Six Questions With Doyle Bloss
In this special Last Word exclusive soon to be featured in the March/April 2023 digital edition of Cleanfax Magazine, Jeff Cross asks industry leader Doyle Bloss six simple questions about work, life, legacy, and what matters most. Check it out below!
Who are you, and what do you do?
First and foremost, I am Tammy’s husband, and Dad to Tiffany, John, and Joshua. But many know me as Doyle Bloss, the vice president of marketing at HydraMaster. It is my job to create the messages that HydraMaster wishes to communicate about our products and understand and know how to use modern delivery systems to get that message to the cleaning and restoration industry. After that, it is my job to measure and understand the different desired outcomes of those messages. I also serve as the product manager of our comprehensive chemical solutions line and head up our educational and training programs.
I was blackmailed! I cleaned carpet all through my teenage years with a buddy of mine in the 1970’s. We discovered early on we could make a lot more money in less time cleaning carpet than our friends could flipping hamburgers. But then my father, Ralph Bloss, was 60 years old when he purchased Steam Way in 1982, a manufacturer of truckmounts, portables, and chemicals. I had just graduated from college with a degree in business and was deciding whether to pursue an MBA or start a career. My father had to borrow money from a bank to purchase Steam Way, and since he was 60 years old, they wanted a co-signor for the loan. Even though my brother, Greg, was already involved with Steam Way, he was not old enough to co-sign a loan yet. So, my dad offered up me, who had just graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder (Go Buffs!). I was happy to do it for him because I knew it was a dream of his to own the business. After co-signing the loan, I went back to school but every time I talked with my father, he would remind me how old and senile he was getting, and how he would love my help running the business, and after all, my name was on the loan, right? Of course, he was sharp as a tack. In 1983, I finally relented and went to work for him at Steam Way in 1983, and here I am 40 years later, still involved in the supply side of the cleaning and restoration industry. I think what keeps me enthusiastic about the industry was the same thing my father loved — seeing and helping young entrepreneurial families lay it all on the line to start a carpet cleaning business and become successful at a higher level than they ever imagined.
What’s your father’s (Ralph Bloss) favorite saying that impacted you the most?
My father had so many southern “sayings of wisdom” that he may not have invented, but he said them so often he gets credit for thinking of them. I need to write a book on them before I die. But I think my very favorite was what he is most often quoted as saying “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” I think it is my favorite because life proves repeatedly just how true it is. A couple years back I read an article in the Harvard Business Review that commented how 94% of marketing executives felt like their world was spinning out of control because the rate at which marketing message delivery systems (social media, electronic advertising, etc.) were changing made them always feel like they were behind the curve. That is still true to this moment. The messages have not changed so much, but how you deliver those messages to the potential customer base literally must be refreshed every three to six months. Another favorite “Ralphism” of mine: “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?”
If you could have dinner with one person from history, who would it be, and why?
I think I would go with my childhood idol, Roger Staubach. He was a football hero, a Navy hero, and finally a real estate guru. Throughout his many careers, he never wavered from his faith, his principles, or his determination to succeed. He succeeded both financially and in leadership. What would I ask him now that he is in his later years? Super Bowl wins or the commercial real estate empire he built — what is he prouder of? Could I invite Ronald Reagan to join us at the dinner table? He held steadfast to his political beliefs but had many good close friends on the opposite side of the political aisle, a skill that our country desperately needs right now.
What music, movies, or books inspired you to succeed?
Based upon change being a constant, I love the elegant simplicity of Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. I also love The Book on Mind Management by Dr. Dennis Deaton. Industry-specific would be anything ever written by Dr. Michael Berry. However, I think perhaps the greatest philosopher ever on the planet was Calvin, of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Opus of Bloom County fame rates right up there as well. I know it is kind of a cop-out, but I only like movies where the good guys win in the end, so any John Wayne or Clint Eastwood western or any Star Wars movies. I love movies and books that celebrate faith and family and am well known in my house for getting dust in my eyes at any movie where goodness or true love wins out. Much to the chagrin of many of my friends, I love country music. I like almost all music, but country music speaks to my soul.
Can you give us one or two sentences that best describe your philosophy of life?
First off, find something that brings you true joy outside of your job and business. For me, it is wildlife photography in Yellowstone or Alaska. Secondly, love God and love people. If you truly strive to do the first, the second comes so much easier. Life has its ups and downs. I think the best way to manage it comes from the old saying by Charles Swindoll, “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.” Make the best of each day and know you have an opportunity as a professional cleaner or restorer to create a healthier indoor environment for every customer you do work for.