Guest Interview: Matt & Maggie Kuyper “The Commercial Couple” Series: Episode 6 – Female Empowerment in the Trades

Published On: February 5, 2024

Categories: Podcast

Matt and Maggie Kuyper - Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast

In this series titled “The Commercial Couple”, Maggie & Matt Kuyper of Harpeth Painting will be discussing how they built a successful commercial painting company together, advice they have regarding married couples working together, and finally specific thoughts on female entrepreneurship and empowerment within the trades.

In episode 6, the final episode, Maggie will be discussing female entrepreneurship and empowerment in the trades.

If you want to ask Maggie or Matt questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum on facebook. Just search for “Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum” on facebook and request to join the group, or type in the URL There you can ask Maggie or Matt questions directly by tagging them with your question, so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

Episode 6

– Female Empowerment in the Trades

Audio Transcript


Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. The show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million and annual revenue. I’m your host, Brandon Pierpont, founder of Painter Marketing Pros and creator of the popular 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 The Commercial Couple, Maggie and Matt Kiper of Harpeth painting will be discussing how they built a successful commercial painting company together advice they have regarding married couples working together and finally specific thoughts on female entrepreneurship and empowerment within the traits.

In episode one, Maggie Matt discussed the different kinds of commercial work and how to choose your niche. In episode two, they talked about how to break into commercial painting now that you know your niche. In episode three, Maggie and Matt dived into completing the work successfully after you have landed your first commercial painting project. In episode four, they discussed how to decide whether or not working together with your partner is a good fit for your life. In episode five, Maggie and Matt laid out how to identify the superpowers of each partner and how to effectively work together.

And in episode six, the final episode, this episode, Maggie will be discussing female entrepreneurship and empowerment in the traits. If you wanna ask Maggie & Matt questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast form on Facebook. Just search for painter marketing mastermind podcast for on Facebook and request to join the group or type in the URL facebook. com/groups/painter marketing mastermind. Again that URL is facebook. com/groups/painter marketing mastermind. And there you can ask Maggie & Matt questions directly by tagging them with your question.

So you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company. Hey, Maggie, what’s up? So we’re dropping that off now, we can talk real, real business, real stuff. Now we can talk about him now we can talk about him. Yeah. So female empowerment within the trades. Let’s let’s kind of start from and I know we and I’m just gonna go ahead and say it right right now. So we just kind of set it, set the the framework for everyone because it might seem kind of awkward.

We are filming episode six before episode five. So even though the series ends with this episode just the way that the filming worked out with Matt, you know, kind of trying to ruin everything with his cancer and all that stuff. We had to switch the order a little bit so that a number of things in my life, I’ve had to move around because of cancer. Boy, this guy, the nerve on this guy. So that being said, let’s get into your role, your position within Harpeth Painting, kind of how that came to be.

Um So we can dive into your perspective on really female empowerment within the traits. Cool. Yeah. So as of 2100 I took on the role of CEO of Harpeth painting. Um I came out at kicking and screaming. Whose idea was it? Um It’s, it, it is all of our ideas. It is the right thing. Um, it is not something that, um, he put on me and it’s not something that, uh anyone else said it’s the more we laid out everything that we were doing in the company and our superpowers and gifts and talents.

It was like, yep, that’s me. That’s interesting. You know, and it’s funny because um, titles don’t mean anything, especially when you own your own business, especially when you’re in a small business, especially when you own the business. I could call myself whatever I want. It’s, you know, it’s a magistrate of her. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. It’s a white board in my office where we jotted things down. And you know, of course, we include the lawyer because there are certain words that matter in court when, when given job descriptions.

But all that to say, um I run the company. Um Matt and I are an advisory board. We, you know, the, the leadership team that, that oversees the the company. But the day to day the um push comes to shove the accountability all uh moves its way up the ladder to me. So the was Matt the CEO before? No, he was a principal. You guys didn’t have a CEO? No. Ok. What was your title before? Uh I think my email signature said, owner and manager. Ok. Owner manager now official CEO, when you’re at $2100 million you, you start to professionalize and be like, you know what, let’s, let’s come up with real, I think $9 million warrants a CEO.

It’s about that. It’s about that time, you know, figure out who’s, who’s in that seat and your CEO. So what was the? And I know episode five, we’re gonna talk a lot about this but just briefly, very quickly, what I guess what were the characteristics of you or the, the job description that made it like? Ok, yes, I’m obviously that person I need to take this role. So my background is coaching and teaching. Um my most recent professional role other than stay at home mom, which I was for a while.

Um was a high school athletic director. And so at a, you know, decent size school. So, uh my gift and talent that I bring has always been around that, which is managing people, um managing leaders, right? I’m not the one coaching the soccer team, but I’m doing everything I can to support the soccer coach. And every time we leaned into that, I loved that job. I thrived in that job. I was my greatest self when I was in that job. And so we just kept leaning into how can we, how can we morph my role in the company?

Because, and I think this is especially uh probably resounding to the women. Listening is um if I’m going to, if I’m gonna be working, if I’m going to be spending additional energy outside of the natural roles of a wife, mom and um female in a family, I wanna love it and it needs to be life giving for me. And when I was selling and managing work, when we were smaller, I had to, we don’t have sales people in P MS. Um I hated it. I was miserable.

I, I went up to one of um Nick Slavic’s retreat in Minnesota and I literally wrote on the marker board. I hate my job. I love my company. I love working with my husband. I love everything that Harbo painting is. Um But I’m a approaching 40 year old woman with three kids um in the middle of their 58 and 12. So we’re like doing life right now and hating your job is a really bad place to be emotionally and physically for a woman. We are not created with that same, uh, grind that the man is to just hunt. Right?

Men are innately made to hunt. Um And it just, it was destroying me. And so I was like, I’ve got to figure this out or I’m not gonna be, uh, the mom and the wife and the friend and the daughter and all the things that I am, I’m not gonna be able to be that man. That’s awesome. So you gave me a lot of stuff, Maggie writing stuff down here like four minutes in real fast. Yeah. Really deep. I wanna put a caveat out there just for everyone listening.

We are going to dive into some stuff that might, you know, different people have different schools of thoughts on how to run a family on, on, you know, the roles between, um, men and women or whatever you think about that. So the views expressed here are gonna be ours because I do want to be able to be really transparent. Have a deep conversation if it offends you. I’m sorry, in advance, but we’re gonna have, we’re gonna, we’re gonna share some thoughts. Get Maggie’s real perspective here. So you said some really interesting stuff.

The first thing you said that I really, really, uh, found fascinating and, and that I liked was a stay at home mom. You said it was, you called it a professional role. Which I think it was really cool. I was a gender studies minor when I went to school. Yeah. Not a lot of people know that. So I mainly joined because there were a lot of girls in it. I’ll be honest with you. But then I ended up learning a lot. You’re smart. I ended up picking up a whole lot about, about the role of a mom.

Obviously we have kids now. I see that role but how there was talks about divorce proceedings and, you know, well, she hasn’t worked, he made all the money. But how, how did he make the money? You know, because of she was actually doing more work. So the calling out a professional role I think was, was apt and interesting and I don’t think many people view it that way. No. And I don’t know that every mom who stays home full time feels it that way. Um, but it’s, I mean, that’s, and there’s no negotiation for me there, shoot me an email or text me, call me, come to my front door if you wanna have that argument.

But, um, somebody who’s taking care of the home and, and I watch women. I have a, a lot. I, I play tennis and 80% of my tennis team is stay at home moms who play tennis while their kids are at school and I watched the half of them carry this guilt that they’re doing something for them in the middle of the day while their kids are at school. Like, how dare I, you know, play tennis for three hours. I should, I should be doing X, I should be doing y not all of them but it’s like, you know, nobody says that when they’re out having lunch with a coworker for an hour and a half, you know, just bonding networking, right?

Like how is that any different? Right? Just because you’re not being tangibly productive in the sense of I folded laundry, put laundry away, did the groceries prep the meals, you know, handled the budget, whatever your tasks are. Um if you’re not doing those things, that doesn’t mean you’re not being, you’re not in your role. Right? Yeah. And ultimately you have to, you know what my wife and I have had a lot of discussions about this and it sounds selfish. It sounds wrong when you say it. But if your kids come first, then they sort of end up coming last, right?

You have to actually take care of yourself first or sounds super selfish. You have to take care of yourself first, then you can take care of your partner and then you can take care of your kids. If you try to mess up that order, you mess everything up and that looks different to your, to your disclaimer before that looks different for every family. I mean, shoot, I have friends whose kids are in school full time. They stay home, they play tennis. They also have nannies and Instacart, their groceries and, you know, and, and, and, but that’s not our place to judge.

Ok. Right. Like that’s, you know, whatever families decide I would love. That’s great. Sounds awesome. I mean, for that, but also, you know, we just, it’s, but yes, it is, it is a professional career. It is. Um I, I worked at a Catholic school and I actually, um when I was a stay at home mom had, which was after I taught at that school, they permitted one of their students to, to shadow me for her internship as a stay at home mom because she was going to go to college, she’s going to get a degree.

But deep down she knew that she wanted to eventually stay home and take care of her kids, whatever that looked like. And I thought that was so cool that a school approved a girl to shadow a stay at home mom for internship. Like that’s awesome. This is gonna end up being one of the, one of the, one of the most divisive I think to edit this out. No, I think it’s great. We’re gonna be raw and real. And again, everyone, I think as long as you accept that everyone has different approaches and philosophies, it’s great, but we’re not trying to judge or, or say anything to anyone right now.

Um Another thing you said that I thought was really interesting is OK. You hated the, the sales, the estimating that wasn’t for you wasn’t a fit and you found that being in, in the role of managing leaders inspiring the CEO type role, that’s your, your best self. That’s when you could be your best self. And I think that number one, I, I want to kind of explore for people listening. If they maybe don’t know what their best self is, maybe they haven’t had the professional experiences that you had and then they went and did something else.

They found, found out. Wow. I really truly hate this and it, it became obvious to them what their best self is. Maybe they don’t have that. How can they find it? Uh And then number two, I guess the, the importance of that in terms of a company, it goes back to this concept of the right people, right seats. You know, you can have the right person driven, motivated, great cultural fit, but you put them in the wrong seat and it’s just a total disaster. So, I guess how do you find that?

How is someone listening? And they don’t know what their best self is? How could they try to figure that out? Yeah. Um That’s a, that’s a really probably complicated answer that depends on you’re supposed to say. That’s a good question. That’s what you tell me, it always makes you feel good. I know and I thought about it that you think about it. I was like, I’m not gonna tell him. It’s a good question. It’s a horrible question with a complicated answer. But that’s a great question. Brandon.

The, for me, I can only answer for myself. Right. For me, that journey was a process of good friends. Um a very supportive husband and a really good counselor. So when I say that I knew being athletic director was my best self. Um That didn’t just like that wasn’t how I led, right. What happened was I got into a pit of waking up, anxious to go to work, waking up very torn between what I said earlier, which is I love this company. I love working with my husband.

I love what we’re building, but what I do every day makes my hands sweat and my stomach hurt and, you know, all these, all these feelings that I’ve never had. And so what I did personally was I craved going back to the school that I worked at or going back to a school. I, I just would just, I wish I could want to go back to that job. I just, I want to go back to that job. I, I that like you go back to your safe place. Right.

And, and that’s kind of what I worked through in counseling. I didn’t want to go back to that job. Logistically, the salary was laughable. The time that I put into it was, uh, inappropriate for the family. I mean, I was probably working 70 hours a week. Um, I didn’t want to go back to that and what I realized, you know, in, in talking with close friends and, um, spending a lot of money on my counselor’s couch was realizing that, um, I wanted to go back to feeling like what I did is what I was made to do and what I was good at and uncovering that had nothing to do with what my title was working at that school had nothing to do with that.

It had to do with what are my gifts and talents and, and what is, um, what am I, what is strong and natural for me to be able to do with my hands and with my skills and with my tasks. Give me one second, Maggie. I have a prop that I want to pull into this episode. I’ve never, I’ve never pulled in a prop. Maybe the books you had that look in your eyes like you were gonna Yeah, I, I’ve pulled in the books before but I think they’re Jason Phillips.

He has all these props. So maybe I’m just jealous. Give me one. Ok, so my wife got me this. Yeah. No, nothing to be scared about. My wife got me this. It’s gonna be hard to see with a virtual background. Hold on. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s a poster. Yes. So it’s a little, it’s like a little tin sign for the office. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. I find that that’s kind of my mantra. Right. You should go back to the, the hunter, whatever. Just grind it out.

Churn it out. That’s kind of what I do is even when I find things that aren’t comfortable, that’s ok. Just roll up the sleeves and, and barrel through it. Uh How do you, if you’re running a business? How do you know when, hey, just suck it up buttercup, right? Like it’s just, hey, you have to do what you have to do. We, we all read the stuff, we, we hear the inspirational stuff, you know, you gotta just flow through and, and do the uncomfortable things and the hard things versus like, hey, your palms are sweating, your stomach’s, you know, hurting and you’re like, you know, I don’t, I don’t, how do you know when it’s suck it up?

Buttercup versus, hey, maybe I need to make a shift because maybe this isn’t actually where my best self lies and maybe I’m therefore underperform in this role. Yeah. Um, I did not agree to starting a company to not love what we’re doing. And I think that’s where, and you’ve heard me kind of say like what I was doing, which I did for probably a year and a half. I had to do, like I had to sell and manage work. We weren’t big enough to hire somebody to do it.

The number of times Matt saw me, um, upset and saw me frustrated. You know, he would always just say we should need to hire someone, we need to hire someone, but, you know, put the pen to the paper, the numbers weren’t there yet. Um, you know, there’s all this talk in this industry about growth and obviously you’ve heard me speak passionately about it. Um We’ve grown to be a very large company, but we didn’t do that because we wanted to be bigger. We did that because we wanted to build something that is exactly this.

It allows us to do what we wanna do. That’s why we built to the size. We are, there are people who love to sell and manage work. And if that was me, we would still be in a $1003 million company because we made a heck of a lot more profit. It was a lot simpler when we are at that size and, and that’s awesome. Like, you know, Matt would have been fine there. You know, there’s, there’s just a part of it, but that, that wasn’t. So I part of the answer is I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be doing this company if I didn’t have that freedom, right?

The the the entrepreneurship journey for us we went into with the end goal being freedom in, in all types of capacity. Um At the same time, I think that’s where outside perspective helps. I don’t think you can intrinsically spiral enough to figure out when it’s time to just grind and suck it up and when it’s time to actually evaluate what we’re doing. And that’s where the help of friends, the help of um a counselor, the help of my husband was able to say no, like this is beyond just things are hard.

I was a college athlete. I know what it means to bust your butt and get uncomfortable and do things that are really hard that you don’t always understand the point. Um But, you know, again, there’s, there’s a certain point in time where as a college athlete, you learn to step up and say coach like this isn’t good for us anymore, like, or, you know, 5 a.m. waits during season when we’re traveling every weekend for games. Like we need to, we need to sleep, we need a break.

Like, you know, there’s, there’s a push and pull of figuring that out. Um And for me, that’s where because there were days my counselor was like, you know, what the reality right now is, you have to do this. So how, how can we set things up? And that’s where, you know, as you heard me mention it was, that was me discovering tennis. Um It was ok. You know, the ship’s not gonna change, you gotta keep driving in the direction you’re driving for the next foreseeable future. There’s not enough money to hire someone.

So, what can you do outside of work? How can we structure your schedule? What can we put into your day that is going to allow you to push through this? Right. So, you found, you found an outlet, you found a way to basically make it work. Tennis is a great, II, I played tennis in college, so I’m a big fan of tennis. Oh, man. Bring our rackets to Orlando. Yeah. Um, oh, that’s cute. No, it’s, I just don’t play tennis. No, no, we can play, we can play in Orlando.

That would be good. Uh, I was thinking about how busy I get, you know, like the, the, the business reality and life reality. We can bring the rackets. I’m definitely not gonna play tennis. Not really perfect. Male, female thing or what? Like I offered something and you’re like, yeah, he, he, we can do that and I was like, oh, you’re insulting me. You don’t think I’m good enough to play with you. And you’re like, no, I’m logistically busy. Like this has nothing to do with you. I’m out hunting.

I’m like, no, this is a business trip and you’re, yeah, you know, that’s a good, that’s funny. Um, cool. So I appreciate you. You sharing all that. And then another thing that you said that was interesting and this episode is really gonna trigger some people is you talked about the the that it needs to be life giving for you, right? So you have this, well, let me, let me back up. I wanna back up, I’m all over the place on this one. So you said that you basically are at the $9 million company.

I just wanna make sure everyone fully understands this because you guys needed that level of scale to be able to hire people to do the projects, the positions that you didn’t want to do that. Matt maybe didn’t want to do to give you guys the freedom to live the life that you want because you didn’t want to do the estimating the sales. There was a time when you, you had to because at a certain revenue level, you just can’t afford really at that point to, to pay someone and hire someone to do it.

So you built it to a point specifically. So you don’t have to do those roles anymore because otherwise, why are you in business in the first place? You’re in business for freedom? If you’re having to do something and just stay doing it forever? Something that you hate, then you really should just go do something else. Is that, did I capture that? I mean, maybe not the last part. You don’t have to go do something else. Ok? I guess that that might have been my addition. I guess if, if you’re in a business and you’re finding that, that you’re just, there’s no plan to leave the park and you hate the part.

Yeah, there’s a word my counselor used and I’m sorry to keep talking about her. But I think that’s a huge part of this particular facet of the conversation. But dread and she said that word one day. And I was like, yes, like, there was a point that I dreaded parts of my job and that word to me was like, like I, yes, if, if somebody listening dreads every single thing about their business and their days, maybe that’s not the best thing for them. Maybe, I don’t know.

Um, or maybe it just needs to be looked at. Maybe that person needs to find me at Expo and we can have a long talk about the parts of their business that maybe could get fixed to remove that dread. But, um, dread equals something needs to change. Maybe not that they don’t need to be in business, but maybe something needs to change. Yeah, I love that. And if you’re, if you’re dreading everything, then it might be a problem. But there are always going to be things like I’m sure Maggie there’s still things that, that are probably not.

You probably don’t enjoy them that much. Absolutely. You want that list? No, we’ll say that for later. So if there are things that you don’t like that you find you have to do, it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily doing the wrong thing. But if everything you do, if your primary job description is something that you dread, then you, you probably at least want to start putting a plan in place in your mind about how you’re going to stop doing that eventually. Yeah. Yeah. And then another thing that you had said was that, that if you’re gonna do this business and you focused on being a female, you said if you as a female, as a woman are gonna do this business, then it needs to be life giving to you.

So here’s where things are gonna get rocky. Does it need to be life giving to a man or is it more important for a woman? You know, with kids? Is there a difference? Does it have, is it as important that it be life-giving to Matt? In your opinion, Matt’s not here so we can say whatever we want about him. Is it as important to that? It’d be life giving to him or is it really? Hey, and you again, these are our opinions, everybody so calm down or is it more opinion more important in your opinion that it’d be life giving to you as the mom and the wife in the scenario?

Um I don’t know the answer to that. That is truly a great question. Thank you of, of life. Now, I know it’s not a crutch phrase. Now, I know you intentionally said that um I think the goal of, of, of me speaking today is to bring a, to bring a voice of the female perspective to the industry. Um I can’t speak on behalf of all women. I sure as heck can’t speak on behalf of all humans. I know for a fact, the number of women that I share my life with, whether they’re in the paint world or whether they’re stay at home moms or whether they’re professionals in, in their own industry.

Um If you’re a mom specifically, there’s, there’s something that you Brandon and Matt and every male on this planet can never understand ever. And I would argue the same thing of being a wife and whatever that capacity looks like. Um that you will never understand. I will never understand being a husband. I will never accept it. I should roll up my sleeves until I understand how to be a mom and a wife. Yeah. Ok. But you know, might be, um there’s just something about being the one that has the Children that your brain carries that differently.

Um And some women are deeper into that than others naturally. I mean, I think I’m actually pretty, pretty good at, you know, balancing it out with Matt and um and, and kind of relieving some of that weight to him and to, to other people. So I don’t know the answer. I don’t know what you guys carry. Um I do know that in my household that my tug and my laying awake at night probably is more heavily focused on all the things in our house. Um, and that my emotional stability personally needs to be stronger than Matt in, in our relationship.

If Matt needs to be grumpy, if Matt needs to fall apart, that’s ok because at the same time, exactly to your point, Matt needs to show up and keep working. Right. Like, if, if we all hit rock bottom, like, if the world went to plummets and the economy dropped out and it was like people were throwing swords to get paint jobs. I would expect him to be the one going out and throwing swords, not me. I’ll stay home and, and try to make sure that you have food on the table and warm and cozies, you know, and, but that’s just us, right?

That’s our family and there’s a women that are probably listening that are like, yes, us too. And then there’s others that are not and men too. So, um, but in our arrangement, I needed to be ok and it’s ok if Matt’s not always ok, he needs to go out and hunt. Yeah, I love it. So then we’ve talked a lot about essentially your perspective as a woman running a big company. It hasn’t really been explicitly focused yet on the traits, you know, being actually in, in painting.

What’s your perspective as a, as a, a very successful female in the trades running, you know, quite a large company. $9 million painting company as CEO, what’s your perspective of female empowerment within the traits or maybe lack of empowerment? Um I think I can only speak to the painting industry. I think other trades, other service industries um probably have a little bit more infrastructure. I mean, I know specifically we always refer to the women in roofing, which is a huge um organization that has elevated women in that particular trade.

So, at least in the painting world, I find it fascinating um as an outsider, right? I didn’t grow up in the trades. I’ve never been a painter. I haven’t been in construction. I am an outsider. I came into this seven years ago with my husband. I find it fascinating that it took me Facebook messaging some women and saying like, hey, let’s have a zoom happy hour for other women in paint to even create something like people have been painting for hundreds of years. Houses have been being built for hundreds of years and now all of a sudden because I was like, hey, let’s have a fun zoom happy hour.

There’s finally like a woman in paint platform, like kind of seems like it should have been there a long time ago, right? It’s crazy to me and, and I’m not saying that Matt always jokes to me. He’s like, when am I gonna have my man in paint? Happy hour? Like every time you go anywhere. Yeah, here’s my man in paint conference. And like I’m not trying to belittle the fact that again, like I said before, that so many men, husband fathers, you know, have gone out and, and done great things in the paint world.

I’m not trying to say like this is, this is a false dichotomy. It’s not one or the other. Um, I do just find it interesting that it hasn’t been a thing. Like it’s crazy. We have girl scouts with boy scouts like, yeah, it, it’s, it was much needed. So the you being, you know, the CEO of this company, do you find maybe there are benefits or advantages of being a female? Do you find that maybe sometimes there are difficulties that you encounter that you wouldn’t if you were male for sure.

Um The difficulties I personally encounter are more because of my lack of experience in the industry. Um uh I don’t struggle going toe to toe with a guy in regards to money or conflict or sequencing or, you know, these things that are a little bit more like business conversations and like a theory like contract negotiation. Um But my, my personal struggle just comes from my lack of experience in the trade, which we can add to the list of things that needs to happen, right? Like what are like we’re pushing all kinds of, you know, aesthetic and beauty school for women in high school.

Why are we not pushing, you know, women to the trades? I would have loved to learn some of the things that I didn’t learn. Um, what I think we do bring innately or what I bring. And what I see other women bring is, is absolutely needed in this industry. I believe in my core that our success and my team’s success, the men and the women on our team is because uh we bring a different flavor, right? I’m not the same as, as a, as a man. And when I have so we just painted the house of uh one of the execs from Ben Moore just bought a house in Nashville and we painted for him.

And I think just the fact that he was texting me at seven o’clock on a Thursday night. Um He’s not married and he’s like, I just really need to know that this paint color looks good. Like, what is your impression? Like, what did you think about it? You see my decor, you know, like, and he said that he was like, I’m asking that he wasn’t asking Jose who’s standing there with the paintbrush, who sees more paint colors than I do like secret lesson at the painters. They know he trusted your, I guess your opinion here more. Yeah.

And it’s, I mean, I have a really good guy friend who probably has better design and I, than I do so, again, this is not a blanket statement, but there was to your point, a comfort level that he knew, um, he fell and I said to him, I was like, I think the color looks great. I think you need to sit with it based on the decor you have and you need to let yourself adjust to it. And sure enough a week later he’s like, I love the color.

You know, not, I don’t think you would have had that conversation with one of my male sales guys. You know, I, I really don’t. No, I do. I, I think about myself and it’s like, ok, if someone were to ask me that, I’m like, all right, here’s all the tests that we’re gonna do. We’re gonna knock this thing out. We’re gonna decide in the next 15 minutes whether this is this is it or whether we need to adjust. And I think at least for me and maybe this isn’t for everybody.

I, I think generally I find that males are, are problem solvers, sort of action takers and maybe sometimes to a fault. Whereas your, your approach, there was a little bit softer. It was a little bit, hey, sit with it for a week that I never in a million years would have proposed that, sit with it for a week and see how you feel. But that’s clearly the best answer there. It’s a totally subjective qualitative thing. There is no test that you’re gonna run. There’s no way to knock this out.

You have to figure out if you like the color. And the only way to do that is to spend some time with the color. I mean, there’s also chromatic adaptation which is like a neurological science of your eye adapting to color. But like I just feel stupid, you know, that’s, thanks Maggie. This is part of it. But no. Um yeah, it’s true. And I think my, my team appreciates that, you know, I think there’s, there’s a culture that flows into them um to your, to use your word.

There’s a softness that I think flows into them when they’re backed by a women owned business. When they’re backed by a female CEO it feels less um grunty like bro and a little bit more. Um Everybody is a mom, not everybody was nurtured by their mom, but a lot of people were um I think the people that work for me were and so there’s, there’s that like safety, right? Like I’m going to bring this home to mom like, you know, she’s so, yeah, it’s soft is a really good word um that I’m not offended by.

I just like, I’m still, some people are gonna not think that was a good word but OK, I’m glad you weren’t offended by it. So, yeah, Gina Coert out of Colorado SB I, she’s talking about a badass female in the industry. She should be the one on this podcast, not me. Um Talk about someone that goes toe to toe with the big G CS in the world and she’ll be the first to tell you she’s like, you know how I sell these jobs. I take freaking lasagna to the, to the job cart, you know, the job trailers.

Not because I’m a girl bringing dinner, but because I understand walls go down when we’re human. Right? And what do we, what do you do? We eat? Like we gather, we sit around a table and build relationships and she’s like, I can’t tell you how many times change orders have been signed or contracts have been negotiated because I just brought that feminine touch. I’m seeing Matt now in like an apron bringing a tray of lasagna. He’s winning these projects. He gets so pissed when I’m like, you’ve got to go visit these clients, you’ve got to go bring them and he like awkward.

Like, you know, like a dude carries a purse like 6 ft out. Yeah, I like I, I give him these, you know, little goodies to bring to the G CS offices and it’s like he’s like bringing them like here like what do I do with these coffee mugs? What the heck come on. That’s so great. So for, for uh women listening, you know, I I’ve seen different businesses, different service businesses even use a uh like a a tag along along the lines of like a feminine touch, right?

And things like that? Do you think that’s something that is really powerful that women should consider leveraging. They don’t have to. But, but is that actually powerful or, or not really? Um, I think it depends on your audience. Right. Um, I think if we, I think if I use the word feminine touch, I wouldn’t get a lot of the jobs that I get because we do a lot of new construction. Right. Like, they’re not looking for a, I turned in a million dollar bid for a high rise with the tagline feminine touch.

They want it done. Yeah, I’m not quite sure that that’s the the the marketing tactic for that audience, right? So I think um that’s where we lean into women owned, which of course to them, that means, you know, compliance with disadvantaged businesses and all those logistics. But um we choose to innately show that like through our social media to make sure that, you know, we show me or other women that work for our company on jobs um female painters that we have, we try to Sprinkle it through our messaging and through the visual marketing um for our audience as opposed to just like telling people what I think they need to hear about women. Yeah.

So we’ve talked about some of the positives, some of the unique perspective that you bring or maybe the trust that you’re granted or given just because of the fact that you are a woman. How about some of the difficulties that you face? You know, you don’t have a problem going toe to toe. But are there other things that you think might be slightly harder or unfair against you because you’re a woman and it’s just a little bit less normal in this industry. Um, probably I was trying to think of what’s, what’s been hard as a woman in the industry.

Um, I, I’ve, he, I’ve heard a lot of stories, um, I hear a lot of women expressing that they feel less respected, particularly by homeowners. Um I feel they feel, um, you know, just kind of that their expertise might not be, might not be perceived as much as a, as a male competitor, you know, if they’re out for a bid. So one of the things particularly with this women in paint that we’ve tried to do is, is give a foundation, right? Um If, if somebody is perceiving that, then what tactics and skills can you learn?

Um, what strategies can you have in your back pocket if you start to feel that way or even God forbid, you know, hear that type of messaging? I think my personality, like I said, has not struggled necessarily with the interpersonal side of being. I mean, I laughed at Tanner Mullen’s blast off when I it took someone else sending me a message to be like, did you notice you were the only woman speaking on that panel? And I was like, oh, no, I’m used to it, right? Like it’s just like I do remember though, my first expo, I was like, what do I wear?

Like, what does a girl wear to expo to a paint contract thing? And that’s something we hear all the time on the Facebook groups. Like, what do you guys wear to work? What do you guys wear to paint? Like, what painters white do you get? Like, I almost think that there’s not one underlying thing. I think there’s all these little pockets of ways that, that women just aren’t fully, uh, enveloped into the industry. Right. Sure. Yeah, it’s interesting. Yeah. The little day to day things that you maybe want to think about.

Yeah, because, right. Like some women are like, well, I just wear leggings to paint and then other women are like, I can’t wear leggings because the, you know, husband works from home and like, just all these, like, it’s just this, like, vicious cycle of, but I feel it too. I mean, you’re just like you do have to think about weird little things differently. I do have to think about, um, what I put on to work because as a woman I think that unfortunately is how we lead, right?

Um, not how we lead but how oftentimes perception is created. Yeah, the initial appearance is maybe more important for females in general than for you what you lead and how you present yourself. So the idea that people and homeowners in particular trust you less view your expertise, maybe as lesser than that of, of the other people you’re competing against, who are almost certainly all gonna be male estimators who go out there and, you know, tell you what you need for your project, what they’re gonna do, why it’s important, why this kind of paint is important, whatever.

And then you come and do something similar and they just think, well, you know, does she actually really know and, and for better, for worse is because it, it’s abnormal in their experience. The people who really know construction, who know, you know, these kinds of, of projects have always been male. So when a female comes, it, it raises a, a yellow flag, I won’t call it a red flag, yellow flag like, hey, this is different. Is it, is it worse? Maybe it’s better but maybe it’s worse and I wanna make sure that the project is gets taken care of.

So trust is of course the number one most important factor in making these sales. If you, if you don’t have trust, then you have to compete on price and now you don’t have a good business. So you have to have trust to be able to charge premium prices and close projects. How, and you said you’re exploring some of this, what you’re working out with women in paint on how you can establish this credibility, especially when you see maybe you are in an instance where that credibility seems to be lacking on the part of this, the, the viewpoint of this homeowner.

Can you share some of these strategies? Yeah. No, I don’t know. We’re still working. Yes. No, I mean, in a perfect world, I’d love to tell every single woman that has that problem. Don’t hire that client and move on. Right. Like, that’s what you wanna say. But then there’s the reality of, like, but you need work and you might actually wanna for lack of better words, prove something right? I’m not saying we need to go out and prove but like, um I feel that right? Like, so I think what we’ve, what we really just try to do is listen to all these little things, right?

Um Is, is the concern, is the concern really what a woman should wear when they’re painting or estimating whatever? OK, cool. Well, let’s like, dig into that. What are our options? Like, what should that look like? Not saying we’re gonna standardize it but, but can we bring resources? Like, do we need to reach out to Dickie and have a hard conversation with them about like making sure that there’s proper painter, whites for women like it if that’s the conversation we, you know, so I think we’re still in the information gathering stage.

Um Not to hone in on the clothing thing. I, I think another one would be sales, right? Like in home sales. So do, do women perceive that again? Like you said because it’s different. The homeowner doesn’t know how they should feel about it. Ok. Well, then let’s have some sales training, right? Like sales training, meaning based on your audience based on where you live, based on what you’re selling. Um, are there things we can do in the sales process to slowly circumvent or chip away at these because it’s just cognitive dissonance, right?

The human brain is lazy and the homeowner doesn’t want to have to decide whether or not the female painter is or the female estimator or whatever it is, is as good as the male that they’re used to or that they expected because the industry is predominantly men, right? Um So what can we do in the sales process? What could we do in the on boarding process? I mean, there’s so many or what can we do like you were saying to, to capitalize it and own it. There’s a girl in town uh in Nashville, her company is called that Paint Girl.

That’s the name of her company. She’s got fantastic marketing because she just owns the fact that she is that paint girl, you know, so whether it’s in your marketing, you know, again, so we’re still gathering the information of like what areas and what’s what networking can we create for these women to combat this? Yeah, I think that that paint girl is really interesting too because if you, if you have that as your branding then and in the name of your company and you brand around that you are not going to, you, you’re highly unlikely to show up to homeowner’s house who has that issue.

So you’re already essentially pre qualifying and disqualifying people who are not going to like you for that reason. Yeah, for sure. And this idea of cognitive dissonance just being you perceive, you know, you expect something to go one way and now it goes a different way. So it raises concerns we as human beings, we’re, we’re very cautious. We, we see downside much more than upside. That’s why we worry so much. That’s why, you know, we have all this, um, advice to, hey, live in the present, you know, make sure you’re happy, but we’re always planning and, and worrying about what could happen.

That’s because that’s how we’ve survived. You know, we worry about the threats, the threats, worrying about the threats is what keeps you alive, not thinking about how happy you are right now and then the line comes up and eats you. You know, you, you worry about what was that rustle in the bushes, right? And so this, this, uh, it all comes down to trust, right? So, establishing trust with the homeowner. So I would, we work with a number of painting companies who employ uh female estimators and what we find is establish that trust early and often, you know, it’s the same thing.

We, we tell really any painting company owner, you know, have those, have your, your marketing, right? Have the messaging that goes out. We use little videos and everything that goes out before you show up, have that stuff. So dialed in and as a female, if you know, there’s a potential for a lack of trust or reduction in trust because I’m a female estimator, then get even better at your sales process, get even better at that sales process before you show up. Have the video of you as a female saying something.

So there’s not a surprise now when you show up, there’s no, oh my gosh. I expected, you know, Chuck Right. It’s some, it’s someone else so show up differently but just, I guess, be better and maybe that’s maybe that’s not the answer. Maybe that’s not a fair answer, but you should be better anyways. This industry overall the bar is, is much lower than it should be on sales and marketing. So use this opportunity like, hey, I feel like maybe a leg down, well, then just become really, really good at your sales process and you’ll end up way farther ahead than if maybe you, you had won a higher percentage of your estimates or you didn’t have this, I guess this seemingly disadvantaged in the beginning.

What are your thoughts on that? Absolutely. I mean, um turn like a weakness into a strength. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And you can’t bottom line, you can’t control other people like period Um, so if some, if you go into, uh, let’s stay out of a homework, let’s go to commercial repaint. If I go to a property manager and he had a horrible relationship with his mother, I don’t know these things. Right. But I’m setting this up. Right. Horrible relationship, um, with his mother and divorced twice and has two daughters who are absolute Turds. Right.

So, like, women suck to this guy, like his brain is now wired to assume that women are not life giving to him. I can’t control that. Like, in my 30 minutes walking this property with him. I don’t care how good I am. I’m not going to be able to disrupt 3040 however many years of, of created stories and, um, opinions and feelings in his head. Maybe I can tweak it a little bit because he needs a women owned company to do this to meet compliance, maybe. Um, but like in the end I can’t change that.

And, and so then, you know, that’s where you have to be really Matt. And I have talked about this a lot recently since, since our last episode with you, the emotional intelligence of a business owner. That’s where you have to be emotionally intelligent enough to say. That’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t, it’s not a reflection of me or, you know? Yeah, that’s unfortunate. It’s not a reflection of me. But are there things that I could have done like you were saying, could I have led with a video?

Could I have, um, you, you can’t sit around and be like, but people suck. Being a woman is so hard but, you know, like all these whiny things, you’re just like, well, that’s un, you know, hurt people, hurt people and, um, I’m just gonna take every failed opportunity as reflection of, is there anything anything I could have done better or could do better? There’s a uh there is, do you watch the office? Maybe, maybe so there. Yeah, I, I thought you did. So I, I watch it a lot as well.

And so there’s that episode with Dwight when he’s applying for the positions, Michael, let him go and he goes into that, that female’s office with all the pink. She’s like, describe yourself in three words and I just looked it up. I want to get it right. It’s like working hard, working alpha male, jackhammer merciless and like a pause insatiable and it just shows her office. It’s just like just a total disconnect between who he’s selling to and how he’s positioning it. But like you said, if you’re, if you’re there and this, this guy has had a lot of negative experiences with women and he doesn’t like women.

Yeah, you can’t, you know, you can’t change that. Sometimes it’s women. I mean, we got fired by a client. That’s interesting and it was a female and she called us flipping out because there was a female painter on the job and she was like, this girl doesn’t know what she’s doing. You got to get her out of here. And I’m thinking this girl is one of my best painters. But like, ok, you know, if you’re really that, I mean, she just had a problem because your painter was a woman. Yeah. Yeah.

But again, I’m like, all right, she’s something, something happened, like, I don’t know what it is, but something’s happened and I’m not going to be a part of the whatever happened and we’re going to finish what we did. And thank you and not something happened between her and my painter, but something in her life made her not trust having a female in her home. Sure. Yeah. Again, to your point, trust. Yeah. But when you were saying, you know, hey, maybe he needs to hire, maybe this guy who is really not a great fit for you to be providing the estimate.

Maybe he does need to hire a female owned company. So when you, when you are working with someone, this is just sales in general, you can try to position yourself to meet their needs to meet whatever their needs are. That, that right? There was a perfect example of this guy might not like the fact that you’re a female providing this estimate, but he might actually need it and you might still want the project because a million dollar project or whatnot. And so you, you find a way to win anyways and you create boundaries.

Um you know, you make those, there’s all these like uh buzzwords in our industry, right about like relational selling and transactional selling. And we obviously, especially being a, being a woman. I err on the side, I naturally gravitate toward relational selling. Um Our, our company is, is founded on relational selling, but every once in a while I’m like, and now we’ve created a transaction like, and now we’ve entered into the, you need liquid on your walls and I want your paycheck and that’s the end of this conversation you got there. Right. Yeah.

But again, the emotional intelligence to not take it personally right? To not make it about something to just acknowledge that I don’t know what this person has gone through or will go through or has experienced. Therefore, um I’m gonna take this, I’m gonna take this and build a boundary and create um a transaction. So let’s touch base quickly on the women in paint conference. I did. It occurred in Nashville at the same time as a commercial paint conference. I may or may not have snuck in a handful of times for a handful of presentations.

Nigel told me I couldn’t, but I did and it was me and, and like 100 and 20 women and that was the room. It was awesome. It was awesome. Yeah. The, the content it couldn’t have been more different. My goodness, the commercial paint next door and the women in paint that was like alternate universes going from one to the other was jarring. Well, and the fun part about that, particularly just side note on that. So Calvin paint ran or, you know, it was kind of the brains behind the commercial and Calvin’s a dear friend, um, runs Harrison Pain.

He’s a CEO of Harrison painting down in Atlanta. They’re huge and he and I would just laugh right because it was, you know, I’m over here like, well, I’ve got to make sure like the lady for the sound bath has the proper way to get in and like get everything set up and he was like, well, what time is the lawyer showing up? And how much does it cost like so different? It was like living inside of a Saturday Night live skit or something going back and forth between those two smell differently.

Like you much nicer than women to paint. The men were very yucky lovely. And then you go in the man’s room. It just like, man, sorry, I just called it the man’s room, the commercial room, commercial room. Yes, there were three women in there. It’s fine. Yes. So the uh but the women at paint, let’s just quickly touch on what that was, you know, is it happening again? Let’s kind of get, give a brief overview of it and maybe a plug for it. Yeah. Um So, as I mentioned, you know, this, this kind of all formed out of um of happenstance this women in paint.

Um And, and we’re still figuring out to be frank and honest how we can best support the women in the industry, elevate the women into the industry. Um So, one of our big initiatives was this conference. We’ve got some women that are actually employees of our vendors, Sherwin and bear specifically have women kind of on our planning committee. And we all got together, uh actually just about a year ago about women in paint, they all flew into Nashville, brought some other women contractors and we just sat in a boardroom and figured out how we can support women and what is women in paint.

And so we are still kind of unfolding that definition and, and what this initiative could be. But our big thing was we need to get everyone together like we just need to start there. And so we created the PC A was is just awesome about like, go like, what do you need, run with it, um, which I’m so grateful for. And so they helped orchestrate this women in paint conference. We were like, I hope like 40 or 50 women show up. That’d be like amazing. And there was yeah, over 100 women and probably another 100 more that wanted to attend but couldn’t for various reasons.

And so we got together and it was called the theme was lead, fully, grow fully, uh or grow fully lead fully. So it was backwards. And so it was kind of this, this balance of like creating you as a business owner, as a um entrepreneur, as a painting contractor, as a female, as a husband, or as a wife, as a, as a mother. All these facets that we carry um kind of stretching the content of those so that then you can go forth and lead, right? So we had, we had Linnea Blair talked about money and Tara Riley talked about business structures and systems.

And then my own personal counselor came and spoke about boundaries. And then we had a sound bath to learn about, you know, ways to, to level your emotions and to center yourself when you feel overwhelmed. Like it was just so many different things that we covered and it was um it was awesome. It was so great to see these women gather and be vulnerable and find a safe place and grow professionally. It was awesome. So we’re gonna have another one later this year details to come. Uh Again, this is nobody’s main job.

This is um this is not something that, you know, I’m fully employed to do or employed at all to do. So, you know, building the pieces of what the nuts conference looks like is still underway, so we’ll be sure and share more information, but we’re all gonna get together again and then in February at the PC A expo, there will be a women in paint. Happy hour. Thanks to bear, who loves to sponsor women in paint. And so that’ll be the next opportunity for everyone to get together. Excellent.

Yeah, from my very limited experience with women to paint, it was a tremendous event. The one question I have, what is a sound bath? Right. It’s a good question. I don’t know. It was like a uh like pretend you turn on a sound machine app like on Spotify or something. And there’s like all these noises and you work on just like quieting the world and allowing yourself to be like centered. It’s, I guess, kind of a meditation tactic, but she brings all these like bowls and drums and noise, sound things.

Yes, definitely was not happening in the commercial painting. Um Definitely not, but it sounds very neat. Is Maggie as we wrap up this episode of female entrepreneurship and empowerment uh within the trades painting specifically, is there anything else that you would like to add? I would just love um anyone who’s still hung on this long to the podcast that has any ideas, um feedback, anything that, that they may have input on as to how we can best support women in the industry. I would love to hear it.

Um I’ve got a parking lot, right? Like a document where I just park all the information and hopefully, as we continue to build stuff out, we can chip away at it or if anyone’s interested in helping, you know, sit down and be part of the brainstorms. Definitely open and willing to that. That’d be incredible. Yeah, Maggie does a tremendous amount for the PC A. She does it voluntarily and freely and she is somewhat single-handedly, maybe not single-handedly but taking a large, a large role here in the women in paint building.

So if you’re listening to this and you are super passionate about it, I’m sure she would love to discuss that with you. Yep, Maggie, I appreciate you. Thank you. I feel like this episode was a, it is a unique one for me. I feel like I was kind of, felt, felt a little dodgy and I was confident as I usually do. But uh I, I think we got some really good points across and hopefully not too many, hopefully not too many offended people. You did great. Well, I thought you did much better, but thank you, Maggie.

I appreciate your time and your expertise as always,.

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

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 and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time.

Keep growing.

Brandon Pierpont

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