For those unaware, there is a thriving entrepreneurial community on r/entrepreneur (“r/” is used to indicate a community group on Reddit, and is typically referred to as a “subreddit”). They discuss all things related to entrepreneurship, and come from a wide variety of industries, backgrounds, and ages. One member of their community, u/Byobcoach, recently posted their entrepreneurial story, and agreed to let me share it! I have added in a few headings with their story and pasted it below. Enjoy!

Introduction

House painting! Everyone needs it. So few do it, and if they do…in most cases (they’re not operating efficiently)

Actually, a majority of House painting companies are 1 or 2 people painting houses…doing everything…

Estimating

Keeping track of numbers

Following up

The actual painting

Doing touchups

Answering the phone…

Etc etc…

Is there anything wrong with this? Of course not. Nothing wrong with people going out there and making a living. Actually, some of the BEST painters I’ve seen come from this 1 and 2 man operation.

Here’s the problem…

They’re afraid to delegate. They are so used to being hands on that they can’t see themselves taking on a CEO type role.

What’s that do?

It limits their capabilities.

What I did differently:

I’ve never been a professional painter, actually, the only painting I ever did was one summer with my Dad. That’s the only exposure I’ve had.

But, due to a passion to help my dad get back on his feet, and my fire for entrepreneurship…I ventured in just two years ago.

First, I quit my bank job and took the leap.

Then, I rapidly gained exposure by using paid lead resources like HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, and Thumbtack. The more jobs I booked, the more confident I was to bring on another person.

and another…

and another…

Eventually I began delegating roles and responsibilities.

We were repeating the same process over and over… My job as the owner was to do my best to make it as easy as possible for my painters to complete.

Since then (I’m in my 3rd year) I’ve grown my company to a $60,000+ per month painting company. We have 10 employees and average 4-5 houses per week.

My daily responsibilities:

Check in with project managers

Do estimates (occasionally)

Follow up with CRM software

Follow up with customers

That’s it.

No office, no company vehicles…just a system, that works.

Some houses we paint in a day, others…two or 3 days depending on the size and the specifications.

And to be honest, my theory was simple…

“I’m going to treat house painting like every other business that succeeds out there… someone at the top delegating and calling the shots with a birds eye view”

It’s impossible to do everything from the bottom level…and if you’re operating a business like this, then I strongly suggest you begin delegating and developing systems so you can truly get in the driver seat.

Book recommendation: The E-Myth

I’m sharing this because a leap of faith got me to this point, and thus I want others to see that it’s possible to make money outside of what everyone else is doing. There’s a ton of money to be made in this type of industry, and there’s a ton of people out there willing to do the work for you. You just need to provide a good enough foundation (system) for them to do it in.

Conclusion

Wow! There is certainly a lot to take away from this story. Here are three big takeaways that stand out to me: First, apply logic from other industries to your own! u/Byobcoach saw that other organizations tend to have entrepreneurs who are “at the top delegating and calling the shots with a birds eye view”, and thus figured it was worth trying this in the painting business! This brings us to our second point: do not be afraid to delegate! As discussed a long time ago in the 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferris, the key to your own well-being is keeping yourself out of the venture as opposed to keeping yourself in. Third, passion and confidence may be instrumental in finding early success.

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I had the chance to talk with Chad Turner, an entrepreneur hustling to develop brands on Instagram and Twitter. His comments were very insightful; in fact, I provided my 5-BIG takeaways from this talk down below. You can find him at @whiteridernow on Twitter!

What is your business, and how did you identify your business idea?

My business is a social media marketing company that manages Instagram and twitter brands for targeted growth. I identified my idea after a few other affiliate companies I was marketing went out of business. I realized I should do my own thing and I had unique skills in this area from years of marketing on social media.

After identifying your business idea, what steps did you take to figure out if it was an idea worth pursuing?

I Did test marketing, and the demand was high. I also had highest retention of any other products or services I have marketed in the past by far.

What is the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur, and can it be developed over time?

The most important trait is cultivating the right mindset to be able to take daily, consistent, and flexible action toward the goal.

What is the largest source of stress from operating your venture?

As far as I can see when you enjoy what you do the only place for stress would be feeling like you don’t have enough resources, or not giving yourself the gift of time.

Has entrepreneurship developed a sense of purpose in your life? If so, can you describe how?

Yes, entrepreneurship has developed a sense of purpose in my life from being able to rise every time you fall. To be able to get through each obstacle without loss of enthusiasm. It’s an amazing journey, but isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. This quote from the Lord of The Rings came to mind and seems to be a good summary of my experience so far. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

My BIG-5 Takeaways from this interview:

  1. Prior experience may unlock a unique business opportunity.
  2. Validate your idea with market data instead of pursuing blindly.
  3. To succeed in entrepreneurship, mindset matters!
  4. Your venture will consume your life, if you let it!
  5. Watch LoTR for awesome entrepreneurial quotes!

I did a brief interview with the founder of The Optimists Voices. After reading the interview, you can find the founder,
Victor Perton, on twitter at @OptimistsVoices.

What is your business opportunity?

Asking people “What makes you optimistic?”

How did it start?

I came back to Australia after working across North and South America as a Trade Commissioner and then working as Senior Adviser to the Australian G20 presidency. Everywhere I had travelled and worked, there was a rightful admiration for Australian leadership, innovation, “get up and go” and humour. However, in Australia, I found bleak conversations about Australian leadership. It made no sense to me. I founded The Australian Leadership Project and have asked over 1200 Australians about what makes a good Australian leader. It became clear: there are millions of Australians leading in Australia and globally with the three key Australian leadership traits of (1) “egalitarian leadership”, (2) “self effacing humour”, and (3) “no bullshit plain speaking.” So why the disconnect? My Eureka moment was the Global Integrity Summit 2017 where I keynoted on a panel I had proposed the Board, “The Case for Optimism.” The reaction was incredible. It was clear people wanted stories and messages of hope and optimism. Optimism breeds action while pessimism paralyses.

What is the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur, and can it be developed over time?

Realistic Optimism. Generally, entrepreneurs are natural optimists but it’s important that they generate optimism in their team, their friends, family and beyond. Demonstrating gratitude is hugely important from a thank you to the waiter, the bus driver and the street cleaner to the leaders in their ecosystem.

What is the largest source of stress from operating your venture?

I don’t get stressed in work and business. I look for the joy and happiness. I recently delivered a workshop in prison and was asked by the prisoners to return. On the return, a notorious convicted criminal returned for a second workshop and told the other prisoners to listen to me: he said optimism was crucial to survival in prison but even more important in the outside world to succeed and not to return to prison. To be a recidivist was to be a [expletive] he told them. What joy I got from hearing his interpretation of my work with his fellow inmates.

Has entrepreneurship developed a sense of purpose in your life? If so, can you describe how?

No. My sense of purpose is derived from helping other people to become more optimistic and happier. My entrepreneurial venture was derived from that purpose. My nickname at the G20 was “Captain Happy.”