Chase Mullin has always known the value—and reward—of hard work. He grew up working construction jobs within the residential home building field for a family friend. When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Mullin was enrolled at University of New Orleans and immediately jumped into action helping local families to rebuild by installing projects designed by a local landscape architect. During that time, he started to rethink whether his pursuit of a degree in exercise physiology was truly where he wanted his future to take him. Around the same time, he was given the opportunity to work full-time for a landscape contractor. Then the true path of his future really began to take hold.
“Working for him led me to the decision that this is what I wanted to do,” Mullin recalls. “When I told him I was going off on my own, he smiled, because he’d always known. It was as though he had wanted someone to impart his wisdom onto, so he’d taken me under his wing.”
Today, things have come full circle. Mullin, who is now president and CEO of Mullin in St. Rose, Louisiana, is looking forward to the opportunity to be a mentor through the Trailblazers. We reached out to find out more about him.
What is your proudest moment in business?
There have been many, but the construction of our new facility in 2017 was a proud moment that stands out. About a year into business I visited Grunder Landscaping. Prior to that I didn’t realize the height of what a landscaping company could achieve. To see a really well-set-up facility was inspiring. That shaped my early vision for what I wanted this company to be. The design and construction of our facility has helped us achieve that vision. It gives our people a better environment to work in and that’s something that we’re proud of.
What has been your biggest business challenge?
Like others in the industry, labor is one of the biggest challenges. But another is the fact that there is no road map on how to set up a business or how to build an organization that works for everyone. So many of the decisions we have to make are based on gut or intuition. For example, when do you hire your first non-billable person? How do you know you have the need to keep them employed? Not having a clear roadmap to follow in these decisions is a challenge.
What motivates you on a Monday morning?
Working toward achieving the vision we set forth for our company is my motivation. I set out to support my family, our people, and to develop an environment that would continue to allow us to offer more opportunities for our team. Knowing the role I play is beneficial to that desired outcome is very motivating to me.
Who is your business mentor or idol?
I’ve learned a lot from a number of people over the years. My current mentor is Ken Thomas. He’s helped us better define the structure of who we are and where we’re going as a company. I truly appreciate the work that Ken does. He helps people like me improve their businesses, which results in better lives for us, our team members and our families.
What is your favorite business book?
I read a lot of books but the best book I read recently is “Traction” by Gino Wickman. I’ve read quite a few books that illustrate business operating systems. But this one seems to be the easiest to implement and the most relevant to the landscape industry.
What led you to become an NALP trailblazer?
My entire life, I’ve had a keen interest in helping people through my experiences. That’s what led me to become a Trailblazer—just the ability to give back and help others the way people have helped me. It means a lot to me to be able to help other people. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way but I’ve also done a few things right. To be able to help others through sharing my experience is important to me.
What do you hope to offer through the experience?
I’m looking forward to developing new friendships and giving back to the industry that’s given so much to me.
Where do you see your business in five years?
I see Mullin continuing to grow. This will continue to raise the ceiling for our people to achieve more with us. As we move into the future, I look forward to being able to create opportunities for new team members. I also want to create opportunities for existing team members to continue to grow within the company.