personal growth

A Remarkable Journey
An Interview by Lenny Giteck Randy Beard, owner of Pure Water Pools in Costa Mesa, Calif., has never been short on ambition. At the ripe old age of 19, he and his then new bride, Martha, started Pure Water as a pool-cleaning company. ("Even after being married and working together all these years," he says, "Martha is still my best friend.") In the nearly three decades since then, Beard and his company have evolved from
A Season for Renewal
For years now, I've listened to people gripe about trade shows - how dull they are and why attending them is such a colossal waste of time.  It's gotten to a point where it's almost fashionable to take these shots, and I hear them not just about the pool shows with which I'm vastly familiar, but also about the landscape shows of which I've attended just a few. Actually, I've been attending trade shows for longer than I care to remember.  Although just about every one of them managed to include some useful or positive experience, there's no question that I've approached them with diminishing enthusiasm through the years. I've never given up on them entirely, but I know a great many people who
October Skies
October has always been my favorite month.   I was born in October and married not once but twice within the span of its 31 days.  My son's birthday is October 11, and where I live in southern California, the weather is as beautiful as it gets straight through:  The first hints of winter's chill chase
Growth Formulas
For all the beauty and creativity that characterize the finished watershapes we cover in our magazine, I often find just as much inspiration in the stories behind these polished works of art.  Quite often, in fact, I perceive that these
The Art of Influence
In this business, there's no avoiding the fact that you have to be able to work with people. That may seem an obvious point, but if you're like me and tend toward the shy side, stepping out of your shell to work with others is not always easy.  I've always admired those with easy-going social skills, but I've never been one of them - and I know in this industry that I'm far from alone. In my case, I've found my way around my basic tendencies by taking advice I've found to be incredibly helpful in my work with clients as well as in my relationships with sub-contractors and fellow employees.  That advice comes from one of the true classics of 20th-century American publishing, none other than Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People.   If you're not familiar with this volume beyond its name, you might be impressed by the fact that Carnegie's seminal self-help book was first published in
Fear Not the Future
Not long ago, a gentleman who had attended one of the Genesis 3 schools was discussing an encounter he'd had with some other pool builders.  Much to his surprise, one of the people he was talking to told him he'd been crazy for taking the time and spending the money to attend the school. To me, this is indicative of the sort of mentality that holds our industry back.  What the Critic was saying was that his colleague was foolish to have attended the equivalent of a college-level course in aquatic design - a course designed to help him advance in his own line of work.   It boggles the mind, like that whole "dead architect" question and the difficulty some people have in valuing what we can learn from designers who have gone before us.  When I'm asked what we, as exalted pool builders at the turn of the millennium, have to learn from