Guest Interview: Jason Phillips of Phillips Home Improvements “People Make Dream Businesses” Series: Episode 2

Published On: March 6, 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 episode 2, Jason will cover Key 2 to escaping contractor prison – building a highly effective team.
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 2
– Key 2 to Escaping Contractor Prison: Team

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 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 six part series. In episode one, Jason discussed key one to escaping contractor prison. True leadership in your painting company. In episode two, This episode, 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 on 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 podcast series, you can do so on 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 that you are l.
Is facebook dot com forward slash groups forward slash painter marketing mastermind 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 after that incredibly lengthy intro that I gave. Thank you for coming back for episode two here man, I am honored to be back and I’m excited about the subject. We, we get to discuss today Brandon, you are a a people person, you’re all about people and being a leader.
So I’m excited to to hear about how you’re building this team that you have. I’m excited, I’m excited as well. You know it’s a it’s a new year. We are today. Uh well it’s the last day of the month here and we had had a great january so far. I hope everybody is doing doing well early in the year. Heck yeah yeah we gotta keep that abundance mindset in 299 you and I were talking a little bit before we, we kicked off here about some of the fear and the scarcity mindset that’s going around right now but we’re not going to succumb to that, you know if we just listened to all the all the bad news out there, we would just might as well just close up shop and and stay home right?
2100%. Yeah. If you, if you start listening to statistics and then they say then what, you would never start a business, it’s a terrible idea. No, they all fail 22% fail whatever it is, but we’re not those people because we did start a business and we are running a business. That’s right um awesome. So we we have these first three episodes, you know broken up into contractor prison, you’re very big on, on the several stages of contractor prison. The last episode we really talked about what leadership looks like now this episode we’re really gonna be focused on building a highly effective teams.
So let’s kind of start maybe from, from square one, what do you do if you look around, you don’t have that team, how do you start? Well let’s, you know, Brandon, let’s start with with the mindset. Um you know, why would you even want to build a team if and you may not want to build a team if you like working with your hands, if you don’t like people and you’re happy with where you’re at then you can just tune out right now, but most of the contractors that I meet want to do more, they want to grow their business while improving their life, you know, who wants to double their business and double or quadruple their headaches, I can promise you this, if you do it wrong and you double your business, your headaches are going to go up by a factor of 21, they’re not gonna scale evenly.
Your headaches will scale exponentially if you do it wrong, but if you do it right, you can have an inverse relationship, meaning your your your company can grow and your headaches can go down if you do it right and everybody wins. You know when building a team is not about building your, your life off the sweat of the brow of, of other people, that’s not what it’s about, It really is about building up people and when you build up people, you get to go up as well and you know, if you really, really want to, to, to do something amazing with your company, you’re not gonna do it alone, you’ve got to bring some people with you and help them, let them help you carry the load and it marvelous things happen when you build a team and when you get them, you know, a lot of you guys out there guys and gals, I know you’ll do, I know y’all, y’all uh do the traction, entrepreneurial operating system system, system system, the E O. S and uh Gino Wickman talks about getting everybody in the boat to row the same direction, so your boat goes forward and that is such a great analogy, it’s such a great analogy.
I’ve always said that, you know, uh, most of you guys probably have some employees right now, and I’ve always said that if your company is, is, is like a ship or a boat, a sailboat, a big sailboat, and you’re gonna have probably three types of people on that boat. You’re gonna have some passengers looking over the side, enjoying the scenery as you go along, and you’re also gonna have some anchors that are dragging the bottom, holding you back and then you’re gonna have some that are sails catching the wind and propelling you forward into the future.
You could probably divide your team into those three categories right now, Maybe you’re even doing that right now, and the idea is to uh, get everybody to be, um, a sale on your boat and help catch the wind and take you forward and not everybody wants to grow. Not everybody wants to do something different. Some people want to stay where they’re at, some people will always be anchors and you’ve got to cut them. Unfortunately, that’s, that, that’s one of the toughest things. One of the hardest things about running a business is dealing with personnel issues.
It’s not fun. It’s great when everybody’s winning and everybody’s exceeding expectations, but, but when there’s difficult times, uh, you know, maybe the economy’s down, Maybe businesses down or maybe someone’s not performing up to expectations. Dealing with those problems is the probably the least fun. So I always say that, you know, the people are the best part and the worst part of, of running the business, you know, So uh, you know, Brandon, one of the things that uh, that is amazing about teams is is teams put the right people.
Let’s just take a football team. For example, for example, they have a team, but for any given play, they have the right amount of the, not the right amount, the right people on the field for that play to maximize that play. Think about this. If uh, you know, we were just right at the hottest time of the year for football, right? American football? And if it’s a kick off, you have different players than you do if you’re on defense and so, and even even on offense, if there’s certain plays, they’re gonna bring in certain players.
And so I want you to think about that on your team as a company. You want to have the right people in playing the right position at the right time. For instance, I’ll give an example, uh, in our company, uh, appointments for sales people and for project managers and for our crews, we we don’t just schedule based on fairness or geography. We schedule based on like fit sales, who is going, who is going to turn this lead into a sale for the company, not who needs leads today.
Oh I feel bad for this person again, I might come off as a cold hearted guy. That’s not that’s not what this is about. But it really is about managing a team of people now. Maybe you know, maybe you’re listening today and uh maybe maybe you don’t have a team other than the painters. So maybe it’s you and the painters, maybe you’re the mastermind, you know, of the, of the company. Maybe you’re playing every position except painter, maybe you’re even still painting, right? So so as you go to build a team, uh there’s a lot that goes into it and you can do it right and you can do it wrong.
And uh I could probably, I could write a book many books on how to do it wrong until until I eventually got it right, okay. And that’s why that’s why I’m sharing here today is because you know, I don’t want you guys and gals out there to make every mistake in the book that that I made you guys have resources now. You have podcasts like the painter, marketing, pros podcast and other resources of people that you can learn from others that have already paid the price of education and so that’s why I’m here to share today.
Just because man, I care about you guys, I feel your pain. I’ve been there. I’ve done it, I’ve made these mistakes. I’ve been in contract or prison. And if I can help share something with you to give you a little freedom man, that’s gonna, that just that that blesses me. So, you know, but when we when we talk about uh Brandon, I don’t know if you if if if you have any particular questions you would ask. I know I’m just talking about this, but you’re you’re you’re killing it man.
I love it. But yeah, I do have a couple of things. I want to dive into this, this idea of um passengers anchors and sails. Right? So I think the analogy is pretty clear, you know, sales are helping you move forward go in the direction that you want. The boat to go, anchors are obviously slowing progress, Their their detractors, you know, ni os. And then uh and then we have passengers that sort of freeloaders, they’re not actively working against anything, they’re not super contributing. Um and I really want to deep dive into this.
So I’m almost in my myself trying to figure out where I want to start. But I guess let’s start with how do you identify? Because it could seem easy, But but then when you actually hit the messiness of the world of reality, when you look inside your business and things are not always so clean cut as they are, maybe in a book or on a podcast, How do you clearly identify who was a passenger, who is an anchor and who’s a sale? Well, um, here’s, here’s a simple, non scientific way.
Let’s start that way. Look at each one of your people and can, you know, maybe make a list of them, write their names down and ask yourself this question for each one of them. If this person came in today and told me that they got a better offer down the road and they’re quitting, would I chase them down? I mean, I love that. That’s a nice litmus test. And that right there is uh it’s a great litmus test. Okay? But if you think about this, you know, who is who on your team is not only doing their job, but as an ambassador for your brand, are they just coming in doing their job or they excited?
You know, there’s a, there’s a a key for us is is people that don’t want to be engaged as we have. We have a very unique culture at our, at our company and it’s uh we call it timidly and it sounds kind of corny. Okay. But it means something to our team. We took the word team and family and we put them together to make one word tim lee and I wanna, you know, invite, you’re welcome you. If you want to adopt this into your culture, you are more than welcome to.
Um as a team. We worked, we we we work together as a team. We we put the right people on the field at the right time. So the company, the team can win, not for individual glory, not so so and so can hit a goal. We do it. So the team can win. Okay teams have the practice field, they have the locker room and good, great teams hold one another accountable. They don’t wait for the coach to have the meeting after the game. Those are the things that teams do.
They celebrate wins. Now. Families, families have one another’s back. They pick one another up. They, they spend time together outside of work. Okay. Families love each other no matter what. And when you put those two together, that’s what we have. We have tim lee at our company and it is uh, it’s, it’s very difficult to define, but you know it and you and you know when someone is tim lee or not and and that culture right there, we, we, we want everybody to have a dose of that culture on the first day that they start working our company.
Uh we, we have a, we have a team lunch where we uh, invite several of the team members to uh, come in and we all have about 21 of us and we have lunch with a new person and everybody takes a moment to share. Hey, here’s, you know, my name is joe john whatever. Here’s what I do here. Here’s my favorite thing about working at this company and uh, here’s some tips to help you succeed here and everybody goes around the room and just shares and to just help that 103st 210 days is critical.
If someone is not getting engaged or making a friend in the 210st 210 days, the likelihood that they’re gonna stick is gonna be very low. You’re very proactively addressing kind of a cultural integration, showing them what the culture is like and kind of walking, welcoming them with open arms as opposed to just, hey, here’s your, here’s your desk, here’s your cubicle, here’s your job, Go ahead and get busy. What would you recommend if there are people listening? You know, you run a pretty sizable company, you know, somewhere in the vicinity.
Eight million. Right? You’re almost at, at eight figures. I think at this point a lot of people listening aren’t quite that high. So maybe they, for them, it might be challenging to have 10 people at a lunch table. How could people listening who are maybe at a million, two million, maybe 500,000. How could they try to try to incorporate this idea of team lee and welcoming people the right way when they have a smaller team, you know, really the concepts are the same. We’ve gotta, we’ve, we’ve got to switch from, oh, we’re just all about work.
Just come in and get your numbers and to, we care about people and you know, your, your culture at your company is the personality of your company. And there’s there’s a 99% chance that the the personality of your company mirrors your your personality as the owner, the strengths and the weaknesses. Okay, so if you’re a big people person like a, you know, high eye on the disc profile, okay, you’re you probably already have this component. But if you’re um if you’re a low i person maybe with a high c personality and you’re a very detailed person, you may not be the most warm, fuzzy person out there and that’s okay.
But you need uh if you’re going to build a team, you have to build, you should build a well rounded team and that means building a team of people that are complementary to you. Not just like you when that’s one of the mistakes. One of the pitfalls that uh leaders make early on is because we we attract people that are just like us, that’s who we tend to hire and we end up with a lopsided team, think about it, think about a wheel trying to roll down the road and it’s got a big flat spot on it.
It’s gonna not roll very fast, right? That’s what happens if you have if you have an unbalanced team. So it’s very important to to know who you are as a leader as you start building your team, as a manager, as an owner, as a person and one of the one of the common, most, one of the one of the most common traits or one of the traits that’s most common among the most successful people is a self awareness and most people that I meet and me included up until until a few years ago are not very self aware and once you start becoming self aware then you can start seeing how other people are going to fit in your puzzle.
It’s like you’ve got this company it’s like 1000 piece puzzle and you’ve got to put every piece exactly where it belongs and knowing knowing who you are and who you need is there. So uh you know if we most guys in the painting again when I say guys please forgive me. I mean guys and gals I use guys as an inclusive all inclusive term. The the it’s like we’re if you look at it, most painters are owner operators maybe still doing some of the painting or maybe not doing some of the painting okay.
But if we start looking at all the other things that have to happen to run a business. I’m just gonna list off some of them that that are not the painting called the painting. The making the widget because it applies whether you’re painting or roofing or doing floors whatever. Making the widget marketing appointment setting, answering the phones, sales, project scheduling, project management collections, customer satisfaction complaint handling, reputation management, accounting, taxes I. T hiring interviewing other HR like benefits, progressive discipline compensation plans, reviews, goal setting, process, documentation, training, building culture, negotiating material prices and managing those relationships And the list goes on and I’m here to say right now that if you if you can you know surpass $1 million dollars without building a team and many of you are you’re a superstar already.
You are a superstar already if you can do that now there’s a lot of things how can you be good Brandon? How can you be good at everything that I just listed? I think that would be very difficult. So let me let me let me show you something. Oh man look at this and I showed you my friend. I don’t think you’ve shown me this my friends is the swiss army knife. Guess what this swiss army knife it can do sales and marketing and appointment setting and hiring and accounting and taxes and compensation plans and reviews and it can even paint giant Swiss army knife.
How many of those can it do really well. None. None. This is the every owner operator building trades start out you do everything but you need to eventually have people specialize in that stuff. Whoa Jason. Where you where you been hiding all this stuff man now this is what you need to hire. Yeah okay that’s intense. So here so here’s the point this what we’re talking about is the concept of specialization and you know you go from a Swiss army knife or you’re a one man show, you know you’re a genius, even even if you’re not even doing the painting anymore, there’s so many things to do, there’s no possible way you’re gonna be awesome at all of them, you’re gonna you’re gonna be good enough and and even if you could be great at all of them, there’s not enough time in the day to do them all or to do them all well or to even master them.
So as as we specialize, we’re gonna, you know many many of the guys like who who’s, here’s the biggest question I get again, I talked to so many painting contractors. The biggest question, the biggest question I get is Who should I hire 103st? Should I hire a salesperson or should I hire a project manager? I bet you’ve heard that question before too. Right. Yeah. And should I hire one person or one person? Doing both? Right. So the um those are both very important jobs, you know, I would suggest um that you first hire someone to, you know, answer the phone, set the appointments and do a lot of the administrative work first.
And then once that’s once that’s covered, then hire either sales or or production and project project management, there’s not a right or wrong answer to that, A lot of that is going to be based on which which piece would you rather not do, which piece can you uh find the right person to do? Well. Okay, so the the point of specialization is, is you start, if you if you look at, if you look at your your job wearing all of these hats, you know, or that swiss army, let’s just go back to the swiss army knife.
You’re trying to, you know, you’re trying to cut meat with a swiss army knife, one of those blades, I have no clue which blade is gonna cut that on there, but I know it does cut the meat cleaver. So for everyone listening, Jason had a massive Swiss Army Swiss army knife, I guess, replica statue kind of thing. And then a massive meat cleaver uh that he’s using as a comparison here. So we we began to specialize and as uh we hire a specialist and maybe that person does sales and project management initially. Okay.
But as you grow your company, you want to begin to let people specialize because when people specialize, they can get really, really good at one particular thing, when you’re, when you’re looking for these specialties, do they need to have, have it, are you looking for the person, you’re looking for? The person, you’re looking for the skill, we can train the skill if if we if you find yourself and you very well may in the position where you really want someone with experience, what that really says is we don’t have a good training program.
So I need someone who already knows how to do it and that’s okay if that’s where you’re at, but that’s not where you want to eventually end up right. As long as you acknowledge that it’s not ideal, it’s just where you are, it’s not ideal because people, people with experience bring in bad habits. People that experience also have ingrained ways of doing things that they don’t ever want to change and when you you know, so there’s a cost to that, but there’s also a cost to training someone.
So, you know, wherever you’re at, you need to just be aware of of of what you’re getting and and the pros and cons of each of them. But the beauty is is too slowly as you grow your company hire people to do everything that you’re doing so that you become a specialist in leading people, mm. And that’s gonna take a new set of skills Back to back to step # one, becoming a better leader. And now you’re a specialist at leading people and a generalist and everything that you used to do.
You still know a little about sales, You still know a little about marketing and there’s gonna be times as you are growing your company that, you know, maybe maybe you’ve got someone doing the sales and they’re doing well. You’ve got a project manager doing the running the projects and you’re going to specialize on marketing for a period of time and become a um, you know, an expert, maybe not total expert, but become very good at marketing and uh and that’s great, but eventually as your company grows, you’re going to hire someone to handle that as well.
Now you’re overseeing a team of people that are doing that. And so your your people skills are the most important skills that you need to develop. So let’s, let’s get into this idea. You know, we’ve now defined, okay, you start when you start as a painting company owner, you’re an owner operator. Typically, you’re sort of a jack of all trades, you’re the swiss army knife, you can do it all, don’t don’t do anything great. And then we now know are you need to kind of build yourself out of this stuff, right?
A higher position by position, by position to get these specialists in there. If you have the training program, then you can really hire the person because you can teach them the skill. If you don’t, if you’re kind of struggling a little bit with that, well then sometimes you might need to make a concession and you might need to hire someone with the skill, recognizing they might bring in some some pre existing habits that you don’t like or they don’t end up being effective, but let’s let’s kind of talk about, um, I guess the actual process of how to do that.
So in terms of, let’s say you don’t have a training program and you know, that that you need to hire for X. Y. Or Z. Position? What’s what’s step one and actually creating your own training program. How do you do that? You just document your own S. O. P. S. Do you go get education? You buy it elsewhere? What do you recommend? You know you could do any of that. The the mistake that most people make when creating a training program is is writing it in minute detail.
Everything that’s one mistake that people make when making a training program excessive detail. People cannot absorb that. Learning is an iterative process. You can’t learn it all at once. So you you break it down into simple simple steps. For instance if you’re gonna you know train someone to set appointments. Well the first thing you want to want them to do is to sit properly in the chair because someone that’s slouching. However there however they’re they’re feeling they’re sitting it’s gonna come through on the phone so we’re gonna sit up straight, we’re gonna smile because your smile can be heard through the phone.
So the first thing to talk about would be posture. And then and you you you from there you simply work on how to answer the phone. We’re not we’re not setting an appointment. Here’s how we’re gonna answer the phone every single time and you write it down. You know it might be something like um hello thank you for calling Painter marketing pros this is Jason, how may I direct your call? Something like that. And every single time you want your people to work a system and if you discover or they discover a better way to do something.
Say, okay, here’s how we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna agree, we’ve written it down. Here’s the here’s the phone answering script. If we decide to change it, we’re going to one, agree on it too. We’re going to write it down and make sure that everybody who’s answering the call does it the same way, right? It’s very important to establish that your you have a process by which you change things. Hey guys, here’s how we’re gonna do it. And I want to tell you this, I wanna I wanna Brandon, you’re better off have everybody doing it the same way then some people doing it the best way and other people doing it another way because you need to be like that, that flock of geese flying in a V. A. Team, everybody knows exactly what what they’re doing. Okay.
So when what happens here’s here’s the problem. It may not sound like a big deal when you only have a small team. But when when you don’t have a way of doing things, people do what they think is best. We call that freelancing. There’s not a particular way of doing it. So they do what they think is best. But here’s here’s the thing, that person that’s been working at your company for a week or three months or a year, they’re not the business owner. They don’t know the they don’t have the bird’s eye view of your company.
They have, they have limited knowledge, they have limited vision in their department or in their sphere of what you have them doing. Okay. And in our process, it’s very important that our appointment setters follow a particular script because that script is continued by the salesperson who knocks on the front door of the home owner. And we need to know that that the that the link in the chain is not broken. And so people that that just start in our call center, uh they may not fully, they may not fully understand that of course we tell them, but they may not fully understand the implications.
That’s why we have a system for them. So back to what we were saying is, how would we start? Okay. Break whatever you want them to do. Break it down into its most basic components and teach those components one at a time. And what we say at our companies, we say, uh small sections to perfection. Okay. We’ve we’ve worked on answering the phone, our posture, we’ve answered the phone. Okay, let’s work on the next piece. So it sounds like you’re you’re cutting this down uh into these bite sized pieces, but you said one mistake that people will make sometimes when they’re building a training is they’ll actually cut it down too far or they’ll get, they’ll get to minded.
What would you, what would be an example of of, you know, they’re they’re over documenting or I guess becoming overly detailed here. Well, let’s, you know, we could say, well, move your cursor to the top right of the screen, click on this button, drop down. You know, you’re gonna you’re gonna assume that someone uh knows how to work a computer in the basics of the system you’re working for instance, um there’s a classic example of, you know, tell me, tell me how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Well, I’m gonna assume that, you know what, what a bag of bread is. And, you know, peanut butter is the peanut peanut butter is typically stored in the pantry, you know? So I would just say get the peanut butter and the bread and put this much amount of peanut butter on there in the in the basics of it, Right? So, um and there are, you know, if you’re doing brain surgery, you know, there’s, there’s very important checklist that surgeons use to for to make sure to prevent infections and make sure they have everything they need.
But we’re talking basic things here that we need to train people, it’s like training wheels for their for their job. We want, we want to, the quicker that the new people can have a sense of mastery of little pieces of their job, the more satisfaction and motivation they’re gonna have. And would you include the, I guess we’ll call them the key performance indicators. Uh, you know, what, what success looks like in their job. Would that be built into this process or how do you handle that? Absolutely clarity.
You know, if, if it’s gonna be, hey, we need, um, again, we’re just using appointment setters for a moment. Right. Um, uh, some of the, some of the uh, appointments that we run, we get to meet with, uh, man and wife, what we call all interested parties or some of them are solo decision makers or just, um, we’re only getting to meet with one of the two parties. Well, we have metrics like, hey, we need you to get a two party commitment on this percentage of the appointments.
So we need you to make this many, you know, if you’re on outbound calls, we need you to make this many per hour and this this many appointments sets per hour. If you’re on outbound calls, things like that, of course, we want them to be able to measure that success right out of the gate or, or tell them at least what the target is and help, you know, after week one, we need you to be here after week two. We need this level of performance from you.
You know, you wouldn’t expect a painter that’s been painting with you for, you know, three weeks to have the same proficiency as a guy who’s been with you for five years and it’s the same thing, but they still need an example of what does excellence look like. So you, so we’re talking about and I’m just kind of trying to break this down. So so you start the company, you’re the owner operator, you realize you need to specialize. You don’t have maybe the training program, there’s a variety of ways to get there, develop it.
You, you break it down into its simplest components while maintaining uh, some reasonable, reasonable semblance of what, what doesn’t need to be documented. For example, where you know, where the peanut butter, what peanut butter is moving the mouse cursor is, you know, you don’t need to document every little thing that’s absurd. Um, but you still need, the process needs to be consistent. The, the especially as things are whatever the customer, the perspective customers experiencing that link in that chain needs to be consistent. And now you’re at a point where you’re hiring for different positions.
Ultimately, the goal for yourself is to be a people, your, your job skills than people eventually as you kind of build yourself out of everything. But let’s talk about now we’re hiring for these different positions, We’re doing this, we’re building the training program and not just not just the actual way that people need to conduct their position and their job, but actually what success looks like. So they know whether or not they’re doing a good job within the confines of what they’re doing. Uh Now we get to a point where hiring people, how do you then start?
Let’s talk about this idea of maybe a middle management or or you managing or now we start to get into this. Well, the first hire, you can be pretty involved, the second higher, you can still be fairly involved. Now you got a third, now you got 1/4 now you gotta fit. Now things start to get a little more complicated. Let’s talk about that. Well, that’s that’s a key, if you the management, the leaders, the managers, whatever you wanna call them, okay. Uh and our company, I call them leaders, but their leader managers, nobody at my company is uh does only leading or only managing, I’m expecting uh leading leader managers.
And that’s a conversation probably for another day, but but if we’re going to, you know, hire a salesperson, we need to know what type of person we’re looking for. Here’s here’s the, you know, the profile, here’s where the uh the personality, here’s the background and this and that and the values and ultimately, you know, if you think about this, if you hire people that are superstars, but they don’t make your team better. What good is it? If you hire someone who’s a superstar, but they’re arrogant, is that gonna help your team or hurt your team.
I mean how I hear stories all the time of people, I’d say people of of owners held hostage by veteran painters who who can paint great, but they’re terrible teammates, they’re arrogant, they’re grouchy, that doesn’t help your team, that the quicker you can weed that out, the better they’re they’re on a team, there’s no place for that and a player who makes the team great is better than a great player. We have to remember that. I think pretty much everyone who listens to this podcast, you know, pretty much the entire audience is in this, this mindset of scalability.
You know, building a business and if you, I guess the best way to kind of think about that would be yourself. You know, we we all think we’re particularly adept at something most of us are because it’s hard to start a business, hard to grow a business. So if you’ve done that, you’re probably pretty exceptional or your your above average for sure. Um, but are you scalable? Are you going to get, you know, is anybody’s Jason Phillips going to get to eight million, 10 million, 20 million on his own?
He’s not. Can I get there for him? No, I can’t. So if you can’t get there, then probably your lead painter or your best estimate of your best project man, they’re not gonna get there, you’re building a holistic thing and if you’re not enough, then they’re not enough. So if they’re causing issues, they have to go. But that is obviously a painful thing. Absolutely, Again, the best and the worst part of being in business is the people, it’s brutal, it’s brutal. But if, you know, when you start looking at all of this, you start to see the importance of leadership skills, you know, early on in your business, when you’re focused on on making the widget leadership is this thing that’s, you know, that’s the thing, I don’t fully understand it, I don’t have time for that mess, doesn’t really mean anything, you’re just getting, but then then you get up, you have that, you get to this level of success and now you’re like, oh man, wow, I really do need that stuff, Oh, I don’t know what to do.
You know, I’ve been there, I think it’s just this, you think it’s just this hoopla, you know, people are selling because it sounds good or feels good or makes them look good or whatever and then you realize it’s not hoopla when you get to that point exactly, and it’s it’s about managing and leading people so that you can get more done your life can be better and their life can be better and you know, there’s there’s a lot of, again, a lot of owners, I talked to struggle with making the jump from doing the job to leading the people that do the job, it’s a completely different skill set.
You don’t have to be um a master painter to lead a team of to be a project manager. You don’t you need to know what’s, you know what the process is, what success looks like. And you need to be able to to uh you know gain the enthusiastic cooperation of your people. You go out and wow your customers follow hopefully your process. Part of your processes is doing a quality job and wowing the client at the same time and you need people that are gonna champion that process. Yeah.
So another, another thing that just that that comes to mind here, Brandon is is a lot of bosses say I’m gonna use boss now for a minute, they have this attitude, well it’s my way or the highway, that’s the way I managed. That’s how I am. Well, here’s what you’re gonna find, people with that attitude one, nobody likes him. Unless they’re just like unless they’re grumpy, just like them and they’re always limited in their success. Yeah, and one of the key things that leaders need to do is be able to adapt their communication style, their pace in order to work with other people.
Well remember for instance, I’m a I’m a fast paced person. People who are really good at accounting are not fast paced people. So when I go buzz in there and I’ve got this great idea, you know, it can rub them wrong because Jason springing something we we, you know, in accounting, they value accuracy and consistency and I can get exacerbated with them because they don’t move fast enough and they can get exacerbated by me because I move too fast and when we, when we both understand uh the needs of the job and the people that are running that are working those jobs, we understand.
And so I’m like, hey I’m going to talk to people in accounting, I need to slow it down and that doesn’t mean dumb it down. That means they need to slow down because they want to process it, They want to get it right, and and do I want my people in account, do you want your people in accounting to get it right, okay, right. Um oops, there’s thousands of dollars, we just paid out the, you know, to the wrong vendor, right, stuff like that, so we want them to take their time and not take risks.
And that’s one of the keys of building a team is beginning to understand people is understand, I cannot tell you how transformational this has been in my life behavioral styles. So let’s get into this because I know we have, we have an episode five, we’re going to go on the disk, you got to go on the disc, personality assessment. Um and then uh and and some episode six we’re gonna go and how to motivate, but I really want to dive into this idea of okay, start this business, People start a business tend to have a certain skill set, tend to be fairly Taipei and and kind of um ambitious, you know, things of that nature, but maybe they aren’t often times the best managers are always best leaders, but the need to transform yourself as you’re saying is there.
So when they find themselves kind of reaching that point, how do they do it? How did you do it? How did you learn these people skills that as of a few years ago you say you didn’t have, okay, I’m gonna tell you a story. Yeah, I knew that I needed to upgrade some things in my company because God gave me a bigger vision for what we were to accomplish and looking at that vision, I knew I needed to change. And literally for me is this this is what it was.
I said God, if I’m going to, if my company is gonna grow and do the vision you’ve put in me, I’m going to need to become a better leader and I asked for you to upgrade my leadership skills and give me some more tools in my leadership toolbox and that’s the point in which I became an avid reader, which is a which is a whole, another pretty interesting story. I think that a lot of people were like, we should probably share that at some point. Brandon. Uh I think a lot of people will relate to that, but I’m I’m and now I’m an avid reader um I learned about behavioral styles and I’m really, I’m a leadership enthusiast now and and that made all the difference is I I became hungry to grow, I became hungry to grow and when and you know what they say, when the when the when the when the student is ready, the teacher will appear right.
And so so as as uh as as leaders as owners, we can’t stop growing just because you’re the, you know, just because you’re the owner doesn’t mean you can stagnate. We have to be students for life. And again, you learn how can you learn, how can you grow well? You can you can you can grow by uh listening to podcasts, watching videos, attending seminars, reading books, hiring a coach um or you can also learn by wasting money, headaches, trial and error. The problem is the learning that you get from experience maxes out and why why not why not learn from someone who’s already paid the price of education and whether they’re giving it to you for free or charging you for it, I promise you it’s a lot cheaper than learning it yourself.
And there’s a saying is, you know what, what’s, you know, if you if you think the price of education is high, wait till you see the price of ignorance. You know, now nobody listening to this podcast today is in that last is in that last group, right? People, people listening to this podcast, you guys and gals, y’all are hungry, hungry to grow hungry to learn and I feel like I’m trying to inspire people here that you know becoming a leader and building a team is key to your future and if you want to grow your company and you want time money and freedom and you want to make a difference in your, in your in your little part of the world.
Building a team is the way to go. If you are a contractor, if you’re a small business person you have to build a team of people and to do that. You need people skills, leadership skills, okay. You need to be a person of character and you need to start breaking down. You know if for instance if if I say hey I want you to paint the exterior of this house, are you gonna know, are you going to know how you’re gonna wash it? Yeah you are. Are you going to know how you’re gonna, how you gonna prep it what primers and caulks and and how many ladders and what type of masking and paint spray tips that you’re gonna use.
Yeah you’re gonna know all of those. Well building a team of people has the same type of components, it’s not rocket science but it’s a different skill set, that’s all it is. Yeah, I think I think when you kind of break this stuff down and you think about it logically, so we just wrapped up a series with Jason paris, you know, obviously um founder co owner of paris painting and all of holdings and and generates quite a bit of revenue and and he brought in people to help him, so he’s actually not, the ceo of paris pain doesn’t even technically work at paris painting anymore, so he brought in people to help him who he felt had skill sets that he didn’t have and maybe didn’t want to develop, he wanted to go do other things.
So as you’re kind of growing, basically three things are gonna happen. Either. Number one, as you say, you, your businesses was is a reflection of you, your limitations will limit your business, so you’re either gonna stay small, which is where probably 99% of people remain and they think it’s for exterior factors and maybe some of those are, but a lot of, it’s probably self self limits that are imposed because of your skill set or whatever you have uh second option is you’re gonna have to go undergo pretty intense personal growth because somebody who starts a company and it is a hustler and maybe knows how to paint, knows how to sell.
It, kind of gets it done is usually not the best leader of people, so you’re gonna have to go through a pretty intense process there of self transformation, which is, which is what you’ve done uh to essentially come out the other side and be able to actually still be leading your company while it’s not just you, while, while it’s something entirely different um or, or step three is as Jason paris did essentially bring on other people realize, okay, I’m getting to a point now where, where there are people who can manage better than me, there are people who can lead better than me, I now need to bring in a professional ceo and this is what happens with a lot of companies that you see a private equity and venture capital invest into in other industries as they get bigger.
Oftentimes that founder actually gets pushed out, which is kind of a sad story, but but why, why does it happen? The founder gets pushed out because they don’t have the skill set, so if you want the company to grow then then somebody needs to have the skill set for it to grow, Somebody needs to have the skill set to run a big company and that person is either you or somebody else or you’re not gonna have a big company, it’s actually 100% logical, just most people don’t think it through, you know, Brandon, I like what Andrew Carnegie said he wanted on his, his epitaph on his tombstone, which I have not seen his tombstone and I don’t know if it says this, I wish to have, he said, I wish to have as my epitaph here lies a man who was wise enough to bring into his service men who knew more than he and that’s that’s really what we need to do.
I look around at my leadership team and I used to do their job. Well guess what? They’re now a specialist in their job and they’re better than I was and that makes me happy to have people that are, that are better than me doing it. Yeah, it’s like bringing people who are smarter than you and that specific skill set because they’re just gonna own it and do better. Yeah, the meat cleaver that you have there so menacingly on the desk behind you, always within reach. So so right right, right, here’s a misconception by the way um a lot of people feel feel believe that you’re either born a leader or you’re not a leader, it’s not true, leadership is a skill set and you can learn it, anybody can learn it regardless of your personality, anybody can learn it and these, you know, you could say well I’m not a people person, well that doesn’t mean you can’t lead people and build a team, you can learn people skills, you can learn people skills and you can do this if you want to and it’s it’s again it’s not rocket science, it just takes time and a desire to grow, that’s all it takes.
Yeah there are, there are a lot of different leadership styles that can be effective, you know, there are introverts who are great leaders. They’re extroverts who are great leaders, you don’t have to be some extroverted person who loves being around people to be a good leader. Absolutely. So let me let me kinda, I know we’re kind of running low on time but I want to touch base on something a little bit thorny are a little bit more difficult. You know people are are the best part of business and the and the worst part of business when you find someone and you say you know this person is really if if they came and they offered they said I’m leaving I definitely would not chase them. Right?
So if you have that thought probably shouldn’t be there. Right? So if you if you’ve identified someone of your company that probably isn’t the right fit um or maybe they’re definitely not the right fit. How do you go about letting that person go uh you know both in regards to actually letting the person go and in regards to how to maintain and potentially even improved company morale in the process. Okay, so just because someone is not a good fit for the position doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, let’s start there.
This could be a person that you love care for and you still know that makes it even much harder and you still know that they’re not right for that position. Maybe their skill sets not developed, maybe they don’t fit your culture. Uh Something like that. Um Well, the first, the first thing you wanna do is uh obviously try to build people and help them develop the skill set. Let’s just assume for a minute that you know that they just don’t fit well and you’ve got three choices.
I think three choices, you can do nothing. You can uh uh let them go or you can you can have a conversation with them. So let’s just let’s just assume that you’ve had all the conversations and tried to make the most of it. Okay? So you’re either gonna live with it or replace them. Here’s what you have to understand. If you decide to live with it, that person is keep taking up a spot that a superstar could be taking. Imagine what would a superstar in their position look like.
And if that person is just doing enough to not get fired or their performance is just barely enough to not get fired. You’re not a very good leader if you let that continue because it’s going to cause discomfort. You don’t want to have an uncomfortable conversation or you don’t want to have to take on some headache because who’s going to do their job. Well this is this is one reason why we always need to be recruiting people always we need to be recruiting. We need to have uh people that we can call on.
Maybe that doesn’t mean that they’re sitting on our bench right now on the payroll waiting, right? But what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to find someone to take their place and uh, we’ve got to separate with them. Does that mean you just fire them and leave them out in the cold? No, but you could, you know, you could be honest. You could say, hey, look, I really care about you. Um, I don’t think that this is gonna be a long term fit in this position and I don’t have another position for you and I care about you as a person.
Um, I’d like to help you do. I’d like to do my best to help you find another position somewhere in a, in a job where you can thrive And you know, you probably don’t feel like you’re thriving here because of some of the conversations we’ve already had and I think you’re a great person, I care about you. So I’m gonna connect you, you know, with this recruiter or these friends over here who have a job over here or I’m gonna, I’m gonna give you a severance package to get you by until you can find another position.
But I’ve got to get someone in here who’s gonna help drive our company vision in this position and help us get to where we need to go. Those are very difficult conversations and I’ve had them and that’s much different than dealing with a toxic employee when a toxic employee, when you fire a toxic employee, the rest of the rest of the team celebrates sometimes silently, sometimes not silently, but but that’s again a story for another subject for another time. But it really just comes, you know, as a leader, that’s one of the toughest things you have to do.
You have to face reality. You have to face reality as a leader. This person is not going to take us where we need to go and here’s another reality you might need to face. Do you have the leadership skills, the people skills to run your own company? If it were double or triple the size? That is a great question again, Here’s the thing you probably don’t because if you did guess what? Your company would probably be double or triple the size it is right now. So if you want to, if you want to grow your company, you better grow.
You are the lid on your company and I’m talking into the mirror of myself right here I am the lid on my company. You are the lid on your company. It all starts and stops with you. That’s pretty heavy weight. But you know what it is? Stone cold truth. It’s a stone cold truth. But guess what, Who’s in control of their destiny? You are. You are what life do you want to live? What do you want your business to look like? What do you want your day to day?
Look to look like if you want to be climbing the ladder on the paintbrush because you love doing that, do it. If you want to build a team of people and live a different life, do it, you can do it, I love it, Jason, this has been incredible man. I I really thoroughly, thoroughly enjoy all of our episodes man. Um I think I’m gonna end up having film the most with you out of anyone by the end of this year, so I definitely get it. It’s a real treat for me.
Do you have anything else on this topic? I know this is our second episode. We have four more coming up. Anything else particularly relating to building a team that you want to add before we wrap this one up. I would say there’s there’s two things, 2 practical steps that I would recommend that I recommend you take um Maybe more than two. The 1st 1 would be this. No one wants to join a company that’s going nowhere. I want you to write your vision down about who you want your company to be in the future, maybe 10 years, I want our company, maybe it’s to be the best in town, the biggest in town to, you know, to make enough money to give this amount to charity, whatever it is, write down your company vision on who you want your company to be in 10 years, Divide that into, okay, if that’s gonna happen in 10, what needs to be true in five, what needs to be true and three, what needs to be true in one and draft out your company vision so that you, the people that you’re gonna hire for your teams, like where is this company going, what are they doing?
They want to know, they don’t want to just come, they don’t want to come to work for a paycheck, if they do come to work for a paycheck and you don’t have a good vision, they’re just gonna come to work for you and get a paycheck while they keep looking for the job they really want, yep, so that’s the first thing is, is write down your vision a compelling vision that people can say, wow, I want to join that company because I like where they’re going and I see a future for me there, I see a future with my, my family, I can take care of my family working at that company in five and 10 years.
Okay, make a compelling vision. The second one is right out your core values, this is what’s important to our team, this is who we are and I’m gonna hire people who are gonna mesh with these core values, don’t hire anybody that doesn’t match those core values and then I want you to write out your org chart and I could probably make a template and you know, share it on the forum, if that would help of different roles. And so maybe that’s little exercises make out the org chart and then that will help you decide who to start hiring and higher for character, train them how to do their job and above all, if you’re gonna be, you’re gonna build a team, if you’re gonna grow your company and you want it to last, you have to be a person of integrity period, you have to be a person of integrity.
So if there’s any cracks in your integrity anywhere, this is the time to seal them up and repair them and become a person of integrity from this day forward. I love it. You are your own lid, Jason. Thank you man, really appreciate your time. Here cannot wait for the third episode as always, inspirational, insightful, educational everything brother. Thank you, man. Thank you. It’s been my pleasure 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.

Keep growing

Brandon Pierpont

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