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Registered
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1,606 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Working for yourself...

Far as the business aspect, I knew nothing. I learned that the hard way.

the fun part (painting)..I'd worked a couple years for a couple contractors that specialized in commercial property, then about a year with a contractor that just did custom homes.

I thought I knew it all.

(I didn't)

(29 years later, I still don't)

(better at bullsh*tting though)


You?
 

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Super Moderator
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10,678 Posts
Took carpentry as a vocation in HS and thought I knew a lot. First day on real jobsite, realized I didnt. 2 years later was running a crew. 8 years later started own business. Kills me to hear 20 year olds on here wanting to start up on their own. At 26 I was no way near ready and I think compared to most people my age in my trade I was top notch. Like bwalley said I realize I dont know much. Learning more every day.
 

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semi-skilled laborer
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2,075 Posts
I started out working for the biggest residential painter in the area, he also has the most illegals working for him in the area. Worked for a few different places for awhile, learning as I went, then went back to my original boss and started running all of his higher end jobs and commercial work, got tired of his BS and his illegals once I figured out how bad they hurt the country and the trade so I went out on my own.
 

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Pompass Ass
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2,090 Posts
I started out working for the biggest residential painter in the area, he also has the most illegals working for him in the area. Worked for a few different places for awhile, learning as I went, then went back to my original boss and started running all of his higher end jobs and commercial work, got tired of his BS and his illegals once I figured out how bad they hurt the country and the trade so I went out on my own.
Sometimes it is more important to learn how not to do things, than to do them.
 

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Fentoozler
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5,623 Posts
I started with nothing and I have most of it left. :laughing:
 

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Allrounder Home Services
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465 Posts
I have a degree in business management.
I spent 14 years teaching & training others to be painters and home repair pros.
It was all completely worthless once I got on the job!
I learned a lot and lost a lot of $$ in the process, and still have a ton to learn!
Life is good though!:thumbsup:
 

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Allrounder Home Services
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465 Posts

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Registered
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912 Posts
I went to college. Got a desk job and hated it. wasted six years of my life. But. My boss ran a small business and I watched how he ran it. The most important thing I learned from him was how to handle the customers and the customers complaints. Every customer is important. Every customer gets what they want. He was really good at diffusing the occasional complaint that would come our way.

Started painting with no experience. No trade experience. I read about my job and industry every day. Doesn't take long to learn a little more than the next guy. Doesn't hurt to find a place to ask other professionals their opinions either...
 

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WICKED WOODCHUCKER
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893 Posts
Working for yourself...

Far as the business aspect, I knew nothing. I learned that the hard way.

the fun part (painting)..I'd worked a couple years for a couple contractors that specialized in commercial property, then about a year with a contractor that just did custom homes.

I thought I knew it all.

(I didn't)

(29 years later, I still don't)

(better at bullsh*tting though)


You?

I started my buisness young, made so many mistakes. I pretty much starved for the first 3 or 4 years. Then it started to take off a little, been in buisness now for 13 years. When I first started I would lower my prices to get the job. Sometimes I would work 2 or 3 weeks and make 3 or 4 hundred bucks. But I stuck with it. I did quality work even back then but didnt know anything about running a buisness. Even now I still say I'm a carpenter not a buisnessman!
 

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Pro
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636 Posts
I knew it all when I first started on my own. But I spent the first few years of business realizing that I was dead wrong and knew NOTHING.
 

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Painter
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969 Posts
When I got into painting I knew absolutely nothing. I got hired as a painter's helper and one of the guys that worked for the company took me under his wing and taught me all he knew. I worked for that company for four years and then went with another guy that really knew his stuff about painting. I worked with him for a couple years and then thought I was ready to go out on my own (Wrong).

I started painting all my dad's homes and since he kept me so busy I didn't establish a customer base. I did very well while I was working for him, but when the housing market crashed and he wasn't building as much, I was left with no customer base and I had to start all over again. I have been painting for about 10 years now and I still do not know everything.
 

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strat hd
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1,695 Posts
I was a guitar player in a rock band. Worked for other people for 12 years.Then went on my own. 17 years later still at it. Only made one major mistake. GETTING IN THE FRAMING BUSSINESS. :laughing:
 

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Painter/Rehaber
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399 Posts
I knew enough. My employment background was very structured. I knew efficientcy and quality meant everything. I started off with rental property. Lost my a$$ but I learned a lot. During those years I realized my strengths , built a network, and developed marketing skills.

Today I do alright. I sell only what I do well and never B.S. my customers.
 

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Multi-tradesman defender
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390 Posts
All I knew was how to take the cover plates off to paint the walls (not well either). I went to a General Contractor, that specialized in Kitchen and Bathrooms, that was looking for a tile helper, I didn't know anything, but I knew I didn't want to do tile. They werent hiring for the kitchen and bath side. I went everyday, dressed for work, for about 3 straight weeks. Finally, the foreman hired me for $9.00 an hour, in 1989. I was rich.....
3 months later, I was working alone, running full jobs and answering for my mistakes. This guy took me under his wing, gave me a bunch of tools, taught me everything he could and showed me how to treat the customer.
3-4 years later, I started my own deal at 22 and haven't looked back. Man, I knew everything. I started making money when I realized I didn't know enough and hired a secretary to sell the jobs so I would quit syaing "I could do it for a little less". Even if I had the job sold, I would do it less?
I still find myself trying to cut the job costs today. I guess I still don't know what I need to, but I am always learning.
 

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Registered
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12,870 Posts
I know a lot more than I knew in 2009.

Just sayin'.

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