By: Joseph Wise
Picture this: snow up to the cuff of your boots, drenched socks, wind cutting through your jacket, licking the tip of your pen to keep it writing as the sun goes down over the horizon while you wonder if you should have brought a head lamp. This was the scene as I finished up the back wall of my first estimate for College Pro Painters. I hoped the homeowner didn’t see me going to the sides of the house I had already spent half of an hour on to add up a few more trim boards, or that they hadn’t been near a window when all of my papers fell out of my binder and into the wind. Through the nerves, blistering cold, and waning daylight I remembered I was here on my own accord. I was here because I wanted to be here, and, just then, my runny nose and numb fingers weren’t so troublesome. I was doing something for myself, an opportunity that College Pro and very few other established companies can offer.
I proudly romped through the drifts of snow leading up to the driveway and stomped the snow from my pants and boot bottoms before knocking on the homeowner’s front door. “Come on in! I made us some tea,” the elderly man said to me, beckoning me into the warmth that billowed from the entryway. “It says a lot about a person that sticks it out on these cold winter evenings,” he said white pouring boiling water into a pair of mugs. It was while sitting at that kitchen table, drinking tea and nibbling on Girl Scout cookies that I realized it wasn’t just about crunching numbers and coming up with an accurate budget and price, but it was about building relationships that are based on trust, integrity, and character. No, I didn’t get that paint job, but before I left he had this to say to me: “Joe, I know you’re going to do great things in life. You’ve got integrity, and I can tell that people generally like and trust you.” I built my entire summer with College Pro Painters off of that evening, learning what was important to me when it came to running a successful and honest business. While following through with these core values, I ended with a net promoter rating of 88% (would they tell others about me) and a customer satisfaction rating of 100% (would they recommend me), which was something I could be genuinely proud of when my name was called at the College Pro Painters end-of-the-year banquet.
Stick to your values, and remember why you’re in this thing; it says a lot about a person who sticks to their core values, no matter the situation.
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