Many people are given a nickname when they are growing up that most likely describes their personality. While most of those nicknames are meant to be funny and playful, Chuck Minott, The Water Man, used his to sustain a flourishing career. From the time Chuck was 14 he started working in the plumbing industry. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he traveled the country and the world. He would eventually be honorably discharged before moving to Maine.
There he earned a degree in applied sciences with a major in electronics technology. That knowledge, along with his experience in the plumping industry, helped kick start his career in water.
Becoming Chuck, The Water Man
“I was looking for a self-employment opportunity,” says Minott. “My combination of plumbing skills and electrical engineering skills were a unique skill set. I soon became a RainSoft dealer and was a top 10 RainSoft dealer for many years.”
After becoming the number one commercial equipment RainSoft dealer in the world, the company decided to hire him to manage its flagship office in Denver, Colo. Once in Denver, things began to change for him and he was starting to grow into Chuck, The Water Man.
“Life changes as we age," he remarks. "Our priorities sharpen. I absolutely love the water business and it turns out I am good at it.”
With that in mind he began to have a vision of the type of water business he’d like to run and took off with that concept.
That vision came to fruition with the 3M Authorized Water Dealer Program. In 2011, Chuck, The Water Man became the first ever 3M Authorized Water Dealer.
“So far, so good,” adds Minott. The company has now grown to a full staff of nine members. Minott’s duties include administrative and quality assurance. He also handles all marketing decisions.
The future of The Water Man
With his vision already in place, where does Chuck, The Water Man go from here? With the advances in technology and social media, any business starting up during this day and age will need to be well versed in each. Minott says the company has launched a website that has been very productive and it is currently active on LinkedIn.
He is also involved in other organizations such as The National Water Quality Association, The Colorado Water Quality Association as well as several local chambers of commerce. All of these are vital tools to help fuel the success for Chuck, The Water Man. But, it is also important to have a passion for the job as many people in this industry do.
Here is a list from Minott on what he likes about his job:
1. Problem-solving. Every day presents a new set of challenges.
2. Success. Only entrepreneurs can know the breed of success.
3. People. While some folks can be a bit disappointing, most people I meet are good, hardworking and honest. I find them to be a refreshing change from the work-a-day life of being somebody else’s employee. In recognizing this, we encourage our staff to be part of our family rather than employees. They work with us, rather than for us.
4. Competing with fellow dealers across the country.
5. I spent my life doing what I have to do, when I have to do it; I have reached a place where I can do what I want to do, when I want to do it. I really like that.
While running your own small business can have its advantages, there is also another side to the puzzle that brings difficulties. Minott lists staffing needs and company benefit programs as a few of the challenges he faces.
“With such high unemployment in the country, I am constantly amazed that very few people want to work and take enough pride to do a quality job every day. I insist on extremely high quality work,” notes Minott. “The new healthcare system is impossible for Chuck, The Water Man to figure out without expensive legal help. Most of the new regulations on employers and retailers are very complex to comply with.”
Despite these negatives, Minott is positive about the industry’s future. “There is an exciting new generation of technology emerging. I believe EDI and CDI will revolutionize this industry over the next 12 years. I see those technologies as stand-alone systems and a pretreatment to reduce TDS before RO and DI.”
Chuck is more than just The Water Man, he is an important part of the driving force in this industry to help move it forward. He doesn’t just associate The Water Man with his name … he lives it through his (and his company’s) actions.