Been a while since I’ve a written up anything on here apart from reports on work completed.
Man, this year has been a slog. I’ve personally managed to work through personal problems that have only surfaced (or more to the point), been managed properly since I was a kid. I’ve seen people going out of business, workers selling all their tools screaming “I’m broke, help me help me!”, yet seen the same old true, good quality contractors getting busier and busier through these times of economic down turn.
For better or worse, here we all still are with our complaints and our happiness all completely contradicting each other as per what our own personal path is allowing us to follow. Ultimately, regardless of whether you’re broke or begging for JUST ONE SINGLE FUCKING DAY OFF, we’ll all be here when it’s done and forget about this very quickly, as everyone has done since the last economic downturn…..the GFC.
What a lot of people won’t know about me, is I started my business about 4 -5 years before the GFC started to take effect in the USA initially, of which I took not a lot of notice through being a little…unconditioned to what a downturn actually is. Before I knew it, green little me was nearly $100K in debt after some bad business transactions chasing the dragon and ultimately claiming bankruptcy. Fucking drag.
For all you lads / gals that are too young to have experienced that 1/100 years down turn, I forgive you for not knowing what you’re getting into, but to all the others who did experience this downturn and are now sitting here whinging because you have no work, no money, or someone is charging pennies for their services, or anything else, shame on you, learn your fucking lesson and stop the bullshit, you’re to blame. Prepare ffs. It’s not rocket science.
If you take the 2 seconds to realise, even in good times, these morons are charging pennies for their services. These tradespeople come and go as quick as it takes to put an ad in the Trading Post (yes, I’m that old school I remember when this was the only advertising really available), stop worrying about the “others”. Focus on yourself and your own growth within your chosen industry of expertise.
Here’s a few lessons in concreting to anyone who wants to listen to someone who has seen most of what the industry has to offer.
1: Get good at what you do.
- Not pretending you’re good during good times, putting your hand out for top dollar as a concrete finisher when you couldn’t finish your 12 yo self in the shower with fucking soap. (We see straight away what you are, stop talking shit).
- Take the time, even for free if the option comes available, to learn high skills in the trade. I offered a labourera few weeks back to help with barrowing, for $150 / 2 hours work, then, welcome to sit through me finishing some very high end work and asking any questions they wish…..he barrowed in, washed tools, got paid and fucking left. This is the finish I completed, quite literally, (without blowing my own horn), 20+ years of experience and knowledge, of which they simply walked away from and didn’t care to get more knowledge (to earn a better pay). I bet this guy will be complaining next down turn how he’s worth more money…..
Yeah yeah, guilty as charged. That was a shameless plug for a job I completed. But, I am more than willing to put my work in front of my peers and have it judged. Feel free to check the following link for what my fellow professionals have to say (if you’re a part of that FB page). https://www.facebook.com/groups/1992926050968709/
But I digress……
2: Forget the profit margin
- This is the first part of contracting. Once this has been quoted on and price supplied to the client, apart from a few changes if needed for changes in scope of works, live and die by your price.
- Under charge? Over charge? Whatever. It’s contracting, you win some you lose some. In the end, if you’re not a complete moron, you will end up ahead of the game, kind of like poker I suppose.
- Once this price has been worked out, do you absolute best, as often as you can to provide good quality work. Structurally secure, quality finishing and basically as good as you can give your client who is paying you their hard earned savings. Yes, that’s right, your client has also earned their money as hard as you, respect that shit, or fuck off and go work at Maccas.
Fark. Too many brews on a Friday night.
………….You know what….My daughter just walked in the door after I’ve just finished another 70 hour week trying desperately to stay on top of our 3+ month forward work schedule. It’s been a big week and tomorrow is yet another work day and my family comes first as much as I can put them there, which is all too infrequent to be fair.
I didn’t get through anywhere near what I had in mind for this post, but if you haven’t got the gist of this shit by now, even through limited context, you’re probably well short of learning by using your ears anyway, try bashing your chest and throwing shit at the walls, see what sticks.
This industry, if you try hard enough, will drive you to alcoholism, put your Bipolar and ADHD into swirls of madness that seem uncontrollable…..but those few, brief moments of the year when everything comes together and you do something that honestly, few people in this world can do to perfection, man it feels good…..beyond comprehension.
If you’re in this concrete game, regardless of what society tells you that you are, strive for perfection and show the world what it was once like to be a sculpture and create something from stone that other people stand back from and admire.
I’ll leave this (somewhat random and drunkenly abhorrent post), with some more shameless self promotion. Give us a call today for your higher end projects, we’re the real deal and I’ve got the fucking scars to prove it.