Professional Painting Contractors Forum banner

21 - 30 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Going from an owner of a painting company to an employee of a painting company would be considered a demotion on the scale of career advancements. It may be time to look into another vocation.
I could not disagree with this more.... It would be different if you were running 12 crews and making 300k in personal profit, but for a sole proprietor to hang up the hassles of being self employed to make better money, with more free time and less stress is a step up. Anyone....and I mean anyone.... can spend $25 and get some business cards and call themselves a painting business owner. Having a good paying job with a good employer is far more valuable than the meaningless label of being a "company owner". Make your decision on quality of life. If being an employee will be more steady and make your life better, it's certainly not a demotion. If you're a good painter, and you enjoy the trade.... be happy to have a good job opportunity and make the most of it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,221 Posts
I could not disagree with this more.... It would be different if you were running 12 crews and making 300k in personal profit, but for a sole proprietor to hang up the hassles of being self employed to make better money, with more free time and less stress is a step up. Anyone....and I mean anyone.... can spend $25 and get some business cards and call themselves a painting business owner. Having a good paying job with a good employer is far more valuable than the meaningless label of being a "company owner". Make your decision on quality of life. If being an employee will be more steady and make your life better, it's certainly not a demotion. If you're a good painter, and you enjoy the trade.... be happy to have a good job opportunity and make the most of it.
Being an employee may be fun and all, and even allow the semblance of a steady income, but it's not a position of management. Therefore, it's a demotion in terms of status in the business hierarchy. For example, a former business owner goes from giving directions to taking directions. That's a demotion.

Promotion is the pursuit of giving direction.
 

·
Super Moderator
Licensed General Contractor, Painting Contractor
Joined
·
2,117 Posts
Being an employee may be fun and all, and even allow the semblance of a steady income, but it's not a position of management. Therefore, it's a demotion in terms of status in the business hierarchy. For example, a former business owner goes from giving directions to taking directions. That's a demotion.

Promotion is the pursuit of giving direction.
I don't disagree with your definition of promotion as it relates to semantics, but I wouldn't necessarily agree that choosing to be an employee vs. employer is a step down on the status scale. You're a perfect example. Your insights and contributions to this forum have been a huge asset to many. I know I've learned plenty of things from you over the years. I have no doubt you could be as successful as anyone if you chose to own your own company, and I don't know of anyone who doesn't hold you in as high of regard, (or higher), as anyone else here, simply because they have the title of business owner.

People have their reasons for making their choices. For me, the older I get, I find that my definition of "success" has way less to do with money or a job title and way more to do with actually being around to watch my daughter grow up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Being an employee may be fun and all, and even allow the semblance of a steady income, but it's not a position of management. Therefore, it's a demotion in terms of status in the business hierarchy. For example, a former business owner goes from giving directions to taking directions. That's a demotion.

Promotion is the pursuit of giving direction.
Like @stelzerpaintinginc. I both agree with and disagree with this statement. I went from owning my own business doing track homes, to small commercial, to High end residential, to losing it all in 2008. Then I hired on at a big firm in another state and spent years as a traveling painter, until I was brought into the office to train as the replacement for the C.O.O.

While I could have continued and made more money on my own, I have gained things as an employee of this firm that I never would have otherwise. Before I was great at faux finishes, I could make anything match something else. But working here has opened my eyes to the fact that doing that is a skill, but thinking about what products to use and the science behind those finishes are important for the longevity and continued maintenance of that specialty finish.

I would never have learned what I know about Corrosion, Building Science, Architecture, Planning and Scheduling, Prevailing Wage, Insurance, Contracts, Sand Blasting, Paint Chemistry, Construction Claims, International Freight Forwarding, Sharepoint IT Architecture, etc. I would never have been able to travel the world to practice my craft without the connections this company already had. I would not have had access to people in the industry that allowed me to start and run the Podcast I did.

Even the small and mundane things. I would have likely never thought to keep a package of Hooks [Link] handy to screw into the side of my Cut-in brush to keep it from sitting in the bottom of my 2 gallon bucket had I not worked alongside someone who did it.

So, from a growth standpoint, yeah there are a LOT of opportunities for growth working for another company.

While my situation is not the norm, i guess it comes down to what you do with the opportunities you are given.

Yeah there is a ceiling working for someone else. Unless you plan on taking over someday, or get offered a partnership. But going the route I did has drastically reduced the amount of time it would have taken me to learn a lot of things if I was still a business owner working my way through it. But to your point, I am always working making someone else richer. If the only goal is money, yes, working for someone else is more limiting than working for yourself. So I guess it just depends on what we each view as success.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Like @stelzerpaintinginc.

Yeah there is a ceiling working for someone else. Unless you plan on taking over someday, or get offered a partnership. But going the route I did has drastically reduced the amount of time it would have taken me to learn a lot of things if I was still a business owner working my way through it. But to your point, I am always working making someone else richer. If the only goal is money, yes, working for someone else is more limiting than working for yourself. So I guess it just depends on what we each view as success.
I'm with Steltzer on the fact that people have to think about defining success. I was a sales rep who dealt with literally hundreds of painting companies, ranging from 10MM+ companies to sole proprietors working alone doing 100K a year in gross revenue. Watching the little guys struggle and not be able to pay their bills, maintain their vehicles/houses/relationships.... just because they're 'their own boss" certainly did not make them "successful". It also doesn't mean they weren't. Some people simply can't function in a professional environment, and "self employed" is the only option. Those people normally aren't the best "business owners" either..... quotes used b/c being self employed is a whole different world from running a business.
I just think ego is most often a bad thing, and people who hold back their happiness in life because they have too much ego to be an employee of a heathier, stronger company would generally benefit from listening to Mr. Stelzer... Happiness is a good goal in life.
To add a comparison, who lives a better life.... the dog of the guy who just died and left his mut 4 million dollars in his will (or whatever that was a week or so ago), or a self employed man thinking he's the boss who's waiting to be evicted from his house and can't afford to put a transmission in his van? I'll be the dog.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
I'm with Steltzer on the fact that people have to think about defining success. I was a sales rep who dealt with literally hundreds of painting companies, ranging from 10MM+ companies to sole proprietors working alone doing 100K a year in gross revenue. Watching the little guys struggle and not be able to pay their bills, maintain their vehicles/houses/relationships.... just because they're 'their own boss" certainly did not make them "successful". It also doesn't mean they weren't. Some people simply can't function in a professional environment, and "self employed" is the only option. Those people normally aren't the best "business owners" either..... quotes used b/c being self employed is a whole different world from running a business.
I just think ego is most often a bad thing, and people who hold back their happiness in life because they have too much ego to be an employee of a heathier, stronger company would generally benefit from listening to Mr. Stelzer... Happiness is a good goal in life.
To add a comparison, who lives a better life.... the dog of the guy who just died and left his mut 4 million dollars in his will (or whatever that was a week or so ago), or a self employed man thinking he's the boss who's waiting to be evicted from his house and can't afford to put a transmission in his van? I'll be the dog.
You make some good points: Being able to pay bills and being content with your lot in life is as much as anyone can ask for.

Some people are not cut out to be in business for themselves, that is true. Health Insurance is certainly a great motivator these days, and big companies offering this benefit will gain some faithful employees (as long as that benefit is available). There are much worse jobs that being a painter employed by a thriving company offering these benefits, with the promise of steady work in the future.

On the other hand (as you probably know) the small guy has a distinct advantage over the larger, stronger company they are competing against. They have very little overhead in order to maintain profitability. 100k gross, could easily net 60k, and that's enough to cover most annual bills if not mismanaged. There is also the advantage of being able to identify with a level of craftsmanship that is difficult to 'brand' with a larger corporations.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,221 Posts
Being an employee is great. I know. That's all I've ever been. But finding an organization that meets the requirements for sustainability as an employee, is extremely challenging. Particularly in a saturated and competitive trade market that is driven primarily by speed and budget conscious wages. Painting companies that can afford respectable benefits for their employees are far and few in between and likely impacted with the better painters out there.

So what's the alternative?
1. Start your own business
2. Work for a Union shop
3. Work for the government
4. Work for large established organizations
5. Work for a reputable company that offers promotions i.e. Lead, Foreman, Field Supervisor, Estimator etc.
6. Change vocation
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,068 Posts
Most employers I ever had encouraged sidejobs. cuz they knew they werent paying us squat, and noone could survive on the peanuts they were paying. I feel if employees are doing sidejobs, they might learn how to hustle to and get it done, since they arent hourly. I had a couple of bosses that would toss us the small jobs they didnt want to deal with, for weekend work, so we could make some real money for a day or two, and be less likely to quit in search of a better job. It may not have been legal, but hey. Gotta make ends meet.

When I first moved to Reno, I worked for a company that did tracts. The owners son worked there too, but he would hustle sidework, and run it under his dads license, and hire his dads guys on the weekends to get it done, cuz they kjnew the system, and everybody was on teh same page. His dad not only allowed it, but encouraged it. That was his excuse for not paying more. He literally said this to me: "I get you all the weekend work you want, keep you busy all winter, and now that its summer, you're gonna join the union?? youre gonna be out of work half the year..." I was getting 12.50 an hour.... Union was paying $23 plus bennies... Call me crazy, but given the choice.... Id rather work half the time for twice the money... I digress, but anyway his crew did weekend sidejobs for better money,to keep them around, AND his son was learning how to run a business himself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,221 Posts
I could see an owner of a painting company offering their employees the opportunity to do side work, only if there was a level of trust that had been built. Because at the end of the day, if you let any Joe Smajoely you hire go out and do side jobs for potentially the neighbor of the person you've just completed a job for, and that sidejobber fails miserably (or gets caught rifling through the dresser drawers), it will reflect badly on the owner.
 
21 - 30 of 30 Posts
Top