Jacob is the CEO of Summit Maids, a rapidly growing people-first commercial and residential cleaning business based in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously, Jacob has led growth efforts at several venture-backed tech startups, co-founded a travel media business, and served as Vice Consul to the United Kingdom where he helped UK-based tech companies raise more than $100MM in venture capital. Jacob is on a mission to build up the community around him by providing good jobs to great people and partnering with local charities.
Where did the idea for Summit Maids come from?
I saw a need in the community for a cleaning company that actually put the client first. So many of the existing companies had this ‘turn and burn’ model of jamming three or four cleaners into a house for 30 minutes and then moving on to the next – sometimes six or seven times a day. You aren’t going to get a great experience with that as the client. Talk about disruptive! So we came in and looked at every single complaint that all the other companies had and turned those into our guarantees, for example: The number one complaints are either a cleaner not showing up at all, or not doing a very good job. So we instituted the No Call, No Show Guarantee and our 200% Guarantee. Both effectively say that we’re going to show up and to the job right, or else we’ll make it right on our own dime. For our commercial clients, we even go so far as to say that we’ll pay their salary overhead to find another company if it doesn’t work out with us. Everything we do, we do with our clients in mind.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day will start with a team check in on Slack and some ‘wake up’ music – an idea that we stole from NASA to get the team hyped up for the day. After that we’ll check in on any overnight email or support tickets that came in and address those. From there, most of the day will be spent working on growth initiatives or on community outreach. Since giving back to the community is one of our core values, we are always looking for opportunities to partner with local nonprofits or other organizations to help raise up the people around us.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Momentum is key to creation. Once we have an idea that we decide to execute on, getting something – anything – moving is the absolute key. The longer you sit and think about something, the less likely you are to actually take action on it. A great example of this was when we decided to partner up with a local foster home network to host a toy drive for Christmas. We went from idea to having identified a partner and setting up a landing page in just a few days. If we’d sat around planning and thinking about it we never would have succeeded in bringing holiday toys to more than 500 children in our community.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love that more people are starting to think about having side businesses along side their normal jobs. Some employers discourage this, but I think that it is a fantastic way for more people to start thinking like an owner and exercise creativity in ways that they likely don’t get in their 9-5. Plus it’s a fantastic form of expression that lets so many people create something new and add to the world in ways that they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Meditation. Hands down. I started meditating daily after reading the book ‘10% Happier’ by Dan Harris and I can honestly say that it has changed my life. I was naturally prone to anger and learning about meditation has helped me take that extra moment between stimuli and response to evaluate how I really want to respond. That’s not to say that it’s a magic bullet, or that I don’t ever get angry – I am still human after all! But meditation gives me another tool to be the best version of myself that I can be and that translates into being more productive and being a better leader.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop caring what others think. This includes worrying about getting the best grades in school. Social skills are way more important than whether you have a perfect GPA in real life. I worried so much about my grades and what others thought of me that I seriously neglected my social life. As most of us learn as we grow up, your network is your net worth and just about everything in the real world gets done through relationships. So maybe a ‘B’ or a ‘C’ is good enough, and then use the rest of that time building up friendships that will last a lifetime. (Unless you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, then grades matter!)
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Capitalism is the best way to affect change in your community. Let’s face it, unless you are a politician, then money rules the world. So rather than trying to change the system, learn to operate within it and use it to change the world. In my case, I want to provide more good jobs to help alleviate poverty. I can’t do that without building a strong, profitable, business. Likewise, I want to help children get more opportunities in life, so I choose to donate to and partner with local nonprofits who focus on helping children in my city. I wouldn’t be able to support those organizations without having a profitable business. For me, affecting the most change in this world comes from operating in a capitalist society.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Well, I already talked about meditating, so I’ll say taking time out of your day to read on a regular basis. This is time that you get to spend learning from some of the best in the world, or escaping into a fictional world and getting away from the stresses of everyday life. This is time for you. Having that time will help you to rest and recover, and to learn about new things to be a better leader.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Building a business that focuses on our clients. Literally everything that we do, we keep our clients in mind – from thinking about new services to roll out to who we choose to hire. Doing this and constantly asking ourselves, “How will this benefit the clients?”, has allowed us to build a business that was recently named one of Newsweek’s Most Loved Workplaces and is one of the fastest growing cleaning companies in Cleveland.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Last year we decided to try expanding to a new city and it was a miserable failure. We seriously wasted so much time and money trying to get this location off the ground, only to have to pack it all up and refocus on our core business location. What we realized in the post-mortem was that we hadn’t accurately done our market research ahead of time. We thought that we could just copy/paste our model into another market and it would work the same way. As it turned out there were several other factors at work that we hadn’t thought about related to the local market that we didn’t have in our home market. It was a painful lesson, to be sure, but we definitely learned our lesson about doing the work ahead of time to fully understand other markets before we dive in.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve always thought that someone could build a really fun wine brand called “Basic Wines” and really lean into the idea of a canned wine that isn’t intimidating. You could call the different varietals “Basic Red” and “Basic White”, etc. Make it canned for portability. There could be some really fun marketing campaigns around it leaning into the ‘basic’ concept. Basically the Starbucks of wine.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I don’t tend to buy a lot for myself, but I recently got a pair of noise canceling headphones for when I’m doing deep work or while I’m on planes and they have been fantastic. Aside from that, we just recently made a donation to the local animal shelter which is a cause that my wife and I care a lot about and always is a fantastic feeling.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Notion is probably the one that I go to most of all. It’s my central hub for all the SOPs in the business and all our training materials. Any time we want to document a new process or procedure, it goes in there. That way, when we bring on a new team member we can just get them set up in Notion and they have access to all the training materials that they may need to get completely up to speed.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday is probably one of my favorites. Any time I’m having a rough day or just feeling defeated I can grab that book and flip to any random page and it will help get my head back on straight so that I can work through the problem at hand.
What is your favorite quote?
“The brave, they may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” – Richard Branson. I had the fabulous fortune to meet Richard some time ago and he has always been one of my business idols. This quote is one that really hit me and has stuck with me ever since I first heard it. I have a tendency to be a very cautious person naturally, so this quote helps me to remember to actually live an interesting life.
- Live boldly or else risk not living at all.
- Do your market research before jumping into a new market area – don’t just assume that your learnings will transfer from one market to the next.
- Make time to read. It will either teach you something new or help you escape into another world. Either way, this is time just for you to escape the day.
- Have a mission that you adhere to religiously. It isn’t enough to be an ‘also ran’ in todays’ business world, have something that you stand for and build a business around that.
Exclusive Interview with The NET ZERO ENERGY Buildings Expert Anastasia Makarska: Shaping a Greener Future
Welcome to an exclusive interview with Anastasia Makarska, a renowned figure in the world of commercial real estate development. Anastasia’s resolute commitment to sustainability and her unique background in physics and engineering have revolutionized the real estate landscape, transforming spaces into sustainable and coveted marvels.
In this interview, we delve into the concept of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and the challenges associated with building codes for NZEB. Join us as we explore the visionary force behind Anastasia’s remarkable projects and her dedication to shaping a greener future.
Anastasia, thank you for joining us today. Let’s start by discussing the concept of Net Zero Energy Buildings. Could you explain to our audience what exactly is meant by a Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB)?
Anastasia: Certainly. A Net Zero Energy Building, or NZEB, is an approach to construction that focuses on creating energy-efficient buildings that are connected to the power grid while also generating renewable energy to offset their energy consumption. The aim is to achieve a balance where the amount of renewable energy produced either on-site or nearby matches or exceeds the building’s annual energy needs, resulting in virtually no net energy consumption.
That’s fascinating. It’s clear that NZEBs hold tremendous potential in terms of sustainability. How are developers and building owners embracing this concept, and what are some innovative features we can find in NZEBs?
Anastasia: Developers and building owners are increasingly interested in constructing zero energy buildings, driven by corporate objectives and regulatory requirements. The building and design community is actively embracing this challenge and leading the way with innovative and forward-thinking projects.
NZEBs incorporate a wide range of energy-efficient strategies, from simple to highly intricate. These include maximizing the utilization of passive solar heat gain and shading, integrating high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, appliances, windows, and doors, enhancing insulation, natural ventilation, air sealing, and incorporating advanced renewable energy solutions like solar photovoltaics and geothermal energy systems.
The goal is to create buildings that regulate temperature fluctuations, minimize energy consumption, and reduce environmental impact.
It’s impressive how NZEBs combine various technologies and strategies to achieve sustainability. Now, let’s delve into building codes. What role do building codes play in the construction of NZEBs, and what codes and standards exist for this purpose?
Anastasia: Building codes play a crucial role in guiding the construction of net zero energy buildings. Currently, there are codes and standards in place to assist designers, architects, builders, and contractors in creating more energy-efficient and sustainable structures compared to previous years.
In the United States, professionals in the building industry can refer to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which has been adopted in approximately 44 states and territories. Across North America, ASHRAE 90.1 provides significant guidance, and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) serves as another valuable resource. In Canada, there are the National Energy Code of Canada (NECC) and the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB).
That’s helpful to know. Given the increasing need for more rigorous energy and building codes, what are some of the challenges faced in developing codes specifically tailored for NZEBs?
Anastasia: The development of codes specifically tailored for NZEBs faces several challenges. As industry professionals and officials work on designing new codes to facilitate the transition to net zero energy, there is still no consensus on the structure of the code, its comprehensive scope, and ensuring that buildings achieve net zero energy status throughout their lifecycle.
To ensure buildings perform as intended, it is essential to establish post-construction reporting, analysis, and a framework for oversight and enforcement.
Current codes and standards often rely on energy proxies without a requirement for actual quantification of energy usage. There are also gaps in the inclusion of certain types of energy usage in calculations.
To achieve the goal of net zero energy buildings, methodologies need to evolve, modeling capabilities should be enhanced, and real-world outcomes must be measured.
Overcoming those challenges will be crucial for the success of NZEBs. Could you tell us about the advantages that net zero energy buildings offer to building owners, occupants, and the environment?
Anastasia: Absolutely. Net zero energy buildings provide several advantages. Buildings account for a significant portion of fossil fuel energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. By increasing the number of net zero energy buildings, we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and effectively lower carbon emissions.
Some key advantages of NZEBs include protection for building owners against future energy price hikes, enhanced occupant comfort, health, well-being, and productivity, reduction in energy consumption and associated costs, improved reliability of energy supply, increased resale value due to high demand for net zero buildings, contribution towards achieving zero energy targets, and minimized environmental impact. These advantages create value for building owners, occupants, and the planet.
Those advantages make a compelling case for embracing net zero energy buildings. As a visionary force in real estate development, how do you see the future of NZEBs and their potential impact on communities and the environment?
Anastasia: I believe the future of net zero energy buildings is incredibly promising. As awareness of the need for sustainability grows, NZEBs will become the norm rather than the exception. They have the potential to reshape communities and serve as catalysts for positive change.
Net zero energy buildings can create vibrant, sustainable communities that prioritize the well-being of both residents and businesses. By reducing energy consumption, minimizing environmental impact, and offering enhanced comfort and productivity, NZEBs have a transformative effect on the communities they serve. They not only contribute to the preservation of our planet but also provide value for investors, businesses, and communities alike.
Thank you for sharing your insights, Anastasia. Before we conclude, could you tell our audience about any upcoming projects or initiatives that you’re particularly excited about in the realm of net zero energy buildings?
Anastasia: Certainly. I’m thrilled to be working on a groundbreaking project that aims to create a net zero energy residential community. This community will embody the principles of sustainable living and showcase the potential of NZEBs on a larger scale. It will integrate cutting-edge technologies, energy-efficient systems, and sustainable materials to provide residents with an exceptional living experience while minimizing the community’s environmental footprint. I believe this project will serve as a blueprint for future developments and inspire others to embrace the vision of net zero energy living.
As we conclude this insightful interview with Anastasia Makarska, it is evident that she is a visionary force transforming the real estate industry through sustainable development. Anastasia’s dedication to creating sustainable and desirable spaces, her commitment to excellence, and her unwavering belief in the power of net zero energy buildings have positioned her as a leading authority in commercial real estate.
Through her innovative projects and expertise, Anastasia is shaping the world we live in, one groundbreaking project at a time. Her visionary approach, fueled by her unique background in physics and engineering, has redefined the boundaries of commercial real estate development and paved the way for a greener and more sustainable future.
Witness the remarkable journey of Anastasia Makarska as she continues to revolutionize the real estate landscape and leave an indelible mark on the communities she transforms into sustainable and coveted marvels.
If you would like to get in touch with Anastasia Makarska you can contact here
From a Small AC Repair Company to a Household Name in Austin TX
The Success Story of Grande Air Solutions
What makes a successful company?
Well, while there is no one secret alone that can make you a success in the business world, the story of determined employees and aspiring entrepreneurs shed light on what makes a business thrive. Grande Air Solutions was established in 2011 by young, honest entrepreneurs Isael Garcia and Petra Lugo. They are both described as honest entrepreneurs ready to take on any challenge, which is what drove them to make this company a success. You’ll be able to find Isael and Petra engaging regularly with their customers and employees. As both will tell you, honesty is the first and foremost important feature to have in a company. Customers look for honesty in an AC repair Austin team when they’re looking to spend their money on a service. Whether the customer needs a new HVAC system or AC repair, they want to make sure that they’re getting their money’s worth.
Reliable and Affordability Make a Difference
Another key aspect that can take an HVAC company from a small-sized business to a household name is reliability. It can be a distressing situation when the AC breaks down in the middle of a hot summer day. The homeowner does not want to wait for hours on end waiting for the technician to arrive at their home. An HVAC company like Grande Air Solutions that is known for reliability will always be there for their customers, especially if it’s an HVAC emergency. Along with reliability, affordable prices are other factors that can make any company a success if it’s done right. This is where Grande Air Solutions shines as well. They offer their services along with affordable prices for all customers.
Building a Solid Reputation
How do you stand out from the rest of the competition?
It can be difficult to achieve a level of uniqueness among your competitors. However, this is where this company has also succeeded when it comes to Austin heating and air services. Building a solid reputation for years has propelled Grande Air Solutions from a small AC repair company to the well-known, trusted name it is today within the Austin area. The company has been able to deliver high-quality service to its customers, which has resulted in returning customers. This is also known as customer loyalty. The business has many five-star reviews, which potential customers look for in an HVAC company. Isael and Petra envisioned a company that carries the type of professionalism and friendly service that has exceeded the expectations of many of the company’s customers. In a nutshell, the entire team of employees are the ones who have helped build a respectable reputation for Grande Air Solutions.
Trusted and Trained Technicians
A company is only as good as its members. Another reason why this HVAC company has excelled in every aspect of the business is the team. The company’s technicians are well-trained and experienced in the HVAC field. When the technician arrives to fix or install the HVAC system, the customer knows exactly what they’ll be getting. The homeowner will always get quality service because it’s the results that speak volumes. Grande Air Solutions hires technicians who are experienced in the field and properly trained. Having the proper credentials also essential for any successful HVAC company to have, such as certifications and proper licensing.
Connecting With the Community
Starting from a small, humble HVAC company, Grande Air Solutions has been able to grow significantly thanks to the help of people. As a family-owned business, the company also knows the importance of closeness in the community. The company has been able to give back as much as they’ve received from their local communities. In fact, the company strives to give much more. By collaborating with local charitable organizations, they are able to offer the basic necessities of life, much-needed monetary donations, help for nonprofit organizations, and other support. Being a household name among the people holds a responsibility to provide a role model as a reliable HVAC company in all aspects, including helping the community.
Expanding Service Areas
Although it may be difficult to expand services in the beginning as a smaller business, one of the reasons the company has been able to grow is because of its determination to expand. Now, Grande Air Solutions is proud to offer Austin heating and air services throughout more of the areas. The company has been able to offer services in Buda, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Kyle, and more, just to mention a few. All of these cities are located in Texas. Investing time and money in their employees is one reason why the company has become a household name in Austin. As the team grows, more service areas are sure to open in the future.
Offering a Wide Range of HVAC Services
Knowing about the HVAC basics is important. However, this company has been able to expand and grow because its technicians are always learning something new in the field. As technology advances, the area of HVAC also continues to improve. This can include learning about smart thermostats, the new A2L refrigerants, and the new UV light purifiers. Whatever the case may be, the company has continued its success by offering new and improved HVAC services. The wide range of alternatives gives customers the power to choose what they want for their home.
Continuing the Success Without Letup
It can be discouraging and even disheartening when the challenge of a business gets you down. However, the key is to keep on going. Just like this company has shown continuous effort to succeed, it is vital for a business to keep on going without letup. Any business is likely to face ups and downs as they continue to expand. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are doing everything for the customer. Grande Air Solutions is an excellent example of a company that has put its customers first. It is their top priority to deliver quality AC repair, installations, and other HVAC services. Rest assured that the future looks bright for the company as it holds a special place for the residents of Austin, Texas, and nearby communities.
An Inside Look at One & Only Electrical Service Inc. with CEO Moshe Sabag
With thousands of electrical problems solved and many years of experience, they’ve become a reliable and experienced choice for those in need of electrical solutions. In this interview, we’ll be speaking with Moshe Sabag, the CEO of One & Only Electrical Service Inc. We’ll explore the ins and outs of the electrical industry, the company’s commitment to quality service, and their approach to customer satisfaction. So, let’s dive into the world of electrical services with Moshe Sabag.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role in One & Only Electrical Service Inc.?
Moshe Sabag: My name is Moshe Sabag and I am the CEO of One & Only Electrical Service Inc. I have been in the electrical business for over a decade and have gained extensive experience and knowledge in the field. As the CEO, my role is to oversee the company’s operations and ensure that we provide top-notch service to our clients.
What inspired you to start One & Only Electrical Service Inc.?
Moshe Sabag: My passion for the electrical industry inspired me to start One & Only Electrical Service Inc. I saw a need for a reliable and affordable electrical contractor company in the Tri-Valley area and wanted to provide that service to the community.
What sets One & Only Electrical Service Inc. apart from other electrical contractors in the area?
Moshe Sabag: One & Only Electrical Service Inc. stands out from other electrical contractors in the area because of our commitment to providing exceptional service to our clients. We take pride in being the best local electrician for our clients. We are licensed and insured, and our electricians are highly trained and experienced. We also offer a wide range of services, including EV charging station installation, smart switches ( Lutron, Brilliant, Leviton, Noon) installation, and all house rewire.
Can you tell us more about the EV charging station installation service you offer?
Moshe Sabag: We specialize in EV charging station installation and can install a charging station for any electric vehicle, including Tesla (car charger tesla ) and BMW. We also offer a range of electrical services, including recessed light installation,led light, electrical panel upgrades, and wiring repairs. We will assess your home or business and recommend the best charging station for your needs. Our electricians will install the charging station safely and efficiently, ensuring that it is up to code and functioning properly.
What is your approach to customer service?
Moshe Sabag: At One & Only Electrical Service Inc., we prioritize customer satisfaction above all else. We offer same-day service and are available 24/7 for emergencies. Our friendly and dedicated customer service representatives are always ready to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Can you share a success story from One & Only Electrical Service Inc.?
Moshe Sabag: We recently installed an EV charging station for a client who had just purchased a Tesla. They were thrilled with our service and professionalism, and have since recommended us to several of their friends and colleagues. It’s always rewarding to know that we’ve provided a valuable service to our clients and exceeded their expectations.
What kind of training and certifications do your electricians have?
Moshe Sabag: Our electricians are highly trained and experienced, and we make sure they are up-to-date with the latest technology and techniques in the industry. They are all licensed and insured, and have undergone extensive training and certification programs to ensure they are able to provide the highest quality service to our clients.
As a Bay Area electrician, what are some of the unique challenges you face when providing electrical services to your clients?
Moshe Sabag: “Being a Bay Area electrician, we face a range of challenges when providing electrical services to our clients. One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with the latest technological advancements in the field, as the Bay Area is known for its innovative and tech-driven culture.
What do you see as the future of the electrical industry?
Moshe Sabag: The electrical industry is constantly evolving, with new technology and advancements in renewable energy. As the demand for renewable energy sources increases, we will likely see a shift towards more sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions. We also expect to see continued growth in the EV charging station industry, as more people switch to electric vehicles.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing the electrical industry today?
Moshe Sabag: One of the biggest challenges facing the electrical industry today is the shortage of skilled labor. As the demand for electrical services continues to grow, there is a need for more qualified electricians to meet that demand. Another challenge is keeping up with the latest technology and advancements in the industry, which requires ongoing education and training.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a reliable electrician?
Moshe Sabag: When looking for a reliable electrician, it’s important to do your research and choose a licensed and insured electrical company. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients, and ask for references. It’s also important to choose a company that offers a wide range of services, so that they can address all of your electrical needs.
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