Public Figure

Meeting The $14M Pool Service Guy: Nilson Silva

Danny Leibrandt

Danny Leibrandt

Apr 6, 2024

Danny Leibrandt, Dennis Yu, and Nilson Silva
Danny Leibrandt, Dennis Yu, and Nilson Silva
Danny Leibrandt, Dennis Yu, and Nilson Silva

In the world of business, few stories are as inspiring as that of Nilson Silva. Twenty years ago, Nilson moved to America with nothing. Fast forward to today, he runs a $14 million pool service company. I had the privilege of spending a whole day with Nilson, alongside Dennis Yu and Parker Nathans, and came away with invaluable insights. Here are my top five takeaways from our day together, enriched with practical tips to help you thrive in your own journey.

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1. Opportunity is Everywhere

Nilson’s keen eye for opportunity was evident during our lunch outing. He pointed out simple yet impactful ways businesses can improve and grow. For instance, he noted the potential of using digital menus to streamline ordering processes and upselling desserts to increase revenue. He also emphasized the importance of making review QR codes easily accessible to boost customer feedback and online reputation.

Practical Tips:

  • Adopt Technology: Implement digital tools like QR codes and online ordering systems to enhance customer experience and efficiency.

  • Upsell Strategically: Train your staff to suggest add-ons and complementary products to increase average transaction value.

  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly review your business processes and customer interactions to identify areas for improvement.

2. Focus on Giving, Not Getting

One of the most remarkable aspects of Nilson’s philosophy is his generosity. He dedicated an entire day to us, sharing his knowledge and experience. His approach to business revolves around helping others. Nilson believes that by focusing on giving, success will naturally follow.

Practical Tips:

  • Be Generous with Your Time: Dedicate time to mentor and support others in your industry or community.

  • Build Relationships: Focus on building genuine relationships rather than transactional interactions.

  • Customer-Centric Approach: Prioritize your customers’ needs and find ways to add value to their lives.

3. Show People You Care

Nilson’s primary source of leads is referrals, a testament to his approach of showing people that he cares. He stressed the importance of personal connections and making people feel valued. “People are lonely, man. Give them a call. Show them you care,” he advised. This simple yet powerful strategy has set him apart and contributed to his business growth.

Practical Tips:

  • Personal Touch: Make regular personal calls to your clients to check in and show you care about their well-being.

  • Build Trust: Consistently demonstrate reliability and trustworthiness in your interactions.

  • Referral Programs: Encourage satisfied customers to refer friends and family by offering incentives or rewards.

4. It’s in God’s Time

Throughout our day, Nilson repeatedly mentioned, “It’s in God’s time.” This resonated with me deeply, as I often struggle with impatience and the desire to achieve my goals quickly. Nilson’s perspective reminded me that everything happens when it’s supposed to, according to a higher plan. Patience and faith are essential components of success.

Practical Tips:

  • Practice Patience: Understand that success takes time and be patient with your progress.

  • Trust the Process: Have faith that your hard work and dedication will pay off in due course.

  • Stay Grounded: Maintain a balanced perspective and don’t get discouraged by temporary setbacks.

5. Figure It Out

Nilson’s mantra, “Figure it out,” encapsulates his resourceful and resilient mindset. Despite arriving in America at 13 without knowing English, having a broken family, and no money, he managed to build four successful companies. His story is a powerful reminder that no matter the obstacles, there is always a way forward.

Practical Tips:

  • Be Resourceful: Use the resources available to you and think creatively to solve problems.

  • Embrace Challenges: View challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.

  • Persistence: Keep pushing forward, even when the going gets tough.


My day with Nilson Silva was an eye-opener, filled with valuable lessons and insights. His journey from nothing to owning a $14 million company is a testament to the power of opportunity, generosity, genuine care, patience, and resilience. By incorporating these principles into your own life and business, you can pave the way for your own success.

I’m incredibly grateful for Nilson’s time and the wisdom he shared with us. His story not only inspired me but also provided practical strategies that I believe can benefit anyone looking to improve their business and personal life.

What are your main takeaways from Nilson’s journey? How can you apply these lessons to your own path to success? Let’s continue the conversation and support each other in achieving our goals.