If you own a painting business, your main focus is entrepreneurship. Yes, you might be a painter, you might be a business owner that actually still paints on the job, but even if so, your first and foremost job is that of an entrepreneur. As I write this, it is wintertime. Where I live, winter, as far as not being able to paint outside, lasts for 3 1/2 to 4 months. That 4 months can feel like an eternity for a painter that doesn’t have any work on the books, trying to feed their family. How does a painter let himself get into that situation? I’m glad you asked. The answer is, by being a painter! Painters don’t look for work, they paint. The best painter on the planet (myself excluded:)), is just that, a painter. I spend quite a bit of time at my local paint store, and while I’m waiting for an order to be made, I’ll have a conversation with a fellow brother of the brush. “Stayin’ busy,” is usually how the conversation starts out. Sadly, during winter, the main response I hear is, “No, I have a little bit of work, but pretty scarce, it’s bad out there. People just don’t want to paint with the holidays, and it’s cold, etc…” I used to say that. I even tried to make myself believe it, but deep down knew it was a load of crap. Every time that I would utter that excuse about the holidays, or it’s cold, or people won’t start spending money until their tax returns start rolling in, truth, as it always does, would grab me by the throat and remind me that there are close to one million people in my service area, surely there is someone needing a paint job at this time, those numbers are too big to deny. A painter lets himself get into that position, an entrepreneur, on the other hand, will go down swinging like Paul Newman in, “Cool Hand Luke,” when he fights that mountain of a man in the beginning of the movie, get’s knocked down, and gets back up incessantly!
An entrepreneur is defined as, “A person who organizes and operates a business; taking on greater financial risks in order to do so.”
If you are a paint contractor, and you regularly feel the pain of not having enough work on the books, change it. It really is that easy. Change your mindset. Think like an entrepreneur, do the things that entrepreneurs do. Painters paint. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, allow “painting” to happen. They create opportunities for the paint to fly. They go to ponds and fish, throwing out every bait in the box until something hits it, then they use that bait and harvest all of the opportunity that is possible, until the want for it goes away, then they throw out another bait, and so it goes…
An entrepreneur sees opportunity where there seemingly is none. His days are spent turning over rocks to find that one piece of gold that everyone else before him has missed. This is the person that works in the winter months, his crew works in the winter months. His marriage is happy, because his family knows that money will be coming in, even though he owns a paint company, because it doesn’t matter if the snow flies, there’s a billion people out there in this crazy ass world, somebody needs a paint job, and the entrepreneur will hunt them down and make a deal!