About Henry Goudreau
Coach & Mentor
Been there, done that.
I know that “I’m in over my head” feeling. The frustration of knowing you could be doing better but you just don’t know how. I too fell into that trap. I struggled until I learned to commit myself to finding out what really makes my construction business work.
I was born into the construction business. My Dad had a degree in Accounting and like all children of contractors, I got to spend summers working out in the field. My hands got dirty, but my dream grew.
In high school I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted just three things:
- To own my own construction business
- To be successful
- To retire at 35 years of age.
I had no clue how I was going to do it, I just knew I was going to do it. So, my journey began.
In the 1960’s there wasn’t really any Construction Management courses, you had to take Civil Engineering which was the closet thing you could get. I elected to focus on what I needed to become a successful contractor, that meant Engineering and Business. I also worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Highway, Bridge and Waterways Design. Here, I figured, I would learn how jobs were put together and released for bid. After a couple of years, I felt I was ready to enter the private sector. I was a project Engineer on a $10 million-dollar Federal Highway project. When that project ended, I got hired as an Area Engineer for a Nuclear Power Plant construction. It was at that time, I was offered a job to work in Saudi Arabia on a sewerage treatment plant as a Project Superintendent. I realized that I was given an opportunity to make good money and save a chunk of it. One year of it and I could own my own business. A year later, the next phase of my journey began.
I was 27 years of age when I returned with $25,000 in my savings account and ready to start my own business. How many of you started in the same manner? A little money, a pickup truck and a business card.
The first six-months was a struggle. To be honest, there were moments when I figured I would be going back to the private sector. I was seeking surety bonding so I could bid public works jobs. It was then that I met man who was Executive Vice-President of a surety company. He told me if I could show him, I could get work and make a profit he would give my surety bonding. Six-months later with no work done, he informed me I was going bankrupt and needed to get something started quickly, and that he would give me six more months to do it. Nothing like getting your dreams crushed, but it was the starting point of my career.
After I left his office, I was determined to make this work. I stopped into a business that I hadn’t ever visited and ended up getting an office renovation job. After that job, I got a new construction of a scale house that the manager gave me because he was so pleased with my office renovation. That job led me to a larger job that allowed me to finish those last six-months with over $200,000 in Net Profit. I got my surety bonding and my business started to grow.
If you were like me, I was my business. I worked long, hard hours, up early, on the job, worked the job all day, spent my nights estimating or doing my accounting. I wore all the hats. Then, one day, I realized that I was going about it all wrong. I hadn’t created a business, I had created a job!
It was then that I discovered the most powerful question I could ask myself. “What makes this work?’ That question and the pursuit of its answer were reaffirmed by something my Dad had told me. “You don’t make your money with your construction skills, you make your money with your business skills.”
That put me on the journey to find out what makes a construction business work and how to build it into a working model.
In 1991 when I sold my construction business, I spent some time wondering what I wanted to so with my future. I realized after some serious thought that the business model I had developed worked and why not help other contractors build a construction business that not only works for them but is fun and financially rewarding. At that time, HG & Associates, Inc. was born.
To get myself started, I reached out to a speaker and asked him to mentor me at my expense. It was a worthwhile adventure that lasted almost two years. Since then, I have been the preferred speaker for Associated General Contractors (AGC), the National Glass Association (NGC), Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI), Remodelers Show and the International Roofing Expo, not including the numerous local chapters across the country.
I continued to flourish professionally. I authored training manuals for NAHB and AGC, I authored my own books and, sat on the National Board of Directors for NARI. I also offered my own seminars across the country introducing owners to my business model.
I soon found myself being approached by owners wanting help with their businesses and from that came the Golden Hardhat Mentoring Program. I was giving owners of construction businesses the knowledge of my business model to build a business that works for them.
But my favorite thing is working with overwhelmed owners of construction business who want more from their business. These are owner who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work on their business, not in it. Who want to succeed with clarity, knowledge and master the tools to make it happen.
If you’re that owner, call me and let’s talk.