Guest Interview: Corrie & Chad Leister “The Dream Team” Series: Episode 1 – Championship Team!

Published On: April 8, 2024

Categories: Podcast

In this series titled “The Dream Team”, Corrie and Chad Leister of Inspired by U will be discussing building a championship team, how they think about specialization versus diversification in their company, and finally how to move from a supportive role to an effective business partner as a spouse.

In this episode, episode 1, Corrie and Chad will dive into the importance and logistics of building a championship team for growth.

In episode 2, they will weigh the pros and cons of specialization versus diversification, and discuss the balance they have found while running Inspired by U.

And in episode 3, the final episode, Corrie and Chad will open up about their transition to working together as a couple, and how to navigate this at times treacherous road successfully.

If you want to ask Corrie and Chad 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 Corrie and Chad questions directly by tagging them with your question, so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.

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Podcast Audio

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Episode 1

– Championship Team!

Audio Transcript

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

In this series titled The Dream Team, Corey and Chad Lester of inspired by you will be discussing building a championship team, how they think about specialization versus diversification in their company and finally how to move from a supportive role to an effective business partner as a spouse.

In this episode, episode one, Corey and Chad will dive into the importance and logistics of building a championship team for growth. In episode two, they will weigh the pros and cons of specialization versus diversification and discuss the bounce they have found while running inspired by you. And in episode three, the final episode, Corey and Chad will open up about their transition to working together as a couple and how to navigate this at times treacherous road successfully. If you want to ask Corey and Chad questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast for 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 at URL is facebook. com/groups/painter marketing mastermind. There you can ask Corey and Chad questions directly by tagging them with your question. So you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company. What’s going on guys? Hey, Brandon, I’m excited for this uh podcast series with you guys. We have a lot of good stuff in store.

I know you run a, a pretty unique company if you wouldn’t mind. Maybe just uh if you guys could give a little bit of background about yourselves, your company, your involvement within the PC A just so we can get a baseline here. Sure. Um Inspired by you started in 2015. Uh and it was built out of my garage, our garage for five years. Uh and it was just a means to send our kids to private school. Uh You know, I just needed some additional income at the time and then I started taking over the house.

So Chad kicked me out. So we found, we found a, we found a shop here in Mechanicsburg and that’s where our business really started to grow. It was right before COVID. And uh you know, it was, it was kind of a blessing in disguise when COVID hit, you know, we, we had just started leasing this space. And so we needed to create some additional income and uh and support, um you know, have a lease payment. So our business continued to grow. Fortunately, because people were in their homes, they were looking at their cabinets and realizing that they really need to update that.

And we grew from a single owner operator, building it out of my garage to now we have uh 2420 part time employees and we’re looking to bring on some full time employees here in the next, in the next couple of months. I know Chad could probably add some. He sells, uh he sells for inspired by you. So he tells the story of inspired by you every single day. And Chad, what do you got? She did a good job, she did a good job. So, uh you know, I mean, my background is um man, I just wanted to teach and coach the rest of my life.

I used to run juvenile delinquent school quarter, pointed kids, uh basketball coach, uh uh played three sports in high school. Um You know, and when I met Corey, I was taking part time college classes. I was kind of a late bloomer. You know what I mean? I didn’t, I didn’t go to college. Right. Af, after, uh, high school I just worked, I did, um, uh, I don’t know how many jobs from cutting meat to a meat cutter to, to, uh, a surveying team to delivering pizza. You name it, to work in factories.

Um, I did it, um, and, um, you know, when I met Corey, I already had a son, um that was probably 89 years old at the time. Um And, um, you know, um Corey got, uh you know, I always tell people that Corey hit on me first at a student, faculty basketball game. Uh She made the first pass uh at me. Uh I was wide open. She threw it to me. I knew she loved me. You know what I mean? So, uh uh that’s kind of how we met and, you know, the rest is history, you know, uh iii I do bring chaos into her life and uh so I’m glad she keeps me around.

I love it. And so how long have you guys been together? 21 years? Almost. Uh We’ll be married for 21 years in May, uh been together for 20 almost 22. Wow, congratulations to you. That is, that is amazing. That’s a long time to put up with me. It’s a long time to sit beside me and it’s a long time. They actually outside of my parents and my brothers. I mean, she’s been the longest, you know. Yeah, we’re about five minutes in and II, I don’t know. I think we’re almost out of time here.

K, I, uh, no, I’m just kidding. I’m, I’m looking for. So, the, the championship team, I know we have a pretty, pretty tightly defined episode series here, Corey. That was phenomenal. A lot of times I go into the series loose, I guess we would say kind of a general topic and we just see where it goes. Corey sent over some pretty specific points. I’m very excited. Uh Let’s talk about your path from a single owner operator, starting the company wanting to just make some extra income, make sure your kids and go to private school to now having 153 looking to take on more than 20 employees.

What does that look like? Well, it’s definitely been a journey, a lot of learning and growing throughout the experience. Um But like many others, we hire character and train skill. We have a proven process. Uh And I believe that good people know good people and are my first employee. Uh I don’t even like the word employee, my first teammate. Uh it was Patricia and she is just the heart of our culture. She’s been with us for seven years now and she started working with me when I was in, in the garage.

I knew that if I didn’t find some help that I would burn out. And, uh, so I just looked at some of the stuff that I didn’t excel at and I didn’t really enjoy doing. Um, and that right off the bat was the prep work. Like the prep work was just mundane to me and I loved the finishing aspect of it. And so I found Patricia who worked at another local, uh, paint company here. I grew to know her and a lover, uh, as an employee there with them.

And then she left that job to pursue being a full time grandma. And, you know, I, I just asked her if I could have her for one day a week because I knew that she loves the prep aspect of it. And so she’s been working with me ever since and she is just incredible. I, I love her to pieces. She just had her 62nd birthday, um, this week and she’s just an amazing, amazing woman. Um, and I knew that when I found her, I knew exactly what I wanted in our team, like how, how our team could be and how they could operate.

And, um, and as our team grew, I feel like we just attracted more of the same, we attracted more of, of people like her. Uh, and it’s just been an incredible experience. Um, we’ve had, I, I haven’t had to put too many ads out for, for hiring just because I feel like the culture that we have built has attracted right people. And it’s been, it’s been pretty awesome. Uh The way that people have just the, and the story is all the same. Like every single person we just had uh our newest employee uh Stacy came to my house in December and she sat at my table and she was like, Corey.

I don’t even know if you’re hiring. Uh But here’s my situation and I don’t even know why I’m sitting here except I feel like I wanna work for you. And I feel like you have a good culture and I feel like this is, this is where I need to be. And I was like, that’s a, that’s a single, that’s the story that every single person has said whenever they, they, they’re like, I don’t know if you’re hiring, I don’t know it, you know, where it would fit in, but I wanna come work.

And so it’s just we have, our, our team is made up of some of the most magnificent people. We have two university professors, two nurses. We have a business owner who sold a multimillion dollar business. He was in his retirement years and he loved our pro we did his kitchen and he loved it and he ended up installing his own kitchen. And I was like, do you want a job? And so he’s, he’s working with us now, like the, the caliber of people uh who are here is, I, I can’t explain it, but it has been an incredible journey and, and I know that I can’t be all things to all people.

Unfortunately, I’ve managed to surround myself with people who just fill in all of my gaps and they’re just the most amazing people I could ever ask for. And now to have chad uh on board with what we’re doing. Um you know, both of us are just very entrepreneurial minded and to, to have um like, I’m very go, go, go, go, go, don’t worry about the consequences at all. Work itself out, like, just, just keep on moving. And Chad is helped to rein that in a little bit because he’s like, well, this wouldn’t make sense because of this.

And like, and so he’s just kind of um we and still uh with growth uh in the company in mind keeping that at the forefront just helping to kind of do it more strategically instead of I feel like when God opens up the door, I’m not one who just walks through them. I leap through them and I’m like, let’s go, let’s do it and we’ll figure everything out, out along the way. And uh so he’s been kind of helping it be a little bit more strategic than just leaping through those doors.

Yeah, I love that. The, the Yin and Yang is so important just in business partnerships in general. But there another couple, especially the question that I have that, that I first want to dive into. So, Patricia, I found her. How did you find her? Where was she? So, Patricia was working at a lo local paint store. Uh, and it was, it was a paint store. They had their own specialty paint and I had attended classes there because it was right when I got started and I knew if I wanted to do something, I had to do it right.

And so I wanted to get educated. So I went to those classes and we instantly connected. I, like I said, I feel like good people just know good people and they attract good people. And so we instantly connected. And so I would go in sometimes just to see her and to talk to her. And um and so she treated, she always treated me very well. She treated my kids, my kids were super young at the time. Um And she would always treat them really well, give them candy and stuff.

And uh so when I found out that she was leaving there, uh I, I knew I would miss her. So, so that’s how we connect. That’s a great way to start. So we had Patricia come in, you already knew her already had a strong affinity for her. She was a nice person, match your values. And then from there, it kinda, I, I guess it kind of started just growing on its own. You said when Patricia came and started working with you. You, you then knew what you wanted the team to look like.

This is obviously a big issue for a lot of painting companies is they feel like they can’t find the right people or maybe the attitude or the, the habits that they come with is very bad. What do you recommend to someone who maybe does have a team and, and maybe they don’t feel that way. How, how can they try to find this? I think uh defining our core values has been very instrumental in our success as a company and, and, and knowing exactly what we’re looking for, we know the quality of people, we know the qualities in people that we’re looking for.

Um And so we have very defined core values. Uh And this year moving into 2024 we’re uh kind of just rallying around those and putting them everywhere, like put them on the back of our shirts, we put them, you know, everywhere. So they’re always uh in our employees face just to remind them like this is who we are, this is what we’re about. Um and uh and I feel like that has been really instrumental in our growth. And so when, when we had the Tricia, you know, she embodies everything uh that our company is like all of those core values from solu solution seeking to growth minded to uh being faith led and, you know, just every single one of our core values, um she just embodies them.

And so when we, when we were looking to bring on other people, um those are some of the qualities that we were looking for and with every new person that comes in here, like we just had uh somebody coming in and interviewing with us this morning. And so asking questions along those same lines like this is who we are, is is this gonna be a problem with you? Like, is this some uh like, do you feel like you can align with these core values? Um and just trying to get a sense of who people are and if they would be a right fit because if they’re not a right fit with their character, then who cares how good and how skilled they are?

You know what I mean? Like, they have to be a good fit uh for what we’re building because we know that everything else can fall into place. If they are uh growth minded and solution seeking and, and, you know, just, uh and, and, you know, they have that integrity and like all of those things that they have all of those characteristics, then everything else will fall into place. Yeah. Yeah. That’s uh seeing the force through the trees. Yeah. If, if I find someone who’s really good in one aspect, the company is not going to grow successfully and maintain cohesive if they don’t align with the rest of the culture, right?

So solution it is are those your values and solution seeking, growth minded and faith led, faith led um And uh integrity. Um Yeah. OK. That’s excellent. So you guys are leading with that, you’re very public about it. So that not only reminds your team members, this is what the company is about. You’re putting it on the shirt, the signage, there’s, there’s kind of no way to, to forget why you’re there. People do change over time sometimes for the better and sometimes maybe not, but then it’s also gonna attract the right people because you’re, you’re making no bones about who, who is a good fit for your company. Right. Right. Yeah.

And I mean, like you, uh, if, if I’m wearing a shirt and it has all of those things on the back of it, it automatically makes me live at a higher level. You know what I mean? Like wear a shirt that says integrity. You know what I mean? You’re just hiding mistakes. You, you’re ripping the customer off while you wear that shirt. You got to be a special kind of person to do that. Yes. Yeah. So, you know, you just, and, and that, and I believe that everyone will raise to the level of expectation and when your expectations are so high, it just pulls everybody up to that level and we found the ones who fade away are the ones who can’t.

Um I don’t wanna say can’t. But the ones who choose not to uh live uh at a higher level. So let’s dive into that for a second. You, you said fade away. So sometimes team members will show themselves the door because they realize that it’s not a fit, it’s uncomfortable. They can’t rise to the level. That’s ideally what happens. Sometimes they don’t, sometimes you have to show them the door. So how do you deal with a team member who, who maybe started as a fit or maybe you thought they were fit?

But now they are not. Yeah, we do a 16 to 90 day trial period and in that trial period, usually we can find out within the 1st 30 days if they’re gonna be a right fit or not. And usually they identify themselves and they don’t make it the whole time. Um, just because I, I believe our, um, our, uh, team operates at such a high level, like where we’re striving for excellence. Um, that when, when they’re striving for excellence and somebody is feeling like, oh, I’m not performing or? Oh, I’m going too slow or?

Oh, I don’t think like this. I think that, or if they’re coming in late all the time, they don’t have the accountability, like things like that and everybody else is on time and it’s, it’s functioning as a team. So they feel like they’re letting the team down, um, because they’re not performing. They, they usually end up just fading away. Um So because they can feel it like it’s, it’s almost like when you’re in the presence of somebody who is just moving and shaking and growing and um you can almost feel the smoke of battle on them.

Like you can, you can feel like they’re, they’re driven and like they’re, they’re just operating at a different level. Um, and some people that really intimidates and they just, they, I don’t know, they, they would prefer not to be around it and grow with that person than to, uh, it just makes some people too uncomfortable, I guess. Sure, you are very intense. You’re on the, on the marketing committee together and when things aren’t going your way, you have a tendency to flip tables and a lot of stuff.

So I’m, I don’t know if I would last. I’m just kidding. Courts, not flip tables. Oh, I’ve never flipped tables. However, Chad is a driver too. Like we are both very type a, both first born, like our poor kids. Like we’re like, just constantly driving right chat. Let’s, I, I don’t want to dive too deep into that because we’ll cover a lot of it in episode three. But I do wanna touch on it since you just brought it up. You guys working together kids can, we just please quickly touch on what that’s like?

Yeah, you, yeah, you can take the lead on that one. Go ahead. We’ll just quickly touch on this mess. All right, so here Brandy, I’ll give you a quick schedule. Ok. Um, wake up at 4:14 a.m. You wake up at 63:14 a.m. That’s type A and, and um, and then take the girls 1413, take them to strength training at 5:10 a.m. They’re strengthening from 530 to 7. Flynn’s at strength training. Our, our 11 year old from uh 615 to 715. I go one way, Corey goes the other way. Um We then pick them up.

I will say it’s their choice. Like they want to go to strength training before school. Like that’s not something that we have imposed on them. Like you have to get up and you have to go. Guys are like the uh like the Williams father, like they’re going to be professionals. Yeah, it has nothing to do with that. It had everything to do when they first started back when they were 73. Uh No, no, no, no, 9, 10. Um A girls are more susceptible to AC L tears and they play a lot and I just wanted to learn how to control their legs and their body more than anything.

And now they’ve turned into rip specimens at 14 and 22 years old and they love it now they love it and they’d rather get it out of the way um and get it done for the day. Um And then, you know, drop them off at school. As soon as they’re dropped off at school, my day begins uh from 21 to 260. Uh sales and marketing. The finance side of the company, the project, managing side of the company, uh leading teams that people don’t see uh in the company with our accounting team, bookkeeper, um CRM sales and marketing uh business advisor.

You know what I mean? So leading all that from 290 to 215 yet subcontractors uh lead that from 26 to 33 pick up Haley at 23 pick up Lexi and Flynn at 21.5. And then we’re off to sports the rest of the night and we finally get back to bed, you know, 22015 o’clock, no problem do that. So that’s the short part of it. Ok, Corey is your schedule similar to this? Um, my schedule is usually, uh, it’s a little, it’s, it’s very similar to that. Chad does more of the running around with the kids because after I drop off Flynn, uh, at school then, well, like I’ll take Flynn this morning.

I woke up with Flynn to Kim dropped him off at 615, came into the shop, get work done, go pick him up, take him to school, come back into the shop, work all day. Um, during volleyball season, I coach, uh, so it would be leaving work, going coaching, then usually coming back to work and finishing everything that I have to finish here that doesn’t get done. And then going to bed around 1112 and getting up and doing and over again. So yeah, it’s a little crazy. But at the same time, I’m like, this is just one season in our life.

Our kids are only this age for a small, small window of time and if they want me to coach, then heck yes, I will be there and I will be there for them and I will spend that time with them and we will invest in them and it’s the same for Chad. He’s like, he loves investing into our kids. He coaches basketball team. He’s coached our girls. Like it’s, it’s just a short window of time and we wanna spend every amount that we can with them while we’re juggling running a business.

So it’s, it’s a little crazy for us right now, but at the same time, like our kids are worth it and we’re making a lot of great memories together with them. Yeah, and that’s great. And I think that perspective is what allows you to do that. And I know we’re gonna get into in episode three, we’ll get into how you guys carve out time for each other and how you manage the, the business versus the personal, which I think a lot of people find a lot of interesting, but I wanna make sure we do fully, fully, uh, cover the building the championship team here.

So we have Patricia come on and from there, you, you started attracting the right kinds of talent. You knew what you were looking for. You said you very rarely had to do advertisements. So is your, is your recruiting basically just, hey, this is who we are. We, we put the people out there and then people just kind of walk into your office or how does that go? Yeah, typically, um, we start with our team and you know, if, if, because everything goes on the premise of good people.

No good people. So if, if we’re looking to hire the first place I go is to our team. And I’m like, hey, guys, do you know anybody who would be a great fit for our culture who loves to learn who you’re friends with, who you would love to work with. Um, and our Tuesday crew, they’ve all been best friends since college and they get to go on site and serve our customers at the highest level. And I love following them. Like, if I ever go into a customer’s home on, we, they, they’re like, your people are so much fun and they love what they do and you can just tell they love spending time with one another and it’s, it’s awesome because they’re all just performing at such a high level, but they are loving spending that time with one another too.

And so that’s, that’s kind of, um you know, it, we always put it out to our team first if there’s anybody that, you know, you, you feel would be a good fit for what we’re looking for and you would, you would love to work with. Um, you know, fortunately we don’t run into a lot of issues where they’re just chatting it up and talking the whole time. Like, everybody is still like their work ethic and their, their efficiency is still at a high level. Um, and I feel like with a team of a lot of moms, uh, they’re very good at multitasking.

Like they’re able to do many things at once and get the job done. So it works. It was like you read my mind because that was gonna be my next question if, you know, if people are friends or they’ve known each other for a long time and then you have a team lead, you know, something like that accountability can become an issue. You’re saying that that’s just never happened. It, it hasn’t, um, with the exception of, uh, a couple of people who have faded away. Um, and like those there, those were the people who they couldn’t do more than one thing at once.

It was either talking or working. They couldn’t talk while they work. And so like their vision walking too dumb to work. Yeah, you gotta be able to, yeah. And it’s, it’s imperative. Um, or you just come in nose down and you work like that’s acceptable too. Um, but we want to make it a really good environment to where people enjoy coming to work. Um You know, I had, I had one of our, our teammates contact me over Christmas break and she was like, oh, I can’t wait to get back into work.

You know, I’m missing them in and like, that’s kind of the environment that we want, we want people to miss it when they’re away. Yesterday. I was getting texts all day long because four of our, our teammates, when they were off, it was their day off. They were all together doing a project together in one of their homes. Like it’s just, and they were so excited about being together outside of work. So it’s, it’s pretty cool. Uh when you have a team of people who just love being around one another and they enjoy each other’s company, but they also enjoy getting the work done and the, the benefits and the pride that comes with a job well done. Yeah.

So the, the accountability has largely been taken care of just through the cultural fit to the fact that people tend to show themselves the door when they realize it’s not working. How about who goes where, you know, you, you tend to focus on cultural fit first and values and not as much on the skill set. So when somebody comes in, how do you define right person, right seat. Yeah, Chad, I’ll let you speak to this because he helped us devise a on boarding process that’s really helped with that. Yeah.

Brain, I, when I started, um, getting more involved in September, um, I mean, not that I wasn’t involved, I was very much involved with sales and marketing before then but, um, I got into more facets of the business. I’ve never won. It. Corey has built this since 2000, uh, 15. I’ve never won to step on her toes. Um, and come in, this is, has, has been her thing and I, uh that’s what I do all day long is, uh, I, uh I tell the story and I, I brag on her and her team and, uh just everything that she has created, uh, along with God, God, of course, had a big hand in that um, of creating that.

Um But I just said, you know, when, when things start coming about here in the last four months, I was like, man, we are, we are hiring to fill a spot and that might not be the fit. And I said, I don’t wanna do that anymore. Let’s hire. Um And we’re gonna have a program of an eight week program of they do two days with, on site two days with the spraying crew. Basically, they got a chance to do every single thing even to sales, um, and stuff like that, that they could see all those areas of the business and then we’ll find the fit for them.

Um And since it’s a 60 to 90 day trial period, if it’s, if it’s a spot that’s open and it’s a fit, um, we keep moving forward and if it isn’t, we, we have to have a discussion that maybe, you know, uh, a good person, there’s just no fit here right now. You know what I mean? So, um, uh, I just think it’s, I love the way it’s going. I wanna be a guy that under promises and over delivers to employees too. Uh I just like I was talking to one today.

Uh I was like, uh we’re just because I’m asking these questions, we are far from perfect. Yeah, I mean in here and I talk about my biggest thing is how do you handle uh uh so uh um conflict. Um That’s a big thing for me is how do you handle conflict? Uh I don’t want all this talking to other people. If you have a problem, if there’s a concern, you go right to the person first and then you, if that doesn’t work, you take your supervisor with you and if that doesn’t work, you bring the leadership team with you.

Um But I said I don’t want drama. Um I want solutions. I want, I want people having conversations if there’s stuff going on, but that’s just huge for me to teach um because we can get rid of a lot of conflict if we can get two people talking. Um And I think that’s a big part of the culture. So we, when we bring people in it’s eight weeks, they get to dabble in everything and then we find a seat for them. So people when they come in, they’re, they’re not coming in explicitly as a painter, they’re just coming in as nothing, just whatever, whatever it ends up being.

And I’d rather them have no experience to be honest with you. And so you’re showing them all, all the positions of the company, which I think is a great thing to do no matter what. And I think it probably helps you guys with the culture a lot because if someone’s out there painting now they understand what’s going into the project before, during, after they, they get all that. They probably respect the company in the process more than just having this myopic view of. Hey, I’m a, I’m a painter.

That’s what I do and I kind of don’t care about what else happens there. I, I feel like it probably makes them more invested but you have to go. No. And Brandon, I agree with that. That, that’s even my goal for this year is for me to go work with those guys in each of those spots. So I can feel what they go through. See, they know they have no, I that’s why we start bringing them with me too is because they have no idea what I do every single day.

But I also told them my goal is to get in there with them, which I do. None of that stuff. These hands are sales hands. These are not working for sales but, but I’m gonna do it soft. Yep. I’m gonna do it. So I know what they’re going through. Um, and that helped me stay more connected even though I hardly have any connection with those guys on a daily basis. Yeah, I think that, that empathy, you know, the, the empathetic transition back and forth, I think could be really helpful.

It’s something we try to do at painter marketing pros. I think, you know, I’ll try to talk with team members about what I do. You know what our sales does, kind of what goes into this. I think it can be a little bit tricky coming from it as the boss. You know, I think you have to be kind of careful with how you do that. I think it’s easier to empathize with, with what they are doing than it is to try to try to make the first happen.

But I’m willing to bet that your eight week shadow period helps a whole lot with that. That’s a, that’s a phenomenal start. Yeah, I think, I think that helps. We also do quarterly kickoff meetings. So when that succeeded in 1.53 days, uh they have to attend a quarterly kickoff meeting. Um and all of our employees, it’s, it’s a mandatory meeting and it’s just once a quarter. So they block those out in their, their calendar and those are essential too because it’s one time where everybody, because we do have so many facets of our business.

Um And so many different crews operating this one time where everybody comes together, we all get on the same page heading into the next 90 days and you know, it just unites the team. Uh And that’s been instrumental. We also do quarterly classes and our team has to attend uh one class a year. Uh Each teammate has to attend one class a year. But our new uh teammates, they have to attend that first class. Uh so that they’re getting educated from a lot of the industry professionals. Like we have one coming in on March 8th where DC Clark is gonna come in and talk about coding.

We have Roland and Glen coming in and talking about Tritech Sprayers. We have Skyler um Sky Junior from uh surf track coming in talking about sanding like it’s so instrumental. Uh We love having the educators do the educating and it just elevates our team to the next level. So just getting around that kind of environment uh as a new uh as a new teammate, it really helps to expand their knowledge uh base of all of the, the tools, the products, the supplies, like everything that we use in here.

Um They get a general understanding when they go through each step of that process, but this is just more of an in depth um knowledge bath, I guess you could call it. And then, and then we started to incorporating, you know, at least uh three evaluations a year uh that, that are on this and we, we schedule them every quarter then. So at the quarterly meeting, everybody signs up for another evaluation, uh just gives us way more touch points with people and not all of it. Brandon is an evaluation where we’re talking about like the first one is, but then the second one is basically just going on and maybe grabbing a coffee, uh maybe grab some breakfast and just personally talking with them.

And then the last one is kinda book ending. Here’s where we started, here’s where we ended uh your year. Um So because I wanted people also to be not like, oh gosh, here’s this evaluation. We’re gonna talk about what I need to do, right? I wanted to be more of like Corey who came up with the value of growth binded is man, these aren’t bad. These evaluations are great. You should, you should look forward to them, you should look forward to having some personal time with the people you work with and your supervisor and not just talk about work but talk about life.

So one of the things that I’m taking away from all this and I just wanna want to clarify it. I think it might, might help these Golden Nuggets who guys are sharing. Stick with the listeners is I’m seeing a lot of perspective given to your team members. So they’re coming in, they’re understanding the company that automatically makes them more of a stakeholder in the company’s success versus a stakeholder in their own paycheck or their own position. But they, they don’t really care as much about the other positions because they’ve seen them all, they know them all.

They’re now a part of this. They’re a part of this team, not a pretend part, they’re not a cog, they’re part of the team, right? And then this personal investment that you guys are making in them with the coffee and the quarterly meeting, this, it, it’s far above and beyond. I think what most companies do and I want to make sure as we’re discussing some of these logistics and the the the way of attracting people versus on the cultural fit, there’s more to this, you’re bringing in the right kinds of people to start.

So we already have a leg up, but then just the way that you’re handling it and none of it is that arduous, but it is a little bit different. These are changes that almost every company could make probably in rather short order. That’s I gotta imagine that’s giving you guys just a massive advantage in terms of your loyalty, in terms of your production, in terms of of team member member happiness, and ultimately customer happiness. Because happy employees make happy customers, right? Because it here and inspired by you, it’s our goal to provide the best experience for not only our customers but for our team, like, we wanna make sure that we’re providing the best experience for everyone who is involved with our company.

Um, whether it be a homeowner or, or a team. Um And I our, our evaluation process, it’s something we should have done years ago. Um, but I’m so thankful that we’ve implemented it, you know, every Friday I’ve been getting together with 1 to 2 of our teammates and it has just been so awesome. And the way I, I just put out an evaluation here, it’s like what the way that we’ve done, it has been so effective and people leave the meetings, um, like sky high, like usually when you think of evaluations, you’re just supposed to be kind of a beat down like a career.

It’s, it’s the way that we’ve structured it is I put all of our core values on there and they have to evaluate themselves on, you know, we have, do they set the bar for the Ibu standards? Like, do they, for example, I’ll give you like growth of growth minded, uh ambition, they work to improve, they persist in the face of setbacks and they, they have resilience, um and professional development. So if they set the bar for the inspired by you standards, they take initi initiative, they work to uh improve self and inspired by you and they inspire those around them to be better.

Those are the people who set the bar for that standard and then they exceed the Ibu standards. They meet the Ibu standards, they need to improve, to uphold the, the standards where they do not meet the inspired by U standards and they have to evaluate themselves. And then what I do is I take their evaluation, they turn it in fire and then I sit down with our leadership team member, uh, who’s their supervisor and we discuss them and then we take their comments and then we add comments in.

Oh yeah, they’re like dead on. Like this is exactly how I would rate them or they exceed or they’re, they’re kind of undervaluing themselves and they see themselves here but we see them there or they see themselves here and we see them here and how, like, where’s that disconnect? And so on the, on the majority people are pretty much dead on, but it’s always beneficial if they see it in themselves, what you’re seeing because I know, I, I think a lot of that comes from coaching because as a coach, like sometimes you just ride your players, you ride your players all the time, but they know they’re making the mistakes, like they know exactly what mistakes they’re making and, and they, they have that in their mind and as a coach, if you keep coming on that.

Um, with, even though they know they’re making the mistakes, it just makes their, uh, it just diminishes their, uh, value in themselves. Um, but if they know it and they point it out then that’s a whole different perspective. And you’re able to say, ok, well, this is where, how can we fix that? What can we do to remedy that? And like, um, how can we improve that and, and help you, uh, to improve in that area? Um, and that’s been really good. And, and what I’ll say to that too is Corey.

The whole trick of this thing, Brandon is Corey is not a confront, she’s a driver but she does not like to confront. Now. I have no, I have no problem confronting. I have no problem. I don’t take it personal. Yeah, I don’t take it personal, uh, or, you know, I don’t have a problem confronting but, but it’s easier to correct after you connect. It’s easier to correct after you connect and by getting these guy and they, they’re the ones who are doing all the evaluations because they’re working, uh, with these people every single day is, um, the more they connect, the easier it is to have a conversation, a tough conversation that doesn’t have to be tough to correct and keep on track throughout the year and the person is more receptive because they have all those relationships built up over the year.

We also, we also do you know, uh, a grateful get together with all the couples, uh, at, uh, right before, uh, Thanksgiving. Uh, we have a, we have a vendor that allows us, he has this top of the rock. It’s called at our countertop place. It’s a bar. It’s like a, it’s a whole restaurant at most that he lets us have it and we cater that out for, uh, them and their, uh, their significant others. And then um we’re doing something this summer with all the families like a sports day uh with all the families.

Um And then we even started sending uh birthday gifts uh out to not only our employees when their birthdays are to their kids and their husbands as well, man. That’s right. Yeah, you guys are investing into your people and they feel that they feel that investment. So they’re more open to, you know, constructive criticism delivered the right way because now it’s, it’s a team effort, right? So you guys against the problem, it’s not you coming down on them and you know, the the mean boss is not appreciating me or coming down on me, you guys are coming at it from a point of collaboration versus really a point of, you know, what usually happens.

It’s kind of a harsh criticism. Um I do wanna, I know we don’t have a whole lot of time left but I want to talk about, you know, team members come in, they shadow the company, you guys figure out a good fit for them that’s open and something they’re excited about doing. If it’s not, then maybe we just keep them on the roster, but there’s not a fit right now for them. Uh So maybe they come back. How about raises promotions, incentive based compensation? You guys do things like this?

How does that work? Yeah, we’ve, we’ve actually kind of honed in on a lot of this stuff like with our job descriptions and like everything that’s expected of everybody. Um And uh I actually have it here. Like we, we’ve been devising like our, our pay scale and like having everything kind of written out um because it’s so easy to have it all in your head. Um But def definitely, there’s, there’s things in place for what they need to do to achieve uh a yearly raise and right now we’re just doing a dollar an hour for a yearly raise.

Um uh uh And that seems that seems to work. Um But like, for example, uh entry pay for the 1st 60 to 90 days, it’s only $15 an hour for that for that period of time because it’s a lower pay, but they’re also training in the process. They’re learning, we’re still not sure if they’re a right fit. Um And during that phase, they have to go through our on boarding process, we have to review of a performance with a focus evaluation on punctuality attendance attention to detail along with the cultural fit approval from our leadership team.

So we have leadership team meetings every Friday morning at eight. And that way it gets our entire leadership team on the same page, we’re all functioning, functioning properly. We can all um you know, if there’s, if there’s a new employee, like they have to have a cultural fit of approval from our leadership team, they have to attend a refinishing class and attend a leadership team meeting before they would get a raise. So like there’s stuff, there’s structure in place for those raises to occur and then um you know, for a base pay for production crew and there’s stipulations in order to achieve that hour uh or that dollar an hour raise for a year.

So yeah, so we’ve been trying to hone things in a lot more this year and get that structure in place, have everything written down so that people know, hey, if I want to raise, like, what do I have to do and how do I get that? And uh and just kind of, I think that there is so much uh importance in that transparency and clarity uh with your teammates. And the, the crazy thing is a lot of the people who work with us like they, they don’t even work for us for the pay like they don’t have to work, you know what I mean?

So uh so they’re here because they love it, um, which has been a benefit, but it’s also been a reason why we didn’t have to have a lot of the structure in place because we know, like, they’re just here because they love it. And so, ok, like I’ll hire you because I like you and, you know, and so now it’s like, ok, we’re not doing that anymore, like we’ll hire people because we like them. But at the same time, we’re going to have structure in place so that they know exactly what’s expected.

We outline everything and, uh, and there’s just a lot more clarity. I wonder if the part time kind of helps with that, you know? Yeah, they might not need the money as much if they did. They probably want to be full time. Right. Right. Yeah. And, and I think we have some families that definitely the income is like, oh, I need this even though it’s part time. Uh, I need this. It, it fits in my kids schedules. Yeah. I mean, they’re, they’re, they’re working. So I think, I think, um, that’s it too.

Uh, not gonna work for free. No, not this kind of work. I don’t care what anybody says. It’s hard work. We definitely pay well and even though, like, not everybody needs it, but I like chad that so many people definitely need it. And I think, because it is part time and we’re all like a lot of the people we just had an evaluation with Courtney today and she was just saying how the thing that she loves most about being here is just the flexibility in the schedule, being able to drop her son off and pick him up from school.

And if he has a dentist appointment, you know, like just that flexibility because we all have been there, you know, and we’ve all had kindergartners who need more time and attention and um and so just she loves the flexibility and a lot of our, our teammates love that and right, and there’s no, with all bunch of part timers, there’s no paid time off. Um And so what we’ve talked to the team is to that you, we don’t care if you take off, you just need to have a replacement, you need to work on your replacement for those hours.

Um So they’re all working together to replace, you know, to have the replacement for their hours and teaching them if yeah, they might not be feeling well. It’s better to call the night before around and say, hey, guys, I’m not feeling well. Can I, can somebody step in for me tomorrow? Uh If I text you at si 6 a.m. if I’m still not feeling well, rather than waiting until six or 7 a.m. to, to find that person. So proactive. So guys, I know we are coming up on time here, but is there anything else you want to add as we wrap up?

This episode on the, the logistics and kind of the how behind building a championship team, I’ll, I’ll add something that we didn’t get to touch on and maybe we will later, um, build your business in your mind from the beginning as it’s gonna be a big business. Not a small business, have everything in place. Like you would have, like, you are a $3 million business, have it in place. Um, don’t think small, think big at the back because it’s easier to do it that way. And like, oh my gosh, under 1.5 million.

Now, I need this. Now, I need this. Now, I need this then go backwards. Build your, we, we didn’t even talk about the team that we built here in the last four months that nobody sees behind the scenes that should have been done in 2015. Right? Yeah. And I would just say, uh don’t be afraid to hire. Uh I was for the longest time, I was just like, oh, gosh, we’ve got the best culture I don’t wanna hire because I’d be afraid that if we hire to scale, um then we would lose some of the culture that we’ve created.

And when we’ve worked hard to create and over the summer time, we hired seven employees uh from July through the end of August, we hired seven employees. And what happened was as we grew, those people that we brought on, they didn’t diminish our culture, they enhanced it exponentially. And so I think that um I would have hired sooner if I would have not held myself back. You know what I mean? I, I, like, I was just so afraid and I was so clinging to the culture that we had.

I didn’t want to lose it and I’m so thankful that I kind of released that and we brought on the people that we did because they have truly changed the direction of our company. I feel like we’re in such a healthy place now, moving forward and it’s only gonna get better from here on out. That is powerful advice, Chad Corey. I appreciate you guys. I’m really excited for the next two episodes. This one was power pack for sure. Thank you both. Thank you, Brandon.

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 l84q3at72h.onrocket.site/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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