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April 2, 2021 71 min

Are you considering making a career change to become a water treatment professional? Are you feeling burnt out and overwhelmed in your first year working as a water treater? Or are you navigating how to retire from a life spent working in the water treatment industry? If so, today’s podcast is for you. 

 Our guest is fellow Mastermind member and Continuous Improvement enthusiast Shawn McGrade. Shawn started as a building engineer and decided six years ago to become a successful water treater. Today we will discuss his water treatment journey, how he became the top sales rep at his former water treatment company, the importance of mentors, continually developing yourself, and some things he wished he would have known the first year starting in this remarkable industry. 

 Being a water treater is an incredible privilege. Our clients allow us to see behind the curtain, revealing to us fortunate few how things are made. They trust us to make the right call so they can keep doing what they need to do. Water treaters are crucial to a wide variety of facilities, and thankfully there are people like Shawn McGrade and our Scaling UP! H2O listeners who daily demonstrate to their clients the importance and benefits a great water treater can be to their company. Nation! Thank you for being astounding at what you do! 

 Your roadside friend, as you travel from client to client, 




James’ Challenge: “Research Langelier Saturation Index (LSI).” [5:01] 

Changing professions, Shawn’s journey to becoming a successful professional water treater [7:02] 

An average day as a water treater [23:00] 

What should we be doing when selling new accounts? [31:05] 

Joining the Rising Tide Mastermind for continuous development [35:04] 

What are the best ways one can be successful in the water treatment industry? [45:40] 

What advice do you have for those looking at a career change? [47:02] 

The importance of mentors [49:30] 

Resources to help you become a better water treater [57:20] 

Lightning Round Questions [1:02:01] 



“I looked at water treatment as an opportunity to make something of myself and take things to the next level.” - Shawn McGrade 

“Being patient, cordial, sharing things in laymen’s terms are crucial when communicating with customers.” - Shawn McGrade 

“The day-to-day is never the same, and as water treaters, we need to wear a lot of hats to be successful and bring value to your customers.” - Shawn McGrade 

“If you sit back and let your client show you what they do, let them walk you around the plant, it’s a huge way to build trust and build that relationship.” - Shawn McGrade 

“We get the front row seat to see how it’s made. To get those private tours, to see how it’s made, it is priceless.” - Shawn McGrade 

“If we learn something from each experience, then that means we are going to get better the next time that opportunity comes around.” -Trace Blackmore 

“If we keep doing what we’ve always done, pre-COVID, we will never be successful in the future. We need to change our sales techniques to the new climate.” -Trace Blackmore 

“You have to be dedicated and committed in order to be successful.” - Shawn McGrade 

“Normally we are busy working ‘in’ the business, and Mastermind allows us to work ‘on the business and ‘on’ ourselves. “ - Trace Blackmore 

“The advice I’d give to any water treater is to: Be patient. Don’t get overwhelmed. Invest in yourself. And to educate yourself to feel confident in those technical topics.” - Shawn McGrade 

“Let’s encourage more women to be in the water treatment industry.” - Shawn McGrade 

“When you are with a customer and don’t know the answer, don’t lie. Integrity is everything in this business. Look it up and get back to them.” - Shawn McGrade 


Links Mentioned: 

Shawn McGrade’s LinkedIn 

AWT (Association of Water Technologies)   

Rising Tide Mastermind  

Submit a Show Idea For Our Podcast 

Association of Women in Water, Energy & Environment 

Wim Hof Cold Therapy  



The Hang networking event (4.8.21 at 6PM EST)  


Books Mentioned: 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

The 12 Week Year 

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 118 


The Miracle Morning 

The Advantage  

The Success Principles  

Can’t Hurt Me   


Podcasts Mentioned: 

Lewis Howes  

Dr. Rhonda Patrick 

Joe Rogan 



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