Guest Interview: Michal Cheney “Ignite Your Passion” Series: Episode 4 – Michal’s Passionate “Why”

Published On: March 11, 2024

Categories: Podcast

In this series titled “Ignite Your Passion”, Michal Cheney of No Drip Painting will be discussing her journey from part-time hustle to over $2 million painting company, the amazing opportunities she sees for other entrepreneurs to succeed in the painting industry, and the powerful purpose she has developed while scaling No Drip Painting.

In episode 4, Michal will unveil her powerful “why”, the purpose she has found since launching No Drip Painting.

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

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Episode 4

– Michal’s Passionate “Why”

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

Iin this series titled Ignite your Passion, Michael Chaney of no drip painting will be discussing her journey from part time hustle to over $2 million painting company.

The amazing opportunities she sees for other entrepreneurs to succeed in the painting industry and the powerful purpose she has developed while scaling no drip painting. In episode one, Michael discussed why she got started in the painting industry and what her initial journey looked like as a side hustle. In episode two, Michael laid out the road map of how she initially surpassed $1 million in annual revenue in episode three, Michael dived into the path to 2 million and how that is entirely different from the path to 212 million. In episode four, this episode, Michael will unveil her powerful, why the purpose she has found since launching no drip painting.

And in episode five, the final episode, Michael will lay out the very exciting opportunities she sees in the painting industry today. If you want to ask Michael questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so on our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast form on Facebook. Just search for painter marketing mastermind podcast form 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. Then you can ask Michael questions directly by tagging her with your question.

So you can see how anything discussed here applies to a particular painting company company. Hi Michael. Hey Randon. I’m excited to see where this conversation takes us. Yeah. You know, I think that this one might be my favorite out of the series because we get to talk about my why and how that’s developed. And, and that’s really the piece of this puzzle that really lights me up and gets me excited. I know you’ve been working your way here. We’ve been trying to not dive too deep into it just to get some fundamentals in place, but you’ve earned it.

We’ve earned it and we’re here. That’s right. Let’s do it. Let’s do it. So the, let’s kind of chronologically start. So I know, you know, we, we cover the part time side hustle in episode one. But I think when you initially launched no drip painting, it really started as a way to generate money. It was not this powerful purpose. Is that correct? That’s right. Right. Uh There was a time when I needed a side hustle, I needed some extra money, pay for soccer practice, all the things that parents have to pay for.

And, um, yeah, it was, it was a way to make money and, you know, and I think that’s a fine place to start. Right. Um, I, you know, I, I think that kind of the, the way life works, at least what it has, how it has panned out for me is that, um, you know, you kind of take some chances, you might take some risks. And through that, for me, the reward has been to find a platform which is this business to, um, you know, to, to, to really bring out what’s on my heart and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. Yeah.

And I, I think that’s a phenomenal point. I wanna, I wanna dive into that one for a second just because it was something that was difficult for me a long time ago. You know, you read all this different advice and, and it’s like, hey, find your passion or, you know, if you, if you really, if, if you really are doing the right thing then no, it never feels like a day at work. You know, work shouldn’t feel like work. And I think we have all these ideals and some sometimes platitudes that we listen to or that we try to model our life after.

But you and I discussed this importance of doing different things, trying different things. I don’t have a passion for auto detailing but through auto detailing, I figured out, oh, marketing is pretty important actually for a company and sales are actually kind of important. And then I ended up developing a passion for that. But I didn’t start thinking, oh, I’m gonna do marketing and sales. I started with, with uh auto detailing. But this idea of doing different things, you know, I, I it was my background was a private equity by companies, improve them and sell them.

And I, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I always found an issue with every single company, you know, because that was my job was to find issues with companies and then fix them. So every idea I had, I had an issue why I wasn’t the right person. There are too many companies doing it. Competition is too stiff. I don’t have that skill set. Xy or Z and my wife’s finally like, hey, can you wash your car? You think you can figure that part out? Yeah, I wasn’t passionate about it but I went and did it.

So right now, most of our listeners are painters. But if you’re really anything in life, don’t think it has to be perfect or even necessarily make sense, just go do different things and find your way as you go. Yeah. And I think there’s this added pressure that we’re supposed to find our passion and like you said, you know, you work, but you don’t feel like you’re, you’re working a day in your life. There’s a lot of pressure on, on that I think for people and what I really see it with uh Brandon as our young people, you know, uh man, I think it would be difficult and you’ve got young ones.

So, you know, iii I know you’re gonna rock this but it’s difficult, right? There’s this pressure on our kids even to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. And man, when you’re 212, you don’t know what you’re gonna be like at age 212 right? So, um and I think, you know, all of us have that kind of at least I know this, this internal dialogue along the way. That’s like, what are you supposed to do? What are you gonna do? And, and there’s this pressure and, and I think when I was able to alleviate that pressure by the message, I was telling myself, right?

I took the pressure off. I think that’s what allowed me to kind of lean into some of these things that I, I naturally, I think began to call into my life and, and, and those were where the real opportunities existed, those opportunities that I was open to are the ones that kind of, uh, lit the path forward and, and landed me here, I think. Yeah. And the, my friend had sent me a quote as I was kind of sorting things out years ago and it, it might be a little bit cheesy or whatever, but it helped me a lot and II I clung on to it for a few years was all, all those who wonder are not lost.

And so that, that might apply to people here who think about doing other things or maybe pivoting their painting company or maybe you’re listening, you’re not even a painting company owner, but you’re thinking about getting into it, trying different things just because you’re wandering around. It can feel like you’re lost, feel unproductive or like you’re, you know, other people are doing better than you because they’re moving up in some kind of career field. But the entrepreneurship path is, it’s bumpy, it’s rocky, it’s messy. It’s not pretty and that’s part of it. Yeah.

You know, I adopted a term that I got from Jason Paris called wayfinding. I’m wayfinding. Right. Like you’re finding your way. Um, so, yeah, that right on. That’s, that’s what I think it’s all about. That’s cool. So, Wayfinding is turning this sort of what other people might refer to condescendingly as aimlessness or, or kind of moving around into. Actually, that’s the pro productive activity that you’re currently performing. E Exactly. And I think when you look at it through that lens of productivity, like you just mentioned, when you look at it uh through the lens of I am actively moving forward that feels different than having this pressure of, you know, what the heck am I supposed to do?

The other thing I’ll say, and this is a lesson that I’m learning now is to gauge your progress based on what you’ve done, not what the ideals are of others or of the world, right? Or of comparing yourself to someone else. When you bring everything inward and you look at your progression from an individual standpoint. I think that is where you can gain some momentum. And um you know, you, you can alleviate this idea that you’re supposed to be somewhere else in your life. If you’re focused on comparing yourself to yourself and where you were a week ago, a year ago, five years ago and you see the needle moving forward now, you might have some, some things that take you back a few steps, right?

But if you can look at it from an individual perspective, I think you can, you know, diminish some of that negative talk of, oh, I should be here in my life. I should know what my passion is, right. Yeah, in comparison is the thief of joy and the people that you hear about, the people you listen to, the people who are on this podcast are outliers. Right? And so the people who doesn’t mean you can’t do it. But comparing listening to podcasts or, or watching, you know, Shark Tank or Shark Tank used to bother me.

Shark Tank would bother me. It, bother my wife. We would watch it and there’d be like a 250 year old there. It’s like, oh, we’ll give you, we’ll give you $212,250 for a 203% stake in your company. I look at that. I am a loser. I’m a fail. This 220 year old is kicking butt. Right. But it just happened to be that circumstance or, or phenom or, or whatever that created that situation now that I feel that way anymore. But that was, it was problematic that I ever did and so don’t listen to the stuff or watch this stuff and, and somehow feel less than, um, because number one, you can do it and number two you’re not seeing or listening to or, or, or anything, the hundreds thousands, millions of people who are out there fighting the fight and maybe not getting the results quite yet that they want.

That’s right. Yeah. I don’t know how we’re getting on it. You and I tend to go in different paths. But, yeah, kind of back to, you know, you started for money, money trying to earn money is not a bad thing. Money is not a dirty word. Profits, not a dirty word. We’re gonna get into your passion and yet we’ve also been talking about your cost of labor. You love your people, but you still want to make money. Money and profit are not bad words. So just put that out there.

But you started no real passion for it. You want to pay soccer practice, wanted to generate the extra income. Let’s pick up. Yeah. So once I got kind of rocking and rolling, I, I tried a few different things, right? We just talked about being open to the opportunities. I got into flipping houses. Uh because an investor, I was so many pains do that. So many painters that flip houses, listen, I work with the GC and remodelers in Columbus, Ohio and that is a job I do not want, OK, I don’t want to digress here.

So um but I, I started next. 210 minutes will be on real estate. Exactly. Um But I started painting for a real estate investor and he would say things like, hey, while you’re in there, can you swap this toilet out? Can you put this floor in? And I was like, gosh, I can’t say no. Um I will tell you that I have learned to say no now and I know what, what, what my path is, but I would say yes. Um And then I get on youtube and I figure out how the heck did I put a toilet in?

But what that did was it gave me some other opportunities. I tried it out, right. So I started flipping houses with this investor because he came to me and said, hey, I can see you’ve got a great work ethic. Do you want to start partnering on these projects? So I did and I did that for a while and it was crazy. Uh My daughter and I, she was young, uh you know, 210 and we would, we would move into a house that needed completely torn apart down to the studs and we would live there while we were fixing it up.

Um And then we would stage it when it was done and then we’d move on to the next house. So I started doing all these crazy things. Found my way back to painting is really the, the, the piece of it. And once I got back into painting, I somehow, I mean, I can’t quite pinpoint this, but I recognize the opportunity and, and, and I think part of that opportunity was recognized because I had to go out and find our work, right? We always talk about leads and, you know, when you’re getting started, you know, unless you have a lot of money in the bank, you’re probably not hiring a marketing company, you’re getting out.

And for me that meant I was going pretty much door to door in Columbus. And when I say door to door, I’ve started to focus on the contractors. One reason I did that is because I could look them up online. I could look at their reviews. I could sell, somehow figure out where were they decent people to work with and then I could go right to their door, uh, and I could introduce myself. So I started doing things like that, But it was through getting some of those opportunities that I realized, hey, I think that there’s many more opportunities out here.

So that’s kind of what kind of triggered me to say, there’s something here in this painting business. And then I also started to fall in love with strategy and, you know, the just, just the uh all the things you have to do to create a business. Tho those are things that I enjoyed. I’m, I’m creative. I, I actually, I think I’m a creative is what I would call myself. And I have been able to explore that creativity while creating this business. So that kind of, you know, tuned me into.

There was something here about the strategy and this, this creativity that I could kind of pair together and through that, that’s kind of, you know, what, you know, started this journey of me saying, hey, you know, I think there’s something here and, and it kind of took off from that point. Yeah, that’s a great evolution one of the things I wanna comment on too is the way you did that. So strategically, so you didn’t have money. So you had to rely on essentially what would be called sweat equity.

So you going out doing things for free, but you didn’t, you did it in a leveraged fashion. So there are activities that we can do that that are higher leverage and activities that we can do that are lower leverage. I, I am a big proponent of door knocking just in general when you start out, I think it’s a hard thing. I saw a guy doing it yesterday. I don’t know what he was selling, but he was doing it in the rain with an umbrella and I had a lot of respect for him for doing it.

But the, the you were specifically choosing contractors. So you were looking at doing your homework when you do things like that, when you spend time refining your sales process. So as opposed to ok, I’m gonna, I’m gonna find every lead, but then when I show up, I’m not gonna have really refined my sales process or no know my deliverables. When you focus on these things that get used again and again and again and again, your activity, your effort goes farther. And when that’s all you have try to be smart because time is your only commodity at that point.

That’s right. So my plan at that time, I was, I was heading for the, the contractors. The other reason I did that is because after I started talking to them, I found out that they all had the same issue and it was, um, somebody showing up. Right. We’ve talked about the bar hasn’t been set very high, showing up and then producing the same quality over and over again. Right. There. A lot of times their experience is that they get a painting company, a painting company does great on that first job.

And then after that, their quality declines. And so when I found out that that was an issue, I said, you know what that is, how I’m gonna get my customers. I’m gonna figure out how to perfect the quality. I know we’re gonna show up, we’re gonna have great communication and that’s real where I kind of started building things out. And even today, 45% of our business are these repeat customers. And so, you know, strategically, each year I get to look and say, ok, how much did we do with this company?

Now, how can we do more? Do they have the capacity? Are they growing? So it’s actually been kind of a, a nice uh little niche market within the painting industry that I’ve, you know, my team and I have figured out how to kind of perfect. Um But that, that’s how I started. And then that’s kind of, I think, you know, those relationships, the other piece that this taught me was how important relationships are. Right. If you’re wanting a repeat client base in this fashion, you’ve got to put a lot into that relationship and then you’ve got to go where they are.

So, we started going to all the networking groups where these people were. Um, but that’s kind of how things kicked off and from there. Then the, the strategic piece has been, how do we get more homeowners as well? Because that’s part of, of what we do. So, for the contractors, you are essentially being a subcontractor to them. That’s right. And yeah, and we still are now with the, the folks that we work with, um, you know, under the subcontractor umbrella, they don’t care if we’re branded. Right?

We don’t have to look as though we’re working for them. We can promote nor pain and we can put our sign in the yard, we can ask these clients for reviews at the end of the project. Uh, these clients also then turn into a great referral source. And if you think about it, we’re working with, we’re working with high end, high end contractors. Ok. And, and I, we always call them remodelers because they’re different than your everyday GC. They, I mean, you know, they’re doing a million, $2 million remodels and we’re going in and a lot of times doing full house.

Um, you know, painting. Um, so, but the idea is that now we’ve created this customer in a desired neighborhood that we wanna be in. And now this customer through our remodeling company becomes a referral source for no drip painting. So we have to make sure that throughout this process because sometimes they’re not living in the home, they might stop by to see how things are are going. We have to make sure that we make a good impression on them and we have some really cool things that we do it, uh, to kind of seal that deal at the end and, and end our project strongly and maybe at some point, we’ll have a chance to talk about that.

Um, but this is kind of how the business started. Uh, plus, you know, I went to every friend and family and said, hey, uh, I’m painting, you know, let me paint for you, you know, give me a shot here. And then of course, that also helped start the fire for the, uh, word of mouth referrals. It’s such a great hack and it’s like a, it’s like a product mix and I think most painting companies don’t think like that if you’re running a Ecommerce store or something that you’re gonna think of what your product mix is, what you, you know, cost of sale is and, and what you’re making each but what you should push and painting companies, you ask them, hey, what’s your split, you know, between residential and commercial and oftentimes they’re not sure. Right.

And those are two totally different products and, and interiors to your cabinet. Often times they have no idea. So they’re, they’re viewing it all kind of the same. And I think subcontractor can have this sort of negative connotation, but you’ve built it on a really high end where it’s not even really a subcontractor. I’m sure it’s referred to as basically a, a painting company that they work with or that, you know, is referred out And then you’re, you’re taking a project that you essentially didn’t have to go sell, you didn’t have to market for it.

You didn’t have your cost of sales zero and then you’re going in and then you’re not only getting the profit from the project, you’re actually further building your brand through securing a review, which is how you further monetize the project and you’re getting referrals and it just kind of snowballs on itself. And that’s one product essentially. And then the other product is your direct to homeowner. And so this is, this is phenomenal the way that you’ve done them both. Yeah. And think about this Brandon, the, the great piece about this whole puzzle is that when you get in with these modelers, they don’t want 10 different painters, right?

They want one really good one that they can count on. And what that allowed me to do is to get in with them and have a great relationship. And as these companies were growing, it signaled to me, OK, they’re growing now. I need to grow my teams. I need to grow my team size so that they don’t come to me and say, hey, can you take on this project and this project? And I say no, the answer is yes, because we’ve got a big team and we can cater to all of your projects.

So it’s repeat clients that you’re right, it doesn’t cost anything to get in the beginning. It costs, you know, cost some sweat equity. Um, but now you’ve got this reliable customer and you know, they’re doing, you know, our, our, our, uh, remodelers are anywhere from $100,000 account up to 3000. We should have one that’s a $103 account this year. And that’s repeat. Uh, and you’re not bidding on projects when they find someone, they trust, they take your number. I’m not, we’re not up against all these folks. And here’s the thing, you, you develop a relationship so that if there is a pricing discrepancy, then you talk about it right?

And you work it out and, and, and then you go on but you, but you get the job. It always helps to think about from the perspective of the other person when you’re selling to them, right? So a homeowner wants trust, they want reliability. They want to know if something goes wrong that you’re gonna come back and you’re not gonna screw them. Ultimately, it’s about trust. A remodeler wants to know you’re gonna make them look good, wants to know that they can trust that you’re gonna make their life easy that you’re reliable.

And the, the homeowner who hired that remodeler is gonna be like, wow, this looks great. And it was easy. That’s what they want. Yeah. So we, our job is to make that remodeler look good. And so here’s what kind of all this taught me because this, this trails back to what this show is about. Um And so when, when I grew up, grew up, what are we talking about? My wife? But this, this all helped this all helped me develop my why? Again, my why in the beginning was one thing.

And then as I moved through this, um I’ll tell a quick story about when I grew up, I grew up with a single mom. Uh There was a period of time when we did not have much, but what my mom was really good at was creating our home, our space that felt safe. Uh I felt proud to bring friends over and she did that because we were always painting and we were putting up wallpaper and my mom was a master on the sewing machine. So if, if you know, our couch was looking a little rough, she would literally sew a slip cover.

And if you know anything about sewing slip covers are not easy things uh to put together. But that’s what we did in our home. Ok. And when I grew up and I looked back on that, it, it stuck with me. So, you know, I, I take a lot of pride in where I live. I always have, even when I was in college and I was in my dorm, I, you know, had a sense of pride for where I lived and she really just taught me how important space is.

It can make you feel safe. You can, you know, feel good when you walk into a space that you feel good about. Uh I personally think it can, it can change your mood, it can change the trajectory of your life, right? And so she instilled those things in me. And what has come full circle is that I get to see that we’re, we’re doing that with our clients and listen, we’re all doing that. You know, I don’t know that we always view it that way when we are the ones putting the paint on the wall, you know, in the moment, uh you run out a gallon of paint, you gotta run to the paint store.

You know, you’re, you’re in a frantic space at times trying to come projects. But really, we are empowering people through their space. And when I realized that that became a thread of what we do. So that’s how we look at it, you know, uh that’s, you know, that, that’s just what we do. We are helping people improve their space. But the deeper meaning there is that we’re having a huge impact on their life and, and creating a space that they really want to share with their family.

And so when I realized the power behind that, and I could link it back to my childhood that really kind of helped built out my why. And then beyond that, you know, what has become important after I really started to establish a team, was making sure that the people around me were taken care of. And, you know, my, my, my view on this is that, you know, I’m the business owner and, you know, and on some level, I’ve taken all the risk, right? And there’s a certain lifestyle that I want and that I’m working towards, there’s a certain level of financial stability and freedom that I’m working towards.

I want to travel all of those things. Well, I want your team members are there to serve you. That’s what I hear you. I’m just kidding. I just, you, you, you are making this, take a corner, a hard turn that I didn’t plan on. Totally joking. But here’s like, that’s what I want, right? And that’s what I’m going for. But I also want to give a piece of that to my team. I want my team to have opportunities in life and when you want opportunities, some of that means that you have to have money, right?

You have to have some freedom you know, we, we have unlimited vacation for my salaried folks and we, we have these big things but people take care of it because of that. So, you know, the other piece of this puzzle is that we’ve got people around, we have got people around me. They’re, they’re helping me achieve my goals and my job is now to help them achieve their goals. Uh And we do cool things like we teach English classes to our Spanish speaking painters. And we’ve, this year we’ve opened it up to their families.

Uh So, you know, we do things like that. You know, I’ll tell you another quick story and this is just something honestly I I’m proud of, but it’ll, it’s a testament to the way my team thinks and operates. Uh One of my project managers came to me and said, hey, listen, you know, our, our sub team over here, they, they had relocated from Colorado six months prior and uh Katie says, hey, listen, I, I found out that they don’t have any mattresses, they’re sleeping on the floor.

They’ve got some air mattresses, you know, they’ve got kids, they, they’ve got, you know, they’re living in this house with no mattresses. And so my team, this wasn’t me doing this, but my team took it upon themselves. They, they posted a, you know, something on their personal Facebook pages. We all shared it and within 24 hours, we had five, almost brand new mattresses loaded up in our trucks and delivered to our team and that’s who we are and that’s what we want to do. Um, I’m gonna give you one more quick story.

But listen, at any point, you just, you just cut me off the best podcast for me or when I feel like I’m just sitting down watching and I love it. Now, you’ve got me, uh, one and I mean, honestly, this, this stuff, this is the stuff that, that gets me emotional. Um I ha I had a parent that worked with me for years. He’s really kind of one that helped me start this whole thing when I was back in those rentals trying to swap out toilets. Uh but his family is from El Salvador.

He’s from El Salvador while he worked with me. He worked with me for about five years and then he went on to to go do something else. But during that time he, you know, because I paid him what he deserved, right? This isn’t about undercutting people. This isn’t about putting all the money in, in my bank account. This is about really helping people create a life that they wanna create. And what he was able to do was he built two houses in El Salvador for his family.

He, he built them in an area that traditionally did not have running water or electricity. He dug wells provided them water, provided them electricity and he did this for his family and has literally changed the course of his entire family’s direction in life, I believe, for generations to come. And he did all that because of the cool things that we were doing here in Columbus, Ohio. And because I was able to pay him what I paid him. Right. That’s amazing. Right? And so through these interactions and, and even being able to find team members that, that feel the same way about uh you know, having an impact and using this craft that, that I love and that I respect using this craft to be able to do good for people is really what it’s about.

And that has, has become my why and the cool thing about it. And I think on some level, I always knew this, but now I get to see it on a day to day basis is that when you operate from a space like that, when you operate from your heart and you do it with the intention of having an impact, your team feels good about that, right? We all feel good when we help someone. And I think what I’m really trying to incorporate here and, and trying to build out in an explosive way is for my team to have the perception and the intention that we are giving back through this business.

And that’s why people are gonna ultimately want to work with us, right? Uh We have a, we have a tagline that we use in a hashtag changing lives through paint because that’s what we actually believe that we’re doing, man. That’s incredible. Yeah. The, I think we all all kind of start wanting financial security, wanting, you know, what’s at the end of the road, so to speak, right. This rainbow road that we’re taking that that isn’t really a rainbow road a lot of times. Uh but then you, you start to actually reap the rewards and you figure out that’s great.

Like I don’t think we would do it. If we, if we got stuck in a grind forever, you’d have to really be a masochist. But when you have this ability, this power to change people’s lives, like you said, for generations to come, that’s nuts. Like how often, how else do you get that? That’s absolutely insane that you can do something like that by being a business, right? And, and, and, you know, it takes me back to when I was young and we had small businesses literally helping my family eat at certain times.

And now I have such an appreciation for small business because we have the flexibility to do these things, right? And um and you know, the other thing that I want to mention because it’s something I’m super proud of is our pay it forward program. We all know what paying it forward is. Now, at this point, let’s touch on it because yeah, one necessarily knows. Yeah. So paint it forward, it was started. Um, and you might be able to help with the company that started it. But a California company. Yep.

All right. And they started, you know, their paint it forward program years ago with the intention of painting for someone that might not necessarily be able to afford that project. And again, with the, you know, same mission that I’m having is, is brighten someone’s day. Right. Create a space that they love. And so Albright started that and now we know the PC A has gotten involved in that and you can uh you know, participate in their pay it forward at the Expo and they do a yearly event where you can sign up and kind of show case, you know, you pay it forward project.

But what we did is I want to put a spin on that. Uh Our goal last year for 2023 was to complete 12 payment forward projects and we did so we did 12 projects, we did 12 projects for the year. We had some great support, Sharon Williams donated our paint. We worked for some nonprofits that were near and dear to our heart because of their, the mission behind what they do. We were also able to kind of channel this some of these projects towards people who are near and dear to my heart and my team’s heart.

For example, half my team was raised by a single mom. And so of course, we did a project for a single mom. You know, my mom was a teacher and so I just have a lot of admiration and respect for teachers. And so we’ve done a project for a teacher. This last year we had did a project for two widows, someone who uh just got diagnosed with cancer. Right. So we get to do these projects for people. And often it’s, it’s in a, a time in their life when, when it’s, you know, they’re in a rough patch or they’ve lost a spouse or, and when we can come in and, and brighten their day and, and help, you know, create this space that they love.

It’s an amazing feeling and, you know, I, I have to say that, that that’s a piece of this for my team. When you do good things for people, it feels good. And I’m trying to create a business and a team that wants to show up and is proud of what we do. And our pay it forward program is allowing that to come to fruition. What a simple but profound line. When you do good things for people, it feels good. I mean, think about that Brandon, like that’s, that’s, people are gonna wanna be attracted to that now in some way that sounds self serving, right?

Like, you know, but that’s not the only reason we do it, it’s, it’s, it’s the, the like you can’t help but, but light yourself up when you’re doing things for other people, I’ve gone down that road before. I’ve read forums on it. I’ve meditated on it. Like, ok, is it selfish to be unselfish because it makes you feel good? And what I’ve ultimately concluded is I don’t care if, if it, if I’m being unselfish or doing a nice thing for a person makes me feel good and then someone wants to say it’s selfish. Fine.

Then I’m selfish. I don’t care if that’s what selfish is. Everyone should be selfish. Yeah. And, and I almo, I kind of almost take that to a different, I’ve heard other people say similar things on different topics. But, but my view is this is that if that makes me feel good for helping someone that also might be what God, what the world, what the universe has instilled in me because that lights me up and that is a trigger or a motivation to do. Well for other, I look at it almost like it’s a gift.

It’s a gift that, that it makes me feel good because that is a strong motivation to, to build a business around it. Right? I mean, I’m here telling you we did 12 and four Pro projects. I hope someday I’m telling you that we did 50 in one year, right? And if I feel good because of that, well, then that’s awesome because it’s only gonna propel me to do more. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that this idea that if it makes you feel good, then it, it was a call.

You’ve, you’ve kind of talked about that quite a few times on your heart thing. Uh, I really like that. I think, yeah, I think you, I think when you’re doing something that’s just lighten you up that much and helping people there is no disputing that you were heading in the right direction. That’s right. That’s right. So, the, the 12 paint it for projects for people who are listening, who are like, ok, now I understand it. It’s a complimentary, you know, free paint project for either a nonprofit, someone in need, you know, helping someone or some organization out. Right?

And Sherwin sponsor your paint. So for people listening, who maybe they’ve never been to the expo, they didn’t participate in, in the PC A S painted for, but they’re interested in doing this. How should they start? Well, if you wanna do it within your own business, just start small. Maybe you’re in someone’s house already and you can tell they’re struggling a bit. Maybe you offer to paint another bedroom or an accent wall, right? I think you can just look within your, your own customers or look at, look at your teammates, right?

Like we’ve done pain for projects for our teammates. You know, we have uh one of our girls is, is in the military, she’s in the reserves and you know, I wanna support our military we want more military team members. So we were able to do one of our pain up board projects in the past for her, for her, we pay extra to her house. So look within your team. I mean, again, the idea is here that you’re building those up around you, you can start small and if it’s on your heart, you’ll find a way to expand that.

And I mean, let’s also say that, you know, you don’t want to give away the farm, right? I mean, you’ve gotta have, you gotta be financially responsible. There is a time and place for that. So, you know, the idea is that I want no drip to be successful and keep heading, you know, shooting for the stars because we’re gonna be able to do those 50 painted for projects, right? They, they go hand in hand together. So one of the things that was counterintuitive that I had to learn about parenting and family life and it’s helped uh my wife and me in our parenting was that the order is not ok, take care of the kids first or even take care of your spouse first.

You can’t take care of anybody if you don’t take care of yourself. So take care of your son, then take care of your spouse, then take care of your kids. That’s the order in which we do it. And if you’re thinking about it from a business, take care of your business and yourself. Because if you don’t do, if you start doing painted for, you start giving away like you said, giving away the farm too quickly, then there’s not gonna be anything to give anymore. So get your house in order.

But then you don’t have to be greedy once you have the capacity and you understand your numbers, you job costs, you understand your finances, you’ve accounted for taxes, you know what you’re doing, you know, your numbers, you’ve accounted for seasonality, things like this, then start to start to budget some time, some resources for things that you’re passionate about that help people like this. That’s right. And don’t forget to find partners to help. You don’t have to do it all alone, right? Like Sherwin, I mean, we’ve got other paint companies that, that are willing to help.

And so like there are resources out there if this is something that is on your heart and you might find another way to do it, maybe it’s through paying it forward, maybe you’ve got some other cool thing within your business. Uh But the, the one, the reason that I, I just love paying it forward and, and my approach to it is that we get to do this for folks that align with our values, right? I talked about, you know, growing up with a single mom and my team having, uh you know, a team full of, you know, people that have grown up with single moms.

Like now we get to do something for all those single moms out there. Right? Because that’s important to us. We get to do things for military folks because we’ve got a military team member and that’s one of the coolest things is that you get to channel these efforts towards folks who uh are already in some capacity, important to you. Yeah. Yeah, you now have the, the capacity, the resources, the power if you will to make that change, that’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? So this to come full circle with this entire conversation, this is now the why, right?

I have recognized for our customers that we can have an impact on their space. And again, space is so important to me that I think it can change your life and change the direction of your life. I mean, let’s talk about mental health for a moment, right? With, with, with all of the things that have happened and and thankfully, mental health is becoming a, you know, focal point, but your space affects that, right? So for me to having a space that I feel good in, that’s me taking care of myself and we get to do that for our customers.

Uh And then we’ve got, you know, this idea and this concept is that we are gonna give back to our team as much as possible and we can make the decision to do that. We talked about this in one of the other sim uh episodes is that, you know, maybe I’m not gonna have a 20% profitable company because I have decided that I’m gonna pay my people more that I’m gonna give them unlimited vacation. Right. I am making the decision to take our money and put it back into our team.

And I love that. That’s what I wanna do. And maybe we’ll still find a way to be 20% profitable after doing all of that. That’s, that’s certainly possible. But we get to do, make those strategic decisions to take care of our team, whether it’s organizing mattresses or, you know, um English classes or what have you. And then the other big piece that we’re gonna just, you know, blow up over the next couple of years is our pain for program. So if we had to sum up your, why in a s in a sentence or phrase, would it be helping other people?

It is. But, you know, I’ve reflected a lot on this uh over the last six months really. And I think that there’s a deeper piece here and, and I think that what I’m starting to tap into and, you know, maybe six months from now, I say something different. But I think my, my real job here is to give people hope and some inspiration and, and, and maybe even, you know, give some guidance and, and, and push them towards the path that they’re supposed to be on but I, yeah, I really think it comes down to there, there’s a real piece of me that has to do with giving hope and inspiration and, and, and of course, showing what is possible on some level.

Do you guys have written values? Company values? Yes, absolutely. You know what one of our values are, is kindness, kindness. I mean, in our world today, we can use a little bit more kindness. And, and so that is something that we, we come back to often, even if, if we have a difficult customer situation because of course, we always do when, when we are maybe in the office and, and, you know, just let loose because we’re with our team, when we think about how we’re gonna take, take care of this customer in difficult situation, we always come back to, we’ve got to be kind that’s, that’s who we are.

So, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll leave it there with kindness. Yeah, because I don’t think that’s one that you hear often. But, uh, that’s one that’s really, I think a staple for us. Yeah, that’s awesome how you interact with customers. And I think the, I know you focus on it with the team as well. One thing I heard kind of bringing it back to, to family life because I think values and why and stuff ends up being tied a lot to that. I, I had read that we, we try really hard at work, you know, we try really hard at work.

We try really hard with the external world, you know, very, very rarely are we gonna walk into? I mean, some people do it but they stand out very rarely. Are we gonna walk into a, you know, grocery store and just start, just start ripping at somebody because they bumped into us or we don’t like, you know, something about what they did. We’re usually gonna be a little bit more passive than that or, or provide some level of grace, even if it’s perceived grace because we’re maybe upset about it.

We’re not really usually gonna do anything about it. But then when we get home, you know, we kind of let out our emotions, you know, if, if our spouse has done something or, you know, if the kids are doing something and it’s just interesting that the people that are nearest and dearest to you, you tend to sort of misbehave and then for the people who you don’t even know that that person in the grocery store you tend to try to put on, put, put your best foot forward.

So I find, I find that just because you said kindness, I don’t know. I’m, I’m taking us on a tangent here, but you’ve just got my own mind kind of all this stuff. Well, I think so, what you’re talking about and I think what we need to do is just punch the guy in the face in the store just drop him. So we let it all out and then we come home at home. Yeah, but it just run. So the police don’t catch it. Yes. What you’re talking about has, has been a part of my own personal growth path for the last couple of years and I think all of that comes back to how I take care of myself, which we’ve talked about.

Um, but yes, that’s a real thing. And so when we talk about kindness and even integrity is another one of our keywords is that, that can’t just be in our business. The these are things that we need to strive for as human beings. Yeah, I love it. So for people who don’t have a set, why don’t have a set purpose? Is it just, hey, keep going and you’ll figure it out or is there are steps or actions that they can take that are maybe a little bit more proactive.

Well, I think they should first adopt the term wayfinding. Thank you, Jason Paris. Uh And, and I mean, for me, it’s, it’s all these things, it’s interacting with people like you, right? These conversations, I know they get you fired up, they get me fired up, right? This is a source of motivation for us. It’s one reason why we love doing these podcasts, try to interact with, with people, you know, that are doing this, read the books. I mean, you know, social media, you know it, it can either it’s a double edged sword for me.

I strategically use social media to view accounts that inspire me. I’m not gonna watch all this negative but my social media, when I get on that feed, I can get on there for 10 minutes. I’m inspired. Right? I’m listening to all the things and so, I mean, there really is something about, you know, what, what you’re, you know what you’re seeing, what you’re putting in, in your body, whether it’s, you know, uh Instagram video or food, I mean, it comes back to that, right? So, but be around the inspirational things and you know, we’ve got the Expo coming up, you know, check out the PC A stuff.

I mean, that, that was the PC A was one of the first things that I kind of found outside my own world and believe it or not Brandon, this is gonna be my first expo. I’m a little late to the party, but this will be my first expo. Yeah. And I, and I’m actually, I’m on a panel with Nick Slavic and a few others. Um women in paint speaking leading the charge and you hadn’t been there. I mean, listen, but women in paint that, that should be a priority for me, right?

Um Yeah, so, but anyway, yeah, so, so you know, your way finding you will find your way, be open, put good things into your mind, be around positive people you will get there. And that, that idea of what of how you use social media. So that’s highly intentional and I think very few are very intentional. You know, we’re, we’re so passive. Facebook is you just open up Facebook. If someone bothers you enough, maybe a block them or unfriend them or whatnot, but you’re not really actively creating that space, you’re creating a space for yourself on social media the same way, you know, you do in homes, you’re creating a space that you want to be on.

It’s not often you hear, hey, I go on social media for 10 minutes and I feel inspired. It’s usually kind of more negative or distracted or it’s usually not inspired. That’s right. Yeah. So that’s i it’s a tool for me. Yeah. Intentionality is key for people who don’t have a purpose necessarily, right? Or maybe they can’t clearly articulate their purpose or their why and their business or maybe the purpose for them is making money, right? Is that OK? Do they need to find some other purpose? What are your thoughts on this?

Well, I mean, uh my, my question or my awareness for myself is what do I wanna do with that money? Look, I wanna make money, right? I, I, of course, that’s a piece of this. We, we can’t all be doing all this and be broke money to me is a resource and I think because I view it like that and I view it as a way to allow me to do more good and take care of myself because that is a piece of this, that money is a tool and you have the, the choice on how you wanna view money.

And I don’t view it in a negative light. I think money is, I mean, it’s required in the world that we live in. It’s, it’s, uh you know, just a tool that we can use. And my way to use that at this moment is through my business and, and all the things we just talked about another intention, intentionality statement from you. It’s, it’s your choice. We have a choice of how we view money. That’s you make me sound really good. Part of my part of my, you, you are really good.

But part of my job as the, as the host is to try to identify key pieces of information, dive in them, highlight them things like that. And you’re saying profound things that I think could be overlooked. Well, you’re crushing it. Well, you’re crushing it. You’re making my job very easy. But, but the choice of how you view money, that’s, that’s an empowering thought because we don’t usually think that we think. Well, what do you mean how I view we need money. I need X amount of money that the media tells us.

The more money you have more successful. We are, we see the flash like I don’t get to choose. We live in an expensive country. Inflation is out of control. I don’t get to choose how I view money. I just need as much money as I can get. Well, yeah. And I mean, th this has been years in the workings, it, it stems from not having money when I was young. And as I’ve grown up, I have made the choice of how I wanna view money right now.

Let me just say that I, I had parents who weren’t good with money and I heard them say they weren’t good with money and, and, you know, I lived in a world where, uh, well, I didn’t know if we were actually gonna have food the next week. There’s a period of time where that was my experience. So money for me might have a, uh, a different impact because of my childhood. Right? But you can take this idea of choice even back to what we said about helping people.

If it makes me feel good, I get to choose myself. I get to make the decision, the choice for myself. That feeling good. Like that is a signal that has been planted within my being that tells me I should do more of it right? Or I could make the choice of, oh, well, if, if I feel good doing it, then maybe I’ve got the wrong intention, intention. I could choose that. But my choice is that, uh, I’m gonna choose that this is a signal to me. This is, you know, within my heart that I should be doing more of this.

I like the phrase you use that you used also the Light me up because we’ve all done good things. We’ve all done bad things. None of us is perfect and some of the bad things we might enjoy that might feel good when you do it. But what I’ve noticed is there, there’s a pretty consistent pattern in my life with the things that I do that light me up, you know, something that I, that I feel lighter, it, it stays with me longer versus maybe something that just, oh, it felt good in the moment, you know, like decking the that guy in the grocery store might be one of those things, right?

I feel great, but it’s not gonna light me up. Well, let me give you another. Let me give you another example. I just had this, I went to Nila itc’s uh Winter Retreat. It was amazing. I just had this conversation. Imagine this. You, you, you speak on stage, right? And you get gratification out of the the crowd clapping and cheering, right? You get this immediate gratification and the question is, oh, is that bad? I’m getting this gratification and on some level, maybe you are, you know, something within us says maybe I’m doing this for the wrong reason.

It feels good when people clap for me. That was a conversation that came up and my take on it is no, maybe that gratification and that feel good is instilled within you because you have all this great information to give away. You’ve got all this power and inspiration you’re giving to people. And if you didn’t get gratification out of that, maybe you wouldn’t wanna take on the task of being vulnerable and getting on stage and talking to people, right? So I feel like when you’re conflicted with these messages, some of it is our culture and things that have been ingrained with within us that we probably have not gotten a, a choice on.

I know I’m going deep here but you get to confront these things. You, if you immediately think all money is bad. Well, now as an adult, you get the opportunity to look at that and say, OK, why do I think money is bad? Where does that come from? And then you get to maybe change your opinion and maybe find the source of where that opinion came from? Right. And, and so I think that that’s ultimately a piece of reclaiming power within your own life is that you get to decide if that’s a good or bad thing.

I’m going to put that in quotes, right? You have a sense of empowerment of intentionality of really owning your life and owning how, how you choose to view things is so powerful. When I started this podcast, I didn’t have a a super detailed plan, just decide I’m gonna start to start a podcast, see what happens. And then it started gaining in some popularity and that felt kind of good, right? People are like, oh, I listen to your podcast. Wow, it feels kind of good. My wife joked to me like, oh, you, you probably feel a little special now about yourself, don’t you getting like your, your peacock brothers stroked or whatnot?

And she calls me a peacock. But then, then I started getting the next level. So then I started getting emails from people about how their life changed about how they’ve been listening to the podcast for half a year, a year, two years, three years and, and emails that brought me to tears. Then I started meeting people who, who were at Expo, who said they, that they would never have been there without it. Right. Then you start, you, so you take steps and if you feel good about a couple of things that feel a little bit selfish along the way, but you’re not hurting anybody.

I don’t personally care about that. Right. Because it, it, you’re probably heading in the right direction. Now, if you’re hurting people, obviously, this is a different, different conversation. But I don’t think we need to feel bad or guilty or terrible about some satisfaction. If things just don’t lose, don’t lose yourself. Don’t, don’t start going down that path just for that paths sake. That’s right. And if you did not get some sort of joy out of that early on you might have stopped doing this and then what you wouldn’t have had all this impact. Yeah.

That’s a very good point. Yeah. I like, I like your, yeah, I’m not sure what your religious, uh, viewpoint or spiritual viewpoint is. Exactly. But you refer to God and spirituality quite a few times and, and I’m, you know, I’m Christian and I do believe that we, that we have a path and a, and a purpose and a reason for being here. And I don’t think our life is just, you know, just meant to just exist and I have no real, I do think we have a purpose and I think the, the way that you feel and trying, I think when you try different things and you analyze those things, you live intentionally, like you talked about with social media.

We do have a lot of negative influences, especially on social media and media in general. Just people in general. I think you, you do need to kind of protect yourself and your mind and your emotion against some of that. But I think the, the more you put yourself out there were the things you try and analyze and, and be intentional, the more opportunity you have of finding the path that’s, that may already be destined for you. At least that’s how I feel about it. Yeah, we, you and I totally align on that.

Yeah, some people, we, we just lost them but that’s why, you know, we did it at the end of the podcast because they, they got all the value up until now. So these people are weirdos, but that’s ok. They learned some things. Uh Michael, as we wrap up another phenomenal episode, I love doing these episodes with you. Do you have anything else you wanna add on, on purpose? Your why uh anything that we discussed, I’ll say that I’m still wayfinding also, right. I’ve got other things in life that I wanna do.

I think I’ve only scratched the surface with no drip painting. And we’ve got a lot of more, you know, many more amazing things to do. But I’m, I’m way finding too and I’m, I’m happy to be doing that, Michael. I appreciate you. Thanks for making the time and, and I can’t wait for our, our final episode coming up here soon. Right back at you.

If you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training, as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company. Again that URL is paintermarketingpros.com/podcast.

Hey there, painting company owners. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also, if you’re interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the Painter Marketing Pros website at Painter Marketing Pros dot com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon@PainterMarketingPros.com and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time.

Keep growing.

Brandon Pierpont

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