Susan Frew (Keynote)
I started in the Trades the day I was born. I dad was a carpenter and almost all of his side brothers written in the traits some matter of speaking. I grew up in a small town in New Jersey we’re almost everyone was had an honorable trade for a Vocation. In the early years my career took a lot of twists and turns but I was always in sales and in front of an audience!
I started my large platform public speaking in an unusual way… I was an employee at AT&T wireless in New York City and I was a volunteer for victim services in the five boroughs. One of my first jobs with victim services was to be an aerobics instructor in one of the shelters in Brooklyn… I really didn’t know how to teach aerobics but we would put in a VHS tape and we would work it out! It wasn’t long before the organizers realize that I had skills in front of an audience, that led to me being trained and being on their speaker’s bureau.
In 2004, an usual opportunity presented itself and I was able to transfer to the AT&T wireless international division In the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It’s not a popular island, it’s north of Trinidad and Tobago and slightly west of Saint Lucia. Eventually I also took over the general manager in the country Grenada. My speaking skills were stretched in this role. Not only was I responsible for speaking to my own staff, but I was asked to speak before government audiences as we lobbied to build our cell towers all over the islands, I was asked to do TV and radio interviews regularly. I believe this experience taught me the importance of Lobbying and now have transferred that skill to working with trade associations nationally. I never fail to share with my audience the importance of government relations within their industry and how they MUST get involved.
When I return from my international assignment, I lived in Breckenridge Colorado. AT&T wireless had offered me a position in either Seattle or Atlanta, and at the time, neither seemed appealing to me. I briefly worked at real estate before purchasing and ActionCOACH business coaching franchise. A huge part of coaching is speaking before audiences… I would do seminars almost every single week and eventually I had three different group coaching sessions going and will speak before the audiences two hours at a time every single week.. We also did we also did “Massive Planning Days” once or twice per year to help business owners to grow their business. This is where I truly developed my passion for helping Business owners through speaking. I was able to see the lightbulbs going off… Owning a business is lonely and isolating at times…I wanted to create community and to BE the person in the front of the room that was living the same challenges as my audience.
During this time, I unintentionally coached 17 different trades… Electricians, windows, doors, ceilings, siding, you name it I coached them! Once again, I found myself back in the trades. My father had already passed on by this time, but I know that he would have been proud that I was back to my roots. While I was coaching, I did end up meeting my husband WILLIAM who was a master plumber, and a boiler genius… He owned, at the time, Sunshine solar and mechanical. He mainly did new home and remodel installations. WILLIAM had started his career as a journeyman electrician, then mentored with his dad to become a master plumber, and now currently a NATE certified HVAC technician. We moved to Denver shortly after the recession as the mountain communities were hit extremely hard during that time. We decided to go into the service business exclusively, because, for us, we felt that that type of business was a bit more recession proof that other areas. For the first few years, I straddled coaching and running the business simultaneously.
When 2014 rolled around we were growing by leaps and bounds and I felt it necessary to step away from my coaching and speaking for a short while to be able to get SUNSHINE up and running and devote 100% of my focus and energy to our growth. It wasn’t long before I was being requested to come out of retirement to be a speaker once again… People wanted to know how we were able to grow our company so quickly, garner so many reviews and awards, and keep our millennial Workforce happy. In the beginning of 2015 I started out on the road again doing breakout sessions at conventions and then eventually keynotes. Being a keynote speaker, it’s truly my happy place.
My passion lies in my niche… speaking to trade service audiences… I love to be able to share the out-of-the-box ideas that we have used to grow Sunshine Plumbing Heating Air over 535% in the last few years. My greatest pleasure comes from the ability to speak to an audience and to have to walk away with 2 to 3 ideas that they can implement in their business right away. One of my best pieces of advice that I have given to to my audiences is this: walk into your office on Monday morning and you are the new CEO… Armed with new ideas and fresh eyes in order to make their business more successful right away. I love hearing follow up from people who have been to my seminars. I like them to let me know how they use the idea and what type of results that they achieved.
For a very long time, I only did keynotes and breakouts session… After I published my book, the Pufferfish Effect, there is been a great demand and request for me to do on-site services with contractors at their locations. After careful evaluation and being able to delegate most of my routine tasks at Sunshine, I now can take on a very select few clients per year where I will go and spend an entire day with them at their shops. Our focus together is their marketing, advertising and PR strategies. I have found that that is the area that contractors seem to struggle the most… I believe the reason for this is this is the furthest away from being a technician as you can possibly get. It just not logical! I have created simple ideas and strategies and a step-by-step plan for anyone to be able to use to grow their company and to get better results about marketing.
I am SO excited to have been selected at the Keynote for this years IEC Convention. This was so important to me as I always feel that “my people” have special requirements and that they really like hearing from one of their own. We may not all be in the same specific industry but trade companies to run very similar to each other and it’s nice to have a friend who is already walked the walk I can’t wait to meet the attendees of the conference and to later hear how they used some of ideas in their business.