“I always knew that I wanted to be in control of my own destiny.” – Ed Duborg Amada Senior Care Owner
Welcome to the show everybody. This is Marcos here with Amada Senior Care. Thank you so much for joining us. And I’m here with Ed DuBorg, Ed welcome to the show.
Thanks Marcos. Happy to be here.
Marcos Moura:00:38So I want to ask you right away. You had an amazing successful career in medical device and pharmaceutical sales, almost 20 years, right?
Yeah. Close to it.
So I wanted to ask you, and we talked about this back when you were looking at Amada Senior Care, but what’s going through your mind? Why does somebody take this kind of a risk? A lot of our show is about the men and women who took incredible risk to provide amazing senior care to people in their communities. So here you are. Why take the risk?
Well, I was in the pharmaceutical industry and I was in the medical device industry for a long time, like you said, and a lot had gone on, a lot changed and I found myself working with a lot of people that weren’t necessarily happy. I wasn’t. I didn’t feel good about what I was doing. I was making good money. I was hustling, I was doing everything I was supposed to do, but I kind of became disenchanted and nobody would speak up when the leadership was making a bad decision and I thought it was impacting us negatively. Nobody would speak up when there are people weren’t being treated properly and people were being let go for ticky tack reasons. I didn’t feel right. I wanted something different. I always knew I wanted to do my own thing and, and be an entrepreneur.
You said I always knew like, what are we talking about? Are you saying from college, from before college? When did that itch of like or, or maybe somebody in your family? When did this start?
I think it actually says in my high school yearbook that I wanted to be a corporate owner and I think, so probably since back then I came from a blue-collar family. I didn’t have a lot of opportunities. I needed to take a job and make some money as soon as I could out of college. So getting back to your first question, I was now to the point where I was commission only sales in my last job and I was doing really well and I lost a little faith in the products I was selling. I would just put it that way. If I’m betting on myself in a commission only sales job, why can’t I do it in my own business? You know,
you already felt like you not only felt but everything depended on your efforts. There was no cushion. There was no golden handcuffs. Right?
Flying without a net. Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, exactly. I had the good cushy salary job and you know, it’s nice when you have kids and you have a little bit of free time, you can make the most of your free time I guess, but um, it leaves you wanting something more. So I always knew that I wanted to do my own thing and to be in control of my own destiny. So that’s how I ended up looking.
Now. I was looking at our history. I think you signed your first agreement. You have, you have two markets, one in Pennsylvania, one in New Jersey, right. And I think you worked pretty fast because the Pennsylvania market you guys started in, like Mid 2017, right?
Yep. Absolutely. Yeah, we, we opened our doors like mid-2017. We had our first client in November of that year and growing since then.
I think a lot of people get excited about being entrepreneurs and they take the plunge. Maybe starting your own business, starting a franchise or some folks, they keep their day job and they start something on the side. And I think all of us entrepreneurs when we do it, there is a little bit of a wakeup call. I don’t think anyone really realized how hard it really is going to be. And I think you had this transition where you went from the cushy job to then you had a commission only job in medical device. So maybe that transition was a little easier but hold nothing back. Ed. How hard is it really? Two part question. How hard is it really? And did you realize it was going to be this hard when you were excited about becoming an entrepreneur?
Yeah, you know, I never shied away from work and I think you can be successful in anything in life if you’re willing to work for it. And so from the moment I met Chad and Tafa and you and Tim, and everybody at Amada said, man, it’s not going to be easy. I’m not going to lie. We will work hard, but you will feel good about it and it will be yours and you’ll never feel better about working so hard. And that has rung true, you know? And then some, there are days when I’m getting done at 10, 11:00 at night and I’m exhausted, but I kind of put a smile on my face because I know I’m building something and it’s for me and it’s from my family and I’m not doing it for somebody else. You will never get paid what you’re worth working for somebody else.
That’s right. Yeah, exactly right. And no matter what that salary comes in, there’s always that feeling of it’s not mine, it’s not something I am building is so true. Yeah. That is so true. Okay. But now let’s back up. We talked a little bit about your professional background and we can kind of start judging, you know, how old you are. So this is also the decision that involved your family. So what was that like?
And that was the tough part. My wife thought I was crazy – number one when I was going to quit my job or I was making multiple six-figure income. She wanted to believe in me. She had her concerns to put it mildly. So she did believe in me. She knew I could do it. And you know what, I’m still doing it. It’s not like some amazing success story at this point, right? we’re really headed in the right direction. She’s super proud of me. We started off in a little humble office just last week. We moved into a 1500 square foot office. It’s a nice spot. So.
And a big step, right? Was it a long lease?
Ed DuBorg:06:05Yeah, man. Yeah. Three-year lease.
Marcos Moura:06:08That’s a big step.
Ed DuBorg:06:09Exactly. So anyway, at first, obviously there was, there was a lot of trepidation I would say, but she came around and now she’s doesn’t even remember doubting me
Really. That’s really cool. And I think it’s an important thing for entrepreneurs. Anybody who wants to start anything, if you have a spouse that is not on the same page, that is not going to be supportive, I think it can be a massive disaster.
Ed DuBorg:06:34I used to, you know, I’d go on Linkedin and look at jobs and like the same thing that I was doing, I knew two years from now I’d be in the same position that I was in and I was not interested. I literally was doing it to make my wife like me, meanwhile, I was on the phone with sport clips franchise and a sky zone and you know, where I found what I was looking for with Amada. So
kind of like to say, sweetheart, I’m not completely crazy. I am looking at jobs as well and I’m looking at some other things too. Right? It’s kind of like positioning. Right? But you knew inside they like, no, I am not going to a job.
Yeah, I’m not going back to work. I’m not going back up.
Yeah. So I think that’s incredibly important. I will tell you, I’ve started several businesses and there were times where my wife was like, I do not believe in you right now. There are always tough times and I think people who say, you know that the entrepreneur must have somebody that believes in the whole time I think is very true, but there are going to be tough times. Right. And she would, she would come around,
You gotta believe in yourself. You got to have blind faith to an extent because you know, you guys told me what to do and everything you told me has come true and I followed it pretty much to a t even the tough times when just waiting for the see the numbers grow and know you’re working your tail off, but you don’t see the reward. But it is like that entrepreneurial farmer mentality where you plant the seeds and then if you do the work, it’ll happen. You just got to do the work. So do the work I should say just in case my wife hears this, she’s my biggest fan and I can’t thank her enough.
That is, that’s fantastic. We could have a whole podcast about that, about the need to have support as, as an entrepreneur. It is so important. Um, so let’s talk a little bit about your business. You’re just moved into a larger office. It has been not even a year yet. And so how much staff do you have helping you now?
So we are a, we have an operations manager, you know, there’s, there are all different ways to do it. She handles all the scheduling, she handles a lot of things. I still do some scheduling. I just hired a nurse who’s awesome. She’s worked for one of the big hospital networks in this area. One of our client care coordinator. She does scheduling. She does recruiting. She does assessments, clients, caregiver training, so I kind of went top-heavy with really qualified skilled people and from there we’re going to grow with people that we develop starting at like a caregiver liberal level to a schedule or a level to a recruiter level and so on.
That’s cool, now the staff will keep growing. And what about caregivers?
So caregivers? We have active caregivers somewhere close to 50 at this point. We’ve got about 25 to 30 clients and about 50 caregivers right now. Wow.
So one of the parts of this business, I think some people either have a lot of concerns about and some people are excited to provide a lot of jobs, but I don’t care who you are, you know, hiring caregivers is a huge, huge job. When you started doing it, what was it like, you know, did you have to adapt a lot to this process of hiring that many people? Tell our audience a little bit about that
You know, I’m realizing that I’m a very strategic, very systematic type person. I wish I could be a little more ready, fire, aim and dive into things, but I like to understand everything before I do something, I’d like to do it right the first time. So
Now Ed, Are you saying that’s something that you feel like you have realized more now than before?
Uh, yeah, absolutely. I mean just getting into, okay, you’re going to put out an advertisement to recruit for a caregiver for a company that’s never cared for anybody. You’re going, yeah. Yeah. There’s a lot of uh, I don’t know if it’s fake it till you make it, but it’s a lot of guidance. Just say, yeah, we’re going to be a great senior care company, your first caregiver. And honestly our first hire is still with us know, hey, employee number one at Amada senior care and that’s so cool. And she loves us and uh, she just wrote a facebook recommendation that we are the best place he’s ever worked and she loves it. So I knew that I was going to be good to caregivers. I knew that I was going to have their back Amada instilled in me that you have to love your caregivers and provide a great environment, a family environment. All they want some is recognition. All they want is to be treated well and appreciated literally. That’s like it. And they’re not. So there’s a ton of senior care agencies out there, but they’re not very good and Amada is. I’m just doing what everybody else told me how to do. So
I think that’s an important point. What is it at that we always talk about this, the Dot.com that did a survey of about a thousand caregivers or something, can’t remember the name of the company, but they did this survey of a thousand caregivers asking what’s the most important thing for you? And they said, you know, the options were more pay respect, uh, and all these different things. If you had asked me a while back, you know, what do you think it’d be the first thing that the caregivers will say as important, I would have said, pay, right, and overwhelmingly it was not paid. That was not the most important thing. And the number one thing that the caregivers came back, the highest rated one was respect to be treated well and for maybe you guys that don’t know that caregivers get paid anywhere between nine to. Would you say add 14, 15 bucks an hour, right?
The high end. Definitely.
Yeah. And so I think it’s a career where you’re not doing it for the money. It’s not like there’s going to be a caregiver that after 20 years they’re going to start making $25 an hour. Right?
No. Yeah, you got it.
So it really. It’s not about the money and if it’s not, then it has to be a lot of respect. I remember Tafa would tell stories of he wants fired a scheduler because the caregiver had called in saying that they were not going to be able to take the shift because the caregiver, his son was sick and wasn’t going to be able to go to school, so the caregiver was stuck and he heard that schedule or being mean to that caregiver and he walked in there and fired the scheduler on the spot like you do not treat my caregivers that way,
right? Yeah, and now we learned that the hard way ourselves. Actually, we brought a caregiver in to come in and do some scheduling, come into the office. Basically. We were trying it out and she went in like a tornado into every situation and just upset every caregiver she dealt with because yeah, we didn’t properly indoctrinate her into how important our caregivers are. My philosophy is the Richard Branson philosophy where our clients don’t come first. Our caregivers do because if we treat them really well, they’ll do a great job and treat our clients really well. So that is something that has to be instilled in your entire staff and it’s working because our caregivers do feel like they’re family with us. We just had a, a top workplaces survey. We want to be part of that top workplaces. We want to win that award and be recognized. So we entered into it in the survey was you had to have, I think an 80 percent response rate. So we, I think,
wow, that’s a lot for a survey. I mean most surveys you get maybe 40 percent of people to respond, right?
Yes. So if we sent it out to 45 caregivers, we got 40 responses and a ton of compliments and comments in the survey as well. So. And you can see the comparison of other companies out there and we were at the amount of response that you needed to qualify where 45 percent ahead of everybody else. So that says a lot. If you can get, you know, a caregiver to take the time to chime in and participate in a survey like that.
Yeah, you’re not kidding. So listen, I wanted to ask you something very important. I think that you are in the thick of the battle right now, so like you said, it’s not even been a year, so there’s so much work to be done. You know, a lot of our franchise partners look back and by year three or four or five things start turning into place. Like any business, it takes a long time. So your advice is probably incredibly sound advice for anybody looking at this. You were in, in their position just, you know, a year ago. So what would you advise to anyone looking at Amada senior care? What do you wish maybe somebody would have told you when you were looking at getting into this?
I don’t know if I got lucky or what, but it was kind of a gut feeling for me. So the number one thing, and I have a partner that a gentleman I partnered with on my territory that I just bought in New Jersey. Just go meet the people at Amada. Just go out, you know, he was hesitant. He wanted but know this, that the other thing, it’s kind of profitability and this and that. And I said forget all that, just go meet the guys. So when I went out and that was the eye opener for me because every corner I turned everywhere I look, I met sincere good people that were welcoming and very trustworthy and guys that had gotten it done. Owners that reached out and were willing to do whatever it took to help me understand why Amada is a great choice. And I would say just connect with someone like you or someone like Tim. Go Out, do a discovery day. You will not regret it. You know, hopefully, if you have what it takes, Amada definitely can make it happen for you,
Man, That is, what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut just that part right there, and we’re going to do a new commercial. Of Ed giving us the endorsement. Hey listen, seriously though, I can’t thank you enough. It’s not lost on us. The incredible risk that you guys take and that your families take to build these businesses. And I was talking to another one of our franchise partners today and I know you feel this. What is so amazing when you come into this, you said really nice things about us, but guys, when you meet our franchise partners, if you’re lucky enough to come to one of our annual conferences or events that we do, it is seriously one of the most amazing communities of people you have ever seen. Ed, would you agree like, this is not a pat on anybody’s shoulder. It’s just accidentally happened. We are by far the coolest people I’ve ever met.
Yeah, I would. I would have to say I was blown away by, you know, literally every person I talked to. I mean I can call and you know, I feel starting out, you feel like a nobody like what? Who am I? And you’re calling the guys that are at the top of the monthly revenue lists for Amada and they picked up the phone immediately and they’re so welcoming and they’re like, come on out man. Come, come. See what can I do to help and call me anytime and here’s my email address. And they couldn’t be a better group of people. The people here in PA are phenomenal. You can call them any time of day and they’ll pick up and if they don’t, they’ll call you back and apologize so you won’t find a better, a better group of people and you’ve got to be a good person to do this business. You gotta care. You’ve got to be compassionate. You gotta love your clients. You got to love your caregivers. If you want to just hire somebody to go care for somebody and hope that they do a great job and not be too involved. This isn’t the business for you, so that’s right. We have so many good people.
Well, I really appreciate that and listen, thank you so much for a building that business and helping the seniors around you Ed Duborg, thank you so much for spending the time with us today on the show.
Thank you, Marcos. Anytime.
All right, I’ll talk to you soon and for everybody else, thank you so much for joining us on. We are Amada. If you have any questions, please reach out to us. Thank you, everybody. Bye. Bye.
To learn more about launching your Amada Senior Care business, go to Amadapodcast.com, again, Amadapodcast.com. Thank you for listening.