Justin Ricklefs


The Squids Squad: Giving High Schoolers the Keys + Responsibility ๐Ÿฆ‘ ๐Ÿ’•

The story of how a group of colleagues and friends ended up as partners in a power washing business will be told at some point.

It involves lots of connected dots between Brent BeshoreGary O’DellChad Wek, Brooke (LinkedIn-less) and Brodie Leap.

Many others too, but without the trust, wisdom, and relationships of that group, the guts of this post would have never been a reality.

But that’s another topic.

Today, we’re going back a few months to June 1st.

Squids Squad Training Day as the calendar hold reflected.

For a few weeks, heck, months even, this new venture / project was forming, and I went into recruiting mode for staffing.

The commercial goal was clear.

Take the brave, beautiful business that Brodie had built, and grow it.

Add projects, add service lines, add revenue to the top.

Build a brand.

None of that would work without adding team members.

The good news?

We have a decade plus coming at us with kids in high school.

The recruiting ground is fertile.

With Brodie as the Chief Training Officer, we felt comfortable that if we identified the right characters (with character) in this story, we could equip them to be dangerous (in the best possible way) and effective.

We found 8 who fit the bill.

We ordered Nike and Bella and Richardson and other cool swag for them.

We gave them an alliterative set of expectations: The 10 P’s.

Polite. Prompt. Professional. Pleasant. Patient. Passionate. Precise. Proud. Poised. Pristine.

Each with 3 descriptions and ways to bring those P’s to life.

Brodie taught them about chemicals and engines and o-rings and surfactants.

They listened. They cared. They worked.

And they showed up.

Over the course of three months, and hundreds of jobs, many of which were 95+ degree days, we had ZERO no-shows.

Zero BS excuses.

Zero fake sick call-ins.

Zero it’s too hots.

To be sure, they did some stupid stuff (not nearly as dumb as when I overfilled the oil and about blew up the van) like drag hoses around sharp corners and cut them. Or spilling bleach in the back seat of the truck. Or leaving equipment in yards.


They never disrespected a client.

They never left without the job getting done.

They never failed to get the keys to the right place.

They never stole.

They never shied away from the massive responsibility we thrust them into.

“Who drove the van here,” one bewildered client asked as two 18-year-old girls hooked up hoses, changed o-rings, turned on machines, and did dirty, hard work in the summer heat.

“I did,” one Squad member replied without breaking stride from the mission.

“You’re like 14,”

“No, sir, I’m 18, and this is my summer job.”

I’m still processing what they taught me.

And what it means for the future ofย Squids Pro Wash, but more-so, the future of our economy.

Judging by the characters of the Squids Squad, I think we’re going to be in great hands.

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