Autumn Schellhase was in the hospital when she decided to sell her house, move to a new city and start a business with her husband. With combined experience in both the plumbing and construction industries, Autumn and her husband Charlie knew they could run their own plumbing company.
It can be difficult to start your own plumbing business but with the right plan and attitude, anything's possible.
From the hospital bed, Autumn looked at her husband and cried “Let’s do this!” - as she brought their third child into the world and into the journey they were about to embark on.
River Schellhase is Autumn’s youngest son who was born in April 2016. By July of that year, they sold their house in south Dallas-Fort Worth and moved to the other side of the city. As they prepared to launch their new plumbing company, they bought a truck and all the necessary equipment to get started. Everything was on track, until fear set in.
Autumn and Charlie spent nearly a year paralyzed by fear of getting started. It wasn’t until May of 2017 that Go Pro Plumbing launched.
“It took us almost a year to just finally go at it. We got our insurance, did a couple of jobs and then we went all in. And it exploded - we did really well.”
Autumn and Charlie launched their company debt-free and made a profit their first year. By year 2, they had doubled their sales and are now on track to scale their business. Autumn’s biggest regret is taking so long to launch, so she's shared her 3 truths to sidestepping fear and launching the business of your dreams.
1. Just start. Period.
“Get your ducks in a row (as far as your legal, accounting, etc. go) and then just start. Don’t get bogged down by things like ‘I have to have a perfect website’ or ‘First I should get the truck wrapped’...we didn’t get the truck wrapped until 4 or 5 months in. And you know what? It’s ok. You’ll always be learning and figuring things out as you go anyway. Just get started. We wish we would have started a lot sooner than we did.”
2. Mind over matter
“Mindset is huge. It’s the most critical aspect of being an entrepreneur. If you have a negative thought, immediately back it up with two positive thoughts. For example, I would think ‘What if we don’t get any business? No one knows us around here’. You have to shake that mindset and not let fear get in the way. Instead think, ‘We’re providing a valuable service, and we’re doing a great job’. Keep reiterating that.”
3. Integrity over everything
“We knew integrity would set us apart from the competition. If you’re taking care of your customers and being honourable to them and providing quality service - that will come back to you.”
This year Go Pro Plumbing is focusing on hiring more plumbers, marketing automation and becoming a paperless company. Autumn says the biggest reward of starting her own business has been finding a work-life balance for her family. She hopes to offer day care services and health insurance to her own employees one day soon.
Being an entrepreneur is equal parts amazing and challenging (and some days the balance tips in either direction).