Whoever expects three kids to give them an idea of a lifetime? All-Safe Pest and Termite’s founder, Jim Schumacher gives full credit to his kids for starting his business.
In 1984, after losing a V.P. position in a Dallas based, international corporation, Schumacher says he discovered that he wasn’t nearly as important as he thought he was. Ironically, the unwelcome change came at an important time.
When the family’s two older children enrolled in college (One in the university of Florida the other in Florida State), Schumacher and his wife, with their five year old, started a dream adventure. They took their 37 foot sailboat, Goody Two Shoes to the Caribbean for an extended cruise. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the cruise was “paradise visited” but there was one very humbling storm at sea.
Early in the cruise, near the outer Abacos, they were caught in 77 knot winds and took a direct lightning hit which destroyed their electronics, including all navigation equipment. After making port and repairing the boat, Schumacher realized that he could not ask his family to continue this macho adventure. It looked as if the dream had abruptly ended…in a flash, so to speak.
Then his wife, Pat, probably more as a result of her farm-girl childhood than any real analysis of their situation, exclaimed, “We do have all this food, lets go on!” What a first mate! When it was time to return to the real world, the two college kids had done research to get their Dad back in the job market or as he interprets it, “to protect their own lifestyle.”
“Good thing they were concerned,” adds Schumacher, “What I viewed as noble, heroic adventure…quality time, was perceived as being a bit flaky by my corporate peers.” We were blessed that the kids had made their observation that low-toxic pest control was the “in thing” in Florida and did not exist in Texas at the time.
Schumacher did his own research, liked what he saw and founded All-Safe Pest and Termite. He recruited Don Wilson from Terminix to become All-Safe’s G.M. All-Safe has since become a major player in the local market, servicing residential and commercial properties throughout the Dallas Area.
Schumacher says, “In spite of the obvious drawbacks, I recommend that anyone forced to re-evaluate their career step back and put things in perspective.”
“The author of ‘Golden Parachute’ doesn’t agree with this position, but I have found there is much more to life than a prestigious corporate position. It has been years since I have had a really bad day unless you consider the short putts I missed.”
“Long hours of hard work are enjoyable if you have the right people around you. We have been very fortunate to have good technicians who are also good people…that’s our real secret to having ‘good customers’.”
“I know we are on the right path when we have our growth rate and have most of our new customers coming from referrals.”
“When I think of our employee’s families and number of customers that depend on All-Safe, I get more satisfaction than I ever had as an executive in the goolish world of corporate politics.”
Schumacher also enjoys not having to be too concerned about an All-Safe truck being hit by lighting, and all the technicians know the way home without navigational gear. : )