructional book that encourages us in how we are to conduct our lives. My company, Titus Inspections, is named after this book and it is what I base my standards on and how I strive to manage my business. “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” Titus 3:14