I’m an international speaker and author so why am I going into the plumbing business? I barely know the difference between a pump and a sump and, call me pernickety, but I like to stay away from sewage, but if you had been through what I have you’d probably do the same.

See about five years ago I moved into my dream home, a penthouse with a roof garden. Besides a deck and hot tub, I’ve got 360 degree views of the city. There was only one problem. Rain. Don’t get me wrong I love rain, just not inside. Every summer with each new storm I would have to deal with dripping, that made me understand the term water torture. Parquet floors were ruined, curtains stained and my ceilings had enough mould on them to start evolving into a new species.

Over the years I ripped up tiles, waterproofed three times, rerouted pipes and listened to an assortment of plumbers and water proofing experts tell me that when they were finished the leaks would be gone. Except as soon as I paid my money the only thing gone was them, and my money. Drip, drip, drip. The water torture would continue.

After seriously considering selling my dream home, Mathew arrived. Perhaps not the guy from the bible but as far as my roof went, no less of a revelation. From the outset Mathew made it clear that he would stay on the problem no matter how long it took to fix. He would charge me an upfront fee and thereafter only for any materials he used. He tried something. It didn’t work. He tried something else it also didn’t work. By this time, fee paid, most people would have had me on caller block. Not Mathew. He was back trying something else, which also didn’t work. None of these latter attempts were costing me a cent. Throughout, he kept me updated, returned every call and never pretended that he had it figured out when he didn’t

This was a man with pride in his work who was going to find a solution no matter what it took. Finally, after a thorough process of elimination he called me one day and said, “Justin, I think I have the solution. We need to dig a hole in your roof.” After I checked the whites of his eyes to see that he hadn’t been smoking anything I asked him to explain. “Look,” he said, “you have three layers of waterproofing we know that every pipe is leak free, I don’t think the water is coming from the top, I think it’s coming from outside your property through the middle of your roof. If we dig a hole half way through your roof and create a French drain, we can catch the water before it goes into your ceiling.” Crazy idea right? It worked. For the first time since I moved in, I have a leak free ceiling.

Forget the technicalities, the point is Mathew demonstrated the kind of customer centricity that most of us only aspire to. He didn’t try to sell me a solution that would make him the most money he found a solution that would fix my problem. There is an old saying: “A man with a hammer thinks that every problem is a nail.” The waterproofing guys just wanted to lay down more waterproofing. The plumbing guys just wanted to reroute more pipes. Mathew just wanted to solve my problem and that meant thinking “outside the roof”. The solution he came up with was the cheapest and took the most effort but he won a customer for life. More than that he won an investor in his business. I figured that a guy like this was gold so I bought him another vehicle and now we’re expanding his business. So if you need a plumber, call Matthew on 079 791 5963. In fact to thank you for using his services, quote this blog post and he’ll give you a signed copy of my book Quest, Inc.