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Ep. 135: Inspiring Change in the Industry with Missy Scherber



CONEXPO-CON/AGG Podcast Episode 135

In today’s episode, Taylor sits down with former host of the podcast and the owner of Big Machine Hustle and Scherber Roll-Offs & Hauling, Missy Scherber, to discuss a number of topics, particularly the challenges of balancing work and personal life as a business owner. Throughout their conversation, the two relate to the overwhelming feeling of having to do everything, from managing multiple tasks to handling personal and professional relationships. They also focus on the importance of finding a stress-reliever that can help reduce anxiety and provide clarity of thought, noting that it is crucial for business owners to find time for themselves and prioritize their mental health in order to be effective in their day-to-day responsibilities. After all, a healthy mind leads to a successful business and personal life.

Missy goes on to recount some of the challenges faced by women, single mothers, and primary caretakers in construction, including the difficulty balancing their careers with the demands of caring for their children. She highlights the importance of considering alternative work schedules to ensure that the construction industry can tap into a more diverse workforce, and not just burn out its current employees. She also shares her experience with social media and its impact on her life and business. Despite initially feeling discouraged by online negativity, Missy eventually found her confidence again and discovered the positive impact her online presence was having on her company and others in the construction industry. Today’s episode offers that rare opportunity where the podcast’s current host gets to pick the brain of a previous host, and it results in an exchange of information and advice that you do not want to miss.


  • Missy’s journey to becoming the co-owner of a construction company
  • Turning around a struggling dumpster company
  • Working with a significant other
  • Challenges that a growing business presents
  • Construction as a lifestyle that integrates into every part of  life
  • Finding a balance between work and personal time
  • The challenges faced by women and primary caretakers in the construction industry
  • The importance of considering alternative work schedules
  • The difficulties of being a business owner
  • Finding a stress-reliever and prioritizing mental health

Watch now:


Listen now:


Hear more about Missy's journey in one of the education sessions she'll be speaking at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023.

1. Building Your Personal Brand Online. This panel discussion will address questions on how to best build and utilize websites, social media, online relationships, and more to grow your business. This session will be hosted at CONEXPO-CON/AGG on March 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2. Ask The Influencers - Panel Discussion & Meetup with the Most Popular Construction Minds. Learn from her and four other influential voices within the construction industry in a panel discussion on March 17, 2023 at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Listen on your favorite app: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | iHeartRadio | Spotify | Stitcher 

Join more than 40,000 industry peers who receive construction industry news and trends each week. Subscribe to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365.

Episode transcript: 

Missy Scherber: We could all like see each other and be like, wow. If we're wowed by each other, we'll respect each other and give each other the opportunity to have this well-oiled machine that can sustain and continue to grow.

Taylor White: Welcome back, everybody, to the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Podcast, brought to you by our good friends over at Komatsu, which I can't wait to see their display at this year's show, which, by the way, is super close. I can't believe that it is almost here. 

Here with me today, I have a former host of the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Podcast, so I'm looking forward to this. And the owner of Big Machine Hustle and Scherber Roll-Offs, along with her husband. And today, we have Missy Scherber with us. Missy, thanks for being here.

Missy Scherber: Yeah, of course. It's so exciting. One, to see where you've taken this podcast. It's just gotten better and better. And two, to be on the other side of the mic. I don't know if I should be nervous, scared, excited, so take it away.

Taylor White: Definitely none of those things. I'd be more excited. I'm actually excited just to chat with you because, before we kind of got on here, I've never had the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with you and kind of just chat. And from what I've seen on social media, I've known about you for like three years, and I've always just wanted to just ask you and lay a foundation down, I guess, for the audience. If you had to describe who you are and what you do, let's hear it.

Missy Scherber: So, my name is Missy Scherber, and alongside my husband, Trevor, run T. Scherber Demolition Excavating and Roll-Offs. We're a specialty excavation, earth-moving contractor. We do brick-and-mortar demolition. We also have what I call ‘the little company that could’, which is a dumpster company. That's actually how Trevor got started. Before he met me, he was a dumpster man, a trash man, and took a roll-off company that was very much in the negative and not doing well and brought it up to the positive. 

Then he and I met in 2013, and I quit my dream job to start hustling downstairs and help him start an earth-moving and demolition company. So, I went from selling programs at a nonprofit that I was really passionate about downtown, wore high heels every day and presented in front of CEOs and corporations, and fell in love with the man in a 1999 Peterbilt and started talking trash every day and learning the dirt world. And, coming up on my 9th year here, I have to say it's been the absolute most amazing transition career change for me—a lot of years of learning. I, like many other of my peers, went to the school of hard knocks, but here we are eight years later. 

We had our biggest year of growth last year. We tripled the size. That has really, really transitioned my role into talent acquisition and team management, another layer of the school of hard knocks, which I hear never ends in the construction industry. So, yeah, that's who I am, what we do. And, yeah, I'm excited to see where you navigate the conversation. There are so many different things to talk about in this industry, right? There's buzzwords. There's workforce development; there's technology. But I want to know what Taylor wants to know and what you feel like the community would love to connect with me on today.

Taylor White: Still, I'm just interested in understanding yourself and you, to be honest with you as well, too. I mean, this is the Missy Scherber episode, and I want to get your point of view on all of the issues and stuff that you just talked about. But it's just pretty incredible coming from what you were doing at the nonprofit, which I had no idea about, to then coming into construction. This industry is just insane. And there's other industries that are insane too, but I mean, there's just so many dynamics to this industry. Like, how did you get your feet wet into this? What would you say was the one thing? There's probably not one thing that was like, “Okay, this is how I'm going to go about getting into this and doing this.” What have you learned?

Missy Scherber: So, that's a great question because it takes me back to the first year of total paralysis, like, “What am I doing here?” Trevor teases me, “You were blinded by the light.” Because I was in love, and so what do I know? I'm coming in to help with this business. The first day I walked into Trevor's office, I saw stacks of bills from floor to ceiling, papers everywhere, highlighter. I was like, “What is this?” But I would say what I did to transition after I got through that stage of paralysis, I really had to be like, “Okay, you're in this. What's next? How are you going to learn a whole new industry?” And so for me, it was getting to know the guys in the field and making our vendors and our subcontractors, the guys at Napa who sold us our parts, the fuel trucks who sold us our fuel, our operating team, make them my best friends and my advocates and get to know them and what they need. And if I can just hang at their level, then I can build something that truly supports their future, that builds a dumpster and dirt company that is different. 

From the beginning, I wanted to do it differently and bring my background of making a difference in the community, customer service, and part of the corporate world. I just wanted to humanize the process. And to start, I had to connect with the humans involved in every aspect and at every layer of the industry. And, through that, I just fell in love with them. “You guys are heroes, man. You're just these unseen, unsung heroes.” I grew up never knowing I should thank an excavator for running water, a working toilet, roads to get around infrastructure, like all these things. And I'm like, “How does the whole world not know about these heroes wearing hard hats instead of capes?” 

And so I think through that just genuine curiosity and love for the people and taking the time to just get to know everyone at the ground level, that's how I was able to adjust. And really, they were the same people I had been working with downtown in corporate. They just were a little dirtier and sweatier and grittier but had the same human heart and vision to provide a great life for their family and build a better world. So, that's kind of why the transition is just the people, the process of people, and humanizing the process. And that inspired me to build our company in a truly unique way that connects and cares about the people.

Taylor White: Yeah, you nailed it. I mean, very incredible. And it's also great that you realize that you need that connection with the ground people rather than like, “Okay, Trevor had it.” And then all of a sudden you come in, and then you just don't take the time to get to know the people on the ground where you're saying like, “No, that wasn't me. I kind of did the opposite of that.”

Missy Scherber: And I was genuinely honest with them. I would go to Napa, our Napa dealer, and I would be like, “I don't know what I'm looking for, but I know what I– Here's a picture of the equipment.” At the time, it was 315, and I'm like, “Here's a picture.” And I was just honest and curious. But also, I love cooking, and so I brought them food, and they were like, “Oh, hey. Missy's coming. What do you need? How can we help you? You brought us food.” So, I guess I should be honest, in fact, that I used a little food bartering, and I thought the way to a man is his belly. Like, maybe I'm a little old school in that way, but I used food as my tool to connect and to learn. So, I have to throw that out there.

Taylor White: Food and cigarettes would go a long way out here.

Missy Scherber: Hey, whatever you got to do. 

Taylor White: That's really cool. I'm always curious to know how's the dynamic work. Like my wife, she does some of our books and invoicing and stuff with us. And I've always wondered how do you find the dynamic of– and I have a hard time separating this, and she's going to laugh when I say that, but work and then you're personal when you work with your significant other. Talk about that relationship a bit because I know people can relate.

Missy Scherber: Yeah, so that doesn't exist, the separation.

Taylor White: I'm glad you said that.

Missy Scherber: But you can learn to take cues from each other on when is a good time and when it's not. Because there are times at dinner where Trevor has had a heavy day, and he just had a meeting, and he needs to download and talk. I definitely am not the type of person who's like, “It's dinner. We're not talking about work.” Construction is a lifestyle, and it integrates into every part of your life. And so I want to be respectful of, like, “Hey, you need to talk now? Let's talk.” But I also take the cues where sometimes it's a heavy day; we don't want to talk about it. We want to talk about the kids and do something fun and absolutely not dive into the construction world. 

And so I just think it's building a mutual respect for each other. It took me a long time to adjust that because I could talk about work all day, all night. I'm reading this book, I'm learning this thing, and he's just like, “I need to shut down.” And so it took a little bit of adjusting and just learning how to respect each other, but it's just like, the important relationship is respect. And listening to the cues and just saying, “Okay, now is not a good time. Okay, yes, now's a good time.” Or asking each other, like, “Hey, had a tough day. Is this a good time to connect about that? 

Our dynamic was pretty easy in the beginning, and then when we grew, it got really hard. I would say in the middle of eight years. The initial years of Trevor and I working together and being together, but also working the business together, were easy because it's like, “You go do that, I do this. You do everything on this side. I do everything on that side.” Once we started growing and adding other people and layers, we started butting heads more because we both see two very different sides of what needs to be done. Trevor is like a production king. I mean, he can go out in the field and produce, produce, produce. And I'm like a process, like systems. Did we get the tickets? Were they logged correctly? Does everyone clock the busy, busy hours? Just obsessive over here. 

And we reached a peak where it was kind of like butting heads. And then we had to sit down at the table and be like, your skills are necessary in the field. And I needed to hear from him in the field, "Missy, your skills are necessary in the office and with HR and accounting.” When we both deem each other necessary, we can build this bridge and work together. And so now, these last few years, we found another flow where it's going really well because we're building the respect between the field and the office. And I think I see construction, a lot of breakdowns there, and not a good understanding of everyone's roles and how they work together and how important they are. Like, that metal won't move without the bookkeeper, the accountant, the CFO, the controller, the payments, the fuel, the job costing. The metal won't move without all these moving parts. So how can we build the mutual respect between those two areas? So Trevor and I worked really hard to do that with each other, and then it kind of started to grow within the company. 

An example of that is for our staff party. I told our office administrator, I was like, “Hey, I want to do a quiz or a game where people have to guess, like, how many estimates did Trevor do last year? How many phone calls did Pam take? How many transactions did Liz, our, the bookkeeper, enter?” And then I wanted the reverse. I wanted the field to give me some fun questions of how many buckets of dirt did they move? How many feet of pipe did they lay? How many pilings were installed so that we could all see each other and be like, “Wow.” If we're wowed by each other, we'll respect each other and give each other to have this well-oiled machine that can sustain and continue to grow. 

Taylor White: Yeah, that's key. And I like how you looped that around. I like the conversational field and office because that's something that we talk about a lot here as well, too. 

And kind of just going back real quick, I just want to touch on it because you said something I feel like was amazing what you just said, because I was picking up some valuable stuff from it as well, too. Every time you grow, I find that there's like a different hurdle. I feel like there's been so many times where we sit at a round table, and we're like, “All right. We got this figured out.” And then three weeks later, it's like, “Oh, that new machine showed up. We're starting up this new crew.” Okay, we have nothing figured out anymore, and we're going back to the drawing board. And it's just like we were saying, it's like chaos, right? And it's trying to get it to become organized chaos. 

So, although I am very happy, it sounds like you guys have a great groove. I'm trying to find that with my wife as well, too, because I struggle with never shutting it off. And I like what you said as well, too, about construction is like a lifestyle. My father-in-law, for instance, he's in private wealth management, and after 5:00 p.m., they lock out his emails, and he can't access his emails after 5:00 p.m. at night. 

Missy Scherber: Oh, nice. 

Taylor White: Yeah, exactly. Well, in construction, in the summertime, there could be guys still going at 7:00, 8:00 at night, and then add the layer of getting social media on top of that as well, too. It's kind of just all the time. But also in construction, where you're starting at 5:00 in the morning in the summertime as well, too. It's just insane. So you're right, and you nailed it with saying that it's a lifestyle because it's not a regular job.

Missy Scherber: Yeah. And you have to accept that. And then you accept the cues of when to take a break from the lifestyle of construction, and you accept the awareness that this is an all the time thing. I am trying to explore, or like, in my mind, I'm exploring what does this look like for women and the societal expectation that they're typically the primary caretaker of the kids. How do we get more women when the nature of this business that it's a lifestyle, but they have a lot of other layers to manage? And to me, it almost seems impossible or unrealistic, but I know there's a solution there, and I'm just trying to start to work it and figure it out with our own team. But construction is a lifestyle, and it's an ever-flowing of accepting the ups and downs with it and then integrating your family, your staff, your people in a healthy way of saying, "Care about you as a person, but we also care about production.” And just, like, finding that good balance.

Taylor White: Yeah. Yes, you're 100% right. These are all conversations that we have with our management, like, every single day, like in passing. That's why I love this conversation. It was in our wedding vows at our wedding about like my wife said something like, “I promise to love you even in the summertime when you're never here.”

Missy Scherber: When you’re never around.

Taylor White: Yeah, exactly. But I think also, too, and maybe I'm not the best person to speak on that because I'm a guy, but what you said about women in construction as well, too. It is true, though, if women are the primary caregiver of their kids and holding basically the family together and raising kids like, my wife, I couldn't do what she does, but then how would she come in and do what I'm doing? It is a tough one. That would be a struggle to try to understand. How does this work? How does this dynamic work? Have you figured out anything that has–

Missy Scherber: No, it's not a simple solution. I thought it was, and I used to be like, "Ra, ra women in construction—like, it can tap into 50% of the workforce if our industry is going to sustain itself and grow." Now I'm looking through a different lens and thinking about how can this work when the expectation in our industry is ten-hour shifts. And then the societal expectation—not all women, but most women, or there's a couple of single moms that follow me—and they're the primary caretaker for their kids, and they want to grow in their career in construction. They can’t because they have daycare, and that is kind of looked down upon in our industry. If you can't put in the blood, sweat, and tears of ten to 12 hours a day in the summertime, you're out. 

I brought up what I didn't realize was a controversial subject. We were in the Contractor of the Year program for Equipment World last year. We were one of the finalists, and we were in the room with ten other contractors from around the country. And I just said, "What about shifts? Do we need to start thinking about shifts? Like eight-hour shifts? And you get the same opportunity to grow your career in construction." But we realize that there's representatives that want to be in our industry, but have to pick up kids or have basketball games and hockey, and we don't want you to just burn out and hate this industry. So I brought up– Literally half the room was like, "That would never work. No, that's just–” There was even a female in the room who was like, 'My guys wouldn't accept that.' So what are you saying? Special treatment?" I was like, "Special treatment for women or whoever has to take care of the kids. And then how do we manage that in HR and contracts?" And I was just like, "I'm just throwing a thought out there.” 

The solution is not simple, and our pedestal can't just be, 'We need more women in construction.' We need to have conversations. We need more men in construction who are primary caretakers. We need more single dads in construction. But are they going to choose this industry where they won't have the lifestyle of seeing their children? I want my guys to go to the baseball and the hockey games. I'm looking at a shift perspective for them, like, not just women, but it's a conversation we have to have.

I was really surprised at the resistance in the room of, like there’s no way that can happen. Special treatment does not– Okay. I just wanted to throw it out there that I barely survived the schedule. Like I’m at the end at 5:00, I’m dying at 9:00. And I do all the picked up household, all the things. And I’m lucky that I’m in the position to be an owner of a business, so I can kind of– What does this look like for a laborer or a female operator who has kids? How does this work? 

And I’m just finding determination that we, our company, are going to make it work. We’re going to find a way to build and model that support. And it might take a couple of years and a couple of conversations, but in the end, we’re going to find a way to do it differently. That’s our commitment as a company is doing dirty jobs differently. And we’re going to find a way to try it and to see how it works, and then maybe that’s a model. Or if you know of companies out there that are exploring this expectation, I just think–

I talked to Mary Katherine Harbin on the last season of the podcast, and that was a really good interview. She built an all-women’s paving crew, and then she hit all these challenges. Had to leave at 3, they couldn’t get it at 7. The guys were like, “WTF.” So it’s like, “Oh, this is such a deeper conversation, and why is everyone shying away from it?” And everyone is breaking out to say we need more women in construction. So it seemed like they’re brave enough to go deeper with the conversation, what that looks like, and also be thinking about men who, in the next-gen, might want a different lifestyle, who were raised that ten to 12-hour sweaty brows is the norm. 

Taylor White: Yeah, I think you nailed it because it is a conversation. And I like your approach at it where it's like, hey, it's easy to go on and say like, I'm an advocate for women in construction, but how are we going to do this? Because your household will fall apart if the woman is working 12 hours a day. And then it picks up on them; they're relying on the male. And he's also doing this as well, too. But like you said, single dads, primary caregivers, who are dads. I like your outlook on it because I've never heard that kind of outlook on that conversation, and I like it. It opens my eyes and like, “It is. You're right.” It's such a tough conversation because the thing with construction, especially in our climate in the wintertime, you're like, "Hopefully, you got some money in the bank to make yourself through." So then when the weather is nice, it's like, "Okay, boys, 6:00 a.m. start. 6:00 p.m. end."

Missy Scherber: Yes.

Taylor White: So you're right. We need to figure out how we can get a better work and life balance in construction. But as a business owner, and as you know, too, guys need to be out there doing the jobs. Because if you're pricing something, like the quicker you can get the job done or the more production, so many things come into a factor that it's so–

Missy Scherber: It's a lot right now.

Taylor White: Exactly. I find it so easy. And again, and this is another conversation because I've talked to people, I like where you went with this, because there's so many people who are like, "Construction, we need to be better to our employees and let them get off earlier and let them come in later.” And “Hey, we treat our guys like they're all here for a reason." But at the end of the day, I need my guys working by 7:00 a.m. in the summertime and at least work until 6:00 p.m. 

Missy Scherber: Or you won't win work. That's how you win work on the business development side is making this promise to your customers of excellence, execution, of production. And then, if you're in a winter climate, your customers and government entities are expecting all in balls to the walls all summer long. But that's funny enough, those same government entities, and this is what I'm pushing back at our civil rights offices, is like, "Your diversity goals are huge. Yet to meet that goal, your production schedule's expectation is ten to 12 hours. So how do I get women to get out a dozer? Because I know those are operators that are women that have kids. How do I get them on the projects to meet your goals? Projects, production schedule, expect 12 hours, and they have kids. Help me understand who was penciling this in their office as a standard and then saying it's an attainable goal." So, I'm cautious to have these conversations. I'm easing into them because I certainly–

Taylor White: It shouldn't be like that, though. I like the conversation because it's good and  because I see it from both sides. As of recently, my goal, like me and my wife, three weeks ago, she's like, "Hey, it's wintertime. It'd be nice if you were home by at least 5:30 every night.” I'm just like, “I can stay here forever." So now I'm like been trying to do that. But then also the other side of me as a business owner is like, "Okay. Well, I'm telling my guys that we need to work longer hours to get more work done so that we can grow revenue more this year.” So you can see it from both sides. And so that's why I like the conversation because I agree. But let's figure out how to do that because I'm just going to get estimated out of the game if I tell everybody, "Hey, come by construction. We're doing eight hours." And then the next company is still doing twelve-hour days. Well, they're going to get the job done sooner than me, and so  I can't even afford to do it for the cost that they're doing it at.

Missy Scherber: 100%. It conflicts with your business development and growth goals. I'm over business development within our company, and so I feel this collision of goals, and it's like I'm so determined over the next three to five years through trial and error to try to find something that works. And I know there's companies out there who are feeling the same collision who are going to figure it out and keep the dirt world a better place as us going and trying these smaller and mid-sized companies and saying, “What can we do?” And becoming a model of core values and compliance on all sides.

Taylor White: Yeah, you're right. 100%. 

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When you talk about business development, and kind of you were saying previously about your role in the business and everything, what's your day-to-day look like? I guess I know it's in construction, and every day is different, but if you could kind of dial in on, like, this is what I do.

Missy Scherber: That's a tough one. I fulfill a role as president for the company. My days are pretty standard to the layers of what that role means. So obviously, vision and strategy, researching the markets, where we headed, what's our game plan. I don't look very much day to day 10:00 a.m this week. I'm thinking about three months, six months, nine months, 12 months. That's kind of what I'm thinking about day to day and making decisions today that impact our tomorrow. 

Taylor White: You're outward facing.

Missy Scherber: Yeah, very much so. And then we have such a talented team, Trevor, our superintendent, who are thinking about execution of today, tomorrow, the pipeline, and fulfilling kind of what's in our schedule. Business development is pretty much integrated into every single day. Building relationships, customers, getting back to them. What's in your pipeline? How does that look? Do we need to be more competitive on these numbers? So BD is– Business development is a lifestyle for construction companies. It never stops. Machines might be out-moving, but that doesn't mean they'll be moving in three months. And so someone has to be thinking about that so that our guys have a true career here. So business development is a big role now with us tripling in size, HR insurance, compliance, contracts. I'm looking at something connected to that every day, whether it's onboarding, hiring, professional development of our team. 

HR was kind of the unknown. You talked about ceilings that you hit as you grow. And I feel that every 30% you grow, you hit a new ceiling of lessons that you're going to have to learn. Things are going to have to change. This no longer serves us anymore. I think, for us, last year, HR was the big thing that revealed itself, like, “Holy crap.” We now need an HR department and an HR process and procedures and an official way to onboard and, if necessary, fire and all the things. So HR insurance, our insurance premiums grew, our needs for bonding grew. So, like, all the boring stuff, I feel like this year I'm getting kind of sucked into. 

Taylor White: It's a lot of stuff. 

Missy Scherber: It's a lot. And then also workflow for me, like leaning in the software that will make our project management smoother as a company. We now have hired amazing talent to take on a lot of the roles. So now we're managing them and trying to give them the resources they need to have good workflow that support the company. And so I've been focused this year on innovation and software. Not technology in the machines, we're good there. Technology in the office that connects everyone and keeps them communicative and job costs and all the things. So on a day-to-day basis, I'm touching one of those. Maybe a friendly call from one of my operator; how’s your day going? 

And then the roll-off company, we have a dumpster company over on the side that our office administrator Pam is amazing at helping execute, run on a daily basis. So that typically answers your question, too. She's at a school of hard knocks right now of, running a roll-off company, which is really fun to watch her shine. So my day-to-day right now is business development, HR, insurance, people development of all the things, building a peak, performing team, keeping my sanity, eating, taking care of children, household, loving my husband, and save her at the end of the day.

Taylor White: Those are some of the biggest ones that you said at the end. 

Missy Scherber: They are. 

Taylor White: Yeah, that's just it. And that's just being an owner of a business. What you just described asking someone, I actually despise, and you're welcome for doing that to you, but I despise when people put me on the spot and always ask me like, “Well, what do you do? And it's like, “Well, I mean, what don't I do? Okay. Well, yesterday I did this. Okay. Then today, I'm doing this, and then I also have to take care of this.” And there's just so many different aspects to it. And, like, what you just said, you're covering everything. It's not like you're just like, “Oh, I work at company A and I am HR, and that's all I do.” It's like, “Well, I'm HR, as well as this and this and this and this and this.” And it's a lot. And it definitely takes the right person to kind of do all that stuff.

Missy Scherber: It does, and the right person to care. But what I appreciate about the question that you asked is that– I've been asked that question before on a podcast several years ago, and it was, “So, everyone wants to know, Missy, what do you actually do? And I found that framework very insulting. Like, “What do you mean what do I actually do?” I do what every other owner, person does.” You framed that question in such a respectful way of, like, “What does your day-to-day look like?” And gave me the level playing field of you're an owner, I'm an owner, and I super appreciate the way you framed it. It gives us space to build respect and have great conversation. So what do you think is the best advice for owners that are doing what you and I just described? We kind of have to do it all, keep our sanity, stay sane and straight and level. And I'm trying to just learn, like, how do you keep it all together?

Taylor White: One big thing for me, and again, this is cutting out time of the day, but it's like, to find that one thing that is kind of a de-stressor. And I don't know, maybe it sounds like such a classic millennial answer or something like that, but I'm serious. You're right, 100%. And it's just the stress and the overwhelmingness of getting everything done. And your calendar is always jammed, and you have this, and this person texted me, and it's been three days, and I forgot that I didn't respond back to them. And I have this email; I didn't read the email. And then now I got a–

Missy Scherber: You’re not the only one. 

Taylor White: I get it. I know exactly. We both can relate. So, for me, it's actually just finding  that 1 hour of the day. One big thing with our new office is I put a treadmill in a room, and I get on it. And I don't care to have the six-pack or ripped biceps or look like I do roids. I'm just doing it for my sanity. So for me, telling somebody that does what we do, be like, “Do find something.” I don't care. Maybe it's pottery, maybe it's art, maybe it's reading a book for an hour. Just normally, in the afternoon, at like 2:00 to 3:00, I just need something to just do. And I'm not shutting down when I'm doing it. I'm thinking about work. I'm thinking about that situation that happened at lunch between those two guys because he said that to him and how a simple, “Okay, what's the best way that I'm going to go about this?” And for me, it's finding that. So for me, that's the best advice that I would say to somebody. It's like, again, “Take time out of your busy schedule,” which they're going to be like, “I don't have time to do that.” Make the time to do it.

Missy Scherber: Make the time. So what you're saying is the treadmill that we have in the basement that I haven't been in months, I should– Yeah, it's there. Trevor is like, "Yo.” 

Taylor White: Maybe it's not exercise, though. Maybe it's something else. But–

Missy Scherber: I love that its such good advice, and it's not hard to do. We make it hard to do because it's not our human nature. But you're absolutely right. It's not hard to know, "What do I like? What gets me a little Zen, a little like, take a deep breath.” And it's 30 minutes a day.

Taylor White: Yeah, exactly.

Missy Scherber: Let's be human here. Like, for me, I'm trying to start to step away, and I've started these women in construction, probably men in construction, too, wall of fame on my wall.

Taylor White: I saw it on Instagram.

Missy Scherber: Yeah. And it's like, I'm thinking about my why and just, like, pausing the day and sitting back and, “Why are you doing this? Who are you doing this for?” Like, “You're doing this for your family, doing this for your staff’s family. These women did it, these men, and it worked. And it built this life for so many people.” So I'm kind of trying to get obsessed with my why, but I think you just nailed it. It's like, “Is it really that hard to take 20 to 30 minutes on a job site or in the office to step away and just do something that brings you that pause that's healthy?” We all have to be human here. Like, we have to push to be people in this industry because that's going to attract more talent when they see not burnout when they see us happy and loving what we do every day.

Taylor White: And being an owner, obviously, that's not feasible for a guy that runs an excavator. That conversation just isn't directed them but directing it to business owners. I know every business owner can at least find 20 to 30 minutes a day that they can cut out of their own schedule and do something where they can think a bit. And that's all I'm saying, is just find something that makes you think or Zen or relax. And yes, some of my best ideas and thoughts come from when I'm running. Whether it be for content, whether it be in my personal life. Like, “Okay, I reflect on how have I been as a father. Okay, I could work on this or that.” I have a lot of conversations with myself. Don't be afraid to talk to yourself. I think that's one, too. I talk to myself all the time, and I don't think people should stay away from that.

Missy Scherber: Yeah, I'm going to start talking to myself. And I'll blame you for that.

Taylor White: Not out loud, though. I mean, it's in my own head.

Missy Scherber: Right in your head.

Taylor White: Yeah, those are all very good points. As far as when I first saw you three years ago, and I was introduced to Missy Scherber, it was through Instagram, and I wanted to actually just ask you, what was the reasoning behind starting Instagram? Was it business? Was it personal? And then how did you kind of, like, shape yourself into this public figure within construction and being a business owner?

Missy Scherber: Yes. So, the original intention was marketing our business and telling the story of what I was watching unfold before my eyes was “Wow.” I used to go to model homes and be like, “Well, this is a beautiful house.” And celebrate the builder, the general contractor, the interior designer. No one's showing all the steps that lead to this beautiful moment. Like, you typically don't see the excavator at the ribbon cutting. And so I was like, I just want to share our story, and I want to highlight the work that it takes to build our world. And it was strictly from a marketing perspective and also a competitive advantage. I was shocked when I came into this industry and just saw that none of my competitors had great websites or were posting on social media regularly their work, no photography. I came from that world where the creative visual mattered to the point of sale. And so I just thought, “Well, let's have a competitive advantage and show the amazing work we're doing.” And it really took off. And we were one of the only excavators in the area who were active on social. Now all my competitors are, and I love it. You guys–

Taylor White: That's a good feeling.

Missy Scherber: I'll leave a comment on them, like, "Yes, nice new website." And they're like, "Thanks for making us up our game." So it started there. Caterpillar reached out in 2018. At the time, we had just had a couple Cat machines. Now we're switching to all Komatsu. Both are great, great.

Taylor White: Shout out, Komatsu.

Missy Scherber: I know. We shout out for them because we absolutely are just really happy with our fleet from them. They reached out on International Women's Day in 2018 and just said, "Hey, can we notice you? There's not a lot of women in earth-moving. Can we tell your story and give you a shout-out?" I was like, “That's great.” And through that, I'm like, “You know what? I wonder if I'd just start sharing my story a little bit.” And I did on Instagram. And it took off unexpectedly. I really didn't expect. I wasn't here looking for building a personal brand or anything like that. I just wanted to share our story and show through visualization that women are in this industry. Because I felt very alone and wondered, "Are there other females that feel me out there?" Through that Women in Construction Wednesday, I know this is WCW trend in 2018. 

Taylor White: Yeah.

Missy Scherber: And so I got online and was like, "We're going to start, we're going to change WCW, and it's going to be Women in Construction Wednesday. If you're a woman in construction, like, give a shout-out, show me your selfie, I'm going to share it." That’s just like, holy crap. I feel like it blinked. And within a year just had this amazing community of construction men and women who were like, "This is awesome. Let's do this. Keep sharing." To be honest with you, I was actually going to get off Instagram in the last six to twelve months. I know your face looks very surprised.

Taylor White: Yeah, please tell.

Missy Scherber: You know, I just put a lot of attention there, and things were growing, and I was probably getting a little distracted with engagement and giving the community what they need and wanted. I'm kind of a people person, so I'm answering all the questions and doing all the things. My husband Trevor was like, "Where are you? We have a company over here, and that doesn't put bread on the table. I understand it, and I love your passion for it, but you're in the early stages of a business, and we need you to be present." That, combined with kind of really publicly annihilated or bleed or something, but had really someone question me online, and like my heart starts getting fast when I talked about it because I never really talked about her. And basically, the question is, "Is Missy Scherber really a woman in construction?” Because she can run equipment, she can style these pictures with machines that I own and pay for because I can run them, I can operate them.

Taylor White: It doesn't matter, though. You don't even have to say that.

Missy Scherber: It just really questioned me. Unfortunately, now I look back, and I'm like, "Now, if someone said that to me, I'd laugh." But at the time, it totally debilitated me. It made me really insecure, which was my own choice. That wasn't the person that called me out online; it was me. It was me not understanding and knowing and being confident in who I was and what I was doing in construction. And so watching that happen and affect my confidence. Meanwhile, I need to run a business and run a household, love my kids and my husband, and love our crew. So, I'm like, "Screw this. I'm not coming out here if you guys. I'm here to just share and empower and support." And it's funny how that one or two people, the one or two haters, felt so big in my world, yet meanwhile, there's all these people who were inspired or feel prude. So, I really let that take me down a dark path and got to the point last year where my best friend could tell you this, where I was like, "I'm done. I'm done. I'm done sharing our story. I'm done sharing my story. Like, I am out."

And then what happened last fall, I gave myself a deadline, but then CONEXPO started reaching out, and I was like, "No, probably not." So last year, I had kind of told Trevor and one of my closest friends, like, "This is killing my confidence." And what was killing my confidence was caring about what the other people said. It’s not what the other people said. It was my care for it. We had a wildly talented operator walk into our office and say, "I've been following you on Instagram for a year, and I want to come work for you. And I have an entire crew that are in the company we all work for just got butt out. The leadership doesn't care about its people. And we all follow you on Instagram, and we know that you care about the people, and we all want to go work for you." And I was like–

Taylor White: That's reason right there.

Missy Scherber: Trevor’s looking at me like, "Oh, maybe you should stay on Instagram."

Taylor White: Yeah, I would say.

Missy Scherber: And that happened. And it started to help me see the positives of it. It helped open my eyes to the good things that I was doing online, and that it was making an impact, and that it made an impact on our company and on other owners and how they were doing their business and treating their people and other women, who like me, need to see themselves leading and loving what they do in this industry. And so I'm so thankful that happened because it kind of brought my confidence back and made me realize, “You're always going to have people that like you and people that don't. And people who make fun of you and ridicule you and people who love what you're doing.” And it's like, if it's just a few that love, that's what matters. And so, yeah, then I was like, "All right, I'm here to stay." 

And now that Trevor's really happy, he was in an interview yesterday, and the guy was like, "Oh, yeah, I follow your wife on Instagram." He was like, “Holy cow!” For recruitment of an amazing workforce, I never thought that would serve us. That wasn't why we were doing it. We were just being genuine and telling our story. And so Trevor is kind of eating his words now and all the time I spend on Instagram. So hopefully, now he's like, "Hey, just hang out on Instagram all day. It's getting us all our good people."

So, that's the story of social media for me. I did it for our company, and then I tried to build something that built awareness for the heroes that worked for us, including women. Then I was dethroned, I guess, by my own choice, by caring about what other people thought on it. I really was a woman in construction. And then I found my confidence again last summer and just being who I am and giving myself permission to be who I am and wear pink and be a girly girl and still be in our industry and love my guys and not care about what others think. 

And then I saw the fruits of my labor online really pay off from a recruitment and workforce perspective and for telling our story. Like, I go in general contractors, they know who we are, they know what we do, and they're excited to work with us. Before I've even done our presentation on, like, "Here's who T. Scherber is. Here's how we're different." And so I just think social media is a powerful tool if you can harness it for good and if you're truly self-aware of, like, there's going to be negativity, there's going to be haters. But there's going to be so much good, especially for the future of our industry from a recruitment perspective.

Taylor White: Yeah, 100%. And that's an incredible story that you just said because first of all, you don't have to - it sucks, but it's crazy because you let - and I'm a victim of this, too - we let, like you said, those one or two people that say this stuff to us affect us when there's hundreds of other people who are saying positive stuff about you. And sometimes, you don't even take the time to respond to them. And because there's a lot of it, or you just blow by, it's like, "Okay, great." But when you see that hate, it really sucks. And second of all, you shouldn't have to explain to anybody or feel like you have to explain to anybody whether or not you know how to run an excavator because you're a woman or you wear work boots every day because you're a woman. That's just so stupid. Who cares? 

I can't even relate it to anything because I'm not a woman or anything like that, but I get the hate, too, being third generation and having my dad - my dad got the exact same thing. My dad always talks to me because he always sees the comments. People are saying, "Your daddy's money." He's like, "They have no idea." And I'm like, "Yeah, that's fine." And he got it as well too. And then I get it as well too. And it's just getting in that mindset of, like, "Who cares? It doesn't matter what these people are saying." But I like the positive spin that you put on it, as far as like, "I gained my confidence back, and this larger thing came from this, and this is the actual positive spin of social media, and this is why I do it." So that's very impressive, and I think that it's really important for people to listen to that. And there's a lot of life lessons to be learnt from that story.

Missy Scherber: Yes, because we need more people that are on Instagram that I see on my stories, and you see them on your stories. We need more of them telling their story. They're just watching all of us, and they're not sharing yet. And we need them to share their story. We need their friends and family to see this industry and the power in it and the magic and the amazing life it can bring us. And so that means we all need to be bold, brave together to tell our stories online. And I waged war with it because it does open you up to maybe some negativity or someone making fun of you, or you did do that bucket, right? Or this safety vest. And it's just like, who freaking cares? We're building the world around us and doing it with the brows and amazing talent in the office and in the field. I almost want to say F that, but I'm not going to say that. All of you, screw that. 

And so, yeah, I think let's start a movement on social where we're asking our followers share your stories, too. Don't just watch us. What are you doing that's making an impact? And how many people would you bring into our industry just by sharing your story? We're visual by nature, be proud of what you do, whether you have a hater too or not, be proud of what you do. Share it online. People need to know the force of earthmovers and waste management and all the infrastructure and things that make their world go round. Maybe more of them would join us if they knew more about it.

Taylor White: Yeah, I totally agree with that. And I think that it's important to get the message out there and to also, as people are watching us in the industry, people like us, make sure that we're cognizant of watching other people as well too. And we're constantly learning and evolving. But I'm also really excited because we're going to be able to get to talk about stuff like this at this year's CONEXPO. I mean, you and Jimmy Starbuck and Katie Crane, and Matt Stanley.

Missy Scherber: Yes.

Taylor White: I just call him American Pavement, but he's Matt Stanley. We're going to be on an influencer panel, kind of talk about social media and the industry. And I'm really excited to kind of carry on even that conversation that we just had right there as far as– People listening, we're preparing this behind the scenes as a team and us just having this conversation right now, Missy, it's like, “Okay.” That's a great conversation to actually have as well, too, because there's a lot of talking points and lessons in that.

Missy Scherber: Yeah. The listeners need to know that if you're going to CONEXPO, that influencer panel is going to be amazingly important for where we are now as an industry, where we're headed. And they're an important part of sharing their story and branding themselves and being an influencer, whether it's within their company or online or offline. We're all influencers to grow and build a better industry. And so the influencer panel is going to be awesome. We have been behind the scenes. It's going to be epic. So I hope everyone is able to make it to that session. It's just going to be powerful. And they extended it for us. They gave us two hours, so we get to hang out afterward. I think we got to rally some sponsors and get some giveaways and give the people some beer and snacks or something.

Taylor White: I agree. Yeah, that's what I said. I think Matt or Jamie were saying, “Well, it's 9:00 a.m.” And I'm like, “I'll be cracking a cold one.” I'll be there. We'll be there.

Missy Scherber: Hey, construction, we're not on a job site, so let's make it. I'm so excited for the show. I'm so excited to see everyone. Obviously, Trevor is on the edge of his seat to go look at the equipment and go to the Komatsu booth. He's spent quite a bit of time there. Bobcat, Wacker, Nissan—there's a lot of brands. He's excited to go see what's coming for them. I'm excited to see the people. 

Taylor White: I’m the same.

Missy Scherber: It's a family reunion. We are a family, and it's the time to just see each other, pause, reflect, have fun, grab a beer, and have good conversations that make our industry better.

Taylor White: Well, I would love to continue on this conversation. We will be at our panel and just continuing at CONEXPO. I mean, like, you're going to be there, and I'll be there, and everybody kind of that's been on the podcast, and that's why I like to lead up with the podcast. It's kind of like a continuation of our conversations at the actual show. So I appreciate your time coming on today, and I know that this is a high-value episode. And I felt like I even pulled a lot from what you said, and I actually learned a lot about who you are and what you do. And I got to say I have a high respect for what you do day in and day out. I want to make sure that you know that.

Missy Scherber: Thank you. Everyone in this industry deserves respect for all the different parts and pieces and places, and I'm excited to watch you grow this podcast and take it a different direction. When you sent me the questions, I was like, “Oh, seems a little dry, boring.” And then you took it right in just–

Taylor White: And just that's why I don't even know if I touched on– I have the thing beside me open.

Missy Scherber: I don't think you asked one question, and I'm proud of you for that because it just shows that your interest in innovation and taking our industry to a new place. It's been in a great place, but there's some places for us to go. And I just love how human you made this conversation and how comfortable I felt, things I haven't shared before. And I hope that inspires others and you inspire others, and we'll continue on at CONEXPO.

Taylor White: I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Those are all insanely nice words, and now my head is going to blow up because of my ego, but we'll–

Missy Scherber: We’ll have your wife work on that.

Taylor White: Yeah, exactly. 

That has been the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Podcast. Thank you, Missy, for coming. And obviously, this episode is brought to you by our amazing friends over at Komatsu. Thank you very much for listening. 

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