As I See It

Plumbing contractors must go to Mechanical Systems Week to find the answers

I really like and respect Northern California plumbing contractor Ed O’Connell. Ed recently wrote an email to his fellow members of The Service Round Table, explaining why it is crucial for plumbing contractors to attend the Mechanical Systems WEEK conference and show in Schaumburg, Ill., in September.

Mechanical Systems WEEK is being held September 19-21, 2012, at the Schaumburg Convention Center and the adjoining Renaissance Hotel. Both The Service Round Table and the Radiant Professional Alliance will have their own concurrent events that kick off on September 18.

I really can’t say this any better than Ed has said it, so here is Ed O’Connell saying some really smart things:

Hey, Plumbers,

This is the first time we've been included in the hugely popular Mechanical Systems WEEK, this year located in Chicago. There will be industry trade shows, seminars, big-gun consultants, vendors, the National Service Roundtable Meeting for all SRT members, and ending with the SNAP meeting (Service Nation Alliance, Plumbers) on Saturday. If you're a successful company, then I don't need to tell you why you should go. By now you realize that everything — and I do mean everything — changes in an instant. This rodeo will keep us on top of those changes. If you're a failing-to-mediocre company, then there's even more reason to go. Your ROI will be your thanks.

This is one of those rare opportunities in the history of our industry when the availability and confluence of events forces you to stop and ask yourself the hard questions, and it's my un-humble opinion that the hardest question of all is: “Can I afford NOT to change?” Do I want to excel? Or am I going to fail because I have no plan? Or — worst-case scenario — do I want to continue wallowing around in mediocrity for the rest of my existence? Do I want a happy prosperous life for myself and for my family members or do I want to keep them as unpaid indentured servants, no better off than slaves? Do I want a choice about where I send my kids to college or … or am I even going to be able to send 'em?  

It was exactly this type of gathering — especially the SNAP part — that took my company from a debt-ridden ($250,000); angst-producing (no time off, no disposable income, no future); and a truly miserable existence to one where I am now semi-retired, have an exit strategy in place, and enjoy life like I never thought possible.

Today it's even worse for folks without a “team” to go it alone than it was when we at O'Connell Plumbing made our momentous decision to change. So, whether you're a single-person sized company, a smaller three, four or five-person outfit, or even larger, it has become paramount to have a team behind you to help answer the hard questions. Enter the SRT and the Mechanical Systems WEEK. If you don't go to this gathering, or send one of your company's principals, then you have no one to blame but yourself for your continuing mediocrity, continuing debt accrual, continuing 24/7 work-only existence, continuing … well, you know the litany, you know the crap-hole you're headed for.  

So beg, borrow, steal, sell one of your children (just kiddin', just kiddin'!), but do whatever it takes to attend this gathering. At the very least you will find the answers to what you're doing wrong, and, hopefully, you will find the answers to correct the mistakes that are taking you down that highway to hell. There's one thing for sure, if you're having trouble and you keep doin' what you've always done, you'll end up with what you've always had ... or maybe worse. No, it will be worse because you'll be older.

And did I mention the pure fun of it all? These shows are one of the best ways a small, struggling shop can get a taste of what pure pleasure it's like to be on top while at the same time learning how to get to that top.        

Below is the information on what's goin' on for the week and how to register.  If you can't make the whole week, then plan for Wednesday through Saturday at the very least.  And if you have any questions, any at all, you can give me a call and I'll talk you into going. Hey, I believe, really believe, you owe it to yourself.


Ed O'Connell

Founder, O'Connell Plumbing, Inc.

[email protected] <>

(Home/Office): 415/453-2291

(Cell): 415/302-1418

Register at At the top right, there’s a big, red “Register to Attend” button. To get discounted registration, CONTRACTOR Twitter followers should put TWITTER in all capital letters as the discount code. Our Facebook fans should put FACEBOOK as the discount code.


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