Guest Interview: Matt Carlson of M. Carlson Painting

Published On: November 23, 2021

Categories: Podcast

Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast
Matt Carlson

Matt Carlson, owner of M. Carlson Painting, takes a deep dive into how he has found tremendous success in the residential repaint market.  He talks about mistakes he’s made, hard lessons he’s had to learn, and the learnings he gained that have allowed him to pass $3.5 million in revenue in 2021.  Matt makes some predictions about where the industry is headed, and how painting company owners can position themselves for success.

Video of Interview

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

  • Mistakes Matt has made that have helped him grow as an entrepreneur
  • The most important     aspects to scaling your painting company to multi-millions
  • Predictions for how the industry will evolve over the next 5-10 years

Audio Transcript

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Welcome to the painter marketing mastermind podcast. The show created to help painting company owners, built 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 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. Our guest today is Matt Carlson. Matt is the owner of M. Carlson Painting, which is a residential repaint company based in or No Minnesota. Matt started M. Carlson painting in 2001 and has been in the painting industry for over 25 years. In this episode, Matt discusses how he grew M. Carlson painting to doing over $3. 5 million 2021 and what steps he’s planning to take to always keep his crews busy during the winters. 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 at U. R L is painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast. All right, Matt, thank you for joining the show. Thanks for being on a marketing master. My podcast, man. Welcome. Thank you for letting me come on. Absolutely, absolutely. It’s it’s my pleasure. So where are you based? We’re based Western suburb of Minneapolis. Wiser to it’s on the Far East or west side of Lake Minnetonka. It’s a big lake surrounded by about four or five little cities. But, uh, there’s a couple of big cities on the West Side or the east side and south side of like in North Side, too. So lots, lots of people, lots of homes. So it’s good. Nice. And what is the name of your company? M. Carlson painting? Super Original suit. Yeah, well, we get a lot of that right in the painting industry. Um, great man. So what does m Carlson painting do? We primarily focus and spend our time on mid to super high end re paints. That’s including interiors. Exteriors are exteriors have really taken off as far as a repair division. Um, being here in Minnesota, the weather really takes a number of people’s homes, so we do quite a bit of that. So that’s really increased. Our business were probably about a 50 50 model 50 interior, 50 exterior. Um, mhm. We do a lot of finishing of cabinets trim in these really expensive homes that are finished. So unlike new construction, where the guys that go in there and redo stuff, either when they’re living their or they’ve moved out or they’ve gone to their other other home for a little bit. So, um, primarily re paints, we do a little bit of new construction. We’ve got a few contractors we do work for a little bit, especially commercially. We’ll get into multi family in the summertime. Um, but mostly residential. That’s kind of that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time. We’re good at it. Um, some days I asked myself why, but, you know, we we can do it. You guys are good at it, So yeah, nice man and When was your company founded? So we became incorporated in 2001. But I’ve been painting exteriors since 1994, so Okay, I work for a couple different companies just working the summer gig, getting paid cash? Um, not a very good painter, So Yeah. So you’ve been in the game for a while? A long time? Yeah. And then who are your who? Your target customers. Usually the dual income, the higher earners. Um, it’s changed, though. I mean, with with covid and everyone being home, you know, now it’s like people are working a lot more. People want their offices, they want their homes repainted. So I mean, mid to high end stuff. I mean, we don’t we don’t seem to venture too far out of our kind of our niche market. But, you know, we’re always open to new things, but I would definitely say the dual income or the one heavy producer where people want to have their stuff Nice. I mean, the homes that we paint our very expensive, you know, they’ve got to live a nice components on them substrates and stuff like that. So people that want to maintain their house which is really hopefully anyone. I mean, if you spend that money. Yeah, well, it’s interesting that you brought up how your market has changed a little bit with covid. And, you know, I think we’ve all kind of seen an explosion in demand. Can you touch on that a little bit? Yeah, it was interesting, because once covid kind of came in, we had over the past too many years to count, Unfortunately, not been able to get all the work done or exterior seasons, so we would carry it over. And so we went into 2020 with a lot of exterior work, and we were a little concerned, and then covid hit. So then we reached out to our clientele, and we had great feedback that people would still wanted to do it. Um, we had a couple people postponed. We had a couple of people kinda go up the cheaper because they weren’t quite sure what was gonna happen. So we were We were pretty positive and kind of what we were hearing back. And then, luckily for us, because we do residential work, um, going into people’s homes wasn’t something new, and it actually it really. It really helped our business a lot. Um, which is unfortunate, cause I don’t like to capitalize on on something like that. But there was such a demand, and because of our brand, because of the work that we do, people were up to having this kind of be in their house and do stuff. And it didn’t It didn’t slow us down. I mean, I think we there was, like, two weeks when we had to shut down, and that’s kind of That was almost a launching pad. And after that, it hasn’t slowed down at all. I mean, we haven’t even taken a break. So are you saying even in 2020 people wanted the interior paint jobs? It got a little quiet at first, but after that first two weeks was up When they said, you know, Hey, you gotta It’s like, completely shut down. People were definitely open to having us come in. Um, we definitely followed all the procedures we bore the mass we had. We actually had all the sign offs. We abide by all the laws of the violations of the laws, but we we did everything we were asked to do what kind of went above and beyond. But it was nice because our past clientele knows us. And in our monthly newsletter that we send out We had a lot of people kind of calling, being like, Well, hey, we’re home. Come on over Do work. Which was almost kind of the exact opposite of thought. Well, we thought we’re gonna happen, but we saw a huge uptick in our exteriors where people are, like, Okay, maybe we don’t do the inside, but let’s get the outside done now. So our exterior business took off in 2020 big time. Yeah, that’s interesting. Man, that’s really interesting, because I actually haven’t explored this with anyone before. You know, this idea of being a premium painter? You know, I think we all know how important that is, gives you pricing power gives you a lot of power, But what I’ve never really considered was this idea that when it some sort of national emergency occurs or something really unusual, you probably were able to book jobs. And people probably trusted your company more even from a safety perspective, even though you’re not really a safety type company, just because I knew you hands down for sure. And that was that was it was interesting. Is this talking to bids that would come in and we would ask them, Hey, we can do virtual bids and stuff like that. But people that have worked with before knew how professional guys are. Newhall clean. We are, you know, And that we do where I’m at and stuff like that, that we are the cleanest of all the trades were the ones that are with the vacuums were the ones that are wiping stuff down. We do the finished product, so it wasn’t so much. Plus, it’s also Minnesota, and it was springtime and people were on and open their windows and they wanted to get outside. And so it’s that I think there’s a lot of pushback in that sense, but yeah, having the reputation and the quality of guys for the work that we do, people were definitely okay with us being in their house. They knew they knew that we weren’t gonna do anything that would upset them or put them in a position. And we were going to do anything either. So, uh, it worked out. I mean, you know, We had a couple of people that, you know, the mass is a big thing, and we just did. We just wore the best entire time where we quarantine ourselves this session of the house and set things up like that. So, you know, between the vacuums and air exchangers and all that stuff, I mean, we’re moving. We’re moving the air around a lot. Yeah. Yeah, it makes sense, man. So you guys have obviously been around for a long time, you know, since 2001 to 20 years, but do you have? And maybe it is just more of a time thing, but do you have any advice or recommendations to other painting companies? How they can try to establish a relationship similar or reputation similar to yours? Take accountability. I mean, that’s the one thing that we preach here, um, over and over and over. Um, I have to be accountable. It’s my name on the door. It’s my name on the shirt. So it’s like there’s like, I can’t ever blame someone else for it. So I try to instill that with all our team members and dollar painters and everyone like that. It also goes the same thing for our customers, to where it’s like, Hey, if it’s if it’s something that we did, we will take care of it. And if it’s something we didn’t do, we will offer solutions to try and help them resolve that. And we, we we kind of go out of our way. Our biggest thing is the customer service, like we should be professional painters. That’s that’s what we do. But taking ownership, being accountable, you know, having integrity. I mean, all those things seem to be kind of forgotten service that a lot of companies don’t provide anymore. They want to get in and get out. They don’t want to be bothered. But because we’re used to going into people’s houses is that it’s a different level of trust. So once you can have that with your customers, it makes things a lot more simple or not easier but simpler, uh, to establish those relationships and kind of keep them going. And people are also a lot more open and willing and a little more forgiving in that sense. I think a lot of people kind of shy away from not having those tough conversations, not being able to kind of hold the customer accountable because they’re always worried about this. And so for us, we try to set expectations up front for ourselves, for our guys and for the homeowner. What’s to expect? What’s gonna be coming next? Um, there’s a lot of people just don’t know what you go inside someone’s house. There’s a whole level of anxiety. There’s joy, there’s excitement, there’s they’re terrified and all these different things because when you’re outside, you’ve got physical house, a barrier between you and so you can get away with a lot more. I’ve seen that where guys, I’ve gone from new construction and try to go into homes, and it’s it’s not a good fit. So once, once you can build that relationship with people and they can trust you in that sense. But that takes time. I mean, people want it and it’s also hard to because everyone wants it now. So it’s like you’ve got to be fast to get there. But then you also have to do a good job of trying to communicate with people about how things are going to go and then you get in their house. There’s dust. There’s a smell. There’s strength in their house. So you’ve got all these things, so you have to be. That’s why I’m saying the accountability is huge because as a painter, you’re gonna get blamed for a lot of stuff being inside someone’s house. They’re gonna notice things that they’ve never noticed before that we must have done. And so setting those expectations right away, it definitely helps. Yeah, that makes sense. One of the things that we’ve noticed with some of our clients who are kind of positioning themselves as the premium painter but are a little bit newer is sometimes it can seem like it’s more difficult to price the exterior jobs higher because people are a little bit less selective at times in terms of who’s painting the exterior of their house versus who’s actually coming into their house. Have you experienced that at all? You know, at first we did, but as we started to really kind of develop and kind of separate ourselves from everyone else and stop kind of competing with everyone and just focus on trying to offer the best service, people were much more inclined to have us and it was interesting for a long time. People didn’t know that we did exteriors. They thought we just did interiors. I just thought we did type work. So that’s that’s been a fun but also annoying challenge is to try and educate and going back to past clients where I’ve driven by. And I’ve seen somebody else painting the exterior of a house that we did the cabinets two years ago. And they’re like, I had no idea you did that. So I think once we started going outside, plus, we also took our level of care and quality from interior painting and brought it outside, and people looked at it and they were like, Wow, we’ve never had people come out here and do this and set it up this way. And then it really helped to start doing the repairs, which is in an absolute nightmare to try and find good guys that can do it. And, you know, you pull one board and five of them break now and then plus dealing with lumber and all this stuff, so that took a couple of years. But once we kind of got the right guys doing next year and how to write a couple guys doing the repairs that just the quality took it off. Plus, we offer the best warranty in the business, and it helps. I’ve been in business for so long that people know that they’re willing to spend more money because we’re going to be around. We’re not just a lot of these guys out there. We charge a premium. We’re not the highest guys, but we definitely with the longevity is that we’re here. We’re not going anywhere. If there’s an issue you call us, we’ll take care of it, You know, and it’s written, it’s given to them. It’s in our sales folder, all that stuff where people do have that peace of mind where it’s like, Hey, if there’s an issue with your house that we painted, we didn’t do it. We’ll find a solution. So what is that warranty that you’re offering? So it is. It’s a It’s a minimum of three year warranty for a standard repeat cedar. Any any type of siding doesn’t matter what it is. We’ll document everything before we move to the next task. Um, you know, and that’s why we offer the repairs because we’ll ask people. Hey, you know it’s going to cost you another three grand for repairs. And if they opt out, then we just marking their warranty. Hey, these areas in their house are going to be covered. But so it’s three years. No questions asking if it is a steel siding. If it’s going to be an A Zach, it’s going to be an LP Hardy. It’s minimum five years. There’s no questions. Um, you know, we go through the steps on what we do do as far as get that longevity out of our warranty. And so I think once people see that, I mean there’s certain areas that, like tops and decks and hand railings, those are covered, you know, garage door bucks down by the salt and snow that’s not covered. But if there’s an issue, we just take care of it. And that’s the thing, too, is that if there is something, it’s great. Marketing is. Go take care of it because that person is not going to tell their neighbors like Hey, these guys came back out and they took care of the stuff and we do a lot of those things, you know, we don’t like to do decks and we don’t cover decks. But I seem to fix a lot of decks every year. Just people are gone and I don’t want to. And I don’t want to leave that taste in their mouth where Hey, I’m on. You know, I’m out here to spend all this money, and now this is already peeling like Well, come take care of it. Yeah, our names on it. So, yeah, that’s great, man. Yeah. The, uh, the database sort of in person database reactivation Get getting back out there and having them talk about you to their family and friends. And just remember who you are is huge. Well, and people, I mean, you know, and they don’t know. And so it’s one of those things where it’s like we will take care of it up to a certain point, But then it’s like, Okay, then we need to put you on either maintenance plan or do something else. But I think you go above and beyond for people, and you know, you don’t have to remind them that you’re doing it, but you just do it for the right reasons, and it just carries over 10 times. So, yeah, I think it’s, I think, something you just mentioned. There’s important kind of setting those expectations to me. It sounds like you provide a quality service. You understand the risks inherent in in when when paint could peel when repairs are needed. So you understand your trade very well. So you’re able to actually do an assessment confidently stand behind your warranty because you know that it will work. And then and then ultimately, you know, are able to just to just you just know what you’re doing. I mean, that’s what I’m kind of getting some days, some days, not every day, but yeah, for us. I think last time I looked at the numbers, at least 60% of our business is repeat and referral. So once you’ve got the customer, you’ve done work for them and they use you again. I mean, you’ve now established that relationship. It’s they’re you know, they’re referring to all these people. So it’s like would be foolish to not go out and take care of someone because they refer to us. I mean, it’s it’s common sense, and I think a lot of that gets overlooked and I hope everyone keeps over looking at because that’s Yeah, you know, the best. The best thing for us. I mean, we don’t We don’t advertise at all. Well, we’re going to start, but we we don’t. So, Yeah. Repeat, referral business is the highest quality business you can have. Um, excellent. So you’ve talked a lot about this culture of accountability, you know, keeping everyone accountable. And I know that one of the issues some painting companies struggle with is sort of how to how to quality control their employees right there. Painters. So do you mind discussing your, um, employee model? Whether use subcontractors, employees? How you how you hire how you manage, Motivate, etcetera. Sure. Um, so currently, we use the independent contractor model, Um, for all our pain crews, Um, all our internal team members of sales guys, they’re all they’re all employees. Um, but all our all our crews are independent contractors. They work for us. They work for other guys. They do, you know, lots of different stuff. I would say I’ve been on hiring. She spree for a long time of just interviewing guys and trying to figure out, like, why are they coming here. What are their pain points? Um, and it’s taken us a long time, too, because we’ve we’ve had we do. We have the best painters in the state. I know that. Hands down. And so it’s been It was easy at first when we were a lot smaller is because it was a partnership between me and these groups. I provided them service. They provided me a service. It was a win win. I didn’t have to micromanage them. They were better painters than I was. They were great communicators. They did everything. Plus they were all accountable. So it was. It was very easy. But as we’ve grown, that been a huge bottleneck for us. Is trying to to get new guys on board, to believe in our system and to be accountable and do these things. And so we’ve developed a lot of checklist, um, not only for our crews, but for our homeowners, for our project managers and sales guys. It’s just kind of going through where it’s just even the basic stuff. Like, did you call the crew before you met without the homeowner’s house? You many? It seems kind of like a no brainer. But people get busy and they forget to do that while they show up to a house and they haven’t called the crew. The crew is at home still loading their van or they may be there at the paint store. So now all of a sudden you show up to a house and homeowners wonder where the crew is. Sales guys wonder where the crew is, and so we’ve tried to walk a lot of things back in, be much more efficient. Um, but that’s where it all comes down to being accountable. Hey, if you’re gonna be late, let me know. Or if I gotta check in, I gotta check in. But the same thing with the homeowner confirming that they understand the scope that they’re going to be home, even though you might have talked to him Friday, you know, might not text on Sunday night and confirmed that they’re ready for us. Monday morning. Busy things happen. Um, when I was doing the painting, I had all employees and I like that that business model, but it became a lot of babysitting in a sense, and so I don’t think there’s a right or wrong to either of the markets. But we’ve been able to keep guys working with us a lot longer than you guys can keep employees because of how our business model set up. They like it. We like it. We get a great product. These guys get paid higher and more than they actually do working for themselves. Nice. Yeah. So it’s a win win? Uh, I think when you do it right, where are you at revenue wise each year. And this year, we actually will probably hit about 35. Okay, nice. Yeah, it’s we’re up about 64% that we were from last year. It’s crazy, dude. I mean, yeah, yeah, and that’s I mean, that’s it’s an interesting story. Kind of how all that happened to. We’ve been hitting 141617 for since probably 2010. I mean, just hitting that. And it was it was the same nightmare every year. It was the same thing for me. I would we would work really, really hard in the summer. We would add guys, and we would do really not that good at work. And we were putting out a lot of fires. I was. And it wasn’t until covid that we thought we were going to hit that $2 million mark and we did more in revenue. I think we produce, like, 18. We had about 21 on the books. Um, And I ended up losing about $100,000 that year just from from over paying Cruz Salesman Project Managers. And I told the guys in November of 2020, I’m pulling the pin. This business model doesn’t work. Um, there’s there’s too much going out, not enough kind of coming in. And so I ended up getting rid of a key employee that have been with me for six years. Um, and somewhat his significant other had been working with us, and that was that was terrifying. You know, the one advice I’ll give any guy is fire quickly. Hire slowly, Okay? And I think too many guys like us get to a point where you’re hiring too late. You’re hiring during your busy season. You should be. It’s just like marketing. If you know you’re gonna be busy in three months, you should be hiring. Two months ago, you should be doing all these things ahead of time. And so we tried doing that. I had worked with oh, my guys the year before and got verbal commitments, yet we are going to be on. So we knew we had $3 $400 worth of all this exterior business carrying over. So I had verbal agreements from all our guys. We probably were at 10:12 crews. Um, we hired a new operation slash schedule, er, she was super excited. And then April rolled around, was not getting any of our crew’s coming back. They either had lost guys due to covid. They were super busy themselves. Um, you name it. I mean nothing that I would say it was intentional. Um, we got into May June, and I was I was pretty scared because we did not have enough guys. We didn’t have anyone to do the repairs. Our scheduling was terrible. We have the wrong person in that position, and we just the work kept coming in, and it kept building up and building up. And ironically, we had a dumpster fire at my office, and it really burned our building. And you literally had a dumpster dumpster fire. Like we have. We have a 20 yard dumpster next to our building that we throw all our garbage and yeah, my wife came out one day and was like, Hey, your buildings on fire. And I’m like, the expression came to life for you. It did. I mean, it was a metaphor. So I came here and I’m looking at it, and I was like, Okay, this this I’m gonna I’m gonna figure this out. And the woman we had working with us ended up quitting, and so that I was like, Okay. But meanwhile, I’ve been working with the business coach for a long time, and I’ve been telling him, Hey, man, you know my business. You know me. Why don’t you come on? Why don’t you? Why don’t why don’t we partner up? And so I brought him on and he jumped in in July, not knowing what he was doing, and we ended up doing a million dollars July and August in sales and production, and it hasn’t stopped since. So it was getting somebody who’s never been in the business. But just with the right attitude, the right mentality to take over that position. And meanwhile I’ve been talking all these crews, and as soon as that fired was put out, We went up to about 30 crews. Wow! In a month. That’s amazing. Yeah. So yeah, this this idea of kind of getting someone with a business background who understands that really was something? We’ve seen a few other interviews as well, you know, kind of working on rather than in the business. You can come up with painting and knowing everything about painting, but you reach a point where you can’t take it to the next level. Just with that knowledge alone, you can’t I mean, and that’s that’s That’s the hardest part about the whole thing is that you can’t get out of being in the business because you’re wearing all these hats like, Okay, do you? You know, if you don’t want to do sales when you got to hire salesmen, if you don’t like to run jobs, well, then you gotta go find somebody to do that. But without having some sort of systems planned business model, it’s epic failure. I mean, that’s what I’ve been doing for 10 years before. That is just the same thing. Hiring guys that either were painters or we’re buddies of mine that turned out to not work out. In no fault to them, I just I set them up for failure. Yeah, I didn’t know what I was doing. And so we’re asking, telling. And I think the biggest thing, too, is not only being accountable but accepting the fact that you don’t know what you don’t know. Yeah, I’m asking for help. It’s It’s tough, man. Running a business does not mean going out in painting. That’s easy, because you can replicate that. You can do that over and over. But trying to run a business scale of business or even run a profitable business, I mean, it’s it’s a lot of work. Yeah, they’re a mentor of mine. A long time ago told me, When you’re starting a business and growing a business, there are a lot of fences that you have to leap over and you’re not really sure what’s on the other side. You just you have to pick what’s fences. You’re going to jump and see what happens. I would agree to that. I mean, it depends to a lot of someone’s personality, how much risk they want to take I mean, there’s so many variables that go into it. But, you know, you get lucky. You find the right people that want to grow with you, And it also comes down to having, you know, what do you want on your business? You know? What do you want to do? You know, you want to take over the world, You want to just stick to this niche market. I mean, there’s so many factors that go into it, but finding good people and that’s what I’m saying, like, get rid of the people that are taking it down. And that might mean, Hey, you might have to go back and paint for another six months or a year, But you’ve got to get rid of those people. I mean, it’s it’s tough. People end up keeping people around because they feel like they need them, But they don’t. Yeah, this can be scary, you know, to get rid of people. And then this idea of kind of sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. You know, you can step back before you can take to forward. Yeah. So you you talked about your at 3. 5 million this year. Massive increase. Congratulations to you. Thank you. Incredible. Yeah, it’s been, uh, it was It was crazy because we the first day I was actually in Virginia Beach, my dad was out there, and then Adam was camping with his partner And he sent out a group tax. He goes today, and this was in August. He goes, we have 28 crews working, and so we’re like, wow, that’s pretty impressive. I mean, it’s it’s been it’s been pretty intense. It’s been fun. And I look at it now and I’m like, Man, that was That was pretty crazy. So I’m to start Franchising. No, we we actually we’re not doing that, but we just actually opened up our first office in Salt Lake City. Nice. Congratulations, man. This is the second office now beckoned office. And then once that one’s figured out, we will then pretty much go to every state that we feel like It’s a good fit. And it’s not like I’ve looked. Honestly, I probably have 15 crews that came from franchises. Wow, our our business model it. It benefits the painter more than anyone else. So now these guys come back and turn around and they appreciate what we do. They put out a better product. I mean, there’s so many good things, and it’s 20 years of me doing it wrong to figure out what actually does it right to find out. I mean, there’s such an untapped market out there of all these smaller painting companies that just they’re just getting beat up. You know, they’re wearing all these hats. They’re working, you know, they might, you know, say they make six figures a year, but they’re working so many hours and they’re not really getting anything done and they can’t leave their business and they can’t get away from it. They don’t spend any time with their family. And I’ve lived that life, and I told myself, I don’t ever want that. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get out of that And it’s still not perfect, but it’s pretty close. Yeah, that’s excellent, man, This, You know, I think we all kind of start our business is like it’s not everyone, but a lot of us start our businesses with this idea of financial security building, building a legacy, something that I mean in a perfect world, something that can run without us. You know, you can step away and that business will run, and you’ll still generate money from it. But then, you know, you you entered the day to day, and for a lot of painters, it seems kind of this inescapable, um, path. You can’t. I mean, it’s It takes either a leap of faith. It takes something tragic to happen. I mean, it’s one of those things where the universe has got to kick in the butt to kind of do it where you try and tell yourself. Once I get a sales guy, I’ll be. Then I’ll get out of here. No, you gotta have some sales training once I get a office manager of this or that, but it’s like it’s so many more things that have to go into it. But once those things are figured out, then it actually becomes pretty simple. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely a lot more simple to scale and to grow and to replicate, because at the end of the day, if you’re not putting out a good product because you guys don’t know what they’re doing, well, that’s all your fault. You’re gonna implode if you don’t have good guys to go out and paint. Well, if you don’t, guys that can go out and actually communicate with the homeowner g c or whoever it is that can put together a proposal that everything is accounted for it where you’re not losing money. Great. You know, you have to have somebody who’s running your schedule that understands how things work. You know, it has to really communicate with clients and stuff like that. So it’s like without having all those pieces in there. You’re just working a lot. Yeah, yeah, And I think I think some painting company owners have this sort of false perception. Like you said, you brought up sales training that well, they’ll just they’ll just hire an employer. They’ll just hire somebody to take over this part of their business. And magically, it will all work. And that person will care just as much as they care. And that person will be just as responsible. Can you talk? And I know, before you and I started this recording, you were sort of talking about how you don’t have Specific advice for painting companies per se. As much as you have advice for what not to do so any any taking away any thoughts here? Well, you’re right there. I mean, 100% is that and I’ve done that. I can’t tell you how many times where I was like, Oh, this guy. This guy is a good project manager. I’m just going to hire him to run these jobs because he knows more than I do. It worked for me when I started working with other painters. Hey, these guys were better painters than me. I’ll have them paint, and then I’ll go to the project manager sales, and it worked out awesome, because we we understood each other. We set clear expectations of like, I’m going to leave you at this job. You’re gonna knock it out of the park. I’m gonna go find more work, and we’re gonna work on this together Well, without understanding. Hey, this is how you schedule. This is how you sell, Like how you replicate it. And, you know, I know everyone likes to franchise models or the McDonald’s. They try to simplify it. And it’s not because everything we do is custom. We don’t make the same hamburger over and over. Every time we go to a new house, it’s custom. So you have to have people that they can think for themselves but also represent the business just as well as themselves. And so that’s That’s the tricky part. And it also is going out with these guys, and that’s where I’ve really struggled. Is taking the time to go out with my salesman and my project managers and to make sure that they are doing the checklist that they are doing all these things. And so that’s that’s been my focus right now is okay. I’m not gonna send anyone out. I’m not gonna start paying people realistically till I know they can do it this way, because if I don’t train them, I’m just recreating the same problems over and over and then being upset at someone who’s wasn’t trained or I didn’t vet or I didn’t do my job. That’s all on me. It all comes down on me, so it’s like train them, get them to understand, and then they should be able to figure out like, Hey, this is a good fit for me and I can do this job or I can’t. And at that place, and it’s like, Okay, well, then we should probably just not work together. Yeah. Yeah. Makes sense, man. So you had mentioned. Obviously, you guys are having your best year yet. Best year ever. And I think you can already answer this question for me based on the expansion idea. But you said that. Now you want to start marketing. Is that basically to to enter these new markets, right, Or what’s your thought process behind? In fact, I don’t do I won’t do any marketing in any new states. Um, you know, we did our due diligence and why we picked Utah and stuff like that. So that’s kind of my baby. Um, right now, there’s no reason to market for anything. What what we’ve realized. It’s like target or Walmart. You go in there and they are already they’re already showing a different holiday four months ahead, three months ahead. So We now had our best year ever, and we’ve got 30 crews of super human beings, and all of a sudden our exterior season stops. I mean half art. Half our revenue is literally gone. We just stopped with $1. 7 million dollars with the business and guys are looking to work. So for us, we take that very, very personally. Even though these guys are independent contractors like it is our job. It’s in our agreement that we provide these guys with well paying jobs with everything that we say we’re going to do. And we feel like failures because they’re not all busy and you can say, Oh, it’s whether it’s the holidays and stuff like that. But I look at this way. If I can carry over almost a half a million dollars worth of exterior business from the year before, we should be able to do that with interiors. There’s no reason to. So it’s just a mindset of being like Okay, so realistically in July, August, September, we should have been doing marketing for interior work Right now, Yeah, that’s where it should have been. And so can we do that same volume in the winter? I don’t know. I’ve never you know, we’ve done flyers once in a while and stuff like that, but I’ve never been a big marketing guy because we never had two. Plus, I never had the right people in place. I never had enough guy. So it was like I shied away from scaling my business because I didn’t have the right people. I didn’t I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no idea. I’m shooting from the hip most of the time, and, yeah, sometimes you win. But a lot of times I did. I mean, I spent the last probably five years. Majority of my time is putting out fires. Yeah, definitely makes it hard to grow. It’s terrible. Well, it just it steers you away from it where I was like, Why would I want to grow like this is just worse every time I try to do it, And I’ve I bought a company years ago, and that was a great learning experience because I spent a lot of money on it. But I’ve picked up a couple other ones that no money. I never paid for anything. So it’s like we’re learning as we’re growing and stuff like that. But when you spend all your time putting out fires not work on your business, it’s terrible. Yeah. No, for sure you’re putting you’re putting out figurative dumpster fires as well as literal fires. And it was stuff, too, that we can control. You know, there’s certain things like I can’t control. The homeowner decides they don’t like to color their house. They picked the color and I was telling that you pick the color, but if it is, they didn’t put a drop plot down or they didn’t show up or they missed all those things. It’s like, man, you know, when I go back when I was doing the painting, I never missed anything, you know, I painted for a long time, and it was like And to me, I was like, Well, this is so easy. I show up with these guys. We get the work done. People love our work. They’re referring us all and all over Well, because you’ve got one person who’s Vested 100% in every position of that job. So, yeah, hand it off to somebody who doesn’t care as much as you is frightening. Yeah, absolutely. I think that that idea that other people are not going to care as much as you, so you need to You need to make it work for them. Kind of what’s in it. for me mentality. Why should they care about the quality? Right? And I think in your scenario it’s because they’re running their own business as subcontractors. You’re keeping them full. They’re making more money with you. Therefore, they want to continue to work with you exactly. Well, you know, everyone says like, Oh, and we get into this business to make money, and that’s why it is. But I’ve seen over the years and I’ve like I said, I’ve been hiring and talking to not only painters in Minnesota but in other states of Virginia Beach. I was in Utah and it’s it’s the same the same pains that these guys are feeling, and so our business had already kind of alleviated a lot of that. But it really is. We’re fully transparent. Well, I want these guys to keep their own businesses. I want them to grow their businesses. I want them to be successful. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone quick because we didn’t We weren’t honest. We didn’t pay them what they thought that we were told we were going to pay them. It turns out that their businesses started to take off and They’re like, I can’t do it. I can’t. I’ve got too many things going on and I run into almost all those guys and they’re probably a scale back. None of them have taken at that next level because it’s it’s It’s so much work to try and get off the ladder, Get off the brush. All that stuff is that they kind of they don’t They’ve kind of gone back and we’ve actually had a couple of them come back here where we try to make these guys life as easy as possible. Here’s a job. Here is the expectation. Here’s the scope of work. Here’s what we’re going to pay you. This is a color confirmation, everything like that. I mean, they can go in and they can work and make more money per hour and not have to deal with any of the headaches that they didn’t like. Do it. And the guys that don’t like to paint have now come on for us. And now we’re running jobs are selling with us and stuff like that. So it’s like they understand the business they knew. Hey, I don’t like painting. I never liked painting. I like the sales piece of it. So I knew I was never going to stay a painter. But we’ve got guys that they really love running jobs, and that’s what they want to do. And so it’s cool because they still have their business open. They still are doing other work, but yet they work with us and it’s like It’s great. It’s a win win for everyone. Yeah, for sure, definitely. So with the interior paint jobs, I like the fact that you’re recognizing, you know, marketing is something that you kind of need to front load. You know, you don’t typically just flip the switch and and all of a sudden you can sign up for Angie or something, but that tends to not work really great. Um, so with the yeah, one of the things we always kind of focus on is is look at your market, right? Your your full market, how much interior work is there? And are you Are you consuming enough of that work? You know, it’s enough that we’re going to you because most likely, your total addressable market is much bigger than what you’re actually consuming. So with now that you’re kind of focused more on on maybe later this year, or at least for next year. Kind of marketing for interior? What what thoughts do you have? How are you going to go about doing that? So, you know, in our team meetings we have every week, you know, we really started to get very specific on how we’re going to do that. And so I’ve really only ever been the one that’s ever done any marketing, any of the networking and any of that stuff. And so the business generates X model leads per month per year and stuff like that. So now being proactive and kind of staying ahead of the curve Plus now I’m not having spent all my time being fires, so I should be out there and then training someone in to do that for me. It’s the same thing I’ll do in, um, in Utah and stuff like that. It’s like there’s so I mean the demand so high right now, it’s not even it’s It’s not like it used to be back in the day where you actually had to make an effort, maybe Cold Call, do that. But people right now there’s so much work that it’s like it’s almost the reverse effect. These guys are so busy and I have a lot of painters and just prefer me a ton of work because they don’t want to do it. And I talk to these guys and it’s like, Don’t not answer your phone call people back. I mean, all those little things that that really should do it. So I mean, in the bar is so low, especially the painting industry, where it’s like and that’s why I really like Nick. He’s really increased, brought the whole image up and stuff like that. And so it’s It’s good to hear these young guys are doing it, but as far as like marketing, it’s starting out there and just using our past clientele base. Um, you know, we just won best painting contractor in the state, so it’s like utilizing Congratulations. Thanks. Well, it’s I don’t do the pain. I mean, it wasn’t me, it’s all it’s, it’s these guys, and that’s the beauty of it is that you could look at and say, Well, he just has invented contractors low. I do. We just won the best in state with having independent contractors because that’s how well we treat our guys. And that’s the kind of that’s the expectation we have from them is you better do the best. We got the best guys out there. We’re going to pay you, and we’re going to treat you like that because that’s what that’s. That’s what we’re offering to our customers. But, you know, using stuff like that, I mean, it will be interesting to find out because we kind of go in waves where it’s like we have so much work that we don’t need it, but trying to figure out, like, okay, just even using a little bit of S e o redoing our website, kind of showcasing the work that we do. It’s there’s I don’t believe in having to pay for marketing. But on the other hand, when we hit five or $6 million next year, I’ll probably have to do some of that. So yeah, it makes sense, man. So you you talk about kind of some of this work. You have sort of an overflow of work. Um, but not, uh, not all of it. Great. What kind of how do you define what is good work. What work you want to do or want more of. And what work? You kind of wish you didn’t have to do. Mhm. Yeah, well, now our sales guys are kind of spread out. So we’re kind of encasing the entire Metro. I would say doing a much better job on the front end, and we started incorporating that a couple of years ago. Just I have We’ve got a full time, um, are director of operations and their assistants are here kind of answering the phones, and we never really utilized to their full advantage of pre sell, you know, just asking, you know, we ask good questions. But, man, there’s so many other questions you can ask people on the phone, but that means you gotta pay that person. You’ve got to give them a script. They have to understand what it is that they’re doing. But I would think that would be the only difference I would really do is a lot more of asking all these questions. So the sales guys aren’t going out there, so we’re not. We close it about 50% 46-50% of our close rate. So we leave a lot on the table. So if we could do more of that work on the front end from that initial phone call, that email that comes in all that stuff is just kind of figuring out okay, how interested are these people? What are they looking for? Um, the cabinets. We can give them prices beforehand. Exteriors is a lot harder. You can’t give somebody. I think you can’t give somebody a price over the phone. You got to go see the house and stuff like that. But you can start to feel out people like, Hey, How your size the budget, you know, these ranges from let’s just say 16,000. Does that? Does that seem, you know, and you’ll get people are like, Oh, that’s way too much. Okay, well, then I’m not going to hand this off to one of our sales guys to go out and look at it, because that’s what we’re going to be. A lot of that stuff versus these guys are driving all over a huge waste of time. So you’re basically talking about qualifying prospects before you waste a bunch of manpower on them? Exactly. So it’s like I’d rather have them going to houses where they’re ready to go. And I would say Doing the proposals on site. We’ve never done that. I think I’ve done it one time in 20 years and I got the job and it’s like we never do it because we’ve always been so busy. So that’s something that we’re gonna have the guys do now, and there’s certain things you just can’t do on site. There’s just there’s too much, you know, I don’t want the guys to feel pressured. I won’t want to, but if it’s an exterior, it should be done right there. But then that also comes into Christy, are in our office. Managers is saying, Hey, Kyle is going to be out there. He’s going to put a bid together for you. It’s our exterior season, you know, we kind of feel it fast. So you’re now they’re not only pre qualifying, but they’re also pre selling people and letting them know like, Hey, we’re going to show you the number and if you like it, you should probably sign up because their schedule gets pretty fast. Plus we only have a certain amount of time to do it. So there’s that piece and then almost asking for the sale. I mean, we’ve been so busy. It’s kind of like Here you go, Here’s the price. I’m gonna let her see around do the legwork for you versus, like, Hey, I just want to know Is this something you’re going to do or you’re not going to do so? I can, you know, it’s in finding the right ways to bring that across. But if you set it up the right way, the homeowner knows they called us. It’s not like we just went knocked on someone’s door. Storm chaser. We’re trying to force them to buy a paint job. You literally called the business. You’re looking to have your expert or painted. Okay, well, at least we should do is give you the price. Yeah, wait for it. So And that’s what’s different, though, right now, because the demand is so high where it’s like people want it now. They want to know that they’re locked in. They got you on the schedule. Here’s the money down here is the colors. Let’s get this thing done. Yeah, I think it’s I think it’s important that you brought that up because this idea of selling and I mean I’ve personally struggled with it myself. You know, they can feel sleazy or a lot You don’t want to ask for the sale, but like you said, I mean, even if you are direct mail or, you know, cold calling or you’re doing something a little more proactive but especially when someone comes in, you know, they’ve already expressed that they have a need or that they want something. I think, I think, asking for the sale and you you position it in a way such that it’s for their benefit. Especially right now. It’s It’s Hey, you know, Are you interested in this? Because we are really full. And I just want to make sure we get you on the schedule as soon as we can as soon as possible. Well, you don’t go to the grocery store because you don’t need groceries. I mean, so you’re not I mean, the cashier is not going to say. Are you sure, sir, I don’t want to. I don’t want to force those bananas into your car. You can exactly like and we kind of know to if they’re like, hey, I’m putting my house on the market. Okay? They’re ready to buy, so let’s go out there. Hey, this is the price to paint these rooms. Are you okay with that? Yeah, that looks great. Let’s sign up versus, like, I’m just gonna send this off in an email, and they’ll let you sit with it like, let’s get these things in that. And And we know that will end up making these lulls not as bad, because now we’re gonna We’re gonna be able to stack this work throughout the year and no. Okay. Hey, instead of having I think I looked at the numbers, I mean, so if we’re close to 50%, that means we’ve got almost $4 million dollars worth of proposals out there that might have said no. Might have not said no. Okay, Well, why are we not calling those people? And that’s what we’re doing right now is everyone. Everyone’s got their list, including me, and we’re gonna start going back and calling them. That’s why I’m like, Hey, it’s okay. If you don’t want to do it or you want some else, we just want to know because Out of $4 million, we might scoop up 200,000 business. Yeah, well, you just you want to make sure that that you you’re there, you’re going to take care of them if they need it, you know well, and people get busy. And that’s the thing, too, where it’s like we get a lot of bids a year to the day that people will call. That can be like, Oh, hey, yeah, we’re ready to paint the exterior and I’m like, Oh my gosh, it’s exactly a year and always you want, you know, if you’re still good. So it’s just asking people like, Hey, it’s no right or wrong But do you want to do this or not like, great, Good. Call us when you’re ready. So but that to me that those are just the little things that we can do on our end. You know, by having the right systems and, you know, everyone kind of in the right position because if they’re not, they’re running around. I hear from my guys like I’m just so busy. I’m like there’s a difference between being productive and being busy because I can be busy and get absolutely nothing done don’t don’t mistake activity for achievement exactly, and I get it, too. So it’s It’s been that’s been the challenging part is to try and rewire people on. Okay. Hey, here’s the expectation. These are your checklist. These are the things you need to do and even breaking it down as simple as hate. Make sure you’re calling all your cruise in the morning before you head out that door. Yeah, I always say, like, I’m not going to go to an appointment anywhere without calling ahead because my time is valuable. I’m not going to drive to a customer’s house, are gonna meet with a contractor and have him no show or be half an hour late like I want to know these things. Yep. So, yeah, I think that point that you brought up to about people sometimes circling back a year later it’s really important. You know, one of the things that we we encounter with a lot of clients that come to paint marketing pros is they’ll have. They’ll be using another marketing agency or paper leaves like Angie or something like that, And they’ll say, well, the leads are just terrible. I called them and they didn’t call back or, you know, and then I called them even the next day, like even the next day, like, Oh my, you followed up for a period of 24 hours. You know, sometimes people will come through regardless of channel. I mean, paper Lee typically has a lower quality lead, but sometimes people will come through and it can be a little bit of a spontaneous decision, especially if you’re. If you’re running effective Facebook campaigns, you can catch them and maybe have a glass of wine in their hand. I don’t know right, but you catch them in a moment. And but that person once your services, even if they even if they flake, even if they seem to flake for a second there in the market there in the buying market. So I think having some sort of system, you know, some sort of automation that touches that person again and again and again in six months a year. Touch them, you have to. So we have been using QuickBooks for a long time, and that’s what we were missing. So what would end up happening is that we would burn through all this work and my old operation’s gonna be like we’re out of work. So then I would literally pull up. QuickBooks and I would just start with the newest proposal that I put together, and I would just start calling. People are emailing them. And I was like, This is such not a good use of my time but getting more work. But I was just like it was like the same thing every year where it’s like, okay and not their machines that could do this. Oh, man, there is a piece to where it’s like if you don’t ask for the sale, you better follow up with them because now there and people open it up. And I we worked for a lot of well to do people supposedly smart people, but it’s like if I ever hear Well, I didn’t see. I didn’t know how to pay 3% credit card fee or I didn’t read that. I didn’t read the proposal. I mean, it just it drives me crazy where I’m like, how do you not read the proposal? But then I look at it this way. Did the salesperson not sit down with them and go through everything and talk to them like a five year old. And understand that day, if you pay with a credit card, You’re gonna have to sign something, saying you agree to pay 3%. Okay, you got that or hey, you know, I didn’t realize that my garage wasn’t included. Well, we never talked like So it’s all these things that people can do to where they understand that they can make that decision because if not, they get that proposal so she would be an email and they go to the bottom and they look at the total price. Yep. Like They were thinking it’s gonna be $2,000 while our bid was $5,000. Well, that’s probably something that Christie could have figured out A week ago before we schedule that appointment to go through the bid is pay our budget $2,000, but we want to have every ceiling scraped in our house. We already know it’s gonna be a lot more than $2,000. Okay, setting those expectations. So yeah that’s and it’s I think we’re creatures of habit, and guys are always worried, especially in this market, that all it’s going to slow down. So I just gotta go get to every lead. I gotta go chase everyone. I got to try and sell everything. I got to negotiate on price. It’s like it’s hard not to be scared when when you’re when you’re the boss. But on the other hand, it’s like you’ve got to be able to pick and choose. Hey, is this really a good user? Right customer, right project for your company. And I think that goes back to understanding why. You know, you talked about why What’s your goal is a lifestyle business. Are you trying to become a monster company? What you ultimately trying to achieve and then what do you need to do to get there? And I see this all the time, is that guys want to keep their guys busy And and I respect that 100%. I mean, that’s exactly why we are feeling the way that we are because we want to keep you guys busy. But that’s just the nature of the beast. We didn’t do a good job and are in, but they want to keep you guys busy so they over pay them and then they go out and they’re under bidding all these jobs. So it’s like this vicious cycle that just keeps coming back. And it’s like you can’t grow a business by doing that by over paying for labor under bidding every job you’re going to go out of business or you’re gonna make your life miserable. Yeah, so that’s why we kind of step in and we can show them Hey, this is how you build things out. This is what the market, you know, we can get for this type of job. This is the buying, you know? So all those things are trying to teach these guys. So when they do go do their stuff because I hear it all the time, I was like, well, I’m going to take your pricing and I’m gonna go out and I’m just gonna charge 25% less. And I’m like, Why? Why? Why would you do that? Like, you know, I’m not asking people to overcharge for something. I see that going on to which just because there’s a high demand you don’t need to charge for, I don’t have to just mean that just that rubs me the wrong way, because now you’re instead of under bidding jobs. Now you’re over bidding jobs because you’re getting greedy, and that kind of puts a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. But If it’s if it’s $1,000 paint job, it’s $1,000 paint job. Yep, so because a lot of these guys to they’re not making enough profit to stay in business or grow their business or do anything like that or hire somebody else. And so it’s like they kind of there’s chasing right? So I put up a post in the PC, the painted Facebook group asking what people wanted to learn. And Brian recent Brad Allison, uh, we’re interested in this idea of as you’re painting company grows. How has your personal income shifted? You know, how have you changed that around? Have you taken less money before you were out a million or at two million, to reinvest it into the business where you kind of living comfortably throughout? How did that work for you? Yeah, so I made pretty good money when I was doing the painting and I had cruise and then life happened, had a daughter stuff like that, and that’s when I was like getting off the ladder. I took a little bit of a different income, but that’s when I kept my business open. So I’ve had a lot of different changes. But I would say as my as the sales have gone up, My income has gone up, and from day one we became an escort, Got on a payroll service. I’ve always been pay myself a salary. I think when I first started in 2001 We were paying ourselves $30,000 a year salary and because we’re an escort, were able to take $15,000 with the dress. So that’s that’s what we’re making. Um, that had really helped out, too, because by paying myself something, I was getting money versus a lot of guys like I just got to take money. So it’s like, get set up, pay yourself the right way As we started to get real busy, I started to make. I was working so much and it didn’t really even matter. I mean, I was just like it isn’t it didn’t matter because I was working so much. I couldn’t even enjoy the money I was making. Um and Then I had another kid moved out, moved to a bigger hollis. You kind of did what everyone else does. But I would say in 2020, when we did 1. 8, I lost month. I lost almost $100,000 in business because I had no idea what I was doing. I was just taking money from the business, Um, and not understanding that you can’t pay salesperson an inflated salary commission and a project manager, inflated salary and commission and try to make any money out. I mean, there’s there’s a fixed amount of dollars that we make her job, and it’s finally taking us to this year to figure out How much can one person technically not salesmen? But how many jobs can they Can they land and how many projects going to manage? So we kind of have a metric on where they are as far as that, because to me, I could look at and say, Oh, they should be able to do 1.5. Well, I can do it. But that’s not to say somebody else can, because if you don’t care as much as I do, um, plus, I’m also making a lot more money if I sell that. But it came down to figuring out what these guys can make. And now, this year, Yes, I’m making a lot more money. But that’s also making up for losing money in the past 12 years. Yeah, well, thanks for sharing that, Matt. Do you have any? You know, you’re very far along in your journey. Do you have any advice for guys who are maybe just start out? Or maybe they’re still not at that million dollar mark. Any advice on things to do not to do if they’re trying to get to that 135 plus million Mark, I would say, you know, for me when I was when I was starting, I was always trying to to befriend other painters. You know, I never looked at it, whereas like, these guys are my competition, especially even more so now there’s There’s so much opportunity. But The one piece of advice I will say is I was chasing that $2 million if I said if we do to make this money, no, because hey, I’m not that smart and I’m not good with financial peace, so I didn’t realize what goes into it. So it’s like we had all this overhead and all these people were paying. So it’s like I even said last year, last November, 2020, I was like, Honestly, I could pull the pain in this thing right now and fire everyone and just go back to my Seven best crews that don’t give me any headaches. And I could probably make a quarter of $1 million dollars and not have to deal with anything. Yeah, I didn’t want to do that because, you know, just to me, that wasn’t that wasn’t the right thing. Plus, I knew that eventually would circle back to where I am right now. So until you figured out so I would say, Don’t focus on a total sales focus on developing systems procedures documenting everything you do in know who you are, as far as like, Hey, these are the things that I’m good at, and these are things I’m not good at. Don’t try to fix things you don’t know because that’s a waste of your time. Especially now, like maybe when you’re in college or in high school like you have all the time in the responsibility. But if you’ve got a young family, if you got mouths to feed, like focus on the things that you’re good at and try and higher slowly but without figuring out what positions you need. You know what you know. Where are your weaknesses, but also understanding why those are your weaknesses, because we’ve all done it. I’ve hired somebody to do this because I wasn’t good at how do I know they’re good at it If I’m not good at it, how do I know if they’re good at it? Because they told me so, understanding that whole piece, I think, is the biggest thing because then the numbers will come. Then the sales will come. Then the whole of the business model will come. If not, it’s all on your shoulders to try pushing that thing uphill. And it’s not, um, honestly, they can always give me a call I love. I love talking other painters, trying to help them out, showing them like what our system does, how it benefits everyone. It’s it’s not for everyone, Um, but it’s something that if you start to implement the smaller things, and it’s also about taking a little step because these guys think like I just need to get another crew. Well, what happens when you get out of the crew? Do you really understand your numbers and what you know, you’re going to take yourself off that ladder to go find these guys work? Can these guys produce enough work to compensate you to take to get off the ladder? And a lot of the guys they just think like, Oh, once I get to that point, then I’ll make it Well, you can’t make it where you are now. And I think the best thing I ever did was I hired a business coach. I was lucky because my business was established enough and I had was making enough money to afford it. But finding somebody a mentor, somebody else that can kind of show you, um what to do, what not to do and read books. I mean, I’ve never been a big reader. I hated school. I never did. Well, it could sit still. I didn’t I just can’t. I don’t read books. I listen to books because I read the same sentence over and over and over. And I still don’t understand what I just read. Um, so finding that piece of just trying to fill your mind with with stuff that pertains to your business and what you can do and just doing things like this talking to guys like you. I mean, that’s that’s what this comes down to. Is that my biggest thing? I am not too proud to say I need help or I don’t know what I’m doing. You know, I try not to show that to my guys, but to other people, I don’t know what I’m doing. You know the same thing as a parent. Like, uh, I got kids, but I don’t know what I’m doing. So it’s like, Yeah, you’re just trying to figure out, like the things that you did right and what worked, what didn’t work and making it sound a lot easier than it is, but really slowing things down, just kind of figuring out like, Okay, this is what I want for myself and my business and then kind of setting some goals up. But reading and asking for help would be the two biggest things they could do free. You can download any book for really nothing and, you know, ask somebody for help. I mean, that goes a long way. Matt, can I Can I do a plug here? Sure. I gotta plug. So I I just published my book, Actually, the sales system playbook for painting contractors last night. Yeah, I’m Kindle. So I like her. And I’m pricing it on Kindle at 99 cents to make it basically free. I will buy one today. Awesome. Yeah, I’ll send. I’ll send you the link. I was. You know, as you started talking about reading, I was like, maybe I should mention that. Well, I mean, there is no book. There is nothing. I mean, I don’t care. Even if you go to colleges for your B A. It’s none of that stuff until you get in the real world and understand how it works. I mean, that’s mhm. What is it, Mike? Mike Tyson. Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Exactly. So And I think a lot of guys are just out winging it, and they’re really good painters, and they’re kind of doing it, and it just kind of evolved into this stuff, and you can’t stop it. You know, if you’re putting on a good service and product like that, energy is going to follow with you. The same thing if you’re not doing a good job, is gonna follow you too. So but reading? I mean, you can apply it. Especially these guys, too. If you are painting every day, put on a podcast. I mean, some of our most of our guys. Now, that’s all they’re doing. I love it. I go into these houses and check out and see how they’re doing, and they’ve all got their iPods on, and they’re all listening to podcasts and figuring out cool stuff. And it’s, like, good for you guys, man. Like, I look at this way instead of listening to stuff, you know, rock Station for all these years. And we were paying, like, man, if I just I could’ve learned a whole lot more big Bill Gates right now, man. Yeah, years and years, right? Yep. Yeah. Well, hey, Matt. Thank you. This was incredible. Thanks for coming on the show anytime. And I really appreciate it. Yeah, it was It was a real pleasure, man. This this, uh, you know, every guest that we have brings totally, totally different perspectives. You guys are all highly successful, but but it’s always kind of a different path that you’ve taken, so always find it really interesting. And I appreciate you being so open. Sure. Well, I think this too. I think a lot of guys look at other companies are like, Oh, they look at where they are at the end. But there’s so much stuff that you’ve got to go through to get to that. And even when you’re there, it’s not any easier. You just learn new skills to deal with it. I mean, it doesn’t My life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn good, but it’s not. It’s very simple, but it’s hard. You still have problems. They’re just different problems, different problems. You learn. You learn different skills on how to do it. But it’s It’s Yeah, it’s the grass is always greener, man. Yeah, well, thanks, Matt. This was perfect, man. Thank you. Have a good one. You too. Hey, they’re 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 PainterMarketingPros.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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