Guest Interview: Jason Phillips of Phillips Home Improvements “People Make Dream Businesses” Series: Episode 1

Published On: February 27, 2023

Categories: Podcast

Jason Phillips
In this series titled “People Make Dream Businesses”, Jason Phillips of Phillips Home Improvements will be discussing how to escape contractor prison and build the painting company of your dreams.  It is a 6-part series.
In this episode, episode 1, Jason will be discussing Key 1 to escaping contractor prison – true leadership in your painting company.
In episode 2, Jason will cover Key 2 to escaping contractor prison – building a highly effective team.
In episode 3, Jason will deep dive into Key 3 to escaping contractor prison, creating and implementing efficient systems.
In episode 4, Jason will discuss how your painting company needs to market itself for long-term and big-time growth.
In episode 5, Jason will elaborate on the DISC personality assessment and how to use it to ensure you have the right people in the right seats.
And in the final episode of this series, episode 6, Jason will take a deep dive into motivators – how do you get everyone excited and motivated to help your painting company grow and succeed?
If you want to ask Jason questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum on facebook.  Just search for “Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum” on facebook and request to join the group, or type in the URL There you can ask Jason questions directly by tagging him with your question, so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.
Jason is a return guest from Season 2 of the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast.

Video of Interview

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

Episode 1
– Key 1 to Escaping Contractor Prison: Leadership

Audio Transcript


Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. The show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million and annual revenue. I’m your host, Brandon Pierpont, founder of painter marketing pros and creator of the popular Pc, a educational series, learn do grow marketing for painters. In each episode, I’ll be sharing proven tips, strategies and processes from leading experts in the industry on how they found success in their painting business. We will be interviewing owners of the most successful painting companies in north America and learning from their experiences in this series.

Title people make dream businesses, Jason phillips of phillips. Home improvements will be discussing how to escape contractor prison and build a painting company of your dreams. It is a six part series. In this episode, episode one, Jason will be discussing key one to escaping contractor prison. True leadership in your painting company. In episode two, Jason will cover key to to escaping contractor prison building a highly effective team. In episode three, Jason will deep dive into key three to escaping contractor prison creating and implementing efficient systems. In episode four, Jason will discuss how your painting company needs to market itself for long term and big time growth.
In episode five, Jason will elaborate on the disc personality assessment and how to use it to ensure you have the right people in the right seats and in the final episode of this series, episode six, Jason will take a deep dive into motivators, how do you get everyone excited and motivated to help your painting company grow and succeed If you want to ask Jason questions related to anything in this pod series, you can do so in our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast forum on facebook. Just search for painter marketing mastermind, podcast forum on facebook and request to join the group or type in the U. R. L. Facebook dot com forward slash groups forward slash painter marketing mastermind again at U. R. L. Is facebook dot com forward slash groups slash painter marketing mastermind there.
You can ask questions. Jason questions directly by tagging him with your question so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company. Jason is a return guest from season two of the painter marketing mastermind podcast, Jason thank you for agreeing to return to the show and conduct this series for us. Brandon, I’m excited about it. We’re talking today about a subject that’s near and dear to my heart leadership. 100%. Yeah. So I haven’t always been I haven’t always been a great leader, not that I’m saying I am a great leader but I’ve been a bad leader at times.
Well I’m I’m an enthusiast, I’m a student and I’m an enthusiast. So but you know there’s a lot of guys who who may not see the value of leadership, especially when you’re you know when when you’re an owner operator, your company is a little smaller and you’re dealing with a lot of problems of what I would like to say, making the widget, you’re in that phase one where you’re on the job site maybe you’re painting, you’re doing the sales, you’re doing basically everything and uh you know, as your company grows, it will quickly become apparent the need for leadership.
And if you can get ahead of that curve, uh you can, you can do what I didn’t do and avoid a lot of headaches along the way. But you know today, today, this day and age, uh my mission Brandon is to lead and inspire and empower business owners like your listeners to become better leaders so that they can discover and live life with purpose beyond running their business. Yeah, but unfortunately too many, you know, as we’ve talked before on the podcast before, too many business owners are locked up in contractor prison and hey, can we do a little role play real quick ring, ring me, ring ring, ring ring, welcome to contractor Hello and thank you for calling contractor prison painting where we do great work.
But our owner operator, his life is a mess. Matter of fact, he doesn’t even have a life. This is warden soul crusher, how may I direct your call? Oh my goodness. And and that’s that’s that’s that’s a true story for too many and you know, some of there’s a lot of, a lot of business owners are fast paced and they work well under pressure, they work well under pressure and but that’s not scalable, it’s not scalable and if, and if you’re one of these guys or gals who loves getting up on the ladder and painting and you love, you love to work with your hands, it’s beautiful, it’s a skill that I don’t have, that’s wonderful.
But there’s gonna come a day when your knees hurt your back aches and you don’t wanna climb that ladder anymore. How are you gonna keep paying the bills? And so you know, leadership is important. There’s there’s three keys that will get you out of this contractor. Prison, contractor, prison is means you’re a slave to your business, You don’t have time or money and you definitely don’t have freedom and one is to become a better leader. What we’re talking about today to is to build a team of people and three is to implement these simple able systems and you know, your your business.
It’s it’s it’s it’s like a raging fire and it’s hungry for more fuel and that fuel is your time and your life and uh you know, but so so that that raging fire can either be a hell that you burn up in or it can or it can be used to boil water and boiling water. We all know what that makes steam steam fires uh energy plants, locomotives and it cooks up good things to write and so your business can also provide you with time money and freedom if you do things right now, I did a lot of things wrong and I learned the hard way, okay a long time ago and eventually figured it out.
And I’ve paired up with some people that were ahead of me to learn and I’m hoping that Brandon your listeners through through your podcast and through all your guests and, and through through the message that I have to give can stand on our shoulders and not have to make the mistakes that we made and learn and grow and build bigger and greater businesses beyond you know, beyond what I’ve done for sure, Jason, I want to point out a couple of things kind of random things. I’m gonna point out a couple of random things.
One is your shirts absolutely absolutely killer. So most of our listeners are streaming this on audio. If you have the chance to look at the video, please look at it because Jason’s wearing a cool shirt that I’ve ever seen him wearing and he’s already, he’s already famous for his shirts. Number two is your background, um, is killer Dude. I love it. I feel like I’m at, uh, I’m not a casino or something, but it’s getting very excited. So check out the video because Jason is producing quite a show here.
Uh, and I’m loving it, but I want to push you and you’ve always been a good sport and I appreciate that. And your humble, which makes you just a phenomenal guest because you’re knowledgeable but humble. You said you did it wrong, You did it wrong. In the beginning. You were not a good leader. I want to know, what do you mean by that, what that look like, What that cost you? Because there’s probably a lot of people listening who don’t really know how to be a good leader.
So let’s start with what you did wrong. So the cost of the thing, the type of things I did wrong. It cost me time, it cost me money, cost me freedom. It also cost me some relationships, um, you know, early on, uh, when I, when I started and I hired the wrong people, like we’d like put a mirror under their nose and the mirror fogged up. They had a job. Yeah. A warm body throw those bodies out there, right. And that created a lot of problems. So one I paired myself up with with the wrong people.
I’m not saying bad people saying wrong people. There’s a difference between between bad people and the wrong people. And I talked about that in one of my recent blog posts, if anybody wants to check it out. But the, the, uh, not creating environments with a shared vision, um, and not building people and you know, I like to think of myself as a, as a, as a person of integrity. However, I’m not perfect, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and your employees see those things, they see those things.
And so, but, but a lot of the mistakes I’ve made have not necessarily been, you know ethical or integrity, but it’s it’s it’s not understanding how to truly lead people and how to build a team. And even even on my my key number three simple systems which we’ll talk about later, not building the right type of systems for for my team. And so you know what what is, you know, what is leadership? Very simply leadership is influence and you can think about that as well. I’m going to influence people to do what I want them to do and I’m gonna make him like it and and that can be selfish.
Okay, that can be a very selfish thing to do and that’s disingenuous and eventually people are gonna see right through that. But you know, as as leaders as as business owners, if if we want to scale our business, we have to get results through the actions and behaviors of others and we want to we want to gain that enthusiastic cooperation with them right now. You know what? So but why is leadership important? Well, if we want to be if if if we want to be a one man show maybe leadership is not for you, for all the rest of us out there.
We cannot accomplish what we want to accomplish without leadership without becoming a better leader and nobody starts off as a great leader and every master was once a disaster that goes for everything in leadership as well. Okay, so unfortunately we have to learn, we have to iterate, we have to get better, but but leadership is so important, you know, Gosh, even the bible talks about says where there’s no vision, people perish well where there’s no vision in your company, the people are gonna disappear and they’re gonna go work for a company that has a vision that they can get on board with.
And so your leadership is vital and you may be at the point where you where you feel the urge to become a better leader or you may think of leadership, is this this nebulous thing out there that doesn’t have any application in your business to where you’re at right now. And I understand if you’re, you know, if you’re climbing the ladder or you’re running the sales calls, you don’t have a lot of time to think about becoming a better leader and knowing the difference between a boss and a leader, you don’t necessarily have the time to do that.
But we have to get a vision that’s beyond our, our day to day and or week to week, we’ve got to pull our head up above the clouds so we can see the horizon and that’s one of the things we have to do as as leaders is is is look further than others, You know, your front line employees, they’re probably they can probably better barely see past this week’s paycheck. Think about that. And when, when you can start looking further on, you can navigate things better. And that’s what leadership is about.
You know, leadership is is is about having a vision. Leadership is where we’re going and why we want to go there, Why we should go there. It’s leadership is talking about the where and the why then there’s managing or management, is that what are we gonna do, What are we going to do to make that happen? How are we going to get there? That’s the leadership versus management. And they’re two different skill sets and typically they’re two different personality types. Leaders and managers. You need both in your company.
I think that’s huge to, you know, the leader being the the where where we go on the why? And I think often times people confuse the what, how are we going to get there? What are we going to do? Day to day, week to week, month to month um as being a leader, but that’s really that’s really an implementer, right? That’s a manager that some people can. I also want to circle back before we get too far off. You said that your blog article was about hiring the wrong people, not bad people, but the wrong people.
Is that right? Yes. So my uh just recently published a blog and it’s and it’s uh do you have the right people on your team? Right, okay. So we’re going to link to that blog in this description. So anyone listening is going to be able to actually connect right to that to make that, that would be great. Okay. Now I wanna, I wanna know kind of, you know, you were, you were losing people write some relationships are being severed. Um people are kind of falling off because they weren’t they weren’t aligned with the vision or maybe there wasn’t a clear vision.
What what cued you into the fact that, hey, I’m I’m messing up here, I’m not the leader that I need to be. Well, you know, a lot of times when we when we when we’re early on were like, hey, come join me, we’re gonna make a lot of money, right? And and so so that’s, you know, that’s valuable, hey, we we do need to, we need we do need to make money. But that also will create an environment where everybody is selfish and it’s only about what’s in it for me w II FM what’s in it for me?
And there’s no shared vision to push the to push the business forward and people are going only going to do things in the company’s best interest if it’s also in their best interest. Now, when you have, when when you have a great team, the right teammates, the right vision, the right culture and right values. You’ll see that there are people that will give up things or make decisions that may cause them more headache, more work cost them personally money. But they see that it’s for the benefit of the team and they care about the team, not just because they care about putting money in the owner’s pocket, but they want to have a healthy company because they see their career being there for a long time.
Jason, I’m gonna push you on this. I only do it because I know you’re a good sport. I push even harder, you know, push everybody, but I push you even harder. I think, um, you might not be able to think of one off the top of your head. I would honestly be kind of shocked if you could, but I want to see if there’s anything, any kind of example to bring this down a street level, right? So anyone can, can kind of relate to it. Is there any example you can think of where an employee has, has maybe taken a personal hit or, or has kind of made a personal sacrifice of some kind, um, for the team.
Oh, I can think of a number of them. Let me tell you, uh, on, on a, on a big level Covid hit and we were, we were going, we were, you know, business just dip tanks, right? We didn’t have to close our doors, but my leaders came to me and said, Hey Jason so we can retain our team, We want to take a pay cut. Oh wow. And they took a very significant pay cut. That’s an unbelievable example, a very significant pay cut to, to make, to keep other, to keep the team together.
That was their idea. That was their idea. Okay. And um occasionally, uh we have uh a team member has a family crisis and they need to take some time off and we have other teammates working overtime picking up the slack that was left filling the gap. But when it’s scenarios like commissions are involved or incentives are involved, the person that’s out still gets the incentive. They’re working for that person’s benefit instead of saying, oh well you were out and I had to do this, this is, you know, this is my money.
So those are, that happens every time we have a team member out there, this is next level stuff man. And it’s just, they constantly, they constantly blow me away. I am surrounded by so many amazing people, people, I know people I know that have my back and it’s not, it’s not that I need people to have my back, we have each other’s back and as a team that’s, that’s, that’s invaluable, that’s invaluable. It’s those type of things that make me sleep at night, very sound and peacefully.
That’s incredible. So let’s let’s talk about your vision, right? Your company’s vision, what everyone is focused on. That’s, that’s, that’s higher than self purpose. Okay, so our long term vision is to waltz across the state of texas and be the premier home improvement company in the state of texas. That is our vision. We do, we do painting, we started in painting, we also do a lot of roofing and we do, you know, gutters and we do a little bit of windows and doors, but our primary main business is painting and roofing, residential, interior, exterior painting and roofing.
So, so that’s our vision is to do that. Now. What we’re going to do to achieve that is we’re going to do what we call double wow double Powell. That means we’re going to create a wow culture with a thriving team. That’s measurable. We’re going to wow our clients with best in class service and we’re going to make double digit profits and double digit growth. That’s our double wow and our double Powell, that’s our vision, that’s that’s that’s our mission, how we’re gonna get to achieve our vision, wow, double wow double power.
You guys made that up? Yes, that’s awesome. So I feel like I’m just gonna, you have so many things that I just want to take. I don’t know, I don’t know if we talked about timidly before, but um and I’ve written about this as well, but, you know, I’m my I’m passionate about leadership. I’m passionate about ethics in business. I’m passionate about company culture, uh there’s a whole bundle of things that I’m very passionate about and they all end up revolving around people the subject of people, but uh on our team, we, we, we care for each other, like a, like a family and we position each other and work for results, like a team and we squish those two words together and we call them timidly and that’s who we are is tim early.
There’s a blog about that as well. What what is your man, what is your on board process? Like how do you, you know when you, when you have a new potential employee coming to you, is this stuff you’re addressing on day one? Is, is this like, hey, we’re not your normal company, this this is what makes us pretty unique or how are you approaching that? Oh, without without a doubt. So, um I have a hiring manager, um it’s one of the hats that that she wears, jennifer and um she is constantly uh advertising, networking, recruiting, interviewing, interviewing, interviewing, and really vetting vetting candidates now, having said that, you know, just because you do all this vetting, it still does, there’s no guarantee all you’re doing is increasing the odds, you know, at the end of the day, you know, you’re gonna hire their resume, but you’re gonna end up with them, that’s what you’re gonna get at the end of the day.
And so I have a little joke with our VP, he and I have a great relationship and one day, one day, he messed up on something, you know and I was I was razzing him. I said you know I said I hired your resume. But unfortunately what I got was you and that’s just that’s just that’s a joke. But but in reality that’s truth we we hire people based on their resume and maybe a few references and and an hour or in a couple of different interviews.
Very very little data. You know. And they’re gonna do their best uh sales presentation at the interview with their resume. The resume is the highlights of their life, you know? And after you work with them you get to know who they really are after a time, right? So but yes the the culture and and bringing that on, we address that from day one and our candidates constantly tell us uh from day one they’re like I knew this place was different when I walked in the door. The atmosphere here not okay not the not the look of the office.
And I’m gonna I’m gonna be honest right now we’re in between offices were we were about to move into in the next couple of weeks our new building. And in the meantime uh we we moved into a smaller building we call refer to uh as the sardine can. It’s a little metal building. Everybody’s working close, okay. And I kid you not our interviewing happens in the kitchen in the kitchen, okay. And uh during this time this is how amazing my team is during this time where we are squished working on top of each other.
I don’t even have a desk. Okay. There. We won the best places to work in north Texas by the Dallas Business Journal. Okay. And that table in there. No, we don’t have sleeping pods. None of that. Okay. We have a picnic table outside. And uh that was that was nice during August when it was, you know, 103° in Texas. But but it’s it’s it really is about the culture and people. I know we’re getting a little off topic here, but one of the, one of the primary things leaders need to do is to develop and champion and guard the culture.
And so uh our culture is is amazing. And I have I this is a story for another time. Brandon. But in 2016 I remodeled my company, scraped it almost to the ground and started over because I didn’t have I didn’t have a foundation of trust. We had we had made a lot of money. We had won a lot of awards, okay. But I wasn’t sleeping well at night because I had people that were out for themselves, people who were taking more than they were giving and I wasn’t, I’m not blaming them, okay.
I’m blaming me and my my lack of leadership excellence. So we maybe we can talk about that another day. But uh yeah, it was it was it was quite a tumultuous time, and uh I’ve got some amazing leaders that uh that has stuck with me through it. And uh it’s it’s it’s been wonderful. But you know, back on back on the subject of of leadership specifically, you know, we have to ask this question you’re talking about H. R. You know, ultimately it comes down to trust. Trust is the currency of business.
Trust is the currency of relationships of every relationship in your life. And it’s the it’s the it’s the currency of leadership as well. And so, you know, when you hire someone, you’re trusting them and they’re trusting you, they’re trusting you with their hopes and you’re trusting them with hopes as well. Right? And so uh you know, one of the things that that great leaders do is is they build they build trust and, you know, for everybody listening here today, ask yourself, would I work for me, Am I trustworthy?
It’s one thing, it’s one thing for for you to truly be worth trust. It’s also another thing for your people to perceive that you’re trustworthy. There’s a difference, you want your people to trust you, right? And you want to be trustworthy, and, you know, but great leaders, they’re trustworthy. They’re ethical, they’re they’re truthful, they’re transparent, okay, uh they’re credible, They’re caring, those are just some characteristics of great leaders and uh you know, it’s easy for me back in my day to just turn into demanding boss guy.
Okay, go get this done and, you know, you have to be strong as a leader, you have to make hard decisions as a leader, okay? But and people will stick with you when there’s trust and credibility and you know, the, the idea that that trust and I’ve written extensively on all of these subjects. So if anybody wants to just dig in more, you can read my blogs and uh, you can actually listen to them as well if you care to. Uh, but trust is a matter of the heart.
What’s your Jason? What’s your, let’s just listed here? Or let’s, let’s just verbally say, what’s your website work and they go check this out. Okay, the best place to go to connect with me. And it’s a link right there. If you just go to Jason w phillips dot bio. B I. Oh, it’s just my bio page, has a link to my blog, has a link to some other resources we may, we may talk about here. It’s a great place has all of my social links, my youtube, my linkedin facebook instagram, all that.
So if anybody wants to connect, I’d love to connect with you guys. Thanks man. Um, so I wanna, I wanna kind of dive into the, the minutia here, I guess. So let’s say that people are listening because you’re pitching, not pitching, you’re presenting, right? You’re demonstrating your showing this this pretty lofty goal, you know, for people for a lot of people, this almost sounds too good to be true, right? Employees coming in and proposing their own pay cut employees really almost working for each other, right? In, in a, in a pretty big and successful company.
Um, and then being voted best place to work, uh, when it wouldn’t really look like the best place to work right from, from the actual facility. Um, how do you start right for somebody listening, man? Like, man, that’s a dream. I would love to have that. I’m nowhere near, um, phillips, home improvement size. I don’t have those kinds of resources. I don’t have a huge team yet, but I’d love to start today building that trust credibility, being that leader that my team needs what’s step one. Well, step one is a shift of mindset that, that it leadership starts with you and if you want to build that culture, okay, we’re farming here, we’re running a marathon, we’re not running a sprint and you’re not gonna do it overnight, chances are, there’s a lot of, there’s, there’s a lot of listeners who have hired warm bodies, maybe there are people that do the job, but maybe they don’t share your values.
They don’t fit well within your culture. Maybe you’ve got some Prima donnas on your team that you feel like have you have, you locked up, you can’t, you can’t fire them because they get too much production done or drive too much revenue. Okay. And you can’t correct them. There’s all these different, there’s all these different situations and it’s going to, it’s going to be built and changed the shift, this growth is going to happen one grain of sand at a time and it’s gonna be uh one you need to grow as a leader two and there’s specific things you can do to grow as a leader.
We can talk about those and two, you need to exemplify the traits of trustworthy, credible leaders. And if we talk about uh, you know, being ethical, let’s talk about some things that maybe bad leaders do things that are going to destroy trust in your in your company. Let’s just use an obvious one. Um Which no one is, no one. No one is listening would do this. A customer gives you a deposit and you run off with it and block their number obviously. Right, okay. Are your employees gonna see you do that most likely.
Are they gonna trust you once they see you do that to a client? No. How about How about How about a more benign one? Might seem benign, harmless. Let’s water down that paint. So we don’t have to make a uh an extra trip to the store to buy a gallon so we can finish this job before dark. How about that? How about let’s um let’s just hurry up and get the check from this customer so we can get out of here and I hope they don’t notice that we missed that spot over there because I because I’ve already got the 36-foot ladder loaded on the truck and the paintbrushes are cleaned out and I just noticed that spot.
Your employees are going to see the decision you make in that moment. And I think a lot of people don’t really think about that. They’re they’re focused obviously from a customer standpoint, that’s problematic. But that’s all they’re focused on their not realizing they’re actually eroding trust within their own team as well. Exactly, how about another one? Um We we sold them um Emerald or we sold them resilience, whatever we go to the store they don’t have in stock, they’re gonna give us super paint. Mhm. Are we gonna tell the customer we’re gonna have a conversation.
Are we gonna drive across town to get the paint? We promised them. What are we gonna do? And you know, Trust says, I trust you, I trust your intentions To make 2 2. I’m putting my heart in your hands and I trust that you’re gonna make good decisions with my job and with our company, with a team I’ve joined and incredibility is really about your follow through. It’s about do you follow through on those things and there’s there’s a lot of great leaders that are great talkers, okay. They’re really good at inspiring people, but they’re they’re terrible at follow through and when when you don’t follow through you slowly, the very people that love you are going to slowly start to disrespect you.
It’ll start by, they’re gonna make mistakes, they’re gonna cover for you and they’re gonna make excuses for you. But eventually that’s gonna turn into you’re gonna, they’re gonna be disillusioned and in no world or disillusioned employees going to get great results for your team and no world are disillusioned employees going to thrill your customers and this is not about entertaining employees and this is not about catering to everything they want, this is about building a thriving culture where people love working for results. They love working for you together for toward the vision doing the down and dirty work.
They don’t care that it’s down and dirty work because they know it needs to be done. So this is not about sleeping pods and ping pong tables. Okay. And unlimited vacation. It’s not about that, those, those are by the way, those type of things are quickly evaporating in the, in the tech world, in the corporate world, yep, it was the flavor of the month or of the year, whatever. Okay, But at the end of the day, people want to use their skills, they want to make a difference and they want to do it for a team, a company and a leader that’s going places that’s what they want.
Yeah, I love that man. People wanna have that higher purpose itself. They don’t wanna they want a job, they want a purpose. You know, trading time for money. That’s really depressing. That’s a depressing thought. You know, if you think about this, look we’re painting houses that’s not glorious. Were were you know, it’s we’re not we’re not ending world hunger, we’re not curing cancer, okay, we’re not doing that. But what are we doing? Okay. People live in a home that’s part of the american dream. They give their blood, sweat and tears for these homes.
They pay taxes that now these homes aren’t built like the great pyramids and you know, last for thousands of years. The the the the weather, the elements we we we personify this in our business as deterioration kind of like scrubbing bubbles, deterioration is is is the enemy of the homeowner. And it’s and it’s taking the homeowners piece away when they try to sleep at night, just like a faucet dripping, what if it’s raining and you hear dripping water in your attic or you walk up to your door and you see peeling rotting broken, caulking peeling paint, rotting wood, things like that.
Those things eat away at a homeowner’s peace of mind in the very place that they should call sanctuary okay. And when we come in and we help them fix these things, we partner with them in renewing and restoring their home. We’re doing something very important and and my team gets that. We’re not just painting for a bunch of picky people so we can hurry up and get the paycheck and get out of there, if that’s the environment we got, we’re never gonna go very far. Yeah. Yeah, man, I love that.
I want to circle back and I know you said we’ll save it for another time, but if you’re up for it, I’d love to learn a little bit more about 2016, right? For people who are listening, who are, who are, you know what, 20, here. Um you know, maybe they are a little bit further along in their journey, but but they realize that they maybe want to consider making a change. What what kind of prompted you to make that? And then what did that look like? It sounds like it was, it was somewhat painful.
So I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you what I uh I really felt the reason the reason I started my business was to make a difference in the lives of people and which that’s, that is itself is another story. But I felt that I needed to um create an environment where we could touch more lives. And the lives are not just the clients and the people in the community that we serve there, the teams, the employees, the people that we spend eight plus hours a day with, right?
We we we spend more more, a lot of times more time with people we work with than the people were married to or our Children or our church. And so the, the amount of impact and the difference we can make in people’s lives to raise up leaders and leaders of families and leaders in churches and organizations outside of work was enormous and I knew that that I was called to make a bigger impact. And, and I knew at that moment that I needed to become a better leader.
And so, uh, I came across this book called The Advantage by Patrick lindsey Oni. And I’ve, I’ve linked to that book on my bio page by the way, and it talks about trust and I, if you’ve got employees a few or a lot At the time, I had 20 sales people, I had like four had 40 employees and probably had 30 different subcontract crews working for us all in all, probably had 150 people out in the field. And I realized after reading that book, something that had been weighing on me for a long time, I had situations where I had people, uh, not just on the front lines that we’re trying to do things their way, but I had, I had even some people in leadership or we didn’t have a foundation of trust.
And um, I had, I had one person who uh, just wouldn’t want to, he didn’t want to grow. We had trust, but he didn’t want to grow and, and he didn’t want his skill set, he just want to get in his groove and do it. And so I was very honest with him. I said, look, um, with where you’re at now, you can’t take us where we need to go in this department and I’m gonna pay for you to go to school. And so I paid for him to go to school, but he had to drop out.
You know, he got married and he just, his life was busy and he didn’t wanna spend his time going to school. So I was very obvious with him, very honest with him said, hey man, I’ve got to start looking around because I’ve got to have, I’ve got to have this strong here and so within two weeks he quit and, but I had a very, had a very open and honest conversation with him because I cared about him, but he just, he didn’t want to go where I wanted to go. Okay.
That was one had another situation where I had a manager that uh, was in a way, building his own kingdom. He was the big, he was the nice guy protecting his employees from big bad Jason and if you ever have a manager that positions themselves in a way that they’re protecting their people from you. Hey man, I’m sorry to deliver this bad news Brandon. But dude, if I don’t tell you if we don’t get this ride man, Jason is gonna come in here and we, none of us want that good cop, bad cop kind of.
Yeah that right there. Boom. That means that shows he doesn’t trust you and they won’t trust you. That’s bad. Okay. You will never, you will never hear that from the leaders I have now the leaders I have now made me man, they make me look so much better than I am. That’s just the fact. That’s the kind of people they are, they’re people of honor. They’re people of honor. Okay and honor and trust go right together. And so anyways, uh I had a manager, a sales manager and when I started digging in, he was running project, taking, taking easy sales and getting the commissions off of those instead of instead of assigning those to his sales team like he was supposed to cannibalizing his own team. Yeah.
So um, so I had to fire him. Okay. And look there’s some of those things you have to do. But I I had let this, I had let this grow to something pretty significant. And you know, business is, you may look at these big businesses, any big business and you may think that there are, you know a mountain of granite that they can’t be moved. Business is fragile. And if you don’t manage the details, the details aren’t managed if the trust, if the trustee roads, That whole bill, that whole business can come down like a landslide like an avalanche in a moment.
Were you, were you scared? I mean, were you worried about making these changes when you have 150 people working under you? So uh no, I was not scared because I knew deep down that I was doing the right thing and I don’t I don’t do anything without without prayer and counsel. Okay. And I knew I was doing the right thing and it was gonna it was gonna take a while, but we had to have a culture shift and it it wasn’t so much about them. It was about me what you know what I allowed to happen, You know what you permit?
It becomes the norm and that’s what I had done. And it just it I realized that the company I had was not representing who I wanted to be and my customers weren’t getting what I wanted them to get. And I wasn’t happy with that. There’s no amount of money that can make me feel good in that situation. I couldn’t sleep at night with those type of things until I fixed them. And so I worked real hard for well over a year more well, way more than a year to right these wrongs to replace people to build people and to start championing and building culture takes time.
Now if you’re not at that point yet, you can avoid those things. You can you can you can become a credible leader, You can grow as a leader, you can work on your, your, your soft skills, which are really the hard skills to learn and so, but it, it takes, recognizing, recognizing that it’s important is one and then deciding to grow And you know, one of the things I did was I started, I started reading a lot of books and me becoming a reader was just uh amazing thing.
I never read a book cover to cover in high school. I used the CliffsNotes, the little summary books back in the day. Okay. And I was a smart test taker. I graduated in the top 10% of my class from the biggest high school in Texas. Okay, because I was a pretty smart guy, was never a reader, was never a reader. And uh, and literally one day as a part of this, I literally, I’m just praying, I said God I need an upgrade in my skills and I need to become a reader and I need to become a better leader.
And very quickly I became, I became a reader with a combination of kindle and audible and noise canceling headphones. I would read and I would read and listen at the same time and with having that my mind wouldn’t wander anymore. Okay. And I just began chewing through books and learning and growing and implementing and learning and growing, implementing and, and it just, it was transformative in my life. And of course I, I hired a hired a coach, a business coach and I I began networking and attending seminars and learning from the best in the business, those types of things.
And I was working, I was literally spending almost all of my time working on my business and not working in my business. And you know, we hear, we hear that term thrown around a lot. Right? Well you gotta work on your business, not just in your business, It’s true. And if you’re, if you’re in the fire, if you’re in the prison, you know, if you’re the hamster running on the wheel, you gotta make some elbow room in your schedule, you’ve got to carve out some things. So there’s some things that maybe need to be deleted, some things that need to be simplified maybe.
But most likely there’s things that need to be delegated that you’re holding on tight to because you don’t trust someone and if you will delegate things out to people empower them. You’ll be surprised when people will rise to the occasion. We feel bad as leaders a lot of times and owners about asking people to work about delegating to them because we need to be the, we need to lead by example, we need to do the hard work. Okay, well guess what when you’re doing when you’re doing what you can have someone else to do, you know what you’re not doing, you’re not doing the things that only you can do if you don’t delegate I want you to get this in your mind if you don’t delegate, you’re neglecting your business and you’re neglecting your team period.
I love that because that that’s counterintuitive, right? You think by them doing the work that’s you neglecting but you’re actually empowering them and allowing them to grow. Yes. And guess what as as a as an owner, when you try to do too many things, how many of those are you truly doing with excellence? Not many give them a chance. They may they may not do it as good as you, but when they can focus their attention on it and put more attention towards it towards than you could give it, they’re going to exceed you really quickly.
They’re going to see every one of my leaders around me is better than me at what they’re doing period. I’ve noticed that in with painter marketing pros as well, it almost embarrasses me except now I’ve become used to it, I’ll pass it off and say hey this is how we do it. You know, build the whole S. O. P. This is how you’re gonna do it. And then a couple weeks later it’s it’s like three times better like oh man I turns out I actually sucked at that job.
That’s right, you know and and another thing, you know, you know, we’ve heard the term Gsd get stuff done or get blank done. We’ve been using that in our business for a long time but a lot of us are great at what I call G. S. S get stuff started and different people are good at actually getting it finished or getting it done. And and so we we need to have both of those get stuff started and get stuff done because being a leader, one of the things leaders do is they take risks.
You have to take risks with with hiring people. It’s like man, if I’m sitting here in contract or prison because I am, let’s say let’s say I’m running the leads and I’m doing the sales and nobody can sell as good as me. Well if I if I start sending someone else out there on sales, I got that takes a cut into my bottom line. If I’m gonna pay them a commission or a salary or whatever, I’m gonna pay them. That’s gonna take a cut out of my bottom line.
And then what if what if they what if they miss price and I lose money? What if they don’t sell it at all? Okay. So there’s a risk in hiring people in any position. But what’s the risk if you don’t hire people? Nothing’s gonna change. You’re just going to get older entirely. You might have to take this this kind of half step back to take two steps forward. That’s right and you may be young and full of energy right now. But trust me I’ve talked to enough talked to a number of guys who are like Jason, I wish I would have heard this from you years ago.
I needed to hear this 20 years ago, Jason, I’ve talked a lot of people that say that. Yeah man, that’s, yeah, that’s, that’s rough. I want to highlight one of the things that you just said that I think could be easily missed. You know, this idea of working on rather than in your business. You, you said that right after you were talking about leveling up your own skill set, you talked about how you became an avid reader. Um, and then you gave a little ninja hack, which a lot of people are not familiar with.
If you actually listen to a book and read at the same time, you absorb it much better. But you saying, hey, I became an avid reader, I prayed I figured out what I need to do. You know, you can only take your business as far as you are personally. So you level up your own skill, A lot of people wouldn’t think about that when they think about working on their business. They think, I don’t have time to read, I don’t have time to go take this course.
I don’t have time to listen to this podcast. I need to work on or in my business, but you’re working on yourself is you’re working on your business. So I just want to want to highlight that. Absolutely. And it’s like the goose that laid the golden egg, we we we have to work on ourselves and what my hack is this. Okay? I’m I’m fast paced guy when I every book that I listened to, I listened to a double speed inaudible. And so you’re reading at double speed as well.
Yeah, but you you talk way faster than they are going to talk on audible and you read even most people read even faster than that. And so I I turn it up to double and meant I make notes in my books, I have a whole system that we could probably talk about how I do this another time on how I synthesize the information that I read and implement it and how I bring it back to recurrence and learn it later and implement it. So um we we could we could talk for an hour on that one subject.
But that’s been my personal productivity system has been has been a key to empowering me as a leader as well. And I know there’s a lot of people that uh want to do these things, but they struggle with how to keep themselves organized with the with the technology bringing the simplicity and if you don’t if you don’t if you don’t use technology to bring simplicity to your life, it’s just gonna it’s just gonna make the uh make the the uh complications or the complexity exponential, that’s what it’s gonna do, I want this, I want this personal productivity system.
So I think I’m gonna take you up on that. We’re gonna we’re gonna find the time to do that. Um All right. So I want to kind of summarize some of the things I’ve heard about you, knowing that you are the right people, right or that you’re being, you’re being an effective leader, that person needs to trust you, right? So if people are kind of like, oh, I don’t really know if this is the right person or I don’t I don’t know if I’m from leading well or hire, you know, not a bad person, right?
But but maybe the wrong person. They need to trust you. They need to or should be willing to take a temporary personal setback um for the good of the company and be willing to kind of look out for their peers and never paint you as the bad guy. Never play good cop, bad cop Is that is that mostly summarizing it for people who are Yeah, I would I would I would say this. Yes, I would. But here’s the thing those are not things you can demand. Those are things you have to earn.
There’s a big difference, I can’t demand those things. I have to earn those and you know, trust is trust is built over time with one grain of sand and it’s and it’s demolished in a moment with a bad decision. Water down that paint? That’s right. Yeah. And if you’ll cheat the customer, why won’t you cheat me? Yeah shows a lack of integrity all around. Yeah. Yeah. Um Jason man, this is this is incredible. Um you know part part one of a six episode series here. Do you have anything else?
You know and I know we’ve I think we’ve done a pretty good job actually of of staying really targeted with this leadership subject um area and we’ll circle back to it. All this stuff is obviously all related to each other. But do you have anything else that you that you wanna discuss? Really targeted on leadership? Well it leadership one starts with you, you have to champion it. You have to be an ethical, credible leader who’s constantly building trust. And it’s those little micro decisions that that you make in the moment it’s those micro decisions, how am I going to handle this?
And am I gonna listen to them And you know leadership is a big big subject. But if if you care about people, if you’ll if you’ll draft draw create a vision for your company that includes room so that jimmy and joe and mary and sue say wow I want to be on that team, I can see myself on that team in five years from now. They’ll walk walk down the aisle with you together because it needs to be a win win situation. And again this is not about, this is not about ping pong tables and sleeping pods and unlimited PTO. People.
People want, people want to put their skills to use, they want to be valued. They want to be in an environment of respect, but they want to add value and in a way they wanna be, they want to be a part of something bigger than what they’re doing. Think about the people that volunteer in churches and other organizations. They will take unpaid vacation to go volunteer for a worthy cause how much better if you can, if you have a teammate that’s not just there for paycheck. Yeah, they’re getting paid and compensated well and they should be, but you can buy, you can buy their hands with a paycheck but you have to earn their hearts and when you get their hearts, okay, you can do amazing things together.
Yeah, I love that. So people can go to Jason w phillips dot bio if they want to read your blog articles. Yeah, so there’s a link to my blog on there. There’s um there’s a link to the book, the advantage and you can get that inaudible or in kindle or paperback or whatever you want. There’s a couple other books on there. But and there’s all my links to, you know, facebook Youtube, Everything connect up with me. I’d love to connect with you guys and of course the, the marketing mastermind.
Facebook group. I’m always, I’m always in there as well. Love to connect with you there as well. Alright, Jason Well, hey man, this was an awesome, awesome episode One to this series. Really appreciate your time and I can’t wait to get uh episode two recorded. Thanks. Thanks man. If you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company again that you are l is painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast.
Hey there painting company owners. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also if you’re interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the Painter Marketing Pros website at Painter Marketing pros dot com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon at Painter Marketing and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time.

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Brandon Pierpont

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