All You Young Guys

 
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:03 PM   #1
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All You Young Guys


this is for all of yall young guys what was it like startin a biz being young for your trade? what were some obsticles that came into play and what were some things you did to prove that your age didnt matter?

thanks
dan
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:09 PM   #2
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Re: All You Young Guys


Spelling and Grammatical application was one of the most important things that I found whilst coming of age.

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Old 04-29-2008, 09:15 PM   #3
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Re: All You Young Guys


I haven't started my own business but, I have found out in my daily life that alot of the "old timers" when they walk up to ask questions go directly to the guy working with me. He is approx. 50 years old. Also when I go into job meetings it is generally older guys and you get the feeling when they are looking at you that they think whats this "young punk" doing here. I am not here to tell some older guy how to do his job because thats not how I grew up. I would just like a little respect and understanding that I can do my job most of the time. I am not afraid to tell someone when I screw up and I have never claimed to know everything and I never will.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:47 PM   #4
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Re: All You Young Guys


Define young. You might consider me young, but with two slipped discs and all my hair gone from pulling it out I feel old! Old is over forty, to me BTW. On a serious note, one of the biggest things that has helped me is my broad knowledge and background in construction, as well as my education. Prior to breaking ground, I always meet clients dressed in a button down shirt and speak and write well. Basically, I conduct myself as a professional, and that is how clients see me. Past projects and references help a lot too!
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: All You Young Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK View Post
this is for all of yall young guys what was it like startin a biz being young for your trade? what were some obsticles that came into play and what were some things you did to prove that your age didnt matter?

thanks
dan
What do you consider a "young guy"?
(just for fun)

The first 2-3 years (I was 17-19) I started giving estimates I would get people call my dad back and make sure I knew what I was doing. Others would just listen to what I was saying and could tell I know "whats up". Also return phone calls show up to esimates on time or call, be prepared and yes sir or mam.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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Re: All You Young Guys


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Originally Posted by d-rez View Post
Define young. You might consider me young, but with two slipped discs and all my hair gone from pulling it out I feel old! Old is over forty, to me BTW. On a serious note, one of the biggest things that has helped me is my broad knowledge and background in construction, as well as my education. Prior to breaking ground, I always meet clients dressed in a button down shirt and speak and write well. Basically, I conduct myself as a professional, and that is how clients see me. Past projects and references help a lot too!

Over Forty old....I oughto kick your whipper-snapper ass right now!
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:12 PM   #7
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Re: All You Young Guys


I grew a beard. Nothing hippie or homeless. Just a full-on beard.

Made me look 32 when I was 19. Now I'm 26 and I still look 32

It is really how you carry yourself though. If you are on your own and you are young you need to know your s#!t. The HO will pick up on a guy 'winging it' and will bust you on it.

If the HO calls an inspector because he has lost faith in you that is a bad sign. Happened to a guy I knew. A few subs were there and he was out on a mat'l run - the HO and BI show up and pulled the plug. poor bastard. The building was sound and safe, just non-traditional -- in my opinion... oh, yeah... I was the guy called to finish the job.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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Re: All You Young Guys


27 here. I have had the same situations Noodle has with generals or what have you thinking a worker (older) is the owner. Other than that I haven't had any negative experiences. Prove yourself with your work. Being young just means you have more time to learn. Just don't be like the HVAC guy on one job I was on who was close to my age. When asked why he has never on the jobsite with his guys he replied "I've put my time in!" Yeah right.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:28 PM   #9
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Re: All You Young Guys


I looked 16 when I started so I grew a goatee. That helped a bit but I also projected my company as a COMPANY and not a one man show that it was for 3 years. Many of my customers were very suprised when I showed up and did the work myself all by myself.

And to know what your talking about goes miles. Dont be an arrogant ass but actually know what your talking about. I have had a few people approch older workers of mine but most come straight to me when I am on the jobsite. I project that I am the owner and I am proud of it.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:48 PM   #10
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Re: All You Young Guys


I'm 21. Like some of the previous posts said, you have to prove yourself even more than the older guys it seems like. If you dont know your stuff you wont even be considered for whatever your estimating. I've also found it helpful to have a fresh haircut and some facial hair when giving estimates so I dont look like i'm 12 years old haha.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:58 PM   #11
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Re: All You Young Guys


started my biz when i was 18, first big job, had improper relations with my 35 year old client. age did not matter
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:04 PM   #12
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Re: All You Young Guys


I'm more talking to the guys right out of high school or college that many folks would consider to immature to do anything with responsibilty...

great responses so far!!
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:15 AM   #13
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Re: All You Young Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK View Post
this is for all of yall young guys what was it like startin a biz being young for your trade? what were some obsticles that came into play and what were some things you did to prove that your age didnt matter?

thanks
dan
I just did a good job. I always cleaned up after myself really well if I did the job for an old person, disabled person or a single mother too. The other thing I did was to prove that I wasn't spend thrift with the HO's money. They pay more for my time than they would the other guy so I treated their money like my money when it came to materials. When your just starting you can do this because you have the time. When the referrals come rolling in you become less personal I guess but you always make sure you do a really good job. Age does not matter if you show maturity. Young people tend to over sell the job and I did this at first. Just be confident and when the home owner says 'yes' that's it, no more selling needed.

The other thing I did and still do is if the job is too big or out of my area of expertise I will tell the HO and give them the details of contractors who can do it and do it well. Word gets around that you do a good job and that your a good guy. Word also gets around if your cheap so don't start cheap as it will plague you for a long time. Start out at the wage you want and even though at first you will have less work, it will save you headaches later when you try to up your prices. Remember, you lose less money referring a job to someone else than if you are called back repeatedly to fix it because you didn't know what you were doing.

That's my 2 cents.

Last edited by samthedog; 05-01-2008 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:17 AM   #14
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Re: All You Young Guys


Take some small business classes, and trade related schools.
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:27 PM   #15
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Re: All You Young Guys


Education. Education. Education. You are going to lack experience because of your age but make up for it with your knowledge and character traits. A client who doesn't know the difference of the technical, will evaluate you on your personal skills, confidence, honesty, "personability", and other character traits.

Just as important. Develop your hands on skills and perfect them. If you can talk the talk but fail to walk the walk you will learn how to eat tuna fish 7 different ways for each day of the week.

28 here and 10 years in business
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:26 PM   #16
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Re: All You Young Guys


I started in business when I was 18. Now in a week I am turning 22 and have 3 full years under my belt. 3 years ago I had trouble signing a 5k job. Now i have a 1 100k job and 1 250k job under my belt. I have mulipe jobs over 200k in the design process right now that we are just finshing plans.


What made me successful? I knew my schit. But its much more than that. I only do the jobs I want. If i can get a call for something I have no interest in, I tell them I have no interest in it. Then when I get a lead for a big job, i put all my effort into getting that job.

Alot of guys are really slow right now. I have 2 200k plans almost done. I was orginally contacted by both those people over 6 months ago. They were not ready to commit to plans at that time. But I called them or stopped by their office once a month for the last 6 months to follow up and see if they were ready to get some plans drawn up. Things like this make a difference!!!


I have pleanty of work right now. Its not a accident that i have work. I did not luck out or step in schit. I have work for as reason, because i went after it.


Oh yea I am pretty confident borderline arrogant i been told. But it works.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:48 PM   #17
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Re: All You Young Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK View Post
I'm more talking to the guys right out of high school or college that many folks would consider to immature to do anything with responsibilty...

great responses so far!!
Im twenty and have had tons of trouble in the past. When I was 18 I would show up to talk to a builder and I would ask if they were lined out on their sheetrock and they would laugh. My favorite is when they call me "kiddo: But now I don't have a problem, I think facial hair helps. I just have a list of people that said they would recommend me if asked,(if you ask a contractor to do this if he liked your work, they will, they understand your situation.) I just go to the job site, let them laugh at me, tell them my price and give them the sheet. They call me back. But I would say half my business is already repeat clients. For some reason homeowners have always really trusted me. Im actually not 100 percent sure why.
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:43 PM   #18
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Re: All You Young Guys


23 here, officially managing at 21
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:17 AM   #19
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Re: All You Young Guys


Just something I observed when hiring youngsters...
If you want to work for me, leave your friggin' cell phone in your car. If you interupt me to take a call, the interview ends there. These have really happened, by the way. Don't bring your kids to an interview. Don't bring your lunch unless you plan to share it with me.

I started in this business later in life then most of you but I have noticed that the clients always talk to me if a younger person is also there. Nothing is quite so funny as being hired by a GC and he is younger and when you get to the jobsite, the HO goes to you before him.

Oh, BTW, just for the record, 'youngster' to me is anyone below 30.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:31 AM   #20
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Re: All You Young Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK View Post
this is for all of yall young guys what was it like startin a biz being young for your trade? what were some obsticles that came into play and what were some things you did to prove that your age didnt matter?

thanks
dan
Age????? You’re the captain of your own ship. It you do not have the ability to direct and make qualified decisions then you are not ready to captain that ship. Maturity is seen by all as an asset, if someone does not recognizes your maturity then maybe you are deceiving yourself and your mistaking maturity for wishful thinking.

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