Trading the Stage for the Shop
Nick had just finished touring with a country music artist when he started seeking a traditional job to provide for his family, which had grown with the birth of he and his wife Sarah’s first child. A friend of his worked for Pye-Barker Fire & Safety and recommended he talk to the manager. When Nick showed up, he was told the branch was not hiring and the manager was in a meeting. Instead of walking away, Nick sat down in the lobby and said he would wait.
“I had a lot on the line and wasn’t leaving without a job,” Nick said. “I sat in an office chair for about 20 minutes when the branch manager finally came out of his office and said ‘You’re not leaving, are you?’”
He was granted an interview and eventually offered an entry-level position in the shop. He assumed it would be temporary while he waited to join the Nashville Fire Department. But when a communication error cost him the firefighter opening, he realized divine providence had provided the Pye-Barker opportunity.
Working Hard Opens DoorsThough recharging extinguishers in a powder room was a big shift from his former lifestyle, Nick was only positive and determined to be the best shop tech the branch ever had and attacked each task assigned to him with enthusiasm. He hoped that through his hard work, he would prove his potential.
“I was grateful for the opportunity but knew I had more to offer,” Nick said. Instead of focusing on his current wages or position, Nick decided to “focus on the things I could control.”
He worked hard and learned quickly, coming in early each day to talk to long-time technicians before they started their daily routes and to absorb as much information as possible from these industry veterans.
His initiative stood out to management. A few months into the job, he was offered the opportunity to build a service route in a technician capacity. He impressed his supervisors once again, and when the branch sales position opened up, he was given the chance to transition.
“My manager would often say to me: ‘You’re hungry Nick, I like that!’,” Nick said. “When you see a person who is hustling and has a life he is trying to build for himself and his family, you know you can count on him to put in the effort to succeed. I think that was what they saw in me.”
Nick was grateful for the opportunity to keep growing his career within the industry and accepted the new role. He continued to work just as hard and continued to see his efforts pay off as he brought in new business.
Becoming Part of the Pye-Barker FamilyFrom the start, Nick’s journey was greatly enriched by early relationships formed with other Pye-Barker employees: “We were and are a family,” Nick said, “and that’s what I love most about our Nashville office.”
He hit it off quickly with then sprinkler tech Chris Johnson and branch salesman Brian Lumsden. The three of them shared common goals for their personal futures and the success of the branch.
“We were eager and ambitious,” Nick said, “Our thoughts on service and growth strategies were similar, but most importantly, we knew we had to take care of the people. That was everything.”
Their guidance was a great help to Nick, and the three have remained close friends and business peers as their positions have progressed. But they were not the only two who helped Nick succeed:
“Coming from outside the industry, so many folks besides Brian and Chris helped me out. Phillip, Tom, Leslie, Cindy, Kyle, Jon Bronisz. Jonny B. may have given me more information on high and low pressure testing early on than anyone,” Nick shared. Their kindness and willingness to help was a testament to the kind of people behind the Pye-Barker name and led Nick to feel accepted into this new world.
Building on a Solid Foundation
Nick said that his early days, learning from the existing team and becoming skilled at the tasks in the shop, formed an important foundation that enabled his success in the company. He not only had the opportunity to connect with the team from more time spent around them, but also had the chance to learn the equipment he would one day be explaining and selling to customers. His experience continues to inform his daily decisions and his relationships with both customers and coworkers:
“Pye-Barker is founded on blue collar hard-working folks, strong family values, and keeping gratitude and our patrons at the forefront,” Nick shared. “I look forward to helping this company grow and continue to exceed the industry standard for customer service. That’s who we are and what we do.”
Looking Forward to the FutureIn his new position as Regional Director of Sales, Nick looks forward to growing the company that has provided much for his family. He has accomplished big things in his ten years, but says he is “nowhere close to done.”
Though telling his story is not something he is comfortable with, Nick agreed to share his journey in the hopes of inspiring others at the starting point to keep giving their all with faith that the hard work will be rewarded. His progression from recharging extinguishers to overseeing business development in four states is living proof that the American Dream is still alive and success through determination is possible.
“My time with Pye-Barker has been exceptional,” Nick concluded. “I’ve built relationships with coworkers and customers that have truly changed my life for the better. It’s been hard work, sacrifice, and dedication, but all worth it. I encourage folks with an opportunity to own it, make the most of it, and excel. Those who give their best never regret it.”
“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” This Walt Disney quote has always been a motto of Nick’s, which is evident in his actions. Nick’s journey is an inspiring example of the potential for growth available within our company, which is quick to recognize talent and reward hard work.
We thank Nick for sharing his story and for believing in Pye-Barker. We look forward to the great things he will continue to accomplish for our company and are honored to have him in the family!