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Craftsman to Businessman: The Bigger Picture

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

The art of hindsight is a powerful tool. But for those of us who have spent years building businesses, looking back often means sifting through a mixture of wins, losses, and heartbreaks. As a seasoned painting contractor, I've weathered the storms and experienced my fair share of highs and lows. Now, imagine if you had the chance to have a sit-down with your younger self, spilling the beans on everything you've learned? Today, dear readers, is your lucky day. I'm about to delve into my top five revelations, uncovering the wisdom that I wish I had known when I was just starting out.

1. It's Not About the Tools. It's About Vision and Leadership.

Once upon a time, I was young and naive. I believed that the essence of a successful contracting business was, well, the tools. Oh, how wrong I was. Please, don't get me wrong. Mastery over your craft is crucial, but it's just one piece of the puzzle. And to all the craftsmen out there who boast about their exquisite tools, let's be honest: a fantastic craftsman can be a terrible business owner. The real magic happens when you evolve from a mere craftsman to a business craftsman. It means focusing on the larger vision, developing leadership skills, training, guiding, selling, and marketing.

2. Money Isn't Evil – It's Essential.

Money is a touchy subject for many, but I'm here to set the record straight. Making money is fundamental for a successful business. This doesn't mean sacrificing ethics or delivering subpar experiences to clients. It simply means that without profits, you don't have a business – you have a hobby. Having ample resources allows you to train better, honor commitments, and look toward the future. The bottom line? Don't let old money myths hold you back. Aim for financial growth, and watch your business thrive.

3. Your Circle Defines Your Growth.

"Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future." This timeless saying holds true even in business. If you want to soar, surround yourself with eagles. It might bruise your ego initially, but being the least knowledgeable person in the room is a blessing. It means you're in a growth environment. Stay away from negative influences and those who are stuck in a scarcity mindset. Instead, find a tribe that uplifts, educates, and challenges you to be better every day.

4. Your Brand is Your Legacy.

In the digital age, building your brand is paramount. Your brand isn't just a logo or a catchy slogan. It's the emotion people feel when they hear your name. Commit to crafting a brand that stands out, resonates with your audience, and tells your unique story. It’s the backbone of attracting quality leads, which ultimately drives profits.

5. Play the Long Game.

Patience is more than a virtue in business – it's a necessity. Business growth isn't instantaneous. It's a journey filled with peaks and valleys. While it might be tempting to look for shortcuts, the essence of a thriving business lies in playing the long game. Learn, adapt, grow, and remember that every setback is a setup for a comeback.


The contractor's journey is as much about business acumen as it is about the technical craft. To the up-and-coming contractors, take these lessons to heart, continuously refine your strategies, and remember: you're shaping not just buildings and rooms but also the future of your enterprise.

And if you ever find yourself in need of advice, community, or resources, know that there's a vast network online and offline eager to assist. Let's together build a brighter, more vibrant world.

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1 Comment

Nov 25, 2023

Nice post! Keep up the good work.

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