Ben Menchaca is a D2D (door-to-door) sales rep for Hail Pro, a roofing company with offices around the United States.
Having sold over $3 million in roofs over the last few years, Menchaca has developed a solid reputation among those affiliated with the roofing industry.
Possessing a calm demeanor and earnest desire to help homeowners, it doesn’t take long to understand how Menchaca has made a living knocking doors and selling roofs.
And while Menchaca’s sales numbers often circulate around Facebook groups whenever his name is brought up, there is also another side to the revered sales rep, one that isn’t likely to make it into any of the viral YouTube videos he has been featured in.
Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, Ben Menchaca and his family moved further south to Wichita Falls, Texas when he entered kindergarten.
For the next six years, Menchaca enjoyed the wholesomeness that came with being part of the Wichita Falls community, but before entering middle school Menchaca’s life was upended when his parents divorced.
“It was traumatizing because one day my mom pulled me out of school and said we’re going to Chicago,” Menchaca recalls.
Adjusting to life in the Windy City was difficult for Menchaca, considering that while in Texas he lived a very middle-class lifestyle, but upon moving to his mother’s hometown, he was forced to live under less-than-ideal conditions.
“We downsized when we came to Chicago. I had to share my clothes with my cousins and live more frugally. It was a total shock,” Menchaca says.
An amiable individual, Menchaca adds that once he got into high school he became interested in comedy, in particular Chris Farley and his iconic Saturday Night Live bits.
While Menchaca never attempted to pursue a career in stand-up, he did follow the route of many of his peers and enrolled in college, opting to study graphic design.
But also like many young adults, Menchaca didn’t know the type of person he was meant to become when he entered university.
“For a large part of my life I did not know what I wanted to do, and after my parents got divorced my direction was scattered,” he admits.
Three booze-soaked years later, an aimless Menchaca decided to drop out of university.
“I went to college to please other people. I didn’t do it for myself,” he says.
“Being in college was a freeing experience, but I wasn’t mature enough to handle it.”
Suddenly thrust into the real world, Menchaca started working in the construction industry, picking up odd jobs in order to support himself and hopefully begin establishing a sustainable career path.
Yet not long after entering the world of construction, both he and countless other Americans were affected by the Great Recession in 2008.
“When the recession hit, that had a big impact on the job market in Chicago, so I decided to move back to Texas because they always have a vibrant economy,” Menchaca says.
Looking to find job security, Menchaca linked up with his cousin, who for years had been making a good living as a journeyman doing sheet metal work, and soon after Menchaca was clocking in for one of the state’s major sheet metal producers.
“Doing sheet-metal had good upside. I started at around $12 an hour but I could get up to as high as $35 an hour. I also qualified for benefits,” Menchaca says.
Despite the earning potential, Menchaca soon found himself dissatisfied with the work, citing the fact that his brain simply wasn’t stimulated by the production of sheet metal.
“Sheet metal wasn’t for me,” he concedes.
“You have to know math because you are bending metal, and it has to be done to the correct degree. I don’t feed off that type of work, and eventually it was causing me to have anxiety.”
To combat the disillusionment in his professional life, Menchaca spent every weekend partying away his paychecks.
“It was a revolving door of doing the same activities where Friday would roll into Monday. The only other excitement I got was the week I was able to take off and travel somewhere,” Menchaca explains.
As a result of his epicurean lifestyle, and despite making $28 an hour, Menchaca reveals that at one point he couldn’t afford his $600 rent payment, a humbling experience that forced him to reconsider the dangerous direction his life was trending.
Fortunately, instead of sulking over the chaotic state of his affairs, Menchaca immersed himself in an array of business and self-help books, and not long after, with the help of a close friend, he made the bold decision to leave his steady job in sheet metal and embark on a new journey as a door-to-door roofing sales rep.
“My friend told me to jump and that the net will appear, so that’s what I did. I gave all my belongings away, got in my car, and took off,” Menchaca says.
Of course, leaving the comforts of The Lone Star State wasn’t easy, but for a man who during birth was pronounced dead on three separate occasions, nothing ever has been.
That’s why today it would be an oversimplification to say that Menchaca’s life has been seamless ever since entering roofing.
In an industry plagued by malevolent contractors, Menchaca says there have been moments where he has been misled and cheated out of money, but far too often he has experienced immense amounts of satisfaction, which in turn has kept him motivated to persevere through the constant adversity.
“I’ve always had confidence in myself, and God gave me the gift of gab,” Menchaca says, in reference to what keeps him coming back to an industry as cutthroat as roofing.
“There’s something about how I speak that moves people, and consequently I always knew I could be successful. Still, to see it happen in roofing is crazy. There is no way I could have predicted this industry would be the vehicle that would allow me to elevate my finances.”
Since 2017, Menchaca has sold over $3 million worth of roofs to homeowners across the country, which includes states such as Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and South Carolina, but he currently resides in Minnesota, a state he commonly refers to as “Money Making Minnesota” because of the hefty payouts that insurance companies there grant for roof replacements.
“I don’t claim to be the best roof salesman, but I know what I’m doing on those doors. I know how to get people’s attention and extract revenue from any ZIP code in the country because I have learned and harnessed a very specific skill set,” he says.
While it would be easy for Menchaca to gloat over his successes, the former Texan is far from egotistical.
He even recognizes his own occupational mortality, understanding that because of the volatile nature of the roofing industry, his employment status could change at any time.
And he’s okay with that.
“I have already won. I could be out of this industry tomorrow and I will have already succeeded,” Menchaca acknowledges.
As for the future, Menchaca will likely knock doors for the next few years, but he is already planning ahead for his eventual departure from an industry that has changed the trajectory of his life.
“I’m not trying to knock doors for the rest of my life. The goal is actually to get off the doors,” he says.
These past couple years, through social media and several collaborations with Roofing Insights, a popular YouTube channel that covers the roofing industry, Menchaca’s brand has skyrocketed.
Roofing companies around the country have even brought Menchaca to their headquarters to consult and train their sales reps.
These consultations typically are extremely profitable, and while Menchaca is grateful for the lucrative opportunities coming his way, what excites him most is being able to positively impact roofing companies and change the complexion of the industry.
“People like me because I am raw and I lay it out there, and I think roofing needs more of that because in our industry there is a lot of sizzle and no steak,” he says.
Ultimately, whether you’re in roofing or another vocation, change isn’t easy, but as Menchaca has clearly demonstrated, it is possible, provided one operates with a long-term mindset.
“You have to find something outside of yourself to look forward to, something that gives you a purpose beyond just the monotony of your day-to-day life because that’s what you can harken back to when things get tough,” he says.
And yes, those hopeless days will come, which is why Menchaca is adamant that it’s crucial to understand that there are ways to fend off the pervading darkness.
“When you’re down, go help somebody else. Whether it’s mowing a lawn, weeding a garden, or carrying groceries, help other people. This will take your mind off the negative thoughts floating around inside your head,” Menchaca advises.
“And take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life. You can’t change the past, but you can own what has happened, and that will allow you to stop thinking you’re a victim who has no control over the direction of your life.” QS
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