John Chakalis, Edgar De Jesus and Zac Nicklas hadn't even met in person when they began conducting Instagram live sessions together.
That eventually morphed into the Pool Nation Podcast, where the three playfully self-described "knuckleheads" give listeners advice on how to run their businesses, how to increase their rates, how to be more profitable—and more.
"We always have fun at everything that we're doing. That's number one," said the California-based De Jesus, the CEO and founder of Pool Nation. "And we go into it, knowing that we are three knuckleheads. We have three different points of view and that's what we're going to give our listeners. We're going to give them three totally different opinions."
"I think the awesome thing about it is that we all have three different point of views," said Nicklas, co-founder and president of The Pool Boys (League City, Texas). "We're all at three different cycles with our businesses."
"I feel very genuine, very authentic," added Chakalis, the owner of J&J Flawless Pools (Coachella Valley, California). "We don't have a hidden agenda. Our goal is to truly benefit industry and to make it better for all of us."
Regarding show content, De Jesus said that a majority of the podcast listeners are looking for business advice.
"So there's a lot of conversations out there about water chemistry and repairs, but there's not a lot of conversation about how to run [a] business," he said. "That could be anything from HR . . . finances . . . raising rates . . . But it's a lot more on that side of their business that the traditional, 'how do I fix a heater or a pump' or water chemistry."
Chakalis noted that it's sometimes tough for pool and spa professionals to open up about more "intimate" subjects such as income or what to charge.
"We think that's probably the most important part of any business—having a clear understanding of how to run a business successfully, so that they're able to thrive opposed to just survive in the industry," he said.
"The whole goal is not necessarily to tell them what to do or tell them how to do it," Nicklas added. "It's just to get the wheel spinning so that they start thinking about these topics."