Welcome to episode 39 of Spotlight on Middle Country! United Water Restoration Long Island CEO and Owner, Phil DePaul, chats with podcast hosts Lenore Paprocky, president of The Greater Middle Country Chamber of Commerce, and Elizabeth Malafi, coordinator of the Miller Business Center, about his entrepreneurial journey.
Phil talks about the business, as well as how he got started, and he offers advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. Get comfy and tune into this dynamic collaboration between The Greater Middle Country Chamber of Commerce and Miller Business Center.
Expressing his unique perspective on his growing property damage business, Phil has a saying, “If it’s dirty, disgusting, or dangerous, it’s probably our number that you’re going to call.”
His statement encapsulates the nature of United Water Restoration Long Island’s work, where we tackle challenging and demanding tasks. Whether residential or commercial damage is caused by water, fire, smoke, mold, or asbestos – to name a few examples – Phil conveys both the scope of work and the trust clients have in our abilities to handle unpleasant circumstances.
Phil enthusiastically talks about mobilizing a crew last fall to help property owners in Daytona Beach, FL, who could not get the help they needed to recover from the flooding and storm damage caused by Hurricane Ian. The disaster relief team worked long and hard, helping 30 property owners in 30 days. An accomplishment he is very proud of.
“The franchise was my opportunity to finally express myself as an entrepreneur and getting into it started opening up these neural pathways in the community where all of a sudden you get into something and it’s set in motion. I’ve been fortunate enough to build a great team around me, so they help to kind of feed that enthusiasm every day,” notes Phil.
Success stories often inspire and motivate individuals. From building a team to the power of perseverance and continuous learning, Phil’s words resonate with anyone looking to embark on their entrepreneurial journey. Throughout the conversation with Lenore and Elizabeth, it becomes evident that Phil’s passion for both entrepreneurship and community development runs deep.
“I’m interested in your entrepreneurial spirit.” – Lenore Paprocky, president, The Greater Middle Country Chamber of Commerce
Phil remarks he always had this internal fire that propelled him.
“I always knew that I wanted to be in business for myself. I didn’t know what, I didn’t know when, but I was always preparing. So, I think knowledge is power,” Phil wisely reflects.
Phil emphasizes the value of diverse experiences – with people, industries, and problems – as they shape an entrepreneur’s ability to tackle challenges head-on. Adversity, he adds, has been a remarkable teacher throughout his journey. His humility shines through as Phil admits to making mistakes but urges others not to fear them. Instead, he encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace mistakes as stepping stones to growth and self-discovery.
Phil says, “There’s a fine line between not being afraid to make mistakes and not making irrecoverable mistakes. You have to learn. You have to take some chances.”
In other words, mistakes are valuable lessons on the road to success.
Teamwork and leadership are also at the core of Phil’s philosophy. He highlights the importance of building a strong team to achieve success, drawing parallels to the world of sports, where even individual athletes rely on a team for support.
“Even if you look at a sport where it’s one person, you know Serena Williams is the only person on that tennis court, but she certainly didn’t get there on her own; there’s a team there,” says Phil.
Phil believes that being a leader goes beyond just wanting to be the boss; it requires guiding and inspiring individuals to become better versions of themselves. His dedication to personal and professional development is evident.
Phil states, “Actions speak way louder than words. Everything is the long game, a marathon, not a sprint. That’s the best way to lead people. Do the work, show up, and hopefully, somebody follows.”
Phil is thankful for the opportunity to inspire others. He acknowledges the significance of leading by example and demonstrating commitment through consistent actions. It underscores the idea that leadership goes beyond mere words and requires a dedicated and sustained effort to inspire and influence others.
During the interview, Phil’s genuine dedication to making a positive impact was praised by Lenore and Elizabeth, who expressed appreciation for United Water Restoration Long Island’s active chamber participation and support.
“It’s more than just joining the chamber, attending meetings, but showing your commitment to the community,” Lenore says.
“Shout-out and kudos for the help that you were able to offer us last year for our community fair and music festival. And again this year…you have committed once again to help us, and I am so appreciative. My whole entire board is appreciative of what you’ve been able to do. That’s really being part of the community because you don’t have to do this.”
Phil replies, “It’s our pleasure!”
Lenore continues, “And I think that people in the community should know that you’re a business in the community but you’re all about helping the community too.”
This exchange highlights Phil’s belief that being an entrepreneur extends beyond individual success and encompasses a responsibility to contribute to the betterment of the community.
Phil’s story is one of success. And it is a powerful reminder for all entrepreneurs that true success comes from contributing to something bigger than yourself. It lies in both individual triumphs and meaningful contributions to the greater good. Phil is more than just an entrepreneur; he is a part of the community.
If one thing is clear, Phil’s remarkable journey is not merely a destination but a continuous pursuit. His message: by combining our entrepreneurial aspirations with a genuine desire to contribute to the well-being of our community, we can create a lasting legacy and make the world a better place.
Special thanks to Lenore; Elizabeth; The Greater Middle Country; and Miller Business Center for inviting Phil to participate in Spotlight on Middle Country!
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