Guest Interview: Juan Vasquez of Illusions Painting “Mindset Matters Most” Series: Episode 3

Published On: July 31, 2023

Categories: Podcast

In this series titled “Mindset Matters Most”, Juan Vasquez of Illusions Painting will be discussing his journey from being a day-to-day painting contractor to becoming a profitable business owner with a vision for his company.

In episode 3, Juan will dive into all the transitions necessary for his business after his mindset changed.

If you want to ask Juan 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 facebook.com/groups/paintermarketingmastermind. There you can ask Juan questions directly by tagging him with your question, so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

Episode 3
– The Transformation

Audio Transcript

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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 PCA 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 “Mindset Matters Most” Juan Vasquez of illusions painting will be discussing his journey from being a day to day painting contractor to be become a profitable business owner with a vision for his company. In episode one, Juan discussed his past life, how his business used to look in episode two, Juan shared the experience that opened his eyes and changed his life. And what happened next in episode three, this episode, Juan will dive into all the transitions necessary for his business. After his mindset change. In episode four, Juan will open up the hood and detail what illusion’s painting looks like today.

And in episode five, the final episode, Juan will lay out his thoughts regarding lack of self-confidence and stereotypes and the initiatives he is currently conducting to help lift up other contractors. If you wanna ask Juan 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 for on Facebook and request to join the group or type in the URL facebook dot com forward slash groups forward slash painter. Marketing mastermind.

Again, that URL is facebook dot com forward slash groups forward slash painter. Marketing mastermind. Then you can ask Juan questions directly by tagging him with your question. So you can see how anything discussed here applies to a particular painting company. What’s up Juan? What’s going on Brandon? It’s you and me, brother. Uh Here we are again, man, here we are. I feel like people are gonna listen though. Some people are gonna listen into the conversation. I’m, I’m, I’m hoping, man, I’m, I’m hoping at least we get a couple of people interested and uh we get some decent feedback, right?

Yeah. Heck yeah, man, you and I uh we always, we always basically start the podcast ourselves when we start connecting in the beginning and then we have to remember, we actually need to officially start this thing. You know, it’s kind of funny because uh last week when we had our, our last, uh, session. Right. Um, I just finished and I had, like, two minutes to get ready and jumped into another one another, you know. Yeah. I, I, yeah, I know. Right. Well, God, I couldn’t do that.

I was so distracted. So, it’s kind of funny because even the intro was so weird for me because I’m still in the, this mindset. Talk about mindset again. Right. And I’m like, OK, it took me a couple of minutes to kind of get the ball rolling and get back into it. I was like, they like, oh breathe, I was like, man, like you’re not being dr I branded like, no, no, of course, you got my brain going, man. We’re gonna, we were just talking before this started, you know how you got my, you got my wheels going last week.

You asked me a question. I was like, oh OK. I need to go back and do my, do my homework because this, I can’t do this, you know, Brandon, I, I have to come back and prepare him but um yeah. No, you know, going back to our conversation. Um I guess today we’re gonna talk about, you know, once you get inspired and once you get um yeah, I, I guess that’s the word inspired, right? OK. What now? Because I mean, it’s so good when you hear all these uh listen to all these inspirational books and they get, you going and fired up and, but then what, you know, now the hard part comes, the hard part comes like, ok, now you gotta do it.

This is, this is what this whole podcast, what the painter, marketing mastermind podcast is predicated on. I love, I love podcast. I love books. I love that stuff. I was so tired of, of just the motivational, the mindset do this. And I’m like, I need help with what to do. I can, I can walk outside and I can just feel like I’m drifting on clouds. But the reality is if I, if I don’t have a concrete plan, if I don’t have specific answers, if I don’t have specific guidance, that can kind of only get you so far at some point, the rubber needs to meet the road in terms of what you’re actually doing.

That is right. And that’s the hard I think um for someone like myself, that’s the hardest part because um we need to, at least my self, I need to have that inspiration. I need to have that urge to do it. The problem is that most of the times, you know, us painters don’t have the knowledge to do it. And OK, now what the frustration comes because you’re like, OK, I wanna do it, but how can I do it, you know? So in this case, we, we start again with the PC A, you know, in the beginning, not knowing what to do.

You’re in, you’re so inspired and you see all these people, like, crushing it and making millions of dollars in their business and you come here and you sit in your office or your house or are you job site? And you’re like, ok, now what I can feel tired of defeating, actually it can feel sort of depressing, doesn’t it? So, I’m, I’m pretty sure you deal with this quite often, don’t you? Yeah. No, 103% talking to people about it. And I mean, I’ve personally dealt with it years ago.

You know, because you have to, you, you, you want to follow people who are ahead of you. You want to learn from people who are ahead of you, but you can fall into this trap of idolizing people, right? Or, or thinking they have something that you don’t have or they know something that you don’t know. And that’s why they’re there. And I had a, a really interesting experience with my wife. We were watching Shark Tank and so we’re very, you know, I love, I love business. I love Shark Tank and we, we would watch it all the time but it got to a point where we started getting kind of depressed, you know, and they, they show like 18 year old girls and they create like a bath bomb.

They’re making all this money. It’s like a 12 year old kid. And I’m like, man, I am an idiot. You know, like this kid up and he just made $3 million. Like, what is wrong with me? And so I’d be in this, you know, I started to get in this, like, you know what, I’m not gonna watch Shark Tank and I’m gonna take a break from it and, and we went back and we watched it a month ago and I was like, wow, like, I, I actually, I feel kind of, these guys are really struggling, you know, it might have been the episode, it might have been, you know, those guys weren’t at that really big, you know, revenue.

But I was, I was looking at it from a little bit of a different perspective and I came back around and it, it was pretty refreshing and rewarding, but I’m not any more exceptional. I’m not any smarter. I’m, I’m, yeah, I’ve learned things along the way. Sure you get the experience, but I’m not a different person. I’m just a guy who didn’t stop, you know, and that’s what it comes down to. It comes down to that realization that you had, which was, hey, holy cow. I don’t have to just stay like this.

There actually is another side and that side is actually open to me and I don’t have to be a superhero and wear a cape and be able to fly to get there. I just have to be a guy who knows it’s there and, and I don’t stop and now we’re gonna get into basically how you got there. That is very true. Uh Man, you couldn’t have said it better. You know, you, you come here and you, you’re inspired and you’re like, you know, I see all these guys creating these businesses and they’re making millions of dollars.

Like I said, I saw this guy that instead of being a painter, he started uh he created this business for uh making donuts. That was the first business I saw over, I can’t remember. And I should have looked up his name. Tank. No, this was at uh this was in a PC A. Yeah, this was a PC A. So uh interesting story because um he went out to, he, he enlisted in the army, he went out in the army, he came back and you know, no money.

I only say that I only say that. No, not offending. I say it because I’ve been Army National Guard. So they saying it to offend anyone. Yeah. No, of course, you know, it’s such a, I’ve, I’ve heard and I’ve learned the people that come out of the majority of person that come out of the army. They do really good in businesses. And the only reason why is because the discipline that you, you learn in the army because this day in day out man. Right. And that’s, and that’s very important because a lot of us don’t have that discipline and you can have all the goals and everything.

But if you don’t have discipline, it’s gonna be very tough for you to make it. You know, it’s just the repeated thing every day. It’s gonna make it. But this guy basically, he brought out, uh, he was one of the speakers. I cannot remember. This is five years ago and like, I always blame the, the fumes, you know, those pain fumes. That’s why my brain can’t remember. Think, hey, you know, I, I gotta use it. I gotta know hearing about young Juan, I’m not sure that was the issue.

But oh God. Um so he comes out and he’s like, he’s trying to, you know, he was a painter. He started painting, but then he came to the point where painting that wasn’t his thing. You know, he didn’t, he didn’t know how to paint. He probably painted in high in, in college, but it wasn’t for him. So one day he had this crazy idea and he started making donuts. So he, he opened a small donut shop, but he wanted to create something that wasn’t just your average donut, you know, place.

So he created something that was very, just unique. So what he did even from and this is the, the mentality, right? Um Basically, a donut is gonna kill you. A donor is gonna give you a heart attack. You know what his delivery trucks were like a, like a heart or something. No. Take a wild guess at the delivery truck. What was that? Oh, it is like an ambulance looking thing. It was an ambulance and that was amazing. You know, it was like, so he brought donuts for everybody so we can go outside and, and have the donuts and stuff like you’re gonna live, you’re gonna die from this.

But we just, so we have it. Jose is the best. His name is Tim Clegg. Zlegg and it’s uh he’s from the University of Oklahoma. Dude, after I saw that, that kind of was like, OK, man, you can, if you can make a living and not just that he could, he created a whole empire. So now he is like, you know, he has different franchises all over the country and stuff, but you see how that just is the business side of it, right? So we’re going back to it.

And so he created something, he followed that. So for us coming back being inspired, we’re like, OK, how can we move our business? How can we, how can we, I don’t know tra trans uh form our business into the business we want. Well, we found out that we needed training. First of all, our guys weren’t trained, most of our, most of most painters and this is most painters. Um They don’t know how to read properly uh to read a can properly. You know, you ask a painter or one of you guys help us at work, you’re like, hey, can you pass me the interior flat paint?

They’ll be like uh which one’s that? So, and it’s very true. I and we did this, you know, and so what we started doing is like, ok, we need to train our guys. Ok. Yeah, we train our guys at the job site. Yeah, but the job site is not, you’re not taking the time to do it. So what we started implementing was OK. Um How can we do this? And then we started seeing what everybody does. So what we did is we brought um we sat down everyone and say, ok, guys, we brought in our um our apprentices first separated the group because if you have a large group and trying to communicate to everyone, it’s kind of hard.

So we have smaller groups and so we would go and put up and actually all those videos are on our website. So the guys can actually go back now and see the video. So we are not publicly available. Yeah, you can go to our uh illusion painting uh dot com slash training videos or slash training slash slash training, illusions, painting dot com forward slash training. Yes. Awesome. And they’re not very high quality videos. We made them for our guys. But the simple thing is that we took a can and put the can and say, OK, here on the front, you’re gonna have the name of the of the provider or the manufacturer down here you got, you’re gonna have where there is a satin finish, a flat finish.

Um, here you’re gonna have the base of the paint on the side, you’re gonna have your database, your database sheets or certain things. And so from now on you can distinguish, ok, just by looking at something. Ok. What’s the brand? Ok, this is the brand, uh just what, what sheen is it? Ok. You know where to look for the sheen. So every can there’s gonna be different cans, but this is gonna give you that at least that guidance. And we saw that, that was just, I mean, it was a game changer, you know, just, just that one little thing.

And then, so we have quite a few different other um videos and we just do it with our guys. Uh We started doing videos as far as like um the primers, you know, most people think that by just applying a primer, that’s, that’s all it takes, but every substrate is different. So some need more adhesion, some need more coverage. And so that’s what we, we took a, again, a group of guys, one in Spanish and one in English and explained to them. OK. First of all, this is a soft straight, what uh we tell them and explain what it is that you need to use for those soft straight and then we let them use it and um that part of the training or that training is really what you have to do at that point, you know, and this is only one thing and so we’re getting back to, OK, now is how do you do it?

How do you, and this is how we did it. So just, just I uh juan I just wanna interject really, really fast, just basically you your next step after seeing the opportunity, deciding that, that you have more potential than maybe you had previously realized was going back and saying, OK, let’s take a look at the fundamentals, the fundamental skills that we need to have that. Let’s see where we might be lacking or maybe we previously didn’t pay as much attention to it. And let’s go ahead and, and train up our guys and build in sops to make sure that we get these fundamentals dialed in.

Nothing super fancy. Just the core building block of the business. First of all, we, at that point, we understood what an SOP was OK. We’re not at Harvard. What are you talking about? First of all? What exactly? So I heard this thing, I heard numbers, I heard systems and sop si was like uh what is that? I mean? I mean, can, can you just explain to me in painter terminology, break this down, break this down for me? But that’s what it did. You know, honestly, at that point, once you find that the encouragement and, and, and, and get to that um mental stage to do it.

Now, you’re gonna need to implement this, these systems and that we talk about systems. So what are systems? How does your uh office operate? Um How does your, you know, uh your field operate, how, you know, start understanding, like we started documenting everything. Um How long does it take for us to paint a door? What’s a standard for our door? What’s the standard for a wall? What’s the standard for this? So we started creating those things. So at that moment, that’s what we did and till this day we’re still doing it.

But I think that that really, at that point, that’s what it takes. Um I do understand that there’s a lot of other uh business owners who already have this background who be like, come on, man, you do that first before you do anything else. And that is right. You know, that is correct. That is perfectly. I mean, that’s the right answer. Um in order to start a business, you have to start this way. But unfortunately, we started backwards. So for us, it was we had a leave behind the pain and the painter mentality and be like, ok, this is how we’ll restart in our business.

So I think at that moment if we’re talking about this, this section about in our, in our business, that’s what happened. Well, I think a lot of, a lot of people do start it that way and even if you’re talking about, ok, maybe, you know, maybe they were a painter or, you know, maybe everyone would have been a painter for some time. Maybe they do understand, um, a little bit more about, about the substrates and, and the process and how to read the paint cans and all that stuff.

But, uh, overall there’s usually a lot of inefficiencies. There’s usually a lot of things you look back and you’re like, wait, that’s how I used to do it. You know, with entrepreneurship, business ownership, especially painting, which is something, a lot of people sort of fall into it. It’s usually not the most structured or pretty thing. You kind of start doing it, you start hustling. You’re like, oh my goodness, I need money. You start figuring out how to get some money and you, you kind of hack the thing together as you go.

But at some point you need to systematize it, you need to professionalize it. Fancy words where you just need, you just need to make sure, you know what you’re doing, it’s repeatable and that the core fundamentals are in place at your business. I think so. I think so. Because in our, in our next, in, in our next segment, we’re gonna talk about what we’re doing at this point in our business, you know, creating those systems and stuff. Then now after you’re gonna hire or, or, or you, yeah, you’re gonna hire a system that is gonna put this into work and so now you don’t have to do it anymore.

Now it’s done automatically by a system or by a program, right. But is creative hire that word that you chose to just use? Right. There is really interesting. High will hire a system. Yeah, that, that’s the way that, that a lot of people handle. They hire somebody they think. Oh, my gosh. I need to, I need to do that. I need to respond to all these, I need to do all these things. I need to hire people. But if your systematize you, number one have to hire fewer people and you’re number two, you actually make those people better at their jobs because you make it a lot easier.

That is very true. And that’s where you come in where you create a solution for us. Right at that point, that’s when comes in, I’ll send you your check warrant. It’s there you go. Yeah. Nice little plot. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Didn’t forget that. No, I good. Um But um, but no, you know, but, but that was the thing because if we don’t take the time at this time in our business to create those to have, you have to have record of that.

You have to, you, whether you put it in a paper, whether however you want to, you know, create that uh list of the system. You have to create that because you’re gonna go hire a company or you’re gonna hire a system, you’re gonna have to input your information because everything is unique to you. Like, there are standards to the industry but your area or your demographic or your state are gonna be a little different than everybody else, especially. Yeah. California. I know Florida is one of those tough ones too.

So, it is so not business friendly in Florida. Brutal, brutal. God, don’t even get me started. I don’t know much Florida, but I hear a lot and I don’t think we’re much different, but California is tough, you know. Yeah. Very business friendly. Hm. Yeah, we’re, that’s why we’re going there so much nowadays. Then you, you find yourself in Orlando quite a bit, man, right? I mean, we’re gonna be there twice this year. So you said you’re going to Austin next week? You’re, uh, you’re starting to gravitate toward these.

We’re going, we’re going east, baby, you know, at the end of the day I keep saying that, um, it’s funny because, uh, I was having this conversation the other day. I’m like, you know what, I should probably move to the east coast and, you know, and they’re asking me why I’m like, dude, put it in perspective. Like you get up at five in the morning there and it’s, it’s what, it’s three hours different. So you’re already three hours ahead of everyone and they’re looking at me like you’re dumb.

I’m like, I might be dumb but I’m gonna be ahead of you. I’m, I’m just saying, is that, is that how it works though? Is it? I don’t, I don’t know. That’s it. Maybe we should move across the world and just be like 12 and the day ahead of you. Maybe. Right. And time hacking. See, don’t get an entrepreneur going into that because you’re gonna try to figure out, ok, why, how, where you’re gonna move that. Right. Yeah, that’s how my brain works. I blame it on the fumes again. Yeah.

There you go. It’s, it’s good to be open minded and creative man. Right. Yeah. Create I think creative um I think the minute you stop being creative, you’re, you lose, you lose a lot, man. Um It, it’s not just in business, I think in everything you um you have to be creative. Every, not a lot of things are, are exactly provided to you or catered to you. You can grab one thing and from there you have to create your own. I know the majority of people may be like, oh why fix it?

You know, the wheels are very round. I’m like, yeah, the wheels round. I mean, can I make it go faster? You know, that’s my question, right. So yeah, see you got me going into some other stuff. Yeah, I’m I’m totally derailing you here. I want to derail you slightly more and, and get you into data. OK? But what you were talking about, you know, before you said I kind of threw you off and threw you into, in the whole path there after our last podcast, which actually happens to me more often than you would think from.

Not the, but uh get into that. So, data. Yeah. When I had asked you the, the question about your population. Oh Yeah. So, you know, it’s funny because you, you threw me a curveball there and um we have guys like Nick Slavick that God, like that guy. I mean, he’s a walking computer. OK? God, that guy, you tell him something and he will give you the different fraction for everything that you can think of. And I’m, I, I just sit there, I’m like, uh like uh what did you just say?

Like, how do you do that? Um But it’s so simple sometimes, you know, it’s just creating. So you asked me this question and, you know, in our demographic, in the area, you know, um I did a little bit of research and yeah, about 100 a little over 100,000 population, you know, just the area that we cover. And then you ask me, OK, well, how are you gonna, how would you build your business to where you want to build it? And we, for reference, you had, I think you said 10 million.

Is that what we were, you know, 10 million is kind of where we see and, and probably 103 million is uh I, I was looking at, I was like, ok, realistically eight, I know eight is a very good comfortable number. But then it became to the point where I was like, ok, how would that happen? It’s not gonna happen just by us doing high end homes, you know, because we’re gonna cap out a certain amount. Um So doing a little homework. I, I feel that the way we can reach as a company in those 8 to $10 million is by creating divisions that are in our, in our company.

So those divisions will basically um be our high end division which will bring 2 to $3 million which it will roughly brings. Now, uh I think we can grow it just a little bit more, but let’s say $3 million we can keep doing this new custom homes and we can create that division. Uh We are creating our cabinet finishing division, which we already have, but we just the first uh just signed on our, on our lease, so officially moved into our new shop. Um Thank you. So we feel that um now we’re gonna start um working more into going and going after our cabinet makers and, and really bringing more business into that, but we are keeping it as a as a division of the company.

So we’re not incorporating everything as a day to day to illusion’s painting. So now this is gonna be a, a separate division with someone running the, the whole division. And so we feel that $2 million we can create there and $2 million is kind of like a high number. But uh most of the cabinets that we’re gonna do are very high end. So a paint job, you know, cabinet, paint job for a house is gonna range between 100 and 50 to $103,000 for one of these homes. And so if we do those and then we do our small projects, I feel that we can definitely achieve that, you know, based on, on our um because we want those will bring from uh not precisely just our little population but within the 50 mile range, uh cabinet makers will bring them to our shop.

100 230,2500 to 25,206 for a home. Yeah, when I got home, man, I’m, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna fly out there. I’m gonna join your company. That’s uh you know, we, we just, we just put in a price for, for a project that it’s a um it’s a, an average uh high end home that we deal with here. Um So I think cabinets were about 210 and 210,33 for the estimate. It’s incredible, man, you guys just to finish high end it. It, well, I mean, the homes are, you know, you, your average, that type of home will probably sell for about $23 million.

It’ll probably cost you about 25 to build it, um, a little over 212 to build it. And so all the paint job, everything is gonna be higher just because it takes a lot more to build them and everything else. And then I think an average, uh, cabinet job will be right around the 20 to $40,000 and, uh, just an average repaying, uh, home here. Um, the ones that we work on, then we have the repaint and maintenance, uh part of division of our company that we are really just barely scratching right now.

Um We have really never really paid attention so much to our, our, our maintenance uh situation, you know, all these big homes, they require maintenance and we will wait until they call us or they, or, you know, or they will, um just feel that they need it. So what we’re, I guess this is, this is we’re kind of getting ahead of ourselves but that creating that we feel that can bring the $2 million just because just to maintain these homes and then to do small repaints. But we want to have a whole division that just deals with that because the problem that, that, that you’re gonna find with those uh in, in, in our niche of these high end homes is that some of our guys are not the fastest but they’re very skilled, you know, and when you do repaints you need someone who’s fairly skilled, but it’s a little faster.

And so that’s that. So that’s what we wanna. So that’s our goal is to separate those divisions so that we can have that efficiency. We, we have been doing a lot of the homework and a lot of the ground work so that we know what is gonna take our standards and, and, and, and uh basically standards, you know, how much does it take for this? How much does it take for that? So, on our high end, we really can’t use uh an estimating system because everything is very unique.

But in our repaint, we can input that and then we can use that repeatedly over and over again. Um Then the other part that we do in our business, we um we do uh metal patina. So we manipulate metal and um and create finishes with metal in our areas. We’re the only company that does that but then probably close to 100 miles. I would say probably 60 miles. We’re the only people to go to for those. And this, and keep in mind these are high end finishes. We have a sad sandblasting unit that, that’s gonna be part of that.

So it’s kind of like a specialty unit. So that would be the division created for that, so that we feel that can generate roughly about a million dollars. Um So creating all those things um really get us to those millions, you know, because I was like it and that’s, that has been our strategy. But um to that day, you know, I got to sit down, I’m like, OK, how can that work? Uh And looking at the numbers, I feel very confident, I feel that we can definitely do that.

So, thank you. And then you really helped me like, really sharpen the pent last time, a pencil and be like uh uh next time I talk to him, you’re going to be prepared. I have to, I have to and I huh, that no, that’s so important, man. You know, like having the data right? Data is and utilizing it and it, it’s yes, it did get us a little ahead, you know, for next episode, but that’s OK. It’s because it’s also pertinent to what we’re talking about right now.

You know, in the sense, if you have a plan, your plan that we talked about was 53 million, 10 million somewhere in that vicinity. Um And you just basically applied for that plan, which we’ll get into in even more depth than probably how you did all that the next episode. But you, you basically applied it live what we’re talking about right now from when you went to the expo and said, OK, wow, you know, I’m gonna change this business. Well, then the next step is what’s the plan, what’s the a the action steps that you’re gonna take, which you’ve been walking us through is OK, let’s go back to the, to basically the fundamentals back to basics.

So, um one of the things that we did at that moment when we realized that we were ready to move forward, um was to change everything that we do in our office. So, um the way we do business, um the way, um now we, we understood that we needed to invest more, you know, as, as a painting company. Uh, we never, we had, uh, we had one office assistant and that office assistant did everything, you know, not completely but did, had her hands on everything. And so something that we were able to change was change that.

So now we have an admin and then we created, uh, someone that’s all the, the financial part and then we did the, the, you know, the, the field work. So now specialized a little bit more. Exactly. So that, that played a big part at that time because now you don’t have, when you have one person running around and doing everything, I mean, you’re not, you’re not very efficient, you know, but when you actually start creating these, these positions, um, it’s funny because I had this, um, this little exercise, uh, done.

Um, I believe one of my friends, um, gave me this paper and what he did is, uh, he, he wrote a paper and basically the way it is they put a line down on the, on the bottom, there’s admin, there’s billing, there’s uh um human resources, it’s all these, these positions, right? And then uh then there’s a line and then the top is the owner. And so I remember that circle. Right. Exactly. So it was, it was, it was so funny because I remember that time doing that and I was like, I looked at it.

I’m like, well, I, I’m like, admin put a name on it. I was like my initial then put uh you know, human resources is my issues, painter, my issues and all these, I’m like, so, dude, you’re a slave, you’re not an owner. So your name is two hours below that line. And then uh and then up on the owner part is dead silence. Nothing. And that really opened up. You’re like, you’re your own figurehead. That’s actually, yeah, exactly. And so at that point, it really clicked because I’m like, dude, so what am I doing?

They’re like, well, you don’t own a house, you don’t own a business, you own a job, business man, right? And so that was a very, that was a very good eye opener. It and it just seeing that you’re like, OK, again, like you look at it, I’m like, OK, and I remember asking how can I hire someone for all these positions? And they’re like, no, you don’t hire someone specific for every position. You hire someone and you delegate, what are they good at? So you you know, admin and maybe human resources and this will go together.

OK. So now you have one person doing these couple of tasks and now uh you have this person overseeing that and then you’re a painter. And so little by little I saw myself kind of putting a little step onto the over that line. It, you know, I put a little step and then I had to take it down because I, I had to go downstairs and go take care. That’s not perfection. Right. Exactly. But I guess it really applies because a lot of us really don’t fit it and understand that we have to go through those trial and errors.

Ok. Other thing that I, I don’t think we’ve done yet and I think that we should do and I think at this point it is very important for someone that is listening to us, someone who wants to probably like fast pace. This, this step is to hire a coach. Um, we’ve, we haven’t, uh, we’ve been so blessed that we’ve met guys like yourself and like Nick and all these guys that we can just ask and we kind of go around the, the circle, but it’s, it’s so important to hire and every time I say higher, you know, most painters are gonna be like, well, yeah, but I don’t have the money, you know, where am I gonna get the money?

Yeah. But it’s that investment that you are going to need and there are other ways of doing it as well, but you do need, it is so much better when you sit down with a professional and, and set out a plan. Say, look, this is what I want my business to do. This is where I want my business to go and they’re gonna come and they’re gonna look at everything you have and they’ll be like, ok, in order to get there, this is and this what you have to do. Yeah.

And it’s, uh, it’s like the people who said, hey, you, why are you going to all these events? Why don’t you just keep working and now like, hey, how? Right. That’s the same mentality. You, well, I don’t, I’m not gonna hire a coach. I don’t have the money. That doesn’t make any sense. That’s the same idea as you taking that time off to go to those events. It’s an investment yourself and your business. That’s correct. And I think that’s, that, that, that’s very important being at that point.

So if you conquer that area where you, the mindset is there and you’re like, yes, I can do it. I want to do it. Hire someone who can lay out a, uh, a, uh, a path or a, um, or a goal for you because, uh, we’re not, if we’re not good at that, we’re gonna bump into that wall over and over again. But someone, and there’s a lot of people, you know, that can be very affordable. There’s things online, there’s the PC A with the educational program, there’s so many things out there, there’s, you know, there’s your podcast, there’s so many other podcasts that we can invest the time or the money.

But you have to do that. You have to put the time and the money into it. And that’s like one of my, one of my good friends here, Chris Moore at lead business, dude. He’s, he’s such a cool dude, man. Like that’s the guy that you can have a really nice conversation. Exactly. He’s not gonna be there about your business and my money and this and that he’s the guy that you’re gonna have very genuine uh conversations with. So yeah, he’s super cool. But I guess at that point in your business that that was um like I said, we didn’t do that pat but we were, but we were blessed.

Like you said, we, we were involved and every time we had there was an event at that point, we will attend, we would attend like we’ll fly somewhere, we’ll go anywhere we need to go. And that was an investment because just flying myself and Jose, they are my business partner uh with, you know, the hotel and, and everything else. It was 3 to $4000 anywhere we went and anyone at that point in their business gonna be like, man, that’s a lot of money. It is a lot of money.

But looking back at it now, it’s like God, it was, we gained so much experience from it, you know, from the, from the sop si wanted to find out what an sop going to one of uh at that time going to one of uh uh Nick uh master, master craftsmen uh classes. It opened up our eyes every time we would go to one of these presentations, we’ll come back and be like, dude, did you see what Nick had there on his screen? I’m like, yeah. All right.

So we’re gonna put that in here and, and we did and you know, and so that’s how we got, that’s how we got passed throughout that time. I guess that’s really what helped us. So it wasn’t just direct uh coaching, but it was a code, it was coaching from so many other great ones in the industry. Yeah. So you’ve said a couple of things that I want a couple of key themes here that I want to just hit on really fast. So you had this epiphany, you recognized that your glass ceiling is not real, you know, you can go past that.

And then the, the first step was all right. Let’s get back to basics. So look, let’s look at our business, find inefficiencies and find where we’re basically don’t know what we’re doing as much as we probably should. Let’s go ahead and address that in, in a in a way that makes sense and it’s systematic, right? So it’s not one off, we’re not relying on a superhero to teach everybody things we’re just gonna build in an automation in this case video that we can use, then we’re gonna look at the ORG chart.

So, so that’s essentially what you did when you write, write hr and finance and all these things. It’s a, it’s a rudimentary, it’s the beginning of it work. You know, where you basically just heads of departments, you don’t have to build out 30 people and not a fortune 500 company. Just general things. Your, your name happened to be assigned to a lot of them, which for most, most of us, that’s how we start. And that’s OK. And then, you know, all right, we’re gonna create a road map here to kind of, to build out one at a time.

We’re gonna build ourselves out of this until we’re rolling at the top. You continue to invest in the events in education to the point where at your current level, people are gonna say, hey, that, that’s a lot. That doesn’t really make sense, but you’re essentially placing a bet on yourself. You recognize the power of it and we’re all placing a bet on ourselves. When we start a business, you’re starting a business, you’re running a business, you’re already bet on yourself. So you should probably continue to do that.

It’s only logical. Uh You’re learning from others. You recognize the importance of learning from people who are ahead of you. And that’s part of those events in education uh is the networking and the learning. And then most I would say most importantly, of all of everything that you’ve said is you were action oriented in terms of implementation. When you want to learn something, you went back and you implemented it. And that is a big step that a lot of people miss. Wow, you couldn’t have said it better.

That is very true. You’re very, you, you make me feel good about myself. Ju you really cut me up during these things, dude, if I can, I love it, I love it. I appreciate you. Well, you know, it just um man, like um uh I, I believe that interacting um sometimes um I guess it is our character. You know, some people are very quiet and they do their work very, very quiet, very low key. I, I believe that myself, my character is a little different. I, I am more interactive.

I love to interact with people. I, I would learn more out of a chat like an hour, chat from someone than reading for an hour or two. That’s just how my brain works. And so I know that there’s um there’s different types of people out there, there’s millions and millions of people that we can touch, especially now with social media. So touch the ones that relate to you, you know, um and that’s a great point. There might be someone really smart out there and it just their style, their communication, like the fact you’re listening to this means that you, you don’t hate my communication, right?

And it’s probably helping you. So that’s great. If, if you were like, man, this branding guy is so annoying, then go listen to other people, right? Because you don’t have to follow. There are a lot of people and there are a lot of learning styles and communication styles and you can find the one that the one or hopefully multiple that fit for you. Exactly. And so at that point in our business, we struggle with ourselves more than, than, than other people. OK? I think at that point in and when we were creating the systems, it was more like, OK, but what if he doesn’t do it?

What if that person doesn’t honestly, you know, you, you gotta build something, you, you build something and the results are gonna be what you want them to be. You’re, you’re looking for some results. What’s gonna happen is there’s gonna be, there’s gonna be guys or there’s gonna be, you know, members in the team that are gonna come in and out. Why? Because they’re not gonna fit in your, in, in your culture and your business, you know, but you, you can’t create something for everyone. You gotta create who you are, you create the business at the end of the day, we are the business, you know, that business runs on how we feel that it should run.

Yes, you implement uh it’s, it’s top down like, like your personality, your, you know, ownership, style, your value system, your vision that, that’s going to permeate the entire culture of that company. Yeah. You know, and there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of us that in, in our meetings, I want people to laugh. I want people to have an opinion. I, I I’m not supposed to laugh. This is business man. God, I, if, if it’s business, I wouldn’t be in business if he was out there. Well, you gotta be in that kind of business.

You know, you can’t have fun. So we spend more time with our business colleagues than we do at home sometimes. Well, you, you, you inspire, you know, your wife, but a lot of us, we leave first thing in the morning and don’t come back home until 5:06 p.m. So most of our um most of our life revolves around uh what we do. So if you are at work and you are someone who’s very funny and very outgoing and you work at a place that is just so straight and so straight, you, you’re not gonna be happy, you’re gonna do your job, but it’s gonna be a job.

But when you find that, but when you find that, that very happy medium where like you, you know, you look for certain things, but at the end of the day, you can be yourself. It’s not gonna be work, you know, in, in our business. We have, um, on Monday, this last Monday we had our, uh, you know, monthly meeting and when I get in front of them, when, when we have Isabel as our office manager and when she’s in front, she’s like straight like this, this, this is the agenda, this is what we’re doing and that, and then they put me a good fit for an office manager.

She’s gotta keep awesome tracks. Of course, of course, you’re good for that man. She needs to make sure that everything’s in line as soon as she’s done. I’m like, all right guys, give me the mic. Here we go, you know. But um but we make that point across and I guess it’s that dynamic that you have to understand. So it’s so we OK, so it’s not that we deray but it’s, it’s OK. It’s creating, you’re creating the systems, but you’re also creating a culture in your business and that’s super important, you know, you want, you wanna attract people and um the way we did it at that time it was, we create, we started creating a, a face for the company, you know, we started creating a brand, you know, we started branding.

So everywhere you start going, like our name started popping up more and uh illusions and illusions. And then, and the next thing you know, there’s guys that I’m like, hey, you know, I wanna work for you. Why? Because, you know, it’s just because it’s a good company, like I think, great. There’s no good guys out there though. That’s the problem. There’s no good guys out there, you know that. Yeah. You know, so I guess II I got like all the 10, 10 of them that were around 10 of them.

I got them all. I got them all man. It’s OK. I’m that good. So it turns out if you, if you create a, a company that people wanna work at sometimes, I guess good guys appear good people. You’re gonna, you, you’re gonna, you know how uh Nick has this good, good human being. Yeah, this, this human being model and human being model. Um And we go back to the same uh analogy, right? There’ll be another company where like, no, I want you here, you come to work, you come to this and that’s that, believe it or not.

There are guys that love that. There are guys who just don’t wanna be talked to, they don’t wanna socialize with you, they just gonna come do their business. Get out. It’s very clear. Yeah, and that’s completely fine. You know, I don’t think those guys fit in our company. I, as much as I love them, you gotta be able to laugh and you gotta be able to joke around because if you don’t, I, I don’t know, man, I’m gonna look at you weird when I’m laughing at everyone and everybody else is laughing and just sitting in the corner like what you know, like, oh gray grandpa there on the back now.

So proactively do this, did you proactively shape the culture or is it something that just happened from your personality? I think it just happens from our personality. You can’t, um, I mean, you can set that up, but for us it’s like, I think the, we, we actually set that culture to be a little more strict and more disciplined because if it was up to me, it would be a, it would be a joke every day. But, but uh no. Um and that’s why, you know, I think that at that point, um but it just starts creating so in that time when we’re talking about this about two years ago or so, um I don’t think we have, no, we don’t have, we might have one guy left from that era.

Um And it was because we had a lot of VIP s, you know, you know, that phrase, right. Yeah. But the VIP S that they know what to do and they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do and stuff and um it took a while to, for them to understand that we’re a team, you know, if we go left, we’re all going left. If we’re going right. We’re all going, right. And so it took some time to understand that some people may not fit in your company and the company is involved because those people, those strong willed, you know, they’d be, they’d be high on the disk, you know, high dominant, right?

And, and they’re, they’re confident. Typically, those people are sometimes a very valuable asset to a small company because you need, you know, leaders, you need killers in those positions to well structure. But as you grow and as you systematize the team oriented approach becomes much more important and those people don’t always make that uh adaptation. That’s right. And see, and I, I guess um when I, when I the, the, one of the reasons why um I like to be like that with the guys and, and everything that I do is because um I like to make it.

So it’s not so difficult. Uh It is a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sitting here, I’m just telling you, ha ha we laughed and that we do that. But let me tell you when it comes down to uh getting results, done getting the data, getting all those. Um We took a lot of time to actually what we did is we went to our, our shop and um we will have a couple of guys paint a door and I’m like, ok, how long does it take us to paint a door?

Ok. It takes us this much. They’re like, ok, perfect. So now when we implement these things, it’s, it’s not us, it’s you guys, you guys painted that door. So on average, this is what it took. So those, we took those and those became our program, um our system. So now of course they change with, you know, with different products with, you know, different person, but we do have an average a standard and that standard needs to be followed. And so that’s what we created. So at that point, not going out of the subject, it was operational systems, it was systems, it was training, it was implementing the right person or putting the right person in the right place or the company.

And that really allowed us to grow. I, I think that’s the, at that point is when we had the most growth out of everything that we’ve had so far and, and so, and it was just switching a couple little things that were not functioning or, you know, just doing it the right way. I, I’m in the right way of a business, I don’t know how to put it in better words. But um that’s what we did at that time. So the, you know, for people who are listening to this, who are in that maybe um first transition that you were in the transitory phase that, that they’ve been grinding day to day kind of hand to mouth and they say, you know what I’m, I, I’m serious about this.

I know I can do it. I’m gonna build out all the different things that you’ve talked about. Can we quickly and again, it might change. Right. It might not be the same. But let’s, let’s give a prescription of sorts. Let’s, let’s give a road map of sorts. A brief one. They’re listening. They’re, they are where you were, let, let’s like four or five things. Just bullets. What should they do first? What should they do? Second and, and, you know, again, let’s keep it high level. But what’s the road map look like for them?

I think, first of us identifying what type of business you’re building. I think that’s very important. You know, what is, what are your business gonna look like? Ok. Um, second systems, what type of systems do you need to implement to get it to where, you know, where that, you know, where that business needs to go? The second one is, what type of training do you need? What type of training do you need to receive yourself? And what type of training do you need to give your employees or your staff contractors, depending on your system of, of the business?

Um, then the other one would be, um, I guess it’s, uh, so we say training systems set up a, a broad plan of your business other than that is you gotta implement it. That’s very important because you can think of a lot and you can sit there and, and think and think, but implement it and start one and start in one place and, and just go, you know, um, many times we’re gonna find out that in our business, we, many times we’ve done is we have a vision and we start working towards that in the middle of it.

We’re like, you know what? It’s not working, don’t be afraid to scratch it, you know, scrape it. If it’s not working for you scrape it and switch gears. The the business is gonna dictate where it wants to go if you put the right systems and uh I think the and then the next one will be your data, document, everything that you, that you do. Yeah. So identify, start with the end of mine. So identify, take, take a hard, you know, take a weekend, sit down, talk with your spouse if they’re involved, take it, they envision it right?

This like a mental exercise might be a little bit Kumbaya. But where do you want to go? What’s the, what’s the goal here? Because that’s how you can actually figure out how to get there. The next step. Ok. Based on where you need to go, what does that company look like? What systems are in place? Let’s go ahead and build those. Let’s train the team on the systems that actually need to be implemented. Let’s map out a detailed road map as detailed as we can, you know, the 3 to 5 year plan, they’re gonna be guesses in the beginning.

That’s ok. The actual revenue figure is not as important as just the steps to get there is really what’s more important and being, being biased toward action, but also not being unrealistic because then you’re gonna get defeated really quickly and you’re gonna feel like that implement, biased toward action, always number one thing and then data document all this stuff. Uh And, and if you fail, if, if you go a certain direction, it’s just a total bomb or you don’t like it or for whatever reason that’s not failing.

It’s part of it. If you’re not doing that, then you’re being boring and you’re not pushing your business and you’re not pushing yourself. That is a, a part of it. You learn more from failure than success. So that is a part of the journey and failing is actually succeeding. Well, you, you learn more. You do, I’ll tell you and everyone in business will tell you that you definitely learn more from your failures than you do from your uh when you succeed because we make it strong. It doesn’t have to look exactly like illusions, painting.

It doesn’t have to look exactly like Nick Slavik painting a restoration doesn’t have to look like Paris paint. It doesn’t have to look like anything. You start it as a template like, OK, let me start down this path and then you’re gonna make it your own, you’re gonna make it, what makes sense for you. You know what I think that’s very important that you touch that subject because that, uh, at least in myself, um, I used to, I used to have a lot of trouble with that because sometimes it’s so much easier to look at someone else that’s doing something.

And you’re like, oh, my God, why can I not do that? I just, we’re different people. You know, you can do something that they, that they don’t do that they’re not doing. That’s correct. Ee Exactly correct. So that is very big, you know, just don’t, um, focus on what you’re doing and, and follow through, I, I think, but follow through, keep going, educate yourself at that part of the business at that, at that space. That’s all you need to do. You’re gonna, you’re gonna fall off a couple of times.

Um, we invested the way we invested at that time was going to all these, uh, you know, seminars going to the PC A. There was a special training. We will go to those and those were our investment for us, you know, then coming back and training transparent, you know, every time we come back and we learn something we will transfer and, and show that to our, our team, this is what we’ve learned and this is what we’re doing and they’re like, oh, ok, keep them involved is important.

Yeah, that is important. You have to bring the team with you. That’s another thing. Mistake. People make, they go and they will invest in these conferences, they’ll come back and the team’s kind of bracing themselves like, all right, let’s do this, this, this, if you don’t, if you don’t tell them why, if you don’t educate them, if you don’t bring them, if you don’t lift them up, you’re gonna get people who are resistant to the change. You’re gonna get people who aren’t chipping in. And ultimately, they don’t, they don’t know where you’re going.

You’re not being a good leader. Thank you. You know, um this is a little joke because, you know, I can’t be so serious, I think for too long. Uh our guys, the, the joke, the inside joke and in our company was like, ok, where are the bosses at? Where’s Jose and Juan? Oh, they don’t know their honeymoon. So we were always on a honeymoon honeymoon all time. Is Jose there, right? Yeah, he did, Joe. Are you down there there? He is this guy ever gonna hop on and say hi the next one, we definitely gotta hop in there.

He just got back, you know, interesting enough. He just, um we did, um we did a presentation for Sharon Williams. Uh It was last year in kick uh Washington State. And um so we’ve been having a couple of issues going on in the company right now because those are never gonna end. So sorry guys to disappoint you, but there’s always gonna be perfect. Right. Exactly. And so he actually took a, took a drive, well, he flew down there, um, and then uh he met up with one of the guys that we met in a presentation and we’ve been having issues with the CRM uh implementing CR MS. He comes, he comes back.

It’s not that we got it fixed, but just a couple hours sitting down with this guy. I feel that we have our, our problem solved. Do you see how important that is those connections for us to be able to just, you know, get on the phone, talk to someone and say, you know what, this is what I need. They’re like, oh dude, that’s easy. Give it to you. It’s done and this is a PC A, this is, this is abnormal, it’s a super high quality network. It is not a particularly big.

I mean, it’s just this amazing, accessible little world where you can access some of the brightest minds and most successful minds in painting. I mean, goodness take advantage of that. People want to help. We’re, you know, we’ll be flying to uh to Austin and we already talked to a couple of the guys like Jesse, um like a couple of the guys that we’ve met through PC eight and now uh yeah, we’re gonna have a presentation for Sherwin. Um That’s something I wanna touch on really quick. But um now, uh we have an extra day, so we rented a uh an Air BNB.

And so now we’re gonna invite everyone and just kind of sit down. These are the guys that we see almost every year throughout the years. And now we want to sit down at their home, uh maybe just pull out a little chart and talk about how their business doing and stuff and then just, just hang out. That’s so cool. We’re gonna learn so much in a couple hours and have a human uh you know, uh interaction which honestly, it’s, it’s amazing. It’s amazing that you can do that learn and still give back at the same time.

I, I feel that I can touch the ceiling, you know, and uh it, it’s something that if you would have asked me, like we talked about this a few years back, I wouldn’t be feeling. So let me touch on something very quick here talking about networking at that time. Uh This was last year and it’s kind of like part of how we got here where we are now is we got a um we got approached by uh by the PC A and see if we wanted to do some kind of speaking, you know, speaking engagements and stuff.

And I said, yeah, no problem. We had no idea what we’re getting ourselves into, right. So we agreed to one, one or two events. We ended up we ended up doing 12 across the country, you know, and we found out a lot, we found out that our business was not gonna be able to be SUSA was not gonna be able to sustain us being away. So we need to implement certain things. So that’s we implemented and we needed that we hire a uh project manager and then we hired more people.

And so now that, that necessity gave us that it gave us, it gave us a very good push for our business, but not only that, now, that gave us the, the, the push to do more. So OK, now, what can I do? What else can I do? So now I’m getting and traveling the country, which is awesome. Um I’m sharing my uh we’re sharing our experience and in the way we’re learning so much from everyone that we need and creating great relationships that hopefully in the future are gonna help our business a lot more.

So that’s the power of networking. So networking should be on that, on that list that you put there because it’s, it’s big. Yeah, big Juan, I appreciate you, man. I appreciate this, this episode. Um Thank you. Is there anything else that you wanna add as we wrap up? Number three here? Uh No man. Just, just understand that, you know, um Basically we put in the work, you know, put in the work, stay on it, stay consistent and you will see that something’s gonna come out of it, but you gotta stay consistent and work on it, day in day out, brother.

Thank you, man. Appreciate you. We’ll see that number four. Yes, sir.

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 URL is paintermarketingpros.com/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@PainterMarketingPros.com and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time.

Keep growing

Brandon Pierpont

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