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Guest Interview: PCA Expo 2022 Live Podcast

In this special live recording of the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast at PCA Expo 2022, discuss lessons they learned from Nick Slavik's Ask A Painter Live Winter Retreat. They dive deep into limiting beliefs, and how they have worked as business owners and leaders to improve themselves, and in turn improve their companies. This was definitely one of the best episodes ever recorded of the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast – lightning in a bottle!

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Audio Transcript


Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. The show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million and annual revenue. I'm your host, Brandon Pierpont, founder of Painter Marketing Pros and creator of the popular Pc, a educational series, learn do grow marketing for painters. In each episode, I'll be sharing proven tips, strategies and processes from leading experts in the industry on how they found success in their painting business. We will be interviewing owners of the most successful painting companies in north America and learning from their experiences in this special live recording of the Painter marketing Mastermind podcast at Pc expo 2022 brad Ellison of Somerset painting chris Elliott up on it, painting and chris mole of Mr mole's painting, discussed lessons they learned from Nick's Slavic ask a painter live when to retreat. They deep dive into limiting beliefs and how they have worked as business owners and leaders to improve themselves and in turn improve their companies. This was definitely one of the best episodes ever recorded of the painter Marketing Mastermind podcast, Lightning in a bottle. If you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company. Again that you are l is painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast. Guys, thank you for coming on this live panel painter marketing mastermind podcast the first time we've done something like this. We have christmas all Mr mole's painting, we have chris Elliott on it. Painting and then we have brad brad brad Ellison summer stop painting. I do apologize. It's Ellison thing is difficult. Can you guys just go around introduce yourself a little bit about your company where you're based what you do? Yeah, I am chris moore mr moore painting. I have a residential repaint company in the frozen tundra of badly Minnesota. The big town of 1200 and that is a northern Minnesota. Mhm Chris Elliott on that painting. We are located in Indianapolis indiana. We specialize in residential commercial uh and uh painting and repairs um and decided to be here to chat with you guys and brad Allison Somerset painting located in Metro Detroit and we specialize in residential rebates, awesome. So we are here live at the P. C. A. Expo in Orlando 2022. An amazing event I guess I want to plug it. Pcs set us up with this podcast. Sweet it is by far the sweetest setup I have had for a podcast. What have you guys experienced? What's been a takeaway? What's been the benefit of this expo so far. Yeah, I would say the benefit for me. I mean we're we're hearing a lot of amazing speakers and content. You know the message, Their sharing are valuable for me honestly it's rubbing elbows with guys like you. Brandon and chris and chris and um, Jason paris and it's a lot of these guys that are industry leaders and industry thought leaders and I get to spend four days with them and uh, and learning in, in that one on one setting. And that's the most valuable to me, the relationship. Um, and the kind of iron sharpening iron. Yeah, I agree completely. Um, there's something special when we all get together and were able to network. We're able to learn from each other. We were able to gain so much experience through the exposure to our peers and, and experiences they've gone through. Um, and maybe to prevent a little bit of pain in our businesses by the stories that they share. It's just a really special time to get to. It's been together with some our peers in the industry for sure. Yeah. And the song to I no no longer on the tundra, but yeah, I mean, I can, I can touch on that a little bit as well. I think the best conversations happen. I mean, yeah, there's a lot of value you get from the lessons and the classes that we, that we take. But I think the magic really happens after hours when you're, when you're relaxed and you're in good company, he means once he's had a few drinks after a couple of old fashioned. Yeah. But yeah, exactly the same Network building relationships and meeting new people. Yeah, Yes. So we we all had the privilege of spending some time together at Nick's Slavic asked a painter live, went to retreat a few weeks ago and there were a lot of deep conversations at that event, you know, taken close to an hour I think per person on, on a deep dive and and one of the themes that came up over and over again was this idea of overcoming obstacles and I think obviously that's something every entrepreneur struggles with something, every painting company or struggles with regardless of of where you're at because you guys are are well farther ahead than a lot of our listeners and you guys still have these obstacles. So I would love if we could spend this time kind of diving into what that looks like for you guys, maybe how you got to where you're at what you've overcome and what you're still struggling to overcome. Yeah, whoever wants to kick off, I can do that. I think we'll go for it. Mr Maule, so I've been in business for four years um has some views, you know, I'm not actually from, that's where that smooth accent comes from. Yeah, so I'm from Northern England, little little quick backstory. So I'm from walls and which is an old roman empire town with the roman wall ended in Newcastle, Northeast England and the age of 16 even leave school or you um you go to a trade school, I went to a trade school and from the age of 18 onwards, I used to restore old 14th and 15th century castles and that gives me the ability to be able to create revenue by the movements of my body. And um, being able to travel anywhere in the world with a, with a paint brush and a roller didn't even matter if I spoke the language. I've been to Greece kabobs, kofu spain, I've been in paris, I've been all over the world from a young age traveling and yeah, I it's so valuable being able to being able to create that, create revenue wherever you go with this with this painting thing that we've got going on. And one of the obstacles are that I've overcame absorbed. So I traveled seven years ago, I met my, my beautiful wife, Katie, who also runs a business with me. Um, four years now we've been in business and for the first three years I've never had a single employee. I mean, we had Just start over, we are in a town of 1200, but we serve as an area of 16,000 And within and now a radius of that of that, the biggest town does is about 60,000 people that we service. So really small area, so less clients, less employees. So you really gotta um, Within the 1st 3 years of business, I've never had a single employee that stayed with me over six months. And I had to ask myself as a, as an owner, take ownership and let them see it. What am I doing wrong here? What am I, what can I do better? And I met Chris Elliott believe it or not. And, and his big thing is like leadership and being able to inspire your team. I learned so much from that and I implemented like monday morning meetings and find out what they want, celebrating, limbs, commiserating losses, ideas and on problem solving them together, making them feel a part of something that's bigger than themselves. And my, one of my current employees now has been with me almost two years. But since we implemented them systems, um, we're now doing one on ones which every single like every quarter. We're doing one on one with each of our employees and being able to find out what their goals and aspirations are through the eye opening. Yeah, it's really powerful. So if I could jump in first off, I'm shocked that the number one obstacle you have is not the size of your market, right? I mean I'm in metro Detroit and I envy guys some bigger markets than that. And I have literally, I don't know two million people within an hour of my house that I could service right? And you have 60,000, which is the size of my hometown that I grew up in. Right? So true nose to you. That that's not your biggest obstacle and you overcome that. Um, how did you, how did you find employees? So you realized that you were getting these employees and losing them and now you have some in your, through chris's got, you know, example, you are now developing leaders, but how did you find employees in such a small market? What did you do to find him? Yeah. So it was a grind the first three years and it's just consistent gone hosting. I made a name for myself really on facebook and I'm a volunteer firefighter. So am I in my hometown? So it's doing a lot of community work and um, talking like it's a big thing in a, in a small town. If you, if people know that you have Restored 14th Century Castle, they're like, oh my God, like there, it's a, it's huge to them, you know, So I just think being different has helped me attract people in the, in that area. Do you, do you have a specific message when you're recruiting employees for your team that, that you feel is really resonated and being able to help you capture the interest of good talent. Good candidates. Yeah. I mean in a way, yeah, I think it could always be better, but I think, yeah, one of the first lines is that I used to restore old historic buildings back in England, I want to teach you my craft. Yeah. Because I think part of it establishes you as an expert to some degree, gives you a bit of the authority. Um, and then I think that that emotion comes through is like, hey, I want to give this to you because if we can help our people acquire skills, skills have utility and that's something they get to keep and use for life right forever. Um, and there's something that I was trying to s signal here, give you a lot but enough for you to knock out of the park there. But uh, when you say your mission of, what is it the happiest clients man? Every time you say it to me, it's so clear, concise and compelling and it just like it hits me on emotional psychological level and it's really powerful. Try to keep it simple. Yeah, It's a great message. Yeah, 100%. I think happy employees make happy customers for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, 100%. So you know, one of the things you and I were speaking a little bit yesterday and you kind of were talking about, we just mentioned which is, you're, you're trying to give people opportunity to really figure out what they want right now, just, hey, come work for me and I'll pay you back or I'll give you benefits and just assuming what they want. So when you're having these one on ones, when you're having these monday meetings, what do they want? What, what can other people if they maybe don't know what employees want, what do they want? Sometimes they don't even know what they want until they're asking questions, you know? So sometimes they just need somebody to be intentional about caring about them and wanting to ignore that and be involved of it and help them. I mean that inspires people, you know and um yeah to you lose a lot of people because I didn't have that. I thought that the be all and end all was to I want to teach you how to paint right best I possibly can. I'll spend every single day with you and I will, I'll do everything that I possibly can to make you into the best crossing and you can be well it actually It's not really what they want they'll get. They'll learn about 80% of what I've got to offer. And they have no They would even go out and start their own company or go to the next company that's going to offer them an extra $2 an hour because you haven't got anything more to offer other than teaching them a trade. So I had what else can I offer them? Mhm. What do people want? So you ask yourself, what do they really want? What would I want? So you put yourself in their shoes. I think what I would want is somebody that actually a personable with me and find out what my goals, aspirations, what my what I really want in life and yeah the leadership thing thing is that it's such a great point. I mean we all um we all get caught up in like what the compensation is. But people want more than just compensation, right? They want opportunity for growth, which is what chris was just saying. It's like, hey I'm gonna sit down and look at your what the opportunities for your growth trajectory where the company looks like they want autonomy, they want mastery, right? They want uh they want leadership, right? And and a big part of leadership is uh chris was just alluding to with these one on ones is like being a good listener just like coming alongside of them listening to what their goals are personally professionally and and sharing some of your wisdom and maybe help them um on their path of pursuing that? But if nothing else like to position yourself as an accountability partner so you can create some type of rhythm with those one on ones of holding your people accountable for the things that they say they care about. Not the things you're assigning to them. The things that say, hey I want to buy a house this year. Great. Let's look at, let's look at the tactical steps that we need to take for you to buy a house this year and we're gonna meet once a month and we're gonna talk about that. Have you pulled your credit score? Have you talked to a lender? Have you defined the area that you want to live, right? Those are not hard things. But sometimes like people that chris set people don't know what they want or they don't know the path. Right? And as a business owner we've we've gone through a lot of hard stuff, right? We've learned some lessons and if we can share those lessons with our employees then we impact their lives and then that can, so I would say all of this is highly applicable and accurate for an employee based model and oftentimes not at all applicable for what I do, which is a subcontractor model. My my painters don't want to learn how to paint already know how most of them have been doing it and been in the industry for three times longer than I have right. But but oddly I run to the same issue that you had chris and that crew retention for me when I, when I started when I joined Somerset was the biggest issue. We would wreck, my partner would have crews and he'd lose a crew at the end of the season and then you gain two more and then he'd lose to or he'd lose two and gained one more. It was like there's never any battle of adding and subtracting and he couldn't keep cruise around. So when I came in and kind of surveyed the landscape of Somerset painting identified that as the number one issue. You know, almost everyone can identify with the fact that production and finding good workers and crews are the limiting factor to our growth. Most business owners can sell jobs. I know the two of you guys can sell the crap out of painting jobs, right? That's never going to be a limiting factor. The limiting factor is gonna be, Can you find the people to produce them? So that's what I kind of changed the paradigm with Somerset. It's like, okay, why are these cruise leaving? What are they unhappy about? Well, they, it wasn't that they wanted me or rick to my partner to mentor them or teach them how to paint or provide leadership or guidance what they wanted was for us to provide as easy a process as possible. They wanted their lives to be easy and that's my goal, How can I make their lives easier by working with Somerset paintings? So that's making sure they are compensated fairly, making sure that they have stated quickly quickly, that was the next thing I'm gonna say paid immediately upon the completion uh and and then I have worked for them, right? And if I, if I can do those three things, those three things consistently, then they're going to continue to work for me and then there's no reason for them to go out and try to find their own jobs or go try to find other contractors to work for. And so while obviously none of us will ever totally overcome these obstacles, you're still gonna have the issue chris of keeping employees. And I'm still gonna have the issue of some crews think that the grass is greener on the other side. Right? But if we continue to, to figure out what it is that these guys need to have them stick around and then the deliberate. Yeah, of course. It's the same. So as I was saying to chris like that, having the messaging, um, in your, in your marketing of employees the same thing with the cruise. It's like, hey, you pay fast. We have consistent work. We're gonna treat you right, right? Like we have a promise to our customers that we're going to be on time. We're going to do what we say and we're going to treat your house or your business like it was our own. And we also have the same thing to our crew is like your, we're gonna make sure we have, we're gonna fight our butts off to make sure we have work for you and when you complete that work at a high level and and assist us in delivering a great experience to our customer. We're gonna make sure we get you paid, we pay our crews well before we ever get paid from the customer. Yeah, that's the reality of, so we're paying our guys and then we're then we worry about building the customer to get our money brad. How did you figure that out? Did you actually interview them? There was a trial and error? How did you figure out this is what's going to help retention with your cruise in speaking to the crew leaders? Like what would, what would incentivize them to continue to work for us? And so what Chris Elliott said is like, well what would incentivize me? Listen, all I want to do in my life is make my life easier and make more money. So how can I do that? Well guess what? I found the opportunity to run right now. I found the opportunity to run a painting company and make a lot of money and not work that much. Um And you know when we were on the retreat And and Nick Slavic said something about, he was commiserating about some of his employees like not being totally satisfied with working 100% satisfied. Working for. Was that in the circular I and I pushed back on him is like Where? None of us should be 100% satisfied where they are and any one of us at this table if if another opportunity was presented to us tomorrow that we think it's better than running painter, marketing pros or Mr Mills painting or on a painting. You think it's better for you and your family. You should be willing to walk away and do something else. So that's the same thing for our crews and that's the same thing for our employees right? So it's our but our job then as owners is to create as hospitable environment as we can so that they won't find a better opportunity. What if it's not all about retention? What if it's about making an impact on people's lives? Like I have a crew member of mine that just this 11 on one that I've done here and these monday morning meetings has made her a better, this is what she told me. It's made her a better mom, better wife, a better like, um, firefighter that are like a better person all around by just being intentional and listening. I mean, there's something so powerful about just hearing someone out and trying to give them the tools to be able to overcome obstacles in the way because nobody's done that before, do you? This is gonna be a little bit rand. Do you accidentally like houses on fire? Like does everyone at your company have to be a volunteer firefighter could be under there. She's actually in a different town the next time we have witnessed that chris does lighthouses working fast? Yeah. Um, no, I think it's such a good point where we have to, we should all want to invest in our people. Right. Um, what do you want to do? It means everything. It means absolutely everything. Well for me. I mean, I have a very complicated family history and my legacy for my kids is that they will not continue legacy that I inherited from my, from my family. Um, and that's part partly financial, but most importantly, it's like, my parents are gonna have a dad that's president loves them, right? And that's you and your parents for sure. And you can take it both ways. You say hurt people, hurt people, which is totally true. And I understand why that happens, but you have a response to your, to your situation and you can either take it as a negative or turn it into a positive. Um, and I have talked about this in um, in Minnesota too. Okay, I'm not passionate about the painting industry and I've said this publicly before. Um, I'm passionate about helping people for sure. That's, that's a nice thing. What I'm passionate about is my family, my faith and fitness and everything that I do around my life professionally is only done to serve those three things now. And that makes me might make me sound self centered. And when I say like I want my life to be easy, I want to make more money. The way to do that is to help people do those same things. And so you provide opportunities for other people to do those same things. And then guess what happens? You're rewarded with the things you want for sure. And I think that this ties in nicely with the one on ones because what you just said was so precise, right? It's these three things that I care about and I organize my life around being great at these three things and sometimes you find out that one once, like everybody's trying to like someone trying to be great at everything, trying to be great at work, trying to be a great that they're trying to be a great soccer player there, playing softball, they're doing everything. And sometimes we just have to give guidance like what do you really care about? What, what should you be investing? And if you have that super ordinate goal, then everything else is going to follow in line and be more healthy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. What, what was the book that we read? Yeah. So that kind of happened one or two. And I remember the author was saying, you know, she has this super ordinate goal of her business and her career, but then she also has one of her family and this personally helped me write and I'd actually like to dive into this for a second cause we were talking about this before the podcast started. But those goals sometimes directly conflict right there. You spending time with your family, I think you gather strength. I know I gather strength from my family and motivation and and that's a lot of the reason I do what I do. But it's also it pulls time, it pulls resources, it pulls emotional energy at times and she said that's okay, you know, she has accepted the fact that there is conflict there, that will continue to be conflict there and that's just okay, that is what it is. But I would love to, you know, we're all very family oriented here. We were touching on that and I know we didn't Discuss this beforehand, but I'd love to kind of touch base on those painting company owners who are out there grinding. Maybe they're 1800 hours, maybe they're wearing all the hats right now. How do they justify that? Do they justify that? It does it make sense for them to not be spending as much time with their kids right now? What do you guys think? I think we're all in different stages and ages and phases of our business right? There is a time where you need to grind, right? But you should be seeking to um grow out of that technician position and be a an actual business owner, right? So you can learn the art of delegation. Um But I think you know, one thing we were touching on before we started reporting was like we're all seeking balance right? But balance may not be completely uh ritual right? Complete balance. Maybe it's counter palace that we should be seeking. Maybe it's right now I'm gonna pour into my business. I'm gonna give it all monday through friday. It has me but friday evening to sunday and this is my my friend chris moore here so that he doesn't take my calls, he'll take my call any minute of any day, friday night to sunday. He, it's all family, right? He has a hard once. He has very clear was just trying to make a point, but you know, it's like, you know, maybe that's what it is and then maybe maybe you get to the point where Your businesses is humming and it only needs you for 20 hours and you can give your family much more time, right? Um, and I know that's something that Bradley cares a ton about, right? And, and we all do, right? That's what we're all seeking. Um, so we're, It's not always going to be 40 hours to the business and 40 hours of the family, right? And the Bible speaks to it and I'm a bible believer and says there's a season for everything and I think that these guys that are, that are grinding 60 70 80 hours a week as they're, as they're building their business to provide for their family, totally honorable, right? The question is there now they're 56, 10 years in and they're still doing it and if they're doing it because they don't want to go home to their family, well now we gotta issue and I would say bro, you need to find a new career, maybe make a little less money and fix things at home, back to back to back to grid passion and perseverance. You gotta have a passion for what you're doing and be willing to do it over a long duration of time. But again, you don't have to have a passionate about your profession. Yeah. You got to have a passion about what you're doing, which could be building your family or building your legacy or investing in health and wellness. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. That's why, I mean, I agree with you aggressively, right? Like there's, I limit the things that I limit what I focus on. I don't play golf, I don't swing swing a crooked stick. I choose not to, I don't want to, um, I focus on my business, I focus on my family and focus on, you know, the same. You know, we're very much alignment there. Um, and hunting, I get that. But other than that, it's like, it doesn't consume a minute of my time because I'm not even interested in doing it right? Because the things I do, I want to be so intentional and I want to be really great at and I do want to, I want to work my way out of 80 hour work weeks. Right? So right now my, I'm in the position with my company that I've worked really hard to do this where I only had to give my company eight hours a week right after monday. My business does not need me. It probably barely need me monday as much as it hurts my feelings. Um, I still give it a lot of time because I love it, right? And I truly think we're building something great chris touched on this christmas touched on this earlier um trying to create something for our people that's bigger than themselves, trying to give him purpose and that's so, I think it's so awesome that you continue to vote time to it even though you don't need to, but it's because I know that your heart is not Justin work that you're doing it for a greater purpose. Yeah, my, what I launched the business and knew I had to have a bigger business because I needed the people, the people give me happiness and I think that um earlier in my, I have a similar career to Bradley. My my career started in sales. Um I I feel like I was a natural leader. Uh every position I had always end up leading me into a management position or leadership position and came to a point in my career where I was, which one of the, which one of these paths do I want to be great and I decided that for me, what gave me the most filled fulfillment or filled my cup full was leadership. That's what filled my heart and um that's what I focused on. There's a reason for it though as well, because you can change lives for leadership, you can teach somebody a paint and yeah, it's great, like, you know, you can provide for their family, but with leadership, there's just something so powerful about it that you can you can inspire people on a deep emotional level where you can change lives and that creates a trickle down effect. I mean so many kids out there that all what what's that old saying about there's no bad people out there, just bad leaders or bad employees out there just bad leaders and it just seems like parents and kids as well in an aspect I think that the majority of kids that have been hard done by normally. Yeah that's it. There's a way if you can make an impact and stop it where it is and actually being really intentional about showing them love and compassion and want to help them and inspire them to do great. I mean what does that do for your legacy right there? Yeah it's it makes me uh that's super powerful but it made me think chris and I were hanging out by the pool earlier I had to get yeah there was there was a bit of beers and a bit of tears. I had to get down on my head. We're starting, we talked about the dichotomy of leadership right? It's like how much do you pour in your people and like how like how much do you give them uh catch yourself to them on an emotional level. Even a social level right? And for me it was such a breakthrough in my business when I realized like my team, like my reports, they have friends. They don't need me to be their friend, can't friend my way to great leadership, right? Yeah. I need, they need accountability partners. They need someone who's gonna come alongside them, ask them what they care about what they're looking to accomplish and and be able to hold them accountable to that. And that when you're too close on a personal level, when you're hanging out with them and having beers after after work, it gets really hard. It gets really hard to do. It's not impossible, but it gets really hard to do a great job as a leader when you're too close, right? So you have to be emotionally invested but not too close that we can't do our job. And and I believe the best love, at least for a team member is tough love. No, not at all. I don't like hard things at all. So I think, I think it's there's a really interesting um point being made here about legacy and I think you guys are talking about it in a way that's a little bit different from how most people talk about it or think about it. Most people and they think about legacy at least in my experience, it's they want their kids to have something right there. They want to have their name is on the painting company. And so they wanted it to be big, but you guys are really in a way, you're focused on strangers because you're focused on recruiting people changing lives that are not your family's lives that are not necessarily your friends lives and I think that's really powerful. I would like to, I'm gonna plug nick Slavic event again, even though he bailed on us for a meeting. I'm not salty about it. It's fine. It is an important man and he has a much bigger budget than painter marketing and it does not take it personal at all. I don't, I'm not even, I'm honestly, I already forgot talking about this for years. It's fine. The conversation was probably better without, Yeah, we're doing a deeper dive here. Yeah. But Chris Elliott, one of the things that I figured out at that event is that you're extremely passionate and you've already mentioned here about leadership, right? And that, I mean, I think to the point you're even considering potentially starting at some point, maybe a coaching company or you really want to impact a lot of lives and one of the, the struggles you felt you had or maybe the restrictions you felt you had was that you guys are using contractors and you thought maybe maybe I can change more people's lives with their W two. Right? So I would love to take a deep dive in that I'd love to kind of get that feedback and then brad. I would love to get your thoughts on it being that you do use contractors. You say whatever you want to say that I was telling were 101 100% from our labor force, um, subcontractor, subcontractor based. Um, but we, it was really two years ago in phoenix um where I met chris small. Um, and I spent a little bit more time with nick and a couple other people I I've learned to know and love in this business um where I really felt like so used to like we don't have to be in love with the trade and I can't play a lick right? But I fell in love with the industry because of the people in it, right? And, and, and I got really passionate about like um this idea of elevating the trade just like this movement that we have right now. Um, and then the idea of like there is something really special about a trade right? Like it is a skill that has utility and I really, I really like that now, I can't teach it myself. So something has been um hung this up is like, okay, I gotta have somebody who has the time for the capacity, it's just we run our business on us model. So get, it wouldn't have the capacity to do it, I gotta have somebody who gets it who wants to do it and has the capacity to do it. We're not there yet, right? So, but we are really great at recruiting and, and and working with with contractors. Um, and um, so yeah, so I I decided I wanted to hire in house painters because I wanted to contribute, I wanted to I wanted to contribute and um do what chris paul is doing and do what nick's doing. And they're building um um their legacy around developing painters, right? Teaching someone their trade which is so special. Right? So um so we're gonna start that path, right? But we are still probably going to be very contractor heavy because it just works really great for our business and we enjoy it. Like we love our crews just as Bradley was saying. Um And one thing we were trying to figure out is like we have an amazing culture in our business. Um And how we can get our contractors to be a part of write, your leadership team is W. Two. So you have 12 W. Really? Are you sure you have employees are labor force? Yeah. Our labor force are painters and carpenters. Um There are there they're subcontracted. Um Our admin staff, our sales team and our production team are all in house employees. And you can correct me if I'm wrong, but you have basically decided to hire two or or a couple of w kind of experience. So we have a key objective for the year um to hire 22 to 3 w two painters which will essentially be one residential crew. Um And you know, it's gonna be what we just talked about it at the retreat. It's a cheap experiment, right? Data plus feelings, right? So the feeling is that we think that we will like it and that will be good at it. Let's see what the data tells us. So when you when you when you brought that up at the retreating, listen, the retreat was awesome. I thought there was a little bit too much like. Yes. And when you you were I wouldn't want to challenge everything you say. Yeah. I took a note on my phone. It's so funny and I don't want to cut you off. Uh It's funny. It's like we see these beautiful facades before we get close to when we see the cracks in it, right? And I know what I took in my phone is maybe we don't need business coaches. Maybe we need therapists. Because one consistent theme I saw was like, we're all bringing our personal businesses, right? And so there's a there's an expression or quote I love is show me a failing business. And I'll show you a fellow a failing individual, right? And and typically that's what it is. They're not business problems, personal problems. It's a lot of a theme that I recognized trash personal trash limited. Yeah. So anyways, when you when you brought up in the retreat, my initial feedback was why like why how why why can't you develop leaders or elevate the industry without w two employees. Especially because just like me, you're not a painter bro, you're not, you're not going to be on the job site teaching guys how to pay, right, which means you're gonna really be relaxed hopefully for on its reputation, chris chris would be disgusted with. So then you're gonna be relying on other team members to train these painters. So in my brain, I'm like, well how does it to connect, then you're not going to be working one on one with these painters to teach them up to raise them up, right? And and also like, I think that guys like you and I and the way we built our business, our businesses are built is we have the opportunity to elevate the trade in other ways besides just the one on one, right, we can make it so attractive to work for on it, painting or Somerset painting that all the other shady contractors that, you know, don't do business that, you know, quote unquote right way, I won't be able to find any workers and they'll go out of business and we'll have more opportunity and guys like us with integrity and honesty. So um so that was like, that was my initial instinct and I am self aware enough to know that I am a contrarian by nature, I you say something and I immediately like look at what's wrong with that, like how can I figure out, like what's the loophole? But ultimately you and Emily said, well, you know what, this is something we would like to try and it's on our heart. So you know what I say, of course do it, do it. And I hope it works. And I hope that you're, you're proven right, my goal because, you know, even in the short time we spent together and I feel comfortable that I could challenge you and you understand where it's coming from, like from my heart, Right? That, yeah, and I just, I just want you to, to consider, I don't want everyone to be like, oh yeah, you should absolutely do it if that's what you want to do, it's like, but why do you want to do it? Should you actually do it? And then if you guys ultimately say, you know what? It may not work, we're going to try it. It's a cheap experiment then of course you should do it right. I think it's such a good point. And um, it's, I love, I love that you're challenging. Um, I think that as people were very emotionally charged. So part of that desire came from the relationship that I have with christmas and exotic and seeing what, how special, um, what they're doing is. Um, so I think it's great to challenge that and I think the logical, um, what I, what I realized was what the logical balance to that was, it's a cheap experience, Let's try that, right? And it's not about chris Elliott's legacy. It's about auto paintings legacy. Um Now they're both and they're not mutually mutually exclusive. Uh but it's like I don't have to teach them um to trade for it matter. And I when I was in my bubble before I met all of you guys and realized like kind of what the industry was actually like um I was thinking the same thing, like how do I transition to an employee based model? But then I met Jason paris and I'm like, oh I don't gotta do that. Subcontractors works and he's building, he has a thriving, thriving company and a healthy company and he's keeping 150 painters busy nonstop. That's pretty darn healthy, Pretty good. Yeah. And it kind of like cured me the part of a lot of times I would like to have like two or three painters. So I can say I just need you to do this right? And we do we we call that role of production associate. So they do, they do a bit of painting touch ups and repairs. Um So the theme of the Arizona um pc pc expo um there seems to be a theme of sub versus W. Two and it's like everyone who has a W. Two model, once a sub model. Yeah. Yeah. At the end of the day, it's it's it's it's the people, it's a people issue, you know? And and the, you know, an interesting thing about the trade businesses, like the reason why they typically grow slowly is because we have to, we have to uh scale our operations as we scale our company. Um and so like we're as, as Bradley says like, okay, yeah, hey, I want to do $4 million in revenue. Well, marketing, it is a factor selling the jobs as a factor, but then like having the capacity to be able to produce that. Um and I think as business owners, we have to, we have to dig in and be really strategic and tactical on what is our labor force. And, and so again, and we talk about this again before, but like our permission to play should be if we're really going to elevate this trade, the quality should be there. That's like, like I, I don't even know why that's in the in question. So then it becomes like, how do we know we're going to deliver great quality product then how can we make it easy? So our tagline, I love that you're saying that earlier, our tagline for our businesses take it easy and, and we, and that and we mean that with everything, we make it easy to find us, we make it easy to understand this. If we make it easy to sign up for an estimate, we make it easy to go through the estimate to get the proposal to do the job with us and to pay your bill right? And then to find this again when you're ready to hire us for the second time. Yeah. There was a a staple that you guys remember that commercial with staples easy button was that I always think about that commercial with everything. I think it was actually carries one in his pocket. You can carry the easy button. Yeah, but chris ellie you just made a really interesting point about kind of scaling up and I know one of the decisions you've made, so you're you're at you're at 3. 5 million right right now and you said prior to us starting filming the podcast that you could be over five right now, but you've been very intentional about your growth. Can you kind of speak to that? Yeah so we I believe we could have been north of five million if we're willing to sacrifice um the quality of our quality of life for ourselves a war our people right? But we wanted to be really really careful on the way that we grew and scaled our business. Um And one of the ways that we had success with that was implementing the U. S. And I did it over a two year period but it created such a great framework for my business. Um but now like we're We're in a really really great position to grow and so were forecasted for 3.6. But um so we now have two residential sales reps um and to commercial sales reps one just started this month, we transitioned from a residential sales role. And we've had one commercial sales rep who has been focused on commercial sales for a year and we say 3. 6, it can absolutely be over five this year and very well prepared for. Um, so we have a, we have a position in our company that's a scheduling and recruiting coordinator. Um and the theme for us for him this past year was like, we're going to have a network of contractors, but we will have capacity like we we we with conviction, we have capacity capacity. So we sell the job we're gonna produce and we're gonna produce a high quality. I love that you will make it happen. So chris mall, you've kind of gone dark on us. Yeah, well you got, you have a lot to add, right? And you are in this this tiny little area. I think, I think I'm guilty of it. I know that I think we look for excuses, right? As entrepreneurs. We want to find a reason why something doesn't go well. Um it's not our fault or it was outside of our control. I think the blessing and the curse of being an entrepreneur is, it is always your fault, right? Anything that ever happens, it's your fault, Taking 100% accountability, 100% ownership. You are in a tiny little spot, man, You you're doing almost seven figures, right? And you're in this, I mean what the hell? It's like a high school where you live, can you talk to that? Yeah, I mean it was a grind at first as well, you know, it was them 80 hour weeks. I was out there being consistent and persistent and putting the name out there and giving back to the community. I feel like in a really small, tight next market you have to be really involved and give back and care. And it's hard one. It is, it really is hard. Um, yeah, we, we do different events. We, you know, I think that we, we just do our best, really do our best and trying to give back you guys did a really cool event last week, right? Or the week before. Yeah. So yeah, that was such a chris called me and told me about, it was, it was so cool. Like they went in and presented so it was like not only a contribution to that school, um, but his uh, employees like you share, but that's like where she like it made, it made an impact. Yeah, I teared up from it because she, she stood up and spoke about her experience working for opinion company and it was like, wow, this is painting like come from an era where these old dogs will just, it's not like this, you know, it's really not like this from where I came from. It's only just recently that everybody's been so open and wanting to help each other, um like inspire each other to do better because we all do better when we do that, right? Right? And yeah, this, I'll give all kudos to chris man, I mean in his, he's been a mentor to me for the last two years and accountability partner talk weekly sometimes daily, you know, So I think like finding a, finding somebody that you really trust and care and love and really um lock up deal and, and yeah, I'm doing the same bach and it just, it helped, it really helps you build the team. And what do you say about about your reality? Your experiences, Yeah, yeah. Your expectations and experiences create or construct your reality, right? Um and yeah, and I think we talked about that earlier as well as like there's people who are going to participate in this expo and their expectation is that it's going to be competitors and right? And they're going to come and they won't contribute and they're going to fly home, they're going to not be willing to share information and mindset and they'll fly home and they say, well that was a waste of time and money and there'll be other people as chris said that they were willing to be open and contribute and share information and challenge. I mean like these guys, I I respect so much, right? The attribute like chris like has the passion that will light the world on fire and and Bradley has like the reason why he's willing to challenge is because he cares right? I think that's love Yeah, I wanna challenge you so you can go do it the hard way, right? You did it just kind of props you did it in a legitimately uncomfortable way. I mean we have 100% I think had groupthink going on, I mean I know one of the things you did is Nick was, was was going very deep in something everyone's kind of nod and you're like, that's stupid, maybe what you heard, but that's not what I didn't say you 100% took the opposite way, unapologetically logically and said but but why, why do you, why are you saying well part of that is part of that is my, my sales background is like that, you know, Nick expressed his need it as I want my employees to be 100% happy and what's the need behind the need, like why, why, why do you need that? And why do you think that they, I needed that? And I mean that's I mean I've had formal sales training so I think now it's just ingrained in my brain that that's my response is, you know, if you, if you want to get it if you want to have employees like but what really what's the purpose and it will it will it achieve your and I think part of that is the technical training. But man, part of it is like I picked up on that passion to man, I think you do have a passion for this trade. You, you showed up to the event and you showed up to this event so willing to be open and share information and I don't, I don't, I don't want to be misinterpreted like it's not, I think this industry, oh my gosh, how lucky am I? And how blessed am I that I stumbled in. Well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I mean, I love people. Yeah. Uh, no, like I love people and I love my life. Like I'm like, man, I wish everyone had the life I had this world would be all the problems would be solved. Like I'm such a joyful dude, but it's not because of anything I've done. I've been blessed with an amazing wife and an amazing career and now two amazing kids and I get to do things that make me happy. Uh, and I want to provide that. I want everyone to feel that, right? And that's the nice thing about, you know, this isn't a competition. You're not my competitor. It's not the NFL if if I'm not painting wins, If Chris Elliott wins, brad Allison doesn't lose. You know, we can all win. And I'm smart enough to know that. Like I'm not the smartest guy in the world, why why would I try to invent a new process for a painting company when chris Elliott and chris mall and Jason paris and nick Slavic and all the guys that we know that are here this week. I have already done it. I just think I'll just steal all their ideas and implement them in Detroit and now guess what? I'm more successful and more people have more opportunities. I delayed implementing the US for five years because I thought it was smarter than that and it was just like, hey, this is a great business operating system. Like let's just implement it and do that like um, yeah, it's such a great point. Yeah, well something funny to see him, like he was seen there before as well. Your mindset is such a, so huge because your first expo, you came in involved. It's a complete waste of time. Yeah, I mean the second one, he came in there was with a different mindset. So you checked yourself, different set of expectations, different, different mindset. Yeah. So my first expo was Galveston's and uh, so I launched my business with a business partner. Yeah, yeah. And um, yeah, I just think that, you know, he, he wasn't really wanting to to participate and I wanted to, to honor him and, and so him and I hung out at the pool a lot and had some drinks and didn't do a whole lot of classes right? And so then I didn't do savannah and I was like, you know what, I'm gonna do Arizona. I'm going by myself, I'm going to dive headed. I'm gonna do every class I can do, I'm gonna meet every person that can meet um, in, not to be overly dramatic, but it has impacted my life greatly. Yeah. Some of my, I spend more time with chris mole and he lives in northern Minnesota. Then I do some of my friends in Indianapolis, right? Some of my, my closest relationships and friendships, um, have come out of the relationships that I've built up that P. C. A. You know, and uh, you know, one of the closest and then you can, yeah, with my competitors, right? Yeah, yeah. And it's like, man, like that's, I think that we are, you know, I like to believe that we're doing something. I like to believe that we're really creating a movement of being like, hey, like we can, we can all be friends, right? Even if you're in my market, even if your, you know, your, your, your goal is what, like eight locations or something. Three locations, Three states, three locations. Three states. Honestly, like part of me is like, please don't move to Detroit, I don't want to do, but absolutely not painting was their great. I want, I want the market in Detroit to be elevated. Then we can, they can compare my estimate and like, okay, that's, you know, that's a good estimate. It's a little higher than thought and paintings that's a good estimate a little higher. We thought he's gonna, they're gonna choose one of us. In most markets, painting is completely under priced right in the marketplace. Um, it is only doing us all a greater service if we have great businesses in our marketplace that are, that are able to charge a higher rate, um, that we deserve, right? Like, I mean you have, you still have any companies out there charging a rate of 25 $30 an hour. I mean we can probably all agree that the only reason, the only reason that Jason paris and nick Slavic are successful is because they're both in the same market, right? Yeah. The rest of the past, there's actually no opportunity. It's not their skills or their past or something that means, I mean, I think christmas has proven that he can go into a small market and make a huge impact. He's from, he's not even from the country. Yeah, I mean that's part of his edge that he sounds so smart, yeah. Pirate or that some people find that attractive. I don't think it has anything to do with that great hair and that beautiful jaw line. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think, you know, one of the things chris mold that, that you talked a lot about doing and that I've noticed as the theme is when you're in small communities, especially giving first, you know, leading with values being involved in the community. I mean, you can take what is sort of a negative right? You have kind of limited demographic to target and you can turn it into a positive because you can also get everybody to know you, you're a volunteer firefighter, you put on all these events, people know right? I gave a presentation days, but I know like and trust people know like, and trust you, you know, they know that you restore 1/14 century castle in England, that they know, you know what you're doing. So there's enough work there. And one of the things Jason paris says is if you think there's not enough work going to your local Sherwin Williams store and ask them how many gallons of painters. So right, every day every month. Okay. How many jobs is that? How much per job taking responsibility? Oh yeah. We don't want to do that. I don't want to take ownership because that means I have the responsibility of fixing. It's better if it's just not your fault. Yeah. That way we can just sit and feel bad for ourselves. That's uh, one of my favorite uh, expressions I at least we use Emily and I, my wife, the, the struggle, the success is not guaranteed, but the struggle is right. So if you're going to do this, you have to be, you have to get a level of satisfaction from the process or as much, if not more than the outcome because the outcome is not guaranteed guaranteed. Yeah. So so um so we have to embrace the struggle. We have to accept responsibility and ownership um when there's issues because then we're in control right? I can't say I hope we're able to fix this. Like I hope since it out in the universe and and it takes zero responsibility, it's like no, like these are problems, if it's a business problem, it's been solved before. Like that's a great point. You mentioned something in the break in the panel discussion that you were on today about the process and like having, having that perspective and you signed up for this and so the hardships are like part of it. Yeah, and I guess the only thing I would add to that is like just think about your perspective about how great we have it. I mean break it down. We live in America right? Which is better than England as chris celebrated in America. We live in such a great place and we have such great opportunities and we own our own businesses like we're in the minority. And so the minor inconveniences of a problem customer or a botched paint job or a spilled gallon of paint man, we should still have joy. We we are, we are so lucky. We're so lucky even if we don't have much to do it. I mean it sounds a little bit cheesy maybe, but I really do believe it's a privilege to fight, you know, a lot of people in other countries and in other parts of the world and even a lot of people in the US that, that's not really a viable opportunity. They don't, they don't get to to grind 80 hours a week trying to build something. They don't get to have customers be kind of terrible or employees that, that's a privilege that you get to have that because you have the upside, you have the opportunity that much of the world just really doesn't have to be thankful that these are the things that keep us up at three a.m. In the morning. Yeah, that's not a lot of other things that could, I must say that I am a passionate patriot of my hometown in England, but America is the greatest country in the world. I've been in many different countries. I've traveled the world all over and you can't get what you got here, you know? Sure. That's, that's cool. That's nice. Yeah, thank you for coming cheers to that. Yeah, we never went back. Thanks guys. We are coming up on the hour. I think the PCH might be kicking us out here soon. So last thoughts, what do you guys have? I appreciate you guys. Brandon. I appreciate what you're doing. I think you are an industry expert and anyone that listens to this, um, that tunes in and, and laughs along with us and, and gets any nugget. Um, I'm happy for that, but really in speaking with you on the retreat. Brandon, You are an expert at what you do and particularly companies that are that are coming up on the you know 500,000 or $1 million dollar revenue. You should talk to Brandon, you should reach out for his services and he will make you more money and if that's what you're in business for is you know, partly to make more money, which is what we're all doing. Talk to Brandon So that's, that's the first thing. The second thing thank you guys. I really appreciate how you guys have challenged me and I love spending time with you really, it's just like yeah, yeah, I mean just a second that like the networking um the deepening the relationships um just make this um these expose really really powerful um and you know one thing Emily and I were debriefing after the retreat and and Brandon, I a compliment man like Emily was just like, man, I really like Brandon, like I really liked his, his approach to his business. We have worked with Greg vendors and we have worked with and so every business has to have people processes and products, right? People is such a big component component and that's people in our organizations, that's our contractors, that's our vendors, I know what it's like to work with the bat vendor and and I believe in my time with you that you're great, I appreciate that. And he really, I mean going to these retreats and doing these pC events. He doesn't just like go on the panel and then that's when he sits in his room. You know, he actually sits down and cares about. So back to what we were talking about before as well about how to retain employees. I mean you're already on that path as well. Like subconsciously on how do I Yeah, engagement and actually care and ask them what they want. Really, really intentional. Actually sit down and care about what people want and what their needs are like. It's not it because you know what the angle is going to be, you know, but you're like enjoying the process on the way there. Um, you're putting in the effort to understand what painting contractors want me and I think there's a lot of marketers that provide marketing services, but you specialize in painters and you are investing the time to learn what we need and want. So yeah, this was, this was nice. I didn't expect that. I appreciate you and your personal level, you're terrible human being, but your services are valuable. You guys, we're not going to get a drink by, let's just hope everyone hasn't stopped the podcast by this point. Yeah, yeah. We, we appreciate your contribution. Yeah. You're doing a great job. Thanks man. Yeah. And I appreciate you guys being willing. I know we gave up a little bit, well we are drinking but we did give up a little bit of the the free uh boozing that we're going to do tonight for this and I appreciate you guys making the time that there's obviously a lot of your being pulled a lot of different directions these couple of days. So thank you for sharing it. It's been a real treat if you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company. Again that you are l is painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast. Hey, they're painting company owners. If you enjoyed today's episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also if you're interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the Painter Marketing Pros website at PainterMarketingPros.com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon@PainterMarketingPros.com and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time. Keep growing.