A decade of success Entrepreneurship done right

At a time when so many wannabe entrepreneurs waste time searching for magic shortcuts to success and fulfillment, Airrow Heating has proven that the only real path to success is to take a real risk and start a real business that employs real people who provide real products and services to real customers.

2/3 of all small businesses fail in the first 10 years

It's a lot of work, which is probably why 2/3 of all small businesses fail in the first 10 years. But when you have a leadership team with a can-do spirit, a little hard work doesn't frighten you one bit.

If you want to do entrepreneurship right, here is the story of Airrow Heating.

Anniversary Logo

Punched in the Mouth

It was 2005 when Garrett Bush, now owner of Airrow Heating, suffered a life changing back injury aboard an Alaskan commercial fishing vessel. After extensive back surgery, Bush knew that he would never again work on a fishing boat and at age 28, he faced a daunting reality.

“I remember thinking, now what? I mean I had a family to provide for and fishing was all I had ever known. It was scary.”
Garrett with his wife Nicole and their two children Sophia and Garrett Jr.
“The hero and the coward both feel the same thing: fear; it’s what they do with that fear that separates them.” –Legendary trainer Cus D’Amato

Climbing up off the Canvas

Ron Bush in 2006 standing inside the original Airrow "office."

While recovering from surgery, Garrett began to discuss his professional future with his father Ron, who was also in a transition period in his career. Ron had recently left a position with another HVAC contractor to start his own business, Airrow Heating. Well, it wasn't really a business yet as they hadn’t actually had a customer.

Airrow's first vehicle that Garrett painted himself.

Garrett recalls that at that time Airrow was an old white van, a small shop in South Beach, a logo drawn up at a kitchen table, and a group of guys that wanted to do it better.

Part of the original Airrow logo sketch.
“Looking back now, I can’t believe I went through with it, but at that time, I saw it differently. I saw it as an opportunity, and I took it.”

By the end of the first year, Garrett and the team at Airrow Heating embraced a fundamental truth that failed small business owners never do: the world belongs to hustlers.

Now, we're not talking about hustling in the pulling-a-scam-on-the-naive-newbie sense. We're talking about the work-your-butt-off-hustle. Hustling = doing whatever you have to do, for however long as you have to do it, until you reach your goal.

“Things may come to those who wait…but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln

Ron remembers how Garrett devoured every piece of educational collateral he could on the heating and cooling business. He worked tirelessly to make sure he knew the industry and eventually the business better than anyone.

Garrett and the Airrow team at one of their first product trainings in 2007.

This laser like focus and commitment to learning the trade would later give him the knowledge he needed to develop what many who know Garrett professionally consider to be his greatest gift, negotiation.

“If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing.” – Harri Holkeri
Ron and Garrett standing in front the News-Times' press with a copy of the Ductless-Times. A content marketing product that Garrett negotiated with the News-Times' publisher. Airrow became the only client to negotiate their own newspaper. The concept has been copied by many advertisers since.

When asked what it is like to do business with Garrett, News-Times Publisher Jamie Rand noted that Garrett’s creativity, adaptability, and cautious analysis of every deal make him one of the best negotiators he has ever met, seriously.

There was no one that Garrett enjoyed negotiating with more than the media and marketing representatives. The value he received allowed him to extend his marketing budget enough to tell his story.
Energy Trust advanced equipment was Airrow's first taste of the technology available to them in the industry.

Training for the fight

From the start, it was obvious that Airrow was committed to doing things differently, and by 2007, Airrow was the first Energy Trust of Oregon Trade Alley on the Oregon coast. The initial investment in the training and equipment allowed them to offer advanced services, but more importantly, it set the tone for how Airrow would do business - invest in training, invest in technology, treat the customer like gold.

"It's been the best decision I made for our home- ever! Lowest utility costs in years!" - Casey Godwin

Becoming a Trade Alley would be one of many firsts for Airrow over the next several years. From 2007 - 2011 Airrow would launch the first HVAC website, start the first Facebook page, and be the first to use iPads. But while Airrow had certainly made some bold moves early, he knew that it would take courage to take the next step in Airrow's development.

“Boldness is impatient. Courage is long-suffering. Boldness cannot endure hardship or delay; it is ravenous, it must feed on victory or it dies."
In 2011, in the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, Airrow would invest in a 6000 sq ft office and show room.

Back in the Fight

In-house training at Airrow's new showroom.

The investment not only gave Airrow a new way to interact with the community, but also gave the team a much larger fabrication room, and of course a place to hold in-house training.

going on the offensive

For Garrett, the money was spent, and he and his team were determined to make sure it was an investment not a waste. For the next five years, Airrow would work at their marketing, business operations, and of course, the training of their installers to insure they were the very best in the business.

Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble.” – Sugar Ray Robinson
Airrow would eventually open a second location in Lincoln City.

Since 2011, Airrow Heating is likely the most decorated small business in Lincoln County. In 2014, they were awarded the coveted Installer of the Year Award by the NW Ductless Heat Pump Project.

Installer of the Year Award

And in September 2016, Mitsubishi Electric crowned Airrow Heating with the New Dealer of the Year Award.

It's nice because this feels like the first time we have exhaled in 10 years. - Nicole Bush

The new champ

In an American culture that is more concerned with idolizing the shocking and unconventional lifestyles of Hollywood playboys and lying politicians than they are with what happens in real life America, we ask ourselves, what happened to the real men, husbands, fathers and small businessmen of America?

Why do they seem to be ignored or non-existent? The answer is obvious; so obvious that it’s shocking. The real men, the men who are building America, blazing trails, keeping the country running, under-appreciated, and over-worked as if it is expected and not worth taking note of - these men are too busy to give a rip.

These men are too busy waking up while it’s still dark outside, working 12 hours a day, coming home and taking care of their wives and children, fixing their old pickup truck, rocking their babies to sleep, and getting their family to church every Sunday to care about publicizing themselves, seeking public spectacle, or validation of obscene vanity.

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Airrow Heating
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Credits:

The Bush Family

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