I’m very excited to have Heath Nicholson of Nicholson Builders onboard for today’s show. I almost postponed this interview because of Heath’s busy schedule, but at the last moment, we stuck to the schedule. And I’m so glad we did.
This story took us places I had no idea we would go. Heath was very transparent, open, and vulnerable in this story about his struggles and his successes.
If you don’t get anything else done today… make sure you listen to this show. You will definitely be inspired, and motivated by Heath’s story.
Here’s just a taste of what you will discover, if you listen today:
- How Heath struggled with addictions and finally broke free
- What it’s like to grow a business in Australia
- How Heath did selfie style videos on Facebook before the selfie craze ever existed
- The 5 things Heath makes sure they are doing on Facebook
- Why it’s so important to space your jobs out… and much more!
Go ahead. Download and listen to the entire show today. And please share it with a friend you know would be inspired by this story as well.
Health grew up in a small Australian town called Shepparton. He remembers having a normal childhood and was raised (together with his four other brothers) by two, loving parents. His father was a locksmith by trade and ran a family business while his mother was a stay-home wife.
It wasn’t a difficult childhood because his parents were encouraging and very supportive. His father, in particular, didn’t push him and his brothers to focus on a specific career path. Also, they were involved in a local church.
Health admits that his teenage years were his “darker years”. His close friend died when he was 13 years old. It took a hit on him emotionally, and mentally, and he did not know how to deal with it during that time. He started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and got into all sorts of trouble – such as: violence, drugs, alcohol, etc.
He struggled with the law for about 5 years running on the wrong side of the tracks. He also graduated late in high school. Thankfully, his girlfriend (now his wife) became his support and helped him to get back on track.
Heath made a decision to turn his life around for the better and sought help from his parents. He also started getting involved again with the local church. He cut ties with old mates and worked hard to transform himself for 5 to 6 years.
From Transformation To Owning a Business
It was also during the transformation period where he started to think about being in the trades. He tried all sorts of trades: electrical, plumbing, engineering, etc. It wasn’t long until he found his niche – he fell in love with building and construction.
It was a tough road for him and there were many ups and downs. He started with a 4-year apprenticeship working for someone else. He also attended a government-funded trade school while continuing his internship. By doing this he was able to finally receive a qualified builder certificate.
The struggle did not end there as he still needed to complete his builders license. To earn that license, it took 6-7 years of studying and fighting through to earn it. He also faced many rejections and was on the verge of giving up. Luckily, one guy listened and helped him out. Three people checked his portfolio and encouraged him of his potential. Eventually, he got references and that led him to score his license.
Early on, he didn’t like to work for somebody else due to bad experiences – he worked for two previous employers and was treated badly. After getting qualified, he started sub-contracting his own projects.
It wasn’t long until people started noticing Heath’s dedication and hard work. He was putting more hours and completing deadlines while not sacrificing quality. More jobs started coming.
Believing that he could do it on his own, he started a business and hired employees. That’s how Nicholson Builders was born – a custom boutique building and renovations company. They take pride in “being easy to talk to and work with”.
Heath admits that while building custom-homes brings in good money to the business, the most challenging projects for him and his crew are renovations – from small scale to big scale projects. With renovations, it involves a lot more thinking, problem solving, and more issues. What excites him the most is to see the end result – from seeing a crappy, rundown home to seeing the new changes and what they have been able to do with the home.
He knew he cannot compete with bigger builders, so he had to think of a target market and do something different. Instead of building the same model for different homeowners, he took risks and gambled to be different. That’s why they now focus more on customizing homes rather than building the same model many times over.
Because of his business’s drive to be different and original, more people come up to them, pay extra and get the projer job done.
It was not always a bed of roses for Heath and his business. Like most builders, he experienced very low points in his career. Because some homeowners didn’t pay, money was not coming to the business. He could not cover the payments to his suppliers and his employees. He even had to mortgage his home to pay his subs.
He almost gave up. But thankfully he connected to a builder via Instagram. He shared his heart and struggles with that person. In return, he got great advice and started getting back up slowly. He also talked to his parents and his wife and they became his support system.
At his lowest point he learned the importance of having:
- Faith to lean on and people to call on. Let people know that you are struggling. Don’t hide it.
- He learned the importance of spacing his jobs out intentionally. That way he is never stuck waiting on the money from 3-4 jobs at the same time.
Growing Nicholson Builders Through Social Media
Before social media came, Heath started advertising in a local newspaper which he did for two years until his reputation began to grow.
He also started to brand his business on Facebook before anyone else – even before Facebook Pages existed. He remembered getting looks, and people telling him he was crazy because he took selfie-styled videos while showcasing his business.
Now, 100% of his leads come from social media.
- Instagram is also his way of showcasing his work and networking with people all over the world.
- And Facebook is a place for him to reach people on a local level.
He shares that branding on Facebook is more important for him and his business.
Here are 5 things he makes sure he does on Facebook:
- Show what you look and sound like.
- Show the jobs that you’re doing.
- Show the guys that work for you.
- Display the passion.
- Reveal the attitude you have for work.
Heath also shared his other business ventures:
- Real estate investment business, mostly investment homes.
- Clockwork Coffee – he formed a partnership with his friend to create an imported coffee roasting company. You can check them on Instagram to learn more about their business. Soon, they will open a cafe store and will plan to export their products. Also, they will embark on a social enterprise and help impoverished communities through coffee.
Heath Nicholson’s Favorite Apps:
Heath’s Favorite Book:
Heath’s Favorite Podcasts:
Where to Follow Heath Nicholson Online:
Parting words of wisdom:
“Hustle and don’t hold back and just give it 100% Don’t listen to what anyone has to say. Hustle. Work hard. You gonna go through crap, you need to learn to take a punch in the face and eat dirt for awhile to get over the line.
Never compromise on your values. Never compromise on your ethics no matter how popular or how big you get. Always stick to your ground and remember where you came from.”